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September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Knesset Passes Law that Drives Extremists to the Political Graveyard

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

The Knesset passed into law on Tuesday a measure that will restrict representation in the legislature to parties that win at least 3.25 percent of the total vote, or approximately four seats.

If elections were held today and results were similar to recent polls, Kadima, headed by Shaul Mofaz, would be non-existent, and Tzipi Livni’s Tnuah party would either join it in the political graveyard or at best be standing at the edge of the cemetery.

The Arab parties will be forced to unite or disappear, and the likes of Baruch Marzel can kiss their Knesset futures goodbye. The only thing that could save Marzel, his cohorts Itamar Ben-Gvir and former Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad, would be another mass expulsion of Jews, God forbid.

The law passed by a 67-0 unanimous vote, which was astonishing on two counts. First, no one in the coalition voted against it, for the simple reason there are two other laws slated for a vote this week, and the coalition parties wisely agreed to join forces and support them all rather than risk a nasty fight on the floor and a strikeout.

The other astonishing event, even for Israel’s three-ring circus Knesset, is that the Opposition parties boycotted the vote even though the Opposition leader once supported the same legislation.

Opposition leader Yitzchak “Bogie” Herzog once supported the same proposal, but he complained on Tuesday that the coalition government is steamrolling the democratic process by staging three votes on major bills in one week, restricting a proper debate.

Labor should be renamed the Loser party, or perhaps the Crybabies party.

The other two votes this week are on the universal draft, which is aimed at the Haredim while leaving Arabs off the hook, and a bill to make part of the Basic Law a provision that any surrender of land under Israeli sovereignty would require a national referendum before a peace agreement could be concluded.

If the referendum bill passes, that means the Knesset cannot decide on its own to surrender one inch of land in all of Jerusalem and the Golan Heights as well as any other areas that Israel might annex in the future.

Tuesday’s vote was on what is called the “Governance Bill,” which not only increases the minimum vote needed for party representation in the Knesset, but also limits the size of the Cabinet to 18 ministers.

The number of votes a party needs to enter the Knesset is the most controversial part of the bill, and Jewish Home Knesset Member Nissan Slomiansky warned that it could backfire on some parties who are riding the crest of popularity today but forget that every day is topsy-turvy Purim in Israeli politics.

Slomiansky is a long-time veteran of the old National Religious Party, which won only three Knesset seats in the elections in 2006.

Meretz also once had only three seats, but it can be argued that the new limits will encourage some people to vote for a certain party. Even if they are not enthusiastic about a certain party, they might not want to see the party lose out altogether.

The previous threshold of 2 percent for party representation made a mockery of democracy, giving every weirdo a shot at succeeding in gaining 60,000 or so votes and becoming a legislator, even if the party’s platform is wacky or simply political impossible.

In many Western countries, the minimum required for seats in the legislature varies from 4 percent in Austria and Sweden to 5 percent in Belgium and Germany

In the last Israeli elections, the perennial Marijuana “Green Leaf” party won 13,000 voters who essentially threw their ballots in the garbage can.

British PM Cameron to Visit Israel Next Week

Tuesday, March 4th, 2014

British Prime Minister David Cameron will visit Israel and address the Knesset on March 12.

Cameron was originally scheduled to visit Israel in February but had to postpone the trip because of flooding in the United Kingdom. This will be Cameron’s first visit to Israel since becoming prime minister in 2010.

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein invited Cameron to Israel when the two met at former South African President Nelson Mandela’s funeral.

“I welcome the arrival of the prime minister of a great and important country like Britain to address the Knesset and believe that the visit will contribute to the friendship between Britain and Israel as well as the relations between the two countries,” Edelstein said in a statement. “I am also glad that the Knesset will once again take its place as the main stage chosen by the leaders of the world to address the Israeli people.”

French President Francois Hollande, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and European Parliament President Martin Schulz all addressed the Knesset in the past year.

Feiglin Prays on Temple Mount

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

On Wednesday, for the first time in a year, Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Moshe Feiglin was allowed to go up to the Temple Mount and pray, after having been forbidden to go up to the holy site by Prime Minister Netanyahu a year ago.

The visit was done under heavy police guard.

The Waqf and Arabs on the Jewish holy site did not cause any disruptions or violence, for a change.

