web analytics
March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post


Yair Lapid’s ‘Future’ Problem

Prime Minister Wannabe Yair Lapid may be facing an uphill battle on his way to the ballot box.

Prime Minister Wannabe Yair Lapid may be facing an uphill battle on his way to the ballot box.
Photo Credit: Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Former journalist and rookie politician Yair Lapid’s new party is off to a problematic start.

Lapid chose to step down as anchor of Channel 2’s Meet the Press a few months ago, after the Knesset started advancing a bill that would require a cooling off period between journalism and politics. Critics in the Knesset accused Lapid of using his television show as a political platform and agreed to bury the bill if Lapid quit.

A second bill targeted Lapid’s fundraising, which was not subject to any regulations, supervision, or transparency because he had refused to register his party in the Knesset Party Registry. This time Lapid waited to act, until the bill – which would have placed heavy penalties on him for fundraising outside of the system – passed. Lapid announced he would make the trip to the Party Registry office this week to name his party and comply with the same campaign rules and regulations the other parties are required to follow.

He chose the name Atid, which means ‘future’ in Hebrew. Lapid is promising the country a new future under his new party banner, Atid, which also happens to rhyme with Lapid.

Atid was a controversial pick, since many political insiders recall the previous Atid Party – led by one-term MKs Alex Goldfarb and Esther Salmovitz – which existed from November 1995 to June 1996. Goldfarb and Salmovitz were elected on the nationalist Tzomet Party list and broke away to join Rabin’s government, first as members of Yiud, before abandoning one of their friends and forming Atid. Goldfarb’s infamous and controversial vote supporting the Oslo Accords in return for a position as Deputy Housing Minister and a Mitsubishi car went down as one of the dirtiest corruption scandals in Knesset history.

Goldfarb would eventually join Labor, and the name Atid resurfaced in a new party called Atid Echad (One Future), an immigrant party with mostly Ethiopian support, led by Abraham Negosa and Yechezkel Stelzer. Atid Echad’s platform focused on immigration, absorption, Jewish education, and Jewish values.

The Atid Echad Party finished 17th out of the 31 lists that ran in the 2006 election, picking up 14,005 votes. The party did not pass the electoral threshold but took pride in coming only 4,000 votes shy of former Deputy General of the I.D.F. Uzi Dayan’s heavily-funded anti-corruption Tafnit Party. Negosa bounced around after leaving Atid Echad before accepting the 8th slot on Jewish Home (Habayit HaYehudi) before the 2009 elections. Following the elections, he returned to the party where he started his political career – Likud. Stelzer took control of Atid Echad in 2009 but chose not to run. Neither Negosa nor Stelzer have ever served as an MK.

Stelzer, in an exclusive interview with JewishPress.com, said that fundraising while playing by the rules is difficult, and it is impossible to pass the threshold with less than a million dollars. In 2006, the party raised $200,000, and he has no doubt he would have entered the Knesset if he had more funds. He disclosed that the money issue kept the party from running in 2009, and money will again determine whether the party runs in the next elections.

Stelzer expressed frustration at the prospect of Lapid appropriating Atid Echad votes because certain immigrants might get confused, and for this reason opposes Lapid’s use of the Atid name. He said that if Lapid reaches out to him all options will be on the negotiating table and open for discussion, including the possibility of merging the two parties or of Lapid buying the party Stelzer has registered.

The Party Registry needs to determine whether to authorize Lapid’s Atid Party despite the existence of Atid Echad, and Stelzer intends to inform the Registry, if contacted, that he does not consent to Lapid’s party name. If the Party Registry authorizes the Atid Party, legal action remains an option and strong possibility.

Stelzer told JewishPress.com: “I am receiving a lot of pressure from Rabbis and nationalist activists to take legal action against Lapid. If enough people pressure me I will strongly consider it.”

Lapid did not respond to requests for comment. This is consistent with his policy of not responding to journalists’ requests or talking to members of the press in general.

It seems that rookie politician Yair Lapid’s campaign is encountering one legal problem after another. He first dealt with legislation that forced him to relinquish his free public platform as television host of one of Israel’s highest rated shows earlier than he expected to. Further legislation required him to register his party to prevent him from raising money free from the restrictions the other parties face. Now he is facing legal issues surrounding the name of his party.

