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May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Bayit Yehudi’

Arabs Leaders to Join Ethiopians in New Protest against Police

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Arab Knesset Members have announced they will join Ethiopians on Sunday in another protest against police violence and alleged racism.

A peaceful march last week turned violent when nearly 1,000 angry Ethiopians surfed towards the official residence of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu near downtown Jerusalem. Police at the scene used stun guns and water cannons to disperse the crowd after the demonstrators refused to retreat. The demonstrators pelted police with bottles and rocks.

The Ethiopian community is enraged over the exposure last week of two policemen in Holon, adjacent to Tel Aviv, beating an Ethiopian soldier, who was wearing a kippa, for no apparent reason.

Police arrested the soldier for supposedly having attacked them, but the video forced law enforcement officials to drop the charge and apologize. They also said that the two policemen, one of them a volunteer, have been suspended and that their actions do not reflect the values of the police.

The Ethiopian community is not buying the mea culpa and plans to protest today near Tel Aviv’s Azriella Towers, home of the fanciest malls in Israel.

At least two Arab Knesset Members, Ayman Odeh and Ahmed Tibi, have called on Arabs, who claim that police discriminate against them, to join the demonstration.

The Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party has not commented, despite thousands of incidents of police violence exercised against innocent settlers.

Nor have the bleeding heart left-wingers, who usually never miss the opportunity to show their support for minorities, uttered a word.

Hareidi leaders also have remained silent although they have plenty of reasons to complain about excess police violence.

Ethiopian leaders allege that police discriminate against them, but the silence from mainstream Israel indicates that the bias may be a lot deeper.

Meretz Warns against ‘Danger’ of Bennett as Education Minister

Monday, April 27th, 2015

The left-wing Meretz party, the one whose former Education Minister ruled out learning the Book of Joshua because it describes wars, is worried about the “danger” of national religious Naftali Bennett heading the ministry.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is considering Bennett as the next Minister of Education after Bennett gave up his demand to be Foreign Minister or Defense Minister.

Former Meretz chairman and Education Minister banned the Book of Joshua from the school system because it describes the successful wars fought by the Jewish People after they entered Israel.

Current Meretz leader Zehava Galon now wants to ban Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, from heading the ministry because he probably will fund religious schools no less than secular schools.

That would be undemocratic, according to the leftist definition of the word, by which any public money to promote Judaism comes at the expense of promoting democracy, which apparently is not only a religion in itself but also is the only religion.

Galon wrote on Facebook:

It is dangerous and irresponsible to place the Education portfolio in the hands of Naftali Bennett. Last year outrageous information showed that the Ministry of Education invested 56 million shekels ($14 million) in organizations linked with the study of Jewish values ​​compared to only 5.5 million shekels for those that promote democratic values. It is painful and frightening to imagine what those numbers will look like next year if Naftali Bennett will be appointed.

Her argument promotes the idea that Judaism contradicts democracy and vice-versa.

Sarid hates the Book of Joshua because it deals with reality. Sarid forgets that Israel fought wars only when the “peace process” did not work.

He told the Jerusalem Post he was “disgusted” at the idea of Bennett as Minister of Education.

Galon wrote that if Bennett will be the minister of Education, she will be looking over his right shoulder all the time to check where every shekel is allocated and perhaps how many copies of the Book of Joshua are bought for schools.

The Book of Joshua not only describes war and peace. It also includes the command of God to set up cities of refuge:

Speak to the children of Israel, saying, ‘Prepare for you cities of refuge, of which I spoke to you through Moses To which a slayer that kills any person unawares, unwittingly, shall flee and they shall be for you as a refuge from the avenger of blood.

What democracy other than Israel has such a principle that embodies the heart and soul of leftist ideology?

The ‘Almost’ Coalition: Bennett Education Minister and Lieberman FM

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Formation of a new government is almost complete after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali smoked a peace pipe on Friday.

Bennett has backed down on his party taking over the post of Foreign Minister, which Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman will retain, or Defense Minister, where the Likud’s Moshe Ya’alon will continue to run.

