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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

Naftali Bennett and Uri Ariel are Going to Lose the Elections

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

“Shooting inside the APC”

The polls show Bayit Yehudi winning between 16 to 18 seats in the upcoming election.

But the polls are wrong, and the reason is Naftali Bennett and Uri Ariel.

Bennett and Ariel have different political styles, different visions on how the party should run, different religious outlooks, and most importantly they’ve forgotten what they have in common and what they have to both gain and lose.

If this fighting between the two of them continues to escalate in the direction it is heading — and they are both to blame for the fighting — then the Bayit Yehudi party will split, and everything gained in the last election will be lost.

Ariel’s National Union, as a stand-alone party, is unlikely to have enough seats to pass the threshold, and even if it does pass they’ll be sidelined from any coalition. Either way, National Union seats will be siphoned away from Bayit Yehudi and lost.

And on the other side, Bennett, without Ariel (who is an excellent parliamentarian) will not really interest those who are looking for a right-wing and religious party, which is what the National Union bloc brings to Bayit Yehudi.

Without its strong religious/right-wing component, Bayit Yehudi will look like a poor man’s Likud, and why vote for a copy when you have the original- the Likud, who will be fielding their proven and strong right-wing/religious bloc.

If these two split the party, I simply don’t see myself voting for either one, and I’ve heard the same from other people.

So they had better get their acts together now, and each of them had better start to compromise and talk nicely to one another and figure out how to run and work together, for everyone’s benefit — then Bayit Yehudi will win big.

Otherwise, I’ll give be giving my vote to Feiglin and Hotovely, even if I have to hold my nose and vote Likud to do so.

Elections Likely after Purim Parties but MKs Already Take Off Masks

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Barring Divine Intervention, the Knesset will vote to dissolve itself but not forever, and new elections likely will be held in mid-March, perhaps the week after Purim.

Elections are exactly what no one in the country wants, except for a few sadists who pose as politicians.

It will cost the country about $500 million, and it will leave Israel without a budget just when there is little shine left on the image of the once-fabulous Israeli economy that has weakened under the weight of government-sanctioned monopolies that extort the public for obscene profits, and under the burden of eternal security unrest, whether it come from Gaza, Syria, Ramallah or Washington.

As The Jewish Press reported here earlier today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Yair Lapid, one of his alleged partners, to stop rocking the boat or get off.

Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party and who was Israel’s glamour boy two years ago when his new party grabbed 19 seats in the Knesset, took the first raft he could find and jumped ship.

With an ego bigger than the size of the fat lady in the circus, Lapid could not possibly accept Netanyahu’s terms to stay in the government.

For his part, the Prime Minister’s ultimatums were a public political flogging of Lapid.

Elections cannot be held until90 days after the end of a government, according to the law that ensures that every Israeli citizen suffer the maximum punishment and still survive.

The projected timeline for new elections is a vote on Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, with the final decision and date being set next week, revolving around the Jewish holidays. Before then, President Reuven Rivlin will go through the motions to offer someone else a chance to form a make-believe government.

The most likely date for elections is the week after Purim. The second possibility and a lot less likely one is mid-April, when Israel returns to normal after Passover and is involved with Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

Lapid and Netanyahu’s lieutenants in the Likud party already are throwing around enough dirt to cover the entire Knesset, which sometimes sounds like a good idea.

Lapid accused Netanyahu of making deals with the Haredi parties to enlist their support by bribing them with money for yeshivas and easing conditions of the universal draft, as demanded by Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Likud ministers responded by throwing poison darts at Lapid’s performance as Finance Minister.

Lapid’s big-ticket populist banner has been the “Zero VAT” panacea that is supposed to make housing affordable for the middle class by eliminating the 18 percent Value Added Tax on the purchase of new homes.

Netanyahu obviously took this into account and figures that Lapid is going to use Zero VAT to try to con the voters into backing him.

If Lapid thinks he can fool all of the people all of the time, the con game would work, but Israeli voters are not as stupid as their leaders. The whole Zero VAT scheme is has so many conditions and so many limitations that it would help no more than a few thousand families.

Lapid knows his popularity in the polls is almost as low as the ethics of certain Knesset Members, as far-fetched as that seems. He is counting on the Israel’s anti-Netanyahu media, with the exception of Sheldon Adelson’s Israel HaYom, to lead his campaign.

