Party’s Official Name: Yesh Atid – יש עתיד
Leader: Yair Lapid
MKs in current Knesset: 0
Latest Haaretz poll: 9
Popular broadcaster and columnist Yair Lapid had been planning his campaign for years but was prematurely forced to announce his entry into politics this year thanks to a Knesset bill calling for a “cooling-off” period for journalists seeking a spot in the Knesset. Lapid is trying to appeal to a wide swath of Israelis who are fed up with both right and left, many of them previous Kadima voters who have been searching for a political home since the party lost its way in the wilderness of opposition.
To attract as many of these floating voters as possible, Lapid has filled the top slots on the Yesh Atid (There is a Future) list with a wide array of candidates representing a cross-section of “middle Israel.” Yesh Atid has two mayors, upscale Herzliya’s Yael German and working-class Dimona’s Meir Cohen, as well as millionaire bank chairman (and former Shin Bet chief) Yaakov Peri who rubs shoulders with community activists and feminists. To dispel suspicion among traditional-religious voters that Yesh Atid is simply an updated version of Shinui, the now defunct ultra-secular party led by Lapid’s late father, Yosef, No. 2 on the list is modern Orthodox rabbi and educator Shai Piron.
Yesh Atid’s populist platform has a few detailed plans focusing on national service for all Israelis and reforming the electoral system, but its peace plan is a vague mish-mash that includes a two-state solution that keeps settlements such as Ariel and an “undivided” Jerusalem within Israel’s borders. The party boasts no significant fiscal policies, certainly none that challenge the current economic framework.
Kadima’s implosion has left Yesh Atid as Labor’s main competitor for centrist votes but then along came Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah and took away many of Lapid’s potential voters. Yesh Atid sees itself as an integral component in Netanyahu’s next coalition, which would likely force it to compromise in face-offs with its ideological opponents, the Haredi parties, who are also likely to be there.
Source: Haaretz Elections Center