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May 1, 2016 / 23 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Eretz Israel Knesset Lobby: Keep IDF in Arab Cities

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

The co-chairmen of the Eretz Israel lobby in the Knesset, MKs Yoav Kisch (Likud) and Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) on Sunday called on the cabinet not to adopt the proposal to withdraw the IDF from the Arab city centers in Judea and Samaria.

The two MKs said in a statement, “We mustn’t reward terrorism, and the days when we relinquished the security of Israeli citizens to the Palestinian Authority have long since ended. Instead of reducing our hold on the land we must present a formidable iron wall against our enemies. After half a year of PA supported terrorism, we must make sure that the clear result of the terror will be zero achievements to the enemy, and not the other way around. The message must be clear, the IDF will secure our citizens wherever it is needed.”

David Israel

Labor Boss Herzog Interrogated with a Warning for 2nd Time

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

MK Yitzhak Herzog, chairman of the Zionist Camp (Labor) party and leader of the Knesset opposition, on Sunday was interrogated with a warning by the police anti-corruption unit Lahav 433 on suspicion of receiving illegal donations, failing to report donations and providing a false affidavit. The interrogation focuses on Herzog’s activity during the primaries for Labor Party Chairmanship in 2013, when he competed against incumbent chairman MK Shelly Yachimovich. The special police unit received the approval of Attorney Genral Avichai Mandelblit to pursue the interrogation.

Police want to know whether Herzog set up a parallel campaign center whose assignment was to find out and publish dirt on Yachimovich. Police suspect that Herzog funded that “dark headquarters” through copanies and business people whose interests he had served as minister of social services.

In May 1999 police investigated former prime minister Ehud Barak over alleged violations of the Party Funding Law, which later involved the interrogation with a warning of Herzog, who then served as cabinet secretary. In his interrogation Herzog maintained his right to keep silent. The prosecution eventually decided to close the case against Herzog, despite police objections. At the time Herzog was criticized severely for his conduct both during the campaign and in his interrogation by AG Elyakim Rubinstein (now Supreme Court Justice) and state prosecutor Edna Arbel (former Supreme Court Justice). But despite their rebuke, they let him get away with it.

Herzog’s office issued the statement: “Head of the opposition and chairman of the Zionist Camp MK Yitzhak Herzog arrived this morning to offer his version of events in response to a request from law enforcement officials. From the moment his investigation had been leaked, Herzog stressed and requested to be allowed to offer his version of events in order to leave the matter behind him, which he has done. Herzog has full confidence in the law enforcement officials and he is grateful for their dignified and decent conduct.”

MK Yachimovich said on Sunday that she is “convinced Herzog has the best interests of the party and the opposition on his mind.” She promised to “act in cooperation with him and with my colleagues in the party to decide what steps to take next. There is no doubt that an interrogation with a warning of the chairman of the party and the opposition makes the situation worse. I trust completely the police and law enforcement authorities.”

Last week Herzog referred to the possibility that he would be invited for an interrogation with a warning and said that the job of a leader is to “deal with crises, deal with criticism and also deal with libel.” Speaking at a ceremony of raising a glass in honor of the approaching Passover organized by MK Amir Peretz, Herzog added that “there are few leaders who have endured personal and political upheavals, absorbed nasty criticism, dealt bravely with a complex reality and still managed to carve out one of the most impressive success stories in military history ever — I believe Amir is familiar with all of the above up close.”

As defense minister, Amir Peretz endured a punishing war against Hezbollah in Lebanon and was ridiculed worldwide for looking through a pair of covered binoculars pretending to be seeing something. Eventually, though, he made his reputation as the man who dreamed up the concept of Iron Dome, the computerized defense system that allows Hamas to continue amassing and shooting rockets at Israeli civilian centers without Israel’s having to retaliate for it because few civilians are ever hurt.

Herzog told his party pals on that occasion: “You’ve followed me since I entered politics, you know my clean hands and honesty are the values in whose light I’ve walked and in which I believe. Since the announcement of the authorities’ looking into the party primaries became public knowledge, I’ve been telling all of you, publicly and personally, that this is part of the role of a leader: to also deal with libels that always rise up on the eve of elections. The job of the leader is to deal, lead and win. You elected me to lead this party and this camp towards governing and I intend to continue marching on this path, even if it is difficult and full of obstacles.”

David Israel

Cabinet Meeting on Golan Heights Underlining Sovereignty, Protection

Saturday, April 16th, 2016

Israel’s government Cabinet is to meet Sunday (April 17) on the Golan Heights to underscore its sovereignty and determination to protect the region.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly raised the issue in a telephone conversation with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry last week.

He is expected to do the same next week when he travels to Moscow to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to Israeli radio.

The Golan Heights was annexed to Israel in a law that was ratified by the Knesset on December 14, 1981.

The international community did not recognize the annexation and later determined it null and void via United Nations Security Council Resolution 497. The law was passed six months before Israel’s withdrawal from the Sinai Peninsula.

Hana Levi Julian

Speaker of the US House to Israel: “We Stand Shoulder to Shoulder With You”

Monday, April 4th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Speaker of the US House of Representatives Paul Ryan stressed that the US relationship with Israel is more important than ever at a meeting this morning, April 4, at the Knesset with Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

“We will work shoulder to shoulder with you against threats,“ Speaker Ryan said. “That’s why I came here and this is the point I wanted to stress.”

“Our friendship with Israel is more important to us than it was in the past,” Ryan added at the meeting with his Israeli counterpart.

Following Congressional legislation last June requiring European trade partners to reject BDS, members of Congress introduced the Combating BDS Act of 2016 this past February, which gave federal approval to US states to divest from or prohibit investment in entities associated with BDS [the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions Movement against Israel].

