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January 27, 2015 / 7 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Bennett’

And the Right is Back

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

Former MK Michael Ben-Ari is back and running again for Knesset. His revamped party is now called Otzma Yehudit.

In the previous elections, Ben-Ari’s party, then called Otzma L’Yisrael, just missed passing the Knesset’s minimum threshold by 9000 votes. In this election, the minimum threshold for entry is even higher.

The new party is clearly trying to distinguish itself from Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi, and defines itself as the real Right – and saying that the right-wing doesn’t talk about “two-state solutions”.

They hope to push the point that Bennett isn’t a “real” right-winger, which interestingly enough, may work to Bennett’s benefit, as having a party to the right of Bayit Yehudi may make Bennett look even more moderate and appealing to a larger voter segment.

There is also talk of Otzma Yehudit wanting to join forces with Eli Yishai, but at this point it’s just talk.

New Poll: Shows Netanyahu Will Lead Next Gov’t with Haredim

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

A new pre-election poll issued on Monday leaves no option for the next government other than one headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the help of Haredi parties.

Here is the lineup according to the “Panels” poll conducted the Knesset Channel :

Labor-Livni – 23

Likud – 21

Jewish Home – 16

Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid) – 11

Kulanu (Moshe Kahlon) – 9

Yisrael Beitenu – 7

Meretz – 7

Arab parties – 10

Yehadut HaTorah (Haredi) 7

Shas – 5

Eli Yishai – 4

The Labor party, headed by Yitzchak Herzog with his new sidekick Tzipi Livni, cannot form a majority the Haredi parties, which won’t happen unless it can convince two of four parties – Yair Lapid ,Yisrael Beiteinu’s Avigdor Lieberman and Meretz – to agree, which as likely as snow in July.

The center-right ring camp has less of a problem with the Haredi parties.

Adding up Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu and Kahlon comes up with the non-magical number of 55, six less than the majority that is needed to form the government.

The three Haredi parties are in the driver’s seat for the time being, and if the results in March will be similar to those of today, they will dictate the terms of the next coalition.

If that happens, Lapid and Livni will rue the day they worked against the coalition of which they were a part.

The polls are not meaningless and actually are a factor in how people will vote. If voters see that the next government will be under the thumb of Haredi partiers, they might start shifting their votes.

Supporters of Yesh Atid and Labor-Livni might shift a bit to Kahlon, possibly enough to give Netanyahu a majority of 61 without the Haredi parties.

Herzog, Livni and Lapid have a problem because there is not much they can take from other parties.

Jewish Home Unity Overcomes the ’Yesha Faction’

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

The “Tekuma” faction, headed by Housing Minister Uri Ariel, decided Saturday night to remain in the Jewish Home party and not join forces with Eli Yishai’s new party or run separately in a move that saves the right-wing from another weak if not useless party based on Judea and Samaria.

Ariel, whose integrity and intellectual honesty often place him in contradiction with the art of compromise in politics, has been upset with the Jewish Home party and its chairman Naftali Bennett because of the ostensibly democratic system of primaries, which is susceptible to wheeling and dealing even more  than a party’s central committee decision to decide who will be candidates.

Ariel last week met with Eli Yishai to discuss the chances of running on Yishai’s new party, following his leaving Shas.

Ariel left the decision up it his rabbinical advisers, who were split. The Tekuma Central Committee decided Saturday night to make the smartest decision and remain with the Jewish Home party.

A split would have been disastrous both for Tekuma and for the Jewish Home party.

The decision also leaves the “Yesha” rabbis and their followers weaker than ever, another blessing for a right-wing faction that has been hampered by decades with the mentality that a Jewish presence in the Judea and Samaria and that national religious yeshivas are the only issues that are important for Israel. They have tried to make Judea and Samaria the most important region in Israel and have tried to establish Beit El, dominated by prominent national religious rabbis, as the capital of Yesha.

The establishment of the Jewish Home party, which incorporated the Tekuma faction and the old-guard National Religious Party (“Mafdal”) was a political revolution because it finally made Yesha, the acronym, for what once was known as the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and Gaza, a part of the country and not apart from the country.

The Yesha platform of “Greater Israel” in practice was concerned only with Judea and Samaria and yeshivas and not with the rest of the country. It operated on the principle “if you are for Yesha, or you are against the country.”

Bennett, who is religious but lives in metropolitan Tel Aviv, changed that. He also brought in a secular MK, who, horror of horrors to some rabbis, was a woman. Her name is Ayelet Shaked, and her presence helped the party win 12 seats in the Knesset. All polls show the party will win at least 16 as of today.

