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Yair Lapid

(1963 - )

Yair Lapid is an Israeli politician, actor, journalist, author, and former television news anchor. He is currently head of the Yesh Atid party and is the Minister of Finance.

Lapid (born November 5, 1963) was born in 1963 in Tel Aviv to journalist and politician Yosef "Tommy" Lapid and author Shulamit Lapid.

In the 1980's, Yair began his journalism career as a military correspondent for the Israel Defense Forces weekly magazine "BaMachaneh." In 1988, he was appointed editor of the Tel Aviv local newspaper published by the Yediot Achronot group. He started writing a weekly column called "Where's the Money" in a nationwide newspaper's weekend supplement, first for Maariv and subsequently for its competitor Yediot Achronot.

Lapid's television talk show career began when he started to host a leading Friday evening talk show on Israel's Channel 1 in 1994. His first movie role was in the Israeli film "Song of the Siren," and he later hosted talk shows on Channel 3, and from 1999 until 2012 hosted one on Channel 2. He has published numerous books and wrote a drama series called "War Room" that Channel 2 aired in 2004.

In January 2008, Lapid hosted "Ulpan Shishi," a Friday-night news-magazine on Channel 2. Also in 2008, the Cameri Theater performed Lapid's first play, The Right Age for Love.

On January 8, 2012, Lapid announced he would soon retire from professional journalism to enter politics. At the end of the month, he officially registered himself as the chairman of a new political party called Yesh Atid ("There is a Future").

During 2012 and especially in the months leading up to Israel's 19th Knesset election, Lapid campaigned on a centrist Zionist platform on mainly domestic issues but, also took stances on topics such as Israeli settlements in the West Bank and the proposed two-state solution. By November 2012, Lapid was polling an average of 11.6% support among the Israeli electorate, which translates to 13 or 14 seats for his party in the 120-member Knesset. The final results of the election, however, exceeded these expectations - Yesh Atid won a surprising 19 seats, making the party the second-largest represented in the 19th Knesset.

In March 2013, Lapid joined with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to form a coalition government and was appointed with the porfolio for Minister of Finance. He was sworn into the position on March 18, 2013.

Due to various disagreements about budget measures, settlements, and a controversial Israeli Jewish nationalism bill, on December 2 2014 Lapid was fired along with Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.  Netanyahu claimed that the two were causing gridlock within his cabinet which was "forced on [him]" and stated that he felt "harshly attacked" by them. 

He is married to journalist Lihi Lapid, has three children.

Sources: Wikipedia