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July 24, 2016 / 18 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Coalition’

Reports: Likud and Labor Closer than Ever to Coalition

Wednesday, May 11th, 2016

Over the past few days there has been significant progress in the secret coalition negotiations between Prime Minister Netanyahu (Likud) and MK Itzhak Herzog (Zionist Camp – Labor), Channel 10 News reported Tuesday night. Sources inside the Zionist Camp have told Channel 10 that they believe the chances for the move are “greater than ever.” Herzog has been keeping in the loop his key members, MKs Tzipi Livni, Shelly Yachimovich and Eitan Cabel.

Still, as of Tuesday night, Herzog is yet to say yes to the Netanyahu offer, and it appears that the latter is not prepared to spot him a significant policy change on the peace negotiations, nor even revising the government’s guidelines agreement, or dropping Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi. The only thing Netanyahu is willing to offer are ministerial portfolios, with the Foreign Ministry going to Herzog himself. So far, of the three key members the Labor chairman has consulted, only MK Cabel supports the deal, Livni and Yachimovich have rejected it out of hand.

Incidentally, a week ago there were rumors that Yachimovich would be in line for Minister of the Economy, the office that controls the off-shore gas deal with major American and Israeli companies, a deal Yachimovich has fought to kill all the way up to the Supreme Court. But, apparently, even this opportunity for the cat to be appointed to guard the cream is not enticing enough for the former Labor Chairman Yachimovich.

Israel has seen its share of wall-to-wall coalition governments, especially in the 1980s, and in each instance it has been Labor which acquiesced to join with Likud as a secondary partner, even when the two camps had come in dead even in the elections. But, as Ha’aretz pointed out Wednesday, on more recent occasions when Labor joined the right despite the enormous gaps between them on social and economic issues, the excuse has been the dream of the 2-state solution. And so, in 2005, Labor joined the late Ariel Sharon government to assist in the eviction of Jews from Gaza; and in 2009 Labor joined Netanyahu’s government after the latter had given his Bar Ilan speech promising the 2-state, which he followed up with a 10-month settlements construction freeze.

But in 2016 Netanyahu cannot offer anything even close to the 2-state, because such a move could spell his end as Likud leader. Bennett et al would leave the government and join with Lieberman to form a patriotic, pro-sovereignty block that, together with the right flank of Likud, would soon turn Netanyahu into a pariah in his own camp.

Netanyahu honestly wants Labor in his government, if only to rid him of the constant bickering of several Likud MKs who are threatening to vote against his bills, most profoundly against his budget, which is due in the coming Knesset session. With 61 MKs as the basis for his government, Netanyahu faces mock executions every week. If Labor moves over, even if only 15 or 16 out of the 24-MK faction agree, and even if Bennett and his 8-MK faction walk, Netanyahu would still have netted and additional 7 or 8 coalition members. He’s willing to pay for it with as many as 9 ministerial portfolios, as well as a few key committee chairmanships for the aspiring non-ministers in Labor.

But he can’t afford to U-turn on abandoning the 2-state solution at this point in the game.

JNi.Media

A New Coalition To Deal With The Get Problem

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

Over the past two years it has been my privilege to be involved with an organization called Tahel, the Crisis Center for Religious Women and Children. Based in Israel and headed by Debbie Gross, it serves Orthodox abused women and children. I presented lectures at both the 2014 and 2015 organizational conferences in Jerusalem.

During my first trip, a thought came to my mind after meeting attorneys from around the world who deal with one of the most troubling problems when it comes to divorce in the Orthodox community – the difficulties many women have in obtaining a Get.

My idea was to form an organization of attorneys that would essentially be a forum for the discussion, and eventually the implementation, of ideas that have worked in various venues that have substantial Orthodox communities. The organization would encourage collaboration between attorneys, dayanim, and lay leaders.

Based on my experience as an attorney who regularly practices in the Supreme Court and batei din, I knew the need existed for such an organization. My semicha from Rav Pam, zt”l, enabled me to understand and work through the halachic issues involved.

At Tahel’s December 2015 conference at the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem, I introduced the organization I founded – the Yashar Coalition – to a wide array of mental health professionals, law enforcement personnel, rabbanim, and, of course, attorneys.

The principles of the Yashar Coalition are: (1) no representation of clients who will not give a Get at the conclusion of the matter; (2) facilitation of a prenuptial agreement accepted by a wider spectrum of the Orthodox community; (3) discussions of ideas and legislation that have worked in various communities in the U.S. and elsewhere, as well as creative measures that have been adopted by batei din throughout the world.

