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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Likud Party’

PM Netanyahu’s Prayer of Thanks at Western Wall for Historic Victory

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took his family and went straight to the Western Wall in his first post-election public appearance Wednesday to say a prayer of thanks for the resounding victory of his Likud party.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara go to the Western Wall following an historic fourth landslide win at the polls.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara go to the Western Wall following an historic fourth landslide win at the polls.

The Likud garnered 30 mandates out of 120 seats in the Knesset; Netanyahu’s closest rival, Isaac Herzog, won 24 mandates with his Zionist Union coalition merger with Tzipi Livni.

Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister since David Ben Gurion to be re-elected for a fourth term. He also is well aware of who is really in charge: Netanyahu also made sure to head for the Western Wall just prior to leaving for the United States to deliver his historic address to the U.S. Congress in Washington DC — the only head of state ever to address America’s legislators three times, other than Winston Churchill.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prepares to place a note in the Western Wall.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prepares to place a note in the Western Wall.

Netanyahu told media who were present for his post-electoral visit to the Western Wall on Wednesday that he was moved by the responsibility that he felt was placed upon his shoulders.

“Here in this place I am awed by the historical significance of a people renewing itself in its homeland after 4,000 years. I am moved by the weight of responsibility that the people of Israel have placed upon my shoulders and appreciate the decision of Israeli citizens to choose me and my colleagues against all odds.

“I would like to say that I will do everything in my power to care of the welfare and security of all Israeli citizens,” he added.

Netanyahu was accompanied to the Wall by his wife Sarah.

Last night (March 17) during his victory speech at Likud campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said, “Reality is not waiting for us. The citizens of Israel expect us to quickly put together a leadership that will work for them regarding security, economy and society as we committed to do – and we will do so.”

The Likud said in a separate statement that it is talking with the Bayit Yehudi party led by Naftali Bennett, as well as with Kulanu, the party led by former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, and the hareidi-religious parties.

The prime minister was clear during the campaign in stating his belief that recent history shows it is no longer in Israel’s best interests to support the establishment of an independent Palestinian Authority state. Netanyahu is therefore intent on building a right-wing government coalition that holds similar views.

Cleanup

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

A worker cleans the floor, covered with Likud campaign banners depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud ballots, at the Likud party headquarters in Tel Aviv on March 18, 2015, after the exit polls in the Israeli general elections were announced, with PM Netanyahu claiming victory.

Is Netanyahu a New Ariel Sharon in Disguise?

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

A new poll has surprised observers and shows that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party has soared past its current strength while Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party has taken a nosedive in popularity. Labor also is suddenly more popular.

The Smith surveying company including carried out the poll for the Globes business newspaper, which reported, “The resumption of the peace talks with the Palestinians is benefiting the Likud, restoring its political fortunes after a long slide.”

Polls themselves can be inaccurate, cause and effect are not necessarily obvious, and the public, especially the Israeli public, can be very fickle.

But the bottom line is that Netanyahu is solidly up front, perhaps reflecting the public’s feeling of less uncertainty in the short term, regardless of the incredible gamble Netanyahu has taken for the long term.

No one knew what was going on inside Ariel Sharon’s mind when he flabbergasted the public and turned traitor to the Likud’s own policy platform by carrying out the removal of all Israeli civilians and soldiers from Gaza, even at the expense of bolting the Likud and forming the Kadima party.

Critics assume that he did so to make a bundle for him and a friend by establishing a casino in northern Gaza, which never got off the drawing boards.

However, when people get older, especially when they are in a position of power, their egos do strange things to the brain. Perhaps they want their place in history, or perhaps they think they have one last chance in life to save the world.

The same may not be true for Prime Minister Netanyahu, who will be 64 in October, but the fact is that in the past three years, he has turned from Mr. Hawk to almost Mr. Dove, constantly caving in to pressure from President Obama.

Whether the White House is offering him something in return concerning Iran is conjecture, but Netanyahu’s capitulation – freeing terrorists and chasing surrender –  is reminiscent of Yitzchak Rabin’s. He once promised he would never shake the hand of Yasser Arafat, but Rabin ended up signing a peace agreement with him.

