Just before he enters the Prime Minister’s Office: Back to the beginning of Lapid’s political path

A well-known American proverb states that politics is just like show business – only for ugly people. If the prediction regarding Yair Lapid’s imminent entry into political life in Israel does come true, we will have to rethink this assumption.

But a torch will bring with it much more than a glittering appearance. Not only is he the famous journalist in Israel, a popular talent and a successful writer, Lapid is also the most representative draftsman of the updated secular Israeli masculinity (excuse me Eliraz Sadeh): he comes from a political family, but can comfortably position himself in almost any right-wing and left-wing party.

Even in his personal life, he is not limited to one binding brass – his list of close friends includes Einat Shroff, Roni Somek and Arnon Milchen. He strongly opposes the ultra-Orthodox establishment, but his religious sentiment is no stranger to him. He feels comfortable in front of a book of poems by Dylan Thomas as much as he is happy to share a cigar with some Alfion representative. And he can recruit Rami Kleinstein to write his election jingle.

Maariv Gate Weekend, March 2010 (Photo: Maariv Archive)
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We’ll be back in a minute

As of this week, the only proof that Yair Lapid intends to enter politics is still the same interview with Ilana Dayan from two months ago, in which he said “I will decide a minute before the next election.” Since there are three years left until the next election, and Bibi Netanyahu’s government looks as stable as a table not acquired at IKEA, one can understand why Lapid himself seeks to silence the voices talking about his possible deal (he politely refused to cooperate with this article and explained that nothing has changed since his non-declaration). Binding in “fact”).

And yet, although an official announcement is still far away, his possible entry into politics worries the Knesset so much that MKs Carmel Shama and Ronit Tirosh will submit – separately – bills that impose a one-year cooling-off on a media man seeking to run in the election.

In “Great Country” – perhaps the most reliable national seismograph – an election slogan has already been prepared for Lapid. Camille Fox published a poll that revealed that half of Kadima voters “tend” to vote for Torch. Eyal Berkowitz opened a bottle of champagne at Ulpan Shishi and crowned him the next prime minister.

Article from Maariv, 2010 (Photo: Maariv Archive)Article from Maariv, 2010 (Photo: Maariv Archive)

“Probably worth a lot”

And everywhere the rumors are buzzing: Lapid met with Haim Ramon for a conversation about walking together, and the two even discussed the idea of ​​joining Aryeh Deri (Ramon: “Besides there are people with such names, nothing in this report is true”); Lapid has already recruited Ophir Pines to run alongside him (Pines: “I also heard the rumors. The last time I spoke to Yair was at Tommy’s seven”); Torch is meant for Bozi Herzog (Herzog: “All in all, we were photographed drinking coffee together”); Lapid offered Dan Halutz the security ticket on a future list (Halutz: “We met but did not talk about politics”); Lapid turned to Reuven Adler to organize a campaign for him (Adler: “was not and was not created”); Lapid also met with Tzipi Livni and Dex with her about a possible combination of arms in Kadima.

Like any media person in his position, Lapid regularly meets with senior figures in the political system. But although every such meeting has a plausible professional explanation, the feeling that Lapid is paving his way to the Knesset is only gaining strength. “Everyone I’ve been talking to lately just slanders him, so he’s probably worth a lot,” says a senior politician.

“Wherever I go, they do not support him, they treat him with disdain, but I know all the codes. They are just afraid of him. The red light comes on: Danger. If the politicians were not afraid of him, they would not bother so much to convince why he did not Suitable and why he has no chance. “

The immediate question is what political role he desires. Commentators and politicians agree that he can be elected in the primaries of any party he wants to run for, but it is clear that Lapid will not abandon his comfortable position in the media to huddle in the back seats of the Knesset along with Einat Wilf and Zion Pinian.

Yair is not Tommy, a man who enjoys shouting and confronting. His personal temperament, and the political persona derived from him, dictate to him to act within the consensus, to represent many demographic sectors, to act in dialogue, to restore to Israeli society the sense of brotherhood and common destiny it has lost – and in short to be a leader.

Tommy Lapid (Photo: Flash 90)Tommy Lapid (Photo: Flash 90)

The National Mami

On paper, Shinui was supposed to be the most appropriate political home for Lapid Jr. as well: a neo-liberal party, located in the center of the map, promotes the interests of the middle class, opposes ultra-Orthodox parasites, supports the idea of ​​two states, and pipes (actually who does not?), On The impossible system of government in Israel.

In the last election, there were reports that Poraz and Lapid had commissioned polls that examined the chances of running on a joint list that would group together the emission remnants of change. “Poraz himself told me then that he had commissioned polls to see if there was a realistic possibility that he would run with Yair under the ‘secular party’ brand,” says Raviv Drucker, Channel 10’s political commentator.

Poraz denies that Torch was involved. “We negotiated with the Greens. But I am in favor of quality people being in politics and he is a quality person.”

The lesson of the retirees

With a change out of the picture, Kadima seems like a realistic option to host Yair Lapid’s political aspirations. As someone who defines himself as “center-left” and alternatively “center”, Lapid is supposed to find a warm home there, certainly after the disintegration of work.

