Bennett Presents New Gov’t as MKs Removed for Heckling

YERUSHALAYIM -
Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister-designate, speaks at the Knesset, during a special session whereby a confidence vote will be held to approve and swear-in a new coalition government, on Sunday. (Reuters/Ronen Zvulun)

Prime Minister-designate Naftali Bennett presented his new government’s ministers and guidelines in an address at the Knesset plenum on Sunday, while MKs who will be in the opposition heckled him.

At the moment when Bennett started his speech introducing his government, Religious Zionist Party head MK Betzalel Smotrich and other MKs shouted “Shame” and waved posters of victims of terror. They were removed from the plenum.

“I am proud that I can sit in a government with people with very different views,” Bennett told his hecklers in the Knesset plenum.

MKs Smotrich, Itamar Ben-Gvir and Orit Struk were all taken out of the Knesset plenum due to their comments, though several Likud and Religious Zionist MKs continued interrupting the speech throughout.

Bennett called on all sides of the political spectrum to display restraint. He complained that in recent years, Israel had stopped being managed as a country.

“The loud tone of the screams is the same as the failure to govern during your term in office,” Bennett snapped back at the Likud MKs.

Shas and United Torah Judaism MKs heckled Bennett, calling him a liar and a cheat.

In the address, Bennett said his government would prevent the nuclearization of Iran and would not permit rocket fire on Israeli citizens from the Gaza Strip. Bennett thanked the administration of President Joe Biden for its support during the war in Gaza and pledged to maintain bipartisan support in the U.S.

Bennett made a point of starting his address by praising outgoing Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for his hard work over the years for Israel and his wife for her dedication.

The new government would also take unprecedented steps to reach out to the Arab sector, Bennett vowed.