Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid had a lot of reasons to celebrate on Tuesday night, after his party scored an unexpected 19 seats in the 19th Knesset. Instead, he chose to deliver a sober and realistic speech to his supporters on Election Night.
"Grave responsibility was placed upon our shoulders tonight," Lapid said.
He shared the story of Election Night in 2003, when his father Yosef "Tommy" Lapid won 15 seats with his Sinui party. When Lapid asked his father why he was not rejoicing with the rest of the family, Tommy Lapid replied, "I just now understood the grave responsibility that landed on me."
"There was one sentence I've been told over and over throughout this campaign," Lapid said. "Don't forget us when you're there [at the Knesset]. Don't be like all of those who forget as soon as they get elected," he revealed.
"I was just elected, and I will not forget. I will not forget," he reiterated.
Despite the somber message, his delight at the results was clearly
evident by the massive grin he wore once the exit polls came in at 10
"The State of Israel faces complex challenges," the Yesh Atid leader said. "An economic crisis that threatens to shatter the Israeli middle class, a world that that might outcast us because of the frozen peace process and the fear of social disintegration caused by the burden equality debate.
"There's only one way to face these challenges: together."
Lapid called for a broad coalition that would unite "the moderates from the Right and the Left, and bring about a real change in the State of Israel."
He boasted that his list includes people of all sectors of society: secular and religious, Ashkenazim and Sepharadim, people from the center and people from the periphery, men and women, left-wing people and right-wing people.
"What unites these people is that they all say 'yes' to hope, 'yes' to mutual responsibility and 'yes' to the idea that the truth is not in any one person's hands," he said.
Now that the election campaign has ended, Lapid urged his future possible coalition partners to put any negative feelings behind and to "find the way to work together in order to find real solutions, meant for real people."