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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Jewish Home’

Cabinet Approves Freeing 104 Terrorists

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

The Inner Cabinet late Sunday afternoon voted 13-7 to free 104 terrorists who were convicted and jailed before the Oslo Accords in 1993, but the decision does not necessarily give blanket approval to free Israeli Arabs who are on the list.

A mini-Cabinet, packed by ministers on the side of Prime Minister Binymain Netanyahu, will decide which terrorists can be freed in four stages stretching over a period of nine months.

Two ministers, Limor Livnat and Silvan Shalom, both of the Likud party, abstained.

Voting with Netanyau were:

– Likud ministers Yuval Steinitz, Moshe Ya’alon and Gideon Sa’ar;

– Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, Yael German, Yaakov Peri, Shai Piron and Meir Cohen;

– Yisrael Beiteinu’s Sofa Landver and Yitzchak Aharonovitch; and

– Tzipi Livni and Amir Peretz of Livni’s HaTnuah party.

Likud ministers Gilad Erdan and Yisrael Katz voted against the government, as did the three Jewish Home ministers – Uri Ariel and Uri Orbach – and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers Yair Shamir and Uzi Landau.

Livni said the Cabinet should free the terrorists “for the sake of the future,” meaning the resumption of direct talks this week with the Palestinian Authority.

Likud Minister Yisrael Katz replied, “Releasing terrorists is a mistake, just like the building freeze was a mistake. There are ministers sitting here today who supported the building freeze and claimed it would lead to negotiations, and we have seen how far it got us. In six months, it will be clear that freeing terrorists will not bring us anything except  to worsen out situation in the region, and in the international community.”

Jewish Home chairman, Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, voted against the government of which his party is a coalition member. “We used to free a terrorist in exchange for a soldier,”  he said, “After that, we freed terrorists for the return of the bodies of soldiers, Now, we free hundreds of terrorists in exchange for a process. We are teaching the world that everything is for sale.”

Jewish Home to Support Rav Stav for Chief Rabbi

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

The Jewish Home (HaBayit HaYehudi) party will be meeting Sunday afternoon to officially (and finally) announce their support for Rav Stav as Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi.

The decision was made after it became clear that the law that would allow Rav Ariel to run, was not going to pass. Rav Ariel is the preferred choice for some of the the Rabbis associated with the party.

The party will also announce its support for the Stern Law, which would expand the number of people involved in the election process, according to a report in Arutz-7.

Last week Jewish Home did not support the bill, and in response, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni blocked two Jewish Home bills.

At the meeting, the party will discuss renewing the term of Rav Amar, who has proved to be a very capable and effective Chief Rabbi.

There has been a lot of criticism and  pressure on the Jewish Home party as of late, for what many are calling a lack of leadership, lack of party discipline in voting, as well as the outsourcing of decisions to Rabbis from one of the sub-factions within the party.

Jewish Home Attacking Lapid on Haredi Draft

Wednesday, May 29th, 2013

At the start of the debate Wednesday morning of the Perry Committee recommendations regarding “equal burden,” a popular euphemism that stands for (to be blunt) “those Haredi parasites better get off their warm benches and lie down in the trenches with the rest of us,” Housing and Construction Minister Uri Ariel, a senior member of the Jewish Home Knesset delegation, pointed out the coalition agreements signed between his own party and Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, and made it clear that there was an official understanding in those agreements regarding the conscription of Haredim: there would be no criminal sanctions against Haredim who refuse to serve.

Minister Ariel went on to suggest that Yesh Atid has a hidden agenda in this case, an agenda that has little to do with the ultimate purpose of peacefully integrating the Haredim into the Army and, later, into a normative, productive life.

Over the past few months, since the national elections in which Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Naftali Bennett’s Jewish home took in 31 Knesset seats (out of 120), the brotherly partnership between those two parties has been under great public scrutiny, as we’ve all been awaiting that one issue that would force them into opposite corners of the coalition chamber.

