Daily Israel Report

Lapid: Not All Politicians Are Perfect

According to Finance Minister Yair Lapid, democracy is a great equalizer that lets even idiots take the reins of power.
By David Lev
First Publish: 3/16/2014, 10:11 PM

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Flash 90

According to Finance Minister Yair Lapid, democracy is a great equalizer, enabling even less worthy people to lead – even if they are "stupid" or "spineless," as many politicians actually are according to him.

Lapid spoke Sunday night at the Herzliya Interdisciplinary Center, where he sharply criticized the government committee that called for lower prices. “When the Trajtenberg Committee convened and made recommendations on how to implement economic policy, no one asked how we could give so much power in the hands of people who were not elected to any office," he noted.

“The committee recommended cutting the defense budget and transferring some of the money saved to social programs," explained Lapid. "I use that as an example because  too believe that such changes in the budget must be implemented – but unlike the Trajtenberg Committee, I have to take responsibility for my decisions."

Lapid proceeded to rail on politicians, saying "for years now Israelis have been told that politicןans are nice, but they are not serious people and we cannot rely on them.”

Instead, Lapid said, Israelis are advised to rely on unelected “outside experts, because every time politicans are in charge of something it falls apart. In recent years, top politicans from the Prime Minister and President down have been charged with and convicted of crimes."

“In the meantime, we got some wars, like the Second Lebanon War, and have spent huge sums of money on a non-existent light rail in Tel Aviv, and a sinking educational system," complained Lapid.

“The reason for all this,” Lapid said, was not because politicians were inherently inferior; it was just that some politicians weren't doing their job properly.

“I do not deny this,” Lapid admitted. “Yes, there are stupid politicans, there are incapable politicans, there are spineless politicans. But that is democracy. If these are the leaders the people chose, then that is who the leaders are.”

Last Friday, Lapid listed his mistakes over his first year in office, admitting that particularly in the field he worked in before politics, namely media, "I've messed up."

Meanwhile a poll in early March found Lapid bottoms out the list of public approval for governmental ministers.