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The Israeli President, Reuven Rivlin, the leader of the opposition, assigned the head of the Central “There is a Future” party, Yair Lapid, with the task of forming the next government, after the outgoing Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, failed in the arduous task.
Lapid was born in 1963 in the city of Tel Aviv, and his father is the former Minister of Justice, Yosef Lapid, and his mother is the novelist, playwright and poet, Shlomit Lapid, and Yair retired from journalism in 2012, after about 3 decades in the profession, where he became involved in political life, and founded “There is a future” party, and within the framework of this party, Lapid, an amateur boxer and martial arts lover, ran for the parliamentary elections in 2013 and won 19 seats out of 120 in the Knesset, which was a “surprising” result, and at that time Lapid allied with Netanyahu, the leader of the Likud party. In the government coalition, Lapid assumed the position of Minister of Finance, but the coalition did not last long, and the role of Lapid and his party in the political arena declined, as it won only 11 seats in the 2015 elections, and chose the ranks of the opposition.
But in the last elections, which were held last March, the star of Lapid reappeared, after his alliance on one list with Benny Gantz, the leader of the central “Blue and White” party, Netanyahu’s main rival. However, Lapid quickly withdrew from this alliance, after the election results emerged, accusing Gantz of having dealt a blow to the coalition by accepting Netanyahu’s conditions for forming a national unity government. The newspaper “Yediot Aharonot” says that what paved the way for Lapid’s entry into the world of politics was that he was “a great television personality and program host with a large number of followers, and he is smart, eloquent, and hardworking.”
Lapid tends to support the two-state solution and separation from the Palestinians, and opposes granting concessions to religious Jews, according to the Israel Hayom newspaper. Lapid appears to have broad party support. Rivlin said, in a speech announcing his choice of Lapid, that the former finance minister had the support of 56 of Parliament’s 120 members, which is still less than the required majority. The Israeli president added, “It has become clear that Yair Lapid has the ability to form a government that obtains the confidence of Parliament, but there are many difficulties.” However, Lapid (57 years old) ruled out working in a government with Netanyahu, due to the criminal charges against him.
Since the announcement of Lapid’s mandate, there have been many questions about his ability to form a government and end the era of Netanyahu, the longest-serving prime minister of Israel, by about 15 years. Netanyahu has many opponents in the political arena, who want to end his future in power, especially since his trial on charges of breach of trust, fraud and bribery began in 3 cases of corruption on May 24.
In the event that Lapid fails to form a government, the Israeli president re-assigns the Knesset to the Knesset, which must either submit a written recommendation of a deputy with the support of at least 61 deputies or call new elections, according to the law.