Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) National President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
Former temporary, caretaker, unelected Prime Minister Yair Lapid did enormous harm to Israel, American Jewry and U.S.-Israel relations during his Passover trip to the U.S. by demonizing Israel’s democratically-elected government as “extremist” and by telling American Jews, Jewish leaders and Democratic politicians to oppose the Israeli government and the proposed, much-needed Israeli democratic judicial reforms. (See “Israel’s Opposition Leader Tells U.S. Jews to Oppose Israeli Government,” by Joel B. Pollak, Breitbart, Apr. 14, 2023; and “Israeli Judicial Reforms Are Good for Democracy and Rule of Law,” ZOA, Feb. 13, 2023.) Hypocritically, Lapid’s anti-government and anti-Israeli judicial reform trip included meeting with Congressman Jerry Nadler, who is proposing radical judicial court-packing in the U.S. Former Israeli PM Menachem Begin always proclaimed that Israeli officials should never condemn Israel while visiting other countries.
Lapid’s traitorous trip is a disgrace that has cemented his status as head of the “disloyal opposition.” Prime Minister Netanyahu paused the needed judicial reforms as the opposition relentlessly demanded as the only way the opposition would agree to negotiate. Yet Lapid is continuing to use the issue to sow anarchy, and to foment outside foreign pressures that trample upon the will of the Israeli public, Israeli sovereignty and democracy.
It is bad enough that Lapid called for an anti-government strike to shut down the Israeli economy in February, thereby endangering Israeli security during this time when deadly Arab terror attacks on innocent Jews have skyrocketed.
And it is bad enough that during his final days as temporary prime minister, Lapid illegally surrendered Israeli gas fields over 300 square miles of maritime territory to Hezbollah-controlled Lebanon – without the lawfully required Knesset vote or public referendum. (See “Surrendering Israel’s Maritime Waters/Gas Fields, Under Biden’s Pressure, Is Illegal and Gives Terrorist Hezbollah Billions,” ZOA, Oct. 12, 2022; and “ZOA Criticizes Israeli Supreme Court for Flouting Israeli Law to Push Through PM Lapid’s Bad Hezbollah/Lebanon Gas Deal,” Oct. 26, 2022.)
And it is bad enough that Lapid used a security briefing that PM Netanyahu gave to Lapid as yet another occasion to slam Israel’s democratically elected government and to sow hatred and division.
But telling American politicians and Jews and Jewish leaders to pressure and oppose Israel on a domestic internal issue is a line that Lapid should surely not have crossed. Lapid needs to stop harming and endangering Israel.