Former Likud MK and founder of the new ‘Zehut’ (Identity) party Moshe Feiglin predicts Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid is poised to become Israel’s next Prime Minister.
The former Knesset Member spoke Monday morning to Radio Kol Hai, elaborating on his prediction, saying Israelis had grown tired of Netanyahu and were looking for someone new.
“The public is tired of Netanyahu and wants an alternative,” said Feiglin.
“Yair Lapid will be the next Prime Minister, the poll showing him winning 27 seats didn’t surprise me one bit.”
Identity, rather than policy, would be of primary importance to voters next election, Feiglin argued, claiming that this gives the former journalist Lapid an edge.
“Yair Lapid represents the Israeli identity – he offers no proposals, just identity. He doesn’t even shy away from appealing to young haredim, in contrast to Binyamin Netanyahu and the old guard of the right,” Feiglin said.
“Yair Lapid is offering a new Israeli identity, and the polls show Israelis are looking for identity, which Lapid is giving them, ensuring that the Likud will continue to drop in the polls.”
The Likud, however, has downplayed Yesh Atid’s lead in recent polls, and pointed to a survey suggesting Israelis still favored Netanyahu as Prime Minister.
“The rabbis have taught us that prophecy is given to fools – what Feiglin said, that Lapid will be Prime Minister is nonsense,” said Likud MK David Amsalem.
“The polls themselves are a snapshot in time; the elections are not anytime soon, so the [polls] aren’t really that important at this point.”
Amsalem added that while individual parties had risen or fallen in recent polls, the overall strength of the right-wing and left-wing blocs had remained stable, leaving little path for a Lapid premiership, even if Yesh Atid won more seats than Likud.
“If you check the numbers you’ll see that the shift has been within each bloc, not between the blocs, so [we] don’t really have a problem.”