Netanyahu Sworn In As Israeli Prime Minister 

December 29, 2022

Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu was sworn into office Thursday for his sixth term as Israeli Prime Minister, in what was set to be that nation’s most right-leaning government in its history. 

Israelis had voted for Prime Minister on November 1 for the fifth time since 2019 in an attempt to break a three-and-a-half-year political deadlock.

Netanyahu returned to power with the support of far-right figures including Itamar Ben-Gvir, an extremist who has been convicted of supporting terrorism and inciting anti-Arab racism. Ben-Gvir will take on the newly-expanded public security role of National Security Minister, overseeing police in Israel and some police activity in the West Bank.

The leader of the Religious Zionism party, Bezalel Smotrich, has been named Minister of Finance. During the campaign he proposed legal reforms that included getting rid of the ability to charge a public servant with fraud and breach of trust—charges Netanyahu faces in an ongoing corruption trial. 

The leader of the ultra-Orthodox Sephardi party Shas, Aryeh Deri, will serve a dual role as Interior Minister and Minister of Health. 

Netanyahu’s new government has pledged to prioritize settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank and to extend massive subsidies to his ultra-Orthodox allies, as well as pushing for sweeping reforms to the judicial system.

The platform has sparked backlash across Israel from a variety of sources, including the military, LGBTQ rights groups and the business community.

Netanyahu is Israel’s longest serving Prime Minister, having held the office from 1996 to 1999 and then again from 2009 until 2021.

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