In the context of the Israeli political spectrum, the Yesh Atid Party—led by former television host Yair Lapid—counts as a "centrist" party. But the big winners in yesterday's election actually have some rhetorical tropes on economics that are very similar to the American right. Here's an account by Isabel Kershner of a seminal newspaper column Lapid wrote:
His father was a Holocaust survivor who went on to serve as justice minister. His mother is a well-known novelist. A year ago, when Mr. Lapid decided to quit television and enter politics, he set himself the mission of representing the country’s struggling middle class, a long-neglected constituency. He presented a common appeal, refreshing for an Israeli politician. As the author of a widely read column in the weekend supplement of the newspaper Yediot Aharonot, he wrote a column under a title that became his catchphrase: “Where’s the money?”
He wrote: “This is the big question asked by Israel’s middle class, the same sector on whose behalf I am going into politics. Where’s the money? Why is it that the productive sector, which pays taxes, fulfills its obligations, performs reserve duty and carries the entire country on its back, doesn’t see the money?”
It's moochers and looters all over again, except in the Israeli context the moochers are ultra-orthodox sects who have large families, are exempt from military service obligation*, and divert funding streams away from secular education projects.
* Correction, Jan. 23, 2013: The ultra-orthodox are of course exempt from the draft, not from "religious services" as I initially miswrote.
TODAY IN SLATE
Forget Oculus Rift
This $25 cardboard box turns your phone into an incredibly fun virtual reality experience.
The Congressional Republican Digging Through Scientists’ Grant Proposals
The 2014 Kansas City Royals Show the Value of Building a Mediocre Baseball Team
The GOP Won’t Win Any Black Votes With Its New “Willie Horton” Ad
Whole Foods Is Desperate for Customers to Feel Warm and Fuzzy Again
I’m 25. I Have $250.03.
My doctors want me to freeze my eggs.
Smash and Grab
Will competitive Senate contests in Kansas and South Dakota lead to more late-breaking races in future elections?