Opposition leader Yair Lapid has called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to dismiss ministers who have been verbally attacking the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) chief of staff and other top officers. These verbal assaults have been increasing recently due to unrest within the military relating to the government’s planned judicial overhaul. Lapid has condemned the attacks as a direct assault on the army, Israeli society, national resilience, and national security.
Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant issued a joint statement defending the IDF and the security establishment in response to these attacks. The IDF has expressed concerns about the impact of reservists’ refusals to carry out their duties, as a form of protest against the hardline coalition’s controversial judicial overhaul legislation. Some members of the coalition have criticized the army for not taking action to address this issue.
In addition to addressing the verbal attacks on the IDF, Lapid also proposed a legislative package aimed at combating discrimination against women. At an emergency meeting in parliament, he announced 12 bills that he plans to put forward when the Knesset returns from its summer break. These bills include defining discrimination against women in the public sphere as sexual harassment and introducing punishments for such acts. Other bills are aimed at tackling discrimination based on gender identity, sexual orientation, or religious belief, promoting gender representation in public institutions, and reducing the gender pay gap.
Lapid highlighted recent incidents of discrimination against women in public spaces and criticized the government for its failure to address these issues. He accused the government of erasing women from billboards, enacting segregation in public areas, and limiting the participation of women in government and ministry positions. The coalition’s lack of female representation and the mistreatment of women in these positions were also criticized by Lapid.
The recent instances of discrimination against women on public transportation in Israel have further raised concerns. Lapid’s proposal comes in response to these incidents and aims to address broader issues of gender discrimination in Israeli society.