MK Yair Lapid: “We have problems of the 21st century; we need solutions for the 21st century, with the leaders of the 21st century.”

MK Yair Lapid: “We have problems of the 21st century; we need solutions for the 21st century, with the leaders of the 21st century.”


Chairman of Yesh Atid party shares his vision for Israel’s future during his keynote address at the 16th annual Herzliya Conference


“In recent years Israel has no such vision. All we have is crises and responses… we have lost the ability to create our own overarching strategy and to follow it,” said MK Yair Lapid, Chairman of “Yesh Atid” Party in his keynote address on the second day of the 16th Annual Herzliya Conference. “We can’t sit around since 1996 and wait around while time passes by... We have problems of the 21st century; we need solutions for the 21st century, with the leaders of the 21st century.”


He questioned, “Who is taking care of our future… Does our government remember that that is its job description?”


“That’s why I’m running for prime minister,” said Lapid, “I want Israel to be what it was in the past. To be the kind of country it was in the past… established on the concept that everything is possible.” He said that it was essential to look ahead and define “where we want to be in 5 years from now in the international, social and security arenas.”


Talking about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, he said, “3.5 million Palestinians are an issue and we need to have them out of our lives” and that with no form of current leadership we are leaving the issue for future generations “and I am not about to make that happen.”


Defining what he viewed as Israel’s obstacles to progress, Lapid said, “It’s politics. Israeli politics is corrupt… This is the really the ugly face of Israel… Everything that is inefficient… The politics are why we have stopped making progress.” He said that a very simple contract existed between the citizens and the country where the citizens worked hard, paid taxes and abided by the laws while the state was responsible for protecting those citizens financially, socially and securely. “The citizens are doing their part but the state is not and they are breaking this contract day in and day out” and “when there is no trust between the citizens and state, our entire future is at stake… Honesty is powerful. Values ​​are strength, cunning and vulgar divide us. And generosity and friendship and love are the most powerful forces in the universe.”


Lapid went on to list his seven points for progress and power for the future of Israel.
1) The need to design a security plan based not only on hiding behind fences but “with a fist that is active and can push away aggression… all while maintaining the law and international legitimacy of the State of Israel.”

2) The regional process aimed “to remove the Palestinians from our lives and to create internationally recognized boundaries and a final State of Israel.” He noted, “we are not looking for a marriage but a divorce” – a demilitarized Palestinian State alongside Israel with Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital.

3) The promotion of strategic partnerships with key allies, particularly the US, while also promoting dialogue with Russia, China and the EU, as well as moderate Arab states and upgrading the dialogue with NATO to lay the groundwork for the future. On this point he also stressed the need to strengthen relationships with Jewish communities in the diaspora with dignity, respect and recognition of all streams of Judaism.

4) To clean up the Israeli political system including abolishing coalition funds and being harder on corruption.

5) To invest in enhancing the law enforcement chain to create a system that is “efficient and unbiased.”

6) The creation of export-based growth “that will allow stability in the economy.”

7) To significantly increase Israel’s investment in education and science.


“These points should be projected on the wall in every government office”, he said. “The entire public service must be on board with this vision.”


He said that Israel needed polite discourse without disrespect and vulgarity. “At the moment nobody knows where he’s going so everyone goes his own way,” he said. “It’s time for us to have a clear vision, one that marks our social boundaries.”


Concluding he stressed again, “Israel is not currently run properly… The old politics do not work… we need to bring in the best people and give them clear goals to work with” in order for Israel to create its “future and not wait for it.”



The Herzliya Conference is the flagship of the Institute of Policy and Strategy (IPS) at the Lauder School of Government of IDC Herzliya. The Herzliya Conference addresses Israel’s national agenda by encouraging public debate and influencing the country’s public policy planning. This is achieved through convening Israeli and international elite policy makers, conducting cutting edge research, fostering a global network of contacts in a public forum by attracting the best and the brightest to take part in the conference and its discussions.  


For further information contact:

Ruden Media Services – 052-407-0775 – Jeremy@jeremyruden.com

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