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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘israel beiteinu’

After Mayoral Loss, the Buzzards Are Flying over Lieberman’s Head

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

The old adage suggesting that victory has a multitude of fathers, while failure, alas, is an orphan, can be applied yet again, this time to describe the grim aftermath in Shas following the heartbreaking loss of the Avigdor Lieberman-Aryeh Deri candidate for mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion (the name should be spelled “Leon,” but the campaign opted for this, more feline spelling).

So the bad guy in this story of glory and defeat is Israel Beiteinu strong man MK Avigdor Lieberman, soon to be either the previous and next Foreign Minister, or the next man with a serial number at the Ma’asiahu prison for white collar criminals—court decision on that one expected in two weeks.

But for now, Lieberman appears to be shouldering the shame of the mayoral loss, with attacks on him coming both from sore losers and sore winners. Yes, the winning incumbent, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat now and for the next 5 years, is not doing the gracious. not even pretending.

“Lieberman is a dishonest man, a fixer who wanted to turn me into a marionette and couldn’t,” Barkat told Ma’ariv.

According to the winner, Lieberman made it his life’s mission to destroy him, Barkat, who, apparently, remained pure as the driven Jerusalem snow: “I could have made a deal and appoint Vladimir Sklar CEO of the East Jerusalem Development corporation the way Lieberman insisted, and then I would have gotten wall-to-wall support,” he said. “I refused. I took a chance and paid a heavy price.”

In Israel, it seems, to the winner goes being spoiled.

MK Lieberman for his part has been denying the Sklar appointment story, arguing instead that in his feverish yearning to win, Barkat has sold the city out to the Haredim—specifically, former Haredi mayoral candidate Chayim Epstein has been saying he’s being appointed Barkat’s deputy mayor, with pay.

The nice appointment is considered to be his reward for keeping his name on the ballot even as it was becoming obvious he was going nowhere—and with that helped siphon off some of Lion’s Haredi votes. It’s a good theory.

But the worst thing for Lieberman was not the spectacle of the winner Barkat doing a victory dance in a fashion that would not go well over in the States, where the first thing a loser does is congratulate the winner, to be followed by the winner complimenting the loser. Over in the Jewish State, we win, we fillet the loser, fire up the barbie, have a beer.

The worst thing for Lieberman is how his own campaign has been badmouthing him. Ma’arive quotes Likud-beiteinu campaign workers who said “Lieberman pulled the rug from under all of us… He couldn’t deliver the goods… He didn’t deliver the Likudniks, and he especially didn’t deliver the Russians he promised… All the Israel Beiteinu voters in Jerusalem supported Nir Barkat… Israel Beiteinu used to have 2 seats in the city council – that’s now been erased… Even when combining the Liebrman and Likud votes, they barely make it past the blocking percentage…”

Finally, senior Aryeh Deri operatives put all the blame on Lieberman. The rift between Deri and Lieberman is serious. Last week, Deri told his listeners on Haredi radio station Kol Barama that they had to vote in large numbers, to secure a Shas-Lieberman partnership. Now, after the defeat, Deri told those same listeners that they lived up to his expectations—they awarded 35 thousand votes to Moshe Lion, but on the Likud-Beiteinu side the failure was overwhelming.

Deri’s seniors are angry at Lieberman, but they’re livid at Deri himself for falling prey to Lieberman’s machinations. It was a known thing that Lieberman could round up 10 thousand Russians in Jerusalem – that’s the number that voted for his faction in 2008. So how come all the Russians went for Barkat? Was Deri being naïve when he figured Lieberman for a solid real estate asset, when, in fact, that asset is infested with termites and about to fall on its own foundations?

Lieberman had nothing to tell his followers and the press other than his own version of you win some, you lose some. If he’s taken down by the court two weeks from now, it would mark a sea change in Israeli politics, an earthquake that could empower the right or the left, depending on whom you ask.

Ya’alon: Haredi Integration without Criminal Sanctions

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said that the government must strive to bring about Haredi integration, as well as the integration of minorities in society, but not through de-legitimizing them and certainly not by applying criminal sanctions against them.

According to Ya’alon, himself a former IDF Chief of Staff, the term “equal burden” which has become the slogan of so many “social warriors,” is wrong, and it should be rephrased to express the willingness of Israeli citizens to take responsibility for the needs of country. Ya’alon spoke at a conference in Jerusalem honoring pre-military courses.

