Netanyahu says Iran is “celebrating” because Israel now has a “weak government.”
“From the moment the US returns to the nuclear deal with Iran, the incoming government won’t approve significant operations in Iran,” says Netanyahu. “A government that is not able to forcefully oppose the international community on the pressing issues for our fate is not worthy of leading Israel.”
Netanyahu says the Biden administration is demanding a settlement freeze in the West Bank and East Jerusalem and has begun pushing for peace talks.
“How will we fight the establishment of a Palestinian state when a majority of the government supports it?” says Netanyahu.
Netanyahu mocks Bennett’s pledges to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, saying the Yamina leader has shown he doesn’t keep his promises. Bennett will “fight Iran like he won’t sit” in a government with Lapid and other left-wing parties, says Netanyahu.
The prime minister says the new US administration asked him not to speak publicly about their differences on the Iran nuclear deal. But Netanyahu says he won’t be silent in the face of the “existential threat.”
On Bennett, says Netanyahu: “He doesn’t have the global standing. He doesn’t have the credibility. He doesn’t have the ability and he doesn’t” have the support of his own divided government.
“The prime minister of Israel must be able to say no to the American government” on issues that threaten Israel,” says Netanyahu, adding that Bennett won’t be able to withstand the pressure.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu begins his speech in the Knesset.
“I stand here on behalf of the million Israelis… who voted for Likud under my leadership, and the other million Israelis who voted for right-wing parties with the knowledge they would join a government headed by me. In their honor, and on their behalf, I intend to continue the mission of my life: to ensure the security and flourishing of the State of Israel,” says Netanyahu.
Netanyahu recaps his achievements, from ensuring Israel becomes the first vaccinated country, to opposing Iran’s development of nuclear weapons, to the Abraham Accords, to the US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights.
“It was my honor to work night and day for our beloved country,” says Netanyahu.