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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Israel Today’

MKs and Ministers Trying to Kill the Free Press in Israel

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Israeli Ministers and Knesset members are coming out against the free market of ideas, and the free market as well, by proposing a bill that would potentially kill the popular and free Israeli daily print paper, Yisrael Hayom.

The paper is given out free in Israel, and has become the primary competitor to Arnon “Nuni” Moses’s Yediot Achronot, which leans more to the political left, though not as far left as Ha’aretz, which only has a minuscule market share in Israel.

Among those MKs proposing the bill that would try to shut down the paper are MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor), Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi), Elazar Stern (Hatnua), Ariel Attias (Shas) and Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid).

Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) said today on a Galei Tzahal interview, that Yisrael Hayom is “Pravda“, and serves the interest of one person [the Prime Minister].

It is not clear to us what is stopping Bennett from convincing one of his own supporters to print a daily paper that would be pro-Bennett, or even improving his relationship with the religious-Zionist paper Arutz-7, so they’d give him better coverage in their free weekend paper.

Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid chairman), whose party supports the bill, used to write a column for Yisrael Hayom’s main competitor, Yediot.

Yisrael Hayom is owned by Sheldon Adelson, and typically takes a position that is pro whatever position PM Netanyahu recently put forward, though not always a right-wing position. It also publishes articles from those on the left side of the political spectrum. There is no denying that it is agenda driven, but name one newspaper that isn’t.

As an aside, Sheldon Adelson, may soon be purchasing the religious-Zionist paper Makor Rishon, after Makor Rishon over-extended itself financially with its purchase of Ma’ariv.

Some in the Likud say that Moses and Yediot are the driving force behind this bill.

The “Yisrael Hayom” law, as it is being called because it specifically only targets Yisrael Hayom, would require that the top four daily print papers charge fees relative to what the other daily print papers are charging – or more accurately no less than 70% of whatever the second lowest priced paper is charging.

To us, it looks like a blatant attempt to suppress the voices of political opponents and suppress freedom of speech and press in Israel.

Yediot has the same opportunity to build a different business model, take a different political line that is more palatable to most Israelis, or even accept that it won’t be number one in the market anymore.

The free Arutz-7 Shabbat print paper and the fee-based Makor Rishon have coexisted quite nicely for over a decade serving the Religious-Zionist market, each one with their own business model and message – proving that it can be done.

It appears that this is really an attempt to block the basic right for anyone to put down their soap box in the city square and freely express their opinion – if certain people are worried that that opinion is becoming too popular.

Eitan Cabel (Labor), one of the proponents of the bill, played a central role in shutting down the very popular right-wing religious Arutz-7 radio station.

Naftalki Bennett and Bayit Yehudi should really consider who its allies are in this fight and what it could mean for them next.

It appears that in Israel, those on the political left can’t stand that those on the political right have a voice that is heard, and those on the right are too short-sighted to see that suppressing both the free market and the free market of ideas is dangerous for all of us, and that is the real problem.

Makor Rishon to Change Owners

Friday, March 28th, 2014

The popular religious-Zionist, Israeli paper Makor Rishon may change owners next week, according to a report in Makor Rishon.

Shlomo Ben-Tzvi is being forced to sell the paper by the court, after debts rang up from the paper’s unfortunate acquisition of the debt-ridden Israeli paper, Ma’ariv.

Twelve groups inquired about acquiring the paper from the court, six groups put in bids, and two bidders are left competing for the final decision.

One of the two final bidders is none other than Sheldon Adelson, who also owns the free Israeli paper, Yisrael Hayom.

The highest bid so far is Adelson’s Yisrael Hayom with NIS 14 million. The Jerusalem Post offered a close bid of NIS 13.5 million.

Makor Rishon was first founded in 1997, and changed owners a few times. The last owner was Shlomo Ben-Tzvi.

For all appearances, it was the purchase of Ma’ariv that set up the chain of events that resulted in the paper being sold.

Insiders: Rumors of Deri’s Return to Shas Premature

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Tuesday’s announcement of early elections has given new life, among other things, to speculations about former Shas leader Aryeh Deri’s return to the top. But Deri associates on Wednesday denied the rumors.

