Lapid: 'I'm the only alternative to Netanyahu'

Citing a recent poll, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid says he’s the sole alternative to Netanyahu in the next elections.

Shlomo Vile ,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Speaking on Chanel 2’s “Meet the Press” program on Saturday, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid cited Channel 2’s recent poll, which had his Yesh Atid party and the ruling Likud party each winning 25 seats if elections were held today. “We are keeping our perspective and humility, but we saw the polls," he said.

“No one can compete with Netanyahu but me,” said Lapid. “For many months, we have been the sole alternative government.”

Regarding his political agenda, Lapid said, “We need to remove the Palestinians from our lives – we need to do this by building a high wall and making them disappear. Otherwise, there will be no peace. We do not want the two countries to be packed into a single state.”

Responding to remarks by Interior Minister Aryeh Deri Shas) and Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism), who vowed that Lapid, considered anti-religious, would not be prime minister, Lapid said that his party “does not play the game of making offers to the residents of the State of Israel and then throwing it all away in order to build a coalition. The political system cheats the citizens, and I’m not ready to play this game.”

He also said, “I think the State of Israel should unite (but) they are dividing us and pulling us to death. We have to live together. Therefore the first thing I will do (upon winning election) is to try to form the largest national coalition.”

Lapid also responded to Coalition Chairman David Bitan’s (Likud) remarks stating that he would prefer that the Arabs not vote in elections due to their recent anti-Zionist activities and the statements of Arab MKs.

“Begin told Israel’s Arabs that he did not want to see them as enemies and that a Jewish government would give them full equal rights. This (Likud) camp is not a national camp. A truly national camp would not behave this way.”

According to the survey, conducted on Friday, Likud would be down from 30 to 25 seats, while Yesh Atid would be up from 11 to 25 seats. In third place would be the Arab Joint List with 13 seats, followed by Jewish Home at 11 seats, Zionist Union at 10 seats, Yisrael Beytnu at 8 seats, and Shas, Meretz, Yahadut Hatorah, and Kulanu, each at 7 seats.

Lapid, formerly a left wing journalist and TV personality, formed the Yesh Atid party prior to the 2013 election, where he won a surprising 19 seats and became the Finance Minister in the government. His party fell to 11 seats in the 2015 elections, and it currently sits in the opposition.