Instead, Bennett will head the Education Ministry, a plum because of its budget allocations that include national religious institutions. He will give up the post as Minister of Economy, which Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio said may be filled by Silvan Shalom of the Likud.

Bayit Yehudi will get two other posts. Uri Ariel will serve as Minister of Agriculture, which is important for Jordan Valley farmers as well as those in Judea and Samaria, and Ayelet Shaked reportedly will be Minister of Sport and Culture. Pensioners’ affairs and responsibility for national service, such as Sherut Leumi for girls and boys who prefer that option as an alternative to IDF service, probably will be attached to the ministry.

Shas is slated to head the Religious Affairs Ministry under a compromise with Bayit Yehudi, whose Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan probably will be deputy minister.

The last remaining puzzle in the coalition is the Yehadut HaTorah (UTJ) party, but with all the other pieces in place, Netanyahu should have no problem finalizing the coalition by the end of this week or shortly after, meeting the latest deadline granted by President Reuven Rivlin.

One other question is what ministry will be run by senior Likud MK Shalom, who was Minister for Development in the Galilee and Negev in the last government. The best bet is that he will replace Bennett as Minister of Economy.

The proposed coalition, for now, includes Sofa Landver continuing as Minister of Immigration, and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kachlon as Finance Minister. His party also is slated to head the Environment and Housing Ministries.

Yisrael Katz of the Likud will continue as Minister of Transportation, and Voice of Israel reported that Yuval Steinitz will be the new Minister for Public Security.

That will be good news for the public at large following a miserable defense of the police by outgoing Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich. Several senior police officers have been dismissed or are under investigation for sexual harassment.  Aharonovich also has been under constant criticism for ignoring police brutality.

The proposed coalition is a far cry from the previous government, which was doomed from the outset with the inclusion of Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid.

With all coalition partners more or less seeing eye to eye on most foreign and domestic policies, the next government has a chance of achieving a rare feat and staying in office until the end of its four-year term, sparing Israeli voters of another exasperating election until 2019

Bennett Flexes Muscles and Threatens to Knock Out Coalition

Monday, April 20th, 2015

Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett used Twitter late Sunday night to warn Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he can forget about a right-wing coalition if he fulfills a pre-election promise to give the Shas Sephardi Hareidi party control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Bennett was in charge of the ministry in the last government and is not willing to leave the national religious community out in the cold and let a Hareidi party reverse a trend to weaken the authority of the Hareidi establishment.

Bennett wrote:

Unilaterally taking the Ministry of Religious Affairs away from the national religious community and handing it over to Shas means the end of negotiations with Bayit Yehudi.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is asking President Reuven Rivlin for another two weeks to form a coalition.

The truth is that if the Prime Minister had run out of extensions, he and the potential coalition partners would have struck a deal now. As usual, everyone uses the clock to play chicken with each other.

Netanyahu knows that Bennett and Shas chairman Aryeh Deri are not prepared to force him into a corner without a coalition. And Bennett and Aryeh know that that if they do so, there always is the option of a national unity government with the dreaded Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni. Going that route would make the last Titanic coalition look like the Queen Elizabeth, so you can count on everyone finding common ground.

But how can Netanyahu get out of this mess created by promising the Religious Affairs Ministry to Shas when Bennett blocks it with a red line?

Easy.

Netanyahu can simply declare himself Minister of Religious Affairs and appoint two deputies – Bennett and Deri.

We wanted a Jewish country, right?

So we come up with Jewish solutions.

Two Jews, three ministers.

Liberman and Bennett Teaming Up Against Netanyahu

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) said that Bayit Yehudi will not let Shas get the Religious Affairs Ministry, even if it means blowing up the negotiations, according to Nana10.

Shaked said the Bayit Yehudi party would not abandon all the achievements it made on religion and state issues.

