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September 18, 2014 / 23 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Likud’

Latest Poll: Netanyahu and Jewish Home on the Rise, Lapid Down

Friday, October 11th, 2013

The Likud-Beiteinu party and the Jewish Home parties would collectively win six more seats in the Knesset if elections were held today, according to a new poll conducted by Smith Institute for Globes business newspaper.

Labor, headed by Shelly, Yachimovich, would gain one more seat, while Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid would sink form its current 19 seats to only 12.

The left-wing Meretz party would gain significantly, winning  10 seats in the projected Knesset, four more than the current six.

The Shas party would remain constant. As in previous polls, Tzipi Livni’s party would be cut in half to  three seats, and Kadima, headed by Shaul Mofaz, would disappear from the political map.

Psagot Attack Jeopardizing Abbas’ Demand to Free Terrorists

Sunday, October 6th, 2013

The terrorist attack on a nine-year-old girl Saturday night in Psagot in Samaria, reported here, has set off another storm of protests within the Likud party to call off the talks with the Palestinian Authority.

The victim of the latest attack is in good condition after being shot at closed range by a terrorist who had infiltrated into the community, located between Jerusalem and Beit El-Ofra. The terrorist still is at large.

Last month, Palestinian Authority terrorists murdered two Israeli soldiers, one of them having been kidnapped in the metropolitan Tel Aviv area by a PA resident without a work permit. He had intended to use his victim as barter to force Israel to release his brother, a terrorist, but instead threw his victim, Sgt. Tomer Hazan, into a pit.

All of the attacks came at the same time Israeli negotiators java been speaking with their Palestinian Authority counterparts at the rate of approximately once a week.

The resumption of the talks in late July was conditioned on Israel’s releasing 104 Palestinian Authority terrorists but in several stages,  in order test PA  chairman Mahmoud Abbas commitment to stop terror instead of inciting it,

The first group was released before talks began, and senior government coalition members are demanding that Israel, for a change, make the Palestinian Authority pay for not living up to an agreement.

“Anyone that backs terrorists cannot be called a negotiating partner,” asserts Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon of the Likud.

Tzipi Hotovely, another senior Likud Knesset Member and a very popular nationalist, insisted Saturday night that the government halt the talks with the Palestinian Authority.

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and party MK Shuli Moallem have been against the whole idea of linking peace talks with freeing terrorists.

The attack in Psagot, following two terrorist murders last month, has solidified their case. MK Moallem called the attack on Psagot “a red light” for the government” and added, “Whoever wants to preserve security doesn’t free prisoners.”

Bennett said, “Our ‘partner’ [Abbas] has not changed 20 years after the Oslo Accords,” he said that the murders of the two soldiers “shows us what kind of partner he is. We do not make peace with terrorists who throw dead bodies into a pit. We fight them without mercy.”

But the United States has a different view and likes to quote President Shimon Peres for having said numerous times, “One makes peace with enemies, not with friends, one of the most banal, pithy and naïve statements of the 21st century but one which reflects American impotence.

The recent terrorist attacks would be the death knell for the U.S.-backed peace talks if it weren’t for the fact that President Barack Obama and  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry  now are doing what they said they would not do – forcing the talks on Israel despite the Palestinian Authority’s lack of will or inability to stop terror.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Friday that the talks are going nowhere and that the Palestinian Authority still refuses to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, Maariv reported.

But Martin Indyk, Obama’s personal negotiator for Israel, has stepped into the talks. He met with negotiators on Friday to create a better atmosphere, which means forcing Israel to swallow more dirt and forcing Abbas to smile and talk nicely.

The Palestinian Authority insists on talking about borders, and Israel insists on discussing security, according to several media reports.

The United States already has stated its case on borders by calling every Jew who lives in Judea and Samaria and formerly Jordanian-occupied Jerusalem an “illegitimate” settler.

So much for not forcing an agreement on Israel.

But the issue of releasing terrorists is bound to be the one that will blow up the negotiations – or, more likely, force Israel to concede again, lest it lose Obama’s “good will.”

Palestinian Authority Terrorists Shoot Peace Talks in the Head

Tuesday, September 24th, 2013

The Palestinian Authority, after three days of silence on their terrorists’ murders of two IDF soldiers, took one more step Monday to self-destruct the Big Lie by blaming Israel. The Jewish Press discussed the Big Lie here on the eve of Yom Kippur.

Sure enough, one week later, the Palestinian Authority has come through in spades.

