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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Netanyahu’

Ayoub Kara Demands Cabinet Seat, Or Else

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Druze Likud MK Ayoub Kara has demanded PM Netanyahu make him a minister, or else.

Kara said that this coalition must include a Druze minister to let everyone know the Druze are an integral part of the country.

Kara later clarified that he did not threaten to take down the government.

Kara first entered the Knesset in 2003, and has been in and out depending on the fortunes of the Likud.

There is a Coalition!

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Naftali Bennett and Benjamin Netanyahu have officially reached an agreement, and the Bayit Yehudi party will be joining the coalition, giving Netanyahu the 61 seats he needed before midnight tonight to form his coalition government.

Bennett will be the Education Minister, Minister of Diaspora Affairs,  as well as Deputy Minister of Defense in charge of the Civil Adminsitration. Uri Ariel will be the Agriculture Minister with control over the Settlement Division.

And Ayelet Shaked will be the Justice Minister, and will chair the ministerial committee for legislation and the judicial appointments committee.

Naftali Bennett said, “This isn’t a rightwing government, this isn’t a leftwing government, and this isn’t a center government. It is a government of all the nation of of Israel.”

There will be an official signing within a few days. PM Netanyahu spoke with President Rivlin and informed him that he has a coalition, and the Knesset will be convened soon to vote on the new government.

Netanyahu Wants Restrictions on the Minister of Justice

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

Benjamin Netanyahu pulled a twist on Naftali Bennett, reportedly agreeing that Shaked could be Minister of Justice, but with a few very significant restrictions, specifically that Shaked would not have the ability to select judges or make other judicial appointments, and won’t be sitting on the ministerial committee for legislation and the judicial appointments committee.

Bennett has reportedly responded that he will only accept the complete Ministry of Justice.

Netanyahu doesn’t want Bayit Yehudi selecting the next Attorney General, and he doesn’t want a head-on confrontation with the High Court.

The battle continues.

Tonight at Midnight: Netanyahu’s Moment of Truth

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

By midnight, Wednesday, Benjamin Netanyahu is obligated under Israeli law to go up to the Reuven Rivlin’s presidential palace and declare whether or not he has been successful in cobbling together a coalition government.

Bibi has run out of time, and there will be no more time extensions. It’s his moment of truth.

Unfortunately, as of Wednesday morning, he is far from having a the minimum 61-member coalition that could receive the Knesset’s vote of confidence.

Netanyahu’s troubles have come from the two parties he thought he had in his pocket and thus took for granted and abused: Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu—6 seats, and Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi-8 seats.

So far, Netanyahu has secured only 53 seats, his talks with Liberman have been severed by the resigning Foreign Minister, and they appear to be on the rocks with Bennett.

Here’s an interesting point: Liberman, who is considered by many Israelis—and most of the country’s media—to be a cynical vote broker, exemplifying that with his left-right-left-right zig-zagging before the elections, quit the negotiations in a huff solely over ideological issues.

A source connected to the Yisrael Beytenu party told JewishPress.com that Netanyahu offered Liberman to continue as the Foreign Minister, and also offered him all the ministries he asked for.

Netanyahu’s previous (third) government, made serious changes in its social agreement with the Chareidi population – some good, some bad, and some good but done in a bad way.

In a collaboration between Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Economy Minister Bennett, and the entire coalition, Netanyahu’s previous government significantly reduced child welfare payments (which hurt the Chareidi population the most), and legislated draft laws that were, at least on paper, more draconian than previous ones–though in implementation, they actually reduced Chareidi enlistment instead of increasing it. The same government also used the budget to encourage Chareidi men and women to hit the job market, including a push to get them into universities.

In addition, the same government empowered the religious-Zionist agenda in areas of rabbinic officiating, such as marriages for non-religious Israeli Jews, or conversions for non-Jewish Israelis.

But in his haste to forge a government with UTJ and Shas parties, Netanyahu handed the Chareidi parties the offices empowered to roll back many of those reforms and achievements.

Speaking on Israel Radio Wednesday morning, Liberman said: “In recent days has been shown that the Likud sold out all its principles budgets to the Chareidim, and all that remains is a debate over ministerial portfolios. The debate of the past few hours is exclusively about increasing the number of ministers and deputy ministers, and there is no substantive discussion.”

Liberman is apparently fed up with Netanyahu, his ally for more than twenty years. Liberman supported him loyally, even in decisions he despised (twice he gave his cabinet vote to a decision not to conclude heavy Gaza skirmishes with the elimination of Hamas–he explicitly demanded the destruction of Hamas in these coalition negotiations).

He’s done it while being pursued for years by the judiciary civil service over seemingly unending corruption cases, none of which have ever actually found him guilty. His deputies have been investigated several times over, but police has been unable to connect their alleged crimes to Liberman.

Naftali Bennett is yet another long-time ally who feels taken for granted and used.

For one thing, Netanyahu’s amazing vote sweep in the last few days of the March election campaign came directly from Bayit Yehudi voters. Bennett and company happily obliged this sucker-punch move, setting up a right-wing rally in Kikar Rabin where they practically called on upwards of 100 thousand of their voters to switch to Bibi.

The Likud’s rise came directly from that rally at Bennett’s expense.

And while Naftali Bennett was the first politician Netanyahu called after the elections, Bayit Yehudi was almost the last party Bibi called on for serious negotiations after he had already signed away the Ministry of Religious Affairs to Shas, so the Aryeh Deri could highlight all of Bennett’s achievements in the area of religion services reform in Israel, and then press DELETE.

Now, taking advantage of Liberman’s angry departure, Bennett upped the ante—demanding major offices in return for joining, most important among them the Ministry of Justice, which he wants to hand over to his partner, Ayelet Shaked.

This is probably the most fun thing a National-Religious leader has had the pleasure of doing, ever.

