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November 29, 2015 / 17 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Aryeh Deri’

Deri to Leave Ministry of Economy

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardi Hareidi party, will leave the Ministry of Economy and be given another Cabinet post following the failure of the Netanyahu government to convince him to relinquish authority over the roadmap for governing Israel’s off-shore natural gas fields.

Deri will continue to serve as Minister of the Development of the Negev and the Galilee along with another post yet to be determined. Taking over the Interior Ministry from Silvan Shalom is one possibility, but that could not take place without the agreement the senior Likud member.

The stalemate over the authority for the natural gas development has kept the Knesset from voting on the budget. Once it is passed, probably in mid-November, authorization is expected for the framework for natural gas.

Deri Backs Down on Shabbat Work Halt on New Rail Line

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

A court order overruling Deri’s “stop work” decision allows Israel Railways to continue maintenance and construction work on Shabbat.

Israeli Railways can continue carrying out maintenance work and construction of the new high-speed Jerusalem-to rail line on Shabbat after the Justice Ministry and the Supreme Court out-maneuvered Shas leader Aryeh Deri, who also is Minister of Economy.

As reported here last week by the JewishPress.com, Deri scored his political points with his Sephardi Hareidi constituency knowing that his stop work order would not last very long.

Deri’s has backed down from his order against work on Shabbat following a Justice Ministry petition to the Supreme Court against the Ministry of Economy. The court obliged and overruled Deri, who then withdrew his order.

He stated:

The permits to be given or extended shall be valid until a different decision is made, given the court proceeding.

Deri had claimed that Israeli Railways did not obtain a legal permit for working on Shabbat, and he ordered that work on the rail line be halted. Israel Railways claimed that Deri’s decision would delay the inauguration of the high-speed train by 2 years, which mathematically does not make any sense but at least gave the company another excuse for another postponement in completing the massive and oft-mismanaged project.

One delay earlier this year was caused by tunnel engineers who were off the mark during work from both ends of one of the tunnels. It returned out that the opening from each end did not meet in the middle.

Israel Railways Claims 150 Shabbatot Equals 2 Years

Friday, September 25th, 2015

Shas chairman and Minister of Economy Aryeh Deri sparked a political fire on Friday by ordering a halt to work on Shabbat on the high-speed Jerusalem-Tel Aviv train line.

The route is supposed to start operating by 2018.

Halting work on Shabbat would mean a delay of approximately 120 days, but Israel Railways charged that Deri’s order will delay the project by up to two years.

Apparently, people who work on Shabbat work at a far faster pace than they do on weekdays.

Work on public facilities and in industries on Shabbat in Israel is allowed if there is a special labor permit, which is issued in areas of public need, such as the water and electric companies and at factories where on-going processes cannot function practically with a weekly shutdown and start-up.

Deri’s order seems to be a ploy for political points with his Hareidi constituency.

The Transportation Ministry said that work permits are issued by the Minister of Economy, but Deri maintained that each minister is responsible for issuing permits for projects under its jurisdiction.

Since no permit for working on Shabbat has been granted for work on the Tel Aviv-Jerusalem train line, it is illegal for construction to continue on the Day of Rest, according to Deri.

It is very likely that the proper permits eventually will be issued, allowing the work to continue while Deri carries home points with his constituents.

AG Weinstein Overrides Judge’s Decision, Permits Soccer on Shabbat

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

(JNi.media) There will be soccer league games in Israel this Shabbat, despite a ruling by Labor Court Judge Ariela Glitzr Katz to the contrary. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced that the policy of ignoring Shabbat labor laws regarding soccer—practiced for more than 50 years in Israel—will continue. In other words, should the teams violate Israel’s labor laws and play this Shabbat, government inspectors will continue to avoid serving them with summonses.

In an interview on Army Radio, Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehude), criticized Attorney General Weinstein’s ruling, that there is no reason not to hold a soccer game on Shabbat. “If Weinstein were to say the same thing about any other topiv, there would have been a great outcry in response.”

On Tuesday, Israel’s Football Association’s management confirmed that it would not play on the day of rest without the authorization of the Ministry of the Economy. Economy Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) was not available to extend the league the needed permit absolving them of the requirement to observe Shabbat.

The hullabaloo began when Israel’s professional players’ union demanded to move all league games to weekdays, arguing they wished to spend the holy day of rest with their families, like the rest of the Jewish people. That reversed a practice that some say dates back to the first word war. Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev (Likud) said on Wednesday that “we need to reach a compromise between the association, the management, the Ministry of Culture and the teams. Fromt the start, I told the leaders of the Association that some in the Knesset wanted to pass such a law, but we couldn’t make it happen. Now they will have no choice but to be flexible.”

Weinstein’s decision only absolves the football teams from the threat of administrative criminal sanctions. Players, individually or in a class action suit, can still seek remedy from the teams or the players’ union in civil court. The defendants would in turn appeal to the Labor Court for an injunction against holding the games on Shabbat. It was precisely such a petition which has been was filed—and removed in the meantime—which began the entire controversy.

Knesset Approves Part of Natural Gas Framework Deal

Monday, September 7th, 2015

The Knesset approved part of the natural gas framework Monday by a 59-51 vote after two years of constant threats by natural gas companies to pull out of the development of off-shore energy fields.

However, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu postponed a vote on the critical part of the deal that gives the government full authority over contracts with the companies. Minister of Economy Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardi Hareidi party, wants the authority in his hands.


