Netanyahu launches campaign with fiery solo address

The Likud party’s official campaign launch featured only one speaker: the current prime minister presenting a black-and-white choice in Israel’s upcoming elections.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu officially launched his Likud party’s election campaign on Monday night, attempting to portray a stark contrast between Israel’s trajectory under his administration and the country’s future should “dangerous and irresponsible leftists” take control.

While Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit was not mentioned by name and the corruption cases at which Netanyahu remains the center were only referenced in passing, the shadow of the premiere’s current legal battles loomed large over the event, held at the Kfar Maccabiah event hall in Ramat Gan.

Netanyahu spoke for close to three-quarters of an hour, taking aim at his stiffest challengers in the Blue and White party. While the prime minister shook hands with inner-party rival Gideon Sa’ar, he did not permit the former minister to address the crowd from the dais, keeping the event a one-speaker affair.

Netanyahu referred to the campaign as “a hard battle,” claiming that Blue and White party heads Benny Gantz and Yair Lapid would “turn backward” the advances achieved by the Jewish state on his watch.

Netanyahu painted Lapid and Gantz as leftists in disguise, comparing them to Labor prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, on whom he blamed the Oslo accords and the intifada, respectively.

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The Blue and White party characterized Netanyahu’s address as “lies and incitement” designed to “divert the conversation from the investigation and the indictment he now faces.”

“Instead of worrying about the deteriorating health system, the long lines at the ER, the cost of living, he is only worried about himself,” said a statement released by Gantz and Lapid’s party.