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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Givat Ulpana’

To Unite the Nat’l Religious Camp, U.S.-Born Candidates Offer Themselves as a Sacrifice

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

As the prospects for a merger between the two National Religious parties – the Jewish Home and the National Union – fall apart, the American-born candidate team, Ari Abramowitz and Jeremy Gimpel have said they would be willing to sacrifice their own potential spot on the Knesset list for the sake of unifying the national-religious camp.

“Our primary goal has never been to make it into the Knesset” but instead uniting the national-religious camp, the two said in a statement released to the press today.

Therefore they will not “endorse a leadership candidate that refuses to support unity between the factions within the religious Zionist camp”

In an e-mail statement they went further, cryptically stating that their support for unity may cost them a spot in the Knesset, but stating that it is “a price we are willing to pay.”

What’s the Hold up to Unity?

The unmentioned hold up to the potential merger referenced by Abramowitz and Gimpel is likely newcomer Naftali Bennett, who, according Lahav Harkov of the Jerusalem Post, said in a private meeting last week that if he were elected to the leadership of the Jewish Home, he would not allow three of the four Knesset Members of the National Union to run with the Jewish Home.

This would make it extremely unlikely that the National Union would agree to join with the Jewish home during the general elections.  It would essentially mean agreeing to disappear to make way for the Jewish Home, even though they currently have four Knesset seats to the Jewish Home’s three.

Unsurprisingly, the National Union’s Knesset Members did not react well to the alleged statements.

Bennett’s campaign told The Jewish Press over the phone today that no such statements were ever made.

Bennett, who is competing for party leadership against current party chairman Minister of Science Rabbi Daniel Hershkowitz and MK Z’vulon Orlev, posted a statement on his facebook page today stating that “To remove all doubt, I support and urge the unity of the camp and to unite with the National Union party. I will work towards it with all my might. I won’t bar a single person. Period.”

The origin of the prospects for merger of the Jewish Home and National Union began earlier this year. When shortly after Pesach it seemed that early elections were imminent, the parties signed an agreement to run as a united list.

Since early elections didn’t occur, the agreement no longer applies. Nevertheless, there are many who want the joint list, including National Union Chairman MK Yaacov Katz.

Katz is one of the three MKs whom Bennett reportedly said he would not allow to run with the Jewish Home. The others were MKs Aryeh Eldad and Michal Ben-Ari. Bennett would reportedly be alright with MK Uri Ariel, the remaining National Union member.

The three on Bennett’s blacklist are considered to have bombastic political temperaments, unwilling to censor themselves, and Ben Ari and Katz in particular make a point of sticking it their opponents.

Ben Ari, for example, brought illegal African immigrants to swimming pools in posh areas of Tel Aviv. During the debate over his proposed “Arrangement Law” Katz said that anyone voting against the bill had “a heart of stone.”

But according to a political strategist who wished to remain anonymous, Bennett is not concerned with the party’s image, but making room on the list for his own political allies.

“Bennett has made many colossal errors,” the strategist said, “the biggest of which is that he has too many people that endorsed him – too many people he owes favors to.”

For Israeli politicians, who are chosen not in general elections, but by internal party mechanisms – often, but not always, primary elections, the real contest is securing a realistic, if not high spot on their party’s list.

If for example, a party gets 12 seats in the Knesset (10 percent of the vote), unlucky candidate number 13, will not get into the Knesset, no matter how popular he may be among the general public. The higher the candidate is on the list, the more likely he is to get into the Knesset and the more likely he is to be named a minister in the government if his party joins the coalition.

Jewish Press Radio with Yishai Fleisher: Alternatives in Givat Ulpana

Thursday, June 14th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Jeremy Man Saltan, Knesset insider, joins Yishai to discuss the situation and potential destruction of five buildings in the Givat Uplana neighborhood of Beit El. Rather than discussing the legality of the destruction, they talk about the attempts to find solutions through two laws that are currently in the Israeli Knesset. Don’t miss this riveting segment that presents an insider’s view to what is going on in the Knesset!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher Yishai on Facebook

How the Right Snatched Defeat from the Jaws of Victory on Ulpana

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

Watching the Givat Ulpana fiasco was like watching a train wreck about to happen. While the defeat in the Knesset today might still have happened in an alternate history, it definitely did not need to be the crushing defeat that we witnessed today.

On Wednesday, ahead of the Knesset vote, I visited the Ulpana Hunger Strikers outside the Knesset.

When Palestinians go on hunger strikes, you will never see bottles of drinks around them, not water, not juice, even if many of them are actually eating on the sly.

Sometimes, for the camera, you’ll see someone handing a Palestinian a small cup of water with a straw to sip from as he’s lying down in exhaustion.

You know these hunger strikers are serious because that’s what you see on TV.

But in the Ulpana tent, I saw something else entirely.

Large bottles of juice were sitting next to each striker while they were industriously typing away on their laptops as reporters filmed them. No one looked exhausted, no one looked tired, and, certainly, no one looked hungry.

One reporter even asked them to take the drinks off the table while she took some photos. They actually argued with her about it.

One can only hope they’ll be able to take off the weight they’ve gained from all that sugar water.

Can you be any less media savvy than that?

Unfortunately, you can, as the National Union party proved in their press conference just hours later.

In the Knesset conference room sat some of the National Union MKs (rumor has it that two of them haven’t talked to one another in months), along with some Likud MKs who defied their party head, the Prime Minister, to be there.

My jaw dropped when some of the National Union MKs began disparaging the entire Likud – as their Likud allies were sitting right next to them.

And that’s when the fighting began – while the cameras were rolling.

MK Michael Ben-Ari and MK Tzipi Hotoveli began to fight, Ben-Ari attacking the Likud and Hotoveli defending her party. And it’s not that Ben-Ari said anything technically incorrect, or that Hoteveli’s arguments held water (audience members even corrected some of her more obvious mistakes).

The whole thing was just terribly inappropriate.

It finally reached a point where Hotoveli got up and walked out, right in the middle of the press conference – but, to her credit, announced that she would still vote for the bill – despite what had just ensued.

Is this how the Right expects to win and keep allies? By spitting in their faces? By acting like children in front of reporters? By not showing even a little savvy?

If only it were just a matter of being unschooled in media issues. Unfortunately, it’s worse.

Two weeks ago, the National Union was prepared to bring their bill to save the Ulpana neighborhood to a vote. Back then, with most Right wing MKs making statements about saving the houses, it had a chance of passing.

But Netanyahu fooled them. He asked them to hold off for two weeks, to give him a chance to find a solution to the problem that would not catch the High Court’s ire. If he failed, they could go ahead with their bill.

Except Netanyahu wasn’t looking for a solution to save Givat Ulpana during those two weeks. He needed time to find a way to defeat the bill.

But the National Union, in their honesty and good faith, and naivete, if you ask me, gave Netanyahu the two weeks he needed to line up his troops and kill their bill.

Time and again, we see Israeli Right-wing politicians and activists playing touch football in a tackle game, and time and again they walk away with bloody noses, if not worse.

To save Givat Ulpana we need a quarterback and receivers and tackles willing to do whatever it takes to get the ball into the other team’s end zone.

The majority of the Jews in Israel are behind us, the majority of the Knesset members essentially agree with us — it’s our game to lose.

So stop playing like you’re still in Little League!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/how-the-right-snatched-defeat-from-the-jaws-of-victory-on-ulpana/2012/06/06/

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