Lapid: 'Jerusalem belongs only to Israel'

Journalist-turned-politician makes extensive use of Facebook to spread his views, answering questions from non-reporters.

By MELANIE LIDMAN, GIL STERN STERN HOFFMAN
February 2, 2012 19:00
1 minute read.
Yair Lapid

Yair Lapid 311. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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Jerusalem belongs only to the Jewish people, journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid said in a Facebook exchange on Thursday.

“As a citizen, I can say that Jerusalem is not just a place in my eyes, but also my history and my national ethos, and I think she belongs to the nation of Israel and no one else,” Lapid wrote to a supporter who asked him to clarify his position on Jerusalem.

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Lapid added that he would rather politicians avoided the subject all together. “It’s foolishness to try to lead negotiations with ourselves, on the backs of the media,” he wrote to Shay Fleishon, who posed the question and asked him for a “straight answer, not a politician’s answer.”

Since Yair Lapid entered politics a month ago, he has called no press conferences nor answered any questions from the press by phone. However, he answers questions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on Facebook from anyone who’s not claiming to be a reporter.

This unique approach has meant that the public must comb through comments from his 45,000 supporters on his Facebook page to try to discern Lapid’s political views. The page is inundated with comments every few minutes, but Lapid manages to reply to serious inquiries in approximately an hour.

No other politician in Israel has made such extensive use of Facebook. Opposition leader Tzipi Livni (23,937 supporters on Facebook) also uses Facebook regularly, and recently recruited volunteers for her campaign. Within a week, she had 200 volunteers. Lapid also recruited volunteers for his campaign via Facebook. On January 16, he already had 4,000 people signed up to the “Lapid Crew.”

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