Yishai presents exclusive audio from the 19th Annual Tisha B’Av walk around the Old City Walls. Interviewees include Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin, Professor Aryeh Eldad, Dominican Friar and Yishai’s friend Erik Ross, Director of the Israel Land Fund Aryeh King, and many more! Listen in and get inspired!
Former National Union Michael Ben-Ari, who teamed up with colleague Aryeh Eldad to run in the Otzma (Power) party and come out with zero seats in the Knesset, announced Sunday he is forming a new party – the one that will really solve all of Israel’s problems.
After he and Eldad split off from the merged National Union-Jewish Home election list, citing it as too soft on the Arabs, Ben-Ari is politically divorcing Eldad.
Both former MKs are characters in their own right, Ben-Ari is an ordained rabbi and holds a doctorate degree, and the secular Eldad, a professor, is recognized as one of the foremost medical doctors in Israel. Both men share nationalist ideas.
Eldad and pulled off several great stunts as Knesset members, such as marching with an Israeli flag in Umm-el-Fahm, the head of the northern branch of the radical Muslim and anti-Zionist Islamic Movement.
Their most brilliant act was to highlight the plague of the infiltration of Africans into the country by buying paying the entrance fee for dozens of Sudanese to splash in a upper middle-class area swimming pool in northern Tel Aviv.
The locals were enraged and accused Eldad and Ben-Ari of incitement, but the MKs got their point across to all of the limousine liberals who could care less about illegal immigrants so long as they are in someone else’s territory.
Although they provided lots of color to the Knesset, remaining on the fringe of the fringe, apparently there is no room in the same room for super-egos.
Israelis suffered from more than 30 political parties in the last elections, and Ben-Ari apparently thinks he is so charismatic that he can duplicate Tzipi Livni with a party that is modeled after himself and can attract clones as running mates, such as his partner Itamar Gen-Gvir.
“Today, more than ever, the voice of the rightwing, the true voice of our path, will be heard in all of the country. The fight is for the identity and existence of a Jewish state,” according to his plea. Nothing more and nothing less – Ben-Ari and only Ben-Ari represents the real Jews.
“I call on all of you to join a new political movement, one that works to fulfill the vision of returning the Jews to their land” against internal and external enemies.
An associate of Ben-Ari, Hila Gorani, told the Jewish Press that is not fair to declare Otzma a failure because they actually won two seats in the Knesset but were a lacking a few thousands votes to cross the minimum number of votes needed for entry into the legislature.
She also explained that Otzma was formed because Ben-Ari and Eldad could not agree to be a part of the Jewish Home agenda due to party chairman Naftali Bennett’s acceptance of the Palestinian Authority in parts of Israel.
Gorani said Ben-Ari is working without Eldad because they do not have the same focus. Eldad has declared on numerous occasions that the Palestinians have a state of their own – Jordan. Ben-Ari has focused on the idea of granting Arabs the status of “residents” of Israel with the obligation to observe and respect Israel and Jewish laws, similar to the concept of “ger toshav” in the Bible.
Of course, Ben-Ari’s agenda may be exactly what should be – in the World to Come.
For all those interested, he will launch his new party with a bash on Wednesday in Petach Tikvah, adjacent to Tel Aviv.
Every journalist in Israel should wish Ben-Ari great success because he will provide lots of good headlines.
Please being $13 dollars with you, but $7 is enough if you are under 18.
The Jewish Home list led by Naftali Bennett was fined 72,000 shekels (just under $20,000) for disobeying an order of the Chairman of the central elections committee Justice Elyakim Rubinstein to remove campaign ads showing the Bennett next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s Reshet bet radio reported.
Rubinstein had made clear that candidate lists running for election may not trifle with injunctions issued by the Chairman of the Central Election Commission, even if they do not agree with the rulings. “Obedience to the law and the provisions of the courts should be a guiding light for anyone who considers himself a member of the Israeli Knesset,” said Rubinstein.
