web analytics
September 23, 2014 / 28 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘MKs’

Lapid Tells Haredim ‘Go Work’ as Child Subsidy Cuts Go into Effect

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

On Tuesday, the severe cuts in government assistance to large families is going into effect, representing a new peak in Finance Minister Yauir Lapid’s war against the Haredim. What began as an election slogan, touting the need for an equal share in the national burden, is now policy, and as so many things political go, this one is hurting the weakest members of society.

Here’s the list of changes in the amounts paid to families—it is divided into children before and after 2003.

Families with children born before 2003 will receive $39 a month—down from $49—for the first child; $39 a month—down from $74—for the second child; $48 a month—down from $82—for the third child; $94 a month—down from $129—for the fourth child; and $99 a month—down from $109—for the fifth child and on.

The effect on a family of 10, which would be almost certainly religious (or Arab) is a 20% drop, from $988.00 to $814.00.

Israel’s social security administration objected to these cuts, arguing that they expect them to send some 35 thousand new children below the poverty line. In fact, they said the new cuts, sold as part of the “equal burden” package, will actually introduce a huge, new gap between rich and poor, as the percentage of poor children will rise from 4 to 40 percent.

In his Facebook message (today’s politician’s alternative to press conferences, where they might ask you embarrassing questions), Lapid said he was fulfilling one of his key promises to his voters. He also offered the following factoid, possibly something he read in a Maggie Thatcher interview:

“For years upon years it’s been proven that child allowances don’t get people out of poverty, they only make poverty permanent. Only one thing allows families exit the cycle of poverty – and that’s working.”

According to a 2011 report on poverty issued by the Israeli social security administration, 39.3% of Israeli families have been freed from the cycle of poverty due to receiving a variety of subsidies, including child allowances and income tax breaks, and the figure includes 15.1% of the children in Israel. The poverty line before government subsidies are paid out stands at $39.3%, and with the old subsidies dropped to 19.9%, which is still the highest poverty level among developed countries, and highest among all the OECD member countries…

For Haredi families, this severe cut in income comes coupled with a severe curtailing of funding for yeshivas and kolelim—by 30 percent this coming year, and by 60 percent the following year.

Four Haredi families are planning to sue the government in the Supreme Court over the cuts, which they say were made haphazardly and in a manner that does not befit proper legislation. A similar appeal was rejected a month ago by Justice Noam Solberg, on the ground that it was issued too early on in the legislative process. He urged the plaintiffs to come back once the bill becomes a law. Well, today it did.

Minister Lapid received a lot of praise when, during a duel with MKs from the Torah Judaism party, he said from the podium, in response to an accusation that his office was starving children:

“We will not allow any child in the State of Israel to go hungry. It’s our duty to make sure no child in Israel will be hungry, and we will honor it. But I want to remind [you], the institution responsible for caring for children is called their parents. When you bring a child into this world, [you] are the primary person responsible for it. Bringing a child into the world is a heavy responsibility, and so you should bring children into the world not based on the assumption that other people would care for them, but rather based on the assumption that it’s your obligation to take care of your own children.”

But that was many months ago. Today it has become clear that Minister Lapid—continuing his late father’s legacy of Haredi and religious hatred—has declared war on religious Jews in Israel. So far it’s been a three-pronged attack, hitting the issues of draft, child rearing in large families, and the education budget. Granted, in every one of these areas the Haredi public could do a lot to improve its relationship with the state and to create more goodwill between religious and secular in Israel. But to hit them with these three massive jabs all at once is not an act of repair but of destruction.


Israeli Democracy Dealt Blow with ‘Governance Act’

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Last night the Knesset voted to raise the threshold vote from 2 to 4 percent. This means that a political party must win 4.8 seats before it can receive its first seat in the Knesset. It was presented by the Likud-Beiteinu faction as a necessary measure to enable Israel’s government to govern without the constant fear of being toppled by a walkout of one of its minor coalition members.

The new threshold would effectively eliminate the small parties in Israel, forcing them to align in large power blocks or disappear. Meanwhile, their votes should be siphoned off to four or five major parties.

There’s an inherent problem in Israel’s parliamentary system, which has made it difficult for coalition governments over the past 65 years: the executive, meaning the prime minister, is also a member of the legislative body. In order to stay in power, he or she must juggle the Knesset membership around to maintain a majority of at least 61 out of 120 members. If they go below 60, their government is likely to lose a vote of no confidence (of which it endures about 10 a week), and the nation must go to new elections.

