Benjamin Netanyahu
Benjamin NetanyahuLiron Moldovan/POOL/Flash90

Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday evening addressed the '40 signatures' discussion in the Knesset plenum, and sharply attacked the Bennett government.

"Bennett has no mandate, the citizens of Israel say that. After only three months as prime minister, being treated like an etrog by the media in a way that I don't remember ever seeing before, Bennett barely passes the electoral threshold," Netanyahu said in his opening remarks.

According to Netanyahu, "there has been no such thing in the history of the country that an incumbent prime minister swings like a leaf fluttering in the wind on the edge of the electoral threshold. Nor was there such a thing as taking power with six seats that were also gotten through fraud. The public simply does not buy this bluff, from someone who coaxed his way to the prime minister's office, after he himself has declared that it is undemocratic to be prime minister even with ten seats. In this situation the public expresses unequivocal distrust in Bennett."

"He has no path. He has no vision. He has no achievements and no ideology. He is simply not a leader," the Likud chairman attacked. ''In this government, everything is fake. Everything is make-believe. In this government everyone does what he wants. There is no prime minister here. Cabinet ministers don't take Bennett into account. This is seen in the new reality show, 'The Race to the Muqata (The Palestinian Authority headquarters in Ramallah)' - the flattery of the ministers to [Mahmoud] Abbas' office. This series is more suspenseful than The Squid Game. Benny Gantz and Nitzan Horowitz came first, Tamar Zandberg and Merav Michaeli are competing for third and fourth place. The battle is close, what tension.

"One result is already known. You brought Abbas back to life. He is being lifted up by Israeli government ministers as has not happened for years, not since Oslo. This reality show would be funny if it was not so sad and dangerous," Netanyahu said.

Netanyahu also said in the plenum: "After you sold the Negev to Mansour Abbas, today the Palestinian Authority announced that Israel has agreed to the unification of more than 440 families in Israeli territory. This is a practical application of the 'right of return', which endangers the existence of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state."

''And why is all this happening? Because Bennett depends on Mansour Abbas and the Islamic Movement. When Mansour Abbas says - "Go to Mahmoud Abbas" - you go. When he demands family reunification, you reunite.

"Yair Lapid asked at the time - 'Where is the money?'. An excellent question. Where is the money you promised to bring for the IDF conscripts? Where is the money you cut from public housing? Where is the money for the self-employed? The money for doctors? Where is the money for farmers, where is the money for businesses? If Bennett does not know the answer, we might really ask Yair Lapid.

"This is the same Lapid who at the time vehemently opposed the concept of an 'alternate prime minister' - and today he serves as an alternate prime minister. This is the same Lapid who poured fire and brimstone on Norwegian law - and today makes the Knesset the Kingdom of Norway ... Most of the time he is traveling abroad.

"So 'where is the money?' Lapid also knows the answer. The money is with Mansour Abbas and the Islamic Movement, who won the lottery - NIS 53 billion.

Netanyahu also attacked the government and its leader for its coronavirus policy: "Even in the struggle against the coronavirus, there is no prime minister. For many weeks you sat on your hands, smug and complacent. I implored you at every possible stage to bring the vaccines we had already purchased for the benefit of the citizens of Israel. But you did nothing."

"On July 1, I said that the price of early vaccinations would be zero, but the price of being late in bringing the vaccines would be fatal. On July 12, I said here in the Knesset: "The third vaccine against the coronavirus must be in our hands now." At the time Bennett said the opposite. I quote: "The vaccine is significantly less effective against the Delta strain." This irresponsible statement has become an irresponsible decision not to bring the vaccines in time.

"The delay in bringing the vaccines has led to high morbidity and 1,500 deaths from coronavirus and tens of thousands of patients who will carry side effects for years. 1,500 families in Israel who have lost loved ones, while Bennett is busy pretending to be prime minister.

"Everyone needs to understand what is happening here: we have dealt with the epidemic - without vaccines. You have neglected to deal with the plague - when there are vaccines. You have no excuses and no explanations. Instead of apologizing, you boast: "But we did not close the country."

Netanyahu asked: "Who even asked you to close the country? We are the ones who opened the country when we had vaccines, a month before the election. All we wanted was for you to give the third vaccine on time. When there are vaccines there is no reason for closures, and certainly no reason for 1,500 deaths. We brought you a vaccinated country, the first in the world, and you took it with zero infections, zero deaths and zero closures, and you brought 1,500 dead."