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December 26, 2014 / 4 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Lapid Says Netanyahu ‘Lives in an Aquarium’

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

Yair Lapid responded in kind on Wednesday to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s verbal attack on him the day before and said the Prime Minister is “disconnected” and “lives in an aquarium.”

Both Netanyahu and Lapid set have set the tone for the election campaign, which should be a delight for those looking for an alternative to Roman gladiators who thrilled their audiences by dueling with wild animals, criminals and other gladiators.

If one were to believe the politicians, Israel will have three Prime Ministers on March 18, the day after the elections.

Yitzchak Herzog, the boring chairman of the Labor party, said on Wednesday he will be Prime Minister.

Yair Lapid. Head of the Yesh Atid party and arguably the Knesset Member with the most inflated ego, said he will be Prime Minister.

Netanyahu, of course, said he will be back at the same place and same station, but next time with a bigger and more solid majority.

He accused Lapid on Tuesday of trying to carry out a “putsch” by planning to create an alternative coalition with the Haredim, which Lapid denied and followed up with his “aquarium” gem.

If nothing else, Lapid will make the rhetoric and name-calling a bit more interesting than usual.

If Netanyahu lives in an aquarium, Lapid lives live in a glass house, which is going to be shattered by the verbal rock-throwing, and he will be spending months if not years trying to gull the shards out of his thin skin.

He also forgets that if he breaks Netanyahu’s aquarium, he is going to let out not only the water but also the sharks swimming around and just waiting for fresh meat.

If we are lucky, Netanyahu and Lapid will exhaust their vocabularies by next week, and everyone can start talking about less important issues, such as security and the economy.

Bennett and Uri Ariel Start Peace Process for Jewish Home party

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett and Housing Minister Uri Ariel met on Wednesday to work together in the election campaign after a stormy meeting earlier in the week that left signs of a split in the party.

Ariel demanded that the Jewish Home party slate reserve “secure” places on the list of candidates for his Tekuma faction, a request Bennett rejected, and it appeared the two were ready to part company.

Jewish Home party Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked explained to the media on Tuesday that the blow-up was simply part of “negotiations.”

Both Ariel and Bennett know that splitting up would be disastrous for the Jewish Home, whose name often bellies its meaning.

It appears that common sense and political survival will overcome egos and that Bennett and Ariel will continue their personal peace process. They will do so without any help from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who actually would be happy to help them separate forever and disappear from the political map.

 

Knesset Finally Shows National Unity in 84-0 Vote for Elections

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Wednesday’s Knesset unanimous vote on the first reading of the bill to go to elections gives Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu a national unity government on at least one issue.

He need not gloat because most of the country would prefer that the Knesset Members fight it out by themselves instead of wasting $500 million and three months for the second general elections in two years.

The vote on Wednesday was 84-0, perhaps the first time the so-called coalition and the Opposition have agreed on a bill.

Election Date Set for March 17, 2015

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

It’s amazing that after all the fighting and all the disagreements that the heads of Israel’s political parties were able to politely sit down together in a room, and actually reach an agreement on something.

At the meeting held in the office of Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelsteinin it was decided that March 17, 2015 – the 26th of Adar 5775, would be the date for the upcoming general elections.

Teh Likud and Bayit Yehudi wanted March 10, Labor wanted March 17, and the Arab parties wanted election held in April.

The Knesset will vote today on a preliminary reading to dissolve the Knesset, and the final reading is expected to be next week.

Elections must be held, according to law, within 90 to 150 days of the government being dissolved, and on a Tuesday.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Netanyahu fired ministers Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, stating they were acting like the opposition while within the government.

Netanyahu Accuses Livni and Lapid of Attempting ‘Putsch’

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu bitterly attacked Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni two hours after he fired them Tuesday night and accused them of trying to carry out a “putsch” in the coalition government by secretly trying to create a new coalition with Haredi parties.

At a press conference, he reiterated that he will ask the Knesset to dissolve itself and call for elections as soon as possible.

He appealed to voter to choose a “large” government, admitting that he simply did not have enough Knesset seats in the current session.

