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November 25, 2014 / 3 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Home’

Attorney General May Appeal to Court for New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The smell of election fraud in Beit Shemesh is beginning to stink so much that residents may get a chance to flush the sewage and vote a second time for a mayor, perhaps without phony voters.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is considering an appeal to the courts to order new municipal elections in the city in the wake of deepening suspicions by police investigators of widespread fraud among Haredi backers of incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

The Justice Ministry told Israel Radio, which reported on Weinstein’s concerns Monday, that the attorney general is following the police probe and will issue a decision in several days concerning an appeal to the courts. A court order to cancel elections and hold a re-run is rare but not without precedent.

The recent election was bitterly fought between Jewish Home candidate Eli Cohen and Mayor Abutbul, backed by the Shas party. Abutbul won a narrow victory, winning 51.9 percent of the vote while Cohen won 46.1 percent.

Jewish Home hollered ”foul” and raised questions whether Abutbul’s voters really were the same people who cast the ballots.

A police raid on two homes before the elections last month uncovered 250 false identification cards that people intended to use to cast extra ballots.

Eight people were arrested, and police found several hats in the homes, indicating that people had intended to change their appearance to represent people who were not in the city at the time of the voting.  Supporters for Jewish Home candidate Cohen also accused Shas activists of throwing out some ballots that had been cast in favor of Cohen.

Police investigators have discovered that the alleged fraud ran far and deep, and Israel Radio said there are suspicions that many more people were involved.

Beit Shemesh has been deeply divided over the past several years between local secular and national religious communities on one side and Haredi and extreme Haredi groups on the other.

The bitterness in the city has caught brought unwanted international attention to Beit Shemesh, which has a large number of Americana and British immigrants.

Violence and hate attacks reached the point where one Haredi man spat on a young girl, daughter of American olim, who eventual left the city.

Jeremy Saltan Bennett’s New Chief Anglo

Monday, November 11th, 2013

Jewish Home announced today the formation of the first full-time English Language Social Media Division of a Knesset party in Israeli political history. Naftali Bennett’s English Language Social Media Division will be in charge of Naftali’s Facebook, Twitter and Youtube pages. The target base is a mix between the 250,000 English speaking immigrants, Jews in the Diaspora and the international community.

Jeremy Saltan, aka Knesset Jeremy, was chosen to lead the new division. Saltan, a native of Skokie Illinios, is a veteran party insider who managed the high profile Bayit Yehudi English language Knesset campaign last winter. Previously, he managed Jeremy Gimpel’s Bayit Yehudi primary campaign and served as a political and legislative assistant to National Union leader Yaakov Ketzeleh Katz in the 18th Knesset where he authored the Grunis and Outpost Bills. Most recently he served as a Campaign Manager for Bayit Yehudi in the municipal elections.

Saltan released this statement: “Bayit Yehudi is fulfilling their campaign promise to enable English speakers a real voice within the party at a level that no one else offers. We will be the only party offering accountability, transparency and representation in English to our voters. I want to thank Naftali for putting his trust in me and I look forward to this exciting project.”

Lapid Restores $14 Million for Foreign Yeshiva Students

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Yair Lapid, chairman of  the Yesh Atid party and Finance Minister, has agreed to a request from a Jewish Home Knesset Member to cancel a scheduled budget cut of $14 million (50 million shekels) earmarked for foreign students studying in yeshivas in Israel.

The funds will be for Haredi as well as national religious yeshivas although Haredi yeshivas almost were left out of the picture.

Jewish Home MK Nissan Slomiansky, who also heads the Knesset Finance Committee, rejected a suggestion by Lapid that money be restored only for students at Zionist yeshivas. Slomiansky said that the presence of students, even in non-Zionist yeshiva, is good for Israel because many of the students eventually decide to live in Israel.

Rally of 3,000 at Protests Release of Terrorists

Monday, October 28th, 2013

Approximately 3,000 protesters, including Jewish Home party Knesset Members, protested at the Ofer prison near Jerusalem Monday night, where 26 terrorists will be freed during the night.

Their “human chain” has no chance of stopping the release of terrorists, but the demonstrators hope their presence may add enough angry sentiment among Israelis to stop the next release in the four-step program to free 104 terrorists so that the United States can stage and produce the “peace talks” charades.

The Jewish Home party cast aside coalition politics and took a strong ideological stand against Monday night’s release of terrorists.