Another alternative is to establish a political body out of nothing, a kind of new Kadima – an alternative to an alternative. Such a solution could suit Lapid’s personality – a man who comes from outside but feels comfortable in the consensus – and also the current political climate, where differences between left and right are blurring and leaders are fleeing from presenting a political vision like the outbreak of swine flu.

Not just mentioned as a future partner is the name of Ophir Pines, disappointed in the job, who certainly did not give up his ambitions to one day join the Israeli leadership: the two are the same age, and each can give the other some element he lacks. Pines will be able to soften with the help of a torch the image of the rebel who is causing trouble; Lapid will get from him real political experience, an understanding of the system from within and maybe some more rebel workers who will look for an upgrade.

“I would not suggest to him to join an existing party but to join young people who represent the majority of the Israeli public and today have no representation,” says Amnon Rubinstein, one of the historians of change and who founded the DS in the mid-1970s, together with Yigal Yadin. Share mayors and local authorities because I think local government is much better than central government. There are unusually successful mayors and it is imperative to include them in central politics. Anyway, it’s not easy. If you do not have the funding, it is difficult to keep your head above water. “

Other political commentators say forming a new party is a problematic and not really effective solution. In this context, they mention the same Dash, the center-right party of Amnon Lipkin-Shahak and Yitzhak Mordechai, and even the retirees – all factions that enjoyed the disappointment of voters in the political situation and barely lasted a term.

Drucker agrees. “A person votes based on deep elements of identity. It is not just Arthur Finkelstein who asks in every poll: Are you first and foremost an Israeli or first and foremost a Jew? The definitions of left and right have always expressed much deeper things than yes or no giving up the territories. “To the right even though he does not mind giving up the territories, and to the left he votes to the left even though he no longer believes there is a Palestinian partner. The differences are blurred, it’s true, but not the deep elements of identity that dictate them.

Yair Lapid (Photo: Lehi Lapid)Yair Lapid (Photo: Lehi Lapid)

An agenda that is an agenda

Ronen Tzur paradoxically believes that the main political appeal of Lapid today is in the fact that he is still only a potential politician, a man without a commitment to the public of voters, party members and lobbyists. “A journalist enjoys the ability to formulate the agenda without coalition pressure, there is no responsibility for implementation, for proof of execution. He writes, some agree and some do not, and after a week he writes something else. The real test will come the day he announces his candidacy. “The ability to sell the agenda to the public. Suddenly he will be exposed to criticism, to the rules of proof of ability, and his ideological world will also change.”

Judy Nir-Mozes-Shalom claims that the exact agenda that Lapid will promote will not affect his chances of being elected. “I do not think there are many people in Israel who, apart from election slogans, really have an agenda that they consistently follow,” she says. “So I think he should not be judged by attitudes but by the fact that he is active in so many voluntary bodies, and that he gives people his time and money and energy. Both my owners came from the media, and that is not something that happens overnight. What matters is that there are not many brave people in this country. To get into politics, Yair Lapid is one of the few who have the courage. “

In the heat of the current debate it is easy to forget that Yair Lapid may ultimately decide to stay in the media and give up the political aspirations we all tend to attribute to him. “I estimate that in the end he will not run,” says a Knesset member who made a similar move. “Why should he give up the comfortable position he is in now, where he can voice his views, influence as a journalist and stay clean.

“When you enter politics you are no longer immune. You remove all the defensive walls you have built for yourself as a media person. You become a legitimate target for attacks – and the more you sell the harder the attacks are. They look for you and check everything – money, entertainment, expenses – everything is given To a venomous critique. Even if you think you know why you’re going, you do not imagine how hard and swampy and complicated it is. If he is seriously considering it I would suggest he reconsider. Because being a MK is a pretty bad job, certainly for someone From a salary like his. “

Yair Lapid (Photo: Avshalom Shashoni)Yair Lapid (Photo: Avshalom Shashoni)

“Open source”

For people like him. “In the world of computers, there is a technological development called ‘open source.’ It is much more important than a political agenda. “

But is it possible, at the embryonic stage of his political aspirations, to talk about Prime Minister Lapid at all? The assumption of most commentators is that it is not easy to translate rating points into votes at the ballot box. They believe that despite Eyal Berkowitz’s optimistic prophecy, it is still too early. At best, Lapid will have to settle for the position of minister, with the assumption that he is staring at the position of minister of education – a subject he often writes about and about which he already has formulated positions.

According to them, although he is one of the most popular people in the country, and with all the entertainment that has taken over the public discourse (MKs even participated this week in choosing the song to be sent to the Eurovision Song Contest), the public still knows the difference between an election and sending an SMS to Big Brother. So Lapid will have to go through partisan-business training like everyone else, before he gets to the Knesset.

“He has not yet decided he is going into politics, but I have no doubt he wants it because his life is very comfortable now,” says Amnon Dankner, a close friend of the late Tommy and also of his son. “The matter of wanting is very important in politics. I do not want to speak on his behalf, to detail what exactly his thoughts are, but I can say that he takes things very seriously.

He prepares himself very thoroughly for the possibility that he will enter. And his seriousness says something. I mean, when Nig? Put judging how much it is worth, it is not the right approach to judge according to what is happening now. You have to wait until he enters the arena. Then he will discover traits that have not been discovered in him to this day. “

Published in the Maariv Weekend supplement in March 2010


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