Yair Lapid: Unlike Tzipi Livni, I'll Join Cabinet and Fight for My Beliefs

Speaking at Sapir College, former news anchor and Knesset hopeful says current government could have been more moderate with Kadima; on the peace process: The only solution is the two-state solution.

Would-be politician and former news anchor Yair Lapid criticized Kadima for failing to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government, saying on Wednesday that he his party would join a future cabinet in a bid to "fight for what he believes in."

Lapid's comments, coming during a speech to students in Sapir College, came after on Sunday he announced that his new political party will be called Atid, which means "future," adding that he has yet to tell the public whose faces - other than his own – will man the party.

The former news man did indicate, however, who won't be among the 100 people on his party's ticket: incumbent politicians and public figures who have left their posts after failing in some way.

Yair Lapid
Nir Keidar

Speaking of former Kadima chairperson Tzipi Livni, who recently lost the party chair to rival Shaul Mofaz, Lapid said she "should have taken heed of the voters who gave her their vote and enter the government to try and exert influence in their favor."

"If Kadmia had been in the current cabinet we could have had a more moderate, more socially oriented, more peace-seeking government than what we have right now," Lapid said, adding: "Kadima made a mistake, I won't repeat that mistake. I'll join the government and fight for the things I believe in."

Lapid told Sapir students: "I'm here because my generation messed up. I grew up in a country that was number one in the world in education, and I'm passing on a country that's 41 in math and 36 in reading comprehension."

"I'm passing on to your children a country the last governments of which rejected a solution to the bleeding Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which your generation will resolve," Lapid said, adding that the fact "that there isn't even a negotiation to resolve the conflict shows my generation's lack of responsibility."

He added: "There is no other solution but the two-state solution, I don't want to live in a bi-national state."

Lapid also criticized what he called the corruption exemplified by the current government, speaking of the need to "fight corruption in all its forms, especially in [state] institutions."

"The way things are now in the current government is that ministers are nominated as benefits to inner circles, all at the expense of the public. A minister without portfolio, is that not corruption?" Lapid asked.

The Knesset hopeful added: "I admire [Vice Prime Minister Moshe] Ya'alon very much, but 'strategic affairs minister' is pulling the wool over the public's eyes," saying that the cabinet should hold no more than 18 ministers.

Lapid also referred to the Supreme Court's annulment of the Tal Law, which regulated the limited army enlistment of ultra-Orthodox men, saying that the law was not really undone and urging the installment of civil service for Haredim.

"I read in the paper that the law was annulled. Well, it wasn't. On August 1, another law will be invented and given a different name," Lapid said, adding: "I understand the disparity between ultra-Orthodox and the military environment, they don't have to all go to Golani [infantry brigade]."

Lapid added: "Imagine 100,000 young people aiding the country in welfare or health. Everyone read recently on the condition of Israel's elderly and Holocaust survivors. They want to do a mitzvah? Go buy the medicine for the elderly, hold a bed-ridden Holocaust-survivor's hand. That will make them better people."

In his talk to Sapir College students, the former journalist also criticized the conduct of Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, calling Israel's foreign policy "amateurish."

"Only in Israel, and this is a result of the system of government, does a foreign minister speak at the UN floor, saying there won't be peace in the next 30 years and that there's no point to continue negotiating, views that utterly contradict things said by the prime minister and the messages of the current government," he added.