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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Labor Party’

It’s Official: Britain’s Muslim Population Doubled

Sunday, December 23rd, 2012

The national census for England and Wales has come out, and, as usual, this once-a-decade event has had all of its most significant points overlooked.

By any measure, what it reveals is a country undergoing seismic change. Over the course of a decade up to four million more people have entered the country to live. In the capital, London, people identifying themselves as “white British” have for the first time become a minority. Perhaps most strikingly, the national Muslim population has doubled.

This last fact is perhaps one of the least considered of the census so far. Doubled? Surely not. This has to be the claim of Mark Steyn or some other demographics-obsessed nut. Well no, it isn’t, and it is now official: between 2001 and 2011 the Muslim population of the UK rose from 1.5 million to 2.7 million. Otherwise put, that is an increase from 3 percent to 4.8 percent of the overall population.

If in 2001 the British Prime Minister had said to the British public that over the next decade he intended to double the number of Muslims in the country, he would most likely never have been returned to office. But of course he did not say that, any more than any of his successors or predecessors did.

For the last decade, every major politician has lied about this issue. While talking tough, about putting a cap on immigrant numbers, pushing people to assimilate and much else besides, they have done nearly nothing. For instance, ten years ago Home Secretary David Blunkett talked as tough as he thought he could, saying that migrants ought to learn English. His successor, Jacqui Smith, said the same thing five years later. As did immigration minister Phil Woolas a couple of years after that. Throughout the last decade the Labor government managed to do exactly what the Conservative and coalition governments before and after them have also managed to do: go as far as they thought they could in rhetoric while going wholly against what they said — and the wishes of the country — in actions.

Now we can see the fruits of their labors. The census reveals that three million people are now living in households where no adult speaks English as their primary language. As Labor’s Sadiq Khan has admitted, local councils have spent their money on translation services rather than language classes, thus actually dissuading people from learning the language. The result is communities with inter-generational language barriers. There are parts of London where a quarter of the people are in the same situation. They have created a society where many people can speak about each other but many cannot actually speak to each other. And all the while politicians and pundits are busy trying to pretend that this is all the most wonderful result imaginable.

The London Evening Standard welcomed the news that white British-born people had become a minority in their own city, and ran a lead opinion piece accusing anybody unhappy about the doubling of the number of Muslims of being “Islamophobes.” Since then, the comments have barely gotten more enlightened. The author Will Self declared on the BBC’s leading talk show Question Time that people unhappy about the direction Britain is going on are “racists.”

On the BBC’s Newsnight I sat alongside two very nice, wealthy, successful immigrants who explained how positive the census results were for Britain, showing a “diverse” and “multicultural” society. I was the only one of the four panelists to point out that this wave of immigration might have any negative effects. And the only one to point out that the strange thing about a “multicultural” society of this kind is that it can celebrate every imaginable culture other than the one which allows all these cultures to co-exist alongside each other. In other words, it is the center which is the only thing not being celebrated, and the center that is being consciously eroded. Worst of all is that this happened in defiance of the repeatedly expressed views – as tested time and again in nationwide polls – of the general public.

Of course much of this simply confirms what the last Labor government appears to have intended. Three years ago, in the Evening Standard, Andrew Neather, a former adviser to the Blair government, said that the huge upsurge in immigration over the last decade was in part due to a politically motivated attempt by Labor ministers radically to alter the country and “rub the Right’s nose in diversity.’”

First Crisis for Yachimovich: Kibbutzim Threatening to Leave Labor

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

The kibbutz movement is threatening to sever its historical ties with the Labor Party before the upcoming elections. The reason: the recommendation of party Chair Sheli Yachimovich that in the primaries their sector will be unified with the moshavim sector.

The kibbutz and moshav movements have historically marked two distinct philosophies within the labor movement, and nowadays, despite privatization and many other changes both movements have undergone, they still view themselves as historically distinct and as such each deserving its own dedicated representation.

