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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Ayelet Shaked’

MKs and Ministers Trying to Kill the Free Press in Israel

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Israeli Ministers and Knesset members are coming out against the free market of ideas, and the free market as well, by proposing a bill that would potentially kill the popular and free Israeli daily print paper, Yisrael Hayom.

The paper is given out free in Israel, and has become the primary competitor to Arnon “Nuni” Moses’s Yediot Achronot, which leans more to the political left, though not as far left as Ha’aretz, which only has a minuscule market share in Israel.

Among those MKs proposing the bill that would try to shut down the paper are MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor), Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi), Elazar Stern (Hatnua), Ariel Attias (Shas) and Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid).

Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) said today on a Galei Tzahal interview, that Yisrael Hayom is “Pravda“, and serves the interest of one person [the Prime Minister].

It is not clear to us what is stopping Bennett from convincing one of his own supporters to print a daily paper that would be pro-Bennett, or even improving his relationship with the religious-Zionist paper Arutz-7, so they’d give him better coverage in their free weekend paper.

Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid chairman), whose party supports the bill, used to write a column for Yisrael Hayom’s main competitor, Yediot.

Yisrael Hayom is owned by Sheldon Adelson, and typically takes a position that is pro whatever position PM Netanyahu recently put forward, though not always a right-wing position. It also publishes articles from those on the left side of the political spectrum. There is no denying that it is agenda driven, but name one newspaper that isn’t.

As an aside, Sheldon Adelson, may soon be purchasing the religious-Zionist paper Makor Rishon, after Makor Rishon over-extended itself financially with its purchase of Ma’ariv.

Some in the Likud say that Moses and Yediot are the driving force behind this bill.

The “Yisrael Hayom” law, as it is being called because it specifically only targets Yisrael Hayom, would require that the top four daily print papers charge fees relative to what the other daily print papers are charging – or more accurately no less than 70% of whatever the second lowest priced paper is charging.

To us, it looks like a blatant attempt to suppress the voices of political opponents and suppress freedom of speech and press in Israel.

Yediot has the same opportunity to build a different business model, take a different political line that is more palatable to most Israelis, or even accept that it won’t be number one in the market anymore.

The free Arutz-7 Shabbat print paper and the fee-based Makor Rishon have coexisted quite nicely for over a decade serving the Religious-Zionist market, each one with their own business model and message – proving that it can be done.

It appears that this is really an attempt to block the basic right for anyone to put down their soap box in the city square and freely express their opinion – if certain people are worried that that opinion is becoming too popular.

Eitan Cabel (Labor), one of the proponents of the bill, played a central role in shutting down the very popular right-wing religious Arutz-7 radio station.

Naftalki Bennett and Bayit Yehudi should really consider who its allies are in this fight and what it could mean for them next.

It appears that in Israel, those on the political left can’t stand that those on the political right have a voice that is heard, and those on the right are too short-sighted to see that suppressing both the free market and the free market of ideas is dangerous for all of us, and that is the real problem.

Rumor: Draft Committee to Launch Special Chabad Track

Monday, February 10th, 2014

The Knesset committee working on the new draft bill have decided to add a third special track, in addition to the “hesder” track for religious Zionists, and the Haredi track: the Chabad Lubavitch track, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

Over the next three days, the Knesset committee working on the conscription law, chaired by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked, will prepare its final draft that will include, among other changes, shortening the service period for all enlisted IDF soldiers, adding a month to the hesder yeshiva track, and creating the Chabad track.

According to a Chabad rabbi speaking to Kikar hashabbat, the Chabad track will have different, and presumably easier conditions than those offered to Haredi yeshiva students.

The bill presented for a second vote on Tuesday permits Chabad yeshiva students ages 18-20 to leave the country to one destination: 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, the world center of Chabad Lubavitch. They will stay there for two years, come back home, get married and spend one year in Kolel. Then they will enlist, as per the determination by the IDF. They, too, like Haredi students, will be permitted to ask for a delay of service until age 24.

This will end, once and for all, the ongoing problem faced by Lubavitch youths who stay in America and then face charges of desertion upon their return, with some actually serving jail time. Now they can take their time and stay in Crown Heights with the IDF approval.

According to the current draft, before the Tuesday vote, the hesder students will be serving an additional month, as prescribed originally by the Perry Committee, totaling their service at 17 months. Non-hesder soldiers will serve 32 months, down from 36.

Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home, celebrated the new bill on his Facebook page, saying that, “for the first time in many decades, the government is acting to connect the Haredi public with the world of employment and service.”

“Without this move, the State of Israel would have been trapped in an enormous socio-economic crisis in a few years,” Bennett added, promising: “in a few weeks we will change the reality in Israel.”

It might be a sign of a good law when it is hated by many in the Haredi public as well as on the left. MK Eliezer Stern of Tzipi Livni’s movement, who served as head of HR in the IDF and wears a yarmulke, accused Jewish Home of hypocrisy, by making a mockery of the idea of equal burden, which the new draft law was supposed to fix. According to Stern, the hesder yeshiva track, which started out as a great thing, has become corrupt over the years, with men who are registered in hesder yeshivas actually doing other things and getting to serve a shorter term.

Minister Yaakov Perry, whose committee actually wrote the original draft with the 17-month allotment to religious Zionist hesder soldiers, now accused Jewish Home of weakening the demands from Haredim. He promised a fight on the Knesset floor over the special terms awarded Haredim, seeing these as a rehashing of the faults of the Tal Law, which the Supreme Court annulled for its failure to introduce changes fast enough.

It’s true that the Tal Law was moving slowly, getting between 2,000 and 2,500 Haredim into the army each year. But even Perry’s version of the new law only envisioned 3,200 IDF recruits, out of 5,200 recruits altogether, with the remaining 2,000 doing national service in their own communities.

The additional 1,000 Haredi soldiers will hardly make a difference in terms of the IDF means, but will provide a wedge issues to be used effectively by both the left and the Haredi political parties, each riling up their voters to resist the “injustice.”

Settlement Rally a Gigantic Success

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

The gigantic (as it was billed) pro-Settlement rally in Binyanei Ha’uma (International Convention Center in Jerusalem) on Wednesday night, was just that, gigantic.

Thousands of people filled up the Ussishkin hall and the Agam lounge. The majority were (hilltop) youths and other young settlers who are helping build and grow Eretz Yisrael. Interspersed among them were adults.

Whatever the goal of the rally was supposed to be, it turned into a large show of support for the young audience and their self-sacrifice in building Eretz Yisrael, as well as a promise to defend the Settlements against those threats, local and foreign, that want to see the Jewish enterprise destroyed.

The beginning was disappointing. Most of the senior politicians who said they were coming backed out at the last minute, including representatives from Likud-Beiteinu and HaBayit HaYehudi.

The Israeli media, sitting together in the auditorium, used that as an opportunity to publicly mock the rally, the Jewish Right and the Right-wing politicians.

Rightfully, and embarrassingly so.

The only politician who initially showed up was the energetic MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), who had the crowd loudly cheering at every word she said.

But the lack of politicians didn’t discourage the crowd. Hundreds spontaneously climbed up onto the stage to dance and loudly sing along with the incredible band. While they stood with silent respect for Rav Lior, Rav Melamed, and Rav Levinger (Sr.), as they and other notable rabbis got up to speak.

After much of the Israeli media left, some of the missing politicians began to drift in. First among them was Ayelet Shaked, Rabbi Ben-Dahan, and Orit Struck.

During the rally, this reporter was holding a conversation with one of Naftali Bennett’s staff members who told me Bennett was otherwise occupied with local Jerusalem campaigning and wasn’t going to be coming.

I told him to make sure Bennett got over here, if he actually wants to meet his constituency and show them he is their represented leader; otherwise his very noted absence was making him irrelevant.

Minister Naftali Bennett at Gigantic Settler Rally

Minister Naftali Bennett at Gigantic Settler Rally

Finally Bennett listened to this staff member and left his beer-tasting party in Machane Yehuda for the rally.

He gave a great speech, but the reception was mixed. Bennett received both loud cheers and loud boos when he walked into the hall. Bennett was also verbally attacked outside the hall by some angry young men as he left, for what they perceive as his lack of support and protection for the Yeshivas.

