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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Barak’

Polls Indicate Netanyahu Will Score in New Elections

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s call to disband the government and call for new elections may serve him well, if two public opinion polls published Thursday pan out.

A poll commissioned and published by Maariv newspaper shows the prime minister’s Likud party would increase its seats from 27 to 29, with Labor taking 17 and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid taking 17.

A Haaretz poll shows that a coalition led by Likud and joined by religious and nationalist parties would also increase two seats, from 66 to 68.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s Independence party is not expected to attract enough voters to yield any seats.

Malkah Fleisher

Bibi May Call For Early Elections In February

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

JERUSALEM – Faced with the prospect of not having enough votes within his own coalition to ensure passage of the 2013 national budget, as well as a growing political rift with his defense minister, Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is reportedly considering moving up next year’s parliamentary elections from October to February.

According to Yisrael Hayom, Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz are trying to stitch together a revamped national budget that would feature a series of austerity measures aimed at reducing the country’s budget deficit and addressing the global economic slowdown. Israel’s annual growth rate has shrunk from five to three percent over the past year.

The economic downturn in European Union countries has adversely affected Israel’s mostly blue-collar export industry (canned foods, flowers, fruits and vegetables, glass, etc.), as thousands of workers in those fields have recently been laid off – mainly in towns across the Galilee. In the past month, the unemployment rate has reached nearly seven percent. On two positive notes, though, exports of products from Israel’s renowned hi-tech and biotech industries have remained strong and Standard & Poor’s recently gave Israel one of the world’s best credit and economic ratings.

Yisrael Hayom reported that the Finance Ministry’s initial call for 15 billion shekels, or more than $4 billion, in across-the-board budget cuts – featuring reductions in social service programs to children in need, mentally and physically disabled citizens, the elderly and poverty stricken families – will likely be reduced to 10 billion shekels in cuts. The Shas and Yahadut HaTorah parties have already informed Netanyahu that they would vote against any budget that includes cuts adversely affecting their struggling Orthodox and haredi constituencies.

For his part, Barak has waged a media campaign against Steinitz’s insistence on cutting over a billion dollars from the nation’s defense budget in the wake of the various security threats Israel faces from Iran and Syria.

This has only worsened the Netanyahu-Barak relationship. According to Israel’s Channel 2 News, Netanyahu has become frustrated with both Barak’s political demand that he retain his defense ministry post in the next Netanyahu-led government (if Netanyahu is asked to form the next government) and their differing tactics in managing Israel’s relationship with the U.S. (Recent polls show Barak’s center-left Atzmaut faction winning only two-three seats in the next Knesset if elections were held now.)

Netanyahu’s disenchantment with Barak has spread across his Likud Party. Likud members have blasted the defense chief for telling the international media that he would recommend that Israel execute a unilateral withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria despite no formal peace agreement with the Palestinian Authority. Netanyahu was incensed with Barak’s comments to the American media earlier this week regarding his positive meetings with Secretary of State Clinton and other high-ranking White House officials. Yediot Aharonot quoted a senior Israeli government official who claims to have heard Netanyahu say, “He [Barak] traveled to the U.S. to actually stoke the conflict between us and the Americans in order to come off as the savior – the moderate party that reconciles between the sides.”

A number of Likud members have urged Netanyahu to immediately fire Barak and replace him with former IDF chief of staff and current Minister of Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon.

Even if earlier elections are called for February 2013, the Netanyahu government will still be one of the longest-serving Israeli governments ever.

Steve K. Walz

DM Barak: Unilateral Withdrawal Will Lead to Israeli Sovereignty in Judea and Samaria

Monday, September 24th, 2012

In excerpts of an interview published by Yisrael HaYom newspaper, Defense Minister Ehud Barak proposed a unilateral withdrawal from most of Judea and Samaria, requiring tens of thousands of Jews to leave their homes or remain under the sovereignty of the Palestinian Authority.