Should the Yacimovich proposal be accepted in a procedural vote at the party conference by the end of the month, it will guarantee both sectors only one Knesset seat, in place of the two seats which traditionally have gone to them. According to the kibbutz movement leadership, such a move may result in their abandoning the party with which they have been strongly identified over the years.

Hanik Marshak, secretary of the kibbutzim sector, was furious at the Yachimovich decision “We oppose such a move,” she told Maariv. “Consolidating seats might hurt the party in terms of its size and representation. The Labor Party should continue its tradition of many years and not change the procedure.”

Marshak also promised that if the issue is not resolved, the kibbutzim will consider the possibility of leaving the party. “We will assemble our sector’s institutions and come to a decision,” she said.

A source inside the Labor party estimated that if it loses the kibbutzim votes, this will mark the first crisis under the leadership of Yachimovich.

Today, according to estimates, the kibbutzim sector within the Labor party holds about 7,000 registered voters. In past years, the same sector boasted as many as 15 thousand voters.

Last election the Labor Party lost its traditional control over the kibbutzim to Kadima. Labor, then still under the leadership of Ehud Barak, received the support of 30.6 percent of the kibbutzim voters, compared with 31.1 percent that went to Tzipi Livni’s party.

An old joke best explains the distinction between a kibbutz and a moshav: if a kibbutznik had enough, he’ll probably move to a moshav (easier communal rules); but if a moshavnik had enough – he sure as heck is not moving to a kibbutz (even more stringent communal rules).

Now it appears the entire kibbutz movement might be moving – but probably not to a moshav…

Lord Nazir Ahmed Suspended from Labor Party for Offering £10m Bounty on Obama, Bush

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Back in 1998, Lord Nazir Ahmed, 53, became the first Muslim life peer (appointed member of British nobility whose title cannot be inherited, as opposed to hereditary peers). Now he is reported to have said: “‘If the US can announce a reward of $10 million for the (capture) of Hafiz Saeed, I can announce a bounty of £10 million (for the capture of) President Obama and his predecessor, George Bush.”

Lord Ahmed made the comments at a conference in Haripur in Pakistan.

A Labour Party spokesman said to the Telegraph: “We have suspended Lord Ahmed pending investigation. If these comments are accurate we utterly condemn these remarks which are totally unacceptable.”

According to Pakistan’s Express Tribune, Lord Ahmed offered the bounty after hearing that the US had issued a $10 million reward for the capture of Pakistani terrorist leader Hafiz Mohammad Saeed, founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba group, who it suspected of orchestrating the 2008 Mumbai attacks in which 166 people died as terrorists stormed hotels, a train station, and the local Chabad House. Six Jews were murdered in that attack, including Chabad emissaries Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg.

Lord Ahmed, a native of Pakistan, became Baron Ahmed of Rotherham at the age of 40. According to the Telegraph, in 2007 he objected strongly to awarding a knighthood to Salman Rushdie, because the author had “blood on his hands.”

In 2009 Lord Ahmed was jailed for getting into a fatal car crash while texting. The Court of Appeal later suspended his 12-week jail sentence.

Shalit Says Knesset Run Won’t Involve Gilad

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

Noam Shalit said he would not involve his son, freed soldier Gilad Shalit, or the rest of his family in his run for the Knesset.

Shalit held a news conference Tuesday, a day after announcing that he would run for a spot on the Labor Party’s list for the next election.

Labor Party leader Shelly Yacimovich at the news conference at the party’s headquarters in Kfar Saba told reporters that she had asked Shalit to run after they had discussed the possibility for the last month.

Some politicians and organizations who worked with Shalit during his son’s five-year captivity in Gaza have criticized him for capitalizing on the ordeal to build a political career.

“The voters can decide whether or not what I’m doing is right,” Shalit said. “I understand the criticism, which was expected and is legitimate. The timing of my decision is a result of the current political situation, which created a window of opportunity to run that may not have existed in a year or two.”

Shalit laid out his political views, including two states for two peoples.

Shalit said that Gilad is “recovering” from his ordeal and is “looking forward to his future.”

Gilad Shalit’s Father to Enter Politics

Monday, January 9th, 2012

Noam Shalit, father of recently-freed IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, informed Labor party Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich that he will run for a slot on the Labor Party list in the next elections. Yachimovich welcomed his decision and said she is “convinced that he will greatly contribute to Labor as a Knesset Member.”

Israeli Left Goes Bonkers Over Transparency

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

You will be excused if you have not been following the debate over proposals to demand that sources of funding for political parties and activist groups be revealed.
 
In Ireland.
 
Curiously, it is the Sinn Fein Party there that is demanding reform. Actually, this is not so unusual. Lots of democracies require disclosure of financial support from outside the country for political groups operating therein. The United States requires that such groups register as agents for foreign entities. Aside from Israel, I doubt any country has allowed funding from abroad for seditious groups supporting the enemies of their country in time of war.
 
What a difference between the debate in Ireland and the bloodcurdling hysterical rhetoric of the Israeli left, led by President Shimon Peres, against the proposals to investigate and expose funding sources for the anti-Israel activist groups operating inside Israel. Even the left wing of the Likud, led by Dan Meridor, has come out in opposition to the investigation.
 
The intervention by Peres against the legislation is notable because he himself is hardly a neutral observer. His own left-leaning Peres Center is financed by members of the European Union and other foreign interests.
 
The Israeli left is taking to the streets and to the newspapers. A few days ago a demonstration by leftists against the proposal was held in Tel Aviv, complete with PLO flags and anti-Israel banners. The demonstration was sponsored in part by the Israeli communist party, so you can see how devoted the demonstrators were to freedom, democracy and pluralism.
 
Now even Prime Minister Netanyahu has been cowed into changing the proposal. First, instead of investigating the funding of leftist seditious groups operating in Israel, the Likud government proposes symmetric scrutiny and investigation of funding for groups of both the left and the right.
 
Second, Netanyahu turned the rewrite of the proposed law over to an open agent of the New Israel Fund. Since the New Israel Fund was probably the main group the law’s initiators wanted investigated in the first place, this is a bit like allowing Tony Soprano to conduct his own RICO investigation of organized crime.
 
The rewrite of the law has been handed over to Isaac “Buji” Herzog, a Labor Party stalwart and son of the late Israeli President Chaim Herzog. Until a few days ago he was the Labor Party minister of welfare in the coalition government. He is now a member of one of the three factions left over from the breakup of Labor after Ehud Barak and four others quit its ranks.
 
Public opinion polls show Herzog as the most popular of the leaders of the rump Labor Party, and he is generally respected more than the other Labor lightweights. But he also has a long track record of working with the New Israel Fund. Last year he led the campaign to demonize critics of the New Israel Fund as “McCarthyists.” More troubling, he himself was involved in the recruitment of foreign tainted and illegal funds for various front groups set up in 1999 that were involved in the Mugabe-style campaign finances of Ehud Barak.
 
There is nothing intrinsically wrong with the demand that groups from the right also be subject to a bit of financial transparency and accountability. But the symmetry already conceded by Netanyahu is intolerable and out of place.
 
NGO groups of the right operating in Israel are not actively attempting to achieve Israel’s demonization or even annihilation. They have their own platforms, with which you are free to disagree or agree.
 
But the far left is composed of groups that are seditious and actively seeking to harm Israel. Many persecute innocent Israeli army officers, collaborate with terrorist groups and with the enemies of Israel (like the flotilla terrorists), support the worldwide boycotts against Israel, collaborate with anti-Israel figures like Goldstone, endorse forms of treason such as advocating the Palestinian “right of return,” promote refusal by soldiers to serve in the Israeli military, and openly identify with Israel’s enemies.
 
The Israeli left and its amen chorus outside Israel are trying to misrepresent the proposal for transparency of finances as an assault against nice caring “human rights” groups in Israel, claiming it is because Israel fears having its “war crimes” revealed. These are ordinarily the same people who posture their devotion to transparency and open government – in fact, they are the same people who celebrate the WikiLeaks leakers.
 
