Chillul Tefila Bifarhesia, as well as halachicly challenged verbiage and dress, are external manifestations of a critical lack of personal yiras shomayim which has lethal consequences.
JERUSALEM – High-ranking Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers, as well as Knesset members and political activists, are furious with both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and former foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman for the flailing election campaign strategy orchestrated by Arthur J. Finkelstein, the noted New York Republican Party strategist.
Finkelstein reportedly was the brainchild behind the temporary political merger between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu, believing that a large, nationalist Israeli political entity would sweep the elections and receive a minimum of 40 Knesset mandates. In his view, this would allow Netanyahu to determine Israel’s domestic and foreign policy political agendas without kowtowing to smaller parties like Yahadut HaTorah and Shas.
But over the past month the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu campaign has gone into a tailspin, as a growing number of Likud voters have been alienated by the attorney general’s indictment of Lieberman; Netanyahu’s personal attacks on Naftali Bennett, the head of the fast-rising HaBayit HaYehudi Party; Israel’s deteriorating relations with the White House and the EU; and the government’s refusal to address expensive tax hikes – from state and city taxes to electricity and water taxes. The tax hikes have moved a growing number of middle-class families into the category of the “working poor.”
Earlier this week several newspaper and TV polls said that the Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu faction would receive no more than 32 seats, with Bennett’s right-wing party gaining as much as 15 seats – possibly making it the second largest party in the next Knesset. While a majority of Likud MKs and activists believe that HaBayit HaYehudi’s pro-settler/national religious agenda would be an excellent political fit for the next governing coalition, Netanyahu’s alleged personal animosity toward Bennett and secular HaBayit HaYehudi candidate Ayelet Shaked has made a future political alliance uncertain. According to the Israeli media both Bennett and Shaked, who held influential posts in Netanyahu’s office when he was Israel’s opposition leader, left after purportedly clashing with the prime minister’s wife, Sara.
Also this week, President Shimon Peres added to the prime minister’s political woes by publicly upbraiding him for refusing to negotiate a peace deal with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Peres also said that Israel could negotiate with Hamas if they renounced violence and recognized Israel’s right to exist. Peres was a key architect of the failed Oslo accords that he negotiated with the PLO’s Yasir Arafat, whose widow, Suha, admitted in an interview recently that her husband had no compunction about organizing and launching the Second Intifada against Israel – even after signing the Oslo accords. In addition, Al Jazeera TV disclosed the contents of secret PA documents this week showing that Abbas instructed his peace interlocutor to reject the generous peace overtures made by then-prime minister Ehud Olmert and his foreign minister, Tzipi Livni. They offered nearly 95 percent of Judea and Samaria to the PA, as well as control over the Temple Mount and other Jerusalem neighborhoods.
Former prime minister Yitzhak Shamir’s son, Yair, who holds the fourth slot on the combined Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu slate, acknowledged at a political forum earlier this week that “we are losing mandates and, as a result, we might have to consider forming a government with many different political factions.”
The good news for Netanyahu is that the same newspaper and TV polls that find the combined list’s popularity slipping reported that other than HaBayit HaYehudi, the other new parties – including Hatenua (led by Livni) and Yesh Atid (headed by Yair Lapid) – have so far failed to win support from disgruntled Likud voters. Livni and Lapid boasted that their “fresh ideas” would attract at least 15 or more seats combined in the next Knesset (polls show them winning 10-11 seats), which would give them the leverage to pressure Netanyahu into revising his new government’s domestic and foreign policies from his current ones.
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The Kaspersky Lab has revealed that the first quarter of 2013 almost a million network attacks were detected in Israel. In fact, every third Israeli computer is under malware attacks at any given moment. Kaspersky Lab and its representative in Israel Power Communications presented this data on Wednesday, in Tel Aviv. Last year, six million [...]
The recommendations determine new rules for sharing the security burden equally.
Judging by the sheer onesidedness of the parts I’ve read, I cannot see how the report can serve as a foundation for discussion.
Arab stone throwing and other violent disturbances near Efrat continues. Following in the footsteps of the pipe bomb found near the northern entrance last week, a girl was hurt Thursday when rocks were thrown at a car she was riding in. A number of cars were hit and damaged near Efrat’s northern entrance. Last week [...]
