Lapid Law III
Without going into the bill's details, it's enough to see the names of the ministers who opposed it, the democrats in the Likud-led cabinet, to understand we're talking about an anti-democratic law.
At the end of the election campaign, it may turn out that the best weapon in TV personality Yair Lapid's arsenal was Likud MK Yariv Levin. Levin, who initiated the bill that was passed in a preliminary reading last week, is gradually becoming a central figure in the legislative initiatives designed to limit democracy.
Without going into the bill's details, it's enough to see the names of the ministers who opposed it - Dan Meridor, Benny Begin and Michael Eitan, the democrats in the Likud-led cabinet - to understand that we're talking once again about an anti-democratic law. Tell me who your enemies are and I'll tell you who you are, democracy supporters can say to themselves.
And if Levin is so scared of Lapid, Lapid can't be so bad; apparently there's something to him despite everything. And Lapid, as far as is known, is the only person whose announcement about running in the next elections has produced two bills aimed at blocking him from doing so - Lapid Law I, which was not approved, and last week's Lapid Law II.
Of course, there's a chance the transparent attempts to prevent him from competing in the elections will produce the opposite result. These attempts confirm Lapid's claims that people who once were rejected by the people at the ballot box, like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, try to prevent new forces from entering politics. But an even greater danger is that these attempts will give Lapid exactly what he's lacking: the glory of a boxer, the good versus the bad, David versus the Goliaths.
So the sigh of relief by Levin and the nine ministers who supported the bill is premature. After all, Lapid Law II isn't enough to stop Lapid, who can set up a party with the greatest of ease and is even likely to sign up people less attractive than Levin or Yaakov Margi, Meshulam Nahari, Daniel Hershkowitz, Yuval Steinitz, Limor Livnat and the other ministers who supported the bill.
But you have to be more specific when dealing with the Lapid danger. We need a Lapid Law III, which would forbid the following people from running in elections:
1. Anyone who has a son named Yoav and is not an incumbent prime minister;
2. Anyone who speaks perfect English even though his parents did not leave the country;
3. Anyone who knows how to express himself fluently, unless he's the incumbent prime minister;
4. Anyone who has written books unrelated to the war on terror;
5. Anyone whose fame was derived in part from being a first-degree relative of someone famous, unless that someone famous was the late Yoni Netanyahu;
6. Anyone who not only knows how to look better on television than the incumbent prime minister but who was the most popular person on television;
7. Anyone who has written 11 books and several songs including "The Sailor's Love" and "She lives on Sheinkin Street," has acted in films, written a TV series, has a column in Yedioth Ahronoth, likes to takes part in sing-alongs, has been in ads for a bank, prefers black shirts and gets people to pay to come to the show where he talks about politics;
8. Anyone whose wife gets on well with her cleaning woman, is a photographer by training and a writer who has published two books, has a newspaper column that proves she knows how to cook, and above all, is really beautiful;
9. Anyone who has stopped smoking cigars;
10. Anyone who has friends.