Lapid regrets saying he’ll win next election

Finance minister says he and Prime Minister Netanyahu started off on the wrong foot because of comment.

By GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
September 2, 2013 00:14
1 minute read.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid at the weekly cabinet meeting, August 25, 2013.

Lapid looking wary 370. (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)

 
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Finance Minister Yair Lapid, in an interview published over the weekend, said it was wrong of him to say that he would win the next general election.

The relationship between Lapid and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu started off on the wrong foot because of that comment from Lapid in a post-election interview that celebrated his accomplishment of winning 19 seats for his Yesh Atid party.

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“Responding ‘I believe so’ when I was asked whether I would win the next election was one of the stupidest things I have ever said,” Lapid said in an interview with Yediot Aharonot. “That sentence was really so stupid it’s almost scary. The politically correct answer is ‘whatever Israeli voters decide.’ But I was in momentum.”

In the interview, Lapid admitted breaking a campaign promise to his middle-class voters by raising their taxes. But he said he was convinced his constituency would forgive him and return to support him.

When asked how many mandates Yesh Atid will win in the next election, he said “more [than last time].”

Taking a surprisingly dovish position, when he was asked what his top achievement in politics will be, he said it would be making peace. He said he was looking forward to signing ceremonies on the White House lawn.

“I come from a nationalist home, so talk of our homeland moves me,” he said. “So it will be painful, but that is apparently how it will have to be. I wouldn’t want the peace process to be run by people who are happy about it.”

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