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July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘government’

Netanyahu to Ask for Extension

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Prime Minister Netanyahu will head over to President Rivlin’s house on Tuesday and ask for a 14 day extension to build his coalition.

Netanyahu’s mandate to form a coalition ends next Wednesday, but due to Memorial Day which falls out on Wednesday, he will ask for the extension a day early.

Netanyahu is close to reaching agreements with most his coalition members.

Obama ‘Threatening to Abandon Israel’ at UN Security Council

Friday, March 20th, 2015

President Barack Obama appears to be “rushing to the United Nations” to force a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Fox News reported Thursday night. It’s another nail in the coffin replacing the trust Israelis once had in American presidents, a commentator observed.

In an interview on the cable television news network, U.S. Army Lt.-Col. Ralph Peters (res.), said Obama seems to want to “pick a fight – a deadly fight potentially – with Israel.”

Peters, clearly upset, told the interviewer he could not understand why Obama appears to be aligning the United States with radical Islamist nations against the sole democracy in the Middle East. “Our policy is off the rails,” he said.

Obama’s staff, he maintained, “overplayed their hand so badly that the Israeli people, even those who don’t much like Bibi (Netanyahu), turned this from an economy-based election to a security-based election. Obama’s accommodation with Iran at any cost is very frightening.”

Although most U.S. politicians consider the Iranian nuclear deal to be a policy issue, Peters correctly noted that in Israel, “it is a matter of survival.

“And that’s what this election told us, that the people of Israel, for the first time ever, fear an American president,” he concluded.

However, Fox News journalist Megan Kelly reported in a separate segment that the White House does not see it the same way. She quoted President Obama as saying that he sees “no path to a peace agreement,” and added that the president is “now threatening to abandon Israel at the United Nations.”

The comment referred to Obama’s threat to consider the option of not using America’s veto to block a UN Security Council resolution to grant statehood to the Palestinian Authority, possibly along the 1949 Armistice lines, also known as the “1967 border.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded: “You can’t force the people of Israel, who just elected me by a wide margin to bring them peace and security — to secure the State of Israel — to accept terms that would endanger the very survival of the State of Israel.

“I don’t think that’s the direction of American policy,” he said. “I hope it’s not.”

Kelly interviewed Netanyahu about the issue on her Fox News TV program, The Kelly File, late Thursday night.

Israeli Diplomats Suspended for Unprofessional Behavior

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

Three Israeli diplomats have been recalled from their posts abroad for unprofessional behavior, using Twitter posts on their personal accounts to criticize top administration officials – the very government they represent.

Civil service regulations and Foreign Ministry rules are clear that foreign service personnel are prohibited from making their personal political views public. This particularly applies to diplomats representing the State of Israel and its interests in the world arena and who operate a source of public information and advocacy for Israel on social media.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman ordered the immediate suspension Wednesday of Israel’s Ambassador to Switzerland, Yigal Caspi. Also recalled from their posts were Assaf Moran, who handles political affairs at the Israel Embassy in New Delhi, and Yaron Gamburg, who works in the Department of Political Research and was a former spokesperson for the Israel Embassy in Paris. All three were told to return for disciplinary hearings prior to termination.

A retweet by Caspi originally written by a journalist read: “It’s shocking how Lieberman waved off his ministers. Not that they were especially good, and yet his use of people, bringing them in and letting them go when he is sick of them, is horrible.”

The ambassador also retweeted another journalist’s post, this one regarding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s upcoming address to Congress: “Is it no longer possible to suffice in scaring us here in Hebrew? (He) has to fly all the way to the US Congress and tell them in English how dangerous Iran’s nuclear program is?”

There were a number of others retweeted by Caspi, written by the same journalist, all in a similar vein.

The other two diplomats likewise retweeted posts criticizing the prime minister and other ministers in government. One tweet was an original post aimed at Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of Bayit Yehudi.

The behavior is unprofessional at best, self-destructive and truly harmful to the state’s interests at worst. It proves this country still has a long way to go in weeding out those who hold tight to their jobs, not necessarily out of competence but thanks to their seniority and state benefits.

For this reason alone, Israel’s image abroad has suffered immeasurably, and will continue to suffer until there is a way to hire competent people to replace those who place their personal interests above loyalty to the state.

Epic Blizzard 2.0: Israel’s Government Gears Up for Snow, The Sequel

Wednesday, January 7th, 2015

As the winter weather slowly winds its way towards the Holy Land, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu gathered officials in Jerusalem on Tuesday to review final details and preparation for the anticipated storm.

Meeting in Jerusalem City Hall on January 6 were, among others, Mayor Nir Barkat and Jerusalem District Police Commander Moshe Edry, as well as representatives of the IDF, social welfare institutions, the Israel Electric Corp. and rescue services.

“I am impressed by the authorities’ coordination and preparatory work,” Netanyahu said, summarizing the meeting.

“We have three missions. The first is to save lives. The second is to ensure the continuity of essential services. The third is to provide mutual assistance and guarantee – residents helping residents.

“Beyond what the state is doing and will do, beyond what the municipalities are doing and will do, I ask the citizens of Israel to watch out for their neighbors and to help. The people of Israel excel at this.”

