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June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

Analysis: Bennett Threatening to Walk If Bibi Gives Shaked’s Justice Portfolio to Bougie

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Two left-leaning Israeli media outlets, Ha’aretz and Channel 10, on Monday signaled the formation of advanced negotiations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Opposition Leader Itzhak Herzog (Zionist Camp a.k.a. Labor) to build a broad coalition. The talks, which have been egged on by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), were interrupted by police investigation of Herzog over election corruption charges. Now, as it appears that the investigation is about to be concluded without a recommendation for an indictment against the son of Israel’s late president and grandson of Israel’s late Chief Rabbi, the rumors of new talks have returned to the foreground in full force—but, as we noted, mostly from the left. Is it wishful thinking or reality?

Ha’aretz on Monday framed the story as a new confrontation between Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennet and the prime minister. According to the daily, Bennett has been threatening that if Netanyahu transfers the Justice portfolio from his party’s number 2 Ayelet Shaked to an incoming Labor minister, the National Religious would depart the coalition. Bennett is quoted as having said “behind closed doors” that “we see in the Justice portfolio an essential issue, which would mean the same as changing the government’s guidelines agreement. It’s not just a personnel issue.”

Ha’aretz, which has been advocating the kicking of Bennett et al to the curb since about the time Netanyahu presented his 61-seat coalition, relishes the story which it presents as the first ultimatum made by a coalition party leader this term. That is, of course, inaccurate, not only because said ultimatum is yet to be voiced publicly, but because Haredi MK Yisrael Eichler in March voiced an actual ultimatum regarding the reversal of Netanyahu’s permissive policy regarding the Reform and Conservative in Israel.

Ha’aretz cited a “senior Likud member” who insisted that the Justice portfolio is, nevertheless, on the table, because Netanyahu is convinced that he can’t go on much longer with his tiny and fragile majority. Over the Winter Session, the PM was blackmailed by several of his members, which cost him a few key votes and ended up costing his government an arm and a leg in flying to Israel hordes of Ethiopian Christians who may or may not have Jews somewhere in their background—all because two pro-Ethiopian Likud members stayed out of the plenum when they were most needed.

But an examination of the reality in both Netanyahu’s coalition and Herzog’s opposition reveals several hurdles the two leaders may not wish to tackle, never mind jump, at this point. There’s little doubt that Bennett, whether he threatened or didn’t threaten with an ultimatum “behind closed doors” would leave the coalition in a huff over Netanyahu’s violation of the coalition guidelines. He will then join with Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu in a rightwing block that would make Netanayahu’s life miserable at every turn, and will certainly cost him a hefty chunk of the Likud base. With several Likud members already barricading themselves along the party’s rightwing wall, this could mark the beginning of the end for Bibi.

But that’s not all. Despite the fact that about a third of Labor, especially the Histadrut trade union chairman Avi Nissenkorn, are very much in favor of joining a Netanyahu government without Habayit Hayehudi, a third of the party—those MKs who don’t stand to gain portfolios or committee chairmanships—are only somewhat inclined to follow, and a third, led by Herzog’s chief opponent MK Erel Margalit, are vehemently opposed to the move and will surely vote with the opposition on most issues.

So that even if Netanyahu manages to wed Herzog, he won’t be getting much more than half his seats as a dowry. He’d be giving up a sure 8 seats and getting in return an iffy 12 to 16, with a chance for open rebellion in the Likud’s right flank.

JNi.Media

Likud MK Demanding Expulsion of BDS Founder

Saturday, February 27th, 2016

In advance of a pro-BDS conference that was held on Friday in Nazareth, MK Nava Boker (Likud) called on the Interior Minister to revoke the permanent residence of Omar Barghouti, the founding member of the BDS movement who was the keynote speaker at the conference.

According to author and journalist Naomi Ragen, Barghouti is not “Palestinian”, having been born in Qatar and grown up in Egypt. He says he’s “Palestinian” because of his parents who supposedly fled their village in Judea and Samaria and today live in Jordan. He arrived in “Palestine” for the first time in 1993, with a degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University, and his Israeli-Arab wife. He claims to be a Ph.D candidate in philosophy (ethics, actually) at Tel Aviv University. Yes, the occupation is hell.

Despite the fact that Israeli academia has accepted him with open arms, Barghouti became a leading proponent of an academic boycott against Israel, as he told a conference at London University entitled Resisting Israeli Apartheid: “The most urgent type of support the international community can provide to the Palestinian academy is to adopt various forms of boycott against Israel’s academic institutions. … Those who imagine they can wish away the conflict by suggesting some forums for rapprochement, détente, or ‘dialogue’ — which they hope can lead to authentic processes of reconciliation and eventually peace — are either clinically delusional or dangerously deceptive.”