Channel 2 reports that Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) and Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) have reached an agreement so that Bayit Yehudi would stop demanding the Foreign Ministry from PM Netanyahu, which is the ministry that Liberman wants; in exchange Liberman would help Bennett get the Religious Affairs Ministry, which the Hareidi Shas party is demanding, and at this point is expected to get.

Bennett also wants either the Defense or Foreign Ministry, but would be willing to settle for less if properly compensated with additional, smaller ministries as well as an alternative senior position. Netanyahu supposedly promised Bennett the Defense Minsitry before the elections, when it was thought Bayit Yehudi would have at least 12 seats.

Liberman and Bennett would both work together to prevent Netanyahu from bringing the Zionist Union into the coalition.

Yitzchak Herzog (Zionist Union) again said that he would not be joining the coalition with Netanyahu, and will be in the opposition working to replace Netanyahu.

It appears that Netanyahu wanted to save negotiating with Liberman for last, after he had 61 seats on board from the other coalition partners. This would have given Liberman very little negotiating power.

But Netanyahu isn’t making his most natural partner, Bayit Yehudi, very happy at the moment, and the plan may have backfired.

One of the latest rumors says that Bayit Yehudi will receive four ministries, of which Naftali Bennett would receive both the Ministry of the Economy and the Intelligence Ministry.

The other two ministies they would get are Agriculture for Uri Ariel and Senior Citizens for Ayelet Shaked.

Yisrael Hayom, which is close to Netanyahu, says that the Likud will keep 12 ministries, including: Defense, Justice, Interior Security, Communications, Transportation, Social and Education.

Marzel and Bennett Suffering from Post-Election Trauma

Friday, April 3rd, 2015

Yachad party election loser Baruch Marzel and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett still are licking their wounds more than two weeks after the elections in which Yachad was blanked out of the Knesset and Bayit Yehudi lost four seats.

Yachad’s failure to win the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset meant that three seats were lost to the national religious bloc. It is assumed that at least two of them would have gone to the Jewish Home party and a third possibly to Shas

Marzel is not chairman of Yachad, but he wins hand down for getting the most headlines, given his ability to provoke fierce reactions to his activism and blunt speech.

He has no regrets that Yachad ran in the elections, despite warnings that it would fail at the polls and weaken the Bayit Yehudi and Shas parties.

He told Arutz Sheva, “We did the right thing, we brought in more power, and we tried hard to pass the threshold. But, on the other hand, there is no doubt that we failed.”

He then went on a rant against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for doing “terrible things, hurting the national religious public and communities, the destruction of outposts – it hurts.”

Yachad still is crying “foul” and claiming that it lost enough votes to enter the Knesset because of “thousands of fake votes.”

He figures that there will not be an investigation because elections judges “can’t afford to take a mandate from Yesh Atid and Labor and put Baruch Marzel in the Knesset.”

Bennett, chairman of Bayit Yehudi, was stoic when the election results were announced. He said that although the Bayit Yehudi’s eight seats in the Knesset are four less than in the previous session, he is certain Netanyahu knows that those seats went to the Prime Minister’s Likud party after a last-minute media blitz that continued even on the day of elections.

Netanyahu is too much of a veteran politician to express gratitude to another party, and Bennett is insulted.

A leaked audio that was broadcast on Army Radio Thursday revealed that Bennett ripped into Netanyahu during a meeting with Bayit Yehudi supporters, some of whom heckled Bennett.

Bennett wants to be Defense Minister of Foreign Minister, but Netanyahu is giving him the cold shoulder.

Bennett accused the Prime Minister of treating the Bayit Yehudi as a party of “suckers” by offering the party to choose between the Education Ministry and Foreign Affairs Ministry, although Netanyahu already may have reserved that for Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman.

Netanyahu was not impressed by Bennett’s anger, and stated, “Bennett is in dire straits because he has not found a partner to gang up on Likud.” referring to Bennett’s luvvy-duvvy relationship with Yesh Lapid in the previous  government.

Bennett’s biggest fear is that Netanyahu will reward the Shas Sephardi Haredi party with the Religious Ministry of Education ministry, at the cost of the national religious sector.