Under Barak’s plan, major Jewish population centers – according to him, 90% of the Jews of Judea and Samaria – would remain under Israeli control.  Israel would also maintain a military presence in the Jordan Valley and on hilltops of Samaria overlooking and in proximity to places of import such as Ben Gurion International Airport.

Barak’s full policy discussion will be published on Tuesday, before the Yom Kippur holiday.

Barak’s plan would be similar to the one carried out in 2005 in the Jewish communities of Gaza known as Gush Katif, and would include payments to families forcibly evicted from their homes.  Barak likely did not envisage a similar outcome to that of the Gaza expulsion, which was the creation of a Hamas-run state frequently targeting Israeli civilian areas in rocket attacks.

According to the interview, in which Barak called PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas a “real partner” for negotiations, he is not sure “if this will succeed”.  Yet he claimed this is the only way to legitimately lay sovereign claim to Jewish communities in the biblical heartland.

“ It would be a great achievement if we succeed to bring them into the permanent borders of Israel” after 45 years of Israeli settlement in Judea and Samaria, he said.

Malkah Fleisher

Government Approves Ariel University Upgrading, Despite Fierce Objection from the Left and from Barak

Monday, September 10th, 2012

With government approval of its status change, the university in Ariel passed another stage on its way to becoming a fully-accredited university. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the upgrade is an academic necessity, not a political one. “The population growth has created the need for another academic university institution.” At the same time, in private meetings, Ehud Barak has said that “it is not clear why Ariel – yes and Tel Hai – no.”

The battle over Ariel university is over. The government approved the status upgrade of the university center to a full-fledged university. During the debate over the issue, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that it is important for there to be another university in Israel. “I don’t think that seven universities are enough in the State of Israel, that after 40 years, there shouldn’t be another university,” he said.

According to the Prime Minister, “Ariel is an inseparable part of the State of Israel and it will remain an inseparable part of the country in any possible future arrangement, just like all other population blocs. The approval of the Ariel university is part of a series of steps being taken to advance higher education in Israel. This decision is an expression of our confidence in the academic level of the Ariel university.”

At the same time that the Prime Minister was asking cabinet members to approve the status change of the university, Defense Minister Ehud Barak was privately saying that, “it’s not clear why Ariel – yes and Tel Hai – no,” referring to Tel- Hai College, on Israel’s northern border.

At the beginning of the cabinet meeting, Netanyahu stated that the approval of Ariel fills an academic necessity, rather than a political one. “I don’t think that seven universities are sufficient for the State of Israel. There is a need for another one.” Netanyahu said, “After decades during which our population has doubled and tripled, our young people want to acquire university education and I am opposed to the protectiveness of the academic guild.”

Education Minister Gideon Saar has been attempting, for quite some time, to gain the necessary majority in the cabinet to upgrade Ariel to a fully accredited university. “The university met all the necessary criteria and academic standards. I truly believe that the establishment of an eighth university in Israel will strengthen the system of higher education, and I hope the cabinet will make this decision,” he said.

Jacob Edelist

Right Furious over Barak’s Decision Not to Decide on Ariel University

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

Last night, Defense Minsiter Ehud Barak decided that Nitzan Allon, head of the IDF Central Command, will not sign his approval for Ariel University to be recognized as a fully accredited university. This decision brought about a very angry reaction from right wing government factions, Israel Today reported.

In a letter that he sent last night to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Barak indicated that after he had completed the last round of consultations with relevant elements, among them key university heads, the chairman of the board of higher education in Judea and Samaria, chairman of the board of planning and budgeting, Emanuel Trachtenberg and others, he decided to recommend that “the university center in Ariel will not become a full-fledged university prior to the Supreme Court ruling on the matter.”

People in Barak’s circle explained his decision saying that in any case the issue is hanging until it is decided by the Supreme Court, and that until the Supreme Court rules on the matter there is no reason to rush to make the Ariel University a full-fledged university, a step which is the subject of professional controversy.