Globes noted that Netanyahu sat twice this week in the Knesset cafeteria, where journalists and Cabinet ministers mingle, after appearing there only once in the previous four years. Apparently, the man feels more comfortable with journalists now that he has indicated he is willing to toy with the left-wing media’s agenda.

It would take an earthquake or two to make a Netanyahu a Nobel Peace Prize  Laureate, but for the time being, he would be happy to settle for a more comfortable position in the coalition government.

The latest poll proves that Netanyahu has made mincemeat out of Lapid and left Bennett with just about the same support he had. The national religious crowd, like Shas, always goes to bat for its own leader, but the team never is able to fill the empty bleacher seats with more enthusiasts.

On the surface, the resumption of direct talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was the major event this week that might have changed the Likud’s and Yesh Atid’s fortunes in the poll.

Lapid is increasingly being seen by his supporters as having reneged on his promises to help the middle class and is being throwing into the same ”capitalist” class as Netanyahu.

That would explain why respondents in the poll dumped Lapid and gave Labor, headed by Shelly Yachimovich, a whopping 18 seats, five more than it holds in the current Knesset.

Rounding out the list, Meretz continues to gain strength adding one more projected seat to come up 10 Knesset members, four more than now, Shas is making a comeback to its present strength of 11 seats, Naftalli Bennett’s Jewish Home party picks up one more for 13 mandates, and Tzipi Livni is languishing with three seats, half her party’s current strength. She is not getting any Brownie points for being Netanyahu’s errand girl.

Last is the polls is Shaul Mofaz’s Kadima, which would go into its well-deserved political graveyard and be shut out of the next Knesset.

Feiglin Named Deputy Knesset Speaker

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu surprised many Likud followers Monday by naming his long-time nemesis Moshe Feiglin as of one several Deputy Knesset Speakers. The Knesset elected Knesset Member Yuri Edelstein as Speaker, replacing Reuven Rivlin.

Feiglin heads the Jewish Leadership faction that for years has been trying to become the dominant influence in the Likud party, and he has brought a large number of residents of Judea and Samaria into the Likud party even though they often voted for other partiers in the genera elections.

The presence of pro-Feiglin supporters within the Likud has enabled him in the past to win sufficient support to be placed high enough on the list of Knesset candidates likely to be elected.

Prime Minister Netanyahu moved him out of the high rankings in the elections four years ago by a political maneuver, but this time around, Feiglin cut a deal with Likud veteran MK Yisrael Katz that catapulted Feiglin on the roster and assured him a seat.

Blockbuster Probe Could Wreck Coalition

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein has ordered a probe into the legality of a deal made between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and outgoing Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and which may be a key to a future government coalition. Lieberman was promised that he can return to his former Foreign Ministry post if he is found not guilty on charges of breach of trust.

Lieberman resigned from his post in December after an indictment concerning the advancement of  former ambassador to Belarus Ze’ev Ben Aryeh, who allegedly leaked to Lieberman classified information about a police investigation concerning Lieberman.

If the deal is ruled illegal, Netanyahu would be off the hook on his promise, but Lieberman could make alternative demands that could throw a monkey wrench into coalition discussions.

Weinstein emphasized that his order of the probe does not imply that he thinks the deal is not legal. He responded to an appeal last month by the government watchdog Ometz to examine the legality of the agreement, which Ometz said is a coalition agreement and therefore needs to be approved by the Knesset.

Ometz asserted in its complaint to the attorney general that foreign ministry workers would have a problem testifying against Lieberman if the post remains open for him to return as their boss.

Aryeh Avery, chairman of Ometz welcomed Weinstein’s decisions and maintained that it “points to a violation of the law.”

He added, “I am asking for immediate intervention and cancellation of the agreement as a necessary step for Netanyahu and Lieberman  to uphold the law.

During the current coalition negotiations, Netanyahu has not yet promised the Foreign Minister post to anyone. He agreed to appoint Tzipi Livni Justice Ministry as well as be responsible for the “peace process.”

