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Incoming PM Lapid meets Herzog, acknowledges ‘respectful’ past political rivalry

Carrie Keller-Lynn is a political and legal correspondent for The Times of Israel

Incoming prime minister Yair Lapid (L) meets President Isaac Herzog at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on June 30, 2022. (Haim Zach/GPO)
Incoming prime minister Yair Lapid (L) meets President Isaac Herzog at the President's Residence in Jerusalem on June 30, 2022. (Haim Zach/GPO)

Incoming prime minister Yair Lapid and his wife Lihi meet with President Isaac Herzog and his wife Michal at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

Herzog — who had previously clashed with Lapid when Herzog ran the Labor party — congratulates the incoming prime minister and offers him “help and support, as I have done with any other prime minister, and the same with you.”

“I am sure that we will work together successfully,” the president tells Lapid, adding that “we have had a few clashes in the past.”

Thanking the president, Lapid politely acknowledges their past political disagreements, which Lapid characterizes as “respect[ful]” in tenor.

“I am glad that you mentioned that we clashed in the past, because we clashed politically while respecting each other, keeping a common language, and remembering that even if we have arguments, they are arguments for the sake of heaven, or for the sake of the State of Israel,” Lapid says. “So I have come here to receive a reminder and a blessing for the way ahead, because this has been your way your whole life.”

Herzog also notes that the upcoming election, held in proximity to the four previous ones since 2019, puts stress on the country, urging Lapid to remember that his first priority is to run the state.

“We must remember that first of all, first and foremost, there is a state to run, a country to lead, a country that must take care of its citizens’ needs, even if there are elections,” Herzog says. “Five elections in such a short time are very unhealthy for a country.”

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