Minister Limor Livnat, a member in the Perry Committee on equal burden, supports Ya’alon’s position, and wants to see deleted the section in the committee recommendations that imposes criminal sanctions against yeshiva students who do not join the army, or against their deans.

Minister Livnat also wants to extend by an additional 4 years the time allotted to realizing the first phase of the recruitment program. Speaking to Reshet Bet, Livnat stressed that anyone who believes that Haredi enlistment is going to be done by force and coercion is wrong. There will be no trucks coming to transfer them to prison, she said, emphasizing that the process will be done intelligently and wisely.

In response to the announcement of Likud’s partner Israel Beiteinu, that they will not support the Perry recommendations unless they also include imposing service on the Arabs as well, Livnat said that their argument did hold water. However, she pointed out that “Israel Beiteinu signed a coalition agreements in which it agreed that recruiting Arabs would be done on a volunteer basis.”

The Ministerial Committee on Equality convened in Jerusalem on Sunday, to approve and amend the Perry Committee recommendations. The Defense Ministry’s Attorney General presented to the ministers the IDF’s proposed amendments. Representatives of the Israel Beiteinu and the Jewish Home parties threatened to vote against the recommendations if they do not include recruiting Arabs.

Jewish Home is also expected to oppose the clause stating that the Hesder yeshiva soldiers’ service term would be extended from 16 to 24 months.

Jewish Home Breaching Coalition Agreement to Protect Israeli Lands

Friday, April 26th, 2013

There has been a significant shift regarding the plan for a massive giveaway of state land to Bedouin residents of the Negev.

At stake is land totaling hundreds of thousands of acres all over the Negev, claimed by Bedouin squatters. In the 1970s, the Bedouin were allowed to register ownership claims over these parcels with the Justice Ministry, but the state never recognized these claims, because they were not backed by legal proof of ownership. Moreover, every time the Bedouin tried to take the state to court to secure their legal ownership over the land, they lost and their lands were registered as property of the state.

In January, Minister without portfolio Benny Begin, serving in a caretaker government, proposed a land reform for the Bedouin population that was going to transform the Negev. Ignoring previous court decisions, the Begin plan was going to sanction the Bedouin squatter tenants, all of them illegal, as the legal owners of much of the Negev.

Begin and the Likud-Beitenu were so committed to this move, that they forced Jewish Home to approve, in the coalition agreement, item 51 which reads: Both sides will promote the “Law regulating Bedouin settlement, 5772-2012,” should a Jewish Home minister be a member of a ministerial committee to implement said law.

According to Maariv, on Wednesday evening there was a meeting on the Negev lands between Ministers Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) and Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), both appointed by their parties to engage on the issue. The Jewish Home MKs Ayelet Shaked, Zevulun Kalfa and Orit Struck were also pushing a halt to the Begin plan, as were Minister Yair Shamir and MK David Rotem both from Israel Beiteinu, along with coalition chairman Mk Yariv Levin of the Likud.

In the end, according to Maariv this morning, Jewish Home and Yesh Atid, together with most of the coalition partners, reached an agreement to introduce significant changes to the Begin plan, after it had already been approved by the transitional government after the election.

The change, essentially, eliminates the Begin plan in favor of the original 2011 plan, which was approved a much less generous land giveaway to the Negev Bedouin.

According to a source in Jewish Home, the reason the government decided in January to prefer the Begin plan over the 2011 plan was that the Bedouin didn’t like the 2011 plan. Well, you can’t blame them for that, but being unhappy still does not entitle them to a land that isn’t legally theirs.

The plan will be executed over a period of five years, and the Negev Bedouin will have nine months to decide whether they accept it or prefer to sue the government over the plan. Mind you, based on past experience, suing could mean the Bedouin would be left with next to nothing, instead of what is still a legal sanctioning of their ownership of areas where they actually reside.

Liberman Dumps Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon from Knesset List

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Avigdor Liberman’s campaign to unload the “stars” of his party, Israel Beiteinu, continues full blast into Tuesday, the day of submitting all the lists of nominees to the Knesset, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported.

The list of Liberman’s party is shared this election with Netanyahu’s Likud.

