PM Lapid Rule Out Cooperation with Joint List in Next Government

Prime Minister and Yesh Atid Party chair Yair Lapid will not form a coalition with the support of the Joint List, Yesh Atid ministers and MKs said over the past few days. This represents a shift from Lapid’s prior position that he would cooperate with the Joint List “if necessary,” which he expressed after the coalition lost its majority on last April.

A new campaign against PM Yair Lapid released on Sunday by the Foreign Ministry Workers Union, July 24, 2022 (Photo: Foreign Ministry Workers Union)

In a speech at the beginning of a Yesh Atid faction meeting on Wednesday, Lapid said the election was an opportunity to form a “broad and stable national government, without the extremists.” Then, in a speech on Thursday at a conference held by the neo-con IDEA: The Center for Liberal Democracy, Lapid elaborated and said what Israel needed was a government without “extremists of both sides.”  “We can and need to give them [the Arab-Palestinian national minority in Israel] civil freedom. On the other hand, we will not give them national freedom since this is the Jews’ only country and we do not have any intention to give up on Israel’s Jewish character,” he said.

However, a new Kan public broadcasting service survey predicts that the far-right Likud-led racist-religious bloc would garner 60 seats — on the cusp of a majority in the Knesset — if elections were held today. But without 61 seats, Israel’s years-long political crisis, which has already generated five election cycles in less than four years, is poised to continue. The survey showed that Likud leads with 35 seats and the pro-Lapid bloc thus is projected to win a total of 54 seats, excluding the opposition Joint List with six MKs.