Smotrich: Vote Bennett and you get Lapid

"The ability of Naftali Bennett to lie in front of the cameras is simply awe-inspiring," says MK Bezalel Smotrich.

Hezki Baruch ,

MK Bezalel Smotrich
MK Bezalel Smotrich
Religious Zionism party

The head of the Religious Zionist party, MK Bezalel Smotrich, has responded to the news earlier on Sunday evening that MK Naftali Bennett, his former colleague in the Yamina party, intends to establish a “national unity government” together with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and left-wing political elements.

“The ability of Bennett to lie in front of the cameras without blinking is simply awe-inspiring,” Smotrich said. “For the last month and a half, he has been intentionally destroying all chances of establishing a right-wing government, and then telling everyone that it is supposedly impossible to establish such a government – before running headlong into the arms of the Left and those who openly support terrorism.

“By now it’s clear that everything was planned and set out in advance,” Smotrich continued. “It was one big performance, the biggest farce in the history of Israeli politics. All his slogans and cliches were one big lie.”

Also scathing in his criticism was Likud party chairman MK Miki Zohar, who said: “We said this before, and it was proven today – vote Bennett and you get Lapid. The public will not forget. We will continue to serve the Israeli people from the opposition, and with G-d’s help, we will yet return, stronger than before.”

Still hopeful right up to the very last minute – and beyond – was MK Nir Barkat of the Likud party, who appealed to the leaders of ostensibly right-wing parties New Hope and Yamina to turn back at the abyss. “Naftali Bennett and Gideon Sa’ar, at this last moment before you make an historic error, don’t become a tiny right-wing element in the midst of a left-wing morass. Two-thirds of your voters don’t want to see you joining up with the left wing, which means in effect that you are only representing two seats apiece and have no real legitimacy.”

Barkat added that, “Your place is in a right-wing government headed by Netanyahu – a government that is so sorely needed by the Israeli people at this time. Set your personal interests aside; don’t focus on your complaints and grievances. Think only of the State of Israel.”

Head of the Otzma Yehudit faction (incorporated within the Religious Zionism party) MK Itamar Ben Gvir, directed his attack against Naftali Bennett, who, in his words, “sold out his voters and his values and is leading the State of Israel to disaster. Bennett is calling for a unity government and meanwhile deceiving everyone. A government together with Ibtisam Mara’ana, Yair Golan, and Mansour Abbas and the Joint List is a government that supports terror. Today, the cat came out of the bag and it’s obvious why he decided to invalidate me. I was an obstacle to him joining up with Yair Lapid, Merav Michaeli, and Yair Golan.”

Dr. Shlomo Karhi of the Likud party questioned Bennett’s statement that he intends to establish “a national unity government – with Arabs who sell out the State? Against the haredim and against a million Likud supporters, with Liberman’s hatred? But the Left? Sure! Horowitz - Hague, Ibtisam – Remembrance Day. Michaeli – against the IDF. Liberman – against anything Jewish. Yair Golan – who identifies with the Islamic Movement … Your fig leaf will not cover your shame.”

Karhi was referring to various statements made by extreme-left elements, Bennett's future coalition partners: Nitzan Horowitz, Meretz head, who supports the decision of the International Criminal Court at The Hague to investigate IDF soldiers for "war crimes"; Ibtisam Mara'ana, Labor MK, who was not ashamed to declare that she ignores the Remembrance Day siren; Merav Michaeli, Labor head, who allegedly expressed her pleasure at the fact that IDF soldiers have died in service; Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, which wants to entirely defund yeshivas, institute civil marriage, allow local rabbis to perform dubious conversions to Judaism, and seriously erode the powers of the Chief Rabbinate.

Shas party head Aryeh Deri responded to the news of Bennett’s decision saying, “Naftali, you said in the past that the biggest mistake you ever made since entering politics was your decision to join up with Yair Lapid. Everyone makes mistakes in life but to repeat the same mistake twice – intentionally – is unforgivable.”

Transportation Minister Miri Regev (Likud) said, “Naftali Bennett’s speech today will bear witness against him for the rest of his political life. His lusts for power and authority have led him to lose his way and attempt to justify himself with lies that insult the intelligence and are a slap in the face for those who voted for him. But we have still not entirely lost hope, even this evening,” she continued. “All we need is another hero like Amichai Chikli who will refuse to lend his hand to the creation of the disaster of a left-wing government – and in his merit, a stable right-wing government will be formed. If there’s anyone with true courage in the Yamina party, let him step forward right now.”