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December 17, 2014 / 25 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘gideon sa’ar’

‘Changing Partners’ Throw Israeli Election into Turmoil

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Israeli politicians are spinning the revolving door off its hinges and turning against friends and joining enemies faster than you can say “Bibi Netanyahu,” who far seems to be the only election issue.

You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.

Livni might join Herzog, or even Lapid. Mofaz might join Herzog

Saar might try to dump Netanyahu

Lieberman might join Lapid.

And we haven’t yet heard from the Green Leaf pro-marijuana party, which at least would give everyone an opportunity to say that the whole government is going to pot.

There are 104 excruciating days left until March 17, when Israelis go the polls to choose their favorite party, another way of saying which party they don’t want to lead the next coalition.

The polls make interesting reading but become quickly out of date due to the maneuvering before the Knesset next week puts an end to the torturous coalition that has plagued the country for 21 months, a coalition that was doomed from the start.

Two years ago, anyone even thinking that Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid party, and Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu would sit in the same government with Naftali Bennett and his Jewish Home party would be hauled off to the insane asylum.

The adage of politics making strange bedfellow was true for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. Everyone can spend the next 104 days blaming Lapid or blaming Netanyahu, or more likely both of them, for even trying to get in the same bed.

They couldn’t even co-exist in the same house.

But everyone already is lining up against each other and with each other – maybe.

The “anyone but Bibi” crowd knows that it will have a hard time forming a majority in the next Knesset, unless it can come up with some sleight of hand to show the voters it is worthwhile voting for a center-left party. Every one of them, except for Meretz, is failing miserably in the polls.

Lapid, for hundreds of reasons, knows his party has no chance of returning the Knesset with much more than half its current number of 19 Knesset Members.

Tzipi Livni knows that her party’s measly six mandates in the Knesset will be cut to four, if she is lucky.

Labor, headed by the boring and smug Yitzchak Herozg, is stuck with its current 15 MKs, but a poll published by Globes on Thursday showed that if Livni were to join forces with Labor party, she would win nine seats, giving Labor-Livni 24 MKs.

They are natural political partners who are in desperate need of a gimmick to draw voters away from the other parties, most notably the new party headed by former Likud MK Moshe Kahlon.

Lapid also is courting Livni, but she  would probably prefer to co-exist with Herzog rather than with Lapid, an egomaniac even by politicians’ standards.

The Kadima party, once headed by Ariel Sharon and then Israel’s former Prime Minster and current criminal Ehud Olmert, and then briefly by Livni, has only two seats in the Knesset. It is slated for oblivion, so Mofaz reportedly also has offered to join forces with Herzog.

Another report is that Avigdor Lieberman might take his Yisrael Beitenu party to run with Lapid, which seems as impossible as Netanyahu and Lapid being in the same government.

Even weirder is a report in Arutz Sheva that Uri Ariel, head of the Tekuma faction of the Jewish Home party, has talked with former Shas Sephardi Haredi party chairman Eli Yishai about hooking up. Someone is smoking the wrong stuff. If Shas, which will vote for or against Jews in living anywhere in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria depending on how much money it gets for its schools, teams up with a pure Ashkenazi and native kibbutznik like Ariel, then Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney can run on the same ticket.

Gilad Erdan Appointed as New Interior Minister

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has appointed Communications Minister Gilad Erdan to replace Gideon Sa’ar as Israel’s new Interior Minister.

Sa’ar resigned his post Sunday, and also retired from his position as a Member of Knesset.

“I have a lot of work ahead of me and I promise to learn the issues in depth before I will decide on my policy,” Erdan said in accepting the position Tuesday night, November 4.

“In the coming days I will meet with my friend Gideon Sa’ar and learn about the issues and the working of the Ministry. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for all his work for the public and the State.”

Sa’ar announced in September that he would retire from politics sometime after the holidays, “for personal reasons.”

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar Prepares to Step Down

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar is making his final formal preparations to step down.

Sa’ar announced back in September that he would resign from his post, citing personal issues as the reason for the move.

The ministry told journalists that Sa’ar will leave his post within 48 hours; he tendered his formal letter of resignation to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today (Sunday, Nov. 2).

Netanyahu has yet to name a successor to the post. Top candidates include Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis, MKs Miri Regev, Yariv Levin, and Gila Gamliel.

Israel Officially Recognizes Nationality of ‘Aramean’

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

The subset of Middle Eastern Christians who define themselves as “Aramaic” will now be able to register as belonging to that nationality in legal documents in Israel, Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar announced on Wednesday, Sept. 17.

The Interior Ministry received a number of requests from Israeli Christians who sought recognition as Aramaic. Those who seek to register as such must be able to prove several factors. They must be able to prove that they come from the Middle East, that they are conversant in the language and a member of one of the following Christian denominations: Maronite, Orthodox Aramaic, Syriac Catholic, Greek Orthodox or Greek Catholic.

The Aramean people do not consider themselves to be either Arabs or Palestinians. They are part of Israel’s Christian community, which constitute approximately two percent of Israel’s population.