Future (Yesh Atid) chairman Yair Lapid has reportedly demanded to be Foreign Minister, a request that Netanyahu cannot agree to if he holds by the agreement with Lieberman.

Feiglin: When I am Prime Minister, Livni Will Be in Opposition

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Newly-elected Moshe Feiglin threw in a line about being a future Prime Minister at a gala Queens dinner honoring him Monday night for being elected as an Israeli Knesset Member of the Likud party..

Feiglin spoke at the banquet in the Fresh Meadows Chateau Steakhouse, which was packed with supporters, including  several Reform Jews, according to the International Business Times.

The new Knesset Member finally has achieved his aim after successful attempts by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to keep him out of the legislature, but now he will have to stomach some Likud policies that he abhors

A prime example  is Netanyahu’s recent appointment of center-left Tzipi Livni as Justice Minister and responsible for the “peace process.”

Looking beyond the horizon, Feiglin said, “When I am Prime Minister, God willing, Tzipi Livni will not be in my government.”

The Israeli consensus would give Feiglin a zero chance of becoming Prime Minister, but it also dismissed him years as a possible Knesset Member.

The Hill website’s Bernie Quigley wrote in January that Feiglin would “find kinship” with Republican Senator Rand Paul.

“Ron Paul, who opposed the Israeli lobby’s efforts and the neocon adventures in wonderland, was unfairly caricatured as an anti-Semite in his opposition to the invasion of Iraq,” Quigley wrote. “And Rand Paul would find kinship with Moshe Feiglin, the liberty candidate for the Knesset who opposed American influence in Israel since 2001. Feiglin’s rise to the Knesset this month has already changed the culture and historical trajectory of Israel….These two, Rand Paul and Moshe Feiglin, rise in the world together and possibly fate intends for them to do so.”

Feiglin made it clear to his supporters at Monday night’s banquet, sponsored by his Jewish leadership faction, that his being in the Likud government  – assuming it will be formed – does not mean he is adopting its policies.

Asked for a response to the Palestinian Authority’s gaining recognition in the UN as a non-member observer, he  said, “There are no Palestinians; it’s all a ruse — there is no Palestinian history or Palestinian anything in Israel.”

He added, “It is meaningless, what they decided. I’ve heard this same decision made in the last 20 years at least three, four times.

The Jewish Voice for Peace, not surprisingly, condemned Feiglin’s appearance. The left-wing group labeled Feiglin and his associate David Sackett as racists who praise Rabbi Meir Kahane, the Brooklyn-born rabbi who once served in the Knesset and was murdered in New York.

The Palestine News Network reported that the Jewish Voice for Peace deputy director Cecilie Surasky said, “It’s unfortunate that a dangerous extremist like Feiglin, who has been banned from entering the UK, is being welcomed to speak in New York by members of the Jewish community.

New Freeze Talk Imperils Netanyahu’s Coalition

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

Jerusalem – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing his first serious coalition crisis after tentatively agreeing to a new 90-day construction freeze in Judea and Samaria in return for several financial, military and political incentives from President Obama.

The list of incentives includes:

A guaranteed American veto of anti-Israel resolutions in the UN.

Joint U.S.-Israel diplomatic and military efforts designed to thwart Iran’s goal of producing a nuclear weapon.

An additional 20 advanced F-35 stealth strike fighters, gratis, upon Congressional approval. (Israel had already ordered 20 F-35s two months ago for delivery in 2012 at a cost of more than $2.75 billion.)

Also, the White House will not ask for another construction freeze after the 90-day moratorium expires, even if renewed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations do not produce an agreement during the moratorium; the construction freeze will only apply to Judea and Samaria and have no bearing on continued construction throughout Jerusalem; the U.S. will grant Israel nearly $20 billion in special military aid if Israel and the Palestinians reach an interim peace deal with agreed upon borders; and Israel and the U.S. will sign a formal military defense pact sometime in the next few months.

Despite the enticing list of incentives, Netanyahu, fresh off his seven-hour meeting in New York last week with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, found himself on the receiving end of severe criticism from senior ranking members of his cabinet, including Deputy Prime Minister (and former IDF chief of staff) Moshe Ya’alon.

