Israel’s new political star Lapid calls for new peace talks

Israel’s new political star Lapid calls for new peace talks

Israel’s new political star Lapid calls for new peace talks

Israeli kingmaker Lapid voices his support for Palestine peace talks. AFP photo

Israel’s new political star, Yair Lapid, leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, has raised his support for resuming peace talks with the Palestinians.

“Israelis convinced themselves it’s no use to talk to the Palestinians because they’re not to be trusted. I think they’re wrong. I think the Palestinians are not to be trusted and this exactly why we should talk to them. Because you make peace with foes not with friends,” Lapid told TIME magazine in an interview.

Lapid’s nine-month-old party stunned the political establishment by winning 19 of Parliament’s 120 seats.

Peres to announce candidate

Lapid also told the magazine that if the Palestinian issue turned into a religious dispute, it would become an everlasting conflict. “Right now we have a national dispute with [regards to] the Palestinians. But the point of no return is the moment this has become a religious dispute. Jews versus Muslims. Not yet. With Hamas it’s a religious dispute. But not yet with Fatah. We should keep it this way, because a national dispute we can solve. When it gets into ‘my God is better than yours,’ then it becomes an everlasting conflict,” he said.

Meanwhile, Israeli President Shimon Peres said Jan. 31 he had finished meeting all party representatives, and would soon be announcing who he would be tasking to form the new coalition government.
The president “completed his marathon series of meetings today as part of the consultations for the formation of the next government,” a statement from Peres’s office read. Peres will “announce the candidate who will be tasked with forming the government on Feb. 2 night,” it added.