web analytics
February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘government’

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).”

Israel, U.S. Reach Agreement on IRS Regs for Dual Citizens

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Americans living in Israel, watch out for this year’s June 30 tax deadline.

The Israel Tax Authority has formally reached an agreement with the U.S. regarding the Model 1 FATCA agreement with the IRS, according to attorney Dave Wolf, of the firm Hacohen and Wolf.

The full details of the FATCA Agreement are yet to be published upon the signing of the FATCA Agreement, but according to the Israel Tax Authority’s spokesman, the agreement contains certain restrictions on the use of information passed to the IRS and relief of reporting for certain institutions.

According to U.S. law, all U.S. citizens — regardless where they live — have an obligation to pay taxes on their worldwide income. In addition, in cases where the aggregate value of all foreign accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, they also have to report this information on a special form commonly known as the FBAR.

Since July 1, 2013, the FBAR needs to be e-filed before June 30 of the following tax year.

Under FATCA, foreign financial institutions (banks, hedge funds, pension funds, insurance companies etc.) are required to report information to the U.S. tax authorities (the IRS) information about foreign accounts held by U.S. taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.

This means the Israeli financial institutions will have to report to the U.S. government all their clients who are U.S. citizens and/or green card holders, disclosing all these accounts.

This has huge implications for any American living in Israel or abroad who has never reported his foreign accounts or paid taxes on its income to the IRS, and also to some states if applicable (such as NY and NJ).

Individuals have four options with which to comply, according to Wolf, who can be reached at this link for more information.

Destruction in Gush Etzion: It’s Only ‘Anatevka’

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

When the IDF soldiers and Border Police officers who destroyed the homes of seven families and a kindergarten in Gush Etzion take off their uniforms to lay down for the night, will they be able to sleep when they close their eyes? What images will they see?

Hundreds of security personnel were involved in today’s (Wednesday) in demolitions, making sure the small playground vanished where Ma’aleh Rehavam’s children once learned and played.

A like number of Arab workers – just pour a little salt on the wounds please — were present to shove their precious few belongings into big metal shipping containers. When it was over they were sent who knew where.

A few scattered pieces of shelving lay broken on the rocky ground, carelessly tossed in the rush to finish the job done before media could report the gory details. Pitiful bits of furniture left here and there gave testimony to the presence of seven families and their small children. They didn’t have much.

It was only Anatevka. Or some Bedouin clans. Frankly, in this day and age, they don’t look much different, do they?

If you live in Israel and travel the Negev or the hills of Judea and Samaria, or around the Galilee and the Golan Heights, you know the truth. You know that Jews who choose to help settle the Land – as Jews are commanded to do in the Bible – don’t do it because it is easy.

They do it out of a commitment to their People and their nation, and to their Creator. They bring their faith and sometimes their small children and whatever few things they manage to pull together for a home. And then they live in a caravan for a while. Eventually, if they’re lucky, the caravan becomes a “real” house – but usually it’s a hut with a corrugated tin roof. Just like those of the Bedouin in the Negev and up north.

We’re basically the same. We’re only different when it comes to how our government treats us.

Fear of the European Union, which generously funds the radical leftist Peace Now movement, has driven the government to discriminate against the settlers. Peace Now files hundreds of lawsuits that whip the courts and the government into expelling Jewish settlers from their homes. They don’t bother to do the same with Arab settlers.

According to Peace Now, Arabs own all the land outside of the 1949 Armistice line. Peace Now would never dare to harass the Palestinian Authority into “enforcing” any law – nor would it attempt to force the PA to formulate a law to control settlement or housing construction.

They are too busy harassing Jews. It’s also safer. Harassing Hamas or Fatah would earn a death sentence for anyone attempting to “enforce” anything and well does the European Union’s proxy agency know it. So they aim at those who are committed to holding the land won in 1967 in a war not even of Israel’s making. Land that was ours decades before, and millenia before, towns whose names were written eons ago in the Bible. They persuade Israel’s military – who rush with an agenda – to clear out the settlers. They figure it will eliminate the “facts on the ground” and create an atmosphere of “peace” with the Arabs.

The saddest and most destructive part of what happened today at Ma’aleh Rehavam, however, is the haste with which the entire demolition was carried out.

What on earth was that about?

Here is a copy of the Supreme Court restraining order, clearly stating that the IDF forces are not to take any steps that carry “irreversible outcomes.”

