Lapid claims Netanyahu trying to foment ‘civil war’

Opposition leader Yair Lapid attacks Netanyahu’s comments at the opening of the trial, alleging Netanyahu is inciting against the rule of law.

By Paul Shindman, World Israel News

Opposition leader Yair Lapid attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Monday, saying that the prime minister’s comments before the opening of his corruption trial were a form of incitement.

Speaking at a party meeting, Lapid said, “Netanyahu is trying to lead us to a civil war, he must not continue in office.”

“Netanyahu’s trial began with wild incitement against the rule of law. He knows it will end violently and he doesn’t care,” he said.

“The prime minister tried to sell us yesterday that thousands of people – police officers, investigators, lawyers, judges, journalists, politicians – share a huge conspiracy designed to build a case against him,” Lapid said. “There was a coup attempt yesterday, the one who led it is Netanyahu.”

Despite Lapid’s political rhetoric, there have been no instances of violence related to the new national unity government nor any police warnings about any uptick in threats to politicians or government institutions.

Surrounded by his Likud ministers, Netanyahu made a press statement at the opening of his trial on Sunday, charging that the cases were manufactured, a witch-hunt against him by people who had failed to beat him in the election.

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“What is happening today is an attempt to thwart the will of the people, an attempt to overthrow me and the right-wing camp,” Netanyahu said Sunday.

Commenting on the political situation, the Makor Rishon newspaper noted that those on the Left who expected to see Netanyahu submissive, tired and humiliated at his trial instead found him upright and confident.

“Netanyahu, like Netanyahu, turned lemons into lemonade, and instead of delivering the desired image of defeat, he made a speech to the nation with the Likud officials behind him … and in the background, memorably, hundreds of protesters whose voices were carried to the courtroom assuring him: ‘Netanyahu, you will not walk alone.'”