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April 19, 2015 / 30 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Hillary Clinton’s Video Launch: ‘I’m Running for President’

Monday, April 13th, 2015

It’s a new day in America; or at least, that’s what Hillary Clinton’s campaign managers would like U.S. voters to believe in a launch video aimed square at Middle America.

Americans have been busy, with many “getting ready” to do things in their lives, as the narrator explains. The camera has been busy too, filming all of them, but gracefully swings its way towards Hillary Clinton.

In a voice-over that runs while she is filmed chatting with the workers in a factory and others at a bare table in a “middle America” luncheonette, Clinton cheerfully chimes in, “I’m getting ready to do something too.”

Her hair is carefully coiffed, yes, but the camera work is equally careful too, with the photographer making sure to soften the focus. Clinton comes across as a main player — but a kinder and gentler one, with fewer harsh wrinkles and angles and no loud colors in her makeup to interfere with the message. She wears a cobalt coat over a sky blue turtleneck sweater with soft white earrings and her makeup is very, very understated – so much so, in fact, that one might even wonder whether she is wearing any makeup at all.

This is intentional: Clinton almost manages to look like the women in the luncheonette around her. Almost, but not quite. The casual elegance in her hair styling and assertive body language make it clear she is not.

And then she explains why, in a stand-up shot while wearing a sleek navy blue jacket over a brightly contrasting tomato-colored shell peeking from beneath, her hair more sharply styled in a chic conservative wave blown back from her face, with understated makeup enhanced just a bit more. The camera’s focus is sharper now, the softness dispensed with.

“I’m running for president.”

Everyday Americans need a champion, Clinton explains in the campaign launch video that depicts the lives and dreams of Middle America, young America, older America, gay America, single, married and family America. All-America.

“I want to be that champion, so you can do more than just get by.”

“I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I’m hitting the road to earn your vote… When families are strong, America is strong.”

The message is concise, the editing is tight and the photography faultless. Clearly, Hillary Clinton has her tech team’s ducks all in a row.

The only problem now is her track record.

Obama’s Jewish Support Sinks to 50 Percent

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Jewish voters’ support for President Barack Obama has sunk from 61 percent in January to only 50 percent in March, according to a new Gallup poll.

The gap between approval of the president by Jews and by the national average has narrowed to only 8 percentage points for the first three months and 4 points for the last month.

The emerging deal with Iran and President Obama’s attacks and affronts to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are the reasons for the drop in support among Jews.

Among Orthodox Jews, defined as those who attend synagogue at least once a week, the approval rating is only 34 percent.  Support among Jews who do not have a college degree was only 39 percent compared with 62 percent among those with a higher education degree.

Jewish women approve of President Obama by 11 percentage points more than men over the past 15 months, while the national average is only 6 percent points between women and men.

The question is whether President Obama’s drooping popularity among Jews will be translated into support for a Republican presidential candidate at the polls.

If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic candidate, Jewish support for her is expected to rise sharply.

Republicans should not jump for joy too soon, author Josh Zeitz told Politico.

“As was the case then, today, most American Jews cast their votes as concerned American liberals and moderates, not as foreign proxies for the Israeli government,” he said.

Zeitz added:

But that doesn’t stop the GOP from hoping.

There’s always a place for tradition. Every year during Passover, Jews open the door in expectation of the Prophet Elijah, who will someday herald the coming of the Messiah. And every four years, the pundits await the great Jewish embrace of the Republican Party.

As it was said then, so it is said now: Next year in New Hampshire.

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.

Newly Elected Arab Knesset Members Visit Abbas in Ramallah

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

(JNS.org) Newly elected Arab members of the Israeli Knesset visited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Tuesday evening.

The delegation included the head of the Joint Arab List party, Ayman Odeh, as well as MKs Masoud Ghanayim, Jamal Zahalqa, and Usama al-Saadi, Ma’an News Agency reported.

According to reports, Abbas congratulated the party on its success in the March 17 Israeli election. The Joint Arab List won 13 Knesset seats, making it the third-largest party in Israel’s legislature behind Likud and Zionist Union. Abbas was publicly supportive of the Arab party during the election campaign, saying he supports any party within Israel that opposes “racism, discrimination, and apartheid.”

