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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Bennett’

Surprising Results to Jewish Press Poll: Lieberman for Prime Minister

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

Readers of The Jewish Press surprisingly have given 52 percent backing for Avigdor Lieberman as their choice for prime minister, according to the responses 30 hours since the poll was published.

You still can vote here.

Assuming that most of our readers would label themselves “right wing” and “religious,” the results are a shocker.

Lieberman, chairman of the Yisrael Beitenu party, won a majority of 52 percent backing in answer to the question, “Who Do you Want as the Next Prime Minister of Israel?”

No less shocking is that the nearest rival trailed by a whopping 25 percentage points. Naftali Bennett, the current government’s Minister of Economy and the chairman of the Jewish Home party, received 17 percent backing, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was chosen by only 16 percent of our readers.

Yitzchak Herzog, chairman of the Labor party, received support of 3 percent of the respondents.

Several responses obviously were in jest. Former President Shimon Peres won 2 percent backing, the same amount given to Eli Yishai, the former chairman of the Sephardi Shas Haredi party, and Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid.

Tzipi Livni’s backing was only 1 percent, which is not surprising considering the make-up of our readers. Moshe Kahlon, former Likud Minister of Communications, also won 1 percent.

The poll obviously is not scientific but gives an indication that people are fed up with politicians who say one thing and do another. Lieberman, who is of all things Foreign Minister, is known for saying what he thinks, even if it not diplomatically correct, although he has somewhat moderated in the past few months.

Unlike Bennett, he is not in the religious camp.

Unlike Netanyahu, he does not hide his thoughts about Arabs. He has been in the forefront of the move to require all Israeli citizen to sign a loyalty oath, and he also has been the most outspoken leader to suggest that Israel trade land with the Palestinian Authority, taking sovereignty over areas in Judea and Samaria where there is a concentrated Jewish population, such as Maaleh Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel, and handing over Arab areas such as the “Triangle, near Netanyahu, to the Palestinian Authority.

He certainly knows very well that almost no Arab with Israeli citizenship would give up all of the benefits of living under Israel in return for being subject to a Palestinian Authority state that has shown no signs of being much different from most other Arab countries in terms of social justice and democracy, or lack of it.

Here are a few of the feedbacks to the poll:

“Netanyahu is a great leader,” a comment that brought a response, “Where have you been the last few months? Was there something unclear about three-month-old Chaya Zissel Braun (HY”D) getting murdered, Bibi responding with “We will respond harshly to future terror attacks”, tons of attacks happening in said future and then our government doing NOTHING???”

There were many comments in favor of Bennett and several for and against Lieberman.

The missing element so far is that there was virtually no feedback in favor of Lieberman, even though he won a majority of the votes.

if you have not voted, do so now, and maybe we will see a change in the results.

If the responses so far are even partially representative, Lieberman might be in better shape than the polls indicate, and Bennett and Netanyahu better watch out.

Bennett and Uri Ariel Start Peace Process for Jewish Home party

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett and Housing Minister Uri Ariel met on Wednesday to work together in the election campaign after a stormy meeting earlier in the week that left signs of a split in the party.

Ariel demanded that the Jewish Home party slate reserve “secure” places on the list of candidates for his Tekuma faction, a request Bennett rejected, and it appeared the two were ready to part company.

Jewish Home party Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked explained to the media on Tuesday that the blow-up was simply part of “negotiations.”

Both Ariel and Bennett know that splitting up would be disastrous for the Jewish Home, whose name often bellies its meaning.

It appears that common sense and political survival will overcome egos and that Bennett and Ariel will continue their personal peace process. They will do so without any help from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who actually would be happy to help them separate forever and disappear from the political map.

 

Naftali Bennett and Uri Ariel are Going to Lose the Elections

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

“Shooting inside the APC”

The polls show Bayit Yehudi winning between 16 to 18 seats in the upcoming election.

But the polls are wrong, and the reason is Naftali Bennett and Uri Ariel.

Bennett and Ariel have different political styles, different visions on how the party should run, different religious outlooks, and most importantly they’ve forgotten what they have in common and what they have to both gain and lose.

