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May 30, 2015 / 12 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Ayelet Shaked Has Armed Escort following Death Threats

Monday, May 11th, 2015

A personal armed guard now is escorting Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked following death threats.

Shaked is slated to be the Justice Minister, an appointment that has riled up the left-wing, which usually goes to bat for women but not if they are on the “wrong side” of the road.

The decision to escort Shaked with a guard was made by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein.

Yesh Atid Tries To Block Netanyahu Cabinet Expansion

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

The Yesh Atid party — once a member of Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud-led coalition government — is now trying to tear it down.

Lapid’s left-centrist party submitted a petition to the High Court on Sunday asking for a temporary injunction against the cabinet approval of an amendment to the Basic Law: The Government, increasing the number of cabinet ministers from 18 to 20.

Yesh Atid was a member of the previous coalition but quit the government in a bitter feud just prior to an internal battle that led to Netanyahu finally disbanding the government altogether. The party is now sitting in the opposition and lost more than half of its support.

In its petition, it asked the Court to rule on the matter by 8 am Monday in order to prevent a “trampling of the rules of democracy day by day.”

The Knesset plenum was expected to vote on the expansion by Monday in order to enable the ministers to be sworn in by Wednesday.

Cabinet Approves Expanding Cabinet to Meet Coalition Demands

Sunday, May 10th, 2015

The last Cabinet session of the outgoing government unanimously approved Sunday morning adding a number of ministries to satisfy demands of coalition partners in the new government.

If all of the ministers competing for the status of bang called “Minister” had their way, there would be approximately 61 ministries in the new government, one for every Knesset Member.

The Knesset later will approve the expansion, which will cost taxpayers a hundred million dollars.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said Sunday that he might rule that the coalition is not legal if there were specific agreements to allot a specific amount of money to different parties for earmarked projects.

Israel governments have a tradition of buying off coalition partners with promises for money for their pet projects.

Tzipi Hotovely Wants to Be First Religious Woman Minister

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Likud Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely said Thursday she is will to settle for any ministry so long as she can be the first religious women to hold a Cabinet post.

Hotovely was a deputy minister in the last government

She told Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio, “It does not make any difference what [ministry] – culture, tourism [or] technology.

 

Netanyahu and Bennett Sign on the Dotted Line

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett finally signed a coalition agreement Thursdays morning, and the new government will take office next week.

Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog vehemently denied all reports that he and Prime Minister Netanyahu will form a national unity government in the future. The rumors multiplied this week with the post of Foreign Minister still in the hands of the Prime Minister.

Thursday morning’s signature by Prime Minister Netanyahu and Bennett was a birthday gift for Bayit Yehudi Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked, who is 39 years old today. She will be the new Justice Minister, despite having only having two years of experience in politics. She also will chair the important Cabinet committee for legislation.

Uri Ariel, a senior Bayit Yehudi MK and Housing Minister in the previous government, will become Agriculture Minister along with responsibility for the Settlement Division.

The Shaked-Ariel combo is poison to the left and the Obama administration. Shaked will have authority to approve legal construction in Judea and Samaria, where Ariel encourages construction.

In addition, a Bayit Yehudi Knesset Member – apparently Bennett – will be Deputy Defense Minister with responsibility for the Civil Administration.

The deal puts all the cards for Judea and Samaria in the hands of the Bayit Yehudi except for the Defense Ministry, where Moshe Ya’alon will remain at the helm and is the final authority for approving new homes for Jews.

Bennett will be Minister of Education, and Netanyahu has promised that more money will be budgeted for Ariel University, located in Samaria.

With Shas, Yehadut HaTorah and Kulanu, Prime Minister Netanyahu has a majority of only one.

The thinnest possible coalition majority is a two-edged sword. Any party can threaten Netanyahu to give in to its demands if he wants to remain in power but also will be very careful not blow up the government.

The new government also will see Shas, which heads the Religious Affairs Ministry, trying to see how it can push Bayit Yehudi.

 

 

Tonight at Midnight: Netanyahu’s Moment of Truth

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

By midnight, Wednesday, Benjamin Netanyahu is obligated under Israeli law to go up to the Reuven Rivlin’s presidential palace and declare whether or not he has been successful in cobbling together a coalition government.

Bibi has run out of time, and there will be no more time extensions. It’s his moment of truth.

Unfortunately, as of Wednesday morning, he is far from having a the minimum 61-member coalition that could receive the Knesset’s vote of confidence.

Netanyahu’s troubles have come from the two parties he thought he had in his pocket and thus took for granted and abused: Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu—6 seats, and Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi-8 seats.

So far, Netanyahu has secured only 53 seats, his talks with Liberman have been severed by the resigning Foreign Minister, and they appear to be on the rocks with Bennett.

Here’s an interesting point: Liberman, who is considered by many Israelis—and most of the country’s media—to be a cynical vote broker, exemplifying that with his left-right-left-right zig-zagging before the elections, quit the negotiations in a huff solely over ideological issues.

A source connected to the Yisrael Beytenu party told JewishPress.com that Netanyahu offered Liberman to continue as the Foreign Minister, and also offered him all the ministries he asked for.

Netanyahu’s previous (third) government, made serious changes in its social agreement with the Chareidi population – some good, some bad, and some good but done in a bad way.

In a collaboration between Finance Minister Yair Lapid, Economy Minister Bennett, and the entire coalition, Netanyahu’s previous government significantly reduced child welfare payments (which hurt the Chareidi population the most), and legislated draft laws that were, at least on paper, more draconian than previous ones–though in implementation, they actually reduced Chareidi enlistment instead of increasing it. The same government also used the budget to encourage Chareidi men and women to hit the job market, including a push to get them into universities.

