Sensing that he may have another chance at the Prime Ministership, Yair Lapid said Sunday that he sensed that “this government's days are short. The budget they have produced is one that indicates that they will no longer be in power in another year.”
According to sources close to Lapid, the former Finance Minister believes that secular Israelis see him as the best option for a post-Netanyahu Israel. Currently, the government of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has only 61 members, and many political pundits believe that it is just a matter of time before a major coalition crisis crops up that will pull apart the government and make way for new elections.
Those elections, Lapid believes, are his to lose. Speaking to the Knesset Channel, Lapid said that elections are barely a year away. “I know budgets, and this is not a budget built to last,” he said, pointing out that there were many concessions that would drive up deficit spending – a sure sign that the government could be blackmailed by smaller parties, which, by their nature, will keep demanding more.
Despite the fact that his Yesh Atid party currently has only 12 MKs, Lapid believes that he can pull off a victory. “Netanyahu formed a government even though the Likud had only 12 MKs” in 2013, with the balance coming from Yisrael Beytenu. “I am not worried about the small number of mandates.”
While it's not clear that Netanyahu will run for a fifth term as Prime Minister if the current government falls, Lapid said that the country needed alternatives, “and the left is not supplying it.” Lapid confirmed a report from last week that former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi would join Yesh Atid, assuming that he was able to resolve several legal entanglements regarding real estate deals he was involved in. “We will be happy to welcome him to the team,” Lapid added.