Daily Israel Report

Lapid: We Are Not a 'Left of Center' Party

In a speech Tuesday, Yair Lapid promised that if he became Prime Minister, Jerusalem would remain unified, under Israeli control.
By David Lev
First Publish: 10/31/2012, 12:43 AM

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Israel news photo: Flash 90

In a speech Tuesday, Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid (“There is a Future”) party promised that if he became Prime Minister, Jerusalem would remain unified, under Israeli control. The promise was part of the party's platform on matters of security, which was revealed for the first time Tuesday.

Lapid declared that “Yesh Atid will not be part of a government that does not return to talks on the peace process, but we will also not be part of a government that will – whether for technical or political reasons – ask us not to follow through on our commitment to the present and the future. We must not lose the Jewish majority in this country. The far left and the far right – each for their own false reasons – promote the dangerous idea of one land with two peoples. The Jewish and Zionist identity of Israel is in danger,” he said.

Lapid also slammed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak for their handling of the Iran issue. “Attacking Iran's nuclear facilities is an option we cannot abandon, must it must be used as a last resort. We should not try to solve the Iran problem for the world, but convince the world to solve the problem for us.”

In an interview on Army Radio several days ago, Lapid made it clear that his party was substantially different from Labor, Meretz, Kadima, and other left and left of center parties. The interviewer was pressing Lapid to give his opinion on how effective “a super-party of the left of center parties, including you, Labor, a party headed by Ehud Olmert, and Meretz” would be if it ran against the combined Likud-Yisrael Beytenu list.

Lapid several times tried to correct the host, telling him that “whatever 'left of center' means, we are not that, and we are not Labor or Kadima 2.0. We are a centrist party with our own ideas and platforms,” Lapid said.