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Posts Tagged ‘Central Committee’

Likud Set to Approve Primary Elections Scheme, Barak Excluded

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The method of the primaries for the Likud’s Knesset list was drafted by the Likud’s Constitutional Committee last night and is set to be approved by the party’s Central Committee this evening in Ganei HaTa’aruchah in Tel Aviv.

The scheme does not include the reserving of secure spots on the list – spots within the number of seats Likud is certain to win – for candidates chosen by Party Chairman PM Benjamin Netanyahu.

It was rumored that Netanyahu wanted such spots for Defense Minister Ehud Barak and possibly other members of Barak’s Independence faction which broke off from Labor some time ago.

MK Danny Danon spoke out vigorously against the possibility and Netanyahu consistently denied that he had any plans for such a thing, despite a report in Ma’ariv which said Netanyahu sought to create one reserved spot for every ten spots on the list.

Like the Likud’s 2006 Knesset list, the party’s list for the upcoming elections will include spots for immigrant, women, non-Jews and various geographic districts in the bottom of the first thirty-five spots on the list, while the top will be filled by candidates ranked nationally by voters.

The date for the primaries will be November 25th, slightly later than the mid-November – November 22nd dates which had been reported, giving candidates additional time to campaign. That should help the elections become more of a contest instead of a mere ratification of the previous Knesset list.

While the Likud has not formally released the draft primary scheme, according to Ma’ariv, the list will be as follows:  The first spot will go to the party chairman, PM Benjamin Netanyahu, who was reelected to that post in January of this year. (By law the party chairman is the party’s candidate for Prime Minister). Spots 2-21 will be for nationally ranked candidates.

The next 14 spots will be “mashbetzot” – separate races among special districts or demographics in the follow order: The Shphelah (Plain) district; the Dan district;  the Women’s spot; the Druze spot; Galil and Valleys district; the Negev; Jerusalem; another women’s spot; an immigrants spot; Tel Aviv; Haifa; the Coastal Plain;  and the young members spot at number 34.

In addition, Ha’aretz has reported that under the scheme, if there is no immigrant or female candidate ranked at number 20 and 21 or above, then a female or immigrant candidate on the national portion of the list will be moved up to those spots. This is considered a nod to Coalition Chairman MK Ze’ev Elkin who is an immigrant.

Ha’aretz‘s report also differed from Ma’ariv‘s in that it said the women’s spot Ma’ariv had placed at number 24 will actually appear at 29.

It does not appear that there will be any problem in adopting the scheme as Moshe Feiglin, a candidate for the Likud’s list and leader of the anti-establishment Manhigut Yehudit faction  - which is said to comprise thousands of Likud members and hundreds of Central Committee members – urged his supporters in the Central Committee to approve the primaries scheme in a text message sent last night.

The approval of the scheme by which candidates will be elected in primaries, puts to rest, at least for now, another scheme which had been proposed by MK Mickey Eitan to have the Knesset list chosen by a body comprised of several thousand activists and another reported proposal to have the Central Committee once again choose the Knesset list. Those would have required amendments to the Likud’s Constitution.

Editor’s Note: The writer is an active member of the Likud and a member of the Likud’s Central Committee.

Likud MKs, Central Committee, Ulpana Hill Residents, in Pushback Against Court, AG, Barak

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Aryeh Laskar, a middle aged Jewish man with a salt-and-pepper, long beard, white shirt and black slacks, tells me he has lived in Ulpana Hill for ten years with his wife and their seven children. We spoke right before the start of a very large meeting of Likud’s Central Committee, assembled outside the 14 buildings of Ulpana Hill in Bet El, to show solidarity with the local residents.

Ulpana Hill resident Aryeh Laskar says his situation will be dire if an evacuation takes place.

Ulpana Hill resident Aryeh Laskar says his situation will be dire if an evacuation takes place.

“The town bought this land, it was legally purchased, we have all the documents,” he says, “and now some other Arab showed up, proving this land belongs to him. There appears to have been a dispute inside their family over who actually owned the land. And they got help from Peace Now, to come forward and say the land is theirs, so our homes would be evacuated and demolished.”

But this is not a simple case of Buyer Beware, where a home owner is penalized for his failure to perform due diligence. The state is involved, as well. The state created the infrastructure for the neighborhood and backed the mortgages.

The most recent apartment sale in the neighborhood, ground floor, 4 rooms and a yard, according to Laskar, went for NIS 800 thousand ($ 212,500). The High Court has decreed that 14 apartment buildings with roughly 50 apartments must be destroyed. At current market rates, then, the cost to the state in defaulted mortgages alone, never mind the cost of relocating about 250 people (more than 140 children live in the buildings), would come to $10 million.

Both Aryeh and his wife are teachers, both employed in local towns. Losing their home here would also mean two new unemployed Israelis and a new welfare case.

The fact that Israel’s Supreme Court and the Attorney General are prepared to endure these social and financial costs might suggest a kind of zeal one normally attributes to religious fanatics. Rather than pursuing a pragmatic, financial compensation to the claimant, as is normal in similar civil cases, both the high court and the AG appear hell bent on getting Justice.

Barbara Dorevitch (r.) and her daughter Judy Simon cannot imagine an evacuation happening.

Barbara Dorevitch (r.) and her daughter Judy Simon cannot imagine an evacuation taking place.

I asked Ulpana residents Barbara Dorevitch and her daughter Judy Simon, who has six children of her own, what their options were should the bulldozers start arriving, come May 15.

