President Rivlin has nominated MK Benjamin Netanyahu to form a government

  • By Editor
  • 04 07
  • 2021

BY ITZHAK RABIHIYA / SNN, Space Network News

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin, nominated today, Tuesday 6 April, Prime Minister and leader of Likud MK Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a government. 


President Rivlin’s said that he feels none of the candidates has chance of forming a viable coalition, but as he is obliged by law to choose a candidate, he has chosen to task PM with building next coalition despite concerns over his ongoing corruption trial 


In an effort to avoid unprecedented fifth elections in two years, a reluctant President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday picked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as the candidate to form a new government after he emerged with the most endorsements from fellow lawmakers. 


Netanyahu received the recommendations of 52 lawmakers in the 120-member Knesset in Rivlin's consultations on Monday, as Jerusalem District Court saw the start of the evidentiary stage of the prime minister's trial for bribery, fraud and breach of trust. 


Centrist Opposition Leader Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid party got 45 endorsements and former defense minister Naftali Bennett of the far-right Yamina got seven - all from his own party. 


The breakaway right-wing New Hope led by former Likud minister Gideon Saar and the two predominantly Arab parties, Joint List and Ra'am, declined to endorse any candidate, leaving their combined 16 seats in the wind. Pleas from both Netanyahu and Lapid for support to make up their respective majority shortfalls went unanswered. 


The deadlock over recommendations was a reflection of the political stalemate in the country, which held elections on March 23 - the fourth time in two years - only for the outcome to again be inconclusive. 


President Rivlin also said this past Sunday, we mark Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day, I listened here, at Beit HaNasi, to the shocking testimony of former President of the Supreme Court Judge Aharon Barak as a young child in the Kovno Ghetto. As he told his story, even when he described the most terrible and dreadful moments of the selection of children in the ghetto, of living behind a wall in the house of a Lithuanian farmer, Aharon Barak maintained his composure. But his voice wavered when he described meeting soldiers of the Jewish Brigade on whose sleeves was the badge of the blue and white flag. 


The State of Israel is not to be taken for granted. It was certainly not to be taken for granted during the history of the Jewish people and not even 75 years ago. We hold, you the citizens of Israel hold, the greatest treasure of the Jewish people. Your decision, your vote, is what determines the nature of this country, what its future will be. On election day, voters’ day, the people, the public entrusts its representatives with the power to determine a wide range of issues. 


But there are things that even 12 Knesset Members cannot change. 120 Knesset Members cannot undermine the democratic foundations of the State of Israel. And 120 Knesset Members cannot undermine the State of Israel’s Jewish nature. It is in that tension, in the hyphen between Jewish and democratic, that our discourse is held and will continue to be held. Sometimes, it will veer to the right, and sometimes to the left. But it will always connect the margins. 


Israel’s democracy is nourished entirely by the will of the voter. The role of the president in selecting a candidate to entrust with forming a government is primarily one of giving expression to the will of the voter. Therefore, as I have said repeatedly in previous election campaigns, and again in recent days, the principal consideration that Israeli presidents must bear in mind when deciding who to entrust with the task of forming a government is which candidate has the best chance of forming a government that will have the confidence of the new Knesset. The results of the consultations, that were open to all, lead me to believe that no candidate has a realistic chance of forming a government that will have the confidence of the Knesset. In fact, if the law would allow me to do so, I would give the decision back to the representatives of the people, to the Knesset. But as I have said, I cannot do so according to law. In the position in which we find ourselves today, the law obliges me to entrust one of the candidates with forming a government. 


After consulting with the representatives of all the factions in the Knesset, the following picture has emerged: 52 MKs requested that I entrust MK Benjamin Netanyahu with forming a government. 45 MKs requested that I entrust MK Yair Lapid with forming a government. 7 MKs requested that I entrust MK Naftali Bennett with forming a government. 16 MKs did not make any recommendation to me. This is not an easy decision on a moral and ethical basis, in my mind. As I said at the beginning of my remarks, the State of Israel is not to be taken for granted. And I fear for my country. But I am doing what is required of me as President of the State of Israel, according to the law and to the ruling of the court, and realizing the will of the sovereign – the Israeli people.


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