Filing 1st no-confidence motion against government, Lapid says Israel’s democracy in doubt

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid speaks during a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, January 2, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid speaks during a Yesh Atid faction meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, January 2, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Presenting the first no-confidence motion against the new government, Opposition Leader Yair Lapid says there is doubt about Israel’s continued existence as a democratic state.

“In the 75 years of modern Israel’s existence, there has never been any doubt as to whether it will be a democratic state. Now there is,” Lapid says. “In the 21st century, democracies do not fall, they erode. Bit by bit, then by a lot and quickly. We are in the by a lot and quickly stage.”

“The only thing that will stop it is if there is resistance. I do not call for breaking the law, but that does not mean that we should automatically obey a government that dismantles the foundations of our common life,” Lapid adds.

Not expected to pass, the motion has become a tradition of sorts, posed periodically by oppositions against ruling governments.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government partners sworn in Thursday have promised a number of policy changes, including expanding political control over Israel’s police, handing over the Defense Ministry’s sensitive settlement policy to a far-right advocate of annexing the West Bank, weakening anti-discrimination laws, and weakening the Supreme Court.

Netanyahu’s new National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has particularly drawn Lapid’s ire. An ultranationalist activist and former longtime acolyte of banned racist politician Meir Kahane, Ben Gvir secured expanded powers over the police and has been promised more control over the Border Police.

“In what world is the solution to violence a violent offender who has been indicted 53 times and convicted eight times? His only experience in police matters is that he has been detained countless times,” Lapid says.

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