Name? Yair Lapid
Westphalian identity? Israeli
Why is he in the news? Yair Lapid is the architect behind Israel’s new eight party coalition government ousting former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Bibi) from power. As the leader of the centrist Yesh Atid party, he was supposed to become the new Prime Minister but left that position to Naftali Bennet for two years, the leader of the Yamina (right-wing) party.
Why do we care? Lapid’s ultimate goal was the removal of Bibi as Prime Minister. After serving as his finance minister in 2013, he was fired two years in, causing his party to lose support. “Ending Netanyahu’s rule is the first goal in my eyes,” he wrote in a column in March. “For it, I am willing to give up a great many things, including my personal aspirations.”
Why should you care? For the past few years, Netanyahu has isolated Israel on the international stage. Lapid, who will serve as Foreign Minister for the next two years, has vowed to end this and return Israel to the table; indicating that not being Prime Minister at first might not hurt him so much after all. A man with a plan and principles scores a 10/10 on our scale.
Who else cares? Benjamin Netanyahu. While being on trial for corruption, Bibi will do everything in his power to bring about the failure of this coalition and force new elections. Without the powers of the Prime Minister, he will not be able to undermine his own trial so easily.
Any further comments? Lapid has proven his strategic finesse by uniting political parties further apart on the political spectrum than Israel is wide. No matter the outcome of this coalition, Lapid will win. Either he is the defeater of Bibi and Prime Minister after four years, or he tried everything in his power and could not unite the extreme parties giving voters a reason to vote for him.