Lapid: If Smotrich, Ben-Gvir in gov't, LGBT, women's rights to be erased

Lapid also claimed that a Netanyahu government would mean a reduction in the rights of women.

 Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks at the Maariv conference. (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks at the Maariv conference.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

Minorities will suffer a severe reduction of rights if Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich, Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu form a coalition, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said Monday.

“There is one thing we must not forget,” he said at the Maariv and Jerusalem Post Conference. “Everything we have done in the past year, all the change that started here, can be erased in one day. If the party of Smotrich and Ben-Gvir will be part of the government, LGBT people can forget about the rights they received.”

A Netanyahu government also would mean a reduction in women’s rights, Lapid said.

“If Netanyahu achieves the coalition of 61 that he wants, forget about women’s rights and forget about women in senior positions. Forget about core studies and forget about the fight against governmental corruption. Everything we did will disappear in one day.”

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid

“If Netanyahu achieves the coalition of 61 that he wants, forget about women’s rights, and forget about women in senior positions,” he said. “Forget about core studies, and forget about the fight against governmental corruption. Everything we did will disappear in one day... To ruin takes one day. To improve takes constant work.”

 Prime Minister Yair Lapid at the Maariv Conference. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV) Prime Minister Yair Lapid at the Maariv Conference. (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

“Our path is harder because it is harder to take responsibility than avoid it... and it is harder to tell the truth than to lie,” he added.

Conditions of the election

In the face of change, some people did not play by the rules and sought to stop it, Lapid said. They did not seek the best interests of Israel but rather their own power, he added.

Lapid said his government had defied the expectations of commentators, and hope and optimism were stronger forces than cynicism and pessimism.

He cited as successes his government’s passing the Disability Law, which reformed the treatment of people with disabilities, Operation Breaking Dawn and defending the independence of the High Court of Justice.

“If there is one reason to vote for us, it is because there is more work to do... what we are building today is the country that our children will have tomorrow,” Lapid said.

Maariv contributed to this report.