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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘lieberman’

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.

Lieberman: Terror in Jerusalem and Ottawa Part of ‘Global Epidemic’

Thursday, October 23rd, 2014

Wednesday’s terrorists attacks “almost at the same time in both ends of the world show that terror is a global epidemic,” Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page.

“Terrorism is not because of building in Jerusalem, Ottawa, New York, Madrid, London or Mombasa but is a result of radical Islam’s battle against the West,” he added.

Three-month-old Chaya Zisel Braun was killed and eight others were injured when an eastern Jerusalem Arab, with a history of crimes against security, rammed the Jerusalem light-rail train near French Hill.

In Ottawa, a recent convert to Islam shot and killed a Canadian soldier guarding the National War Memorial. The House of Commons sergeant-at-arms killed him before he could carry out a murder spree in the Canadian parliament.

The terrorist was identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 32, whom had been flagged by Canadians security as a “high-risk traveler.”

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to convey condolences and expressed his full support for Canada’s fight against terrorism.

Canada in general and Harper in particular are considered Israel’s best friends, if not only friends, in the world.

Lieberman: Kill Hamas Leaders if Soldiers’ Body Parts not Returned

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman wants the government to order the IDF to assassinate Hamas leaders in Gaza if they do not return to Israel the body parts of fallen soldiers Lt. Hadar Goldin and Sgt. Doron Shaul, who were buried with whatever body parts were able to be retrieved.

Lieberman, speaking to mayors in southern Israel, the area that has taken the brunt of Hamas terror since the expulsion of Jews and withdrawal of the IDF from Gaza in 2005, said that ”we have to get rid of Hamas.”

He will get little argument from most quarters. It’s a great idea, but the government has been unable or to scared to do so, and even if it did,  eradicating Hamas is useless without a “day after” pill.

His latest brainstorm, the third in less than month, is to assassinate Ismail Haniyeh and Moahmmed Dief. Haniyeh officially no longer is prime minister because Hamas and its rival terror faction Fatah, headed by Mahmoud Abbas, pulled off a sleight-of-hand whereby Hamas and Fatah declared a unity pact that makes supposed civilian “technocrats” members of the government and placates the United States, which officially considers Hamas an outlawed terrorist group. So what if Hamas gives orders to technocrats?

Lieberman, like almost every other Israeli, is not so dumb as to swallow that position, but his solutions to the problem of Hamas do not put him ahead of the class.

How can it be that Israel, with the best army in the Middle East and one of the best in the world, cannot defeat a motley crew of 26,000 terrorists?

Just kill every single one of them. Nice idea, if it would work.

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called Lieberman’s threats, calling them “ridiculous.”

Similar to his latest solution, Lieberman’s previous inspirations have raised the same question of  what he would say if he were to lead  the first tank into Gaza and hunt down all the murderers.

When the war began last month, Lieberman opined that Israel should simply take complete control of Gaza. Interior Minister Gideon Saar has suggested that Israel re-establish Jewish communities in Gaza, giving Israel an online presence. That also would help the economy in Gaza, and it might happen one day. But not today. Or tomorrow. Or this year.

Taking over Gaza would be the best solution for Gazans. Like it or not, they enjoyed their best society in decades when Israel took over Gaza in the Six-Day War in 1967. The flourishing economy rotted when the intifada began in the 1980s, and it has been downhill ever since. Hamas has trampled on civil liberties, has employed children to build tunnels for terror, and it killed many of the workers for ”knowing too much” about the locations. It has made life miserable for the few surviving Christians, and it has been well-documented that Hamas has bombed its own civilians whom it used as human shields.

Life under Israel would be great for Gaza. It also is the last thing Israel wants right now.

It would be the last thing Lieberman would want if he were to jump in the first tank into Gaza and absorb anti-tank missiles.

If he were to survive, he and tens of thousands of other soldiers would remain in Gaza for a few months, if not years, to keep all of the other jihadists from making trouble,

And there is UNRWA, which has perpetuated the miserable and hopeless lives of Gazans by declaring them to be “refugees,” just like a few million others in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon Iraq and other countries.

So perhaps taking over Gaza is not such a smart idea, at least not this year, but Lieberman then came up with the aberration of letting the United Nations take over.

Lieberman insisted to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, “A U.N. mandate over Gaza Strip is a possible option for Israel to rid itself off the headache of Gaza and pass the mission of demilitarization of the strip to the United Nations.”

Liberman Vetoes Haredim Participation in the Coalition

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman reportedly vetoed the idea of bringing Haredim into the coalition government, according to senior Likud sources, as reported by Makor Rishon.