The charismatic Deri has served 22 months in prison between 2000 and 2002, for taking a $155 thousand bribe while serving as Interior Minister. He was replaced by the current Interior Minister and Shas leader Eli Yishai.

In recent days the rumors were flying about a Deri’s recent coup, whereby he has managed to gain enough favor with the party’s spiritual leader, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, to reinstate him in the top post while Yishai will be demoted to second place on the Shas Knesset list.

But Deri supporters on Thursday confided with Israel Today thattheir man is in “a serious bind” and would require a miracle to retake the top spot.

Deri’s predicament is, according to insiders, that after having made a commitment not to run on an independent list, he still hasn’t been able to unseat his rival Yishai.

“We offered him in recent months to compete against Shas, but that’s probably not going to happen,” an insider told Israel Today. Still, Deri “has to be present in these elections. If he doesn’t enter now, the story is over, and he only has the Shas option. I’m sorry to say only a miracle would cause Rabbi Ovadia to push aside Yishai and award the party stewardship to Deri.”

The question remains open as to whether or not Deri would acquiesce to take the second spot. In the past the disgraced politician has stated unequivocally that second place is “out of the question,” the insider added. “But under these new circumstances, you never know.”

Minister Yishai on Wednesday denied reports about a deal that’s being worked on inside Shas. His office said “there is no such deal.”

As to Deri’s possible return, Yishai said: “There’s Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and the Council of Torah Sages, and they decide. I’ve said many times that I would be delighted if Deri comes back to Shas according to the Rabbi’s decisions. Deri, too, respects the Rabbi’s decisions, and whomever doesn’t respect the Rabbi’s opinion has no place in Shas.”

Combined Power of Torah and the Atom in New Dimona Nuclear Reactor Synagogue

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

The nuclear reactor in Dimona, for the first time in its long and hush hush history, will feature a full fledged synagogue. According to Israel Today, the ceremony of bringing a new Torah scroll into the newly inaugurated synagogue took place on Tuesday, and was attended—understandably—by only a small group of guests.

It turns out that in all the years since the most secret facility in Israel has been in operation, there was no permanent synagogue in it, and no Torah scroll, forcing religious employees to use makeshift spaces for their prayer sessions.

On year ago, Rabbi David Abuhatzeira approached Jewish American investor and businessman Ira Rennert (number 29 on the Jerusalem Post’s list of the World’s 50 Richest Jews, personal wealth estimated at $5.9 billion), and asked him to build a synagogue and furnish a Torah scroll for it.

According to a source quoted by Israel Today, Rabbi Abuhatzeira impressed upon Rennert (renowned as one of the earliest innovator of “junk bond” financing) the mind boggling effect of combining the holiness of the Torah with the power emanating from the nuclear facility in Dimona.

The new synagogue edifice stands on the nuclear plant’s grounds and holds 300 seats.

There are several hundred religious Jewish employees working at the plant.

The source told Israel Today: “We have no doubt that by building a synagogue and bringing a Torah scroll to a special place like this, will we will be protected from above against all external threats, including from Iran.”

And maybe inflict some holy damage, too…

New Poll Sees Huge Win for Incumbent Netanyahu, Likud

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Following Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s announcement that he is prepared to go to an early election in October, “Israel Today” published a poll Sunday morning, conducted by the Gal Hadash service, on the prospects of the different potential factions.

On the question of who is best fitting to be the next Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu scored 29%, by far ahead of the two leaders in second place, Avigdor Lieberman (Israel Our Home) and Shelly Yachimovich (Labor), each with 9.2%, followed by Yair Lapid (Future) with 7% and Shaul Mofaz (Kadima) with 4.2%.

If the electionsto the Knesset were held today (Israel’s prime minister is usually the leader of the largest Knesset faction), the results would be:

Likud – 31 seats
Labor – 17
Israel Our Home (Lieberman) – 14
Kadima – 13
Yair Lapid – 12
Shas (Religious Sefardi) – 9
Torah Judaism (Haredi) – 5
Meretz (Left) – 4
Hadash (Arab) – 4
The Jewish Home (Religious Zionist) – 3
Ra’am-Ta’al (Arab) – 3
Balad (Arab) – 3
National Union (Religious Zionist) – 2

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/new-poll-sees-huge-win-for-incumbent-netanyahu-likud/2012/04/29/

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