As President Rivlin and Prime Minister Netanyahu toasted the new government, the Israeli premier vowed to respond to the many challenges facing Israel, both internally and externally. There is no time to waste, Rivlin said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the ministers of the newly established 34th Government of Israel arrived at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem on Tuesday for the traditional group photograph.
President Reuven Rivlin and Netanyahu toasted the new government and wished them much success.
Referring to the many demands facing the country, Rivlin said there is no time to waste. “Previous governments did not face such challenges in the same way or with the same intensity,” he commented.
The new government will encounter international pressure “in a manner that demands endurance,” and internally, it must address the social and economic needs of the citizens of Israel, “from housing and employment to welfare,” he explained.
“On your shoulders rests the task and the duty to prove your ability to manage the affairs of the state with its complexities and sensitivities, for the benefit of all citizens,” Rivlin stated.
Addressing the small 61-member coalition, he said that “a narrow government must be, and is able to be, a good government as long as it is faithful to its internal cohesion and to the public interests of all the citizens of Israel.”
“On my own behalf and on behalf of citizens of Israel, I want to wish success to the prime minister and all the new ministers and Members of Knesset in general. Together with all the people, I am filled with hope and prayers for your success,” the president concluded.
Netanyahu’s Fourth Tenure as Leader
This is the fourth time that Netanyahu has established a government. “For the fourth time, just as the first, I am greatly moved and honored to present to you today, the ministers of the Government of Israel,” the Israeli leader said.
Facing “great challenges and opportunities,” the first challenge is “to ensure the security of Israel in the face of accumulating threats around us,” he said. “Radical Islam is lapping at all our borders, nearly all in the form of factions and forces led by Iran and other radical elements. At the same time, aided by the agreement proposed to it, Iran is making progress in achieving a nuclear weapon. All the enemies of Israel know that in the face of these threats, we have red lines.”
Israel has so far been successful in keeping out of the “turmoil and atrocities affecting the region,” and yet the “threats in the region also create opportunities,” Netanyahu continued. Many other states in the region face similar threats “and they see Israel as a central partner in fending them off.”
Netanyahu vowed that his government will make every effort to translate “this cooperation into processes for stability and peace, including attempts to reach a responsible political settlement with the Palestinians, which will safeguard Israel’s essential interests.”
“We will continue to promote deeper ties with the US Administration and the American people,” he added. “Even at times of disagreements, this bond is stronger than any difference of opinion.”
Netanyahu also pledged to surmount the internal economic and social challenges.
“The People of Israel returned to its land and established here the State of Israel, a Jewish and democratic state, a state which preserves the rule of law and respects every human being,” he declared. “Here, in our eternal capital of Jerusalem, the Prophets of Israel embedded the eternal values of humanity, but also embedded the eternal values of our people – to which we are committed in each generation. I am proud to be the Prime Minister of Israel, and I will do all in my power, together with my ministers, to honor the mandate we have been given by the citizens of Israel. There is nothing more valuable than that,” he concluded.