Lipman: Yesh Atid Determined to Win

PM has accomplished nothing, Lipman accuses in special interview - and argues he must be replaced.

Shimon Cohen and Tova Dvorin,

MK Dov Lipman (file)
MK Dov Lipman (file)
Flash90

Yesh Atid MK Rabbi Dov Lipman sharply criticized Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in an interview with Arutz Sheva on Friday, claiming that Netanyahu is unsuitable to be Prime Minister and that he is only interested in gaining power. 

"We have unnecessary elections now that the Prime Minister says he wants to hold," Lipman stated. "What was on the table was a very good social budget and a reform which favors the people of Israel, but he wanted to go to the polls - we have to accept it, deal with it, and win."

Lipman was asked whether Yesh Atid was serious about campaigning in the next elections. Preliminary polls indicate that the party would lose more than half its seats, cutting down the number of Yesh Atid MKs from 19 to just nine, with another poll giving them just seven.

"We are very serious," Lipman stated. "That's our goal and we have already begun to work hard." Lipman cited polls before the last elections which said that Yesh Atid was expected to gain just 12 seats in the election, but it won an additional seven seats. 

"We believe that when we present to the voters what we have done, with a long list of successes [. . .] and what the Prime Minister did not do, the voters will realize that we came here to work and do good things for the sake of Israel," he added. 

Lipman was emphatic over the need to replace Netanyahu as Prime Minister. 

"It is very important that someone other than Netanyahu will be Prime Minister," Lipman declared. "I must say that before I went into politics I was under his human spell, but it is nonsense."

"There are other candidates, and we need someone who will not just sit there in the leader's chair," he continued. "I do not remember even one program he initiated. It is strange that he is the leader of the country and all he cares about is how to keep the seat, so we will replace him and bring a new era to the people of Israel, both inside and out." 

As for Netanyahu's pointed remarks against Lapid, Lipman claimed that Netanyahu had meant to sweep Yesh Atid out of the way from the moment the party gained 19 seats in the Knesset - a claim made recently by several Yesh Atid MKs in what the Likud bureau has labelled a "political ploy." He also blamed Netanyahu for not directing the budget to social causes. 

Lipman then fired at Netanyahu's statements accusing Lapid of turning to the hareidi parties in a "putsch" against him. 

"This never happened," Lipman said. "For me, it is difficult to hear these claims presented from people who claim to be Bnei Torah and then just throw around lies." He added that the hareidi parties, in his view, "just want to complicate the secular vote for Yair Lapid."

Lipman further claimed that Netanyahu has an agenda against Lapid, as Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett and Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman had criticized Netanyahu vocally earlier this year and their criticisms were eventually overlooked. It should be noted that Netanyahu himself refuted this, noting simply that both Bennett and Liberman toned down their rhetoric after Netanyahu spoke to each directly, whereas Lapid apparently refused. 

"Yair did not intend to bring down or degrade the Prime Minister," Lipman defended. "There are differences of opinion and he can say his opinion."

Asked about the possibility of forming a pact with Hatnua and Labor, Lipman did not reject the idea out of hand. 

"We will consider all of the options," Lipman said. "We do not reject it." 




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