Israel Election Updates / Lapid: Israel Is the Only Place for Jews

65 days to go: Livni blasts Netanyahu for what she calls failure to rally global support during the Gaza war.


Friday's political summary: Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Yisrael Beiteinu) announced that he plans to retire from politics.

Meanwhile it emerged that police have raided the home of Agriculture Ministry director general Rami Cohen and found some 450,000 shekels (approximately $115,385) in cash. Cohen is a suspect in the Yisrael Beiteinu alleged corruption affair, but claimed that the cash stashed at his home is unrelated to his arrest. Full article

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Latest updates:

7:20 P.M. Balad MK Jamal Zahalka denounces the recent attacks in Paris.

"I condemn any attack on innocents," he said. "We must decry any demonstration of dangerous, extremist hatred like the kind shown in France in recent days, starting at the offices of Charlie Hebdo and ending with the murderous terror at the kosher supermarket." (Jonathan Lis)

2:00 P.M. MK Tzipi Livni slams Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over what she described as his failure to rally global support for Israel at the conclusion of the Gaza war.

Livni said at a forum in Netanya that over the summer she promoted an initiative that sought the demilitarization of Gaza, the establishment of a global coalition against Hamas, the prevention of Hamas' renewed armament and the resumption of the peace talks. This initiative, she said, could have "rallied the entire world to Israel's side, but this opportunity was missed because Netanyahu stammered and hesitated."

12:30 P.M. Yair Lapid responds to the recent attacks in France by saying that Israel is the only place for Jews.

"My heart goes out to (the victims)," Lapid said at a forum in Be'er Sheva. "Jews are being murdered because they're Jews, and intellectuals are being murdered because they're intellectuals. The Europeans are starting to understand that there can be no compromise with terror, racism and anti-Semitism.

"I don't want to speak in terms of Holocaust, but European Jewry must understand that there is just one place for Jews, and that is the State of Israel."

Addressing the upcoming election, Lapid accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of maintaining "a constant state of government corruption" and of furthering his political career instead of acting in Israel's best interest.

Lapid also said that his appointment as foreign minister in the previous government was "a trap."

"I told my team that in one month, I will go from being the most popular politician to being the most unpopular one in order to save the state," he said. (Shirley Seidler)