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December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Yisrael Beitenu Suspected of Fraud and Bribery

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Police revealed Wednesday morning that it is questioning more than 30 suspects, including senior Yisrael Beitenu officials, for alleged fraud, bribery and money laundering.

The announcement of the year-long probe just as the election campaign gets rolling prompted immediate accusations from party leader Avigdor Lieberman that the police are on a “witch-hunt.”

In case anyone forgets, exactly two years ago and just as the previous elections were getting underway, state prosecutors indicted Lieberman for fraud after a police investigations of the party leader that dragged on for more than a decade on different accusations. He was acquitted – after the elections.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu suspended him as Foreign Minister, a post he resumed after the case was closed.

This time around, the police fingered Deputy Minister of the Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum from Yisrael Beitenu, an as of yet unnamed ministry director and Stas Misezhnikov, former Yisrael Beiteinu Minister of Tourism.

Kirschenbaum told Israeli media she has been subpoenaed for questioning but had no idea on what. Police raided suspects’ homes Wednesday morning to gather evidence on charges that Yisrael Beitenu officials “plotted to help their own interests for money for their own use.”

They allegedly received large amounts of money through NGOs and used some of the funds as bribes and as personal gifts to others, some of whom were relatives who had been given jobs.

A Yisrael Beitenu party statement said the police allegations have no basis.

The party has not done well in pre-election polls, and the probe, baseless or not, is not going to help it, unless they are proven false before election day.

New Poll: Shows Netanyahu Will Lead Next Gov’t with Haredim

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

A new pre-election poll issued on Monday leaves no option for the next government other than one headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the help of Haredi parties.

Here is the lineup according to the “Panels” poll conducted the Knesset Channel :

Labor-Livni – 23

Likud – 21

Jewish Home – 16

Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid) – 11

Kulanu (Moshe Kahlon) – 9

Yisrael Beitenu – 7

Meretz – 7

Arab parties – 10

Yehadut HaTorah (Haredi) 7

Shas – 5

Eli Yishai – 4

The Labor party, headed by Yitzchak Herzog with his new sidekick Tzipi Livni, cannot form a majority the Haredi parties, which won’t happen unless it can convince two of four parties – Yair Lapid ,Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman and Meretz – to agree, which as likely as snow in July.

The center-right ring camp has less of a problem with the Haredi parties.

Adding up Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu and Kahlon comes up with the non-magical number of 55, six less than the majority that is needed to form the government.

The three Haredi parties are in the driver’s seat for the time being, and if the results in March will be similar to those of today, they will dictate the terms of the next coalition.

If that happens, Lapid and Livni will rue the day they worked against the coalition of which they were a part.

The polls are not meaningless and actually are a factor in how people will vote. If voters see that the next government will be under the thumb of Haredi partiers, they might start shifting their votes.

Supporters of Yesh Atid and Labor-Livni might shift a bit to Kahlon, possibly enough to give Netanyahu a majority of 61 without the Haredi parties.

Herzog, Livni and Lapid have a problem because there is not much they can take from other parties.

Yehuda Glick Running as Likud MK Candidate

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who was critically wounded in an assassination attempt several weeks ago, announced he is running “symbolically” on the Likud list for the elections to the Knesset.

He is in 33rd place, and he will not be elected unless the party performs a miracle no less than his recovery and wins 33 seats.

Glick, who was shot by a Jerusalem Arab because of his activism on the Temple Mount, previously has run on even more distant places on the Likud list. He said he is not asking for a better chance to be elected because the ”boss” – his wife – knows what is best for him.

Netanyahu Exploits Elections to Raise Minimum Wage

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet meeting Sunday the minimum wage for approximately 700,000 Israel will rise by 15 percent to $1275 a month.

“This morning, I met with Histadrut [labor federation] Chairman Avi Nissenkorn and Manufacturers Association of Israel President Tzvi Oren,” the Prime Minister said.

“I informed them that I have instructed the Finance Ministry to enable the Cabinet to raise the minimum wage to NIS 5,000. This is in continuation of our raising the minimum wage from NIS 3,800 to NIS 4,300, which we did in 2011, and now we are raising it from NIS 4,300 a month to NIS 5,000 a month,” he added.

Netanyahu issued the order two weeks after he fired Yesh Atid leader and coalition nemesis Yair Lapid as Finance Minister.

Raising the wage by 15 percent all at once will  have an inflationary effect, but no one will notice it so quickly.

Aren’t elections a great way  for getting things done?

Actually it is a terrible way but it seems to be the only way that works.

 

 

Black GOP Leader Prays at the Western Wall for ‘Solomonic Wisdom’

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Black Republican Dr. Ben Carson, touted as a possible GOP presidential candidate is touring Israel and visited the Western Wall, where he went through the required routine of placing a message for God between the bricks.

