Prime Minister Naftali Bennett focuses on the theme of national unity as he begins his address to heads of Jewish federations and Jewish leaders in NYC.
“I bring with me a new spirit,” Bennett opens, returning to a familiar theme.
“I never thought it work,” he says of the most diverse coalition in Israeli history, adding that he never would have dreamed of sitting in government with his current partners.
“There was a sense of helplessness and despair in the air,” he says referring to the series of four elections in two years.
“If we don’t sit together, this thing is going to tear apart,” he says.
“We have this bug, this legacy of division in our people,” he laments, before describing the loss of the Jewish temples in Jerusalem.
“This time, we’re not going to let it fall apart,” he says to applause, acknowledging that he in the past demonized some of his coalition partners, and they demonized him, but saying the left is no less patriotic than the right. In the serious business of governing Israel, he says, the coalition is working.
He calls his ideologically unwieldy government “beautiful.”