Lapid would 'build like crazy in blocs'

Yair Lapid sounds a distinctly right-wing tone at Arutz Sheva conference, says he opposes separation of religion and state.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Hadas Parush / Flash 90

Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) appears to be leaning to the right recently in his bid to become the next Israeli Prime Minister in future elections. While conducting a string of formal and informal meetups around the country to explain his political policies to constituents, Lapid was recorded during a meetup that took place in Ma'aleh Adumim. In the recording Lapid had said that if it were up to him, he would "build like crazy" in the blocs of towns that permeate Judea and Samaria. 

According to a report that was published by Army Radio which included the recording, Lapid said that if he were Prime Minister and facing the American President he would tell the President that "I would freeze all building outside of the blocs, and build like crazy within them." 

"We have the legal allocation and resources to build, in Ma'aleh Adumim alone, enough houses for 100,000 people. The reason why this isn't being done right now is that the Israeli government doesn't want to say 'I will freeze construction in one location and build in another,'" Lapid explained.  

With regards to his opinions regarding the place of religion in politics, it appears that Lapid's views have also changed since his entrance onto the political scene two elections ago. "I am against the separation of religion and state, because I want to live in a Jewish country. The separation of religion and state would necessitate the annulment of the Shabbat law, and I want the Shabbat law."  

With regards to how his party has interacted with haredi parties in the past Lapid answered: "I do not retract any of the critical ideas that I put forth, but I do wish to retract the tone I used to do it." Lapid further elucidated that the conversations there took place between his faction and the haredi factions in the government were not all "shouting matches". "I can't speak every day about unifying the country and then lash out at the haredi factions when they do something that upsets me."  

It is important to note that Lapid's approval ratings conducted in recent polls have shown that the following for his party is growing. Recent polls show his faction has gained a significant amount of ground in the past year and is projecting them to receive between 18-20 mandates in the next election as opposed to the 11 that they possess now. This would mean his party would vie for the spot of the second largest party in the Knesset behind Likud as the Zionist Union party is projected to only receive 18 seats. 

During the Jerusalem Conference, run by Arutz Sheva, Lapid made further comments that show his faction is headed more towards the center-right side of the political spectrum.

While Lapid did mention that "Israel's international standing has never been worse than it is in 2016," he also stated that the reason for the crumbling of the unity pact with Naftali Bennet in the last government was not something that the Yesh Atid party did or didn't do, but rather it was due to the reluctance of the Jewish Home party to decide "whether they wish to represent the entire nation, or just their voters."