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August 22, 2014 / 26 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Finance Minister Yair Lapid’

Why Is One of the Strongest Western Economies Feeling So Vulnerable?

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

The generally accepted indicators of economic health put Israel in a good position, so why has Finance Minister Yair no future Lapid been declaring us on the verge of bankruptcy?

A few months ago he took away a good portion of the Child Allowances, so now more Israeli children have less and are in poverty or close to it.  And recently he keeps harping that we must do everything America and Europe say or our economy will collapse.

Finance Minister Yair Lapid on Monday said that Israel’s economy will take a blow if there is no arrangement reached with the Palestinians. “It will hit the pocket of every Israeli if we don’t deal with it,” he said in an interview with Army Radio. “Every Israeli needs to make a decision. He needs to know that if there’s not an arrangement his economic life will be harmed, and he needs to decide what he thinks about it.”

Those predictions and  policies are very dangerous and can cause more economic problems than our going our own way would have.

Knesset Foreign Relations and Security Committee member, Jewish Home MK Yoni Chetboun, this morning slammed the repeated warnings, both on the part of foreigners and Israeli government ministers, that Israel is facing a complete severing from the world economy should it fail to comply with the Palestinian, European and American demands for withdrawal from Judea and Samaria, Srugim reported. Accoding to MK Chetboun, “We are under an assault of cognitive terrorism intended to pressure Israel.” The equation is simple,” he continued. “The more stressed and weak we look, the stronger the boycott campaign will become. These terrorist threat won’t hold water unless we provide them with a vessel.” In that context, said Chetboun, the drama that Ministers Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid are introducing into the discussion is dangerous, and will only lead to increased pressures. “I understand the concern,” Chetboun added, “and no one thinks that an economic boycott would be good for Israel. But the irresponsible panic of Lapid and Livni is only fanning the flames of the scare campaign and the boycotts. I expect the Zionist left, too, to show responsibility and not to push Israel into undertaking dangerous steps.”

Read more here.

The best thing for the Israeli economy is to conduct our affairs without paying attention to what all the foreign busybodies say.  They really don’t care about our future.  They have their own agendas and want us to fail, fall and cease to exit.

We, the State of Israel,  must conduct our policies and economy according to what’s best for us and how to expand, not contract.  A strong and sovereign Israel is an independent one.  The Netanyahu government coalition is going the wrong way.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

Jewish Home MK: It’s Time to Separate from Yair Lapid

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Yonatan “Yoni” Chetboun, elected to the Jewish Home 11th spot last January, on Tuesday told Galey Israel Radio that it’s time to dismantle the pact that ushered both Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid parties into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The interview is an open announcement of an idea that has been in discussion within Jewish Home for some time now.

An open and serious clash between the two parties, whose two leaders entered the coalition as brothers in arms, united against Netanyahu, has erupted over something called the Jewish Identity Administration, a new program devised by Bennett’s Ministry of Religious services.

The purpose of the new program was to enhance high school students’ love for the Jewish country, nation and history, through “creating live and meaningful encounters between our youth and the treasure trove of Jewish knowledge as well as the historic legacy of the nation of Israel.”

What the program was designed to do is hand out money to organizations that then would go and execute those ideas.

Except that Finance Minister Yair Lapid announced that Jewish tradition and the treasure trove of knowledge should include more than just Orthodox ideas. He wanted to see Conservative and Reform being represented as well.

In other words, take the Bennett et al idea and turn it on its head, because, frankly, much of what the initial purpose of the program entailed would have been fighting against the dangerous influence of non-halachic movements on the Jewish body politic.

In his radio interview, MK Chetboun described Lapid as pushing his own values against that of his National Religious partners. He reminded listeners that Lapid had also lumped Hesder yeshivas, whose students serve in the army in droves, together with Haredi yeshivas, and sucked the oxygen out of all of them. It took an irate intervention of Naftali Bennett to restore the budgets of the Hesderniks.

Meanwhile, the Education Ministry, headed by Rabbi Shai Piron, a Lapid MK, is working on a program to “expand” recognition of non-Orthodox Jewish denominations. Call it a one-two punch.

Chetboun is openly calling for separation from Yesh Atid, even if this would be at the expense of the Jewish Home coalition membership. “Our pact with Yesh Atid positions us in an unhealthy place,” he argued, adding that the party is not commanded to stay in government at all cost, especially not at the cost of abandoning its values, such as the fact that it’s an Orthodox party.

Of course, Yair Lapid is probably the one politician who did the most to bring Bennett and his Knesset list into the government—for purely political and manipulative reasons, but, nevertheless, without him they would have been out and the Haredim in.

The crucial question is whether or not the bridges have been burned to a crisp between Naftali Bennett and the two Haredi parties, Shas and UTJ. Together, they represent a formidable block of 30 MKs – only one less than Likud Beiteinu’s 31. The problem is that a few of the Haredi MKs are anti-Zionist, and some of them have a greater empathy for, say Beduins in the Negev, than for Israeli Jews living in Judea and Samaria.

Still, the Chetboun interview today means that there’s a groundswell within the Jewish Home to sever the ties with Lapid and his minions, and it may not necessarily meet with disapproval on Naftali Bennett’s part.

The Galey Israel Radio interview. Sorry – nothing but Hebrew from this point on…

An Equitable Division of Duties, Lapid Edition

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Housing Minister Uri Ariel and Finance Minister Yair Lapid decided to reactivate the law permitting the sale of Amidar public housing to those currently living in it: the residents will be able to buy million-shekel homes for just a hundred thousand. The law, it should be remembered, was passed against the advice of the Budget Department, the guardian of the national treasury.

Why should residents’ rights accrue to someone living in public housing who doesn’t own his apartment, who at most has paid reduced rent for a number of years? Such a person lives in the apartment courtesy of taxpayers, many of whom themselves rent apartments and pay a pretty penny for the privilege.

Former Housing Minister Natan Sharansky, who learned a thing or two about the advantages and disadvantages of public housing while in Russia, explained to me some time ago why the old law has to be kept inactive: If the apartments are in fact sold to their residents, then there will be no new apartments to replace them, because the money from the sale of the old units won’t be enough to build replacement units. And if the money is used to subsidize apartment rentals on the free market, it will quickly evaporate.

The law itself was born in sin—specifically, that of former MK and minister Ron Cohen of Meretz. At the time, kibbutzim were claiming rights to state lands that had been leased to them on generous terms in order to promote agricultural production. The Supreme Court then ruled on such real estate deals as emerged from this state of affairs, including one by Kibbutz Gan Shemuel, where Cohen had previously made his home. Then the Mizrahi Rainbow organization petitioned the court, claiming that if the kibbutzim were recognized as having rights over these lands, then residents of public housing should be similarly recognized. Cohen’s response was to give both groups precisely what they wanted.

And so it was, just as under communist regimes, that the goodies were distributed to the squeaky wheels and to those with connections: the Mizrahi Rainbow and the kibbutzim. On the way to realizing his leftist brand of social justice, Ron Cohen left the proletariat and the masses high and dry.

Some background is required to understand the enormity of this injustice: At the time, Amidar had 108,000 housing units. Young couples who were just starting out would rent apartments from the company at subsidized prices. Once they were able to stand on their own two feet, they returned the apartments, which then went to other young couples.

The problem was that some families refused to vacate the apartments. Some even managed to leave the apartments to their children: second-generation officially needy people, complete with cars in the backyard.

Both sorts were sold the apartments at ten percent of their worth. For instance, an acquaintance of mine in a development area bought an apartment for 13,000 NIS after the appraiser had come and reduced its book value to 130,000 NIS. Today it’s worth 650,000.

The application of Ron Cohen’s populism was suspended in 2009, at the initiative of the Budget Department. Today there are 61,000 apartments left. They are occupied. Instead of reviewing the current residents’ eligibility, the ministers want to sell them the units. Instead of refreshing the list of eligible beneficiaries and giving new young couples some time in public housing until they’re ready to move forward, they want to give away the apartments to people who have been reaping the benefits for years.

Before another hundred thousand rental units are built, someone had better make sure that they won’t end up the same way as these, sold at a miserable pittance to those living in them.

Ministers Ariel and Lapid, social justice means fair allocation of resources.

Theater of the Left

Most Israeli cultural institutions broadcast on the same channel. Take for instance a recent distorted play about the Jews of Hevron, and another about Yehuda Etzion, the pioneer and ideologue from Ofra who had things he’d never said stuffed into his mouth, courtesy of “creative license.” And it’s not just settlers. The soldiers of the IDF frequently fall victim to these productions, portrayed as so many soldiers of fortune.

Yair Lapid Sets Aside Money for Ariel University

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Israeli Finance Minister Yair Lapid will grant nearly $14 million in aid to Ariel University.

The money, which was pledged by the previous finance minister, Yuval Steinitz, will be transferred in two stages, Haaretz reported Sunday.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein earlier this year blocked the transfer of the money, which had been approved during the election campaign.

About 40 percent of the money will be transferred in August following passage of the new budget, according to the newspaper, and the rest after the start of 2014.

Ariel University Center was recognized by Israel’s Cabinet as an accredited university in September 2012 when it became Israel’s eighth university.

In July, the Ariel center was recognized as a full university by the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria, which was established in 1997 after the Council for Higher Education refused to discuss academic issues concerning Judea and Samaria.

The Judea and Samaria council’s 11-2 vote came despite a recommendation against approval by the planning and budget committee of the Council for Higher Education, as well as opposition from the country’s other seven universities and public figures who objected to upgrading a college in Judea and Samaria.

Lapid Clashing Openly with Haredi MKs as Country Cheers

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Israel’s C-Span is the Knesset Channel (33) which political junkies like myself are hooked on. It’s better than Hollywood boxing matches because it’s just as bloody but with real athletes. A case in point was Monday’s fantastic bout between fresh Finance Minister Yair Lapid and three Haredi MKs which the former won, in this sportscaster’s opinion, if not by a knockout then surely by points.

Lapid, who actually does some amateur boxing in his spare time, was at the Knesset podium to discuss the coming cuts his office will introduce, in order to stop the deficit hemorrhaging of state funds (holding at about $13 billion at last count). It was Lapid’s first speech in his new capacity, which the chairman, MK Meir Sheetrit used when asking the Haredi MKs to cut him some slack this being his “virgin speech.” Lapid mumbled that it was the first time in many years his name and the concept of virginity were used in the same sentence.

It was that kind of a parliamentary confrontation, stormy, angry, and deliciously witty.

As soon as Minister of Finance Lapid rose to get to the podium, he was already attacked by members of the United Torah Judaism, accusing him of a slew of sins, all of which stemmed, supposedly, from his bigoted attitude towards Haredim.

“I empathize with Mr. Porush sorrow over the fact that you are no longer members of the coalition government,” Lapid shot back, clearly enjoying himself. “these must be very difficult times for you.”

That was funny! But Lapid had just begun. Next he turned on the same Haredi MKs, after they accused him of running a deficit budget. “Did you juts come down to Earth from mars?” he asked. “Were you not partners over the last thirty years in the governments that created this deficit? This deficit is written on your name, my job is to solve the deficit you created. And, mind you, you were not exactly the cheapest coalition members…”

When he presented his proposed vote of no-confidence (there was a whole bunch of those Monday), MK Meir Porush (United Torah Judaism) made the tactical mistake of mentioning that Israel is a country surrounded by enemies.

Lapid replied: “You had the courage to come and say that the most important issue is security. You are worried about the decline in the rates of IDF recruitment? Do not concern yourself, this government will make sure that there will be many new recruits from your very own backyard. Do not concern yourself about the strength of the IDF. Every draft dodging is unacceptable, everyone will be drafted.”

Swoosh! Score! Three pointer!

Haredi Mk Gafni asked Lapid: “Why do you issue Facebook Messages on Shabbat?” to which Lapid responded angrily: “I’m entitled to send messages on Shabbat, I’m not a religious man, you are free to do what you want on Shabbat, and I’ll do what I want on Shabbat.”

On Tuesday morning, MK Gafni told the Army radio it was a mistake to confront Lapid as he and his two colleagues had done. Lapid ate them for lunch and the entire country cheered him on. A Haredi journalist told The Jewish Press he was begging the Torah Judaism MKs not to play into Lapid’s hands, and instead get him where it hurts, make fun of him and his dubious liberal arts education. The Haredim will have to think outside the box on this one, or the next four years will be an endless sitcom with themselves in the role of the village idiots.

The pièce de résistance of Lapid’s manhandling of the three Haredi amigos was the issue of cutting back child support. Of all the coming cuts, this one is expected to be the cruelest. So you’d have thought that the Haredi MKs would score big on this obvious slow ball over center plate? Not on Monday.

“The people who are expected to take care of children in the first place are their parents,” he said sternly, and then poured forth a hundred years of prejudiced, Haredi loathing criticism about making all these babies without a care in the world, because the nanny state will take care of them. It was hard to watch, and if the Torah Judaism MKs are not careful, their own Haredi voters would go for Lapid next time. Already Time Magazine has included the new handsome in its list of 100 most influential people – while dropping Netanyahu altogether!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/at-last-lapid-clashing-openly-with-haredi-mks-as-country-cheers/2013/04/23/

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