A new opponent may topple Netanyahu … Who is “Yair Lapid,” the biggest rival to the Israeli prime minister in the elections?

The new Israeli opposition leader, and former media person, did not hide Yair LapidHis desire, for the first time in his political career, to become the next prime minister, following the elections scheduled for March 23, in which he aspires to overthrow his bitter opponent Benjamin Netanyahu.

And in an interview with the newspaper “The Jerusalem PostOn Monday, March 15, 2021, Lapid, who is based on opinion polls that favors him, said: “I think this is the right time for a generational change in Israel, I am ready, my party is ready, we have the right plans, the appropriate capabilities and experiences, I have served in Many sites qualify me to be the next prime minister, and if I have the opportunity, then surely this will be an honor for me to serve my country, “as he put it.

Who is Yair Lapid? Will the next prime minister in Israel, if he succeeds in the main in overthrowing Netanyahu, will be the longest prime minister in the history of the entity that was established in 1948?

Who is Yair Lapid, Netanyahu’s “stubborn rival”?

Former news anchor Yair Lapid was known for his “elegant appearance and strong personality” before becoming one of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s main competitors.

Yair Lapid, 57, was born in Tel Aviv, to his father, former Justice Minister Yosef Lapid, who also left journalism and headed to politics, and his mother was novelist Shlomit Lapid.

Lapid, an amateur martial arts boxer, used to write a newspaper columnist before heading to TV work on Israeli Channel Two, a role that boosted his stardom among Israelis.

In 2012, however, Lapid decided to enter the political arena and founded the “Yesh Atid” party (There is a future), but it was not accepted, as he announced his party at a time that was popular for Israeli media stars to invest their fame in the political field.

The turning point in Yair Lapid’s career

In the 2013 elections, the Yesh Atid party, which claims to adopt the “secular centrist” approach, won 19 seats in the Israeli Knesset, consisting of 120 deputies, and Lapid was chosen to be Minister of Finance for a short period under Netanyahu. This helped him impose himself as a political player who counted He has an account, says Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper.

Lapid’s party raises the slogans of “social justice for the middle class” in particular and portrays itself as its representative, despite its wealth estimated at more than 22 million shekels. It supports the two-state solution. And separation from the PalestiniansAs a guarantee of “the survival of Israel with a Jewish majority.”

It also “does not accept the borders of 67, and believes that large settlement blocs should be kept within the borders of Israel.” Lapid was known for his racist attitudes towards the Arab citizens of Israel, and stated years ago that he would “not sit in the opposition next to them.” And in One of his initiatives As Minister of Finance to solve the housing crisis by granting a tax exemption, he suggested “excluding Arabs from this right”, as he did not complete this legislation due to the dissolution of the government.

In 2019, hoping to topple Netanyahu, who is being haunted by corruption charges, the Lapid “Yesh Atid” party joined the “Blue and White” coalition that former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz formed that year.

And faced “Blue and White” with Netanyahu, the leader of the right-wing Likud party, and tied in three successive elections. In April 2020, Gantz decided to ally with Netanyahu and form a government coalition led by the prime minister “in an effort to save the country in its war against the Coronavirus.”

This alliance prompted Lapid to withdraw from the coalition, and accused Gantz of “violating the fundamental promise he made to his supporters when he undertook the task of ousting Netanyahu.” In a previous interview with Agence France-Presse in September, Lapid said that Gantz had considered Netanyahu to be a collaborator within the coalition.

After his withdrawal from the Blue and White party, Lapid entered the Israeli Knesset as the leader of the Yesh Atid party and the leader of the opposition. He described the short-lived unity government between Netanyahu and Gantz as a “ridiculous coalition,” as communication between its ministers was cut off. Lapid predicted the collapse of the coalition in December, and this is what actually happened, amid tensions between Netanyahu and Gantz.

Lapid tops the polls

Various Israeli polls indicate that the Yesh Atid party will win a total of 18 to 20 seats in Israel The electionWhich would give him the second highest percentage of votes after Netanyahu’s Likud party.

Although he replaced Gantz as the pre-eminent force in the anti-Netanyahu camp, however Israeli reports She says that Lapid’s path to obtaining the majority of 61 seats for his inauguration as prime minister does not seem easy, and will require him to form a more difficult alliance with the right and left and Arab representatives in the Knesset, and it is not known until now whether he will do so or not.

And Yediot Aharonot newspaper says, “Lapid is now running a sober and serious campaign, proposing himself as an alternative to Netanyahu, and that he is ready for this competition, he rarely gives interviews, refuses to count himself, and instead of rebuking his opponents (ultra-Orthodox) he announced a plan on climate change, and from It is clear that he is waging a campaign against Netanyahu to replace him at any cost. “

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