On the heels of Hatnua Chairman Tzipi Livni's address to her party about the possibility of breaking apart the current coalition, Finance Minister Yair Lapid spoke at his party Yesh Atid's faction meeting Monday about his meeting with Netanyahu and the chance of elections in the near future.
Addressing his upcoming visit with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday evening, Lapid said, "I mean to tell the Prime Minister - we are here to work."
This will be the first meeting between Netanyahu and Lapid after roughly a month of no contact, although Nir Hefetz, an adviser to Netanyahu has said Monday that the point of the meeting is not a “reconciliation."
"What he will find out in the meeting today is whether one can govern in the government of Israel, and whether the government can be led in the directions he believes in, in the face of the challenges Israel faces,” Hefetz explained.
"Netanyahu will find out in the coming days if he can govern in the present government. If he reaches the conclusion that this is possible, he will continue. If not, he will give the mandate back to the voter.”
Continuing at his party's meeting, Lapid stated, "We have brought the social budget for approval before the government and the Knesset. The government approved the budget. The government also approved 0% VAT Law, which will provide opportunities for tens of thousands of young people.
"The Prime Minister supported both of these initiatives. He sat next to me and voted for both of them, and he promised me to help pass through both of them. I can't imagine that political considerations have made him change his mind."
Lapid added that "stopping the transfer of budgets for social services, security, additional police officers and prison guards - that are needed in the current security situation - you can't blow it all for political reasons."
At a cultural event in Tel Aviv this weekend, Lapid blamed five Likud central committee members for convincing Netanyahu not to accept his budget proposal and the 0% VAT law, in effect spurring ongoing tension between the two.
At the same event, Lapid stated that while he was not afraid of the outcome of elections, "this is not what country needs right now."
Welfare Minister Meir Cohen, also of Yesh Atid, told IDF Radio that he expects Lapid to tell the prime minister at their meeting that the crisis between them can be resolved quickly if Netanyahu agrees to support the budget and 0% VAT Law.
Finally, in his speech Monday, Lapid warned "Elections will freeze ongoing processes and freeze work programs. But this can be fixed if we act responsibility and with the government in mind. Our commitment is to the Israeli public."