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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘barkat’

After Mayoral Loss, the Buzzards Are Flying over Lieberman’s Head

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

The old adage suggesting that victory has a multitude of fathers, while failure, alas, is an orphan, can be applied yet again, this time to describe the grim aftermath in Shas following the heartbreaking loss of the Avigdor Lieberman-Aryeh Deri candidate for mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion (the name should be spelled “Leon,” but the campaign opted for this, more feline spelling).

So the bad guy in this story of glory and defeat is Israel Beiteinu strong man MK Avigdor Lieberman, soon to be either the previous and next Foreign Minister, or the next man with a serial number at the Ma’asiahu prison for white collar criminals—court decision on that one expected in two weeks.

But for now, Lieberman appears to be shouldering the shame of the mayoral loss, with attacks on him coming both from sore losers and sore winners. Yes, the winning incumbent, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat now and for the next 5 years, is not doing the gracious. not even pretending.

“Lieberman is a dishonest man, a fixer who wanted to turn me into a marionette and couldn’t,” Barkat told Ma’ariv.

According to the winner, Lieberman made it his life’s mission to destroy him, Barkat, who, apparently, remained pure as the driven Jerusalem snow: “I could have made a deal and appoint Vladimir Sklar CEO of the East Jerusalem Development corporation the way Lieberman insisted, and then I would have gotten wall-to-wall support,” he said. “I refused. I took a chance and paid a heavy price.”

In Israel, it seems, to the winner goes being spoiled.

MK Lieberman for his part has been denying the Sklar appointment story, arguing instead that in his feverish yearning to win, Barkat has sold the city out to the Haredim—specifically, former Haredi mayoral candidate Chayim Epstein has been saying he’s being appointed Barkat’s deputy mayor, with pay.

The nice appointment is considered to be his reward for keeping his name on the ballot even as it was becoming obvious he was going nowhere—and with that helped siphon off some of Lion’s Haredi votes. It’s a good theory.

But the worst thing for Lieberman was not the spectacle of the winner Barkat doing a victory dance in a fashion that would not go well over in the States, where the first thing a loser does is congratulate the winner, to be followed by the winner complimenting the loser. Over in the Jewish State, we win, we fillet the loser, fire up the barbie, have a beer.

The worst thing for Lieberman is how his own campaign has been badmouthing him. Ma’arive quotes Likud-beiteinu campaign workers who said “Lieberman pulled the rug from under all of us… He couldn’t deliver the goods… He didn’t deliver the Likudniks, and he especially didn’t deliver the Russians he promised… All the Israel Beiteinu voters in Jerusalem supported Nir Barkat… Israel Beiteinu used to have 2 seats in the city council – that’s now been erased… Even when combining the Liebrman and Likud votes, they barely make it past the blocking percentage…”

Finally, senior Aryeh Deri operatives put all the blame on Lieberman. The rift between Deri and Lieberman is serious. Last week, Deri told his listeners on Haredi radio station Kol Barama that they had to vote in large numbers, to secure a Shas-Lieberman partnership. Now, after the defeat, Deri told those same listeners that they lived up to his expectations—they awarded 35 thousand votes to Moshe Lion, but on the Likud-Beiteinu side the failure was overwhelming.

Deri’s seniors are angry at Lieberman, but they’re livid at Deri himself for falling prey to Lieberman’s machinations. It was a known thing that Lieberman could round up 10 thousand Russians in Jerusalem – that’s the number that voted for his faction in 2008. So how come all the Russians went for Barkat? Was Deri being naïve when he figured Lieberman for a solid real estate asset, when, in fact, that asset is infested with termites and about to fall on its own foundations?

Lieberman had nothing to tell his followers and the press other than his own version of you win some, you lose some. If he’s taken down by the court two weeks from now, it would mark a sea change in Israeli politics, an earthquake that could empower the right or the left, depending on whom you ask.

’Middle Class’ Champion Lapid One of Richest Israeli Politicians

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Yesh Lapid party’s chairman Yair Lapid’s wealth is estimated at $6 million, ranking him number six in Forbes Israel’s listing of the top 10 politicians in Israel.

The estimated wealth comes as no surprise to his former supporters, who have helped  his party’s popularity dive by 50 percent since Lapid led the party to win 19 seats in the Knesset with a campaign boasting him as a champion of the middle class.

As Finance Minister, he promptly hiked regressive taxes and cut child welfare benefits, felt most by lower and middle income wage earners.

The list of the top 10 also shows that he is not the only Yesh Atid MK with a fat bank account. Yaakov Perry was ranked right behind Lapid with a fortune of more than $5 million. However, he has said that he is closer to being “middle class” rather than “rich,” which he apparently defines as someone like Warren Buffet.

Not surprising, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who profited millions of dollars from his Checkpoint  high-tech company, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister Silvan Shalom are on the list. Shalom’s wife is from the family with substantial investments, the most well-known being the Yediot Acharonot newspaper.

However, there also are quite a few “limousine liberals” who are big on helping the working class.

In second place, behind Barkat, is Labor party MK Erel Margalit, with an estimated wealth of $60 million, most of made through his Jerusalem Venture Partners enterprise and other business transactions.. In last place” is Labor MK Yitzchak Herzog, with a paltry $3 million.

Other political fat cats are Yair Shamir, son of the late Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir and a member of the Israel Beiteinu faction of Likud, in fourth place with an estimated wealth of $20 million. Right behind him is Meir Sheetrit, a former Likud and Kadima MK and now a member of Tzipi Livni’s party.

As expected, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett is one the list, in ninth place with a fortune of $7 million.

Jerusalem Mayor Kicks Off Arab Street Namings

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will inaugurate a street in the Arab neighborhood of Beit Hanina on Wednesday in the name of a famous Egyptian singer.

