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December 5, 2016 / 5 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘netanyahu government’

Bennett Defends Netanyahu Against Leftwing Attacks as Knesset Commemorates 21st Anniversary of Rabin’s Murder

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp), on the occasion of the Knesset plenum’s commemoration of the 21st anniversary of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin’s assassination (12 Heshvan 5756, November 4, 1995), pointed a finger at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, saying, “the power of violence, the poison of racism, hatred and incitement mixed with silence were fertile ground for [Rabin’s] murder… You didn’t mean it, but you didn’t prevent it, either. The next murderers may already be walking among us, and the responsibility to stop them and to do everything in order to prevent the next murder lies first and foremost with you Mr. Prime Minister.”

Jabbing at Netanyahu’s notoriously thin skin in dealing with personal attacks from the media on himself and on his wife Sara, the Zionist Camp chairman said that Rabin “didn’t think the state belongs to him. He understood the rules of the democratic game and respected them. He knew that criticism against a prime minister isn’t personal persecution.”

An angry Education Minister Naftali Bennett then decided to put away his prepared remarks and directed his speech at Herzog. “You are trying to silence half of the population and blame them,” Bennett said. “For 21 years, the Left has been trying to blame Netanyahu for the incitement. Over and over Netanyahu said we disagree, but there should be no incitement. And now you’re trying to silence him.”

“We should not blame and point fingers. [Herzog] stood here and continued doing what [the Left] has done for 21 years. There was a dispute, but not for a moment did I doubt Rabin’s good intentions, and neither did Prime Minister Netanyahu. The phenomenon of hatred of individuals exists today, and we must all fight it.”

“It’s not a matter of Right or Left,” he added, noting that Rabin’s assassin “replaced his ballot with gunpowder. He will stay in prison until his dying day, but Israeli democracy will flourish.”

“Apart from the national, personal and familial tragedy, Yitzhak Rabin’s murder, whose background was political-ideological, remains as a deep wound in the gentle fabric of Israeli society,” Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein told the plenum.

“The murder separated between communities and formed high and fortified walls – walls of fear, of casting blame, of casting a collective moral stain on the one hand, and a sense of rejection and alienation on the other,” Edelstein said.

Turning to listeners from the national religious community, the Knesset speaker said, “Do not boycott, do not hold a grudge forever,” and to Israelis from the Left he said: “Don’t forever view an entire sector of the public as stained… Don’t exclude an entire part of the public from being part of the memory and learning lessons.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu said the murder is “a gaping wound in the body of the nation that heals and leaves a scar for generations.”

Netanyahu argued that while Rabin was “not a rightist, he was not the total opposite either, and on issues related to the state’s security, he represented a very broad common denominator within the nation.”

The prime minister mentioned Israel’s disagreements with the American government in the 1970s and said Rabin “was undeterred and was strongly opposed to a forced solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict, insisting on our security requirements and promoting the transfer of military aid to Israel.”

“Rabin sought peace and extended his hand for peace but fundamentally he understood that the establishment of peace needed to be done in a sober fashion and with responsibility,” Netanyahu said. “His insistence on security arrangements, even during his final speech, is exactly where I stand: the security arrangements to which even today the Palestinians do not agree.”

“Unfortunately, today Palestinian society continues to glorify murderers, and terror organizations announce again and again their intention to annihilate Israel. Like Rabin, we repeatedly extend our hand to them in peace and negotiations without preconditions,” Netanyahu told the plenum.

Netanyahu added that “the root of the storm sweeping the region now lies in the rise of radical Islam. Rabin frequently and explicitly named Iran as the state which fans the flames of this radicalism. He warned of Iran’s aspiration to develop a nuclear weapon, which today, through a variety of means, Israel has succeeded in preventing. He also pointed to Iran’s far-reaching aspirations to undermine the stability of our region.”

“Not much has changed since then and if it has, then it is for the worse,” the PM stated. “The Iranian regime has repeatedly stated its intention to eradicate Israel and Iran still has not abandoned its nuclear program. We will continue fighting the terror of Iran and its proxies and we will not allow it to arm itself with nuclear weapons or establish itself in Syria.”

