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August 2, 2015 / 17 Av, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Eli Yishai’

Can Yachad Appeal to Women? ‘Yes’ Say Yachad Women Making Policy

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

During the interview with Yachad candidate Baruch Marzel earlier this week, as we were looking over the newly-printed party platform, we asked why there were no women on the party list.

The answer was rather vague, but a staunch Yachad supporter who entered the room during the interview smiled and said “ask Fayga.” Who?

Fayga Marks.

Marks is a young dynamo, a volunteer in the party, an American olah who wore large gold hoop earrings, a blue jean skirt, and has very long blond hair, wrapped around itself in a large, makeshift bun. She came into the room to remind the candidate of an appointment (aren’t all candidates always running late?). We caught her eye and asked to speak with her. We’re glad we did.

Fayga Marks, a Yachad party volunteer working on women's issues.

Fayga Marks, a Yachad party volunteer working on women’s issues.

Marks said she is running the Anglo women’s forum for Yachad. Some of the initiatives they have been discussing includes legislation to assist women, such as revising the “cottage” laws and possibly legalizing home births.

The cottage industry initiative sounds odd, but it’s actually an important economic issue for women.

The Israeli regulations governing home (“cottage”) businesses is cumbersome and involves layers of bureaucracy. As a result, many people who have cottage businesses end up doing it illegally. That frustrates those who prefer to stay above board, and it also means the loss of tax revenue for the state. One example of a cottage industry is home-made (literally) baked goods. It’s a big industry for charedi women, and Yachad wants to see changes that will benefit everyone.

When asked about women serving in the army, she laughed and pointed to the dog tags around her neck. She served in the Israeli air force, and she proudly noted, her charedi brother also serves in the IDF.

Marks also talked about the accommodations that have only recently begun to be made for charedim to serve. For example, on many army bases there was no kashrut supervision. She also talked about wanting to create a nachal unit for charedi girls.

That conversation led to a discussion about doing more to incorporate charedim into the larger Israeli society. She was very frank: “I don’t believe everyone can sit at home and learn. The state can only manage to support about 10 percent of the learning population. The rest have to work, they see that the kollel salary won’t cover the costs of housing, food, electricity. But, she said, we need to create incentives, just as there are incentives for people who serve in the army. Once the incentives are there, people join in.

As Marks walked us through campaign headquarters, one thing quickly became obvious: there are at least as many women working there as there are men. And, as one of the men pointed out, the women are actually working, while many of the men are kibitzing in the hallways.

There are several large rooms and a few smaller offices in one section of Yachad campaign headquarters. There are lots of women in these rooms, some with a few men as well. Some of the women have their head covered, some do not. Some are wearing dark dresses, many are wearing bright shirts and skirts of different lengths (starting at the knee).

Marks introduced Liat Malka, who is the campaign assistant to Rebetzin Yishai (the wife of the Yachad party leader, Eli Yishai). Malka was amenable to having photographs taken of the Yachad women working, but had to ask if it was okay with the individual women. Some said yes while some demurred, but for a party that is described by those who think this is a bad thing as “ultra Orthodox,” it was interesting that quite a few women were fine with being photographed.

Although Malka was introduced as the assistant to “the Rebetzin,” Marks later explained that most people simply call the Rebetzin by her first name, Tzippi.  Marks confided, “she doesn’t like to be called the Rebetzin, but that’s what I call her and others do as well. She doesn’t chase after respect or kavod, it chases her.”

Why I am Voting for Bayit Yehudi

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Naftali Bennett should not take my vote for granted. Until this week I’ve been wavering between voting Likud, Bayit Yehudi or Yachad (Otzma Yehudit).

I’m not happy with any of them, though some would say the definition of elections is voting for the candidate you least dislike.

Obviously, I wouldn’t vote Kulanu, whose members go from Left to very Left. Or Yisrael Beytenu, when Liberman can’t construct a simple statement of intent that doesn’t leave himself open to maneuvering and interpretation – that really turns me off.

There’s a certain logic to voting for the Likud. They’re the biggest party, they hold the reins, and they control the checkbook. Netanyahu is an amazing orator. And better a strong Likud in power than Labor.

There’s a lot of good people in the Likud. There’s Hotovely, Danon, Edelstein, Elkin, Kara… But there are some bad apples on that list too who I don’t want to see in the Knesset.

But as a party they lack a unified ideology other than security and pragmatism. They could easily swing left if they felt their security concerns were properly addressed, or had to be sacrificed for something they felt was equally important.

I also dislike what they did to Feiglin.

But most importantly, I’m concerned Netanyahu will try to form a unity government with the Left if he feels it’s in his best interest to do so.

I entertained the idea of voting for Yachad.

I like Eli Yishai. I think he has always been an excellent minister, and it will be good if he were a minister in the next government.

I’m not exactly blown away by anyone else on his list, though having Baruch Marzel there does at least give him strong right wing credentials. But I don’t actually know enough about Marzel’s positions on anything other than Hebron and the Settlements for me to be willing to give him my vote.

But Yachad has some serious downsides.

They may not pass the electoral threshold, and that’s not a risk I want to take with my vote.

And even if they do pass, there is a good chance that Netanyahu will simply leave them out of the coalition (or at least Marzel). In which case, we’ve already seen how powerless a rightwing party is when excluded from a supposedly rightwing coalition.

This leads me back to Naftali Bennett and Bayit Yehudi.

Bennett was great on security issues. Of that there’s no doubt. He was great representing us in the international media during the Gaza war. I believe he may one day be our Prime Minister, and he’ll probably be a good one.

He was also amazing on economic issues.

And while other parties were proposing solutions to the housing problem, Bayit Yehudi actually implemented solutions that worked.

But I’m was disappointed in his party’s performance last time around in another important area.

In the religious sphere, one of the most important things he could have done was get us a Religious-Zionist Chief Rabbi – and his party failed at that – spectacularly.

While they did manage to block Elazar Stern’s bad ideas on religion and state, Bayit Yehudi failed to implement some of the good ones too.

In fact, for a Religious-Zionist party, I feel they haven’t emphasized their religious side enough – and I believe that problem comes from the top.

Too many of the Bennett commercials are about attracting secular Jews – and I understand he wants to widen his voter base, but as a result, he’s ignoring his religious base, or taking it for granted. Choosing soccer player Eli Ohana was a symptom of that thinking.

I’m certainly not interested in Rabbis running the party (they should run for office if they want to be in politics), but I do want to know how Bayit Yehudi envisions the future of religion and state, and what their practical solutions are for dealing with the tough problems we face in those areas (agunot, the Chareidi monopolies, conversion, Kashrut, Shabbat, etc.) – and not just what solutions they plan to block.

I would have liked to have seen Eli Yishai as a member of Bayit Yehudi. True, he is Chareidi (or Sephardi Chareidi which is different), but I think he would have brought some much needed religious character back to the party.

But it comes down to this…

I don’t trust Likud to not freeze settlements or do something else leftwing. I don’t think Yachad will be influential enough to change anything if they do manage to get in, and that leaves Bayit Yehudi.

When Bayit Yehudi party members say that a large Bayit Yehudi party will have their hands on the steering wheel alongside Bibi making sure he doesn’t turn left, there is a straightforward undeniable logic to that.

So given the options at the voting booth, it seems the only option is Bayit Yehudi.

Naftali, please don’t make me regret my choice.

A Yishai–Ben-Ari Mashup Would Hurt Bayit Yehudi, but No Mashup Will be Even Worse

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Polls that showing that Eli Yishai’s Yachad party won’t pass the minimum electoral threshold. Neither will Michael Ben-Ari’s Otzma Yehudit party. As a result, they could lose at least 4 seats that could have gone towards a right-wing coalition.

