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Lapid tries to become a statesman

The Gaza war tampered with Finance Minister Yair Lapid's plan to pass a bill on housing prices, but did not delay his initiative for a regional conference.
Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid (L) inspects the damage inside a house following a rocket attack by militants from the Gaza Strip on the southern Israeli town of Sderot, on July 21, 2014. More than 10 militants from Gaza were shot dead after infiltrating southern Israel, the army's official spokesman said, as the UN Security Council called for an "immediate ceasefire" as Israel pressed on with a blistering assault on Gaza on Monday taking the Palestinian death toll above 500. AFP PHOTO / JACK GUEZ
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Operation Protective Edge caught the chairman of the Yesh Atid party, Yair Lapid, in a positive momentum. After barely treading water in the polls, which showed public dissatisfaction with his performance as finance minister, he has managed to halt the negative trend and create for himself a positive perspective with his proposed Zero VAT Law on the purchase of a first apartment.

Having presented this bill, Lapid was no longer considered a politician trapped in a race for survival, dragged along by events and steadily losing the enormous credit he had earned in the last elections. Instead, he was was transformed into an instigator of a revolutionary socioeconomic move. He managed to relay once again a sense of freshness and innovation, while proving that his heart was in the right place when he confronted the Finance Ministry bureaucrats, who opposed the plan. He showed resolve when he promised that the law would go into effect by early September. It was because of the finance minister’s persistence that the high demand for apartments began to drop considerably.

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