Yair Lapid reveals his positions, and stakes out a place in the political center
Yair Lapid displayed the kind of political courage on Tuesday evening that has thus far been missing from the current Israeli election campaign.
He went to Ariel to call for a renewal of negotiations with the Palestinians, and to position himself as Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert did before him: as a political moderate, but one with an aggressive stance on defense. This strategy enabled all three of them to defeat the right at the ballot box. Now Lapid aims to fill the void left by the collapse of Kadima and the political decline of Ehud Barak.
Lapid's current election rivals, and his potential partners in the next governing coalition – Benjamin Netanyahu, Avigdor Lieberman and Shelly Yacimovich – have attempted to make the public forget about the existence of the Palestinians, tossing the "diplomatic issue" into the trash.
Until now, Lapid has also focused on problems in education and the need to change the system of government in Israel. Starting now he also has a political program, which, following in the tradition of his predecessors, is meant to annoy the left ("Jerusalem won't be divided") and the right (by calling for leaving some of the settlements), and thus to present Lapid as the real voice of Israel's political center.