After the untimely “retirement” of Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov (accused of drunkenness, but also one of the most effective Tourism ministers Israel has ever had), and MK Anastasia Michaeli (spilled a glass of water on an Arab MK), Israel Beiteinu’s powerful chairman on Tuesday dropped his own deputy at the Foreign Ministry, the talented and very charismatic Danny Ayalon.

The Deputy Foreign Minister, picked for seventh place on the party list in the previous Knesset, will be remembered, among other things, for the embarrassing incident with the Turkish ambassador, whom Ayalon forced to sit in front of the cameras on a humiliatingly low chair. It did not help Israel’s already toxic relationship with Turkey. But U.S. Jews will remember Ayalon’s brilliant stint as co-chairman of the North American aliyah organization Nefesh B’Nefesh.

On the other hand, Liberman is also intending to place the MK Faina Kirschenbaum in seventh place on the list, a 3-spot upgrade from her tenth place in the 2009 Knesset elections.

Liberman Poll: Near-Tie between Olmert and Netanyahu

Thursday, October 25th, 2012

A new survey commissioned by Israel Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman shows a near-tie between the Likud under Benjamin Netanyahu and a party led by former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, bolstered by Tzipi Livni.

A source in Olmert’s circle told Walla that this is an “interesting survey,” and that the former PM has not yet decided whether or not to participate in the upcoming elections.

The survey, commissioned by Liberman from Arthur Finkelstein, a New York-based Republican Party consultant who has worked for conservative candidates in the United States, Canada, Israel and Eastern Europe over the past four decades, presents an encouraging picture for Liberman and his party. According to the survey, Israel Beiteinu will get 14-16 seats, landing it in third place, ahead of the Labour Party with 13 seats and behind Olmert’s party and Likud which will receive 22 and 22-24 seats respectively.

Since the Prime Minister’s announcement of early elections, Israel Beiteinu Chairman Liberman, has not rested, and has been laboring intensely to sway voters. Nine days ago, he spoke at a meeting of Israel Beiteinu, he attacked the contenders on the left: “A party like Meretz is nothing more than a lobby for the Palestinians inside the Knesset,” he suggested, while also attacking the Labor Party chairperson, Shelly Yachmovitch: “Who speaks for social-democy, but confuses it with Communism.”

Former PM Olmert is rumored to be checking the lay of the land before declaring his run for the Knesset. Eight days ago, Judge Elyakim Rubinshtein, head of the Central Elections Committee, rejected a request from the Ometz (Courage) movement to declare Olmert unfit to serve as Prime Minister as long as he is the defendant in a corruption trial. Rubinshtein said it wasn’t up to him or the Elections Committee to disqualify a candidate for the role of Prime Miniaster.

Ahead of Vote, Liberman Video Touts Importance of Equal Service Law

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

On Monday, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s party Yisrael Beytenu released a video stressing the importance of passing a law mandating equal service for all Israelis. The video shows, through dramatic graphics, how in 1948 the vast majority of Israelis served their country whereas by 2020 the majority of Israelis will not be serving.

Titled “One Citizenship. One Obligation. One Opportunity. One Vote,” the clip was released ahead of the planned vote on Yisrael Beytenu’s IDF, National, or Civilian Service Law Proposal this Wednesday in the Knesset.

The bill seeks to establish several principles, which other, similar proposed bills do not necessarily share:

The promise of equal sharing of the burden of service among the State’s citizens.

The establishment of a system in which every citizen, men and women alike, will serve in the army, or perform national or civilian service (in effect, the civilian service in this bill will include today’s national service).

The recognition of Torah study in yeshivas as an important value in the State of Israel and the establishment of a program that combines learning and service – but certainly not with the huge number of yeshiva students who today avoid the draft.

The recognition of equal burden-sharing as an important value in the State of Israel.

The establishment of a state service option, taking into account the nature of the various sectors in Israel and assuring the ability to maintain the provisions of various religions and their customs while serving.

“We promised we would bring our bill no matter what,” declared Liberman on Monday, adding, “We have no choice. We waited until the last minute to see if they come to any reasonable compromise or a satisfying solution to both the Haredi and Minorities draft. Because there is no such solution, we put up our bill to a vote.”

Regarding sanctions against those who would not serve, the Israel Beiteinu chairman said he prefers economic moves. “By putting someone in prison, we’d be playing into their hands,” he explained. “If we take someone and put him in jail, we will make them a martyr, which is what they’re looking for. But once yeshiva boy knows that he’s not getting his support and his scholarship, and the yeshiva, too, will know that it does not get their benefits, that’ll be the most effective thing. Minorities, too, if they realize they won’t be eligible for unemployment and other benefits – they’ll come around.”

