Front row (R to L): Alternate Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Yair Lapid; President of Israel Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin; Prime Minister Naftali Bennett.
First row (R to L): Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Karin Elharrar; Minister of Health Nitzan Horowitz; Minister of Defense Benny Gantz; Minister of Transportation and Road Safety Merav MIchaeli; Minister of Finance Avigdor Lieberman; Minister of Justice Gidon Sa’ar; Minister of the Interior Ayelet Shaked.
Second row (R to L): Minister of Religious Services Matan Kahana; Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and Minister for the Development of the Periphery, the Negev, and the Galilee Oded Forer; Minister of Social Equality Merav Cohen; Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel; Minister of Environmental Protection Tamar Zandberg; Minister of Internal Security Omer Barlev; Minister of Education Yifat Shasha-Biton; Minister of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Welfare Meir Cohen; Minister of Aliyah and Integratione Pnina Tamano-Shata.
Third row (R to L): Acting Cabinet Secretary Lior Natan; Minister of Culture and Sport Chili Tropper; Minister of Housing and Construction and Minister for Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Ze’ev Elkin; Minister of Intelligence Elazar Stern; Minister of Diaspora Affairs Nachman Shai; Minister of the Economy Orna Barbivay; Minister for Regional Cooperation Esawi Frej; Minister of Science and Technology Orit Farkash-Hacohen; Minister in the Ministry of Finance Hamed Amar; Minister of Tourism Yoel Razvozov.
They all showed up in their Shabbes best at the president’s residence in Jerusalem, all 28 new government ministers, Israel’s third-largest government, despite Lapid’s vow to keep it down to 18. In fact, here’s something for the budget hawks: on Monday morning Israel Beiteinu’s three ministers resigned from the Knesset, in accordance with the “Norwegian Law” that allows ministers to be replaced by the next candidates on their parties’ slates. So that’s three additional offices including secretaries, chauffeurs, and lavish expenses for three Israel Beiteinu MKs (two women, one man).
And speaking of Avigdor Liberman, he has already met with his predecessor at the finance ministry, now-just-MK Israel katz (Likud). The transfer of power was done in a friendly atmosphere.
It appears that former PM Benjamin Netanyahu planned to skip his own transfer of power ceremonial meeting with his former chief of staff, currently Prime Minister Naftali Bennett. But they did meet on Sunday for the brass tacks part.
And after 12 years, the mythical prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has taken up a new position: chairman of the opposition. Good luck. Incidentally, Bibi, who served two stints as prime minister, was thrice the head of the Knesset opposition, including this time.
We wish much success to both sides of the aisle, and we urge them to play ball according to the rules.