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February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Home’

Haredi and Hard-Core Right-Wingers May Help Elect the Left

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

A new poll on Friday showing the possible demise of Shas should make Sephardi Rabbi Chaim Amsalem and right-wing Otzma leader Michael Ben-Ari think twice about running the elections, but their egos probably will seal their ears.

If each of them insists on running in their own independent parties, they are unlikely to win the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset and will waste tens of thousands of votes that otherwise would go to the Jewish Home and the other two Sephardi parties.

That means the other parties, particular those on the center-left, get a bigger slice of the pie and could end up with enough votes to form a coalition government, thanks to those who are dead-set against it.

It will be tougher for a party to enter the Knesset this year because the new threshold has been upped to 3.25 percent of the vote, meaning that a party needs approximately 125,000 votes to win representation.

In the last election, the threshold was only 2 percent, but Otzma still missed being elected.

Ben-Ari is known to support the Lehava anti-assimilation group, whose leader Bentzi Gupstein and nearly a dozen others were arrested this month.

Ben-Ari is a true ideologue. He compares Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog, both of whom are left-wingers in his opinion. He calls himself the real “right wing,” a label Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon claims for himself in his campaign to defeat Netanyahu as party chairman in elections next week.

As for taking votes away from the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party and ending up with zero seats in the Knesset, Ben-Ari apparently has no answer. When asked by Channel 20, “Aren’t you afraid of wasting right-wing votes?” he simply blamed Yisrael Beitenu for raising the threshold, as if blaming someone else for the likely result justifies his being the reason.

Ben-Ari’s anger at right-wing politicians who compromise in order to stay in power is absolutely correct but also proves why he should not be in politics. There is an old expression, “Would you rather be right or be president?”

In his case, he would rather be right, in both senses of the word, a position that could help Herzog and his sidekick Tzipi Livni become the rotating prime ministers.

Rabbi Amsalem’s Am Shalem party, like Otzma, failed to enter the Knesset in the last elections, and he is not likely to fare better this time around.

That did not stop him from meeting with supporters this week to discuss tossing his kippa into the political ring again and splitting up the Sephardi religious vote that already is divided between Shas, headed by Aryeh Deri, and Eli Yishai’s new party.

And now for today’s poll released by Panels, rated as one of the most accurate election campaign polls.

Shas would not win enough votes to enter the Knesset, and Yishai would win only four, which is marginal, compared with nine Shas MKs in the Knesset that disbanded this month.

That means votes for Shas are wasted.

The poll was taken before Ben-Ari announced his intentions to run and it gave the Jewish Home a very impressive 18 seats in the Knesset.

The Otzma party could easily cut that down to 16.

Here is the lineup if elections were held today, according to Panels:

Labor-Livni – 24;

Likud – 24;

Jewish Home -18;

Arab parties – 13;

Lapid (Yesh Atid) – 11;

Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) – 7;

Yehadut HaTorah (Ashkenaz Haredi) – 7;

Meretz – 6;

Yisrael Beitenu – 6;

Eli Yishai – 4.

If Amsalem enters the race, he could take away enough seats away from Yishai to leave the three religious Sephardic parties with zero.

Update: Bayit Yehudi Finally Has the Education Ministry – and Turns it Down

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

UPDATE: In a very unexpected move, the Bayit Yehudi party has turned down the Ministry of Education portfolio, as well as the Welfare ministry. The party said it was inappropriate to take over these ministerial position for such a short period of time.


Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett is slated to take over the Education Ministry, and another party official will take over the Welfare Ministry, Yediot Acharonot reported Thursday.

Bayit Yehudi, or its predecessor, the Mafdal party, hasn’t held the Education Minister’s portfolio since 1999, when Meretz took it over. Historically, the Ministry of Education has always been considered the flagship ministry for the religious-Zionist party.

After 15 years in the desert, even 3 short months of water looks good.

Both Education and Welfare ministries were held by Yesh Atid Knesset Members, who quit after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fired their party’s leader Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, prompting new elections.