Barak’s associates added that according to Barak and Netanyahu’s recommendation, if the Supreme Court approves the transformation of the Ariel center into a full-fledged university, the matter will be presented for a joint decision before all the cabinet ministers.

Yesterday, Minister of Education Gideon Saar said, “This is an obvious maneuver by Barak to try and delay the recognition of Ariel as a university. It’s possible that the Supreme Court will wait for the signature of the Head of the Central Command before conducting a judicial review. The head of the Central Command is supposed to be directed by the government in this matter and not by the Minister of Defense.“

According to the Peace Now Movement, “Barak’s decision is bringing back sane priorities to the government. The decision to transform the Ariel college into a proper university is not essential and doubtfully legal.”

Coalition chairman MK Zev Elkin said that “Barak is making illegal use of his authority. This coalition may consider itself no longer obligated to adhere to agreements which are important to Barak and his party.”

The Ariel University Center stated that “we expect the Prime Minister to exercise leadership and to complete the process which began with a government decision in 2005, and to put into effect the decision giving permanent recognition to the center as a full-fledged university.”

Jewish Press Staff

Postcard from Mount Tabor

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

“And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?” (Judges, 4:6)

Mount Tabor, standing 575 meters above sea level at the eastern end of the Jezreel Valley, is the site of the battle fought by Deborah and Barak against the Canaanite king Sisera, according to the Bible. In Christian tradition, it is the site of the Transfiguration – which explains the presence of two monasteries on its peak; one Roman Catholic and the other Eastern Orthodox.

Today the Bedouin villages of Shibli – renowned for its delightful Bedouin Heritage Centre – and Umm al Ghanam (now merged to form one municipality), together with the village of Daburiya, nestle at the mountain’s base. The peak is shared by Christian pilgrims, hang-gliding enthusiasts and day-trippers wanting to enjoy the spectacular views.

And if you like a foodie aspect to your day-tripping, then a visit to the farm shop in nearby Kfar Kish to taste wonderful goats’ milk cheeses and local micro-brewery beer is a must.

Visit CifWatch for more Israel related posts.

Hadar Sela

President Peres, Defying Netanyahu, Barak: ‘We Cannot Attack Iran On Our Own’

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

President Shimon Peres said Thursday in an interview with Israel’s Channel 2 News that Israel alone should not and cannot attack Iran’s nuclear facilities. With this statement, Peres has effectively positioned himself in direct opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak.

In the interview, the president stresses: “It is clear to us that we alone cannot do it. We can postpone it, but we know clearly that we have to go along with America. There are questions of coordination and timing, but no matter how much nearer the danger is growing, at least this time we are not alone.”

In Israel’s political system, the role of president has been designed as largely ceremonial, intended to preserve the balance of Israel’s democracy. President Peres’s decision to oppose the Prime Minister, who holds the executive powers, is a deviation from decades of tradition, and may result in some harm to the institution of the presidency itself.

Peres also addressed the commitment of President Barack Obama to Israel in connection with an attack on Iranian nuclear facilities. “This is an American interest, and he (President Obama) sees this interest,” clarified the president. “Obama is not saying this just to please us.”

The president added that “Israel must rely on herself, but that does not mean she should give up on friends. When I say that I have a right to self-defense, it does not mean that I must be angry with everyone, whatever for?”

During the day, Thursday, Defense Minister Ehud Barak addressed the possible attack on Iran in the Knesset plenum, explaining why this action was necessary. He said that dealing with a nuclear Iran would be difficult, expensive and more dangerous. He added: “The decision, as required, will be made by the Government of Israel, not by groups of civilians and not even by editorials.”

The Channel 2 News full interview will be shown at 8:00 PM Israel time, 1:00 PM New York time.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/politics/president-peres-defying-netanyahu-barak-we-cannot-attack-iran-on-our-own/2012/08/16/

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