Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid has been included on Time magazine’s annual list of the world’s 100 most influential people, replacing Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu as the representative of Israel’s zeitgeist.
For the first time in three years, Netanyahu was not included on the list.
In the April 29 issue of the weekly newsmagazine, released on Thursday, Time’s Jerusalem bureau chief Karl Vick lauded Israel’s television personality-turned-politician as a protest candidate who “campaigned on economic justice for a forgotten middle class” and “held true to a promise of ‘new politics,’ resisting Netanyahu’s blandishments and forging a government without Israel’s powerful religious parties.”
While the world generally views Israel in terms of the Palestinian conflict, Vick wrote, Lapid “personifies the nation’s determinedly inward focus.”
The annual list is put together by editors of the magazine and includes political and cultural figures, without ranking their influence. The list includes 20 people from each of five categories: leaders, titans, artists, pioneers and icons.
Time has made clear in the past that inclusion on the list is not necessarily an honor, but rather that the people are recognized as those who are changing the world – whether for good or for bad. As a result, many of those listed are controversial figures, including North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul and Wayne LaPierre, the chief executive of the National Rifle Association.
US President Barack Obama made the list for the seventh consecutive year and eighth time overall, while Vice President Joe Biden was named for the second time in three years.
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