Mofaz: Netanyahu is turning Israel into South Africa

Opposition leader says under PM Israel has become “weaker, more isolated, more divided, more closed-off and more full of fear.”

October 15, 2012 20:13
2 minute read.
Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz [file photo]

Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz 370 (R). (photo credit: Reuters / Pool)

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is turning Israel into South Africa, opposition leader Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) said in his speech opening the Knesset’s winter session on Monday.

“Stop trying to scare everyone and say we could turn into Greece or Spain,” Mofaz said. “I think you’re turning us into South Africa of last century.”

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Mofaz did not specify whether he was calling Netanyahu’s policies apartheid-like or if he meant the prime minister is leading Israel to international isolation.

The Kadima leader began his speech by saying that in over three months Israelis will go to the voting booth and will have to ask themselves if their lives are any better than they were four years ago.

“Are we a better country? More just? More sensitive to our citizens? More united? Stronger?” Mofaz asked.

“The answer is clear to all, and is not an election slogan that can hide the truth. No spin can cover the failures of the Netanyahu-led government.”

According to Mofaz, in the past four years Israel has become “weaker, more isolated, more divided, more closed-off and more full of fear.”

The Kadima head pointed to Netanyahu’s seat, saying it was once occupied by former prime ministers David Ben- Gurion, Menachem Begin, Shimon Peres, Yitzhak Rabin and Ariel Sharon, who had vision, responsibility and courage to build Israel, strengthen it and lead it through stormy seas. He did not mention former prime minister and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

“[Those prime ministers] did not fear or use fear-mongering, but Netanyahu is not a brave leader. He is not part of the courageous Zionist leadership,” he stated.

The opposition leader repeatedly mentioned fear and scare tactics, saying that Netanyahu is trying to convince the public he is going to elections in order to pass a responsible budget, but in reality the prime minister is weak and afraid.

Netanyahu is motivated by fear, said Mofaz, he’s afraid to make decisions and he’s afraid of what his coalition partners will say. “Cold sweat is not a recipe for leadership.”

Mofaz accused Netanyahu of not dealing with replacing the Tal Law or lowering the cost of living and affordable housing.

“A responsible policy does not ignore the demand for social justice, and does not give out gifts with one hand and stick its other hand in the citizens’ pockets in order to pay for them,” he said.

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