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) expressed deep disappointment with the members of Detroit City Council and local clergy who met with and embraced the antisemitic and racist leader of the Nation of Islam, Louis Farrakhan, during his visit to the city last week. During his visit to Detroit, Farrakhan was invited by Rev. Wendell Anthony, President [...]
A number of bills targeting Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program have advanced in the U.S. Congress. The U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday approved and sent to the full House a bill backed by Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), the chairman of the committee, and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), its senior Democrat, that would [...]
Former Minister of Science and Technology, Professor Rabbi Daniel Hershkowitz was appointed the new president of Bar-Ilan University. Hershkowitz’s appointment was approved unanimously on Monday during a meeting of the university’s board of trustees. He will begin serving in October, at the start of the 2013-14 academic year. The Haifa native succeeds Moshe Kaveh, who [...]
Former Iranian president Akbar Rafsanjani on Wednesday strongly criticized the leadership of his country, following his disqualification as presidential candidate this week. “I don’t think the country could have been run worse, even if it had been planned in advance,” the 78-year-old Rafsanjani reportedly told members of his campaign team. “I don’t want to get [...]
An eyewitness fought back tears as he recalled seeing the killers attacking the man “like a piece of meat.”
Observers of the world body in Geneva said the annual hypocrisy reached a new low this year.
It now turns out that if a foreign corespondent is a self-centered, name dropping blowhard, he is also likely to be an Israel hater.
We interrupt this thoughtful column to share with you the above image, which I just received by email from my wife (and which you, I’m sure, have first seen back in 2006, because the media are always behind with these things). “For the first time, women are now being allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia.” [...]
Some 25,000 Belz chassidim packed the wedding ceremony of Rabbi Shalom Rokeach, Grandson of the Belzer Rebbe, and Chana Batya Pener, May 22, 2013, in Jerusalem. Pretty amazing images. It says something about these people’s comfort with one another in close quarters. I find it very difficult to be standing or sitting so close to [...]
Let everyone know of the shelter at Chabad
The US considers a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria an international issue, so much so that a US official attending a hearing on an anti-outpost Peace Now petition.
Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10) on Wednesday responded to the withholding of the Leahy Amendment to protect LGBT families in immigration reform legislation: “As the House sponsor of the Uniting American Families Act (UAFA), I am extremely disappointed that an amendment to ensure equal treatment for same-sex, bi-national couples was withheld, without a vote, during the [...]
JERUSALEM – As Shiite Hizbullah and Sunni anti-Syrian government rebels battle across Syria and Lebanon, and Egyptian and Jordanian forces confront al Qaeda terrorists in the Sinai and southern Jordan, the emir of Qatar blamed Israel for the chaos that threatens to plunge the entire region into war.
JERUSALEM – Rabbi Shlomo Amar, Israel’s current Sephardi chief rabbi whose 10-year term is set to expire in the coming months, and Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, a leading Ashkenazi rabbi, announced their intention to force a legal change in the chief rabbinate selection process.
JERUSALEM – Despite heightened tensions with Lebanon and Syria, including Israel Air Force sorties over Damascus, a group of stars from two ABC-TV hit shows, “Scandal” and “Once Upon A Time,” participated last week in numerous indoor and outdoor activities in northern Israel, including the Golan Heights. The stars said that the American public is served a steady diet of warped images of Israel.
JERUSALEM – With strong evidence that Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have used chemical weapons against civilians, Israeli and Western military commanders are contemplating a series of air strikes and commando operations against a select group of targets inside Syria.
JERUSALEM – During his first visit to Israel as President Obama’s new secretary of defense, Chuck Hagel said Tuesday it was vital for the U.S. and Israel to maintain a strong alliance, particularly in the wake of growing security challenges.
JERUSALEM – Even as millions of Israelis celebrated the country’s 65th birthday with prayers, lavish barbecues and star-studded entertainment in city squares, many citizens expressed worry about troubling domestic and foreign developments.
JERUSALEM – After attending a somber ceremony at Yad Vashem on Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry began shuttling between Ramallah and Jerusalem in an effort to jumpstart the long stagnant Israeli-Palestinian peace process.
JERUSALEM – Reports are circulating that in the days leading up to Yom HaShoah – to be commemorated this year in Israel next Monday – a group of global cyber-terrorists, many of its members based in Arab countries across North Africa and the Persian Gulf, are readying for major cyber attacks against a large number of important Israeli websites. Being targeted are banks, credit card companies, telecom outlets and government ministries.
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