Lapid Gives First Speech as PM

'We believe that Israel is a Jewish state. Its character is Jewish. Its identity is Jewish.'

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Israel's new Prime Minister Yair Lapid gave his first speech to the nation on Saturday night following shabbat.

Lapid strongly emphasized unity, warned against extremism and called for a more civil political discourse.

"In Israel, extremism doesn't come from the streets to politics," he said. "It's the opposite. It flows like lava from politics to the streets."

"The political sphere has become more and more extreme, violent and vicious, and it’s dragging Israeli society along with it," Lapid asserted. "This we must stop. This is our challenge."

He added that his vision for Israel, which he believes is shared by the majority of Israelis, "is a liberal democracy in which every citizen has the right to change the government and set the course of their life. Nobody can be denied their fundamental rights: respect, liberty, freedom of employment, and the right to personal security."

"We believe that Israel is a Jewish state," Lapid emphasized. "Its character is Jewish. Its identity is Jewish. Its relations with its non-Jewish citizens are also Jewish. The book of Leviticus says: 'But the stranger who dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself.'"

Read more at the Times of Israel.

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