The first Palestinian Authority reaction to the fatal terrorist attack on a soldier in Hevron was from Fatah Central Committee member leader Abbas Zakie, who said that the Sgt. Gal Kobi was “not on a hike in Hevron,” implying that he was therefore “fair game.” Zakie blamed the “extremist Netanyahu government for being responsible for the soldier’s death.”

Zakie’s comments help blow up the Big Lie that foreign media have encouraged and inflated for decades. As The Jewish Press wrote here, “The Big lie has been crumbling, and the media, slowly but surely, have no choice other than giving up the anti-Zionist fight.”

State Dept. spokesmen can wring their hands as much as they want, but only the most avid Israel hater can get away with saying, “It’s all because of the ‘Occupation.’”

While Abbas did not condemn the murder of Sgt. Kobi nor the murder on Friday of Sgt. Tomer Hazan, Hamas took up the slack and congratulated the terrorists.

Meanwhile, Palestinian Authority foreign minister Riad al-Malki, without a hint of sorrow for the deaths of Sgts. Kobi and Hazan, advised Israel not to use the murders as a reason to evade peace talks.

He made his comments to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency. Al Malki is in New York, where the Palestinian Authority delegation is more concerned with boosting his support in the pro-Arab United Nations than in the peace talks charades.

Ma’an noted that PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas is avoided speaking about the “peace process.” The news agency reported that Abbas “seemed more inclined to remain quiet until the end of the year ‘to see what Israel will do and what will not do, and based on that we will be able to take a better decision.’”

The terrorists murders of two Israeli soldiers in three days also might have broken the back of Obama’s forced resumption of direct talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.

Jewish Home party leader Naftali Bennett said at the funeral for Sgt. Kobi Monday, “We will fight to get rid of the impression that killers can suddenly be released one day. Gal’s killers will be punished severely and I promise that we will act so that they will never be released.

Bennett and six other Cabinet ministers, including one from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party, fired off a letter to the boss to demand a new discussion on the agreement to free 104 terrorists in return for the resumption of talks.

The terrorists are to be released in batches, depending on the Palestinian Authority’s good behavior, which has been short-lived.

“In recent days, we have witnessed two difficult murders that took the lives of two soldiers – Tomer Hazan and Gal Kobi. As a result, we demand an immediate government meeting on the policies regarding the release of terrorists,” the letter said.

It was signed by Likud minister Yisrael Katz, Jewish Home Ministers Uri Orbach, Uri Ariel and Bennett, and ministers of the Yisrael Beitenu faction of the Likud – Yair Shamir, Uzi Landau and Sofa Landver.

Meanwhile, Arabs petitioned the High Court Monday night to forbid the entry of Jews into the “Beit Machpelah” in Hevron, claiming that its ownership has not been proven.

A military court previously had declared that Jews legally bought the property, but the Defense Minister, formerly Ehud Barak and now Moshe Ya’alon, refused to give the final okay.

Following the murder of Kobi, Ya’alon signed on the dotted line, a strange Israeli policy that blocks Jews from developing Judea and Samaria until there is a terrorist attack.

“Those who try to uproot us from Hevron, the city of our forefathers, will only achieve the opposite,” Netanyahu stated. “We will continue to fight terrorism with one hand, and strengthen settlement with the other.”

’Middle Class’ Champion Lapid One of Richest Israeli Politicians

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

Yesh Lapid party’s chairman Yair Lapid’s wealth is estimated at $6 million, ranking him number six in Forbes Israel’s listing of the top 10 politicians in Israel.

The estimated wealth comes as no surprise to his former supporters, who have helped  his party’s popularity dive by 50 percent since Lapid led the party to win 19 seats in the Knesset with a campaign boasting him as a champion of the middle class.

As Finance Minister, he promptly hiked regressive taxes and cut child welfare benefits, felt most by lower and middle income wage earners.

The list of the top 10 also shows that he is not the only Yesh Atid MK with a fat bank account. Yaakov Perry was ranked right behind Lapid with a fortune of more than $5 million. However, he has said that he is closer to being “middle class” rather than “rich,” which he apparently defines as someone like Warren Buffet.

Not surprising, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who profited millions of dollars from his Checkpoint  high-tech company, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Minister Silvan Shalom are on the list. Shalom’s wife is from the family with substantial investments, the most well-known being the Yediot Acharonot newspaper.

However, there also are quite a few “limousine liberals” who are big on helping the working class.

In second place, behind Barkat, is Labor party MK Erel Margalit, with an estimated wealth of $60 million, most of made through his Jerusalem Venture Partners enterprise and other business transactions.. In last place” is Labor MK Yitzchak Herzog, with a paltry $3 million.

