Few things please Tablet senior writer Liel Leibovitz more than drinking a glass of Arak, reading a Leonard Cohen villanelle, or ripping on Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid.

Imagine the titters that carried throughout the office this morning as old footage of Yair Lapid’s amateur boxing days emerged, showing Lapid as a pasty, Jean-Claude Van Damme manque getting served his lunch by a svelte Israeli kick-boxer.

Warning: This video is painful to watch, not for its violence, but simply because Lapid is so horrendously outmatched.


• Lapid (in the dark trunks) comes out swinging and within five seconds has hit the deck. A few feeble attempts to “sweep the leg, Johnny” end with Lapid getting put down at 3:45 in the video and less than a minute later, the match is over. Adding insult to injury, Lapid’s opponent does some pretty intensive mugging after the fight is called.

• The random drumming in the background along with the caterwauling of Gesher Tzar Me’od, which is an amazing song for a boxing match if you think about it: “All the world is a narrow bridge, the important thing is not to be afraid.” If you listen closely, there are a few Hebrew chants that I’m not allowed to translate.

• What to call Yair Lapid’s fro? A Lafro? Sey-ar Lapid?

• The top comment for this video is a lamentation that Lapid, despite being both a fighter and clearly able to take a pummeling, did not serve in an IDF combat unit.

Let’s hope some videos of Lapid knocking some people down surface. In the meantime, it looks Lapid should stick to sparring with the ultra-Orthodox in Knesset.

Related: Beppe Grillo, Italy’s Yair Lapid [Tablet]