Is Yossi Lapid Gaydamak's Mr. X? (Photo: Knesset)
Arkadi Gaydamak, the tycoon whose political ambitions were the subject of an earlier post here, is back in the news. Apparently, he is now aiming toward the political center. He also seems on the brink of severing his ties with Netanyahu. According to Ha'aretz, Gaydamak, who "supports equality and coexistence with Israeli Arabs, and also with the Palestinians," is hoping to capture significant votes in the Arab sector. If true, this would be a welcome injection into the Israeli political spectrum, though the whole thing is sounding more and more unlikely.
I was intrigued by the following mysterious description of Gaydamak's new potential ally, who is set to replace Netanyahu as the head of this party:
(...) a well-respected senior political figure, who held ministerial posts in previous governments. This person has resigned from party politics but remains active in public life. Joining Gaydamak may turn out to be a significant development for both men.Any bets on who this might be? Here is another hint:
Following the meeting, the personality, who is affiliated with the political center, expressed readiness on principle to join Gaydamak politically, but also raised a number of preconditions. Among other issues, he insisted on the importance of severing the ties developed between the Likud under Benjamin Netanyahu and Gaydamak's party in the making.Could it be former Shinui boss Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, who served as Justice Minister in Ariel Sharon's coalition government? I just don't think that would work at all, given that Gaydamak has been building a potential electorate outside of the secular middle class that voted for Lapid. But that might be the point.
At first, I also thought of Avraham Burg (Labor Party), but that would be an unlikely alliance, and Burg has never been a minister, to my knowledge. I even thought for a second that Ehud Barak had signed onto this.