Lapid Says Israel Still Won't Negotiate With Palestinians When He's Prime Minister

Foreign minister says Israel is having influence on the powers negotiating nuke accord with Iran

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at a press conference in Jerusalem, in December.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid at a press conference in Jerusalem, in December.Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid said Monday that despite the likelihood of growing international pressure on Israel, the current government is not expected to advance the diplomatic process with the Palestinians even after he becomes prime minister in August 2023.

This is because the coalition agreements rule out such a process, said Lapid, who is slated to replace Naftali Bennett as prime minister under their rotation agreement.

He made the comment against the backdrop of concern expressed by the Foreign Ministry Monday that the new year will see growing efforts by pro-Palestinian parties to brand Israel as an apartheid state, and to obtain recognition of such claims by the UN.

Attempts have been made to shift the arena of confrontation to a declaration of Israel as an apartheid state and to imposing a boycott on it, banning it from participating in international cultural events. According to assessments, the first consequences of such activity could be the exclusion of Israel from international sporting and cultural events.

Lapid also related to the Iranian issue, saying that Israel is succeeding in influencing the position of the states negotiating a return to the nuclear accord with Iran.

Israel has succeeded in preventing the international community’s “loss of interest” in the topic, ensuring it remains a key issue, he said.

Assessments in Israel are that the U.S. and Iran are intent on returning to the previous accord or to an interim accord that would lead to a final one. Israel’s efforts are focused on preventing lifting economic sanctions on Iran without eliciting an Iranian response in exchange.

According to Lapid, “the world’s attention is turning to the talks in Vienna. We feel that we’ve succeeded in causing the world to listen to us and to relate to this issue as a critical one.” He added: “We are now in trench warfare in order to gain small achievements, in order to keep this issue alive, retaining our freedom of action by not being a part of this agreement.”

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