Revenge of the schnauzers
Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid sent a letter to party activists over the weekend. In the letter, Lapid criticized embittered voters who have become dissatisfied with his party’s conduct, especially his own leadership since taking office. “All of us — the people of Yesh Atid — are forced on a daily basis to deal with people who stare us down like nervous schnauzers left out in the rain, proclaiming their ‘disappointment,'” the finance minister wrote. But it appears that Lapid refuses to acknowledge the real circumstances that threw these schnauzers out into the rain, protesting outside his home.
Lapid began is activism on Facebook, and his euphoria reached a peak when he became addicted to the platform. It’s hard to forget the Riki-Cohen-from-Hadera debacle and how it betrayed his ignorance of the numbers (perhaps that’s why Lapid prefers to accept all of the Finance Ministry staff’s recommendations), and how he preferred such ignorance to actually trying to understand every piece of data.
On the one hand, we expected Lapid to act differently once he became finance minister (there are other ways to connect with people beside Facebook). On the other hand, Lapid uses Facebook to shield himself from people with differing opinions (such as activists for the legalization of marijuana). The administrators of his Facebook page even delete comments, and Lapid himself can’t respond to all the exclamations posted to his wall. But why should he care? We’re just schnauzers left in the rain, staring.
The look on Yair Lapid face
Yair Lapid vowed to cut spending to haredi schools and yeshivot, but we have not witnessed great success on that issue. His alliance with Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett was just for show. In reality, there’s no way to draft haredim in a serious way, as he promised. According to haredi affairs specialist at Hiddush, Shahar Ilan, most of the 500 new recruits are “children of the newly religious, delinquents, new immigrants, members of Chabad, Breslov hasidim, and Shas supporters. In other words, the margins of haredi society.”
The public experienced Lapid’s aggressive side on Facebook, and it hasn’t yet faded from sight. Lapid’s small dictator-self has been exposed. Witness his reaction when MK Adi Kol defied the party line on the governability issue (raising the number of Knesset members needed for a party to enter the Knesset). The difference between Lapid’s behavior in the Knesset committee and the newsletter he sent us is huge. This difference says everything. The finance minister — the same politician who was once a writer and media personality totally lacking in self-awareness — is trying to mediate the damage caused by his capricious conducts damage by acting like nothing at all has happened. As if he did not become angry and livid and furrowed his wrinkled brow and showed us the aggressivity hiding beneath his “pleasant” exterior.
One could imagine a younger Lapid puffing a cigar while swirling a glass of whisky. But not everyone can purchase fancy tobacco and alcohol and live in Ramat Aviv Gimmel, and it’s these luxuries that are rendered even less accessible by Lapid’s decision to raise taxes on cigarettes and arak. Lapid forgets the little details, which are huge to common folk like us. Lapid can’t fathom the disappointment, the sweeping feeling of despair over the rising price of life’s small pleasures. Lapid, of all people, with his bon vivant image, forgot how important a cigarette and a shotglass of arak are to the public wellbeing, especially during such hard times when the cost of living is rising.
So Lapid has been crashing in opinion polls, and again, instead of dealing with the disappointment, he simply vows that future polls will yield different results. But this time the barking schnauzers may actually bite. Even his hand