Lapid takes stand against ‘Omri Casspi Bill’

Journalist turned politician writes on his Facebook page that he opposes bill giving Israelis abroad the right to vote.

January 23, 2012 20:54
2 minute read.
Omri Casspi

Omri Casspi 311. (photo credit: (

Journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid continued to reveal more of his views on key issues Monday, telling his followers on Facebook that he opposes giving Israelis abroad the right to vote.

Lapid came out against the so-called “Omri Casspi Bill,” which is named for the Cleveland Caveliers starting small forward, who is the first Israeli to play in the NBA.

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At the request of Israel Beiteinu, the coalition agreement requires that there be a vote on enabling Israelis abroad to vote, but the same agreement gives every faction veto power over changes in the electoral system.

The Likud backs allowing Israelis living abroad for up to five years to vote, but Shas has threatened to use its veto to oppose any bill giving the right to vote to Israelis living abroad for even two months.

Lapid is a former anchorman from Channel 2 who announced earlier this month that he would be forming a new political party and running in the next Knesset election.

The former journalist dashed hopes among the bill’s supporters that a coalition with a Lapid-led party instead of Shas could pass the legislation following the next election.

“Israel is a country whose existence is constantly threatened, so people who don’t live here shouldn’t be able to vote on issues like its borders, bombing Iran, or the settlements,” Lapid wrote. “You cannot decide the direction of the country if you don’t have to live with the consequences.”

An Israel Beiteinu spokesman declined to respond to Lapid, saying “we don’t have to react to his every tweet.”

Lapid also came out against the “Tal Law” on haredi (ultra-Orthodox) service in the IDF. He said the law should be repealed and a civil service authority should be formed.

When asked about separating religion from state, he said he supported civil marriage and separating religion from politics, but be did not back a complete separation of religion from state or the cancellation of the Law of Return.

On diplomatic issues, Lapid said the peace process must be addressed in a serious manner. He said it has been going on so long that “the paperwork could reach the moon and back.”

“The wisest people in the world have been struggling with this conflict for 40 years already,” he said. “We must return to negotiations and move forward carefully.”

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