But the reality is that these far-left “human rights” NGOs generally support the enemies of Israel even during time of war. They refuse to acknowledge that Jews are entitled to human rights – certainly not the human right to walk down the street or sip coffee in a cafe without being murdered. Many have never heard of a Palestinian terrorist atrocity they wish to denounce.
 
And to make matters worse, many of these same leftists are whining that the proposal to require transparency in their finances is undemocratic and contrary to freedom of speech. But these are the very first people to demand that non-leftists in Israel be stripped of their rights to freedom of expression. These are the first to insist that every denunciation of left-wing sedition is in fact “McCarthyism” and “fascism.”
 
These same leftists led the massive McCarthyist assault against freedom of speech for non-leftists after the Rabin assassination. These are the people who regard the expression of any opinion with which the Israeli communist party might disagree to be “racist” and to constitute “incitement.”
 
Not a single one of them has spoken up on behalf of the right of settlers and right-wingers to express themselves. Not a single one has spoken out against the selective misuse of Israel’s idiotic “anti-racism” law to harass non-leftists while there has yet to be a single case in which that law was used to indict Arabs or leftists for anti-Jewish bigotry.
 
Arabs and leftists in Israel can cheer and justify mass terrorist attacks against Jews. That is not racist. Left-wing professors at Ben Gurion University may wave banners (as they recently did) in Arabic, saying: “In spirit and in blood we will redeem thee, Palestine” and “A Thousand blessings to the shaheed suicide bombers.” That is not racist either.
 
But wives of Israeli rabbis suggesting that Jewish girls not date Arab men may soon be facing criminal indictment for “racism.”
 

Of course, we all know what happens to any Arab women who date Jewish men, but their “honor killings” and mutilations do not count as “racist” either in the minds of the caring left.

  

 

   Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at steveneplaut@yahoo.com.

Netanyahu’s Wrong Turn

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

Israel’s leftist media is happy with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. And as Israelis have learned repeatedly in recent years, when the media are happy with a political leader, trouble is our doorstep.

 

Netanyahu owes his current media popularity to his decision to play ball with the Obama White House. Since Netanyahu took office in the spring, President Obama and his advisers have exerted unrelenting pressure on him to ban all Jewish building in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem. Until last week, the Netanyahu’s government’s official position rejected the administration’s demand.

 

The Likud’s electoral platform and the government’s guidelines stipulate that any settlement with the Palestinians must guarantee that Israel has secure borders. Netanyahu has argued repeatedly that the only way Israel can have secure borders is by retaining control over a significant amount of land in Judea and Samaria in perpetuity.

 

Until last week the Netanyahu government also rejected the traditional Arab/European position that Jews have no right to live in any of the lands that Israel took control over during the 1967 Six-Day War. The government viewed this position – which has become the foundation stone of the Obama administration’s Middle East policy – as inherently anti-Semitic.

 

Apparently, all that has now changed. Ahead of his trip to London to meet with Obama’s Middle East envoy George Mitchell, Netanyahu reversed course. He has received the support of four out of six members of his security cabinet (himself, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Intelligence Minister Dan Meridor and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman) to accept Obama’s demand. Netanyahu is negotiating a compromise with the Obama administration in which Israel will reportedly ban Jews from building in Judea and Samaria but not in Jerusalem.

 

While Netanyahu insists he is only talking about outlawing Jewish construction for a few months, last week we learned from Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Attias that the ban was actually enacted four months ago. So without the government or the public being informed, and while Netanyahu was publicly rejecting the administration’s insistent demand as unacceptable and bigoted, he has actually been bowing to administration pressure all along. Now he just wants to make it official policy.

 

Netanyahu’s associates assure us that the proposed ban will be dropped if the Arab world doesn’t normalize its relations with Israel or if the Palestinians refuse to negotiate in good faith with the government in Jerusalem. But the fact is that this is a concession that is difficult to roll back. By accepting Obama’s demand even temporarily, what Netanyahu is actually accepting is the Arab/European/U.S. position that all land surrendered by Israel to Palestinian control be first emptied of all Jews.

