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Lapid Draws Own Red Line on Iran

Israel’s finance minister has said Iran should have no centrifuges and no plutonium at all.
Israel's Finance Minister Yair Lapid gestures as he speaks during the opening of the summer session of the Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem April 22, 2013. Lapid is seeking spending cuts of 18 billion shekels ($5 billion) and tax increases of 5 billion shekels as part of the 2013-2014 budget framework, a spokeswoman for Lapid said on Monday. REUTERS/Baz Ratner (JERUSALEM - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTXYVXA

After Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu focused his Oct. 1 UN speech on the Iranian nuclear program and pushed aside the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Finance Minister Yair Lapid came to Washington and made it clear that negotiations with the Palestinians are the top priority of his diplomatic agenda.

Speaking at the Washington Institute Oct. 10, Lapid explained to the audience that negotiations with the Palestinian Authority are far more important, as far as he’s concerned, and the results will influence the fate of Israelis much more so than the Iranian threat. He was careful not to openly criticize Netanyahu and not to lay bare their disagreements, but just as he declared Sept. 17 that he was hearing new sounds coming from Tehran, in his speech this week he differed from the prime minister. Netanyahu, for his part, did not hold back. According to Israeli media reports, he said Lapid was expressing “the views of the left, which leave open the possibility of a continued Palestinian struggle.

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