But overall, the rally to promote new settlements and support our young settlers and new settlements was energetic, exciting, and a gigantic success.

Jewish Home Knesset Chair to Kerry: You Are a Hypocrite

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

The Jewish Press has obtained the following letter, sent to Secretary of State John Kerry by Ayelet Shaked, Chair of the Jewish Home Knesset faction:

To: United States Secretary of State John Kerry

Dear Sir,

In light of the current situation that you have brought about, I feel that I simply cannot be bound by the restraints of “politically correct” wording, and I therefore will allow myself to convey my following message to you in the most straightforward fashion:

Mr. Secretary of State – by forcing Israel to capitulate to terrorism by releasing murdering terrorists with so much blood on their hands that the United States would never dream of releasing them if it was their own citizens whom they murdered – you are not only being extremely hypocritical, but are actually dabbling in experimentation and gambling, by putting me and my children’s lives at risk.

Your forcing us to release these terrorists with actual blood on their hands is made all the more absurd, cynical and vicious by the fact that your country refuses until this day to release Jonathan Pollard from jail, despite the unprecedented term he has served thus far.

Mr. Secretary: the price of releasing over a hundred convicted murders will be borne by my family & my people, not by you.

How will you carry the burden of the terrible price towards which you are leading us?

You have forced us into peace talks during a period of time that the entire Middle-East is in chaos, without realizing that by doing so, you have foolishly put us in an impossible situation, in which we cannot and will not make any concessions. By your own hand you have raised expectations to a dangerous level – one that might cause the whole region to spin out of control once those expectations are proven unrealistic, like so many times before.

The past four years in Israel have been as quiet and peaceful as ever. Therefore, I suggest to you that you perform your job in a much more effective and relevant fashion by focusing your attention on Syria and Egypt, where people are actually getting slaughtered.

Sincerely,

Ayelet Shaked, Member of Knesset
Chair, HaBayit HaYehudi Knesset Faction

New Draft Law a Gift of Hope to Impoverished Haredim and to Israel

Sunday, July 14th, 2013

The latest incarnation of the Haredi Draft Law, aka “The Perry Law,” is an excellent piece of legislation.

The Haredi community suffers from serious problems, which are affecting the rest of the country as well.

Haredi towns and neighborhoods are among the poorest in Israel.

The cycle of poverty in which Haredim are stuck is due in part to the way governments have dealt with the draft issue in the past (no army service—no work permit), but, just as significantly, due of the way the political leaders (“askanim”) of the Haredi community have created a social structure that locks people into the cycle of poverty, thus also guaranteeing their reliance on those same leaders for education, social acceptance, and money.

Israel’s society also suffers from Haredi poverty, because when such a large segment of the population relies on welfare payments, the effect on the economy is devastating.

The new Haredi draft law has just passed its first reading, and will now undergo review in a special committee chaired by Jewish Home’s MK Ayelet Shaked, before it is sent back for a second and third round in the Knesset.

This law is not so much about getting Haredim into the army in the near future, as it is about immediately permitting Haredim into the legal workforce, thus breaking the cycle of poverty.

The new law divides Haredi society into three age groups:

If passed, the law will immediate allow Haredim ages 22 and up to enter the workforce if they wish, and never have to worry about being drafted again. They will receive a permanent exemption. They can also sit and learn forever, if they so choose.

Next, the law will allow Haredim ages 18-22 to defer their draft until they reach age 24, and then, at age 24, they may decide if they want to serve in the army, do national service, go to work, or stay in kollel and learn forever. In other words, to this age group the law guarantees temporary exemptions until they may receive a permanent exemption. But, once again, they would be able to legally join the workforce in 4 to 6 years.

The third age group are Haredim who will turn 18 in the year 2017.

Out of this group, 1,800 will receive exemptions to sit and learn Torah, for the first time effectively sanctioning Torah study in the Jewish State as the full equivalent of military service.

The fate of rest of those who turn 18 in 2017 will depend in some way on what today’s 18-22 age group does over the next 4 years.

The government intends to set a draft quota of 5,200 Haredim out of the approximately 8,000 who will reach 18 in 2017. Out of that quota, 3,000 will enlist in the IDF, 2,200 will do National Service—most likely in their own communities. The remaining 2,800 will receive permanent exemptions.

But, if the full 5,200 quota isn’t met, then the envisioned 2,800 exemptions will be automatically reduced to 1,800.

Give and take.

Incidentally, last year some 2,200 Haredim were drafted. Out of that group, 1,300 enlisted in the IDF and 900 did national service.

This year, the total number of enlisting Haredim is expected to reach 3,300. Not so far from the envisioned quota ( which could change following the committee review and the Knesset debate).

Indeed, Haredi youths are already at close to two-thirds of the draft quota of 4 years from now, and the sky hasn’t fallen.

This isn’t a one-way street as the IDF will gain as well. We think merely adding a large group of soldiers who are mature, disciplined, who don’t curse, and who keep the Mitzvot would go a long way to improving our army—but the much more important result of the law should be felt immediately, with Haredim who did not serve in the army legally taking on jobs to feed their families, with honor.

We happen to believe that, just as Haredi young men will surely make for a better, more civilized and more Jewish army, so will mass entry into the workforce have a similar positive influence on Israeli society.

Jewish Home Breaching Coalition Agreement to Protect Israeli Lands

Friday, April 26th, 2013

There has been a significant shift regarding the plan for a massive giveaway of state land to Bedouin residents of the Negev.

At stake is land totaling hundreds of thousands of acres all over the Negev, claimed by Bedouin squatters. In the 1970s, the Bedouin were allowed to register ownership claims over these parcels with the Justice Ministry, but the state never recognized these claims, because they were not backed by legal proof of ownership. Moreover, every time the Bedouin tried to take the state to court to secure their legal ownership over the land, they lost and their lands were registered as property of the state.

In January, Minister without portfolio Benny Begin, serving in a caretaker government, proposed a land reform for the Bedouin population that was going to transform the Negev. Ignoring previous court decisions, the Begin plan was going to sanction the Bedouin squatter tenants, all of them illegal, as the legal owners of much of the Negev.

Begin and the Likud-Beitenu were so committed to this move, that they forced Jewish Home to approve, in the coalition agreement, item 51 which reads: Both sides will promote the “Law regulating Bedouin settlement, 5772-2012,” should a Jewish Home minister be a member of a ministerial committee to implement said law.

According to Maariv, on Wednesday evening there was a meeting on the Negev lands between Ministers Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) and Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), both appointed by their parties to engage on the issue. The Jewish Home MKs Ayelet Shaked, Zevulun Kalfa and Orit Struck were also pushing a halt to the Begin plan, as were Minister Yair Shamir and MK David Rotem both from Israel Beiteinu, along with coalition chairman Mk Yariv Levin of the Likud.

In the end, according to Maariv this morning, Jewish Home and Yesh Atid, together with most of the coalition partners, reached an agreement to introduce significant changes to the Begin plan, after it had already been approved by the transitional government after the election.

The change, essentially, eliminates the Begin plan in favor of the original 2011 plan, which was approved a much less generous land giveaway to the Negev Bedouin.

According to a source in Jewish Home, the reason the government decided in January to prefer the Begin plan over the 2011 plan was that the Bedouin didn’t like the 2011 plan. Well, you can’t blame them for that, but being unhappy still does not entitle them to a land that isn’t legally theirs.

The plan will be executed over a period of five years, and the Negev Bedouin will have nine months to decide whether they accept it or prefer to sue the government over the plan. Mind you, based on past experience, suing could mean the Bedouin would be left with next to nothing, instead of what is still a legal sanctioning of their ownership of areas where they actually reside.

New Government in Place, Lapid Gave Up Foreign Office

Saturday, March 9th, 2013

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid has agreed to drop his demand for the Foreign Office portfolio, and will decide this weekend whether he wants the Finance or the Interior ministries – and it is estimated that he is going for Finance, Reshet Bet reported Saturday evening. On Friday, Lapid met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his Jerusalem residence.

