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Posts Tagged ‘MK Avigdor Lieberman’

Deri Loses 2 out of 3 Major Races, Jewish Home Wins Sephardi Enclaves

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Strong politicians come up with some inspired philosophical statements on their bad nights. I recall the Ed Koch’s famous “Sometimes you eat the bear, sometimes the bear eats you,” possibly after his failed bid to take up residence in the governor’s mansion in Albany, NY. MK Avigdor Lieberman, who many say orchestrated Moshe Leon’s meteoric campaign to unseat incumbent Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, equaled the immortal Koch last night, with his own quip: “If you want to win, you need to know how to lose.”

Defeat: Moshe Leon (R) and Avigdor Liberman after they heard the Jerusalem municipal elections results last night. No one was surprised.

Defeat: Moshe Leon (R) and Avigdor Liberman after they heard the Jerusalem municipal elections results last night. No one was surprised.

But while Moshe Leon, the accountant who switched his residency from Givatayim in the Tel Aviv area to Jerusalem just under the wire, was expected to lose, his patrons, Israel Beiteinu strong man Lieberman and Shas strong man Aryeh Deri, who labored tirelessly to unseat Mayor Barkat, walked away strong, as their man picked up 45 percent of the votes. The incumbent took 51 percent, but it remains to be seen whether the city council he received from the voter would be governable.

In my humble opinion, the entire Jerusalem campaign was not so much about unseating Barkat—not a realistic goal in anyone’s book—but about offering an alternative on the national level. The pairing to such an extent of Deri and Lieberman in this campaign will not end in this municipality, important though it is. As the Shas leader himself has put it, he is envisioning a coup in the government, involving removing Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home and substituting it with Shas and the Haredi UTJ. It’s a logical move, especially should the “peace talks” start making their impact and the right wing of Netanyahu’s coalition starts quaking. No matter what one may think about such a move, it cannot be attempted without Avigdor Lieberman’s support.

Aryeh Deri did sustain a painful defeat in the city of El’ad, outside Petach Tikva in central Israel. El’ad has been long synonymous with Sephardi-Haredi politics, and Deri, while knowingly fighting a losing battle that nonetheless had to be waged in Jerusalem, was determined to win in El’ad. The competition was between Deri’s candidate Tzuriel Krispel, and the UTJ, Haredi-Ashkenazi candidate Israel Porush, son of UTJ MK Meir Porush.

Late last night it was reported that Porush has won, and, adding insult to injury, it appears that a full 30 percent of this largely Haredi city Sephardi voters preferred the Ashkenazi candidate over “their own.”

So far, of the three major campaigns Deri has waged this time around, he only won in Beit Shemesh (more on that in a few paragraphs).

Minister of Economics and leader of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett in a photo op with party ops in Lod, one of the Jewish Home wins last night.

Minister of Economics and leader of the Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett in a photo op with party ops in Lod, one of the Jewish Home wins last night.

Jewish Home did well last night, considering its size and the municipal battles it picked. The party candidates have won three peripheral mayoralties: Alon Davidi is the new mayor of the rocket battered Sderot, Eliyahu (Lello) Zohar will run Kiryat Malachi, and Yair Revivo took the city of Lod.

All three places are heavily Sephardi and working class. In earning the voter’s faith in those three places, Bennett’s people are signaling that the Haredi-Sephardi Shas is no longer the only option for social mobility. And Bennett, as minister of the economy, is in a unique position to make this a stellar success story for his people.

last night, in Kiryat Malachi, the southern town that’s become synonymous with lingering poverty and neglect, Bennett made a “Shehechyanu” blessing (I suppose saying Hallel would have been too much even for Jewish Home), and said: “Something new begins tonight in Kiryat Malachi. They Jewish Home returns to the periphery and the periphery returns to the Jewish Home at this moment.”

