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Budget approval makes Yair Lapid Israel’s new dominant politician

With the state budget approved, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is now preparing for the moment when he takes over premiership from his coalition partner Naftali Bennett.

Foreign Minister Yair Lapid is a busy man. Last night for instance, he met in Jerusalem with the US envoy to the UN, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, and then spoke on the phone with the new Canadian Foreign Minister Melanie Joly. In both meetings he spoke not just about bilateral relations and cooperation, but also about Israel’s strategic interests. Lapid’s associates say he is perfectly at ease in his current position of Israel’s No. 1 statesperson and diplomat.

Lapid entered politics in 2012, for what became over the years a rather bumpy road. In March 2020, after a third consecutive round of elections, his political partner and head of Blue and White party, Benny Gantz, decided to establish a government with then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Lapid, No. 2 in Blue and White, broke up the alliance, going back to heading his original Yesh Atid party.

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