Meanwhile Moshe Kachlon, chairman of the new Kulanu party, continues to act as if he has post-election delusions. He won 10 seats in the Knesset and already has insisted that being Finance Minister is not enough. Kachlon wants to veto Netanyahu’s desire to choose a Haredi Knesset Member to head the Knesset Finance Committee and also wants one of his party’s MKs to head the Environment or Housing ministry.

Understand Israeli Elections – Here’s a Primer, Part 1

Friday, March 13th, 2015

The Israeli political system is radically different from the one in the United States. The most obvious differences are that Israel is a parliamentary system with more than 20 potential parties in the mix, unlike just the two standard American parties, the Democrats and the Republicans.

This year 26 parties are vying for positions in the upcoming vote, 11 of which are likely to pass the threshold requirement for becoming part of the next Knesset.

The first step of this year’s Israeli election to determine who makes it into the Knesset at all, then which parties will form the governing coalition, and finally, who will be the prime minister of the state of Israel, takes place next Tuesday, March 17.

The date was set by a formal meeting in early December, of all the then-current Knesset party leaders. Those leaders chose the date for the election to take place in just four months. While four months is a dramatically short campaign period by American standards, Israeli law permits only five months to elapse between the dissolution of one Knesset and the election for the next.

Election day is a big deal in Israel. Virtually everything, except the polling places, is closed. Free transportation is provided for any voter who needs it to reach their regular polling place.

On March 17,  all eligible voters – every Israeli citizen over 18 years of age – can vote. That includes Arabs, Muslims, Christians and Jews, men and women, able-bodied and those with disabilities. There is no voter registration system; every citizen is automatically registered once they turn 18. Nearly six million Israelis are eligible to vote in this year’s election.

MARCH 17: THE BALLOT BOX

Eligible Israeli voters go to polling places in their neighborhoods. There are more than 10,000 polling places throughout this tiny country. Most open at 7:00 a.m. and remain open until 10:00 p.m.

Turnout for Israeli elections has been declining for years, but it’s still well over 60 percent. In the U.S., turnout has been in the low-to mid 50 percent zone since the early 1970’s.

Before entering the voting booth, each voter is handed an envelope. Inside the booth is a tray, with different strips of paper. Each strip of paper includes the name and symbol of a party. The voter chooses the slip of paper which has the name and symbol of the party for whom they wish to vote, and puts that piece of paper in the envelope they were handed. After leaving the booth the voter places the envelope with their chosen party slip into the ballot box.

Israeli voters choose parties, not individual candidates, which, among other things, means their national representation is ideological, not geographic, and the vote is proportional, meaning the 120 Knesset seats are divvied up in proportion to each party’s percentage of the total vote. There is a minimum threshold for a party to meet before it can sit in the Knesset. That minimum is currently set at 3.25 percent of the total votes cast, which translates into four seats.

PHASE TWO: HORSE TRADING

Once the polling places close and the ballots are counted, the second phase of the Israeli election begins, the one frequently described as “horse trading.” In order to have the right to form a government and choose the prime minister, a group of parties needs to be able to control a majority of the Israeli Knesset, the single chamber Israeli legislature. The Knesset has 120 seats.

With so many parties competing, no single one has ever attained that magic number of 61 seats, and it is even likely that three or more parties need to agree to work together to form the ruling coalition. Therefore, parties which have been thrashing each other in public now start eying each other as potential dance partners, trying to figure out with whom they can create a functioning coalition to run the government.

This coalition building phase is a little bit like when, after a brutal primary in the U.S., the second place vote getter and the winner frequently kiss, make up, and agree to live with each other as their party’s candidate for president and vice president during the general election. But several different parties and lots of individual members of those parties are all added into the Israeli decision making mix. It isn’t easy.

But first let’s back up. How were the individuals on each party’s list chosen?

