Yair Lapid
Yair LapidYonatan Sindel/Flash90

Opposition leader MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) has recently begun to demand that the Knesset cancel its spring recess due to the war against Hamas and Hezbollah.

In a Monday morning statement, Lapid promised that his party would fight to cancel the recess.

"Today starts the last week of the Knesset session before the recess," he wrote. "It is insanity that the Knesset should take a recess in such times. The hostages have no recess, the soldiers in Gaza have no recess. Yesh Atid will fight to the last moment to cancel the recess - it is not too late for the coalition members to recover themselves."

"If the worst and most failing coalition in the history of the State insists on going on vacation, the MKs of Yesh Atid will continue working. We and our teams will be at the service of the public, even during the recess."

However, an examination of the Knesset attendance sheet shows that Lapid is one of the least-present members of the Knesset.

According to the Zman Knesset site, last week - March 24-30 - which was a short week due to the Purim holiday, Lapid clocked 0 hours. Since the beginning of March, Lapid has been present at the Knesset a total of 30 hours and 56 minutes, and is in 109th place on the attendance list.

MK Avigdor Liberman, chairman of Yisrael Beytenu and another of the leaders of the fight to cancel the Knesset's recess, clocked 47 hours and 57 minutes last month, and is in 100th place on the attendance list.

According to the site Shakuf, coalition members on average clocked more hours than opposition members last week, with coalition members present 21:09 hours on average, versus 15:13 hours on average for opposition members - a discrepancy of 28%. Two weeks ago, coalition members clocked just 16% more hours than opposition members.

One reader who saw Lapid's statement wrote, "You are on recess the entire year - how come suddenly this matters to you? You are, physically, never in the Knesset." Another reader said, "First of all, start showing up to the Knesset yourself, and not just writing posts on Twitter."

This is not the first time Lapid's lack of attendance has made headlines: In August 2021, it was reported that Lapid had not taken part in any meetings of the Coronavirus Cabinet.

The law stipulates that the Alternate Prime Minister, by virtue of his authority and the great responsibility he has for the decisions made, must be a member of the Coronavirus Cabinet, but Lapid decided that he does not need to attend the meetings.

Lapid responded to the reports by claiming that, "The Foreign Minister does not have to be part of the Coronavirus Cabinet discussions because it is not part of his areas of practice or expertise.”

"Even as the Alternate Prime Minister, I do not need to be there because the current Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett, is managing the coronavirus crisis in an exceptional manner. Calmly, with a balanced attitude, while listening to the professionals. While there is a sharp rise in infections and deaths all around the world, Prime Minister Bennett is the right person in the right place."