Where directions merge
Lapid Claims Elections 'Between Right and Center'

The political map according to Lapid: Labor is left, Likud is 'extreme right,' and he is 'true change.'

Yoni Kempinski, Ari Yashar ,

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Miriam Alster/Flash 90

Outgoing Finance Minister and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid presented his political map of left, right and center on Thursday evening, and in doing so addressed the recent merging of Yitzhak Herzog's Labor party and Tzipi Livni's Hatnua the day before for the first time.

"The union yesterday between Labor and Hatnua cleaned and organized the political system in Israel," said Lapid.

"Now there are clear demarcations - there is from the left Labor and Meretz, and from the right Likud and (Naftali) Bennett who become more and more extreme right, and there's the center," clearly indicating himself in the last position and finishing his remarkably reduced list of Israel's political parties.

Polls have shown that Labor with Livni, who Lapid himself reportedly was seeking to form a unification deal with but lost out to Herzog, would just outpace Likud by roughly two mandates.

However, according to Lapid the March 17 elections will not be between left and right.

"The coming elections will be between the right and the center," stated Lapid. "Most of the citizens of Israel are in the center. In the center is the possibility of a true change in Israel's economy, in Israeli society, and Israeli policy. Things are happening in the center and I call on everyone to go vote in the elections."

Lapid hasn't been the only one bandying about shifting definitions of political orientations; former Likud Minister Moshe Kahlon, once considered a relatively staunch right-winger, described his new Kulanu party as "moderate-right-center."

Labels aside, Kahlon has been working closely with former members of the Kadima party that pushed unilateral land concessions, and he recently said "we will not waste an opportunity for peace and will not hesitate to vacate territory," leaving open the option to expel Jews and concede land.

Responding to the phenomenon of "center," Chairman of the Jordan Valley Regional Council David Elhayani clarified to Arutz Sheva on Tuesday "there is no center here, that's only a word of media advisers," charging the media and politicians of tricking the public with misleading terminology.