(April 17, 2019 / JNS) Israeli President Reuven Rivlin officially tapped Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday to form a governing coalition.
Netanyahu will have 28 days to form a new government. Rivlin may grant a 14-day extension, if necessary.
The right-wing bloc is expected to consist of the Likud, Kulanu, Yisrael Beitenu, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties – a 65-seat majority in the 120-seat Knesset.
“This was a tough election campaign. Things were said that should not have been said, from all sides. Not in a democratic state and not in the Jewish state,” said Rivlin. “The iron wall should be between us and our enemies, not inside our own home, not between us.”
Additionally, the president lamented that less women will serve in the upcoming government than the previous one.
“Unfortunately, this Knesset will have far fewer women than the previous Knesset. We have lost vital women’s representation in the Knesset and the government,” said Rivlin. “I hope that the new Knesset and government will include women ministers and committee chairs, and ensure that the voice of women is present and clearly heard, on the issues themselves and as a message to the public.”
Netanyahu’s re-election to his fifth term last week will make him Israel’s longest-serving prime minister since the founding father and first leader of the Jewish nation, David Ben-Gurion.