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June 13, 2021 6:55 pm
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Jewish Leaders From Around the World Congratulate New Israeli Government

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avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett chats with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, following the vote for the new coalition at the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in Jerusalem June 13, 2021. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Jewish leaders from around the world issued hopeful congratulations to the new Israeli government as it was sworn in after being approved by a Knesset vote.

The new government, led by Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, is comprised of a vast diversity of parties, including those from the left and right, as well as representatives of the Israeli Arab community.

It is the first government in 12 years that has not been led by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Chair Dianne Lob, CEO William Daroff, and Vice Chair Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations issued a statement saying, “We applaud Israel’s vibrant democracy as the thirty-sixth government of the State of Israel is sworn in, and congratulate incoming Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and incoming Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, both longtime friends of the Conference of Presidents, and the other parties in the coalition on this historic occasion.”

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They also saluted Netanyahu for his “immense legacy” and “years of dedicated leadership and service to Israel and its people, as well as his contributions to world Jewry.”

“Coming just weeks after thousands of rockets were launched at Israel by Iran-backed Hamas terrorists, the new government’s formation demonstrates the strength and resilience of Israeli democracy, which has flourished through war and peace for more than seven decades,” the statement said. “We look forward to working with Israel’s new diverse unity government.”

World Jewish Congress President Ronald S. Lauder congratulated the new government, saying, “I am delighted that these efforts have now come to fruition and that this new government has been established.”

He said he was “confident” that the government’s members “will provide Israel with stability and the same spirit of unity the people of Israel demonstrated during the recent Israel-Hamas military conflict. The State of Israel must be a beacon of unity for the entire Jewish people, and I am confident that its new government will also help bring Diaspora Jewry together. ”

He said that Bennett and Lapid, along with their colleagues, “will be equally committed to the unity of the Jewish people, both in Israel and across the globe.”

American Jewish Committee CEO David Harris remarked, “The new Israeli government reflects the country’s diversity and is determined to pursue peace, security, and prosperity. AJC looks forward to working with the new coalition, as we have consistently done with every Israeli government since 1948, and we wish the leadership every success.”

He also praised Netanyahu, citing his “impressive leadership” and achievements.

“We will gladly work with the new government, where appropriate, to help build on these remarkable achievements, as well as to strengthen the essential ties that bind the Jewish state and Jews around the world,” Harris added.

Anti-Defamation League CEO Jonathan Greenblatt issued his own statement, saying, “We are encouraged that the government’s wide-ranging agenda encompasses several important issues for ADL, including strengthening Israel’s security, addressing challenges of social cohesion in Israeli society, advancing religious pluralism and the relationships with Diaspora Jewish communities, securing Israel’s democratic foundations, providing assistance for Israel’s underserved communities, and many others.”

“We wish Israel’s new leadership much success in its efforts to bring about political stability, positive social and economic changes, prosperity for its citizens, and peace with its neighbors,” Greenblatt said.

President Marie van der Zyl of the Board of Deputies of British Jews also congratulated the new government, and said, “We hope this ‘unity coalition’ … is able to bring stability to the Israeli political situation. It is a wonderful demonstration of Israel’s thriving democracy.”

“We look forward to engaging with the new Israeli government to further strengthen ties between the UK Jewish community and Israel,” she said.

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