But joined together, the two are not only more likely to get in, but could possibly get as many as 7 seats.

But it comes at a cost.

Bayit Yehudi drops from 15 or 16 in the polls to 13 seats. Shas will also take a hit and drop back down to 6, after rallying this past week.

While Bayit Yehudi will take a small hit, in the big picture, Bayit Yehudi and Yachad would then bring 20 seats to the coalition, not 15 – assuming Naftali Bennett agrees to work with them after the elections.

It’s clear that neither the Yachad nor the Otzma party chiefs plans to step down for the greater good and ensure Bayit Yehudi gets their otherwise lost votes, so the only sane option left is for them is to join together for the elections.

The question is, will their ideological handcuffs allow them to do the right thing?

Eli Yishai Wants Moshe Hager to Run in ‘Yachad’ Party

Monday, January 19th, 2015

Eli Yishai has asked Moshe Hager, a prominent figure in Judea and Samaria and among Army Reservists, to run on his Yachad (Together) party. Hager told The Jewish Press Monday he has not yet decided whether to enter politics.

Pre-election polls so far have left Yishai’s party on the borderline of winning the minimum number of votes necessary for a party to enter the Knesset.

Hagar is a Colonel in the Reserves and founded the first “mechina” religious pre-army Torah Academy in 1991 in Beit Yatir, located on the southern edge of Judea and Samaria, northeast of Be’er Sheva. He also is a nephew of former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Hager-Lau.

Yishai’s choice of Hagar indicates he is not interested in Michael Ben-Ari, who heads his own Otzma party that has no chance of succeeding in the elections.

Unlike Ben-Ari, noted for provocative gimmicks to embarrass leftists, Hagar has an image of moderation and co-existence with those of different opinions although he is strongly rightwing.

A descendant of the Vishnitz dynasty, his running with Yishai might attract more Ashkenazi voters as well as thousands of Israelis who have learned in his mechina and served under his command in active and reserve duty.

When Hager took a leave of absence several years ago, he was replaced by Rabbi Avichai Ronski, who now is candidate on the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) list of candidates.

 

Deri Returns to the Sound of One Hand Clapping [election]

Monday, January 12th, 2015

Aryeh Deri is pulling down the curtain on his third-grade political acrobatic stunt and will play the part of the most humble man on the planet Monday when he accepts a rabbi’s order to return to head whatever remains of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Deri quit last month, vowing never to return, after a leaked video showed the party’s founder and spiritual leader, the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, praising Deri’s political enemy Eli Yishai and calling Deri “evil” because of the bribery scandal that landed him in the slammer for three years.

Deri performed a splendid act of saying he could not possibly return to the Shas party after a still-unknown instigator exposed the video and supposedly disgraced the holiness of Rabbi Yosef.

It is not clear why so many people think that the video shamed the late rabbi. His image actually should have been considered more holy for his having stated a politician caught for bribery is not exactly the figure who should lead Shas.

The fact that people think the opposite says a lot about the Shas political party, where the sheepish followers of Rabbi Yosef and his family worship and embalm his image,

Deri set the stage for Rabbi Shalom Cohen, head of Shas’ so-called Council of Sages, to order Deri to come back in his black hat on his white horse and head the party.

“You have no permission to leave, I order you to come back and lead the holy movement,” Rabbi Cohen commanded him.

The holy Deri will lead the holy Shas to attract the holy voters to serve in the unholy Knesset where Shas has the holy mission to cut holy deals for its holy institutions.

Deri played out the soap opera of the video leak for every vote he could.

Pre-election polls have shown that Deri will draw around seven seats in the Knesset elections March 17.  Yishai’s new party is teetering on the edge of drawing enough support for the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset.

Likud Beats Labor-Livni as Lieberman Sinks in New Polls

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The Likud party has sailed past the Labor-Livni party in a new poll taken after early returns in the Likud primary elections Thursday night pointed to a more centrist list of candidates.

