In a scene that no scriptwriter would have attempted, as outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett announced the collapse of his coalition on Monday night, the lights went out in the Knesset hall where he and his leadership colleague Yair Lapid were addressing the nation.
For a year and one week, the most improbable coalition in Israel’s history attempted, in Bennett’s depiction on Monday night, to brighten governance and “restore national dignity,” with its eight constituent parties, from all the way across the spectrum, promising to put aside key ideological differences and drag the country out of political darkness.
In what amounted to his farewell speech, Bennett set out a list of that government’s achievements — including reviving the economy from the ravages of COVID, tackling a wave of terrorism, and preventing a return to the 2015 Iran deal without harming ties with the United States.
But most importantly, in his summation, his coalition championed “decency, trust… and a culture of togetherness.” In that vein, Bennett spoke with real warmth and regard for his “mensch” of a coalition partner Lapid, who reciprocated: “I want to thank you for our friendship; I love you very much.”
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