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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bayit Hayehudi’

Wednesday’s Poll: Bennett Gets 15 Seats at Likud’s Expense

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

The Likud’s aggressive campaign against HaBayit HaYehudi and its chairman Naftali Bennett is working like a boomerang against Netanyahu’s party, according to a new poll conducted for Walla by TNS Teleseker. If elections were conducted today, according to this poll, Jewish Home, the successor of historic NRP, would be clearing 15 seats, while Likud-Beiteinu would be cropped down to 35 seats (from its current 42). These are the only significant changes in this poll, leaving all the rest of the contender about where they were on Sunday.

In other words, as we’ve suggested last week, Bennett benefited from the attacks on him by TV’s Nissim (“Beast”) Mishal, followed by stern rebukes from the left and the right, but, most emphatically from Likud – have worked in Bennett’s favor. Asked if he would refuse a command to evict a Jew from his home, Bennett answered in the negative – forcing Netanyahu et al to position themselves to his left. And the folks at home, many of whom could be subject to just such an eviction notice from the next government, got the message.

Shas maintains its 10 seats in today’s poll, and Torah Judaism, likewise, retains its 6 seats (up from the current 5). Labor stays at 18. Lapid takes 10 and Livni 11 – a slight rise for both compared to the earlier poll conducted by Mina Tzemach, but they continue to claim a 20-seat block together.

Power to Israel, Kadima and Rabbi Amsalem are all out, their votes absorbed both by Livni-Lapid and Bennett.

It’s important to note that Netanyahu’s current sluggish performance is being made even worse because of his decision to run on the same list with his former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman. Of the 35 seats Likud-Beiteinu captures in today’s poll, only 22 report to him, and 13 are commanded by his partner—who’s having his own headaches with the prosecution. This is a net drop of 5 seats for Likud from their current 27.

Naftali Bennett speaking to mostly secular students at the Technion in Haifa. Bennett's message is reaching young, secular voters. Photo: Jewish Home.

Naftali Bennett speaking to mostly secular students at the Technion in Haifa. Bennett’s message is reaching young, secular voters. Photo: Jewish Home.

Despite’s Bennett’s success, overall, today’s poll marks a drop for the right, to 50 seats, and a rise for the left to 43. The Haredim stay at 16 and the Arabs at 11.

Two choices emerge from today’s poll for a Netanyahu-led coalition government:

One: (we like OK) would include Labor and Jewish Home, which could co-exist as long as Labor maintains its mild pro-settlements stance. It gives Netanyahu a solid 68 seat majority, and as long as he keeps Labor away from Treasury, he could rule with relative ease (well, with relative stability).

Two: (we like even better) would combine Netanyahu with the Haredim and Jewish Home, for a solid, right-wing (if you can call Shas right-wing) coalition of 66.

Three: (we hate) Netanyahu goes with the Haredim and Labor, gives them all the concessions they feel entitled to, reverses some of his economic policies at the expense of the country’s fiscal well being, and starts chopping away at the settlements – to guarantee for himself U.S. and European support over Iran.

Frankly, the only way to avoid the last option—which is, actually, the classic Likud choice over the past few decades—is to up Jewish Homes take even more. To do that, Bennett would have to appeal to the non-religious Israelis. And while his program is quite interesting and innovative on issues close to the heart of the secular, Bennett would have to get over their prejudices and speak to them directly, over the heads of the media.

It can be done. On Monday – four days after Bennett’s statement on refusal to evict –the very secular agricultural high school Eshel Hanasi held its mock elections and 1,022 students from the elite of the Moshav movement in the south gave 18 percent of their votes to Likud-Beiteinu, same as they did Yair Lapid’s party. But the big winner was the Jewish home, with 37 percent.

Will Naftali Bennett’s ‘Broken Chip’ Kill the Hopes of a Million Voters?

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

Jewish Home Party Chairman Naftali Bennett on Saturday night assembled a press conference at his party headquarters in Petah Tikva, following “controversial” remarks he had made on Thursday, that, should he receive an order to evacuate a Jew from his home, “my conscience will not allow it. I would ask my commander to release me.”

At the press conference, Bennett insisted that he did not support conscientious objection.

“I do not call for disobedience and I never called for refusing orders,” Bennett said. “I’ve been serving as warrior for 22 years, and fought in all of Israel’s wars. I never called for refusing orders. In the Likud they pounced on my words, twisted them and created a false image. I spoke from my heart’s blood, and I do not apologize for what I said.”

So far, had Bennett stopped right there, I would have said he received really bad advice, but at least had the good sense not to ruin whatever positive image he had created during his clash with the bestial Nissim Mishal, a yarmulke wearing television host who makes Mike Wallace look like Charlie Rose.

