web analytics
September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
Meir Panim with Soldiers 5774 Roundup: Year of Relief and Service for Israel’s Needy

Meir Panim implements programs that serve Israel’s neediest populations with respect and dignity. Meir Panim also coordinated care packages for families in the South during the Gaza War.



The Morning After: Israel’s Political System Shaken, Stirred, Realigned

The two winners of last night's unprecedented maneuver, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and his new deputy and coalition partner, former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.

The two winners of last night's unprecedented maneuver, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) and his new deputy and coalition partner, former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz.
Photo Credit: Miriam Alster/FLASH90

The stealth move Monday night by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shaul Mofaz has left everyone in Israel’s political arena reeling. First, the very idea that such a game-changing deal could be kept secret in Israel was shocking. It served to remind everyone of the military combat background of both leaders.

And then there was the realization that by joining forces the two have almost accomplished the oldest dream of every Israeli premier since David Ben Gurion – to rule without partners.

Today, a Likud and Kadima coalition relies on 55 of the 61 seats needed for a majority government.

But in reality, Kadima is “Likud light,” having been formed in 2005 by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, with Likud members who were willing to support Sharon’s plan to uproot the Jews of the Gaza strip, dubbed the “unilateral disengagement plan.”

In that sense, the Likud-Kadima coalition is more reunification than realignment. Mofaz et al are more lost children coming home than political foes overcoming their differences.

Back in December of 2005, then Defense Minister and Likud MK Shaul Mofaz sent personal letters to party members who were defecting to Ariel Sharon’s new party, begging them to return home. Later Mofaz would be ridiculed for the memorable slogan he included in his personal letter, “You don’t desert your home,” because shortly after coining it, Mofaz himself up and deserted that very home.

Seven years later it appears that all is forgotten.

Incidentally, Shaul Mofaz is fast becoming the Mitt Romney of Israeli politics, famous for making bombastic announcements which he disregards in a matter of days. Just before the Kadima primaries in March, Mofaz wrote on his Facebook page: “Listen well, I will not join Bibi’s government. Not today, not tomorrow and not after I become the head of Kadima on March 28. It is a bad, failing and disconnected government, and Kadima under my stewardship will replace it in the coming elections. Clear enough?”

Clear indeed.

The new deal awards the Kadima returnees significant legislative powers.

Under the section “Sharing the burden of military service,” the agreement states:

“The Parties undertake to enact, by July 31, 2012, a law regulating fair and just distribution of the burden of military service among the various segments of the population in Israel, in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling. Clear goals will be set for Haredi recruitment with progressive increases over the years. The bill will be written by a team from Kadima.”

Under the section “Correcting the system of government,” the agreement reads:

“The Parties undertake to fundamentally change the system of government in Israel, establishing a system of governance which will enhance governmental stability and effectiveness. Among other things, the new system will allow a prime minister to fulfill his agenda as determined by the voter, to create continuity of government, enhance the capacity for long-term planning and the protection of the public good.”

Under the section “The political process,” the agreement reads:

Both sides agree that the government will act to renew the political process and to advance negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Both sides agree on the importance of preserving the State of Israel as a democratic, Jewish state, and on the importance of maintaining defensible borders.”

This third segment essentially embraces the two-state solution, which is bad news for the Jews in settlements east of the security fence. It means the beginning of a countdown towards the evacuation of thousands of Jews, and should that undertaking appear unrealistic, many settlers recalled today that Shaul Mofaz, serving as Sharon’s Defense Minister, was the enforcer in the removal of thousands of Gush Katif’s Jews.

The immediate huge loser of this move is Prime Minister wannabe Yair Lapid, who – before last night’s earthquake – was projected to gain between 11 and 12 seats in the coming elections, as newbie center parties have been doing in Israeli politics since 1977.

Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin, on Tuesday morning told Israel’s Army Radio that it is clear that Yair Lapid is the big loser of the new move. “He was already revving up his engine and saw himself in the Knesset,” Elkin mocked.

Lapid’s Facebook page offered this entry by the disappointed proto politician:

“What you saw today is exactly the old politics, dingy and ugly, which the time has come to kick out of our lives. Politics of seats instead of principles, of jobs instead of the public good, of interest groups instead of the whole country. They think now they will play for time and we’ll forget, but they are wrong. This disgusting political alliance will bury all its members under its ruins.”

But while the damage to Lapid’s dreams adds comic relief to the story, the new coalition deal means decidedly sobering news for Israel’s two major religious camps – the Haredim and the Religious Zionist settlement movement.

Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh told Kol Israel this morning that with the new coalition deal “Bibi has given his consent and commitment that he will be taking several historical steps: legislation to insure an equal share of the burden [code for Haredi conscription] by July; and by December introduce a change in the system of government. Those two things, plus negotiations with the Palestinians, are the principles that Kadima has insisted on."

Tirosh added cheerfully: "If all this is accomplished, it will be the best government in history."

President Shimon Peres - a staunch advocate of the two-state solution - congratulated Netanyahu when the latter called to updated him on his intent to establish a unity government, and told Netanyahu a national unity government is good for Israel.

Ultra-Orthodox parties appeared sledge-hammered this morning, as it is becoming clear that a major goal of the revamped government is to rewrite the "Tal Law" regulating Haredi military service, and to radically increase the percentage of young Haredi men being conscripted.

