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December 25, 2014 / 3 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘elections’

Jeb Bush Uses Hanukkah And Christmas Greeting To Launch Presidential Bid

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

Jeb Bush announced his intention to “actively” explore the presidency in a Christmas and Hanukkah greeting message.

“Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!” the former Florida governor Bush said in a Facebook message posted Tuesday.

He described conversations he had with his family over Thanksgiving.

“As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States,” he said.

Bush likely would attract substantial Jewish Republican support because of the closeness of Jewish Republicans to his brother, former President George W. Bush, and because he is perceived as a moderate relative to other candidates.

Eli Yishai Names His Pick for Prime Minister

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

Eli Yishai told reporters today that following the elections, he plans to recommend to President Rivlin that his preference for Prime Minister is Bibi Netanyahu.

Naftali Bennett has also made it clear that he will recommend a right-wing led government under Netanyahu.

Last week Avigdor Liberman said he could go with either Netanyahu or Herzog/Livni, but in a poor attempt at damage control, a few days later Liberman said he might recommend himself to the president.

Yishai’s statement puts pressure on Aryeh Deri to publicly pick a side.

At this point, a Knesset Channel poll has both Yishai and Deri’s party each receiving 4 seats.

Is Jewish Home Big Enough to Accept Muslim Candidate for Knesset?

Monday, December 15th, 2014

An Israeli Arab from Akko (Acre) and who now lives on a kibbutz is campaigning to be a Jewish Home Knesset Member candidate because she “agrees with everything“ the party stands for.

“I support settlers. They are the true Jews,” Annette Khasikya said in an interview with Israel Radio Monday. She supports the concept of ”Greater Israel,” meaning all of Judea and Samaria as part of Israel, and dismisses the Oslo Accords and the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif in 2005 as tragic mistakes that “invited terror.”

She also thinks that the Jewish Home party is the only one that will care for the “rights of Arabs and not those who want to harm the State of Israel.”

To top it off, her three children, including a daughter, are or were soldiers. One son was decorated for his fighting in the Protective Edge campaign against Hamas in Gaza last summer, and the other son is a Golani combat soldier.

A Muslim in the Jewish Home party sounds like a contradiction in terms, but the party’s title expresses the idea of all of Israel being a home for the Jewish People. It does not mean it is a party for Jews, just as the Torah specifically provides for “resident aliens,” known in Hebrew as “Ger Toshav,” and not to be confused with the “Righteous Gentile (Ger Tzedek).”

The Torah specifically states that non-Jews – there were no Muslims or Palestinians at the time, no matter how much the Palestinian Authority tries to proclaim Jesus as one of theirs – are to be respected and given rights in Israel if they keep up their part of the deal as resident aliens.

The must surrender idol worship, observe the Seven Commandments of the children of Noah, testify as such before a rabbinic court and not be circumcised, which could be a problem for most Muslim men.

The concept of a “resident alien” is rooted in the Torah, but there is a difference of opinion –  did you expect otherwise? – if it is applicable today.

That does not get the Jewish Home party off the hook.

Here is a woman, a former Likud party supporter, who is proud to be a Zionist and is not afraid to say so.

“The Jewish Home party is not extremist,” she says. “It is very Zionist; it loves the country and wants to preserve the country.”

She complains that she suffers from the stigma of Arabs being anti-Zionists and terrorists to the point that Jews do not want to rent a home to her daughter, but Khasikya rejects the idea of joining a left-wing or Arab party.

“I don’t need the left or the Arab Knesset Members,” she declared. “If they would represent me, I would not have to stand up today and declare I am a Muslim, a Zionist and that I love the country.

“Arab Knesset Members represent a different people. The left presents itself as if they worry about Arabs. None of them worry about Arabs; I worry about Arabs. I know what we need.”

Her agenda includes setting up a “Gadna” pre-army unit for Arab youth “so they can discover love for the country, the IDF and their Israeli identity.”

Khasikya may sound like a nut case, but her views actually are consistent not only with the Torah concept but also with the doctrine of the Druze, whose motto is to be faithful to the country in which they live. She represents the ideal non-Jewish Israeli citizen.

The first thought that might come to mind when speaking of an Arab MK is Hanin Zoabi, the fiery anti-Zionist who supports Hamas and was on the Mavi Mamara boat sponsored by IHH terrorists who tried to break the maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza four years ago.

Election Tidbits: Michael Oren, Rami Levi, Jewish Home and Shas

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Rabbis and Shas political leaders Monday morning failed in a last-ditch attempt so stop former party leader MK Eli Yishai from leaving Shas and setting up his own party, possibly with the support of the Jewish Home’s Tekuma faction, headed by Housing Minster Uri Ariel.

Chances to make peace between Yishai and Shas chairman Aryeh Deri were rated as very low, but there is more optimism in the Jewish Home party. However, Ariel gained an advantage with the announcement that a member of his faction, MK Yoni Chetboun, will not run for re-lection on the Jewish Home slate.

Party member and Tekuma colleague MK Orit Struk has said she will follow Ariel if he forms a new party or joins with Yishai. With Chetboun and Struk, Ariel will have the minimum of number of Jewish Home MKs needed to take along with them millions of shekels for funding their campaign.

Suspense still surrounds Moshe Kahlon’s new Kulanu party. He is courting Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, who said two months ago he would not enter politics. If he does, he will have proven his credential to be a politician by not keeping his word.

Kahlon has scotched rumors that supermarket mogul Rami Levi will join his party, whose banner will be social justice.

Rami Levi supermarkets are known for having the lowest prices in the country but he also is known for fighting attempts to raise the minimum wage, which he pays to thousands of his workers.

 

 

 

Secular Yesha Leader Dani Dayan Bolts Likud for Jewish Home Party

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Dani Dayan, a secular leader in Judea and Samaria, announced Sunday he is leaving the Likud party and is joining the Jewish Home party where he will run for the Knesset.

Dayan, who is not a Knesset Member, is almost a shoe-in to win a “sure” spot on the list and the addition of another secular Knesset Member turns the screws tighter on Jewish Home Knesset Members Uri Ariel and Orit Struk, who are threatening to leave the party.

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bonnet welcomed Dayan, former chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, known by the acronym “Yesha.”

“He is a real fighter for the Land of Israel,” Bennett said, adding that bygones will be bygones, referring to former differences between them. Looking forward to a new coalition next March with the Likud party, Bennett said the addition of Dayan will strengthen the next government as more nationalist, without the inclusion of Tzipi Livni, who shoved the “Peace Process” in the faces of Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu even when Mahmoud Abbas was praising terrorists.

Dayan joins Ayelet Shaked as the two most prominent secular members of the Jewish Home party, highlighting Bennett’s strategy to open the nationalist camp to everyone and not follow the old-line National Religious Party ideology of keeping its doors closed to secular Jews.

Knesset Member Orit Struk, who is part of Housing Minister Uri Ariel’s Tekuma faction that joined the Jews Home in the last elections, said that Dayan’s appearance on the scene is further evidence that Bennett does not want Tekuma in the party.

“They are turning the Jewish Home into a second-rate Likud,” Struk told Israel radio Sunday.

She accused Bennett of spreading lies about the Tekuma faction concerning its ties with rabbis, exactly the image that plagued the old National Religious Party and which Bennett wants to erase from the memory of the voters.

Bennett has rejected Ariel’s to reserve top spots for his Tekuma faction on the list of candidates.

Ariel and Struk are throwbacks to the hard-line attitude that a “true” nationalist has to be religious, that yeshivas and Judea and Samaria are all that are important to the country,  and that a non-religious nationalist party will turn into a watered-down Likud.

She said Tekuma has several options, including running as a separate party  or joining party expected to be established by Eli Yishai, who appears to be hours or days away from splitting off from the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Ariel and Struk’s ideology is scantly what has handicapped national religious factions in the past. Hey trust their rabbis, whose mixture in politics almost always is catastrophic, and don’t trust secular Jews.

There is one unmentioned element t as large as their ideology and which may put the brakes  on Ariel and Struk. It is called “money.”

The Tekuma faction, like any other faction, mist take with it 25 percent of the current party’s Knesset Members in order to carry a wad of money from Jewish Home’s treasure chest, money that will be needed for Tekuma’s own election campaign.

Tekuma faction MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan already has decided he will run with the Jewish Home party rather than take a chance of losing a Knesset seat by running with Ariel on a separate party list that might not even win the minimum number of votes needed to enter the legislature.

That leaves Yoni Chetboun as Ariel and Struk’s only possibility, unless they want to go on their own without a suitcase of a few million shekels that Bennett would be happy to keep for himself.

Polls Show Voters Don’t Like Bibi but He Will Be Elected

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

More than 60 percent of Israeli voters think Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will return to office, according to a poll published Saturday by Channel 10.