At the same time, Justice Rubinstein also announced that he respects the Supreme Court ruling that confirmed the election broadcasts made by Power for Israel, even though he personally believes they contained a racist message. Rubinstein said that in Israel, a Jewish state, racism should be off limits.
The commercial in question shows MKs Michael Ben Ari and Aryeh Eldad lecturing on the idea that one must fulfill one’s duties in order to be entitled to rights – but they do it in fluent Arabic.
National religious Israeli voters like yours truly have three choices this coming Tuesday:
Vote for Likud-Beitenu and strengthen the hand of Benjamin Netanyahu, whose party list includes at least six national-religious candidates in realistic spots. The polls are giving them between 32 and 38 seats.
Vote for Jewish Home, so that it would be large enough for Netanyahu to be forced to include it in his coalition government and necessarily stick to pro-settlement, anti-Palestinian state policies. The polls are giving them between 12 and 16 seats.
Or vote for Power for Israel, a small party made up of vehement lovers of the land of Israel and the Jewish nation, and which has been teetering between 3 and 4 seats and the prospect of not passing the blocking percentage at all.
Power for Israel has captured the much disdained corner of Israel’s political map once occupied by “right wing extremists” from Rabbi Meir Kahane to Rehavam Zeevi (both of whom were assassinated by Arabs), to rabbi Benny Alon and Benny Begin, who are considered more moderate (and are very much alive, thank God).
But in the process of taking on the mantle of ultimate right wingers, the two co-leaders of Power for Israel, MKs Michael Ben Ari and Aryeh Eldad have done a lot to make being right wing extremists sound cool and very much in.
Like the time they challenged Tel-Aviv’s wealthy liberals, who support letting illegal workers from Africa stay in the country—as long as they hang around the poor neighborhoods in south Tel Aviv: Ben Ari and Eldad got 50 Sudanese illegals together, bought them bathing suits, and took them into the prestigious Gordon swimming pool off of Dizengoff. The wealthy north-Tel Avivians were irate, they decried the “provocation,” and Power for Israel scored a great point.
Or their latest campaign, “No Duties, No Rights,” which demands—in signs written in Arabic—that Israel’s Arabs start paying taxes, obey traffic laws, submit formal requests for home extensions, and declare their loyalty to the Jewish state. Both leaders taped a video in Arabic stating all these points. The campaign was accused of racism, but the point was made, loud and clear.
I’ve been enamoured with political circuses since 1968, when legendary street theater performers like Daniel Cohn-Bendit (Danny the Red) and Abbey Hoffman used humor and pathos to defeat state systems. The fact that Danny and Abbey were on the left and Michael and Aryeh are on the right is trivial. They’re all good Jews, as far as I’m concerned, teaching the world that a little sense of humor and political conviction can defeat lines of cops in riot gear, and even, on occasion, tanks.
I shudder at the thought that the Palestinians might some day develop a sense of humor. But then I remember Hanan Ashrawi and I know we’re safe for a while.
Still, looking at MK Aryeh Eldad, the last thing that comes to mind is a radical provocateur. His co-chairman, Ben Ari, looks the part, with the salt and pepper hair and beard, the burning, dark eyes and the big mouth, full of teeth. Eldad, in comparison, looks like someone you’d ask to do your taxes.
He comes from radical stock, though. His father, the late Israel Eldad, was a leader in the Lechi underground (the Stern gang, as the British named it). Incidentally, a disproportionate number of today’s leaders in Israel are children of Stern gang members: Tzipi Livni, Yair Shamir, Dan Meridor, Tzahi Hanegbi. Surprisingly, many of them are center-left, if not altogether leftists.
I ask him if, as an ex general (he was chief of the IDF medical corps), and a famous plastic surgeon, he’s not setting foot in political water that’s too murky for someone of his stature.
“You say murky water,” Eldad responds with a glint in his eye, “but my engagement in medicine has taught me that in order to heal one must come in contact with the most repulsive things you can imagine: birthing, draining abscesses. I don’t have the privilege to be spoiled.”
