Opening today's special Knesset session to introduce his new government, Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the plenum to outline the goals of his administration. His speech was repeatedly interrupted by catcalls from opposition MKs, five of whom were ejected from the plenum after repeatedly flouting Knesset laws and being issued warnings by the Knesset Speaker, Likud MK Amir Ohana.
"This new government is determined to restore governance, peace, and personal security to the citizens of Israel," Netanyahu stated. "I hear the opposition's constant laments about 'the end of the state' and even 'the end of democracy.' Members of the opposition, losing the elections is not the end of democracy - it is the essence of democracy.'
"A democratic regime is tested first of all by the willingness of the losing side to accept the majority's decision," Netanyahu continued. "In an orderly democracy, the rules of the game are respected. We saw it just now in a different context, in the World Cup final, when French fans were disappointed like you, but they accepted the result. They even applauded the Argentina team. I know you won't applaud, but I do expect you to respect the voters' decision and cease rebelling against the elected government.''
Netanyahu then added, "In a democracy, you don't climb the Capitol fences and you don't climb the Knesset fences." As he spoke, a massive police presence was deployed around the Knesset building, to restrain hundreds of left-wing activists who had congregated to protest the incoming government.
"This is the sixth time that I present a government under my leadership," Netanyahu said. "I'm as overwhelmed as the first time. I want to take this opportunity to thank my dear and beloved family, my wife Sara who is here today and is always by my side, my sons Yair and Avner, who always stand by me."
Netanyahu then donned a yarmulka and recited the Shecheyanu blessing: "Blessed are You, O Lord, our G-d, King of the world, that we have lived and survived and reached this time."
Following Netanyahu's speech, outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid summarized his government's activities. "With great unease we are handing the country over to the elected government. We deliver you a state in excellent condition, with a strong economy, with improved security capabilities and a powerful deterrent force, with our international status at the highest it has ever been. Try not to destroy it, we'll be back soon.''