Because, let’s face it, ideologically there are vast differences between them. The main thing they agree on is a loose understanding of the free market, which neither one has truly upheld when it came to legislation (Paul Rand would probably consider both Lapid and Bennett rabid communists…).

If you were looking to bet the average Israeli news junky, they would probably have given you odds on the settlements, the 2-state solution, Judea and Samaria, annexed East Jerusalem, E-4n – any one of these hot potato issues was most likely to tear up the perpetual, occasionally nauseating hug between Yair and Naftali.

Turns out it might be the Haredi draft—an issue both parties and both leaders agree on nearly 100 percent. Both parties believe Haredim should serve and should go to work. But the Lapid folks are insisting—as of two days ago—that criminal penalties against Haredim refusing to serve are an essential component of the proposed new law – and Lapid declared he’s prepared to walk out of the coalition government over it.

It’s kind of a Sarah Palin move, if you ask me, except she abandoned her elected office half way through her first term, and Lapid has barely warmed his Finance Minister’s abacus.

The decision to play this kind of hardball came from Lapid, or Lapid’s advisors (I’m thinking Ehud Olmert). But it definitely involves the entire Yesh Atid delegation. Rabbi Shai Piron, a Yesh Atid MK, Education Minister and former dean of a yeshiva, told Ynet: “The parasites will not receive a kosher certificate.”

Seriously? This kind of provocative, and, frankly, antisemitic language, is a sign that the kindly minister (he really is a very nice man) had received his marching orders: rev up the engine, it’s time to score some points.

Minister Ariel accused them of just that: “We asked to be kept in the loop,” he told Jacob Pery and the Yesh Atid reps around the committee table. “You did not act fairly when you prevented communication over the past two days,” he pushed on. “I asked three times” for information “and was rejected. There used to be an understanding between the two parties – a common path. And now it’s being stepped on rudely. I don’t understand what it’s for and why there’s a need to undo the agreements which we spent so many nights and hours laboring over every word written in them.”

And then a representative of the Justice Ministry stated: “We never said it was impossible to impose economic sanctions.”

Justice – that the purview of Tzipi Livni, the Israeli politician who gives narcissism a bad name. Together, Lapid and Tzipi are dreaming of a day when Haredim will be arrested and impoverished, possibly with the same police raid.

Never mind that Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon has been telling anyone who would listen that, as far as he’s concerned, there will not be any mention of sanctions – economic or criminal – in the new draft bill. After all, Yaalon is just in charge of the IDF, which will be charged with applying the new law. Why would Lapid want to be tougher on Haredi recruits than the guy in charge of the Army?

Jewish Home Breaching Coalition Agreement to Protect Israeli Lands

Friday, April 26th, 2013

There has been a significant shift regarding the plan for a massive giveaway of state land to Bedouin residents of the Negev.

At stake is land totaling hundreds of thousands of acres all over the Negev, claimed by Bedouin squatters. In the 1970s, the Bedouin were allowed to register ownership claims over these parcels with the Justice Ministry, but the state never recognized these claims, because they were not backed by legal proof of ownership. Moreover, every time the Bedouin tried to take the state to court to secure their legal ownership over the land, they lost and their lands were registered as property of the state.

In January, Minister without portfolio Benny Begin, serving in a caretaker government, proposed a land reform for the Bedouin population that was going to transform the Negev. Ignoring previous court decisions, the Begin plan was going to sanction the Bedouin squatter tenants, all of them illegal, as the legal owners of much of the Negev.

Begin and the Likud-Beitenu were so committed to this move, that they forced Jewish Home to approve, in the coalition agreement, item 51 which reads: Both sides will promote the “Law regulating Bedouin settlement, 5772-2012,” should a Jewish Home minister be a member of a ministerial committee to implement said law.

