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June 30, 2022 11:55 am

Israel’s Incoming PM Lapid Visits Yad Vashem to Honor Father’s Memory

avatar by i24 News

Incoming Israeli prime minister Yair Lapid visits Israel’s Yad Vashem memorial. Photo: GPO / Kobi Gideon

i24 News – Israel’s incoming prime minister Yair Lapid visited the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem in Jerusalem on Thursday morning to honor the memory of his late father.

The Yesh Atid party leader did so shortly after the vote to dissolve Israel’s parliament, the Knesset. As a result of the vote, Lapid will become interim prime minister at midnight.

“Immediately after the vote, I went to Yad Vashem. I promised my late father that I would make sure to keep Israel strong, able to defend itself and protect its children,” Lapid said in a statement.

Lapid’s father, Tommy, was born in Serbia. The Nazis captured his family and then sent them to the Budapest ghetto.

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Tommy’s father was killed in a concentration camp, while Tommy and his mother were saved by Raoul Wallenberg, the Swedish diplomat who saved thousands of Jews from the Nazis.

Tommy Lapid then moved to Israel, where he became a well-known journalist and minister.

Later in the day, outgoing Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and his successor met for a discreet handover ceremony, followed by a briefing on security issues and transition diplomacy.

Lapid will continue in his current role as foreign affairs minister.

“This special role and this country does not belong to one person. It belongs to all the people of Israel,” Bennett said at the ceremony. “I pass to you the sacred staff and the responsibility of the State of Israel. I hope you will protect it and that God will protect you.”

“I have worked under prime ministers, I have known prime ministers. You are a good man and an excellent prime minister, and you are a good friend. This is not a farewell ceremony because I do not intend to say goodbye to you,” Lapid responded.

Families and members of their respective teams were the only people present at the ceremony.

Later in the day, Lapid and his wife Lili Lapid met with President Isaac Herzog and First Lady Michal Herzog at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

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