Yair Lapid, who is likely to be appointed opposition leader in the emerging government, attacks the unity negotiations between Netanyahu and his former Blue and White partner Benny Gantz.
“The fifth Netanyahu government being formed before us is bloated, wasteful, corrupt. 36 ministers. What insensitivity. What a disgrace. By the end of the week there will be a million Israelis unemployed and they’re sorting jobs for themselves,” he says, referring to reports on the proposed distribution of ministerial portfolios.
“The formation of this government looks like a disengagement plan from reality. Hundreds of millions of shekels on offices and cars. Zero responsibility. Zero promises kept. We chose to live up to our promises. I won’t give up my principles to be a foreign minister by Zoom,” he says.
Lapid says he’ll back up the government in its efforts to stem the pandemic, but adds: “But it’s time to say out loud what’s really going on. What’s really going on is that this crisis isn’t being properly managed.”
“Netanyahu gives good speeches but there is nothing behind them. He’s giving out empty orders. No one is carrying them out. There is no organized strategic work. There is no cooperation between government bodies. The Ministry of Defense and Ministry of Health are fighting in the press. The economy is collapsing… Wherever the government does the right thing, we’ll work with it. Wherever it doesn’t, we’ll fight it.
He also pledges to defend Israel’s democracy.
“Let’s be clear, we won’t let Netanyahu destroy the Israeli democracy under the guise of coronavirus. All the important strongholds of democracy – Public Security Ministry, the appointment of a police chief, the Speaker of the Knesset, Chair of the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee – have been handed over to the enemies of democracy. The enemies of the rule of law. Their only goal is to help Netanyahu escape justice. To take control of the police. To destroy the courts,” he says. “We’ll fight against them in every way we can.”