Lapid under fire for meeting top Arab diplomat while ‘vacationing’ in Italy

Passengers on the flight home, in a dig to the opposition leader, spontaneously began singing “Bibi, King of Israel, Lives Forever.”

By World Israel News Staff

During his vacation in Italy on Tuesday, Opposition leader and former prime minister Yair Lapid visited UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah Bin Zayed.

To date, no member of the Israeli government has met with the Emirati top diplomat.

During the three-hour meeting, they discussed bilateral ties and joint projects, Lapid’s office said. According to the readout, they “laid the infrastructure for relations between the countries, and we will continue to cooperate to deepen the common interests and relations between the countries.”

It was not their first meeting, In June 2021, Lapid, then foreign minister, was in Abu Dhabi, where he officially inaugurated the Israeli embassy there. Lapid placed a Mezuzah  on the doorpost of the UAE embassy in the United Arab Emirates, and a rabbi recited the traditional blessing.

Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen slammed the opposition leader. “There is a government that knows how to bring historic peace agreements, and there is a former foreign minister who knows how to take pictures. The government promises to bring more agreements, so that Lapid will have more people to take pictures with,” he said.

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Meanwhile, the Knesset Ethics Committee has launched a probe, saying that Lapid did not get approval in advance for the trip, as would be required. He travelled together with his wife and aides on vacation. Lapid claims the trip was approved.

“The committee’s approval is required prior to the trip. Currently, I am not aware of a request. As soon as it is submitted, the committee will discuss it similarly to any request,” said Ethics Committee chairman Yinon Azoulay.

Upon landing back in Israel, passengers on the flight , in a dig to Lapid, spontaneously began singing “Bibi, King of Israel, Lives Forever,” using Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s nickname.