Opposition Leader Yair Lapid says that coalition extremists created a “shameful” dynamic in today’s Knesset discussion over legislating a death penalty for terrorism, where lawmakers engaged in a screaming match with hostages’ families.
Lapid says that the argument was “shameful, a disgrace, and a terrible insult not only to the families of hostages but also to the entire State of Israel.”
He adds: “This is what happens when you take the craziest and most extreme people in the country and let them be in power.”
“When will you understand that a disaster occurred here” on October 7, “and it’s impossible to continue like this,” Lapid says, addressing the cabinet’s nearly 40 ministers, marrying his criticism to a broader set of domestic concerns over the need to funnel resources to the war effort.
Lapid says the economy, education, and basic needs for the more than 100,000 Israelis evacuated from their homes near the Gaza or Lebanese borders are not being adequately addressed, more than six weeks after Hamas’s shock attack and the ongoing war it triggered.
“It’s a government that’s not functioning and a prime minister that isn’t functioning, after he lost public trust,” Lapid says, adding that “we need a functioning prime minister during wartime.”
He says that “if the considerations were not political, we would have [new 2024] budget, we would have a much smaller and more efficient government, we would have functioning ministers in functioning ministries.”
Lapid delivers his remarks from his Yesh Atid party’s Knesset conference room, which last week the party covered with posters of the nearly 240 hostages confirmed to be in Gaza.
“The State of Israel is above all obligated to return the hostages,” he says, saying as part of that, the Hamas terror group will be toppled.