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Lapid Understood What Bennett Would Never Understand
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, left, and Alternate Prime Minister Yair Lapid. (Knesset website)

Lapid Understood What Bennett Would Never Understand

Ma’ariv, Israel, June 26

I know that in our society it’s frowned upon to rejoice in another’s failure, but I, shamefully enough, can’t help but rejoice in the failure of Naftali Bennett. Last week, I saw him standing at the podium next to Lapid, the man who will soon step into the Prime Minister’s Office, and explain to the Israeli public that he was doing what he was doing out of mere altruism. It was hard to shed a tear at the sight of the man who, in the opinion of many of his constituents, blatantly deceived them. The explanation of the outgoing prime minister sounds simply unreliable. The claim that he is retiring due to the fear that Israeli law will cease to apply on Judea and Samaria starting at the end of this month, if the dissolution of the Knesset is not announced, is certainly untrue. Bennett’s face surrendered all of the emotions he felt on the inside. Perhaps he knew that no one buys his excuses. His party crashed. All of those working in his office resigned. People who worked alongside him for many years fled like mice abandoning a sinking ship. His fortress in Raanana became a notorious millstone around the neck of his government. Lapid understood what Bennett would never understand. The relocation of the official residence to Raanana, while claiming that the Prime Minister’s Residence in Jerusalem – where all the prime ministers but Bennett have resided – was “uninhabitable,” was a grave mistake. But it was not just Bennett’s personal ship that had been rocked in the past year. Indeed, the entire State of Israel, in my opinion, looked like a sinking ship that hit a glacier. Bennett preferred to keep his eyes wide shut. The title of prime minister became an obsession to him. At one point he even sought to build for himself the image of a world-class leader, similar to his predecessor in office. One way or another, everything I have said so far is no longer relevant. The Jewish people are about to have a leader – for a little while, one must hope – who may lead us to oblivion. Lapid doesn’t, in my humble opinion, have the skills needed to lead the State of Israel. He has nothing in common with our founding fathers. I don’t know how this episode will end, but given Lapid’s behavior over the past year, I’m deeply worried. He acts as if he has no fear of anyone or anything. My anxiety is great, and I hope I’m wrong. But right now, things are looking really bad. –Haim Misgav (translated by Asaf Zilberfarb)

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