Lapid: Retain settlement blocs, no divided J'lem

Yesh Atid leader says he is not left-wing, is willing to be in coalition with Shas, blames Palestinians for lack of peace negotiations.

October 20, 2012 22:01
1 minute read.
Yair Lapid at first Yesh Atid conference

Yair Lapid 370. (photo credit: Ricardo Mallaco)

Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid called to “finally get rid of the Palestinians” by giving them their own state – at a cultural event in Kiryat Motzkin Saturday.

“We know this will end with two states for two nations, but we don’t know how much time will pass and how many people will die,” Lapid said.

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“Every prime minister has said it in a different way. [Former prime minister Ariel] Sharon said there will be ‘painful concessions,’ [former prime minister Ehud] Olmert said ‘convergence,’ and even [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu agreed to it in his Bar-Ilan speech.”

The Yesh Atid leader courted rightwing voters, saying “I’m not a lefty,” that settlement blocs, including the city of Ariel, must stay under Israeli sovereignty, and Jerusalem should not be divided.

As for the lack of peace talks in recent years, Lapid said “the Palestinians brought this upon themselves. If after the disengagement [from Gaza] they didn’t build hospitals and schools, but training sites, there is no doubt that it is their responsibility – but we also need negotiations for ourselves.”

Lapid quipped that his late father, former justice minister and Shinui leader Tommy Lapid, “did not leave the ghetto to live in a binational state.

This is the land of the Jews, and we have the right to finally get rid of the Palestinians. There won’t be a new Middle East, but we won’t have 3.5 million Palestinians in Israeli territory.”

Unlike his father, Lapid would not commit to boycotting haredi parties.

“I won’t speculate about sitting in a government with Shas,” he said. “I won’t boycott anyone. We’ll be in a coalition that will change the system [of government].”

However, Lapid criticized the return of Shas leader Arye Deri, who now shares the position with Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Construction and Housing Minister Ariel Attias, saying that Deri’s return to politics is immoral. Deri was sent to prison in 2000 after being convicted of accepting bribes.

On Friday, Lapid’s final column in Yediot Aharonot was published, marking the end of 20 years in which his opinion would appear in the Israeli press every weekend.

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