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September 3, 2015 / 19 Elul, 5775
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’Middle Class’ Champion Lapid One of Richest Israeli Politicians

“You can’t fool all of the people all of the time.” Lapid soared to political stardom on his “middle class” soap box, which turned out to be full of hogwash. His wealth now is estimated at $6 million.
chareidi yair

Photo Credit: Asher Shwartz

Yesh Lapid party’s chairman Yair Lapid’s wealth is estimated at $6 million, ranking him number six in Forbes Israel’s listing of the top 10 politicians in Israel.

The estimated wealth comes as no surprise to his former supporters, who have helped  his party’s popularity dive by 50 percent since Lapid led the party to win 19 seats in the Knesset with a campaign boasting him as a champion of the middle class.

As Finance Minister, he promptly hiked regressive taxes and cut child welfare benefits, felt most by lower and middle income wage earners.

The list of the top 10 also shows that he is not the only Yesh Atid MK with a fat bank account. Yaakov Perry was ranked right behind Lapid with a fortune of more than $5 million. However, he has said that he is closer to being “middle class” rather than “rich,” which he apparently defines as someone like Warren Buffet.

Not surprising, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who profited millions of dollars from his Checkpoint  high-tech company, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister Silvan Shalom are on the list. Shalom’s wife is from the family with substantial investments, the most well-known being the Yediot Acharonot newspaper.

However, there also are quite a few “limousine liberals” who are big on helping the working class.

In second place, behind Barkat, is Labor party MK Erel Margalit, with an estimated wealth of $60 million, most of made through his Jerusalem Venture Partners enterprise and other business transactions.. In last place” is Labor MK Yitzchak Herzog, with a paltry $3 million.

Other political fat cats are Yair Shamir, son of the late Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir and a member of the Israel Beiteinu faction of Likud, in fourth place with an estimated wealth of $20 million. Right behind him is Meir Sheetrit, a former Likud and Kadima MK and now a member of Tzipi Livni’s party.

As expected, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett is one the list, in ninth place with a fortune of $7 million.

About the Author: Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu is a graduate in journalism and economics from The George Washington University. He has worked as a cub reporter in rural Virginia and as senior copy editor for major Canadian metropolitan dailies. Tzvi wrote for Arutz Sheva for several years before joining the Jewish Press.


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