|Yair Lapid speaks at a business conference in Eilat 390.(Photo by: Ezra Levi)|
Yair Lapid looks to the future with new Atid party
By Gil Stern Stern HOFFMAN
Forming a new party will limit Lapid to fundraising no more than NIS 13.5 million ahead of the next election.
Yair Lapid intends to call his new party Atid, which means future in Hebrew, a
spokeswoman for the new party said Sunday.
Lapid, the former TV
journalist, intends to register the new party at the party registrar’s office
over the next few days, submitting a list of its 100 founders. The list is
expected to include people close to Lapid and not his future Knesset
Forming a new party will limit Lapid to fund-raising no more
than NIS 13.5 million ahead of the next election.
Had he chosen to revamp
a defunct existing party, he would not have faced such a limit.
have run using the shell of an old party and made it easier financially, but he
decided that if we are going to preach clean politics, we have to start with
ourselves,” the spokeswoman said.
By forming the new party, Lapid
preempted the so-called “Second Lapid Bill” that passed into law in the Knesset
on March 21. The new law would have required him to report all campaign
contributions of over NIS 10,000 to the comptroller within 30 days of the bill’s
passage, had he not formed a party by then.
The bill’s sponsor, MK Yariv
Levin (Likud) said that by forming a party, Lapid was “admitting that he failed
in his goal of avoiding giving the public a report on his campaign
The first so-called “Lapid Bill,” which did not pass into
law, would have set a cooling-off period before journalists could enter
politics. Lapid preempted that bill when he announced that he was quitting his
job at Channel 2 to run for the next Knesset.
This will not be the first
Atid Party in Israel. In November 1995, MKs Alex Goldfarb and Esther Salmovitz
broke off from a faction called Yiud, which broke off earlier from
The split from the right-wing Tzomet party enabled the Oslo II
accords to pass. In a controversial move, Goldfarb received a post as deputy
minister of Construction and Housing and a Mitsubishi in return for shifting
from the Right end of the political map to the Left. Atid did not run in the
National Union MK Aryeh Eldad warned Lapid that if he does
not offer more than “worn out cliches,” he would find himself “forgotten like
Goldfarb, who sold his vote for a Mitsubishi and disappeared.”
who is now in the Labor Party, told The Jerusalem Post that Lapid had not
consulted with him about the name but that he had no problem with him using
“I wish Yair Lapid well,” Goldfarb said. “There is room for him in
Israeli politics. We have to look to the future. We should not dwell on