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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Balad’

Avigdor Liberman, Tough Foreign Minister, is Back

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

He’s been called the most investigated politician in Israel – and that’s saying something! But after enduring years of others sifting through the bowels of his political history, Avigdor Lieberman was unanimously acquitted of corruption charges last Wednesday. On Monday, Nov. 11, Liberman was reinstated as Israel’s Foreign Minister.

Liberman had been charged with suspicion of fraud and breach of trust.

The vote in the knesset to reinstate Liberman took place Monday afternoon.  The vote was 62 to 17. Members voting against the Yisrael Beiteinu chair included members of the leftist Labor and Meretz parties, as well as Arabs from the Balad party.

Balad leader Jamal Zahalke said bringing back Liberman meant bringing back “the bad spirit of racism, fascism and mafia to the Knesset.”

Zahalke frequently speaks out against what he calls Israel’s system of “Apartheid.” The Israeli Arab received three degrees from Israel’s Hebrew University, serves in the Israeli Knesset and is the leader of a political party in Israel.  Some Apartheid.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had left the Foreign Ministry’s top position open since Lieberman stepped down in December, 2012, after Liberman was indicted on graft charges. Liberman served as Israel’s Foreign Minister since April, 2009.

Frequently referred to by many in the mainstream media as a “hard-liner,” a “hawk,” or other pejorative terms, Liberman is likely to confirm that view if he, as is expected, refuses to agree to still further concessions and appeasement efforts towards the Palestinian Arabs.

Liberman’s propensity for straight talk about the Palestinian Arab leadership is certain to raise hackles with the U.S. administration which has been trying desperately to browbeat Israel into overlooking the terrorist creed of its so-called “peace partner.”

Run Zoabi, Run

Sunday, December 30th, 2012

In a very unsurprising move, the Supreme Court overruled the Central Elections Commission and determined that MK Hanin Zoabi of the Balad party can run in the upcoming elections.

Despite the Elections Commission being clearly right in saying she breached the requirements regarding who is not allowed to run, and the Supreme Court being clearly wrong in having overruled them, I probably have to support Zoabi’s right to run.

Zoabi, as you should recall, was an involved passenger on the Mavi Marmara blockade run attempt in 2010.

On the Mavi Marmara, a group of passengers, connected to the Turkish IHH (designated as a terror organization by Israel), attacked IDF naval troops, including with at least one gun, during their attempt to break the blockade of Hamas terror-controlled Gaza and provide aid to Israel’s enemy.

Zoabi set off a political storm in Israel with her participation on that particular boat.

So you must be asking yourself, why am I supporting her right to run in the Knesset, despite her association with known terrorists and attempting to aid the enemy?

After all, in Israel’s Elections Law it clearly states the following are the basis for individuals and parties not being allowed to run:

1. The rejection of Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish and democratic state.

2. Incitement of racism.

3. Support of the armed struggle of enemy states or terrorist organizations against the state of Israel.

4. A reasonable basis to conclude that the party will be used for illegal activities.

Zoabi seems to clearly be in violation of at least #1 and #3.

And the Balad party’s stated goal is the “struggle to transform the state of Israel into a democracy for all its citizens, irrespective of national or ethnic identity,” is clearly in violation of #1.

And its not like there isn’t history here.

You might recall the famous case of MK Azmi Bishara, not coincidentally, also from the Balad party.

Bishara ran away before he could be arrested for actively aiding Hezbollah during the Second Lebanon War. And then the Knesset banned the Balad party, but once again the Supreme Court overruled them and let Balad run.

I have two reasons for this admittedly strange position.

The first is that it’s a badly written law.

It’s vague and it potentially chills free speech.

Parts of the law above are incredibly vague (such as #2), and there’s far too much wiggle room that allows it to be spuriously applied to any political enemy, such as the recent attempts to use it against Ben-Ari and Naftali Bennett, in an attempt to block them from running.

It’s a law crying out for selective abuse, just as it was selectively abused in the past against another rightwing party who was becoming very popular, and yet it was never used against any leftwing anti-Jewish parties (such as Shinui) or anti-Settler parties (such as Meretz), no matter how racist they might be considered, nor despite their attempts to remove the Jewish component from Israel’s definition as a Jewish and democratic state.

In short, the law is poorly written, it is selectively applied, and until the law is fixed, it’s problematic to have it applied to anyone, since it can be used against any political enemy.

The second and perhaps more important reason is that the Knesset dropped the ball.

IHH is designated a terrorist organization.

Zoabi was on the boat with a terrorist organization to break the Israeli government’s lawful blockade on a terrorist entity.

Nu?

Why didn’t the Knesset do its equivalent of impeaching her?

Why did the government fail in its charges against her participation in the Mavi Marmara?

Simply because she claimed she was acting independent from the IHH! For heaven’s sake, why isn’t Zoabi sitting in jail?

But that’s only part of it.

The government dropped the ball, in another place. And perhaps not where you think.

The government also dropped the ball, because it still hasn’t fought the Supreme Court, and their self-assumed right to overrule any Knesset ruling they don’t like.

Until the Knesset decides to take a clear position that the Supreme Court is overstepping its bounds and taking on powers it doesn’t have, then the Knesset deserves every slap in the face it gets from the Supreme Court.

Battle of the Polls and Hallway Chatter

Monday, March 12th, 2012

When two separate polls show different results, it usually produces interesting hallway chatter in the Knesset because in here, everyone is an analyst.

