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March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Bennett’

Israel Warns Palestinians, ‘Fear the Intl Criminal Court’

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

Reactions to the new membership of the Palestinian Authority in the International Criminal Court (ICC) at the The Hague have not been long in coming.

With the signature of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on the Rome Statute sealing the entity’s membership in the Court, Israeli leaders immediately issued their responses.

As Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu noted, the move may very well be a signature on a death warrant for the Palestinian entity.

“The one who should fear the International Criminal Court at The Hague is the Palestinian Authority, which is in a unity government with Hamas, a declared terrorist organization like ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) that commits war crimes,” Netanyahu warned.

“We will repel this latest effort to force diktats on us, just as we have repelled the Palestinian turn to the [United Nations] Security Council.”

Legally, the ICC’s Rome Statute forces the Palestinians to undergo the same scrutiny as any other member nation, and to abide by the same human rights standards as well. Thus the PA “unity government” — which includes Gaza’s Hamas terrorist organization — can now legitimately be held culpable at the ICC for its use of its citizens as human shields, among other war crimes and crimes against humanity committed by its terrorists during its war with Israel in summer 2014.

Abbas signed the Rome Statute and 21 other international treaties just a day after a draft resolution submitted by Jordan on behalf of the PA was voted down at the United Nations Security Council.

The resolution called for the withdrawal of all Israel Defense Forces from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria (all areas conquered in the 1967 Six Day War) by 2017. The move would have left more than half a million Jews living in those areas completely defenseless in the face of an already escalating deadly intifada.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman also had harsh words for Abbas, saying he “can sign whichever treaty he wants. [But] the only ones who have committed war crimes in the conflict here are the Palestinians.”

Citing countless lethal attacks and “indiscriminate murderous terrorism against babies, children, women and men over the past 100 years” by PA Arab terrorists, Liberman warned Abbas not to threaten Israel, “the nation with the most moral army in the world.”

Economics Minister Naftali Bennett also scored Abbas, saying that “he who has the evil of terrorism spread throughout his head should not venture out into the sunlight.”

Bennett labeled the PA leader as one of the “greatest inciters of terrorism,” noting that Abbas is a “veteran Holocaust denier who should approach the Court as a defendant only.”

Indiana’s GOP Governor Tours Israel with Eyes on the White House

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence is touring Israel this week in a business and pleasure trip that also is considered as a first step to tout credentials to be the Republican party presidential nominee in the 2016 elections.

He celebrated Christmas in Jerusalem with his family and toured Christian holy sites.

Last week, Ben Carson, a black Republican, avowed Christian and retired neuro-surgeon from Florida and also a touted candidate for the GOP nomination, visited Israel for the first time in his life

Pence, like Carson, often sounds like an evangelist and is deep in the conservative camp, but his being virtually unknown outside Indiana has left him in the bottom of the growing heap of possible candidates.

A non-profit Christian-based organization paid for the Pence family’s trip, which is also a three-day economic mission.

“Hoosiers have cherished our relationship with the people of Israel for generations,” Pence said in a statement. “As we look ahead, deepening our ties with the people, businesses and state of Israel remains a commitment that will empower us as partners.”

Indiana Secretary of Commerce Victor Smith called Israel a “global entrepreneurial hotspot” and stated, “Israelis are launching new businesses at a tremendous rate, and that’s triggering economic and job growth that’s primed to expand to the United States.”

His trip includes a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and leaders in high technology and life sciences.

Pence will meet with the Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett on Monday and will fulfill the requirement of foreign dignitaries by visiting the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial.

It is only a matter of time before likely GOP candidates Rick Perry and Ted Cruz visit Israel to enhance their CVs for being policy experts, more so than several Israeli Knesset Members.

Uri Bank Gets Bennett’s Endorsement

Friday, December 26th, 2014

American-born Uri Bank, a resident of Gush Etzion, received Naftali Bennett’s endorsement for a seat on the Bayit Yehudi Knesset list.

Bank began as a Moledet activist in the 1994, and is now a faction secretary in Bayit Yehudi.

He’s run for Knesset in every election since 2003, and a few times, came very close to winning a seat.

If there were a candidate that is qualified to be in the Knesset and also deserves it, that would be Uri.

Update: Bayit Yehudi Finally Has the Education Ministry – and Turns it Down

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

UPDATE: In a very unexpected move, the Bayit Yehudi party has turned down the Ministry of Education portfolio, as well as the Welfare ministry. The party said it was inappropriate to take over these ministerial position for such a short period of time.


Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett is slated to take over the Education Ministry, and another party official will take over the Welfare Ministry, Yediot Acharonot reported Thursday.

Bayit Yehudi, or its predecessor, the Mafdal party, hasn’t held the Education Minister’s portfolio since 1999, when Meretz took it over. Historically, the Ministry of Education has always been considered the flagship ministry for the religious-Zionist party.

After 15 years in the desert, even 3 short months of water looks good.

Both Education and Welfare ministries were held by Yesh Atid Knesset Members, who quit after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu fired their party’s leader Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, prompting new elections.

Bennett, who is Minister of Economy, has not officially responded to Netanyahu’s offer, which also includes giving the Jewish Home party the Welfare ministry. It probably will beheaded by either MK Uri Orbach or Housing Minister Uri Ariel.

Yesterday, Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) received the Ministry of Health.

Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) has been approved to receive the position of Deputy Minister of Science and Information. Hotovely is already the Deputy Minister of Transportation and Road Safety.

Ofir Akunis received responsibility for Environmental Quality as a deputy minister.

Netanyahu appointed the lawyer Ofir Nimrod to oversea the Ministry of Finance.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/jewish-home-unity-overcomes-the-yesha-faction/2014/12/21/

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