Yair Lapid : biography
Yair Lapid ( born 5 November 1963) is the Israeli Minister of Finance and chairman of the Yesh Atid Party. Prior to his entry into politics in 2012, he was a journalist, author, TV presenter and news anchor.http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2012/0503/New-kind-of-Israeli-politician-Yair-Lapid-doesn-t-talk-about-Iran-Palestinians/%28page%29/2 The Yesh Atid Party, which he founded, became the second largest party in the Knesset after the first election it participated in. The surprising results of the 2013 election solidified his reputation as a leading moderate.
In March 2013, following his coalition agreement with Likud, he became the Israeli Minister of Finance.
On 8 January 2012 Lapid announced that he would be leaving his journalism career in order to enter politics. On 30 April 2012 Lapid formally registered his party, "Yesh Atid" ( lit. "There's a Future"). The move was aimed to coincide with the general expectation in Israel for early elections to be held in the early fall of 2012.
A few days after Yesh Atid's registration, in a surprise move, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed a national unity government. It was then thought that Lapid's party would have to wait until late 2013 before it could participate in national elections. But in October 2012, following the departure of Kadima from Netanyahu's coalition over how to implement a Supreme Court decision ending the exemption from the military draft for the ultra-Orthodox, Netanyahu announced that elections would take place in late January 2013, affording Yesh Atid its first opportunity to run since its formation. In November 2012, Yesh Atid was polling an average of 11.6%, or 13–14 seats in the 120-seat Knesset. The final results of the January election showed the party winning an unexpected 19 seats, making Yesh Atid the second-largest party in the 19th Knesset.
Lapid was named Israel's finance minister on 15 March 2013.
Views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Regarding the diplomatic stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Lapid said that "Most of the blame belongs to the Palestinian side, and I am not sure that they as a people are ready to make peace with us."Gill Hoffman. . Jerusalem Post He has, however, dismissed as unrealistic the possibility of a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians.http://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21578722-businessmen-try-making-peace-through-economic-co-operation-boosting-west-banks Israel and Palestine: Boosting the West Bank’s economy
In a May 19, 2013 interview with New York Times correspondent Jodi Rudoren, Lapid said that:
- ".. Israel should not change its policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank in order to revive the stalemated peace process"
- "..Jerusalem should not serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state"
- "..he would not stop the so-called “natural expansion” of settlements in the West Bank, nor curtail the financial incentives offered Israelis to move there"
- "..the large swaths of land known as East Jerusalem that Israel captured from Jordan in the 1967 war and later annexed must stay Israeli because “we didn’t come here for nothing.”"
Views on the Israeli Haredim
During the election campaign, Lapid spoke of "equal share of the burden" for all Israeli citizens. He said he would work to see it that all Israeli citizens, including the thousands of haredim who had up until that point been exempt from most civil service due to the Tal Law, be included in military and civil service.http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4336131,00.htmlhttp://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/02/what-is-really-behind-the-share-the-burden-equally-crisis.html On May 27, 2013, Lapid threatened to topple the government unless ultra-Orthodox would be subject to jail sentences for engaging in religious study instead of military service.http://www.haaretz.com/news/national/lapid-threatens-to-topple-government-unless-ultra-orthodox-dealt-equal-share-of-idf-burden.premium-1.526268
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