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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘gideon sa’ar’

Israel Confirms Sending Migrants to Third Country

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Following reports that Israel was sending African migrants to Uganda, Israeli Interior Minister Gideon Saar confirmed that Israel is sending migrants to a third-party country.

“The departure for third countries, on the basis of agreements we have reached, is of limited scope, in the order of dozens,” Saar said Tuesday at a press conference, according to Haaretz, which reported two weeks ago that migrants were going to Uganda. “It’s a relative minority of the infiltrators who are leaving, but in this I’m not counting infiltrators who leave of their own free will to other, additional countries.”

Saar did not say which country had agreed to absorb the migrants, nor would he provide details on the arrangement to voluntarily deport migrants from Israel.

Approximately 55,000 t0 60,000 migrants live in Israel, most of them from Eritrea and Sudan. More than 1,700 left Israel in February.

The migrants are seeking refugee status in Israel and say they have come fleeing persecution and oppressive dictatorships in their home countries. Israeli government officials say the migrants have come seeking economic opportunity, and the government has granted refugee status to only a small handful.

Minister Katz: Livni Should Give Back the Car Keys

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013

Minister Israel Katz (best transportation minister ever!) said on Tuesday that if the news is correct, and Justice Minister and Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni is offering a different position from that of the government she serves, she should put down the car keys and go home (to use a transpiration-related metaphor). She has no backing inside the government, nor does she enjoy a popular mandate to promote her own position.

Katz, writing on his Facebook page, emphasized that he is committed to this government and is against the dividing of Jerusalem.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, who is considered a Likud leftist, nevertheless reiterated the position that when it comes to Jerusalem Prime Minister Netanyahu and his government object to dividing Jerusalem and giving up any part of Israel’s sovereignty over the city.

Of course, this government supports Arab rule on Temple Mount and is busy keeping Israeli patriots such as Likud MK Moshe Feiglin from setting foot up there, but that’s just a side issue and this is not the right time for pesky reporters to make their own pesky points.

Speaking on Israel Radio, Minister Sa’ar added that an interim deal with the Palestinians would not be out of the question, if there is a willingness on the other side. But he added that the PA is pushing a hard line and initiating anti-Israeli maneuvers while conducting the talks, which he believes they’re doing to make this round of talks fail in order to invite outside pressure to bear on Israel.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister Yair Lapid told Israel Radio that Jerusalem is not even on the negotiations table with the Palestinians, and nthat the city will not be divided.

“If the Palestinians want a state, they should know it comes with a price, and they will not get everything they desire,” Lapid said.

He did express in faith in the two-state solution, adding that once the process come around to uprooting settlements, Israel will have new elections, or at least conduct a referendum.

Interior Minister to Legalize Tyranny under Guise of Good Govt.

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

If you’re an American citizen, and are used to antiquated things like the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, you may start thinking that the story on your screen is taking place in Saudi Arabia, or some other a-democratic feudal society. So I want to reassure you that it’s taking place in Israel, where the box cover declares a democracy, but the inside is Bolshevik through and through.

Israeli Interior Minister Gideom Sa’ar is expected to disseminate next week a memorandum of law that would make it possible for a committee appointed by the Interior Ministry to suspend for a year the heads of municipalities facing serious criminal charges, Israel Radio reports.

According to the memorandum, should the accused survive his or her trial, they could return to their elected office.

The appointed committee, comprised, presumably, of civil servants, employees of the Interior Ministry, will be empowered to extend the suspensions should the accused mayor’s trial not be over.

The memorandum is based on a bill proposed by Labor MK Moshe Mizrachi earlier this year, supported by pillars of democracy like MK Dov Lipman of Yeash Atid and MK Eliezer Stern of the Tzipi Livni Movement.

The three authors of the bill wrote: “In light of the current judicial situation, a legal void exists regarding a situation in which criminal charges have been issued against a serving municipal head.”

The “legal void” those three democrats are referring to is the archaic principle of “Innocent until proven guilty.” Apparently, that idea gets in the way of good government, which will hence be defined as “government not yet charged with a crime.”

What you see here is a blatant attempt on the part of these three MKs, Interior Minister Sa’ar and the band of clerks collecting a paycheck at the Interior Ministry, to subvert the will of the voters and to make for them better choices than they, the voters, could have made with their limited intelligence and very busy lives.

