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December 23, 2014 / 1 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beyetenu Breaks with Likud

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Foreign Minister and Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman has decided to end his merger with the Likud party. Liberman told media he will announce the decision formally at a news conference Monday afternoon. The decision comes against the backdrop of a fierce disagreement over how to deal with the escalating rocket, mortar and missile attacks from Gaza.

The party is leaving a merger of the two parties — the ‘Likud Beytenu’ party — that was formed in order to win the last election, when both parties were convinced that neither had enough support to otherwise gain a majority in the Knesset. The split leaves Likud with 20 seats in the Knesset, and Yisrael Beytenu with 11 mandates.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, chairman of the Likud party, held open the foreign minister’s position for him for months as he faced trial on charges of corruption, refusing to replace Liberman until a verdict was reached.

Liberman’s move leaves each party with the ability to form new alliances, and could present the Likud with a chance to strengthen the government.

However, the situation also might fracture the coalition at a time when the country most needs the government to present a unified stance in the face of Arab hostilities from without and within.

Likud May be Preparing for General Elections

Friday, June 13th, 2014

Some Likud party leaders claim have been given marching orders to begin preparing for general elections, according to a Makor Rishon report.

The Likud party leaders claim the message came down directly from the Prime Minister’s office and that elections may be called in the coming months.

The Prime Minister’s office, on their part, denies that elections are in the air, and that Netanyahu isn’t even considering the matter and no message was sent.

There his been a lot of talk lately about Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party leaving the coalition, and the Haredi parties replacing them. Netanyahu had also previously threatened to fire Tzipi Livni if she met again with representatives from the Palestinian Unity government, which she did yesterday.

The friction between Lapid and Livni against Netanyahu has only been escalating.

Alternatively, Netanyahu may be using the hint of early elections as a weapon.

Recent polls indicate that Livni’s HaTnua party will disappear completely or be subsumed by Labor, while Lapid’s Yesh Atid party will noticeably shrink. The threat of irrelevance may be enough reason to get the two of them back in line and stop disrupting the coalition.

Coalition Sharks Smell Netanyahu Blood

Monday, June 9th, 2014

A guy ought to be able to look to his own cabinet for support in the face of enemy threats. It’s a reasonable supposition, one would think, but apparently it isn’t the case for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The coalition sharks are smelling blood, and it seems to be coming from the prime minister.

Apparently, it isn’t enough that Fatah, supposedly Israel’s “peace partner”, has welcomed Hamas back into the Palestinian Authority with open arms. It also isn’t enough that the United States and major European countries have blessed the new Palestinian union. But instead of a united defense for Israel in the face of the Fatah-Hamas front, the second-largest party in Netanyahu’s coalition – Yesh Atid – has aligned with Hatnua chairwoman and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to form a fifth column and threatened to ‘bring down the government’ if the boss doesn’t follow orders.

Orders from whom? How about from Finance Minister and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, for starters. He is the one who this time ordered Netanyahu to produce a map with borders for a new Palestinian Authority country, once and for all. Sound familiar? It should. You can find the same words in quotes from PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, or from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Chomp, chomp.

Then there’s Bayit Yehudi chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who has taken to the public soapbox to fight with Lapid and everyone else over what he thinks should be done about the Jews in Judea and Samaria. He probably means well, but instead of keeping the discussion in the Cabinet, he is taking the argument to public radio interviews. The ‘only sane plan’ is to annex Area C, he says. It’s not a new plan – he has said it for years – but why isn’t this discussion being kept behind closed doors? If he is Netanyahu’s ally, he should say so. If not, what is he doing in the coalition?

Chomp. Chomp.

And now, the Big Kahuna. Avigdor Liberman – the guy who cut the Likud votes in half because so many Likudniks couldn’t bear the thought of voting for a ‘Likud-Beytenu’ ticket – owes his political survival to the prime minister. It should be recalled that Liberman was on trial for corruption at the time of last year’s election, but Netanyahu kept his job as foreign minister open for him until Liberman was acquitted. The deal cost the Likud several seats in the Knesset, but Netanyahu was true to his word.

Now, Liberman has turned around to stab his ally in the back by making public comments about his boss’s dilemma, rather than simply helping solve the problem behind closed doors.

“What happened yesterday, when four senior ministers gave public addresses one after the other with each proposing a different political solution, was a grotesque performance,” Liberman said today (Monday) at a conference of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Eilat. “We need to cut down and adopt a single political plan to bind all parts of the coalition… as soon as possible, because if we don’t do it on our own, we will be dragged towards what we don’t want, and what is not in our best interest,” he said.

