Lapid Doesn’t Rule Out Joining Netanyahu-Led Government

Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

As the coalition crisis mounted Sunday, speculation about the outlines of a new government began in earnest.

Despite his repeated denunciation of the allegedly corrupt Netanyahu government, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid avoided saying that he would not join a Netanyahu-led coalition.

“Whoever didn’t understand, and especially those who insist on not understanding, Yesh Atid will not sit in any government in which the prime minister is under indictment,” Lapid tweeted. “Not under any condition.”

Indictments, if they come, probably won’t be filed for several months, after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit reviews the police findings. Lapid’s statement left open the possibility that if elections come first, and PM Netanyahu is re-elected before any indictments, that he might well agree to sit in such a government.

The comment came a day after Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah wouldn’t commit on the matter:

“I’m not getting into speculation,” Shelah said. “I don’t think it’s right to say we’re boycotting this and that. The first thing you’re asked in Israeli politics is who you’re boycotting. The answer is: ‘No one.’ We want a government led by Yair Lapid with the central parties in Israel.”

Zionist Camp responded with withering cynicism: “Yair Lapid and his friends won’t hesitate to sit with Netanyahu again even if he is indicted. Corrupt people should not be partners for anything. Those who claim to fight corruption cannot have double standards on the matter.”

“We commit to taking the place of the corrupt. We will not accept them with open arms,” the statement added.