24. Avi Gabbay and Yair Lapid

Contenders to the throne

By
September 9, 2018 07:26
2 minute read.
 Labor leader Avi Gabbay

Labor leader Avi Gabbay . (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

This has not been a particularly good year for either Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay or Yesh Atid head Yair Lapid.

Gabbay, who was elected with great fanfare in July 2017, has watched his support erode due to his own flipflops and scandals within his party. The flipflops have confused voters, who do not know what he or the Zionist Union stand for nowadays. Is the party centrist, as its former leader Isaac Herzog said, or left-wing and proud of it, as others in the party have declared? Is Gabbay for the two-state solution, or for not evacuating settlements? Is he for or against migrant workers? He has said both.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


Gabbay was on vacation in Morocco when Channel 10 reported anonymous allegations that Zionist Union MK Eitan Broshi had fondled a woman in an elevator 15 years ago. He immediately tweeted that Broshi was a sex offender whose career is over and ended up with Broshi staying and suing him for libel. 

The resignation announced by Zionist Union MK Zoheir Bahloul on live TV (though he still hasn’t actually quit yet), resulted in another questionably worded tweet by Gabbay, who basically said good riddance.

To his credit, Gabbay wrapped up Tzipi Livni’s succession of Herzog as opposition leader without too much of a turf war, as well as her signing on to continue the partnership with the Labor Party. But the real battle will be over former IDF chiefs Benny Gantz and Gabi Ashkenazi – there is no guarantee that Gabbay will be able to woo them.

What Gabbay has done is continue to crisscross the country for public events and meet prospective voters. This has not yet translated into a rise in the polls but it has shown how he can be diligent and might still pay off.

Lapid would also like to attract a former general to his list, and he does not have to go through the bureaucracy of the Labor Party. But are either Gantz or Ashkenazi ready to subjugate themselves to Lapid’s authoritarian rule?

JPOST VIDEOS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU:


Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid


What was said above about it being unclear to the public what Gabbay stands for is even more true of Lapid and his party. Lapid has taken Yesh Atid further and further to the Right and has been confusing on matters of religion and state, which in the past was the party’s strong suit.

Lapid repeatedly predicted on camera that the government was about to fall. It has not. Meanwhile, he has gone abroad repeatedly, helping with public diplomacy, which has given him an image of a foreign minister-in-waiting for Netanyahu’s next government. But the potential for an election focusing on religion and state could give Lapid a huge boost.

While polls today show Netanyahu leading, an indictment or another crisis could change everything. Both Gabbay and Lapid are the opposition’s clear alternatives. Time will tell if they will be given a chance to rejuvenate themselves and present an alternative or limp to the finish line.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Roman Abramovich,  the Russian billionaire businessman and owner of the soccer team Chelsea FC.
September 9, 2018
22. Roman Abramovich

By GREER FAY CASHMAN