Right. But why is he saying that in public? A bit of the old pot calling the kettle black, no?

Liberman also directly addressed remarks made by Bennett and Lapid: “The economy minister spoke of annexing settlement blocs, and the finance minister threatened to disband the coalition if such a plan is approved. They both know they are talking about something that will never happen.” He commented that he supported Bennett’s plan, but said it was “not feasible.” Liberman then added drily, “he thinks it is worth saying to maybe get two more seats (in the Knesset).”

Netanyahu Shocks Israeli Politicians, Champions Rivlin for President

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Former Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin got the nod from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday in a move that sent shockwaves around the Israeli political scene.

Rivlin, long considered Netanyahu’s nemesis, is the sole candidate for the upcoming June 10 presidential race from the prime minister’s Likud party.

“We have been through a lot together in our lifetimes. Some days were good, some not so good,” Netanyahu allegedly told him, as quoted by the prime minister’s spokesperson. “I hope we will know better days.”

Rivlin, who is not a vindictive person by nature, said he was genuinely happy to receive Netanyahu’s support, according to sources close to the MK.

Rivlin is also supported by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who told reporters he is “a Zionist with values and a good heart.” Rivlin is known for his modesty, said Bennett, and his concern for minorities and weaker sectors of society.

There are six candidates running for the post:
Rivlin (Likud); former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor); MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua); former Knesset Speaker and MK Dalia Itzik; Nobel Prize winner Prof. Dan Shechtman; and former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner.

Labor MK Accused of Leaking Classified Info

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

A Labor party lawmaker has been suspended from membership in subcommittees of the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee for leaking classified information.

MK Omer Bar-Lev, who at one time commanded the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal unit, was accused of handing a copy of a letter he sent to Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon to one of the media outlets.

In his letter Bar-Lev allegedly claimed to have found a discrepancy between an IDF training budget report filed by a senior IDF officer last February and figures presented recently by Ya’alon describing the army’s fiscal needs.

In a statement to journalists Monday evening, Bar-Lev denied the suspension due to his leaking classified information and instead focused on the discrepancy he said he found among the defense establishment’s budget figures.

“As far as we are concerned, the main issue is that the conflicting reports of senior IDF officers to the Foreign Affairs and Defense committee must be looked into and not a minor offense over some procedure that does breach security,” the statement said.

Committee chairman Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) told Bar-Lev the budget reports would be examined closely, according to the statement. It was Elkin who had informed Bar-Lev of the suspension, which extends throughout the summer session.

Likud, Labor MK s Unite to Submit Temple Mount Prayer Bill

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Two Knesset members from separate ends of the political spectrum plan to submit a bill allowing Jews to pray on the Temple Mount in the Old City of Jerusalem.

Likud MK Miri Regev and Labor MK Hilik Bar say they will unite to advance the measure, but were mum on when. “There is no reason that Jews should not be allowed to pray in the holiest site in the world,” Regev said, according a report this weekend by Ynet.

The bill is intended to promote co-existence, added Bar. “I insisted the authority of the Muslim Waqf not be harmed, but Muslims must understand that we also have a right to pray there. I see in these holy sites the cradle of our existence. If someone on the left has complaints against Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount, they will have a hard time claiming that other ethnic groups suffer discrimination,” he added.

Jews are not allowed to even move their lips when touring the site, considered the holiest place on earth in Judaism.

Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Muslims pray in front of the Dome of the Rock on the Temple Mount

Many times Muslims in the area simply accuse Jews of “praying” and police immediately force the “suspect” into custody and off the grounds, fearing violent reactions by Arabs if they don’t.  By contrast, Muslim children run freely throughout the plaza area, even playing soccer around the site.

The fiercest verbal provocations by Arabs are generally met by stony silence by Israeli police when accompanying Jewish tour groups, and usually also by hurrying their charges away. Sometimes closure of the site to anyone other than Muslims follows as well — even if the site has just opened and it is the eve of a Jewish holiday.

The Al Aqsa mosque located on the Mount has become a hotspot for fiery sermons each Friday that whip worshipers into a frenzy of hatred against the State of Israel. The site has also been at the center of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. The PA has insisted the Old City — including all Jewish holy sites — must be handed over to be part of a capital for its hoped-for independent state.

Arab rioters carefully store piles of rocks, bottles and other handy missiles in the mosque that they can hurl at Jews – or police — when “protesting” after prayers have ended. Such incidents occur often prior to Jewish holidays, and became the opening salvo to the second intifada in the year 2000. In response, police simply close the Mount to Muslim men under age 50 and limit entry to those bearing Israeli identity cards. Any Muslim woman can enter.

