Israel Elections: Yair Lapid vows to help Anglos deal with coronavirus

Says Netanyahu must be replaced so Israel can get along with Biden

YESH ATID leader Yair Lapid speaks during a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.  (photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
YESH ATID leader Yair Lapid speaks during a protest against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last year at Rabin Square in Tel Aviv.
(photo credit: TOMER NEUBERG/FLASH90)
Opposition leader Yair Lapid told more than 600 English-speaking participants in a town hall meeting on Zoom that, in coalition talks after the March 23 election, his Yesh Atid Party will demand control of the Aliyah and Integration Ministry and the Knesset Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee.
Lapid also promised to create a special task force to help immigrants deal with the challenges of the coronavirus crisis. He noted that his own father, former justice minister Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, told him that even though he made aliyah at age 17, he never stopped seeing himself as an immigrant.
“My father taught me that an immigrant never takes anything for granted,” Lapid told the immigrants from English-speaking countries on Tuesday night. “You care more because life here didn’t just happen to you. It’s a choice you made and are committed to. I know I am talking to people who care very deeply about what is happening in Israel.”
Lapid said Yesh Atid considers the problems of immigrants from English-speaking countries as the party’s own.
“If there is one oleh who can’t leave the country to visit their sick parent, it’s our problem,” he said.
Lapid responded to US President Joe Biden not calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the three weeks since his inauguration.
“We’re going to need a different government in order to get along with the Biden administration,” Lapid said.
Lapid estimated that if his party receives 22 or 23 seats, it will form a coalition.
Asked about electoral reform, he said he opposes dividing the country into regions, but he said he supports raising the electoral threshold from 3.25% to 5% or 6% and a guarantee that the government would last four years.
“Our goal is governance and stability,” Lapid said. “The reason there is so much blackmailing in our political system is that our government faces never-ending votes of no confidence. The prime minister is a hostage to the parties in his coalition.”
Lapid outlined a series of policies he would change immediately if he would form the next government.
For instance, he said Yesh Atid would pass a bill allowing gay men to adopt children. He also spoke about his special-needs daughter, in response to a special-needs teacher from Toronto who asked what can be done to help special-needs children.
After the event, Yesh Atid released 10 campaign promises in English, including limiting the prime minister to two terms and the government to 18 ministers, funding an undergraduate degree for every student, passing a civil marriage and surrogacy bill, and amending the Nation-State Law.