Lapid Says ‘A Real PM Would Not Gamble on National Security’

A five minute delay to allow censoring in the broadcasting of Binyamin Netanyahu's speech before the US Congress doesn't seem to be enough for Yair Lapid, who attacked the Prime Minister again Monday over the address. 

According to the Yesh Atid Chairman, the speech misses its target of warning about the dangers of a bad deal with Iran, and will only bring Iran closer to a nuclear weapon. 

"Because of the speech, Congress will not impose further sanctions on Iran and the Iranians will continue to progress toward becoming a nuclear threshold state," Lapid argued at an Institute for National Security Studies conference. 

"Without this empty speech, a bipartisan bill, which was supposed to pass on March 24, would have imposed further sanctions on Iran. But this speech, which is an open insult to the Democrats, made Senator Robert Menendez withdraw his name and support for the bill," claimed Lapid.

"Such a bill would have forced Iran to cancel negotiations with the West, and the United States would have had to act unilaterally, perhaps even with military action, to stop Iran's nuclear program," Lapid added. 

But, "once Netanyahu announced that he was accepting the Republicans' invitation [to speak], we lost the [support of] the majority."

The Yesh Atid leader also criticized Netanyahu for weakening the US-Israel relationship as well as his failure to stop Hamas.  

"A real Prime Minister, who was thinking of the good of the country, would not gamble with our national security and speak on this subject. The Americans are now reluctant to share information, because they do not trust him or his motives."

The comment seems to be a reference to a recent report claiming the US stopped updating Israel regarding the talks with Iran, a report that was rejected by the US and backtracked on by the Israeli media source behind it.

"He torpedoed the deal the Americans were working on, because God forbid, Bennett would steal a mandate from him. He does not listen to the Americans, because someone who works in the polls told him that voters like when he fights with Obama. This is a Greek tragedy. Everything he has warned about for the past few years will happen in the end because of him," Lapid charged. 

"He did not shatter Hamas," Lapid continued, "and we all know that without a political process, the next round of fighting against Gaza is just a matter of time." 

"He was unable to join forces with moderate Arab countries in the region, who see him as a potential ally in the fight against radical Islam. Hezbollah is strengthening itself on the northern border, Israeli deterrence is at an all-time low, and there are more and more attacks in Judea and Samaria," Yesh Atid's Chairman accused. 

"He should should look us in the eye and admit that he has failed. He invested billions in unnecessary training and preparations for military operations that did not happen; he neglected the running of the country. Take responsibility and go home to Caesarea."

In disbanding the current government ahead of elections, Netanyahu accused Lapid and Tzipi Livni of attempting to stage a "putsch" against him, charges seemingly backed by a recent revelation by a Yisrael Beytenu MK.


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