Only five months have passed since the 2015 elections, but Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid is already preparing for Israel's next round at the polls.
"The next elections will be Lapid versus Netanyahu," he told Ynet on Thursday. Lapid also asserted the next elections could be as early as next year.
Even though Lapid is not the head of the opposition, he has been marketing himself in recent months as an alternative to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. As part of that effort, he's eyeing the political center and even the right wing. He joined the fight against the boycott movement and threw his support behind IDF fighters who killed terrorists.
In a recent post on Facebook, the Yesh Atid leader commented on the High Court of Justice's decision to release asylum seekers from detention after 12 months.
"We want to have the rule of law here, but for the law and High Court to decide exactly what we want. We want a moderate and welcoming Judaism, but end up caving in to the strictest of rabbis because they have the authority.
"We want one nation with one song, but we hate anyone who thinks differently than us. We want to be forgiven, to be believed that we've changed, but we remember everything others have ever said. We want a better future for our children (there's nothing we want more), but we can't imagine how to make it happen anymore."
Lapid believes that "we can do this differently as well. We can live in a state that has the rule of law, in which no politician slanders the court. We can live in a country that has good ties with the world and its relations with the United States are excellent - and wherever we say we are from Israel, people would warmly smile at us.
"We can live in a country in which God is with us when giving birth, at the hospital, at a cemetery and at the synagogue, but not in politics. We can live in a country in which disputes are resolved - even the most painful ones - out of the understanding that we want to seek what we have in common. Because that's what it means to live together."
Recently, Lapid slammed the prime minister in the wake of the arson in Duma, which claimed the lives of a Palestinian baby and his father, and said that "Netanyahu has lost control over the country. The prime minister says 'Arabs are coming in droves to the polls,' law enforcement authorities are weak, stones are thrown at soldiers and ministers support it. The law is being attacked rather than the lawbreakers. Eventually, it only creates chaos that dissolves the country from within."
Lapid asserted that "until there is a strong rule of law here, the current situation will continue. We don't have a lot of time. We can bring back a strong and sane center with real governing and real leadership. It's only Netanyahu who lost it."