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March 31, 2015 / 11 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon Becomes ‘Kingmaker’ in Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, leader of the Kulanu party, became the “kingmaker” of the next coalition Monday when recommended President Reuven Rivlin task Likud’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the formation of the new government.

“We nominate Netanyahu and the broader the base of the coalition, the better it will be for all of us,” said Kahlon, who told the president that his party had a social orientation that was focused on the human being.

Kahlon’s hearty endorsement brought Netanyahu to an absolute majority of 61 votes in his favor, which allowed Rivlin to announce the prime minister would be tasked with forming the next government – one of the swiftest coalition assignment determinations ever to take place.

Also voting for Netanyahu on Sunday in addition to the Likud were the delegates from the Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. An endorsement from Yisrael Beytenu that followed shortly after brought Netanyahu’s total to 67 mandates.

The total meant that although the president had yet to meet with the far-left Meretz party, which had five votes to either add or withhold, neither would change the outcome.

At present, not including Meretz, the merged Zionist Union led by Labor party chairman Isaac (“Buji”) Herzog holds 24 votes. The remaining 24 potential coalition members, which include Yesh Atid and the Joint Arab List are holding back for the time being.

Rivlin pointed out that it is not a given that all those who voted for Netanyahu will actually support the government he assembles, when the time comes.

Even after a president has tasked a designated person to form a government, and even that person successfully forms a coalition, the government still must be approved by the Knesset plenum, he noted.

US Absence at UN Human Rights Council Debate – Planned With Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The Reuters news agency reported the absence of the United States at a scheduled United Nations Human Rights Council debate came as part of President Barack Obama’s “reassessment” of Israel at the international forum. The report, which flashed around the world on the news agency’s international wire network, made headlines in Middle Eastern and other nations whose time zones are six or more hours ahead of the U.S.

However, according to Israel’s Foreign Ministry, the report is patently false.

In fact, the absence of the United States from the forum was indeed a deliberate act indeed, but one coordinated in advance with Israel to protest Agenda Item 7. Israel had asked its friends in the Council not to appear during debate of the Agenda Item, in order to boycott the issue.

A U.S. spokesperson in Geneva confirmed the reason for the delegate’s absence to Israeli officials, who reassured inquiring media.

Both the U.S. and Israel were boycotting the debate, which focusedon ‘Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories.’

The UNHRC has passed a mandate to use Agenda Item 7 at every session to debate this specific topic.

For hours, Middle Eastern Arab and African nations ranted on the Israeli violations of human rights in the Palestinian territories. Algeria even accused Israel of genocide.

Although the members of the European Union attended the session, the EU delegates did take the floor to defend Israel during the Agenda Item 7 debate, insisting it should be treated as other nations, and its violations discussed under Agenda Item 4.

Not one other country is deliberately singled out for mandated censure at each and every session of the UN Human Rights Council – including Saudi Arabia, which still allows slavery and beheads criminals, nor Iran, which indulges in public whippings and hangings, nor Sudan, where torture is commonplace, and the list goes on.

In a speech to the Council in Geneva at the start of this month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry accused the UNHRC of obsessions with claims of Israeli violations.

“We will oppose any effort by any group or participant in the UN system to arbitrarily and regularly delegitimize or isolate Israel, not just at the UN Human Rights Council, but wherever it occurs,” Kerry vowed.

“It must be said that the UNHRC’s obsession with Israel actually risks undermining the credibility of the entire organization. It has the potential to limit the good that we have to do,” he added.

Kerry’s well-intended promise may have been forgotten, at least in the White House, however: President Barack Obama is doing everything possible to yank the rug out from under Jerusalem, using rhetoric by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu during his election campaign as the excuse to claim a lack of commitment to peace by Israel.

“We take him at his word when he said [creation of a Palestinian state] wouldn’t happen during his prime ministership, and so that’s why we’ve got to evaluate what other options are available to make sure that we don’t see a chaotic situation in the region,” Obama told The Huffington Post last Friday.

Gone were the assurances Obama himself made in a speech to AIPAC during his own political campaign for president in 2008. That was when he vowed to commit, as president of the United States, to “help committed (peace) partners avoid stalemate and the kind of vacuums that are filled by violence.” Any agreement with the Palestinian people, he said, “must preserve Israel’s identity as a Jewish state, with secure, recognized and defensible borders. Jerusalem will remain the capital of Israel, and it must remain undivided,” he promised.

EMG Protesting Tamar ‘Reverse Flow’ To Egypt Story, Says Quoted Costs Unrealistic

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News

The attorneys for East Mediterranean Gas SA (EMG) have sent a stern letter of protest to the Tamar natural gas reservoir owners—Noble Energy Mediterranean Ltd., Isramco Negev 2 Limited Partnership, Dor Gas Exploration Limited Partnership, Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership, Delek Drilling Limited Partnership—and to the press, protesting the publication of the Tamar reservoir partners agreements with Dolphinus Holdings Limited on the supply of gas to Egypt through EMG’s pipeline.

