web analytics
March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

V15 Campaign’s Defense is Wrong: Its Positions More Radical than PA

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Opponents in Israel of the American tax-exempt organization-funded V15 campaign effort have laid several complaints against it: one, the foreign funding (including U.S. government funding) of an Israeli campaign violates Israeli election law, and two, an American tax-exempt entity funding a political campaign violates American law.

But even V15’s defenses to those charges make it ripe for lethal criticism.

V15 and its funder, OneVoice, claim to empower the “majority of Israelis” to change Israeli leadership (that’s what their posters say: “We’re Changing the Leadership”) to reflect that majority’s views. In fact, the goals of OneVoice represent neither the majority of Israelis, nor even the stated political views of the Palestinian Authority.

Let’s start with the complaints already on record.

In this corner, we have V15, the community organizing-style political campaign effort which imported the skills and funding of American leftists to Israel. OneVoice has received, under the Obama administration, large grants from the U.S. State Department and various foreign political parties and efforts. Also, the fact that the son of Mahmoud Abbas – the acting leader of the Palestinian Authority, is on its Advisory Council, is difficult to ignore.

The most problematic issue already raised, because it is hardest to explain away, is how an American entity which is tax-exempt can be funding a political campaign at all, let alone one in Israel.

IRSGATE MEETS ISRAEL

The politicization of American tax-exempt organizations was what triggered the Internal Revenue Service’s ugly Lois Lerner scandal. A significant number of politically conservative organizations which applied for tax exempt status were subject to extraordinary scrutiny and other alleged inappropriate behavior, because the claim was, because they were politically engaged, which is prohibited under the IRS regulations.

But the flat-footed targeting and punishment of organizations deemed “conservative” by the IRS was itself a politicization of the IRS process. It led to a huge outcry, congressional investigations, internal governmental investigations and lawsuits, most of which remain unresolved.

In fact, at least one pro-Israel organization which applied for tax-exempt status was given special scrutiny by the IRS which placed it in a Be on the Look Out (BOLO) category created by the IRS for “occupied territory advocacy.”

Just advocating for Israel with respect to the disputed territories triggered intensive IRS scrutiny, without the organization funding or participating in either an American or an Israeli political campaign. That’s hard to square with OneVoice having tax-exempt status, given its focus on “occupied territory advocacy.” The difference between the two entities is that OneVoice unabashedly seeks to turn over the disputed territory to the Arabs.

Young Likud party activists posted on their Facebook page instructions for filing complaints with the IRS against V15, in an effort to encourage the Service to undertake an investigation of the entity, and members of Congress are seeking an investigation by the State Department.

In addition, a complaint was filed with Israeli police against V15 and the Labor-Livni and Meretz parties, alleging violations of Israeli election law which bars campaign funding from sources outside of Israel.

V15 RESPONSE AND COUNTERCHARGE

The response by V15 to the criticisms lodged against it have been inconsistent. It was able to diffuse the State Dept. funding issue by claiming the grants ran out at the end of November, 2014. V15 was not launched until January, 2015, so, they claim, there were no State Department funds in its coffers by then.

The entity’s response to the IRS violations have been less categorical. Although it rigorously denied it is involved in the prohibited “campaigning for or against any political candidate,” statements by its alleged leadership, and the plain letter of their own posters reveal otherwise.

Gafni Says UTJ Will Only Go with Right

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Moshe Gafni, the co-chairman of the Chareidi UTJ party said, “Rav Shach would never let us go with the Left, Degel HaTorah [Gafni's faction in UTJ] has never gone with a leftwing government.”

The statements were made at a Degel HaTorah party meeting to party leaders and activists, according to a Bechadarei Chareidim video and report.

Actually, in July 1999, UTJ (and Moshe Gafni) sat in Ehud Barak’s leftwing government, side by side with Meretz (along with Shas, Liberman’s Yisrael B’Aliyah and the Mafdal).

To their credit, UTJ left the coalition in September of 1999, due to an open breach of Shabbat by the government when it ordered the transport of a large turbine generator for the electric company on Shabbat.

Gafni said that Degel HaTorah would have no problem going with the Left, in fact the Left would make sure the Chareidim receive even more money from the government.

But, Gafni said, Rav Shach [Degel HaTorah's late spiritual founder] said the party needed to worry about the children of the non-religious who are learning in the public schools, over a million of them, who don’t know what is “Shema Yisrael,” implying that a Rightwing government helps in that area.

After the UTJ party became excluded from the current coalition, Gafni became an extremely vocal and enraged voice against the “Dati-Leumi” sector, even going as far as threatening to destroy Hesder Yeshivas and dry out the settlements in revenge when he gets back in power particularly in response to the Shaked Enlistment Law.

It appears Gafni’s pronouncement regarding the Left was made in reaction to Aryeh Deri’s recent statement that the Shas party would not join a leftwing government, which then put pressure on UTJ to also declare their allegiances for their rightfully concerned voters.

Netanyahu Takes on the Media

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Unlike the previous election, this time around Prime Minister Netanyahu is clearly investing his time and efforts to make sure the Likud does well.

Repeatedly, his commercials are well thought out and amusing.

In this latest commercial Netanyahu is making fun of the Israeli media for coming up with one nonsense scandal or another, while he’s doing important things.

This is the Netanyahu that wins elections, and he is clearly back, and at the top of his game.

Channel 1 Poll Shows Likud Leaping Ahead

Saturday, February 7th, 2015

A new poll by Israel Channel 1, shows the Likud leaping ahead of the other parties, and Yachad still passing the electoral threshold:

Likud (Netanyahu): 27

Labor/Zionist Union (Herzog / Livni): 23

The Joint (Arab) List: 12

Bayit Yehudi (Bennett): 11

Yesh Atid (Lapid): 11

UTJ (Gafni / Litzman): 8

Kulanu (Kachlon): 7

Yisrael Beyteynu (Liberman): 6

Shas (Deri): 6

Meretz (Gal-On): 5

Yachad (Eli Yishai): 4

LEFT: Labor (23) + Arab List (12) + Yesh Atid (11) + Meretz (5) = 51

RIGHT: Likud (27) + Bayit Yehudi (11) + Kulanu (7) + UTJ (8) + Shas (6) + Yisrael Beytenu (6) + Yachad (4) = 69

 

Aryeh Deri of Shas said his party would not join a leftwing government, and preferred to join a national unity government led by the right.

Some voices in Yesh Atid are hinting they would not join a Herzog/Livni led government as it is too left, but no official position has been put forward.

Eli Yishai’s Yachad party continues to pass the electoral threshold.

New Poll Bad News for the Left and Bayit Yehudi

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

A new poll published by the Israeli Walla! website Thursday shows that the left and center-left parties are losing support, as is the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.

If elections were held today, the Likud would win 26 seats in the Knesset, compared with 23 for the Herzog-Livni “Zionist Camp” duo, according to the poll.

The most significant changes from previous polls are weakening support for Meretz and Bayit Yehudi. The left-wing Meretz party will barely win representation, apparently losing voters to Herzog-Livni, a merger of Livni’s HaTnuah party and Labor (The Zionist Union), the poll reveals. Theirs candidates are more much more leftist than before, attracting Meretz supporters but apparently putting off supports who may have flocked to Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and the new Kulanu party founded by Moshe Kahlon.

Bayit Yehudi, headed by Naftali Bennett, is losing ground. For the first time since the beginning of the campaign, the party has dropped to 12 Knesset seats, the same as in the outgoing Knesset but two to four less than in nearly all previous polls. This puts them as the same size as the Arab party, who could end up being the 3rd largest party in the Knesset.

That drop accounts for the increase in support for Likud.

The shifts in supports for Meretz and Bayit Yehudi do not change the left-right balance, but they leave the Likud in a better position.

The Walla! poll gives Yesh Atid 10 seats, one more than in most other previous polls. All other parties are more or less in the same position, except for Yisrael Beiteinu, which was granted seven seats, according to the poll. Previous surveys projected the party headed by Avigdor Lieberman would barely win enough support to enter the Knesset.

The new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai continues to be on the edge of winning enough votes to enter the Knesset.

 

Haaretz Poll Puts Bibi On Top, Yishai Finally In Too

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

A new poll by Haaretz-Dialog, to be published on Tuesday, has the following results:

Likud (Netanyahu): 25

Labor (Herzog / Livni): 23

Bayit Yehudi (Bennett): 14

The Joint (Arab) List: 12

Yesh Atid (Lapid): 9

Kulanu (Kachlon): 8

UTJ (Gafni / Litzman): 8

Yisrael Beyteynu (Liberman): 6

Shas (Deri): 6

Meretz (Gal-On): 5

Yachad (Yishai): 4 In terms of Right vs. Left coalitions building, we have the following possibility:

LEFT: Labor (23) + Arab List (12) + Yesh Atid (9) + Shas (6) + Meretz (5) = 55

RIGHT: Likud (25) + Bayit Yehudi (14) + Kulanu (8) + UTJ (8) + Yisrael Beytenu (6) + Yachad (4) = 65

UTJ is unlikely to sit in a leftwing coalition, and Yisrael Beyteynu finally said they wouldn’t.

Kulanu is unlikely too, but it can’t be ruled out.

Yesh Atid would consider joining the right if it meant not sitting in the opposition.

 

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman Finally Declares His Allegiances [video]

Sunday, February 1st, 2015

Wow. It took a long time, but Yisrael Beiteynu chief, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman finally declared his political allegiances without the semantic games and ambiguity.

In a YNET TV interview, Liberman clearly stated he will only join a right-wing led coalition.

Liberman said it could be a right-wing coalition, or a right-wing led national unity coalition, but he won’t join a left-wing coalition.

On the other hand, Liberman specifically clarified that these two options are the only realistic coalition configurations that seem possible.

From that statement, one might choose to interpret his allegiances to a right-wing led coalition as a practical response to what’s actually available as opposed to ideological considerations. He believes that The Zionist Camp (Labor) will join a right-wing led national coalition government.

Liberman is down to the low single digits in the polls, but he believes that on election day the voters will bring him back to double digits.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/foreign-minister-avigdor-liberman-finally-declares-his-allegiances-video/2015/02/01/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: