The State Comptroller and Ombudsman will release his report on the housing crisis at 6 p.m. (11 a.m. EST) Wednesday night.
The report will cover the Olmert and Netanyahu administrations, letting Tzipi Livni and Yitzchak Herzog off the hook. They were Ministers of Housing in the Sharon government.
The Likud party is concerned that the report will blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the constantly increase in the price of housing.
The Herzog-Livni “Zionist Camp” also is anxious to read the report, which they hope will boost their popularity in the pre-election polls that so far show Netanyahu as the only one who would be able to form a government coalition.
Israel’s anti-Netanyahu media, which include all of the largest networks and newspapers, already have published speculation that Netanyahu will be blamed. If the report is less dramatic than expected, it will be a major blow for Herzog-Livni, and the media will have to find some other way to undermine Likud’s popularity.
The spiritual leader of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party told party supporters Sunday night that the “HaTikvah” national anthem is “stupid,” reported the Walla! website, which also provided an audio of the rabbi’s remarks.
Rabbi Shlomo Cohen’s aides defended the observation he made when describing a meeting with Shas’ founder and late spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef in 1955.
Rabbi Yitzchak Nissim had been appointed Chief Sephardic Rabbi at the time, and Rabbi Cohen said people stood up and started singing HaTikvah at the end of the inaugural ceremony.
Rabbi Cohen told listeners at Netivot that he said at the time, “What a bunch of nuts! Is this the Prime Minister?” He said he did not stand and asked Rabbi Yosef why he stood. Rabbi Yosef replied, “I was saying “Aleinu,” the prayer recited while standing at the end of morning, afternoon and evening prayers.
Rabbi Cohen explained that the Rabbi Yosef “didn’t want this ridiculous song to influence him.”
That shows the difference between Rav Ovadia – who had the good sense not to insult the majority of Israelis, religious as well as secular – and Rabbi Cohen, who does not have the sense to shut up.
Rabbi Shimon Baadnie, a member of the Shas Council of Sages, tried to explain that Rabbi Cohen really did not intend to say that HaTikvah is stupid but that it simply “is sung in a stupid way.”
However, there was no explanation to justify or rationalize Rabbi Cohen’s vicious attack on the national religious community. The good rabbi compared the “knitted kippa” Jewish community with the influence of Amalek, Israel’s eternal enemy.
Shas is stinging from the desertion the influential Sephardi Rabbi Yoram Abergil, who has announced he is supporting the Yachad party led by former Shas leader Eli Yishai.
Here are the words from HaTikvah that Jews all over the world sing and with which Rabbi Baadnie has a problem:
As long as the Jewish spirit is yearning deep in the heart,
With eyes turned toward the East, looking toward Zion,
Then our hope – the two-thousand-year-old hope – will not be lost:
To be a free people in our land,
The land of Zion and Jerusalem
Rabbi Baadnie said, “People say words and don’t understand what they mean.’Free in our land.’? Where is our freedom when we have sorrow from Arabs. The People of Israel are not free because Arabs, Americans and Europeans drive us crazy.”
It would have been more impressive if Rabbi Cohen had said something like, “We are not free because the Third Temple has not been built” but how could he think of such a thing with politics on his brain?
Nevertheless, the rabbi is right to a certain extent, but being “right” often is being stupid, even more so than the song may seem to Rabbi Cohen.
That is exactly what Shmira Imber, daughter of HaTikvah composer Naftali Herz Imber, told Walla! in response to Rabbi Cohen’s remarks:
“It is stupid to say that,” she said.
Below is a Barbara Streisand’s rendition of HaTikvah, stupid or not.
The Likud and the Herzog-Livni “Zionist Camp” parties attached each other for being soft on security only hours after a Palestinian Authority Arab stabbed a Haredi man in his stomach near City Hall in Jerusalem.
Mayor Nir Barkat was at the scene and helped tackled the attacker, whose victim suffered moderate wounds in his stomach.
The terrorist attack and Barkat’s action did not interest the two major parties in the election. Instead, they continued to stab each other below the belt with personal insults, continuing a campaign absent of reason and logic.
The Likud started the verbal free-for-all by suggesting that the terrorist attack was a result of Tzipi Livni’s remarks that dividing Jerusalem is an option.
The Likud’s statement declared:
If Tzipi and Bujie [Yitzchak Herzog] form a left-wing government – Hamas will be in the heart of Jerusalem.
That is the way this campaign has been going. The price of water, determined by experts in the bureaucracy, goes down, and everyone takes credit. An Arab terrorist attacks, and all of a sudden it is because someone said something, or did not say something.
It didn’t take long for Herzog-Livni to react on Facebook, writing that the Likud disseminated “another lowly and despicable lie from the man who is personally responsible for the loss of security in the capital.”
Here we go again. Netanyahu is “personally” responsible? And was Livni “personally responsible” for every terrorist attack when she was acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert quit?
And do Israelis feel any less secure now than they did when Livni was Prime Minister.
Livni, who still acts like her figment of a politician, as usual could not restrain herself from showing everyone that she is as lowly and despicable as Netanyahu. She accused him of “dancing on the blood” of the victim of the stabbing attack and using it to win more votes, which may be true but is exactly what she is doing.
The good news is that we are less than four weeks away from the end of this disastrous campaign.
Ballot slips for the March 17 elections are being printed in Karnei Shomron, a Jewish community that is located in Samaria and part of the “occupied territories: whose produce is boycotted by leftists.
The Sirugim website reported Sunday that “Yisrapot” won the tender to print the slips of paper with the acronyms of the 16 parties running in the elections.
Two weeks ago, Meretz leader Zahav Gal-On refused to accept a bottle of wine given to her because it was produced in Judea and Samaria.
If the “Boycott Yesha” movement is true to its ideology, its cheerleaders won’t vote March 17.
The office of the State Comptroller and Ombudsman stated Sunday that it will release the report on the housing crisis before the elections and possibly by the end of the week.
A decision on the exact date of relapse will be made in the next couple of days.
Israel’s anti-Netanyahu establishment media and the Herzog-Livni “Zionist Camp” party are antsy-pantsy for the report that they hope will serve as the damning piece of news they woefully lack to give them a victory in the elections.
The report probably will be sharply critical of both the Olmert and Netanyahu governments for the constantly high price of homes, a situation that has existed more or less since 1948.
If the report goes back a couple years before the Olmert administration, it will include the Sharon government, whose Housing Minister in 2005 was none other than Yitzchak Herzog. One year before, the minister was – are you ready? – Tzipi Livni.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is so eager to win positive publicity that his office issued an official press release Thursday to show how he took time out to phone officials about the snowstorm bearing down on Israel.
The Prime Minister, besides trying to win re-election, has to worry about Kerry, Obama, the ISIS, Syria, Hamas, Abbas, Hezbollah and his upcoming speech in Congress, but that does not prevent him from taking the helm when snow comes.
One might think that the police need the Prime Minister of Israel to tell them to make the salt trucks are ready to roll. Ditto for the Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino, Home Front Command Maj.-Gen. Eyal Eisenberg and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, all of whom Netanyahu’s office said were consulted in a conversation.
Netanyahu declared to the officials, for the entire nation to hear:
The supreme goal for everyone is to save lives and facilitate essential services for residents in storm-affected areas.
That must be a big relief to Israelis, who now know that the Prime Minister is in charge of the war against snow, which Israel always loses because this is not New York, Chicago, Boston, Moscow or Montreal. Actually, the opposite is true.
If we need the Prime Minister of Israel to tell the police , the Hem Front Command, the mayor of Jerusalem and the IDF to make sure the snow plows are in good shape, we might as well pack up and start over again in Uganda,.
This election campaign is so personal, so nasty, so lacking of any true discussion of serious issues and so disgusting, that every party leader is taking credit for everything from sunrise to the appearance of the new moon.
Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, has bragged about he is responsible for the reduction of water and electricity rates, which is a joke since the tariffs are determined by bureaucratic experts and not political pressure.
Tzipi Livni, whose HaTnuah party was so pitiful that she had to merge with the Labor party to save her political face as well as that of her new partner Yitzhack Herzog, claims that Netanyahu freed terrorists and that she is tough on Hamas.
It was Livni, like almost every other leader, who also agreed to free terrorists, and it was Tzipi Livni, who was Foreign Minister in the Olmert administration, who agreed to a “cease-fire” with Hamas to end the three-week Operation Cast Lead campaign against missile and rocket attacks from Gaza.
And it was Livni, two years earlier, who compromised Israel by accepting a toothless United Nations resolution to end the 34-day Second Lebanon War against Hezbollah.