Lapid urges government to get over ‘shock,’ start helping war-affected citizens

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

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid speaks at the Knesset on October 26, 2023 (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)
Opposition Leader Yair Lapid speaks at the Knesset on October 26, 2023 (Carrie Keller-Lynn/Times of Israel)

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid attacks the government for what he characterizes as inadequate delivery of services to citizens, twenty days after Israel was shocked into war with Hamas.

“It’s possible to understand the shock and paralysis of the government” immediately after Hamas’s October 7 attack, he says, but “it’s hard to understand how the government hasn’t emerged from the shock” nearly three weeks into the ensuing war.

“The government isn’t present,” he adds.

He presents eight recommendations, which he says were formed in consultation with experts and former government officials.

They are: Increasing the frequency of communication with the public; improving care of evacuated citizens, in part by moving delivery of services to local authorities, aided by the government; aiding small and medium-sized businesses and independent contractors called up to reserve duty; expanding financial protections for reservists and frontline residents; increasing educational services, especially for evacuated children; broadening mental health services; increasing personal protection, in part by putting armed community security organizations in each Israeli town; and closing unneeded government ministries and diverting coalition funds to the war effort.

The opposition leader identifies eight superfluous government ministries, saying, “They are ministries that don’t need to exist, especially not in wartime.”

“It’s impossible to continue this way,” he adds.

Lapid says his party’s economic recommendations were handed to the Finance Ministry last week, and some were integrated into the government’s economic recovery plan

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