Opposition leader Yair Lapid tells the coalition that liberal democracy is part of the essence of Israel, and to oppose liberal democratic values is akin to being against the state.
“If you are against liberal democracy, you are against the State of Israel,” Lapid says, at the close of a Knesset debate the opposition called to discuss the coalition’s plan to overhaul the judiciary.
“If you are trying to destroy our democracy, do not call yourself a patriot,” he adds.
Lapid continues, “You are not an Israeli patriot and you are not a Zionist if you do not believe in” a host of civil liberties and liberal values, including women’s rights, LGBT rights, the rights of the Arab minority within Israel, separation of powers, rule of law and the values of the Declaration of Independence.
“Liberal democracy is not just our system of government, it is what we are. That’s why the demonstrators are waving the Israeli flag, hundreds of thousands of Israeli flags. That’s why the Israeli flag is the symbol of resistance to your government,” the opposition leader says to Netanyahu.