Under the U.S. constitution, it is perfectly fine for the president to govern while both houses of Congress are in the hands of a party other than his own. He will serve out his term of four years (unless he is impeached), and would simply have to haggle with the opposition party to get his legislation through.

An attempt in the recent past to let the voter pick the prime minister in a separate vote ended up with a disappointment to anyone who thought they would attain executive stability this way – and the separate PM vote was scrapped. It appears that the only real solution would be for Israel to switch to a presidential system, with an executive who governs outside the Knesset.

But such a change would be rejected by the smaller parties, who get their life’s blood—i.e. patronage jobs—from their leaders’ stints as government ministers. A cabinet run by an executive who isn’t himself an MK would be staffed by technocrats rather than by politicians, and the smaller parties would be left out to dry, unable to suckle on the government’s teat.

The new “Governance Act” that was passed last night would presumably have the same effect on the smaller parties: they would become history. This means the elimination of all the parties that currently boast fewer than 5 MKs: Hadash (Arabs) has 4, Ra’am Ta’al-Mada (Arabs) has 4, National Democratic Assembly (Arabs) has 3, and Kadima has 2.

You may have noticed a recurring ethnic group among the Knesset factions which would be eliminated by the Governance Act. Those 11 “Arab” seats would be eliminated, unless, of course, these three factions, with vastly different platforms (one is Communist, the other two not at all). are able to unite around their single common denominator, namely that they’re not Jews.

The political thinker behind this power grab is MK Avigdor Liberman, who’s been dreaming about a Knesset where his faction, Likud-Beiteinu, could win a decisive majority, once and for all. His henchman, MK David Rotem, was the bill’s sponsor. But the law of unintended consequences and double-edged swords is strong in Israel, and the new bill could just as easily be just what the Left needed to stage a resounding comeback.

Labor (15 MKs) and Meretz (6 MKs) are really the old Mapai, Achdut Ha’avoda and Mapam, the three Zionist workers parties. Hadash is really a remnant of Maki and Rakach, the two Communist parties which split off Mapam. If the leftist establishment got it together—as it did in 1992—it could cobble Labor, Meretz, the Arabs, Kadima and Livni to create a juggernaut of more than 35, possibly 40 seats.

This kind of unity could only be forged by a common feeling of a great betrayal by the right-wing government – and, what do you know, judging by last night’s drama over the threshold vote, such a sense of betrayal is permeating the smaller parties.

One after another, opposition MKs came up to the podium and used up their time to keep silent. MK Jamal Zahalka strapped duct tape over his mouth. MK Ahmad Tibi stood with his back to the plenum. Merets chair zehava Gal-on wept, her hands over her face.

Knesset Bill to Cut MKs Salaries Passes First Reading

Monday, June 10th, 2013

The Knesset Monday approved on the first reading a bill that would cut salaries of Knesset Members and the President of Israel by 10 percent. Salaries of ministers and judges would be cut by one percent.

The measure passed by a margin of 38-15 but likely will be altered by Knesset committee that will discuss the bill before returning it to the Knesset floor.

The Almost Final 19th Knesset List (Updated)

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Updated: 9:14 AM (Wednesday)

The following is the list of candidates who appear to have made it into the 19th Knesset. Some changes are still possible after the soldier votes are counted.

The list is final. Grayed out names are not in.

Knesset Members who were not in the last Knesset are in red.

 

Party : Seats . Percent . Votes
. Likud-Beytenu : 31 23.25% 832,099
Yesh Atid: : 19 14.19% 507,879
Labor : 15 11.45% 409,685
Shas : 11 8.83% 316,151
HaBayit HaYehudi : 11 8.76% 313,646
UTJ : 7 5.31% 189,931
HaTnua : 6 5.02% 179,818
Meretz : 6 4.59% 164,150
Raam/Taal : 3 3.80% 135,830
Kadima : 2 2.09% 74,735
Hadash : 4 3.12% 111,685
Balad : 5 2.66% 95,312
Otzma L’Yisrael  0   1.73%   61,825

 