Mishal ambushed Bennett, attacked him personally in condescending tones, practically cursed him out, cut him off whenever Bennett disagreed with the charges against him, and when in doubt, turned to a team of “experts,” each of whom had his or her own biased, aggressive pack of “research” to dump on the candidate.

Israeli Television has some beautiful, touching shows that are a marvel of artistic achievement. Nissim Mishal’s show is a pit stop on the information highway. Bennett didn’t have a friend in the room – and he held his own quite well. He could have scored higher had he watched more Moshe Feiglin tapes – unlike Feiglin, Bennett appeared like he was actually trying to persuade his host to listen to him. Feiglin has long ago decided that his hosts, by definition, are knife wielding assassins, working for his enemies, and so he speaks over their heads, directly to the audience.

Still, Bennett scored a solid 7 or 8 out of 10 for his overall appearance. Towards the very end of the torturous interview, Mishal asked Bennett if, as a major in the army, he would carry out an order to evacuate Jews – and you’ve read his answer above.

It was a great answer, which all his enemies immediately took out of context, to mean that Bennett was advocating that it was a good thing for soldiers to refuse an order. Hence the press conference Saturday night.

I thought the press conference was unnecessary, especially not on a Saturday night, right after Shabbat. It’s called letting the other side define you. If they call you names, that’s OK, they’re your enemies. But if they call you name and you drop everything to tell the press you don’t deserve those names – you inevitably look like you might deserve at least some of what they’re saying.

If you take your time, and then decide which unique manner of response suits you, and you stick to your own script, rather than change it in order to answer the other side’s accusations – then you haven’t let them define you.

So Bennett committed the first error of a novice by calling the press conference. But it looked like he was coming out of it without losing too many points – when he picked up a piece of paper and read:

“…But I’m a public leader, and now I will say it clearly: a command to uproot a Jewish community is a fatal blow to the most basic human rights, placing soldiers in a dilemma. It is a tough dilemma and cannot be swept under the rug.”

OK, not so bad, I thought, he’s restating what he had told Mishal, something for the press to take home – we might be out of the woods.

And then he said, in the serious tone of a politician who had been drilled by his advisers that he had to say it, had to eat the stinking fish, read it from the paper in his hands:

“But in the end, when push comes to shove, a soldier must fulfill military orders.”

Bennett Questions If Bibi is Planning Another Expulsion (+ Videos)

Saturday, December 22nd, 2012

Following harsh criticism from both the Likud and the Left, Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Hayehudi party, went on offensive against the attacks on his statements regarding his personal inability to expel Jews from their homes in the case of another “Disengagement”.

Bennett said that he is not calling on soldiers to refuse orders, which he also clearly said in his original remarks.

He said that, as a soldier, he personally would be incapable of fulfilling an order to uproot a Jewish settlement or an Arab village.

On Channel 10, Bennett then went on the offensive against the Likud and Netanyahu.

Bennett said that the fact that the question even arises on election eve as to whether or not the Likud would have soldiers, once again, expel Jews from their homes, says it all. And the Likud would do it, he claims.

In response to Netanyahu’s statement, “Whoever refuses orders to remove settlements will not be in my government,” Bennett responded, “Mr. Prime Minister, is the reason you said that because you are planning on removing settlements in your next administration?”

A number of Likud ministers and MKs have attacked Bennett, but with the exception of Moshe Feiglin, none have yet said they would not expel Jews if given the order to do so.

The Likud sees HaBayit HaYehudi as their biggest threat in the upcoming elections.

It’s easy to see why.

 

The original interview:

Saturday night’s followup:

Moshe Feiglin on Bennett and refusing orders:

In Clever Nod to Right Wing Voters Bennett Says He’d Refuse Order to Uproot Jews

Friday, December 21st, 2012

Beit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett on Thursday night proved that he has what it takes to win big in national elections. In a statement regarding the evacuation of settlements in a future peace deal with the Palestinians, Bennet gave an answer that evoked a huge storm of protests and rebukes from—predictably—the left and—most revealingly—from Likud as well.

Bennett told a Channel 2 interviewer: “Should I receive an order to evacuate a Jew from his home and chase him away, my conscience will not permit it. I would ask my commanding officer to absolve me.”

When asked directly if this meant he would refuse an order from his military commander, Bennett said: “I’m sorry, I am incapable of entering a Jewish home and evacuating it.” Bennett also remarked that he “also wouldn’t want to evict an Arab from his home.”

Bennett then called on Israelis to vote for his party in order to influence the future government. He also denied claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would try to remove him from the coalition, because of their past disagreements. Bennett at one point served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff.

As was to be expected, the Labor party attacked Bennett’s statement. “This is an unfortunate and unacceptable statement even during the elections,” MK Eitan Cabel, head of the response team at Labor, told reporters. “Regardless of politics, on the left and on the right, refusing an order is crossing a red line that affects our ability to function as a society, and a statement by a public leader encouraging it is serious and totally illegitimate.”

