Israeli journalist Yair Lapid planning political run

By Jennifer Lipman, January 9, 2012
Yair Lapid

Yair Lapid

A prominent Israeli journalist and broadcaster has decided to enter the political fray.

Yair Lapid, whose political aspirations have long been the subject of speculation, announced on Sunday that he was planning to embark "on a new path".

The 48-year-old told his Facebook fans that he was "doing something that he believed in.

"You are my community, and I draw strength from you," he added, promising to continue to listen as he sought office.

Mr Lapid, whose grandfather was among the founders of Maariv newspaper, is the son of another journalist-turned-politician. Yosef "Tommy" Lapid founded the secular Shinui party in 1990s and later served as Ariel Sharon's justice minister in a coalition government.

Mr Lapid has not yet revealed which, if any, of Israel's political parties he intends to join. But Kadima leader Tzipi Livni and Labour leader Shelly Yachimovich, also a former journalist, welcomed his decision to run for office.

An author and a popular figure in Israel, analysts expect Mr Lapid to enjoy popular support from the Israeli electorate. With elections set to take place next year or earlier, he is expected to make an impact wherever he lands on the political spectrum.

Last updated: 3:50pm, January 9 2012