The Left has been using Israel’s Justice department as their bulwark against the Right: appointments of a long line of anti-settlement Attorney Generals? It’s Justice department. Promotions of insider, radical leftwing judges who haven’t met a deceptive “Palestinian” land seller? Justice department again. Legislation that subverts the will of the voter in favor of the will of a tiny, self-appointing judicial minority? Justice department. Blatantly undemocratic, politically motivated investigations against popular, right wing leaders (including Netanyahu)? What do you know, it’s that Justice department again.

It’s no wonder Peace Now has called the notion of appointing Ayelet Shaked Minister of Justice “Tzelem Ba’heichal” – like placing a idol of Zeus in the Holy Temple’s inner sanctuary. For them it really is nothing less.

Yesterday Bennett handed the Likud his list of demands and disappeared from sight. No interviews, Not answering the Likud’s calls. A game of chicken—with little to lose.

Especially when Bennett suspects that the reason he was offered third-tier ministries was because Netanyahu planns to fire him following negotiatiations with Yitzchak Herzog (Zionist Camp) when no longer under deadline pressures.

The Likud spread rumors that Bayit Yehudi also demanded Defense, or the Foreign Ministry for Bennett, alongside the Judiciary.

One Likud MK joked that he’s surprised Bennett didn’t go so far as demand a rotation agreement for Prime Minister.

It’s a sellers market, and Bennett, who had at least one successful business exit, is going for broke.

Netanyahu has more to lose from a new election, assuming Zionist Camp’s Yitzhak Herzog fails to cobble a government together should President Rivlin assign him the task after midnight tonight.

In a new election, Liberman’s and Bennett’s voters, who bought the Likud’s argument that only a strong Netanyahu could represent the right—all those angry voters will come back home, giving Liberman back his 12 mandates, Bennett his 12 to 16, and Bibi — will be much reduced, with 20 or so seats.

It’s going to be an interesting day.

Report: Bibi Blinks First, Ayelet Shaked to be Justice Minister

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

According to senior Israeli journalist Ben Caspit, Netanyahu “folded” and agreed to appoint Ayelet Shaked as Justice Minister, following Bennett’s counter-threats.

Bayit Yehudi’s Naftali Bennett went all the way in his game of chicken with Netanyahu, and apparently Netanyahu felt he had more to lose.

If the report is accurate, and Bennett (or Netanyahu) has no additional demands, Netanyahu’s coalition may now be under way.

Read Ayelet Shaked’s exclusive article on JewishPress.com.

Bennett Goes Underground as Likud’s Anxiety Increases

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi party, completely cut off communications today as negotiations with the Likud reached an impasse, just a day before Netanyahu’s deadline to form a coalition. No one from the Likud party was able to reach him, no matter how hard they tried. It’s a trick he clearly learned and perfected from Avigdor Liberman.

Bennett believes that Netanyahu is short-changing his party with unreasonable offers and low-level ministries, as well as giving too much to Shas and in particular the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

One rumor has it that Bennett is concerned that Netanyhu is just biding time and creating a temporary coalition until the Zionist Camp can dump Tzipi Livni, at which point it will join Netanyahu’s coalition, replacing the Bayit Yehudi party.

Breaking his silence on Tuesday evening, according to Channel 2, Bennett has demanded the Justice Portfolio for Ayelet Shaked, and that she be appointed as early as next week.

One of Bennett’s major goals is a reform of Israel’s High Court, and in particular, restricting their judicial activism, limiting their ability to unilaterally override legislative decisions made by the democratically elected Knesset, and democratizing the judicial selection process, so future judges better represent the values of the nation, and not just the far left. Currently, current High Court judges effectively select their successors.

Netanyahu does not want an open battle with the High Court this term, and as such, he has been trying to keep control of the Ministry of Justice within the Likud.

One thing is certain, the right will never forgive Netanyahu if he doesn’t form a coalition with Bennett, and instead brings in the Zionist Camp.

Avigdor Liberman Resigning from FM, Quitting Coalition, Heading to Opposition

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) dropped a political bombshell today, and apparently not as a negotiating tactic, when he announced he is quitting as Foreign Minister and his party will not be joining PM Netanyahu’s coalition.

Liberman, unhappy with the directions of the negotiations said his party will be sticking to its principles, and as a result, will be joining the opposition. He wants Hamas destroyed and construction in the settlements. He also wants to be Foreign Minister again, which Netanyahu doesn’t want.

Sources close to Netanyahu have said that the Likud will be keeping the Foreign Ministry.

Netanyahu has until Wednesday to form a coalition.

Even without the Yisrael Beytenu party, Netanyahu can still form a coalition of 61 with his remaining “natural” partners – Kulanu and the various religious parties. But Netanyahu has been unable to seal the deal as Shas and Bayit Yehudi are in an intractable fight over the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Yisrael Beytenu’s exit may be a blessing for Netanyahu, as it frees up some of Liberman’s ministries which Netanyahu can now offer to his remaining potential partners.

Liberman has claimed that Netanyahu wants to bring in the Zionist Camp (Labor) into the coalition.

Within the Zionist Camp, an open revolt has begun against Tzipi Livni, with Shelly Yechimovitch publicly proclaiming that she does not see Livni as the co-head of the party, after boycotting the Zionist Camp party meeting.

If it weren’t so late in the coalition negotiations game, this could have been the first shot in removing Livni from the party, and paving the way for Labor to enter the coalition, and forming a ‘National Unity’ government.

Yitzchak Herzog has denied he planned to join Netanyahu’s coalition at any point. Herzog believes that Netanyahu’s coalition will be “unstable” and “doomed to failure.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/avigdor-liberman-resigning-from-fm-quiting-coalition-heading-to-opposition/2015/05/04/

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