After Barghouti published an opinion piece supporting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement in the New York Daily News in 2013, the newspaper responded with an editorial saying that Barghouti is “skilled as a propagandist” and “piles falsehood upon falsehood to present Israel as relentlessly oppressing the Palestinians in violation of human decency, and to hold Israel exclusively responsible for the ills afflicting them.” The Daily News suggested that Barghouti wants a “secular, democratic state built on an influx of Arabs who come to dominate the population and vote an end to Israel as a Jewish nation. That, ultimately, is the nefarious truth behind his libels.”

Barghouti has an Israeli residency, by virtue of being married to an Israeli. MK Boker has urged Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, based on Barghouti’s relentless anti-Israeli activity, to “use your authority according to the Entry into Israel Law to revoke the permanent residence of Mr. Barghouti.”

Alon Schwarzer, CEO of the rightwing Im Tirtzu movement, also joined the demand, saying, “While the planted Israeli organizations are providing him with the raw material, Dr. Barghouti is the conceptual and executive arm of the crusade to destroy the State of Israel and to boycott it. The State of Israel must behave like a sovereign state, as do all the Western democracies, and not allow someone seeking its destruction to enter its territory and preach against it here as well.”

The Interior Minister’s office issued a statement saying the Minister “will consult with his professional staff and Consider the allegations seriously.”

JNi.Media

Newest MK: When Soldiers Are Defamed, I Am a Soldier, When a Girl Is Murdered at the Gay Pride Parade, I’m a Gay Man

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

(JNi.media) Likud MK Amir Ohana was sworn into the Knesset on Monday following the resignation of former Interior Minister Silvan Shalom. In his inaugural speech before the Knesset Plenum, Ohana said “I am here with all of who and what I am, what I’ve chosen and what I haven’t, and am proud of being Jewish, Israeli, Mizrahi (origins in an Arab country), gay, Likudnik, hawk, liberal and free-market man.”

“When people shout ‘Itbach al Yahud’ [Arabic for kill the Jews], I am a Jew. When they shoot, boycott, label and expel, I am a settler… When soldiers are defamed, I am a soldier.” MK Ohana said.

His line about the defamation of IDF soldiers was a reference to the recent controversy over the “Breaking the Silence NGO,” which turns alleged abuses by IDF soldiers into anti-Israel propaganda paid for by foreign interests.

Ohana also sided with the residents of south Tel Aviv, who have long complained about the influx of African migrants from Sudan and Eritrea. “When entire neighborhoods are not as they were, and the elderly are forced to live out the remainder of their lives in fear — I am a south Tel Aviv resident. And when the outside appearance of a man is considered a good reason to hate him, to distance him from neighborhoods and employment — I am an ultra-Orthodox Jew who is not afraid,” he said.

“When a baby is burned with his relatives, damn it, I’m with you, brothers,” Ohana said, finishing his sentence in Arabic. Ohana was referring to the fatal firebombing in the village of Duma, in which three members of the Palestinian Dawabsha family perished.

“When they stab to death a young woman in the parade of love and tolerance I’m gay, a gay person who does not just hope the day will come but gets up and brings it. A gay person who understands that the flag we carry, lesbians and gay men, trans and bi, is the rainbow flag.” The latter comment was a reference to the murder of Shira Banki in the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade last summer.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony and gave his blessing from the Knesset podium. “I want to make a clear point that may not be clear. Amir is the first clear, candid representative of the gay community who was elected in an open primary when he was completely out [of the closet]. He was elected by thousands of voters in the Likud primary,” Netanyahu said. He voiced his confidence that “Amir represents very well our view of liberal nationalism. He believes in the rights of the Jewish people to their land, in protecting the country’s security, civil rights, capitalist economics and a free market.”

Netanyahu added: “I’ve had the chance to work with him. He is pleasant but firm in his opinions, steadfast in his principles, and I think he will be an excellent Knesset member and a bridge between different parts of the public. I receive him with respect and pride.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) said he hoped MK Ohana and the rest of the coalition members would support the opposition’s attempts to improve the standing of Israel’s gay community through legislation.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu’s Dog Quarantined after Biting Likud Knesset Member

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

The Prime Minister’s “best friend” has been quarantined for biting two people at a family Hanukkah party Thursday night.

The dog, named Kaiya, took a small chunk out of a Likud party Knesset Member and the husband of Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely, who was warned by her too late that the canine is not entirely friendly.

Prime Minister Netanyahu brought the stray dog home in July. She previously has been petted by visitors, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

But Kaiya may have a dislike for her owner’s Likud party. She bit Sharren Haskel, a Canadian-born Likud MK who also is a veterinary nurse.

Foreign Minister Hotovely’s husband Or Alon was next in line and did not get out of the way in time when his wife said, “Get away from her! She bites!” Yediot Acharonot reported that the dog also bit the Prime Minister shortly after he brought the dog home last summer, the first indication of Kaiya’s affection for the Likud party.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has written on Facebook, “How much light Kaiya brought into our home. If you want a canine, find an adult dog to rescue. You won’t regret it!”

Prime Minister Netanyahu’s opponents, who feel they have suffered multiple bites from him, undoubtedly would prefer that he be quarantined instead of the dog.

