web analytics
July 4, 2015 / 17 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Avigdor Lieberman’

MK David Rotem, 66, Passes Away

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Yisrael Beytenu Knesset member David Rotem passed away at his home in Efrat on Monday afternoon, Efrat city council chairman Oded Revivi tweeted in a sorrowful post of Twitter.

“May his memory be blessed!” Revivi wrote.

Rotem’s friend and long-time political colleague, Yisrael Beytenu party chairman Avigdor Liberman, said in a statement, “David Rotem was not only a friend in politics but also a personal friend. A man of the Land of Israel who knew how to fight for his country and for his personal views. A man who was willing to stand his ground and was not cowed in facing the struggles that had to be faced to promote those ideals he believed in.

“A chairperson of Constitution, Law and Justice Committee, he contributed greatly to the State of Israel, the Knesset and Yisrael Beytenu,” Liberman continued.

“His death is a great loss and a great sorrow to all of his friends. My condolences to his family. May his memory be blessed.”

Liberman Apologizes for Using ‘Autistic’ as an Insult to Describe Netanyahu

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

The JewishPress.com reported earlier today that former Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was irate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was about to meet with Ayman Odeh, the head of the Israeli Arab Joint List of parties.

Liberman, speaking in an interview on state-run Voice of Israel radio, accused Netanyahu of flip-flopping on the issue of support for a two-state solution. That outrage may be justified as Liberman bills himself as adamantly nationalist. However, the language the former foreign minister used was deeply insensitive, and he has since been called on it by members of Israel’s disability rights movement.

The specific phrase used by Liberman which called down demands for an apology, was the use of the term “autistic” to describe behavior Liberman meant to suggest was not smart.

What Liberman said about Netanyahu was: “Anyone who thinks going back to the 1967 lines will solve the conflict is autistic.”

Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation, a non-partisan organization dedicated to strengthening the relationship between Israelis and American Jews and to the inclusion of people with disabilities in the broader society, released this response:

I call on Member of Knesset Avigdor Lieberman to apologize for using the term ‘autistic’ as an insult directed at Prime Minister Netanyahu.  Millions of people around the world and thousands of people in Israel are autistic.  By using the word ‘autistic’ as an insult, MK Lieberman has deeply hurt the autism community.  The term for a disability should never be used in a crude and derogatory manner.

If Mr. Lieberman had an autistic child, how would he like it if his child heard a highly visible public figure like himself use autism as cudgel against an adversary?

After the Ruderman Family Foundation issued its statement, it was learned that Liberman reportedly stated: “Today I said in a radio interview that ‘anyone who thinks going back to the ’67 borders would solve the dispute has autism.’ Of course I didn’t mean in any way to offend autistic people, but wanted to illustrate the unwillingness of some people to accept certain realities about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and I apologize if anyone was hurt.”

The Ruderman Family Foundation and many others are gratified that Liberman realized he had to apologize for his insensitive statement.

As Jay Ruderman pointed out, “it is highly inappropriate to use a disability in a derogatory manner.”

Liberman Warns Netanyahu Not to Meet Arab Party Head

Thursday, May 21st, 2015

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman is up in arms because Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has scheduled talks with Ayman Odeh, head of the Israeli Arab Joint List of parties.

Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beytenu party, himself pulled out of Netanyahu’s coalition, deliberately leaving Netanyahu the slimmest of margins with which to form a government.

Speaking in an interview on state-run Voice of Israel radio, Liberman accused Netanyahu of flip-flopping on the issue of support for a two-state solution. “Anyone who thinks going back to the 1967 lines will solve the conflict is autistic,” Liberman told the interviewer.

He complained that remarks on the issue by Netanyahu following his meeting on Wednesday with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini reflected a change of heart from the image he portrayed during his campaign.

For Netanyahu to schedule a meeting with Ayman Odeh, the head of the united Arab parties, simply added more fuel to the fire.

“This man represents a list of terror supporters in the Israeli parliament, and the prime minister of Israel, who heads a government which defines itself as nationalist, is meeting with him,” Liberman complained in a statement.

“Netanyahu’s meeting with Odeh, one of the sharpest opponents of Israel being the state of the Jewish people, gives legitimacy to forces working to destroy Israel from within and gives a stamp of approval to the fifth column working inside the Israeli parliament,” he added.

Liberman, who defines himself as nationalistic, swore he would not remain in another Netanyahu government.

Likud MK Silvan Shalom to Lead Israeli Negotiating Team

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Likud Interior Minister Silvan Shalom has been appointed to become Israel’s new lead negotiator in any talks with the Palestinian Authority, as well as in strategic dialogue with the United States.

Palestinian Authority officials made it clear they were not happy with the appointment.

“He does not believe in a Palestinian state,” a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) source told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity. “He’s against a two-state solution. It’s not an issue of names. It’s an issue of policy.”

Leftist politician Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnua party and a justice minister in the prior government was the last minister to head Israel’s negotiating team.

Shalom said Monday that he is “ready to review every subject in every area from the most weighty issues of the United Nations, to smaller matters such as managing joint day-to-day life.”

Having served as foreign minister from 2003 to 2006 (during the second intifada and the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza), Shalom is no novice to the role. He will also be responsible for strategic talks with officials from the United States as well, according to a report broadcast on Galei Tzahal Army Radio.

Likud members are expected to raise some opposition as well, because party member and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was expected to be given the appointment.

Hotovely evaded reporters’ questions on Monday, saying only that until she is told otherwise, she will “work diligently to fulfill [her] duties faithfully in every sector in which Israel must act.”

Although it is usually the foreign minister who manages the issue of negotiations, at present Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is holding that post. Yisrael Beytenu party chairman Avigdor Liberman, the previous minister of foreign affairs, quit the coalition and withdrew his party as well.

Shalom’s new role is also likely to bring him in to security cabinet discussions on strategic issues such as how to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue vis a vis any dialogue with the United States.

Liberman Calls for Terrorist Death Penalty Like Massachusetts, and Opens Door to Joining the Coalition

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

PM Netanyahu is probably beginning to realize that 61 to 59 is going to be difficult to maintain over a long period of time. Not because members of his coalition are going to vote against coalition positions, but because it means that everyone will have to be in the Knesset for every single vote, including the Prime Minister. No sick days, no vacations, and no important meetings in the White House.

MK Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) is probably realizing how lonely it is in the opposition, sitting with MKs he has no ideological connection with, but is still upset with how the PM treated him.

Liberman has begin sending out trial balloons. He said on Saturday that he would join the coalition if there were specific changes to the coalition’s guidelines. His position now isn’t that different from the position he took when he turned down the Prime Minister’s offers of various high-level ministries. But he also made sure to point out how poorly Netanyahu is mistreating his allies, even within the Likud.

One guideline change Liberman suggested is the death penalty for terrorists. He pointed out that even Massachusetts, a capital of liberalism and higher education, decided on the death sentence for the Boston Marathon bomber.

Liberman wants the guidelines to include: having the “Jewish-National State” law passed, equal sharing of the security burden (draft), the death penalty for terrorists, and building in Jerusalem and the Settlement blocks.

Will this power couple two realize they need each other to succeed, or will they let everything fall apart?

Liberman is Persona Non Grata, and Bennett Can Forget About Judicial Revolutions

Friday, May 8th, 2015

PM Netanyahu has no one to blame for the results of his coalition negotiations but himself, though that’s not stopping him from blaming his partners (and former partners) he mistreated.

Netanyahu’s natural partners, Bayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beytenu, were prepared to sign with the Likud immediately and with relatively reasonable demands, but Netanyahu saved them to last, played hardball with them, and basically abused them, until they decided they had enough.

An angry Avigdor Liberman quit as foreign minister and made it clear that he won’t be part of Netanyahu’s coalition. A fed-up Naftali Bennett decided to instead go for the gold, since his trust in Netanyahu was approaching zero, and he believed he had nothing left to lose.

According to a Makor Rishon report, Netanyahu told Likud MKs that not only will Liberman not be a member of his coalition now, Liberman will not be a member of his coalition, ever. Even if Liberman changes his mind, “there’s no coming back.”

Sources in the Likud said there will be revenge on Bennett for playing hardball during the last days of negotiations, and Netanyahu is plotting to kick Bennett out of the coalition as soon as possible and bring in Yitzchak Herzog and the Zionist Camp instead.

Within Bayit Yehudi, they believe that has been Netanyahu’s plan all along, even before Bennett began playing hardball back.

According to the Makor Rishon report, Netanyahu also said Bayit Yehudi can forget about introducing any judicial revolutions, whether they be reforms in how judges are selected or any other decisions that negatively impact the judiciary, as he will personally block it.

Netanyahu plans to rely on one of the conditions in the coalition agreement which prevents proposing “explosive” legislation in the legislation committee. This condition was introduced in the previous coalition to thwart then Justice Minister Tzipi Livni from going overboard, but it still didn’t stop Livni from proposing them all the time in the committee.

Likud sources say that Netanyahu is personally holding on to the Foreign Ministry portfolio so he can offer it to any party that might join the coalition later.

Since Lapid and Liberman won’t be allowed back in, that only leaves Yitzchak Herzog and his Zionist Camp (Labor).

For his part, Herzog says that he won’t be joining Netanyahu’s coalition, but when asked to confirm that position with a party vote, Herzog refused, leaving the feeling among his party members that he is leaving that door wide open.

Even within the Likud, a minor rebellion is brewing, with MKs jockeying for the limited number of ministerial positions, and each one feeling they deserve it more than their friends and associates, and that Netanyahu owes it to them.

Netanyahu’s coalition is off to a rough start, with a lot of anger and an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust.

In the previous coalition, Netanyahu tried to keep Bennett out of the government, but Bennett forced his way in and proved to be Netanyahu’s most trusted and reliable ally. Liberman has also been Netanyahu’s trusted and reliable ally for decades.

Maybe these relationships are now broken, but the thing about politics, and Israeli politics in particular, is that there is no such thing as forever –unless you’re Shimon Peres.

Tonight at Midnight: Netanyahu’s Moment of Truth

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

By midnight, Wednesday, Benjamin Netanyahu is obligated under Israeli law to go up to the Reuven Rivlin’s presidential palace and declare whether or not he has been successful in cobbling together a coalition government.

Bibi has run out of time, and there will be no more time extensions. It’s his moment of truth.

Unfortunately, as of Wednesday morning, he is far from having a the minimum 61-member coalition that could receive the Knesset’s vote of confidence.

Netanyahu’s troubles have come from the two parties he thought he had in his pocket and thus took for granted and abused: Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu—6 seats, and Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi-8 seats.

So far, Netanyahu has secured only 53 seats, his talks with Liberman have been severed by the resigning Foreign Minister, and they appear to be on the rocks with Bennett.

Here’s an interesting point: Liberman, who is considered by many Israelis—and most of the country’s media—to be a cynical vote broker, exemplifying that with his left-right-left-right zig-zagging before the elections, quit the negotiations in a huff solely over ideological issues.

A source connected to the Yisrael Beytenu party told JewishPress.com that Netanyahu offered Liberman to continue as the Foreign Minister, and also offered him all the ministries he asked for.

Netanyahu’s previous (third) government, made serious changes in its social agreement with the Chareidi population – some good, some bad, and some good but done in a bad way.

In a collaboration between Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Economy Minister Bennett, and the entire coalition, Netanyahu’s previous government significantly reduced child welfare payments (which hurt the Chareidi population the most), and legislated draft laws that were, at least on paper, more draconian than previous ones–though in implementation, they actually reduced Chareidi enlistment instead of increasing it. The same government also used the budget to encourage Chareidi men and women to hit the job market, including a push to get them into universities.

In addition, the same government empowered the religious-Zionist agenda in areas of rabbinic officiating, such as marriages for non-religious Israeli Jews, or conversions for non-Jewish Israelis.

