Lapid says would seek Joint List’s recommendation to form a government

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

Prime Minister Lapid reiterates his party’s position that it would seek the majority-Arab Joint List party’s recommendation to form a government after November’s election, and that the Joint List does not want to be in the government.

“The Joint List won’t be in the government because the Joint List doesn’t want to be in the government, they said it a thousand times, but I say it again: talk to us after the elections,” Lapid says in response to reporter questions at the Yesh Atid faction meeting.

Lapid’s political rivals, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu and the right-religious bloc he leads, are campaigning on a narrative that Lapid can only form a government with help of the Joint List and Islamist party Ra’am, the latter of which is one of Lapid’s current political partners.

Lapid has not said explicitly that he would not include the Joint List — which has never sat with an Israeli coalition — in the government, but rather he and his party’s official line is that it won’t happen because of the Joint List’s lack of interest to join political hands.

With respect to Netanyahu, however, Lapid clearly states that the option is off the table.

“We won’t sit with Netanyahu in a government,” Lapid says.

Lapid’s outgoing government is a big tent amalgamation of the party’s across the left, right, centrist, and Arab corners of Israel’s political map. Fellow government ministers Ayelet Shaked and Yoaz Hendel are fighting to capture some of the coalition’s right-wing votes in their unified Zionist Spirit party, which is currently failing to pass the 3.25% vote threshold to enter Knesset in some polls.

Shortly after Lapid’s remarks on the Joint List, Zionist Spirit releases a statement that says: “Lapid admits he wants to form a minority government based on the Joint List.”

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