Now that the fight over the Haredi draft law is over, advisers to PM Netanyahu believe that it is time to bring the Haredim into the coalition, and if that upsets Yair Lapid to the point where he pulls his Yesh Atid party out – so be it.

But resistance came from an unexpected source.

According to Likud sources, Liberman said, “I won’t remain in the coalition, if that were the case,” referring to Haredim joining the government.

Liberman has been a staunch supporter of drafting Haredim.

In another example of the tensions between Liberman and the Haredi community, Liberman and Aryeh Deri (Shas), who were friends in the past, are apparently not friends anymore.

This past week Aryeh Deri said that he could see Yitzchak Herzog (Labor) replacing Netanyahu as Prime Minister.

Netanyahu’s people have begun an anti-Deri campaign as a result of that remark, reminding Shas supporters how Deri dragged their party to the far Left, a position which doesn’t represent the view of the majorty of Shas voters.

The outspoken Haredi MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ), who has called for the destruction of non-Haredi Hesder yeshivas, had angry words to say about PM Netanyahu, the Knesset, the government, Naftali Bennett, Avigdor Liberman, adding that he will “never forgive” Netanyahu or those that were involved in the Haredi draft bill, not even on Yom Kippur, according to a Makor Rishon report.

The funny thing about politics is that one should never say never.

AG will Not Appeal FM Liberman’s Acquittal

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

The Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, has decided not to appeal Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s acquittal.

Liberman was unanimously acquitted on November 6, after being hounded for 17 years on various charges.

Unexpectedly, Weinstein had decided to go after Liberman on a weaker charge of breach of public trust, rather than what seemed to be the more significant criminal charges against him. That plan apparently backfired, now leaving Liberman in the free and clear.

As Lieberman Retakes the Helm, Defeated Ayalon Takes YU Job

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

Yeshiva University announced Monday that Israeli diplomat and political figure Danny Ayalon has been appointed the Rennert Visiting Professor of Foreign Policy Studies at Yeshiva University for the spring 2014 semester. Ambassador Ayalon will teach on both the Wilf Campus at Yeshiva College and the Israel Henry Beren Campus at Stern College for Women, and will participate in public lectures and events.

As you may recall, Danny Ayalon was the key prosecution witness in the case against former and just reinstated Foreign Minister and Israel Beiteinu strong man Avigdor Lieberman. It went like this: initially, when questioned about Lieberman’s getting personally involved in appointing Israel’s ambassador to Minsk Ze’ev Ben Aryeh, Ayalon had no recollection of such meddling.

Then came that fateful ride to the party gathering, when, in the car, boss Lieberman told underling Ayalon that he was out, off the list, nothing, nada, gone, no Knesset seat for you, mostly because the lanky deputy Foreign Minister was getting too big and famous, in a party where only one man gets to do that.

It was right after that fateful ride, when Ayalon saw his career evaporating like so much pollution from a BMW exhaust pipe, that a miracle of modern science occurred, and the formerly forgetful and uncertain deputy started remembering big time. Lieberman? You mean that Lieberman – oh, sure, he meddled. Meddled, meddled, meddled, the whole day long, especially about the ambassador to Minsk.

But a panel of three Magistrate judges saw right through that—yet another miracle, if you ask me—and found Lieberman not guilty as the driven snow on a Jerusalem frosty morning in February.

And so, absent much to do in the home country, Ayalon got a job teaching at YU, where America’s future diplomats usually don’t come from.

“Ambassador Ayalon will surely bring to his professorial role at Yeshiva the same commitment to the State of Israel, to integrity, to thoughtful discourse and careful analysis of the geopolitical world, that he brought so successfully to his assignments in the foreign service and foreign ministry,” said YU President Richard M. Joel.

Yes, let’s see, did Dean Joel include in the careful analysis thing that time when Ayalon fixed up a low chair for the Turkish ambassador to Israel, so that the latter be humiliated in his office like a school child? It probably wasn’t the only reason the Turks want us dead right now, but it soitenly didn’t help. So, if you’re attending one of the visiting professor’s classes this semester and the question of careful analysis comes up – ask about the chair.

And, naturally, ask about the sudden flash of memory about Minsk – should go nicely with the integrity, what the dean was saying. Because, for the right reason, Professor Ayalon will integrity the daylights out of anyone.

And ask, how can you not, about the little scandal back in 2005, at the Israeli embassy in Washington, when Danny’s wife Ann, a self proclaimed convert from an evangelical family, who’s been accused of still being pretty evangelical, was accused of using embassy money to hire help for their daughter’s bat-mitzvah. And the embassy’s social secretary was used to manage the guest list.

