When I read that the name of Yair Lapid’s mew party will be ‘Atid’ (Future), I could not avoid recalling the ancient ‘HaGashash HaKhiver’ skit, which unfortunately I could not find on YouTube or on Google. From vague memory, the ‘Ugly Pair’ arrives for a radio interview. After the interviewer compliments them with effusive words on their profound ugliness and they reply “Thank you… thank you… you are embarrassing us…” he asks them: “What are your plans for the future, ugly ones?” to which one answers: “We haven’t got a future…” and the other one adds: “The future is behind us…”. If Yair Atid’s new party has a Lapid, sorry – If Yair Lapid’s new party has an Atid, time will tell. In the meanwhile there are already those who appeal against his right to use the name itself – Rabbi Yekhezkel Shtelzer established in 2006 the ‘Atid Akher’ (Another Future) party which did not pass the elections’ threshold and is claiming the rights for the name.
We have not yet seen a list of additional candidates who would run with Yair Lapid in next year’s general elections – we can assume that if there was already a consolidated and impressive list of names that would shock the people of Israel and would made it jump for joy, we would have seen it. It is difficult to avoid a dash of cynicism when one casts one’s memory over a long line of political comets whose light shone in the past only to disappear without trace. From high ranking retired officers (General Yigael Yadin, one of the founders of the ‘Dash’ party, springs to mind) through academics, media personalities and even one fashion model.
Yair Lapid was recently quoted in the media after appearing in the Business-Academic club. From the little that was published it is difficult to understand what exactly are his positions on the issues which are really crucial to the future of the state of Israel, except for his opinion, with which I agree, that a bi-national state would be the end of the Zionist vision. He also repeated his four principles. They did not include putting an end to the avoidance of military service, a national service by everyone, or the closing of the widening social and economic gaps. Lapid placed the fight against crime and corruption, with which I fully identify, in the third place. His first principle was the changing of the system of government, so that the leader of the largest party would be appointed prime minister. During Yair Lapid’s lifetime, and in view of the unidirectional demographical changes taking place in Israel, we may come to a point where a united Kharedi party, or a united extremist Arab party, would be the largest party in the Knesset with 20 seats. The Zionist parties on the right and left would have 80 seats. Who would Yair Lapid propose then to appoint as prime minister?