France24: Israel's ongoing parliamentary saga

Dreams of the father guide Yair Lapid, next Israeli PM?

Yair Lapid, like his late father, is a journalist-turned-politician renowned for his staunchly secular positions. But as the centrist politician edges towards the Israeli premiership post, he's stepped out of his father’s shadow.

Back in the day when he was disseminating the news instead of making it, Yair Lapid had a standard final question on his weekly chat show on Israel’s Channel 2.

“What symbolises Israel for you?” the handsome TV host would ask his guest.

The answers were often long-winded, ranging from lighthearted to heartfelt. But when the leading journalist had his own father, former Israeli justice minister Joseph "Tommy" Lapid, on the show, the answer was illuminating. When the son asked the father what, in his view, represented Israel, the senior Lapid simply replied: "You."

The dreams of the father could well be coming true years after his death from cancer.

On Sunday, 29 May, after weeks of intense backroom negotiations, Lapid secured the support of "kingmaker" nationalist hardliner Naftali Bennett to form a coalition government that would oust Israel’s longest-serving leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Under a rotating post agreement, the two men would split the premiership – with Bennett serving the first two years and Lapid the following two.

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