Lapid vows to join next government

Former journalist criticizes Livni for staying in opposition, accuses Netanyahu of "corruption" for appointing too many ministers.

Yair Lapid 370 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Yair Lapid 370
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Former journalist Yair Lapid vowed on Wednesday to take his new Atid Party into the next government, criticizing former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni for keeping her party in the opposition.
In a speech to students at Sapir Academic College near Sderot, Lapid lashed out at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for forming a government with 30 ministers. He accused Netanyahu of “corruption” for appointing a strategic affairs minister and ministers without portfolio.
Nevertheless, he appeared to pave the way for himself to serve as a minister in the next government, which all polls indicate that Netanyahu will form. Lapid has repeatedly expressed interest in being education minister.
“Tzipi Livni has to consider her voters who cast ballots for her party because they wanted it to enter the government and have influence on their behalf,” Lapid said.
“Had Kadima entered the current government, perhaps it would have been more moderate and done more to pursue peace. Kadima made a mistake that I do not intend to repeat. I will enter the government and fight for the things I believe in.”
He expressed hope that the next government would be limited to 18 ministers. He blamed the political system for encouraging appointments that did not make sense.
For instance, Lapid called Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman “unprofessional” and blasted him for “going to the UN and announcing that there will not be peace for 30 years.”
Sounding like his father, the late Shinui leader Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, Yair Lapid called upon the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) to perform national service.
“Imagine what would happen if 100,000 young haredim help the country in the fields of health and welfare,” he said. “You all read about the situation of elderly Holocaust survivors in Israel. They want to do a mitzva? They should go buy the elderly their medicine and hold the hand of a Holocaust survivor who is sick in bed. This will made them better people.”