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Friday, May 24, 2013

Haaretz weeps: Lapid may not be a two-stater

Haaretz is heartbroken. With all of his other faults, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid was outed by the New York Times this week for not being a two-stater.
Did you think the new politician is a politician without ideology? You were wrong. Lapid’s ideology is peace without dividing Jerusalem, a diplomatic agreement without Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, and the two-state solution without freezing construction in the settlements. Lapid’s plan is to wait a good few years and then some until the permanent borders are drawn up, and in the meantime to give benefits to Israelis who move to the settlements. Regarding Jerusalem and the Palestinians, Ehud Olmert’s good friend turns out to be an exact copy of Benjamin Netanyahu; when it comes to the settlers, Tommy Lapid’s son is far to the right of Netanyahu.
The fundamental interview in the New York Times proves that the man who inherited Kadima’s place in the center of the political map is not a man of the political center. Just like in economics, in politics he is the same: Lapid is a conservative in a t-shirt. What he is proposing for Israel is not left and is not center, but a new and cool right wing.
It is good that Lapid is finally speaking his truth. What was murky during the election campaign has been made clear. What was blurred since the government was formed, has been clarified. The cat has been let out of the bag. It is reasonable to assume that the Finance Minister’s new positioning as the leader of the new right will benefit him politically. It will strengthen his power of attraction with the nationalistic part of the political map. Both Avigdor Lieberman’s voters and Lieberman’s values can be found in Yesh Atid, a more elegant home than the old home of Yisrael Beiteinu ‏(Israel is our Home‏). If he acts wisely, the new icon of right-wing Tel Aviv can swallow Jerusalem’s veteran right-wing camp too, as he offers Israel a great vision of handsome neo-conservatism.
But the political significance of Lapid’s words is clear: They block the path to a peace agreement and do not allow a unilateral move. They restrain the Finance Minister and bind Netanyahu − and turn the government into a government of the old, new and extreme right. The celebrity who came to change things did not really intend on changing the status quo in Judea and Samaria. The star who promised to cut the budget of the settlement enterprise is now about to send the settlements billions. While he waits for an undefined peace that will never arrive, the brother of Naftali Bennett is ready to promote Bennett’s dream of a million settlers. Without intending to do so and without being aware of it, Lapid is about to bury once and for all the idea of dividing up the land of Israel.
Boo. Hoo. Heh. 

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