Yosef Lapid

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(Redirected from Tommy Lapid)

Yosef "Tommy" Lapid (יוסף "טומי" לפיד) is an Israeli politician. Lapid is the leader of the secular-liberal Shinui party. He is vehemently opposed to the influence and power of Orthodox Judaism, and in particular Haredi Judaism, political parties and groups in Israel.

He was an author, journalist and broadcaster before entering politics in 1999. Born in Yugoslavia in 1931, he later emigrated to Israel in 1948. As of 2005, he was living in Tel Aviv and was married with two children. Lapid is a Holocaust survivor, a fact that affects his opinions about Israel and the world.

Public career

He holds a Law degree from Tel Aviv University. Former chairman of the Israeli Chess Union. Former Director of Israel Broadcasting Authority, Chairman of Association of Cable Companies.

Lapid was a journalist in Maariv and wrote both political publicist articles and both humorous articles and satires.

Lapid was also one of the three hosts of Popolitica, a TV show on Channel 1 (The Public Broadcast Authority) which brought politicians to debate on actual affairs. The two other hosts were Amnon Dankner (today the chief editor of Maariv) and Rabbi Israel Eichler (also a Knesset member, but on behalf of the Haredi Judaism party Agudat Israel). The three were known for their rather inflammatory and hot-tempered rethoric.

Political career

Lapid joined Avraham Poraz's liberal Shinui party and turned it into a leading party in the Israeli politics. In the 1999 general elections Lapid and Shinui won 6 seats and in the 2003 general elections the party won 15 seats - making it the 3rd largest party in the 16th Assembly of the Knesset.

As a Knesset member Lapid was chairman of the Sub-Committee on Foreign Affairs.

He served as the Justice Minister (שר המשפטים) in Ariel Sharon's government, but resigned together with his party in December 2004 when Sharon's government decided to renew additional financial help to Haredi Judaism institutions in Israel for having the Agudat Yisrael party in his coalition. However, in late March 2005 Lapid agreed to support Sharon's budget in exchange for minor concessions,not including the cancellation of the budget allocation to the Haredi institutions. Ultimately, Lapid chose to back down so as not to topple the government and cause early elections which would have impeded Sharon's plan (supported by most Shinui voters) to withdraw Jewish settlements from the Gaza Strip.de:Josef Lapid he:יוסף לפיד nl:Yosef Lapid


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