Saturday, May 14, 2016

Filling the void: Israel’s self-styled shadow foreign minister

Lahav Harkov,

With no designated foreign minister in sight, Yair Lapid decided to become a diplomat in his fight against the government from the opposition.

Lapid image from article
Israel doesn’t have a “shadow government” like other countries do, but it’s clear that Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid still sees himself as Israel’s shadow foreign minister.
Like any opposition member worth his name, the former finance minister has vocally criticized much of the government’s foreign policies since it was sworn in last year, but he hasn’t limited himself to talk. Lapid traveled to Brussels, Geneva, Washington and more to advocate for Israel before foreign leaders and diplomats. ...
Asked if the lack of a foreign minister was a political opportunity for Lapid, he smiled: “It’s not an opportunity; it’s a problem, and I tend, sometimes against my best interests, to try to solve problems when I see them.
“The fact that the Foreign Ministry was split between six ministers who have no idea what the other five are doing, and the fact that Israeli hasbara [public diplomacy] is split up [between ministries] and Israel’s stature in the world is declining, and the kind of relations we have in the Jewish community are also in decline, all this needs to be addressed,” he said. ...

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