Benny Gantz’s former running mate Yair Lapid makes it clear, in English: He does not support Benjamin Netanyahu


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli opposition lawmaker Yair Lapid wants to make it clear: He does not support Benjamin Netanyahu.

In a statement Thursday, Lapid clarified earlier remarks in which he said he would vote with Netanyahu to prevent the prime minister’s coalition partner and political opponent Benny Gantz from holding the office under a rotation agreement.

“For anyone who didn’t understand – we will do everything to bring down Netanyahu’s government and of course we won’t support him,” read the statement posted on his Yesh Atid party’s English-language Facebook page. Lapid is the founder and head of the centrist political party.

A similar statement does not appear on the party’s Hebrew-language Facebook page.

Lapid broke with Gantz and his Blue and White Union after Gantz announced that he would join Netanyahu in an emergency national unity government.

Under the rotation, Netanyahu would remain as prime minister for 18 months and then Gantz would take over. The Knesset is scheduled to vote Thursday on enshrining the rotation deal into law.

Gantz required the change from one of Israel’s quasi-constitutional Basic Laws because of speculation that Netanyahu would not honor the coalition agreement and give up the premiership.

Lapid had told a meeting of a special Knesset committee formed to write the legislation that he would vote to cancel the rotation agreement whenever Netanyahu is ready.

“We are fighting with everything we’ve got against the attempts to take apart Israel’s Basic Laws,” he said in the Facebook post. “They are changing everything. Trampling over the Knesset. Trampling over the Supreme Court. Trampling over all the basic principles.

“During the debate in the committee I said that if Netanyahu will want to reverse the laws back to their original form, we’ll vote in favor. I thought I was clear but not everyone understood and there were even those who said I would support Netanyahu. Have you gone mad? In case you hadn’t noticed, the only ones who haven’t surrendered to Netanyahu, are us.”

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