Bennett, who is Minister of Economy, has not officially responded to Netanyahu’s offer, which also includes giving the Jewish Home party the Welfare ministry. It probably will beheaded by either MK Uri Orbach or Housing Minister Uri Ariel.

Yesterday, Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) received the Ministry of Health.

Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) has been approved to receive the position of Deputy Minister of Science and Information. Hotovely is already the Deputy Minister of Transportation and Road Safety.

Ofir Akunis received responsibility for Environmental Quality as a deputy minister.

Netanyahu appointed the lawyer Ofir Nimrod to oversea the Ministry of Finance.

New Poll: Shows Netanyahu Will Lead Next Gov’t with Haredim

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

A new pre-election poll issued on Monday leaves no option for the next government other than one headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the help of Haredi parties.

Here is the lineup according to the “Panels” poll conducted the Knesset Channel :

Labor-Livni – 23

Likud – 21

Jewish Home – 16

Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid) – 11

Kulanu (Moshe Kahlon) – 9

Yisrael Beitenu – 7

Meretz – 7

Arab parties – 10

Yehadut HaTorah (Haredi) 7

Shas – 5

Eli Yishai – 4

The Labor party, headed by Yitzchak Herzog with his new sidekick Tzipi Livni, cannot form a majority the Haredi parties, which won’t happen unless it can convince two of four parties – Yair Lapid ,Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman and Meretz – to agree, which as likely as snow in July.

The center-right ring camp has less of a problem with the Haredi parties.

Adding up Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu and Kahlon comes up with the non-magical number of 55, six less than the majority that is needed to form the government.

The three Haredi parties are in the driver’s seat for the time being, and if the results in March will be similar to those of today, they will dictate the terms of the next coalition.

If that happens, Lapid and Livni will rue the day they worked against the coalition of which they were a part.

The polls are not meaningless and actually are a factor in how people will vote. If voters see that the next government will be under the thumb of Haredi partiers, they might start shifting their votes.

Supporters of Yesh Atid and Labor-Livni might shift a bit to Kahlon, possibly enough to give Netanyahu a majority of 61 without the Haredi parties.

Herzog, Livni and Lapid have a problem because there is not much they can take from other parties.

Is Jewish Home Big Enough to Accept Muslim Candidate for Knesset?

Monday, December 15th, 2014

An Israeli Arab from Akko (Acre) and who now lives on a kibbutz is campaigning to be a Jewish Home Knesset Member candidate because she “agrees with everything“ the party stands for.

“I support settlers. They are the true Jews,” Annette Khasikya said in an interview with Israel Radio Monday. She supports the concept of ”Greater Israel,” meaning all of Judea and Samaria as part of Israel, and dismisses the Oslo Accords and the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif in 2005 as tragic mistakes that “invited terror.”

She also thinks that the Jewish Home party is the only one that will care for the “rights of Arabs and not those who want to harm the State of Israel.”

To top it off, her three children, including a daughter, are or were soldiers. One son was decorated for his fighting in the Protective Edge campaign against Hamas in Gaza last summer, and the other son is a Golani combat soldier.

A Muslim in the Jewish Home party sounds like a contradiction in terms, but the party’s title expresses the idea of all of Israel being a home for the Jewish People. It does not mean it is a party for Jews, just as the Torah specifically provides for “resident aliens,” known in Hebrew as “Ger Toshav,” and not to be confused with the “Righteous Gentile (Ger Tzedek).”

The Torah specifically states that non-Jews – there were no Muslims or Palestinians at the time, no matter how much the Palestinian Authority tries to proclaim Jesus as one of theirs – are to be respected and given rights in Israel if they keep up their part of the deal as resident aliens.

The must surrender idol worship, observe the Seven Commandments of the children of Noah, testify as such before a rabbinic court and not be circumcised, which could be a problem for most Muslim men.

The concept of a “resident alien” is rooted in the Torah, but there is a difference of opinion –  did you expect otherwise? – if it is applicable today.

That does not get the Jewish Home party off the hook.

