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April 23, 2014 / 23 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Home’

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.”

Palestinian Authority Terrorists Shoot Peace Talks in the Head

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority, after three days of silence on their terrorists’ murders of two IDF soldiers, took one more step Monday to self-destruct the Big Lie by blaming Israel. The Jewish Press discussed the Big Lie here on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Sure enough, one week later, the Palestinian Authority has come through in spades.

The first Palestinian Authority reaction to the fatal terrorist attack on a soldier in Hevron was from Fatah Central Committee member leader Abbas Zakie, who said that the Sgt. Gal Kobi was “not on a hike in Hevron,” implying that he was therefore “fair game.” Zakie blamed the “extremist Netanyahu government for being responsible for the soldier’s death.”

Zakie’s comments help blow up the Big Lie that foreign media have encouraged and inflated for decades. As The Jewish Press wrote here, “The Big lie has been crumbling, and the media, slowly but surely, have no choice other than giving up the anti-Zionist fight.”

State Dept. spokesmen can wring their hands as much as they want, but only the most avid Israel hater can get away with saying, “It’s all because of the ‘Occupation.’”

While Abbas did not condemn the murder of Sgt. Kobi nor the murder on Friday of Sgt. Tomer Hazan, Hamas took up the slack and congratulated the terrorists.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority foreign minister Riad al-Malki, without a hint of sorrow for the deaths of Sgts. Kobi and Hazan, advised Israel not to use the murders as a reason to evade peace talks.

He made his comments to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency. Al Malki is in New York, where the Palestinian Authority delegation is more concerned with boosting his support in the pro-Arab United Nations than in the peace talks charades.

Ma’an noted that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is avoided speaking about the “peace process.” The news agency reported that Abbas “seemed more inclined to remain quiet until the end of the year ‘to see what Israel will do and what will not do, and based on that we will be able to take a better decision.’”

The terrorists murders of two Israeli soldiers in three days also might have broken the back of Obama’s forced resumption of direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett said at the funeral for Sgt. Kobi Monday, “We will fight to get rid of the impression that killers can suddenly be released one day. Gal’s killers will be punished severely and I promise that we will act so that they will never be released.

Bennett and six other Cabinet ministers, including one from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, fired off a letter to the boss to demand a new discussion on the agreement to free 104 terrorists in return for the resumption of talks.

The terrorists are to be released in batches, depending on the Palestinian Authority’s good behavior, which has been short-lived.

“In recent days, we have witnessed two difficult murders that took the lives of two soldiers – Tomer Hazan and Gal Kobi. As a result, we demand an immediate government meeting on the policies regarding the release of terrorists,” the letter said.

It was signed by Likud minister Yisrael Katz, Jewish Home Ministers Uri Orbach, Uri Ariel and Bennett, and ministers of the Yisrael Beitenu faction of the Likud – Yair Shamir, Uzi Landau and Sofa Landver.

Meanwhile, Arabs petitioned the High Court Monday night to forbid the entry of Jews into the “Beit Machpelah” in Hevron, claiming that its ownership has not been proven.

A military court previously had declared that Jews legally bought the property, but the Defense Minister, formerly Ehud Barak and now Moshe Ya’alon, refused to give the final okay.

Following the murder of Kobi, Ya’alon signed on the dotted line, a strange Israeli policy that blocks Jews from developing Judea and Samaria until there is a terrorist attack.

“Those who try to uproot us from Hevron, the city of our forefathers, will only achieve the opposite,” Netanyahu stated. “We will continue to fight terrorism with one hand, and strengthen settlement with the other.”

’Middle Class’ Champion Lapid One of Richest Israeli Politicians

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Yesh Lapid party’s chairman Yair Lapid’s wealth is estimated at $6 million, ranking him number six in Forbes Israel’s listing of the top 10 politicians in Israel.

The estimated wealth comes as no surprise to his former supporters, who have helped  his party’s popularity dive by 50 percent since Lapid led the party to win 19 seats in the Knesset with a campaign boasting him as a champion of the middle class.

As Finance Minister, he promptly hiked regressive taxes and cut child welfare benefits, felt most by lower and middle income wage earners.

The list of the top 10 also shows that he is not the only Yesh Atid MK with a fat bank account. Yaakov Perry was ranked right behind Lapid with a fortune of more than $5 million. However, he has said that he is closer to being “middle class” rather than “rich,” which he apparently defines as someone like Warren Buffet.