In addition, the government will have to introduce deficit-cutting budget legislation, which will have the most adverse effect on Israel's poor - mostly Arabs and Haredim. Even if the Haredi factions remain in a Likud-Kadima juggernaut coalition, their ability to extract concessions will be severely curtailed.

It was curious, then, when Shas chairman and Interior Minister Eli Yishai was quick to express his approval of the new deal. Likewise Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who on Saturday had announced that his party no longer had an interest in staying in this coalition, released a statement in support of the deal which, effectively, turns him into a fifth wheel in Netanyahu's shiny new vehicle.

One MK who tried to turn her lemons into lemonade was Labor Party Chairperson Shelly Yachimovich, who became the new Knesset opposition leader following Mofaz's entry into the coalition government. Acknowledging this was a "dirty deal for the ages," Yechmovitch said, "In view of the final burial of Kadima, Labor is being given a rare and important opportunity to lead the opposition, which we will do with energy and conviction."

About the Author: Yori Yanover has been a working journalist since age 17, before he enlisted and worked for Ba'Machane Nachal. Since then he has worked for Israel Shelanu, the US supplement of Yedioth, JCN18.com, USAJewish.com, Lubavitch News Service, Arutz 7 (as DJ on the high seas), and the Grand Street News. He has published Dancing and Crying, a colorful and intimate portrait of the last two years in the life of the late Lubavitch Rebbe, (in Hebrew), and two fun books in English: The Cabalist's Daughter: A Novel of Practical Messianic Redemption, and How Would God REALLY Vote.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “The Morning After: Israel’s Political System Shaken, Stirred, Realigned”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Hezbollah  terror group shows off its arsenal.
Report: US Sending Indirect Military Aid to Hezbollah
Latest News Stories
Karnei Shomron Logo

5:25pm There is currently a serious security incident happening inside the town of Ginot Shomron (Karnei Shomron). Residents have been told to go inside and lock their doors. Details to follow, when permitted.

Student blowing a shofar

For the record, Jewish law allows you only to hear on shofar at a time on Rosh HaShanah.

Lady Gaga at Obama's 2012 inaugural.

Add BDS to the long list of those who never will forgive Obama.

The Mossad international intelligence agency has launched a new website to recruit potentially qualified candidates.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott announces that any citizen who went abroad to fight with jihad groups may as well stay there.

Kurdish fighters in Syria say they have stopped the advance of ISIS towards the town of Kobani near the Turkish border.

The US has allegedly sent military aid and intelligence to the Lebanese Hezbollah terrorist organization, according to the NYT.

ISIS terrorists are preparing to defend captured territory and using human shields to do it, but they’re also living the high life with chocolate.

For the first time, Hezbollah has used unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to bomb its enemies in Syria.

Turkey’s President Erdogan is meeting with Jewish and Armenian leaders in New York — but so what?

Hareidim in Meah Shearim are wasting no time to prepare for the Sukkot holiday, even if we have to still have to first celebrate Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

The infighting between Hamas and the Palestinian Authority is starting to get ugly. Good. Maybe that will keep them busy.

Israel may not be a favorite politically, but is moving up in the world of international baseball.

PA Chairman Abbas and Israeli PM Netanyahu reportedly are secretly talking via negotiators.

Israeli Defense Forces have foiled a Hamas terror attack set to take place in Gush Etzion on Rosh Hashana.

Harari is most famous for leading Golda Meir’s Mossad task force to kill all the Munich terrorists.

More Articles from Yori Yanover
rain ATM

A Jerusalem woman is trying to hold on to her umbrella while withdrawing some cash at a Meah Shearim ATM, Sunday, March 9, 2014. The rain appeared out of the blue (which is how rain should), after a warm week that started to feel like summer. Well, it don’t feel like summer no more. Last […]

Rabbi Meir Mazuz (seen visiting a synagogue in Crown Heights, Brooklyn) declared in a public Internet psak that it is legal for a Jew to go up to temple Mount.

Needless to say, Shas, the Haredi Sefardi party, is not happy.

“The only difference between this world and the time of Meshiach is our bondage to the gentile kingdoms.”

Here’s the Israeli Navy boat INS Hanit arriving in Eilat on Saturday, March 8, 2014, after capturing the Klos C, which was carrying dozens of advanced Iranian-supplied weapons made in Syria and intended for Palestinian guerrillas in the Gaza Strip. Here’s Israeli Navy Commander Vice Admiral Ram Rotberg speaking with the INS Hanit soldiers in […]

Pat Condell has a new video out, so, sit back, have fun. By the way, Message to Offended Muslims should not be confused with Message to Off Handed Muslims. Also, I’d love to hear what he has to say about Haredim.

The description that came with this picture says: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks with American actor Bette Midler during an event at the house of Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan in Hollywood on March 6, 2014. But Bette Midler is not really an actor, she’s a singer who made movies for the LGBT community and […]

We will shut them up in the campuses, we will shut them up in the high schools, we will shut them up at the 92nd St. Y.

An Israeli female soldier (because they’re better at removing babies from their homes) evacuates a baby from a settlement in Judea and Samaria some time in the recent past. I’m thinking, if the baby was angry enough, couldn’t he evacuate in return, right there in her arms? Imagine the same picture, except with a settler […]

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/the-knesset/the-morning-after-israels-political-system-shaken-stirred-realigned/2012/05/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: