The heads of negotiating teams in past coalition talks cautioned the public
Monday against taking too seriously demands and threats issued in the current
round of talks taking place at Ramat Gan’s Kfar Hamaccabiah
Attorney Yoram Raved, who headed the Likud’s negotiating team in
2005, said that despite tough talk from Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid about
remaining outside the coalition, he sees Lapid playing a central role in Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government.
Raved said Lapid had learned
from mistakes made four years ago by then-Kadima head Tzipi Livni, who did not
join Netanyahu’s government and was then deposed by her party
“Lapid is flexing his muscles, but in the end of the day he
will be there in the government,” Raved said.
“In the beginning parties
always aim high into the sky, but then they have to compromise.
will have to find a way to compromise, as will other party heads.”
said one solution could be postponing decisions on how to change the electoral
system and expand haredi army service until after the coalition talks. He said
Yesh Atid MKs could also be given freedom to vote according to their own
discretion on key issues, and ad hoc coalitions could be formed for different
The one issue where Raved believes Lapid will have no choice but
to hold strong is his commitment to his voters to cut the number of cabinet
ministers from 29 to 18, or not much more than that.
Eitan Haber, who
served as former prime minister Yitzhak Rabin’s bureau chief and Labor’s chief
negotiator, warned that Lapid was asking for too much.
things that cannot happen and will not happen,” Haber told Army Radio. “If he
does not compromise on his idealism, he will end up in the
Former cabinet secretary Yisrael Maimon, who headed
coalition teams for Kadima, called current Yesh Atid demands “unnecessary
background noise that harms the atmosphere” of coalition
But in an interview with Army Radio, Maimon said he trusted
that Yesh Atid negotiator Uri Shani, who has been part of Likud and Kadima’s
negotiating teams, would find a way to bring Lapid into the
“Uri knows he has to compromise, and his parties have always
ended up in the coalition,” Maimon said.
Former minister Zevulun Orlev,
who headed the National Religious Party’s negotiating teams, said there have
never been so many MKs who are under the control of party leaders who are
political newcomers. He said that consequently negotiations with Lapid and Bayit
Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett would be more complicated.
“It takes time
for the new leaders to learn that politics is the art of compromise,” Orlev
said. “You learn how to do it with experience. There will be more crises. You
will never get everything you want, but that is OK.”