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December 27, 2014 / 5 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Coalition Runs Away from Elections and Delays Vote on Jewish State Bill

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to postpone a scheduled vote this week on the “Jewish State Bill,” during which time he will try to come up with a version that is acceptable to coalition partners, who does not want to see the government fall and then have to risk serious losses in new elections.

As The Jewish Press reported here and here, the media mania over early elections – two years before the government’s term ends – makes great headlines but is mostly wishful thinking by Netanyahu’s enemies, which include the establishment print and electronic media and his coalition “partners.”

The largest party in the government after the Likud is Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid. He has said he could back a milder version of the Jewish State idea, which has been resented in three versions.

The bill has given Israel a huge black eye around the world, mainly because most people don’t have a clue what they are talking about or simply decide that calling Israel a “Jewish” state means it will be less of a “democratic” state.

If “democracy” means a form of government, the bill changes nothing, but “democracy” has become one of those holy terms, like ”human rights” and “freedom [to kill, incite, be a traitor or simply blow up the world]” that people toss around to support their agenda.

The arguments over the bill have become a joke, mainly because the coalition leaders are using it to make themselves popular among their supporters while knowing that if they go to the polls, the entire country will be angry at everyone for a useless exercise that, barring a change in the rotation of the Earth, will leave Netanyahu in power and Lapid and Tzipi Livni with less seats in the Knesset.

The Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, likely would gain seats, making the coalition even more right wing than it is now.

The strongest version of the Jewish State bill, which might not pass the test of Israel’s left-leaning Supreme Court, would leave Hebrew as the only official language and would downgrade Arabic to having a special status.”

It also would define the country as aiming to “settle Jews’ in Israel, without any mention of Arabs. Of course, that is exactly what Israel does anyway, put putting it writing is somehow “undemocratic.”

It also is meaningless. It is like stating that the country should “try to encourage everyone to be vegetarian.”

A milder version of the bill ignores the issue of language and settling Jews, and it does not refer to vegetarians or those who are carnivorous.

 

Jerusalem Arabs Planned to Attack Feiglin and Glick on Temple Mount

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Partially released for publication (Additional information related to the planned attack is expected to be released in the coming days):

Three eastern Jerusalem Arabs were indicted Friday for plotting to attack Knesset Member Moshe Feiglin and Rabbi Yehuda Glick on the Temple Mount last month, the day before another Jerusalem Arab tried to kill Glick.

The indictment was filed in Jerusalem on Friday against three Arabs, one of them, age 18 and the others 20 and 21 years old. They planned to stay overnight at the holy site and attack with fireworks and rocks when Glick and Feiglin were planning to visit the next morning, October 30. The day before, Glick was nearly fatally shot after he spoke at the Begin Center in Jerusalem.

The terrorists’ plan was that during an ensuing riot, they would flee to the Al Aqsa mosque and then walk away, untouched among a throng of Muslims.

Police had kept the arrests of the three Arabs under cover until Friday, which helps explain why National Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino and Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovitch have been so adamant that Knesset Members not visit the Temple Mount.

The MK’s presence only riles up Arab terrorists and makes trouble for the police. If you can eliminate the cause for attempted murder, then there won’t be murders.

The only problem with this scenario, as most of our readers know, is that telling Arab crazies that Knesset Members cannot visit the Temple Mount has the opposite effect and gives them the incentive to plan attacks on any Jew who dares arrive at the site.

The reason for violence is not Knesset Members who visit the Temple Mount.

The reason for violence is that the security and court system allows them to be violent.

 

Knesset Synagogue Bars Reform and Conservative Jews from ‘Mixed Prayer’

Friday, November 28th, 2014

American rabbinical students from the Conservative movement studying in Israel were prevented from holding afternoon prayers with men and women together in the Knesset synagogue, JTA reported.

Haaretz reported that the decision was handed down by Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, and the students were offered alternative place to pray. Reform and Reconstructionist students also were in the group at the Knesset, where the synagogue is designated as Orthodox.

