Yair Lapid (Hebrew: יאיר לפיד, born 5 November 1963) is an
Israeli politician, former Finance Minister and former journalist who
is the Chairman of the
Yesh Atid Party. He served as the Israeli
Minister of Finance between 2013 and 2014. Prior to his entry into
politics in 2012, he was a journalist, author,
TV presenter and news
anchor. The centrist
Yesh Atid Party, which he founded, became the
second largest party in the
Knesset by winning 19 seats in its first
election in 2013. The greater than anticipated results contributed to
Lapid's reputation as a leading moderate.
In March 2013, following his coalition agreement with Likud, Lapid was
appointed as the Israeli Minister of Finance. In May 2013, Lapid
ranked first on the list of the "Most Influential Jews in the World"
by The Jerusalem Post.
1 Early life
2 Journalism and media career
3 Political career
3.1 Views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
4 Personal life
8 External links
Yair Lapid was born in Tel Aviv. His father was journalist and
politician Yosef "Tommy" Lapid and his mother is novelist and
playwright Shulamit (Giladi) Lapid. He has a sister, Merav, who
is a clinical psychologist. Another sister, Michal, died in a car
accident in 1984. Both of his grandmothers, on maternal and
paternal side were alive when they moved to Israel, according to an
interview his parents gave to the Spiegel (magazine). 
Lapid grew up in
Tel Aviv and London. His childhood home in Tel Aviv
was in the
Yad Eliyahu neighborhood, in a residential building known
as the Journalists' Residence, as several prominent journalists lived
there. He attended high school at the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium, but
struggled with learning disabilities and dropped out without earning a
bagrut certificate. He began his mandatory military service in
Israel Defense Forces in the
500th Brigade of the Armored Corps.
During the 1982 Lebanon War, Lapid suffered an asthma attack after
inhaling dust kicked up by a helicopter, and was pulled from the
Armored Corps. He then served as a military correspondent for the
IDF's weekly newspaper,
Bamahane ("In the base camp"). After
completing his military service, he began working as a reporter for
Maariv and published poetry in literary journals. He also had a career
as an amateur boxer at this time.
Journalism and media career
Yair Lapid in Jacob Goldwasser's 1991 film Beyond the Sea
In 1988 at the age of 25, he was appointed editor of Yedioth Tel Aviv,
a local newspaper published by the
Yedioth Ahronoth group. In 1991, he
began writing a weekly column in a nationwide newspaper's weekend
supplement, at first for
Maariv and later for its competitor, Yedioth
Ahronoth. His column, called "Where's the Money?", became his slogan
in seeking political office.
In 1994, Lapid started on TV, hosting the leading Friday evening talk
Israel TV's Channel 1. That same year, he had an acting role
in an Israeli film, Song of The Siren. He next hosted a talk show on
TV's Channel 3. From 1999-2012 Lapid hosted a talk show on Channel 2.
From 1989 to 2010, Lapid wrote and published several books, spanning a
variety of genres: his first was a thriller, of which he has published
three more; other writing includes two children's books, two novels,
and a collection of his newspaper columns. In addition, he wrote a
drama series, War Room, which was aired on Channel 2 in 2004.
His journalism work and TV hosting gave him widespread recognition,
and he has commanded respect.
In January 2008, Lapid was the host of Ulpan Shishi (Friday Studio),
the Friday night news-magazine of Channel 2. That year, his first
play, The Right Age for Love, was performed by the Cameri Theater.
Lapid has amassed wealth in his career. In September 2013, the Israeli
edition of Forbes magazine estimated his net worth at 22 million
Yair Lapid giving a speech at
Sapir Academic College
Sapir Academic College in November 2015
On 8 January 2012 Lapid announced that he would be leaving journalism
in order to enter politics. On 30 April 2012 Lapid formally
registered his party, "Yesh Atid" (Hebrew: יש עתיד, lit.
"There's a Future"). The move was aimed to coincide with the
general expectation in
Israel for early elections to be held in the
early fall of 2012.
A few days after Yesh Atid's registration, in a surprise move, Israeli
Benjamin Netanyahu formed a national unity government.
It was then thought that Lapid's party would have to wait until late
2013 before it could participate in national elections. But in October
2012, following the departure of Kadima from Netanyahu's coalition
over how to implement a Supreme Court decision ending the exemption
from the military draft for the ultra-Orthodox, Netanyahu announced
that elections would take place in late January 2013, affording Yesh
Atid its first opportunity to run since its formation. In November
Yesh Atid was polling an average of 11.6%, or 13–14 seats in
the 120-seat Knesset. The final results of the January election showed
the party winning an unexpected 19 seats, making
Yesh Atid the
second-largest party in the 19th Knesset.
