Lapid: I Would Return to Finance Ministry

Lapid vows to return housing crisis laws to the agenda if he sits in the next government, says he could work with hareidi parties.

Tova Dvorin ,

Yair Lapid (file)
Yair Lapid (file)
Ben Kelmer/Flash90

Former Finance Minister Yair Lapid will have "no problem" returning to the Finance Ministry after the upcoming elections, Channel 10 reported Saturday night, claiming once again that his failures in the role were a "trap" set for him by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. 

"I have no problem to go back to the Finance Ministry," he said. "I, like everyone else I knew, fell into the traps set for me as Finance Minister but there is such a thing as responsibility and that means doing what is hard, not what is easy," Lapid said.

Lapid, who was fired by the Prime Minister last month, went on to say that he does not intend to abandon the 0% VAT law and that it will continue from where he stopped if he sits in the next government.
"All the housing crisis plans I will demand to return to the table, probably even the VAT law," he said.  

However Lapid pledged during his remarks that the Knesset will not support another Netanyahu government - no matter what.

"I do not know who will be prime minister," he said. "Because these elections are unnecessary, anything can be and we have no idea what will be."

Lapid and other MKs have claimed on several occasions that Netanyahu "pulled the plug" on "successes" Lapid had in store, including a peace plan and crucial solutions to Israel's housing and cost of living issues, and that Netanyahu had a specific agenda against him. 

Willing to work with hareidi parties?

Lapid stated that he would not rule out a coalition with the hareidi parties - who refused to join a coalition with him during the 19th Knesset - but he would not budge on the issues of enforcing a core curriculum in hareidi schools and the Equal Burden of Service Law (hareidi draft - ed.). 

"The hareidim understand that it does not hurt but only helped the relationship between them and secular Jews," he said.

The remarks are a stark turnaround from comments he made last week, whereby he accused the hareidim of getting too many benefits from the last government. 

Lapid also said at the beginning of the interview that he plans to lead anti-corruption legislation, which he said has affected all major parties except for his own.  
"I will bring a complete package of anti-corruption legislation and will promote transparency," he fired. "Those who do not accept this will not be accepted into the coalition." 

"There is an entire system that corrupts the country and we have to face it with head held high," he concluded. 

Lapid's party thus far is projected to see a sharp fall from its current position. Whereas Yesh Atid won 19 seats in 2013, it is projected to gain just nine in 2015.