“A lot of the students were very upset and shocked,” said Rabbi Joel Levy, director of the Conservative Yeshiva in Jerusalem, who submitted the request on behalf of the students, told Haaretz. “You’d think that the Knesset would be a place of ingathering of the Jewish people, but actually we learned that it has boundaries that don’t include liberal Jews. Paradoxically, this decision served as an appropriate end to our conversation about religion and state in Israel.”

(One wonders if they are equally as upset and shocked that no Jews are allowed to pray on Judaism’s holiest site, the Temple Mount.)

So here we go again. The Knesset implicitly a place that is not for the “ingathering of the Jewish people” because the synagogue is Orthodox.

Not only that, but “liberal Jews” are not allowed.

The minute they throw around the term “egalitarian prayers,” Orthodoxy has three strikes against it.

Once Judaism is defined by secular values, it becomes a monopoly of the liberals, who are tolerant of everyone who accepts them and then close the doors on anyone who challenges their power.

Power is what the argument is all about. It is the same issue that is behind the Women of the Wall movement, which gathered hundreds of thousands of supporters in the United States but which in practice cannot come up with more than a few dozen people –perhaps 100 on a sunny day – to demonstrate,  whoops – pray,  at the Western Wall once a month.

So here comes the Masoriti movement to the Knesset, where it wants their students to have a real spiritual experience and pray – men and women together – in the legislature’s synagogue.

When the Orthodox Jews set the rules, it is called a monopoly.

When the “liberals” set the rules, it is called democracy.

It would be interesting to know if the students at the Knesset have an afternoon prayer service every day, or is it only when they visit the Knesset?

And if they do, why cannot they respect the sanctity of the lace where there is a minyan of Jews every day, three times a day, instead of grabbing headlines for their “egalitarian” agenda that they think is “modern” and superior?

Okay. We gave them their headlines, just like we did with the Women of the Wall.

I wish the students an enjoyable visit in Israel but ask, “Why is it that Orthodox Jews make up such large numbers of those who move to Israel?”

Do the Reform and Conservative Jews visit Israel and go “home” because there is no mixed seating in the Knesset synagogue?

Moshe Feiglin: I Will Not Allow Verbal Violence in Knesset Plenum

Thursday, November 27th, 2014

The following article was posted on the Manhigut Yehudit website in response to the verbal violence in the Knesset.

MK Moshe Feiglin chaired the Knesset plenum deliberations on Monday evening. Two Arab MKs hurled epithets at MKs David Rotem and Feiglin from the podium. As Speaker of the Knesset, Feiglin had one MK removed from the plenum and the other from the podium.

“Freedom of speech is not anarchy,” said MK Moshe Feiglin later in the evening. “When Arab MK Barakeh curses MK David Rotem and myself (as Speaker of the Knesset) that we ‘should choke’; when Arab MK Zachlakah calls the Speaker of the Knesset a fascist and neo-Nazi, they have crossed a red line and broken the rules of civility that guide Knesset deliberations. Their epithets warranted an immediate, decisive reaction.”

“Over the past few weeks – and even as these words are being written -” Feiglin noted, “the verbal violence of some of the Arab MKs has been translated by their constituents into physical violence. Unfortunately, democratic discourse has muddled the ability of some of the leftist MKs to discern between acceptable and unacceptable speech. Under the guise of ‘democracy’, they choose to make allowances for violent discourse that breeds terror,” he said.

“I stand behind the action I took this evening as Speaker of the Knesset and will do the same in the future if an MK – Jewish or Arab – crosses the red line of civilized discourse,” Feiglin concluded.

Feiglin Bans Arab MK from Podium for Calling Him ‘Fascist’

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

Knesset guards forcibly removed an Arab Knesset Member Jamal Zahalka from the podium Monday evening on orders from Acting Speaker Moshe Feiglin for calling him a “fascist.”

For good measure, Zahalka added that considering he was talking about Feiglin, the word fascist was a “compliment.”

