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Paper trail

Netanyahu’s note to successor Bennett revealed: ‘Be right back!’

Channel 12 shares message the Likud leader left for the incoming premier in June 2021, a promise he is now set to fulfill

A note left by Benjamin Netanyahu to his successor in 2021 declares, 'Be Right Back!' as aired by Channel 12 news on November 4, 2022 (Channel 12)
A note left by Benjamin Netanyahu to his successor in 2021 declares, 'Be Right Back!' as aired by Channel 12 news on November 4, 2022 (Channel 12)

When Naftali Bennett took over Israel’s premiership from Benjamin Netanyahu in June of 2021, the Likud leader was famously derisive and dismissive of his successor, questioning the legitimacy of his government and promising to return to power quickly.

Some commentators criticized Netanyahu then for his apparent lack of decorum, noting that previous transfers of power had been more courteous.

Now, a little more than a year later and with Netanyahu set to return to the premiership, a new detail has emerged from that handover.

Channel 12 news on Friday published a photo of a note that was left for Bennett on the desk of the Prime Minister’s Office when he arrived there to take over.

The note, scribbled in blue pen, included a simple drawing of an Israeli flag, with its Star of David, and the words: “Be right back!”

It was not clear whether the note was left by Netanyahu himself or one of his aides, though it likely would not have been without his approval.

At any rate, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister is set to fulfill that promise within weeks, to the delight of some half of Israel’s voters and the dismay of the other half.

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