(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Knesset members in the opposition congratulated media personality Yair Lapid for
leaving Channel 2 News to enter politics on Sunday.
reactions were not as warm.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu chose only
to say “Welcome to politics,” when asked about Lapid’s move during a press
conference.RELATED:Yair Lapid quits journalism, takes plunge into politics Analysis: Will Lapid be the torch – or the torched?
Opposition leader Tzipi Livni wrote on her Facebook wall that
politics was the best way to make a change, and that more people who wanted to
change the country for the better should run for public office.
more people are beginning to understand that talking is not enough; neither is
action under the title ‘apolitical’ and letting others decide our destiny,” she
Livni’s Kadima leadership rival, MK Shaul Mofaz, said he had
spoken to Lapid, congratulated him for joining politics, and called for him to
help bring down the “bad Netanyahu government.”
Labor leader Shelly
Yacimovich said Lapid was a quality person whose talents would contribute to the
She added, however, that he would strengthen the Right
and economic conservatives.
“Lapid, Livni and [Prime Minister Binyamin]
Netanyahu represent the opposite social values of the Labor Party, which has
clear social-democratic values,” Yacimovich said.
MK Nissim Ze’ev (Shas)
called Lapid a “monster,” expressing concern that the television personality
would follow in the footsteps of his reporter-turned-politician father, Tommy
Lapid, who led an anti-haredi campaign with the Shinui party.
of the demonization and delegitimization of haredim in recent weeks, it is
natural that this monster, who is built on hatred of Judaism and will be the
second version of Tommy Lapid, is now rising,” Ze’ev said. “This is not
surprising at all.”
The Shas lawmaker added that his party need not be
worried, and just as the haredi-Sephardic party outlived Shinui, it would not
be threatened by Lapid. However, he added, Kadima, Meretz and Israel Beiteinu
should be concerned, because Lapid would take Knesset seats from them.
Danny Danon (Likud) said he was glad that Lapid had “turned off his microphone,”
and stopped using his roles as the anchor of Channel 2’s top-rated Friday night
news program, Ulpan Shishi,’ and as a columnist for Yediot Aharonot
, to produce
Some of the former journalists in the Knesset
also congratulated the former talk-show host on his career change.
Daniel Ben-Simon (Labor), a former Haaretz
reporter, said he hoped Lapid’s
political career would put an end to the Right’s reign.
Horowitz (Meretz), also a former journalist for Haaretz
, said Lapid’s move would
put an end to “dangerous legislation,” such as the bill that would require a
cooling-off period between a career in journalism and running for
“From my experience, the transition from journalism to politics
is not smooth and easy,” Horowitz said. “Politics requires hard work, showing
clear stances, and often personal criticism, which journalists are not used
MK Nachman Shai (Kadima), a former television reporter and IDF
spokesman, also praised Lapid, calling him a “quality” person, despite his “lack
of experience in politics and management.”
Shai said a public figure
entering politics was an invitation for every Israeli to do the same, or to do
whatever else he or she could to make Israel a better country.