Photo Credit: Bezalel Smotrich / Facebook
Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich on Facebook Live, Feb. 19, 2023

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich warned Sunday at a faction meeting broadcast on Facebook Live that Opposition Leader Yair Lapid “wants a civil war.”

Flanked by other members of the Religious Zionism faction, Smotrich emphasized, “There will never be a civil war.”


The minister said Lapid is leading all the demonstrations against the government because he cannot accept his loss in last November’s election: “He doesn’t know how to lose,” Smotrich said.

He accused the Opposition Leader, who heads the Yesh Atid party, of “deliberately harming the chances for dialogue” over the issue of judicial reform.

Smotrich said that last week he gave President Isaac Herzog his agreement to “immediately begin a process of dialogue, including a willingness for concession and compromise.” Compromise, he said, is “only possible in a democracy,” emphasizing that Israel is such a democracy.

But “Lapid has no interests in a broad national agreement,” he charged. “He is not interested in the good of the State of Israel. He has no interest sin preventing a split in the nation,” Smotrich said. “Yair Lapid wants a civil war.”

Nevertheless, he said, the coalition government will go ahead with the plan to reform the judicial system, which will give the government control over who is selected to become a justice on the Supreme Court – as is the case in the United States, he pointed out.

Smotrich added that he believes the first part of that program will pass its first reading on Monday in the Knesset.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.