If Tekuma had split, it would have taken seats away from the Jew Home but also might have made it itself extinct, wasting tens of thousands of votes.

Joining with Yishai’s party became problematic because his rabbinical adviser decided that a woman’s contribution to the country is cooking in the kitchen and not making trouble by being a Knesset Member.

That was a big problem for Ariel, whose Tekuma colleague MK Orit Struk was anxious to bolt the Jewish Home and follow Tekuma.

Ariel, too well-rooted in the kibbutz movement to ostracize women, would not have accepted keeping Struk out of the new party. If he had set up a new party, it is questionable if he and Struk could have garnered the minimum number of votes needed to enter the Knesset.

The inability of his rabbis to take a unified stand on the future of Tekuma shows indicates how much the “Yesha bloc” no longer is in charge.

Their correct rulings of Jewish law that Judea and Samaria are part of Israel, and that it is a mitzvah to live there, only enlarged the black image in the eyes of Israelis that all settlers are religious and robots to rabbis.

The Jewish Hipster Party

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

Naftali Bennett doesn’t like how the Left are always calling on Israel to apologize, so Bennett visited Tel Aviv, dressed up as an aging Tel Aviv hipster, and began apologizing – acting out exactly how it looks when and if Israel apologizes.

I’m sorry, but I don’t know how I feel towards this video. I get the point, but should Bennett have been the actor?

It’s not that he did a bad job, and I apologize for writing this, but I think it was a mistake for the man who wants to be our next Defense Minister (before becoming Prime Minister) to have acted like this in a video.

I apologize in advance for showing it to you and using up 2 minutes and 45 seconds of your life.

On the other hand, Bennett says its time we stop apologizing…

So Bennett Told Indyk to $#!!#$%! The “Two State Solution,” He Should Tell Bibi!!

Monday, December 15th, 2014

For the past few days, the news has been full of the very public argument between Israel’s Minister of the Economy NRP’s (yes, I know it’s now called the Jewish Home) Naftali Bennett and United States envoy Martin Indyk.

“We have to undo the years of nonsense that the peace industry has fermented, which led us to the position where the world thinks we are occupiers in our own land,” Bennett said. Sitting next to Bennett on the stage at the Willard Hotel conference room was Martin Indyk, until recently the Obama administration’s special peace envoy, who was tasked with interviewing Bennett. But as the Israeli minister laid out his worldview, including dismissal of the two-state solution, Indyk, who initially sought only to point out what he saw as “inconsistencies” in Bennett’s plan, grew visibly impatient. “I just think you live in another reality,” he told the Israeli speaker. “I live in another reality?” Bennet shot back, “I’ve been in the first intifada, the second intifada, I’ve been on ground there. I know more than Oslo and more than all those conferences …. You live in a different reality.” Then, escalating the already contentious discussion Bennett turned to Indyk and asked: “How many people need to die before you wake up?”

I agree with Bennett with all I heard him say to Indyk, but he was chopping down the wrong cherry tree or shooting the wrong target…. Israel’s problem isn’t Indyk, nor Obama, nor Mr. and Mrs. Clinton, nor the U.N., innumerable NGOs or even the media. Our problem is much closer to home.

Bennett’s boss and new buddy Bibi Netanyahu, our Prime Minister, is a firm and enthusiastic supporter of a Palestinian state, yes, the “two state solution.” I just heard him expound on it again, recently on Israeli television. And that is why I will not vote Likud in the upcoming elections, nor will I vote for Bennett’s party, because a vote for either is a vote for the “two state solution,” meaning another Arab terror state!

Secular Yesha Leader Dani Dayan Bolts Likud for Jewish Home Party

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

Dani Dayan, a secular leader in Judea and Samaria, announced Sunday he is leaving the Likud party and is joining the Jewish Home party where he will run for the Knesset.

Dayan, who is not a Knesset Member, is almost a shoe-in to win a “sure” spot on the list and the addition of another secular Knesset Member turns the screws tighter on Jewish Home Knesset Members Uri Ariel and Orit Struk, who are threatening to leave the party.

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bonnet welcomed Dayan, former chairman of the Council of Jewish Communities in Judea and Samaria, known by the acronym “Yesha.”

“He is a real fighter for the Land of Israel,” Bennett said, adding that bygones will be bygones, referring to former differences between them. Looking forward to a new coalition next March with the Likud party, Bennett said the addition of Dayan will strengthen the next government as more nationalist, without the inclusion of Tzipi Livni, who shoved the “Peace Process” in the faces of Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu even when Mahmoud Abbas was praising terrorists.