The Yashar Coalition is actively working on the draft of a prenuptial agreement with the goal, as mentioned in the organization’s founding principles cited above, of obtaining wider acceptance of prenuptials from community rabbis and rosh yeshivas both within and outside the United States.

Additionally, we have been meeting with local public officials regarding possible passage of new legislation to assist in this regard. Details will be forthcoming.

On the one hand, we will never have the police powers the state of Israel has in the area of religious divorce. On the other hand, we can attempt to introduce legislation, drafted with separation of church and state in mind, that can assist those who have been unable to obtain a Get.

The attorneys of the Yashar Coalition come from South Africa, Australia, England, Canada, Israel, and the U.S. We will be holding a symposium in New York on May 23. To register, go to registration @yashar coalition.org.

Readers interested in becoming involved with the Yashar Coalition can e-mail Yasharcoaltion@gmail.com or call my office at (212) 321-7092.

Martin E. Friedlander

Jerusalem Mayor to Close Central Supermarkets on Sabbath

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is planning to force at least eight supermarkets that currently operate on the Sabbath in the holy city to close on Saturdays, according to a report Wednesday on Galei Tzahal Army Radio.

All eight are centrally located.

The move reportedly comes as a peace-making gesture to the hareidi factions in Barkat’s coalition who represent a large population in the city.

Last week hareidi religious men protested violently against the opening of the new “YES Planet” cinema complex in the capital, even though the complex is located far from the hareidi-religious section of the city.

“I’m happy the mayor kept his word to take steps to bolster the status of Shabbat in the holy city,” Jerusalem city council member Aryeh King told Galei Tzahal in a separate interview.

“I really hope that this will be the start of a new era of keeping Jerusalem united in the truest sense of the term. That includes preserving the holiness of the city – and the holiness of the Sabbath.”

King added that Barkat had promised the move in exchange for his return to the coalition.

Hana Levi Julian

Hundreds of Police Force Protesters out of Beit El Buildings [video]

Tuesday, July 28th, 2015

The government “celebrated” the 10th anniversary of the expulsion of Jews from Gaza and four Shomron communities early Tuesday morning by staging a pre-emptive sweep on hundreds of protesters who had barred themselves up in two buildings slated for demolition Thursday.

The High Court has ordered the destruction of the “Dreinoff” housing project, named after their developer, after accepting Arab and leftists’ petitions that they were erected without permits.

The court’s decision overruled the Civil Administration’s retroactive approval of the building project.

Tuesday morning’s clash was a duplicate of the expulsion 10 years and two days ago and again a year later in Amona.

Black-clad police along with Border Police used riot dispersing methods, including pepper spray, to easily but violently overcome the protesters, mostly youth, and took over the building.

More than 50 demonstrators were detained.

The military explained:

In accordance with the High Court of Justice ruling and with the goal of preparing for the evacuation and demolition of the skeleton of the ‘ Dreinoff ‘ buildings in the community of Beit El, the decision was made to deploy a Border Police force in the complex earlier this morning.

In order to prevent [settlers] from barricading themselves in the buildings and thus reduce the tension and violence in the area so as to enable the demolition to proceed as planned, a Border Police force was placed in the building.

Knesset Member Moti Yogev, whose arm was broken in the brutal police violence at Amona nine years ago, warned that the “if the Dreinoff buildings will be demolished, the court will remain in Israel but it is not certain that there will be a government,” meaning that he might urge the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party to tear down the coalition.

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel also warned that the government is in danger and accused Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon of breaking his promise the day before that police would not pounce on the protesters.

“Been there, done that.”

The same promise was made by then-Defense Minister Ehud Barak several years ago hours before he ordered the police to violently remove Jews from a building in Hebron. Eventually, the courts accepted appeals from Jews that the building was legally purchased

The Beit El Regional Council is planning to appeal to the High Court this week to cancel the planned demolition.

Below are four videos and three Tazpit News Agency photos of the clashes that began before dawn Tuesday, They are more suitable for viewing on Tisha B’Av.

beit-el-portest-clash-tazpit

beti-el-protyest-tazpit

beit-el-protester-tazpit

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Bennett and Netanyahu Clash over Rollback of Religious Reforms

Sunday, July 5th, 2015

 

The Cabinet Sunday morning approved amendments to the conversion reform law of the last administration and returned more power to Hareidim, over the objections of coalition partner Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home).

