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May 30, 2016 / 22 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘mofaz’

Mofaz on his Facebook Page: Ceasefire A Mistake

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Opposition leader and Kadima chairman MK Shaul Mofaz expressed opposition to the ceasefire on his Facebook page.

Mofaz wrote that “the ceasefire is a mistake and the next round with Hamas is waiting around the corner.” Mofaz also wrote that “in practice the military’s operational achievements did not translate into political success. You don’t settle with terrorism. There decision. And, unfortunately, a decisive victory has not been achieved and we did not recharge our deterrence. As the Chief of Staff during the Defensive Shield operation I stopped the suicide bombers. I know it’s possible. It’s possible to defeat terrorism.”

It should be noted that Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was in charge of removing the IDF from the Gaza Strip, along with some 10 thousand Jewish residents. That move has probably contributed more than anything else Israel has done since the Oslo Accord of 1992 to deteriorate the state of her security.

Yori Yanover

Mofaz to Fight Levy Report

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Shaul Mofaz, head of the Kadima party, attacked Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday for his plan to try to legally pass the Levy Report (on the Israeli Territories). Mofaz says he plans to go to the State Attorney’s office to try to block it.

According to Mofaz, Netanyahu is trying to adopt it because of his fear of the Feiglinites (Moshe Feiglin supporters in the Likud).

Mofaz continued to say that passing the report is not in the interest of the Zionism, and will lead to the destruction of the Jewish majority in Israel and the isolation of Israel in the world.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Speculations: Israeli Elections Moved Up to February

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to move the next Knesset elections from October to February, 2013.

The Israeli press has been featuring several leaks from Netanyahu’s inner circle on Tuesday and Wednesday regarding the approaching declaration of a February vote, although an official declaration is yet to made.

“We will make a decision by the opening of the winter session” of the Knesset, Netanyahu said on Tuesday. The winter session will start in two weeks.

Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz have been discussing a less severe clipping of the national budget, which was supposed to be trimmed by $3.9 billion. In light of the expected elections, they are likely to reduce the cuts to $2.6 billion.

“Over four years, we have responsibly managed the economy, reduced unemployment, protected growth and added hundreds of workplaces. We coped better than most countries in the Western world with the global economic crisis. For four years we acted as a responsible government and we must continue on this path,” the Prime Minister said, already sounding as if he is campaigning for his next term in office.

It is expected that the early vote will be scheduled for Tuesday, February 12. The last elections were held on February 10, 2009.

Interior Minister Eli Yishai from Shas said his party would rather not have the early elections.

“I told the prime minister that if the budget is passed with compassion, we will support it,” Yishai said, hinting at the need to avoid cuts that would hurt the needy segments of Israel’s population, adding: “We are prepared for elections at any given time, although Shas would be happy to continue its term for the year that remains.”

Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz of Kadima, who spent a short stint in Netanyahu’s coalition government this summer, said that “Netanyahu must be replaced and hope needs to be returned to the people of Israel.”

Labor Party Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich said that setting an early date for the national elections, because “Israel needs elections to decide between different alternatives and to reset the country’s path.”

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) told Israel Today: “In my opinion, the prime minister does not have a majority to approve a national budget… There is no majority in the coalition to approve the cuts. Without a budget, the government cannot continue to function and therefore there will have to be early elections.”

Jacob Edelist

70 days Later – Mofaz, Kadima, Quit Netanyahu’s Government over Haredi Draft

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Following the collapse of negotiations over a new conscription law, Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz decided to quit Netanyahu’s coalition, leaving the premier once again with only 66 MKs. Mofaz told a Kadima faction emergency session: “It is with great sorrow that I say that there is no escape from taking a decision on quitting the government.”

Mofaz explained: “I went in on a principle, and when that failed, we must quit.”

25 Kadima MKs supported the Mofaz proposal to quit at once, with only three opposing – MKs Yulia Shamalov, Othniel Schneller and former Mossad chief Avi Dichter.

By the end of last week it was becoming clear that negotiations between Kadima MK Yohanan Plesner—who headed a Knesset committee that presented a comprehensive plan to encourage Haredi compulsory recruitment that would nevertheless ease the path of Haredi recruits into service—and Netanyahu’s deputy prime minister, former IDF chief of staff Moshe “Boogie” Yaalon, were not going anywhere.

The key point of disagreement between the two sides was enforcement, with the Kadima side favoring criminal prosecution of Haredi draft dodgers, while Netanyahu famously declared that in Israel no Jew would go to jail for learning Torah.

Each side blamed the other for not negotiating in good faith, until in the end the talks broke down before Shabbat, with both sides being convinced that the entire affair had been little more than political posturing.

