web analytics
November 21, 2014 / 28 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



Lapid: Settlement Freeze Preferable To Prisoner Release

Yair Lapid

Yair Lapid

TEL AVIV – Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid said he supports freezing settlement growth to help jump-start peace negotiations and vowed that his centrist Yesh Atid party would leave Israel’s governing coalition if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were responsible for the collapse of the peace process.

In an interview this week with JTA, his first with an American Jewish news organization since entering the Knesset last year, Lapid continued his recent shift toward placing the peace process at the top of his party’s agenda.

A year ago he told The New York Times that Israel should not change its settlement policy to advance negotiations, nor should it curb its “natural expansion” or limit financial inducements to Israelis who move there.

But on Monday, Lapid told JTA that he would sooner agree to freeze settlement growth than free Palestinian prisoners, as Netanyahu has done previously in an effort to advance the process. A fourth round of prisoner releases was due to take place March 29, but Israel reneged.

“I would choose, every day of the week, freezing the settlements over freeing prisoners,” he said. “But in this coalition, in this particular moment, this was the favorable option.”

A former television news anchor, Lapid entered politics for the first time in advance of the January 2013 elections with the aim of re-energizing Israel’s political center. He stayed relatively quiet on security issues during the campaign, running on a largely domestic platform of lowering the cost of living and expanding the mandatory military draft to include haredim.

But over the past year, Lapid has become increasingly vocal about the need for Israel to reach a two-state solution to its conflict with the Palestinians. And while he laid the blame for the current impasse in peace talks squarely at the feet of the Palestinian leadership, Lapid said he could not stay in the government if it did not aggressively pursue a deal.

Lapid said that overall, he is happy with how the past year has gone for his party. He dismissed criticism that Yesh Atid’s signature achievement, a bill mandating that haredim perform military service, is too weak. The bill defers criminal sanctions for haredi draft dodgers for three years, but Lapid said a stricter law would have been unrealistic.

Lapid also campaigned on establishing civil unions in Israel, a measure that would have broken the Orthodox Chief Rabbinate’s control of Jewish marriage. Yesh Atid introduced a bill to create civil unions in October, but it is opposed by Jewish Home, a religious Zionist party that entered the coalition in alliance with Yesh Atid.

Lapid sounded confident that he could get a civil unions bill past Jewish Home, possibly with support from left-wing parties. But though he vowed to continue to push the issue, he would not say if Yesh Atid would leave the coalition of the bill fails.

Lapid said all Jewish denominations should have equal standing in Israel, which he said would strengthen Israel’s relationship with American Jews. He also called for ending the Chief Rabbinate’s monopoly over Jewish marriage and conversion, and for an end to all forms of religious coercion.

But he stopped short of calling for the abolition of the Chief Rabbinate or for a complete separation of religion and state, which he said would hurt the country’s Jewish character.

Yesh Atid surprised pundits when it captured 19 seats in Knesset elections last year, becoming Israel’s second largest political party. Soon after, Lapid said that he expected to be prime minister after the next ballot.

On Monday, Lapid said his party was in the Knesset to stay, but he declined to make similar boasts about his own political future.

“I’ll tell you one thing I’ve learned in this last year: There’s no problem in politics being an idiot – there’s a big problem being an idiot twice,” he said. “I’ve learned my lesson and I’m not going to declare such declarations anymore because this is stupid.”

 

(JTA)

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Lapid: Settlement Freeze Preferable To Prisoner Release”

  1. Nathan Katz says:

    Just thinking — is Israel had capital punishment for murder, then this would not be an issue. Just thinking.

  2. neither is a good idea.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Masked Arabs clash with Israeli security forces  in anti-Israel riot outside the Ofer prison between Jerusalem and  Ramallah.
Israel Law Center Wins Landmark Decision Against PA in NY Court
Latest News Stories
Masked Arabs clash with Israeli security forces  in anti-Israel riot outside the Ofer prison between Jerusalem and  Ramallah.

