Yesh Atid chief Lapid says he believes Netanyahu wants a 2-state solution, but until now, hasn’t had the right coalition to advance any peace process.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid voiced his support for resuming peace talks with the Palestinians in excerpts of a Time magazine interview released Thursday, stating that “you make peace with foes, not with friends.”
“Israelis convinced themselves that there is no use in talking to the Palestinians because they’re not to be trusted. I think they’re wrong. I think the Palestinians are not to be trusted and this is exactly why we should talk to them,” Lapid said in the interview.
Lapid referred to the failure to resume negotiations for a two-state solution as “irresponsible,” and “shortsighted,” stating that “my father didn’t come here from the ghetto in order to live in a country that is half Arab, half Jewish. He came here to live in a Jewish state.”
The Yesh Atid leader stated that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu likely understood the demographic danger to the Jewish state posed by the lack of a two-state solution, but had been handcuffed by his coalition.
“Unbelievably enough I do believe Netanyahu believes the same, but he does not have the coalition, and right now not even the party to support him. So maybe in a few weeks one of my jobs will be to make sure he has enough fingers to vote about this, from within the coalition or from opposition, same thing.”
When asked about the Likud list moving to the Right and the rise of Bayit Yehudi in the Knesset election, Lapid warned that the conflict with the Palestinians could potentially take on a new dimension that would make a solution more difficult to come by.
“Right now we have with the Palestinians a national dispute. But the point of no return is the moment this has become a religious dispute. Jews versus Muslims. Not yet. With Hamas it’s a religious dispute. But not yet with Fatah. With the Palestinian Authority we have a national dispute. And we should keep it this way, because a national dispute we can solve. When it gets into my God is better than yours, then it becomes an everlasting conflict.”
Lapid’s Yesh Atid faction on Tuesday recommended to President Shimon Peres that Netanyahu form the next government. Sources in Yesh Atid said that, in addition to either the Finance or Foreign portfolio for Lapid, they would ask for the Construction and Housing Ministry, and for the Education Ministry for Rabbi Shai Piron, who is second on the Yesh Atid list.
View original Jerusalem Post publication at: http://www.jpost.com/DiplomacyAndPolitics/Article.aspx?id=301765