According to Maariv, on Wednesday evening there was a meeting on the Negev lands between Ministers Meir Cohen (Yesh Atid) and Uri Ariel (Jewish Home), both appointed by their parties to engage on the issue. The Jewish Home MKs Ayelet Shaked, Zevulun Kalfa and Orit Struck were also pushing a halt to the Begin plan, as were Minister Yair Shamir and MK David Rotem both from Israel Beiteinu, along with coalition chairman Mk Yariv Levin of the Likud.

In the end, according to Maariv this morning, Jewish Home and Yesh Atid, together with most of the coalition partners, reached an agreement to introduce significant changes to the Begin plan, after it had already been approved by the transitional government after the election.

The change, essentially, eliminates the Begin plan in favor of the original 2011 plan, which was approved a much less generous land giveaway to the Negev Bedouin.

According to a source in Jewish Home, the reason the government decided in January to prefer the Begin plan over the 2011 plan was that the Bedouin didn’t like the 2011 plan. Well, you can’t blame them for that, but being unhappy still does not entitle them to a land that isn’t legally theirs.

The plan will be executed over a period of five years, and the Negev Bedouin will have nine months to decide whether they accept it or prefer to sue the government over the plan. Mind you, based on past experience, suing could mean the Bedouin would be left with next to nothing, instead of what is still a legal sanctioning of their ownership of areas where they actually reside.

New Chief Rabbi Appointment Pitting Bennett Against Lapid

Friday, April 19th, 2013

In Jewish Home circles they appear certain that the National Religious party’s candidate, Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, will be the next appointed Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel. But Naftali Bennet’s BF Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party is not prepared to give them this one. In fact, Yesh Atid officials said on Thursday that they’re ready for an all out war in support of Rabbi David Stav for the post.

But the conflict between the two buddy factions is not just over who would end up as Chief Rabbi, but also over one of the illnesses of Israel’s legislative system, known as “personalized laws.” These are laws that are enacted for a singular, temporary purpose, which can only be done, seemingly, in a country without a binding constitution.

In this case, the Jewish Home faction’s candidate is over age 70, and so his backers are proposing a new law that would eliminate the age limit when it comes to appointing a Chief Rabbi.

This is exactly the kind of calloused approach to the law that Yesh Atid’s idealistic, middle-class voters hate with a passion.

Rabbi Ariel is the personification of Religious Zionism in Israel, possibly its most respected scholar. So much so, that Rabbi Stav, who gained popularity in Israel as founder and leader of Tzohar, a rabbinic organization seeking to integrate religious and secular Israelis, announced that should Rabbi Ariel run, he, Stav, would remove his candidacy.

But Education Minister Rabbi Shai Piron, himself a product of Religious Zionism, said on Thursday that he spoke with Rabbi Ariel, and the latter does not consider himself a candidate for the job.

“I will oppose the law (to loft the age limit) in the government and the Knesset, and will do anything in my power to make sure it will not pass,” Piron said privately, as reported by Maariv. “This is not the proper way to choose a chief rabbi.”

MK Aliza Lavie, also of Yesh Atid, also opposes listing the age limit by tailor-made legislation. And she’s been a supporter of Rabbi Stav since before her election to the Knesset. “There is room to amend the Chief Rabbinate,” she said, “but not through personalized legislation.”

Incidentally, MK Lavie got under the skin of Haredi politicians (would that constitute negiah?) recently, when she proposed appointing a female “Morat Halacha” (halachic teacher) alongside the two chief rabbis. The title “Morat Halacha” is in use as an alternative to the “Rabbah” among the Conservative and Reform. There are about 70 certified, Orthodox, female Rabbinic Advocates, who are permitted to argue in front of rabbinic courts in Israel – perhaps one of them could be chief rebbetzen?

Meanwhile, Jewish Home pols are telling everyone that they’ve got this one in the bag, and their 76-years-old candidate has received the approval of Shas’ leader Rav Ovadia Yosef and, hence, a majority of the votes needed.