It remains to be seen what Lapid’s options are if he cannot come to an agreement with Stelzer on how the two parties will move forward. One thing is certain though, it will be interesting to watch Yair Lapid’s future problem with Atid Echad unfold.

About the Author: Jeremy Saltan is a frequent guest on various radio programs and and a veteran political analyst. He has run political campaigns in English and Hebrew for Israeli municipality, party institution, primary and general elections. Jeremy’s opinion pieces have been published, quoted or credited by Voice of America, Daily Beast, France 24, Washington Post, BBC, Al Jazeera, Foreign Policy, Jerusalem Post, Times of Israel, Israel National News and the Jewish Press and more.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Yair Lapid’s ‘Future’ Problem”

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 at Lausanne are likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.
Iran Likely to Force Obama to Back Down on ‘Deadline Threat’
Latest News Stories
Talks between Iran and the P5+1 at Lausanne are likely to be extended beyond Obama's self-imposed deadline.

Talks are likely to extend beyond Obama’s self-imposed deadline that he had said he won’t change.

This is the photo of an Israeli Air Force attack plane shown with Fars New's Agency report that the IAF joined Saudi jest to bomb Yemen.

The Iranian regime is hard up for propaganda, but maybe it is prophesying the future.

Border Police officers arrest Arab rioter on Land Day riot at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem on Monday.

The Arabs rolled burning tires and three rocks at soldiers at the central Gaza security fence.

The Histadrut national labor union and the Federation of Israeli Employers have agreed to raise the minimum wage to 5,300 shekels ($1,334) by 2017, approximately half the average salary in Israel. The employers and the union previously agreed to a three-stage hike in the minimum wage. The latest agreement adds a fourth stage whole pegging […]

The clowns are back in town while ringmaster Netanyahu tries to tame the beasts.

A Reuters poll shows that America is increasingly polarized, especially about President Obama.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu continued to lash out at a possible “bad deal” with Iran Monday and said, “The agreement being formulated in Lausanne sends a message that there is no price for aggression and on the contrary – that Iran’s aggression is to be rewarded.” Netanyahu said in a statement: The moderate and responsible […]

Release of a gag order reveals that the Israeli citizen and a friend traveled to Syria last year.

Lausanne has become the center stage of act that would put the world’s best novelist or Broadway producer to shame.

Inspections of Iranian nuclear sites won’t uncover possible nuclear activity in North Korea, or even China.

Colel Chabad and IFCJ have made sure thousands of Israelis will celebrate Passover with good food this year.

Former Secy of State Hillary Clinton says she wants to see US-Israeli relations on a “constructive footing” and Israel negotiating with the PA.

A rocket launched from Gaza landed in the Sinai, in the Egyptian half of the town of Rafiach (Rafah).

Rami Levi’s operating and net profit suffered from a 12% increase in the costs of selling, marketing, general and administrative expenses.

Matzah baking isn’t all just hard work. Sometimes it can be fun too.

Today on the Hebrew calendar is the 10th of Nisan – the day the People of Israel crossed into their new Land.

More Articles from Jeremy Saltan
Benjamin Netanyahu

For Lapid to successfully challenge Netanyahu, he will need to find the right time for a strategic exit from the government.

The right of center parties continue to maintain their lead, albeit by a slightly smaller margin in eight polls released December 9-15.

Knesset Jeremy Weekly Average #8 (week of Nov 25-Dec 1) of 7 polls (Channel 10, Globes, Knesset Channel, Channel 2, Yisrael Hayom, Yediot Ahronont, Channel 1). Current Knesset seats in [brackets], Week 7 average in (brackets) 37.5 (38.0) [42] Likud Beytenu 19.2 (21.4) [08] Labor 11.7 (11.8) [10] Shas 9.8 (9.5) [05] Jewish Home-Tekuma 8.0 […]

The average of 2 polls published last week, Channel 2 and Jerusalem Post. The Post poll was conducted November 12-13 and the Channel 2 poll was published November 14.

This week’s average shows Likud Beitenu and Labor position similar to last week. Shas gains and takes the third position while Lapid’s Yesh Atid drops and falls into the fourth position. Hadash passes Meretz, while Kadima and Independence pick up gains. Am Shalem is also picking up steam. The right block gains ground this week with the help of Shas and Am Shalem’s gains.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/the-knesset/yair-lapids-future-problem/2012/04/21/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: