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January 30, 2015 / 10 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

Feiglin Would Bring 18 Mandates to the Likud

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

An internal Likud poll, run by Maager Mochot of 501 Jewish voters, tested out various Likud leadership alternatives, to see who might bring the most votes to the Likud party in the upcoming elections — other than Benjamin Netanyahu, according to a Haaretz report.

The poll found that if Moshe Feiglin were the head of the party, the Likud would win 18 seats, exactly what it has now. If Danny Danon were to run, the party would get 17 seats.

Current polls show the Likud under Netanyahu getting at least 22-24.

If Feiglin were in charge of the Likud, the poll showed that he would draw votes away from Bayit Yehudi (National-Religious), Yahudut HaTorah (Ultra-Orthodox) and Yisrael Beiteinu (Secular Right-wing), while traditional Likud voters would instead vote for other parties.

The poll’s results seems to imply that if Feiglin were to break away from the Likud and form his own party, it could be a formidable one (though it would come at the expense of other good parties).

Feiglin has made it clear he wouldn’t do that.

Bennett Cites Agreement with Netanyahu During Campaign

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett have agreed to a truce, at least during the upcoming campaign, according to Bennett’s account.

The two men have often been at odds with each other over the past year, even during this past summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge.

But in order to face a common threat to a possible coalition deal ahead, the two came to an “arrangement,” Bennett said Saturday night while at the Saban Forum.

“I was critical, and I still am critical of his policies,” Bennett said. “He supports a Palestinian state and I oppose it. I thought that in many cases he made mistakes and I told him, and sometimes publicly, when I thought it might influence the outcome.”

However, he added, “We have an arrangement where we don’t attack each other during these elections. Last time I was strongly attacked by Likud, and ultimately we want to form a strong national bloc which, obviously in my opinion, is good for Israel.”

 

Surprising Results to Jewish Press Poll: Lieberman for Prime Minister

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Readers of The Jewish Press surprisingly have given 52 percent backing for Avigdor Lieberman as their choice for prime minister, according to the responses 30 hours since the poll was published.

You still can vote here.

Assuming that most of our readers would label themselves “right wing” and “religious,” the results are a shocker.

Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beitenu party, won a majority of 52 percent backing in answer to the question, “Who Do you Want as the Next Prime Minister of Israel?”

No less shocking is that the nearest rival trailed by a whopping 25 percentage points. Naftali Bennett, the current government’s Minister of Economy and the chairman of the Jewish Home party, received 17 percent backing, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was chosen by only 16 percent of our readers.

Yitzchak Herzog, chairman of the Labor party, received support of 3 percent of the respondents.

Several responses obviously were in jest. Former President Shimon Peres won 2 percent backing, the same amount given to Eli Yishai, the former chairman of the Sephardi Shas Haredi party, and Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid.

Tzipi Livni’s backing was only 1 percent, which is not surprising considering the make-up of our readers. Moshe Kahlon, former Likud Minister of Communications, also won 1 percent.

The poll obviously is not scientific but gives an indication that people are fed up with politicians who say one thing and do another. Lieberman, who is of all things Foreign Minister, is known for saying what he thinks, even if it not diplomatically correct, although he has somewhat moderated in the past few months.

Unlike Bennett, he is not in the religious camp.

Unlike Netanyahu, he does not hide his thoughts about Arabs. He has been in the forefront of the move to require all Israeli citizen to sign a loyalty oath, and he also has been the most outspoken leader to suggest that Israel trade land with the Palestinian Authority, taking sovereignty over areas in Judea and Samaria where there is a concentrated Jewish population, such as Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel, and handing over Arab areas such as the “Triangle, near Netanyahu, to the Palestinian Authority.

He certainly knows very well that almost no Arab with Israeli citizenship would give up all of the benefits of living under Israel in return for being subject to a Palestinian Authority state that has shown no signs of being much different from most other Arab countries in terms of social justice and democracy, or lack of it.

Here are a few of the feedbacks to the poll:

“Netanyahu is a great leader,” a comment that brought a response, “Where have you been the last few months? Was there something unclear about three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun (HY”D) getting murdered, Bibi responding with “We will respond harshly to future terror attacks”, tons of attacks happening in said future and then our government doing NOTHING???”

There were many comments in favor of Bennett and several for and against Lieberman.

The missing element so far is that there was virtually no feedback in favor of Lieberman, even though he won a majority of the votes.

if you have not voted, do so now, and maybe we will see a change in the results.

If the responses so far are even partially representative, Lieberman might be in better shape than the polls indicate, and Bennett and Netanyahu better watch out.

‘Changing Partners’ Throw Israeli Election into Turmoil

Friday, December 5th, 2014

Israeli politicians are spinning the revolving door off its hinges and turning against friends and joining enemies faster than you can say “Bibi Netanyahu,” who far seems to be the only election issue.

You can’t tell the players without a scorecard.

Livni might join Herzog, or even Lapid. Mofaz might join Herzog

Saar might try to dump Netanyahu

Lieberman might join Lapid.

And we haven’t yet heard from the Green Leaf pro-marijuana party, which at least would give everyone an opportunity to say that the whole government is going to pot.

There are 104 excruciating days left until March 17, when Israelis go the polls to choose their favorite party, another way of saying which party they don’t want to lead the next coalition.

The polls make interesting reading but become quickly out of date due to the maneuvering before the Knesset next week puts an end to the torturous coalition that has plagued the country for 21 months, a coalition that was doomed from the start.

Two years ago, anyone even thinking that Yair Lapid, head of Yesh Atid party, and Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu would sit in the same government with Naftali Bennett and his Jewish Home party would be hauled off to the insane asylum.

The adage of politics making strange bedfellow was true for a few weeks, maybe even a few months. Everyone can spend the next 104 days blaming Lapid or blaming Netanyahu, or more likely both of them, for even trying to get in the same bed.

They couldn’t even co-exist in the same house.

But everyone already is lining up against each other and with each other – maybe.

The “anyone but Bibi” crowd knows that it will have a hard time forming a majority in the next Knesset, unless it can come up with some sleight of hand to show the voters it is worthwhile voting for a center-left party. Every one of them, except for Meretz, is failing miserably in the polls.

Lapid, for hundreds of reasons, knows his party has no chance of returning the Knesset with much more than half its current number of 19 Knesset Members.

Tzipi Livni knows that her party’s measly six mandates in the Knesset will be cut to four, if she is lucky.

Labor, headed by the boring and smug Yitzchak Herozg, is stuck with its current 15 MKs, but a poll published by Globes on Thursday showed that if Livni were to join forces with Labor party, she would win nine seats, giving Labor-Livni 24 MKs.

They are natural political partners who are in desperate need of a gimmick to draw voters away from the other parties, most notably the new party headed by former Likud MK Moshe Kahlon.

Lapid also is courting Livni, but she  would probably prefer to co-exist with Herzog rather than with Lapid, an egomaniac even by politicians’ standards.

The Kadima party, once headed by Ariel Sharon and then Israel’s former Prime Minster and current criminal Ehud Olmert, and then briefly by Livni, has only two seats in the Knesset. It is slated for oblivion, so Mofaz reportedly also has offered to join forces with Herzog.

Another report is that Avigdor Lieberman might take his Yisrael Beitenu party to run with Lapid, which seems as impossible as Netanyahu and Lapid being in the same government.

Even weirder is a report in Arutz Sheva that Uri Ariel, head of the Tekuma faction of the Jewish Home party, has talked with former Shas Sephardi Haredi party chairman Eli Yishai about hooking up. Someone is smoking the wrong stuff. If Shas, which will vote for or against Jews in living anywhere in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria depending on how much money it gets for its schools, teams up with a pure Ashkenazi and native kibbutznik like Ariel, then Hillary Clinton and Mitt Romney can run on the same ticket.

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.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/election-fever-in-israel/2014/12/02/

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