But in his haste to forge a government with UTJ and Shas parties, Netanyahu handed the Chareidi parties the offices empowered to roll back many of those reforms and achievements.

Speaking on Israel Radio Wednesday morning, Liberman said: “In recent days has been shown that the Likud sold out all its principles budgets to the Chareidim, and all that remains is a debate over ministerial portfolios. The debate of the past few hours is exclusively about increasing the number of ministers and deputy ministers, and there is no substantive discussion.”

Liberman is apparently fed up with Netanyahu, his ally for more than twenty years. Liberman supported him loyally, even in decisions he despised (twice he gave his cabinet vote to a decision not to conclude heavy Gaza skirmishes with the elimination of Hamas–he explicitly demanded the destruction of Hamas in these coalition negotiations).

He’s done it while being pursued for years by the judiciary civil service over seemingly unending corruption cases, none of which have ever actually found him guilty. His deputies have been investigated several times over, but police has been unable to connect their alleged crimes to Liberman.

Naftali Bennett is yet another long-time ally who feels taken for granted and used.

For one thing, Netanyahu’s amazing vote sweep in the last few days of the March election campaign came directly from Bayit Yehudi voters. Bennett and company happily obliged this sucker-punch move, setting up a right-wing rally in Kikar Rabin where they practically called on upwards of 100 thousand of their voters to switch to Bibi.

The Likud’s rise came directly from that rally at Bennett’s expense.

And while Naftali Bennett was the first politician Netanyahu called after the elections, Bayit Yehudi was almost the last party Bibi called on for serious negotiations after he had already signed away the Ministry of Religious Affairs to Shas, so the Aryeh Deri could highlight all of Bennett’s achievements in the area of religion services reform in Israel, and then press DELETE.

Now, taking advantage of Liberman’s angry departure, Bennett upped the ante—demanding major offices in return for joining, most important among them the Ministry of Justice, which he wants to hand over to his partner, Ayelet Shaked.

This is probably the most fun thing a National-Religious leader has had the pleasure of doing, ever.

The Left has been using Israel’s Justice department as their bulwark against the Right: appointments of a long line of anti-settlement Attorney Generals? It’s Justice department. Promotions of insider, radical leftwing judges who haven’t met a deceptive “Palestinian” land seller? Justice department again. Legislation that subverts the will of the voter in favor of the will of a tiny, self-appointing judicial minority? Justice department. Blatantly undemocratic, politically motivated investigations against popular, right wing leaders (including Netanyahu)? What do you know, it’s that Justice department again.

It’s no wonder Peace Now has called the notion of appointing Ayelet Shaked Minister of Justice “Tzelem Ba’heichal” – like placing a idol of Zeus in the Holy Temple’s inner sanctuary. For them it really is nothing less.

Yesterday Bennett handed the Likud his list of demands and disappeared from sight. No interviews, Not answering the Likud’s calls. A game of chicken—with little to lose.

Especially when Bennett suspects that the reason he was offered third-tier ministries was because Netanyahu planns to fire him following negotiatiations with Yitzchak Herzog (Zionist Camp) when no longer under deadline pressures.

The Likud spread rumors that Bayit Yehudi also demanded Defense, or the Foreign Ministry for Bennett, alongside the Judiciary.

One Likud MK joked that he’s surprised Bennett didn’t go so far as demand a rotation agreement for Prime Minister.

It’s a sellers market, and Bennett, who had at least one successful business exit, is going for broke.

Netanyahu has more to lose from a new election, assuming Zionist Camp’s Yitzhak Herzog fails to cobble a government together should President Rivlin assign him the task after midnight tonight.

In a new election, Liberman’s and Bennett’s voters, who bought the Likud’s argument that only a strong Netanyahu could represent the right—all those angry voters will come back home, giving Liberman back his 12 mandates, Bennett his 12 to 16, and Bibi — will be much reduced, with 20 or so seats.

It’s going to be an interesting day.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tonight-at-midnight-netanyahus-moment-of-truth/2015/05/06/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: