Yair Lapid: 'Naftali Bennett is prime minister with 61 seats, not six'

Foreign Minister Lapid says he's certain rotation deal will be kept, brushes off claims that PM Bennett has just six Knesset seats supporting him.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), who also serves as Alternate Prime Minister, spoke with Yediot Aharonot about how he formed a government with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, even though it seemed an impossible task.

"It's not me. It's we," he said. "The key word here was really professionalism. There are people who went through every political rollercoaster possible. They fell, they were fired, they came back. They were also eulogized and rehabilitated. They arrived at this moment knowing how to write a coalition agreement, knowing how to talk with the Shura Council on the one hand, and with the YESHA Council on the other."

"The complexity of the task was taking something which is based in a negative, 'It's time to end the Netanyahu era,' and telling them, 'Okay, now we need to turn this into something positive, to form a government.'"

Lapid was also asked if he thinks once in a while about former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"Less and less," he answered. "Not because there isn't what to think about him, but because you know, we're busy doing things, and he has become less relevant, from the nature of things."

When asked if the Netanyahu era is truly over, Lapid said, "Yes."

When asked about the claims that Yamina stole its Knesset seats, and that Bennett is a prime minister with just six seats supporting him, Lapid said, "No. Sixty-one Knesset seats chose him as prime minister. There's a law. Naftali Bennett is a prime minister with 61 Knesset seats, not with six. I stand behind him. The entire claim of six seats is a baseless claim under our political system."

Lapid is also certain that the rotation deal will be kept, and that he will become prime minister: "I know what the facts are. The facts are that we all signed an agreement. I have no reason to believe that I didn't sign an agreement with honest and upright people who will keep the agreement. Because otherwise, a government wouldn't have been formed."