Israel: Yair Lapid Denounces The New ‘Government of Madness’
Israel’s outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid said on Monday that the policies put forward by members of the next government constitute a “plunder of democratic values.”
“If anyone thinks it will end with the formation of the government, he is completely wrong,” Lapid said at the start of the meeting of his Yesh Atid party faction in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
Lapid denounced a coalition request made by far-right Religious Zionism lawmakers on Sunday that would allow business owners and even doctors to refuse a service if it interferes with their religious sensibilities, though Netanyahu had to twice clarify that he did not support the motion.
“It never stops. There has never been – anywhere in the world, at any time in history – religious and nationalist extremism which, one day and on its own initiative , says ‘it’s okay, that’s enough for me, I’m quitting,'” Lapid added. “This attack will not stop on its own. They will not suddenly fall in love with democracy. They will not see the light and come to the conclusion that they believe in the liberal values of the Declaration of Independence of Israel,” he continued. “This is not a ‘full right’ government, it is a government of madness,” he added.
Prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu responded to Lapid’s remarks by saying that he is the one who does not respect democracy by “refusing to accept the people’s decision,” in reference to the victory in November’s election by the Likud leader’s right-wing coalition with his bloc securing 64 seats.
“Lapid, losing the elections is not the end of democracy, it is the essence of democracy. You refuse to accept the people’s decision. You revolt the public against the people’s decision, you spread endless lies against the elected government,” Netanyahu said.
“What will be your next step? Send your protesters to climb the Knesset fences? So I call on you to act responsibly, to accept the people’s decision, to transfer power in an orderly manner so that we can fix everything that you have destroyed in the last year and a half.”
Netanyahu will present his government and seek the confidence of the parliament on Thursday, the Knesset said in a statement released on Monday.