Government Plan to Hand King David’s Tomb to the Vatican?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Is there a deal in the works to hand the Tomb of King David over to the Vatican?

Rumors of such an agreement appear to have enough substance to have prompted Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) to write a query to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Hotovely reminded the prime minister of the importance of the tomb of the Biblical monarch, noting its sanctity to the Jewish nation. She warned Netanyahu not to make the same mistake with King David’s Tomb that previous administrations made with the Temple Mount – that is, handing sovereignty over the sacred site to a foreign power.

In the case of the Temple Mount, the Jordanian-linked Islamic Waqf Authority controls all matters over the site, even though it is located in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City and is the holiest place in the Jewish faith. Because the Waqf is in control, Jewish access to the Temple Mount is severely restricted – and Hotovely warned Netanyahu that handing the Tomb of King David to the Roman Catholic Vatican could create exactly the same situation for Jews there too.

There has not yet been any announced response to Hotovely’s letter.

Although an Israeli government source has denied any intention of transferring control over the site to the Vatican, other sources have said otherwise – including journalist Gulio Meotti, an editorial contributor to Arutz Sheva, who maintains there is truth to the rumors a deal is still in the works.

Egyptian Government Resigns

Monday, February 24th, 2014

In what is apparently a surprise move, the army-backed Egyptian government just resigned, following a 15 minute cabinet meeting.

According to the Egyptian Al-Ahram website:

Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi announced his cabinet’s resignation Monday on state TV. Interim President Adly Mansour is expected to accept the resignation and commission Ibrahim Mahleb, minister of housing in Beblawi’s government, to form the new cabinet.

There is no information yet as to why they resigned, or what the ramifications are.

Earn an MA in Homeland Security, Counter-Terrorism, Diplomacy and Government

Sunday, December 22nd, 2013

Besides swiftly becoming one of Israel’s leading academic institutions, the Inter-Disciplinary Center in Herzliya has also become a beacon thanks to the iconic annual Herzliya Conference – organized by the Institute for Policy and Strategy (IPS), and the IDC’s International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (ICT) – a joint forum that organizes seminars, workshops and forums for policy makers from all over the world. Alongside its program in Political Psychology and Decision Making (POPDM) and the workshop series on “Improving Public Policy in Israel” – these represent the core within the IDC’s prestigious MA Program in Government. This is where the next generation of Israeli and global leaders, scholars and educators are being educated.

Students at the program study with leading lecturers in the field and gain an all-encompassing introduction to the State of Israel. Theofani Tzakiri from Greece is a Merit Scholarship student. In addition to learning key theories, models, and concepts in government, she receives the analytical and practical tools needed to conduct policy-relevant research and deal with policy dilemmas, challenges and problems. “Studying at IDC is a lifetime experience,” she says. “The cultural and social student mix creates a beautiful and fascinating background that needs to be experienced; and the warm and welcoming environment provides a home where I can study and work peacefully to acquire the knowledge and skills I need to focus on issues of international concern.”

Many of IDC’s graduates have found positions at the UN, in Israeli government offices, international security consultancies and NGOs, or have continued to prestigious PhD programs abroad. Students network with leaders, policymakers and colleagues from dozens of countries around the world. They meet with heads of state, foreign ministers, negotiators, journalists, and others. And they even go on field trips to peace-keeping forces in the region (UNDOF, UNIFIL), and visit NATO headquarters in Brussels. The IDC’s prize-winning debate club, college-associated public advocacy groups and the development of entrepreneurial skills are amongst the many extracurricular activities that nurture leadership.

Eric Schorr

Eric Schorr


Eric Schorr was a member of the 2013 IDC Hult Prize team that participated in the Semi-Final Competition in London; he is currently working at the Institute of Terrorism Research and Response in Jerusalem. “I’ve been passionate about counter-terrorism for most of my adult life,” he says. What I loved most at IDC was how the professors, research, and projects we did highlighted aspects of the subject I had never thought about before. It’s a truly unique program in terms of graduate studies.”

When IDC’s founders established Israel’s first private university, their goal was to create an institution where personal achievement is fostered alongside social responsibility, and where academics are studied alongside practical, hands-on training and experience. Thus, IDC’s involvement with the community, as well as its interaction with the myriad of enterprises located in the nearby Herzliya Industrial zone have become a model now emulated in many other institutions.

