Netanyahu to officials on left and right: Leave disputes ‘outside the cemeteries’ on Memorial Day

The prime minister’s remarks came hours after Opposition leader Yair Lapid announced a boycott of Independence Day event.

By World Israel News Staff

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday evening called on Israeli officials from the left and right to put aside all disputes ahead of Memorial Day and Independence Day this year and present a show of unity, hours after Opposition leader Yair Lapid announced a boycott of the state event.

“In the past few months, an important debate has been raging between us over our democracy, but during these days, I ask all elected officials — from the right and left — to put the argument to one side, to leave it outside of the cemeteries,” he said by video broadcast.

“To allow the bereaved families, and all of us, to mourn in silence the memory of our loved ones,” he added.

The grieving families “deserve to experience these days with the entire nation of Israel standing in unity, behind our heroes, without any arguments,” Netanyahu said.

Earlier today, Lapid rebuffed the government’s invitation to the traditional torch-lighting ceremony and Independence Day celebration on Mount Herzl next week over his opposition to the plans for judicial reform.

“We won’t pretend that we are celebrating together and that everything is OK while the government is tearing the nation apart and erasing democracy,” he said.

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“I love the State of Israel with all my heart but in three months you have divided Israeli society, and no fake fireworks performance will cover that up. If national unity is so important to you, you would not be dismantling our democracy and instead you’d be going to work for Israel’s citizens.”

“We will not sit there to watch another embarrassing show of flattery for the Netanyahu family,” he added.