Lapid attacks pending ‘values of Zionism’ bill as racist; Ben Gvir blasts Lapid as ‘extreme leftist’ and ‘liar’

“It wouldn’t do any harm if artificial intelligence could replace your entire government.”

By World Israel News Staff

Opposition leader Yair Lapid blasted the government’s proposed government resolution prioritizing “the values of Zionism” as racist and discriminatory, especially against Israel’s Druze community.

The resolution, which is set to be passed this week, states that “the values of Zionism, as they are expressed in Basic Law: Nation-State of the Jewish People, will be the leading and decisive values in setting public policy, domestic and foreign policy, legislation and actions of the government and all of its units and institutions.”

The bill, if passed, would promote Zionism as a factor for eligibility for state benefits.

Lapid emphasized that Zionism should not be equated with racism.

“According to this bill, if a Jew evades the IDF draft – he will receive more” than a former IDF Druze soldier, Lapid said.

Addressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Lapid quipped: “It wouldn’t do any harm if artificial intelligence could replace your entire government.”

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir attacked Lapid as “ignorant and a liar,” and strongly refuted claims of racism in the resolution, which his Otzma Yehudit party advanced.

“The proposal not only does not prioritize Jews, but is valid on behalf of soldiers and IDF veterans from any demographic,” Ben Gvir said, adding that Lapid was “an extreme leftist who opposes Zionism.”

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Development of the Negev and Galilee Minister Yitzhak Wasserlauf noted that Lapid overlooked the lack of a Jewish majority in the Galilee region and what he called discriminatory policies against Jews, including a cap on the number of new residents permitted in Jewish towns while Arab towns face no such restrictions.

Wasserlauf noted that the proposal would simply implement the principles outlined in the “Nation-State Law,” which promotes Jewish settlement development as a national value, and rectify discrimination against Jews by “strengthening the connection of the Jewish people to this land and giving preference to soldiers.”

Ministers from the ultra-Orthodox parties, many of which represent populations that do not define themselves as Zionist, expressed concerns about potential discrimination faced by their constituents. The wording of the proposal was subsequently changed to reflect emphasis on Torah study as a value as well.