The guards removed him from the chamber, but Feiglin, remaining the parliamentarian, told them he only ordered that Zahalka be taken away from the podium. As he returned to the chamber, pandemonium broke out in the circus, and everyone had a good time shouting at each other.

Other Arab MKs and Labor MK Shelley Yechomovich rushed towards the podium to protest Feiglin’s action, which he said he carried out according to the Knesset code.

Prior to Zahalka’s “fascist” comments, Feiglin had evicted Hadash party Arab MK Mohammed Barakeh from the Knesset for telling Feiglin he should “be choked.”

The mayhem revolved around the  daily circus’ event of the day, a no-confidence motion over the “Jewish State Bill” that would define Israel as a Jewish state.

Zahalka managed to get in a few words against the idea, quoting Jewish philosopher Hanna Arendt, who fled the Nazis and lived in the United States and railed against the idea or re-establishing the State of Israel because it would make Arabs second-class citizens.

Zahalka said Arendt used the term “Palestinians,” prompting Feiglin to interrupt and ask him if that was the actual word she used.

Zahalka replied that she indeed said “Palestinians” and then began to lecture Feiglin that he should read the source and perhaps “learn something.” He said Arendt was anti-fascist, but he turned to Feiglin and called him a fascist.

The acting speaker, in his usual calm manner, said that Zahalka could not continue speaking, but he ignored or didn’t even hear Feiglin. Within seconds, the guards came to remove him, and he went into a rage, grabbing the podium to resist his ouster.

Can a Knesset Member called another MK a “fascist”? Can he call him a “Nazi”?

Or how about “dirty Jew?”

Or “dirty Arab?”

Opposition leader Yitzhak Herzog sharply criticized Feiglin for removing Zahalka from the podium, accusing him of violating “freedom of thought and democracy.”

What would he had said if Feiglin had called an Arab MK a “terrorist?

The video of the Knesset show is in Hebrew but that shouldn’t keep anyone from understanding what happened.

The action starts at two minutes in the video.

Coalition Plays ‘Chicken’ and Runs Away from New Elections

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Knesset leaders backed away from dissolving the government for the second time in three weeks Monday by postponing for a week a vote on a bill that would declare in law that Israel is a Jewish State.

In principle, most coalition leaders back the idea but are arguing over the details, some of which are problematic and some are excuses to squabble over who gets Brownie points for sponsoring the bill.

A “Jewish State bill” has been on the table since the previous administration, headed by Ehud Olmert, until Tzipi Livni took over when he resigned because of charges against him and some of which have placed him on the doormat of jail.

But Livni is cockle-doo-doo-ing against the bill and accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday of trying to force her party ”to vote against this so you can fire us.” She has dared Netanyahu by vowing to vote against the bill, no matter what, even she supported the idea in the Olmert government.

Netanyahu would love to get rid of Livni, whom he brought into the government to widen the coalition and keep her out of mischief by be given the booby prize that she so much wanted so much – negotiator for the Peace Process, may it be rest in peace.

With six seats in the current Knesset and a projected three if new elections were held today, Livni has nothing to lose if the government falls apart and new elections are called.

Yesh Atid and its leader Yair Lapid also are against the bill. Yesh Atid has a hefty 19 seats in the Knesset. Netanyahu could stay in power without Livni, who is on Lapid to stick his neck out for her.

But polls and common sense show that Lapid’s cheaper populism has worn off and that his party would lose nearly half of its seats if the coalition crashes.

Netanyahu, the smartest politician in the bunch with the possible exception of Avigdor Lieberman, decided to go along with the Jewish State bill and play chicken with Livni and Lapid.

Israel’s establishment media have been performing a repeat of their miserable performance two weeks ago when they insisted elections were around the corner because of the budget crisis.

Last week’s savage murders in Har Nof pushed the crisis aside and all of a sudden the budget no longer was the headline of the day.

The media hate Netanyahu mainly because, as I wrote last week, he is smarter than the opposition that the center-left media wants back in power.