Other political fat cats are Yair Shamir, son of the late Prime Minister Yitzchak Shamir and a member of the Israel Beiteinu faction of Likud, in fourth place with an estimated wealth of $20 million. Right behind him is Meir Sheetrit, a former Likud and Kadima MK and now a member of Tzipi Livni’s party.

As expected, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett is one the list, in ninth place with a fortune of $7 million.

Yair Lapid Losing Popularity

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

The Yesh Atid party, chaired by Yair Lapid, continues to lose popularity in the latest poll, with Meretz picking up the pieces and Likud, Jewish Home and Labor holding on to their strength.

If elections were held today, Lapid’s party would win only 12 seats, compared with 19 Knesset Members that it won in the elections last February, according to the Smith polls commissioned by Globes business newspaper.

In the previous poll, Yesh Atid won 14 seats, and the reasons for Finance Minister Lapid having fallen into disfavor range from his cuts in welfare support and child allowances to tax hikes and his undiplomatic remarks that his critics are like “nervous schnauzers left out in the rain.”

The left-wing Meretz party picked up another two seats in the latest poll, which now gives it 11 projected seats in the Knesset, almost double its current strength.

The Likud-Beiteinu, Labor and Jewish Home parties are unchanged, and Tzipi Livni managed to pick up one seat after seeing her popularity plummet in the last poll. Her HaTnuah party now would win four seats, two less than it currently has. Shas lost one seat in the poll to the United Torah Judaism Haredi party.

Lieberman ‘Promotes’ Erdogan as the New Joseph Goebbels

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s latest anti-Israel propaganda gimmick that the Zionists were behind the ouster of Mohammed Morsi qualifies him as the successor to Nazi Propagandist Joseph Goebbels, Likud-Beiteinu Knesset Member Avigdor Lieberman said Wednesday morning.

Lieberman, who is suspended as foreign minister pending the outcome of criminal charges against him, told Army Radio that Erdogan “has continued Goebbels’ ways. Those who apologized before Turkey should do some soul-searching; so should those who attacked me and Yisrael Beiteinu for our criticism over Israel’s apology.”

He was referring to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s bowing to President Barack Obama’s request to express sorrow to Turkey for the IDF’s defensive counterterror action that killed nine terrorists aboard a flotilla ship headed to break the maritime embargo on Hamas-controlled Gaza in May 2010.

Erdogan stated Tuesday that he has “evidence” of Israel’s being involved in the military coup that ousted Morsi last month. His “evidence” was a statement  by French philosopher and author Bernard-Henri Levy, at a meeting before the 2011 elections in Egypt, with Tzipi Livni, who at the time was leader of the Kadima party which headed the Opposition in the Knesset.

Levy told Livni, “If the Muslim Brotherhood arrives in Egypt, I will not say democracy wants it, so let democracy progress. Democracy is not only elections, it is also values.”

That was enough for Erdogan, who has excelled at being even better than U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry for viewing the world through his own ego.

“What is said about Egypt? That democracy is not the ballot box. Who is behind this? Israel is.,” he triumphantly said. “We have the evidence in our hands. That’s exactly what happened.”

White House spokesman Josh Earnest called Erdogan’s accusation “offensive, unsubstantiated and wrong, while the Egyptian military government said his statement was “very bewildering,… baseless… [and] not accepted by any logic or rationale.”

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor stated, “This is a statement well worth not commenting on.”

This was not the first time that Erdogan and  his government have jumped on the “Blame Israel” bandwagon.

Following anti-Erdogan protests earlier this year, the increasingly paranoiac prime minister blamed the demonstrations on an international conspiracy.

In case there was any doubt as to who was behind it, his Deputy Prime Minister, Besir Atalay made it clear that it is the “Jewish diaspora,” but he later said he had been misunderstood.

Given Erdogan’s track record of failure, he will not reach the depths of Goebbels, Lieberman notwithstanding.

Erdogan’s brilliantly idiotic views on foreign policy continued to astound everyone except himself. He has a record of choosing the wrong friends .

Turkey was Israel’s closest Middle East ally and trading partner for years until the end of 2008, when the IDF launched a three-week Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign to stop, at least temporarily, Hamas missile fire on southern Israel.

Erdogan saw the international outcry over Israel’s “disproportionate” action as an opportunity to hook up with the radical Islamic movement that aims for domination over the entire Muslim world.

He scorned Israel while warming up to the Ahmadinejad regime in Iran and to Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

The flotilla clash put  Turkish-Israeli relations in the deep freeze, with Lieberman leading the Israeli criticism of Erdogan.