If this fighting between the two of them continues to escalate in the direction it is heading — and they are both to blame for the fighting — then the Bayit Yehudi party will split, and everything gained in the last election will be lost.

Ariel’s National Union, as a stand-alone party, is unlikely to have enough seats to pass the threshold, and even if it does pass they’ll be sidelined from any coalition. Either way, National Union seats will be siphoned away from Bayit Yehudi and lost.

And on the other side, Bennett, without Ariel (who is an excellent parliamentarian) will not really interest those who are looking for a right-wing and religious party, which is what the National Union bloc brings to Bayit Yehudi.

Without its strong religious/right-wing component, Bayit Yehudi will look like a poor man’s Likud, and why vote for a copy when you have the original- the Likud, who will be fielding their proven and strong right-wing/religious bloc.

If these two split the party, I simply don’t see myself voting for either one, and I’ve heard the same from other people.

So they had better get their acts together now, and each of them had better start to compromise and talk nicely to one another and figure out how to run and work together, for everyone’s benefit — then Bayit Yehudi will win big.

Otherwise, I’ll give be giving my vote to Feiglin and Hotovely, even if I have to hold my nose and vote Likud to do so.

Elections Likely after Purim Parties but MKs Already Take Off Masks

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Barring Divine Intervention, the Knesset will vote to dissolve itself but not forever, and new elections likely will be held in mid-March, perhaps the week after Purim.

Elections are exactly what no one in the country wants, except for a few sadists who pose as politicians.

It will cost the country about $500 million, and it will leave Israel without a budget just when there is little shine left on the image of the once-fabulous Israeli economy that has weakened under the weight of government-sanctioned monopolies that extort the public for obscene profits, and under the burden of eternal security unrest, whether it come from Gaza, Syria, Ramallah or Washington.

As The Jewish Press reported here earlier today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Yair Lapid, one of his alleged partners, to stop rocking the boat or get off.

Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party and who was Israel’s glamour boy two years ago when his new party grabbed 19 seats in the Knesset, took the first raft he could find and jumped ship.

With an ego bigger than the size of the fat lady in the circus, Lapid could not possibly accept Netanyahu’s terms to stay in the government.

For his part, the Prime Minister’s ultimatums were a public political flogging of Lapid.

Elections cannot be held until90 days after the end of a government, according to the law that ensures that every Israeli citizen suffer the maximum punishment and still survive.

The projected timeline for new elections is a vote on Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, with the final decision and date being set next week, revolving around the Jewish holidays. Before then, President Reuven Rivlin will go through the motions to offer someone else a chance to form a make-believe government.

The most likely date for elections is the week after Purim. The second possibility and a lot less likely one is mid-April, when Israel returns to normal after Passover and is involved with Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

Lapid and Netanyahu’s lieutenants in the Likud party already are throwing around enough dirt to cover the entire Knesset, which sometimes sounds like a good idea.

Lapid accused Netanyahu of making deals with the Haredi parties to enlist their support by bribing them with money for yeshivas and easing conditions of the universal draft, as demanded by Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Likud ministers responded by throwing poison darts at Lapid’s performance as Finance Minister.

Lapid’s big-ticket populist banner has been the “Zero VAT” panacea that is supposed to make housing affordable for the middle class by eliminating the 18 percent Value Added Tax on the purchase of new homes.

Netanyahu obviously took this into account and figures that Lapid is going to use Zero VAT to try to con the voters into backing him.

If Lapid thinks he can fool all of the people all of the time, the con game would work, but Israeli voters are not as stupid as their leaders. The whole Zero VAT scheme is has so many conditions and so many limitations that it would help no more than a few thousand families.

Lapid knows his popularity in the polls is almost as low as the ethics of certain Knesset Members, as far-fetched as that seems. He is counting on the Israel’s anti-Netanyahu media, with the exception of Sheldon Adelson’s Israel HaYom, to lead his campaign.

Ditto for the pathetic and hapless Tzipi Livni, an intelligent woman who took the wrong turn when she entered politics. Her party of six MKs is another alleged partner in the coalition, in which she has spent most of her time kissing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s pinky for the Peace Process.

She spent Tuesday by calling the Netanyahu government, of which she has been a partner, “paranoid and extremist,” and she said she is different from the government because she is a “Zionist,” about as nasty remark as possible, even for an Israeli politician.

Either Bibi Wants Elections or Livni and Lapid Want Political Suicide

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would return to power with a smaller but stronger coalition if elections were held today, according to two polls.

His public complaining that it is impossible to function with the current coalition quarrels lends support to the theory that he is pushing the “Jewish State bill” in order to force his coalition partner-enemies, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, to shut up.

If they don’t want to concede, they are welcome to commit political suicide because both of the leaders are likely to find themselves in the Opposition next time around.

Two polls, one published by Globes and the other by Haaretz, show that the big winner in new elections would be the Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett.

The invisible card in the political deck is Moshe Kahlon, who could be the kingpin to the next coalition. Kahlon quit as a Likud Knesset Member last year after doing what other politicians promise and promise and deliver nothing but more promises – break a monopoly.

He ended the oligarchy of three mobile phone companies who charged outrageous prices , opened up the field to competition and was acclaimed for the result of a 90 percent drop in the costs of phone calls.

And guess what? The companies still make money.

Netanyahu wanted him to do so the same thing with the housing market, a maze of vested interests that keep land and housing scarce to the delight of housing developers.

Kahlon was smart enough to know that ending 60 years of selfish control by the government landlord is going to happen like a snowstorm in July in the Negev.

Given Lapid’s pseudo-solution of zero Value Added Tax for buying new homes, with so many conditions that it would not even act as Band-Aid, Kahlon is in a good position to win over Lapid’s supporters who want a politician who works with something other than his mouth.

The Globes poll gives Kahlon nine seats in the next Knesset, leaving Netanyahu two seats shy of a majority if he teams up with Kahlon, Yisrael Beitenu and Jewish Home.

The Haaretz polls gives Kahlon 12 seats, which would mean Netanyahu would have a small but solid majority.

Livni would be out of a job if elections were held today, according to the poll for Globes, while she would retain four of her current six MKs , according to the Haaretz survey.

It is likely that the expected establishment media punish for Livni would help her return to the Knesset, if elections indeed are called.

Lapid would be the biggest loser. His party now has 19 MKs, The two polls give him 10 and 12 seats.

Despite Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog’s smug talk that he will be the next Prime Minister, God forbid, the polls show is he is lucky, he will barely hold on to his current 15 seats, and he might even lose a couple.

Add it up and there is no way he can form a coalition. Even if Labor gets 15, Livni 4, Lapid 12, and the left-wing Meretz party 10,, a very generous estimate and four more than it now has, and Kahlon with 12, the result is 53, eight less than a majority.

Kadima, which now has two seats, is destined to the political graveyard, by all accounts.

So who is left to join Labor-Livni-Lapid?

The Haredi parties? Lapid would make himself the joke of the country.

Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Lieberman? The Labor party would have a collective heart attack, and Lapid would have to make a quick exit from the airport..

Here is how the parties line up according to the polls, with a few seats open since the totals do not equal the Knesset representation of 120 MKs.

Coalition Runs Away from Elections and Delays Vote on Jewish State Bill

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to postpone a scheduled vote this week on the “Jewish State Bill,” during which time he will try to come up with a version that is acceptable to coalition partners, who does not want to see the government fall and then have to risk serious losses in new elections.

As The Jewish Press reported here and here, the media mania over early elections – two years before the government’s term ends – makes great headlines but is mostly wishful thinking by Netanyahu’s enemies, which include the establishment print and electronic media and his coalition “partners.”

The largest party in the government after the Likud is Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid. He has said he could back a milder version of the Jewish State idea, which has been resented in three versions.

The bill has given Israel a huge black eye around the world, mainly because most people don’t have a clue what they are talking about or simply decide that calling Israel a “Jewish” state means it will be less of a “democratic” state.

If “democracy” means a form of government, the bill changes nothing, but “democracy” has become one of those holy terms, like ”human rights” and “freedom [to kill, incite, be a traitor or simply blow up the world]” that people toss around to support their agenda.