As things stand on Tuesday, the chances that the bill will pass on its first reading in the Knesset are low.

Click on the CC button at the base of the screen for English subtitles.

New Knesset ‘Tzohar Law’ to Curtail Chief Rabbinate’s Control on Weddings Passes First Reading

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Israel Beiteinu’s MK Faina Kirshenbaum’s “Tzohar Law” passed its first reading yesterday in the Knesset by a majority of 25 to 8.

The new law will end the obligation of Jewish couples to be wedded only by the rabbi of their locale, and will permit them to choose any recognized Orthodox rabbi in the country to perform their marriage.

According to Israel Beiteinu, the purpose of the new law is “to mitigate the difficulties often associated with couples being beholden to the rabbis of their hometown.”

The law also gives a new lease on life to the moderate Orthodox organization Tzohar, which provides a  more accommodating wedding experience for non-religious couples, and which has been under threat from more right wing elements associated with the chief rabbinate, which sought complete control over marriage fees.

The bill now must go through committee and then be approved by the house.

Tzohar Chairman Rabbi David Stav told the Jewish Press that despite its popular nickname, the new law is not directly connected to his organization. “It’s true that we are pleased with this law, but it’s not essentially about Tzohar but rather intends to make life easier for secular Israelis who are trapped in the maze of bureaucracy.”

Rabbi Stav explained that Tzohar rabbis have been decrying for many years the chief rabbinate bureaucracy which prevents young couples from marrying according to “the laws of Moses and Israel,” pushing them instead to seek civil marriages in nearby Cyprus.

I asked Rabbi David Stav about the notion that Tzohar rabbis employ less stringent standards regarding conversions. He disagreed with the entire proposition.

“We recognize only those conversions which the chief rabbinate recognizes,” he stated. “We do not accept conversions which the chief rabbinate has rejected.”

The problem is, Stav says, that local rabbis in various municipalities, who are paid by the state as civil servants, refuse to recognize the legitimacy of conversions which have been approved by the chief rabbinate.

“There are hundreds of thousands of Jews who must be married in their locale according to the old law, but their local rabbinate would not permit them to get married because that rabbinate does not recognize some chief rabbinate conversions,” he said.

“We are delighted that the Knesset has discovered yesterday what we’ve known for a very long time,” he added. “The majority of Israel’s public wants a halachic wedding, but is asking not to be encumbered with needless obstacles.”

Rabbi Stav emphasized that all the rabbis associated with Tzohar who conduct marriage ceremonies received their ordination from the chief rabbinate and operate within strict halachic guidelines.

“In the Tzohar rabbis’ approach to marriages there isn’t even a smidgen of levity or allowance for shortcuts,” he stressed. “There is no halachic disagreement here whatsoever. The differences are in our more personal approach. We view our role as a holy mission, to bring the secular Israeli society closer to the institution of halachic marriages.”

Rabbi Stav criticized voices in the Lithuanian yeshiva world which warned that Tzohar rabbis would be lighter on halachic requirements, saying there was no basis in reality for such allegations.

“The big change ushered by this law is in regard to registration for marriage,” said Rabbi Chaim Navon, a congregation Rav in Modiin and member of the Tzohar organization, who also spoke to the Jewish Press about the new bill.

“Even before a couple chooses which rabbi would officiate at their wedding, they must register to marry at the Rabbinate office in their home town. To date, that same rabbinate also has the power to approve or disqualify the officiating rabbi. The new law will allow the couple to register anywhere they want in the country.”

This means that if their local rabbinate is too strict in the couple’s opinion, they are free to register elsewhere.

Rabbinic strictness, said Navon, is expressed in the local office’s views on standards of giurim (Jewish conversions), as well as on which Orthodox rabbis are acceptable to conduct the chupa ceremony.

“The bill received the nickname ‘Tzohar Law’ because some rabbinate offices around the country have been preventing rabbis affiliated with Tzohar from conducting marriages.”

The new law still maintains the complete adherence to Jewish Halacha of the officiating rabbis.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-knesset-tzohar-law-to-curtail-chief-rabbinates-control-on-weddings-passes-first-reading/2012/05/22/

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