But amid the acrimony, there were also moments of unity and empathy across party lines.
After Mr. Levin, the speaker, was replaced in a separate vote by Mickey Levy, an ally of Mr. Lapid, the two kissed for several seconds. Earlier, ultra-Orthodox lawmakers had laughed amiably with the jokes of Merav Michaeli, a staunch secularist and critic of Mr. Netanyahu – barely an hour after hurling insults at Mr. Bennett, his new coalition partner.
Until the very day of the vote, Mr. Netanyahu and his right-wing allies worked hard to break the alliance before she could take office. They have exerted intense pressure on right-wing opposition lawmakers, urging them to break away from their leaders and refuse to support a coalition they believe would ruin the country. For most of this month, supporters of Mr. Netanyahu have been picketing the homes of Mr. Bennett and his lawmakers, shouting curses as they passed.
Mr. Netanyahu’s departure was a turning point for politics in Israel. He had been in power for so long that he was the only prime minister many young adults remember. For many, it had become synonymous not only with the Israeli state, but also with the concept of Israeli security – and an Israel without it seemed almost inconceivable to some.
In Tel Aviv, ecstatic opponents of Netanayhu descended on Rabin Square for an impromptu celebration. As the music blared, Israelis of all ages gathered carrying the national flag, rainbow flags and pink flags, the color adopted by members of the movement to overthrow the prime minister.
- Key figures. The main players in the latest turn in Israeli politics have very different agendas, but a common goal. Naftali Bennett, who heads a small right-wing party, and Yair Lapid, the centrist leader of the Israeli opposition, have joined forces to form a diverse coalition to topple Benjamin Netanyahu, the longest-serving Israeli prime minister.
- Range of ideals. Covering Israel’s tense political spectrum from left to right, and relying on the support of a small Arab and Islamist party, the coalition, dubbed the “change of government” by its supporters, will likely mark a profound change for Israel .
- A common goal. After a stalemate that led to four inconclusive elections in two years and an even longer period of political polarization and government paralysis, the architects of the coalition vowed to get Israel back on track.
- An uncertain future. Parliament has yet to ratify the fragile agreement in a confidence vote in the coming days. But even if it does, it’s still unclear how much the “change of government” could bring to Israel, as some of the parties involved have little in common other than animosity towards Mr. Netanyahu.
A celebrant, Shoval Sadde, expressed relief that the coalition has come together after weeks of uncertainty.
“Today is final,” she said. “There is no more secret magic that Bibi can pull out of a hat. This is final.
For supporters of Bibi, as Mr. Netanyahu is universally known in Israel, his exit was devastating and unsettling.