DFI-CA CONGRATULATES BENNETT-LAPID GOVERNMENT
Democrats for Israel California congratulates the eight-party coalition that has voted to replace the 12-year rule of Benjamin Netanyahu and Yariv Levin as Knesset Speaker. We congratulate Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid on this momentous occasion. We No longer will we have a government that demonizes or eschews Democrats, Palestinian/Arab Israeli citizens, an independent court or any other group that questions the government, or seeks greater inclusion. Unlike the previous governing coalition, this leadership does not seem focused on undermining of multiple democratic institutions such as the courts and a free press.
Under the terms of the coalition agreement between center, left and right parties, we see a commitment to compromise and restoring democratic and inclusionary policies to help heal Israel and revive its standing in the world. The inclusion of Arab Knesset parties in the government for the first time since 1977 and the first appointment of three Arab and Druze ministers is a return to decency and inclusive values. Living up to the inclusive values Israel was founded on strengthens its Jewish identity by creating a more secure Israel for all of its citizens. Bennett and Lapid's commitment to restoring these values are demonstrative of the strength of a democracy and the never-ending quest to live up to those values.
We call on all Democrats to redouble our dedication to working with our democratic partners on the ground on our shared vision of a peaceful and inclusive Israel.
Below are some highlights of the coalition deal, which is signed into law, along with the pledge that both Bennett and Lapid will each serve two years as Prime Minister:
- Checks and balances that gives leaders (Lapid and Bennett) the ability to veto non-consensus policies.
- Votes to reform the "Nation-State" law that diminishes the value and voices of Israel's Druze and Arab/Palestinian populations.
- Education reform to standardize basic curriculum topics (e.g. history, science, math) and funding for all three Israeli education tracks.
- Greater civil rights protections for women, LGBT and Arab-Palestinians (including freezing home demolitions in the Negev and the "Kaminitz law" that requires the Israeli government to demolish unpermitted improvements (the Israeli government makes getting such permits very difficult - 93% of such applications in Israel and East Jerusalem are rejected).
- Increased funding for Arab/Palestinian communities.
- 8-Year Term limits for Prime Ministers
- Creating a more democratic and inclusive structure to appoint rabbis for conversions and kashrut (kosher certifications).
- The creation of binding greenhouse gas emission regulations.