Kulanu: Lapid Responsible for Housing Crisis

Battle of the 'centrists': Lapid blames PM for crisis, thwarting Yesh Atid's attempts to fix it. Kulanu: Lapid isn't taking responsibility.

Cynthia Blank ,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Centrist parties Yesh Atid and Kulanu continue to duke it out for votes Sunday and this time their dispute is over who is responsible for the high cost of housing in Israel. 

Laying most of the blame on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said, "Netanyahu knows very well why he is trying to prevent the publication of a special report by the State Comptroller on the housing issue." 

Lapid is alluding to a report, expected to be released sometime before March 17 elections, in which State Comptroller Yosef Shapira will describes what he believes are the reasons homes in Israel are so expensive. 

According to Globes, Shapira will point his finger directly in the direction of Netanyahu, claiming that it was the policies of his government that jumped real estate prices by tens of percentages since 2009, when Netanyahu beat out Kadima and Labor to form a government.

Announcing his party's housing plan at a construction site in Rosh HaAyin, Lapid said he welcomed the State Comptroller's decision to publish the report. 

"The public needs to know what they were dealing with for the last year and eight months, and who is to blame for these crazy price increases," Lapid said, adding that Netanyahu had thwarted Yesh Atid's attempt to solve the housing crisis by "always placing sticks in our wheels."

Despite being extremely critical of Netanyahu's economic policies in recent weeks, Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon, responded angrily to Lapid's criticism of Netanyahu, placing the majority of the blame for the housing crisis on the dismissed Finance Minister. 

Accusing Lapid of trying to assign responsibility to the Prime Minister, Kulanu argued that "Lapid's housing program is an attempt to blur his own personal failure. He read the draft of the State Comptroller's report and got frightened. Now he is trying to hide his resounding failure by blaming Netanyahu." 

According to Kulanu, Lapid is the main culprit for the housing crisis - not Netanyahu. "Lapid has lost touch with reality and the middle class. He is the main culprit for rising housing prices in the past two years. He and no one else," the party said in a statement. 

Kahlon's unusual defense of the Prime Minister and his attack on Lapid is presumably a result of that fact that Kulanu continues to trail a good few mandates behind Yesh Atid in the polls.

Both Yesh Atid and Kulanu are running as "center" parties with improving Israel's economy as their main platform.