PM: Inexperienced Lapid Contradicts Himself

Prime Minister Netanyahu slams Finance Minister Yair Lapid, branding him too inexperienced to make decisions on security.

Moshe Cohen,

Binyamin Netanyahu
Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday slammed Finance Minister Yair Lapid for comments he made Sunday night at the Herzliya Conference. Speaking at Monday's Likud-Beiteinu faction meeting, Netanyahu said that Lapid was "very inexperienced" and should think twice before speaking.

In his remarks Sunday, Lapid threatened that he would topple the government if it annexes any areas of Judea and Samaria. In contrast, an agreement with the PA, he claimed, would prevent Israel from being "internationally isolated", will increase personal safety, will help the economy "and above all - will remove from above our heads the threat of becoming a bi-national state, the only meaning of which is the end of Israel’s existence as a Jewish state and the elimination of Zionism.”

Israel, Lapid said, should apply the principle of the two states and to separate from the Palestinians. "We cannot and should not control four million Palestinians, who will double in number in the next generation."

But Lapid's comments Sunday contradicted stances that he has taken in the past, Netanyahu pointed out.

The Prime Minister quoted Lapid from several speeches he made before the 2013 Knesset elections. In one of those speeches, Netanyahu quoted the Finance Minister as saying, "Israel cannot repeat the errors made by the Israeli left."

"Let him stand up and say what he is willing to give up without receiving something in return. This is not a way to conduct negotiations,” Netanyahu said.

"We cannot allow inexperience in negotiations and security to lead us into making rash decisions," Netanyahu said. "Others can make bombastic declarations, but I will continue to lead Israel with responsibility and balanced decisions," he added.