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      Okunis Answers Lapid on ‘Where’s the Money’

      Likud MK: Netanyahu’s offer to Lapid gives him a chance to show he’s serious on pre-elections promises.
      By Maayana Miskin
      First Publish: 3/7/2013, 9:40 PM

      MK Ofir Akunis
      MK Ofir Akunis
      Flash 90

      MK Ofir Akunis (Likud) hinted Thursday that if Yair Lapid wants to honor his campaign promises, he should accept Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s reported offer to join the coalition and head the Finance Ministry.

      “Where is the money?” Akunis asked on his Facebook page, quoting one of Lapid’s campaign slogans. “It’s in the Finance Ministry.”

      “I worked in the Finance Ministry for two years,” Akunis wrote. The work there is demanding and not popular, he said.

      “On the inside – heated debates and pointed arguments over how to save Israel’s economy and citizens. On the outside, huge, organized protests,” he recalled.

      The ministry “isn’t a prize,” he said, but those who work hard can see success there, he said. True leadership is measured in hard times, he added, “Not when ‘everything is good.’”

      Lapid has stated that coalition negotiations between his party and Likud are focused on issues other than the distribution of ministries. Reports that he is negotiating for ministries are “a transparent attempt to divert the public’s attention from the real issues,” he charged.

      “Why transparent?” he added. “Because even the Likud admits that if what interested me was a ministry, I could have been a senior minister a month ago already.”