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Yesh Atid Party:
History & Overview

Yesh Atid: Table of Contents | Party Platform | Yair Lapid

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Yesh Atid ("there is a future" in Hebrew) is a centrist Israeli political party founded by Yair Lapid in 2012.

Lapid, well-known in Israel from his 31-year career as a journalist and for being the son of outspoken former politician Tommy Lapid, announced in January 2012 that he would be quiting journalism to form and lead a new political party. In April, Lapid formally registed the name "Yesh Atid" and announced the party's official platform.

Yesh Atid portrays itself as a centrist political party witht the slogan. "We believe that Israel is a democratic, Jewish state in the spirit of the visions of the prophets of Israel."

In the 2013 parliamentary election, Yesh Atid garnered 14.19% of the vote, placing second and winning 19 seats in the Knesset.

Given that Yesh Atid is so new to the Israeli political scene, commentators are still trying to interpret the party's platform and place in the Israeli political spectrum:

"If Yair [Lapid] remains true to his ideologically simple but emotionally profound Zionism, he could help lead us to an Israel less at war with itself."
       - Yossi Klein Halevi, Shalom Hartman Institute

"The personality of the [2013 Israeli] election was Yair Lapid, a good-looking former talk show host whose centrist Yesh Atid (There is a Future) party ran second the year after it was formed."
       - Roger Cohen, New York Times

"The conventional wisdom about the election is now that Yesh Atid has reinvigorated the Israeli center, debunking the notion that Israel's electorate necessarily leans to the right. The problem with this narrative, however, is that Tuesday's results were not really a victory for centrists and Yesh Atid is not really a centrist party ... neither the rise of Yesh Atid nor Likud's decline means that the Israeli center won."
       - Michael Koplow, Georgetown University Israel Institute

Sources: Israel Diplomatic Network, "Parties competing in the 2013 Elections," Consulate General of Israel in Montreal, January 3, 2013;
Michael Koplow, "No, Israel Did Not Just Vote for the Center," Foreign Affairs, January 23, 2013;
Roger Cohen, "The Israeli Center Lives," New York Times, January 23, 2013;
Yesh Atid English website (English; Hebrew); and
Yossi Klein Halevi, "Why I Voted for Yair Lapid," Tablet Magazine, January 23, 2013.

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