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December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

Likud Party Bars Netanyahu from Running as Chairman

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

The Likud party’s comptroller ruled on Wednesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cannot run to head the party in the December 31 leadership vote because he allegedly used party funds for his own campaign to head the party again.

Netanyahu’s lawyer said that the Prime Minister will appeal the decision and that party comptroller Shai Galili, does not have the authority to bar Netanyahu from running for re-election as party leader.

Galili claimed that Netanyahu used Likud party headquarters and employees for his own campaign to be re-elected December 31.

His decision, if it is upheld, means that Knesset Member Danny Danon, the only other candidate in the race to lead the Likud, will take over the party. Danon is one of the most nationalist Likud Knesset Members, and Netanyahu has tried to weaken his influence in the government.

Galili ruled, “Due to the current facts, I have not reasonable choice other than employ my authority, according to Likud law Number 28, to order the cancellation of the candidacy of [Netanyahu] in the [leadership] elections December 31.

He quoted a verse from the Torah – “You shall not place a stumbling block before a blind person…[Leviticus, 19:14" – to state that “my decision is given by the authority invested in me according to the Likud law cited above. I ask {Netanyahu] to note that ignoring the decision is liable to be construed as breaking a law that provides for punishment of two years in jail.”

 

New Poll: Shows Netanyahu Will Lead Next Gov’t with Haredim

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

A new pre-election poll issued on Monday leaves no option for the next government other than one headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the help of Haredi parties.

Here is the lineup according to the “Panels” poll conducted the Knesset Channel :

Labor-Livni – 23

Likud – 21

Jewish Home – 16

Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid) – 11

Kulanu (Moshe Kahlon) – 9

Yisrael Beitenu – 7

Meretz – 7

Arab parties – 10

Yehadut HaTorah (Haredi) 7

Shas – 5

Eli Yishai – 4

The Labor party, headed by Yitzchak Herzog with his new sidekick Tzipi Livni, cannot form a majority the Haredi parties, which won’t happen unless it can convince two of four parties – Yair Lapid ,Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman and Meretz – to agree, which as likely as snow in July.

The center-right ring camp has less of a problem with the Haredi parties.

Adding up Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu and Kahlon comes up with the non-magical number of 55, six less than the majority that is needed to form the government.

The three Haredi parties are in the driver’s seat for the time being, and if the results in March will be similar to those of today, they will dictate the terms of the next coalition.

If that happens, Lapid and Livni will rue the day they worked against the coalition of which they were a part.

The polls are not meaningless and actually are a factor in how people will vote. If voters see that the next government will be under the thumb of Haredi partiers, they might start shifting their votes.

Supporters of Yesh Atid and Labor-Livni might shift a bit to Kahlon, possibly enough to give Netanyahu a majority of 61 without the Haredi parties.

Herzog, Livni and Lapid have a problem because there is not much they can take from other parties.

Yehuda Glick Running as Likud MK Candidate

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

Rabbi Yehuda Glick, who was critically wounded in an assassination attempt several weeks ago, announced he is running “symbolically” on the Likud list for the elections to the Knesset.

He is in 33rd place, and he will not be elected unless the party performs a miracle no less than his recovery and wins 33 seats.

Glick, who was shot by a Jerusalem Arab because of his activism on the Temple Mount, previously has run on even more distant places on the Likud list. He said he is not asking for a better chance to be elected because the ”boss” – his wife – knows what is best for him.

Liberman’s Secret Plan to be Crowned Prime Minister

Friday, December 19th, 2014

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) and Moshe Kachlon (Kulanu) have big plans in the works, according to a report by Zeev Kam of Makor Rishon.

Neither want to see Benjamin Netanyahu as Prime Minister anymore, and Avigdor Liberman very much wants to be Israel’s next big boss.

And if this backroom deal works, it’s not unfeasible.

According to Makor Rishon, Liberman and Kachlon are planning a variation of Naftali Bennett’s alliance with Yair Lapid – where the two worked in concert to get what they wanted from Netanyahu, even if it meant both would have joined the opposition.

But Liberman’s aspirations are much bigger than Bennett’s were in the last election, when Bennett primarily wanted to ensure he wasn’t excluded from the coalition completely.

All the current poll results show that at least one of the two parties, either Kachlon’s or Liberman’s, must be in any coalition formation, whether Left or Right – and then the other can either be marginalized or excluded. That puts neither in a particularly strong negotiating position if they stand apart.

But Liberman’s solution, which Kachlon has reportedly given an initial positive nod to, goes far beyond Bennett and Lapid’s temporary alliance, and not only protects the both of them, but puts them in the catbird seat.

Immediately after elections are over, Liberman and Kachlon are talking about merging their parties. This way, before elections, they take advantage of the split vote, acquiring more votes separately than they would together.

And then after elections, they merge their parties, placing them among the top three.

And here’s the big part of the story — both plan to recommend to President Rivlin that the newly-merged party’s chief, Avigdor Liberman, be crowned Prime Minister.

The two already have a vote sharing agreement, where any extra votes that don’t translate into another Knesset seat for one party are transferred over to the other’s party, with the hope that it will give the recipient an extra boost.

Members of the Likud are aware of the purported plan, and as a result are shifting focus away from fighting the Herzog/Livni hydra, which Netanyahu now sees as a lesser threat, and refocusing it on Liberman, who he is worried could unseat him, or simply make his life and coalition unbearable. if not unsustainable.

Interestingly enough, Netanyahu’s shifted focus may be self-defeating.

Netanyahu did the same thing in the last election, painting a bull’s-eye on Naftali Bennett, which significantly helped Bennett in the polls.

Liberman’s party unequivocally denied the Makor Rishon report, stating they don’t have any agreements with any of the other parties – not for before and not for after the elections.

Kachlon’s people also denied the report saying it never happened, and it’s all spin.

What’s even more fascinating are the unintended consequences that might result.

A three-way split between Netanyahu, Herzog/Livni and Liberman/Kachlon won’t leave any of them with enough seats or partners to form a coalition.

If one of the three doesn’t compromise on who gets to be Prime Minister (after completely extorting the other), we could find ourselves going to elections again.

Bennett may also find himself as the tiebreaker/kingmaker.

Whether the report is accurate or not, one thing is clear – the Israeli electoral system is broken, and vulnerable to games like these, where tiny parties, through backroom deals and arm-twisting can force themselves into key positions of power, despite their narrow support base in the general population.

Secular Yesha Leader Dani Dayan Bolts Likud for Jewish Home Party

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Dani Dayan, a secular leader in Judea and Samaria, announced Sunday he is leaving the Likud party and is joining the Jewish Home party where he will run for the Knesset.

Dayan, who is not a Knesset Member, is almost a shoe-in to win a “sure” spot on the list and the addition of another secular Knesset Member turns the screws tighter on Jewish Home Knesset Members Uri Ariel and Orit Struk, who are threatening to leave the party.

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bonnet welcomed Dayan, former chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, known by the acronym “Yesha.”

“He is a real fighter for the Land of Israel,” Bennett said, adding that bygones will be bygones, referring to former differences between them. Looking forward to a new coalition next March with the Likud party, Bennett said the addition of Dayan will strengthen the next government as more nationalist, without the inclusion of Tzipi Livni, who shoved the “Peace Process” in the faces of Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu even when Mahmoud Abbas was praising terrorists.

Dayan joins Ayelet Shaked as the two most prominent secular members of the Jewish Home party, highlighting Bennett’s strategy to open the nationalist camp to everyone and not follow the old-line National Religious Party ideology of keeping its doors closed to secular Jews.

Knesset Member Orit Struk, who is part of Housing Minister Uri Ariel’s Tekuma faction that joined the Jews Home in the last elections, said that Dayan’s appearance on the scene is further evidence that Bennett does not want Tekuma in the party.

“They are turning the Jewish Home into a second-rate Likud,” Struk told Israel radio Sunday.

She accused Bennett of spreading lies about the Tekuma faction concerning its ties with rabbis, exactly the image that plagued the old National Religious Party and which Bennett wants to erase from the memory of the voters.

Bennett has rejected Ariel’s to reserve top spots for his Tekuma faction on the list of candidates.

Ariel and Struk are throwbacks to the hard-line attitude that a “true” nationalist has to be religious, that yeshivas and Judea and Samaria are all that are important to the country,  and that a non-religious nationalist party will turn into a watered-down Likud.

She said Tekuma has several options, including running as a separate party  or joining party expected to be established by Eli Yishai, who appears to be hours or days away from splitting off from the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Ariel and Struk’s ideology is scantly what has handicapped national religious factions in the past. Hey trust their rabbis, whose mixture in politics almost always is catastrophic, and don’t trust secular Jews.

There is one unmentioned element t as large as their ideology and which may put the brakes  on Ariel and Struk. It is called “money.”

The Tekuma faction, like any other faction, mist take with it 25 percent of the current party’s Knesset Members in order to carry a wad of money from Jewish Home’s treasure chest, money that will be needed for Tekuma’s own election campaign.

Tekuma faction MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan already has decided he will run with the Jewish Home party rather than take a chance of losing a Knesset seat by running with Ariel on a separate party list that might not even win the minimum number of votes needed to enter the legislature.

That leaves Yoni Chetboun as Ariel and Struk’s only possibility, unless they want to go on their own without a suitcase of a few million shekels that Bennett would be happy to keep for himself.

Gideon Sa’ar Decides not to Run against Netanyahu for Likud Leadership

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Senior Likud member Gideon Sa’ar announced Thursday he will not run against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the leadership of the Likud party.

Sa’ar, an old friend of the Prime Minister, resigned from the Knesset several months ago for a “vacation” from politics. Likud party members who want the Likud to take a stronger hawkish stand have been lobbying him to try to take over the reins, with the enthusiastic support of Israel’s major print and electronic media that have been trying for years to undermine Netanyahu.

The Prime Minister showed Wednesday night he still is in charge after succeeding to win a 2-1 majority to back his proposal to move up by several days the vote for who will continue to lead the Likud.

Yisrael Katz May Replace Lapid as Finance Minister

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is likely to appoint Likud wheeler-dealer Yisrael Katz as Finance Minister this week, replacing Yair Lapid, whom the Prime Minister fired last week when he decided had enough of the current coalition.

Katz currently is Transportation Minister. He also is an old guard and powerful rough and tough Likud politician, who knows how to get things done but can’t do much of anything unless it is through a back-door deal.

Netanyahu did a masterful job as Finance Minister in the Sharon government a decade ago, and the economy probably would be better off if he were to continue to head the ministry until the elections in March.

However, it is the elections that are prompting him to have Katz take over the job, not for the sake of the economy but for the sake of his own position as Likud leader.

Giving Katz a more prominent position and power would keep at bay challengers to Netanyahu, such as Gideon Saar and Gilad Erdan.

Katz is excellent at pulling strings behind the curtain and keeping people in place, and managing the nation al treasury is nifty way to do so.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yisrael-katz-may-replace-lapid-as-finance-minister/2014/12/10/

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