Bennett-Lapid-Abbas Coalition Meeting Postponed

YERUSHALAYIM -
Head of the Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset, on Monday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A meeting of Yamina leader MK Naftali Bennett, Yesh Atid chairman MK Yair Lapid and Ra’am (United Arab List) head MK Mansour Abbas where a coalition deal was set to be finalized has been postponed, a Yamina spokesman said.

The meeting was set to take place on Monday afternoon.

No reason was given for the postponement of the meeting.

Earlier Monday, Lapid called on the heads of the parties in the coalition he is forming to make the necessary compromises to complete the process of building a government by the end of the week.

“I know everyone wants to secure achievements for their party,” Lapid said. “I do, too. But it is far more important to secure achievements for the country, for the public, for our children. Israel needs to know that there is a new generation of leaders who don’t think about their own interests. The public won’t forgive anyone who prevents the formation of a new government just because they insist on another ministry.”

Lapid said that after the weekend’s negotiations, the remaining gaps between the parties were not wide.

“We can swear in a new government in a few days,” Lapid said. “A new, functioning government based on wide-ranging agreements.”

Labor leader Merav Michaeli also said that her party would take no steps to harm the effort to form a government but noted that her party – with seven seats – was the third largest in the coalition in the making.

“We made concessions in a way no party did,” Michaeli said. “We are ready to close on a deal today.”

Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, speaking at a weekly faction meeting in the Knesset, also said that he is doing his utmost for the new government to be formed.

In a show of what kind of government is in the making, he says the government will be open to those who will accept its positions on IDF enlistment, kashrus and conversions — positions the chareidi parties obviously won’t bend on.