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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Home’

Naftali Bennett Urges Netanyahu, ‘Annex Settlement Blocs Now!’

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party, is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to annex Area C, which encompasses all of the Jewish settlement blocs in Judea (Yehuda) and Samaria (Shomron.)

“It is clear that the diplomatic process has run its course and that we are entering a new era,” Bennett wrote to the prime minister in a letter sent Wednesday. “We have been hitting our heads against the wall of negotiations over and over again for years and we keep getting surprised when the wall did not break. The time has come for new thinking.”

Bennett’s “Settlement Blocs First” plan calls to annex Area C, which is controlled entirely by the State of Israel, and offering Israeli citizenship to Arabs living there. Area C, which comprises 60 percent of the Judea and Samaria regional sector, is home to at least 350,000 Jews – none of whom live in Area A (under full PA control) or Area B (under PA civil control and Israeli military control.)

Highway 60, a favorite target for road terror attacks by Palestinian Authority Arabs, is the main artery that runs from the north to the south from Samaria (Shomron) through Judea (Yehuda) to Be’er Sheva and is routed mostly through Area B.

Under Bennett’s proposal, Areas A and B would receive increased autonomy and a massive infusion of financial investment to upgrade the quality of life in those areas.

He explained the plan on the U.S.-based CNN network last night (Wednesday) and said he will begin to publicize it in the international forums. Bennett contended that since Israel’s annexation of the Golan Heights and its reunification of Jerusalem was never recognized internationally anyway, another annexation will not make a difference.

Included in the blocs to be annexed would be Gush Etzion, Ma’ale Adumim, Beit El, Ofra, Ariel and the communities overlooking Ben Gurion International Airport.

Bennett Asks Netanyahu to Annex Large Jewish Settlements

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett announced Wednesday night that he is urging Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in writing to annex large Jewish population centers in Judea and Samaria and take them out of the status of “military rule.”

He explained his timing is directly related to the  Palestinian Authority’s “new record of extortion” throughout nearly nine months of “negotiations” that have been nothing more than drawn out period of demands in return for Israel’s sitting down to hear more demands.

“The Palestinians broke the principles of negotiations and applied for membership” in U.N. agencies, Bennett wrote, adding that the Palestinian Authority continues to incite for the murder of Jews.

“We  have been beating our heads against the wall repeatedly during negotiations – and not surprisingly the wall is not broken,” Bennett continued.

His proposal would place Gush Etzion, which includes Efrat, Neve Daniel, Elazar, Beitar Illit and several kibbutzim under Israeli sovereignty, as Israel did in 1980 when it annexed areas of Jerusalem that were restored to the country in the Six-Day War in 19767. Similar, Israel annexed the Golan Heights.

Almost all foreign media and foreign governments refer to the areas as “occupied.”

The city of Ariel, in central Samaria, Beit El in northern Samaria, and Ma’aleh Adumim, east of Jerusalem, also would be annexed under Bennett’s plan.

“It is clear that the current process has run its course and we are entering a new era,” Bennett stated.

Momentum for placing the large population enters of Jews under Israeli sovereignty has been building up for at least two years.

Last year, a government-appointed commission of three legal experts, including retired Supreme Court Justice Edmund Levy, concluded that Israel is not an “occupier” and that Jews have the right to live anywhere in Judea and Samaria under international law.

Prime Minister Netanyahu shelved the report, but the recent collapse of the illusion of trust between the  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, Mahmoud Abbas and the Israeli government has opened the way for both the Palestinian Authority and Israeli to stake out claims.

Abbas already  has said he will ask for membership in U.N. agencies , with an eye on the International Court, where he wants to file “war crimes” claims against Israel.

Knesset Passes Law that Drives Extremists to the Political Graveyard

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

The Knesset passed into law on Tuesday a measure that will restrict representation in the legislature to parties that win at least 3.25 percent of the total vote, or approximately four seats.

If elections were held today and results were similar to recent polls, Kadima, headed by Shaul Mofaz, would be non-existent, and Tzipi Livni’s Tnuah party would either join it in the political graveyard or at best be standing at the edge of the cemetery.