“I firmly believe that each event of Muslim unrest on the Mount should lead to its closure to Arabs,” Regev said. “The prime minister is not the only one to decide on the issue, and if the proposal does not pass I will turn to the High Court of Justice in a public petition until Jews are allowed to pray with tallit (prayer shawl) and tefillin on the Temple Mount,” she said.

According to the language of the bill as it is currently written, “no demonstration of protest or incitement that disturbs the peace will be tolerated.” Violators will be fined,” Ynet reported.

Deputy Religious Affairs Minister Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan (Bayit Yehudi) said after Passover the ministry was in the process of creating new regulations to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount.

MK Danon Goes to US Jews to Make Case against Freeing Terrorists

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, and increasingly popular Likud Knesset Member, went to the American Jewish audience Tuesday to repeat his threat that he will resign his post if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pushes through a vote to free more Palestinian Authority terrorists, including Arabs who are car-carrying Israeli citizens.

Danon is in a win-win situation. If it happens, Danon will have pulled out the rug from under Netanyahu because a growing number of Israelis and Americans are sick and tired of Israel’s freeing terrorists for no reason other than to pacify U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Palestinian Authority. If it doesn’t happen, Danon will have scored points by taking a stand long before Netanyahu has showed his cards. The Likud’s old guard doesn’t like Danon for one reason – they are afraid he is getting too popular, but they would be smarter if they understood why.

He wrote the following article that JTA featured on Tuesday as an op-ed:

It is no secret that when Israel’s government announced this past September that we would be returning to the table to negotiate with the Palestinians, I was not optimistic about the prospects of this latest round of talks.
I knew that as much as we desire peace and normalcy for this region, our Palestinian counterparts have never tired in making demands without any corresponding willingness to offer concessions and prove themselves as real negotiating partners. While many Israelis viewed these talks as a harmless diversion to placate some of our allies abroad, I warned my colleagues of the dire implications these talks would have on our security.
Though I was extremely concerned that our government might concede strategically important territory or relinquish parts of our historic homeland, what angered me most was the Palestinian demand as a precursor to even coming to the table that we release more than a hundred of their prisoners — men and women with blood on their hands. In essence, the demand was that we set murderers free for the privilege of negotiating peace.
Last week, I made the difficult but necessary decision that if the final round of the prisoner release goes ahead as planned on March 29, I will resign my position as Israel’s deputy defense minister.
It was not a simple matter for me to vocalize my opposition to these prisoner releases when they were first agreed to. Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon fully endorsed the release, claiming that it would enhance our geopolitical standing.
While I respect my government colleagues, I could not remain silent amid the calls of mothers and fathers of victims of terror who were horrified by the notion of their loved ones’ killers being set free. I also knew that the release of convicted murders to the Palestinian cities and villages of Judea and Samaria would only encourage terrorists to increase their attacks on innocent Israelis.
Despite my strong protests last fall, the Cabinet voted to support the prime minister’s initiative. The murderers’ prison doors swung open while Israelis looked on in disgust at this injustice.
Flash forward nine months.
Despite our constant desire to find a peaceful solution, it is now apparent to everyone that these negotiations have failed. As much as our American friends wanted to make the impossible possible, the Palestinian leadership predictably held true to its demands for full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines while maintaining its historic refusal to recognize our legitimate right to exist as a Jewish state in our ancient homeland.
If this were simply a matter of watching with proven skepticism as this charade of diplomacy was allowed to unravel, I too would likely have been ambivalent, but I wouldn’t necessarily have been angry. The ultimate disgrace, though, was that after a complete and utter failure, where the two sides are clearly no closer to the resolution of the conflict than we were a year ago, we are again being asked to release Palestinian prisoners.
This is a farce that I am not willing to accept.
I have done my utmost to serve in my role as deputy defense minister with pride and distinction, and I had looked forward to continuing to do so for the duration of the current government. At the same time, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot, and will not, represent a government that ignores the will of its people and kowtows to international opinion even when we know that doing so is harmful to our interests. If it comes to it, I will respectfully inform the prime minister of my resignation at the very moment that first prison door is unlocked, continuing to serve my nation instead as a dedicated member of Knesset.
The prime minister and the relevant parties still have the time and opportunity to recognize the danger of this planned release, and I hope that they will make the necessary decision to protect our national interest.
But if they do not, I will not stand idly by as the State of Israel further denigrates itself and harms the security of its people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-danon-goes-to-us-jews-to-make-case-against-freeing-terrorists/2014/03/25/

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