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May 29, 2015 / 11 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

Avigdor Liberman Resigning from FM, Quitting Coalition, Heading to Opposition

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) dropped a political bombshell today, and apparently not as a negotiating tactic, when he announced he is quitting as Foreign Minister and his party will not be joining PM Netanyahu’s coalition.

Liberman, unhappy with the directions of the negotiations said his party will be sticking to its principles, and as a result, will be joining the opposition. He wants Hamas destroyed and construction in the settlements. He also wants to be Foreign Minister again, which Netanyahu doesn’t want.

Sources close to Netanyahu have said that the Likud will be keeping the Foreign Ministry.

Netanyahu has until Wednesday to form a coalition.

Even without the Yisrael Beytenu party, Netanyahu can still form a coalition of 61 with his remaining “natural” partners – Kulanu and the various religious parties. But Netanyahu has been unable to seal the deal as Shas and Bayit Yehudi are in an intractable fight over the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Yisrael Beytenu’s exit may be a blessing for Netanyahu, as it frees up some of Liberman’s ministries which Netanyahu can now offer to his remaining potential partners.

Liberman has claimed that Netanyahu wants to bring in the Zionist Camp (Labor) into the coalition.

Within the Zionist Camp, an open revolt has begun against Tzipi Livni, with Shelly Yechimovitch publicly proclaiming that she does not see Livni as the co-head of the party, after boycotting the Zionist Camp party meeting.

If it weren’t so late in the coalition negotiations game, this could have been the first shot in removing Livni from the party, and paving the way for Labor to enter the coalition, and forming a ‘National Unity’ government.

Yitzchak Herzog has denied he planned to join Netanyahu’s coalition at any point. Herzog believes that Netanyahu’s coalition will be “unstable” and “doomed to failure.”

Israel Coalition Deal Means Tax Hike on Investment Housing

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

If you have been planning to buy an apartment in Israel for a supplemental income or investment, better hurry up.

In a coalition deal arranged between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud and the Kulanu party led by Finance Minister-designate Moshe Kahlon, Israel will impose a tax of up to 20 percent tax on housing purchased for investment purposes.

The investment tax at present is graduated, with five percent in the first tax bracket, moving up to a maximum of 10 percent.

Someone who buys the same apartment for residential purposes – who intends to actually live in the apartment – will be taxed only up to five percent, according to Globes.

It was also agreed the real estate partners with the Housing Ministry will build 700 apartments for public housing. Other lots will be sold at a discount to contractors under the agreement, Ynet reported.

Kahlon’s party signed a coalition agreement yesterday (Wednesday, April 29) with Likud.

Coalition Talk Updates

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Sources in Bayit Yehudi are signalling that party chief Naftali Bennett is prepared to give up his demand for the Foreign Ministry under two conditions.

The first condition is that Bayit Yehudi be properly compensated for giving up the lucrative ministerial position, which rumor has it, the compensation has already been offered to him.

The other demand is that Avigdor Liberman doesn’t get the Foreign Ministry instead of him, according to an NRG report. Netanyahu is meeting with Liberman today.

This week JewishPress.com reported that Bennett is likely to receive the Ministry of the Economy, as well as the Ministry of Strategic Affairs as compensation.

Another major disagreement is over the Ministry of Religion, which Shas’s Deri is expected to get, but Bayit Yehudi wants.

The Likud told Bayit Yehud that Shas will be getting the Minsitry of Religion and will not be sharing any part of it with Bayit Yehudi.

Shas will probably also get the Ministry of the Interior, minus the Planning Division, which will be transfered over to Moshe Kachlon’s Kulanu party.

Update: Netanyahu met personally with Naftali Bennett today for the first time in 2 weeks. The meeting was held before Netanyahu’s meeting with Liberman.

Coalition Talks Progressing

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Coalition negotiations with the Likud are advancing, as the current deadline for forming a coalition draws near.

According to Globes, an agreement will soon be reached with Bayit Yehudi.

Naftali Bennett would keep his existing position as Minister of the Economy, where he did very well. Bennett would also get the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

Uri Ariel would leave the Ministry of Building and Construction and transfer to the Ministry of Agriculture.

A Ministerial position will also be reserved for Ayelet Shaked.

The Likud team wants to try to reach an agreement with Moshe Kachalon’s Kulanu party by Independence Day next week. Kachlon was offered the Ministry of Finance.

Netanyahu has asked Aryeh Deri of Shas to take the Ministry of Transportation instead of the Ministry of the Interior, and UTJ has recommended to Shas that they take the offer.

Likud and UTJ seem to be on the same page.

PM Netanyahu will be meeting privately with Avigdor Liberman tomorrow to discuss Liberman’s demands for the Foreign Ministry.

According to Globes, once Netanyahu reaches an agreement with Kulanu, Bayit Yehudi, Shas and UTJ, Netanyahu will decide if he will bring in either the Zionist Union or Yisrael Beyteinu into the coalition.

Likud and Bayit Yehudi Continue Coalition Talks

Monday, April 6th, 2015

The teams representing the Likud and Bayit Yehudi parties continue to meet to work out a coalition deal.

At this point, the primary road block is the position that Bayit Yehudi party head Naftali Bennett will receive.

Bennett is demanding the Foreign Ministry, a job he would be very good at, after his excellent representation of Israel during Operation Protective Edge.

Netanyahu wants to give the Foreign Ministry to Avigdor Liberman.

If Bennett doesn’t receive the Foreign Ministry position, which is considered a top senior position, Netanyahu may try to compensate Bennett with additional, smaller ministries to make up for the difference, or combine different ministries together to create a custom tailored senior ministry for Bennett to run.

Presumably, Bennett would be part of the inner-circle security cabinet, regardless of what position he receives.

With the Iran nuclear threat in the air, there are rumors floating of a potential unity government between Likud and Labor, but both sides have denied that this is an option.

President Rivlin Tasks Netanyahu with Forming the Government

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

On Wednesday evening, President Ruby Rivlin, after consultation with the heads of all the political parties, tasked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with the job of forming the next coalition government in Israel. This will be Netanyahu’s fourth time as Prime Minister.

In the Israeli political system, once elections are over, the parties must combine to form a coalition government with at least 61 out of the 120 seats as members.

After consulting with the parties, the Israeli President selects the party head most likely to be able to form the coalition and then that party head has 28 days to put a coalition together, or in this case, April 22 at night, which is when Israel’s end its Memorial Day and start its Independence Day celebrations. If needed, he can receive a 14 day extension, which this year ends on May 6 – the eve of Lag Ba’omer.

If there are no surprises, Netanyahu is expected to form a coalition, after some tough negotiations, with the Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Kulanu, Yisrael Beytenu, UTJ and Shas.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bibi-apologizes-to-arabs-but-obama-does-not-apologize-to-jews/2015/03/24/

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