I thought this editorial was pretty much on the mark as well. It discusses the whoredom of Shinui and Lapid now that they are out of power and would like to get back in. It’s interesting that they would put interests that contradict their ideology ahead of anything else. This is an op-ed by Ari Shavit, so read it as you would, say, an op-ed about Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef by Nehamia Strasler. Also, note that Tommy Lapid is an Ashkenazy Jew so the bigotry claim won’t fly here.
…in December 2004, Tommy Lapid made a mistake. Because of a silly quarrel over a trifling NIS 290 million, he quit Shinui’s dream government. Because of a momentary misreading of the political map, the leader of Shinui took his 14 dwarfs and stalked out of the coalition.
With disengagement looming around the corner and Netanyahu putting the free market party’s ideological platform into practice on a daily basis, there was no justification for such a move. The voters didn’t like it. His friends didn’t like it. Even Tommy himself didn’t like it. He tried to beat a hasty retreat. He began looking for a way to return to the fleshpots of government, to the source of power, to the warm caress of Arik Sharon.
That is the reason Tommy has been playing poker with Arik over the last two weeks. That is why he is going for broke, publicly threatening that if Arik doesn’t take him back into the government, he, Tommy, will kill the budget he believes in. He will block the disengagement he believes in. He will topple the government that is advancing the goals of Shinui more than those of any other party. He will not hesitate to drag Israel into political chaos or precipitate political and economic disaster. And all for the sole purpose of forcing Arik to rectify Shinui’s mistake. All for the sake of making Arik open the door that the party itself slammed shut.
This blackmail by Lapid is unforgivable. Neither Shas nor United Torah Judaism has ever acted so despicably. Neither Shas nor United Torah Judaism has ever endangered historic moves of such magnitude for such petty political reasons.