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu ordered Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett to vote for the changes, alleging that they were part of the coalition agreement with the Shas and Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) parties.

Bennett said at the Cabinet session, “I did not agree to this in coalition negotiations,” but the Prime Minister shot back:

All of the agreements obligate everyone.

Likud Parliamentary Group Chairman Ze’ev Elkin stepped into the fray and confirmed that Bennett opposed rolling back the reform, and the Cabinet passed the changes with Bennett and Bayit Yehudi Cabinet member opposing it.

Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beiteinu party that is not in the coalition, also voted against it.

The amendments wreck all of the efforts in the previous government to take conversion out of the hands of Hareidi rabbis an allow local rabbinical courts to decide on the delicate issue that has the most impact on 300,000 Russian immigrants who are not Jewish according to Jewish law. Hareidi courts generally are far less willing to accept conversions than are national religious rabbis.

The Cabinet also transferred authority over the country’s rabbinical courts from the Justice Ministry to the Ministry of Religious Services, which is headed by another Shas MK, David Azoulay.

Refusal to accept reforms means that it is more likely that all of the children and future generations of the immigrants will not be Jewish. If the woman marry Jewish men, there would be even more non-Jews in Israel and would create complications that could affect their children’s future.

The need for Prime Minister Netanyahu to form a coalition forced him to accept the Shas and UTJ demands to put the conversion process back in the hands of Hareidi courts. Under the new amendments local courts still can process conversions but only with the approval of the Chief Rabbinate.

Sephardi Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef, son of the late Rav Ovadia Yosef, is part of the Shas movement that his father founded, so it is no wonder that the Shas party insisted on eliminating reforms.

Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau also opposed the reforms.

It only is a matter of time before reform once again will undo the Hareidi establishment that never misses an opportunity to forego bridging gaps with the non-Hareidi population and bring people closer to Judaism, simply because they insist on such a rigid approach to religion and concentration of power that pave the way for a backlash that could weaken Orthodox Jewish influence in Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Likud Minister Benny Begin Leaves Government

Sunday, May 31st, 2015

Veteran Likud Minister Without Portfolio Benny Begin has resigned from the new Netanyahu government (not the Knesset) after coalition jockeying refused to yield him a seat at the table.

Begin quit on the heels of the ongoing battle over whether the cabinet could stretch to allow an additional seat in the already expanded government.

Coalition partners refused to allow the Likud to add the extra cabinet seat for Begin, who submitted his letter of resignation to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Friday.

The resignation takes effect today (Sunday), 48 hours from the time of submission.

Hana Levi Julian

Barkat Peeved at Netanyahu for Dividing Him from Jerusalem Affairs Post

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is the latest politician to let off steam against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his acrobatics in rounding out a coalition Cabinet.

The Prime Minister had promised on Jerusalem Unification Day that he would head the Jerusalem Affairs Ministry and work hand-in-hand with Barkat instead of letting someone else head the post.

Like all election promises, this one also was dependent on “other things being equal.” With the thinnest Knesset coalition majority possible, Netanyahu has performed enough juggling and tightrope-walking acts to qualify for the circus.

Barkat did not take into account that there are not enough Cabinet ministries to satisfy Likud bigwigs, even after Netanyahu split a couple – ministries, not the bigwigs – into two different departments…

He placated Likud MK Ze’ev Elkin by appointing him Minster of Jerusalem Affairs after being forced to take the Strategic Affairs post away from him in order to bring Gilad Erdan back into the Cabinet.

Erdan was not satisfied with the Public Affairs Ministry without having the additional responsibility for Strategic Affairs. Netanyahu yielded, set off another round of musical chairs and lit the fuse that blew Barkat off his mayoral throne.

“Jerusalem is not a consolation prize,” said Barkat, contradicting the fact that everything is a consolation prize in the current coalition.

He charged Prime Minister Netanyahu with wasting the taxpayers’ money for the sake of “narrow political considerations” that he thinks will hamper the development of Jerusalem.

Time will tell if he is right or wrong, and he probably is wrong.

As important as Jerusalem is to Barkat, as a politician, his own future is no less important. Doubling as major of Jerusalem and co-minister of Jerusalem Affairs would advance his political career.

Barkat has the right to be angry, but he has forgotten that as a politician, survival is the top priority, and Netanyahu considers his own survival more important than Barkat’s.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/barkat-peeved-at-netanyahu-for-dividing-him-from-jerusalem-affairs-post/2015/05/26/

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