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March 27, 2015 / 7 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

Bibi Apologizes to Arabs but Obama Does not Apologize to Jews

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has apologized to Israeli Arabs for his Election Day statements urging Jews to counter the “droves of Arabs” at the polls, but President Barack Obama and American media have not apologized to Netanyahu for falsely representing his remark.

The New York Times lead off the hit parade of Netanyahu-bashers by calling the Prime Minister’s remarks a smack of “racism.” and Obama picked up the thread by accusing Netanyahu of inciting racism.

But what did Netanyahu actually say? Here is his quote, widely reported by thousands of news outlets:

Right-wing rule is in danger. Arab voters are going to the polls in droves. Left-wing organizations are bringing them in buses.

That’s it. He did not imply or even suggest that Arabs should not vote. He simply stated that because Arabs are “coming out in droves” to vote, presumably for the Joint Arab List that might agree to allow a left-wing coalition government, Jews needed to show up at the polls and vote for the Likud.

The New York Times editorial the day after the elections reads as if Netanyahu had said something else. The editorial stated:

This outrageous appeal to hard-line voters implied that only he could save Israel from its enemies, including the country’s Arab citizens, who represent 20 percent of the population and have long been discriminated against….

In his desperation, Mr. Netanyahu resorted to fear-mongering and anti-Arab attacks.

Anti-Arab? “Enemies.” That is what The New York Times may wish Netanyahu had said, but fiction makes for good reading at the Times.

President Barack Obama followed by stating,

Although Israel was founded based on the historic Jewish homeland and the need to have a Jewish homeland, Israeli democracy has been premised on everybody in the country being treated equally and fairly.

And I think that that is what’s best about Israeli democracy. If that is lost, then I think that not only does it give ammunition to folks who don’t believe in a Jewish state, but it also I think starts to erode the meaning of democracy in the country.

Where, pray tell Mr. President, did Netanyahu even hint that Jews and Arabs are not treated equally?

The president’s reaction, along with that of the NY Times and the Israel anti-Netanyahu media, is an egregious libel  based on a non-truth and a twisted interpretation that is unparalleled outside of dictatorial regimes where truth is another word for a lie.

Netanyahu’s comments certainly were undiplomatic and offensive in a country where the Arabs are a minority and often discriminated against, but they were not racist by any stretch of the imagination. They simply touched a raw nerve by referring to Arabs as a political group that could block a right-wing government.

He apologized Monday, stating that he “knows my comments last week offended some Israeli citizens and offended members of the Israeli-Arab community. This was never my intent. I apologize for this. I view myself as the prime minister of each and every citizen of Israel, without any bias of religion, ethnicity or gender.”

But President Obama, The New York Times and the Israeli establishment media have not flipped to  the other side of the coin.

If it is wrong for Netanyahu to scare Jews into voting by warning that the Arabs might usher in a left-wing government, is it kosher for  pro-Arab groups to urge Arabs to vote to counter Jewish right-wing ballots?

In the weird world of truth in the bankrupt left, the end justifies the means when it comes to defeating the right wing.

At least two pro-Arab groups, The Abraham Fund and Ameinu, have admitted to organizing a campaign to urge Arabs to vote, and  there is suspicion that The Abraham Fund may have done so with the help of the American taxpayer.

The Abraham Fund’s election campaign slogan was “Building a shared future for Israel’s Jewish and Arab citizens.”

It launched a “Broad-Based Action Plan to Increase the Participation of Arab Citizens in upcoming Elections for Knesset.” The Abraham Fund, based in Jerusalem, New York City and London,  stated that it “focuses its plans on a number of areas including running conferences for Arab students in colleges and launching a media and advertising campaign to persuade the Arab public to participate in the democratic process and vote in the elections.”

Fair enough, but targeting Arabs to vote is no less “racist” than targeting Jews to vote, regardless of the reason.

But it is not fair if State Dept. grants are used to encourage Arabs, and not Jews, to vote.

WorldNetDaily journalist Aaron Klein reported, “In 2010, the State Department provided the Abraham Fund a $999,715 three-year grant for an education initiative in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Education. Another part of the grant was designated to a project with the Israeli security services aimed at fostering closer Arab-Jewish ties.

“Amnon Beeri-Sulitzeanu, co-executive director of the Abraham Fund, told KleinOnline the U.S. government funds are not being utilized for the voter-participation drive.

“‘The initiative is being paid for by private donations from donors interested in Arab participation,’ he said.

