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February 27, 2015 / 8 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Attorney General May Indict Arab MK Haneen Zoabi for Incitement

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is considering indicting Arab Knesset Member Haneen Zoabi for incitement last year when she told demonstrators that Israeli Arabs who are government guards “should be scared of us.”

Zoabi has been arguably the most outspoken anti-Zionist and protagonist in the Knesset, having called Israel a racist state, describing IDF soldiers as criminals and terrorists and generally trashing the government and damning the country that she is supposed to be serving.

She also participated in the IHH-terrorist flotilla in 2010, in which dozens of armed men brutally attacked mostly unarmed Navy soldiers who came on board to prevent the boat from breaking the maritime embargo against Hamas-controlled Gaza.

Zoabi is a member of the Balad party, which produced Azmi Bashara, who fled Israel after being indicted for aiding Hezbollah terrorists in the Second Lebanon War in 2006.

A lawyer for the anti-Jewish state Adalah organization, acting on behalf of Balad, wrote Weinstein that Israeli prosecutors do not put public figures on trial for spontaneous comments made in “the heat of the moment” and that Weinstein should explain to the court why he “discriminated” aganst Zoabi.

One of the reasons that other public figures have not been indicted for incitement is because they have not incited against Arabs, although one or two should have been tried and convicted for saying such things as,”Shoot the settlers in their legs.”

No Jewish MK ever has aided or encouraged attacks on Arabs.

But why should Zoabi be tried for incitement?

Here is what she had to say about the three Hamas terrorists who kidnapped and murdered three yeshiva students last June:

 They are not terrorists, even if I do not agree with their actions, these people [the murderers] do not have any escape, any escape.”

On pledging loyalty to Israel, she has said:

When you agree with the ‘Jewish state’ idea, you necessarily agree with the idea of loyalty to this state. Rejecting the ‘Jewish state’ concept will block the road for anyone who demands our loyalty to such a state.”

She also has lumped Tzipi Livni with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avgidor Lieberman, calling all of them “fascists.”

Zoabi also thinks a nuclear Iran is not such a bad idea, saying”

I am afraid of real risk rather than of potential risk. The Iranian bomb was only ‘a potential’ threat. The real danger was the IDF… It is more dangerous to the world, more dangerous to everyone, more dangerous to the Palestinians, to Israelis, to have Israel as the only powerful state…The Israeli violence of the army is an outcome of Israel’s convenient feeling that no one will restrict her.’

Weinstein actually is wrong to even to think about putting her on trial for incitement.

She should be tried for being a traitor.

Netanyahu Adopts JewishPress Blogger’s Electoral Reform Proposal

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015

It isn’t every day that the Prime Minister of Israel adopts an idea proposed by yours truly, first introduced on the pages of JewishPress.com.

Though for the sake of transparency, other MKs have brazenly taken ideas we’ve proposed at the Muqata Think-Tank and then claimed them for their own, and we’ve been told that Netanyahu is also familiar with Jameel’s very successful Scotch whiskey counter-boycott.

On Monday, Prime Minister Netanyahu introduced an electoral reform plan that would “revolutionize” the Israeli multi-party system, and move us over to a two-party system.

The idea is that the party with the most seats would automatically form the government and appoint the Prime Minister, without needing to form a coalition, or go to the President of Israel.

If this sounds familiar to you, it should, because in December I analyzed the problem with our current system, and provided that solution.

In the original article I explained why it would work, and how the idea should be properly implemented.

The JewishPress.com was even kind enough to put one of those Asher Schwartz cartoons on it.

A Solution Within the Existing Framework So what can be done now with what we have?

If Israel wants to stay with the parliamentary system, the solution is not as complex as you might think. It requires two steps.

First of all, remove the minimum electoral threshold. Let people vote for whom they want.

The second is, let the head of the largest elected party become the Prime Minister, automatically, with no requirement at all to assemble a coalition to form the government.

I then explain why this will work — because people in Israel vote strategically, they want to get a specific Prime Minister, along with specific platforms or MKs:

The Intended Consequences What do I foresee happening?

Only the die-hards will vote for the small parties. Most everyone else will want to make sure the Prime Minister comes from the biggest party that represents them the closest.