Not surprising, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who profited millions of dollars from his Checkpoint  high-tech company, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister Silvan Shalom are on the list. Shalom’s wife is from the family with substantial investments, the most well-known being the Yediot Acharonot newspaper.

However, there also are quite a few “limousine liberals” who are big on helping the working class.

In second place, behind Barkat, is Labor party MK Erel Margalit, with an estimated wealth of $60 million, most of made through his Jerusalem Venture Partners enterprise and other business transactions.. In last place” is Labor MK Yitzchak Herzog, with a paltry $3 million.

Other political fat cats are Yair Shamir, son of the late Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir and a member of the Israel Beiteinu faction of Likud, in fourth place with an estimated wealth of $20 million. Right behind him is Meir Sheetrit, a former Likud and Kadima MK and now a member of Tzipi Livni’s party.

As expected, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett is one the list, in ninth place with a fortune of $7 million.

Left Targeting Jewish Home Housing Minister for Ouster

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

Gush Shalom, which defines itself as the “hard core” of Israel’s peace camp, is going after Jewish Home Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who is, apparently, to blame for anything that has and will surely go wrong in the explosive Middle East.

The reason Gush Shalom, headed by the aging but still very charismatic journalist Uri Avneri, who was the first Israeli newspaper publisher to meet openly with the late PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, is going after Minister Ariel has to do with something he said this month:

“We should make clear to Secretary of State Kerry that Israel will never return to the Auschwitz borders, will not freeze the settlements endeavor, and will not agree to be sacrificed so that he could receive the Nobel Peace Prize. I am sure the prime minister will not be partner to abandoning Israel’s security.”

And on Sunday, on the occasion of the inauguration of the new neighborhood of Leshem in the town of Alei Zahav, a few miles away from the city of Ariel in Samaria, Minister Ariel said:

“It should be clear to any thinking person: there are no two states for two peoples west of the Jordan River, there will be no such thing, even if we’re sitting at the negotiations table, this is not on the agenda.” He then added: “We will build everywhere in the Land of Israel, and certainly in Samaria, and certainly in Judea.”

The reaction from the left was furious:

“With the winds of war blowing in our region, Housing Minister Uri Ariel pours more oil on the flames by establishing the new ‘Leshem’ settlement on the West Bank. In the inflammatory speech which he delivered on that occasion he shows himself a dangerous extreme right provocateur,” reads the Gush Shalom press release, responding to the Minister’s relatively benign, if somewhat excited statement.

The entire press release reads like the stuff Avneri used to dish out on a weekly basis, back in the roaring 1970s. The next paragraph is vintage Avneri:

“This is far from an unexpected development. Ariel’s rampage could have been predicted from the moment when the settler cat was placed in charge of the housing cream. Ariel is not a private individual, he the Minister of Housing in the government of Israel.”

It’s interesting to note that Alei Zahav, established a little over 30 years ago, in 1982, is more likely to vote Likud-Beiteinu than Jewish Home: its 130 families (now a few more, with the opening of the new neighborhood) are 80 percent non-religious. So you can’t quite accuse Minister Ariel of being the cat taking all the cream to himself – not if he shares the cream with other cats…

Also, Deputy Minister Ophir Akonis of Likud Beiteinu, who also graced the inauguration with his presence, repeated everything the minister had said: “There are indeed negotiating with the Palestinians, but that does not stop anyone from building homes in Israel,” he said. “Out of this place, a message is emanating, that a Palestinian state will never be established.”

“Look around you,” Akunis said, “who needs another Arab country in this area?”

Nevertheless, Avneri et al are after Uri Ariel, despite the fact that his message is not different at all from what’s being said these days by the majority of the Likud Beiteinu ministers. The reason is obvious: if you portray the situation as it is, meaning that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Justice Minister and chief negotiator Tzipi Livni are way to the left of the government in which they serve, then you must abandon hope of the two-state solution becoming a reality in the near future.

But if you portray Jewish Home as the extremist, settler holdout in a government eager to plant a second Hamas entity right next door to Ben Gurion International Airport – then you’ve got something to work with.

This is precisely Avneri’s next point:

“There is not one government which is busy building settlements and spitting in the face of the Palestinians, and a different government which is supposed to negotiate and reach a peace agreement with the same Palestinians. It is the same government, and all its ministers are responsible for Ariel’s acts of provocation.”

