Times of Israel – Adopting a tough stance as coalition negotiations got under way, Israel’s new political star Yair Lapid told aides that his Yesh Atid party could opt to stay in opposition and battle Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s anticipated budget cuts. If so, “in a year-and-a-half, I’ll replace him as prime minister,” Channel 2 quoted Lapid as saying Sunday.
Lapid’s representatives met Sunday with Netanyahu’s negotiation team, as the prime minister began cobbling together a coalition. The incumbent was formally charged with the task by President Shimon Peres on Saturday night. The talks — with the parties being invited to enter into the negotiations according to the number of seats they won — were held at the Kfar Maccabiah Hotel in Ramat Gan.