Israel’s Yair Lapid: From TV anchor to PM hopeful

JERUSALEM: Yair Lapid, who edged nearer on Sunday to forming a coalition cupboard to oust long-term premier Benjamin Netanyahu, is Israel’s centrist opposition chief and a former tv anchor.
When Lapid based his Yesh Atid (There’s a Future) social gathering in 2012, some dismissed him as the most recent in a sequence of media stars searching for to parlay his movie star into political success.
However Yesh Atid completed second with 17 seats in March elections, Israel’s fourth inconclusive vote in lower than two years, and earlier this month Lapid was tasked to type a authorities after Netanyahu did not cobble collectively a coalition.
On Sunday, Lapid satisfied nationalist hardliner Naftali Bennett to hitch him in constructing a coalition cupboard they hope will finish Netanyahu’s 12 consecutive years in workplace.
Decided to type a authorities earlier than a Wednesday evening deadline, Lapid supplied Bennett the chance to serve the primary time period in a rotating premiership. Lapid would then serve the second.
The renewed efforts in direction of drafting a viable anti-Netanyahu line-up got here after an 11-day battle between the Jewish state and the Gaza Strip’s Hamas rulers ended with an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire on May 21.
Lapid, a former information anchor as soon as recognized largely for his chiselled beauty, is the Tel Aviv-born son of the fiercely secular former justice minister Yosef “Tommy” Lapid, one other journalist who left the media to enter politics.
His mom, Shulamit, is a novelist, playwright and poet.
An novice boxer and martial artist who has additionally revealed a dozen books, Lapid was a newspaper columnist earlier than changing into a presenter on Channel 2 TV, a task that boosted his stardom, and he as soon as featured on lists of Israel’s most fascinating males.
The fiercely secularist and centrist Yesh Atid had claimed a stunning 19 seats in Israel’s 120-member parliament again in 2013 polls, establishing Atid as a reputable power in politics.
The social gathering joined the centrist Blue and White coalition fashioned in 2019 beneath the management of former army chief Benny Gantz.
Blue and White then battled Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud in three elections in lower than a 12 months.
When Gantz determined final spring to enter a Netanyahu-led coalition, citing the necessity for unity because the coronavirus pandemic was gathering tempo, Lapid bolted.
He accused Gantz of breaching a basic promise Blue and White had made to its supporters: that it might struggle to oust Netanyahu.
In an interview with AFP in September, Lapid mentioned Gantz had naively believed that Netanyahu would work collaboratively inside the coalition.
“I instructed (Gantz), ‘I’ve labored with Netanyahu. Why do not you take heed to the voice of expertise… He’s 71 years previous. He isn’t going to alter’,” Lapid mentioned.
After exiting Blue and White, Lapid took his seat in parliament as the top of Yesh Atid and chief of the opposition.
He described the short-lived Netanyahu-Gantz unity authorities as “a ridiculous coalition”, wherein cupboard ministers who disliked one another didn’t trouble to speak.
He additionally predicted the coalition would collapse in December, which it did, amid bitter acrimony between Netanyahu and Gantz.

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