Moshe Feiglin said, “I see my ascension to the Temple Mount as the first step towards returning full Israeli sovereignty to the Temple Mount. The Israeli police proved that when they receive the correct orders they are able to properly fulfill them.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein helped mediate with the police to make Feiglin’s visit possible.

This coming Tuesday, the Knesset will be discussing the issue of Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount.

Feiglin hopes that the Knesset will send a clear message that Jews should be allowed to go up the Temple from any gate.

Jews are currently banned from praying on the Temple Mount, when they are allowed to even go up.

The police also routinely harass and arrest religious Jews who go up to the Temple Mount.

Court Decision May Help Likud Dump Netanyahu’s Concessions to PA

Monday, February 17th, 2014

The Tel Aviv District Court in one swoop has threatened Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s ability to carry out concessions to the Palestinian Authority, meaning U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and also has made him vulnerable to a rebellion within his Likud party.

The ruling, virtually unnoticed or underplayed by most Israeli media, overthrows an internal Likud court decision that decreed that the head of the party’s Central Committee has the power to convene the committee on police issues, a power that Netanyahu wants only for himself.

The head of the committee happens to be one of Netanyahu’s’ most nationalist Knesset Members, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon.

After the internal Likud court overruled the Likud law committee’s decision backing Danon, he appealed to the Tel Aviv court and won his case on Monday. However, Prime Minister Netanyahu is not accepting defeat and will appeal to the Supreme Court.

That will be an interesting show. On the one hand, the High Court has a long history of ruling for democracy, in this case the claim by Danon and supported by the Tel Aviv court that Netanyahu is trying to take totalitarian control of the party.

On the other hand, if the High Court, which historically loves Peace Now and hates nationalists, upholds Danon’s claim, it could put in jeopardy Kerry’s juggernaut that has trampled over the Prime Minister. Netanyahu so far has refused to say “no” for fear of being blamed for standing up against President Barack Obama and wrecking his plan to pronounce instant peace in the Middle East with the creation of a new Palestinian Authority state within Israel’s own borders.

If Danon can convene the Central Committee on issues that Netanyahu wants to decide for himself, such as paving the way for expelling more than 150,000 Jews from Judea and Samaria, dividing Jerusalem and allowing NATO troops to protect Israel from Palestinian Authority terrorists, he could very well win the day and bury Kerry’s blind drive to rub Israel’s nose in the sand at Mahmoud Abbas’ feet.

The only obstacle to a full-scale rebellion within the Likud party is Netanyahu’s power to fire any Cabinet minister and deputy minister who gets in his way. The list is getting longer every day, including Danon, Tzipi Hotovely, Ze’ev Elkin, Yuval Steinitz and Miri Regev, among others.

If the Supreme Court does not change the lower court decision, Prime Minister Netanyahu can easily climb down from his limb, which is getting longer every day and where he is hanging much lonelier than ever, and tell President Obama that “democracy is democracy,” and, “Tough luck, pal.”

If the Likud committee votes its conscience and squashes proposed concessions, and if Prime Minister Netanyahu insists on walking on his knees with Washington, he could face political oblivion.

In 2005, the Liked Central committee voted overwhelmingly against a policy of expelling Jews from Gaza. When Sharon nevertheless tried to get his way in the Knesset Likud, formed the Kadima party and brought along most of the former Likud MKs who wanted their seats of power more than a clean conscience.

Netanyahu, who did not join the parade, does not have the clout that Sharon had.

Trying to for a new party and heading a center-left coalition would be political suicide

But having to swallow the dictates of the party Central Committee would leave him with less power.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer guy.

Thousands March to ‘E-1′ in Maaleh Adumim to Demand New Homes

Thursday, February 13th, 2014

Several thousand people marched towards the “E-1” area of Maaleh Adumim east of Jerusalem Thursday night to demand that the government deliver on promises dating back several years to build in the area.

E-1 has become a symbol of both Israel and for the Palestinian Authority. The area is part of the city of Maaleh Adumim, and no Arabs or Jews lived there until Israeli plans were drawn up to build homes for Jews. The Palestinian Authority, with help from the European Union, has brought in Bedouin and Arabs to pitch tent in E-1 to stake a  claim.