     PARTY LISTS

As soon as the Knesset is dissolved, either because it reached its four year expiration date, or because it is dispersed for some other reason (such as happened in the current case, when Prime Minister Netanyahu asked the Knesset to disperse and the Knesset unanimously agreed, on Dec. 8), the parties begin internal negotiations to determine who will be on their official “list,” and in what order. The higher up on the list one is, the greater the likelihood of actually making it into the Knesset.

There are various systems for determining who are included, and where they are placed, on each party’s list, including voting by the party leadership. Additional factors are taken into consideration, such as whether enough women are included, whether there are security experts represented, whether certain ethnic minorities will be included.

     PRIME MINISTER SELECTION

How does one of the party members then become the prime minister? Israel’s president, currently former Knesset member Ruby Rivlin, selects the member of Knesset believed to have the best chance of forming a viable coalition government, given the election results. This can take some time until the parties are able to align so that they can govern together.

Some of the horse trading here involves party leaders with high numbers demanding significant ministry positions in exchange for pledging their party’s support. Compare this to the ability of the U.S. president, once elected, then deciding who will become the various cabinet members.

This phase is incredibly complicated. For example, right now at least five different parties will be needed to join together to create a ruling coalition. And it is not as if just the top five vote-getting parties will join together, because of differences in ideology.

For example, the tiny far left Meretz party, which currently is polling at five seats, thought it would be able to create a power bloc by pairing up with the Joint Arab List. The Arab group dashed those hopes, claiming they would not join with “Zionists.”

Another complicating factor is that certain parties have claimed they will not join in a coalition with Netanyahu, and the Likud has ruled out creating a coalition with other parties, including the current frontrunner, the so-called “Zionist Union.” That party is a joining together of the center-left Labor party and Tzipi Livni and her entourage. Livni has changed parties so many times in the past few years most people just refer to this new party as Labor-Livni.

Once finally selected, the prime minister announces the formation of a new Knesset and the offices each minister will hold.

January 29 was the deadline for all parties to submit their lists of candidates. As of that date, the following parties had the following members in the following order (the parties are listed in terms of their most recent polling status):

ZIONIST UNION (1) Isaac Herzog (2) Tzipi Livni (3) Shelly Yachimovich (4) Stav Shaffir (5) Itzik Shmuly (6) Omer Bar-Lev (7) Hilik Bar (8) Amir Peretz (9) Merav Michaeli (10) Eitan Cabel (11) Manuel Trajtenberg (12) Erel Margalit (13) Mickey Rosenthal (14) Revital Swid (15) Danny Atar (16) Yoel Hassan (17) Zuhair Bahloul (18) Eitan Broshi (19) Michal Biran (20) Nachman Shai (21) Ksenia Svetlova (22) Ayelet Nahmias Verbin (23) Yossi Yona (24)Eyal Ben-Reuven (25) Yael Cohen-Paran. The left-center Zionist Union was forged by combining Labor and Tzipi Livni and her followers, has very recently been polling at between 20 and 24 seats.

LIKUD: (1) Benjamin Netanyahu (2) Gilad Erdan (3) Yuli Edelstein (4) Yisrael Katz (5) Miri Regev (6)Silvan Shalom (7) Moshe Ya’alon (8) Ze-ev Elkin (9) Danny Danon (10) Yariv Levin (11) Benny Begin (12) Tzachi Hanegbi (13) Yuval Steinitz (14) Gila Gamliel (15) Ophir Akunis (16) David Bitan (17) Haim Katz (18) Jackie Levy (19) Yoav Kish (20) Tzipi Hotovely (21) Dudu Amsalem (22) Miki Zohar (23) Dr. Anat Berko (24) Ayoob Kara (25) Nava Boker. Likud has been polling at between 26 and 20 seats, most recently declining.

