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October 21, 2016 / 19 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Gil Hoffman’

Israeli Cabinet Sworn in after Being Sworn At

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his fourth term as Prime Minister of Israel late Thursday night, presiding over a cabinet of 20, after a raucous Knesset session culminated in the ministers’ swearing-in.  Lest there be any uncertainty about whether Israel really is both a Jewish and a democratic country, the Israeli Parliament session featured empassioned addresses by Arab legislators.

The session also featured a disgusted speech by Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog, who denounced the country’s newly-elected leader and refused to join the government, calling it a “circus” because its platform rejects the Socialist Worker views of the party that controlled Israel from 1948 until Menachem Begin became Prime Minister in 1977.

Herzog’s address was a frontal and personal attack on both Netanyahu and the entire concept of cross-party cooperation in the national interest:

“This is not the government the people wanted,” Herzog said. Facing Netanyahu directly, he went on: “Your partners swindled you. What you created was a circus. Your mentors Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin would have been embarrassed of you. Your way is not my way. My way is the way of the Labor movement that founded this country. Give the Foreign Ministry to one of your MKs. No decent leader would join your circus,” as reported by Gil Hoffman in the Jerusalem Post.

No doubt Bibi has very thick skin, but it would be hard for any human being, even a politician, to forget that personal insult, delivered in front of the entire government and, via the press, the rest of the world.

The  “swindling” that Herzog denounced was in fact a long negotiation with each person who wound up as a Cabinet official – and with several others who did not wind up as such – over who would hold which office.

After oaths had been administered, Netanyahu explained to the Knesset that this lengthy game of musical chairs was necessitated by Israeli’s system of parliamentary elections, which fractures power in the hands of numerous small parties, each of which then has the right to extort as high a price as possible for its support of a coalition.

Netanyahu called for change of this system Thursday night. Though both his own Likud party and Herzog’s “Zionist Union” – the two largest parties – would benefit from such reform, it’s hard to see how sufficient support for it could be found across all these criss-crossing party lines.

Still, there is some hope for progress on some fronts.  Ayelet Shaked will take over as Justice Minister, and she takes office with an ambitious plan to reform the Israeli Supreme Court – long seen by many as a profoundly anti-democratic institution that rejects Knesset-passed laws whenever a majority of its 15 justices disagrees with them.

Likud plans to introduce a bill in the Knesset that will, among other things, require a modest super-majority of the Supreme Court’s justices, rather than a bare majority, before a law could be struck down.

It will be interesting to see whether, if the Knesset adopts such legislation, the Supreme Court strikes that down.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

JPost Misrepresents Bennett’s Quote on JewishPress.com

Thursday, January 10th, 2013

On Monday, JewishPress.com published an interview with Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party and architect of its anticipated success in the January 22 elections. Our headline read: “Naftali Bennett: Stop US Aid, Slash Israel’s Military Budget.”

The article quoted Bennett as saying just that:

“Today, U.S. military aid is roughly 1 percent of Israel’s economy,” Bennett says. “I think, generally, we need to free ourselves from it. We have to do it responsibly, since I’m not aware of all the aspects of the budget, I don’t want to say ‘let’s just give it up,’ but our situation today is very different from what it was 20 and 30 years ago. Israel is much stronger, much wealthier, and we need to be independent.”

It was a scoop.

In the past, Bennett had made headlines with his intent to slash Israel’s defense budget. But adding to that weaning Israel off the U.S. security aid was yet another step in the right direction.

On Thursday morning, the Jerusalem Post ran a story by Gil Hoffman, titled: “Bennett doesn’t yet favor end to US aid.”

It read:

“Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett denied reports on Wednesday that he is in favor of rejecting more than $3 billion in annual military aid from the US.”

I called up the Jewish Home campaign, spoke to Mr. Bennett, and asked him if the JPost misrepresented his view on this matter, and he confirmed that it did.

Bennett also assured me he very much wants to wean Israel off U.S. aid, but not tomorrow morning. There’s the Iranian nuclear threat and, obviously, the need to act soberly on budgetary issues.

But he said he absolutely stands behind the idea of Israel having to become independent from American military aid, and slashing the IDF budget, which has more doubled over the past decade, while the capabilities of its two main potential opposing armies—the Egyptian and Syrian—have been declining.

I attached below, the recorded segment from the interview, so you can compare it, word-for-word, to our article. I sent the same recording to Gil Hoffman, asking that he make the necessary corrections in his story.

I also asked that he link the quote to our article—as I have done above. It’s just good manners.


Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jpost-misrepresents-bennetts-quote-on-jewishpress-com/2013/01/10/

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