Netanyahu, Lapid Trade Barbs Over Danger to Economy

By Shmuel Smith

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at a ceremony at the Haifa port, Tuesday. (Shir Torem/Flash90)

YERUSHALAYIM — Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu‏‏ and Opposition leader Yair Lapid traded accusations on Tuesday over whose policies are likely to hurt the economy.

Netanyahu started the latest row, during an event at Haifa Port to mark its purchase by a consortium led by India’s Adani Group, he addressed Lapid, saying: “It’s not pleasant to lose elections… but you don’t need to turn this bitterness into harming the Israeli economy,” referring to the campaign to head off the government’s judicial overhaul by claiming that it will drive away foreign investors and lower Israel’s credit rating.

“First off, it won’t help, because the economy is so strong and the smart investors come here,” said Netanyahu. “I suggest you simply join us and do the right thing: Build our economy, continue to open up and nurture our free market [economy], and together we’ll ensure a wonderful future.”

Lapid hit back on social media: “It’s not fun to be a defendant in criminal cases, but you don’t need to turn the bitterness into the destruction of Israel’s democracy and economy.”

Meanwhile, tech workers held a brief protest at multiple locations on Tuesday – in Yerushalayim, Tel Aviv, Netanya and Haifa, along with a dozen other cities, The Times of Israel reported.

At Tel Aviv’s Sarona complex, demonstrators entered busy Kaplan Street, where they attempted to block traffic and police intervened. Some people broke through a police barricade, leading to confrontations. No injuries or arrests were reported, according to The Jerusalem Post.

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