# Member of Knesset
Likud Beytenu
1 Benjamin Netanyahu – Likud
2 Avigdor Liberman - Yisrael Beytenu
3 Gidon Saar - Likud
4 Yair Shamir - Yisrael Beytenu
5 Gilad Erdan - Likud
6 Silvan Shalom - Likud
7 Uzi Landau - Yisrael Beytenu
8 Yisrael Katz - Likud
9 Danny Danon - Likud
10 Sofia Landver - Yisrael Beytenu
11 Ruvy Rivlin - Likud
12 Moshe Yaalon - Likud
13 Yitzchak Aharonovitch - Yisrael Beytenu
14 Zeev Elkin - Likud
15 Tzipi Hotovely - Likud
16 Orly Levy Abekasis - Yisrael Beytenu
17 Yariv Levin - Likud
18 Yuli Edelstein - Likud
19 Faina Kirshenbaum - Yisrael Beytenu
20 Haim Katz - Likud
21 Miri Regev - Likud
22 David Rotem - Yisrael Beytenu
23 Moshe Feiglin - Likud
24 Yuval Steinitz - Likud
25 Robert Iltov - Yisrael Beytenu
26 Tzachi HaNegbi - Likud
27 Limor Livnat - Likud
28 Hamad Amar – Yisrael Beytenu
29 Ofir Akunis - Likud
30 Gila Gamliel - Likud
31 Shimon Ohayon – Yisrael Beytenu
32 Carmel Shama - Likud
 .
HaBayit HaYehudi
1 Naftali Bennett
2 Uri Ariel
3 Nissan Slomiansky
4 Eliyahu Ben-Dahan
5 Ayelet Shaked
6 Uri Orbach
7 Zevulun Kalfa
8 Avraham Wortzman
9 Mordechai Yogev
10 Orit Struck
11 Yonatan Shetboun
12 Shuli Mualam-Rafeli
13 Hillel Horovitz
14 Jeremy Gimpel
 .
Yesh Atid
1 Yair Lapid
2 Shai Piron
3 Yael Garman
4 Meir Cohen
5 Yaakov Perry
6 Ofer Shelach
7 Aliza Lavie
8 Yoel Razvozov
9 Adi Kol
10 Karen Elharhar
11 Mickey Levy
12 Shimon Solomon
13 Ruth Calderon
14 Pnina Tamnu-Shata
15 Rina Frankel
16 Yifat Kariv
17 Dov Lipman
18 Boaz Toporovsky
19 Ronen Hoffman
20 Tal El-Al
21 Marc Babbot
 .
Labor
1 Shelly Yachimovich
2 Yitzhak Herzog
3 Eitan Cabel
4 Meirav Michaeli
5 Benjamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer
6 Hillik Bar
7 Omer Bar-Lev
8 Stav Shafir
9 Avishai Braverman
10 Erel Margalit
11 Itzik Shmuli
12 Miki Rosental
13 Michal Biran
14 Nachman Shai
15 Moshe Mizrahi
16 Daniel Atar
16 Galeb Magdela
17 Nadia Hilu
 .
Otzma L’Yisrael
1 Aryeh Eldad
2 Michael Ben-Ari
3 Baruch Marzel
 .
Shas
1 Eli Yishai
2 Aryeh Deri
3 Ariel Atias
4 Yitzchak Cohen
5 Meshulam Nahari
6 Amnon Cohen
7 Yaacov Margi
8 David Azulai
9 Yitzhak Vaknin
10 Nissim Zeev
11 Avraham Michaeli
12 Yoav Ben-Tzur
13 Lior Edri
14 Ami Iluz
 .
Am Shalem
1 Haim Amsallem
2 Moshe Zarfati
 .
Kadima
1 Shaul Mofaz
2 Yisrael Hasson
3 Yohanan Plessner
 .
UTJ
1 Yaakov Litzman
2 Moshe Gafni
3 Meir Porush
4 Uri Maklev
5 Menachem Moses
6 Yisrael Eichler
7 Yakov Asher
8 Yaakov Guterman
 .
HaTnua
1 Tzipi Livni
2 Amram Mitzna
3 Amir Peretz
4 Elazar Stern
5 Meir Sheetrit
6 David Tzur
7 Yoel Hassan
8 Shlomo Mula
 .
Meretz
1 Zehava Gal-On
2 Ilan Gilon
3 Nitzan Horowitz
4 Michal Rozen
5 Issawi Farij
6 Tamar Zandberg
7 Avshalom Vilan
8 Musi Raz
 .
Chadash
1 Mohammad Barakeh
2 Hanna Swaid
3 Dov Khenin
4 Afo Agbereye
 .
Raam-Taal
1 Ibrahim Tsartsur
2 Ahmed Tibi
3 Massoud Ganaim
4 Nabila Aspnyuli
Balad
1 Jamal Zahalka
2 Hanin Zuabi
3 Basil Jitas

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/who-made-it-into-the-19th-knesset/2013/01/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: