Lapid Offers to Back Netanyahu in Canceling Rotation Deal With Gantz

'We will say yes' if Netanyahu doesn't want to hand over the premiership, says Lapid who still resents former ally Gantz's decision to form a unity government

Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis
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Former Kahol Lavan member and Benny Gantz's ally Yair Lapid is now threatening to stop him from becoming prime minister by derailing his agreement with Netanyahu.
Former Kahol Lavan member and Benny Gantz's ally Yair Lapid is now threatening to stop him from becoming prime minister by derailing his agreement with Netanyahu.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum
Jonathan Lis
Jonathan Lis

Yair Lapid on Monday offered Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu the support of his party, Yesh Atid-Telem, if Netanyahu wants to cancel the prime ministerial rotation with Knesset Speaker Benny Gantz.

“At any given moment that Bibi does not feel like carrying out the rotation, all he has to do is to come to me and say: ‘We want to return these laws to their original wording,’ and I want to tell you something – we will say yes,” said Lapid in a session of the Knesset Arrangements Committee on amending the Basic Law on the Government. The changes are intended to pave the way for the implementation of the coalition agreement between Netanyahu and Gantz and allow the automatic rotation of the prime ministership between the two.

Lapid, who ran with Gantz's Kahol Lavan in Israel's March 2 election, condemned Kahol Lavan’s commitment to join a government headed by Netanyahu, saying this was not an emergency government. The bills to implement the coalition agreement are “swindlers’ laws,” he said.

The agreement has at least three sections in which “it is possible to throw this rotation out the window without any problem. … Do you really think there is any chance at all that [Netanyahu] will move out of [the Prime Minister’s Residence for Gantz]? After all, you know that it won’t happen. It’s clear to you that it won’t happen,” Lapid continued.

Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu, said he was surprised by Lapid’s statements that he would “save Netanyahu at Gantz’s expense. I hope these things were said as a joke or were taken out of context.”

Lapid responded to Lieberman, saying: “What, you don’t know me? I have no intention of saving Bibi. The only one who saved him is Benny Gantz. If in another year, after the coronavirus, we will have the opportunity to bring down the government, it’s clear we will bring it down.”

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