Yair Golan
Yair GolanTomer Neuberg/Flash 90

Labor Party leader Yair Golan spoke to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour and said that “what happened in Lebanon is a good manifestation for the fact that we are countering a massive Iranian front against Israel, composed by Hezbollah, Shiite militias in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthis from Yemen, as well as the Hamas and the Jihadist Islam heavily supported by Iran in the Gaza Strip.”

He added that “it symbolizes the fact that Israel is in the front line of the international liberal democratic front against the most fundamentalist religious fanatic jihadist elements in the world.”

Golan opined that an escalation in the north can be avoided. “We need to reach a hostage deal in the south as soon as possible. We need to reach a ceasefire in the south as soon as possible. There are chances, reasonable chances that -- by ceasefire in the south, we will gain a ceasefire in the north and we will be able to conduct the political internal process in order to replace the untrusted -- this untrusted government and in order to be well prepared for future challenges from the north and from the elsewhere.”

On the political situation in Israel, Golan said, “No doubt that Netanyahu is totally governed by the most extreme fanatic elements in the government, irresponsible elements or persons like Bezalel Smotrich or like Itamar Ben Gvir, they are the ones who really lead the Israeli policy right now. This is outrageous. It doesn't represent the majority of the Israelis. It's against the interests of Israel. And therefore, this is a great manifestation that this government needs to be changed as soon as possible.”

He added, “We think that this government, because of the unbelievable failure disaster of October 7th, and at the same time because of the misconduct way they lead this war, from all the reasons, from the past, from the present, and concerning the future, this is a government that cannot worth the trust of the people, and therefore, they need to be replaced. We are a nation in a crisis. And the nation in a crisis needs trusted leaders, trusted leadership. And we think -- we're sure that we can provide much better leadership for the people of Israel.”

Asked what are the factors that motivate him, Golan replied, “I'm an Israeli patriot. And what took me out of my home on October 7th is the same thing that takes me right now out to the streets, I'm willing to protect the Zionist project, the Zionist dream.”

“Israel should be and should remain a homeland for all the Jewish people, and at the same time a free, egalitarian and democratic state. Unfortunately, this government endangers the very basic democratic nature of Israel, the very basic nature, a democratic sentiment of the people of Israel. And therefore, this government should be replaced as soon as possible,” he added.

“And concerning future coalitions I swear to sit with anyone. We are -- you know, it -- a democracy and we need to legitimize every element in the Israeli society, except those who are totally corrupted like Netanyahu. And there is no comparison concerning that with the most messianic, extreme, violent elements in the government. So, therefore, I have no intention to sit with Ben Gvir or Smotrich.”

Golan was asked about his assessment of the Labor Party's ability to achieve its goals in the next elections and replied, “Well, the goal is, first and foremost, to become a much bigger party. I think that the reasonable goal for the coming elections is about 15 mandates. And with 15 mandates, we can be a prominent element in any future coalition, maybe even lead this coalition. We don't know. It's a matter of, you know -- to see the way the political map in Israel will be reorganized after this government.”

The two-state solution is seen by Golan as the desired solution to the conflict. “And I think that concerning the two-state solution, right now, what is most reasonable for most Israelis, we lost a sense of security, is the following. First, we need to disengage ourselves from the Palestinians, from any civilian aspect in order to keep a wide and secured path for the two-state solution. And at the same time, we need to keep a responsibility for security in our hands. And I think people around the globe need to understand that we have no intention to compromise our security. People in Israel need to know that they won't be raided by terrorists, by butchers, by people who want to kill them tomorrow morning. And therefore, without security, we won't be able to move forward with any political consideration.”

He added, “We need to figure out how to consolidate a trusted alternative with our regional allies, with the moderate Muslim countries backing by the United States of America, by the EU, by other democratic elements in the globe in order to ensure that Gazans have -- will have some sort of a reasonable alternative. And at the same time, Israel will gain enough security in order to feel safe and secured in this troubled region.”

“We won't get rid of all our, you know security problems, but we need to make sure that the future of the Palestinian arena Is positive for Israel. And if it's positive for Israel, it will be positive also for the Palestinians.”