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August 29, 2014 / 3 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Bennett’

MKs and Ministers Trying to Kill the Free Press in Israel

Sunday, March 30th, 2014

Israeli Ministers and Knesset members are coming out against the free market of ideas, and the free market as well, by proposing a bill that would potentially kill the popular and free Israeli daily print paper, Yisrael Hayom.

The paper is given out free in Israel, and has become the primary competitor to Arnon “Nuni” Moses’s Yediot Achronot, which leans more to the political left, though not as far left as Ha’aretz, which only has a minuscule market share in Israel.

Among those MKs proposing the bill that would try to shut down the paper are MKs Eitan Cabel (Labor), Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beytenu), Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi), Elazar Stern (Hatnua), Ariel Attias (Shas) and Yoel Razbozov (Yesh Atid).

Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) said today on a Galei Tzahal interview, that Yisrael Hayom is “Pravda“, and serves the interest of one person [the Prime Minister].

It is not clear to us what is stopping Bennett from convincing one of his own supporters to print a daily paper that would be pro-Bennett, or even improving his relationship with the religious-Zionist paper Arutz-7, so they’d give him better coverage in their free weekend paper.

Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid chairman), whose party supports the bill, used to write a column for Yisrael Hayom’s main competitor, Yediot.

Yisrael Hayom is owned by Sheldon Adelson, and typically takes a position that is pro whatever position PM Netanyahu recently put forward, though not always a right-wing position. It also publishes articles from those on the left side of the political spectrum. There is no denying that it is agenda driven, but name one newspaper that isn’t.

As an aside, Sheldon Adelson, may soon be purchasing the religious-Zionist paper Makor Rishon, after Makor Rishon over-extended itself financially with its purchase of Ma’ariv.

Some in the Likud say that Moses and Yediot are the driving force behind this bill.

The “Yisrael Hayom” law, as it is being called because it specifically only targets Yisrael Hayom, would require that the top four daily print papers charge fees relative to what the other daily print papers are charging – or more accurately no less than 70% of whatever the second lowest priced paper is charging.

To us, it looks like a blatant attempt to suppress the voices of political opponents and suppress freedom of speech and press in Israel.

Yediot has the same opportunity to build a different business model, take a different political line that is more palatable to most Israelis, or even accept that it won’t be number one in the market anymore.

The free Arutz-7 Shabbat print paper and the fee-based Makor Rishon have coexisted quite nicely for over a decade serving the Religious-Zionist market, each one with their own business model and message – proving that it can be done.

It appears that this is really an attempt to block the basic right for anyone to put down their soap box in the city square and freely express their opinion – if certain people are worried that that opinion is becoming too popular.

Eitan Cabel (Labor), one of the proponents of the bill, played a central role in shutting down the very popular right-wing religious Arutz-7 radio station.

Naftalki Bennett and Bayit Yehudi should really consider who its allies are in this fight and what it could mean for them next.

It appears that in Israel, those on the political left can’t stand that those on the political right have a voice that is heard, and those on the right are too short-sighted to see that suppressing both the free market and the free market of ideas is dangerous for all of us, and that is the real problem.

‘Ministers Oppose Release of Final Arab Terror Group’

Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Government ministers are deeply divided over whether to free a final fourth tranche of 26 Arab terrorists, a group which includes about 20 Israeli Arab citizens.

The move, scheduled for tomorrow as the last of a total of more than 100 Palestinian Authority terrorists, has created a serious coalition crisis for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said in an interview on Voice of Israel government radio this morning that a majority of ministers are overwhelmingly opposed to the release of Israeli Arab prisoners.

Bennett also maintained that the entire issue of the release “must be renegotiated.”

Intended originally as a “good will gesture” to PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, each tranche was to be conditional upon his active participation in direct final status talks with Israel.

But that has not happened, and as the deadline for conclusion of the talks approaches, Abbas is again waffling about his commitment to negotiations, saying he instead intends to return to his starting position of no compromises at all.

Bennett on BBC: Jews Lived in Israel before Brits Lived in Britannia

Thursday, February 27th, 2014

I think it was Benjamin D’Israeli who replied to a taunt by Irish political leader Daniel O’Connell: “Yes, I am a Jew, and when the ancestors of the right honorable gentleman were brutal savages in an unknown island, mine were priests in the temple of Solomon.”

So, Jews have been picking on the British for ages…

I don’t like the BBC and I don’t like BBC News shows in particular. I prefer our own NPR, where the style is loose and no one is trying to build up a story. They may lie like any other media outlet, but they don’t fake. So, watch Naftali doing war with Stephen Sackur from HARDtalk. The question that troubles Sackur is totally made up and intended to create the impression that there’s a tear in Israel’s right, with one side eager to give back ancestral land and the other, the fanatical, extreme-right wing, neo-terrorists, who object.

Have fun.


Bennett Slashes Import Duties on Dairy Products

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Custom duties on imported butter, yogurt and other dairy products will be drastically slashed in a move by Economy Minister Naftali Bennett to increase competition and lower prices.

Import taxes on some dairy prices account for as much as 100 percent of the final cost, according to Bennett, who also is chairman of the Jewish Home party. He said he expects importer to pass on the savings to customers.

Ironically, it was Bennett’s “odd couple” ally Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party, who capitalized on the “cottage cheese” protests of two years ago to draw widespread support for his party in the last Knesset elections.

Israel Eyeing More Control of Temple Mount, Bennett Says

Monday, February 17th, 2014

Israel may try to assume more control over Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, Minister of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett and told leaders of the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations in the capital on Monday.