The United States has consistently pressured Israel not to build in E-1, which the Palestinian Authority argues would prevent it from having a continuous Arab presence in a future PA state.

Nationalist rabbis and Knesset Members attending the rally sounded like those of yesteryear, when they organized rally once a week and twice on Sunday to protest the Oslo Accords and the “peace process” under a reign of terror, and in 2005 when they held countless and useless protests in an effort to stop the bulldozers of the Sharon administration from expelling 9,000 Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria and destroying their homes.

They announced during the protest march on Thursday that “The Land of Israel belongs to the Jewish people” and assured their followers that “Israel will not surrender.”

Bennett Walks Out on EU President: I Won’t Be Rebuked in German

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, started a small riot in the Knesset Wednesday afternoon, when he rebuked the MKs on the lack of equality which, evidently, forces people to blow up their Jewish neighbors. Not a lot has changed in the Fatherland, it appears.

“There is no alternative to peace if we want to give people an honorable life,” Schultz said, adding, “The Palestinians, too, have the right to self determination and to justice. Tell me, and I ask you if this is right, that Israelis are allowed to use 17.5 gallons of water a day, while the Palestinians only 4.25 gallons.”

One of the most celebrated studies to date on the issue of who gets more water, is the 2012 The Israeli-Palestinian Water Conflict: An Israeli Perspective, by Prof. Haim Gvirtzman of The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

The paper details the water agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, refuting any criticism against Israel for not adhering to its commitments. “Israel has not only fulfilled all of its obligations stemming from the 1995 Interim Agreement signed with the PA,” writes Prof. Gvirtzman, “but has met all water commitments requisite of a permanent status agreement as well.”

The study documents the fact that “there is almost no difference today in the per capita consumption of natural water between Israelis and Palestinians. The large difference that existed in 1967, when the administration of Judea and Samaria was handed over from Jordan to Israel, has been reduced over the last 40 years and is now negligible. As well, the per capita domestic water consumption of the Palestinians is significantly higher than the minimum human needs defined by the World Health Organization.”

And here comes the point which the EU president should probably take back to his hosts in Ramallah, “While Israel has ensured that nearly all Palestinian villages and towns are connected to running water, the Palestinians have violated their part of the agreement by refusing to build sewage treatment plants (despite available international financing). Moreover, the Palestinians have drilled hundreds of unlicensed wells and set up unauthorized connections to Israeli water supply pipelines.”

Jewish Home MKs calling Schultz's lie, moments before they stood up and left the plenum in disgust. Photo by Flash 90.

Jewish Home MKs calling Schultz’s lie, moments before they stood up and left the plenum in disgust. Photo by Flash 90.

Many Jewish Home MKs reacted with appropriate rage, and Chairman Naftali Bennett, MK Orit Struk and a few others yelled: “It’s a lie!”

Jewish Home MK Motti Yogev yelled at Schultz something about the fact that Eretz Israel was given to the nation of Israel, and was promptly removed from the plenum. He was followed by a few colleagues from his faction. MK Struk said: “When the president of the European Parliament spits on you, you can’t keep quiet, wipe your face and say it was the rain.”

Bennett wrote in his Facebook page a short while later: “I will not accept a lying sermon against the nation of Israel in the Israeli Knesset, certainly not in German.”

Naturally, the left condemned mightily the Jewish Home reaction, which, as Minister Uri Orbach put it, was a quiet protest. The same left kept mum only two weeks ago, when Arab MK Ahmad Tibbi screamed uncontrollably at Canadian PM Stephen Harper.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was critical of Schultz’s speech, suggesting it reflected the selective hearing which has become rampant in many European circles. He added that the figures Schultz had picked up in Ramallah about the water consumption gaps are simply wrong.

Netanyahu to Meet Obama in March

Monday, February 10th, 2014

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will be visiting the U.S. next month, to meet with president Barack Obama.

In a meeting of the Likud Beitenu faction in the Knesset today, Netanyahu said his visit has four goals: continuing the political struggle to deny Iran a nuclear weapon; advancing the “peace process”; recruiting investors in Israel’s technology market; and encouraging tourism to Israel.

Netanyahu is expected to be a guest of honor at the AIPAC conference, to be held March 2-4 in Washington, DC.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-to-meet-obama-in-march/2014/02/10/

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