Dayan joins Ayelet Shaked as the two most prominent secular members of the Jewish Home party, highlighting Bennett’s strategy to open the nationalist camp to everyone and not follow the old-line National Religious Party ideology of keeping its doors closed to secular Jews.

Knesset Member Orit Struk, who is part of Housing Minister Uri Ariel’s Tekuma faction that joined the Jews Home in the last elections, said that Dayan’s appearance on the scene is further evidence that Bennett does not want Tekuma in the party.

“They are turning the Jewish Home into a second-rate Likud,” Struk told Israel radio Sunday.

She accused Bennett of spreading lies about the Tekuma faction concerning its ties with rabbis, exactly the image that plagued the old National Religious Party and which Bennett wants to erase from the memory of the voters.

Bennett has rejected Ariel’s to reserve top spots for his Tekuma faction on the list of candidates.

Ariel and Struk are throwbacks to the hard-line attitude that a “true” nationalist has to be religious, that yeshivas and Judea and Samaria are all that are important to the country,  and that a non-religious nationalist party will turn into a watered-down Likud.

She said Tekuma has several options, including running as a separate party  or joining party expected to be established by Eli Yishai, who appears to be hours or days away from splitting off from the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Ariel and Struk’s ideology is scantly what has handicapped national religious factions in the past. Hey trust their rabbis, whose mixture in politics almost always is catastrophic, and don’t trust secular Jews.

There is one unmentioned element t as large as their ideology and which may put the brakes  on Ariel and Struk. It is called “money.”

The Tekuma faction, like any other faction, mist take with it 25 percent of the current party’s Knesset Members in order to carry a wad of money from Jewish Home’s treasure chest, money that will be needed for Tekuma’s own election campaign.

Tekuma faction MK Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan already has decided he will run with the Jewish Home party rather than take a chance of losing a Knesset seat by running with Ariel on a separate party list that might not even win the minimum number of votes needed to enter the legislature.

That leaves Yoni Chetboun as Ariel and Struk’s only possibility, unless they want to go on their own without a suitcase of a few million shekels that Bennett would be happy to keep for himself.

Shas to Split Up but How about the Jewish Home?

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

It is all but official that Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardic Haredi party, is getting rid of Eli Yishai, one of the most respectable and intellectually honest Haredi politicians whose presence ruins Shas’ tradition of selling out to the highest bidder.

An announcement is expected Sunday or Monday.

As reported here Thursday, Deri and Yishai called off a meeting to make peace after Deri insulted Yishai with a demand that he deposit a liter of resignation just in case Deri decides his menace is working against the party.

Deri tried to calm Yishai by offering him the number two slot on the Shas party list of candidates. Yishai was not about to accept the prize while handing over a letter to pave the way for his dismissal.

Yishai also has been talking with Jewish Home party Housing Minister Uri Ariel about signing for a new party.

Sources close to the issue told The Jewish Press that it is far from being a “done deal” and that there is a chance that Ariel can patch up his differences with Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett.

Ariel, whose honest to his  ideology often leads him to make the wrong turn politically, has demanded that Bennett reserve several spots for his Tekuma faction.

The Jewish Home party has been the most successful of all Knesset factions in the current government,. It has rid itself of the hardline image of the old National Religious party that closed its doors to secular nationalists and carved into stone an image of considering Judea and Samaria the capital of Israel.

If Ariel cuts the cord, he will cost the Jewish Home party some Knesset seats but he, too, will pay a heavy price by being fingered, rightly or wrongly, or making the “Jewish Home” a contradictory word. As Minister of Housing, he has played a major role in promoting new building for Jews in eastern Jerusalem, much to the dismay of the Obama administration.

Bennett has been too successful to please Ariel’s old-guard national religious ideology, and Ariel has complained that Bennett has not fulfilled promises made to him and his Tekuma faction.

Ariel’s contacts with Yishai have served only to deepen the fissure between him and Bennett.

Ariel admits that he differs with Bennett on religion and the extent of maintaining a Jewish presence in all of Judea and Samaria.

Ariel is very principled. He can be trusted not to sell out for votes or power, but his red lines are too rigid and too narrow in the politics of compromise.

Which is better? A compromised but effective Jewish Home or two separate nationalist parties?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/shas-to-split-up-but-how-about-the-jewish-home/2014/12/13/

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