Reading between the lines of Yair Lapid's position on Jerusalem.
Yair Lapid at a 2010 conference in Tel Aviv / 2010
Israeli journalist Yair Lapid's decision to leave his spot as one of Israel's most popular broadcasters to enter politics has the potential to dramatically alter the Israeli political system. He recently ended speculation that he would join center-left Kadima (describing the party as "a gang of cynical rejects from other parties"), and probably foreclosed the possibility of joining the Labor party by describing them as having "traveled the whole way to the radical left." (His father had earlier served as a Knesset member and Justice minister with the secularist Shinui party.) Recent polling puts a newly formed Lapid party at 15 seats, beating Kadima, tied with Labor, and second only to Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party. Israeli journalist Ron Maiberg described him as "the people's favorite, the center of the sublime consensus."
But Lapid's recent criticism of Kadima as "not having a clue about what, if anything, they believe" could describe the novice politician as well. Though he claims to have been moved by last year's massive social justice protests, little is known about his actual stance on issues and where exactly he'll fall on the Israeli political spectrum. His positions, gleaned mostly from a press conference last month, his weekly columns in Yediot Achronot (which he continues to write), and Facebook messages tend toward generalizations such as "waging an uncompromising war against vested interest groups, sector-based parties and tycoons, to change the distribution of resources."