We would see a lot of parties consolidating automatically.

There will be a natural push to make sure the Likud or Labor becomes the biggest party.

Unfortunately, Netanyahu seems to have left out an incredibly important component of the idea – removing the minimum electoral threshold.

And that reminds me of the other half-baked change he made in 1996 — introducing direct elections for the Prime Minster, but without simultaneously introducing it for the Knesset too.

Removing the minimum threshold is critical for my idea to work properly – and Mr. Netanyahu, I know you’re reading this, so pay attention… .

If Israel ends up with a binary-based majority system, where you vote for a party and not individuals, and there are only two parties in the Knesset, you will have implemented a tyranny of democracy onto Israel. For four years the winner will run roughshod over the loser, and it will always be win-lose; the opposition might as well not even show up for work.

For democracy to work properly, citizens need an effective opposition capable of opposing the majority, at least in the worst case scenarios.

It’s important to remember, unlike the U.S., Israel doesn’t have truly separate executive and legislative branches, with the checks and balances that brings. Instead, Israel has a legislative branch whose members also make up the executive branch.

In Netanyahu’s version of my idea, if Labor (or whatever they call themselves) won and wanted to implement another Disengagement or Oslo 5, there would be no way to stop it in Netanyahu’s binary-based Knesset, as Labor would always have an automatic majority.

Nor could there even be a legislature vs. executive conflict to fight it out; in Netanyahu’s version it simply can’t happen.

The other problem is that by forcing people to vote A or B, thereby guaranteeing only A and B get into the Knesset, a significant enough percent of Israeli society will not be represented. You will be disenfranchising segments of the population.

Voting levels will drop as people see no reason to vote for a party that can ignore them, knowing there is no alternative.

By removing the threshold, you don’t exclude people who don’t fit into category A or B.

This will have two consequences, both incredibly important:

1) You don’t need a 61 vote majority for most run-of-the-mill legislation to pass, so having a few small parties won’t make a difference on most votes.

But on more important issues, the society changing ones, you do not want to give an automatic pass to the biggest party (think Oslo, Disengagement) – YOU WANT THEM TO WORK HARD FOR IT before they can throw you out of your home.

2) By allowing the small 1 or 2 man parties to be get in, you create a real reason for the big parties to pay attention to the individual sectors internally.

If the Likud knows that the Israeli-Arabs and Hareidim (just to name two obvious examples) may vote for an Israeli-Arab or Hareidi party instead of them and they will get into the Knesset, the big parties will make sure that Israeli-Arabs and Hareidim are included on their party’s list and paid attention to, to get and keep that sector’s vote.

I highly recommend you read my original analysis of the election idea, and the implementation.

And Mr. Prime Minister – I am available for consultation – you know how to reach me.

New Update: Hotovely Behind by 55 Votes but Likud May Order Total Recount

Sunday, January 4th, 2015

7:30 AM:  Knesset Member Tzipi Hotovely has fallen behind Avi Dichter by 55 votes for the 20th place on the Likud list of candidates during a partial recount, but the number is not final. In addition, the Likud party is considering whether to order a full recount of the votes in last week’s primary elections.

10:51 PM: Hotovely has taken the lead over Dichter by several votes in the recount that still is not final. If she holds the lead, she will be in the 20th place and virtually guaranteed to return to the Knesset.

MK Hotovely appealed to a Likud party committee Sunday for a recount of 15 ballot boxes where there are serious questions of a correct tally in last week’s primaries that left her in the 26th place on the Likud list of candidates.

The Likud is weathering serious embarrassment over the fact that only two women, Miri Regev and Gila Gamaliel, were nominated to realistic places on the Likud ticket.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants Hotovely back in the Knesset, and if reports – unconfirmed but from highly reliable sources – are correct, he can thank her for helping dump MK Moshe Feiglin to an unrealistic spot.

Netanyahu has the option of placing Hotovely in a guaranteed spot reserved for a woman if the recount does not bump her up five places in place of Avi Dichter, who was ahead of her by only 754 votes before the recount erased the gap.

Aides to Hotovely said “people voted but their votes were not counted.”

