(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s behavior during Operation Protective Edge proved he is not courageous enough in war, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid said Saturday at a cultural event in Holon.
“Survival, survival, survival” is all Netanyahu is concerned about, charged Lapid – a policy that came at the expense of the public and called into question the premier’s ability to govern.
Lapid complained that Israel did not take part in diplomatic efforts after the operation in Gaza, such as the Gaza reconstruction conference in Cairo where nations pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild the Strip.
Asked about the possibility of joining a coalition with Shas or United Torah Judaism, Lapid said he was not ruling out any party for the makeup of a future coalition but was, rather, focusing his efforts on unseating the current prime minister.
“Yesh Atid will do anything to make sure that happens,” he said.
Likud responded by calling Lapid “a failed politician” and noted that he supported Netanyahu’s policies during the operation.
The prime minister “led Operation Protective Edge firmly, decisively and with strength,” a Likud statement said, “but also with responsibility and caution.”
The Likud said throughout the July-August operation that the premier’s main considerations were to “complete the goals” of the IDF, which included the destruction of cross-border terror tunnels into Israel as well as eroding the infrastructure of Hamas, while protecting the lives of Israeli citizens and soldiers.
“The people of Israel know these are the facts and that the security challenges facing the Jewish state require experienced leadership,” the statement concluded.
Lapid’s criticism spared no side of the political spectrum, with blame being leveled at the Left for “announcing, in advance, its concessions,” and at the Right, for “not really wanting” peace.
“We will not divide Jerusalem,” Lapid vowed Saturday, “no matter what happens” diplomatically with the Palestinians.
He said Israel could reach an agreement with the Palestinians without dividing the capital, noting that countries “do not negotiate over their capitals” and “if this issue breaks down” a final agreement “so be it.”
Meretz leader Zehava Gal- On responded by saying that Lapid is “disconnected from reality if he thinks he can make a peace deal without dividing Jerusalem.”