Opposition Leader Lapid urges emergency government, says PM can’t manage war with current extreme cabinet

Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv on September 20, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Yesh Atid head MK Yair Lapid speaks during a press conference in Tel Aviv on September 20, 2023. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

Opposition Leader Yair Lapid calls for an “emergency government” to manage “the difficult and complex operation ahead of us” after more than 100 Israelis have been killed, close to 1,000 wounded and an unknown number of soldiers and civilians abducted by Hamas terrorists into Gaza.

“The State of Israel is at war. It won’t be easy and it won’t be short. It has strategic consequences which we haven’t seen for many years. There is a serious risk that it will become a multi-front war,” Lapid says in an announcement.

“A short while ago, I met with Prime Minister Netanyahu. I told him that in this emergency situation I’m willing to put aside our differences and form an emergency, narrow, professional government with him to manage the difficult and complex operation ahead of us.”

Netanyahu, he says, “knows that with the current extreme and dysfunctional security cabinet, he can’t manage a war. Israel needs to be led by a professional, experienced, and responsible government. I have no doubt that former Defense Minister [Benny] Gantz would also join a government like this.”

“Forming an emergency professional government will make clear to our enemies that the vast majority of Israeli citizens stand behind the IDF and security forces. It will make clear to the world, in the international community, that the people of Israel stand united against this threat,” says Lapid.

“The State of Israel suffered a hard blow today. We are all hurting, we are all angry. However, wars and countries aren’t managed with pain and anger but with calm and a strategic understanding of the situation. We need to put politics to one side for the sake of an emergency government that will manage this situation with determination and won’t deal with anything else until we achieve victory over our enemies.”

Lapid made his offer for an emergency government in person to Netanyahu after receiving a security update, says a source close to the opposition leader.

The source says that “the offer is real, this isn’t a political thing. The offer is there.”

Netanyahu has not responded and a source close to Lapid declines to comment if fellow opposition party head, National Unity leader Gantz, was consulted before or after the unity government offer was made.

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