Lapid was named Israel's finance minister on 15 March 2013. Only
nine months later, a survey was published showing a continuing trend
of decreasing popularity with 75% of those polled claiming to be
disappointed by his performance and his party would only achieve 10
seats in the
Knesset as opposed to the 19 party members who were
elected at the beginning of the year.
On 2 December 2014, Lapid was fired from his post as finance minister
by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Views on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Lapid said that he would demand a resumption of negotiations between
Israel and the Palestinian Authority. His party's platform calls
for an outline of "two states for two peoples", while maintaining the
Israeli settlement blocks and ensuring the safety of Israel.
In January 2013, just days before the election, Lapid said he won't
join a cabinet that stalls peace talks with the Palestinian Authority,
and added that the idea of a single country for both Israelis and
Palestinians without a peace agreement would endanger the Jewish
character of Israel. He said, "We're not looking for a happy marriage
with the Palestinians, but for a divorce agreement we can live with."
 As part of a future peace agreement, Lapid said that the
Palestinians would have to recognize that the large West Bank
settlement blocs of Ariel,
Gush Etzion and
Ma'aleh Adumim would remain
within the State of Israel. According to Lapid, only granting
Palestinians their own state could end the conflict and Jews and Arabs
should live apart in two states, while Jerusalem should remain
undivided under Israeli rule.
Regarding the diplomatic stalemate in the Israeli-Palestinian peace
process, Lapid said that "Most of the blame belongs to the Palestinian
side, and I am not sure that they as a people are ready to make peace
with us." He has, however, dismissed as unrealistic the
possibility of a comprehensive peace deal with the Palestinians.
In June 2015, after the March 2015 elections,
Yair Lapid visited the
United States and after an hour long interview, American journalist
Jeffrey Goldberg wrote that, "Lapid is a leader of the great mass of
disillusioned centrists in Israeli politics. He could conceivably be
prime minister one day, assuming Benjamin Netanyahu, in whose previous
cabinet he served, ever stops being prime minister. Now functioning as
a kind of shadow foreign minister, Lapid argues that
Israel must seize
the diplomatic initiative with the Palestinians if it is to continue
existing as a Jewish-majority democracy, and he is proposing a
regional summit somewhat along the lines of the earlier Arab Peace
Initiative. Lapid is not a left-winger—he has a particular sort of
contempt for the Israeli left, born of the belief that leftists
don’t recognize the nature of the region in which they live. But he
is also for territorial compromise as a political and moral necessity,
and he sees Netanyahu leading
Israel inexorably toward the abyss."
In September 2015
Yair Lapid laid out his diplomatic vision in a major
speech at Bar Ilan University  in which he said "Israel’s
strategic goal needs to be a regional agreement that will lead to full
and normal relations with the Arab world and the creation of a
demilitarized independent Palestinian state alongside Israel. That’s
Israel needs to head. Separation from the Palestinians with
strict security measures will save the Jewish character of the state."
During election campaign, Lapid spoke of "equal shares of the burden"
for all Israeli citizens. He said he would work to see all Israeli
citizens, including the thousands of haredim, who had up until that
point been exempt from most civil service, be included in military and
civil service. On May 27, 2013, Lapid threatened to topple the
government unless ultra-Orthodox would be subject to criminal
sanctions for draft-dodging. In the view of some Haredim, Lapid's plan
represents a "spiritual holocaust" as they believe that their Jewish
studies are what upholds Israel. Some Haredim have declared that even
at the risk of being called criminals they will continue in their
Jewish studies and refuse to enlist or perform civilian
service. Lapid denies that he is seeking to destroy the Haredi
way of life, and stated "Not one of us wishes, heaven forbid, to force
hiloniyut (secularism) on you or to impose our version of Israeli
identity. This state was established so that Jews could be Jews, and
live as Jews, without having to fear anyone."
In the mid-1980s, he married Tamar Friedman. After his divorce, he
moved to Los Angeles, where he worked in television. He later returned
to Israel, where he resumed his journalism career.
He is married to journalist Lihi Lapid and lives in the Tel Aviv
neighborhood of Ramat Aviv. He and his wife have two children and
he has another son Yoav (born 1987) from his first marriage.
In January 2012, controversy arose after Lapid was admitted by
Bar-Ilan University into a doctorate program, studying towards a PhD
in hermeneutics. This was in violation of rules stating that all
doctoral candidates must hold at minimum a bachelor's degree. Lapid,
who had failed to complete high school, was admitted to the university
based on his extra-academic credentials and career in journalism and
writing. After the
Knesset Education Committee launched an
investigation, the Council for Higher Education cancelled the program
under which Lapid was admitted. It allowed students without a BA to
study towards a doctorate.
