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Lapid Hits Back at Netanyahu: His Experience Hasn't Led to Peace

Ping pong match between the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister continues.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 6/10/2014, 1:16 AM

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Flash 90

The ping pong match between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid continued on Monday evening.

Hours after Netanyahu mocked Lapid’s inexperience in response to comments the Finance Minister made Sunday night at the Herzliya Conference, Lapid’s associates hit back at Netanyahu.

"The Prime Minister’s extensive experience has yet to bring us closer to peace, to stopping the Iranian nuclear program or to the resumption of relations with Turkey," Lapid’s associates said.

Netanyahu’s associates were quick to respond to Lapid’s latest comments, saying, “These reckless statements seem more like an attempt to create headlines, and not like a serious and responsible plan, and the public understands that.”

“It is the firm stance of Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the national interests of the citizens of Israel that brings confidence and only in this way can true peace be achieved,” they added.

“Thanks to the Prime Minister's experience, the security of Israeli citizens has increased in recent years, and it is thanks to the Prime Minister’s experience that the Israeli economy is growing and unemployment is at the lowest it has been in 30 years, despite a global economic crisis,” said Netanyahu’s associates.

The spat between the two began after Lapid’s speech, in which he threatened that he would topple the government if it annexes any areas of Judea and Samaria.

Lapid also called on Israel to stop construction in the so-called “settlement blocs” and to “prepare maps” ahead of the next round of talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Netanyahu was quick to react to Lapid already on Sunday night, saying, "Anyone who has political experience knows that one does not make concessions without receiving anything in return, particularly with a government which includes a terrorist organization that wants to destroy Israel."

Meanwhile, Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett, who authored the annexation plan which Lapid had spoken out against, on Monday dismissed the criticism of his plan.

"In recent weeks I introduced the sovereignty program - a program which says for the first time what is good [or bad] for Israel, and what also can be done - not a program of intimidation but a program of taking initiative," he said.

"I'll say it again: He who runs away from terrorism - terrorism runs after him."

"I hear that the head of one party said yesterday that we hypnotize people around the settlements, the head of another party said that our plan is not a Zionist one, and the head of a third party said it was not feasible," Bennett noted. "And to them, I say: You will continue to attack us and we will continue to do exactly what is best for the people of Israel and what we promised our voters."