Lapid slams Netanyahu: Panicking is not a foreign policy

Yesh Atid calls on Netanyahu to tell Foreign Affairs Committee how he plans to handle "international crisis."

December 26, 2016 13:03
2 minute read.
Yair Lapid



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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must tell the Knesset how he plans to handle international relations problems following Friday’s UN Security Council vote, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and faction chairman Ofer Shelah said Monday.

“The UN decision is bad, dangerous, unwise, and Israel will not bend and will not accept it,” Lapid said at a Yesh Atid faction meeting.

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“But what has been happening since the UN Security Council resolution is unreasonable.

It’s not a policy; it’s hysteria.”

According to Lapid, Netanyahu’s response of canceling meetings with foreign leaders and reprimanding ambassadors is “not the way a strong and proud country reacts.”

“This doesn’t show strength; it shows stress and confusion,” he said.

Lapid and Shelah sent a letter to Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman Avi Dichter (Likud) asking that he call a meeting and summon Netanyahu, in his capacity as foreign minister.

The Yesh Atid MKs said the Knesset must be notified of what the government is doing to deal with the current “crisis.”

“The UN Security Council decision is one-sided, hostile and unfair, but there is one thing it is not: surprising,” Shelah said. “Netanyahu himself warned that this could happen. Now that it has, he’s punishing the world... including our greatest allies. It looks like there’s no responsible adult running things.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog mocked Netanyahu at a Zionist Union faction meeting for having bragged about improving ties between Israel and the world, saying that Israel’s foreign policy has completely collapsed and that it’s Netanyahu’s fault.

“Arrogance and complacency plugged Netanyahu’s ears. The severe UN Security Council resolution could have been avoided. Initiative could have been taken with the US and other partners to stop it,” Herzog said.

According to Herzog, former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin, who was commander- in-chief during the Six- Day War “liberated the Kotel, and Netanyahu is endangering it. The paratroopers liberated Jerusalem, and Netanyahu is dividing it. Rabin united Jerusalem, and Bibi abandoned it for [West Bank outpost] Amona.”

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Union) said that Netanyahu “lost it” and is “hysterical.”

“It has to be clear now that the right-wing extremist policy damages Israel. The world said it is clearly against the settlement policy. When we wanted to protect the blocs and Jerusalem, they were with us,” she said.

The Likud responded that “instead of standing as one against a clearly anti-Israel resolution, Buji [Herzog] and Lapid prefer to stick to the Left’s weak policies and are begging the prime minister to turn the other cheek.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu will continue to lead a responsible, determined and, when necessary, aggressive policy that strengthens Israel in the international arena, without bending over or obsequiousness,” the party spokesman said.

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