Netanyahu gets first crack at forming a government in Israel, unenthusiastic president decides

Published Apr 06 2021 at 10:42 AM GMT
  • Israeli President Reuven Rivlin on Tuesday gave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the mandate to form a new government, saying he has a "slightly better" chance of forging a governing coalition than centrist opposition leader Yair Lapid.
  • Netanyahu, Israel's longest-serving prime minister, appeared in court Monday to hear charges in his own corruption trial, and Rivlin did not sound thrilled to give him first shot to stay in power.
  • "None of the candidates have a realistic chance of creating a government that can foster trust in the Israeli Knesset, but I must do what is required of me," Rivlin said, adding that there is unfortunately no law against prime ministers serving while also standing trial for various crimes.
  • "It is not an easy decision, on an ethical or moral level," he said.
  • Israeli law compelled Rivlin to give the mandate to the leader most likely to succeed, and 52 members of the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament, recommended Netanyahu in consultations Monday, versus 45 for Lapid, seven for Naftali Bennett of the right-wing Yemina party, and 16 who stated no preference.


  • Published Apr 6, 2021 10:42 AM GMT