While Naftali Bennett received the most attention during the recent election campaign period, there is no question that in wake of Lapid’s stunning poll-defying 19-seat election victory, he is the man people are talking about now.
Yair Lapid worked very hard to step out of the shadow of his father Tommy Lapid, who founded his own political party – Shinui – which sought to represent the secular in Israel. Shinui is now long gone, merged into what is now the Meretz party, and Yair Lapid appointed a religious zionist rabbi to the number 2 spot on his party list. Lapid is still very much secular, and still seeks to represent the secular in Israel like his father, but in a less confrontational way. It is in this vein that his speech last year (video below) to a group of ultra-orthodox Jews at Kiryat Ono College is particularly interesting.
Of note is Lapid’s repeated statement throughout the speech that the Haredim (the Ultra-Orthodox) have won, while the secular have lost. Later in the speech he follows up that repeated statement by saying that ‘victory has its cost because it imposes responsibility’. In any case, its worthwhile to watch the video and get a better understanding of Yair Lapid’s views, even if it is a speech targeting a very specific segment of Israeli society.
The speech is in Hebrew, but has English-language subtitles added by Makom. If you understand Hebrew and English, you might see some interesting choices in how things were translated, but on the whole the translation is good. One interesting switch is the use of the specific organization name Zaka by Lapid, which is translated simply as ‘ambulances’ by Makom. The video: