A unique and prestigious residential project in now being built in Mekor Haim Street in Jerusalem.
JERUSALEM – While it appears likely that incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will head Israel’s next government, there are growing indications that his future coalition government could look substantially different from the current one.
With days remaining before Israelis head to the polls next Tuesday, a substantial number of voters – including many English-speaking citizens – have yet to decide how they will cast their ballots next week. Several newspaper and TV polls are reporting that with at least 18 percent of registered Israeli voters still undecided nearly 20 Knesset seats are still in play. That could tip the balance of power toward or away from Israel’s two largest political party lists, Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu and Labor.
For English-speaking immigrants, Israel’s somewhat confusing electoral system, whereby voters cast ballots for a party slate rather than directly for a candidate, has left some scratching their heads. Recent olah Jamie Geller, the best-selling American cookbook author, told Haaretz, “They offer ulpan courses to us, but they should offer some kind of political course as well. This whole parliamentary system is not an easy system to grasp for a newcomer.” Nefesh B’Nefesh, the aliyah organization, and the nonpartisan Israel Project have been conducting pre-election educational sessions in Anglo enclaves. Additionally, some leading Anglo candidates from various parties have conducted parlor meetings in Anglo homes across Israel. According to Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics, there are nearly 300,000 English-speaking residents in Israel.
The most recent polls have confirmed that Netanyahu’s Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu list will receive between 33 and 35 mandates, with Shelly Yachimovich’s Labor Party garnering between 15 and 17 mandates. The polls show Naftali Bennett’s Bayit HaYehudi Party winning 13-15 seats, which would make it the third largest party in the Knesset. Bennett, once a close confidante of Netanyahu before their political fallout, has maintained that Bayit HaYehudi should have a key role in forming the next coalition government despite the personal antipathy between the two politicians.
With several of Netanyahu’s senior ministers admitting that “mistakes pertaining to domestic issues” have been made during the current government, both Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu and Labor have fine-tuned their campaign messages by focusing on issues relevant to the overtaxed middle class and the growing number of working-poor families: the spiraling costs of new apartments, the over-inflated salaries within government-owned corporations, and the controversial issue of universal military draft. Likud’s campaign ads maintain that a strong Likud under the strong leadership of Netanyahu equals a strong Israel. The ads remind voters of the threats facing Israel from Iran and its allies, Hamas and Hizbullah.
The once powerful Shas Party, which has appealed in the past to poor and middle-class Sephardic voters, has failed to ignite that base of supporters, even with Aryeh Deri leading the party’s media campaign. Deri was severely criticized by the media and Israeli citizens across the ethnic spectrum last week for an alleged racist TV commercial, which depicted a blonde Russian immigrant receiving a kosher conversion permit during her wedding ceremony. Most recent surveys anticipate Shas winning a maximum of only 10 seats, the same number as Yair Lapid’s new, centrist Yesh Atid Party. That is considerably less than the party’s goal of 14-15 seats. Shas fears that a poor showing at the polls will give Netanyahu the leeway to ask Yesh Atid to join his coalition, snubbing Shas in the process.
Netanyahu called for early elections after demands by Shas and Yahadut HaTorah to increase the stipends for yeshiva students and indigent families, and to reinstate the Tal Law for haredim, which was struck down by Israel’s High Court of Justice. According to the Ministry of Finance and the Bank of Israel, the next Israeli government will be forced to enact a series of austerity measures, including the cutting of several billion dollars from the state budget. Shas and Yahadut HaTorah are desperate to join a new coalition in order to thwart the anticipated budget cuts, which would adversely affect its constituencies.
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The Kotel Plaza, the stairs, the Kotel entrance, the roads, everything was packed for Birkat Cohanim – the Priestly Blessing of the People – now imagine if this had been held on top of Har HaBayit, the Temple Mount!
Four Israeli citizens were hurt Thursday in a road terror attack near Tekoa in Gush Etzion.
Israel Police closed access to the Temple Mount to Jews and other non-Muslims on Thursday due to Arab violence.
U.S. Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk is on his way back to the region to revive talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Hebron is proving to be a popular family tourist site during the Passover Holiday.
Hundreds attended the funeral of Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrachi, who was slain by terrorists on Passover eve.
A local Jewish merchant was stabbed Monday on the island of Djerba.
The Israeli hi-tech company Matrix has announced it is opening a “massive training center” in Nanjing, China.
Rabbis have been busy with preparations for the traditional Birkat Kohanim, Priestly Blessing, set for Thursday.
The suspect charged in the pre-Passover shooting deaths of three people outside two Kansas Jewish centers is a known white supremacist.
More than 400 people sat down at the first seder this year at the Chabad House of Bangkok, Thailand.
The following is President Obama’s statement on Passover (April 14, 2014). As he has in the past, the President held an official Passover Seder at the White House. Michelle and I send our warmest greetings to all those celebrating Passover in the United States, in Israel, and around the world. On Tuesday, just as we […]
PM Binyamin Netanyahu blamed Palestinian Authority incitement for the terrorist murder of a police officer on Passover eve.
Some reactions in response to the latest terror attack.
Kerry reportedly admitted that he had “made a mistake.”
Before returning to Washington, Abbas reiterated to Kerry in a face-to-face meeting in Ramallah that the PA and the Arab League would never recognize the existence of a Jewish state in Israel.
Dechner admitted funneling significant amounts of money to the defendants in order to move the Holyland project forward.
On Tuesday, the London Daily Telegraph reported that an intelligence source involved with the secretive investigation into the plane’s disappearance claimed that the incident might have been part of a deliberate suicide mission by one of the pilots or someone on board the aircraft. International aviation experts, including Israeli officials, believe that someone deliberately punched in a computer rerouting code shortly after takeoff.
According to Arab and Israeli media sources, Abbas steadfastly demanded that the White House prod Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into releasing convicted killers Marwan Barghouti and Ahmad Sa’adat. He also reportedly insisted that Israel freeze all settlement construction activities in exchange for extending the peace talks until the end of the year.
JERUSALEM – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the international community on Monday for turning a blind eye to Iran’s continued attempts to foment global terrorism.
Despite Obama’s threat of military force against Assad unless he relinquishes his chemical weapons cache, Assad has repeatedly failed to meet UN deadlines to deliver his deadly arsenal to a special arms disposal unit.
IAF jets and advanced drones have been aggressively monitoring the transfer of advanced Russian and Iranian made weaponry from Syria to Hizbullah bases in Lebanon.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/undecided-voters-hold-key-to-margin-of-bibis-presumed-victory/2013/01/16/
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