“He acknowledged, however, that ‘some (money for the project) comes from our core funding at the Abraham Fund. Since our workers are getting paid anyway, some of their job is dedicated to the vote project.'”

Another group that tried to get more Arabs to vote in last week’s elections is Ameinu, an American non-profit organization. It director Kenneth Bob said at a J Street panel Sunday, “We helped put together a get-out-the-vote effort in the Arab community.”

He confirmed charges by Netanyahu that U.S.-funded groups were behind the move to bring Arabs to the polls. The Washington Free Beacon quoted Bob as saying, “When Bibi spoke about the tens of millions of dollars pouring into this effort, my only correction was it wasn’t tens of millions. He exaggerated a little bit.”

The Free Beacon reported in February on a confidential memo drafted by Ameinu in December 2014 outlining the Arab-targeted initiative led by the group Givat Haviva, which “brought a delegation of Arab-Israeli mayors to the United States in February to meet with Democratic leaders and learn political organizing techniques.

“The State Department expedited the mayors’ visas, according to internal correspondence obtained by the Free Beacon.

“One week before the trip, Darawshe and other Givat Haviva representatives also met with high-ranking American diplomats, including the deputy mission chief, at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to discuss the planned visit.”

No one has apologized for encouraging Arabs, but not Jews, to vote in the elections.

Kulanu Chairman Moshe Kahlon Becomes ‘Kingmaker’ in Israel

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

Former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, leader of the Kulanu party, became the “kingmaker” of the next coalition Monday when recommended President Reuven Rivlin task Likud’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the formation of the new government.

“We nominate Netanyahu and the broader the base of the coalition, the better it will be for all of us,” said Kahlon, who told the president that his party had a social orientation that was focused on the human being.

Kahlon’s hearty endorsement brought Netanyahu to an absolute majority of 61 votes in his favor, which allowed Rivlin to announce the prime minister would be tasked with forming the next government – one of the swiftest coalition assignment determinations ever to take place.

Also voting for Netanyahu on Sunday in addition to the Likud were the delegates from the Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. An endorsement from Yisrael Beytenu that followed shortly after brought Netanyahu’s total to 67 mandates.

The total meant that although the president had yet to meet with the far-left Meretz party, which had five votes to either add or withhold, neither would change the outcome.

At present, not including Meretz, the merged Zionist Union led by Labor party chairman Isaac (“Buji”) Herzog holds 24 votes. The remaining 24 potential coalition members, which include Yesh Atid and the Joint Arab List are holding back for the time being.

Rivlin pointed out that it is not a given that all those who voted for Netanyahu will actually support the government he assembles, when the time comes.

Even after a president has tasked a designated person to form a government, and even that person successfully forms a coalition, the government still must be approved by the Knesset plenum, he noted.

President Rivlin to Hear Recommendations, Liberman Undecided

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

President Ruby Rivlin will begin meeting with party heads on Sunday to get their recommendations for the candidate who will try to form the coalition.

On Sunday, Rivlin will be meeting with the Likud (30), the Zionist Union (24), the Joint Arab list (13), Bayit Yehudi (8), Shas (7), and UTJ (6).

On Monday, Rivlin is meeting with Yesh Atid (11), Kulanu (10), Yisrael Beytenu (6) and Meretz (5).

Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Kulanu, Shas, and UTJ are expected to recommend to the President that Netanyahu be given the task of trying to form a coalition.

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) said he has not decided if he wants to support Netanyahu. He’s played similar games in the past.

Despite his party’s relatively poor showing in the elections, Liberman is demanding the Defense Ministry, which Netanyahu reportedly wants to leave in the hands of current Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon.

With 61 seats on his side, Rivlin is expected to task Netanyahu with trying to form the coalition, though ultimately it’s President Rivlin’s decision who gets the first shot.

If Netanyahu succeeds in coalition negotiations, he’ll once again be Israel’s Prime Minister.

Obama Aides Lay Groundwork to Betray Israel at UN Security Council

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

Aides to President Barack Obama told media Friday the U.S. will “reassess” its relationship with Israel in the wake of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s re-election to an historic fourth term.

A White House official couched the nasty reality in more diplomatic language, saying the president had told the prime minister “we will need to re-assess our options following the prime minister’s new positions and comments regarding the two-state solution.”

An official statement distributed following the call said the president had emphasized the U.S. “longstanding commitment to a two-state solution” during his conversation with Israel’s prime minister.

