Lapid faces backlash from own party for 'antisemitic' video about Litzman

"This is not my style or Benny Gantz's style," said Moshe Yaalon. "We are not for a hateful discussion."

August 5, 2019 12:34
3 minute read.
Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman at the Knesset August 8, 2018

Health Minister Ya'acov Litzman at the Knesset August 8, 2018. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Blue and White member Moshe Yaalon distanced himself from a video in which his party's No. 2 MK Yair Lapid claimed that ultra-Orthodox Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman wants to squeeze more money out of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to Ynet.

Litzman called the video "antisemitic."

"This is not my style or [party head] Benny Gantz's style," said Yaalon, according to Ynet. "We are not for a hateful discussion, not between Jews and Arabs, Right and Left, Ashkenazim and Mizrahim, religious, not religious, haredim [ultra-Orthodox]."

"We will sort it out," added Yaalon. "This really is not our style; we come from a view that we need to unite because the resilience of the State of Israel especially these days, between the 17th of [the Hebrew month of] Tammuz and the 9th of Av, were always harmed by freely given hatred and nothing else – and we will find the way to clarify this."

"The hate and incitement campaign by Yair Lapid is a new record high of antisemitism," wrote Litzman. "This has crossed a redline reminiscent of dark times when Jews were presented as greedy and accused of taking over public funds."


"Lapid was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and continues to rake in public capital as a bank presenter and a broadcaster at news studios," continued Litzman. "His hands didn't shake when he swindled the children of Israel as a failed treasury minister, until we succeeded in getting rid of him after two years – and in doing so, saved the economy from a possible collapse.

"When I shook my clothes at the Knesset podium after Lapid touched me, there were those who said that this was too much," added Litzman. "Today everyone understands that Lapid remains the same Lapid: that all of his business is about spreading the poison of hatred, and whitewashing among the sectors and populations."

"Benny Gantz, as long as you don't publicly shake off this blatant incitement campaign, you are a full partner and directly responsible for the hate crimes committed against a complete sector in Israel, that is fighting for its rights and needs, and believes in its values and principles," said the deputy health minister.

Blue and White responded that their campaign is not insulting or slanderous, and is working for unity.

"The internal unity and the understanding that there should be a respectful and inclusive conversation, and the understanding that all parts of Israeli society are here to stay and to live together, are what drives the campaign of Blue and White," the party said in response to the video. "The campaign is not against a specific sector, but rather against the prime minister of Israel, who is politically corrupt. Blue and White aren't pushing a slanderous and insulting discussion against right-wingers or left-wingers, or haredim or Arabs. We are all one society."

Lapid said in response to Litzman's remarks: "I am not ready to accept preachings on antisemitism from Mr. Litzman, who protects pedophiles. I also am not impressed that they begin to shout 'hate, hate,' every time that someone criticizes them. There is real antisemitism in the world. They are shooting Jews in synagogues. There are areas of Europe where Jews can't walk around with yarmulkes on their heads. That is antisemitism. Funny election videos talking about the fact that Bibi [Netanyahu] is prepared to sell everything for his immunity, is not antisemitism. We will continue to fight for Israel as a Jewish, democratic, free and liberal country."

Shas MK Yoav ben Tzur said that "the Blue and White Party proves that it is no different from Yesh Atid with a new brand. In desperate attempts to gather mandates, it is ready to harm the Torah world, yeshiva students and the unity of the nation of Israel.

"This video only proves that this is another party dealing with the opposition and not the government," he said. 

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