Israel Radio, known by the grossly unfit name of the “Voice of Israel,” twisted itself into a deformed pretzel Monday by reporting that the Netanyahu coalition is doomed to be one of the shortest governments on record, surviving only for two years.

What about Ehud Barak, whose own party disowned him in 2000? Israel reported that Barak opted for elections,” a blatant lie. He had stayed in power for as long as he did only because the establishment media constantly propped him up until it became too embarrassing. The Knesset threw up its hands at his incapability and dumped him, ending a miserable 18-month administration.

Like the budget crisis, the Jewish State Bill crisis disappeared Monday, at least for a week while all sides try to come up with a version that Lapid and Netanyahu’s hawks can accept.

The Cabinet voted on Sunday 15-6 for not one but three versions of the bill.

The Knesset was scheduled to vote on it on Wednesday before it would be referred back to a committee.

Instead, coalition leaders have a week to play chicken again and come up with a version that is acceptable to everyone, with the exception of Livni, who prefers to lay a bad egg.

Un-Caged Knesset Beasts Claw Each other as Election Bait

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Virtually every Knesset party went wild Monday to claw the coalition government to near-death, leaving enough oxygen for resuscitation before forcing elections that, if held, should focus on blaming all the beasts for leaving their cages.

Israel’s establishment media, especially the center-left electronic and print outlets, always use a day of quiet from riots and rocket attacks to whip up the winds to blow apart the collation headed by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister that it hates because he is so successful.

The coalition’s main partners are the Likud, headed by Netanyahu; Jewish Home, headed by Naftali Bennett; Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman; Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid; and HaTnua, headed by Tzipi Livni.

Not one of the parties really loves the other, and more accurately, everyone hates each other. Bennett and Lapid started out the coalition as the oddest of odd couples, but its life span was pre-destined to be short.

Lieberman for years has said that he will be Prime Minister one day, and Netanyahu looks over his shoulder so often that he is under constant medical treatment for a stiff neck.

Bennett, the most unseasoned of them all, swings back and forth from tree to tree, depending on whether he wants to please the settlers or Lapid’s voters.

Livni, whose party has only six seats in the Knesset and which will barely squeak into the next Knesset, according to polls, throws around borrowed weight that hides her hapless political performance and destiny.

In the background, the Haredi parties are breathing fire through their nostrils, begging to be begged to help Netanyahu form a new coalition or possibly Lapid to form an alternative coalition.

Don’t worry. The lion is not about lie down with the sheep.

Left-wing Meretz and center-left Labor want new elections because they have nothing to gain by their somewhat weak standing as opposition parties that roar like a mouse.

So will new elections be held soon?

Here are three of several rules in Israeli politics:

First, there are no rules, even the one that says that there are no rules.

Secondly, if elections were held every time the media reports that a coalition will not survive, Israelis would be going to polls twice a week.

Thirdly, since only Netanyahu, Bennett and Lieberman probably would gain from new elections, the beasts probably will be back in their cages by next week, if not by this evening.

It is questionable whether the issues are the reason for the current crisis or whether they simply symbolize the need of the beasts to escape once in a while for exercise.

The big issue for months has been Lapid’s proposal to eliminate the 18 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on the purchase of new homes. The bill for zero VAT has so many holes in it that it could not pass as Swiss cheese, but no one in Israel likes to confuse the circus – or jungle – with facts.

Under the bill, if it is ever passed into law, the lucky buyer who won’t pay the tax will have had to serve in IDF – 18 months for a man and 12 months for a woman. The home must not be larger than 140 square meters and cost no more than 1.6 million shekels.. The buyers must be employed – bye, bye Haredim – and must not have owned another home in the past 19 years and must be at least 35 years old and have at least one child.

All of these conditions whittle down the potential buyers to a small minority, but the noise over the proposal has been enough to shake the nation to its foundations.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/un-caged-knesset-beasts-claw-each-other-as-election-bait/2014/11/17/

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