Yair Lapid
Yair Lapidצילום: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Yesh Atid chief and Opposition Leader Yair Lapid addressed reporters at a press conference Tuesday, calling on center-left voters to rally around his faction – while urging Meretz supporters to vote for the small far-left party to ensure that it passes the 3.25% electoral threshold.

“There is still an unprecedented number of people who are undecided, more than ten seats worth. They need to know, if they don't vote for Yesh Atid then we will get a dark, racist, homophobic, extortionist government,” said Lapid.

“For weeks now Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to turn this election into a personal and ugly fight between him and me. I won't let him. These elections are about a far bigger question. What government will we have? Who will it work for? Where will it lead the country?”

“Netanyahu wants a negative personal fight because he wants to hide from his public his greatest weakness, the only government he has. The only government he can form is with Litzman, Deri, Smotrich and Ben Gvir.”

“A government that includes the disciples of the murderer Baruch Goldstein, people who call for Yigal Amir to be freed. A government of political blackmail which will take money from hard working people and give to people who don't work. Litzman, Deri, Smotrich and Ben Gvir is a coalition without representation for working people, for those who serve in the army, who pay taxes, who believe in democracy. Likud isn't a governing party in that coalition, it’s a hostage. Netanyahu will be hostage to extortionists and extremists. He needs them to give him immunity and he'll pay with our money, with our children's future, with Israel's international relations.”

“There is only one thing that can stop that – a strong Yesh Atid. With 7 seats you don't stop extortion and religious coercion. With 6 seats you don't fix the nation state bill or protect the Supreme Court. And most importantly, with 6 seats you don't replace Netanyahu. If you want to make a big change, you need a big party to do it. The choice is either a strong Yesh Atid or Litzman, Deri, Smotrich and Ben Gvir. That's the decision the public will have to make exactly a week from today.”

“I respect the parties in our bloc who have ideology and principles. They'll be important partners. If someone wants to vote Meretz, they should vote Meretz. It's important that they cross the threshold. Apart from that, with all due respect to the political calculations, you can't change the government without a large governing party. You can't form a government without a large party that can build a government. I call on the undecideds, give us your vote. Let sanity win.”

Recent polls show Meretz close to the 3.25% electoral threshold, including several surveys showing the party below that level, potentially leaving the party out of the Knesset for the first time since its establishment in 1992.