A story that made the rounds a few years ago has Dr. Eldad, then chief of the Hadassah Medical Center Dept. of Plastic Surgery, taking care, free of charge, of a teenage girl from Gaza, who was honor-burned by her family. The girl would come in frequently for follow-up visits. One time she was caught on her way to his Jerusalem clinic, wearing a suicide vest. It turned out that her family told her they would forgive her romantic transgressions if she blew up the doctor who healed her.
Rabbi Dov Lior, a leading figure in the Tekumah party that merged with Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home’s Knesset list, has withdrawn his support from that same list. The website Srugim revealed that Rabbi Lior was furious when he saw his name appear in campaign ads for Jewish Home, as part of an extensive list of rabbis supporting the party.
Rabbi Lior, who founded Tekumah together with Arutz 7 owner Rabbi Zalman Melamed and Rabbi Chaim Steiner, is the chief rabbi of Hebron and Kiryat Arba, the dean of the Kiryat Arba Hesder Yeshiva, and heads the Council of Rabbis of Judea and Samaria.
Over the past few months, Rabbi Lior has been expressing his dissatisfaction with the way MK Michael Ben Ari, who now runs on the Power for Israel list, was pushed out of the united list by his colleagues. Initially, Rabbi Lior refused to take public measures against Jewish Home, partly because he is related to MK Uri Ariel—who, according to Ben Ari’s camp was instrumental in his ousting, and to Orit Struck, who is a contender on the Jewish Home list.
However, after seeing his name appear in support of the party, Rabbi Lior’s office approached the Jewish Home and asked to immediately remove all references of his support. The official reason they gave was that as chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba and Hebron, Lior could not legally express a political opinion. In practice, however, it appears that Rabbi Lior is simply unhappy with the current path of Jewish Home and the conduct of its leader, Naftali Bennett, and prefers to express his support, in private meetings, to Power for Israel, headed by MKs Michael Ben Ari and Aryeh Eldad.
The Jewish Home campaign stated that Rabbi Dov Lior did clarify that he did not want to appear on the ad supporting Jewish Home, and his name was later removed.
In a somewhat cheeky tone, the campaign added: “We hope that this will not interfere with the Likud campaign, in which the honorable rabbi is involved.”
A spokesperson for MK Aryeh Eldad told the Jewish Press that the surprisingly strong showing of Power for Israel in a recent poll is marking a trend of several weeks, in which the list has been climbing from not even showing in most polls to gaining 2, then 4, and now 6 seats.
“Considering the size of the samples in these polls—500 responding with a plus-minus 2-4 seat margin of error,” the spokesperson, Naama Cohen-Yechezkeli, said, “we have no way of telling whether these numbers are realistic, but they do show a persistent trend.”
This reporter’s theory—which Cohen-Yechezkeli said was “interesting”—is that once it became a sure thing that Netanyahu would be the next prime minister, right-wing voters were looking to vote in a way that would force his future coalition government to the right; but once a string of anonymous revelations started coming out—fueled chiefly by Arutz 7, a media organ closely affiliated with Jewish Home—regarding Netanyahu’s intent to devote his next term to pushing a 2-state solution, right wing voters realized Bennett’s party couldn’t possibly be included in his government, and so they started looking more seriously at Ben Ari and Eldad to represent them.
This could be scored, then, as one more occasion when a negative campaign ended up hurting its source, much as Likud sustained damage by attacking Bennett a week ago.
Aryeh Eldad wrote on his Facebook page that from what he knows, the settlement of Migron will be forcibly evacuated by security forces on Sunday morning. He calls on Migron supporters to make their way to Migron to try to prevent the expulsion, and not to use violence against the security forces.
Eldad adds that after Migron, additional settlements will be on the chopping block.
To get an update on the current situation in the Israeli Knesset, Yishaiis joined by MK Dr. Aryeh Eldad, chairman of the Hatikva Party. Yishai and Eldad begin by Eldad talking about the core values of Hatikva and how they fit into the overall view of the party. The discussion moves on to talk about Jordan’s role in a solution between Israel and the Arabs and also the fate of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. The segment ends with a discussion about African refugees flowing into Israel and potential solutions for the issue.
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