Lapid on the front foot

December 4, 2014 by J-Wire Staff
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Israeli party Yesh Atid’s chairman Yair Lapid has taken his first shot at incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has called for an election in March.

Lapid’s announcement:

The Prime Minister called a press conference which was fearful and troubled, during which he focused on personal attacks. I’d like to respond to him.

Mr. Prime Minister,

Yair Lapid

Yair Lapid

Yesterday you stood in front of an entire nation and announced that you were dragging the country to entirely unnecessary elections which no-one, except you wants. Why? Because you are disconnected. You have no idea what it does to the citizens of Israel because you live in your aquarium, and for a long time now you don’t know who the people are and what really troubles them.

You announced to the Israeli public that you prefer to paralyze the Israeli economy. To burden the economy with billions in expenses. That you are withholding the most socially aware budget for years, a budget you voted for, that you are taking away the only opportunity thousands of young couples have ever had to own an apartment. Why? Because you’re disconnected.

You can’t tell me stories, Mr. Prime Minister, not after two years of sitting together in government, in the cabinet and in the most sensitive forums. Again and again we were all shocked by how disconnected you really are, how focused you are on yourself.

Mr. Prime Minister,

You preferred the interests of the members of the Likud Central Committee over reforms in education and healthcare – because you’re disconnected.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu   Photo: Henry Benjamin

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Photo: Henry Benjamin

You refused to raise the minimum wage in the public sector at the last moment, stopped the transfer of money from the KKL to the elderly living in poverty and closed the summer programs for children because of internal elections in the Likud – because you’re disconnected.

You threw away a socially responsible budget yesterday, a budget with no tax increases even though you wanted to raise taxes. A budget which, for the first time, increases dramatically the budget for education, for smaller classes, for the public health system, for those with disabilities. Instead you preferred to protect a few jobs for your central committee members in the private health system and to guarantee directorships in public companies for people who bring you votes  – because you are so disconnected that you don’t realize everyone sees the corruption and isn’t willing to accept it anymore.

You turned your back on young couples. You denied them a saving of hundreds of thousands of shekels on a new apartment, after you supported the housing plan and the VAT exemption – because you’re disconnected

You made a deal with the ultra-orthodox, you promised to cancel the equality of national burden, increase the budget for yeshivot (religious study centers), to cancel the study of core subjects in their schools. You promised them, as MK Litzman said, to ‘turn back the clock’ – because you’re so disconnected you don’t understand what it does to the Israeli public. To do all this and then to whine that people tried to organize a ‘putch’ against you, something which never happened, that’s not even disconnected, that’s to live in a fantasy world. I tried to overthrow you? Do you hear yourself? Who sold you that absurdity? And what caused you listen to it?

You caused ongoing, serious harm to the strategic relations between Israel and the United States. You critically damaged relations with the White House, senators call me and ask what the meaning is of your patronizing and insulting behavior towards our greatest friend in the world. Our relations with the US are our greatest security interest. Try and explain to them that you are so disconnected that you believe the US is still living in the eighties. You used to understand America but America changed and you’re disconnected.

You went through a campaign in Gaza when even your own cabinet lost faith in your ability to manage it. And then you got scared by the polls, you ran away from a diplomatic initiative and missed the chance to demilitarise Gaza and bring quiet to southern Israel. I’d encourage you to listen to the people who live around the Gaza Strip, ask them why they feel that you didn’t bring them the security you promised, but it won’t happen, your office, like always, will make sure you don’t meet a single person who thinks differently from you. They understand what you expect from them. They know that’s how you prefer to be – disconnected.

The citizens of Israel are walking around today and don’t understand why there are elections, but they feel that they have lost. They have lost out on smaller classrooms, discounted apartments, the closing of the water corporation, a better public health system, help for the weak and more police officers on the streets protecting them.

But I want to say to you, to the people of Israel, you haven’t lost anything. Even if they try to take it away from you, we’re now going to elections. In four months we’ll continue with full force, exactly where we’ve been stopped and to continue to change the country. Everything is ready, everything is possible, everything can be re-started. It is in our hands.


One Response to “Lapid on the front foot”
  1. Lynne Newington says:

    That’s not what is coming over the news……and I hope loyality prevails.

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