‘Many obstacles’ remain in bid to oust Netanyahu, says Lapid

He, however, hopes to achieve ‘greater goal’

Israeli Opposition leader Yair Lapid on Monday said many obstacles remain before a diverse coalition can be built to oust veteran Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but voiced hope it will achieve the “greater goal”.

Mr. Lapid, a secular centrist, has been locked in talks with the right-wing nationalist Naftali Bennett on the terms of a “change alliance” that also hinges on an array of other parties ahead of a Wednesday midnight deadline.

Former TV anchor Mr. Lapid’s chances of success rose when tech millionaire Mr. Bennett, despite their ideological differences, said on Sunday he would join a “national unity government” in which the two men would take turns to serve as premier.

Israel’s latest political turmoil comes more than two months after Israel’s fourth inconclusive election in less than two years and could topple the right-wing leader known as Bibi who has ruled for a total of 15 years. It also follows Israel’s bloody 11-day conflict with Islamist group Hamas in the Palestinian enclave of Gaza that ended with a May 21 ceasefire.

A viable anti-Netanyahu coalition would still need the support of other parties and lawmakers to gain a majority of 61 seats in the 120-member Knesset, Israel’s legislature. But while Mr. Lapid warned of remaining hurdles, he also sought to strike a cautiously upbeat note.

“We’ll have to overcome them together,” he told members of his Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party. “That’s our first test — to see if we can find smart compromises in the coming days to achieve the greater goal.”

Mr. Netanyahu warned on Sunday that a left-wing government would be “dangerous to the state of Israel”.

Source: Read Full Article