Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron is on his way to another term and almost certain majority in the Parliament, according to projections by the BBC.
Voters clobbered Labour, led by Ed Miliband, who can forget about continuing to lead the party considering the drubbing voters dealt him. Miliband is Jewish, at least in name, but pre-election polls showed that most Jews planned to vote for the Tories.
The health service, economy and immigration were the key issues in the election campaign.
Pro-Hamas George Galloway’s loss of his seat is another sign that Europeans are fed up with liberal immigration policies and a tolerance of radical Islam that has allowed Sharia law to be the last word in some areas.
Cameron is not yet claiming a Parliamentary majority, which the BBC projects.
The returns are good news for Israel. Cameron has been clear in his opposition to Hamas and support for Israel, although he supports “two states.”
Miliband said last year during Operation Protective Edge against Hamas that although Israel has a “right to defend itself against rocket attacks, I cannot explain, justify, or defend the horrifying deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, including children and innocent civilians. And as a party we oppose the further escalation of violence we have seen with Israel’s invasion of Gaza.”
Miliband bought the Palestinian Authority and Hamas propaganda hook, line and sinker.
Cameron, on the other hand, said last month:
What I’ve seen is the attacks that take place on Israel and the indiscriminate nature of them.….
I feel very strongly that this equivalence that sometimes people try to draw when these attacks take place is so completely wrong and unfair…..
Obviously we regret the loss of life wherever it takes place, but I do think there’s an important difference – as Prime Minister Netanyahu put it: Israel uses its weapons to defend its people and Hamas uses its people to defend its weapons.
Britain has never had a prime minister as pro-Israel as Cameron. Unlike other “pro-Zionist’ prime ministers such as Margaret Thatcher and even Winston Churchill, Cameron has done more than mouth off for Israel.
He also has been more aggressive than President Barack Obama in trying to use sanctions to force Iran into capitulation on its goal to produce a nuclear weapon that would be aimed at Israel.
The Senate voted 98-1 Thursday to limit President Barack Obama’s ability to make a “bad deal” with Iran over its nuclear program.
The lone opponent was Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.
The House of Representatives is expected to pass the bill into law, which President Obama will sign after having originally threatened to veto any bill that gives the Congress the right to review a final deal with Iran.
The bill, unless it is amended, gives Congress 30 days to review the deal, a change from the original 60-day review period that was proposed until Democrats forced a compromise that also blocked amendments that would make a deal with Iran impossible. One of the most explosive proposed amendments called for Iran to recognize Israel as a condition to an agreement on limiting and supervising its nuclear development.
Most significantly, the bill prevents Obama from lifting sanctions on Iran until the end of the 30-day review period, assuming Congress does not scotch the deal. President Obama would have the power to veto a Congressional rejection.
Iran has not yet reacted to the passage of the bill in the Senate. It has been adamant in demanding that all sanctions be lifted immediately when a deal is signed, which won’t happen once President Obama signs the bill into law.
“This bill as drafted will provide some political cover to Senate Democrats to say they have voted to provide strict scrutiny and congressional approval of an Iran deal,” Texas Republican Ted Cruz said in the Senate this week.
He conceded that the bill won’t stop a deal, “no matter how terrible it is,” but the political fallout from a Congressional rejection and a presidential veto would be explosive, especially when taking into account that the campaigns for presidential nominees are underway.
The Islamic State (ISIS) has claimed responsibility for the terrorist attack Sunday night in Garland Texas, where a contest was being held for drawing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed.
The radio channel run by ISIS announced the claim Tuesday, and tweets by the two terrorists killed in the attack have been linked with ISIS.
We tell America that what is coming is more bitter and harder and you will see from the soldiers of the Caliphate what harms you.
One of the gunmen, Elton Simpson, posted a tweet shortly before the attack that wounded a security guard, “#texasattack:May Allah accept us as mujahideen.” He also encouraged his followers to read tweets by an ISIS propagandist, who tweeted after the attack, “Allah Akbar!!!! 2 of our brothers just opened fire.”
The same tweet stated that he and the second terrorist, Nadir Sofa, pledged allegiance to “Amoral Mu’mineen,” which means “the leader of the faithful,” a likely reference to the recently wounded ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi.
The apparent success of the ISIS to infiltrate into the United States coincides with polls showing that terror, especially the Islamic State, is the biggest worry of Americans.
As the campaigns rev up for the Republic and Democratic presidential nominations, the Democrats will be on the defensive to show their party is best equipped to win the war against terror.
Kulanu, UTJ and Shas have already signed with the Likud to join the coalition. The only options left open to Netanyahu at this point to put together his coalition is with either Bayit Yehudi, Yesh Atid or the Zionist Camp, and he has only until this Wednesday to sign one of them, otherwise President Rivlin will offer a different party the opportunity.
UTJ will absolutely not sit with Yesh Atid, nor does Netanyahu want Lapid in his coalition.
The Zionist Union could be a possibility, but it would be a major betrayal of the Likud voters who don’t want them in the government, and most likely they would need to dump Tzipi Livni, whom Netanyahu also doesn’t want to see again in his government, if possible. The Zionist Camp has said they won’t sit in Netanyahu’s coalition.
So, the keys to the kingdom are in Bennett’s hands.
Bayit Yehudi is a natural partner, but the Bayit Yehudi party feels that Netanyahu is not giving them a fair deal, especially after quietly acquiescing to Netanyahu’s siphoning off their voters with his emergency appeals right before elections.
Bennett also claims that Netanyahu, before the elections, offered him the Defense Ministry, and then recanted the offer after the elections.
Bayit Yehudi was also offered to chair the Judicial committee, but it is unlikely that the Likud will allow them to make major reforms against the overly powerful Supreme Court, so that position may be less valuable than previously thought.
At the emergency meeting, Bayit Yehudi saw Liberman’s withdrawal as an opportunity to get the Foreign Ministry, which they have demanding since the elections were over. Bayit Yehudi is particularly miffed that Shas got full control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and will probably now roll back all the progress that Bayit Yehudi made in rectifying that troubled field.
With the keys in his hands, Bennett has the opportunity to demand corrections in the deal with Shas (unlikely as Shas will bolt), as well as to demand a more significant post or posts.
The question is, in this game of chicken, who will blink first?
Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) dropped a political bombshell today, and apparently not as a negotiating tactic, when he announced he is quitting as Foreign Minister and his party will not be joining PM Netanyahu’s coalition.
Liberman, unhappy with the directions of the negotiations said his party will be sticking to its principles, and as a result, will be joining the opposition. He wants Hamas destroyed and construction in the settlements. He also wants to be Foreign Minister again, which Netanyahu doesn’t want.
Sources close to Netanyahu have said that the Likud will be keeping the Foreign Ministry.
Netanyahu has until Wednesday to form a coalition.
Even without the Yisrael Beytenu party, Netanyahu can still form a coalition of 61 with his remaining “natural” partners – Kulanu and the various religious parties. But Netanyahu has been unable to seal the deal as Shas and Bayit Yehudi are in an intractable fight over the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Yisrael Beytenu’s exit may be a blessing for Netanyahu, as it frees up some of Liberman’s ministries which Netanyahu can now offer to his remaining potential partners.
Liberman has claimed that Netanyahu wants to bring in the Zionist Camp (Labor) into the coalition.
Within the Zionist Camp, an open revolt has begun against Tzipi Livni, with Shelly Yechimovitch publicly proclaiming that she does not see Livni as the co-head of the party, after boycotting the Zionist Camp party meeting.
If it weren’t so late in the coalition negotiations game, this could have been the first shot in removing Livni from the party, and paving the way for Labor to enter the coalition, and forming a ‘National Unity’ government.
Yitzchak Herzog has denied he planned to join Netanyahu’s coalition at any point. Herzog believes that Netanyahu’s coalition will be “unstable” and “doomed to failure.”
Retired neurosurgeon and black Republican Dr. Ben Carson has announced he is running to be his party’s nominee for president in next year’s election.
Dr. Carson visited Israel in December, reported here, an unofficial prerequisite for presidential candidates.
The 63-year-old Republican is from Detroit, lived in Baltimore for more than 35 years and now lives in Florida. He was the first black doctor to head the Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgery unit.
His lack of both political experience and ties with such factions as the Tea Party offers Republican voters a distinct choice among the growing number of candidates. However, he does not have the organization and political experience of other contenders, the most popular being Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, also from outside the political world, is considering tossing her hat in the political ring.
Dr. Carson grew up in poverty and has the appeal to white voters as their desired image of an America where anyone can achieve success through hard work and without making himself out to be a victim.
He has been a harsh critic of President Barack Obama, whom Dr. Carson once described as someone who “seems to believe more in a utopian view of cradle-to-grave care.”
He has made headlines, for better and for worse, on the issue of same-sex marriage. Below is an interview on CNN in which he maintained that homosexuality is a choice and that each state should decide for itself whether or not to allow marriages of homosexuals. He said in the interview that many people become homosexuals after being in prison.
After harsh criticism, he apologized, and Dr. Carson stated before announcing his candidacy today:
I’ve come to recognize that when you use certain terms, people can no longer hear anything else you say. As you’ll notice in the last several weeks, I’ve been able to get my points across without inflammatory language.
In his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in December, Dr. Carson placed a note between the bricks and later referred to King Solomon in an interview with CBN and said he asked God for “Solomonic wisdom on what to do” concerning the race for president.
His stand on Israel is clear, and he told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,
“Until such time as their neighbors are no longer desirous of their elimination,” Israel’s continued control of the West Bank “makes perfectly good sense.”
Dr. Carson’s strong conservative stand may appeal to Christian evangelists despite his being black.
He said at the national Prayer Breakfast earlier this year that the United States is headed for “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.” He also declared:
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.”