Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu may have bested Finance Minister Yair Lapid in January’s election, but it was Lapid who made Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world, released on Thursday, while Netanyahu was left off.
The list, published annually since 1999, places candidates into five categories: Leaders & Revolutionaries, Builders & Titans, Artists & Entertainers, Scientists & Thinkers, and Heroes & Icons, picking 20 from each list.
Lapid was placed as the sole Israeli figure among nominees in the “Leaders” category. Missing this year was Netanyahu, who appeared on last year’s list as well as in 2011 as the 80thmost influential person.
“If the world at large views Israel through its conflict with the Palestinians, Lapid personifies the nation’s determinedly inward focus,” Karl Vick, Jerusalem bureau chief for Time, penned for Lapid’s profile.
Vick wrote of the finance minister’s “campaign on economic justice,” saying that he has been dealing with Israeli domestic concerns.
Lapid’s profile highlighted his confidence that he would triumph in the next election against Netanyahu, were he to run again.
“He already has the swagger,” Vick wrote.
Time magazine has been explicit in insisting that the Top 100 list should not necessarily be considered positively;the ranking measures the candidates for their influence on the world for better or for worse.
MK Dov Lipman, from Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, responded to his inclusion on the list excitedly, saying, “I knew that it was only a matter of time before the international community recognized Yair’s vision and leadership.”
The US-born Lipman added that “the new politics which he has brought to Israel is already changing Israel for the better, and this will no doubt have a major impact on the world. On a professional level I am proud to be a member of Yair’s political party, and on a human level I am honored to be his friend.”
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