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February 10, 2016 / 1 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Bennett’

Bennett Seeks to Calm Tensions Amid Leftwing Professor’s Comparison of Ayelet Shaked to “Neo-Nazi”

Monday, December 28th, 2015

Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett delivered a statement this evening in response to a publication by two professors at Hebrew University implying that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked was a “neo-Nazi.”

Bennett described the publications as “incitement” claiming that they represented “the most serious incitement against a Justice Minister of Israel since the founding of the state.” The Education Minister warned that if the matter is not handled immediately, the consequences could be extremely serious, adding that “lecturers do not need to incite.”

Bennett said that he had consulted earlier in the day with Hebrew University President Professor Menachem Ben-Sasson and demanded that incitement from the campus be removed “by its roots” and said that he expects the president to consider the various methods by which this can be implemented.

Rather than assigning blame exclusively to the left or right of the political spectrum, Bennett sought to unify the political fractures which have become increasingly conspicuous in recent weeks.

“Perhaps I should wave a finger at the left at this point and blame them and say that these lectures emanated from the left, but I will not do that because these same professors grew up in Israel’s flowerbed just like those people [right wing extremists] who celebrated at that wedding grew up in Israel’s flowerbed. These are the flowerbeds that belong to everyone and we need to stop this dance of mutual blaming,” Bennett berated the two political extremes.

“Everyone needs to wave a finger at himself and to relax. We don’t have another state. We don’t have a right or a left, but only a flowerbed that is Israel. We have only one state, and all of us, from left to right, must do everything to protect it,” he appealed to his listeners.

Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid joined Bennett in condemning the professors saying that their statements were “disgraceful. The professor is not even a doctor. He is a bottom-tier writer of the lowest kind. If he knew what he was talking about, he would know that states can be destroyed because of people like him that say such things. Shame on them,” Lapid said.

Increased Security Ordered for Education Minister Naftali Bennett

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

Upgraded security has been ordered for Education Minister Naftali Bennett, chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party, and around his home in Ra’anana, Channel 2 television news reported.

The decision comes following threats received by Bennett after his public support for the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet/Shabak).

Bennett openly expressed support for interrogiation by Shin Bet security of Jewish suspects in the arson murder case involving the death of a mother, father and toddler in the Arab village of Duma this summer.

The minister also publicly condemned “Jewish terror,” which he bluntly said was aimed at toppling the Israeli government and the State of Israel.

Bennett said the threat posed by such extremists is as dangerous to the security of the state as any threat by Arab terrorists and should be treated as such.

Bennett Worried about Jews – the Ones in the Diaspora

Wednesday, December 23rd, 2015

Assimilation is murdering Judaism, except in Israel.

Naftali Bennett told Jewish legislators from around the world this week that he is more worried about Jews in the Diaspora than those in Israel, the European Jewish Press (EJP) reported.

Speaking at the International Council of Jewish Parliamentarians (ICJP), the Education Minister and chairman of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party said that streams of Judaism must be accepted.

However, he then opened a can of worms by stating, “A Jew is a Jew is a Jew.”

The answer to “who is a Jew” vastly varies and is at the heart of disputes between Orthodox Judaism and the Reform and Conservatives streams.

EJP quoted Bennett as telling the legislators visiting Israel:

I’m not worried about Israel. I’m worried about Diaspora Jews. That’s what keeps me up at night.

Assimilation is as big a loss to the Jewish people as the expulsion of the 10 tribes.

The chairman of the .ICIP is New York Congressman Eliot Engel and includes former Canadian justice minister Irwin Cotler, French MP Meyer Habib, as well as legislators from Chile, Brazil, Belgium, Romania, Hungary and Ukraine.

Also addressing the conference was Michael Oren, former Ambassador to the United States and now a Knesset Member in the Kulanu party.

EJP reported that he said that labeling products from Judea and Samaria that they are made in the “occupied territories” is “anti-Semitic.”

Oren explained:

There are hundreds of territorial disputes in the world. Only Israeli products are being labeled.

Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog repeated his refrain that “we need to separate from the Palestinians” and followed with the usual non-solutions.

Instead, he declared, “It has to be resolved – but right now, if you look at the mood of the people, it’s at its worst ever… You can’t disregard the notion of the two-state solution. If that’s over, you’ll be moving to the one-state solution whether you like it or not… the reality is impossible… you can’t govern another people.

