Journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, on Friday called to bring down the Israeli government. He spoke at a public forum in Kfar Saba where he stressed the need to act to change the electoral system, change the Israeli system of government and reduce the make-up of the government.
“I agree that this bad government should be brought down,” Lapid said, according to the website of the Ma’ariv Hebrew newspaper. “Shaul Mofaz was appointed minister without portfolio this week, is this not corruption? Moshe Ya'alon is a decent man, but what's a Minister of Strategic Affairs? This is also corruption.”
“Now they are going to expand the government by at least three ministers; the entire Knesset will be made up of ministers,” he added, referring to Kadima’s joining Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government. “A minister without portfolio is like a professional who comes to your home and says, ‘Let's do the job without an invoice.’ At that moment he thinks only of himself, just like a minister without portfolio. He thinks only about his own personal gain.”
“The Israeli public's feeling is that what’s done is done,” Lapid said. “The problem is that if we think that way then nothing will change. If the people who built this country would have thought so, we would not be here today.”
According to Lapid, “We do not need more than 15 Knesset seats to make this change. Look how Shas turns the whole country around its little finger with 11 seats and look at how United Torah Judaism, with five seats, controls every penny that this country spends. I'm not against the hareidim, but we must start behaving like a majority.”
Speaking of the Tal Law which was recently annulled by the Supreme Court and for which an alternative is being discussed, Lapid stressed that he does not believe there will be a change within five years.
“A few years from now, fifty percent of Israel’s residents will be hareidim and Arabs and the entire burden will fall on the secular’s shoulders,” he said. “The hareidim are unable to find work because they do not learn computers and English. The Arab women should go work, and the Arabs need to take care of their people and not attempt to control the Knesset.”
“We must change the educational system but since there is a turnover of so many ministers, it is impossible to plan things for the long term,” accused Lapid. “In the past 12 years there have been about ten Ministers of Health and therefore any planning goes down the drain. There are not enough nurses and not enough doctors and beds.”
He stressed, “I'm not a socialist, I'm in the middle. I think we should live in a society that takes the good things from capitalism, because capitalism encourages creativity and competition.”
On Thursday, Lapid spoke to the members of his recently founded party and called for the Ulpana neighborhood in Beit El to be demolished as per a Supreme Court decision from earlier this week.
During his speech, Lapid slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and accused him of fearing Moshe Feiglin, who faced off against him in the recent Likud leadership primaries.
Lapid has been left in the cold after the formation of the unity government between Kadima and the Likud. The unity government nixed plans for early elections, which means Lapid will remain outside the Knesset for a year and a half.
The Kfar Saba forum in which he appeared on Friday is the same public forum in which former Shin Bet head Yuval Diskin recently attacked Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.
“The present leadership is messianic,” Diskin said. "Our two messiahs – the one from Caesarea and the one from the Akirov Towers [Netanyahu has a residence in Caesarea, and Barak lived in Tel Aviv's Akirov Towers until recently – ed.] – are unfit to hold the reins of power. They give the public a false picture on the Iran question. They create the feeling that if Israel does not act, Iran will have a nuclear bomb, even though experts think that an attack on Iran will cause it to speed up the process of arming with nuclear weapons.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)