I would venture that such a law could be planted anywhere in the Iranian legal system and blend right in. There is no difference, in principle, between Minister Gideon Sa’ar picking the most fitting candidate for a given municipality – and the Supreme Leader dropping Ahmadinejad and choosing Rouhani. In both cases, there is no real play for the will of the voter.

According to the law today, a mayor must resign his post only after he or she have been convicted for a crime that “bears shame.” Such a crime, incidentally, is entirely up to the taste and preference of the presiding judge, and can stretch from embezzling to blocking an intersection during a demonstration.

Also, according to the law as it stands today, the elected city council may decide to impeach a sitting mayor for improper behavior.

Our Supreme Court, which is more Alice in Wonderland red Queen’s court any given day, recently decided that the decision by the city councils of Natzrat Illit and Ramat Hasharon not to impeach their respective mayors despite the fact that said mayors had been charged with crimes – is unacceptable.

You’re getting this? The law says the city council must use its judgment whether or not to impeach its mayor over the fact that there are charges pending against him or her – but the Supreme Court sees that exercise as having to result only one way: in impeachment. Nothing else will do.

These people won’t recognize a democracy if it landed in their shrimp cocktail and caused the shpritzed juice to spell out Habeas Corpus on their white tablecloth.

Nevertheless, the high court did not decide against the criminally charged mayors’ right to run for office again – and they both ran and they both won, by hefty margins.

The court wrote in its decision: “It is a well known judicial principal that as long as a person has not been convicted, he is considered innocent (Pheew, they are familiar with the concept!). However, we must be more severe in our treatment of elected officials, and as soon as they have been charged they must suspend themselves immediately.”

I believe this is the precise definition of tyranny: an appointed government prosecutor decides to charge an elected mayor – and that, by itself, regardless of the chances of the charges to be proven, the mere fact that the clerk sent papers to the court saying the mayor is accused of a crime – that should subvert, at once, the will of the people.

New Netanyahu Coalition Govt All Cobbled and Ready, Maybe

Monday, March 18th, 2013

On Monday evening, the Knesset will host the swearing in ceremony for Israel’s 33rd government, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term—second consecutive—as prime minister (his first term ran from June 1996 to July 1999).

Immediately after the ceremony, Netanyahu will convene a brief cabinet meeting, with a toast. Then the bunch (22 ministers and 8 deputies) will travel to the presidential residence, for the traditional group picture.

The Knesset session will open with the selection of the Speaker of the House. It will likely be Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who will replace the former Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, who wanted very much to continue in his post but, unfortunately, had committed the ultimate sin of criticizing the Prime Minister’s anti-democratic tendencies, not the kind of slight which Netanyahu’s wife Sara easily forgives.

As usual, Netanyahu never shared with Rivlin his plan to depose him. In fact, as far back as a year ago, he assured the popular Speaker—who is also closely associated with the Settlement movement—that he’d have his support for the post of President when Shimon Peres completes his 7-year term, 2014.

Yuli Edelstein’s life’s story is fascinating: Born in the Soviet Union to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity (his father is a Russian Orthodox priest), Edelstein discovered his Jewish connection through his grandparents. He studied Hebrew back when that was considered a subversive act, for which, in 1984, he was sent to Siberia (the charges were drug related, but everybody knew it was the Hebrew thing). He made aliyah with his wife, Tanya, served in the army, and entered politics, ending up in the Knesset in 1996. He has switched between several parties, until finally landing in the Likud, and has held several ministerial portfolios. And if he doesn’t catch Sara’s ire, he could become as memorable a Speaker as Rubie Rivlin.

But the biggest losers, without a doubt, are the Haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. They were almost literally kicked out by Yair Lapid, who stated openly that, should he be seen in the government group picture with the Haredim, his voters would abandon him. Surprisingly, Naftali Bennett, his newly found brother from a different father (Yair’s father, the late MK Tommy Lapid, was a true hater of the religion), supported the dubious position that, in order to truly help the Haredi public, government had to first be cleared of Haredi partners.