“I am honored to join the distinguished faculty of Yeshiva University, led by President Richard Joel,” Ayalon said to the guy writing the YU press release, probably via email. “This institution is exceptional in its support of the State of Israel and in spreading knowledge and education that have always made it a center of excellence. I look forward to a fruitful, insightful and stimulating dialogue with our students.”

Hey, if I could afford it, I’d be there every lecture with a heap of questions, on integrity and careful analysis. Are you kidding me? The man is a treasure trove.

After Mayoral Loss, the Buzzards Are Flying over Lieberman’s Head

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

The old adage suggesting that victory has a multitude of fathers, while failure, alas, is an orphan, can be applied yet again, this time to describe the grim aftermath in Shas following the heartbreaking loss of the Avigdor Lieberman-Aryeh Deri candidate for mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion (the name should be spelled “Leon,” but the campaign opted for this, more feline spelling).

So the bad guy in this story of glory and defeat is Israel Beiteinu strong man MK Avigdor Lieberman, soon to be either the previous and next Foreign Minister, or the next man with a serial number at the Ma’asiahu prison for white collar criminals—court decision on that one expected in two weeks.

But for now, Lieberman appears to be shouldering the shame of the mayoral loss, with attacks on him coming both from sore losers and sore winners. Yes, the winning incumbent, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat now and for the next 5 years, is not doing the gracious. not even pretending.

“Lieberman is a dishonest man, a fixer who wanted to turn me into a marionette and couldn’t,” Barkat told Ma’ariv.

According to the winner, Lieberman made it his life’s mission to destroy him, Barkat, who, apparently, remained pure as the driven Jerusalem snow: “I could have made a deal and appoint Vladimir Sklar CEO of the East Jerusalem Development corporation the way Lieberman insisted, and then I would have gotten wall-to-wall support,” he said. “I refused. I took a chance and paid a heavy price.”

In Israel, it seems, to the winner goes being spoiled.

MK Lieberman for his part has been denying the Sklar appointment story, arguing instead that in his feverish yearning to win, Barkat has sold the city out to the Haredim—specifically, former Haredi mayoral candidate Chayim Epstein has been saying he’s being appointed Barkat’s deputy mayor, with pay.

The nice appointment is considered to be his reward for keeping his name on the ballot even as it was becoming obvious he was going nowhere—and with that helped siphon off some of Lion’s Haredi votes. It’s a good theory.

But the worst thing for Lieberman was not the spectacle of the winner Barkat doing a victory dance in a fashion that would not go well over in the States, where the first thing a loser does is congratulate the winner, to be followed by the winner complimenting the loser. Over in the Jewish State, we win, we fillet the loser, fire up the barbie, have a beer.

The worst thing for Lieberman is how his own campaign has been badmouthing him. Ma’arive quotes Likud-beiteinu campaign workers who said “Lieberman pulled the rug from under all of us… He couldn’t deliver the goods… He didn’t deliver the Likudniks, and he especially didn’t deliver the Russians he promised… All the Israel Beiteinu voters in Jerusalem supported Nir Barkat… Israel Beiteinu used to have 2 seats in the city council – that’s now been erased… Even when combining the Liebrman and Likud votes, they barely make it past the blocking percentage…”

Finally, senior Aryeh Deri operatives put all the blame on Lieberman. The rift between Deri and Lieberman is serious. Last week, Deri told his listeners on Haredi radio station Kol Barama that they had to vote in large numbers, to secure a Shas-Lieberman partnership. Now, after the defeat, Deri told those same listeners that they lived up to his expectations—they awarded 35 thousand votes to Moshe Lion, but on the Likud-Beiteinu side the failure was overwhelming.

Deri’s seniors are angry at Lieberman, but they’re livid at Deri himself for falling prey to Lieberman’s machinations. It was a known thing that Lieberman could round up 10 thousand Russians in Jerusalem – that’s the number that voted for his faction in 2008. So how come all the Russians went for Barkat? Was Deri being naïve when he figured Lieberman for a solid real estate asset, when, in fact, that asset is infested with termites and about to fall on its own foundations?

Lieberman had nothing to tell his followers and the press other than his own version of you win some, you lose some. If he’s taken down by the court two weeks from now, it would mark a sea change in Israeli politics, an earthquake that could empower the right or the left, depending on whom you ask.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/after-mayoral-loss-the-buzzards-are-flying-over-liebermans-head/2013/10/24/

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