Prime Minister Netanyahu says in a televised statement the country must remain “brothers” despite disagreements.
He says today’s legislation was “necessary” to allow an elected government to rule — “to restore a degree of balance between the branches of government.”
“Realizing the will of the voter is certainly not the end of democracy. It’s the essence of democracy,” he says.
He blames the opposition for the failure to reach a compromise, claiming all his side’s offers were rejected. “Despite everything, my friends, we will continue to seek talks and agreements.”
“Even during the vote, until the last moment, we tried to reach agreements,” he says.
Referring to the rest of the overhaul legislation, he says the coalition will reach out to the opposition in the coming days for talks “to reach a broad agreement on everything” by the end of November. “That’s more than enough time to reach agreement on everything.” (The Knesset breaks next week for its summer recess, and resumes in October.)
“We all agree that Israel must remain a strong democracy, that it will continue to protect the personal rights of all, that it not become a halachic state, and that the court will continue to be independent and no side will take control of it,” he says. “It will not happen on our watch.”
Netanyahu says the IDF must remain above any political disagreement.
Those calling “for refusals [to serve] harm the security of all Israeli citizens,” he says. “We won’t surrender to those demands.”
“Our brothers and sisters in the reserves, keep IDF service out of the political argument,” he urges.
“We have one nation, one home, one people. On the eve of Tisha B’Av, we must safeguard these above all else.”
As for Israel’s enemies, he says, “I know you don’t know what democracy is.” But don’t misinterpret our internal dispute, he says.”We will stand shoulder to shoulder to rebuff any threats to our beloved state.”