Who are the members of Israel's far-right 37th government?

Israel's important ministerial posts finalized immediately before swearing-in mainly filled by right-leaning or ultra-Orthodox politicians.

Who are the members of Israel's far-right 37th government?

With Israel's longest-serving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu once again at the country’s helm, Israel's 37th government is being called the most right-wing administration in its history.

The important ministerial posts that were fully finalized immediately before his swearing-in are mainly filled by right-leaning or ultra-Orthodox politicians. The new Cabinet includes 30 ministers.

Here are some notable figures that will serve in Israel’s next Cabinet:

Eli Cohen

Eli Cohen, who held two ministerial roles – head of intelligence and economy minister – in previous governments, was announced by Netanyahu for the Foreign Ministry post only hours before his swearing-in.

Cohen, 50, will serve as foreign minister for only a year and rotate with another Knesset member for Likud, current Energy Minister Israel Katz.

As former intelligence minister, Cohen played a crucial role in normalization with Arab countries including the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Morocco under the Abraham Accords.

Yoav Galant

Retired top general Yoav Galant, a 35-year Israeli army veteran, entered politics from the centrist Kulanu Party, known as hawkish on security issues.

Galant, 64, is also known as staunch supporter of Jewish settlements in the occupied regions and formerly served as housing and construction minister. In 2019 he joined the six-time premier's Likud party.

Bezalel Smotrich

One of Israel’s most controversial figures, Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich has taken the finance ministry post.

Smotrich also got another ministerial post in the Defense Ministry with comprehensive administrative control over the occupied West Bank. He has the power to name the coordinator of government activities in the territories (COGAT).

Despite his Wall Street Journal op-ed seeking to reassure that there will be no change in “the political or legal status of” the West Bank, the far-right Netanyahu ally is known as an ardent supporter of annexation of the entire West Bank.

Smotrich, 42, was born in the occupied Golan Heights and raised in another illegal settlement in the West Bank.

Aryeh Deri

The ultra-Orthodox Shas party leader assumed the Interior and Health Ministry portfolios in Israel’s hard-line government.

Deri, previously convicted of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust, will assume the finance minister role in two years as part of a rotation deal with Bezalel Smotrich. In 2000 Deri was sent to prison for bribery and this year got a suspended sentenced for tax offenses.

In 1988, when he was just 29 years old, Deri was appointed interior minister without being elected to the Knesset. His appointment to the portfolio made him the country’s youngest minister ever.

He will also serve as deputy prime minister of Israel’s 37th government.

Itamar Ben-Gvir

Israel’s new National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, leader of the far-right Jewish Strength Party, will serve in a ministerial portfolio for the first time in his political career.

One day after the Knesset passed into law a bill expanding his authority over the police, Ben-Gvir now has unprecedented power over police units, including the ones in the occupied West Bank.

Ben-Gvir holds far-right views on the Palestinians and has called for their displacement. He has repeatedly joined Israeli settlers in storming the flashpoint Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in East Jerusalem.

The far-right politician also stirred controversy in occupied East Jerusalem after setting up an office in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.

Yariv Levin

Yariv Levin, who recently served as interim Knesset speaker, was tapped by Netanyahu as justice minister. A former vice president of the Israeli Bar Association, Levin also served as minister of public security, tourism, and Aliyah and integration.