Yair Lapid: Arabs needed only once for minority government

New Likud ad warns that Gantz's potential partners do not recognize the state.

Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and MK Yair Lapid (photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)
Blue and White leader Benny Gantz and MK Yair Lapid
To form a minority government, the Joint List will only need to vote in favor of the coalition one time and then cooperation with the list of Arab parties will end, Blue and White's No. 2 MK Yair Lapid wrote on social media Tuesday.
Lapid responded to threats from Blue and White MKs Tzvi Hauser and Yoaz Hendel, who strongly oppose the formation of a minority government backed by the Joint List. They said Tuesday that they would remain in the Knesset and oppose the government, even if they were thrown out of Blue and White.
He said that he, too, preferred a national unity government but it cannot happen because of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"The best option is the one that Netanyahu ruled out straight away: a national unity government," Lapid wrote. "That’s what we always wanted, that’s what we’d be glad to form today. Unity with rotation. Benny Gantz would be first because Netanyahu is on trial. A positive, broad, national unity government. The problem is that there’s no one to talk to. We checked a thousand times. Netanyahu rejected it flat out."
Lapid wrote that the only thing Netanyahu is interested in is his three indictments. He said that the prime minister does not want a unity government because he knows he won’t be able to pass legislation that would help him evade prosecution, so prefers a fourth election instead.
Barring a unity government, Lapid wrote that only two options remain: A fourth election or forming a narrow government with Yisrael Beytenu and Labor-Gesher-Meretz, while leaving the door open to an eventual unity government.
"Unlike all the lies Netanyahu is spreading, the Joint List won’t be part of that government," Lapid wrote. "They’ll vote once from the outside and that’s it. Netanyahu has cooperated with them a thousand times. I’ll admit, it’s not the government we wanted. On the other hand, it’s much better than the current paralysis. A government like this will be able to pass a budget, ministries will be able to start working, Knesset committees would be re-opened, we’ll assist small businesses and we’ll prevent massive layoffs."
Lapid said that would be preferable to another election, which he said would bring more hate, more incitement, more violence and billions more shekels wasted.
"A whole country would plunge itself into the abyss because of one man," Lapid lamented. "That’s the choice we’re facing. I’d be happy if there were other options but there aren’t. What should we do? What’s best for the country."
On Tuesday, Netanyahu posted a new ad on Twitter warning that a government with the Joint List would be a disaster for Israel. The ad includes a clip of Joint List head Ahmad Tibi calling Israel "colonialist."
"Gantz, your partners don't recognize the State of Israel," the ad says. "Gantz, you should be ashamed of yourself."