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Jews Safer in New York Than Israel, Lapid Says

Israel’s finance minister talked politics and life in Knesset with Charlie Rose

Stephanie Butnick
October 09, 2013
Israel's Finance Minister Yair Lapid.(David Vaaknin-Pool/Getty Images)
Israel's Finance Minister Yair Lapid.(David Vaaknin-Pool/Getty Images)

On Monday night, Israeli finance minister Yair Lapid sat down with Charlie Rose at 92Y, where the Yesh Atid leader opened up about politics, his family, and his new life in the Knesset. Rose joked about wanting to emulate Lapid’s transition from well-known journalist to politician, and Lapid admitted he was the only person in Israel not surprised when he won 19 Knesset seats in the January 2013 election.

“I’m making a quarter of what I used to make and I’m working twice as hard, but at least everybody hates me,” Lapid joked (a line he also used during his interview for PBS’ Charlie Rose show, which they had filmed earlier that day). Still, Lapid says it’s fulfilling. “Politics, when it’s not cynical, it can be a creation,” he explained.

As JTA points out, Lapid also opined about the current state of security in Israel vs. the United States. “Israel was founded as a refuge for the Jewish people, but today it isn’t a safe place,” he told Rose. “It is safer to be Jew in New York.”

Here’s the full video from Monday night:

Stephanie Butnick is chief strategy officer of Tablet Magazine, co-founder of Tablet Studios, and a host of the Unorthodox podcast.