The Israel Law Center wins a landmark decision against the Palestinian Authority (PA) on behalf of 11 families of victims of terror.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu surveying the Israeli Golan Heights, January 13, 2013.

Young Jewish women and a family come under attack from Arab elementary students hurling rocks in the Golan Heights.

Terror rockets fired at Israeli civilians from a United Nations (UNRWA) girls school in Beit Lahiya, Gaza, on August 23, 2014.

Israel has agreed to cooperate with a UN board of inquiry appointed by Ban Ki-moon, probing UNRWA events in Gaza this summer.

Esther Pollard met with President Peres on the eve of his meeting with President Obama.

A U.S. parole board has turned down a request for release by former Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard, now in his 30th year in prison.

Dmitri Diliani, a spokesperson for Fatah in Jerusalem and a member of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, had taken issue with Klein’s characterization of recent violence in Jerusalem as being instigated by the Palestinians.

Hundreds of Ethiopian Jews take part in a prayer of the Sigd holiday on the Armon Hanatziv Promenade overlooking Jerusalem on November 20, 2014. The prayer is performed by Ethiopian Jews every year to celebrate their community’s connection and commitment to Israel. About 80,000 Ethiopian Jews live in Israel, many of them came in massive […]

Cleared for publication: Security forces have determined that the hit and run near El Aroub in Gush Etzion was a terror attack and not a traffic accident.

Why not? Obama already lives like he is on his own island.

There were disguised as Christmas gifts, which were to be used to kill Jews.

The alert guard at the entrance decided to check the car when the man drove up and discovered the knife.

But perhaps the thought of racism will make Arabs speak out against murderers.

To clear up a misunderstanding, you cannot apply for your gun license on the plane and receive it with your Teudat Zehut when you land.

Wholesale discrimination against Arabs is blatantly illegal and racist but sends a strong message to the police.

The army believes that the Gazans are testing their rockets in order to increase their rocket launching capabilities.

Mayor Shimoni was looking to provide security, albeit in an unpopular way, because his prime minister has not been able to. Calling him names does not change the fact that Israeli civilians are not safe from being murdered in the street by blood-crazy Arab individuals.

More Articles from Ben Sales
Israeli winery

“You want to know what this wine looked like, which wine King David drank, white or red…. We can see if it’s red or white, strong or weak.”

IDF soldiers rush injured Israelis to Soroka Hospital in Beersheva after a mortar fired from Gaza exploded at an army staging area near Kibbutz Nirim, close to the Gaza border. The attack occurred shortly before a cease-fire went into effect on Tuesday. Three Israelis visiting the area were hit; two of them died of their wounds.

After a month, should the quiet hold, Israel and Hamas will restart indirect negotiations in Cairo on easing Israel’s blockade of the coastal strip and disarming the enclave.

Shlomy Zachary, an Israeli human rights lawyer, noted that Israeli cooperation with previous UN investigations has helped mitigate criticism of Israel – for example, in a 2010 UN investigation of the so-called flotilla incident.

Smart bombs: Israeli war technology isn’t limited to the home front.

“The values I learned from my parents are probably the same values I hope Christians and Muslims and Hindus and Buddhists teach to their people.”

On Monday, Lapid told JTA that he would sooner agree to freeze settlement growth than free Palestinian prisoners, as Netanyahu has done previously in an effort to advance the process.

“He was like everyone else,” she said. “He was serious. He wouldn’t mess around. He would do what I said. He was quiet a lot and thought a lot. He did everything well.”

More than having a hand on the wheel, the year since the formation of the new government has seen Jewish Home and the coalition’s other smaller parties driving much of the government’s agenda. Netanyahu’s Likud party has taken a back seat on everything besides security affairs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/settlements-israel/lapid-settlement-freeze-preferable-to-prisoner-release/2014/04/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: