Finance Minister and head of Yesh Atid, Yair Lapid, said Sunday that he would "do anything" to prevent the failure of the current negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. He hinted strongly that he would support removing the Jewish Home party from the government to facilitate a peace deal.
Speaking at a conference sponsored by financial newspaper Globes, Lapid said, "I am determined to prevent what seems to me as an ongoing attempt to hobble and delay the diplomatic process currently taking place vis-à-vis the Palestinians. If both the Israeli Left and the Israeli Right continue to say, over and over again, the prophecy might fulfill itself and the sides might leave the negotiations table in mutual recrimination."
"That is the easy solution," he said, "and there will be many people, on both sides, who will be happy if it happens, but I will do everything – anything! – to prevent the failure of negotiations."
Lapid noted that only a few months remain until the deadline set for the negotiations. Most of the delays and foot dragging are taking place on the Palestinian side, he said, but Israelis are responsible for their side of things.
"It is vital for the economy and the state that this government continue to govern even if advances in negotiations make it necessary to carry out some changes in the Coalition," said Lapid. This is a clear hint that he would support removing the Jewish Home from the Coalition and replacing it with Labor.
Lapid and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett struck a political pact during the negotiations for formation of the present government, with each promising that he would not enter the government without the other. Lapid's new pronouncements may signal that this partnership is coming to an end.
A number of Jewish Home MKs have already called for an end to the pact over Yesh Atid's promotion of civil marriage, among other contentious issues.