Lapid: 'Smotrich ran the country the whole week'

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid favors annexation of Judea and Samaria after final-status agreement, claims there is no deal with Bennett.

Hezky Baruch ,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90

Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid is convinced that he will form the next government, is not expecting the support of the haredim and is promising to call the Likud and the Zionist Union in order to form a national unity government after the elections.

In a discussion with parliamentary reporters Lapid denied that he had made a "treaty" with Bennett. "There was no treaty with Bennett, it was a media invention," claimed Lapid.

Lapid knows that no haredim will vote for his party and he is not relying on their votes. "That doesn't mean that we should give up on dialogue," said Lapid and stressed that he would not make a bloc with the Zionist Union.

"I will be happy if Kulanu will join us as long as Yesh Atid is the leading party. I am also in discussions with Moshe Yaalon and Gabi Ashkenazi and I will be happy if they join Yesh Atid," said Lapid.

Lapid claimed that Prime Minister Netanyahu would have to resign if he was indicted. "I will not collaborate with a transition government or attempts to form an alternative government." Lapid mentioned that public figures should not receive presents. "As a public person I never received nor was I offered presents. The only thing I agreed to accept was a book for my birthday."

With regard to the Arab-Israeli conflict and conferring sovereignty on Judea and Samaria Lapid said that "I support building in the blocs of communities in Judea and Samaria but we have to go to a regional conference. There are no short cuts. I have a wonderful branch in Maale Adumim, but does that mean that tomorrow I annex them without reference to the nations of the world?

"After there is a final status agreement we can talk about total annexation," added Lapid, "It's possible to reach an agreement with the Americans over building in the settlement blocs and not outside them."

Regarding the Regulation Law Lapid said that the Supreme Court would abolish the law. "The Supreme Court's role is to achieve a balance and I will submit to any decision of the court. The Supreme Court determines these issues and this annoys people but look what happens in the Middle East around us in countries without a Supreme Court.

"I was opposed to the judicial activism of [former chief justice] Barak but nobody can say that Naor [the present chief justice] is left-wing. At her childrens' circumcision the godfathers were Begin and Rabbi Kook," claimed Lapid. "Bennett dragged Netanyahu into the Regulation Law even though he didn't want it. Now the government is trying to blame its lack of leadership on the Supreme Court."

Lapid promised to form a national unity government if he is elected and claimed that the present government is "involved in incitement. The coalition is involved in blackmail. The whole week Smotrich had been running the government with two mandates."

Lapid also referred to the issue of Shabbat in Israel and said that "the state of the Shabbat in the public arena is fine at present. The Gavison-Medan model should be adopted: No to commerce but yes to culture."