Turkish media and its movie industry then launched a series of vicious anti-Semitic programs that would have pleased Goebbels. Movies and television programs incited hatred against Israel and Israelis, who began staying away in droves from what once was their most popular foreign tourist spot.

Assad’s butchery made Erdogan realize that he made as big mistake, and the prime minister turned 180 degrees to condemn him. He also belatedly discovered that Ahmadinejad had succeeded in isolating itself from the entire world except for Assad, Russia and China, the latter two countries having a vested interest in Iran’s nuclear power development.

Erdogan then looked to Israel and promised, or threatened, several times to visit Gaza, each time being forced to postpone his plans.

Erdogan welcomed the Muslim Brotherhood government, seeing it as another ally in his new-found Islamist desires, and in his view, Israel is getting in the way.

The Right Moment for Israel’s Danny Danon?

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Originally published at Daniel Pipes.

Lunacy.” That’s how Danny Danon describes Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s decision to hand over 104 killers to the Palestinian Authority as a “goodwill gesture.”

He’s hardly alone, as many observers (including myself) are outraged by this move. But Danon, 42, has a unique place in this debate because he (1) sits in Israel’s parliament as a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party, he (2) is chairman of Likud’s powerful Central Committee, and he (3) serves as Israel’s deputy minister of Defense. In American terms, his criticism resembles Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s 2010 interview mocking Vice President Joe Biden. But McChrystal was gone within days whereas Danon continues to gain influence and stature.

Danon’s ability to denounce his own prime minister’s actions points to his not being a routine politician. Three qualities stand out: a devotion to principle, a mastery of tactics, and the ability to articulate a vision.

Daniel Pipes testifying before the Knesset's Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, chaired by Danny Danon, in March 2012.

Daniel Pipes testifying before the Knesset’s Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee, chaired by Danny Danon, in March 2012.

Danon has remained true to the core principles of his party and his country. His righteous opposition when his party makes mistakes – such as the 2009 freeze on building residences for Jews on the West Bank or accepting the two-state solution – shows a strength of character. As he points out, “It’s not easy being in a room of thirty people, alone saying no.”

His rise through Israel’s national camp institutions reveals tactical skill: serving as assistant to Uzi Landau, as head of the World Betar Organization, then head of the World Likud Organization, as organizer of street protests and challenger to the prime minister for the party’s leadership. These efforts culminated in his strong showing in his party’s electoral list (coming in No. 5) and the jaw-dropping 85 percent of the vote he won in elections to lead Likud’s Central Committee. With reason, the Forward newspaper calls him “a master of social and conventional media” and the Times of Israel deems him “a major stumbling block toward Palestinian statehood.”

Finally, the vision: Its fullest articulation is found in his 2012 book, Israel: The Will to Prevail (Palgrave), where he sketches an ambitious and contrarian view of his country’s foreign policy. Arguing that “history shows us Israel is often better off when she acts on her own behalf … even if that means contravening the wishes of U.S. administrations,” he concludes that the Jewish state “fares best when she makes decisions based on her own best interests.” Jerusalem, he holds, should pursue its goals “with or without backing from her allies.” This argument, commonplace enough for most states, is audacious in the case of small, beleaguered Israel.

Danon’s moment may have arrived. As Netanyahu appears to be making excessive and immoral concessions to the Palestinian Authority, Danon has emerged as a leading dissident ready to challenge his prime minister (remember “lunacy”). Should Netanyahu feel no longer welcome in his own party and leave it to found a new one (following exactly in Ariel Sharon’s 2005 footsteps), Danon will be a potential candidate to lead Likud and win a subsequent election.

One sign of his rise is the invective used against him. Justice Minister Tzipi Livni coined the term “Danonism” and demanded that Netanyahu reject it. Gideon Levy, an extreme left columnist for Ha’aretz newspaper, disdainfully but fearfully writes that “little Danny Danon will be big, the sugar of the Israeli right. … [he] will go far.”

Looked at in historical perspective, since the taciturn but principled Yitzhak Shamir left the prime ministry in 1992, his six successors variously engaged in political betrayal, ethical corruption, and delusional egotism. Sharon (2001-06) abandoned his electoral mandate to the point that he had to flee his own party, even as his financial shenanigans had him in constant trouble with the law. Ehud Olmert (2006-09) had to resign due to a cloud of corruption charges. Focused on the Iranian threat, Netanyahu did well since 2009 but his recent offer of 104 murderers disturbingly contradicts the electoral platform of a half year ago.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/the-lions-den-daniel-pipes/the-right-moment-for-israels-danny-danon/2013/08/06/

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