Lapid: I Can Stop the Right's Takeover

Yair Lapid said Monday that he intended to provide a counterweight to the increasing influence of the right.

Yaakov Levi,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid

As polls show Naftali Bennett increasing in influence and more Israeli voters supporting the right, Yesh Atid head and Finance Minister Yair Lapid said that he intended to stay in the government and provide a bulwark defense against the growing influence of the right.

“The peace process is on hold, and a regional conference on peace is the only idea currently on the table,” said Lapid. “Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must understand that we will back him politically if he chooses to go to such a conference.”

Lapid and other MKs, including those from Labor and Hatnua, are pushing the idea of a regional conference that would include Egypt, Jordan, Israel, and the Palestinian Authority to work out a comprehensive peace plan.

The plan, Lapid and his supporters say, would undercut Hamas by offering a substitute to the Islamist group's leadership.

“We are in between the end of an exhausting military operation and the passage of a new state budget,” Lapid said. “The two things are related. The peace process that will lead to growth of the economy, attracting investors from around the world and open up new markets and will boost the Israeli economy and benefit all Israeli citizens directly."

"On the other hand, those who think I would pass a budget that hurts the middle class because of the paralysis of politics, they probably does not understand why I entered political life," he added.

Lapid noted that "we now have the opportunity to bring to the Knesset and the government a budget that will not require raising taxes, providing opportunities for growth, increasing disposable income of the middle class, expanding aid the disadvantaged, providing in-depth assistance to small businesses, cutting the prices of housing and developing Israeli industry."

"The budget we have developed is a good start, but continued political paralysis will force us to choose between military security and economic security. In the end, the latter will suffer,” Lapid said.

“We see threats and opportunities,” Lapid added. “We must meet the threats, but we can not allow the opportunities to slip through our hands. We must use the opportunities to solidify the achievements of the fighting in Gaza andl bring security to residents of the South, developing new alliances between Israel and the Arab world and building for our citizens a future they can believe in.”