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So Now Yair Lapid Is the Israeli Left's Pet Candidate?

Tchia Dov
Tchia Dov
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Yair Lapid at the Knesset, Jerusalem, August 16, 2020.
Yair Lapid at the Knesset, Jerusalem, August 16, 2020.Credit: Adina Valman / Knesset
Tchia Dov
Tchia Dov

So that’s it? Now Yair Lapid will be the pet candidate that “we” will be promoting? The op-ed by Aluf Benn (“Three reasons Yair Lapid will lead Israel’s center-left,” January 28), sounded like the opening shot of a warm, affectionate publicity campaign that “we” will give Lapid as a gift.

This will be just like the previous election campaigns, when “we” supported Benny Gantz. We ignored the lack of an agenda and his Teflon characteristics; we closed our eyes and ears (and mouths) to his festive declaration about the number of Palestinian deaths he was responsible for – 1,364 killed, he said proudly – and we tried to dismiss it as a slip of the tongue. We were captivated by his blue eyes, believed in the wonders of Photoshop and filled the opinion pages with enthusiastically supportive essays.

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We explained his lack of a political position as a sophisticated and clever election ploy. We looked at him from below; we, the leftists, wanted a strong leader. We drooled over his picture on the huge billboards and ignored his flaccidity, his lack of conscience, his racism, his bloodlust that was expressed in his first major address – which was perhaps his most honest speech, perhaps his only honest one. We erased what he said from our minds, preferring to negate it. We leftists, who read the opinion pages of “the newspaper for thinking people,” admired and supported him. We repeatedly read, here in “our” paper, how Gantz was a gift to our country.

Now begins the campaign on behalf of Yair Lapid. If so, let’s just erase his awful remark about the “Zoabis.” Let’s ignore his condemnations of left-wing organizations; let’s forget that we’re talking about a man who repeatedly said he would not sit in a government with Arabs. Twenty percent of the country’s citizens are worthless in his eyes, just because of their origins.

After all, he’s still Yair Lapid, the son of a Holocaust survivor, second generation, our historic brother. A man who grew up in the lap of the terrible disaster that took place solely because of racism. Come on, let’s crown him the leader of the center-left (90 percent and 10 percent, respectively), and ignore his gestures toward the religious public, from the challah-separating rituals that his wife initiated just as he was forced to ingratiate himself with the religious parties.

It’s not as if these pagan ceremonies moved a hair on the beard of a single rabbi. They saw through them; they remember Lapid’s father and the things he said about and did to their community. Only Yair Lapid’s PR people could have thought a secular woman staging an ancient pagan ceremony could capture the heart of the most corrupt and opportunistic bloc in the country. A bloc that’s corrupt but consistent, with a backbone that never loses its calcium.

So let us crown a new king, anoint us a new prophet. Let us ignore the other parties representing us. Let’s underrate the value of Labor’s Merav Michaeli. It’s easy – she’s a woman and will always be considered a curiosity, even among us, the bleeding-heart leftists and liberals. We will applaud gracefully as mother taught us to do at a concert, but we’ll vote for a man. We’ll ignore the only woman to head a party for the first time in several election campaigns; we’ll belittle her achievements and her electoral potential. We’ll declare it a passing media fad and continue to cheer on “our” candidate.

And if anyone asks us about the Zoabis, we’ll just say it was a slip of the tongue.

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