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