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April 28, 2015 / 9 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

A Coalition of Brothers

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

To date, everyone has talked about a Likud led coalition, a Labor (Zionist Union) led coalition, and a National Unity government.

But there’s another election possibility to consider.

In the outgoing coalition, Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) and Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) proved they could get what they wanted if they stood firm together against Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud); and so, this time around, once the votes are counted, the mid-size parties may quickly realize they can again get what they want, if they again pull the same trick.

What would happen if most of the mid-size parties pulled a “brother,” and created a united front, the United Center, if you will – led by Yair Lapid?

Consider the following configuration:

Yesh Atid (12) + Kulanu (8) + Shas (7) + Yisrael Beytenu (6) = 33

The United-Middle is just 28 seats short of a coalition.

There’s actually no reason to assume that Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Litzman (UTJ) can’t find common ground – after all, while Lapid got to pass his Haredi draft law, in reality the law backfired and fewer Haredim now enter the army – so both sides have won (or lost).

UTJ’s 7 seats would put the United-Center at 40. UTJ also gets the added bonus of hurting Bayit Yehudi, whom they are still angry at from the previous coalition government, when Bennett joined with Lapid, excluding UTJ from the coalition.

The United-Middle then has the choice to invite either the Likud or the Zionist Union to join the coalition as junior partners (assuming Tzipi Livni hadn’t already split off her HaTnua party from the Zionist Union to join the United-Middle on the strength of her own 6 seats).

Yair Lapid has actually hinted that this is what he plans to do.

Lapid made it clear he won’t recommend Netanyahu, but he did not alternatively promise that he would recommend Herzog/Livni. Members of his own party implied that Lapid might recommend Lapid.

To counter this embarrassment of coming in as junior partners, the Likud and Herzog would try to form a National Unity government.

Labor (24) + Likud (21) = 45

Bringing in Bennett (13) gives them 58, and the first 3 from Yachad (excluding Marzel), if not alternatively the 7 from UTJ puts a National Unity government over the top at 61, 64 or 67.

Unfortunately, that configuration has one major flaw. Tzipi Livni.

Livni may decide to bolt to the United-Center rather than sit in a coalition with Bennett, and be in some crazy 3-way rotation with both Herzog and Netanyahu.

In which case, the numbers change to:

Likud (21) + Labor (16) + Bayit Yehudi (13) + UTJ (7) = 57.

Four seats short.

Who would blink first?

Shas (7) would be the weakest link to bribe away from the United-Center, giving a National Unity government 64 seats. Lieberman might also switch sides if he sees things not going his way.

We are entering one of the most critical elections in Israel’s history, and absolutely everything is up for grabs.

It does appear that if the mid-sized parties try to flex too much muscle and get too greedy, we will end up with a National Unity government.

Clearly, as tense and crazy as this pre-election period has been, it won’t compare to what happens after the votes are counted.

It Might Be Better to Vote Yachad

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

At the start of this week I endorsed Bayit Yehudi. I felt from a strategic perspective it made the most sense. We need a strong/influential Rightwing/religious party keeping Netanyahu from drifting too far left – in a Likud led coalition.

But the polls results these past few days fill me with trepidation.

Not only is Likud losing mandates, and not to Bayit Yehudi or Yachad which would at least keep the votes on the right, but as far as I can tell, the seats are shifting to Yesh Atid and due to increased Likud-voter apathy.

Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) and Moshe Kachlon (Kulanu) have sensed the winds of change and have made it clear they’ll be supporting Herzog/Livni.

Due to this idiotically raised electoral threshold, these middling parties have become the absolute key to forming any government. From early on, Kachlon managed to position himself to be the lever for whichever coalition would want to come into power.

With Kachlon’s intentions pretty clear, only an election miracle will keep the radical left from back coming to power and returning us to the awful Oslo days.

If that’s the case, I think it will be more important to vote Yachad – for Eli Yishai and Baruch Marzel.

A radical leftwing Livni/Herzog government is going to do very bad things to this country.

They’re going to bring socialism back into our economy – regardless of what Kachlon thinks.

Iran will see this as an opportunity to go full steam ahead.

And the Palestinian Authority will only need to sit back and accept whatever latest gift Livni/Herzog hands over to them that day – as they escalate the violence in return.

“Sacrifices for Peace” is again going to be sick slogan we’ll be inundated with constantly, and the only question is how long will it take before the government starts throwing Jews out of our homes “for Peace”.

If that’s going to be the scenario, then we don’t need a party that will keep Netanyahu from going left, presuming he doesn’t retire. We’ll need an opposition party that will fight tooth and nail to protect us, a party who is going to raise the biggest stink and scream the loudest, because besides that, there won’t be much more that the Right will be able to do from the back benches.

And if that’s the case, we need Baruch Marzel in the Knesset.

Please God, don’t let the Left win – too many friends and acquaintances were murdered by Oslo and the policies of the Left. I do not want us to go through that again.