The petitioning (and now successful) Arameans were represented by Yael Katz Mastbaum. One of the best known Israel Arameans is Sha’di Halul, who served in the Israeli Defense Force and runs Aramean camps for children so they will know about their heritage.

For American Jews, Aramaic is familiar as the language of certain Jewish texts, including some parts of the Bible, such as Genesis 31:47 (two words); Jeremiah 10:11; Daniel 2:4–7:28; and Ezra 4:8–6:8; and 7:12–26.

The Arameans are believed to have originated in the area of the Middle East known as the Fertile Crescent, in what is now Syria and Iraq. Most now live in the Galilee, Nazareth and Haifa.

Coalition Sharks Smell Netanyahu Blood

Monday, June 9th, 2014

A guy ought to be able to look to his own cabinet for support in the face of enemy threats. It’s a reasonable supposition, one would think, but apparently it isn’t the case for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The coalition sharks are smelling blood, and it seems to be coming from the prime minister.

Apparently, it isn’t enough that Fatah, supposedly Israel’s “peace partner”, has welcomed Hamas back into the Palestinian Authority with open arms. It also isn’t enough that the United States and major European countries have blessed the new Palestinian union. But instead of a united defense for Israel in the face of the Fatah-Hamas front, the second-largest party in Netanyahu’s coalition – Yesh Atid – has aligned with Hatnua chairwoman and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to form a fifth column and threatened to ‘bring down the government’ if the boss doesn’t follow orders.

Orders from whom? How about from Finance Minister and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, for starters. He is the one who this time ordered Netanyahu to produce a map with borders for a new Palestinian Authority country, once and for all. Sound familiar? It should. You can find the same words in quotes from PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, or from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Chomp, chomp.

Then there’s Bayit Yehudi chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who has taken to the public soapbox to fight with Lapid and everyone else over what he thinks should be done about the Jews in Judea and Samaria. He probably means well, but instead of keeping the discussion in the Cabinet, he is taking the argument to public radio interviews. The ‘only sane plan’ is to annex Area C, he says. It’s not a new plan – he has said it for years – but why isn’t this discussion being kept behind closed doors? If he is Netanyahu’s ally, he should say so. If not, what is he doing in the coalition?

Chomp. Chomp.

And now, the Big Kahuna. Avigdor Liberman – the guy who cut the Likud votes in half because so many Likudniks couldn’t bear the thought of voting for a ‘Likud-Beytenu’ ticket – owes his political survival to the prime minister. It should be recalled that Liberman was on trial for corruption at the time of last year’s election, but Netanyahu kept his job as foreign minister open for him until Liberman was acquitted. The deal cost the Likud several seats in the Knesset, but Netanyahu was true to his word.

Now, Liberman has turned around to stab his ally in the back by making public comments about his boss’s dilemma, rather than simply helping solve the problem behind closed doors.

“What happened yesterday, when four senior ministers gave public addresses one after the other with each proposing a different political solution, was a grotesque performance,” Liberman said today (Monday) at a conference of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Eilat. “We need to cut down and adopt a single political plan to bind all parts of the coalition… as soon as possible, because if we don’t do it on our own, we will be dragged towards what we don’t want, and what is not in our best interest,” he said.

Right. But why is he saying that in public? A bit of the old pot calling the kettle black, no?

Liberman also directly addressed remarks made by Bennett and Lapid: “The economy minister spoke of annexing settlement blocs, and the finance minister threatened to disband the coalition if such a plan is approved. They both know they are talking about something that will never happen.” He commented that he supported Bennett’s plan, but said it was “not feasible.” Liberman then added drily, “he thinks it is worth saying to maybe get two more seats (in the Knesset).”

Saar Exempts Shmitta-keepers from Arnona

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

It is very difficult to keep shmitta properly, and that is really nothing new. We know that through much of our history, including in the times of the batei mikdash, the Jewish community did not keep it properly and were punished for it. Whether we ignored it due to the difficulties, or if we created or found loopholes, perhaps we can justify it or excuse it, or at least understand it, but we should also recognize that it is not the ideal and we should strive for proper adherence to the laws of shmitta, difficult as they may be.

Easy for me to say, considering my adherence to shmitta will involve the care of a tiny patch of grass and bushes I hardly take care of anyway. And perhaps I am inconvenienced a bit in the supermarket with higher prices on vegetables or some produce that is less available. For farmers it is their life, their livelihood, their sustenance. For them it is much more difficult. And that is why those who do try to keep shmitta properly, as difficult as it will be, should be respected, and assisted, all that much more.

Gideon Saar, Minister of the Interior, announced a few days ago that he is resurrecting an old ordinance that was implemented in the days of Yitzchak Rabin’s government in which the government exempted farmers who decided to keep shmitta from arnona payments for the entire year of shmitta.

To that end, the Ministry of Interior has sent letters to the various municipalities explaining the law and instructing them not to collect arnona from relevant farmers. source: bechadrei and newspaper article

I think it is a good move. I dont know if this alone will encourage other farmers to join the list of those keeping shmitta in its entirety, but it will at least help those who do.

Visit Life in Israel.   /    Rafi Goldmeier

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israel-confirms-sending-migrants-to-third-country/2014/03/05/

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