The Arab parties will be forced to unite or disappear, and the likes of Baruch Marzel can kiss their Knesset futures goodbye. The only thing that could save Marzel, his cohorts Itamar Ben-Gvir and former Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad, would be another mass expulsion of Jews, God forbid.

The law passed by a 67-0 unanimous vote, which was astonishing on two counts. First, no one in the coalition voted against it, for the simple reason there are two other laws slated for a vote this week, and the coalition parties wisely agreed to join forces and support them all rather than risk a nasty fight on the floor and a strikeout.

The other astonishing event, even for Israel’s three-ring circus Knesset, is that the Opposition parties boycotted the vote even though the Opposition leader once supported the same legislation.

Opposition leader Yitzchak “Bogie” Herzog once supported the same proposal, but he complained on Tuesday that the coalition government is steamrolling the democratic process by staging three votes on major bills in one week, restricting a proper debate.

Labor should be renamed the Loser party, or perhaps the Crybabies party.

The other two votes this week are on the universal draft, which is aimed at the Haredim while leaving Arabs off the hook, and a bill to make part of the Basic Law a provision that any surrender of land under Israeli sovereignty would require a national referendum before a peace agreement could be concluded.

If the referendum bill passes, that means the Knesset cannot decide on its own to surrender one inch of land in all of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as well as any other areas that Israel might annex in the future.

Tuesday’s vote was on what is called the “Governance Bill,” which not only increases the minimum vote needed for party representation in the Knesset, but also limits the size of the Cabinet to 18 ministers.

The number of votes a party needs to enter the Knesset is the most controversial part of the bill, and Jewish Home Knesset Member Nissan Slomiansky warned that it could backfire on some parties who are riding the crest of popularity today but forget that every day is topsy-turvy Purim in Israeli politics.

Slomiansky is a long-time veteran of the old National Religious Party, which won only three Knesset seats in the elections in 2006.

Meretz also once had only three seats, but it can be argued that the new limits will encourage some people to vote for a certain party. Even if they are not enthusiastic about a certain party, they might not want to see the party lose out altogether.

The previous threshold of 2 percent for party representation made a mockery of democracy, giving every weirdo a shot at succeeding in gaining 60,000 or so votes and becoming a legislator, even if the party’s platform is wacky or simply political impossible.

In many Western countries, the minimum required for seats in the legislature varies from 4 percent in Austria and Sweden to 5 percent in Belgium and Germany

In the last Israeli elections, the perennial Marijuana “Green Leaf” party won 13,000 voters who essentially threw their ballots in the garbage can.

Bennett Slashes Import Duties on Dairy Products

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Custom duties on imported butter, yogurt and other dairy products will be drastically slashed in a move by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett to increase competition and lower prices.

Import taxes on some dairy prices account for as much as 100 percent of the final cost, according to Bennett, who also is chairman of the Jewish Home party. He said he expects importer to pass on the savings to customers.

Ironically, it was Bennett’s “odd couple” ally Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, who capitalized on the “cottage cheese” protests of two years ago to draw widespread support for his party in the last Knesset elections.

Rumor: Draft Committee to Launch Special Chabad Track

Monday, February 10th, 2014

The Knesset committee working on the new draft bill have decided to add a third special track, in addition to the “hesder” track for religious Zionists, and the Haredi track: the Chabad Lubavitch track, Kikar Hashabbat reported.

Over the next three days, the Knesset committee working on the conscription law, chaired by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked, will prepare its final draft that will include, among other changes, shortening the service period for all enlisted IDF soldiers, adding a month to the hesder yeshiva track, and creating the Chabad track.

According to a Chabad rabbi speaking to Kikar hashabbat, the Chabad track will have different, and presumably easier conditions than those offered to Haredi yeshiva students.

The bill presented for a second vote on Tuesday permits Chabad yeshiva students ages 18-20 to leave the country to one destination: 770 Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, NY, the world center of Chabad Lubavitch. They will stay there for two years, come back home, get married and spend one year in Kolel. Then they will enlist, as per the determination by the IDF. They, too, like Haredi students, will be permitted to ask for a delay of service until age 24.

This will end, once and for all, the ongoing problem faced by Lubavitch youths who stay in America and then face charges of desertion upon their return, with some actually serving jail time. Now they can take their time and stay in Crown Heights with the IDF approval.

According to the current draft, before the Tuesday vote, the hesder students will be serving an additional month, as prescribed originally by the Perry Committee, totaling their service at 17 months. Non-hesder soldiers will serve 32 months, down from 36.

Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home, celebrated the new bill on his Facebook page, saying that, “for the first time in many decades, the government is acting to connect the Haredi public with the world of employment and service.”

“Without this move, the State of Israel would have been trapped in an enormous socio-economic crisis in a few years,” Bennett added, promising: “in a few weeks we will change the reality in Israel.”

It might be a sign of a good law when it is hated by many in the Haredi public as well as on the left. MK Eliezer Stern of Tzipi Livni’s movement, who served as head of HR in the IDF and wears a yarmulke, accused Jewish Home of hypocrisy, by making a mockery of the idea of equal burden, which the new draft law was supposed to fix. According to Stern, the hesder yeshiva track, which started out as a great thing, has become corrupt over the years, with men who are registered in hesder yeshivas actually doing other things and getting to serve a shorter term.

Minister Yaakov Perry, whose committee actually wrote the original draft with the 17-month allotment to religious Zionist hesder soldiers, now accused Jewish Home of weakening the demands from Haredim. He promised a fight on the Knesset floor over the special terms awarded Haredim, seeing these as a rehashing of the faults of the Tal Law, which the Supreme Court annulled for its failure to introduce changes fast enough.

It’s true that the Tal Law was moving slowly, getting between 2,000 and 2,500 Haredim into the army each year. But even Perry’s version of the new law only envisioned 3,200 IDF recruits, out of 5,200 recruits altogether, with the remaining 2,000 doing national service in their own communities.

The additional 1,000 Haredi soldiers will hardly make a difference in terms of the IDF means, but will provide a wedge issues to be used effectively by both the left and the Haredi political parties, each riling up their voters to resist the “injustice.”

Bennett Threatens to Quit Coalition over Framework

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett started threatened Monday to pull his party out of the government coalition if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accepts an American  “framework” that is inconsistent with the party’s principles.

He also made it clear at the annual Jerusalem Conference that he will back the Prime Minister if there is no contraction between the framework and the Jewish Home’s principles.

Bennett almost found his way out of the coalition when his comments against the idea of Jews living in a Palestinian Authority state were directed so personally at the Prime Minister that he reportedly was ready to fire Bennett as Minister of Economy.

Bennett half-apologized to resolve the crisis.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who sticks closer to ideological red lines without going off the board completely, told the conference, “Our Jewish Home party will not sign any document that surrenders Jewish land.”

The Jewish Home is on record as standing up for all of Judea and Samaria as being part of Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is on record as saying that the area is “occupied,” and the framework is not likely to sit well with the Jewish Home party.

However, Kerry has made it clear it is not a document that must be accepted by Israel and the Palestinian Authority but is one that will serve as a guideline for both sides to continue to wriggle and wangle.

Polls Show No Chance for Obama to Wreck Netanyahu Coalition

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Two new polls show that Israel is marching rightward and that the nationalist and religious parties would even be stronger than in the current coalition if elections were held today, mostly at the expense of Yair Lapid

The Likud Beitenu party, which reflects the merger of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu that still may be dissolved, would increase its strength from 31 in the current Knesset to 34, according to a Channel 1 poll, and 40 according to a survey by Geocartography. The second poll also showed that if the two parties were to split, they would win a combined number of 55 mandates

The Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, would hold its own, with one poll showing a gain of one seat and the other a loss of one seat. If Likud and Yisrael Beitenu were to split, the strength of Jewish Home would sink to seven.