Personally, I like Rabbi Ariel’s credentials very much, but I’ve been truly excited by Rabbi Stav’s achievements in the most crucial area of religion and state in Israel – helping secular Israelis feel better about their tradition.

Meanwhile, MK Moshe Feiglin is proposing the elimination of the two-rabbi deal, no more separate Ashkenazi and Sephardi authorities, we’re no longer in diaspora, he argues, all we need is one Chief Rabbi.

But what about all the patronage jobs that go with the office? You have to think before you make those grand announcements, Feiglin – what about parnassah?

PA President, Taking Cue from Obama, Demanding State Map

Friday, April 5th, 2013

After decades, perhaps centuries, in which we, Jews, have been able to count on the Arabs to rescue us from the catastrophic errors of our own leaders by committing even worse errors—as the late Abba Eban put it: The Arabs never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity—we may be up against the first Arab who is a whole lot better than us at using opportunities, and how.

Mahmoud Abbas, whom Arabs and Israelis call by his nom de guerre Abu Mazen, has figured out how to outmaneuver his opponent, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and how to defeat the greatest democracy with the strongest army in the region. Frankly, the only real hope Israel has at the moment is that some Palestinian idiot would assassinate the crafty Abbas, and leave Netanyahu to deal with leaders to whom he can measure up.

Secretary of State John Kerry is coming to town next week, ready to twist Israeli arms, and we might as well face up to it: the Obama and Kerry visits have been planned as a one-two punch, with Abu Mazen being heavily prompted to let America do the job for him.

When Barack Obama was making nice with our children in Jerusalem, he made a statement that, at the time, sounded like a rebuke to the Palestinians, who had been insisting that the precondition to renewing talks on peace with the Israelis is a new settlement freeze.

That one was right out of Abba Eban’s book of missing opportunities. Netanyahu tried a settlement freeze early on in his second term. It didn’t bring the Arabs to the table, but it did create a fervent resentment against him among settlers, who responded by doubling Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home Knesset faction, all at the expense of Bibi’s Likud party.

Palestinian sovereignty and Israeli security are “the core issue,” Obama told Abbas in Ramallah. “If we solve those two problems, the settlement problem will be solved.”

It wasn’t a rebuke, it was golden advise, it was the kind of strategic thinking the Palestinians had not been able to generate, with the glaring exception of the UN assembly statehood vote – which was Abu Mazen’s brainchild, he managed to break the fundamental rules of the Oslo Accords and got away with it relatively unscathed.

Now the PA president has announced that he won’t be asking for settlements freeze as a precondition, he wants to see a map instead. Let Mr. Netanyahu bring to the first meeting of the new round of negotiations his version of where the new Palestinian state should be.

It sounds so harmless. After all, what’s more logical than starting the wheeling and dealing with each side showing where they think the new border should run in the future. One side wants this much, the other side wants only this much – and they’ll reach a compromise.

In reality, this demand robs Netanyahu of his entire arsenal of negotiation moves. In Netanyahu’s play book, you get to map drawing in the distant future, years from now, after a lengthy series of small moves, tweaks, minute gestures, back and forth. If he shows his map at the start, then the future borders become the one and only topic of negotiations, everything else is moot, the battle has been lost before it began.

Meanwhile, AFP reports, President Mahmoud Abbas will temporarily refrain from unilateral action against Israel at the UN and other international arenas, to give U.S.-brokered peace talks a chance to resume.

For a couple of months, the Palestinians will nobly “refrain from taking a case against Israel to the International Criminal Court,” an anonymous Palestinian source told AFP.

But the same official warned that if Israel failed to halt settlement building, the PA would immediately begin working through the international bodies again.

“Settlement building in E1 is a red line and erecting so much as one stone in the area … would destroy the two-state solution,” he said.

Speaking of stones, the PA has been utilizing those very well, along with firebombs, sending bands of angry, unemployed youths to literally get themselves killed by challenging IDF units all across Judea and Samaria. Two Arab teenagers have already been killed, and young Arabs in the Hebron area continued to clash with Israeli troops all day Thursday, protesting the death of Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh, who was serving a long prison sentence for attempted murder, in Israeli custody. Abu Hamdiyeh died from cancer which the Israeli prison system failed to cure.

Bennett Suggests Haredi ‘Yeshiva-IDF Service’ Plan

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

An annual quota of approximately 7,000 Haredim would be paid while learning in yeshiva for three years before serving in the IDF or doing national service, under a plan by Industry and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, head of the Jewish Home party.

He also proposed that 1,800 of them would be exempt from service and would continue to be paid to learn Torah.

Speaking at the annual Ramle Conference, Bennett urged Haredim to join the work force but to choose occupations that can produce an income instead of looking for highly-paid but highly competitive jobs, such as lawyers and accountants.

He added that, the State of Israel for the first time recognizes the value and importance of Torah study.

Bennett urged employers to hire Arab and Haredim women and said they represent an untapped potential in the work force.

Bennett’s plan differs from that of Yesh Atid chairman and Finance Ministry Yair Lapid, who wants to defer Haredim from national service until 2017, followed by enlistment in the IDF or national service.

Bennett on Obama’s speech: No Nation Is Occupier of its Homeland

Friday, March 22nd, 2013

President Barack Obama’s speech in front of (mostly leftist) students in the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, provoked reactions from across the political spectrum in Israel.

There was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who thanked the visiting president (Thank you, Sir, may I have another?) for his ” unconditional support for Israel,” adding that he, too, agrees with President that we should “promote peace that ensures the safety of all the citizens of Israel.” Netanyahu also agreed with Obama that “we have a great country.”

Minister of Economy and Trade Naftali Bennett (Jewish Home), sounded a great deal less enthusiastic about the president’s speech, when he told Maariv: “Obama’s statement certainly came out of concern for Israel and out of true friendship, but we’ve seen only this morning the results of our previous withdrawal (from Gaza) in Sderot (where a missile landed on the backyard of a local home), as well as in thousands of victims over the years. It’s time for new, creative concepts to resolve the conflict in the Middle East, including the idea that a nation isn’t the occupier of its own homeland.”

Jewish Home faction Chair MK Ayelet Shaked agreed that “Obama is a true friend of Israel, it can’t be denied. But at the end of the day only we will absorb the tragic and devastating consequences of establishing a Palestinian state.”

She argued that “this is why the people have chosen, just this week, a government whose platform does not support the two state solution, and the U.S. President, for whom democracy is a beacon, should respect that.”

The Judea and Samaria Council’s official response was: “President Obama’s speech was warm and embracing, but, at the same time, he tried to create the illusion of public support for moves that are dangerous to Israel. This is why, in our opinion, students from Ariel University had not been invited. Israelis have already experienced such illusions exploding in our faces, and will not support the dangers presented by Obama. The Israeli public expresses its views in democratic elections, not through inciting young people against their leadership.”

MK Ahmed Tibi (United Arab List) also disapproved of Obama’s remarks on the Jewish state. “It has been the position of the U.S. government in recent years, which we oppose.”

But Tibi was pleased with the second part of the speech, because of its “detailed references to Palestinian suffering and the occupation, as well as his understanding of the suffering of the families of Palestinian prisoners, and the talk about establishing a Palestinian state as an act of justice.”

Tibi said he enjoyed “the refreshing change in the applause of thousands of students in response to Obama’s poignant and brave words about ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state. Of course I was sorry that he did not see fit to refer to the inequality of Israeli Arab citizens, but, altogether, those words require genuine action so the Jerusalem speech won’t have the same fate as the Cairo speech.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bennett-on-obamas-speech-no-nation-is-occupier-of-its-homeland/2013/03/22/

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