Lapid warns Israel ‘close to point of no return, but it’s still in our hands’
Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel
Twenty-seven years after the assassination of prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, and five days after Israel’s latest Knesset elections, outgoing Premier Yair Lapid says that political polarization and attendant hatred are at a critical juncture.
“We have to decide now, at this moment, where the country is going,” Lapid says at the state ceremony commemorating Rabin’s murder, held at Jerusalem’s Mount Herzl cemetery.
“We are close to the point of no return, but it is still in our hands. We can still change direction,” he adds. “An absolute majority of Israeli citizens are not willing for hatred to run their lives.”
Rabin was murdered in 1995 by a Jewish extremist opposed to the Labor prime minister’s vision to exchange land for peace with the Palestinians.
“Yitzhak Rabin was murdered by someone whose violent incitement made him believe that he should not accept the voters’ decision,” says Lapid.
He says that he won’t join the next government but accepts the election results. “The government I lead lost last week’s elections. I don’t intend to waste my life hating those who won. I don’t intend to turn my back on those who didn’t vote for us,” he says. “Whoever believes in Israeli democracy when he wins, also has to believe in it when he loses.”