Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid Flash 90

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid expressed surprised at Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel's meetings with leading figures in radical left anti-Zionist NGOs Breaking the Silence and B'tselem during Michel's recent visit to Israel.

In a letter to the Belgian ambassador, Lapid wrote, "My son serves in the army, he's in a tank unit. He's a good kid with strong morals - just like his friends and commanders. During the past few years, they've spent a good deal of time saving injured Syria children and bringing them to Israeli hospitals. They are patriots and they are law-abiding."

Lapid also called on the Belgian ambassador to stop Belgium's support for organizations which malign IDF soldiers.

"It's not a political issue, and it's not related to right or left. It's something much deeper and much more important. As the father of an IDF soldier, I will not allow anyone to spread lies about these amazing soldiers, or about any of our other brave fighters.

"So no, we don't need you to provide international support or funds to extreme leftist groups so that they can 'watch over' my son and his friends. They do very well on their own. They know that their duty as IDF soldiers is to work in accordance with international law and to protect those who are innocent. If you have extra money and you are really worried about human rights, you're welcome to give it to someone who really needs it - such as those suffering in the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria, or the millions of Syrian refugees."

Lapid also said there is a lot of potential for productive cooperation between Israel and Belgium, but that Belgium's support of radical leftists was not part of that and insulted IDF soldiers.

"Your decision to become friendly with Israel's extreme left is not just an issue of improper diplomacy, it's an embarrassment to anyone who serves in the IDF, his family, and his friends.

"My dear ambassador, your Prime Minister owes the nation of Israel an apology, and as his representative in Israel, you need to rethink your government's priorities. There is great potential for cooperation between Israel and Belgium, but it cannot happen if you are connected to extremist marginal groups who distort reality and work to delegitimize Israel."