Prime Minister Naftali Bennett promised Israelis Saturday night in a joint news conference with Alternate Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman, that last week’s passage of the 2021-2022 state budgets means their government has “steered the ship (of Israel) to safe shores,” rescuing the country from “three years of instability.”
Here’s the full transcript of Bennett’s remarks:
“Following are Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks at his press conference with Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and Finance Minister Avigdor Liberman this evening (Saturday, 6 November 2021), at the Government Press Office, in the Malha Technology Park, Jerusalem:
“Citizens of Israel, the good news is that the budget for 2021 and 2022 has passed. We have thus completed the complex move of rescuing Israel from three years of instability.
We formed the government less than five months ago. We shifted to a policy of managing the country alongside the coronavirus without lockdowns and we broke – with determination, in the face of pressures – the Delta wave.
We made the decision to be first in the world with booster shots; we managed, and are still managing, this entire operation closely, in order to protect the health of the people without wrecking the economy and safeguard all aspects of life. It is enough to look at the jump in morbidity in Europe to understand where we are and where the world is.
We moved from unemployment to employment, from negative growth following a very difficult economic year due to the pandemic and the lockdowns, to impressive growth of over seven percent.
And now we have passed the budget, which will ensure economic and political stability. With quiet persistence and joint effort, we have steered the ship to safe shores.
Here, I would like to thank all of the partners – Yair [Lapid], a partner and friend, and Finance Minister [Avigdor] Liberman, who have done outstanding work. The government is stable; it will serve a full term. Now we must look to the long list of tasks that awaits us, everyone in their sphere, and get to work.
The stability that we brought with the formation of the government and the passage of the budget, the fact that we are not in a fifth election campaign, is a blessing and a great gift for the State of Israel.
Our next mission is to utilize this stability and deal with the challenges and problems that have been neglected for years: Housing costs, the traffic jams that are out of control, Israel’s infamous cost of living, the helplessness of the people in the face of rampaging crime, and the loss of governance in the Negev. Without delay, without despairing in advance, even if the tasks are great, and even if they take time – we will get started.
Friends, tomorrow morning, with a stable government and an approved state budget, we are getting started.
Citizens of Israel, we have entered the [Hebrew] month of Kislev, the month of light (https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/kislev-hanukkah/). It is precisely during the darkest days of the year that we light a candle and then another candle, together. Nobody stands aside; nobody is left behind. Everyone is welcome, everybody, all citizens of Israel, are important; we will look after everyone.
The great test of this government, of all of us, is in showing restraint. If we succeed in resisting the temptation to quarrel and bicker, if we succeed in focusing on what unites us and not on what divides us, if we lay aside for a moment the rivalries between us – at long last there are no elections on the horizon, we will join hands, focus on the people of Israel and its major security, social and economic challenges and we will take the State of Israel, which is unlike any other country in the world, ten steps forward.”