At the first Cabinet meeting following the swearing-in of Israel’s new government Thursday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu celebrated the day.
“I am very moved to open the first Cabinet meeting of the 37th government. This really is a festive day,” he said. “On the way here from the Knesset, I managed to meet many citizens. They were smiling and happy.”
Netanyahu added that he believes Israelis are happy because the weeks-long political process of forming the government came to an end, resulting in the restoration of stability.
While acknowledging that this is his sixth time forming a government and his 16th year as prime minister, he said that he is still not used to this role.
“My friends, you can assume here that we are already accustomed to it but I am not used to it, I am excited this time too,” he said. “I am excited, first of all, due to the great trust that the people of Israel have given us. I am excited by the responsibility that lies before us. I am excited because I know that we have an excellent team, with outstanding people imbued with a sense of mission who will work for all citizens of Israel.”
He reiterated the four main goals of his government: blocking Iran; restoring security and governance; addressing the cost of living and housing problem; and expanding the “circle of peace.”
He called his coalition consisting of his Likud Party, the Religious Zionism Party, Otzma Yehudit, Noam, Shas and United Torah Judaism a “united government” with a “unified vision and goal.”
“We have already brought to Israel the ‘Golden Age’—the best years in its history. Now we will take Israel to new heights and we will do so as a responsible and dedicated government that will fulfill its term,” Netanyahu said.
“Now it is time to roll up our sleeves and get to work,” the leader of the Jewish state added.