 

That is, Netanyahu is accepting as reasonable the idea that a Palestinian state will be predicated on anti-Semitism and ethnic cleansing of Jews.

 

Netanyahu’s associates claimed on Monday that Netanyahu is now conditioning a construction ban against Jews on whether Saudi Arabia takes a step toward normalizing its ties with Israel. Such a step would involve, for instance, allowing Israeli planes to fly over Saudi airspace. While Netanyahu’s position seems reasonable on the surface, the fact is it only serves to entrap Israel.

 

Even in the unlikely event the Saudis agree to take a step in Israel’s direction, they could cancel it at any point and blame their bad-faith action on whatever fabricated Israeli offense they wish. Moreover, since Netanyahu has already agreed that the U.S. demand that Jews not be allowed to build in certain areas is basically legitimate, a Saudi refusal to take any steps toward normalization will not in any way influence the Obama administration’s willingness or intention to continue pressuring Israel to bar Jews from building.

 

Netanyahu’s very willingness to conduct negotiations on a construction ban – not to mention his actual ban on Jewish construction for the past four months – has in itself simply paved the way for further U.S. pressure on Israel.

 

Netanyahu and his advisors have all stated that it is important to conduct negotiations with the Americans on their demand for a Jewish construction freeze because it is important that Israel improve its relations with the Obama administration. Officials argue that Israel’s relationship with the U.S. is so crucial to the country that it makes sense to make enormous concessions in order to maintain close ties to the White House.

 

It is certainly true that maintaining good relations with Washington is a vital Israeli interest. But it is also clear that the Obama administration is not interested in good relations with Israel. From his first day in office, when Obama gave his first interview as president to Al Arabiya, to his anti-Israel speech in Cairo on June 4, to his latest bid to cozy up to the Muslim world with his Ramadan greetings, Obama has repeatedly demonstrated that he views putting the squeeze on Israel as a means of cultivating close ties with the Arabs rather than achieving peace between Israel and the Arabs. Indeed, his massive and public pressure on Israel has made the Palestinians more unwilling to make peace with Israel than ever before.

 

It is the supposedly moderate and U.S.-supported Palestinian “prime minister” Salam Fayyad who is now saying the peace process is dead and the Palestinians have no reason to talk to Israel. As several leading Palestinians have stated in recent months, they will only agree to sit down with Netanyahu after the U.S. has forced Israel to accept and implement all Palestinian demands including a ban on Jewish construction in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem and an Israeli release of all convicted terrorists from its prisons.

 

As Obama sees things, applying pressure on Israel is a tool for improving the Washington’s posture in the Arab world. Consequently, an Israeli concession on Jewish construction will not lead to better U.S.-Israel relations. It will only lead to U.S. pressure on Israel to make further concessions.

 

Netanyahu’s critics on the Right argue the time has come to make their opposition to his new leftist, media-friendly policies known. But they must tread carefully. Today there is no plausible candidate to replace Netanyahu as prime minister aside from opposition head Tzipi Livni. Livni of course will have no compunction about barring Jewish building in Judea and Samaria as well as in Jerusalem and the Golan Heights. So too, she will not hesitate to use the IDF to enact mass expulsions of Jews from their homes in Judea and Samaria in the name of “peace” with the likes of Fayyad and his boss Mahmoud Abbas.

 

Rather than seeking to bring down Netanyahu’s government, his critics on the Right should follow the path forged by their coalition colleagues from the Labor Party and use their positions within his government to make him pay a political price for his leftward tilt. Members of Knesset from the Right should introduce bills that would bar discrimination against Jews in Judea and Samaria and throughout the country. They should remarkably all come down with the flu on days when government-sponsored bills come up for votes in the Knesset plenum. And they should wage a public battle against a ban on Jewish building in order to rally the public – and particularly voters from Likud and its coalition partners – to their side.

 

Netanyahu’s aides spent the days ahead of his meeting with Mitchell on Wednesday attempting to dampen expectations of a deal in the works with the administration. But the fact that these negotiations have even taken place has caused Israel great damage. Coalition members who oppose his leftward swing should make clear their dissatisfaction by showing Netanyahu that there is a price to be paid for deceiving his voters and his government.

