‘Maximum Jews, minimum Palestinians’ — Yair Lapid is the pretty face of ultranationalism

Israel/Palestine
on 11 Comments

“My principle says maximum Jews on maximum land with maximum security and with minimum Palestinians”, said Israeli Knesset member Yair Lapid in an interview with the right-wing newspaper Makor Rishon over the weekend.

This is a person who is a self-declared ‘centrist’ and ‘liberal’ politician. This would almost seem comic, perhaps ridiculous, if he was not a man ranked first on the list of the “Most Influential Jews in the World” by The Jerusalem Post in 2013.

But who is this man, who seems to challenge the very essence of the term “liberal”?

Yair Lapid seems to be every mother-in-law’s dream. Handsome, charming, up-beat, often smiling and in good mood. He entered politics 2012 and won a storming victory for Yesh Atid party in 2013, with no substantial prior political experience. His credentials, and no doubt public appeal, were based upon his past as a TV presenter and news anchor, as well as journalist and author. His focus was very much on “social justice”, which was a very hot item in Israel at the time – a term which naturally did not really include Palestinians as a part of its considerations. With a somewhat vague political agenda, his party suddenly became the second largest in the Knesset after Likud, with 19 seats.

He thus got the finance ministry (2013-2104).

Placing himself in the ‘center’, Yair Lapid has made some very worrying remarks in his political career. In the wake of the so-called “mixed marriage” that took place on August 17, 2014 (so-called because both partners were Muslim – the woman had simply converted from Judaism), where the fascist Lehava ‘anti-miscegenation’ organisation had demonstrated, Lapid spoke on an Israel Waves radio program saying, “It would bother me if my son married a non-Jew… It would bother me greatly.”

In the wake of Palestinian stabbing attacks last October, Lapid decided to take on the self-appointed role of head of national security, when he said on Walla News on October 11th that “whoever takes out a knife or a screwdriver [my emphasis]– should be shot dead”.

Lapid is apparently challenging the right from the center, as it were – he will show the right who is right, he will show the right who is more militaristic, who is more Zionist.

He also discards completely the possibility that the left would have any leadership influence in the coming future: Lapid now said it was clear the Left would not be in power for the next 30 years.

And so Lapid puts his bets on the right side of the spectrum, in his wish to become Prime Minister – at a briefing yesterday to the foreign press in the capital organized by the Jerusalem Press Club he said that he expected the next election to be between him and Netanyahu.

In attempt to still keep the ‘liberal’ and American-appeasing mask on, Lapid still holds on to a semblance of support for a ‘two-state solution’, defined as a ‘separation from the Palestinians’. He wants this through an agreement and not through unilateral steps, saying “international pressure will not move us towards such agreement.” In other words, Lapid wants a “peace process” – on Israel’s terms… Nonetheless, in the same briefing he leaned towards Netanyahu in regards to Iran: The Jerusalem Post reports that “Lapid did not hold back criticism of President Barack Obama’s administration’s decision to support rescinding sanctions on Iran, which will allow huge sums of money to flow to the regime… Although he called for “rebuilding relations with the US”.

In the Makor Rishon interview, in an apparent attempt to appease the right voters and soften some rough edges, Lapid apologized for calling Netanyahu “disconnected” during the last election campaign.

“I sinned in my personal discourse,” he said. “I sinned and erred with all those personal attacks. That is not what we need. We need to unite and be less divisive, and I’ll start that change with me, not by blaming but by taking responsibility.”

He also said he regretted telling Shas leader Arye Deri that he needed to be rehabilitated and promised to speak differently to the haredim (ultra-Orthodox) from now on.

“I believe it is necessary to change the tones,” he said. “I don’t need to attack the prime minister in order to become prime minister or the haredim in order to tell them that I think it is in their best interests for their children to learn math and English.”

Lapid is also seeking to appeal to English speakers: On the Yesh Atid Facebook page, he congratulated the party’s English-speaking supporters for reaching 10,000 likes. “We want you to know that Yesh Atid is your home inside this home of ours here in Israel,” he said. “We are welcoming you and hugging you and we want to draft you in order to improve this place we love so much.”
It seems Lapid is now preparing to become the big leader of all of Israel – at least the Jewish Israelis – a ‘liberal’ who is not afraid to blatantly defy international law, who has chutzpah enough to defy America with a smile, a leader who has something for (almost) everyone – respect for the religious Jews, muscles for the militant nationalists, a smile for the liberals, and even a hug for English speaking supporters.

But if you are a Palestinian, I am not sure he’s your best bet. Just make sure you don’t walk around with a screwdriver, Lapid might kill you.

11 Responses

  1. a blah chick
    January 26, 2016, 7:50 pm

    “Just make sure you don’t walk around with a screwdriver, Lapid might kill you.”

    Oh, please, he wouldn’t dirty his lily white hands with such work. He’d get some poor security guard on minimum wage to do the deed.

