Netanyahu backs down, invites Lapid to join coalition
By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 25, 2013 00:37
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu changed his approach to coalition talks 180
degrees on Sunday night and unexpectedly invited Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party to
join the government he is forming.
Lapid complained last week that his
party was not being invited to coalition talks.
Netanyahu had not spoken
out in favor of Yesh Atid joining the coalition since he met with Lapid shortly
after the January 22 election.
Relations between Netanyahu and Lapid
deteriorated following a statement the Yesh Atid leader made about running
against Netanyahu in the next general election. The prime minister vowed in
closed conversations not to form a coalition without haredi (ultra-Orthodox)
parties, while Lapid was quoted as saying he would not join a government with