The survey for Walla! News by Teleseker (TNS) also shows that the Yisrael Beitenu party, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, has suffered sharp losses following the suspected bribe scandal revealed by police last week.

With ideological right-winger Moshe Feiglin off a realistic place on the Likud list of candidates, the Likud came up with 26 projected seats in the Knesset, while Labor-Livni remained stuck with 23.

However, an Israel Radio poll taken after the Likud primary elections still puts Labor-Livni one seat ahead of the Likud.

The TNS poll revealed that 40 percent of the respondents think that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is the best man to lead the government, and only 24.3 percent gave their support for Yitzchak Herzog, chairman of the Labor party, and his new sidekick Tzipi Livni. The two Labor party leaders agreed that they will be rotating prime ministers if their party forms the next government, which seems unlikely if the polls don’t change dramatically before the March 17 elections.

The Jewish Home party continues to remain with 16 projected Knesset Members in all polls, one-third more than it had in the outgoing Knesset.

A Globes poll taken before the Likud primaries, like the TNS survey, shows that the Yisrael Beitenu would win only seven seats in the Knesset if elections were held today.

Both the Globes and TNS polls give Shas a new lease on life since the leak earlier this week of a video showing the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, who was the first and last word in the Haredi Sephardi party, trashing Aryeh Deri and favoring Eli Yishai, who now heads his own party.

Shas would win seven seats in the Knesset, according to TNS, and six according to the Globes poll, while Yishai would come up with nothing, according to both polls.

The standing of Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid, and Kulanu, the new party founded by former Likud minister Moshe Kahlon, remain virtually unchanged, with each one  projected to win nine or ten Knesset seats.

Both polls give the left-wing Meretz party seven seats.

The bottom line is that Netanyahu will form the next government, and the Opposition may be even weaker than before.

The more that the merged Labor-Livni party cannot make headway, the more that Kahlon will mind his Ps and Qs to make sure he can get what he wants out of joining a coalition led by the Likud.

However, at this stage, a coalition of Likud, Jewish Home, Kahlon and Yisrael Beitenu still leaves Netanyahu four seats shy of a majority.

His choices are either or both of the Haredi parties because it is difficult to see Lapid and Netanyahu working together. If Lapid suddenly starts distancing himself from Labor and begins talking about the importance of Jews in Judea and Samaria, it would mean his ego finally is deflated, which would be the eighth wonder of the world.

But today’s polls are not the last word, and I am not going out on a long or weak limb to predict that Jewish home, headed by Naftali Bennett, will pick up more seats at the expense of Likud, Kahlon and possibly Yisrael Beitenu.

The Shas Council of Sages Responds to Deri’s Resignation Offer…

Monday, December 29th, 2014

The Shas Council of Sages has refused to accept Aryeh Deri’s resignation as head of the Shas party.

The rabbis from Shas’s Council of Sages went to Deri’s home to personally let him know their decision. But Deri wasn’t there or wasn’t making himself available to greet them.

Following the release of the Rav Ovadia video yesterday, in which Rav Ovadia had harsh words to say about Aryeh Deri, Deri spent the day trying to redirect the message and say that whoever released the video disgraced the name of Rav Ovadia.

From the start, the resignation letter appears to have been a tactic to show Sephardi voters that Shas’s rabbis stand behind him and to shift the conversation away from the video.

According to Channel 2, Deri withdrew his resignation in response to the council’s request.

But according to Channel 10, Deri’s wife said the resignation was real, and Deri was prepared to become a regular Shas MK, and not the party head, and he wasn’t available to meet with the Rabbis at the time.

Kol Yisrael says that Deri refused to meet the Rabbis, and he told his family that he is determined to no longer be the party chairman.

The saga continues…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/the-shas-council-of-sages-responds-to-deris-resignation-offer/2014/12/29/

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