Israeli Government Again Faces Fight Over Noble-Delek Gas Outline

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Natural gas field developers Noble Energy and Delek Group (which includes Avner Oil & Gas), may eventually be forced to turn to arbitration in order to move ahead on developing the gargantuan Leviathan natural gas field to finally produce the treasure that lies within.

Snarled Israeli bureaucratic red tape combined with an epic power struggle in the government are responsible for this ever-lasting fiasco which will eventually cost the consumer billions of shekels in energy price cuts wasted at the pump and at home.

Even though the government came to an agreement with the Noble-Delek gas consortium, the deal is now being held up by … wait for it … the antitrust commissioner, still, and by default, the economy minister.

Moreover, there is still some doubt as to whether the government will be able to muster a majority in the Knesset today (Monday Sept. 7) for its proposal to transfer authority from Economy Minister Arye Deri (Shas) to the full cabinet to enact the gas deal with the Noble-Delek consortium in the coming months. If a majority looks unlikely, the issue may again be taken off the agenda as it was in July.

The fact that this is even necessary in the first place is beyond embarrassment to the nation. The question of doubt in finding a majority to pass the vote is worse.

The Knesset is being asked to vote on transferring the authority to use Article 52 of the Antitrust Law – allowing an economy minister to circumvent objections of the antitrust commissioner in the case of national security or foreign policy issues – to the government itself, since Deri, the current economy minister, is being intransigent about doing his job.

If the Knesset does not back the government’s solution to this ridiculous problem, the gas outline will be held to a standstill. No deal. Again.

One would think these firms meant to harm this country, the way some of the legislators are behaving, when the truth is, the discoveries of these gas fields were the greatest gift Noble Energy and Delek Ltd and Avner Oil could ever have given the Jewish State. How else could these companies possibly continue to function and carry out the development of the fields – which costs millions of dollars – if they cannot recover the cost of the operation and also make a profit for their own shareholders?

Not only are protesting Israeli citizens being misled about what is happening, but they are deliberately and cynically being manipulated by those who have other agendas, and whose own power struggles are getting in the way of the good of those citizens and the future of this country.

Meanwhile, the Italian Eni firm is galloping ahead to develop the mammoth Zohr gas field discovered this month off the Mediterranean coast of Egypt, as well as the smaller gas field found in the Nile Delta region.

The quicker Egypt moves and the longer Israel takes, the more likely it is that any possible business deals Noble and Delek might have had, will have disappeared by the time the government finally gets itself sorted out.

Knesset Approves Budget in 1st Voting Round as Shas Threatens to Pull Support

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

(JNi.media) On Wednesday night, at the end of a seven-hour debate, a majority of 57 coalition MKs supported the Netanyahu government budget proposal, versus 53 opposition votes, with Minister of the Economy Aryeh Deri absent from the session during a vote so closely related to his office. Deri threatened that should the issue of zero VAT on essential products not be resolved by the following voting round, his party, Shas, would oppose the budget.

The Knesset’s first voting round approved the Budget bill for the years 2015-2016. Immediately thereafter, the Knesset passed the Economic Arrangements bill in a first vote, with Economy Minister Deri absent from that vote as well.

Immediately thereafter, the Knesset passed the Economic Arrangements Law first reading with the same. This vote also absent Economy Minister Deri.

The Economic Arrangements Law includes all the necessary changes in legislation needed to implement the measures the government wants to enact as part of the state budget. A new economic arrangements act has been presented annually to the Knesset since 1985, adjacent to the state budget proposal. The law is a set of proposed changes in many areas, each of which requires special legislation. Instead of drafting a bill on every individual subject, the government packs all those provisions in a single bill.

The state budget for 2015 will reach $84 billion, and $89 billion in 2016. The deficit target in 2016-2015 would be 2.9% of GDP. For comparison, Israel’s next door neighbor, Jordan, with roughly the same size population — about 8 million — has an annual budget of $10.5 billion.

A senior Shas official explained that Shas MKs approached Minister Aryeh Deri Wednesday night and expressed anger that the issue of the zero VAT on essential products has not been finalized with Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, despite having been agreed on at the cabinet budget meeting. At a consequent meeting with his faction members, Deri ordered them to vote for the budget in the first round, but threatened that if the zero VAT legislation would not come through, the Shas faction would not support the budget.

Deri, who was absent from the vote, struck an offset deal with an opposition member who committed to also abstain. Altogether, the MKs did not permit the fact that not all coalition members were on hand at the vote to be turned into a consequent vote of no confidence, since such an attempt would have ended in little more than theatrics. On Wednesday night, MKs were more interested in addressing real issues.

Israel Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman slammed the budget proposal, calling it “Isra-bluff.” Lieberman asked, “How can we approve a budget without knowing the size of the defense budget, which counts for its largest part? How can we approve a budget when we’re told about 4%, across the board cuts?”

According to Lieberman, the problem is that the Prime Minister doesn’t know how to make decisions, only how to babble and chat.

Finance Minister Kahlon said the proposed budget is one of the best Israel has had in recent years. “The budget brings good news on the cost of living,” said Kahlon, adding that the greatest threat to the country’s stability are the social gaps: “This is a national task and this Government is working bring the periphery closer and promote competition,” he said.

“I became Minister of Finance in awe,” Kahlon told the Knesset. “What I’m trying to pass is an Israel in which there is equality, there is compassion, there is a mutual responsibility and there are social values. There are weak and poor among us, converts, widows and orphans. We mustn’t be cynical about this.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/knesset-approves-budget-in-1st-voting-round-as-shas-threatens-to-pull-support/2015/09/03/

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