Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s presumed prime minister-to-be, pledged on Monday to preserve democracy and to reach a “broad” consensus on legislation as he forms a coalition government composed of four factions.
Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud political party, is expected to build a 64-seat governing coalition with members of three other parties: the ultra-Orthodox Shas, the United Torah Judaism faction and the far-right Religious Zionism party, according to the Times of Israel newspaper.
“Democracy is built from the elucidation of positions, from the spark of arguments,” Netanyahu said Monday. “If we can, we’ll reach agreements – that happens frequently. If we can’t reach an agreement, the decision is made by the will of the majority – that’s exactly the difference between democracy and other [forms of government].”
He said that in some parts of the world, decisions are made by force, but in Israel, “democracy is the fundamental infrastructure.”
It will be Netanyahu’s third time in the position after serving as prime minister from 1996 to 1999 and from 2009 to 2021.
The coalition government will try to reach “as broad agreements as possible, and when we need to, we will make responsible and careful decisions.”
Further, Netanyahu said he believes the people of Israel gave him a mandate. The coalition government will “be an expression of the mandate that we received from the people. We will preserve Israeli democracy and Israel,” he said.
The leaders of opposition parties say they don’t trust Netanyahu.
“The State of Israel faces great challenges that will be faced by a government that relies on extremist elements,” Benny Gantz, a leader in the three-month-old National Unity Party, wrote on Twitter. “… We respect the decision of the voters, and after the formation of the government, we will serve as a responsible opposition while we continue to build National Unity as a governing alternative.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Amir Levy/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.