 

 

Caroline Glick is senior contributing editor at The Jerusalem Post. Her Jewish Press-exclusive column appears the last week of each month. Her book “The Shackled Warrior: Israel and the Global Jihad,” is available at www.Amazon.com.

Netanyahu Looks To Assemble ‘All-Star’ Likud Election Lineup

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

Rejuvenated Likud party leader Benjamin Netanyahu is looking to assemble an “all-star” lineup of perceptibly incorruptible politicians, media celebrities and former high-ranking military officials in order to crush Kadima party leader Tzipi Livni’s chances of being elected prime minister on February 10, when Israeli citizens return to the polling booths.

During the past few days, former Likud Knesset members Benny Begin, 65, and Dan Meridor, 61, have announced their intentions to rejoin the party ahead of the upcoming Likud primaries.

 

 

Dan Meridor

 

Both Begin and Meridor were considered the princes of Likud in the late 1980s. However, Begin clashed with both Netanyahu and Ariel Sharon over the Likud’s peace overtures to PLO chief Yasir Arafat – resigning in protest over the 1997 Hebron-Wye Agreement.

Meridor, who held key government posts as minister of finance and minister of justice, resigned from Likud in 1997 to form a centrist political faction. He then returned to Ariel Sharon’s government in 2001. When Sharon’s sons allegedly prevented him from joining the new Kadima party in 2006, Meridor maintained his Likud Party membership.

Begin and Meridor are considered “clean” politicians by their colleagues and the Israeli electorate, who still hold fond memories of Benny Begin’s father – fiery Likud prime minister Menachem Begin, of blessed memory.

Other “big” names who have announced their intention to seek a high-ranking position on the Likud list include former IDF chief of staff Moshe Ya’alon, former IDF spokeswoman Miri Regev, government Press Office director Daniel Seaman, IDF brigadier general (res.)/MK Effi Eitam (who is looking to bolt from the new National Union-National Religious Party merger), and IDF brigadier general (res.)/MK Aryeh Eldad.

 

 

Moshe Ya’alon

 

However, Eitam and Eldad could face an uphill battle from a sizable number of center-right Likud members, who believe that their political philosophies skew too far to the right.Netanyahu has been meeting with key members of the Likud’s central committee in order to secure their commitment. This would allow him to place a handful of big names atop the party list without having them run for a position during the primaries. There have also been rumors that Netanyahu has asked Tal Brody, the American-born, ex-Maccabi Tel Aviv basketball star, to join the Likud list.

According to Israeli media reports, Begin, Meridor and Ya’alon would not only form the core of Netanyahu’s inner cabinet, they would also be prominently featured as an incorruptible triumvirate who would bring change to Israeli society in a Netanyahu government.

Netanyahu will also look to secure high-ranking positions for such stalwart Likud politicians as Ruby Rivlin (ex-speaker of the Knesset), Silvan Shalom (ex-finance and foreign minister), Limor Livnat (ex-education minister) and Gideon Sa’ar, current deputy speaker of the Knesset. 

The tidal wave of publicity surrounding the new recruits to Likud has forced Kadima’s Livni to seek out and secure big names ahead of her party’s primaries. She has reportedly asked noted media celebrity Yair Lapid, son of late Shinui party leader Tommy Lapid, and Jewish Agency Chairman Ze’ev Bielski to come aboard. And in order to balance out her perceived anti-religious agenda in the wake of her announcement that she is willing to support non-rabbinic civil marriages in Israel, Livni has allegedly asked Rabbi Michael Melchior and his Meimad party to integrate itself into Kadima.

Labor Party leader Ehud Barak and Rabbi Melchior parted ways last week after Melchior was purportedly told that his faction might not be given a prominent position ahead of Labor’s primaries. Recent polls have predicted that the Labor Party might lose at least 3-5 seats on February 10, which would doom Barak’s political aspiration to regain the premiership.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/politics/netanyahu-looks-to-assemble-all-star-likud-election-lineup/2008/11/05/

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