Ditto for the pathetic and hapless Tzipi Livni, an intelligent woman who took the wrong turn when she entered politics. Her party of six MKs is another alleged partner in the coalition, in which she has spent most of her time kissing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s pinky for the Peace Process.

She spent Tuesday by calling the Netanyahu government, of which she has been a partner, “paranoid and extremist,” and she said she is different from the government because she is a “Zionist,” about as nasty remark as possible, even for an Israeli politician.

Election Fever in Israel

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

The Likud party, led by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, is set to hold primary elections next month. Members will cast their ballots on January 4, 2015 to decide who will lead the party, just a day before primaries are held by the Bayit Yehudi party, led by Naftali Bennett, for the same reason.

The announcement that the two leading right wing parties in Israel are both set to hold primary elections next month comes in the wake of a failed “peace” attempt between Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of the left-centrist Yesh Atid party, on Monday night.

The prime minister told Lapid at that meeting the coalition would be unable to stand as long as Lapid and his party members continued to attack the very same government in which they participate.

Netanyahu listed five conditions to be met by Lapid in order to hold the coalition together and avoid early elections:

  • Cease attacks on the coalition, Israeli construction in Jerusalem and the nation’s relations with the United States;
  • Transfer NIS 6 billion to the defense budget to fund development of APCs (armored personnel carriers), the Iron Dome anti-missile defense system, and military training programs;
  • Release funds to facilitate the IDF move to the Negev in accordance with previous agreements. The project was officially frozen Sunday by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon due to a lack of funds from Finance Ministry;
  • Support the Jewish State Law version authored by Netanyahu as presented at the cabinet meeting on Sunday;
  • Freeze the zero percent VAT bill, a centerpiece project of Yair Lapid.

Given the final condition in particular, it appears that early elections are inevitable. The  zero percent VAT bill is one that Lapid has promised his constituents he will pass.

The Yesh Atid party said in an official statement following the Netanyahu-Lapid meeting that the prime minister “chose to act irresponsibly and put the needs of the Israeli public at the end of his list of priorities… The prime minister prefers to drag the entire economy into elections that will paralyze the economy, will stop all the reforms designed to benefit the citizens of Israel and prevent young couples from having the opportunity to buy their own apartment with the realization of the zero percent VAT law.”

Israel May Call Early Elections Next Month

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will likely call early elections next month as controversy continues over the Jewish nationality bill and other measures — and as the second-largest political party, Yesh Atid, fights for control of the government.

The prime minister has slammed the 2015 budget proposal advanced by Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid, saying the budget would hurt the IDF and jeopardize Israel’s security.

A bill proposed by Lapid to drop the VAT (sales tax) to zero was also criticized by Netanyahu, who said the plan would “waste billions, won’t lower the cost of housing and will help only contractors who are close to Lapid advisers.”

More to the point, Netanyahu maintained Lapid is blocking him from governing the country effectively — and said new elections were preferably to the “back room deals” he said were sabotaging his leadership.

“The coalition will only survive if I can govern,” he said Friday. “I’m not sticking to my chair. I was chosen to run the country and the nation as I see fit but I cannot run the country this way. If Yesh Atid and Lapid continue their irresponsible behavior it will be right to go back to the voters.”

In response, Lapid told an audience at a cultural event in Tel Aviv that Netanyahu had not spoken to him in the past month. “Housing reforms are stuck, the budget is stuck, our international relations are deteriorating. Insteading of passing the budget and dealing with these issues [Netanyahu and his advisers] are dealing with petty politics,” he complained.

Other politicians are also gearing up for what appears to be an inevitable drive towards early elections.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, chairman of Yisrael Beytenu, has released a diplomatic plan to Hebrew language dailies — but Liberman had started his political posturing already during this past summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge.

Former social services minister Moshe Kahlon also held a rally as part of preparations to form a new political party and he too has been making statements to media in what clearly appears to be preparation for elections.

Hareidi religious political parties are holding talks with all sides in order to see who will give them the best deal, as usual; United Torah Judaism has long had a handshake with Yisrael Beytenu, trading local votes for favors in small towns and cities throughout the country. In return, it is likely a similar deal will come into play at the national level when early elections are held.

Likud Proposes Multipoint Plan to Fight Arab Terrorism in Israel

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014

Likud MK Yariv Levin is proposing an 8-point plan to combat Arab terrorism in Israel, according to a Yediot Achronot report.