YESH ATID (1) Yair Lapid (2) Shai Piron (3) Yael German (4) Meir Cohen (5) Yaakov Peri (6) Ofer Shelah (7) Haim Yalin (8) Karine Elharrar (9) Yoel Razvozov (10) Alize Lavie (11) Mickey Levy (12) Elazar Stern (13) Pnina Tamano-Shata (14) Boaz Toporovsky (15) Ruth Calderon. Yesh Atid focuses on social and economic issues and was brand new for the last elections. Yesh Atid has been polling at around 10 – 13 seats.

JOINT ARAB LIST (1) Aiman Uda (Hadash) (2) Masud Ganaim (Islamic Movement (3) Ahmad Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) (4) Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash (6) Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya (Islamic Movement) (7) Haneen Zoabi (Balad) (8) Dov Khenin (Hadash) (9) Taleb Abu Arar (Islamic Movement). The Joint Arab party has been polling between 11 and 13 seats.

BAYIT YEHUDI (1) Naftali Bennett (2) Uri Ariel (3) Ayelet Shaked (4) Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan(5) Nissan Slomiansky (6) Yinan Magal (7) Moti Yogev (8) Bezalel Smotrich (9) Shuli Mualem (10) Avi Wortzman (11) Nir Orbach (12) rabbi Avi Rontzki (13) Orit Struck (14) Anat Roth (15) Ronen Shoval. Bayit Yehudi, the religious Zionist party, has recently been polling between 10 and 14 seats.

KULANU (1) Moshe Kahlon (2) Yoav Galant (3) Eli Alalouf (4) Michael Oren (5) Rachel Azaria (6)Tali Ploskov (7) Dr. Yifat Shasha-Biton (8) Eli Cohen (9) Roy Folkman (10)Merav Ben-Ari. Kulanu is a brand new party created by its number one on the list. Kahlon is understood to have destroyed the cell phone monopoly in Israel. Kahlon has not ruled out joining with Likud or Zionist Union. His determination to be the next finance minister is well-known. Kulanu has been polling around 8 – 10 seats.

SHAS (1) Aryeh Deri (2) Yitzhak Cohen (3) Meshulam Nahari (4) Yakov Margi (5) David Azoulay (6) Yoav Ben-Tzur (7) Yitzhak Vaknin (8) Avraham Michaeli. Shas (the Sephardi Haredi party which has experienced severe upheaval since its leader, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef’s death in Oct. 2013) has been polling pretty consistently at 7 seats.

UNITED TORAH JUDAISM (1) Yaakov Litzman (2) Moshe Gafni (3) Meir Porush (4) Uri Maklev (5)Menachem Eliezer Moses (6) Israel Eichler (7) Yaakov Asher (8) Eliezer Sorotzkin. UTJ, the Ashkenazi charedi party, has recently been polling between 6 and 7 seats.

YISRAEL BEITEINU (1) Avigdor Lieberman (2) Orly Levy-Abekasis (3) Sofa Landver (4) Ilan Shohat (5) Sharon Gal (6) Hamad Amar (7) Robert Ilatov. Yisrael Beiteinu is identified with the Russian immigrants and is considered right wing, although it does not believe in annexing Judea and Samaria. It has been polling at 5 seats for quite some time.

MERETZ (1) Zehava Gal-on (2) Ilan Gilon (3) Issawi Frej (4) Michal Rozin (5) Tamar Zandberg (6) Mossi Raz (7) Gaby Lasky. Meretz, which is left on social and Arab-Israeli issues, has been polling pretty consistently at around 5 seats.

YACHAD (1) Eli Yishai (2) Yoni Chetboun (3) Michael Ayash (4) Baruch Marzel (5) Sasson Trebelsi. Yachad, only recently created as a split off from Shas, has been polling between 4 – 6 seats.

Other parties which are not expected to reach the threshold number of votes include the Green Party, the Green Leaf (legalize marijuana) Party, Rent with Honor Party, the Economics Party, a Charedi Women’s Party (called Ubezchutan) and even something called the Pirate Party. Gotta love Israelis.

JewishPress.com will post another primer once the elections reach the second phase: assembling the ruling coalition.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/understand-israeli-elections-heres-a-primer-part-1/2015/03/13/

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