In first cabinet meeting as PM, Lapid vows to address terror, ‘ignore elections’

Lapid calls on ministers to ignore upcoming elections and deal head on with security threats and ongoing turmoil in education and healthcare. 

By World Israel News Staff

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid on Sunday led his first cabinet meeting since being sworn in as premier.

During his inaugural cabinet address, Lapid vowed that his caretaker government would govern “as if elections were not being held”, and pledged to confront security threats from Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah, and to address ongoing crises in the educational and healthcare systems.

“Our goal – that of this entire table – in the coming months will be to manage the government as if elections were not being held,” Lapid said as the cabinet meeting opened.

“The citizens of Israel are entitled to a government that constantly functions. This is what I expect from my fellow ministers.”

“The education crisis cannot wait. Budgets for hospitals cannot be postponed. The Iranians, Hamas and Hezbollah will not wait. We need to act against them persistently in every arena and this is exactly what we are doing.”

“Yesterday, the IDF intercepted three hostile UAVs that tried to harm Israeli infrastructure in Israel’s economic waters,” Lapid continued, referring to the launch of three unmanned aircraft by Hezbollah towards Israel’s Karish offshore gas field.

“Hezbollah is continuing on the path of terrorism and is hurting Lebanon’s ability to reach an agreement on a maritime border. Israel will continue to defend itself, its citizens and its assets.”

“This government will continue to act for the good of the citizens, just as it has done throughout the past year. We will make decisions, we will take action and we will continue to increase the economic, diplomatic and security strength of Israel.”

Succeeding Naftali Bennett as premier, Lapid officially took office Friday, and made his first public address since becoming Prime Minister on Saturday.

Calling for unity, Lapid accused his political opponents of spreading extremism.

“The State of Israel is bigger than all of us. More important than any of us. It was here before us, and will be here long after us. It doesn’t belong only to us. It belongs to those who dreamed of it for thousands of years in the Diaspora, and also to those yet to be born, to future generations,” Lapid said.

Israelis will always have disagreements, but “the question is how we manage them, and how we make sure they don’t manage us,” he added.

“In Israel, extremism doesn’t come from the streets to politics. It’s the opposite. It flows like lava from politics to the streets. The political sphere has become more and more extreme, violent and vicious, and it’s dragging Israeli society along with it. This we must stop. This is our challenge,” he said.