The attorney, Niv Sever, states that EMG was “surprised, once again, to read in the press about an agreement assuming the use of its pipeline for ‘reverse flow’ of gas between the Israeli Tamar Reservoir partners and Dolphinus Holdings Limited.”

In no uncertain words and in fluent Lawyerese, the Tamar partners, as well as the press, are warned that “EMG strongly protests the repeated unauthorized use of its name, targeted, so it seems, to capitalize on its assets.”

Apparently, EMG, despite its being the owner and operator of the gas pieline whose flow is to be reversed under the new deal, “is not a party to the reported deal and was not included in such negotiations. To avoid any doubt, there are no discussions held between EMG and Dolphinus on such a transaction and there have been no negotiations held in the past.”

Sever adds that, even if his client, EMG, were to permit this unauthorized use of their pipeline, “the reported up-front costs of such an operation are unrealistic for a pipeline that has been out of operation for several years.”

Apparently, when a pipeline is dipped in seawater for several years unattended, you can’t just turn it on and expect it to start reverse flowing stuff.

Or, as Sever puts it: “future operation to transport the reported interruptible quantities of gas for the reported duration would not be economical as far as EMG is concerned.”

“As you must be aware, Egypt has often been reported to impose three determinants for any reverse flow deal,” Sever continues, “approval of the Egyptian government, creation of added value for Egypt, and resolution of the pending international arbitration cases between EMG and its shareholders and Egypt.”

Alas, EMG’s attorney explains, “the positions taken by Egypt in those cases to date, as well as existing Egyptian law restrictions, preclude, at present, any agreement by EMG to contract use of its pipeline for reverse flow on any terms.”

Kachlon Offered Prime Minister Rotation Deal – By Buji Herzog

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Yitzchak “Buji” Herzog is starting to look like a one-trick pony.

Senior members of the Zionist Union claim that party leader Yitzchak Herzog offered Kulanu chief Moshe Kachlon, who holds the key to forming any coalition a deal, a deal he can’t refuse, according to a Maariv report.

They claim that besides offering Kachlon a senior ministerial positions in the government, like Netanyahu did, Herzog upped the ante and also offered to share the Prime Minister’s seat with Kachlon, in a rotation agreement.

The party members didn’t say if they would be ruling on alternate days, or would it be one week on and one week off, and how exactly it would all that fit into Tzipi Livni’s rotation schedule with Herzog (depending on the hour, if that rotation deal is on or off), and would this just turn into some sort of convoluted 3-way relationship.

Herzog is making offers to all the parties that might sit in Netanyahu’s coalition that he thinks could be bought off, in hope of becoming a partial prime minister.

One does wonder how many Prime Ministers Herzog envisions sitting in that chair at the same time.

His rotation schedule could look like this:
Sunday: Herzog (Labor)
Monday: Kachlon (Kulanu)
Tuesday: Gal-on (Meretz)
Wednesday: Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu)
Thursday: Odeh (Arab List)
Friday: Livni (HaTnua)
Saturday: Lapid (Yesh Atid)

President Rivlin to Hear Recommendations, Liberman Undecided

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

President Ruby Rivlin will begin meeting with party heads on Sunday to get their recommendations for the candidate who will try to form the coalition.

On Sunday, Rivlin will be meeting with the Likud (30), the Zionist Union (24), the Joint Arab list (13), Bayit Yehudi (8), Shas (7), and UTJ (6).

On Monday, Rivlin is meeting with Yesh Atid (11), Kulanu (10), Yisrael Beytenu (6) and Meretz (5).

Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Kulanu, Shas, and UTJ are expected to recommend to the President that Netanyahu be given the task of trying to form a coalition.

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said he has not decided if he wants to support Netanyahu. He’s played similar games in the past.

Despite his party’s relatively poor showing in the elections, Liberman is demanding the Defense Ministry, which Netanyahu reportedly wants to leave in the hands of current Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

With 61 seats on his side, Rivlin is expected to task Netanyahu with trying to form the coalition, though ultimately it’s President Rivlin’s decision who gets the first shot.

If Netanyahu succeeds in coalition negotiations, he’ll once again be Israel’s Prime Minister.

Bennett Likely to Get Foreign Ministry

Friday, March 20th, 2015

Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) is asking for to be the Foreign Minister in the new coalition, and Netanyahu may give it to him.

Bennett is asking for an expanded ministry, with added control over Diaspora Affairs, Hasbara (PR) and Jerusalem.

Bayit Yehudi MKs want to also receive the Ministry of Religion in the upcoming government, so they can continue to try to reform the ministry and make changes in the nature and quality of religious services in Israel. They want Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan to receive that appointment.

Shas also wants the Ministry of Religion.

Marco Rubio Delivers Blistering Speech on Obama’s Assault on Israel

Friday, March 20th, 2015

h/t Washington Free Beacon

And for good measure:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/video-picks/marco-rubio-delivers-blistering-speech-on-obamas-assault-on-israel/2015/03/20/

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