On June 25, the Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings hosted Member of Knesset Yair Lapid for an Alan and Jane Batkin International Leaders Forum. M.K. Lapid joined for a public conversation on his vision for Israel’s future. M.K. Lapid, the former finance minister of the State of Israel, discussed a wide-ranging set of issues confronting Israel today, from its position in the Golan Heights, its strategy toward the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, to the state U.S.-Israel alliance and bipartisan support for Israel in the United States.
A former journalist, television presenter, and author, Lapid founded the centrist Yesh Atid Party in 2012. The party garnered a surprising 19 seats in its first elections, and was the second largest party in the Knesset. Yesh Atid today polls as the main opposition challenger to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party.
This event is part of the center’s “Imagining Israel’s Future” series, which aims to help audiences in Washington engage with voices from across today’s dynamic Israeli society.
Questions from the audience followed the discussion.
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[The resignation of assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs Wess Mitchell] is surprising news, which seems to have caught everyone off guard. He doesn’t appear to have shared this news with his ambassadors, who were in Washington last week for a global chiefs of mission conference. His deputy is also slated to retire soon, which raises question of near term leadership on European policy at a time of challenges there.
[Wess] Mitchell was a strong supporter of NATO, particularly in Eastern Europe where he will be sorely missed. His departure comes follows the resignation of senior Pentagon officials – Robert Karem and Tom Goffus – working on NATO along with Secretary Mattis. Without this pro-alliance caucus, NATO is now more vulnerable than at any time since the beginning of the Trump administration.