Eytan MeyersdorfThe writer is a new immigrant from the USA, served in Golani, and is currently the coordinator of Im Tirtzu Zionist Student Organization at Bar-Ilan University.
Lapid's Yesh Atid party. Too good to be true?
Yair Lapid's platform is great - there, I said it. Aside from the “two state-solution,” which is a subject for debate, I can't imagine anyone having a problem with his ideas: High rent, poor education, and the attitude to the so-called “hareidi problem” are all important issues that must be dealt with. His solutions seem perfect – a little too perfect.
I feel like I am being sold a great product by a competent, professional, and put together salesman, yet I still have a feeling that something is off. The product seems to good too be true, and in politics, when the “product” seems to good to be true, it usually isn't.
I guess when it comes down to it, I simply do not trust Yair Lapid. I am familiar with the “vote for the party and not the person” theory, but seeing as Lapid founded the party, that is inapplicable. It seems too perfect that someone can come out of the blue and provide solutions for problems that have plagued the country for years. It makes you think – if it is so “simple,” why hasn't anyone thought of it before?
Centrist parties scare me. Their hesitance (or unwillingness?) to commit to either side of the political spectrum gives a feeling of, “lets just tell the people what they want to hear,” and paints a picture of opportunism.
Lapid and Yesh Atid followers stress that the party's focus is on social, and not security, issues; however, the reality is that security issues are inevitable in Israel, and as a member of Knesset, Lapid will have to take a stance.
It is clear what side he has chosen since he signed a vote surplus agreement with the Labor Party. I attended a speech given by Yesh Atid candidate, Dov Lipman, and when asked about the surplus agreement, he replied that it is just politics, and that the Mafdal signed a similar deal with Labor several years back - but do two wrongs make a right?
In addition to Lapid's noncommittal stance, his army service troubles me as well. Army service is not everything, and a non-combat soldier can certainly lead the country as well, perhaps better, than a combat soldier. But that is something one must prove. When one puts his life on the line for the country, it is clear where his true intentions lie, even if one does not agree with his politics. That is not the case for one who did not enlist.
Yes, it is possible that Lapid (whom to the best of my knowledge opted out of combat) would do everything in his power for this country, but he has not proven it. As a former combat soldier, I want my leader to have put in at least the same, if not more, blood, sweat, and tears, than I have for my country.
If Lapid gets into the government, I hope that I am proven wrong, and he is successful in dealing with the issues that he has brought up, but that is not a chance I am willing to take, not in a region where one bad political move can lead the country to disaster.