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September 16, 2014 / 21 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Likud Party’

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)

Will Bibi Keep Tal Brody’s Dream Alive?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

JERUSALEM – Just prior to the Likud Party primaries last fall, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu arranged a press conference to introduce a variety of new faces who stood a legitimate chance of being elected to the Knesset.

  Tal Brody, the legendary American-born Israeli basketball star who played a vital role in putting the Jewish state on the international sports map nearly 30 years ago when he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to victory over a strong Soviet team, was personally introduced by Netanyahu as his future minister of sports and culture.

 

 

 

Tal Brody

  Brody joked with the media that he looked forward to perhaps playing some hoops with President Obama, an ardent basketball fan.

  The amiable Brody, who had spent the better part of his retirement from pro basketball making a small fortune in the insurance business near his Herzliya Pituach home, was an admitted political novice.

  Running in the Likud primaries as the representative from the “central coastal district” (#24 slot on the overall Knesset list), Brody found himself in the midst of an unanticipated fierce battle against World Likud organization leader Danny Danon.

  The politically savvy and well-organized Danon easily defeated Brody at the polls. Brody’s lawyers claimed Danon had falsified his residency status in the region, which would have disqualified his victory. After an arduous legal battle, the Likud’s own internal courts recognized Danon’s residency and thus his victory, much to the chagrin of both Brody and Netanyahu.

  “I am not sorry that I ran for office,” Brody told The Jewish Press. “In fact, Netanyahu praised me for putting together an effective campaign in a very short period of time. However, I am disappointed in the way the system works.  

   “All the Israeli political parties have this system where all kinds of backroom deals are cut during the primary process. In my case, Danon cut a deal with Moshe Feiglin whereby Danon’s supporters backed Feiglin’s candidacy in exchange for the backing from Feiglin’s supporters.”

 Though Feiglin garnered a large number of votes, the same internal Likud court that handed a victory to Danon punished Feiglin by slotting him way down the final Likud Knesset list, depriving him of a Knesset seat.

  This is not what Brody had in mind when he ventured into Likud politics.

 

Brody hoists the European Cup trophy in 1977

  “The only reason I got involved in this process was because I felt good and honest people must come forward to serve the country,” he said.

  “I then realized that a substantial number of local Likud voters actually depend on getting jobs from these professional politicians, who end up being obligated to the voters. Bibi was supportive of my efforts and he asked me what I wanted to do for my country.”

  Brody, who led the American basketball squad to a gold medal during the 1965 Maccabiah Games in Israel, was asked by Maccabi Tel Aviv officials and even legendary Defense Minister Moshe Dayan to bring his talents to the Jewish state.

   A year later, Brody began his pro career in Israel, which reached its apex in 1977 when Maccabi Tel Aviv won the European Cup (forerunner to the EuroLeague).

   Brody has always believed Israel could do more for its sportsmen on both the amateur and professional levels.

   ”My goal was to enter the Knesset and work with Bibi, who would appoint me minister of sports and culture,” he said.

   ”The government’s budget for the development of amateur sports in Israel has gone from $35 million a year to $10 million a year. We need to supplement that budget with funding assistance from well known sports organizations such as the NBA or the NFL.

   ”I was also hoping to spend time speaking with Jewish organizational leaders and create a sports program with Birthright-Israel Taglit. It’s important to tell the younger generation in the U.S. about my story to also encourage aliyah.”

  As an ardent Zionist, Brody believes young Israeli children could also use a good dose of Jewish values.

   ”You know,” he remarked, “it would be nice if they stopped teaching about the Arab ‘Nakba’ – the so-called tragedy of Israel’s rebirth in 1948 – in Israeli schools and teach Jewish kids why they should be proud to be living in the Jewish state.”

  While the chances of his being named Israel’s minister of sports and culture are now remote, Brody is still hoping to receive a phone call from Prime Minister-designate Netanyahu.

  “I’m now retired from the insurance business and looking forward to starting my third career,” he said.

The Policy Of Restraint

Friday, September 7th, 2001

Prime Minister Sharon is being roundly criticized in his own Likud Party by those who are disenchanted with his policy of “restraint.” Indeed, it would now appear that former Prime Minister Netanyahu would win a vote for leadership of the Likud if it were held today. Plainly, there is much frustration with the continuing violence and the failure of Mr. Sharon to bring an end to it.

However, upon reflection we believe the criticism is misplaced. Massive air strikes against Palestinian targets and/or an invasion and reoccupation of Gaza and the Palestinian-controlled areas of the West Bank at this time would surely trigger the strongest of international condemnations ? including from the United States. And Israel would most certainly face mounting terrorism, both inside and outside of the West Bank.

Yet the Sharon policy has already achieved significant success. There are already signs that the policy of targeting the terrorist decision-makers is leading to desperate-sounding calls from Arafat on down for international protection. One even hears some of the leaders telling their cadres to tone down the violence beyond the so-called “green line” and for a return to rock-throwing. Some are even heard to call for abandoning even rock throwing within the “green line.” We don't for a moment think that we have reached a turning point. But it does seem fair to say that the Sharon policy seems to be having an impact while the alternatives do not look all that promising.

Just as importantly, the Sharon policy seems to be resonating well with the Bush administration. To be sure, Secretary of State Powell periodically expresses criticism of this or that Israeli action. But it is significant that both President Bush and Vice President Cheney continue to express a more supportive view of what Mr. Sharon is doing.

To be sure there may come a time when more extreme measures may be warranted. There may come a time when the prospect of stemming the violence through cowing those who give the orders may become too dim. But the point is that by that time Israel can reasonably expect to bring President Bush along with him by continuing to act reasonably under the circumstances ? measured and not precipitously.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/the-policy-of-restraint/2001/09/07/

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