The Knesset members’ visit to Ramallah came as Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman called for a semi-official boycott of the Joint Arab List by other Israeli parties as well as the Israeli government for what he described as “traitorous behavior” by party members. Odeh’s public relations chief recently compared Zionism to the Islamic State terror group.

The Joint Arab List was formed before the election by smaller Arab parties—including United Arab List, Ta’al, Balad, and Hadash—due to an increase in the Israeli election threshold.

President Rivlin Tasks Netanyahu with Forming the Government

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

On Wednesday evening, President Ruby Rivlin, after consultation with the heads of all the political parties, tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the job of forming the next coalition government in Israel. This will be Netanyahu’s fourth time as Prime Minister.

In the Israeli political system, once elections are over, the parties must combine to form a coalition government with at least 61 out of the 120 seats as members.

After consulting with the parties, the Israeli President selects the party head most likely to be able to form the coalition and then that party head has 28 days to put a coalition together, or in this case, April 22 at night, which is when Israel’s end its Memorial Day and start its Independence Day celebrations. If needed, he can receive a 14 day extension, which this year ends on May 6 – the eve of Lag Ba’omer.

If there are no surprises, Netanyahu is expected to form a coalition, after some tough negotiations, with the Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Kulanu, Yisrael Beytenu, UTJ and Shas.

Bibi Apologizes to Arabs but Obama Does not Apologize to Jews

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has apologized to Israeli Arabs for his Election Day statements urging Jews to counter the “droves of Arabs” at the polls, but President Barack Obama and American media have not apologized to Netanyahu for falsely representing his remark.

The New York Times lead off the hit parade of Netanyahu-bashers by calling the Prime Minister’s remarks a smack of “racism.” and Obama picked up the thread by accusing Netanyahu of inciting racism.

But what did Netanyahu actually say? Here is his quote, widely reported by thousands of news outlets:

Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are going to the polls in droves. Left-wing organizations are bringing them in buses.

That’s it. He did not imply or even suggest that Arabs should not vote. He simply stated that because Arabs are “coming out in droves” to vote, presumably for the Joint Arab List that might agree to allow a left-wing coalition government, Jews needed to show up at the polls and vote for the Likud.

The New York Times editorial the day after the elections reads as if Netanyahu had said something else. The editorial stated:

This outrageous appeal to hard-line voters implied that only he could save Israel from its enemies, including the country’s Arab citizens, who represent 20 percent of the population and have long been discriminated against….

In his desperation, Mr. Netanyahu resorted to fear-mongering and anti-Arab attacks.

Anti-Arab? “Enemies.” That is what The New York Times may wish Netanyahu had said, but fiction makes for good reading at the Times.

President Barack Obama followed by stating,

Although Israel was founded based on the historic Jewish homeland and the need to have a Jewish homeland, Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly.

And I think that that is what’s best about Israeli democracy. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don’t believe in a Jewish state, but it also I think starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country.

Where, pray tell Mr. President, did Netanyahu even hint that Jews and Arabs are not treated equally?

The president’s reaction, along with that of the NY Times and the Israel anti-Netanyahu media, is an egregious libel  based on a non-truth and a twisted interpretation that is unparalleled outside of dictatorial regimes where truth is another word for a lie.

Netanyahu’s comments certainly were undiplomatic and offensive in a country where the Arabs are a minority and often discriminated against, but they were not racist by any stretch of the imagination. They simply touched a raw nerve by referring to Arabs as a political group that could block a right-wing government.

He apologized Monday, stating that he “knows my comments last week offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli-Arab community. This was never my intent. I apologize for this. I view myself as the prime minister of each and every citizen of Israel, without any bias of religion, ethnicity or gender.”

But President Obama, The New York Times and the Israeli establishment media have not flipped to  the other side of the coin.

If it is wrong for Netanyahu to scare Jews into voting by warning that the Arabs might usher in a left-wing government, is it kosher for  pro-Arab groups to urge Arabs to vote to counter Jewish right-wing ballots?

In the weird world of truth in the bankrupt left, the end justifies the means when it comes to defeating the right wing.

