Netanyahu and Lapid.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid launched a strong verbal attack on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, accusing him of sabotaging his work while finance minister.
Speaking at the Globes Business Conference, Lapid was quizzed over his frosty relationship with Netanyahu while serving as finance minister from March 2013 to December 2014.
"I get along well with most people, provided they're human beings," said Lapid. "For almost two years as finance minister, he sabotaged my work from morning until night. He criticized me for his failures."
Lapid argued the reason that current finance minister Moshe Kahlon has a positive relationship with Netanyahu is because Kahlon, unlike Lapid, does not pose a political threat to his leadership.
"It wasn't a coincidence that my layoffs came when the economic figures started to move in a positive direction," said Lapid.
"Then they suddenly said, he is doing something right, it's starting to work."
Lapid said that he was proud of his time at the finance ministry, particularly regarding the implementation of the Open Skies agreement that has boosted airline traffic to and from the European Union.
The Yesh Atid leader also downplayed Netanyahu's economic achievements, stating that advocating for the free market means minimal governmental intervention.
"[Netanyahu] spoke enthusiastically about innovation, but his government cuts NIS 300 million every year from the Innovation Authority's budget," said Lapid.
"And besides, taking credit for Mobileye and Israeli hi-tech? If there is anything this audience knows, it's that the success of the Israeli economy is where the government does not intervene. You cannot talk about a free market, and then request credit for its success."
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