Politicians across political spectrum ridicule Lapid's UN speech

Politicians from the right rejected talks of a two-state solution, while some on the left expressed doubt that Lapid would act.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a ceremony to welcome US President Joe Biden in Israel, at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel, July 13, 2022 (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)
Prime Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a ceremony to welcome US President Joe Biden in Israel, at Ben Gurion International Airport in Lod near Tel Aviv, Israel, July 13, 2022
(photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

Israeli politicians from across the political spectrum dismissed Prime Minister Yair Lapid's speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Thursday evening, with right-wing politicians expressing outrage at his support for the two-state solution and left-wing politicians expressing doubt that Lapid would act on his word.

Shaked: Lapid speaks only for himself

Interior Minister Ayelet Shaked rejected Lapid's comments shortly before Lapid began talking, stating "Yair Lapid speaks only for himself when he supports a Palestinian state. This is just a meaningless election stunt. We will never allow the creation of a Palestinian terror state in the heart of the Land of Israel. Such a state would be a hotbed of extremism, a launching pad for terror and a source of regional instability."

Netanyahu: "A speech full of weakness"

In a pre-recorded message published shortly after Lapid began his address, former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the address "a speech full of weakness, defeat and bowing of the head."

"After the right-wing government led by me removed the Palestinian state from the world agenda, after we brought four historic peace agreements with Arab countries that bypassed the Palestinian veto, Lapid is bringing the Palestinians back to the forefront of the world stage and putting Israel right into the Palestinian hole," said Netanyahu.

 OUTGOING PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett directs his successor, Yair Lapid, to sit in the prime minister’s chair in the Knesset plenum, last Thursday.  (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90) OUTGOING PRIME MINISTER Naftali Bennett directs his successor, Yair Lapid, to sit in the prime minister’s chair in the Knesset plenum, last Thursday. (credit: OLIVIER FITOUSSI/FLASH90)

"Lapid has already said in the past that he is ready to 'evacuate 90,000 Israelis in order to establish a Palestinian state.' Now he intends to give them a state of terror in the heart of the country, a state that will threaten us all," added the former prime minister. "We will not return Israel to the Oslo disaster. Lapid endangers our future and our existence both on the Palestinian issue and on the Iranian issue."

Golan: "A smokescreen for inaction"

Meretz MK Yair Golan called Lapid's statements "a smokescreen for inaction and evasion of responsibility."

"Every day we, as a country, do not take the initiative of separation, on the ground someone is already doing something - isolated farms, an illegal outpost, a price tag attack, etc.," added Golan. "A strong nation must make decisions. Courageous leadership must make decisions. We will not get rid of conflict management or conflict reduction."

Smotrich: "A return to the cursed days of Oslo"

Religious Zionist party head Betzalel Smotrich warned that Lapid's speech is "a return to the cursed days of Oslo."

"[These are] high and pleasant words that cover up a shameful surrender to terrorism and a drive to divide the country, give away territories and expel thousands of Jews from their homes," said Smotrich. "Lapid and Gantz returned the Palestinian Authority to the center of the discourse and the international stage, instilled hope in the sails of Palestinian nationalism, and the citizens of Israel are already feeling the results in waves of terrorism and a dangerous escalation in Judea and Samaria."

Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman responded with sarcasm to Lapid's address, tweeting "wow Yair, you've convinced me: you deserve an Oscar!"

Frej: "Lapid said the obvious"

Regional Cooperation Minister Esawi Frej welcomed Lapid's comments, tweeting "Prime Minister Lapid today said the obvious from the UN stage, peace is the best thing for Israelis and Palestinians and the way to reach it is through the two-state solution. This is the truth, ignoring it will not make it disappear."

Nides: "A courageous speech"

US Ambassador to Israel Tom Nides also welcomed the comments, tweeting "Courageous speech by @IsraeliPM @yairlapid at #UNGA supporting the two-state solution. Peaceful coexistence is only way forward. As @POTUS urged here in July, 'two peoples, with deep & ancient roots in this land, living side by side in peace & security.'"

Galon: "Meretz will stand to Lapid's left"

After the speech, Meretz leader Zehava Galon tweeted a photo showing a contact card for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas being sent on WhatsApp to Lapid.

"A historic speech by Prime Minister Lapid - finally the vision of peace is on the agenda. Meretz will stand to Lapid's left to turn him from a vision into a reality, to put an end to the cycle of bloodshed, to end control over millions of Palestinians and to [end] years of pain and bereavement on both sides," tweeted Galon.

Diaspora Affairs Minister Nachman Shai welcomed Lapid's speech, stating "Lapid had an excellent speech at the UN. He rightly adopted the 2states vision, there is no future for the State of Israel as a democratic Jewish state without separation from the Palestinians. In the next elections @HavodaParty will be there and fulfill the Rabin way."

Michaeli: "Speech was important, strategic and Zionistic"

Labor head Merav Michaeli called Lapid's speech "Zionist, important and strategic for the state."

Settlement bloc head: "The nation of Israel will not be chased out of Judea and Samaria"

The head of the Gush Etzion Bloc and fresh leader of the Judea and Samaria Council Shlomo Ne'eman had harsh words for Lapid: "The backing that the temporary prime minister gave to terrorism will bring us to ruin," he wrote, "the nation of Israel will not be chased out of Judea and Samaria. We will keep on building the land of our forefathers.