A TV and newspaper personality for most of his career, Lapid heads the Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party.
He served as Finance Minister in the previous government under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanayahu, but resigned before the last elections and has been a sworn political enemy of Netanyahu ever since. In fact, half of his famous Bar Ilan speech last night was devoted to attacking Netanyahu’s approach to the United States and the Iran deal.
He has said that the next elections in Israel will be a choice between him and Netanyahu, while Labor will be irrelevant.
In an under-reported op-ed Lapid wrote last week for TimesofIsrael.com, however, Lapid refrained from attacking Netanyahu. Instead, he concentrated only on the “immoral” and “amateur” decision by the EU to boycott not only Judea and Samaria, but the Golan Heights as well.
Lapid has attacked the boycott in the past. “Has the world gone crazy, removing sanctions from Iran and boycotting Israel instead?” he wrote recently.
This last piece, however, is focused directly on the inclusion of the Golan: “The Golan Heights is an area in the north of the State of Israel that has no part in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” he wrote, noting that “not a single Palestinian [i.e., Arab from Judea and Samaria, or from pre-1967 Israel] lives there.”
“To whom would the EU want us to return the Golan?” Lapid asks rhetorically – but then cynically presents four options: “The first is Jabhat al-Nusra, the local wing of Al-Qaeda on our border. Another option is ISIS, fighting for control of the area. A third option is Hezbollah which is on the Lebanese part of the border, and a fourth option is the murderous regime of President Assad himself.”
To head off the thought that the last option might be relatively realistic, Lapid adds, “We can assume that the first thing Assad [would] do is enlist into his forces all the Druze men who are currently living as free and equal people in the Golan Heights. The women and children will join the millions of refugees who have already fled his regime.”
The Palestinian Authority, of course, is not even an option, “because the PA was never in the Golan Heights and [has] no interest in being there.”
“So why are products from the Golan Heights included in the European boycott?” Lapid asks, noting that it is clearly a boycott and not just “labelling.”
He then goes for the gut: “It’s because the enthusiasm to harm Israel is so great – and the motives so sinister – that no one even bothered to check the details… They were told it was about Israel, and they felt the righteous fervor which leads them to attack the only democracy in the Middle East – and in a totally unconnected place.”
In short, “this is a capitulation by the European Union to Islamists and radicals who demand the State of Israel be attacked in any way possible.”