Lapid: The world sees that the US has stopped listening to Israel

Yesh Atid leader slams Netanyahu over handling of Iran; Bennett calls on Lapid and other leaders to show responsibility, display unity; Netanyahu says deal brings prospect of Mideast war closer.

July 20, 2015 15:55
2 minute read.
Yair Lapid



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Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett criticized Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid on Monday for his increasingly fierce criticism of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's lack of success in preventing the international community from reaching a deal with Iran.

Bennett and Lapid were political allies and self-proclaimed "brothers" in the previous government. But now that Lapid is in the opposition, he has increasingly irked Bennett.

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"We need unity in trying times like these," Bennett said. "There are those calling for a commission of inquiry to investigate the government's handling of the Iran issue. Every private knows that probes are conducted only when a battle is over. I expect our politicians to show responsibility, especially at a time like this."

Lapid continued his attack on Netanyahu Monday, saying that Israel required different foreign policies and a completely different approach on Iran. "The UN will approve the Iran deal today because Israel had no influence," Lapid said. "This is the nadir in Israeli diplomacy since the founding of the State and Netanyahu refuses to take any responsibility. Has he really not made any mistakes at all?" 
Knesset backlash over Iran deal

Lapid pointed out five errors Netanyahu has made on Iran, which his advisers said were whittled down from among many ahead of speaking to the press.

"We have no functioning Foreign Ministry because Netanyahu took it apart and divided it among six ministers to the point that no one knows who is in charge, or what its policies are," Lapid said. "Our ambassador in Washington [Ron Dermer] is being shunned by Democrats because he works for the Republicans. Meanwhile, we have a great ambassador at the UN who doesn't know how long he will be in office, because two Likud hacks are fighting over the job."

Lapid was referring to Likud ministers Danny Danon and Ophir Akunis, who are both interested in becoming ambassador to the UN, a post that Netanyahu used as a launching pad for his own political career.

The Yesh Atid leader said Netanyahu was making a mistake by refusing to hear about compensation for the Iran deal from American Defense Secretary Ashton Carter. He pointed out that the Israeli defense establishment wants compensation. "But the worst mistake is allowing the world, especially the Arabs to see that the US has stopped listening to Israel," Lapid said.

Netanyahu, meanwhile continued on Monday to speak out against the nuclear deal. Speaking at the beginning of the Likud faction meeting, the prime minister said that the Iran deal would not distance the prospects of a war in the Middle East, but rather it would advance the chances of war.

He reiterated his concern that Iran would use the influx of money it will receive from sanctions relief to arm its terrorist proxies.

Netanyahu rejected the opinion that the whole world accepts the Iran deal, so it cannot be that bad. He said that many Mideast countries are against the deal and the world has been wrong before.

Jenna Perlman contributed to this report.

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