Earlier in the day on Thursday, Netanyahu clarified his position on the issue, explaining his reasons for a statement during the campaign in which he told supporters he would not back the establishment of a Palestinian state during his fourth term. In that clarification Netanyahu talked about the present realities in the Middle East with which Israel has to contend. He also noted that he supports the same conditions for negotiating a sustainable peace that he had set forth in his speech at Bar Ilan University in 2009: a demilitarized Palestinian state led by a government willing to recognize the Jewish State of Israel.

But he pointed to changes on the ground that cannot be denied – or ignored – and that present a real threat.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has united his government in Ramallah with that of Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, which is allied with the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Lebanon-based Hezbollah. All three are faithful proxies of Tehran. In addition, Gaza is now home to bases for a number of Salafi global jihad terrorist groups. Among them are the Army of Islam, Al Qaeda, and Daesh, also known as ISIS or the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Iran and its proxies are also literally parked on Israel’s borders, in Lebanon, Syria, the Syrian side of the Golan Heights and the Sinai Peninsula. A new Palestinian state would be ripe for the picking as well, creating for Israel an existential threat that no leader could allow.

None of which has impressed Obama. At a briefing on Friday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters: “Now that our closest ally in the region – and one of the two parties who would be responsible for negotiating a two-state solution – has withdrawn from their commitments, to that ideal, it means that we need to rethink the kinds of policy decisions that we’re going to have to make going forward.”

Never mind the fact that the Palestinian Authority – the first of the two parties responsible for negotiating the two-state solution — withdrew from its commitments several years earlier.

Obama has entirely ignored the fact that the PA, via the PLO, unilaterally dropped out of the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords. He has also turned a blind eye as the PA abandoned its moral and legal obligations to negotiate a final status agreement with Israel, using the United Nations as an excuse to break that deal. The General Assembly of the United Nations participated, allowing itself to be so used by granting the entity non-member observer nation status, which opened the door for the PA to join hundreds of international treaties.

Some members of the American media are also using a double standard to judge Israel’s decisions on its national security and foreign policy.

CNN news anchor Wolf Blitzer interviewed Israeli Intelligence Minister Yuval Steinitz as part of Israel’s “Likud-led government” and baldly demanded to know: “Do you support what’s called a two-state solution, Israel living alongside, the new state of Palestine.”

US President Obama Punishes Israel for Re-electing PM Netanyahu

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Punishment for Israelis who chose to re-elect Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu this week was not long in coming from U.S. President Barack Obama.

The Obama administration is now reportedly weighing the option of whether to agree to a draft resolution at the United Nations Security Council calling for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, as well as the withdrawal of Israel from Judea and Samaria, with mutually agreed land swaps.

The resolution would force Israel to enter immediate talks with the Palestinian Authority, in advance of a final status agreement for both sides.

Obama administration officials said Thursday the White House may support passage of this new resolution, according to a report published in the New York Times.

“We are now in a reality where the Israeli government no longer supports direct negotiations. Therefore we clearly have to factor that into our decisions going forward,” a White House official said.

Major differences have emerged between the two administrations over the question of how to deal with the constant threat posed by a Palestinian Authority that succors and glorifies the terrorists in its midst.

Future contacts between Israel and the United States would be managed by Secretary of State John Kerry and Pentagon officials, the White House official added, saying, “The president is a pretty pragmatic person and if he felt it would be useful he will certainly engage. But he’s not going to waste his time.”

For decades, U.S. presidents traditionally call the apparent victor of Israeli elections after the polls have closed to congratulate them on their win. Likud Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has received that call three times in the past, including from President Barack Obama, even during their most fractious relations – but not this week.

Instead, “the day after,” Netanyahu received a public scolding from Obama on his “divisive language” and a refusal by the American president to call his Israeli counterpart to offer the traditional congratulations. Secretary Kerry did make the call, per the tradition.

In an initial response to Israel’s election results, White House press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters that the U.S. would have to “re-evaluate” its position.

On Wednesday, the White House spokesperson talked about the president’s “deep concern” over the “divisive language” used by Netanyahu’s Likud party, claiming attempts to marginalize Israel’s Arab citizens in social media posts urging voters to get to the polls to offset a high turnout of more radical Arab voters supporting the united Arab party lists. “These are views the administration intends to convey directly to the Israelis,” Earnest said. Similar efforts by Obama during past presidential campaigns among targeted populations were seemingly forgotten.

During Obama’s own electoral campaign, as GOP Congresswoman Ileana Roz-Lehtinen of Florida pointed out, the president himself used divisive language while trying to whip up support from Latinos. “If Latinos sit out the election cycle, we’re going to punish our enemies and we’re going to reward our friends,” he said at the time — which she noted was a “pretty divisive kind of rhetoric” as well.

