The Man Who Would Be King

Let Yair Lapid continue to host his TV show and write his newspaper column. The more he speaks, the more obvious it is that he doesn't know what he's talking about

1. Media personality Yair Lapid has promised his son a different Israel. I have promised my son an Israel in which Yair Lapid will not be prime minister. It's interesting to ponder which of us is more committed to his son.

2. Yair Lapid has decided not to announce whether he is going into politics. He did, however, state this week, in a letter to Channel 2 news company's CEO, Avi Weiss, that he does not intend to enter politics and that he promises to impose upon himself a cooling-off period of six months if he does decide to do so. But in this country everyone knows that when someone refuses to talk about what he intends to do, it always means he is about to do the thing he is not prepared to talk about. Thus, it's final: Yair Lapid is entering politics.

Yair Lapid
David Bachar

3. Yair Lapid is presenting the Friday evening news program on Channel 2, at a time when he is planning his race for the Knesset. There are people who think he must resign or be fired. But they are wrong: Lapid's use of the news program's stage is more harmful to his political race than it is helpful. The more people are exposed to the ridiculous way Lapid talks about serious topics on television, the more his chances are eroded of establishing an image for himself as a serious person and succeeding in his quest for the Knesset. With all my heart I support leaving Lapid in the Friday night anchorman's chair, because in my opinion his presence there has the effect of truth in advertising and transparency. The more he speaks on television about topics in the news, the clearer it becomes that he has no connection to the topics he is talking about, and with which he wants to deal when he ultimately enters political life.

4. Yair Lapid writes a weekly column in the "Seven Days" Friday supplement of Yedioth Ahronoth, at a time when he is planning his race for the Knesset. There are people who think he must resign or be fired. In my opinion, Lapid's column has for many years now served him as a creeping, ongoing platform from which to present his political, social and economic views. A detailed platform, consisting of tens of thousands of accumulating words, is something to the credit of any person who is destined to enter public life. Again: transparency. Again: truth in advertising. The problem with Lapid's columns and his platform is that for the most part, they are populist, demagogic, obsequious and generally not very profound - again, mainly when he writes about matters of state. I support the continued publication of Lapid's column throughout his race for the Knesset. It is good for the public to know the person who wants to run the state for it.

5. Yair Lapid wants to be minister of education. He has not said this anywhere, but these are the "assessments." I would assess that if he becomes minister, the situation of education in Israel will be worse than it is now, better than it is now or the same as it is now. I also assess that if they put my 9-year-old son, Yair Lapid's son or a chimpanzee in the Education Ministry and tell him to oversee all pedagogical matters in this country, the situation of education will be worse than it is now, better than it is now or unchanged. When you think about it, and look at Israel and at the state of education here, and the mess we are in, any one of the candidates I have mentioned here is suited to being minister of education, because in the current state of affairs, any action taken by anyone will help, harm or change nothing in education in Israel.

6. Yair Lapid wants to be prime minister of Israel. He has not said this anywhere, but these are the "assessments." The assessments are that anyone who goes into politics does this in order to serve ultimately in the most exalted position, as prime minister. Contrary to the assessments voiced by people around me ("If Yair Lapid becomes prime minister, it will be possible to declare the end of the State of Israel, and to single out the Jewish people as the stupidest people in the world" ), I believe that people sometimes make a big fuss over trifles, and in the reality that has developed around us today, anyone can be prime minister of Israel. Fact: This has worked twice for Benjamin Netanyahu. It even worked for Ehud Barak, once. More than anything else, this testifies to Israel's situation as a state - that is, if anyone in it can become a minister and if everyone sees himself as suited to being prime minister. I write "everyone" and I am referring to Yair Lapid because to my mind he, sometimes, seems to be every single Israeli and also all Israelis, at once.

7. Yair Lapid no doubt is very annoyed by pieces such as this, and undoubtedly is angered by people who refuse to leave him in peace and allow him to continue planning his political campaign undisturbed, to present the Friday news in tranquillity, to write his newspaper column with the lightest of hands, and to continue to participate in rallies and conferences so as to explicate his political theory. Lapid is no doubt fuming as it becomes clear to him that people "in the media" insist on writing about him and his political campaign, instead of respecting his interests and desires as a media person himself, as a public figure and as someone who has promised his son a different Israel.

If Yair Lapid is truly infuriated at reading these things, it means that he neither understands the role of the journalist and of the press, nor excels in the role in which he has become famous over the years and which is now serving him as a springboard into political life - as a journalist.

8. It will be very sad to discover that Yair Lapid is not even a journalist. And because he is not a politician yet, what is he, in fact? I couldn't say. I would guess there is no one in Israel who can say. Yair Lapid is Yair Lapid. And that is enough. More correctly, in his opinion, it is enough for a person to be Yair Lapid in order to think he is suited to running the most complicated country in the world and leading the most complex-ridden nation in the world: ours. The thought that Yair Lapid sees himself this way, and that it might yet work out for him under certain circumstances is - in my opinion - truly scary.