In Israel, a new five month scholarship program being offered to young aspiring athletes – one of them could be you.
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 Palestinian Authority is supposedly on top of terror. So why did the IDF have to raid a wanted terrorist’s home in Samaria and confiscate hundreds of bullets, guns, knives and IDF uniforms?
Israeli soldiers returned fire on Syrian territory after another incident of gunfire on a military area in the Golan Heights Monday night. No one was injured, and there was no damage to property. Military spokesmen said that the soldiers’ fire on the source of the attack” hit the target,” but they did not provide any [...]
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Assad’s regime scrapes the bottom of the barrel for propaganda. It displays an old IDF jeep as “proof” Israel is aiding the rebels – but it is more likely that the jeep was in the hands of Hezbollah.
Barbra Streisand is a great singer. She also played the part of a young woman disguised as a male yeshiva student in ‘Yentl.” Soon, Hebrew U. will grant her an honorary degree in philosophy.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has named Ira Forman, who led President Obama’s reelection campaign in the Jewish community, as his envoy to combat anti-Semitism. The State Department announced the appointment Monday, the same day it released its 2012 report on religious freedom that recorded a “continued global increase in anti-Semitism.” Forman replaces Hannah [...]
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The Muslim Brotherhood government of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi is moving tanks and heavy arms towards the northern Sinai towards possible all-out battle with a gang that kidnapped seven Egyptian security personnel four days ago. Morsi has ruled out negotiating, saying there was “no room for dialogue with the criminals.” and that his government would [...]
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Vandals spray painted the Jerusalem home of a long-time board member of the Women of the Wall (WOW) with vicious graffiti, the first time opponents to WOW have resorted to vengeance. Some of the graffiti sprayed on the door and stairwell of Peggy Cidor’s apartment read in Hebrew: “Women of the Wall are wicked,” “Peggy, [...]
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As of 11:15 AM Israel time, the Nazi flag is still up there.
Reishit HaGez is the giving to the Kohen the first cuttings of the fleece of sheep grown in the Land of Israel (based on Deut. 18:4: “You are to give them the first fruits of your grain, new wine and olive oil, and the first wool from the shearing of your sheep.”). Most Jews cannot [...]
An anonymous letter sent to the Claims Conference’s Frankfurt office in 2001 identified five cases where restitution was approved for ineligible claimants.
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.
JERUSALEM – Amid the pomp and circumstance during President Obama’s three-day visit to Israel, Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Secretary of State John Kerry quietly worked on several diplomatic initiatives that could spur far-reaching changes in the Middle East.
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