Prime Minister Yair Lapid
Prime Minister Yair LapidHaim Tzach/GPO

Prime Minister Yair Lapid gave a particularly harsh critique of the emergent government this evening.

"Immediately after the elections, I called incoming Prime Minister Netanyahu and congratulated him. Contrary to the way we were treated, we carefully prepared an orderly transfer of power. I hoped that I would be able to say today, 'We have differences of opinion, but I believe that they will do their best to keep Israel Jewish and democratic, strong and safe.' That is not the case. That's not what they do. I stand here and speak to you out of deep concern for the fate of Israeli society, I feel it is my duty to tell the public: the government established here is dangerous, extreme, irresponsible. It will end badly," Lapid claimed.

"Netanyahu informed the president last night that he could form a government. This is not true. It was possible for Deri, Smotrich and Ben-Gvir to influence him. The Likud did not form the government, they formed it. Netanyahu is weak and they formed the most extreme government in the country's history."

Lapid continued: "They immediately proceeded dismantle the foundations of Israeli society. According to the coalition agreements, a haredi student who does not study math and English will receive thousands of shekels more than a student in state education. A yeshiva student who does not enlist and does not work will receive more money than a soldier in the IDF. The government will subsidize apartments only for the haredi community. This is a fire sale of the Israeli future. They managed to harm the IDF. Ministers will appoint political representatives who will sit in the IDF forum. The Minister of Defense will lose control over the Civil Administration. In Judea and Samaria, the main arena of the IDF's activity, it is not clear who is responsible for what. This is a recipe for an explosion."

"They managed to harm the police. Show me one country in the world - one - where the person in charge of the police is a violent criminal who had 53 indictments and was convicted eight times of serious crimes. They managed to dismantle the Ministry of Education. Avi Maoz, an uneducated racist who keeps blacklists of LGBT people and activity in women's organizations, will be responsible for the educational programs of our children. Young parents will not be able to send their child to school with a clear conscience, because they are afraid of being brainwashed against women, against LGBT people, against secularists and traditionalists," he added.

"They have succeeded in harming our international status. This government will not be able to coordinate positions with the international community in the face of the Iranian nuclear threat. It will not be able to stop sanctions against Israel. This is the first government in the history of the country that the United States does not consider its closest ally. They have managed to damage the economy. Israeli high-tech, the engine of the economy, will stop, as the senior leaders of the industry have already warned. There are no games in the economy. A government that encourages people not to go to work, that spends tens of billions of shekels on sectoral requirements will stall the economy. The cost of living will rise more and more. They have succeeded in harming world Jewry. The Reform and Conservative Jews, the vast majority of American Jewry, will not be able to see Israel as their second homeland. Changing the Law of Return will stop the blessed wave of immigration from Russia and Ukraine."

He claimed that "the new government is not committed to democracy, is not committed to the rule of law, and now it is trying to silence the opposition. They tell us, 'Accept the election results.' Their activists activated a poison machine of lies and slander to challenge the legitimacy of the government. We will not do any of these things, but we will fight for our country everywhere and on any stage."

"This government wants us to pay it taxes, send our children to the army, and keep quiet. This will not happen. As long as Israel is a democracy, the opposition will not receive instructions from the government on what it is allowed or not allowed to say. We will fight for the rule of law, we will fight for the rights of women and the community, the LGBT sector, fighting for the values ​​of the IDF, fighting for the education of our children, fighting for a tolerant Jewish identity, which is not used as an excuse for discrimination and racism."

"From here, I call on all citizens of Israel. You have an important role these days: to be engaged citizens who do not remain silent. Observe the law, but remind the government every day that you have rights and you are not preparing to give them up. Be on guard against a dangerous, extremist and irresponsible government, with a weak head of government that lost control even before he was sworn in. We will lead this fight. We are not going anywhere. We are fighting for our beloved country," he concluded.

Prime Minister-designate Netanyahu replied to Lapid: "Lapid, who left us a devastated country in economic and political collapse, with Iran racing toward nuclear power without an answer, with rampant murder and violence, is preaching to the next government of invented and baseless dangers. Lapid - you lost the election. Go home."