In addition, the same government empowered the religious-Zionist agenda in areas of rabbinic officiating, such as marriages for non-religious Israeli Jews, or conversions for non-Jewish Israelis.

But in his haste to forge a government with UTJ and Shas parties, Netanyahu handed the Chareidi parties the offices empowered to roll back many of those reforms and achievements.

Speaking on Israel Radio Wednesday morning, Liberman said: “In recent days has been shown that the Likud sold out all its principles budgets to the Chareidim, and all that remains is a debate over ministerial portfolios. The debate of the past few hours is exclusively about increasing the number of ministers and deputy ministers, and there is no substantive discussion.”

Liberman is apparently fed up with Netanyahu, his ally for more than twenty years. Liberman supported him loyally, even in decisions he despised (twice he gave his cabinet vote to a decision not to conclude heavy Gaza skirmishes with the elimination of Hamas–he explicitly demanded the destruction of Hamas in these coalition negotiations).

He’s done it while being pursued for years by the judiciary civil service over seemingly unending corruption cases, none of which have ever actually found him guilty. His deputies have been investigated several times over, but police has been unable to connect their alleged crimes to Liberman.

Naftali Bennett is yet another long-time ally who feels taken for granted and used.

For one thing, Netanyahu’s amazing vote sweep in the last few days of the March election campaign came directly from Bayit Yehudi voters. Bennett and company happily obliged this sucker-punch move, setting up a right-wing rally in Kikar Rabin where they practically called on upwards of 100 thousand of their voters to switch to Bibi.

The Likud’s rise came directly from that rally at Bennett’s expense.

And while Naftali Bennett was the first politician Netanyahu called after the elections, Bayit Yehudi was almost the last party Bibi called on for serious negotiations after he had already signed away the Ministry of Religious Affairs to Shas, so the Aryeh Deri could highlight all of Bennett’s achievements in the area of religion services reform in Israel, and then press DELETE.

Now, taking advantage of Liberman’s angry departure, Bennett upped the ante—demanding major offices in return for joining, most important among them the Ministry of Justice, which he wants to hand over to his partner, Ayelet Shaked.

This is probably the most fun thing a National-Religious leader has had the pleasure of doing, ever.

The Left has been using Israel’s Justice department as their bulwark against the Right: appointments of a long line of anti-settlement Attorney Generals? It’s Justice department. Promotions of insider, radical leftwing judges who haven’t met a deceptive “Palestinian” land seller? Justice department again. Legislation that subverts the will of the voter in favor of the will of a tiny, self-appointing judicial minority? Justice department. Blatantly undemocratic, politically motivated investigations against popular, right wing leaders (including Netanyahu)? What do you know, it’s that Justice department again.

It’s no wonder Peace Now has called the notion of appointing Ayelet Shaked Minister of Justice “Tzelem Ba’heichal” – like placing a idol of Zeus in the Holy Temple’s inner sanctuary. For them it really is nothing less.

Yesterday Bennett handed the Likud his list of demands and disappeared from sight. No interviews, Not answering the Likud’s calls. A game of chicken—with little to lose.

Especially when Bennett suspects that the reason he was offered third-tier ministries was because Netanyahu planns to fire him following negotiatiations with Yitzchak Herzog (Zionist Camp) when no longer under deadline pressures.

The Likud spread rumors that Bayit Yehudi also demanded Defense, or the Foreign Ministry for Bennett, alongside the Judiciary.

One Likud MK joked that he’s surprised Bennett didn’t go so far as demand a rotation agreement for Prime Minister.

It’s a sellers market, and Bennett, who had at least one successful business exit, is going for broke.

Netanyahu has more to lose from a new election, assuming Zionist Camp’s Yitzhak Herzog fails to cobble a government together should President Rivlin assign him the task after midnight tonight.

In a new election, Liberman’s and Bennett’s voters, who bought the Likud’s argument that only a strong Netanyahu could represent the right—all those angry voters will come back home, giving Liberman back his 12 mandates, Bennett his 12 to 16, and Bibi — will be much reduced, with 20 or so seats.

It’s going to be an interesting day.

Bennett Goes Underground as Likud’s Anxiety Increases

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Yehudi party, completely cut off communications today as negotiations with the Likud reached an impasse, just a day before Netanyahu’s deadline to form a coalition. No one from the Likud party was able to reach him, no matter how hard they tried. It’s a trick he clearly learned and perfected from Avigdor Liberman.

Bennett believes that Netanyahu is short-changing his party with unreasonable offers and low-level ministries, as well as giving too much to Shas and in particular the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

One rumor has it that Bennett is concerned that Netanyhu is just biding time and creating a temporary coalition until the Zionist Camp can dump Tzipi Livni, at which point it will join Netanyahu’s coalition, replacing the Bayit Yehudi party.

Breaking his silence on Tuesday evening, according to Channel 2, Bennett has demanded the Justice Portfolio for Ayelet Shaked, and that she be appointed as early as next week.

One of Bennett’s major goals is a reform of Israel’s High Court, and in particular, restricting their judicial activism, limiting their ability to unilaterally override legislative decisions made by the democratically elected Knesset, and democratizing the judicial selection process, so future judges better represent the values of the nation, and not just the far left. Currently, current High Court judges effectively select their successors.

Netanyahu does not want an open battle with the High Court this term, and as such, he has been trying to keep control of the Ministry of Justice within the Likud.

One thing is certain, the right will never forgive Netanyahu if he doesn’t form a coalition with Bennett, and instead brings in the Zionist Camp.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bennett-goes-underground-as-likuds-anxiety-increases/2015/05/05/

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