Shas, a party that depends completely on patronage for its very existence, is seething with anger over Bennett’s “betrayal.” It’s hard, however, to take seriously the victimized self-pity of Shas, whose spiritual father Rav Ovadia Yosef dubbed the Jewish Home party a “Goy Home.” Altogether, it appears that, perhaps counter intuitively, the National Religious leaders as well as the rank and file, have been harboring heaps of resentment against the Haredim. The Haredi slights of several decades, including their occupation of the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief rabbinate, doling out jobs to Haredi officials who reigned over a population that looks nothing like them—those slighted chickens have been coming back to roost.

Take for instance Rabbi Hayim Drukman, who responded to both the Haredi pols and to Netanyahu, who accused the Lapid-Bennett axis of “boycotting” the Haredi parties. Rabbi Drukman Argued that “the Haredi public are the biggest boycotters, boycotting for years the Torah of the national religious public.”

“Any Haredi apparatchik who gets elected to the Knesset, immediately becomes a rabbi, while the real rabbis of the national religious public are noted in the Haredi press by their first names (without the title ‘Rabbi’). Is this not boycotting?” Rabbi Druckman wrote in the Saturday shul paper “Olam Katan.”

Inside Shas, the short knives have already been drawn and they’re aimed at MK Aryeh Deri, the former convict who came back from the cold to lead Shas into a glorious stalemate (11 seats before, 11 after).

“We were very disappointed in Deri,” a senior Shas pol told Ma’ariv. “He did not bring the votes he promised Rav Ovadia, there was no significant change in seats, and, in fact, Deri is responsible for our failure.”

In United Torah Judaism they also seem to regret their alliance with Shas, it’s highly likely that, in a few months, they’ll opt to enter the government without Shas.

Following Lapid-Bennett Deal, Likud Facing Civil War

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

At 12:55 PM Wednesday, the prime minister’s office leaked a message so subversive and so clever, it insisted the editor of the 1 PM news edition at Kol Israel attribute it to anonymous “Likud circles.” That’s one notch below “senior Likud officials” and well below “circles close to the prime minister,” which is, basically, the prime minister. I heard it in my car, driving up to Jerusalem, but didn’t pay attention to the special wording. Maariv’s Shalom Yerushalmi paid attention, and realized the PM people were using the Atomic option.

The Likud circles, according to the leak, threatened that if there won’t be a breakthrough in the coalition negotiations within hours, the Likud would initiate an accelerated negotiations with the Haredi parties for a right-leaning new government without Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party.

In addition, a higher level source inside the PM’s circles, told Haaretz that Netanyahu believes the reason Lapid has upped the ante of his demands was his buyer’s remorse. Somehow he ended up agreeing to the Finance portfolio, and now, seeing the mess he would have to deal with, he wants to back out, so he’s making it impossible to come to an agreement.

That’s not such an outlandish surmise. Lapid, ever the glitzy charmer, had had his heart set on the Foreign Minister’s job. And he would have made a great FM, kissing hands and raising champagne glasses and all the other fun stuff FMs get to do in Paris, London, Rome, DC, and, of course, Moscow.

Except Avigdor Liberman, Netanyahu’s faction partner, already had dibs on the Foreign Ministry. Liberman couldn’t serve in the government for now, not until the silly corruption suit against him is resolved in court. But Bibi had promised Ivet to hold on to the seat for him, and breaking that promise would have been a deal killer all around.

So Lapid backed off and agreed to take another of the top three portfolios—Finance.

Customarily, the Foreign, Defense and Finance ministries belong to the party of the Prime Minister. It is a rare occurrence, usually driven by a national crisis (such as when Moshe Dayan was invited, from the opposition benches, to become Defense Minister in 1967). So, giving Lapid this high honor was a big thing.

But the job of Finance Minister is not going to make Lapid many friends this time around. No hand kissing and champagne here for the teen idol. The Netanyahu government has accrued a 40 billion shekel (just under $11 billion) deficit which has to be cut from the next budget. Unlike the U.S. government, which can run deficits in the trillion, Israeli governments are prohibited by law from running a deficit that’s higher than 3 percent of the budget. The new deficit constitutes 5.10 percent, and so some cutting has to take place.

And lover boy Yair Lapid will have the dubious honor of deciding what gets cut:

Should it be the new raises to hospital nurses? Low-cost education? Environmental improvements? Social Security benefit increases for the elderly? Highway construction? Train service?