“I and members of Congress are working and fighting vigorously with every discovery of BDS and boycott of Israel,” Ryan emphasized.

Paul Ryan has been Speaker of the House for about half a year after having been elected to the position last October following the resignation of his predecessor John Boehner. Ryan elaborated upon his display of friendship with Israel during his current tenure as Speaker of the House.

“I entered the position not too long ago and my first work meeting was with President Reuven Rivlin,” noted Ryan. “Also, this trip of mine to Israel is my first [as Speaker of the House].”

“This was not done by accident,” continued Ryan. “I wanted to come to Israel first to emphasize the level of US commitment to Israel and the valiant friendship with Israel is important to us.”

Speaker Edelstein also expressed his appreciation for the friendship between the United States and Israel.

“We know we have true friends in the US, in Congress, and in the White House,” Edelstein said to Ryan. “I very much appreciate your presence here along with an entourage of other members of Congress.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

High Court Suspends Natural Gas Deal, Harming Israel’s Relations with Energy Firms

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday accepted some of the petitions against the Netanyahu government’s natural gas outline which included development and exploitation of the country’s newly discovered off-shore deposits by Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group.

In a four to one vote, the justices specifically ruled against the “stability clause,” which blocks any government regulatory changes to the off-shore gas outline for the next ten years – something that Netanyahu had promised the energy companies, in order to guarantee them stability in return for their massive investments.

This clause is considered legally problematic as it obligates future governments and Knessets, without actually having been passed via legislation.

The court ruling means the entire signed deal is suspended until the Knesset has a chance to review and amend the law. The court gave the Netanyahu government one year to fix the clause, or the deal would die.

Out of all the petitions that had been submitted to the high court after the law had been approved, the court embraced most decidedly the appeal from three good government groups — Movement for Quality Government, Association for Environmental Defense, and Israel Energy Forum — who also argued against the validity of the clause 52 maneuver, which was used by Netanyahu in an elaborate process that involved firing the state regulator, handing a government minister the Interior portfolio from which he had been removed in disgrace over embezzlement, and the Prime Minister’s claiming for himself the Economy portfolio.

Clause 52 permits the economy minister to bypass the objections of the state regulator and create a de facto monopoly, for security reasons.

Many observers had been placing small bets on whether or not the Prime Minister’s complicated political circus act would land him in front of a Supreme court veto. Surprisingly, it didn’t. In the end, the court did not challenge Netanyahu’s masterful maneuvers, but by striking down the stability clause, it may still kill the deal.

The good government groups argued the PM lacked the authority to approve the gas outline; pointed to supposed deficiencies in the approval process; claimed the absence of a relevant factual basis to establish the outline; decried an assault on the rule of law; cited violation of the principle of distributive justice; claimed injury to the intergenerational justice; accused the PM of violating the public trust; said the law had a lack of proportionality; and declared it was an extremely unreasonable legislation. The only thing missing was the kitchen sink.

But the court only accepted their argument regarding the stability clause.

Still, the three judges who voted to suspend the law were adamant in their condemnation of the Netanyahu government’s lack of respect for the democratic process. Justice Esther Hayut, who is slated to become the next Chief Justice, wrote regarding the stability clause that it is the most excessive overreach by the Prime Minister, in that it ties up government’s hand for a decade against changes in regulating and taxing the natural gas exploitation.

Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said that the Supreme Court made an “unfortunate decision” in blocking the government’s plan to develop the offshore natural gas fields, warning it could cause irreversible damage to Israel’s energy sector. “The decision’s negative consequences on the development of the gas market, on energy security, on the Israeli economy and on the lost revenue for the state of Israel and its citizens, could be very tough, and even irreversible,” Steinitz said in a statement.

At this point it is unclear whether Netanyahu would be able to fix the stability clause in the current political reality of the Knesset.

Two ministers, Galant (Kulanu) and Katz (Likud) have had to recuse themselves from the debate for reasons of a conflict of interests, as would, possibly, Finance Minister Kahlon. This leaves a tie of 59 to 59. A lot will depend on MK Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu opposition faction, who may not be so eager to lend a helping hand to Netanyahu. And even if the PM manages to pass an amended bill, it is to be expected that the left in the House would take it right back to the Supreme Court.

PM Netanyahu said he would find a way to overcome the damage the court’s ruling just did to Israel’s economy. But for the time being, the gas will continue to remain stuck under the sea.

David Israel

All the Truth in the Knesset

Thursday, March 17th, 2016

You gotta understand Hebrew to appreciate this “all the truth” Knesset speech by MK Oren Hazan. It might be worthwhile to learn Hebrew just for that.

Video of the Day

Knesset Speaker Edelstein’s ‘Controversial’ Visit to Address British Parliament

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein is set to visit the British Parliament in London on Wednesday at the invitation of his counterpart, John Bercow, Speaker of the House of Commons.

Edelstein will address a joint session of peers and Members of Parliament in the first-ever official visit by an Israeli Knesset Speaker. He will also meet with Prime Minister David Cameron.

However.

The visit has already raised a ruckus among British opponents to Israel and those in the Palestinian Authority as well, because Edelstein lives in part of an area that British leaders claim is “occupied” by Israel.

Edelstein maintains, “It’s a disputed territory. We didn’t take it from any other country. They claim it’s theirs, we claim it’s ours,” he told media at a briefing in Israel.

He told media he hopes to develop closer bonds between the Israeli and British parliaments.

“Governments come and go but parliaments stay,” he told The Telegraph. “If you’re smart enough to base the relationship bipartisan then it doesn’t matter who is in power.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/knesset-speaker-edelsteins-controversial-visit-to-address-british-parliament/2016/03/01/

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