Lapid and Bennett at Knesset swear in 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
A coalition crisis that began Sunday when Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid flexed his
muscles on the diplomatic issue ended less than 24 hours later on Monday when
Lapid and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu downplayed the dispute.
said at a Tel Aviv conference on Monday that the diplomatic process had to
advance even if it meant changing the coalition. The statement was seen as an
attack on his political ally, Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett.
Lapid told his faction on Monday that he was disappointed that political
reporters emphasized what he called “political gossip and coalition scenarios,
some of which were odd.”
He said that Yesh Atid would do everything
possible to prevent the negotiations from failing and would not let anyone
collapse the diplomatic process and that Israel would maintain its security in
Netanyahu reassured MKs in the Likud Beytenu faction that any
agreement reached with the Palestinians will come to a referendum.
will decide whether there will be an agreement is not the composition of the
coalition, but whether matters of essence for the nation like security are met,”
Coalition chairman Yariv Levin said he was not impressed
by Yesh Atid’s “sudden smattering of diplomatic activity.”
“They asked in
the campaign where the money is, not where [US Secretary of State John] Kerry
is. I don’t think they will leave. If they wanted to go, they would have. Such
comments distance peace because they give the other side the false impression
that they should wait for a different government.”
A Bayit Yehudi
official said his party would “stay in the coalition long after those who want
us to leave will be gone.”
Labor faction chairman Eitan Cabel said the
Likud should stop using his party to threaten its coalition partners when they
“We are not warming up on the sidelines,” Cabel said. “We
aren’t joining the coalition.”