“Defense Minister Ehud Barak cooked up this deal, which no one has seen on paper and appears to have as many holes as Swiss cheese,” Ya’alon says he told the prime minister during a private gathering of the “Forum of 7,” a group of senior Likud Party ministers thought to be close to Netanyahu.

The newspaper Yisrael Hayomreported that Ya’alon was so angry with Netanyahu for letting “Barak call the shots” and caving in to Palestinian demands without getting anything in return that he was seriously considering halting any political cooperation with the prime minister.

A number of Likud Knesset members met Monday to discuss setting up a “rebellious voting faction” within the party to pressure Netanyahu not to accede to American and Palestinian demands. MK Yariv Levin told The Jewish Press that if Netanyahu agreed to a new freeze, “he would lose my vote in the Knesset.”

“This is slippery slope without a happy ending,” he added. “What happens when there is no agreement at the end of 90 days? Everyone knows the Palestinians will walk away again.”

The three-member Jewish Home faction has already informed Netanyahu that if the cabinet approves a new freeze in Judea and Samaria, the party will bolt the government, leaving Netanyahu with both a narrower ruling coalition and a fledgling rebel faction within his own Likud Party.

YESHA Council Director Naftali Bennett, who once served as Netanyahu’s chief of staff, pointed out to The Jewish Press that “Three weeks ago, Netanyahu committed to the Israeli public and to the entire world that he would make no further concessions or renew the freeze unless the Palestinians first recognized Israel as the Jewish state. Now he’s seemed to drop this critical condition. If Netanyahu caves under American and Palestinian pressure, he’ll be ridiculed by the entire world. The Middle East is a tough neighborhood and its primary currency is strength and integrity. We hope the prime minister won’t throw his away.”

Senior Likud members say the next several days will be critical in determining whether the freeze controversy will force Netanyahu to make changes in his coalition. Many expect the freeze to pass in the cabinet by a narrow margin, because of the expected abstention by two Shas Party members.

Shas Minister Eli Yishai, who has long opposed another freeze, now says that “There’s a freeze going on anyway de facto, both in Jerusalem and in Judea and Samaria. It’s better to make it official, to limit its duration and to receive in exchange approval to build in Jerusalem, than to freeze unofficially forever.”

Meanwhile, Likud MK Danny Danon discussed the proposed freeze extension in an emergency meeting Sunday with a number of Likud activists and elected officials from towns in Judea and Samaria.

Danon termed the proposal “another bad move by the Obama administration. It is strange that the results of the elections in the United States did not turn on a huge warning light for Obama that the way to justify his Nobel prize is not through pressuring Israel.”

Danon called on Likud ministers and other nationalist ministers not to give in to American demands and not to be blinded by the package of benefits the U.S. has offered Israel. Obama knows, he said, that “freeze or no freeze, Americans will always side with Israel.”

Rabbi Dov Lior, chief rabbi of Kiryat Arba and one of the leading religious-Zionist rabbis, also urged Netanyahu to stand firm in the face of pressure.

In a letter to the prime minister, Rabbi Lior wrote: “You have merited the task of representing our nation in one of the most difficult periods in the process of our nation’s redemption, and therefore you are obliged to stand as a rock in the face of all of our enemies who seek to hurt us.

“In this difficult hour for the State of Israel, which is facing harsh pressure from the nations of the world, and especially from the ‘western power,’ to give up our right to our historic homeland, I am taking the step of wishing you ‘chazak ve’ematz’ [be strong and firm] from the heights of the Judean Mountains, the birthplace of the Kingdom of Israel, the place where our holy Forefathers rest, and the location in which Israel’s greatest leaders lived and acted in the past.”

Rabbi Lior wrote of the spiritual fortitude of Israel’s forefathers, and hoped the prime minister “will merit to [absorb] from the greatness of these people the mental strength and ability to stand firm.”

(Supplemental reporting by INN)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/new-freeze-talk-imperils-netanyahus-coalition/2010/11/17/

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