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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Labor’

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.

UK Jewish Community Rejecting Labor’s First Jewish Leader

Friday, October 31st, 2014

First Published at Jewish Business News

British film, theatre and television actress, columnist and comedienne Maureen Lipman on Thursday announced she isn’t voting Labor come next election, the Telegraph reported.

“Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse” she wrote in Standpoint magazine, “just when the anti-Semitism in France, Denmark, Norway, Hungary is mounting savagely, just when our cemeteries and synagogues and shops are once again under threat. Just when the virulence against a country defending itself against 4,000 rockets and 32 tunnels inside its borders, as it has every right to do under the Geneva Convention, had been swept aside by the real pestilence of IS, in steps Mr Miliband to demand that the government recognize the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.”

In case you haven’t been paying attention, Ed Miliband, the son of Polish Holocaust survivors who settled in Great Britain, is the Leader of the Labor Party and Leader of the Opposition in parliament. And yet, under the leadership of the most clearly Jewish politician in the UK, the Labor party’s support within the Jewish community is now on the brink of collapse, as the Telegraph describes it.

One major Jewish Labor supporter told the Telegraph: “It’s serious, there are now genuine questions being asked about whether we will be able to vote Labor next May.”

It’s funny, though, that much of the dispute between the tribe and their lefty heir apparent stems not from any concrete British issues, like the price of a cup of tea, or how often the Queen’s guards are changed, but rather from Miliband’s stand on Israel and on antisemitism.

UK Jews believe Labor’s Middle East policy is being decided by the party’s extreme left, which is pro-Palestinian to a fault.

UK Jews were also angry at Miliband’s virile condemnation of Israel during the Gaza war, while having little to say about the Hamas.

But more than anything, UK Jews are mad as hell at Labor’s failure to condemn the growth of antisemitism, across Europe and in Britain.

“People have been waiting for the leadership to speak up and all they’ve got is silence,” Jewish Labor supporter told the Telegraph.

In July, the Jewish Chronicle wrote an editorial noting that “in recent months, Ed Miliband has made a concerted effort to embrace the Jewish community. He has visited Israel. He has spoken of rediscovering his Jewish roots. And he ended his speech to the Labor Friends of Israel with the declaration that he would enter Downing Street proud to be a ‘friend of Israel, a Jew and … part of the community.’ But, with Israel now in need of support from its friends, he has shown that words are cheap.”

The Chronicle compared Miliband’s hostility to Israel over Gaza with Prime Minister David Cameron, whom they said had been “clear, principled and firm in his support for Israel’s right to defend itself.”

Ouch. I mean, Oy.

Maureen Lipman concluded her piece: “Come election day, I shall give my vote to another party. Almost any other party. Until my party is once more led by mensches.”

OK, it should be spelled “mentches,” but you get the point.

Elections? Polls Show Center-Left on the Skids

Friday, October 31st, 2014

A new poll shows that the center-left parties have no chance of winning general elections and that the Jewish home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, would be the number two party after the Likud, chaired by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s media establishment, which likes Netanyahu as much as President Barack Obama likes him, recently has been talking up an atmosphere of instability in the coalition government and that elections will be held in the spring.

A survey by the reputable Rafi Smith firm, carried out for the left-leaning Globes business newspaper, reveals that the center-left has everything to lose and nothing to win by pushing for an early vote.

The popularity of the Jewish Home party has increased, and it could expect 15 Knesset Members, three more than in the current session. It would be the second largest party after the Liked, with a projected total of 24 MKs, and would replace Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

Yisrael Beitenu and Likud ran together in the last elections but since have gone their separate ways. The poll shows the Likud would win 24 seats today and that Yisrael Beitenu would garner only 10 mandates.

The number-three party would be Labor, with 14 seats, one less than it now enjoys.

The biggest loser is Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party, which would be left with only 9 MKs, 10 less than the current 19.

Lapid swept into the Knesset as the great hope of the mainly secular, center-left voters who consider a Jewish presence in all of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem a drain on their pockets.

Lapid promised everything under the moon, which so far remains eclipsed both by his failure to produce results and by his wake-up call from the war with Hamas, which proved once again that it might be so smart to play Monopoly with the Palestinian Authority and draw a border between Ventnor Avenue and Park Place, or between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

The projected line-up if elections were held today is, on the right with a total of 49:

Likud – 24;

Jewish Home – 15;

Yisrael Beitenu – 10.

On the left, with a total of 22:

Labor – 14;

Meretz – 8.

The parties that could go either way, depending on the wind, have a total of 28 MKs:

Yesh Atid – 9;

Shas – 7;

Yehadut HaTorah – 8;

Tzipi Livni’s HaTnua party – 4.

Kadima, as earlier polls have shown, would disappear. The Arab parties would have 12 votes but would not join a center-left coalition. The wild card is Moshe Kahlon, former Likud Minister of Communications who broke the mobile phone oligarchy in Israel and brought prices of mobile phone calls down by 90 percent. His new party is projected to gain 9 seats in the next elections, and he could go left or right.

Even if all the swing parties and Kahlon were to join a center-left coalition, they would have only 59 seats, two less than the needed absolute majority of 61. In any case, a coalition of the seven parties would be a nightmare and have zilch chance of becoming a reality.

With 49 projects MKs on the right, Netanyahu would have a choice of re-negotiating with Lapid and tempting Kahlon, or he could go with the Haredi parties.

In either case, he would have a majority without having to worry about having to deal with Livni again.

