Yair Lapid at 'Shurat Hadin' conference in Jerusalem.
(photo credit: ODED ANTMAN)
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid ruled out his party running with the Zionist Union in the next general election Monday in a Facebook chat with supporters that he conducted while waiting for a plane out of Eilat.
Zionist Union leaders Isaac Herzog and Tzipi Livni have talked about forming a large bloc of Center-Left parties, which they have referred to as the “Israeli Democratic Party.” But Lapid said he wanted no part of such a move.
“We won’t unite with the Left,” Lapid told a supporter. “I respect the Left, which founded Israel. We are not part of the Left and we won’t join with the Left. All the ideas about a bloc will not happen. Yesh Atid will try to be the ruling party in the next election. I will try to be elected prime minister. We will not unite with anyone on the Left.”
Regarding joining together with Kulanu, Lapid spoke differently, saying “in the Center, of course we will speak and there are talks all the time but it is too soon to say. Until elections are called, it’s just empty talk.”
Lapid attacked the Left, saying that “there won’t be peace like the Left says.” He said that if elected prime minister, he would make a deal with the US in which in return for freezing settlements out of the blocs, he expected to be permitted to “build like crazy within the blocs.”
“In my eyes, it’s not occupation, because the land is ours,” Lapid said. “But for their own interests, countries make compromises. We need to disconnect from 3.5 million Palestinians because if not, we will leave the problem for our children.”
Lapid called for a demilitarized Palestinian State, in which the IDF could be permitted to enter at any time for security reasons. He said Israel needed to make clear to the Palestinians that the Israeli consensus would not permit dividing Jerusalem.
Asked why he was not joining the government and becoming foreign minister, Lapid said he did not need to be part of Netanyahu’s government to fight for Israel.
“I don’t believe in the government’s path,” he said. “There is something called ideology. What this government did in its first year is cancel the achievements of Yesh Atid. I don’t think you would work at a place where your boss would do everything possible to prevent your success.”
When asked what he wished for the United States on its Independence Day, Lapid at first said another NBA championship for the Golden State Warriors, because he was still mad at the reigning champion Cleveland Cavaliers for firing Israeli coach David Blatt. But then he gave a more serious answer.
“I think the US would help itself and the world if in the years ahead it retakes its traditional role as the leader of the world that leads processes, presents a clear moral voice and clearly expresses love for Israel as it did in the past,” Lapid said.
He then added an insult to the American people, criticizing their national pastime.
“Don’t tell them I said this, but baseball is not really a sport,” he said. “It’s people with sticks.”
Lapid received an immediate response from former Yesh Atid MK Dov Lipman, who is from Maryland and whose son Shlomo is the starting pitcher for the Israeli under-21 national team, which is hosting the European baseball championship in Israel in August.
“I told him I’m going to have to educate him about the greatness of the sport,” Lipman said.
Kulanu MK Michael Oren said when he was ambassador to the US he would tell his Israeli staff that understanding baseball is the first step toward understanding America.
“Baseball is the window to America’s soul,” Oren said