The ceremony at 3:30pm will name the street Umm Kultum, after a beloved Egyptian singer, the daughter of an Imam, who died in 1975.

The naming is part of a project to name all streets in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem.  According to a press release by the Government Press Office, many streets in those neighborhoods have never been officially named.  Now, 145 new street names have been approved and will be affixed to roads in Zur Baher, Beit Hanina, Shuafat, Issawiya, Abu-Tor, Silwan, and Ras Al-Amud.

Israeli Vows to ‘Bike for the Fight’ Against Cancer

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

A new initiative – Bike for the Fight – will raise money for the Israel Cancer Research Fund (ICRF), a North American organization funding grants to top Israeli cancer researchers and scientific institutions, by biking for three months across the United States, according to a report by NoCamels.

Started by Tom Peled, a 24 year student at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya who lost his father to cancer in 2011 after an 8 year battle,  the venture will see Peled bike from Los Angeles and through Nevada, Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and ending in New York City.  The mission will begin on August 1.

The recipients of ICRF funds are used to fund research into the development of life-saving early diagnostic devices and new drugs for such cancers as leukemia, bone marrow cancer, breast and ovarian cancer, and others.

Peled has attracted the support of Hillel, Maccabiah 2012, and Microsoft Israel, which is creating a special app for the project, as well as President Shimon Peres and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

Biking for the Fight has already raised NIS 41,000 by selling campaign bracelets, and signed up hundreds of people for organ donation.

Former PM Olmert: Divide Jerusalem For Peace

Monday, May 21st, 2012

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday urged Israeli leaders to surrender large swaths of Jerusalem to the Palestinian Authority if they want peace.

In honor of the 45th annual Jerusalem Day, Prime Minister Olmert – who served as Jerusalem’s Mayor from 1993 to 2003 – told the Maariv daily newspaper that  Jerusalem was never truly united, and while he called that a “tragedy”, he also said it will mean “inevitable political concessions”.

The Israel Defense Forces liberated eastern Jerusalem, including the Temple Mount and the Tomb of the Prophet Samuel from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War, as well as the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria, including heritage sites the Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron and Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.

In his interview with Maariv, Olmert highlighted the division and separation between Jewish and Arab neighborhoods, and lamented that not enough had been done to homogenize the city.

Regarding Arab neighborhoods, Olmert said “apart from heartache we get nothing from them,” saying that peace will require Arab neighborhoods to be separated and given to a Palestinian state.

He also said that the Old City and the Temple Mount should be up for discussion in final peace talks.

Olmert lamented the peace deal he could “touch” in 2007 and 2008, and said that if he had been prime minister for a few more months, he believes an agreement on a Palestinian state would have been completed.

Israel’s current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, had very different things to say about Jerusalem on this year’s Jerusalem Day.

“Israel without Jerusalem is like a body without a heart. And our heart will never be divided again,” he said.

He warned that dividing Jerusalem would lead to a war pitting Jews against Muslims in the city, and boasted that Israeli control of holy sites provided the highest level of accessibility and religious freedom to all citizens.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat chastised Olmert, calling the idea of dividing Jerusalem “a bigger mistake”.

“He lost his faith in Jerusalem when he was mayor,” Barkat said, accusing him of wanting “to run from conflicts in Jerusalem and give in to them, instead of coping with them and directing them.”

Jerusalem Mayor: Netanyahu Government Providing ‘Unprecedented’ Resources For Jerusalem’s Growth

Sunday, May 20th, 2012

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, in remarks at Ammunition Hill to celebrate Jerusalem day, hailed Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government for providing an “unprecedented” amount of resources and tools to Jerusalem, enabling it to progress rapidly.

Barkat, speaking before Netanyahu and his Cabinet, thanked them for their “continuous” and “direct support of Jerusalem.” He took the opportunity to point out the “good news” coming out of Jerusalem; that “for the first time, we are seeing a changing trend: from a drastic decline in the numbers of students in the state secular and state religious schools in Jerusalem, we have seen an increase – over a 15 year span - in the state secular stream, and for the past three years, we have seen growth in the numbers of students in the state religious stream.

“Economic and cultural growth in the city have also been considerably higher than the national average over the past three years,” Barkat continued. “Jerusalem has returned to being a cultural capital with a growing number of visitors and tourists.” Barkat also highlighted the “increase in pupils’ achievements on their matriculation exams, and…in enlistment in the IDF from Zionist schools.”

The Prime Minister, in response, took the opportunity to announce a number of initiatives related to the city of Jerusalem: the decision to renovate Ammunition Hill and turn it into a heritage site; a plan to “build Biblical sites in [Jerusalem] that will enhance and explain our link to the Land of the Bible”; a decision to alleviate housing distress in Jerusalem by building subsidized apartments for military and police personnel; and the decision to build an Einstein Museum in Jerusalem.

“We are joining the past, the present and the future,” Netanyahu said,  ”and I think that very great and important things are being done here to ensure the future of Jerusalem as Israel’s eternal capital as well.”

Turning to the hot-button issue of the 60,000 “illegal infiltrators” currently residing in Israel, Netanyahu underscored the threat they posed to the Jewish and democratic nature of the state. He said that the first step is to complete the physical barrier. “By October it will be complete in its entirety…But until then we will block it with other means, including forces.”

The next step, he said, “is to start withdrawing. How will this be done? First of all, those who employ illegal infiltrators will be severely punished, and we will also begin the physical withdrawal.”

“We will resolve the issue, not by shouting,” he concluded, “but by action.  We hear the shouts, we are taking action and the action will succeed.”

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/jerusalem-mayor-netanyahu-government-providing-unprecedented-resources-for-jerusalems-growth/2012/05/20/

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