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Lapid and Bennett Photo: Gil Yohanan
Lapid and Bennett Photo: Gil Yohanan
 
 

Coalition talks speed up as PM, Lapid to meet again

Two to work on formulating solution to equal share of burden. Source: Netanyahu wants broad coalition with Lapid, Bennett, haredim, Livni, Mofaz

Yuval Karni
Published: 02.06.13, 22:11 / Israel News

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet Thursday in an effort to speed up coalition negotiations.

 

The meeting will be held in Jerusalem and the two are slated to work on an outline for a solution to the issue of inequality in share of the burden, whilst taking into consideration potential coalition members; as well as other issues regarding coalition talks which began last week.

 

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A source involved in the negotiations said: "Netanyahu believes that we can't miss the opportunity created by the elections to reignite the diplomatic (peace) process and reach an immediate solution in regards to equal share of the burden.

 

"He believes achieving these two goals will be impossible if the government will hinge on haredi cooperation; hence he wants a broad unity government that will include Lapid, Bennett, the haredim, Livni and Mofaz."

 

On Wednesday, Lapid posted a Facebook status that sent a strong message to the haredi public:

 


המפגש אתמול בכנסת (צילום: גיל יוחנן) 

Lapid, Netanyahu meet at Knesset inauguration (Gil Yohanan)

 

"The haredi parties have long been spreading the rumor that I am scheming to hurt the haredi world. There can be no greater error.

 

"All of my life I have read and studied the Bible. In my view, studying the Torah is part of the Israeli existence and among the Yesh Atid MKs, two are rabbis," Lapid wrote.

 

"The fact that there are those who dedicate their entire life to the study of Torah is praiseworthy, and I even believe we should integrate Talmud studies into the secular education system," he continued.

 

However, "the study of Torah is not an excuse for an 8-year-old not to study mathematics and English, or for a 18-year-old not to serve their country, or for a 28-year-old not to work for their living.

 

"King David was a warrior, Maimonides studied nonreligious subjects, and Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman) and Rashi (Rabbi Shlomoh Yitzhaki) worked for a living - are the haredi parties claiming that these men 'hurt the haredi world'?"

 

This will not be the first meeting between the two - two days after the election, Lapid and Netanyahu met at the latter's official Jerusalem residence.

 

A joint Likud-Yesh Atid statement published at the time said that the meeting was held in "good sprits" and that the two discussed the "challenges the country is facing and the ways to deal with them."

 

Yuval Karni is a Ynet and Yedioth Ahronoth correspodent

 

 

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