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JERUSALEM – With one month to go before Israelis cast their ballots, religious and nationalist parties have engaged in highly negative campaigns against each other, claiming that only their party will be able to pressure the next prime minister into promoting their domestic, economic and religious agendas. According to all polls, those parties are likely to be the basis of the next governing coalition – expected to be led by incumbent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The mudslinging stems from the most recent polls that indicate that the pro-settlements Habayit Hayehudi (The Jewish Home) Party could snare enough votes from disaffected Likud, Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu voters and receive anywhere from 11-15 Knesset seats.
The political scandals surrounding Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman and the personal bickering between Shas’s Eli Yishai and Aryeh Deri are viewed negatively by voters. If Habayit Hayehudi secures more Knesset seats than Shas, the party will be positioned to receive more key ministerial posts than Shas, which desperately wants to hold onto the Ministry of Construction and Housing and secure the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services. As in past elections, Shas’s campaign is based on appealing to financially- strapped and poor voters.
Habayit Hayehudi came under attack this week from an unexpected critic, maverick Likud candidate and Jewish Press columnist Moshe Feiglin. Feiglin claimed that Habayit Hayehudi was nothing more than a reconstituted version of the failed National Religious Party, which could not prevent withdrawals from Judea, Samaria and Gaza. Habayit Hayehudi MK Uri Orbach fired back at Feiglin, saying in a Jerusalem Post interview that Feiglin was “deluding himself if he believed that by being in the Likud he would have a real impact on the policies of the prime minister. The Likud is using them [Feiglin and others] against the up-and-coming force in religious Zionism, which is Habayit Hayehudi.”
Political commentators speculate that Feiglin’s rhetoric is a direct result of Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu’s slow descent in the polls as a result of Lieberman’s ongoing legal problems – he stepped down late last week as foreign minister – and the prospect that the state attorney general will not allow him to serve as a minister or Knesset member in the next government. Additionally, Haaretz reported that many veteran Likud Knesset members have complained about the party’s lackluster campaign agenda.
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Hamas recently indicated to international press that it would continue building up its underground network while restocking arsenal, rockets and other weaponry
Israel’s political landscape awoke Wednesday to the latest ceasefire with a sharp round of criticism for Prime Minister Netanyahu, and jostling for position amongst senior politicians who have begun to smell the aroma of early elections, possibly in the first half of 2015.
Nearly 90 percent of Gaza residents support attacks on Israel, say rockets help ‘deterrence’
Former US Middle East envoy Martin Indyk warns Israel’s self-defense in Gaza has increased tensions with Washington – again.
The majority of the reactions are against the truce, and all voiced skepticism about its viability.
Released for Publication: The IDF has released the names of the 2 killed by Hamas mortars yesterday…
Simon Wiesenthal Center called on US to denounce the rigged UNHRC Commission on Gaza.
Neither side achieved its stated goal: the Gaza blockade will not be lifted and Hamas will not be disarmed.
“The time has come for us to say, that our true war is not aimed at opening the border crossings. Our true war is aimed at the liberation of Jerusalem, Allah willing.”
One of the seriously wounded people from the Hamas rocket attack on the Eshkol region has died…
Hamas and other Gazan terrorists fired 4,594 rockets and mortars at Israel…
“We are in vital need of men aged 18-60 who are willing to donate platelets.”
“The posts went forth in haste by the king’s commandment, and the decree was given out in Shushan…but the city…was perplexed.” – Book of Esther
If you can’t kill an Israeli, you can always kill your fellow Gazan.
As of Tuesday, all IDF forces operating in Gaza withdrew and redeployed to holding positions around Gaza.
The sophisticated cement tunnels, which cost hundreds of millions of dollars, were reportedly built with Qatari government funds.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the nation on Tuesday afternoon that if the rocket fire did not stop by Tuesday evening, he would order “an even harsher” military response.
“They were abducted and murdered in cold blood by human animals,” Netanyahu said shortly after the bodies were found.
Awad had been released as part of the Gilad Shalit kidnapping deal. Mizrachi’s widow, Hadas, told Israeli reporters that she had opposed the release of murderers as part of any kidnapping deal, and that Awad “deserved the death penalty so he wouldn’t kill again.”
If the abductors’ goal was to force Israeli authorities to release long-serving Palestinian prisoners, the effort backfired as Israeli forces are quickly rolling up what was left of Hamas in the West Bank and are reportedly contemplating the overthrow of the Hamas leadership in Gaza should harm come to the three teenagers.
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