|By Joel Leyden
Israel News Agency / Jewish News Agency
Jerusalem, Israel — June 30, 2022 … Outgoing Israel Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and incoming Prime Minister of Israel Yair Lapid held a modest handover ceremony at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem, today (Thursday, 30 June 2022).
Senior Israeli officials from their bureaus and members of the Bennett and Lapid families also attended the ceremony. An orderly and in-depth transition meeting was then held between outgoing Prime Minister Bennett and incoming Prime Minister Lapid in which the former outlined the main security and diplomatic issues of the State of Israel.
Outgoing Prime Minister Bennett: “This very special position, and this country, does not belong to any one person.” Bennett continued: “This Jewish nation belongs to the entire people of Israel. I hand over to you the responsibility for the State of Israel.”
“I wish that you guard it well and may G-d watch over you. Lihi, I want to say that it is not easy to be the Prime Minister’s wife. But the stability is at home, the warmth is at home, the place that you are familiar with. Everyone will be there for you, without outside interests, without anything. This is the cornerstone for Yair’s success. Gilat, you are amazing, you are something special. The children, I know that it was not an easy year but what I told you at the outset, we are all together for the country. Together, you have paid a price for the country.”
“Yair, every Shabbat we bless the children: ‘May G-d make you like Efraim and Menashe. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May he make his face to shine on you and be gracious to you. May He lift up his face to you and grant you peace.’ Good luck my brother!”
Incoming Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said: “Amazingly, my mother said the same blessing to me 25 minutes ago. I will yet say what I have to say. I have worked under prime ministers. I am familiar with prime ministers. You are a good man and an excellent prime minister. You are also a good friend. This is not a farewell ceremony because there is no intention to take leave of you.”
Following is a list of incoming Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s senior staff.
Chief of Staff – Dani Vesely
Senior Special Advisor – Gili Haushner
Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office – Naama Schultz
Diplomatic Adviser – Yair Zivan
Director of Communications – Yael Bar
Spokesperson – Roei Konkol
Senior Adviser – Tami Nassee
Director of Government-Knesset Relations – Dana Pitelis Kaduri
Head of the Digital Department – Noy Alroy Schnitzer
Head of Bureau – Heli Sinai
Israeli President Isaac Herzog met today with Prime Minister Naftali Bennett at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. The President thanked the Prime Minister for their close cooperation for the sake of Israel’s security and added that their work together has always taken place in a positive atmosphere of friendship and mutual respect.
President Herzog thanked Prime Minister Bennett and noted that he has always worked with his sights set on the good of the public and of the State of Israel.
Prime Minister Bennett thanked President Herzog for their friendship, his wise counsel, and his love of the State of Israel. The Prime Minister also thanked the President for his consistent work to bring together all parts of the nation. The two also discussed the diplomatic and security picture, U.S. President Joseph R. Biden Jr’s. expected visit, and the resumption of the nuclear talks.