Sunday, June 08, 2014

Lapid's Plan

Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party in Israel, has threatened to withdraw from the coalition and bring down the current Netanyahu government if it moves to annex the West Bank.  Annexation of part of the West Bank has been proposed by Naftali Bennet of the Jewish Home party, but will almost certainly never be pursued by the coalition as a whole, so the threat is an idle statement of principles.  As such, it is of a piece with Lapid's peace agenda:
After harshly criticizing his coalition partners, the Yesh Atid leader laid out a plan he formulated of steps he believes Israel must make immediately to help bring an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - a settlement construction freeze, and mapping out future borders for Israel and a Palestinian state, the latter being one of the more sensitive issues for Netanyahu...
Detailing the three stages of his proposed plan, Lapid called them "preparations," "trust building," and the final stage, "agreement." 
Lapid is clearly trying to position himself for the next elections, making a clear contrast with Netanyahu over his policies towards the Palestinians and his relations with the United States.  He is attempting to occupy the same ground previously occupied by Kadima, believing that this is where an Israeli political consensus can be found, even if Netanyahu was seen as the only truly plausible prime minister in the last elections.



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