The Double Head: thriller (1989)
Yoav's Shadow: children's book (1992)
One-Man Play: novel (1993)
Elbi – A Knight's Story: children's book (1998)
The Sixth Riddle: thriller (2001)
Standing in a Row: collection of newspaper columns (2005)
The Second Woman: thriller (2006)
Sunset in Moscow: thriller (2007)
Memories After My Death: Biography (2010)
A Journey to Our Future (2017)
In May 2013, Lapid ranked first on the list of the "Most Influential
Jews in the World" by The Jerusalem Post.
^ a b JERUSALEM POST STAFF (May 4, 2013). "Top 50 most influential
Jews 2013: Places 1-10". Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 5 August
^ Gradstein, Linda (2012-01-17). "In entering Israeli politics, Yair
Lapid eyes force of socioeconomic protests Jewish Telegraphic
Agency". Jta.org. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
Shulamit Lapid Jewish Women's Archive". Jwa.org. 2009-03-01.
^ a b "Who Is Yair Lapid?". Haaretz. 2012-01-23. Retrieved
^ "Israel's 60th Anniversary: 'A Jew from Morning to Night'"
(Interview). Spiegel Online. 8 May 2008. Retrieved 30 January
^ אטילה שומפלבי (5 January 2018). "יאיר לפיד:
'לא מצאו עליי כלום, אז המציאו סיפור'" [Yair
Lapid: 'They did not find anything about me, so they invented a
story'] (in Hebrew) – via Ynet.
^ Popular Israeli anchorman quits TV, joins politics, CNS News
^ "לא קצין, אבל ג'נטלמן" [Not an officer, but a
gentleman]. mako.co.il (in Hebrew). 9 January 2012.
^ a b "Charismatic Leader Helps
Israel Turn Toward the Center", The
New York Times, 23 January 2013
^ Galit Edot (September 5, 2013). "Israel's wealthiest politicians".
Forbes. Retrieved 6 October 2013.
^ "Veteran Israeli anchor
Yair Lapid leaves Channel 2 to enter
politics". Haaretz. January 8, 2012. Retrieved January 8, 2012.
^ "Lapid registers new party, 'Yesh Atid'". Jerusalem Post. April 29,
2012. Retrieved April 29, 2012.
Knesset to see Right, Left virtually tied". ynet. January 22,
2013. Retrieved January 22, 2013.
^ "Ex-TV anchor
Yair Lapid named as Israeli finance minister".
Reuters. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
^ "75% dissatisfied with Lapid's performance". Globes. Retrieved 26
^ Ilan Ben Zion, (December 2, 2014). Netanyahu fires Lapid, Livni from
ministerial posts. The Times of Israel.
^ ‘Mishal Ham’
Talk show (Hebrew – ReshetTV) on 14:00 on
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 15, 2013.
Retrieved March 14, 2013.
^ Winer, Stuart (2013-10-08). "Lapid charms the lefties at NY's 92nd
Street Y". The Times of Israel. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
^ Revital Hovel.
Yair Lapid says he opposes occupation, but will
present platform in West Bank settlement. Haaretz. Oct.20, 2012
^ Israel’s rising star. The Economist
Yair Lapid Calls for Return to Peace Talks. Reuters. October 30,
^ Gill Hoffman. Yair Lapid: Palestinians not ready to make peace.
^ "Boosting the West Bank's economy". The Economist. 2013-06-01.
^ Goldberg, Jeffrey. "'
Israel Can't Absorb 3.5 Million Palestinians
and Remain a Jewish, Democratic State'". theatlantic.com.
^ "Yair Lapid's 'New Strategic Vision for Israel'".
^ "Lapid sets agenda for next government". Ynetnews.com. Retrieved
^ Mazal Mualem (2013-02-01). "Lapid Plan for Ultra-Orthodox to Serve
In Israeli Military Must Go Forward". Al-Monitor. Retrieved
^ Ofra Edelman (2013-05-27). "Lapid Threatens to Topple Government
Unless ultra-Orthodox Dealt Equal Share of IDF Burden - National".
Haaretz. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
^ "Lapid Praises Bill That Would Criminalize Haredi Draft-dodging -
National". Haaretz. 2014-02-20. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
^ "Lapid to Ultra-Orthodox: "We Need You" – Tablet Magazine".
Tabletmag.com. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
^ Harkov, Lahav (2013-01-21). "Labor targets undecided female voters
via kids - Diplomacy & Politics - Jerusalem Post". Jpost.com.
^ Danan, Deborah (2013-01-15). "Who is Yair Lapid? - Video Articles -
Jerusalem Post". Jpost.com. Retrieved 2016-03-31.
^ "No BA means no PhD for Yair Lapid", Times of Israel
Knesset Committee to probe Lapid doctorate affair", Jerusalem Post
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Party political offices
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Minister of Finance
Finance Ministers of
Current members of the Knesset
Governing coalition (ministers in bold)
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