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New government holds festive first cabinet meeting

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses his first cabinet meeting, with Alternate PM Yair Lapid at his side, June 13, 2021. (Channel 12 screenshot)
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett addresses his first cabinet meeting, with Alternate PM Yair Lapid at his side, June 13, 2021. (Channel 12 screenshot)

The new Israeli government holds a festive first cabinet meeting.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett presides over the meeting, which is open to the press. He opens his remarks with the “Shehechiyanu” prayer of thanksgiving.

“We are at the start of new days,” he says, calling the establishment of a new government “a wonder.”

Bennett vows that the government will work to “mend the rift in the nation” after two years of political deadlock.

He says the new cabinet meetings will start on time on Sunday mornings, in an apparent criticism of Netanyahu, who was notoriously late for meetings. And he urges his ministers to show “restraint” over the numerous ideological differences between the disparate parties in the coalition to ensure its stability.

Lapid, sitting alongside Bennett, says “friendship and trust” were the foundation of the government and only “friendship and trust” will keep it in power.

Sitting on the sidelines is Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit (2R) at the first cabinet meeting of the new government on June 13, 2021. (Tal Schneider/Times of Israel)

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