There’s no two ways about it – in the end, someone is going to hate Yair Lapid for whatever cut he’ll make. And since he’s an avowed free market and anti-tax type, he won’t be able to fix things by taking more money from business (although Teva, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical conglomerate, received close to a billion dollars in tax break from the outgoing Finance Minister – that should pay for a few hot lunches).

The leak was a lie, of course, Lapid seems just as eager as before to embrace the, arguably, second most important job in government. But the first anonymous threat, about a coalition with Shas, UTJ and Bennett – especially when, reportedly, backed by Bennett himself, who assured Lapid he intended to stay in government, with or without him – that convinced Lapid it was time to call the game and put the cards on the table.

There’s an old Jewish joke about a shadchan who tries to convince a yeshiva bocher to marry Princess Margaret. He answers every one of the poor man’s questions – she would make a great wife, she has money, she will convert for the right man – until the yeshiva bocher breaks down and agrees to the deal. At which point the shadchan sighs deeply and says: Now starts the hard part.

Will the Writer of the Fake Gideon Sa’ar Letter be Caught?

Thursday, February 28th, 2013

Being a public figure isn’t easy on one’s personal life.  Israel’s Minister of Education Gidon Sa’ar just got a very painful lesson in that subject.

One of his enemies decided to knock him down a few levels and/or boot him out of politics by accusing him of sexual misconduct.  It was pretty easy.  The person just wrote a letter, signing with someone else’s “initials” and then sent it off so the public could hear about it.

After innumerable headlines and articles and television news time spent on the subject of the “evil Gidon Sa’ar,” communicating that the previously squeaky clean Likud politician was just like the others,  it has finally been revealed by the police that the letter is a forgery.

Now, I wonder if the police will devote the same time and energy to investigate, discover and prosecute the forger or forgers? People should know that if they try to destroy a person and that person’s career that they will be destroyed instead.

There’s so much internal fighting and intrigue in high places, whether politics, academia, finance, media and more.  It’s really frightening to think how easy it is for someone to just write one of these “letters” or notes which can totally destroy a person, his/her family, reputation, career and worse.

I really hope that the Israeli Police won’t rest until they discover, try and convict the guilty in this real scandal.

Visit Shiloh Musings.

No Sexual Misconduct by Gideon Sa’ar

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

As reported in JewishPress.com, many people were suspicious that the letter accusing Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar of sexual misconduct was a fake.

At a police conference in Tel Aviv on Tuesday, Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino confirmed that theory, and said the letter is definitely fake.

The letter detailed serious allegations of sexual misconduct on the part of Likud Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar towards a female employee in the Ministry of Education. The female employee in the office, with the same initials as that on the letters, denied writing it, and said that nothing detailed in the letter ever happened.

The letter had been sent to Prime Minister Netanyahu and to Likud Central Committee members, saying that Sa’ar shouldn’t be reappointed as education minister.

Report: Likud’s No. Two Considering Resigning Over Sexual Allegations

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

Gideon Sa’ar, the highest ranking Likud member after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a contender to succeed Netanyahu as party chairman, is considering resigning over allegations regarding sexual misconduct, including statutory rape, according to a report by Lahav Harkov of the Jerusalem Post.

A letter allegedly signed by an Education Ministry (under the initials M.K. in Hebrew) employee was sent to the Prime Minister alleging that Sa’ar had an illegal affair with her asking that Sa’ar not be given a ministry in the government. The letter also raised previously known allegations that Sa’ar had sexual relations with an intoxicated minor at a night club.

The letter came as many top Likud members were, and still are, competing for ministries within the government, which will be scarce due to the Likud-Beitenu’s poor election showing.

Sa’ar was chairman of the Likud campaign’s operational branch and has taken heavy criticism for the Likud’s losses in the election.

Maya Katz, Sa’ar’s close aide, denied that she had written the letter or that the allegations made, apparently in her name, had any basis in reality.

Most Israeli publications have reported on the incident as if the letter is a forgery and a mere ploy in the contest for ministries and for which of the Likud’s ministers will succeed Netanyahu.

The report in the Post is the first indication that the allegations about the office affair might be serious.

The Attorney General’s office recently announced that it will be investigating the letter, including whether it is a forgery.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/report-likuds-no-two-considering-resigning-over-sexual-allegations/2013/02/20/

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