Netanyahu criticizes political opposition, praises Trump at Knesset session opening

The Israeli leader mocked the political opposition and praised US President Donald Trump at the opening ceremony of the Knesset’s winter session.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his speech at the opening ceremony of the Knesset’s winter session in familiar fashion on Monday, praising the government’s achievements while attacking his political opponents.

After noting a long list of accomplishments under his leadership, such as the growing prosperity in the country, the reduction of unemployment and the advances in cyber and defense, he addd, “But for the opposition, all this doesn’t exist. Why? Because if you haven’t evacuated a settlement, you’ve done nothing.”

“When the sourpusses talk to each other,” Netanyahu said mockingly, “they say, ‘The situation is terrible, Isn’t it? Everything is simply falling apart. By the way, did you remember to order the tickets to London for the weekend, or are you going to Berlin? They’re sour – and flying. Criticizing – and buying. In reality, everything is the exact opposite of what they’re saying…. Advances, not retreats; smiles, not sourness.”

The repeated theme of a “sour” opposition was combined with a clever play on words. In Hebrew, the word for sour is chamutz. It has the same root as lehach’mitz, which can mean ‘missing the target.’

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Netanyahu reminded his audience of the time when he was criticized by the opposition for giving his famous speech to Congress before the US  against the nuclear deal with Iran. “[Labor leader Isaac] Herzog, you said: ‘This speech is a serious blow to US-Israel relations.’ [Yesh Atid Chairman Yair] Lapid, you said: ‘Your perception of America is outdated and irrelevant, you do not know America.’ That is what you said. You are always missing …”

Netanyahu went on to praise US President Donald Trump for decertifying the deal, as well as pulling out of UNESCO, a step which Israel was quick to follow. In the context of the two countries seeing eye to eye on important issues, the prime minister mentioned the reconciliation deal between Hamas and Fatah, restating his government’s position as well as that of the US that there will be no negotiations as long as the terrorist group does not disarm and accept Israel’s right to exist.

By: Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News