Using the term “putsch,” a reminder of Hitler, was a disgusting reminder that Netanyahu is no less and no more bitter than Lapid, who two hours earlier called Netanyahu “irresponsible and afraid.”

Israeli journalists’ questions at the press conference gave a clear sign that they are just as nasty and shallow and will try to attack and trap Netanyahu all the way to election day.

One reporter asked why Netanyahu didn’t also fire Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Jewish Home party, and Yisrael Beitenu chairman Avigdor Lieberman for their harsh statements against him during the war against Hamas last summer.

Prime Minister Netanyahu answered that he spoke with the two ministers, and their attacks ceased. That response was not good enough for another reporter, who asked the same question, as if Netanyahu had not answered it clearly.

Another reporter also accused Netanyahu of calling for elections only because his ego has been deflated and that he feels insulted personally by Lapid and Livni.

Livni, Bennett and Netanyahu clearly demonstrated that we are in for three months of gutter politics, but now it is clear that the establishment anti-Netanyahu media will be no better and will fight tooth and nail for its ultimate dream of “anyone but Bibi.”

The bottom line will come sometime around march or April when the voters decide, but the first pre-election poll, released by Channel 2 Tuesday night, shows what everyone knows but does not want to admit. If elections were held today, Netanyahu will return as Prime Minister with the more or less the same number of seats in the coalition.

The difference will be, according to the polls whose results indeed will change, that Lapid will be in the Opposition as well as Livni, if she makes it back into the Knesset.

The poll results show that if elections were held today, the Likud party, headed by Netanyahu, will have around 22 seats, and Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party will be breathing down his neck with 17 KMs.

If Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman, and Moshe Kahlon’s new party join the next coalition, Netanyahu would have 76 MKs in the coalition.

Lapid’s party received a measly 9 seats in the poll.

Labor would not be able to form a government, even if Kahlon and Lieberman were to join.

There will be one big issue in this campaign: Did Netanyahu refuse to cooperate with Livni and Lapid, or did they refuse to cooperate with him?

The voters chose what they chose 21 months ago, and they got a government that was doomed from the start.

It often is said that voters get what they deserve. If so, time will tell if they have learned their lesson

Elections Likely after Purim Parties but MKs Already Take Off Masks

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Barring Divine Intervention, the Knesset will vote to dissolve itself but not forever, and new elections likely will be held in mid-March, perhaps the week after Purim.

Elections are exactly what no one in the country wants, except for a few sadists who pose as politicians.

It will cost the country about $500 million, and it will leave Israel without a budget just when there is little shine left on the image of the once-fabulous Israeli economy that has weakened under the weight of government-sanctioned monopolies that extort the public for obscene profits, and under the burden of eternal security unrest, whether it come from Gaza, Syria, Ramallah or Washington.

As The Jewish Press reported here earlier today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Yair Lapid, one of his alleged partners, to stop rocking the boat or get off.

Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party and who was Israel’s glamour boy two years ago when his new party grabbed 19 seats in the Knesset, took the first raft he could find and jumped ship.

With an ego bigger than the size of the fat lady in the circus, Lapid could not possibly accept Netanyahu’s terms to stay in the government.

For his part, the Prime Minister’s ultimatums were a public political flogging of Lapid.

Elections cannot be held until90 days after the end of a government, according to the law that ensures that every Israeli citizen suffer the maximum punishment and still survive.

The projected timeline for new elections is a vote on Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, with the final decision and date being set next week, revolving around the Jewish holidays. Before then, President Reuven Rivlin will go through the motions to offer someone else a chance to form a make-believe government.

The most likely date for elections is the week after Purim. The second possibility and a lot less likely one is mid-April, when Israel returns to normal after Passover and is involved with Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

Lapid and Netanyahu’s lieutenants in the Likud party already are throwing around enough dirt to cover the entire Knesset, which sometimes sounds like a good idea.

Lapid accused Netanyahu of making deals with the Haredi parties to enlist their support by bribing them with money for yeshivas and easing conditions of the universal draft, as demanded by Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Likud ministers responded by throwing poison darts at Lapid’s performance as Finance Minister.

