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Lapid denounces ‘corrupt, extremist’ government

"They hear our strength and our commitment. They pretend they don't hear and that they're not afraid—but they hear and are afraid," the leader of the opposition said.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid speaks at a protest outside the Knesset in Jerusalem against the judicial reform program, Feb. 13, 2023. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.
Opposition leader Yair Lapid speaks at a protest outside the Knesset in Jerusalem against the judicial reform program, Feb. 13, 2023. Photo by Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid Party slammed the Israeli government at a mass rally protesting its judicial reform plan held outside the Knesset in Jerusalem on Monday.

“Millions of Israelis are watching us, seeing how a corrupt extremist government wants to destroy the country at record speed,” Lapid told the estimated 60,000 demonstrators.

“They hear our strength and our commitment. They pretend they don’t hear and that they’re not afraid—but they hear and are afraid. Outwardly, in front of the cameras, they grin sarcastically, saying it won’t change a thing,” he continued. “[But] they’re trembling as rulers have always trembled when they discovered that there were people facing them who were not ready to give up.

“We will fight in the streets, we’ll fight until we win,” Lapid said.

Benny Gantz, leader of the National Unity Party, also addressed the crowd: “We can’t let society collapse from within—and [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, you are destroying Israeli society from within and we won’t let you do it.”

“Just because you have the majority doesn’t give you the authority to do whatever you want,” Gantz said.

“We are not ready to compromise on Israeli democracy and there will be no such compromise,” he said, adding that the opposition is prepared for discussion on judicial reform, but only on condition that the current “insane process” stops, referring to the government’s determination to push the legal reform legislation through.

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