Ayal Feinberg

Ayal Feinberg


Diplomacy MA student, Ayal Feinberg – a Trinity College graduate, believes that “the single greatest feature of IDC-Herzliya is its people. The classroom environment, created by a combination of remarkable faculty and eager students, allows for unparalleled intellectual growth. Whether pursuing a degree with the goal of becoming a practitioner or continuing on to academia, you will leave IDC with all the tools necessary to be a success.”

For more information, visit the IDC-Herzliya website.

 

 

Israel: the Impudence Accompanying Betrayal

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

I’ve always been amazed that anyone thought the United States would ever act against the Iranian nuclear threat. There was never any chance that such a thing would happen. The United States would never go to war with tens of millions of people.

Moreover, there was never any chance the United States would let Israel “attack” Iran.

In a Huffington Post article by Steven Strauss, the author quotes Netanyahu:

“‘I believe that we can now say that Israel has reached childhood’s end, that it has matured enough to begin approaching a state of self-reliance… We are going to achieve economic independence [from the United States].’ Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to a Joint Session of the United States Congress – Washington D.C., July 10, 1996 (Source: Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs).”

Unfortunately, today, almost 20 years later, this is not a fair statement to quote. Strauss continues: “In 1997, Israel received $3.1 billion in aid from the U.S. In 2012, Israel was still receiving $3.1 billion annually in U.S. aid.”

This, however, is not an appropriate comparison today. Let us look at the current situation: Egypt will receive $2 billion in U.S. aid; Saudi Arabia will receive military aid as well as the anti-Asad Syrian rebels; Turkey will receive billions of dollars and probably military equipment. Moreover, the United States and Europe will also reach out to Iran, and Hizballah and Syria will receive aid from Iran. In addition, the Palestinians have not made the least bit of commitment on a two-state solution. In other words, only Israel would lose. And this is the childhood’s end?

Strauss further notes, “Israel has become an affluent and developed country that can afford to pay for its own defense.” But the point is that other hostile countries will be receiving more while Israel will get the same amount.

He continues, “… Israel has a well developed economy in other ways.” But again, Israel will be placed at much more of a disadvantage.

The article’s claim, “Other countries/programs could better use this aid money,” does not state the reality.

“Even domestically, the aid that goes to Israel could be useful. Detroit is bankrupt, and our Congress is cutting back on food stamps, and making other painful budget cuts.” Again, the United States does not face an immediate threat from its neighbors, while Israel does. Moreover, this is shockingly implying that Israel is stealing money from poor people in the United States.

In other words, this is not equivalent.

“Israel and the United States have increasingly different visions about the future of the Middle East.” But again, so what? This is absolutely irrelevant.

“A major (bipartisan) goal of the United States has been the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Once again, this is a policy that is impossible, but the United States is going to try to force it on Israel anyway.

Note that the less security the United States and the West provide to Israel, the more difficult it makes it to secure or promote a desirable two-state solution. Strauss adds, “However, the current Israeli government is clearly not committed to the U.S. vision, and has done everything possible to sabotage American efforts.”

The problem with this last point is that the Palestinians have always tried to sabotage this. If this concept hasn’t gotten across in a quarter century, I can’t imagine when it will get across.

The current Israeli government has tried for many years to achieve a two-state solution and has made many concessions. And if Kerry can’t take Israel’s side on this issue, then I can’t imagine how decades of U.S. policy has been carried out. To say that the Israeli government is not committed is a fully hostile statement.

This claims Israeli settlement and not Palestinian intransigence has blocked the peace process.

Note that the author of this article has “distinguished” credentials: “Steven Strauss is an adjunct lecturer in public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.”

Yet if this is what the U.S. government understands, it will end badly. Moreover, the issue of Iran and nuclear weapons is not the important point; rather, it is the transformation of the U.S. Middle East position that is significant. I do not believe there is any chance Iran will use nuclear weapons. The problem is that this is reversal of the U.S. policy. In other words, it is like going back to 1948 and opposing partition.

Finally, what this is all about is money and greed. Many European countries are drooling about the money to be made. For example, Vittorio Da Rold writes (Il Sole 24 ore), “Italian SMEs are hoping for a rapid agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue in order to return as soon as possible to trade without limits with Tehran and the rich Iranian market in hopes of finding new markets in a time when the European market flirts with deflation.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/israel-the-impudence-accompanying-betrayal/2013/11/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: