Lapid: new government endangers Israeli democracy

Prime Minister Yair Lapid made the statements at an annual memorial service for Israel’s first leader and his wife, David and Paula Ben Gurion.

By Erin Viner

“I did not come today to eulogize Ben Gurion, I came to apologize to him. What is happening today in the State of Israel is contrary to everything he believed in, to every commandment he left us,” Lapid said according to a statement TV7 obtained from the Prime Minister’s Spokesperson.

“What is happening in Israel today contradicts everything he believed in and the legacy he had left for us,” said the outgoing leader, adding that the incoming government being formed under the leadership of Prime Minister Designate Benjamin Netanyahu “does not share” the beliefs of the nation’s founding father.

The next government might have been democratically elected, he said, but warned that it “wants to destroy democracy. Democracy is not just the will of the majority. Democracy is also the protection of the minority against the majority, the separation of powers and the independence of the court, freedom of expression and telling the truth.”

Saying that while the incoming leaders do not believe in “equality for women, LGBT people, political or social equality and certainly not in equality for non-Jews,” Prime Minister Lapid stressed: “I want to say here over your grave David, they may not – but we do. We are Zionists. We believe in the Declaration of Independence. We believe in a Jewish and democratic state. We believe in the rule of law.”

Prime Minister Lapid concluded his remarks by avowing, “We will not give up our country, nor the principles behind it, nor the legacy of Ben Gurion. This is our life’s mission, as it was his life’s mission.

President Issac Herzog also addressed those gathered at the Ben Gurions’ tomb at Midreshet Sde Boker in the Negev.