The left-wing Meretz party, which now has six Knesset Members, would gain one or four seats in the next Knesset, depending on which poll is accepted.

The increased strength of Likud Beiteinu comes at the expense of Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party, which was the star of the last election by winning 19 seats. The Channel 1 poll gives it only 9 seats and the Geocartography survey came up with 13.

Despite the difference in the results, the trend is clear – a sharp rise for Likud Beiteinu and a punch in the pace for Lapid. The “champion of the middle class” has lost its luster as the truth quickly emerges that he represents the upper middle class.

He has an ace up his sleeve if he can bring down the price of housing, but that is not about to happen tomorrow, next month or even this year.

The gain of Meretz and Likud Beiteinu at his expense indicates that Lapid’s charisma attracted leftists and center right secular nationalists.

As for the other parties, Shas still is around and will stay or more at less with 11 seats, according to the polls.

Labor, now under the lead of Yitzchak Herzog instead of Shelly, Yachimovich, would drop from the current 15 to 11 or gain one seat.

Both polls reveal that Tzipi Livni’s HaTunah party would be cut in half in the Knesset, from the current six MKs to only 3.

One surprise result is that former MK Aryeh Eldad, Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, all of them to the right of the right, would win three seats.

Bennett Tears Apart Kerry’s ‘New Deal’ for Palestinian Authority

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Naftali Bennett, Israel’s Minister of Economy and the head of the Jewish Home party, told a party meeting Monday that the claim that a two-state solution will benefit both the Palestinian Authority and Israel is a lie.

He labeled the “economic” track as another excuse to divide Israel. One of  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s selling points is a  $4 billion package of goodies for his dream of a Palestinian Authority state alongside an Israel that would be less than half its size since the Six-Day War in 1967.

“A Palestinian state would destroy Israel’s economy,” Bennett said in an unusually aggressive speech that reflects his certainty that Kerry’s peace talk venture is headed to the same destination as its source – the cemetery where the peace process was buried more than three years ago.

Bennett pulled out a map of the “New Israel,” as originally proposed by the Saudi Initiative of 2002 and since adopted in principle by the United Nations and the United States..

“How will Israel’s economy look if a rocket will fall in …central Herzliya? [or] a missile brings down a plane at Ben Gurion Airport?” he asked.

He said that the peace talk promoters are using the economy like they once used “peace” and “demographics” as excuses to divide Jerusalem and separate Judea and Samaria from Israel.

Bennett is sounding more and more assured recently, and his sharp political antenna sense what foreign media and Israel’s anti-Netanyahu media refuse to acknowledge – that Kerry is headed for a crash landing.

He has made the same mistake as every wannabe peacemaker before him – George Mitchell, David Hale, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and a host of others who will not be credited even in footnotes when historians look back ask what on Earth the United States was thinking when it thought it could change the Middle East into an extension of Foggy Bottom.

The funny thing it, and it really is sad, is that none of the Western do-gooders looked at the economies of Judea, Gaza and Samaria before and after 1967.

Egypt treated Arabs in Gaza as if they were on the moon, while Jordan at least acknowledged that Arabs in Judea and Samaria were on the same planet, but nothing more.

Growth was stagnant. Education was poor. Infrastructure remained undeveloped. Thanks to the Jordanian prohibition of Christians and Jews from visiting holy sites, tourism was miserable.

All of that changed in 1967. After the war, the Arabs in Judea, Gaza and Samaria were freed from the yoke of their Arab rulers. The entire region blossomed. Israelis flocked to the “occupied” territories to buy cheaper goods and produce.

Israel opened up all holy sites to all religions. Hundreds of thousands of Arabs, not yet called Palestinians, worked in Israel.

Yasser Arafat, born in Egypt, changed all of that.

Bennett should have brought out the graphs of the economy before and after Arafat to show how the Intifada destroyed the Palestinian Authority economy.

The next illogical step, as Bennett warned Monday, is to destroy the Israeli economy.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/bennett-tears-apart-kerrys-new-deal-for-palestinian-authority/2014/01/20/

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