Yair Lapid Says Unity Gov't Is the Right Thing for Israel

Kahol Lavan co-chair responds to comments by Avigdor Lieberman, who said that he will aim for a unity government in order to exclude the ultra-Orthodox parties

Kahol Lavan co-chair Yair Lapid on the campaign trail, January 8, 2019.
\ Moti Milrod

Yair Lapid, the co-chair of opposition party Kahol Lavan, said on Sunday that he believes a unity government headed by his outfit is the "right thing for Israel." 

Lapid said he would agree to form a coalition with the Likud Party, in response to comments made by former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday. Lieberman stated that he will aim for a unity government with Netanyahu and ex-general Benny Gantz in order to exclude the ultra-Orthodox parties. 

Lapid took to Twitter to say that "we need a government that sets out each morning to tackle the country's challenges, not the legal challenges of the prime minister."

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He also noted that he was "glad Lieberman also understood that this is the right thing," but did not specify whether he would back a unity government that includes Netanyahu himself.

Lieberman told Kan News on Sunday that if Netanyahu manages to win the majority of the Knesset seats in the September 17 election, he will be willing to accept the fact that the premier will compose the next governing coalition. "I don't intend to intervene with the Likud's affairs and seek an alternative candidate [to form the government] among them," he added.

On Saturday, the Yisrael Beiteinu chairman vowed to "do everything to limit the Haredim, so that they won't enter the government."

Netanyahu was unable to form a government after the April 9 elections. By the time the deadline for him to present a coalition arrived, the prime minister failed to bridge differences between the ultra-Orthodox parties and Lieberman, who were at odds over the conscription of ultra-Orthodox yeshiva students. The government voted to dissolve itself and a do-over election will take place in three months.

A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Yair Lapid agreed to join a unity government with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.