He said his office has taken steps to exercise greater Israeli sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem, Haaretz reported.

Among the steps, he said, is providing better services to the Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem.

In addressing the issue of the Temple Mount, Bennett reportedly said, “Unfortunately, the Temple Mount today doesn’t allow for the full exercise of freedom of religion, and there is discrimination against Jews there. But we have to be very careful when dealing with the Temple Mount because of the huge sensitivity of the site.”

The Temple Mount is under the control of the Islamic Wakf.

Bennett’s speech came a day after Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas told a group of visiting Israeli students that he would not be willing to share sovereignty over the Temple Mount but would allow Jews to worship at the Western Wall, one of Judaism’s holiest sites.

On Sunday, lawmakers in Jordan threatened to shut down the country’s embassy in Tel Aviv and expel Israel’s ambassador to Amman if Israeli lawmakers drafted a law to end the Wakf’s authority over Muslim and Christian holy places in Jerusalem, calling it a breach of the Jordan-Israel peace treaty.

A Knesset plenum debate on “the loss of Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount” is scheduled for Tuesday.

Bennett Walks Out on EU President: I Won’t Be Rebuked in German

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

The President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz, started a small riot in the Knesset Wednesday afternoon, when he rebuked the MKs on the lack of equality which, evidently, forces people to blow up their Jewish neighbors. Not a lot has changed in the Fatherland, it appears.

“There is no alternative to peace if we want to give people an honorable life,” Schultz said, adding, “The Palestinians, too, have the right to self determination and to justice. Tell me, and I ask you if this is right, that Israelis are allowed to use 17.5 gallons of water a day, while the Palestinians only 4.25 gallons.”

One of the most celebrated studies to date on the issue of who gets more water, is the 2012 The Israeli-Palestinian Water Conflict: An Israeli Perspective, by Prof. Haim Gvirtzman of The Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies.

The paper details the water agreements between Israel and the Palestinians, refuting any criticism against Israel for not adhering to its commitments. “Israel has not only fulfilled all of its obligations stemming from the 1995 Interim Agreement signed with the PA,” writes Prof. Gvirtzman, “but has met all water commitments requisite of a permanent status agreement as well.”

The study documents the fact that “there is almost no difference today in the per capita consumption of natural water between Israelis and Palestinians. The large difference that existed in 1967, when the administration of Judea and Samaria was handed over from Jordan to Israel, has been reduced over the last 40 years and is now negligible. As well, the per capita domestic water consumption of the Palestinians is significantly higher than the minimum human needs defined by the World Health Organization.”

And here comes the point which the EU president should probably take back to his hosts in Ramallah, “While Israel has ensured that nearly all Palestinian villages and towns are connected to running water, the Palestinians have violated their part of the agreement by refusing to build sewage treatment plants (despite available international financing). Moreover, the Palestinians have drilled hundreds of unlicensed wells and set up unauthorized connections to Israeli water supply pipelines.”

Jewish Home MKs calling Schultz's lie, moments before they stood up and left the plenum in disgust. Photo by Flash 90.

Jewish Home MKs calling Schultz’s lie, moments before they stood up and left the plenum in disgust. Photo by Flash 90.

Many Jewish Home MKs reacted with appropriate rage, and Chairman Naftali Bennett, MK Orit Struk and a few others yelled: “It’s a lie!”

Jewish Home MK Motti Yogev yelled at Schultz something about the fact that Eretz Israel was given to the nation of Israel, and was promptly removed from the plenum. He was followed by a few colleagues from his faction. MK Struk said: “When the president of the European Parliament spits on you, you can’t keep quiet, wipe your face and say it was the rain.”

Bennett wrote in his Facebook page a short while later: “I will not accept a lying sermon against the nation of Israel in the Israeli Knesset, certainly not in German.”

Naturally, the left condemned mightily the Jewish Home reaction, which, as Minister Uri Orbach put it, was a quiet protest. The same left kept mum only two weeks ago, when Arab MK Ahmad Tibbi screamed uncontrollably at Canadian PM Stephen Harper.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was critical of Schultz’s speech, suggesting it reflected the selective hearing which has become rampant in many European circles. He added that the figures Schultz had picked up in Ramallah about the water consumption gaps are simply wrong.

Bennett Threatens to Quit Coalition over Framework

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

Jewish Home party chairman Naftali Bennett started threatened Monday to pull his party out of the government coalition if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accepts an American  “framework” that is inconsistent with the party’s principles.

He also made it clear at the annual Jerusalem Conference that he will back the Prime Minister if there is no contraction between the framework and the Jewish Home’s principles.

Bennett almost found his way out of the coalition when his comments against the idea of Jews living in a Palestinian Authority state were directed so personally at the Prime Minister that he reportedly was ready to fire Bennett as Minister of Economy.

Bennett half-apologized to resolve the crisis.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel, who sticks closer to ideological red lines without going off the board completely, told the conference, “Our Jewish Home party will not sign any document that surrenders Jewish land.”

The Jewish Home is on record as standing up for all of Judea and Samaria as being part of Israel.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is on record as saying that the area is “occupied,” and the framework is not likely to sit well with the Jewish Home party.

However, Kerry has made it clear it is not a document that must be accepted by Israel and the Palestinian Authority but is one that will serve as a guideline for both sides to continue to wriggle and wangle.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/uncategorized/bennett-threatens-to-quit-coalition-over-framework/2014/02/04/

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