Tireless Schemer: Deri Announces Plan to Return to Govt Using Lieberman

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

On Tuesday night, Shas Chairman MK Aryeh Deri told Haredi Radio Kol Barama that the main reason his party will continue to support Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Leon is not so much because of Mr. Leon’s qualifications (he’s an accountant), nor his long residency in the holy city (he just moved from Givatayim), but for one all important reason – because MK Avigdor Lieberman, the powerful, brooding, still in trial for corruption former Foreign Minister and head of the Israel Beiteinu coalition party supports Leon for mayor.

In Deri’s own words: if the Haredim aren’t united next week around Moshe Leon’s candidacy, they’ll be “losing the chance to take down the coalition in the next three years.”

A while ago, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat refused to appoint a Lieberman associate, Dr. Vladimir Sklar, to a senior post on the East Jerusalem Development Authority, and Lieberman either had a bad hair day that day, or the cops were knocking on the door with more questions, or he just had an epiphany about replacing the current mayor with a far, far better candidate – whatever the real reason, Moshe Leon was informed that he was about to achieve something he had been yearning for all his life, become the mayor of Jerusalem, and that he must relocate from the Tel Aviv area in a hurry, to establish residency.

Israeli politics is so brutal and personal, a 1920s Tammany Hall politician could probably be made head of the ethics committee (and often is).

On the radio last night, MK Aryeh Deri (who also relocated to Jerusalem, after spending 22 months in minimum-security Maasiyahu prison near Tel Aviv) described what he termed “the opportunity.” He said MK Avigdor Lieberman is the axis of the current coalition supporting candidate Moshe Leon, and that all the Haredim have promised him their blocks of votes.

But anything less than a Haredi tsunami in support of Leon, deri warned, and the game would be lost. “We won’t be able to come to him later and tell him, look it’s not like we’re after you personally when we’re destroying you politically” by abandoning your candidate. “We won’t be able to come to him afterwards and expect that he break his pact with Lapid and Bennett.”

You can have plenty of issues with Aryeh Deri’s ethics, but not his political astuteness. He was and continues to be the most dangerous element inside the religious world when it comes to preserving Eretz Israel. He pushed his late mentor, Rav Ovadia Yosef ZTL, to approve the concept of land for peace on the ground of “pikuach nefesh” (a potential mortal danger that permits the violation of a commandment – in this case the commandment to settle all of Eretz Israel). Deri has one goal in mind: to replace Naftali Bennett as the go-to Jew in government.

In terms of the math, the two parties are almost even – Shas has 11 seats, compared with Bennett’s 12.

Shas will make life much easier on the pro peace settlement forces inside and outside the government.

But Shas cannot co-exist with Yair Lapid’s vehemently anti-Haredi Yesh Atid party.

A major coalition surgery would be required to remove Lapid and Bennett, and replace them with Deri’s Shas and Shelly Yachimovich’s Labor. Shelly has 15 seats, compared with Lapid’s 19, but United Torah Judaism would happily oblige the new players.

This could be accomplished, Deri has been implying, if not outright announcing, but not without Ivet Lieberman. Only he has the muscle and the access to the PM that such a bold move would require. The Israel Beiteinu boss would have to stifle rebellion not only within his own very right wing faction, but in Likud as well. Without his political skills, such a blatant move against the National Religious and the Bourgeois Center could end up collapsing on itself. And if deri wants to keep the dream alive, he must, must, no question about it, must deliver Jerusalem for Moshe Leon.

Hedging his bets, local-Jerusalem and national, Deri has already committed to an anti-Barkat block comprised of the Haredi parties and Israel Beiteinu in the Jerusalem city council, which would effectively prevent the mayor, should Barkat end up winning, from cobbling a governing coalition. That would mean the executive in Jerusalem would not be able to pass laws or a budget. There’s a chance for education stats to drop even lower, and garbage collections to drift into the real of pure nostalgia in Jerusalem…

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/tireless-schemer-deri-announces-plan-to-return-to-govt-using-lieberman/2013/10/16/

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