Centrist holds key after Israel election
Most Israeli men and women are called up for military service for up to three years when they turn 18. However, exceptions are made for most Arab citizens of Israel, as well as ultra-Orthodox men and women.
Unless this policy changes, Mr Lapid said, "I feel we're at risk that a whole generation of young Israelis - who went to the army, work hard, pay taxes - one day will look around and say hey, this country is going nowhere."
Mr Lapid expressed support for Mr Netanyahu's stance against Iran's nuclear programme, seeing the prospect of the Islamic Republic obtaining an atomic bomb as a "disastrous scenario".
"If we will come to the point of no return, [beyond] which it will be obvious that ... Iran will have a nuclear bomb, then Israel should do something, it should go there and bomb the facility of the nuclear programme of Iran," Mr Lapid said.
Iran denies any desire for atomic weapons and says Israel, assumed to have them itself, is the main regional threat.
Mr Lapid has vowed to press any Netanyahu-led cabinet to renew talks with the Palestinians. Backing a two-state division of the land, he has often described such a solution as a divorce from the Palestinians, rather than a pursuit of peace with them.
Mr Lapid has called it "irresponsible" to have had such a long hiatus in negotiations, which collapsed in 2010 over the issue of Jewish settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank.
"What we're doing is taking the most explosive conflict of our lives and just moving it to the next generation," said Lapid, who envisages Palestinian statehood in occupied land, and Israel removing some of the settlements it has built there.
But he acknowledges that resuming diplomacy may take time.
Israelis "lost a lot of faith in the goodwill of Palestinians," Mr Lapid said, citing rocket fire from the Gaza Strip even after a 2005 pullout, and Hamas Islamists opposed to Israel's existence taking control of the territory.
Echoing Mr Lapid's comments, Yaakov Perry, a former head of Israel's Shin Bet internal security service and now a Yesh Atid lawmaker, told Army Radio today that the party had made readiness for renewed talks with the Palestinians a condition for joining any Netanyahu-led coalition.
"It is a strategic matter for Israel. We want to settle a divorce with our neighbours. We want the two-state solution," Mr Perry said.