The results are totally opposite the impression promoted by foreign and local anti-Netanyahu media the past week that his popularity has dropped to as low as 23 percent.

Netanyahu was very popular during the Protective Edge war against Hamas last summer. Once it was over and Israelis went back to fighting each other instead of the enemy, his rating plummeted, which is par for the course.

It is not surprising the Prime Minister is not popular because he does not have panaceas for security and gimmicks for the economy, the top issues that worry Israeli voters even more than a soccer game.

When Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog and his new has-been partner Tzipi Livni speak of magic potions like the Peace Process and social justice unto the ears of the People of Israel, they become very popular, temporarily.

The poll by Channel 10, which last week announced that Netanyahu’s popularity rating was only 23 percent, showed that 62 percent of Israelis think Netanyahu will return as Prime Minister after the elections in March,

More astounding, no one else came nearly as close. Number two, so to speak, was Herzog, whom only 15 percent thought will lead the next coalition.

Herzog and Livni simply do not have Netanyahu’s success and ability to communicate.

The center-left, buoyed by the media, can fool themselves into thinking they will dump Netanyahu, but the Channel 10 poll shows the voters prefer someone they do not like and  on whom they can depend rather someone who they like but is acting out the part.

Livni Feints Right, Liberman Fumbles, and Everyone Thinks It’s Purim

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

There’s something appropriate that the upcoming Israeli elections are being held so soon after the Purim holiday.

I would venture to say it’s the only explanation for the mishaps, mistakes, and clown-like behavior.

Let’s start with Tzipi Livni (Hatnua).

The polls showed that Livni was unlikely to pass the electoral threshold, yet both Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Yitzchak Herzog (Labor) courted and chased after Livni as if she was the last girl on Earth.

Like King Achashverosh of Shushan, Herzog offered Livni half his kingdom, though unlike Achahverosh, Herzog doesn’t actually have a kingdom to offer, but then again, Livni doesn’t have anything to offer in return either.

And when these two sycophants agreed to merge with one another (to the dismay of most of the MKs in the Labor party), Livni and Herzog’s “brilliant” campaign strategy to gain votes was to change the merged party’s name into “The Zionist Camp”, a name selected solely as an attempt to outwit the campaign slogans of their competitors and the Right – and not because it has much connection to reality.

(But that’s typical of the Left, hijacking normal words and phrases, corrupting them so badly they can no longer be used in their proper context – just look how they’ve corrupted the term “Freedom of Speech” — now it means shutting down newspapers.)

The two can only hope they don’t confuse and turn off their Left-wing voters who don’t want to vote for the Zionist camp.

And then we have Aryeh Deri. Like on Purim, Deri is drunk on power.

Deri is so afraid of Eli Yishai, as Yishai is considered the better, more honest, the more popular, and the more capable politician, that Deri did everything to push Yishai down and out – even though polls showed that Shas with Yishai at its head would win 2 seats more than Shas with Deri in charge.

As a result, Shas is likely to crash, and whatever new party Yishai forms will do well – which is good, because we know where Yishai stands and what he’s capable of, and his record doesn’t include jail time.

And then we have our friends in Bayit Yehudi – both sides standing up so hard for their principles that they’re just going to split the party that has the potential to become the second largest in the Knesset.

It’s right out of a Purim Shpiel, or maybe just a Greek tragedy.

And finally, there’s Avigdor Liberman.

Yes, Avigdor. The man who claims he is the most responsible adult in the room.

The man, who after the 2009 election, disappeared overseas for days, right in the middle of the February coalition negotiations, forgetting his cell phone at home, and leaving the country stuck in neutral, as he played power games and kingmaker with Netanyahu and Livni.

And yes, here is Mr. Responsible Adult, once again, playing the same childish games.

Once again Liberman won’t say if he will support the Right or Left. In fact he came out yesterday and explicitly said he might very well support Livni and Herzog for Prime Minister.

It sounded earily similar to what Liberman told Radio Kol Yisrael in 2009 (via A7), before disappearing:

“Our position is already clear and I know exactly what I am going to tell President Shimon Peres. In order to know whom we are going to recommend, we will wait six more days. I think it is too early and there is no point saying whom we support. I have met with both Livni and Netanyahu and with additional people in the political system but my position is already clear and solid. When we go to the President we will say very clear things.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/livni-feints-right-liberman-fumbles-and-everyone-thinks-its-purim/2014/12/14/

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