Bezalel Smotrich
Bezalel SmotrichSderot conference - Kay Academic College

The Chairman of the Religious Zionism Party Bezalel Smotrich, addressing the Sderot Society and Education conference at the Kay Academic College in Be'er Sheva, spoke about the recording in which he criticized Opposition leader Netanyahu.

"I think that quoting an old conversation in a personal environment is a forbidden act. We all speak a little differently in private conversations and I learned a simple thing – ‘to keep one's mouth and tongue safe from trouble,’ but I am happy that my position impacted the entire camp who aligned with the idea of establishing a government without the Islamic movement,” Smotrich said. “When one side of the argument joins the enemy in order to subdue the other side, this creates a recipe for disaster and throughout our history, this act has always led to destruction.”

He continued: “Lapid was interviewed this morning and noted that not only does he not rule out forming a government with the terrorist supporter Mansour Abbas and Arafat's personal advisor Ahmed Tibi, who along with the entire Joint List deny the existence of the State of Israel, Lapid is whitewashing the Joint List so he can retain his position as PM. That's what these elections are about and that's what we'll be voting on exactly one week from now.”

“We have respected democracy throughout the years, and only a few years ago we accepted it by the eviction in Gush Katif, even though we believed it was a bitter mistake,” Smotrich said. “We still think that to this day and the citizens of the south feel the bitter mistake first hand. I am convinced that the very narrow fringes are the ones who demonize the right-wing camp.”

He further explained: “We are allowed to conduct political and economic debates in every platform, even with the Arabs, but in no way harm the basis of our existence. We gathered from the corners of the earth, from a variety of cultures and identities, we came to build the Jewish state and roam freely in Be’er Sheva, in Haifa, Lod, Ramla, Jerusalem and Jaffa without fear, not to live like we did in exile. This is the basis and within its framework we can argue, but when one side of the argument joins the enemy in order to subdue the other side, this creates a recipe for disaster and throughout our history this act has always resulted in destruction.”

According to Smotrich: “You can't stand down and stop the forestation in the Negev because of violence, and you can't whitewash tens of thousands of units for Arabs in an act of nationalistic construction. It's enough to hear the heads of Ra’am brag that no security operation was conducted in Gaza because they were part of the government. The public will not forgive those who intentionally try to prevent us from making amendments in the justice system. Without significant treatment of the legal system and moving the weight around in the balance between the government and the legal system, we have no right to exist as a coalition."