Among other problems in the tally, 400 votes from Judea and Samaria are missing, and in one community in the Galilee, 200 voters were cast but 250 were counted.

In Netivot, one of the seven polling stations did not come up with a single vote for Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, who was in the top five at the end of the nationwide count of ballots

The legal adviser to the Likud party said, “Published results are not the final and official count.”

Hotovely is extremely popular among the national camp and especially in Judea and Samaria. She also has the advantage of being good-looking, a serious factor  the success of many politicians all over the world.

Her image of a right-winger does not compare with that of Feiglin, who for years has been the black sheep of the Likud party. Netanyahu and the Likud mayor of Modi’in engineered behind the scenes to get rid of him.

Latest Post-Scandal Election Poll

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

All the scandals are making their mark, at least in the latest pre-election polls. The Knesset channel has released a new survey.

Labor (Herzog/Livni): 24

Likud (Netanyahu): 23

Bayit Yehudi (Bennett): 16

Arab Party: 12

Yesh Atid (Lapid): 10

Kulanu (Kachlon): 9

UTJ (Gafni/Litzman): 8

Meretz (Gal-on): 8

Yisrael Beiteinu (Liberman): 5

Shas (Deri?): 5 UTJ gained a little from Shas, Yishai doesn’t make the cut, Meretz seems to have gained from Liberman (go figure), Kachlon too.

It just makes you wonder how accurate these really polls are.

What hasn’t changed is that the small parties will still beholding the keys as to who will be the next prime minister of Israel.

Bombshell Video of Rav Ovadia Trashing Deri Spells Doom for Shas [video]

Monday, December 29th, 2014

A leaked video showing the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef castigating Aryeh Deri, now the leader of the Shas party, has set off an earthquake in the Sephardi religious community, already split into at least three factions.

Among other epithets, Rav Ovadia, as he was affectionately known, called Deri “evil, “too independent,” and the rabbi said he cannot be a “traitor” to Eli Yishai, who succeeded Deri, Shas’ political leader after the 1999 elections. One year later, Deri was convicted for bribery and was sentenced to three years in jail.

Ever since Rav Ovadia, the founder and spiritual leader of Shas, died in October 2013, the party began to fall apart without his monolithic leadership.

Whatever Rav Ovadia said was gospel to hundreds of thousands of Sephardi Jews, even those not considerably religious.

No one is taking “credit” for leaking the video, which was shown on Channel 2, but the damage to Shas, Deri, the memory of Rav Ovadia, and Deri’s arch enemy Eli Yishai is immeasurable.

In the 76-second video of Rav Ovadia talking to family members and an aide in 2008, he said:

If we place [Deri] at the top of the [party] list, 20 to 40 percent will leave us. Why? Because he was judged as a thief. For what? So they should try me in court? Why take a bribe?

Aryeh won’t listen to me. He is too independent. He is not a bad person?…He can go to another party…. What do I care? …

I cannot be a traitor to Eli Yishai.

The video, seen below is complete with Hebrew sub-titles.

Yishai and his aides, of course, deny they leaked the video.

Deri and his camp, of course, accuse Yishai of leaking it and said it will cause a backlash against Yishai because voters will blame Yishai for leaking the video that (somehow) defames the memory Rav Ovadia.

Deri said after the video was aired on television:

 In these days when the public expects unity, the man who calls himself ‘faithful’ chose to release tapes in which he recorded [Rav Ovadia] in the darkness like the worst of the subversives, and exploited the trust placed in him. Yishai is trampling the honor of [Rav Ovadia] only for his petty personal interests….Even in his lifetime he betrayed the trust the rabbi placed in him.

It does not matter now who leaked the video. The damage is done and there is more on the way.

“The real black box is hidden and still is in the safe, and we hope we won’t have to bring it out because if they are published, they will cause an earthquake. Our aim is to retain the honor of Rav Ovadia,” said Rav Ovadia’s family

When the family heard that the video of Rav Ovadia trashing Deri had been exposed, they said, “We were in shock. We didn’t want this to be exposed… This video is tiny compared with the material we have.”

Will the black box be opened? And who will it make an earthquake for?

“Only is there is no choice,” the family said.

Either way, the once mighty Shas is puny.

