Outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid has stated that he would not take lessons on democracy from Israeli Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli media reported on Friday.
"Mr Netanyahu, I will not take lessons in democracy from you. Not from someone who runs a foreign-funded poison machine that deals in slander and defamation of the lowest kind," Lapid posted on Facebook.
Lapid added that he would not take lessons: "From one who stood on the steps of the courthouse and incited against the rule of law. Not from the one who currently appointed a person convicted of supporting terror to be the minister of internal security and a serial convicted felon to the minister of the interior."
Furiously, Lapid added: "Not from someone who broke every promise he ever made, and even his partners admit he is a serial liar. There was not a single moment in the last year and a half that you respected democracy. We will fight in every arena and in every legal way to keep Israel Jewish, democratic and liberal."
Netanyahu accused Lapid of: "Attempting to incite rebellion among military officers and local authorities against the elected government."
He refers to Lapid's remarks in which he urged local authority leaders not to cooperate with an extremist far-right member of the incoming government on educational issues.
Lapid was also reported warning a military general earlier this week against allowing the far-right: "To gain control over the military."
In a statement, Netanyahu responded: "Lapid's conduct is dangerous and hurts democracy. We must leave the IDF out of any political debate. Senior officers must not be incited to rebel against a government that the people elected. It crosses a red line."
Netanyahu highlighted in the statement that Likud: "Never incited against the government."
Netanyahu vowed to protect citizens' rights and to: "Lead the Israeli government according to the national and democratic values that have guided me my entire life." He urged Lapid and the opposition "to act responsibly."
Concluding his statement, Netanyahu pressed: "We have one country, one military and one nation. We must not hurt them."