At a meeting this morning between Mofaz’s representative, Attorney Alon Englard, and the representative of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attorney David Shimron, the later introduced Netanyahu’s solution: the PM was prepared to accept the Mofaz proposal Haredi enlistment would run from ages 18 to 23, and the younger one enlists, the better his benefits would be after his discharge.

Mofaz decided to reject the proposal. “The Prime Minister’s proposal is contrary to the High Court ruling,” he declared, referring to the court’s decision to scrap the original “Tal Law” because it was offering unequal terms to the Haredi recruits.

Mofas said that Netanyahu’s offer did not “meet the principle of equality, it is disproportionate, and does not pass the effectiveness tests as laid down by the court ruling and the principles of the [Plesner] committee on equal share of the burden.”

In the end, if one were to referee this bout, it appears that while both sides were, indeed, posturing, it was Netanyahu who actually made an effort to salvage the proposed law and his coalition, while Mofaz has been thinking mostly about the next big fight – at the ballot box.

As things stand now, the Netanyahu coalition government is facing yet another big test on Wednesday, with the Avigdor Liberman faction bringing to a first vote their own version of a conscription law.

Yori Yanover

PM Rallies Likud MKs to Find Haredi Army Service Solution

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

As the deadline for the renewal of the Tal Law approaches and tens of thousands of people rallied to demand that all citizens of Israel perform national service, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction to discuss ways to include Hareidim in national and military service.  With his party in agreement, the prime minister is on his way to drafting new legislation.

The discussion comes less than a week after the prime minister suddenly disbanded the Plesner committee, a body he established due to the impending time lapse of the Tal Law to advise him on integrating Hareidi Jews into army and national service programs which are mandatory for the rest of Israeli society.

On Saturday night, 35,000 – 50,000 people joined a “Camp Suckers” demonstration to protest what they perceive to be as an unequal application of Israel’s mandatory draft.  Due to the Tal law, which was passed in July 2002, Hareidi Jews can opt out of army service if they are enrolled in yeshiva.  Participants included former Shin Bet Chief Yuval Diskin, former army chief Gabi Ashkenazi, former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni, Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, and political hopeful and commentator Yair Lapid. Coalition member and Kadima head Shaul Mofaz arrived, but was booed and asked to leave.

The Supreme Court deemed the Tal law unconstitutional in February, causing an uproar in the Hareidi community, including an early morning “sack and ashes” protest against being forced to join the army.  At the June 25 rally, Eda Haredit leader Rabbi Tuvia called mandatory Hareidi enlistment the  government’s efforts to “destroy the Torah world.”

At the Sunday morning meeting, Prime Minister Netanyahu utilized the recommendations of the defunct Plesner committee to brief Likud MKs.  Soon after the briefing, the group agreed to promote the committee’s findings.  The prime minister will meet with Mofaz to establish a legislation drafting team to replace the Tal Law.  Initial reports indicate that MKs are ready to back the prime minister as long as conscription laws will include drafting into national service of Arabs with Israeli citizenship.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak disagreed with the notion of addressing Arab service at this time. “The main issue is ultra-Orthodox service,” said Barak. “We will have to create a law to deal with Arab inclusion in national service at a later date.”

Regardless, the new law will aim to slowly increase the numbers of conscripts, and provide a lot of incentives and benefits to participants.  It will also enable a certain number of Torah “prodigies” – about 1,500 across the country – to remain exempt and continue Torah study in place of serving in the IDF.

“We are doing this 64 years after the issue was originally mishandled. This is a historic change,” said Netanyahu at the meeting.

The Plesner report calls for enforcement mechanisms to be put into place to prevent draft dodging, including sanctions against yeshivas which keep students from enlisting.

Law makers have until August 1 to put a new law into action.

Malkah Fleisher

Plots, Schemes, and Coalitions

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

Earlier this month we saw something historic in Israeli politics – the largest unity government ever formed. Unlike most unity governments, this one was born neither from a sense of national emergency nor from an era of national euphoria, where political differences fade. Instead, this coalition was induced by the threat of the ballot-box and is a result of Israeli politicians’ strategic dedication to either keeping their seats or scoring the slot above them in the next coalition jig. For many observers, the “surprise” which greeted Israelis on May 8th was yet another political dance where the citizen stands on the sidelines, half-bewildered, half-relieved, but ultimately a spectator meant to watch, wonder, and wait for another year and half to be heard from again. This scenario begs the question: when it comes to the state of Israel’s representative governance, is the tail wagging the dog? Put simply, is Israeli citizenry merely an accessory to the political decision-making of the day?

There is no debating the many benefits that may derive from a unity government for Israel today. With a nuclear Iran fast approaching, Syria imploding, Turkey menacing, and Hezbollah-Hamas gaining strength rapidly, stability is a good thing, which explains why most Israelis don’t want early elections. Indeed, there are other benefits that could derive from a Likud-Kadima union, such as the ability to fast-track emergency legislation like the Tal Law, budgetary issues, and critical electoral reforms.