Bennett’s Folly: Territory Giveback Referendum Passes First Reading

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

The Knesset bill mandating a national referendum before the government gives away areas of sovereign Israel passed its first reading in the Knesset in a vote of 66 to 45. The bill will now go to committee for deliberations and amendments and is expected to be presented to the Knesset plenum during its fall session.

The vote on the referendum was taken on the last day of the 19th Knesset’s first session, ushering in the much needed summer break.

According to the national referendum bill, should Israel be forced to give back territories within the 1948 green line—in case of land exchanges—as well as the annexed territories of East Jerusalem and the Golan heights, the voter will have to decide for or against the move in a special referendum.

The bill, which has already been approved by the 18th Knesset, is up for adoption as a “Basic Law,” which is as close as Israeli law gets to a constitutional amendment. The upgrade would mean that it would require a majority of 61 MKs to change it.

The law distinctly avoids any reference to Judea and Samaria, which to date have not been annexed and therefore are not governed under Israeli law. This fact is likely to be forgotten as the “peace negotiations” are proceeding without a hitch. In other words, the government should be able to evict Israelis from anywhere east of the 1967 border without the voters’ input via the referendum, and such an eviction—quite like the Gush Katif expulsion—can still be undertaken with a simple majority: 20 MKs in favor, 19 against, could finish off Jewish life in Judea and Samaria as we know it.

The new, upgraded law was promoted most heavily by Jewish Home and its leader, Naftali Bennett, who boasted like week that his party has proven “why the Jewish nation needs the Jewish Home in the government… We said openly that we would not remain in a government that would deal on the basis of the ’67 borders – and this will no longer happen. It shows that when we insist we get results.”

Not quite. The fact is that, as far as the half million Israelis living in Judea and Samaria—most of whom are Jewish Home voters—the parameters of the national referendum bill certainly are on the basis of the ’67 borders. From the point of view of any Jew living in Ariel, Karney Shomron, or Efrat, the new bill constitutes their betrayal by Bennett et al.

The bill is a huge loss to Jewish Home, whose leader is just not astute enough, apparently, to realize how his lunch money was taken a second time by smarter politicians. Netanyahu is the huge winner of last night’s vote, because he will get a year of industrial peace out of it. Despite the subtle point regarding Judea and Samaria, Israelis would be convinced that, come givebacks time, they would be able to influence the process with their referendum votes – but they won’t.

Should the Palestinians be smart enough not to attack Israel with rockets or start an intifada while negotiations are in session (a Yid can always hope), Tzipi Livni and the gang could forge a peace agreement that would satisfy a majority of Israelis. For one thing, the Palestinians could easily avoid any discussion of the Golan Heights – it’s not their territory. As to East Jerusalem – the two sides could decide to co-own it. There have been similar proposals in the past, which died only because the Arabs rejected them (thank God). This time around they might agree that East Jerusalem would be governed by both Israel and the PA, and local residents would be asked to decide which ID card they prefer (two bits they’d all opt for the “blue card”).

Most Israelis would embrace such a deal, which, on its face, does not take away East Jerusalem and maintains their free access to the holy sites (except Temple Mount). Having achieved majority support this way, Netanyahu and Livni can basically give back all of Judea and Samaria and it won’t affect the results of the referendum.

Of course, Jewish Home would then leave the coalition government in a huff, fallen heroes and whatnot, to be replaced swiftly by Labor, or Shas, or both.

In the immortal words of the president of Freedonia Rufus T. Firefly (Groucho Marx in Duck Soup): “Chicolini here may talk like an idiot, and look like an idiot, but don’t let that fool you: he really is an idiot.”

Incidentally, last night Prime Minister Netanyahu came across positively Churchillian with his retort to Arab MK Jamal Zahalka. The latter cried from the podium at Minister Yuval Steinitz: “You are the enemy of peace, we were here before you – and we’ll be here after you.” Netanyahu asked to be allowed to speak, took the podium and said directly to Zahalka: “The first part of your statement is incorrect, and the second part will not happen.”

He received great applause, proving to anyone who cared to watch that he had been there before one Naftali Bennett got elected MK, and he would be there long after Mr. Bennett is asked by his party members to return to his promising career in hi tech.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bennetts-folly-territory-giveback-referendum-passes-first-reading/2013/08/01/

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