Photos: Ohad Zwigenberg, Ofer Amram, Haim Zach, Ido Erez
Yair Lapid in Ariel
Photo: Motti Kimchi
'Lapid wants to expel 140,000 Jew.'
Photo: Motti Kimchi
Lapid 'won't join gov't' without peace process
Yesh Atid chairman says peace necessary to ensure Israel's Jewish character, adds 'world should solve Israel's problem' when it comes to Iran's nukes

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid said Tuesday that he will not join a coalition that won't renew the peace talks with the Palestinians.


"We won't be part of a government that makes excuses to shirk our responsibility for the present and the future," Lapid said.


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The politician made the remarks in a speech held at the West Bank's Ariel University Center, during which he laid out his party's political agenda ahead of the parliamentary elections.


Lapid posited that Ma'ale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel – as well as Jerusalem – will remain under Israeli sovereignty, and that Israel should never allow the Palestinians the right of return. He further lauded settlers as "a patriotic public."


'PM wasted 4 years'

But he went on to accuse Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of "wasting four years without making progress towards a (peace) agreement." He branded the prime minister's statement that Israel has no partner for peace as an "evasion."


If Israel does not reach a treaty with the Palestinians, he said, the Jewish state faces the risk of becoming binational.


"We cannot lose the Jewish majority," he said. "Both the extreme Left and the extreme Right, each for its own reasons, are promoting the dangerous idea of a binational state. Without an agreement Israel's Jewish and Zionist character is at risk."


Addressing the Iranian nuclear threat, Lapid said that the military option should remain viable but should be used only as a last resort.


"Israel has taken a wrong turn in dealing with Iran's nuclear program," he said. "We are not supposed to solve the problem for the world, we're supposed to make the world solve the problem for us."


Some settlers in the audience wielded signs saying "Lapid wants to expel me from my home."




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