“It can’t happen,” said Judy, emphatically. “If, God forbid, these buildings were to be destroyed, it would encourage other Arabs to come up and claim that land that was sold by other Arabs was actually theirs. They just did that for six families in Hebron.”

As usual, everything that’s wrong with Israel’s political/judiciary system comes to light in the most acute way in Judea and Samaria, as became apparent from the speeches and the occasional heckles at Sunday night’s Likud party assembly of solidarity with the residents of Ulpana Hill in Bet El, in the Benjamin region.

Among the assembled in Bet El were a few individuals who came adorned with orange-colored articles of clothing, reminders of Gush Katif. And there was the quiet old man who was tirelessly displaying his orange poster “We shall not forget – We shall not forgive,” with photographs of synagogues that were incinerated upon what was once euphemized as the “disengagement,” and nowadays has been dubbed the “expulsion.”

Although memorabilia of the 2005 shameful destruction of Gush Katif by a Jewish and quite right wing government were kept to a minimum, there might as well have been a giant banner of those burning synagogues, homes, grass lawns, orchards and hothouses, dangling from the pale, blue sky above the proceedings. Because at stake, and on the minds of all the political dignitaries who came to show their support, were not only the possibility of the destruction of a few apartment buildings, but the encroaching new phase in anti-settlement tactics: the creeping erosion, as Deputy Knesset Chairman, MK Danny Danon coined it, of the entire settlement endeavor.

MK Jacob Katz (Ketzale), a resident of Bet El, expressed gratitude to the assembled Likudniks, wishing to share in their coalition government come next elections.

MK Jacob Katz (Ketzale), a resident of Bet El, expressed gratitude to the assembled Likudniks, wishing to share in their coalition government come next elections.

Labor Agrees To Join Likud-Led Government

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

The Labor Party voted Tuesday to join the Likud-led coalition government, virtually guaranteeing that Benjamin Netanyahu will be Israel’s next prime minister.

After a contentious meeting of the Labor Central Committee, members voted 680-507 to join the coalition, which already includes Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas. The vote provides Netanyahu the Knesset majority he needs to form a new government.

Labor’s decision has important implications for the country and the party.

Arguing in favor of joining the government, Labor leader Ehud Barak told party members that Labor’s participation in the coalition was necessary to counteract right-wing forces, ensure that Israel remains committed to the peace process and help the country face uniquely grave threats from Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas.

“We won’t be anyone’s fig leaf or anyone’s third wheel,” Barak told the Central Committee. “We will act as an opposing force that will ensure there will not be a narrow right-wing government, but a real government that looks after the State of Israel.”

In exchange for Labor joining the coalition, Netanyahu agreed to commit the government to all agreements signed by previous Israeli governments, the pursuit of regional peace and enforcement of the law when it comes to illegal Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank. The deal also allows Barak to stay on as defense minister and makes him a full partner in the diplomatic process.

For Barak – and perhaps for many of Israel’s international partners – the Netanyahu-led government is now palatable.

For Netanyahu, the partnership with Labor, historically a center-left party, burnishes the image of an incoming government that until Tuesday risked being comprised solely of right-wing and religious parties. While such a government would have been a welcome change in some corners of Israel, it likely would have been ill received by Israel’s allies overseas.

Some European officials already had expressed public misgivings about Netanyahu’s coalition, especially the prominence of controversial Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, who was promised the portfolio of foreign minister. While the Obama administration was careful publicly to maintain a neutral stance on the composition of Israel’s government, Israeli observers predicted a right-wing coalition would be on a collision course with Washington.

Netanyahu himself expressed a preference for avoiding a narrow coalition even before the Feb. 10 vote, which saw significant gains for Israel’s right wing. All along the Likud leader said he’d like to see a national unity government comprised of his party, Labor and the current ruling party, Kadima – and led by him. Like Barak, Netanyahu says the seriousness of the threats Israel is facing mandates a strong, stable government.

Critics, including some in Labor who spoke out before the committee vote Tuesday, say what Netanyahu really seeks is diplomatic cover to pursue a right-wing agenda.

“We would be entering this government as a third wheel, as a wagging tail, not more than that,” Labor Knesset member Shelly Yachimovich said before Tuesday’s vote. “There is no shame in sitting in the opposition. On the contrary, it’s an honor.”

Following Tuesday’s vote, the “honor” appeared to be reserved for Kadima. Despite Netanyahu’s entreaties, the party has refused to join the coalition. Kadima leader Tzipi Livni said she would not join the new government unless Netanyahu committed to the pursuit of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and agreed to a rotating premiership that would make her prime minister for two years.

By staying in the opposition Livni – whose party captured 28 seats in the Feb. 10 vote, one more than Likud – believes she will be able to solidify Kadima’s position as an alternative to the Likud-led government.

Livni’s critics say she is putting party before country at a time when Israel can ill afford an unstable government. Iran is pushing forward with its nuclear program, Hizbullah in Lebanon now has missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv and Hamas in Gaza continues to fire rockets deeper and deeper into Israeli territory.

With Barak, the opposite is true. He can claim he is putting country before party by helping Israel’s government deal with these threats and mitigating any right-wing tendencies, but the upshot may be the collapse of the Labor Party.

While Labor’s decision to join Netanyahu’s coalition gives Barak a personal boost – keeping him in the important post of defense minister – it erodes Labor’s place in Israel’s political spectrum as the party of the center-left.

Kadima arguably can now claim that mantle. If Netanyahu succeeds, Likud will gain rather than Labor. And if Netanyahu fails, Kadima stands to gain, not Labor. (JTA)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global//2009/03/25/

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