Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid is investing great efforts in preserving his relationship with UTJ chairman Moshe Gafni, Kikar H’Shabbat reported on Wednesday.
A senior Yesh Atid source told Kikar that Lapid appointed one of the party’s ministers as a “project manager” to oversee the maintenance of ties with Gafni.
According to the report, one of the senior party members carrying out contacts between Lapid and Gafni is Welfare Minister Meir Cohen. Recently, the two held a long meeting far from the spotlight at the Degel HaTorah office in Bnei Brak.
Lapid is aware that Gafni will not consider cooperating with the current government and certainly won’t join it. However, he’s interested in maintaining good relations with Gafni to prepare for a future scenario in which Netanyahu will be unable to form a coalition, in which case, Yesh Atid would be open to cooperating with the Chareidi parties to form an alternative coalition or at least gain their support from outside the coalition.
Kikar interviewed Minister Cohen two months ago, who said: “I’m proud of the Chareidi sector. They’re my partners and I’m sorry that they boycotted us for many years. I call on them to be part of this government.”
When Kikar asked him if there was actually a possibility of the Chareidim joining the government, he said: “Certainly. Over the years, Chareidim were partners of centrist and left-wing parties, and we’re committed to respecting each other, and even lending support in times of crisis.”
As YWN reported, Lapid joined the UTJ faction meeting on Monday during a birthday celebration for Gafni’s 70th birthday and spoke in honor of the occasion, paying Gafni many compliments.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)