Benjamin Netanyahu, the longtime prime minister of Israel who forged a close alliance with U.S. President Donald Trump toward the end of his tenure, has officially been kicked out of power after a shocking vote Sunday to establish a new government.
With Netanyahu’s 12 years in power coming to an end, the right-wing Naftali Bennett will take over as prime minister, the Washington Examiner reports.
Netanyahu unloads on Biden
In his final speech before his ouster, Netanyahu called Bennett a member of the “fake right” and accused him of double-dealing by allying with the left. The now-former PM presented Bennett’s ascent as an existential threat, saying he can’t be trusted to defend Israel from Iran.
Woven into Netanyahu’s polemic was an attack on the Biden administration, which he said is pursuing policies that undermine Israel’s security — namely, the revival of the Obama-era Iran deal — although he called Biden an “old friend going 40 years back.”
“The prime minister of Israel needs to be able to say no to the president of the United States on issues that threaten our existence,” Netanyahu said Sunday, according to a transcript from Rev.
Netanyahu went on to say he would no longer keep his criticism of Biden’s Iran policy “behind closed doors” as he invoked the Holocaust, comparing Biden’s policy to FDR’s reluctance to destroy Nazi concentration camps.
“The new U.S. administration requested that I save our disagreements on the Iran nuclear deal behind closed doors and not share them publicly,” Netanyahu said, according to the New York Post. “I told them I won’t act that way.”
Congrats from Washington
According to the Examiner, Biden and his top diplomat, Anthony Blinken, congratulated Bennett on taking over and referenced “the close and enduring relationship between our two nations.”
For his part, Bennett lamented the fractured state of Israel’s politics in his first speech as prime minister, which drew heckling from opposition members.
He also signaled that he would oppose Biden’s Iran policy, saying, “Israel will not allow Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons,” as the Daily Caller reported. But Netanyahu said that Bennett “always does the opposite” of what he promises to do.
The ousted leader pledged to “fight daily against this terrible, dangerous left-wing government in order to topple it.”
“With God’s help, it will happen a lot earlier than you think it will,” Netanyahu said, according to the Times of Israel.