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Netanyahu vows Israel will not be governed by Talmud

Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Israel [Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]
Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Israel [Photo by Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu pledged on Wednesday that his incoming government coalition including right-wing and far-right politicians will not impose "Talmudic law" on Israel.

"The main policy or the overriding policy of the government is determined by the Likud and, frankly, by me," Netanyahu told the Bari Weiss podcast Common Sense. "I think I have more than a modest influence on it."

When Weiss asked Netanyahu about including far-right figures in the coalition, particularly Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, and whether this would affect the government's policies Netanyahu replied, "Israel is not going to be governed by Talmudic law." He insisted that that Israel is not going to ban "LGBT forums", and will remain a country of laws.

Far-right Religious Zionism leader Bezalel Smotrich has said that he wants Israel to be governed by Jewish law. Avi Maoz MK, another far-right figure, has called for a ban on the Jerusalem gay pride parade.

Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid charged on Wednesday that the presumptive next government does not believe in equality for the LGBT community and non-Jewish Israelis. "It is a government that was elected democratically but wants to destroy democracy," said Lapid. "Democracy is not only the will of the majority, democracy is also defending the minority from the majority, separation of powers and the independence of courts, freedom of expression and telling the truth."

READ: Israel coalition talks face serious issues

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