Here is a woman, a former Likud party supporter, who is proud to be a Zionist and is not afraid to say so.

“The Jewish Home party is not extremist,” she says. “It is very Zionist; it loves the country and wants to preserve the country.”

She complains that she suffers from the stigma of Arabs being anti-Zionists and terrorists to the point that Jews do not want to rent a home to her daughter, but Khasikya rejects the idea of joining a left-wing or Arab party.

“I don’t need the left or the Arab Knesset Members,” she declared. “If they would represent me, I would not have to stand up today and declare I am a Muslim, a Zionist and that I love the country.

“Arab Knesset Members represent a different people. The left presents itself as if they worry about Arabs. None of them worry about Arabs; I worry about Arabs. I know what we need.”

Her agenda includes setting up a “Gadna” pre-army unit for Arab youth “so they can discover love for the country, the IDF and their Israeli identity.”

Khasikya may sound like a nut case, but her views actually are consistent not only with the Torah concept but also with the doctrine of the Druze, whose motto is to be faithful to the country in which they live. She represents the ideal non-Jewish Israeli citizen.

The first thought that might come to mind when speaking of an Arab MK is Hanin Zoabi, the fiery anti-Zionist who supports Hamas and was on the Mavi Mamara boat sponsored by IHH terrorists who tried to break the maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza four years ago.

Election Tidbits: Michael Oren, Rami Levi, Jewish Home and Shas

Monday, December 15th, 2014

Rabbis and Shas political leaders Monday morning failed in a last-ditch attempt so stop former party leader MK Eli Yishai from leaving Shas and setting up his own party, possibly with the support of the Jewish Home’s Tekuma faction, headed by Housing Minster Uri Ariel.

Chances to make peace between Yishai and Shas chairman Aryeh Deri were rated as very low, but there is more optimism in the Jewish Home party. However, Ariel gained an advantage with the announcement that a member of his faction, MK Yoni Chetboun, will not run for re-lection on the Jewish Home slate.

Party member and Tekuma colleague MK Orit Struk has said she will follow Ariel if he forms a new party or joins with Yishai. With Chetboun and Struk, Ariel will have the minimum of number of Jewish Home MKs needed to take along with them millions of shekels for funding their campaign.

Suspense still surrounds Moshe Kahlon’s new Kulanu party. He is courting Michael Oren, former Israeli Ambassador to the United States, who said two months ago he would not enter politics. If he does, he will have proven his credential to be a politician by not keeping his word.

Kahlon has scotched rumors that supermarket mogul Rami Levi will join his party, whose banner will be social justice.

Rami Levi supermarkets are known for having the lowest prices in the country but he also is known for fighting attempts to raise the minimum wage, which he pays to thousands of his workers.

 

 

 

Secular Yesha Leader Dani Dayan Bolts Likud for Jewish Home Party

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Dani Dayan, a secular leader in Judea and Samaria, announced Sunday he is leaving the Likud party and is joining the Jewish Home party where he will run for the Knesset.

Dayan, who is not a Knesset Member, is almost a shoe-in to win a “sure” spot on the list and the addition of another secular Knesset Member turns the screws tighter on Jewish Home Knesset Members Uri Ariel and Orit Struk, who are threatening to leave the party.

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bonnet welcomed Dayan, former chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, known by the acronym “Yesha.”

“He is a real fighter for the Land of Israel,” Bennett said, adding that bygones will be bygones, referring to former differences between them. Looking forward to a new coalition next March with the Likud party, Bennett said the addition of Dayan will strengthen the next government as more nationalist, without the inclusion of Tzipi Livni, who shoved the “Peace Process” in the faces of Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu even when Mahmoud Abbas was praising terrorists.

Dayan joins Ayelet Shaked as the two most prominent secular members of the Jewish Home party, highlighting Bennett’s strategy to open the nationalist camp to everyone and not follow the old-line National Religious Party ideology of keeping its doors closed to secular Jews.