The Kadima party, whose leaders Sharon, Olmert and Mofaz led the evacuation of some 10 thousand Gush Katif Jews in 2005, also condemned Bennett’s statement.

Just the condemnations from the left could suffice for an extra seat or so for the Beit Yehudi party, as its voters, many of whom live on the wrong side of the green line, which also cuts through Jerusalem, have been yearning for a legitimate leader who would say precisely these things – that an order to remove Jews from their homes has a black flag flying over it.

(Back in 1957, future Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Levi condemned the accused in the Kaffar Kassem massacre for obeying an illegal order which a black flag should have been waving over it, like a sign that declares: “Verbotten.”)

But the real bonus to Bennett and his party came last night and this morning from the Likud party, which has been hemorrhaging votes in the polls to the Beit Yehudi list.

Head of the Likud hasbara team, Minister Gilad Arden, told Walla! News that Bennett’s statement “Caused serious damage to the army, because the army is based on obeying orders.” Arden added: “As someone who is opposed to uprooting settlements, I think this position is also very harmful to right wing camp, because if you can justify conscientious objection in this case, what would stop Zehava Gal-On and leftist groups like The Courage to Refuse from encouraging soldiers not to serve in Judea and Samaria?”

Well, for one thing they’re already doing it – they hardly need an approval from Naftali Bennet. But, most importantly, Arden has stated for the record that—despite his stated opposition to dismantling settlements—he would support it once the order came down via the IDF chain of command.

If you’re a Likud voter living in Karnei Shomron – this should be reason enough for you to switch to Bennett.

Strategic Affairs Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon, also attacked Bennett, adding his gravitas as former IDF chief of staff to the condemnation.

Except that Ya’alon himself did not receive an extension of his term as chief of staff right before the Gush Katif deportation, because his bosses in the Defense Ministry didn’t trust him to prosecute the evacuation with the necessary zeal.

Exposing Likud as being, essentially, just like Labor and Kadima regarding the dismantling of Jewish towns and villages, Naftali Bennett may have bitten another two or three seats off his rivals’ take. If he manages to weather this storm without apologizing – now would be a good time to take a page from the Liberman play book – Bennett could be the first National Religious leader to actually receive the bulk of the votes cast by National Religious Israelis.

One United Religious Party

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

     That was what we were promised – “one united religious political party.” It did not last too long. The several Orthodox Zionist parties tried to build one “Habayit Hayehudi” by a very avant-garde system. Everyone would agree to disband his private political party, and well-known Orthodox Zionist community leaders would form a committee to choose the Knesset candidates for a unified Orthodox party. Beautiful idea!

 

     The first step was taken. All of the parties were disbanded. The committee of Orthodox Zionist leaders met and decided. The people were asked to vote by computer for their new leaders, but the vote would be just advisory and the committee would make the actual decision about which candidates should appear on the party list. The committee would only “take into consideration” the popular vote. In reality, the popular vote was ignored and a new relatively unknown leader, Rabbi Professor Daniel Hershkowitz, was chosen to head the new party.

 

     This was Orthodox Zionism’s big chance. Eight to 10 Knesset seats or more were predicted for this unified party. Orthodox Jews would all return from supporting non-religious parties (except, of course, for Feiglin) and we would be able to exert a great deal of influence. Mashiach must have been on his way because at least one group of Orthodox Jews was about to begin working together.

 

     As you can imagine, it did not last long. Despite Bibi’s trick to stop Feiglin from receiving a secure spot on the Likud’s candidate list, Feiglin did not understand that the non-religious did not want him in their party. He seems to have decided to remain in the Likud and give this non-religious party all of the votes of his religious supporters.

 

     It also seems that the public committee that was to choose unified Orthodox leaders forgot about inflated egos. Among the first to go was Effi Eitam, who did not receive a realistic spot on the new list, so he took his mandate and the 12- million-shekel government campaign allocation and presented it to the Likud. Now many more religious voters will be voting for the non-religious Likud Party. Eitam did not receive a seat for his gift, but rather explained that he will wait until the next elections. 

 

   Beni Ayalon, the former chairman of the Moledet Party and the chairman of the Knesset faction of the Ichud Haleumi and Mafdal, who also did not receive a realistic spot, decided to reincarnate his previous party and he quit the Bayit Hayehudi party. Uri Ariel, the chairman of Moledet, despite receiving the third slot in the Bayit Hayehudi list, also announced that he would return to Ichud Haleumi.

 

     Who is left? Just the Mafdal religious Zionists.

 

     Who will be next to leave?

 

     This is “unity”?

 

     I guess Mashiach will again be delayed.

 

    Comments may be sent to dov@gilor.com 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns//2008/12/31/

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