The arguments over the bill have become a joke, mainly because the coalition leaders are using it to make themselves popular among their supporters while knowing that if they go to the polls, the entire country will be angry at everyone for a useless exercise that, barring a change in the rotation of the Earth, will leave Netanyahu in power and Lapid and Tzipi Livni with less seats in the Knesset.

The Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, likely would gain seats, making the coalition even more right wing than it is now.

The strongest version of the Jewish State bill, which might not pass the test of Israel’s left-leaning Supreme Court, would leave Hebrew as the only official language and would downgrade Arabic to having a special status.”

It also would define the country as aiming to “settle Jews’ in Israel, without any mention of Arabs. Of course, that is exactly what Israel does anyway, put putting it writing is somehow “undemocratic.”

It also is meaningless. It is like stating that the country should “try to encourage everyone to be vegetarian.”

A milder version of the bill ignores the issue of language and settling Jews, and it does not refer to vegetarians or those who are carnivorous.

 

US Says Har Nof Murders Were Well-Planned and not ‘Lone Terrorism’

Wednesday, November 19th, 2014

The United States stated that Tuesday’s barbaric murders of four Jews praying in a Jerusalem synagogue “differs from recent attacks, potentially demonstrating low-level coordination to attack a pre-identified soft target as opposed to an opportunistic random act of violence.”

A Druze policeman who helped kill the Arab murderers and prevent a worse tragedy also was killed.

A statement from the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem added that it cannot confirm the claim of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) that it organized and carried out the brutal killings.

It also said there has been no information indicating that the Arab murderers intentionally targeted Americans. Three of the worshippers who were killed were native Americans, and the fourth man was originally from Britain.

The U.S, statement contradicted a claim Tuesday by Israel Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino said the attack appeared to be carried out “lone terrorists,” but he added the police have not completed their investigation.

“Lone wolves” have carried out several murderous attacks on Israelis the past two or three years, leaving Israelis in increasing panic that anyone can wake up one day and decide the time has come for him to kill Jews while shouting “Allahu Akba” on his way to the Land of 72 Virgins.

Israel’s establishment media, which for years has campaigned for the “Two-State” illusion and for releasing thousands of Palestinian Authority terrorists, now are scaring the wits out of everyone by screaming that the Netanyahu government is not providing citizens with security.

Israelis must not let the medias establishment, which partially caused the breakdown of Israeli security and now is pointing fingers elsewhere, get away with it.

For once, the United States has it right. The primitive murders in the Har Nof synagogue were not a spontaneous attack. The timing may have had something to do with the blood libel that Israeli “settlers” supposedly “executed” an eastern Jerusalem Arab bus driver who, according to pathology reports prepared by an Arab as well as by Jews, committed suicide.

Whether or not the attack itself was well-planned, as the Consulate said it was, the killers escaped Israel intelligence. The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) may have goofed by not following the cousins who carried out the attack and whose families have a record of involvement in terror, but count on officials to widen a dragnet over potential murderers.

The government is not going to abandon Jerusalem.

During the Oslo War days of suicide bombings, before the security fence reduced them to almost zero, Israelis bounced back immediately to populate the same areas where the murderers struck. Likewise, Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid Knesset Member Dov Lipman were among dozens of Jews who rushed on Wednesday to pray at the Kehillat Bnei Torah synagogue where the killers struck during prayer service yesterday.

“The terrorists accomplished nothing by their horrific murders” because although four Jews were murdered, the Jewish People live, said Lipman. “I was inspired by the intensity of this morning’s prayers and was touched deeply by the cries and tears of those who publicly gave thanks to God for surviving yesterday’s attack,” he said.

Israel obviously cannot defend citizens against every “lone terrorist,” but the death that Tuesday’s killers met and the government decision to deport to Judea and Samaria the wife of one of the terrorists are the first steps to strike fear back into the hearts of would-be murderers.

Israel must not show fear. It must make the enemy afraid.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-says-har-nof-murders-were-well-planned-and-not-lone-terrorism/2014/11/19/

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