Party MKs Uri Ariel, who is Minister of Housing, Ayelet Shaked and Shuli Moalem ignored Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s criticism of the Jewish Home’s opposition to the government decision to play along with  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

“The Shamgar Committee recommended against releasing prisoners. Why doesn’t the government adopt the report? Releasing prisoners isn’t according to Jewish values,” said Ariel, a veteran MK who consistently has been more honest in backing up his beliefs than have been many previous national religious legislators.

Gila Molcho, sister of Ian Feinberg who was murdered by terrorists in Gaza before the 2005 expulsion, said, “My brother believed justice lies with people, but a great wrong has been done here. His first murderer was released in the course of the Shalit deal, his second murderer was released on the first batch and the third will be released tomorrow.

“We’re not a goodwill gesture, we’re the people of Israel. The Prime Minister must wake up – we’re giving a horrible message here.”

Another relative of a victim of terrorists stated, “My country betrayed me. My brother’s blood was spilled for nothing.”

Police Raid of False IDs in Beit Shemesh Sign of Election Fraud

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

The local elections in Beit Shemesh On Tuesday were held under the shadow of charges of fraud, highlighted by a police raid that uncovered 250 false identification cards that people intended to use to cast extra ballots, which supporters of Jewish Home candidate Eli Cohen charged were to be cast for Shas candidate Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

The raid was carried out in two Beit Shemesh homes by police, who had advanced information, said Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino. Eight people were arrested, and police found several hats in the homes, indicating that people had intended to change their appearance to represent people who were not in the city.

Shas incumbent Abutbul won re-election in the hotly contest in a city that has suffered escalating violence and tensions between national religious and Haredi religious communities.

Last week, officials of the Interior Ministry told a Knesset hearing that it stopped a scheme for non-residents to vote in the Beit Shemesh election.

After Tuesday’s raids, Interior Minster Gideon Sa’ar that once the controversial bio-metric identification card system is introduced in all of Israel, phony IDs will be a thing of the past.

Supporters for Jewish Hone candidate Cohen were not satisfied that the police raid prevented fraud, and they accused Shas activists of throwing out some ballots that had been cast in favor of Cohen.

Ha’aretz Survey Shows Lapid Crashing, Jewish Home, Meretz, Soaring

Friday, October 18th, 2013

The single most important finding of Friday’s Ha’aretz survey, which will be the subject of discussion here for some time to come (maybe not as intense as the Pew survey, but close), is how unsurprising it is. Yair Lapid’s meteoric rise from zero to 19 in under 3 months is proving to be identical to the rise and fall of every single “center” party since 1977. As of that year, practically every election sees an attractive newcomer, secular, free-marketer, usually with little past political track, who captures an astonishing slice of the vote only to fizzle out of existence in the very next election, as Israel’s special, and uniquely annoying crowd of “undecided” discovers a new, shiny star.

Poor Shaul Mofaz, chairman of Kadima, experienced this drill in January, coming down from 28 to 2 seats, while most of his voters headed for Lapid’s smile and amazing promises. And have no fear, there will be somebody just as promising come next election, to scoop up Yesh Atid’s votes and put them in a totally new, promising and trustworthy bucket. Because, were the vote to take place today, Finance Minister Yair Lapid and his merry band of total- and near-unknowns would be dropping from 19 to 10 seats. And that’s today, without a seductive, yet untested alternative.

The Ha’aretz survey was conducted by Dialogue, under the supervision of Prof. Camil Fuchs from Tel Aviv University’s Depart. of Statistics, one of the country’s most reliable numbers guys. It questioned 501 Israelis with a 4.4 percent margin of error. So, take it or leave it, it’s a snapshot.

Likud-Beiteinu stays exactly the same, with 32 seats. This means Bibi stays on as the permanent Israeli prime minister, mostly because folks have no idea who would be better at this. It also means that MK Aryeh Deri should probably shelf his plot to yank Avigdor Lieberman out of his pact with Bibi. That dog ain’t hunting.

In fact, Aryeh Deri should be very concerned that mere days after all the sympathy and pomp his party received from the public, following the departure of their spiritual leader, Shas drops from 11 to 10 seats. It may just mean that the voters do not necessarily see a connection between the great leader, who they loved, and his party, about which they’re cooling down.

That one seat most likely went to Jewish Home, which probably also siphoned off 2 seats from Lapid, to grow to 15 seats in this survey. That’s a 25 percent growth for a party that’s in the government and isn’t particularly delivering big time on its campaign promises (no major housing spurt in Judea and Samaria, and don’t forget the loss of the Chief Rabbi’s post).

Srugim suggests this is because Jewish home has been aggressive in its campaign for local municipalities, with the vote coming next Tuesday. The public sees the Jewish Home brand, day in and day out, and it’s becoming more comfortable and acceptable. Maybe the Bennette marketing approach, stressing nice feelings and broad, generalized ideas, does attract the Masorti-traditional crowd in the middle. Who knew?

