By Morton A. Klein
(APRIL 17, 2023 / ISRAEL HAYOM) Former temporary, caretaker, and unelected Prime Minister Yair Lapid did enormous harm to Israel, American Jewry and U.S.-Israel relations during his Passover trip to the United States, 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.
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 US. Former Prime Minister Menachem Begin always proclaimed that Israeli officials should never condemn Israel while abroad.
Lapid’s traitorous trip is a disgrace that has cemented his status as head of the “disloyal Opposition.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu paused the needed judicial reforms as the Opposition relentlessly demanded as it was the only way they agreed 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, 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.
And it is bad enough that Lapid used a security briefing that Netanyahu gave to him as yet another occasion to slam Israel’s democratically elected government and to sow hatred and division.
But telling American politicians, 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.
Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America.
This op-ed was originally published in Israel Hayom and can be viewed here.