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July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Avi Dichter’

Hotovely Wins ‘Realistic Likud’ Spot but Dichter not Giving Up

Monday, January 19th, 2015

The Likud election committee has ruled in favor of Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely after a recount of votes in the party primaries elections and decided she won the 20th spot on the Likud list of candidates.

The decision means that former Likud MK and Cabinet minister Avi Dichter is bumped back to the 26th place because the spots in between are reserved for sectorial candidates.

Dichter is not expected to surrender so quickly and probably will appeal to the District Court if the Likud does not re-consider and decide in his favor. He claimed that there are strong suspicions of foul play in the counting of the votes.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu still has the option of choosing Dichter to fill one of the reserved places farther up in the list, a move that would prevent another recount and possibly an even more embarrassing situation.

Hotovely said after the Likud elections committee decision, “I congratulate the committee to do justice for the voters and correct the mishaps that occurred during the election process. I have no doubt that most of the defects in the counting of the votes were a result of human error….

“During my appeal, I emphasized that there is no personal quarrel between me and Dichter, and I am sure he also will be a part of the next Knesset.”

Her victory is likely to boost the Liquid’s appeal among right-wing Likud supporters who are drifting towards the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.

Recount Lifts Likud’s Tzipi Hotovely into Almost Certain Re-Election

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely has been put back into a higher spot on the Likud candidate list, making it more likely she will be re-elected following a recount of the votes in the Likud primary elections last week.

Another recount is probable since Hotovely now has a lead of only 11-19 votes over former MK and minister Avi Dichter, who according to the first recount beat Hotovely by 55 votes for the 20th place on the party list.

The next five places on the list are reserved for sectors, regardless of the voting results, meaning that Dichter now is the 26th place.

Likud primary elections almost always never pass without questionable practices and mishaps. This time around, it simply may be that someone doesn’t know how to count, and if that is the case, woe to Israel if the same person becomes the Finance Minister.

The new recount is good news for the Likud because Hotovely is very popular among national religious voters, while Dichter is identified with the classic Likud wheelers and dealers whose ideology blows with the wind and the smell of power.

The entire Hotovely-Dichter see-saw may be superfluous because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu still has the privilege of choosing one of them as his own preference for the 23rd place on the party list.

However, the way the polls are going, even Hotovely, in the 20th place, cannot be sure of a seat.

Three polls by different Israeli television channels give the Likud between 20 and 25 seats in the Knesset elections, to be held March 17.

If Hotovely holds on to her slim lead, she might be able to attract more voters, all at the expense of the Jewish Home.

Defining Israel as the Jewish State

Monday, May 5th, 2014

On Thursday, May 1st, Prime Minister Netanyahu announced his intention to press for the adoption of a “basic law” that would define Israel as a Jewish state.

Even though Israel was founded as a Jewish state—the 1947 UN resolution on the partition of the British mandate describes it as such—Israel has yet to adopt the definition in its own legal code. Tzipi Livni, Netanyahu’s Justice Minister and erstwhile negotiator with the Palestinians, announced she would oppose the law.

The proposed law goes to the heart of the basic issue that divides Israeli society: Is Israel a Jewish state, meant to protect the interests of the Jewish people, or is it a generic-brand democracy in which a lot of Jews happen to live—perhaps like Florida?

The great majority of Israel’s Jews want to live in a Jewish state. For them, Israel is their state, meant to protect what is dear to them. At the same time the great majority of Israel’s Jews want to live in a free country, where every individual’s rights are respected and leaders are elected or dismissed at the ballot box.

As against the majority, a vocal minority insists that to define Israel as a Jewish state, charged with protecting the Jewish people’s interests, is undemocratic by definition.

This week Ha’aretz, Israel’s hard-left daily newspaper, published an editorial arguing that the main purpose of the proposed law was to eliminate Israeli democracy and legitimize “the occupation, the settlement enterprise and the apartheid regime [sic] imposed on the Palestinian population.”

A lot of symbolism is thus involved in the “Jewish State” law’s passage, or defeat. But the law is not just about symbols; it’s about power.

