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March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

President Rivlin Tasks Netanyahu with Forming the Government

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

On Wednesday evening, President Ruby Rivlin, after consultation with the heads of all the political parties, tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the job of forming the next coalition government in Israel. This will be Netanyahu’s fourth time as Prime Minister.

In the Israeli political system, once elections are over, the parties must combine to form a coalition government with at least 61 out of the 120 seats as members.

After consulting with the parties, the Israeli President selects the party head most likely to be able to form the coalition and then that party head has 28 days to put a coalition together, or in this case, April 22 at night, which is when Israel’s end its Memorial Day and start its Independence Day celebrations. If needed, he can receive a 14 day extension, which this year ends on May 6 – the eve of Lag Ba’omer.

If there are no surprises, Netanyahu is expected to form a coalition, after some tough negotiations, with the Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Kulanu, Yisrael Beytenu, UTJ and Shas.

Lieberman Calls for Knesset Boycott of Arab Parties

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman is trying to show himself as the champion of the fringe by calling for a boycott of the Joint Arab List, formed by the merger of three Arab and Arab-Jewish parties.

It was Lieberman who can take “credit” for the higher number of Arab MKs in the new Knesset. Last session, he succeeded in passing into law a bill that raised to 3.25 percent the number of votes a party needs to enter the Knesset. That would have eliminated two of the Arab parties, but their leaders are not as dumb as Lieberman thinks.

They duplicated Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni’s tricky by simply merging in order to come up with a large number, and they now have 13 MKs, two more in the last Knesset.

Now Lieberman has a new way to get rid of the Arab MKs. He told Army Radio Tuesday they should be boycotted by government ministries and Knesset committees.

Lumping all Arab MKs together, Lieberman alleged “they” slander and undermine Israel and take orders from Qatar. Legal moves could be used to put the traitors into jail, but why retort to the legal system, which is biased to the left, when you can simply fall off the right-end of the Earth and brand all of them as enemies?

Several Arab MKs have been chastised and even banned by the Knesset for outrageous remarks, such as calling IDF and Israel a racist and Nazi-like.

Lieberman argues he is strengthened the hand of moderate Arabs by trying to ban all the Arab MKs.

This is the same Lieberman who said in the beginning of the election campaign, when polls showed his popularity was as low as his attitude, who tried to regain support from the center by suggesting Israel needs to re-think its opposition to a Palestinian Authority state.

That didn’t work, so he crawled back to the right end of the right wing and managed to win enough votes to remain in the Knesset.

No one really takes him seriously anymore, but he is still quotable, especially by the American anti-Netanyahu media and government, which will likely pounce on his latest rant to libel Netanyahu’s proposed coalition, which will include Lieberman’s party.

 

Israel’s Arab Minority Integrating Politically and Economically

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Throughout late February and March, “Israeli Apartheid Week” took place across 200 cities around the world, from the UK and South Africa to Canada and the USA. Anti-Israel events have been held on university campuses and academic institutions, with the official aim, according to the organizers’ website, to build Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaigns against Israel while educating about Israel’s apartheid policies.

Meanwhile in Israel, the March 17th elections for the Jewish state’s 20th Knesset brought 13 seats to the Joint Arab List, making the united Arab party the third largest faction in the Israeli parliament.

The new Knesset will have 16 Members of Knesset who are Arab, four more than the previous Knesset. Among the 16 are four Arab parliamentarians who represent Zionist parties including Druze MK Hamad Amar of Avigdor Lieberman’s party, Yisrael Beitenu as well as Arab MKs from Likud, Meretz, and Zionist Union.

“We see the new electoral threshold law as a blessing in disguise and hope it will increase the voting percentage among Israeli-Arabs, enabling us to reach 16 seats in the Knesset,” Emilie Moatti, the spokeswoman for the Arab Joint List told Tazpit News Agency before the elections.

The Joint Arab List, whose historical unification of four Arab-dominated parties took place in January, has one sole Jewish member, Dov Khenin.

Israeli Apartheid Week of course does not take note of the above nor of the fact that the head of Israel’s Central Elections Committee who oversaw the recent Israeli elections is Justice Salim Joubran, an Arab judge who serves on the Supreme Court of Israel. Furthermore, on the economic end, more than 100 PA Arab businessmen recently participated in a conference in the Ashdod Port organized by Israel’s Civil Administration, which is part of the Coordination of Government Activities at the Territories (COGAT), a subordinate to the Minister of Defense. The head of the Palestinian Authority Importers and Exporters Association, Muhammad Abu-Ein, the acting CEO of the Ashdod port, Itzhak Blumenthal and representatives of USAID and the UN Conference on Trade and Development took part in the conference held in February.

Throughout 2014, more than 1,000 PA Arabs participated in different agriculture courses across Israel. Israel’s Civil Administration also sponsored in cooperation with USAID the planting of strawberry fields maintained by PA workers in the Jenin area.

In addition, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin met with local Arab council heads in February and following the meeting, is launching a new employment cooperation project. The President’s Office will work with the Collective Impact Initiative, which works to further the level of employment among Israeli Arab professionals. Within this framework, the President will establish a quarterly business forum of managers who will guide the process of integrating the Arab population into different Israeli companies.

Around 20 percent Israel’s eight million citizens are Arabs. According to the Israeli Democracy Index, a public opinion survey project conducted by the Israeli Democratic Institute and the Guttman Center for Surveys found last year that 65% of Israeli-Arabs are proud to be Israeli.

Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon Becomes ‘Kingmaker’ in Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, leader of the Kulanu party, became the “kingmaker” of the next coalition Monday when recommended President Reuven Rivlin task Likud’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the formation of the new government.

“We nominate Netanyahu and the broader the base of the coalition, the better it will be for all of us,” said Kahlon, who told the president that his party had a social orientation that was focused on the human being.

Kahlon’s hearty endorsement brought Netanyahu to an absolute majority of 61 votes in his favor, which allowed Rivlin to announce the prime minister would be tasked with forming the next government – one of the swiftest coalition assignment determinations ever to take place.

Also voting for Netanyahu on Sunday in addition to the Likud were the delegates from the Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. An endorsement from Yisrael Beytenu that followed shortly after brought Netanyahu’s total to 67 mandates.

The total meant that although the president had yet to meet with the far-left Meretz party, which had five votes to either add or withhold, neither would change the outcome.

At present, not including Meretz, the merged Zionist Union led by Labor party chairman Isaac (“Buji”) Herzog holds 24 votes. The remaining 24 potential coalition members, which include Yesh Atid and the Joint Arab List are holding back for the time being.

Rivlin pointed out that it is not a given that all those who voted for Netanyahu will actually support the government he assembles, when the time comes.

Even after a president has tasked a designated person to form a government, and even that person successfully forms a coalition, the government still must be approved by the Knesset plenum, he noted.

Kachlon Offered Prime Minister Rotation Deal – By Buji Herzog

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Yitzchak “Buji” Herzog is starting to look like a one-trick pony.

Senior members of the Zionist Union claim that party leader Yitzchak Herzog offered Kulanu chief Moshe Kachlon, who holds the key to forming any coalition a deal, a deal he can’t refuse, according to a Maariv report.

They claim that besides offering Kachlon a senior ministerial positions in the government, like Netanyahu did, Herzog upped the ante and also offered to share the Prime Minister’s seat with Kachlon, in a rotation agreement.

The party members didn’t say if they would be ruling on alternate days, or would it be one week on and one week off, and how exactly it would all that fit into Tzipi Livni’s rotation schedule with Herzog (depending on the hour, if that rotation deal is on or off), and would this just turn into some sort of convoluted 3-way relationship.

Herzog is making offers to all the parties that might sit in Netanyahu’s coalition that he thinks could be bought off, in hope of becoming a partial prime minister.

One does wonder how many Prime Ministers Herzog envisions sitting in that chair at the same time.

His rotation schedule could look like this:
Sunday: Herzog (Labor)
Monday: Kachlon (Kulanu)
Tuesday: Gal-on (Meretz)
Wednesday: Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu)
Thursday: Odeh (Arab List)
Friday: Livni (HaTnua)
Saturday: Lapid (Yesh Atid)

Yesh Atid Starting to Disinitegrate

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

After Yesh Atid’s failure in the elections, cutting them down to 11 seats from 19, and most likely heading them into the opposition, there is much disappointment in the party.

MK Shai Piron, who was the former Minister of Education in the 19th Knesset said that he is considering the idea of leaving politics.

MK Yaakov Perry, who served as the Minster of Science in the last Knesset is expected to quit if he isn’t appointed as a minister in this government, an appointment which is very unlikely to happen.

If Piron and Perry quit, then Elazar Stern, who served in HaTnua in the last Knesset, and Pnina Tamnu-Shateh are expected to take their place.

Likud Begins Coalition Building

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The Likud has begun the process of building a coalition.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that reality isn’t taking a break, and the citizens of Israel expect to quickly have a government.

Netanyahu’s goal is to have a government formed within the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Netanyahu has already spoken with all the party leaders he plans to invite to join in his coalition, including: Naftali Bennett (Bayyit Yehudi), Moshe Kachlon (Kulanu), Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), Aryeh Deri (Shas) and Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni (UTJ).

Earlier today, Labor chief Yitzchak Herzog called up Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/likud-begins-coalition-building/2015/03/18/

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