The Likud accused Prime Minister Naftali Bennett of airing Israel’s dirty laundry to the world in his address to the United Nations General Assembly on Monday.
In a statement retweeted by Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu, the party criticized Bennett for speaking about the formation of a unity government.
“Bennett spoke about the need for Israeli unity and brotherly love, but he divides Israeli citizens against themselves,” the Likud said. “Since when does an Israeli prime minister raise internal political issues at the top of his agenda on an international stage?”
The party contrasted Netanyahu’s UN speeches that it said swayed international public opinion with Bennett’s, which it called “empty words delivered in an empty auditorium.”
נאומיו של נתניהו באו״ם היכו גלים בכל העולם והביאו את האינטרסים של ישראל לקדמת הבמה העולמית. בניגוד אליו, בנט נתן נאום ריק מול אולם ריק ובזבז מילים ריקות במקום לנצל במה בינלאומית חשובה.— הליכוד (@Likud_Party) September 27, 2021
“Bennett displayed what the world thinks about an inexperienced Israeli politician with six mandates,” the Likud said. “Like a tree that falls in the forest that no one sees, hears or cares about.”
Netanyahu himself reacted to the address by tweeting a picture of himself at his last UNGA speech in New York and quoting a line from Bennett’s speech that was very similar to one he himself once used on the same stage.
Religious Zionist Party MK Simcha Rothman said the speech indicated that Bennett was looking for a new political base after tricking the base that got him elected.
מישהו מוכן להסביר לי את מי באו"ם מעניינים דפי המסרים העבשים של בנט על "ממשלת אחדות"?הבנתי שהוא מחפש בייס חדש אחרי שהוא עקץ את הבייס הקודם שלו, אבל מישהו חייב לעדכן אותו שלרוב הנוכחים באולם שם, אין זכות הצבעה בישראל.— שמחה רוטמן - Simcha Rothman (@rothmar) September 27, 2021
“The previous government was much more diverse than the current,” Rothman said. “Retroactively, we might discover that the world liked us.”
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said “Bennett’s speech was an address all Israelis could be proud of, highlighting that Israel is a country that is looking forward, contributing to the world, seeking peace and uncompromising on its security.”
Coalition chairwoman Idit Silman (Yamina) said the people of Israel are behind Bennett.
But Joint List MK Aida Touma-Sliman slammed Bennett for not mentioning the Palestinians.
“Bennett proved at the UN that he is Netanyahu’s successor,” she wrote. “Ignoring the occupation and the existence of the Palestinian people, claims of Israeli ethical superiority and warmongering against Iran were the principles of Netanyahu’s right-wing government, and they guide Bennett’s government as well. Only changing direction away from the path of the Right will bring peace and security to both nations.”