Enthusiastic Israelis went down to Rabin Square in Tel Aviv on Sunday to celebrate the ousting of Benjamin Netanyahu and the swearing-in of a new government – although not dangerous.
The euphoric atmosphere reflected the relief of many Israelis that a new day has arisen and that a public figure whom many in the liberal enclave despise has finally been sent.
When the music exploded in the square, it was crowned with people of all ages carrying Israeli flags, rainbow flags and pink flags, the color adopted by members of the movement to oust the prime minister.
Many wore T-shirts with the caption “Lech,” in a font that matched the logo of Mr. Netanyahu’s Likud party. Others wore T-shirts mentioning the various corruption scandals during Mr. Netanyahu’s tenure.
Omar Ziv, who danced under a large “Minister of Crime” flag with the figure of Mr. Netanyahu, was moved. “We feel that democracy is back, and we are very happy about that,” she said.
Chani Gross said she felt “high, high in the sky”, declaring that Israel “finally got rid of the terrible man – I do not want to say his name”.
“We are in heaven,” she said.
But even as they warmed up for the moment, some spoke of mixed feelings. They remain apprehensive of Naftali Bennett, Mr Netanyahu’s successor, as he comes from a difficult right-wing party that does not necessarily fit their views.
Aviv and Inbal Adashi found a babysitter for the evening so they could attend the meeting. While Mr. Adashi felt ambivalent about Mr. Bennett’s height and initially raised doubts about Yair Lapid, another key player in the coalition, he was relieved to see Mr. Netanyahu go.
“It was a very bad dream for a very long time,” Mr. Lentil said. “It was a nightmare.”
Noam Goodman, who is also unsure about the new prime minister, was still optimistic, given the presence of other parties in the coalition.
“I think it’s a bit pathetic that someone with so few voters has become prime minister, it’s not ideal,” Mr Goodman said. “But I think the main thing is not who the prime minister is, who the government is and who the government is.”
The Sada trail expressed relief that the coalition had convened after weeks of uncertainty.
“Today is final,” she said. “There are no more secret spells that Bibi can pull out of the hat. It’s final.”
Some saw a moment of closure.
Yuval Jenny, 76, said he felt “reborn,” noting the significance of the location of the celebration: In Yitzhak Rabin Square, the prime minister was assassinated there in 1995 at a peace rally. Mr. Netanyahu first became prime minister months later.
“It’s a kind of balance,” Mr. Jenny said.
Mr. Jenny hoped that Mr. Netanyahu’s reign, the longest of any Israeli prime minister, would ultimately be a footnote in the country’s history.
“Bibi will go,” he said. “He will be forgotten. It will not take long.”