Last year’s storm found motorists scattered around on major arteries leading to the capital because numerous Israelis were curious and “wanted to see the snow.” This year officials are nipping that risk in the bud, and have announced that all major roads leading to the city will be shut down on Wednesday morning, when the storm is expected to hit the city.

 

Israel May Call Early Elections Next Month

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will likely call early elections next month as controversy continues over the Jewish nationality bill and other measures — and as the second-largest political party, Yesh Atid, fights for control of the government.

The prime minister has slammed the 2015 budget proposal advanced by Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid, saying the budget would hurt the IDF and jeopardize Israel’s security.

A bill proposed by Lapid to drop the VAT (sales tax) to zero was also criticized by Netanyahu, who said the plan would “waste billions, won’t lower the cost of housing and will help only contractors who are close to Lapid advisers.”

More to the point, Netanyahu maintained Lapid is blocking him from governing the country effectively — and said new elections were preferably to the “back room deals” he said were sabotaging his leadership.

“The coalition will only survive if I can govern,” he said Friday. “I’m not sticking to my chair. I was chosen to run the country and the nation as I see fit but I cannot run the country this way. If Yesh Atid and Lapid continue their irresponsible behavior it will be right to go back to the voters.”

In response, Lapid told an audience at a cultural event in Tel Aviv that Netanyahu had not spoken to him in the past month. “Housing reforms are stuck, the budget is stuck, our international relations are deteriorating. Insteading of passing the budget and dealing with these issues [Netanyahu and his advisers] are dealing with petty politics,” he complained.

Other politicians are also gearing up for what appears to be an inevitable drive towards early elections.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, chairman of Yisrael Beytenu, has released a diplomatic plan to Hebrew language dailies — but Liberman had started his political posturing already during this past summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge.

Former social services minister Moshe Kahlon also held a rally as part of preparations to form a new political party and he too has been making statements to media in what clearly appears to be preparation for elections.

Hareidi religious political parties are holding talks with all sides in order to see who will give them the best deal, as usual; United Torah Judaism has long had a handshake with Yisrael Beytenu, trading local votes for favors in small towns and cities throughout the country. In return, it is likely a similar deal will come into play at the national level when early elections are held.

Un-Caged Knesset Beasts Claw Each other as Election Bait

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Virtually every Knesset party went wild Monday to claw the coalition government to near-death, leaving enough oxygen for resuscitation before forcing elections that, if held, should focus on blaming all the beasts for leaving their cages.

Israel’s establishment media, especially the center-left electronic and print outlets, always use a day of quiet from riots and rocket attacks to whip up the winds to blow apart the collation headed by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister that it hates because he is so successful.

The coalition’s main partners are the Likud, headed by Netanyahu; Jewish Home, headed by Naftali Bennett; Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman; Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid; and HaTnua, headed by Tzipi Livni.

Not one of the parties really loves the other, and more accurately, everyone hates each other. Bennett and Lapid started out the coalition as the oddest of odd couples, but its life span was pre-destined to be short.

Lieberman for years has said that he will be Prime Minister one day, and Netanyahu looks over his shoulder so often that he is under constant medical treatment for a stiff neck.

Bennett, the most unseasoned of them all, swings back and forth from tree to tree, depending on whether he wants to please the settlers or Lapid’s voters.

Livni, whose party has only six seats in the Knesset and which will barely squeak into the next Knesset, according to polls, throws around borrowed weight that hides her hapless political performance and destiny.

In the background, the Haredi parties are breathing fire through their nostrils, begging to be begged to help Netanyahu form a new coalition or possibly Lapid to form an alternative coalition.

Don’t worry. The lion is not about lie down with the sheep.

Left-wing Meretz and center-left Labor want new elections because they have nothing to gain by their somewhat weak standing as opposition parties that roar like a mouse.

So will new elections be held soon?

Here are three of several rules in Israeli politics:

First, there are no rules, even the one that says that there are no rules.

Secondly, if elections were held every time the media reports that a coalition will not survive, Israelis would be going to polls twice a week.

Thirdly, since only Netanyahu, Bennett and Lieberman probably would gain from new elections, the beasts probably will be back in their cages by next week, if not by this evening.

It is questionable whether the issues are the reason for the current crisis or whether they simply symbolize the need of the beasts to escape once in a while for exercise.

The big issue for months has been Lapid’s proposal to eliminate the 18 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on the purchase of new homes. The bill for zero VAT has so many holes in it that it could not pass as Swiss cheese, but no one in Israel likes to confuse the circus – or jungle – with facts.

Under the bill, if it is ever passed into law, the lucky buyer who won’t pay the tax will have had to serve in IDF – 18 months for a man and 12 months for a woman. The home must not be larger than 140 square meters and cost no more than 1.6 million shekels.. The buyers must be employed – bye, bye Haredim – and must not have owned another home in the past 19 years and must be at least 35 years old and have at least one child.

All of these conditions whittle down the potential buyers to a small minority, but the noise over the proposal has been enough to shake the nation to its foundations.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/interior-minister-gideon-saar-prepares-to-step-down/2014/11/02/

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