    By the by, isn’t he the son of “Tommy Gun” Lapid? Yesh Atid sounds like a warmed over version of his dad’s old party.

  2. Marnie
    January 26, 2016, 11:52 pm

    “I believe it is necessary to change the tones,” he said. “I don’t need to attack the prime minister in order to become prime minister or the haredim in order to tell them that I think it is in their best interests for their children to learn math and English.”

    That’s all politicians are about, changing the tones, and nothing else. He’s no different from Netanyahu, or the former nightclub bouncer who’s name but horrible grimace escape me, bennett or any of the others. He made a big splash 4 years ago but has since torn off his smiling idiot mask and revealed himself to be just like everyone else. Yesh Atid – There is a Future (if you’re a Jew). There is no left in israel. Only shades of right (and white – hey they rhyme). The picture of Lapid needs a caption – maybe “Laugh if you want Joe, but I’m the next king o’ the Jews! Now let’s see you get on those knees….”

  3. Krauss
    January 27, 2016, 1:53 am

    Remind me again how the 2SS is just around the corner.

  4. MHughes976
    January 27, 2016, 6:09 am

    Another illustration, I think, of how liberal Zionism is in a hopeless position and of how its beloved project, the 2ss, is not around any nearby corner.
    From their Western fastnesses the liberals often strike the pose, which may be all too sincere, of Israel’s best friends, who just know that ‘the occupation’ is not in Israel’s best interest or that the ‘security’ apparatus surrounding it is excessive or counterproductive. But they cannot find anyone of political significance on the ground who agrees with them, on the contrary finding that those who voice admiration for Western liberalism think ‘the occupation’ and the ‘shoot on sight of a screwdriver’ security measures are essential. The liberals are then left saying that matters of national interest and security are best judged from a long distance, by people whose own involvement is sympathetic but not immediate, whose own lives, property, families etc are not at direct risk. Even they don’t really believe that.

  5. Ramzi Jaber
    January 27, 2016, 11:53 am

    as i said here before, a zionist is a zionist is a zionist. it does not matter what qualifier or label you attach to it (liberal, left, right, open, … …), they are all zionists united in their single goal of STEALING Palestine.

    • Talkback
      January 28, 2016, 9:32 am

      Given the fact that in 1948 there was not a single territory (lets call it “Jewland”) in which
      1.) everybody was a “Jewishlander”.
      2.) most of the legal residents wanted their territory to secede from a mother land
      3.) everybody in the newly created state became a Jew, because “Jewish” is a citizenship

      one can only conclude that being a Zionist can only mean to support:
      1.) that being Jewish is more important than being a legal resident or citizen.
      2.) to ignore any majority ruling when it comes to the question of territorial integrity of the mother land.
      3.) to make sure that noone becomes ipso facto a citizen of the newly created state, except Jews

      Therefore Zionism can only be racism. The so called “Jewish state” is de facto a recognized Apartheid Junta which took over most of the land by force and expulsion in a time where the (mandatory) goverment dissolved. And democratic principles (majority ruling) only applies to everybody who this Apartheid Junta doesn’t keep segregated by keeping them expelled.

  6. James Canning
    January 27, 2016, 1:04 pm

    Yair Lapid has ample reason to think rich and powerful American Jews will help him to undermine US national security interests in the Middle East, by growing the illegal colonies of Jews in the occupied West Bank.

  7. echinococcus
    January 28, 2016, 12:12 am

    “Lapid now said it was clear the Left would not be in power for the next 30 years. ”
    Let’s hope he is right. Let’s hope the Yahoos remain in government to show the real face of Zionism and accelerate its demise.

  8. JLewisDickerson
    January 28, 2016, 3:14 am

    RE: In attempt to still keep the ‘liberal’ and American-appeasing mask on, Lapid still holds on to a semblance of support for a ‘two-state solution’, defined as a ‘separation from the Palestinians’. He wants this through an agreement and not through unilateral steps, saying “international pressure will not move us towards such agreement.” In other words, Lapid wants a “peace process” – on Israel’s terms…” ~ Jonathan Ofir

    OR, IN YET OTHER WORDS: Any Palestinian “state” (i.e., Bantustans) in Lapid’s version of the two-state solution will have “Auschwitz borders” (to borrow from the Likudniks).

  9. Talkback
    January 28, 2016, 9:14 am

    Thank God he didn’t say “Maximum Aryans, minimum Jews.” Now that would have been a Freudian slip.

  10. Jonathan Ofir
    June 16, 2016, 7:17 am

    It may surprise you, JLewisDickerson, that the source of the “Auschwitz borders” term is actually not the Likud, but rather the left, labor Abba Eban. He said this at the UN in 1969 (in regards to withdrawal to pre 1967 lines): “We have openly said that the map will never again be the same as on June 4, 1967. For us, this is a matter of security and of principles. The June map is for us equivalent to insecurity and danger. I do not exaggerate when I say that it has for us something of a memory of Auschwitz.”

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