Histadrut Pre-Election Strike Is the Ultimate Anti-Bibi Gun

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

The Histadrut, Israel’s national labor union, is planning to shoot its ultimate anti-Netanyahu weapon on Thursday with a strike in southern Israel, six days before the elections.

If the National Labor Court allows the strike, ports, government offices, the airport in Eilat, production at large chemical facilities and Egged public buses will be shut down. Train service will not be disrupted.

The threatened strike ostensibly is over the layoffs of approximately 140 workers from Israel Chemicals Bromine Compounds operations.

One Israel Chemical employee told The Jewish Press that contrary to the anti-Netanyahu media’s crying over the workers facing poverty, most of them are earning approximately $10,000 a month, more than six times the average Israeli salary, and will enjoy generous pension benefits.

By coincidence or not, the south is one of the weakest areas for Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, who are buoyed by some polls showing that their “Zionist Union” party has a three-seat lead over the Likud.

Holding a strike several days before the elections will help the establishment media keep Iran off the front pages and focus on showing how bad the country is off – all because of Netanyahu.

The Prime Minister admitted at a meeting with French immigrants yesterday that there is a real danger that the Likud might not win 20 seats if “people don’t wake up and stop being apathetic.”

GLZ Poll Puts Labor On Top – With a Coalition

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

Completely opposite of the i24 News poll last week, a new poll by Galei Tzahal puts the Zionist Union (Labor) in a strong lead… and for the first time, Labor can actually form a coalition.

A Leftwingg coalition would necessitate the Arab party joining the coalition, which would be a stretch for them, as well as Kulanu joining the coalition, which on the other hand, would be an easy move.

Labor/Zionist Union (Herzog / Livni): 24

Likud (Netanyahu): 21

Bayit Yehudi (Bennett): 13

The Joint (Arab) List: 12

Yesh Atid (Lapid): 12

Kulanu (Kachlon): 8

UTJ (Gafni / Litzman): 7

Shas (Deri): 7

Yisrael Beyteynu (Liberman): 6

Meretz (Gal-On): 6

Yachad (Eli Yishai): 4
LEFT: Labor (24) + Arab List (12) + Yesh Atid (12) + Kulanu (8) + Meretz (6) = 62

RIGHT: Likud (21) + Bayit Yehudi (13) + UTJ (7) + Shas (7) + Yisrael Beytenu (6) + Yachad (4)= 58

The question remains, will UTJ (and perhaps Shas) be willing to sit with Yesh Atid (or Meretz) if it means getting their fingers back in the pie?

Hanin Zoabi May Back Bujie and Her Cousin Mohammed Backs Bibi [video]

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

Firebrand Arab Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi has surprised analysts once again and has said she might recommend to President Reuven Rivlin that the Herzog-Livni-led “Zionist Union” lead the next government.

Another Zoabi, her teenaged cousin Mohammed, attended a Likud meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to vent his enthusiastic love and support for him. Mohammed became both he most popular and hated Arab in the country last year when he appeared on a YouTube video sounding like a protégé of Theodore Herzl.

Anti-Zionist Arabs responded with threats on his life, and he took refuge in the United States before returning to Israel.

In the video below, Mohammed says in Hebrew:

I support Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his party… he defends every citizen in Israel. The People of Israel have suffered enough and deserve to live in peace and quiet. He will be the next Prime Minister of Israel, God willing. I love you.

Netanyahu gave Zoabi a big hug and invited him to represent the Likud in the Knesset. His older cousin’s love for Netanyahu rates even less than President Barack Obama’s, if that is possible.

She hates anything that reeks of Zionism, which would lead to the logical conclusion that the “Zionist Union” is the last party she would want to head the government.

Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni changed the definition of Zionism and called their merged parties the Zionist Union, a clever slogan to try to win over voters who don’t realize that a couple of their candidates, just like Zoabi, are against the national anthem HaTikvah and oppose serving in the “occupation” army known as the IDF.

But it was none other than Haneen Zoabi who helped block a surplus vote-sharing agreement with Meretz that would have helped the left reach the magic number for a majority coalition after the elections.

Herzog and Livni have no chance of leading the next government unless the United Arab List backs them. The Arabs already have said they won’t join a Jewish coalition, but if the Herzog-Livni duo wins more seats than the Likud, President Rivlin will give it the first crack at putting together a coalition.

The Jerusalem Post’s Gil Hoffman reported, “But Joint List sources who spoke to Zoabi at length on Sunday and Monday revealed that she had been persuaded to back Herzog to Rivlin and would recommend doing so when their party meets with the president after the March 17 election.”

That could raise their chances of forming a government with anti-Zionist Arab MKs supporting a “Zionist Union” coalition on key votes, but with friends like Haneen Zoabi, who needs enemies?

How many undecided voters will turn away from Herzog-Livni now that is known that people like Haneen Zoabi might stand by the side of the “Zionist Union?”

i24 Poll Gives Likud 5 Seat Lead

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

I24 News published the most radical poll results to date. They give Likud a 5 seat lead over Labor, with Shas starting to rebound.

Without a significant increase in seats for Bayit Yehudi, these numbers would make a National Unity government even more likely, where no one party, besides Labor, could break up Netanyahu’s coalition.

