Left escalates pressure on Lapid

Peace Now call on Yair Lapid to remember his roots in effort to persuade him to remove Yesh Atid from Netanyahu's coalition.

June 24, 2013 20:01
1 minute read.
Finance Minister Yair Lapid/

Lapid looking sullen 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)

Peace Now began a pressure campaign on Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Monday, in an effort to persuade him to remove his Yesh Atid Party from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s coalition.

All 120 Knesset members received an automated call on their mobile phones Monday afternoon with a clip from a speech that Lapid delivered at Ariel University during his Knesset campaign.

“Yesh Atid will not sit in a government that does not return to the diplomatic negotiating table,” Lapid said in the clip.

Peace Now director-general Yariv Oppenheimer, who was on Labor’s Knesset list, said he purposely initiated the calls ahead of the forthcoming visit to Israel by US Secretary of State John Kerry.

“It is important to keep the finance minister to his pre-election commitments and ensure that he has not replaced his talk of peace and two states with his political bond with Naftali Bennett,” Oppenheimer said. “The responsibility for ensuring that diplomatic negotiations take place is not only on the prime minister’s shoulders but also on those who made promises to their voters ahead of the election.”

Lapid’s associates chose not to respond, noting that he had reaffirmed his commitment to the peace process in several recent interviews.

“We have to push forward for [negotiations] constantly,” Lapid told The Washington Post over the weekend.

“Whenever we tell ourselves that there’s no use in trying, the possibility of peace slips through our fingers. What we have to say is, ‘Yes, we’ve tried this one hundred times, but let’s try it one hundred and one, one hundred and two,’ until it succeeds. There’s no other option. If there is another option, it’s too horrific; it’s [one] state of two nations, which is the end of Zionism. If we don’t go for the two-state solution, this state will stop being a Jewish state.”

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