Yair Lapid Blasts 'Visionless' Netanyahu

Yesh Atid chairman calls for new leadership, in a bid to become front-runner against Netanyahu in next prime ministerial race.

Cynthia Blank,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid defended on Saturday his recent assertion that he and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will face each other in the next race for prime minister.

"People understand there's a need to bid farewell to the past," Lapid claimed on Channel 10's "Central Headquarters" program.

"This is a leadership that preserves the status quo," Lapid continued. "We have to go to a better place. Israeli citizens have become accustomed to to the thought that it can't be better here, and that's not true."

Shifting his criticism directly on to Netanyahu, Lapid argued "we need leadership that will lead us to a better place." 

"We established Yesh Atid three years ago and have passed through a process. I sat in the Finance Ministry and was on the security cabinet during a war. I saw the space Israel is in, and I realized that we very much need something new."

"Netanyahu has been prime minister for so long that people can't imagine anyone else," Lapid contended. "Countries advance when they have a leader with a vision. That is what we need now."

Explaining his own political views, the Yesh Atid chairman said he expresses "nationalistic positions, because I am a nationalist. The great struggle in Israel is not between Right and Left, but between the sane Center and the lunatic fringes."

Lapid concluded by issuing yet another attack on Netanyahu for failing to prevent the Iran nuclear deal, as well his so-called intervention in American politics. 

"You can express an opinion. It's important Americans know we are against the nuclear deal. But, at the same time, we should not break the rules. There is a way for implementing policies. The problem is Netanyahu is involved in American politics. He's scared because he said he would prevent and now everything's collapsed." 

"I have claims against Obama," Lapid admitted, "but we must take into account that Netanyahu's conduct will have an impact on current and future leaders."