Netanyahu to Bennett: You attack doctors instead of Iran

Opposition leader blasts government in address at opening of Knesset winter session, blames Bennett for 1,300 COVID deaths.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin Netanyahu
Shulo Shalom/TPS

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) spoke this afternoon (Monday) at the opening session of the Knesset's winter session, and attacked the Bennett-Lapid government mainly over its conducting of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

"The first 100 days of this government can be summed up in one sentence: the government 'contains', the media feeds us [that line], and the citizens of Israel have to swallow it," Netanyahu said at the beginning of his remarks.

"The statistics don't lie. Four months ago, under our leadership, the Bloomberg Index ranked Israel fifth in the world in the success ranking of the fight against the coronavirus. Today, under your leadership, it ranks us 41st out of 53 countries. We are almost at the bottom of the table of countries examined."

Netanyahu added: "We brought you a country with almost zero deaths a day. 1392 people died under you, with the vaccines. When there are vaccines, it's not as it was under our aegis. Most of these people could have been saved if you had not wasted precious time. We did not suggest that you have a lockdown, but that you bring the third vaccine we ordered in time - and you would have saved those who died."

"This government 'contains' not only the coronavirus - but also the Iranian nuclear program," the Likud chairman attacked.

Netanyahu continued his attack on the prime minister: "Naftali Bennett, a week ago, spoke at the UN. To get it out of the way, you said a few pat words about Iran, but you did not say the really important thing: that Israel strongly opposes a return to the nuclear agreement with Iran, and that it will continue to act to thwart it, with or without US consent."

"Instead of attacking the emerging agreement, you have chosen to attack our wonderful healthcare system. The' government of healing' is attacking the doctors. Instead of confronting Khamenei, you attacked Sharon Alroy." Ms. Sharon Alroy-Preis is head of public services at the Israeli Health Ministry.

Netanyahu also attacked the media: "The new editions have become a daily petting corner for the government. You remember that recently there was a word in Hebrew - 'mechdal' (failure). It was used morning and evening. Suddenly it disappeared from our lives. There are no omissions, no fact-checking, there is only a paragon: 'Happy Bennett', 'Satisfied Bennett,' 'Bennett saved a parrot' and of course trying to hide who the actual prime minister is - Mansour Abbas - the one who authorized Bennett's trip to the UN but did not allow him to go to Umm al-Fahm."

Outbursts of laughter were recorded in the hall when opposition leader Netanyahu addressed Prime Minister Bennett and told him: "Mansour Abbas did not allow you to go to Umm al-Fahm." Abbas replied to Netanyahu: "It is not true, it is not true, it is not true 'Father of Yair,' it is not true."

Netanyahu continued: "The public knows that a responsible government, led by the real right, and not the imaginary one, would have acted differently: we would have brought the vaccine on time and saved many lives. We would have severely beaten the terrorist elements in Gaza, as we did in Operation Guardian of the Walls. We would stand upright in the face of American pressure - both in words and deeds - to thwart the Iranian nuclear program. The public knows that we would do all this - because that is exactly what we did under our leadership."

According to Netanyahu, "The more the government's failures increase, the more the hollow improvement statements of government representatives, led by Yair Lapid, increase. He said: 'This is a normal government, of normal people, coming from the right place.' What condescension. What shallowness. Where exactly is Lapid's 'right place'? In Ramat Aviv? In Ra'anana? In Ramat Hasharon? Do the millions of Israeli citizens who are not Yair Lapid and his friends come from the wrong places?"

"And what is so normal about this government? A Prime Minister with 6 seats - is this normal? And the actual prime minister from the Islamic movement that controls him, with only 4 seats - is that normal?

Netanyahu told the coalition at the end of his remarks: "Everyone knows what unites you, or rather who unites you. We will continue to act as one man to overthrow this illicit government. The people are not stupid."