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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Hatnua’

Coalition Crisis Looming Over Israel-PA Talks?

Monday, April 7th, 2014

There are no last-minute breakthroughs to report by either side in the Israel-Palestinian Authority negotiations, and PA representatives report no progress while Israeli ministers are squabbling.

PA sources told reporters Sunday night, “The crisis continues. During the entire meeting the Israelis threatened the Palestinians and no solution to the crisis was found.”

But as the “framework agreement” talks continue to fall apart, Israel’s government coalition is now facing a crisis of its own.

In a Knesset plenum session on Monday, Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) called on the Hatnua party led by chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni and the Yesh Atid party headed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid to leave the government. “The failure echoes in all areas,” Herzog charged. “This is a government of failure that does not provide peace, only depression.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beyteynu party, seems to be heaping his own fuel to the fire. Liberman opened the door to new elections yesterday (Sunday April 6) with incendiary comments at The Jerusalem Post’s Annual Conference in New York, saying he would rather face new elections than extend the talks with the PA in another “grand deal.”

Liberman opposes the proposal advanced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that would have extended the current talks until the end of 2014. The proposal would have freed the last tranche of 30 terrorists – including 20 Israeli Arab citizens – as well as an additional 400 more PA prisoners chosen by Israel as well.

The proposal and the unilateral membership applications by the PA to 15 international United Nations agencies and organizations, have torn apart Netanyahu’s coalition.

Despite intense efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk, absolutely no progress has been made in months. Both men appear to realize that there is not much more to be done, and now appear to be backing away from the process at this point.

African Immigrant Knocks Kippa Off Head of MK Stern

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Police have arrested an African immigrant who charged at Knesset Member Elazar Stern in Tel Aviv Sunday night, hit him, knocked his kippa off his head and then stepped on the kippa several times.

MK Stern is a product of a national religious yeshiva, former head of the IDF Manpower Department and now presents Tzipi Livni’s “HaTnua” party in the Knesset.

The unidentified immigrant, who was shirtless at the time despite unseasonably cool weather, waved a cross he was wearing and shouted at Stern. The MK ignored him, apparently angering the immigrant even more.

MK Stern was visiting the neighborhood along with other MKs who had been invited by a local committee to see the problem first-hand.

The low-income area of southern Tel Aviv has attracted thousands of illegal immigrants, causing fear among long-time residents who have been victims of rape and murder and daily theft.

Likud-Beteinu Closes First Partner (updated)

Tuesday, February 19th, 2013

It only took a month, but Likud-Beteinu finally managed to close a deal with its first coalition partner, Tzipi Livni’s HaTnua party.

Livni will reportedly receive the Justice Ministry and be an inner cabinet member.

Amir Peretz will serve as environmental protection minister, and Amram Mitzna will be chairman of the Knesset House Committees.

It was announced at the joint statement that Livni would also be in charge of peace talks with the Palestinians.

The Justice Minister is one of the most powerful positions in the government, as she (in this case) can kill any proposed bill that she disagrees with. Furthermore, all the progress made by the previous government in ending the incestuous self-appointment process of Supreme Court justices can potentially be reversed overnight.

The Future Coalition and the Israeli Right

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

So the final results are almost completely tallied and it’s pretty bad for the right-wing, especially Likud-Beitenu, despite the fact that the Benjamin Netanyahu will likely form the next government.

The only threat to Netanyahu forming the government is a joint Shas-Lapid boycott. Likud-Beitenu and Jewish Home comprise 43 seats. Shas and UTJ (17) bring it up to 61 or Lapid (19) will bring it up to 62. Only if Lapid, Shas and UTJ (or even Lapid and Shas) boycott Netanyahu will Netanyahu not be able to form the government. That scenario would also require Livni and Yachimovitch and Lapid to agree on making one of these three their candidate for Prime Minister, which is even more unlikely. Also, Shas publicly endorsed Netanyahu for Prime Minister in an advertisement prior to the elections, apparently counting on the fact that Lapid will compromise on a universal draft.

Nevertheless, for Netanyahu to form a stable coalition (closer to 70 seats) he would need to Shas and/or UTJ compromise with a plan to draft Hareidim, as he said in his “victory” speech last night that he plans to make a priority and because Lapid is now too large to ignore, especially relative to a weak Likud.

Kadima – which escaped what would have been a well-deserved political death – could be another leftist party which Netanyahu could bring on board to strengthen the coalition, especially if Shas will not join.  This would bring the coalition up to 64 seats, that’s still not that stable, but at least Kadima won’t be able to ask for much with it’s meager two seats.

That would mean giving Mofaz something that Mofaz would feel will make him and Kadima relevant until the next elections, perhaps some lessor ministry or as a minister without portfolio. (Mofaz’s other options to survive through the next elections are (a) to somehow re-establish himself outside the government, which is unlikely; (b) to rejoin the Likud with his tail between his legs, which is also unlikely considering how he treated Netanyahu after Netanyahu brought him into the coalition before; (c) merge with another left-wing party which would be equally embarrassing for him and also unprofitable for the other party; or, (d) wait for Olmert to return and save him).

Some other thoughts:

* The success of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid in garnering 19 mandates, making it the second largest of all parties is the biggest surprise of the election. It’s almost twice as high as Lapid polled before the elections and 19 more than Lapid had before as this is his first election. Like Liberman before, Lapid will likely be Netanyahu’s major partner as under almost any coalition figuration Yesh Atid can bring down the coalition.