With Lapid’s demand out of the way, the PM will be holding the Foreign Office portfolio for his election partner Avigdor Liberman, until the latter concludes his business with the legal authorities. The case against him opens in mid-April. It has been noted that knowing that Liberman is coming back could intimidate Foreign Office employees and might change their minds about testifying against their boss—but that belongs in a different article.

Lapid also consulted with Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett. Should Lapid opt for Finance, Bennett would be appointed Minister of Trade and Industry, with extensive powers.

Political circles are estimating that the next government will include only 24 ministers, in addition to the prime minister, which is more than the figure Lapid was pushing for, but a lot less than the previous government headed by Netanyahu, which at one point featured 30 ministers and 9 deputy ministers.

One of the key areas of conflict between Lapid and Netanyahu has been the number of government portfolios. Lapid was arguing that Israel cannot afford the expense of so many needless positions, each of which comes with office suites, staff, cars and security details.

The portfolios are expected to be divided as follows: 8 Likud ministers, 6 Yesh Atid, 4 Jewish Home, 3 Yisrael Beiteinu, 2 Tzipi’s Movement and 1 to Kadima.

Outgoing Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz confirmed in an interview on Israel’s Channel 1 News that Lapid is his likely successor. Steinitz, who holds a doctorate in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University, said: “I remember that when I was chosen there were doubts initially – a philosopher as finance minister? But, in the end, Israel’s economic results are the best in the West over the past 34 years.” He added: “I am convinced Lapid will position.”

Lapid, it should be noted, has not graduated high school.

The number two in the Jewish Home party, Uri Ariel, will get the post of Minister of Housing and Construction, according to the Army Radio, a post Netanyahu previously promised would remain in Likud hands. Yael German from Yesh Atid will serve as Minister of the Interior and Rabbi Shai Piron will be Minister of Social Welfare, although Shaul Mofaz from Kadima is also being mentioned as a candidate for that job.

Likud’s ministries will include Transport to Israel Katz, and Education to Gideon Sa’ar, both of whom held those same portfolios in the outgoing government.

Sa’ar said last week that he wanted to stay in the same office.

It is estimated that coalition talks will be completed by Sunday, and the next government will be presented by mid-week.

51% Want Lapid, Bennett, Livni, Mofaz in Government, No Haredim

Monday, February 25th, 2013

A full 51 percent of the public want a coalition government composed of Likud-Beitenu (31 MKs), Yesh Atid (19), Habayit Hayehudi (12), Tzipi Livni’s The Movement (6) and Kadima (2), according to a new Ma’agar Hamochot survey presented on Monday on a Channel 10 program.

According to the survey, only 35% of the public support letting the Haredi parties join the new government in place of Yair Lapid’s party.

A full 76% do not want new elections and prefer the new government be established based on the current Knesset’s makeup.

44% of respondents said they would rather the party they voted for compromise on principles, in order to join the coalition. Only 33% prefer that their party stick to its principles, even at the cost of sitting in the opposition.

And then there are 23% who want their party to maintain its principles, and also join the government. Talk about eating your cake and staying trim, too.

MK Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home), appearing on the same Channel 10 show, revealed that “more serious talks” are being conducted between Likud-Beitenu and her party. “If Netanyahu wants he can form a stable government with a Jewish home,” she said, but cautioned that “the Kendall outline is not a real solution” to the “equal burden” issue.

According to Haredi and Likud-Beitenu sources, Professor Eugene Kendall has proposed a solution to Haredi conscription which would make it easier for Haredi youths to enter IDF service. The proposal has not been published anywhere, but there is reported to be a wide gap between it and the Lapid proposal.

“We are working with Yesh Atid on an agreed equal burden solution,” Shaked told Channel 10.

“If Netanyahu wants to make a change, can lead the way together with Jewish home, Yesh Atid and The Movement,” Shaked concluded, emphatically ignoring the Haredi parties. “We and Yesh Atid agree on almost 100% of the socioeconomic issues, and disagree on the political issue.”

By “the political issue,” Shaked referred to the peace process, conveniently ignoring the fact that both Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid advocate the transfer of some 100,000 Jews living on the wrong side of the security fence in Judea and Samaria.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/51-want-lapid-bennett-livni-mofaz-in-government-no-haredim/2013/02/25/

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