One of Finance Minister Yair Lapid’s close associates has in recent days hinted to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s associates that Lapid is considering quitting the coalition and forming an alternate government, Channel 2 News reported Thursday.
"If you keep this up, we will establish an alternative government headed by Lapid in the current Knesset," is the message that the associate, Hillel Kovrinsky, reportedly passed along to Netanyahu’s people.
It is estimated that Lapid, along with Yisrael Beytenu and the leftist parties, would be able to form and head a new government and replace Netanyahu. Channel 2 News noted that this is the first time since the current government was sworn in, that a clear and direct threat against Netanyahu has been made.
Lapid’s Yesh Atid party is now the largest in the Knesset after the resignation of former Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who was replaced by an MK from Yisrael Beytenu.
According to Channel 2, the Likud has been taking Lapdi’s threat seriously. Several members of the Likud said that Lapid has not spoken with Netanyahu over the past several days and that the two have not held talks regarding the 0% VAT law.
It is also estimated that even though Lapid could lure enough MKs to his side, opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog will not rush to support Lapid.
In addition, the leftist Meretz party will likely reject being a part of the same coalition as Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu. Liberman’s party has also said it would not join a coalition with Meretz.