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Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:03 AM

Charismatic Leader Helps Israel Turn Toward the Center

Source: NY TIMES

RAMAT GAN, Israel ó With his good looks and suave manner, Yair Lapid had long been a celebrity and symbol of success here, building a strong following as a prominent journalist and the host of a popular television show.

But by the time the polls closed here Tuesday, it was clear that Mr. Lapid had reinvented himself as one of the most powerful political leaders in the country, leveraging his celebrity and a populist message that resonated.

Mr. Lapid, 49, was the surprise of the Israeli election. His party placed second, when polls said it would come in fourth. He had predicted that he would do better with his outreach to the middle class and his emphasis on social justice and the rising inequalities in society. He was right. His centrist Yesh Atid Party won 19 seats in the 120-seat Parliament, according to preliminary results, positioning Mr. Lapid as the chief power broker in the formation of the next governing coalition.

Mr. Lapidís stronghold seems to have been the Tel Aviv area, with preliminary results showing he garnered about a quarter of the votes cast here in Ramat Gan and similar suburbs of Israelís largely secular metropolis

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/23/world/middleeast/yair-lapid-guides-yesh-atid-party-to-success-in-israeli-elections.html?hp

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Charismatic Leader Helps Israel Turn Toward the Center (Original post)
iandhr Jan 2013 OP
Tarheel_Dem Jan 2013 #1
Tarheel_Dem Jan 2013 #2
Behind the Aegis Jan 2013 #3
R. Daneel Olivaw Jan 2013 #7
Comrade Grumpy Jan 2013 #4
AAO Jan 2013 #6
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #5
kelliekat44 Jan 2013 #8
FleetwoodMac Jan 2013 #9

Response to iandhr (Original post)


Response to iandhr (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:10 AM

2. I watched a report on the BBC, and he was getting tons of love from his supporters.

The guy who ran to the right of Netanyahu is scary, and so were the folks who support him. They are hardliners, and surprisingly young. I was hopeful that the younger generations, on both sides of this issue, would try and move closer to each other, instead of further apart. That being said, this is a very encouraging development.

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Response to iandhr (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 12:42 AM

3. Looks like they could have used a Nate Silver.

People were shitting themselves about this election, though I did see a number of outlier polls that suggested this very thing would happen. Personally, I think it was just wishful thinking from both sides of extremists.

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Response to Behind the Aegis (Reply #3)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:30 AM

7. I'm surprised that Nate Silver hasn't gone global or that


his services aren't asked for or emulated elsewhere.

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Response to iandhr (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 01:13 AM

4. Well, this seems like moderately good news.

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Response to Comrade Grumpy (Reply #4)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:05 AM

6. And smells like a moderatly stagnant breath of fresh air!

 

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Response to iandhr (Original post)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 05:55 AM

5. Sweet mother of God!

Was there even anyone out there who saw this coming?
All I heard in the weeks leading to the election was how the Labor Party, and by extension, the left, would continue its downward spiral while the right solidify their ascendency.

But as it is now, with (despite?) Labor coming in third, we're looking at a pretty moderate coalition (Likud 31, Yesh Atid+Labor=34).

This can only be a good thing for everyone except Bibi Netanyahu and Sheldon Adelson.

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Response to FleetwoodMac (Reply #5)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 09:02 PM

8. Israel seems to have their own brand of "teabaggers." Word is that many are getting tired of

supporting the religious right orthodox and do not want to continue to excuse them paying taxes or avoiding military service. (sounds a little familiar.) Give it another 10 years and the youth will be in charge. Change is coming and it won't be stopped...just give it time.

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Response to kelliekat44 (Reply #8)

Wed Jan 23, 2013, 11:00 PM

9. I hope you're right...

Most still remain unaware how awfully close we came to a shooting match last year between Israel and Iran. I would hate to think how that would've developed.

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