Daily Israel Report

Lapid: Unity Gov't 'Opportunity of a Lifetime' for Atid

Yair Lapid says the entry of Kadima into the Likud-run coalition has turned his nascent Atid party into 'the only sane political center'
By Gabe Kahn
First Publish: 5/8/2012, 7:18 PM

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Flash 90

Yair Lapid on Tuesday welcomed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's new 94-seat supermajority saying it was great news for his nascent Atid [Future] Party.

"I know you are disappointed by what happened," Lapid wrote to his supporters about the admission of Kadima under Shaul Mofaz into the ruling coalition.

You have been "disappointed twice," he continued. "Once because you are citizens of this country and it is painful to see cynicism dominate the political sphere, and no one even pretends to care.

"And twice, because you are disappointed because - as I have felt already - we were in the race, on message, polling well, and had already started our campaign.

"I felt exactly the same way for two hours, then I realized we now have the opportunity of a lifetime," Lapid said.

He explained, "Without realizing what they did, Shaul Mofaz and Netanyahu transformed us into the only alternative for a sane political center. Kadima has returned to its true way, that of the Likud."

"In a single day we became the only representatives of a sane political center and middle class," Lapid wrote.

Lapid added, "28 seats were removed from the political map today. They are ours for the taking. It does not stop there, because you can add them also to all who disappointed and angry about the old politics and immoral we have seen in recent days."

Our "goal maybe delayed a little, but our vision has grown much," he added.

Lapid is not alone in predicting Kadima will not be a factor in regular elections scheduled sixteen months from now.

Right-wing firebrand MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) on Tuesday said, "I have no doubt that Kadima will find its end, one way or another, despite the deal it made today."

Admitting Kadima into the coalition gives Netanyahu a coalition with 94 votes that can muscle through significant changes to Israel's political landscape.

The new coalition's stated goals are to do away with the Tal Law, reform Israel's electoral system, and pursue a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

It has also given Netanyahu the political wherewithal to take decisive action on security issues Israel is now faced with, should he choose to do so.