Lapid’s big-ticket populist banner has been the “Zero VAT” panacea that is supposed to make housing affordable for the middle class by eliminating the 18 percent Value Added Tax on the purchase of new homes.

Netanyahu obviously took this into account and figures that Lapid is going to use Zero VAT to try to con the voters into backing him.

If Lapid thinks he can fool all of the people all of the time, the con game would work, but Israeli voters are not as stupid as their leaders. The whole Zero VAT scheme is has so many conditions and so many limitations that it would help no more than a few thousand families.

Lapid knows his popularity in the polls is almost as low as the ethics of certain Knesset Members, as far-fetched as that seems. He is counting on the Israel’s anti-Netanyahu media, with the exception of Sheldon Adelson’s Israel HaYom, to lead his campaign.

Ditto for the pathetic and hapless Tzipi Livni, an intelligent woman who took the wrong turn when she entered politics. Her party of six MKs is another alleged partner in the coalition, in which she has spent most of her time kissing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s pinky for the Peace Process.

She spent Tuesday by calling the Netanyahu government, of which she has been a partner, “paranoid and extremist,” and she said she is different from the government because she is a “Zionist,” about as nasty remark as possible, even for an Israeli politician.

Either Bibi Wants Elections or Livni and Lapid Want Political Suicide

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would return to power with a smaller but stronger coalition if elections were held today, according to two polls.

His public complaining that it is impossible to function with the current coalition quarrels lends support to the theory that he is pushing the “Jewish State bill” in order to force his coalition partner-enemies, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, to shut up.

If they don’t want to concede, they are welcome to commit political suicide because both of the leaders are likely to find themselves in the Opposition next time around.

Two polls, one published by Globes and the other by Haaretz, show that the big winner in new elections would be the Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett.

The invisible card in the political deck is Moshe Kahlon, who could be the kingpin to the next coalition. Kahlon quit as a Likud Knesset Member last year after doing what other politicians promise and promise and deliver nothing but more promises – break a monopoly.

He ended the oligarchy of three mobile phone companies who charged outrageous prices , opened up the field to competition and was acclaimed for the result of a 90 percent drop in the costs of phone calls.

And guess what? The companies still make money.

Netanyahu wanted him to do so the same thing with the housing market, a maze of vested interests that keep land and housing scarce to the delight of housing developers.

Kahlon was smart enough to know that ending 60 years of selfish control by the government landlord is going to happen like a snowstorm in July in the Negev.

Given Lapid’s pseudo-solution of zero Value Added Tax for buying new homes, with so many conditions that it would not even act as Band-Aid, Kahlon is in a good position to win over Lapid’s supporters who want a politician who works with something other than his mouth.

The Globes poll gives Kahlon nine seats in the next Knesset, leaving Netanyahu two seats shy of a majority if he teams up with Kahlon, Yisrael Beitenu and Jewish Home.

The Haaretz polls gives Kahlon 12 seats, which would mean Netanyahu would have a small but solid majority.

Livni would be out of a job if elections were held today, according to the poll for Globes, while she would retain four of her current six MKs , according to the Haaretz survey.

It is likely that the expected establishment media punish for Livni would help her return to the Knesset, if elections indeed are called.

Lapid would be the biggest loser. His party now has 19 MKs, The two polls give him 10 and 12 seats.

Despite Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog’s smug talk that he will be the next Prime Minister, God forbid, the polls show is he is lucky, he will barely hold on to his current 15 seats, and he might even lose a couple.

Add it up and there is no way he can form a coalition. Even if Labor gets 15, Livni 4, Lapid 12, and the left-wing Meretz party 10,, a very generous estimate and four more than it now has, and Kahlon with 12, the result is 53, eight less than a majority.

Kadima, which now has two seats, is destined to the political graveyard, by all accounts.

So who is left to join Labor-Livni-Lapid?

The Haredi parties? Lapid would make himself the joke of the country.

Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Lieberman? The Labor party would have a collective heart attack, and Lapid would have to make a quick exit from the airport..

Here is how the parties line up according to the polls, with a few seats open since the totals do not equal the Knesset representation of 120 MKs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/either-bibi-wants-elections-or-livni-and-lapid-want-political-suicide/2014/11/30/

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