Unlike President Barack Obama and the pope, Carson divulged what he wrote.

Noting that King Solomon was there once upon a time, Carson told CBN he asked God for “Solomonic wisdom on what to do.” He has not yet stated whether he will be a candidate, but he certainly is acting like one.

He praised Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and concerning Judea and Samaria, Carson said, “Until such time as their neighbors are no longer desirous of their elimination,” he said, Israel’s continued control of the West Bank “makes perfectly good sense.”

His credentials as an anti-Obama conservative are impeccable. He made a speech at the national Prayer Breakfast earlier this year in which he said the United States is headed for “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.”

He also stated “We have imposed upon people restrictions on what they can say, on what they can think. And the media is the largest proponent of this, crucifying people who say things really quite innocently.”

President Barack Obama was sitting a few feet away, and although Carson did not directly blame the president for America’s ills, the White House was upset.

“Within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him,” Carson later wrote in his book “One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future.”

Carson added in his book, ”I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

The GOP leader also wrote that he did not plan to run for president – unless calls God him.

CBN’s video of his visit to the Western Wall can be seen here.

Jewish Home Unity Overcomes the ’Yesha Faction’

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

The “Tekuma” faction, headed by Housing Minister Uri Ariel, decided Saturday night to remain in the Jewish Home party and not join forces with Eli Yishai’s new party or run separately in a move that saves the right-wing from another weak if not useless party based on Judea and Samaria.

Ariel, whose integrity and intellectual honesty often place him in contradiction with the art of compromise in politics, has been upset with the Jewish Home party and its chairman Naftali Bennett because of the ostensibly democratic system of primaries, which is susceptible to wheeling and dealing even more  than a party’s central committee decision to decide who will be candidates.

Ariel last week met with Eli Yishai to discuss the chances of running on Yishai’s new party, following his leaving Shas.

Ariel left the decision up it his rabbinical advisers, who were split. The Tekuma Central Committee decided Saturday night to make the smartest decision and remain with the Jewish Home party.

A split would have been disastrous both for Tekuma and for the Jewish Home party.

The decision also leaves the “Yesha” rabbis and their followers weaker than ever, another blessing for a right-wing faction that has been hampered by decades with the mentality that a Jewish presence in the Judea and Samaria and that national religious yeshivas are the only issues that are important for Israel. They have tried to make Judea and Samaria the most important region in Israel and have tried to establish Beit El, dominated by prominent national religious rabbis, as the capital of Yesha.

The establishment of the Jewish Home party, which incorporated the Tekuma faction and the old-guard National Religious Party (“Mafdal”) was a political revolution because it finally made Yesha, the acronym, for what once was known as the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, a part of the country and not apart from the country.

The Yesha platform of “Greater Israel” in practice was concerned only with Judea and Samaria and yeshivas and not with the rest of the country. It operated on the principle “if you are for Yesha, or you are against the country.”

Bennett, who is religious but lives in metropolitan Tel Aviv, changed that. He also brought in a secular MK, who, horror of horrors to some rabbis, was a woman. Her name is Ayelet Shaked, and her presence helped the party win 12 seats in the Knesset. All polls show the party will win at least 16 as of today.

If Tekuma had split, it would have taken seats away from the Jew Home but also might have made it itself extinct, wasting tens of thousands of votes.

Joining with Yishai’s party became problematic because his rabbinical adviser decided that a woman’s contribution to the country is cooking in the kitchen and not making trouble by being a Knesset Member.

That was a big problem for Ariel, whose Tekuma colleague MK Orit Struk was anxious to bolt the Jewish Home and follow Tekuma.

Ariel, too well-rooted in the kibbutz movement to ostracize women, would not have accepted keeping Struk out of the new party. If he had set up a new party, it is questionable if he and Struk could have garnered the minimum number of votes needed to enter the Knesset.

The inability of his rabbis to take a unified stand on the future of Tekuma shows indicates how much the “Yesha bloc” no longer is in charge.

Their correct rulings of Jewish law that Judea and Samaria are part of Israel, and that it is a mitzvah to live there, only enlarged the black image in the eyes of Israelis that all settlers are religious and robots to rabbis.

MK Elazar Stern Quits Livni’s HaTnua Party

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

MK Elazar Stern quit Tzipi Livni’s Hatnua party on Saturday night.

In his resignation letter (below) Stern writes that he will continue to serve the public, perhaps in the Knesset or in other venues. He expresses dismay at Tzipi Livni for merging the Hatnua party into the Labor party, which he considers a mistake, as well as the way it was done.

Source: Smiley Hafuch / Rotter.net

Elazar Stern Resignation Letter 1
Elazar Stern resignation letter 2

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-elazar-stern-quits-livnis-hatnua-party/2014/12/20/

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