Yair Lapid: With unity cabinet, Netanyahu can fight Israeli extremists (HA´ARETZ NEWS) By Ophir Bar-Zohar and Jonathan Lis 05/11/12)
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With his new unity cabinet in place, Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu should show he can´t be bullied by his far-right coalition
partners, former anchor and would-be politician Yair Lapid said on
Thursday, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said discussions on a
new Haredi army enlistment law will begin next week.
Lapid´s comments came after, on Tuesday, Netanyahu and Kadima head
Shaul Mofaz agreed to form a unity cabinet, which includes 94 of the
Knesset´s 120 seats.
Speaking at a meeting in the central-Israel kibbutz of Shefayim,
Lapid said he´d like to use the opportunity to address the premier
directly, saying: "Mr. prime minister, you have nothing to be afraid
of anymore. It´s time to govern."
Lapid said: "You don´t have to be afraid from you coalition partners,
since you can give any one of them up and not even notice it. You
don´t have to be afraid of the opposition, since you have none."
"The only thing you need to be afraid of is us. It´s the vocal
majority that will scrutinize from now on, to see what you´re doing
to fulfill your promises. You made this move so to avoid elections,
so you can do the only thing you´ve avoiding since being named prime
minister, you can decide your own identity," Lapid said.
Later on, the former journalist said that the newly formed cabinet
has "a political power second to none in Israel´s history, and
there´s no excuse preventing it from realizing the principles being
Referring to a recent High Court ruling to demolish the illegal
outpost of Ulpana Hill by July 1, Lapid said Netanyahu had enough
Knesset "seats to tell all the extreme elements threatening the rule
of law in Israel: ´We won´t take it.´ And they need to back the
Supreme Court full on and say, even if we don´t like the ruling on
the Ulpana Hill, we will uphold the law."
Lapid, naturally, had some choice words for the recent, and
surprising move to form a unity government, saying that "what we have
been seeing in the last few days is just the reason we embarked on
this path. That´s just the bad old politics we´ve come to abolish
from our lives."
"Something good happened to us. Because everyone that said that we´re
the ones who lost from pushing back the elections didn´t notice that
this week we became Israel´s only centrist party," Lapid said,
adding: "Labor and Meretz on the left, Netanyahu swallowed Kadima on
the right, and we´re the only party in the center."
"That´s the dream of every political movement. It´s everything we
hoped for, that we’d become the address. We´ve become the only real
address for the dozens of Knesset seats [representing] Israel´s
industrious, working, army- serving, tax-paying public."
Also on Thursday, Netanyahu announced that discussions geared at
forming an alternative to the so-called Tal Law - regulating Haredi
IDF service - will begin next week.
According to an announcement released by the Prime Minister´s Office,
the law would "gradually increase equality, bring Jews and Arabs into
service, without one using one population to fight another."
The Tel Law, which expires this August, was stated by both Netanyahu
and Mofaz as one of the main reasons for the formation of the new
unity cabinet. (© Copyright 2012 Ha´aretz 05/11/12)
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