One argument that occurred was about how a Maariv poll could give the nationalist camp 62 seats when a Haaretz poll gave the nationalist camp between 72 and 74 seats. When the polls’ margins of error don’t explain the difference it usually leads to charges of vote tampering.

This time that argument came from Opposition Leader Tzipi Livni’s camp, which argued that there was no way a Haaretz poll could show that a Kadima led by Mofaz would capture more seats (12) than Livni (10), pointing to the Maariv poll where Livni (16) leads Mofaz (14). Mofaz’s camp argued that the Livni campaign must be in trouble if they are campaigning against Haaretz polls.

One thing is for certain: there will be more polls before the March 27th Kadima primary vote, and we will surely see who is right on March 28th.

The telephone poll below was carried out on March 4-6, 2012, for Maariv by Teleseker of a representative sample of 550 Israelis. Results were first published on NRG (Maariv’s website) on March 9, 2012.

Poll #1

If elections were held today who would you vote for?

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

27 [27] Likud 14 [15] Yisrael Beitenu 18 [08] Labor 14 [28] Kadima led by Mofaz 21 [23] Shas, Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ, National Union and Jewish Home 26 [19] Yair Lapid Party, Independence, Meretz, Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad

Poll #2

27 [27] Likud 14 [15] Yisrael Beitenu 17 [08] Labor 16 [28] Kadima led by Livni 21 [23] Shas, Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ, National Union and Jewish Home 25 [19] Yair Lapid Party, Independence, Meretz, Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad

The telephone poll carried out on March 4-5, 2012, for Haaretz by Dialogue of a representative sample of 497 Israelis, had a statistical error of +/- 4.5 percentage points. Partial results were published in Haaretz on March 8, 2012, and the rest were published the next day. The big winner is the nationalist camp, which scores between 71 and 74 seats. The big loser is Livni, who had a poor showing only a few weeks before her primary.

Poll #1

If elections were held today who would you vote for?

Current Knesset seats in [brackets]

35 [27] Likud 15 [15] Yisrael Beitenu 14 [08] Labor 12 [28] Kadima led by Mofaz 09 [11] Shas 08 [---] Yair Lapid Party 07 [05] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ 05 [07] National Union and Jewish Home 05 [03] Meretz 05 [04] Hadash 05 [07] Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad 00 [05] Independence

Poll #2

37 [27] Likud
16 [15] Yisrael Beitenu
14 [08] Labor
10 [28] Kadima led by Livni
09 [11] Shas
07 [---] Yair Lapid Party
07 [05] Yahadut Hatorah/UTJ
05 [07] National Union and Jewish Home
05 [03] Meretz
05 [04] Hadash
05 [07] Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad
00 [05] Independence

Israeli-Arabs Protesting the Continued Imprisonment of 2 Murderers

Saturday, March 3rd, 2012

500 Israeli-Arabs were protesting on Saturday evening in Arara, and Arab village in the North. It was organized by the Balad party and the Palestinian Prisoner’s movement.

They were protesting that the continued imprisonment  of Maher and Kareem Younis. The two were arrested and given life sentences for the murder of IDF soldier Avi Bromberg 30 years ago.

The protest was against the Israeli government for not  releasing them in the Shalit deal, and against Hamas for not getting any Israeli-Arab prisoners released.

MK Hanin Zoabi Writes Praise for New Anti-Israel Book

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

In the latest of a string of controversial actions, Balad MK Hanin Zoabi has written a foreword for a new book by noted anti-Israel writer, Ben White, in which she states that the Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria is ‘racist’ and premised on ‘ethnic cleansing’.

In the four-page foreword to the book titled “Palestinians in Israel: Segregation, Discrimination and Democracy,” Zoabi insists that Israeli Arabs have a central role in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that they will use their experience with democracy to expose Israel as a “colonialist and racist” regime.

Zoabi refused to comment on the subject, but a colleague spoke of her continued defiance. “She believes in the things she writes and has never tried to hide it . . . She fears nobody and she will continue to express what she believes in at every opportunity.”

MKs Zoabi, Sarsour, Ghnaim Met with Hamas

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Photos found by Israeli forces after the arrest of a senior Hamas official on Thursday revealed that various Arab Knesset members had met with senior Hamas figures over the years.

Raam-Ta’al MKs Ibrahim Sarsour and Masud Ghnaim, and Balad MK Hanin Zoabi, were all photographed at different times meeting with Hamas figure Dr. Aziz Dwaik. Photographs also documented Zoabi meeting with Mariam Saleh, a Hamas official from Gaza.

Dwaik, the Speaker of the Palestinian Legislative Council, was detained at a security checkpoint near Ramallah on Thursday on suspicion of involvement in terror activities.

Kadima MK Ronit Tirosh expressed outrage: “Knesset members who sit in Israel’s Knesset and in the same breath, and proudly so, pose for photos with the enemies of Israel are traitors whose only desire is to harm Israel. It would be only appropriate for them to resign and go sit in Gaza with their Hamas friends.”

Ghnaim defended Hamas as “fighting against the occupation,” and was unrepentant regarding his photo op. “If we broke the law with our visit let them charge us,” he challenged.

Likud MK Yariv Levin endorsed harsh penalties for their activities. “The Attorney General must take a firm hand and put an end to the parade of MKs spitting in the state’s face and protect Israel and the Knesset from the terror sponsors amongst us.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mks-zoabi-sarsour-ghnaim-met-with-hamas/2012/01/22/

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