Photo Credit: Communicated by the President's Spokesperson
Netanyahu’s cabinet meeting, October 7, 2023.

Earlier, Prime Minister Netanyahu declared war on Hamas during his cabinet meeting on Saturday:


Opposition Chairman Yair Lapid declared Saturday night that given the fighting in the south, he is prepared to form an “emergency government.”

“Politics should now be put aside in favor of an emergency government that will conduct this campaign with determination, and will not engage in anything else until the complete victory over our enemies,” Lapid said.

He spoke at the end of a security update meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and listed his conditions for doing the noble thing: “Netanyahu knows that with the extreme and dysfunctional composition of the current cabinet, it is impossible to wage war. The State of Israel needs to be led by a professional, experienced, and responsible political echelon. I do not doubt that former Defense Minister Benny Gantz will also join such a government.”

Mind you, Lapid’s military experience was as a reporter for the IDF Ba’machaneh magazine.

Likud officials responded: “It is unclear what’s the meaning of the term ‘professional government’ that Lapid proposed, and what makes the reporter for Ba’machaneh a professional who should be included in security discussions. It is certainly desirable to add Yair Lapid to the government, but not as a professional, but as a party leader and a representative of the segment of the public that voted for him.”

As to his suggestion that Smotrich and Ben Gvir must be ousted to make room for himself and Gantz, the same Likud officials said, “A unity government is not a political conjuncture. Of course, you don’t remove members from the government and you don’t make joining the government conditional on removing elements that are in it.

“Just as Menachem Begin joined the Levy Eshkol government before the Six Day War, as a minister without portfolio and without conditions, so also today any party leader who wants to can join the government and the political-security cabinet, but without conditions and without demands to change their composition.”

MK Gantz for his part said he wasn’t planning to join the Netanyahu government but would offer his full support to help wage a decisive war against Israel’s enemies. At a time like this, there is no coalition and opposition, he said, but only the State of Israel – “one fist powerfully striking the enemy.”


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