Bennett’s Bonus Incentive to Entice Students Into Higher Mathematics

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The government has just announced a new incentive for students who complete five units on the mathematics bagrut (matriculation) exam in high school.

(Ed. – The “bagrut” is the final exam administered to high school students in Israel, similar to the Regents’ exams taken by high school students in New York.)

The bonus, initiated by Education Minister Naftali Bennett, is an extra 35 points added to the overall score on the bagrut when the student applies to enter university.

It is intended to encourage more students to enter the field of higher mathematics.

Up to this point, the government has offered a bonus of 25 points as an incentive to study mathematics.

“I was happy to discover that, within a short time, all Israeli universities adopted my request,” Bennett said in a statement on Sunday. “This is an unprecedented mobilization for Israel’s students and for strengthening the study of mathematics.”

He urged students “who are debating between four and five units [to] make the effort.”

Bennett’s new bonus pushes the award up by an additional 10 points – but it also widens the gap between students who end their exam at four units – and receive only a 12.5 point bonus – and those who persevere to the fifth level.

All of Israel’s leading universities have accepted the initiative and will participate in awarding the bonus incentives to students.

These include: Ariel University, Bar Ilan University, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and University of Haifa.

The study of higher mathematics is essential to the continuity and future development of Israel’s technological base, government officials have said. Maintaining the edge in cyber defense and cyber warfare is only a small part of that field.

Developing new technologies for water conservation, renewable energy and medical breakthroughs, let alone other manufacturing areas, all require a thorough grounding in higher mathematics; hence the focus on encouraging students to enter the field.

Bennett Tells Chief Rabbi: I Don’t Consult with Rabbis on Matters of Policy

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) Speaking to religious radio station Radio Kol Chai, Bayit Yehudi Chairman and Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett on Wednesday morning that, “unlike Haredi MKs, I Don’t consult with rabbis on my political and actions and on policy.”

Bennett was referring to his recent row with Chief Rabbi David Lau, following Bennett’s visit to a Solomon Schechter Conservative school in the US last month. In the radio interview, Bennett said it was Rabbi Lau who chose to attack him, not the other way around: “I did not initiate the conflict, but the chief rabbi chose to attack me, and I told him ‘I’m sorry, but I’m the Minister of Diaspora.’”

Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau last week criticized Minister Bennett’s visit to Conservative congregations in the US and said it was clear that the minister did not consult with a rabbi about those visits. According to Lau, “the visit constitutes an acknowledgement of a movement that endangers the future of the nation of Israel.” Lau added that “if the Minister Bennett were to ask my opinion before the visit, I would have said explicitly. ‘You cannot go to a place where education is pushing Jews away from Jewish tradition, and from the past and future of the Jewish people.”

Following Lau’s remarks, Bennett stated: “Things were said today that should not be said by a senior leader of the Israeli public.” As to the rabbi’s rebuke, Bennett replied: “I, unlike Haredi MKs, don’t consult with rabbis on my political and actions and on policy. That’s the difference. In the movement which I lead, having been elected by the public, I consult in rabbis on halakhic issues, but not on policy issues. We see this a little differently. I’m not going to conduct myself as Minister of Education, nor as Minister for Diaspora Affairs by approaching the Council of Torah Sages on every issue.”

Rabbi David Lau’s cousin, the Jerusalem Ramban Synagogue’s spiritual leader Rabbi Benny Lau criticized the Chief Rabbi’s attack on Bennett. “If the chief rabbi supports Israel, he has to understand that they (non-Orthodox Jews) are our best ambassadors to the world,” Rabbi Benny Lau told Kikar Hashabbat. “If the chief rabbi has a dispute with their manner of worship — but what’s the connection to the State of Israel? Why mix things, why endanger the state?”

Rabbi Benny Lau stressed that the diplomatic relations between Israel and the United States do not allow boycotting the non-Orthodox. “You want to eliminate all our support in the world, have we gone mad? This is madness. They are our biggest supporters.”

Regarding Bennett’s decision to visit a Conservative school, Rabbi Benny Lau said: “I think Bennett did the right thing. I am the son of the Foreign Office employee who was consul in the US, and what I learned is that as a diplomat you have a responsibility to all the parts of the Jewish people without controversies, you do not engaged in the wars between different sectors and as a representative of everyone you accept responsibility for each and every one of them; so visiting the school as Bennett did was his duty. I say Naftali, more power to you.”