Civil Marriage Bill Shot Down

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

The Knesset overwhelmingly voted down MK Stav Shafir’s (Labor) Civil Marriage bill in a vote of 52 against and 19 for, according to an Arutz-7 report.

Besides the Likud, surprisingly Yesh Atid and some of Livni’s HaTnua party voted against it.

Labor MK Accused of Leaking Classified Info

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

A Labor party lawmaker has been suspended from membership in subcommittees of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for leaking classified information.

MK Omer Bar-Lev, who at one time commanded the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit, was accused of handing a copy of a letter he sent to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to one of the media outlets.

In his letter Bar-Lev allegedly claimed to have found a discrepancy between an IDF training budget report filed by a senior IDF officer last February and figures presented recently by Ya’alon describing the army’s fiscal needs.

In a statement to journalists Monday evening, Bar-Lev denied the suspension due to his leaking classified information and instead focused on the discrepancy he said he found among the defense establishment’s budget figures.

“As far as we are concerned, the main issue is that the conflicting reports of senior IDF officers to the Foreign Affairs and Defense committee must be looked into and not a minor offense over some procedure that does breach security,” the statement said.

Committee chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) told Bar-Lev the budget reports would be examined closely, according to the statement. It was Elkin who had informed Bar-Lev of the suspension, which extends throughout the summer session.

Likud, Labor MK s Unite to Submit Temple Mount Prayer Bill

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Two Knesset members from separate ends of the political spectrum plan to submit a bill allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Likud MK Miri Regev and Labor MK Hilik Bar say they will unite to advance the measure, but were mum on when. “There is no reason that Jews should not be allowed to pray in the holiest site in the world,” Regev said, according a report this weekend by Ynet.

The bill is intended to promote co-existence, added Bar. “I insisted the authority of the Muslim Waqf not be harmed, but Muslims must understand that we also have a right to pray there. I see in these holy sites the cradle of our existence. If someone on the left has complaints against Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, they will have a hard time claiming that other ethnic groups suffer discrimination,” he added.

Jews are not allowed to even move their lips when touring the site, considered the holiest place on earth in Judaism.

Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Many times Muslims in the area simply accuse Jews of “praying” and police immediately force the “suspect” into custody and off the grounds, fearing violent reactions by Arabs if they don’t.  By contrast, Muslim children run freely throughout the plaza area, even playing soccer around the site.

The fiercest verbal provocations by Arabs are generally met by stony silence by Israeli police when accompanying Jewish tour groups, and usually also by hurrying their charges away. Sometimes closure of the site to anyone other than Muslims follows as well — even if the site has just opened and it is the eve of a Jewish holiday.

The Al Aqsa mosque located on the Mount has become a hotspot for fiery sermons each Friday that whip worshipers into a frenzy of hatred against the State of Israel. The site has also been at the center of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The PA has insisted the Old City — including all Jewish holy sites — must be handed over to be part of a capital for its hoped-for independent state.

Arab rioters carefully store piles of rocks, bottles and other handy missiles in the mosque that they can hurl at Jews – or police — when “protesting” after prayers have ended. Such incidents occur often prior to Jewish holidays, and became the opening salvo to the second intifada in the year 2000. In response, police simply close the Mount to Muslim men under age 50 and limit entry to those bearing Israeli identity cards. Any Muslim woman can enter.

“I firmly believe that each event of Muslim unrest on the Mount should lead to its closure to Arabs,” Regev said. “The prime minister is not the only one to decide on the issue, and if the proposal does not pass I will turn to the High Court of Justice in a public petition until Jews are allowed to pray with tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin on the Temple Mount,” she said.

According to the language of the bill as it is currently written, “no demonstration of protest or incitement that disturbs the peace will be tolerated.” Violators will be fined,” Ynet reported.

Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) said after Passover the ministry was in the process of creating new regulations to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

Coalition Crisis Looming Over Israel-PA Talks?

Monday, April 7th, 2014

There are no last-minute breakthroughs to report by either side in the Israel-Palestinian Authority negotiations, and PA representatives report no progress while Israeli ministers are squabbling.

PA sources told reporters Sunday night, “The crisis continues. During the entire meeting the Israelis threatened the Palestinians and no solution to the crisis was found.”

But as the “framework agreement” talks continue to fall apart, Israel’s government coalition is now facing a crisis of its own.

In a Knesset plenum session on Monday, Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Labor) called on the Hatnua party led by chief Israeli negotiator Tzipi Livni and the Yesh Atid party headed by Finance Minister Yair Lapid to leave the government. “The failure echoes in all areas,” Herzog charged. “This is a government of failure that does not provide peace, only depression.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, head of the Yisrael Beyteynu party, seems to be heaping his own fuel to the fire. Liberman opened the door to new elections yesterday (Sunday April 6) with incendiary comments at The Jerusalem Post’s Annual Conference in New York, saying he would rather face new elections than extend the talks with the PA in another “grand deal.”

Liberman opposes the proposal advanced by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that would have extended the current talks until the end of 2014. The proposal would have freed the last tranche of 30 terrorists – including 20 Israeli Arab citizens – as well as an additional 400 more PA prisoners chosen by Israel as well.

The proposal and the unilateral membership applications by the PA to 15 international United Nations agencies and organizations, have torn apart Netanyahu’s coalition.

Despite intense efforts by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Special Envoy to the Middle East Martin Indyk, absolutely no progress has been made in months. Both men appear to realize that there is not much more to be done, and now appear to be backing away from the process at this point.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/coalition-crisis-looming-over-israel-pa-talks/2014/04/07/

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