Political power in Israel is divided between two poles. At one pole are the people’s representatives, elected at the polls, who form the Knesset and the government. At the other, are a range of unelected elites who dominate academia, the press, and most significantly the judiciary and the Ministry of Justice.

Unlike the United States, in Israel, judges are appointed by other judges. The people’s elected representatives have little to say about who sits on the bench. For the last 30 years the judiciary and Justice Ministry have been dominated by Israel’s wealthy, secular, liberal left-wing elite. They are a bastion of those who believe that Jewish identity is, at best, a private matter for individual citizens. The believe the state of the Jews should not be defined as either Zionist or Jewish. As a rule of thumb, Israel’s secular left-wing elites lose at the polls but win in the courts, which usually have the last word.

In 1992, the Knesset passed a civil rights law, the “Basic Law on Human Dignity and Freedom.” The courts have interpreted “human dignity and freedom” to mean “liberalism,” usually in the sense of “not Zionism.” The courts have stymied policies approved by the Knesset and government that do not fit the judiciary’s liberal agenda. Right wing politicians such as MK Yariv Levin, chairman of Netanyahu’s Knesset coalition, accuse the judiciary of working consistently to weaken Zionism in Israel.

The proposed new law is meant to even the balance a little. By formally defining Israel as the Jewish state, and defining the Land of Israel as the Jewish homeland, supporters of the law hope to make it hard for the courts to rule against policies rooted in the Zionist idea—from using public land to create communities for Jews to upholding the Law of Return. Furthermore, while the judiciary has traditionally been dominated by Israel’s secular left-wing elite, this dominion has been weakened of late.

Israel’s Supreme Court now has a few junior judges of a conservative bent—conservative not only in their philosophy, but in their view of how the courts should respect elected representatives’ authority to decide public policy. Proponents of the law hope that eventually judges such as Neal Hendel and Noam Solberg will use the “Jewish State” law as a tool to reverse some of the Supreme Court decisions of the past generation.

More Details On Friday’s Modiin Airplane Crash

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

MODIIN – More than a thousand mourners including high-ranking IDF officials, Modiin Chief Rabbi Rabbi David Lau, and Member of Knesset and former Shin Bet chief Avi Dichter, paid final respects Sunday to former Israel Defense Forces Col. Elhanan Shmueli and former Israel Air Force pilot Col. Shimshon Rozen, both of whom perished in the crash of their light plane over Modiin Friday afternoon.

While the circumstances of the accident were still being investigated by Israeli authorities, evidence has emerged that would indicate pilot error was the most plausible cause of the crash of the two-seat, single engine aircraft, which was piloted by Shmueli.

Shmueli, 55, and Rozen, 60, were heading back to the Rishon Lezion air strip (about 15 miles south of Modiin) after taking off in the early morning hours for their weekly trek to Northern Israel, when the duo allegedly decided to make several low passes over Modiin’s South Buchman neighborhood, where Shmueli lived with his wife and children.

According to several news reports, as well as eyewitnesses, the plane’s low trajectory over the residential neighborhood prompted some residents to make phone calls to City Hall and the police.

One newspaper report claimed Shmueli actually called and then waved to his wife seconds before the aircraft unexpectedly plummeted to the ground around 12:20 p.m. just a few yards from a row of newly built homes along Menachem Begin Boulevard and just two blocks from his own residence. Dozens of children were making their way home from local schools at the time of the crash. Miraculously, no one was injured on the ground.

Shmueli was a vaunted armored corps commander and an engineer in the IDF’s military industrial complex. He is survived by his wife and four children. Colonel Rozen was a decorated F-4 and F-15 fighter pilot who was part of the F-15 Israel Air Force group that flew over Poland’s Auschwitz concentration camp in 2003. He leaves his wife and three children.

For the past year, the mayor and residents of Modiin have been locked in an ongoing battle with the Israel Airport Authority over the issue of low-flying private aircraft and commercial passenger jets.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/disaster-barely-averted-in-modiin-air-crash/2011/12/21/

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