Yair Lapid Moves Ahead With Coalition Talks in Meetings With Bennett, Sa’ar
i24 News – Israel’s Yesh Atid party, chaired by Yair Lapid, the current holder of the mandate to form Israel’s next government, is pushing ahead with coalition talks.
On Friday morning, Lapid met with Yamina chief Naftali Bennett and New Hope leader Gideon Sa’ar — the two right-wing opponents of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Bennett, who sought the mandate for himself during the latest round of consultations with President Reuven Rivlin, also met with Lapid on Thursday.
Also on Friday, Bennett met with Merav Michaeli, head of the left-wing Labor party, which is part of the so-called “change bloc” looking to ouster the PM.
Another party on the same alliance, Yisrael Beiteinu, chaired by Avigdor Lieberman, issued its list of demands for entering a coalition led by Lapid.
These include allowing civil marriages in Israel, giving local authorities the power to decide what businesses can stay open on Shabbat and bolstering the authority vested in local rabbis.
In Thursday’s TV address, his first one since receiving the mandate, Lapid said he was going to build a unity government around one goal: “To take the country out of this crisis.”
The PM, for his part, lashed out at Bennett, saying that the coalition talks would lead to “a dangerous left-wing government.”