On my 30th birthday, about six years ago, Benjamin Netanyahu and Yair Lapid sat next to each other in my living room and argued. The rest of my friends were listening attentively.
It was a fascinating ideological discussion, and after it ended Lapid jokingly asked me who I thought my friends would vote for – him or Netanyahu.
Back then it was a funny question: Netanyahu was a politician facing what seemed like a lost cause; he was the head of a party with 12 Knesset seats who was looking from the outside at a stable government that enjoyed a huge embrace from the media.
Meanwhile, Lapid was a talk show host, a journalist and a TV presenter.
However, life has an interesting tempo, and in a rather odd manner it appears that the above question shall decide the next Israeli elections.
Any way one looks at it now, it will be either Netanyahu or Lapid. These two figures will be heading the two largest parties, with each one belonging to a different political bloc.
Even though I fear the possibility that the current balance of power between Israel’s political blocs will change because of Lapid, one cannot but be happy about his decision to enter politics.
Indeed, in the face of all the criticism, one must wonder what’s the problem exactly with a moral, wise man who gives up plenty of money and huge influence in order to put himself up for election.
And on a final note, an innocent question – had Noam Shalit decided to join Likud rather than Labor, would this move be met with such calm, without nobody wondering whether there is something wrong with such quick, inexplicable shift from a public campaign for his son’s release to a personal campaign for his own sake?
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