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Netanyahu Formally Tasked With Forming New Israeli Government

Netanyahu Formally Tasked With Forming New Israeli Government
Benjamin Netanyahu receives President Isaac Herzog's mandate to form a government on November 13th, 2022. Kobi Gideon, GPO
By Pesach Benson • 13 November, 2022


Jerusalem, 13 November, 2022 (TPS) — Israeli President Isaac Herzog formally tasked to form a new governing coalition on Sunday. Netanyahu will have 28 days to form a government. A 14-day extension is customarily given if more time is needed.

In his remarks at the President’s Residence, Herzog noted that appointing Netanyahu wasn’t easy because “it hasn’t escaped my notice” that the Likud leader and former Prime Minister is on trial for corruption.

“I am not oblivious, of course, to the fact that there are ongoing legal proceedings against MK Netanyahu at the Jerusalem District Court, and I do not trivialize this at all,” Herzog said.

“Nevertheless, it is important to note that the Supreme Court has already expressed itself clearly on the matter of pending indictments against a member of Knesset nominated for the role of forming a government, in a number of rulings, including with an expanded panel of 11 justices, when the task of forming a government was assigned to MK Netanyahu by my predecessor, President Reuven Rivlin.

“In light of all this, having considered the facts in accordance with the law, and after you gave your consent to this, as required by law, I have decided to assign to you, MK Benjamin Netanyahu, the task of forming a government,” Herzog said.

Netanyahu, who is charged with fraud, bribery and breach of trust, maintains his innocence. The first proceedings since the election took place on Nov. 7 in Jerusalem District Court.

Netanyahu, in his remarks, vowed to be the Prime Minister of “all of Israel’s citizens, without exception.”

“There are many, many who welcome the election results – but there are also those who make outrageous prophecies and frighten the public. This is not the first time such things have been said. They said it about [Likud’s first leader Menachem] Begin, they said it about me too; it wasn’t true then and it’s not true today either,” Netanyahu said.

“I intend to be a prime minister for everyone – for those who elected me, and for those who did not elect me. It reflects what I believe in and what guides my actions,” he stressed.

Coalition Negotiations

Netanyahu hoped to have his government sworn in on Tuesday, when the new Knesset convenes for the first time, but this is now considered unlikely. The government will not be sworn in until all the cabinet portfolios are filled and coalition agreements submitted to the Knesset.

Religious Zionism leader Betzalel Smotrich wants the Defense portfolio, though it is widely believed that portfolio will be held by Likud.

Both Shas and Religious Zionism want the Finance portfolio.

Religious Zionism also seeks the Education and Treasury portfolios.

Itamar Ben-Gvir of Otzma Yehudit’s demands include the Public Security portfolio and an end to Israeli recognition of Reform conversions for purposes of aliyah.

The Foreign Affairs and Justice portfolios are expected to be held by Likud.

Religious Zionism, Otzma Yehudit, Shas and UTJ are united in their support for a controversial Supreme Court override law.


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