There is no doubt that a stable unity government will contribute to Israel’s wellbeing. But as in all things, there is a subtext to this story that cannot be expediently swept under the rug. In this case, it has become clear that the unity government’s main ambition is consolidating its own power, as the Israeli citizen is once again forced to endure ad hoc styled governance in which day-to-day politicking is more about the maintenance of power then exercising it. Benjamin Disraeli, one of the greatest parliamentarians, once said, “Coalitions though successful have always found this, that their triumph has been brief.” Such has been the fortune of too many of Israel’s political coalitions, and the current one cannot argue for an exception.

This is not to say that there are not good, well-intentioned men and women in the Knesset that seek to improve the lives of Israelis and future of Israel. There are many. But the overall climate inside Israel’s governing class is one that applauds, even pursues, stability, at the cost of clarity in policy. In these environments, it becomes difficult for leaders to properly undertake their duties – and understand the nature of their duty – when grappling the ‘greasy pole’ of politics. Serving their real constituency – that is, the general public – instead of their power base is not a notion that illuminates the corridors of power inside Israel.  Sadly, the numerous scandals and convictions of former PMs, Presidents, and MKs are constant reminders of unscrupulous public servants blatantly neglecting their national duties. Israel cannot afford such willful ignorance, given the volatile regional realities and the critical domestic issues that crowd its agenda. Israelis are an audaciously capable people in times of crises. The concern is that political stability could lead to policy inertia, which leads to a fatal sense of apathy.

To most honest observers, Netanyahu and Mofaz’s marriage is one of convenience, a mutual desire for power consolidation and political momentum. And how can we blame either of them for mimicking the political strategies of the day? Netanyahu has managed to successfully navigate – even dominate – a political system, while Mofaz – newly installed as Kadima’s head – effectively read the writing on the wall regarding Kadima’s chances in an early election. What is indisputable is the complete lack of effort by either leader to court the general public in the formation of this unprecedented coalition.

This sort of disinterest in the grassroots constituency has become standard. Take, for example, the Netanyahu government’s response to the hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens that took to the streets last summer to protest Israel’s centralization of wealth and power. The Israeli grassroots finally made their voice heard, but lacked the clarity of purpose and the sacred national symbols to unite and speak truth to power. The proof of this, as they say, is in the pudding. We should have seen a more serious response than the appointment of the Trachtenberg commission. Since then, the Israeli citizen has been led – by delays and other obfuscations – back into the grip of societal apathy, where we congratulate the government for forming a coalition but fail to hold it accountable for demands which swept the nation less than 10 months ago. And so, demands from a broad consensus of Israel’s population have so far yielded only minor legislative changes and a unity government that can more easily diffuse accountability for inaction.

Ariel Harkham

Netanyahu Inaugurates Coalition with ‘Four Main Goals’

Sunday, May 13th, 2012

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu welcomed Kadima into his Likud-led government at the first cabinet meeting since Kadima’s entry into the coalition.

“This is the first meeting of the broad unity government, and we have many challenges ahead of us. On behalf of all ministers, I welcome Shaul Mofaz as a government minister and welcome the Kadima MKs that have joined the coalition.” Mofaz was sworn in as deputy prime minister and minister-without-portfolio last week.

“In the talks between us, we set four main goals for the broad unity government,” he continued, “changing the Tal Law, changing the electoral system, passing the budget, and advancing the peace process.”

Netanyahu placed greatest priority on advancing a bill that will replace the expiring Tal Law, which permitted Haredi men to defer military service indefinitely. “This week, an inter-party team will be formed to present us with alternatives to the Tal Law. By the end of July, we will pass a law that will divide the burden on a more equal, more egalitarian and more just basis for all Israelis, Jewish and Arab alike, without setting public against public.”

Without going into specifics, Netanyahu also reiterated his and Mofaz’s call last week to reform the electoral system, saying that the government would “establish a team to lead the change in the electoral system.”

One topic that Netanyahu did not address in his statement but is certain to test the strength and durability of the new coalition is the Ulpana outpost crisis. In light of the High Court’s ruling last Monday that Ulpana must be evacuated and destroyed by July 1, there is talk that the government will propose a bill that would circumvent the High Court’s ruling by legalizing Ulpana.

Minister of National Infrastructure Uzi Landau stated that proceeding with the scheduled evacuation and demolition would be “immoral, unjust and inhumane.”

Jewish Press Staff Writer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/pm-netanyahu-inaugurates-new-coalition-by-setting-four-main-goals/2012/05/13/

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