Lapid: Guardian encourages Arab rejectionism

Yesh Atid chairman spars with Guardian reporter at media conference, says British paper spreads lies about Israel.

Edo Ben Porat,

Lapid addressing foreign journalists
Lapid addressing foreign journalists
Yesh Atid

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid held a special press event for foreign media in Israel Monday.

During the conference, Lapid fielded questions from journalists on a range of topics including Israeli security, politics, and the state of his party, Yesh Atid.

Lapid refused to criticize Prime Minister Netanyahu to the foreign press, calling such an act "inappropriate."

One of the issues Lapid addressed was the phenomenon of 'fake news,' which has received widespread attention since the US Presidential election last month. "We are in a 'post-truth' era, where the public sphere is no longer [home to] debates between various positions. [Today] the debate is between those who speak the truth and those who spread false 'facts' - falsified reports, forged photographs, journalists fabricating stories - all to fit their narrative."

He said that Israel had warning about the fake news phenomenon for the past ten years, ever since the rise of the BDS movement and its false propaganda against Israel. "I hope that the world now understands, as I hope that you [gathered here] understand now, how dangerous it is and how easy it is to fall into this trap, and how hard it is for a law-abiding and truthful nation, such as Israel, to tell the public the real story."

The correspondent for the British newspaper The Guardian criticized Lapid during the conference and called the State of Israel 'hypocritical' for speaking about democracy while 'occupying millions of people.' The correspondent also compared Israel to the former Apartheid regime of South Africa

Lapid responded firmly to the accusations. "Here is a perfect example of how we are living in a post-truth world. What you presented now are assumptions, not facts. Israel has a declared policy of supporting the idea of two states for two peoples. It is the Palestinians who consistently refuse [the two state solution] and who call Jews apes and pigs in their school books."

"The Guardian ans similar [news organizations] encourage the Palestinians to continue the status-quo and to do nothing to build their future." Lapid charged. "They realize that the world calls Israel and 'Apartheid' state [and pressures Israel into making concessions without negotiations]. Israel is not an Apartheid state. Israel is a law-abiding democracy and Israel, unlike the Palestinians, respects human rights. Why don't you go to Gaza or the West Bank and tell them about woman's rights, the rights of the gay community, the rights of Christians? You cannot live securely in Gaza or the West Bank unless you abide by Sharia law."