Knesset Member Orit Struk, who is part of Housing Minister Uri Ariel’s Tekuma faction that joined the Jews Home in the last elections, said that Dayan’s appearance on the scene is further evidence that Bennett does not want Tekuma in the party.

“They are turning the Jewish Home into a second-rate Likud,” Struk told Israel radio Sunday.

She accused Bennett of spreading lies about the Tekuma faction concerning its ties with rabbis, exactly the image that plagued the old National Religious Party and which Bennett wants to erase from the memory of the voters.

Bennett has rejected Ariel’s to reserve top spots for his Tekuma faction on the list of candidates.

Ariel and Struk are throwbacks to the hard-line attitude that a “true” nationalist has to be religious, that yeshivas and Judea and Samaria are all that are important to the country,  and that a non-religious nationalist party will turn into a watered-down Likud.

She said Tekuma has several options, including running as a separate party  or joining party expected to be established by Eli Yishai, who appears to be hours or days away from splitting off from the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Ariel and Struk’s ideology is scantly what has handicapped national religious factions in the past. Hey trust their rabbis, whose mixture in politics almost always is catastrophic, and don’t trust secular Jews.

There is one unmentioned element t as large as their ideology and which may put the brakes  on Ariel and Struk. It is called “money.”

The Tekuma faction, like any other faction, mist take with it 25 percent of the current party’s Knesset Members in order to carry a wad of money from Jewish Home’s treasure chest, money that will be needed for Tekuma’s own election campaign.

Tekuma faction MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan already has decided he will run with the Jewish Home party rather than take a chance of losing a Knesset seat by running with Ariel on a separate party list that might not even win the minimum number of votes needed to enter the legislature.

That leaves Yoni Chetboun as Ariel and Struk’s only possibility, unless they want to go on their own without a suitcase of a few million shekels that Bennett would be happy to keep for himself.

Shas to Split Up but How about the Jewish Home?

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

It is all but official that Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardic Haredi party, is getting rid of Eli Yishai, one of the most respectable and intellectually honest Haredi politicians whose presence ruins Shas’ tradition of selling out to the highest bidder.

An announcement is expected Sunday or Monday.

As reported here Thursday, Deri and Yishai called off a meeting to make peace after Deri insulted Yishai with a demand that he deposit a liter of resignation just in case Deri decides his menace is working against the party.

Deri tried to calm Yishai by offering him the number two slot on the Shas party list of candidates. Yishai was not about to accept the prize while handing over a letter to pave the way for his dismissal.

Yishai also has been talking with Jewish Home party Housing Minister Uri Ariel about signing for a new party.

Sources close to the issue told The Jewish Press that it is far from being a “done deal” and that there is a chance that Ariel can patch up his differences with Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett.

Ariel, whose honest to his  ideology often leads him to make the wrong turn politically, has demanded that Bennett reserve several spots for his Tekuma faction.

The Jewish Home party has been the most successful of all Knesset factions in the current government,. It has rid itself of the hardline image of the old National Religious party that closed its doors to secular nationalists and carved into stone an image of considering Judea and Samaria the capital of Israel.

If Ariel cuts the cord, he will cost the Jewish Home party some Knesset seats but he, too, will pay a heavy price by being fingered, rightly or wrongly, or making the “Jewish Home” a contradictory word. As Minister of Housing, he has played a major role in promoting new building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, much to the dismay of the Obama administration.

Bennett has been too successful to please Ariel’s old-guard national religious ideology, and Ariel has complained that Bennett has not fulfilled promises made to him and his Tekuma faction.

Ariel’s contacts with Yishai have served only to deepen the fissure between him and Bennett.

Ariel admits that he differs with Bennett on religion and the extent of maintaining a Jewish presence in all of Judea and Samaria.

Ariel is very principled. He can be trusted not to sell out for votes or power, but his red lines are too rigid and too narrow in the politics of compromise.

Which is better? A compromised but effective Jewish Home or two separate nationalist parties?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shas-to-split-up-but-how-about-the-jewish-home/2014/12/13/

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