Sunday, February 3, 2013

President Peres Tasks Netanyahu to Form New Gov't

President Shimon Peres formally called on Netanyahu to assemble a new coalition government following the January 22 general election, accepting the recommendations of 82 Knesset members.

"The task would be completed quickly, President Peres said. "The State of Israel needs political and economic stability in order to make the proper decisions regarding these issues, which are part of our daily existence. The public expects the government to be formed quickly so that it can roll up its sleeves and make an earnest effort on the many serious, urgent challenges ahead of us."

Netanyahu, thanked the public and the MKs who backed him “for the faith you have placed in me” and said he saw the job as a privilege, an honor and a responsibility.

In his short, somewhat emotional, acceptance speech, Netanyahu set out his goals for his 3rd term as Prime Minister. From stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons, resuming peace negotiations with the Palestinians, equalizing the national burden, stabilizing the economy and fix the electoral system, Netanyahu expressed his hope in fulfilling the tasks by creating the widest possible national unity government.

“We have to put aside what divides us so that we can have peace among ourselves and with our neighbors,” Netanyahu said. “The broadest, most stable government possible is what is necessary at this time. In our reality, we cannot have boycotts. I call on all sectors and parties to join me in a national unity government that is as broad as possible,” he added..

Netanyahu also urged Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to resume direct peace talks. “We have many tasks to deal with, but first of all in the Middle East we must maintain security,” Netanyahu said. “The first task of the next government I form is to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. The government will be bound to peace. I call on [Abbas] to return to the negotiating table.”

On domestic matters, Netanyahu vowed "to increase the equality [of the draft to the IDF]" adding "we must make the change without tearing the people apart and without leading to internecine war."