* The Jewish Home’s success was not as great as predicted but it was still quite an achievement to garner 12 Knesset seats. The joint Jewish Home-National Union list represented only seven seats in the outgoing Knesset and only a few months ago hoped to get up to 10 seats in the next Knesset. Kudos to them for running a great campaign, including Anglo candidate Jeremy Gimpel who chaired the English-speakers campaign and Jeremy Saltan who was the English-speaker’s campaign manager, despite the fact that Gimpel himself will not be in the next Knesset.

* The Likud-Beitenu’s drop from 42 seats in the outgoing Knesset to 31 in the next is the second biggest surprise. Liberman said last night that he does not regret the merger: Of course he doesn’t, his party only dropped to 11 seats in the Knesset, from 15, despite the fact that he has been indicted, based on testimony from one of his former lieutenants and was absent during the campaign.

The Likud on the other hand lost its upward momentum and now comprises only 20 Knesset seats (only one more than newcomer Lapid). That’s quite an embarrassment for the what is supposed to be the leading party in Israel.

Not that Liberman/the merger should take all the blame. The campaign was terrible from almost every angle – functionally and strategically – and Netanyahu’s no-risk political philosophy may also be to blame for failing to motivate new voters, even though it is good for managing a coalition and providing much-needed stability to the country.

* The “Right” as a whole lost out. Instead of 65 seats (or more, even up to 71 according to some polls), it now has 61. And, remember, the right-wing bloc is not necessarily all right-wing. UTJ is only right-wing on religious issues. On Judea and Samaria, standing up to the international community and economic issues, it is to the left. Shas is also to the left on economic issues and with Aryeh Deri back at the helm it is not clearly to the right when it comes to security-territory issues. Even without Deri, Shas was the prop that kept the Olmert government together after the Second Lebanon War. So really the Right has only 43 reliable seats (Likud-Beitenu + Jewish Home).

Insiders: Amir Peretz Is Taking Over Tzipi Livni’s Movement

Monday, December 24th, 2012

It’s been two weeks since former defense minister MK Amir Peretz has jumped ship from the Labor Party to The Movement Headed by Tzipi Livni, which, according to recent polls, would collect about half as many seats as Labor in the January 22 election. Having recovered from the shock of seeing a central Labor figure (Peretz also served as head of the Histadrut, Israel’s largest trades union), the press is now reporting on the first screeches of a shiduch gone wrong.

To put it bluntly, based on a report in Monday’s Maariv, there have been increasing complaints from Livni’s people (in a movement essentially tailored around her girlish waist), that Peretz has been on an invasion campaign, trying to take over the party’s apparatus.

Those sources have been telling Maariv that Peretz is pushing his people into key positions up and down the party hierarchy. “We joined Tzipi Livni’s party, only to find ourselves in Am Echad (Peretz’s past faction),” one source wishing to remain anonymous told the newspaper.

The source, a female member of the Movement, continued: “It began with the people who came along with Tzipi, and had waited patiently for her during the time she was outside (after her loss of the Kadima chairmanship to Shaul Mofaz in the summer – YY), and reported for duty as soon as she announced her new party. But one minute after Amir got in, the entire campaign management, the entire distribution of assignments, all of it comes from him. Livni’s people were told clearly that they’ll get jobs only if there’s anything left after Amir makes his appointments.”

According to this disgruntled party member, campaign assignments for current MKs and for candidates for the coming Knesset have been meted out on Peretz’s decisions. “It’s not clear how much, if at all, Tzipi is aware of what’s taking place inside her own party,” sources inside the movement were saying. “She doesn’t want to deal with the politics of iot at all, which is why it’s not at all clear that she knows what’s happening. But her people, on the other hand, are extremely bothered by this.”

Amir Peretz has the dual job of campaign chairman and election day campaign chairman, which gives him the authority to make the bulk of the central appointments, and some say all of the appointments, which, critically, means assigning and empowering the party’s field operators.

A partial list of the key appointments in the Movement’s campaign headquarters includes nothing but staunch Peretz loyalists. It includes campaign manager Shmulik Cohen and campaign treasurer Freddie Cohen, who also serves as the party’s representative on the state’s election committee. The list includes Amir Peretz’s brother in law Sammy Shoshan, Peretz’s former youth organizer Roi Shindler, and “vote broker” Moshe Peretz.

The simple explanation for this “friendly” takeover, according to other party sources, is that Peretz and his people are better at doing the ground work. They eat and drink this kind of work, and between campaigns they’re out there visiting activists, shaking hands, dropping in on weddings, Britot and bar mitzvahs, and keeping their rollerdexes alive. Also – while Amir Peretz is ready to go to war over each one of his appointments, Tzipi Livni is aloof and outright disinterested. This is, essentially, why she lost the Kadima chairmanship to Mofaz.

Peretz offered Livni a ready-made campaign apparatus which is the envy of many parties in Israel. It was exactly the component she so desperately lacked. The price was to betray the small group of loyalists who had stayed with her through thick and, especially, thin. That part was easy.

When Peretz originally announced his move away from Labor, it was welcomed with a huge sigh of relief by his past protégé and current nemesis Shelly Yechimovitch. Shelly had been troubled by the damage that Peretz’s well oiled campaign troops could cause her from the inside. In her case, it was an unexpected gift to have him standing outside the tent facing in (you complete Lyndon Johnson’s metaphor for yourself, this is a frum publication, you know).

But if Tzipi Livni expects Peretz to be satisfied with his role as her deputy and field operator, she has a new thing coming. According to her people, Peretz has been conducting direct and intense meetings with everyone on the top-10 list, and, no doubt, making promises he could only deliver if they pushed him past Livni. It’s what Amir Peretz does, his access to large blocks of voters is his strong point, and he is going to cash in on it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/insiders-amir-peretz-is-taking-over-tzipi-livnis-movement/2012/12/24/

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