It was doomed from the  start to becoming a comatose party like every other political party that evolves around one person and only one person.

Remember Shinui, the fiercely secular party headed by Tomy Lapid? It won 17 seats in 1977, split into factions and won only two seats in the next elections. It  came roaring back with 15 Knesset Members in 2003 and then died after splitting up again not several useless factions.

Ditto with Rafi Eitan’s Pensioners’ party, which won a stunning seven seas in the 2006 elections and then fell apart.

Haredi and Hard-Core Right-Wingers May Help Elect the Left

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

A new poll on Friday showing the possible demise of Shas should make Sephardi Rabbi Chaim Amsalem and right-wing Otzma leader Michael Ben-Ari think twice about running the elections, but their egos probably will seal their ears.

If each of them insists on running in their own independent parties, they are unlikely to win the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset and will waste tens of thousands of votes that otherwise would go to the Jewish Home and the other two Sephardi parties.

That means the other parties, particular those on the center-left, get a bigger slice of the pie and could end up with enough votes to form a coalition government, thanks to those who are dead-set against it.

It will be tougher for a party to enter the Knesset this year because the new threshold has been upped to 3.25 percent of the vote, meaning that a party needs approximately 125,000 votes to win representation.

In the last election, the threshold was only 2 percent, but Otzma still missed being elected.

Ben-Ari is known to support the Lehava anti-assimilation group, whose leader Bentzi Gupstein and nearly a dozen others were arrested this month.

Ben-Ari is a true ideologue. He compares Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog, both of whom are left-wingers in his opinion. He calls himself the real “right wing,” a label Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon claims for himself in his campaign to defeat Netanyahu as party chairman in elections next week.

As for taking votes away from the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party and ending up with zero seats in the Knesset, Ben-Ari apparently has no answer. When asked by Channel 20, “Aren’t you afraid of wasting right-wing votes?” he simply blamed Yisrael Beitenu for raising the threshold, as if blaming someone else for the likely result justifies his being the reason.

Ben-Ari’s anger at right-wing politicians who compromise in order to stay in power is absolutely correct but also proves why he should not be in politics. There is an old expression, “Would you rather be right or be president?”

In his case, he would rather be right, in both senses of the word, a position that could help Herzog and his sidekick Tzipi Livni become the rotating prime ministers.

Rabbi Amsalem’s Am Shalem party, like Otzma, failed to enter the Knesset in the last elections, and he is not likely to fare better this time around.

That did not stop him from meeting with supporters this week to discuss tossing his kippa into the political ring again and splitting up the Sephardi religious vote that already is divided between Shas, headed by Aryeh Deri, and Eli Yishai’s new party.

And now for today’s poll released by Panels, rated as one of the most accurate election campaign polls.

Shas would not win enough votes to enter the Knesset, and Yishai would win only four, which is marginal, compared with nine Shas MKs in the Knesset that disbanded this month.

That means votes for Shas are wasted.

The poll was taken before Ben-Ari announced his intentions to run and it gave the Jewish Home a very impressive 18 seats in the Knesset.

The Otzma party could easily cut that down to 16.

Here is the lineup if elections were held today, according to Panels:

Labor-Livni – 24;

Likud – 24;

Jewish Home -18;

Arab parties – 13;

Lapid (Yesh Atid) – 11;

Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) – 7;

Yehadut HaTorah (Ashkenaz Haredi) – 7;

Meretz – 6;

Yisrael Beitenu – 6;

Eli Yishai – 4.

If Amsalem enters the race, he could take away enough seats away from Yishai to leave the three religious Sephardic parties with zero.

Yehuda Glick Running as Likud MK Candidate

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who was critically wounded in an assassination attempt several weeks ago, announced he is running “symbolically” on the Likud list for the elections to the Knesset.

He is in 33rd place, and he will not be elected unless the party performs a miracle no less than his recovery and wins 33 seats.

Glick, who was shot by a Jerusalem Arab because of his activism on the Temple Mount, previously has run on even more distant places on the Likud list. He said he is not asking for a better chance to be elected because the ”boss” – his wife – knows what is best for him.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yehuda-glick-running-as-likud-mk-candidate/2014/12/22/

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