The other very big winner is left-wing Meretz, which doubles it seats from 6 to 12, while Labor, like Likud, stays the same – 17 seats.

UTJ stays at 6, Tzipi Livni 5, Kadima still at 2, and the Arabs still with 11 seats.

I have no idea what Yair Lapid’s marketing consultants are telling him he should do to avoid the one-term-flash syndrome that befell his own late father a decade ago. I doubt they’re telling him to go even harder on the Haredim – it’s a very tired horse. If anything, he should mend fences with the Haredim, if he’s looking to grab anyone’s attention.

He could unite with Bennett, you know, in a kind of mildly traditional coalition. It’s never happened before in Israeli politics, but of all the things that seem to be getting positive marks from Israelis, the friendship between those two successful leaders is still way up there.

Finally, the survey asked the voters which politician fulfilled his or her promise and which was a disappointment. Most of the responses cancelled each other out, with about the same percentage fulfilled and disappointed. Two stood out: Bibi had 6% disappointed vs. 19% fulfilled; and Lapid had 4% fulfilled vs. 51% disappointed. That’s off the chart letdown.

Good luck retooling that one…

Psagot Attack Jeopardizing Abbas’ Demand to Free Terrorists

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

The terrorist attack on a nine-year-old girl Saturday night in Psagot in Samaria, reported here, has set off another storm of protests within the Likud party to call off the talks with the Palestinian Authority.

The victim of the latest attack is in good condition after being shot at closed range by a terrorist who had infiltrated into the community, located between Jerusalem and Beit El-Ofra. The terrorist still is at large.

Last month, Palestinian Authority terrorists murdered two Israeli soldiers, one of them having been kidnapped in the metropolitan Tel Aviv area by a PA resident without a work permit. He had intended to use his victim as barter to force Israel to release his brother, a terrorist, but instead threw his victim, Sgt. Tomer Hazan, into a pit.

All of the attacks came at the same time Israeli negotiators java been speaking with their Palestinian Authority counterparts at the rate of approximately once a week.

The resumption of the talks in late July was conditioned on Israel’s releasing 104 Palestinian Authority terrorists but in several stages,  in order test PA  chairman Mahmoud Abbas commitment to stop terror instead of inciting it,

The first group was released before talks began, and senior government coalition members are demanding that Israel, for a change, make the Palestinian Authority pay for not living up to an agreement.

“Anyone that backs terrorists cannot be called a negotiating partner,” asserts Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon of the Likud.

Tzipi Hotovely, another senior Likud Knesset Member and a very popular nationalist, insisted Saturday night that the government halt the talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and party MK Shuli Moallem have been against the whole idea of linking peace talks with freeing terrorists.

The attack in Psagot, following two terrorist murders last month, has solidified their case. MK Moallem called the attack on Psagot “a red light” for the government” and added, “Whoever wants to preserve security doesn’t free prisoners.”

Bennett said, “Our ‘partner’ [Abbas] has not changed 20 years after the Oslo Accords,” he said that the murders of the two soldiers “shows us what kind of partner he is. We do not make peace with terrorists who throw dead bodies into a pit. We fight them without mercy.”

But the United States has a different view and likes to quote President Shimon Peres for having said numerous times, “One makes peace with enemies, not with friends, one of the most banal, pithy and naïve statements of the 21st century but one which reflects American impotence.

The recent terrorist attacks would be the death knell for the U.S.-backed peace talks if it weren’t for the fact that President Barack Obama and  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry  now are doing what they said they would not do – forcing the talks on Israel despite the Palestinian Authority’s lack of will or inability to stop terror.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Friday that the talks are going nowhere and that the Palestinian Authority still refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Maariv reported.

But Martin Indyk, Obama’s personal negotiator for Israel, has stepped into the talks. He met with negotiators on Friday to create a better atmosphere, which means forcing Israel to swallow more dirt and forcing Abbas to smile and talk nicely.

The Palestinian Authority insists on talking about borders, and Israel insists on discussing security, according to several media reports.

The United States already has stated its case on borders by calling every Jew who lives in Judea and Samaria and formerly Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem an “illegitimate” settler.

So much for not forcing an agreement on Israel.

But the issue of releasing terrorists is bound to be the one that will blow up the negotiations – or, more likely, force Israel to concede again, lest it lose Obama’s “good will.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/attack-in-psagot-terrorizes-abbas-demands-for-freeing-terrorists/2013/10/06/

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