PM Lapid seeks to lead Israel’s government ‘as if elections were not being held’

July 4, 2022 by Aryeh Savir - TPS
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Prime Minister Yair Lapid headed his first weekly Cabinet meeting on Sunday, after entering office on Friday.

Avigdor Lieberman, Naftali Bennett, Prime Minister Yair Lapid and parliamentary secretaries           Photo by Haim Zach/GPO 

Lapid will serve as leader of the interim government for about four months until the elections on November 1, Israel’s fifth round in less than four years.

Turning to his ministers, including Bennett who now holds the title of alternate prime minister and the minister entrusted with the Iranian portfolio, Lapid said that  “our goal – that of this entire table – in the coming months will be to manage the government as if elections were not being held. The citizens of Israel are entitled to a government that constantly functions. This is what I expect from my fellow ministers.”

“The education crisis cannot wait. Budgets for hospitals cannot be postponed. The Iranians, Hamas and Hezbollah will not wait. We need to act against them persistently in every arena and this is exactly what we are doing,” he declared.

“This government will continue to act for the good of the citizens, just as it has done throughout the past year. We will make decisions, we will take action and we will continue to increase the economic, diplomatic and security strength of Israel,” he added.

The meeting lasted only 25 minutes and included the approval of a series of plans and appointments that were on the agenda in advance.

The law states that due to its temporary status, the government is very limited in what it can do.

In the first speech he delivered upon taking office, Lapid declared on Saturday night that “the State of Israel is bigger than all of us. More important than any of us. It was here before us and will be here long after us. It doesn’t belong only to us. It belongs to those who dreamed of it for thousands of years in the Diaspora, and also to those yet to be born, to future generations.”

“The challenges before us are immense. The struggle against Iran, terror at home, the Israeli education crisis, the cost of living and strengthening personal security. When the challenges are so great, we can’t let disagreements consume all our strength. In order to create a common good here, we need one another. Our children are watching us. What do we want them to see? We want our children to see that we did everything to build a Jewish and democratic, strong and advanced, benevolent and good Israel,” he stated.

The latest polls show that Benjamin Netanyahu has the best chance to establish a government, but with a long campaign period of 124 days, much can change.

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