Lapid pleads for coalition to stay united, as Netanyahu vows to topple it

Head of the Yesh Atid party Yair Lapid speaks during a faction meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on July 26, 2021. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** ???? ???? ?? ???? ???? ????

Assessment: In his remarks to his Likud faction meeting, opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu vowed to bring down the government as soon as possible.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told a meeting of his Yesh Atid faction on Monday that the members of the government coalition must stay unified ahead of the deadline to pass the state budget.

Speaking on the first day of the Knesset’s winter session, Lapid said that coalition lawmakers must focus on the bigger picture.

“We have five weeks, during which we all have one goal and one goal only: to pass a budget,” said Lapid. “Without that, there will be no government. Without that, nobody will accomplish their dreams. Instead we’ll go back to the chaos and the poison that was here just a few months ago.”

If the much-delayed budget does not pass by the November 14 deadline, the Knesset will automatically dissolve and a new election — Israel’s fifth in three years — would be called. The budget passed its first reading in September, but must pass its second and third readings in the plenum to become law.