Chief Rabbi Lau Condemns Minister Bennett’s Visit to US Conservative School

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Israel’s Chief Rabbi David Lau criticized the visit of Minister of Education and Chairman of the Bayit Yehudi party Naftali Bennett to Conservative congregations in the United States and said that it is clear the minister did not consult with a rabbi about those visits.

According to Rabbi Lau, “The visit constitutes a recognition of congregations that are dangerous to the future of the Jewish nation.”

Rabbi Lau told religious Radio Kol Khai regarding Conservative congregations:

We must continue to educate Jews and explain to them the true values ​​of Jewish tradition and the nation of Israel. Don’t forget, in almost every Jewish family you’ll find a religious grandfather, an ultra-Orthodox grandfather, or even a grandfather who is a rabbi. You will not find a lot of families with a Conservative grandfather.

That is, in the end, when we talk about the future, Orthodoxy is the way.

Rabbi Lau said that in his opinion “the Conservatives are certainly Jews but, again, not because of their moral identity. We must tell them clearly: If you continue in this way, you will lose your children and your grandchildren.”

Rabbi Lau opposed Bennett’s visit to a Conservative School and said, “we should ask Bennett if he consulted with a rabbi before this meeting and I very much fear that he didn’t, [and] this behavior is unacceptable to the entire [nation of] Israel. When you speak to a general audience, of course you’re not going to ask whether everyone in the audience is Orthodox, but to plan in advance an appearance before a certain audience and legitimize its path, when this path removes Jews from the Jewish way, it is forbidden.”

The rabbi continued:

If Minister Bennett were to ask my opinion ahead of his visit, I would have told him clearly that ‘you can’t go to a place where the education removes Jews from the tradition, from the past and from the future of the Jewish nation.’

The Office of Minister Bennett’s responded in a statement saying: “Minister Bennett believes public leaders in Israel should bring Jews in, not ostracize them, and is strongly opposed to statements that keep hearts away rather than bring them closer. We are now in a state of emergency for Diaspora Jews, when assimilation reaches millions of Jews.

“As someone who is responsible for the diaspora issues in the Israeli government, Minister Bennett is proud to care for each and every Jew wherever they are, and will continue to meet with every Jew, no matter their denomination.”

Minister Naftali Bennett Resigns from Government

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

(JNi.media) Bayit Yehudi Chairman and Education Minister Naftali Bennett on Wednesday night handed cabinet secretary Avihai Mandelblatt his resignation from the government and will return to serve as a member of Knesset—following which he will be reappointed to his original governmental posts. A collateral effect of Bennett’s resignation is that his deputy, MK Meir Porush (UTJ) also stops his service at the Ministry of Education, since by law the deputy minister’s tenure is stopped as soon as the minister has resigned. Bennett’s letter of resignation was submitted at 10:41 PM Wednesday, which means that the resignation will only go into effect on Friday night. It also means that Avi Wortzman, who was next in line to become a Bayit Yehudi MK following the resignation of MK Yinon Magal over sex harassment charges, will not be sworn in as a member of Knesset.

Bennett was the one who forced Netanyahu to make the “Norwegian law” a foundation of the coalition agreement, and so far has been the only minister to use it, immediately after its approval. The law allows each party in the coalition to appoint a Knesset member in place of a minister or deputy minister from its ranks, who agrees to resign from the Knesset and clear the spot. The law also provides that should the same minister end his tenure in government, they may return to their Knesset seat, and the last MK on the list will have to end his or her term.

After the Bayit Yehudi party crashed in the last election from 11 to eight seats, Bennett decided to give up his seat to make room for Shuli Mualem, who ranked ninth on the faction’s list and remained outside the Knesset. With MK Magal leaving, Bennett decided to take advantage of the opportunity to take back his seat without firing anyone.

It is not clear what caused Bennett to make his decision. The national-religious website Srugim speculated that Bennett decided to return and serve as an MK to Keep Wortzman out, or, should Wortzman refuse to become an MK, to block the next member in line, Nir Orbach, from entering the Knesset. Bennett sees himself as a serious candidate for prime minister in the not too distant future, which is why he tried throughout the election campaign to add as many secular Israelis to his list as he could. With the secular Magal gone, replacing him with the religious Wortzman or Orbach would set things back to the days when the NRP was a four-member religious faction with nothing but men in yarmulkes—not the majority winning mix in Israel, even in right-wing Israel. So Bennett literally body blocked the next religious guy from coming in. It’s a plausible theory.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/minister-naftali-bennett-resigns-from-government/2015/12/03/

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