Kaiya is in the dog house, so to speak, for another eight days before she can go home, assuming she does not have rabies.

Now that Prime Minister Netanyahu has discovered what happens to a dog after he or she bites someone, woven if the dog has been vaccinated, he wants to change the law.

He posted on Facebook Friday:

As a result of the incident, I was exposed to the issue of quarantining dogs and discovered faults  flaws incompatible with logic and compassion. I will ask the proper officials in the Health and Agriculture ministries and organizations to defend animals to draft changes to improve the current laws.

Opposition Knesset Member Itzik Shmuli, who heads the Lobby for the Protection of Animals, said that Prime Minister Netanyahu is right and that there is no reason for dogs  to automatically be quarantines after biting people.

Netanyahu concluded his Facebook post by writing:

Happy Hanukkah and Shabbat Shalom to all of us – to those who walk on two legs and to those who walk on four.

 

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Austrian Minister Refuses to Meet Israeli Official in Eastern Jerusalem

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Austrian Science Minister Reinhold Mitterlehner has cancelled a meeting scheduled for next week with his Israeli counterpart in eastern Jerusalem because it is in “occupied” territory.”

Israeli Science Minister Ofir Akunis said Friday:

Either the meeting will take place in eastern Jerusalem or it won’t take place anywhere. Austria will not divide Jerusalem.

With all due respect to the Austrian minister, Jerusalem has been the united capital of Israel since 3,000 year ago…. If I were to accept his demand, it would be as if I were dividing Jerusalem, something that never will happen.

We are not going to divide Jerusalem just like Austria is not going to divide Vienna.

Akunis and Mitterlehner were to sign scientific agreements, but meeting with an Israeli official in eastern Jerusalem is contrary to the European position on Jerusalem as well as the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria, despite a large Jewish presence in ares of Jerusalem that the West does not recognize as Israeli..

The only prominent Western official to have met Israeli officials in eastern Jerusalem is Canada’s John Baird, when he was a minister in 2013 and met with Tzipi Livni at her Justice Ministry offices. The Palestinian Authority angrily condemned Canada for the meeting.

Mitterlehner’s snub of united Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is no different from that of other European and American official who also do not meet with Israeli counterparts in areas they do not recognize.

The difference this time is the one of timing as well as the official reaction by Akunis, a strongly nationalist Likud minister. Israel is taking the offense against last month’s European Union Commission decision that prohibit the “Made in Israel” label from appearing on products made by Jews in the Golan Heights, Judea and Samaria.

The Commission now requires the labels to read “made in settlements.”

Austria is one of the countries that is accelerating moves to adopt the policy, the Austrian DerStandard reported Friday.

Belgian Foreign Minister Didier Reynders, one of the leaders in the move to label “settlement” products, was forced to cancel a visit to Israel after the office of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who officially also is Foreign Minister, said he would not meet with the Belgian official.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Deri to Leave Ministry of Economy

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardi Hareidi party, will leave the Ministry of Economy and be given another Cabinet post following the failure of the Netanyahu government to convince him to relinquish authority over the roadmap for governing Israel’s off-shore natural gas fields.

Deri will continue to serve as Minister of the Development of the Negev and the Galilee along with another post yet to be determined. Taking over the Interior Ministry from Silvan Shalom is one possibility, but that could not take place without the agreement the senior Likud member.

The stalemate over the authority for the natural gas development has kept the Knesset from voting on the budget. Once it is passed, probably in mid-November, authorization is expected for the framework for natural gas.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Leaked Secret Recording Reveals Netanyahu Admits Freezing Settlement Construction

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

(JNi.media) Israel Army Radio exposed a recording done secretly by a participant in a closed meeting of Prime Minister Netanyahu with Likud Knesset members, in which the PM both boasts of an unprecedented increase in settlement construction during his tenure, followed by his admission that, for the time being, he intends to freze construction.

“At the moment I’ve decided not to build,” Netanyahu is heard in the recording, “That does not mean that tomorrow it won’t change, on the contrary, the way it changed before, it will change [again].”

The Prime Minister emphasized to the members of his faction his general commitment to the settlements, when he told them, “No one suspect my loyalties to Eretz Israel and to the settlements.”

The recording can prove seriously damaging to the prime minister, who is estimated to have won the last election by usurping some five seats from Bayit Yehudi, a party which receives much of its support in Judea and Samaria. The revelation that Netanyahu is prepared to abandon the housing needs of hundreds of thousands of National-Religious voters who believed they were serving their best interest by switching their votes to him could be devastating to his Likud party in the future.

The Likud Knesset faction chairman, MK Tzachi Hanegbi, sent a letter to his members saying that starting with the next closed meeting, everyone will be required to hand over their smartphones at the door. Hanegbi wrote: “Never has such a thing happen in our circle and we must guarantee this will be the last time it did.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/leaked-secret-recording-reveals-netanyahu-admits-freezing-settlement-construction/2015/10/18/

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