The plan takes the form of “temporary legislation”, presumably for the duration of this current security crisis.

The proposal was put together at the behest of PM Netanyahu, who asked for proposals to help fight this current wave of Arab terrorism and restore Israeli deterrence.

The plan includes the following measures:

1) Citizenship: Israeli-Arabs engaged in terror or cooperating with terror attacks will lose their Israeli citizenship. And if they are Palestinian Authority Arabs, then their residency status.

2) Deportation: Following completion of their prison sentences, Arab terrorists will be deported out of Israel.

3) Funerals: Terrorists will not have funerals.

4) Unmarked graves: Terrorists bodies will be buried in locations unknown to the family.

5) Home demolitions: The homes of the terrorists will be destroyed within 24 hours.

6) Masked rioters: Masked rioters throwing stones, shooting fireworks, and those participating in those riots will be arrested and held in jail until legal proceedings against them are completed. That includes anyone waving an enemy flag (“Palestinian” flag) during riots. Anyone convicted will lose their National Insurance benefits and driver’s license for ten years.

7) Family: Family members who express support for their relative’s terror attack will be deported to Gaza and will lose their citizenship.

8) Printing: Printing businesses that print posters supporting terrorism will be closed.

In addition the proposal allows business owners to query the police about an employee’s security offenses, and fire them without fault.

As deterrence measures go, these could actually work,m and work well.

But it is highly unlikely that the plan could actually pass in its current form, as there are too many civil rights issues it rides roughshod over.

But some parts of it might pass muster, and perhaps simply having anything stronger on the books might be enough to help begin deterring Israeli-Arab terrorists and their supporters.

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.

Elections? Polls Show Center-Left on the Skids

Friday, October 31st, 2014

A new poll shows that the center-left parties have no chance of winning general elections and that the Jewish home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, would be the number two party after the Likud, chaired by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s media establishment, which likes Netanyahu as much as President Barack Obama likes him, recently has been talking up an atmosphere of instability in the coalition government and that elections will be held in the spring.

A survey by the reputable Rafi Smith firm, carried out for the left-leaning Globes business newspaper, reveals that the center-left has everything to lose and nothing to win by pushing for an early vote.

The popularity of the Jewish Home party has increased, and it could expect 15 Knesset Members, three more than in the current session. It would be the second largest party after the Liked, with a projected total of 24 MKs, and would replace Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

Yisrael Beitenu and Likud ran together in the last elections but since have gone their separate ways. The poll shows the Likud would win 24 seats today and that Yisrael Beitenu would garner only 10 mandates.

The number-three party would be Labor, with 14 seats, one less than it now enjoys.

The biggest loser is Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party, which would be left with only 9 MKs, 10 less than the current 19.

Lapid swept into the Knesset as the great hope of the mainly secular, center-left voters who consider a Jewish presence in all of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem a drain on their pockets.

Lapid promised everything under the moon, which so far remains eclipsed both by his failure to produce results and by his wake-up call from the war with Hamas, which proved once again that it might be so smart to play Monopoly with the Palestinian Authority and draw a border between Ventnor Avenue and Park Place, or between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

The projected line-up if elections were held today is, on the right with a total of 49:

Likud – 24;

Jewish Home – 15;

Yisrael Beitenu – 10.

On the left, with a total of 22:

Labor – 14;

Meretz – 8.

The parties that could go either way, depending on the wind, have a total of 28 MKs:

Yesh Atid – 9;

Shas – 7;

Yehadut HaTorah – 8;

Tzipi Livni’s HaTnua party – 4.

Kadima, as earlier polls have shown, would disappear. The Arab parties would have 12 votes but would not join a center-left coalition. The wild card is Moshe Kahlon, former Likud Minister of Communications who broke the mobile phone oligarchy in Israel and brought prices of mobile phone calls down by 90 percent. His new party is projected to gain 9 seats in the next elections, and he could go left or right.

Even if all the swing parties and Kahlon were to join a center-left coalition, they would have only 59 seats, two less than the needed absolute majority of 61. In any case, a coalition of the seven parties would be a nightmare and have zilch chance of becoming a reality.

With 49 projects MKs on the right, Netanyahu would have a choice of re-negotiating with Lapid and tempting Kahlon, or he could go with the Haredi parties.

In either case, he would have a majority without having to worry about having to deal with Livni again.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/elections-polls-show-center-left-on-the-skids/2014/10/31/

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