Chairman Yair Lapid
made his first Knesset speech on Sunday and said he sees his allegiance
to the state as a life's mission. "We must not ignore the issue of equal share of the burden," he warned. "There will be no civil war. Ten percent of the population cannot threaten the remaining 90% with a civil war."
The Yesh Atid leader warned that Israel
is in the midst of a crisis, adding "the sooner we recognize it, the sooner we can fix it." He said that the crisis is not just economic or social, "it's to do with the state's ability to exercise its sovereignty vis-à-vis the groups that make it up."
He further added, "We need to carefully guard that which unites us. Such a union cannot exist if one fails to recognize a basic tenet of democracy and that is the state's right to act according to the desire of the majority."
Lapid and Naftali Bennett (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Lapid stated that the public expects its leaders "to rise above fears, to bring real solutions to problems that are tearing the Israeli society.
"We have not come here to drive a wedge, but to unite. The rift is already here, we're being torn apart from each other in schools, in the army, in the work force. It's time to admit there's a gaping wound in the heart of Israel's society and now is the time for healing."
With Ahmad Tibi (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Lapid further stated that his vision is to restore state sovereignty. "Our job is to jointly imagine what Israel should look like. Would it be too far fetched to imagine a state where every haredi child can speak English and every secular child knows how to read a page of Talmud?
"Would it be too far fetched to imagine a state that is a world leader; that remembers it's her job to help orphans and widows and foreigners? Would it be too far fetched to imagine a state not driven by xenophobia but by the love of man? I believe it would not. I believe in the State of Israel and our ability to create a model society we can take pride in."
Yesh Atid's Lapid and Shelah (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Lapid was followed on the podium by MK Menachem Eliezer Moses (United Torah Judaism) who discussed the issue of haredi draft.
"We need to find that which brings us together, not that which drives us apart."
Addressing Lapid he said, "Do you truly believe one can force 100,000 yeshuva students to enlist? How would we have enough space in prison for them if we don't have enough space for young couples? It would cost the state much more if they are jailed."
He further added, "I want to let you know what very few people do: Even the Nahal Haredi is mostly financed by a rich Los Angeles Jews and not by the IDF."
Moses added: "If you want to enlist them (haredim) to non-haredi units, I tell you – these yeshiva students will draw your children into ultra-Orthodox practices; you will not recognize them when they return from service."
Earlier on Monday, Lapid commented on the coalition negotiations noting that "99.9% of what you read in the paper has no bearing on reality."
He said he is open to considering the Likud-Beiteinu's draft plan and noted that he "gets along" with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Lapid estimated that the negotiations will take another two to three weeks or maybe even longer.
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