“The [Israeli] election is over,” Roz-Lehtinen told Fox News. “Let’s move on.”

But in fact, that’s not happening. “They’re really sticking it to Netanyahu to this day,” she added, “… but President Obama needs to understand that the United States Congress sides with Prime Minister Netanyahu on [Iran].”

The straw that broke the camel’s back for the president, apparently, was a remark by Netanyahu during his campaign in which he stated he would not allow creation of an Palestinian Authority state next to Israel due to what is now obviously a security threat.

Earnest, however, said the president still believes a “two-state solution” is best, even though top Israeli leaders warn that such a move would pave the way for an Iranian launching pad on Israel’s borders – or worse, an ISIS terror state right in Israel’s midst.

State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki said Wednesday that the administration would “absolutely” continue to push for an independent PA state.

Speaking on CNN, White House political strategist David Simas congratulated Israelis – but not Netanyahu – and noted the difficult process of coalition building still lies ahead.

“Sometimes that takes a couple of weeks and we’re going to give space to the formation of that coalition government, and we’re not going to weigh in one way or the other, except to say that the United States and Israel have a historic and close relationship and that will continue going forward.”

Final Election Count is In

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

The final count of votes from the 2015 Israeli elections are in.

72.3% of eligible voters voted. 4,249,846 people voted out of 5,881,696 eligible voters.

The final seat distribution is as follows:

Likud (Netanyahu): 30
Labor/Zionist Union (Herzog / Livni): 24
The Joint (Arab) List: 13
Yesh Atid (Lapid): 11
Kulanu (Kachlon): 10
Bayit Yehudi (Bennett): 8
Shas (Deri): 7
UTJ (Gafni / Litzman): 6
Yisrael Beyteynu (Liberman): 6
Meretz (Gal-On): 5
Yachad (Eli Yishai): 0

The Likud was 15,877 seats away from passing the million voter mark.

Yachad was missing 11,932 votes in order to pass the minimum threshold.

43,842 votes in total were disqualified.

Yachad is considering petitioning the court over approximately 15,000 votes that were disqualified due to various problems with the voting slips.

Three people were arrested during the elections for tampering with Yachad voting slips, trying to make it impossible to vote for the Yachad party, and there were more cases where Yachad slips were found tampered with to disqualify them, but no arrests were made.

The Yachad party suspects they may have enough votes to still get in, and are currently examining the issue and will make a decision in the coming days.

Bedouin Village Gave 76% Of Its Votes To Netanyahu

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Published on Jewish Business News by Ilan Shavit

Residents of the Bedouin village Arab al Na’im in northern Israel were not surprised Wednesday to discover that more than 76 percent of them had voted for the Likud party. The United Arab List received only about 15 percent of the village’s votes, Ma’ariv reported.

Why did these Bedouin villagers vote en masse for Netanyahu’s party?

Village Clerk Nimer Naim told Ma’riv: “The truth is it’s surprising to us as well, but it turns out each one of us voted their hearts. It was a free election.”

“This settlement was always discriminated against, and no one would recognize us as an official settlement. All the governments discriminated against us, while recognizing smaller communities. Bibi Netanyahu himself and the Likud government finally recognized us,” Naim explained.

“In our heritage, we remember the good things a person did for us, and that explains this unusual vote.”

The Bedouin village of Arab al Naim located near the community of Eshkhar, south of the city of Karmiel. It has approximately 100 families comprising 650 people. The village was recognized as a listed settlement by Netanyahu’s first-term Government in January 1999. Eleven years later, in January 2010, under Netanyahu’s second government, the regional housing planning commission approved the master plan for the settlement.

Arab al Naim is the last of the six Bedouin villages in the area to be recognized by the state.

So far, despite their official upgrade, the village is still not connected to Israel’s road, electricity and sewer systems, and its meager public services—two kindergartens, a youth club, a pediatric clinic and a general medical clinic all operate in mobile structures.

But Naim says that over the last two years there has been a kind of revolution in Arab al Naim: “Today we already have 800 meters of a paved major artery, the streets have been paved, and there’s construction of more than 80 permanent housing units the residents here are building.

“It’s a real revolution,” he adds. “We issued a tender for a sewer system, and this week the contractor is starting to work on laying a sewer line. In a few months we will have a sewer and electricity, and we are satisfied.”

The overall cost of upgrading the village is estimated at $17 million.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bedouin-village-gave-76-of-its-votes-to-netanyahu/2015/03/19/

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