The leadership of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America (Orthodox Union), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization, congratulates Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid upon their election and approval by the Knesset as the new leaders of the State of Israel’s government. The Knesset approved the formation of the power-sharing arrangement in a vote on Sunday.

The leadership of the Orthodox Union stated:

“We extend our congratulations to incoming Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on their becoming leaders of the government of the State of Israel. Their mandate to protect and secure the world’s only Jewish state is a tremendous and challenging responsibility. Their leadership will also be essential in demonstrating their commitment to all sectors of Israel’s population and to the preservation of the essential Jewish character of the State as it has been since its founding, including public Shabbat observance, kashrut and conversion standards.

We wish them the Almighty’s blessings of wisdom, strength and fortitude as they steer Israel forward and protect her from her enemies. We look forward to working with them as the Orthodox Union has, since Israel’s founding, with successive Prime Ministers and ruling coalitions.”

“We also offer a heartfelt thank you to Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-tenured prime minister. For the past 12 years, and during his previous time as premier from 1996 to 1999, Mr. Netanyahu led Israel with courage and dedication both through tremendously perilous times and awe-inspiring moments, including reaching historic accords with former enemies across the region.”

“Finally, we call upon the leaders of other democratic nations not only to congratulate Israel but to recognize the Jewish state’s value as the only democracy in the region.”

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