"Not Open to Negotiation"

Michaeli: Israel's democracy is not open to negotiation

The leader of the Labor Party at the memorial event for the late Shimon Peres: "Israel's democracy and its very existence, which are placed here on the scales, are not open for negotiation"

(Photo: Liran Vainshtain, Srugim)

Today (Wednesday), an event was held to mark the hundredth anniversary of the birth of the former president, Shimon Peres, and seven years since his passing. The ceremony was attended by the President of the State, Yitzhak Herzog, the senior advisor to the King of Morocco, André Azoulay, the Peres family, and other guests. The leader of the Labor Party, Merav Michaeli: "We cannot continue to jeopardize the existence of Israel."

Video: Srugim

We heard Gantz, who refused Netanyahu's request to sit down and talk, despite the respectful compromise offered by the Likud. Should we consider a different approach and seek dialogue?

"Who says the compromise is respectful? What we have learned and continue to learn from Netanyahu's history, from the moment he entered Israeli politics, is that you can't believe a word he says.

"He's always deceptive, he always tries to steal, and in this round as well, he did that. In any case, Israel's democracy and its very existence, which are placed here on the scales, are not open for negotiation."

It is not open to negotiation

Gantz said that if we take out the extremists, it will be possible to come and talk. So why don't we go to a unity government?

"I do not represent any of my colleagues in the opposition. I am the leader of the Labor Party. We are currently commemorating a royal tribute to one of the former leaders of the Labor Party, Shimon Peres.

"These days we mark 30 years since the Oslo Agreement, which is one of the things that Israel should be most thankful for, in terms of Israel's security and the possibility of the continued existence of the State of Israel. Something around which Binyamin Netanyahu and some extremists on the right carried out a campaign of incitement that continues to this day.

"And I'm actually talking about this thing, which to this day delegitimizes whole sections of Israeli society, and today is basically asking to get them out of the way. To take all the power for three things basically."

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

"One, in order to personally escape prosecution. Two, to allow the ultra-Orthodox to continue to suppress their own society and prevent them from serving in the IDF and dismantling the People's Army model that safeguards our security. Three, to sacrifice the entire State of Israel for the territories.

"It's not open for negotiation. We won't allow these things to happen. This has only happened so far thanks to the uncompromising protest. I'm confident that when the Knesset returns, it will return to much greater dimensions.

"This is the only thing stopping Netanyahu. That, and of course, the entire world telling him, 'Sir, you have completely lost your way.' The ties with the United States are one of the most significant strategic security foundations of the State of Israel. I very much hope that Netanyahu is not considering sacrificing them on the altar of his personal interests."

I am connected to this country no less than anyone else

Thomas Friedman said this morning: "Don't grant normalization to a non-normal government." The president of the country said just a few minutes ago that indeed, there needs to be dialogue. That same president who used to be the leader of your party.

"Indeed, and I truly have immense respect for him and admiration for how he doesn't give up and continues to try. He's doing his job as president.

"I'm doing my job as a political leader, looking at the public, not just my own public, but the Israeli public as a whole, looking them in the eyes and saying: The State of Israel exists solely because of the understanding that it will be a democratic and liberal state for the Jewish people, enabling everyone to live according to their beliefs."

(Photo: Amos Ben Gershom/Government Press Office)

"The State of Israel was founded thanks to the historic decision of Ben-Gurion to partition the land; otherwise, there would not have been a state. And even now, if we cannot understand that we need to divide the land, I am deeply connected to this land, no less than anyone else.

"I would have been very happy if there were still more territories for the State of Israel; I'm very territorial. But we cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand when three million Palestinians live there, and we cannot continue to control them.

"We cannot continue to jeopardize the existence of Israel and maintain this whole package while dismantling the judiciary, the legal system, the public service, and our democracy for the sake of it."

(Photo: Yonatan Sindel, Flash 90)

Another spin in the set of spins

In the absence of elections, maybe if we remove Ben Gvir, Smotrich, and the ultra-Orthodox, perhaps it will indeed be possible to achieve unity.

"I did not hear Netanyahu make this proposal. All these things are irrelevant. There is a man here who knows exactly what he is doing. He regularly tries to delegitimize the opposition against him, and he must not be allowed to do that."

Is it a spin?

"It's another one, it's not some special spin. It's another spin in the set of endless spins and lies that Netanyahu has been using to run Israel for far too many years."

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