After 12 years of Benjamin Netanyahu as Israeli Prime Minister — the last two and half years of which has been consumed with political chaos, multiple elections, and failed coalitions — Israel swore in a new coalition government on Sunday. The coalition government consists of political parties on both the left and the right, while the Prime Minister position will rotate Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid.  

We wish the new government luck and pray that it unifies Israel in the same way it has unified the coalition. May the next steps be ones towards peace and calm in Israel.

To understand more about this new government, and how Israel forms its governments, check out the resources and links below.

Who is this new government and what does it represent?

“The intended Lapid-Bennett government is backed by eight of the 13 parties that won seats in the March 23 election, for an expected total of 61 votes in the 120-member Knesset: Yesh Atid (17 seats), Blue and White (8), Yisrael Beytenu (7), Labor (7), Yamina (6 of its 7 MKs), New Hope (6), Meretz (6) and Ra’am (4).

“The coalition represents an unprecedentedly diverse mix of parties, from right (Yamina, New Hope and Yisrael Beytenu) to center (Yesh Atid and Blue and White), to left (Labor and Meretz), in addition to the conservative Islamic Party Ra’am. Their leaders, which unified in opposition to Netanyahu’s continued rule, have vowed to try to work via consensus to heal rifts in Israeli society without crossing their own ideological red lines.”

What is the vision of this new and diverse government?

The hope is for a national healing to occur after 12 years under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu, of which the past two and a half years have included multiple elections and coalition upheavals.

Read about what an Israel could look like after Netanyahu.

The basics of the Israeli Electoral system

“In order to take office as prime minister at the head of a new government, the person tapped for the job by the president must persuade a majority of the Knesset members (MKs) to confirm the government. This usually involves putting together a coalition of several parties. The prime minister-elect will typically spend a number of weeks conducting intense negotiations with the other parties elected to the Knesset, arranging for their support in a confirmation vote.

“In exchange for joining the coalition, parties will demand that they get to have some of their MKs serve in the government as ministers, so that Israeli governments are generally staffed by MKs from a range of parties who must find a way to work together despite their disparate views. Those parties left out of the coalition form the opposition.”

How is an Israeli government/coalition formed and what happens after an election.

The basics of Israeli Democracy.

Image courtesy of AFP.