In the I24 poll, Yachad doesn’t make the cut.

Likud (Netanyahu): 26

Labor/Zionist Union (Herzog / Livni): 21

Bayit Yehudi (Bennett): 13

The Joint (Arab) List: 12

Yesh Atid (Lapid): 12

Kulanu (Kachlon): 8

UTJ (Gafni / Litzman): 8

Shas (Deri): 8

Yisrael Beyteynu (Liberman): 7

Meretz (Gal-On): 5

Yachad (Eli Yishai): 0

LEFT: Labor (21) + Arab List (12) + Yesh Atid (12) + Kulanu (8) + Meretz (5) = 58

RIGHT: Likud (26) + Bayit Yehudi (13) + UTJ (8) + Shas (8) + Yisrael Beytenu (7) = 62

National Unity: Likud (26) + Labor (21) + Kulanu (8) + Shas (8) + Yisrael Beytenu (7) = 69

Why I am Voting for Bayit Yehudi

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

Naftali Bennett should not take my vote for granted. Until this week I’ve been wavering between voting Likud, Bayit Yehudi or Yachad (Otzma Yehudit).

I’m not happy with any of them, though some would say the definition of elections is voting for the candidate you least dislike.

Obviously, I wouldn’t vote Kulanu, whose members go from Left to very Left. Or Yisrael Beytenu, when Liberman can’t construct a simple statement of intent that doesn’t leave himself open to maneuvering and interpretation – that really turns me off.

There’s a certain logic to voting for the Likud. They’re the biggest party, they hold the reins, and they control the checkbook. Netanyahu is an amazing orator. And better a strong Likud in power than Labor.

There’s a lot of good people in the Likud. There’s Hotovely, Danon, Edelstein, Elkin, Kara… But there are some bad apples on that list too who I don’t want to see in the Knesset.

But as a party they lack a unified ideology other than security and pragmatism. They could easily swing left if they felt their security concerns were properly addressed, or had to be sacrificed for something they felt was equally important.

I also dislike what they did to Feiglin.

But most importantly, I’m concerned Netanyahu will try to form a unity government with the Left if he feels it’s in his best interest to do so.

I entertained the idea of voting for Yachad.

I like Eli Yishai. I think he has always been an excellent minister, and it will be good if he were a minister in the next government.

I’m not exactly blown away by anyone else on his list, though having Baruch Marzel there does at least give him strong right wing credentials. But I don’t actually know enough about Marzel’s positions on anything other than Hebron and the Settlements for me to be willing to give him my vote.

But Yachad has some serious downsides.

They may not pass the electoral threshold, and that’s not a risk I want to take with my vote.

And even if they do pass, there is a good chance that Netanyahu will simply leave them out of the coalition (or at least Marzel). In which case, we’ve already seen how powerless a rightwing party is when excluded from a supposedly rightwing coalition.

This leads me back to Naftali Bennett and Bayit Yehudi.

Bennett was great on security issues. Of that there’s no doubt. He was great representing us in the international media during the Gaza war. I believe he may one day be our Prime Minister, and he’ll probably be a good one.

He was also amazing on economic issues.

And while other parties were proposing solutions to the housing problem, Bayit Yehudi actually implemented solutions that worked.

But I’m was disappointed in his party’s performance last time around in another important area.

In the religious sphere, one of the most important things he could have done was get us a Religious-Zionist Chief Rabbi – and his party failed at that – spectacularly.

While they did manage to block Elazar Stern’s bad ideas on religion and state, Bayit Yehudi failed to implement some of the good ones too.

In fact, for a Religious-Zionist party, I feel they haven’t emphasized their religious side enough – and I believe that problem comes from the top.

Too many of the Bennett commercials are about attracting secular Jews – and I understand he wants to widen his voter base, but as a result, he’s ignoring his religious base, or taking it for granted. Choosing soccer player Eli Ohana was a symptom of that thinking.

I’m certainly not interested in Rabbis running the party (they should run for office if they want to be in politics), but I do want to know how Bayit Yehudi envisions the future of religion and state, and what their practical solutions are for dealing with the tough problems we face in those areas (agunot, the Chareidi monopolies, conversion, Kashrut, Shabbat, etc.) – and not just what solutions they plan to block.

I would have liked to have seen Eli Yishai as a member of Bayit Yehudi. True, he is Chareidi (or Sephardi Chareidi which is different), but I think he would have brought some much needed religious character back to the party.

But it comes down to this…

I don’t trust Likud to not freeze settlements or do something else leftwing. I don’t think Yachad will be influential enough to change anything if they do manage to get in, and that leaves Bayit Yehudi.

When Bayit Yehudi party members say that a large Bayit Yehudi party will have their hands on the steering wheel alongside Bibi making sure he doesn’t turn left, there is a straightforward undeniable logic to that.

So given the options at the voting booth, it seems the only option is Bayit Yehudi.

Naftali, please don’t make me regret my choice.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/why-i-am-voting-for-bayit-yehudi/2015/03/08/

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