Knesset’s winter session began with an acrimonious exchange between Netanyahu and Bennett

Israeli Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, and former Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, were involved in a heated debate and bitter exchange of blame over major issues during the start of the Knesset’s winter session, Israeli media revealed on Monday.

Bennett is the head of the extremist right-wing Yamina Party, which has a very few number of seats in the Knesset, while Netanyahu is the head of the Likud Party, which is the largest party in the Knesset.

While Bennett was describing the achievements of his government, he was heckled several times and, Netanyahu, the opposition leader, accused his government of “abandoning people to their deaths.”

Bennett said his government had conducted the issue of COVID-19 better than Netanyahu’s, but Netanyahu told him that Bennett’s government waited too long before launching its COVID-19 vaccination booster shot campaign.

“Bennett, you promised that when you were prime minister, you would bring a dramatic change to [the fight against] coronavirus in five weeks,” Netanyahu said. “You were right, you brought change, but change for the worse.”

He declared: “We handed over to you a country with almost zero daily fatalities but, since you established the government and adopted your policy of ‘living with’ [COVID], 1,392 people have died.”

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Netanyahu continued, “Four months ago, under our leadership, the Bloomberg Index ranked Israel fifth in the world in the success of the fight against coronavirus. Today, under your leadership, it ranks us 41st out of 53 countries. Almost at the bottom of the list of the countries examined.”

Bennett blames the slow progress of his government to the two years that witnessed four elections. “We went through two years of stagnation: on Iranian nukes, in housing and heavy traffic on the roads,” he said.

Likud MK, Galit Distal Atbaryan, screamed in response, “You are a con man, you are a liar and you are the worst thing to happen to this country.”

Fellow Likud lawmaker, May Golan, interjected, “You are the biggest failure of a prime minister we have ever seen.”

On Iran’s deal, Netanyahu told Bennett, “Have you lost your mind?” referring to his not speaking about it in his recent speech to the UN General Assembly. “You are accepting it as a done deal.”

Meanwhile, a recent poll showed that, if Israelis were to head to the polls today, Likud and Yesh Atid would both strengthen their positions at the expense of their smaller partners, but the country would, again, see no conclusive winner, the Times of Israel reported  on the Israeli Channel 13 survey.

The current coalition would lose two seats, from 60 to 59, the poll found, pointing out that the Likud-led alliance of right-wing and religious parties would also not be able to form a government, with 54 seats.


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