At least two pro-Arab groups, The Abraham Fund and Ameinu, have admitted to organizing a campaign to urge Arabs to vote, and  there is suspicion that The Abraham Fund may have done so with the help of the American taxpayer.

The Abraham Fund’s election campaign slogan was “Building a shared future for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.”

It launched a “Broad-Based Action Plan to Increase the Participation of Arab Citizens in upcoming Elections for Knesset.” The Abraham Fund, based in Jerusalem, New York City and London,  stated that it “focuses its plans on a number of areas including running conferences for Arab students in colleges and launching a media and advertising campaign to persuade the Arab public to participate in the democratic process and vote in the elections.”

Fair enough, but targeting Arabs to vote is no less “racist” than targeting Jews to vote, regardless of the reason.

But it is not fair if State Dept. grants are used to encourage Arabs, and not Jews, to vote.

WorldNetDaily journalist Aaron Klein reported, “In 2010, the State Department provided the Abraham Fund a $999,715 three-year grant for an education initiative in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Education. Another part of the grant was designated to a project with the Israeli security services aimed at fostering closer Arab-Jewish ties.

“Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu, co-executive director of the Abraham Fund, told KleinOnline the U.S. government funds are not being utilized for the voter-participation drive.

“‘The initiative is being paid for by private donations from donors interested in Arab participation,’ he said.

“He acknowledged, however, that ‘some (money for the project) comes from our core funding at the Abraham Fund. Since our workers are getting paid anyway, some of their job is dedicated to the vote project.'”

Another group that tried to get more Arabs to vote in last week’s elections is Ameinu, an American non-profit organization. It director Kenneth Bob said at a J Street panel Sunday, “We helped put together a get-out-the-vote effort in the Arab community.”

He confirmed charges by Netanyahu that U.S.-funded groups were behind the move to bring Arabs to the polls. The Washington Free Beacon quoted Bob as saying, “When Bibi spoke about the tens of millions of dollars pouring into this effort, my only correction was it wasn’t tens of millions. He exaggerated a little bit.”

The Free Beacon reported in February on a confidential memo drafted by Ameinu in December 2014 outlining the Arab-targeted initiative led by the group Givat Haviva, which “brought a delegation of Arab-Israeli mayors to the United States in February to meet with Democratic leaders and learn political organizing techniques.

“The State Department expedited the mayors’ visas, according to internal correspondence obtained by the Free Beacon.

“One week before the trip, Darawshe and other Givat Haviva representatives also met with high-ranking American diplomats, including the deputy mission chief, at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to discuss the planned visit.”

No one has apologized for encouraging Arabs, but not Jews, to vote in the elections.

Kachlon Offered Prime Minister Rotation Deal – By Buji Herzog

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Yitzchak “Buji” Herzog is starting to look like a one-trick pony.

Senior members of the Zionist Union claim that party leader Yitzchak Herzog offered Kulanu chief Moshe Kachlon, who holds the key to forming any coalition a deal, a deal he can’t refuse, according to a Maariv report.

They claim that besides offering Kachlon a senior ministerial positions in the government, like Netanyahu did, Herzog upped the ante and also offered to share the Prime Minister’s seat with Kachlon, in a rotation agreement.

The party members didn’t say if they would be ruling on alternate days, or would it be one week on and one week off, and how exactly it would all that fit into Tzipi Livni’s rotation schedule with Herzog (depending on the hour, if that rotation deal is on or off), and would this just turn into some sort of convoluted 3-way relationship.

Herzog is making offers to all the parties that might sit in Netanyahu’s coalition that he thinks could be bought off, in hope of becoming a partial prime minister.

One does wonder how many Prime Ministers Herzog envisions sitting in that chair at the same time.

His rotation schedule could look like this:
Sunday: Herzog (Labor)
Monday: Kachlon (Kulanu)
Tuesday: Gal-on (Meretz)
Wednesday: Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu)
Thursday: Odeh (Arab List)
Friday: Livni (HaTnua)
Saturday: Lapid (Yesh Atid)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kachlon-offered-prime-minister-rotation-deal-by-buji-herzog/2015/03/22/

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