Opposition leader Herzog addressed the election of US President Elect Donald Trump, saying that his election supposedly allows the Netanyahu government to “annex and build [at will], but actually this is the moment of truth for you (Netanyahu) and your government, for the plenum and for the entire nation… Our existential decisions are not derived from the identity of the person sitting in the White House, but from what where Jews should settle in order to preserve our Jewish and democratic home.”

Meretz chairwoman Zehava Galon directed her prepared comments at Netanyahu, saying: “You are not the victim of Rabin’s assassination. No one in the world gained as much from Rabin’s murder as you did. You owe your political existence to his murder.”

“I have no doubt that you didn’t want the murder to happen, but you released demons and proved that you have no problem releasing them again,” she stated. “Stop playing the victim and start taking responsibility for what you say and what your friends say.”

So, that “gaping wound in the body of the nation” is still pretty much gaping, 21 years later.

JNi.Media

Bennett, Netanyahu, Clash over Amona, Regulations Act

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Sunday’s cabinet meeting witnessed an escalation of the conflict between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, over the fate of a Jewish settlement named Amona in Samaria. The clock is ticking on the demolition of Amona and the evacuation of between 40 and 50 families, as decreed by the Supreme Court — no later than December 25, 2016. Bennett proposed the cabinet debate the proposed Arrangements Act, which compels Arab claimants to accept market value compensation for their land. Netanyahu attacked the idea, calling it “childish and irresponsible,” suggesting it might earn a moment’s relief, while his AG is trying to get a seven-month postponement from the court.

A whopping 25 out of Netanyahu’s 30 Knesset Members have signed a commitment to pass the Arrangements Act, which would force a war between the government and the high court. In 2014, the high court struck down a lower court’s judgement awarding $85,700 to 6 (anonymous) Arab plaintiffs who claimed they had been affected by the Amona settlement on their land.

Things went wild at the meeting when Minister Miri Regev (Likud) stated that “the Prime Minister has never said that he opposes the Arrangements Act.” Netanyahu turned to her and said, “I don’t need to be defended from the spins, both of politicians and the media.” At which point Regev continued, saying “it’s a shame Habayit Hayehudi are making it look as if only they support the arrangements and the Likud doesn’t.” So Bennett confronted the PM, asking if he really did support the proposed bill, and Regev exclaimed, “Of course he supports the Arrangements Act.” So Netanyahu turned on her, saying, “I don’t need your defense, Miri, we won’t waste our time on bloggers here.” And Bennett pressed in response, “Excellent, let’s vote on the bill,” so Netanyahu called him childish.

Habayit Hayehudi has been adamant on their plan to introduce the bill for approval by the Ministerial Legislative Committee, chaired by their own Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, despite vociferous objections from AG Avichai Mandelblit. Netanyahu declared that introducing the bill now would harm his own petition that the Supreme Court postpone by seven months its decree against Amona.

Last week, Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) was quoted as saying “there’s plenty of time to pass the Arrangements Act should the Supreme Court reject the state’s petition to postpone the evacuation.”

Bennett, who last week declared that Trump’s election meant the end of the Palestinian State, urged the Netanyahu government to take advantage of the change in Washington to push pro-settlement legislation. “It’s time to stop treating as second class citizens the tens of thousands of residents in Judea and Samaria who serve in the Army Reserves and pay taxes,” Bennett declared.

Habayit Hayehudi MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Shuli Mualem, who authored the Regulations Act, sent Netanyahu a letter urging him to “act in the window of opportunity that was created” and pass the bill. “The election results in the US have ended a complex relationship with the current administration and [made possible] the creation of a different relationship with the new administration,” the two MKs wrote, suggesting that “a combination of a new spirit in the White House and the fact that the US is in a period of transition in government have created a historic opportunity to confirm the Jewish settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.”

JNi.Media

Did Ayelet Shaked Borrow a Page from FDR’s Play Book?

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Is it possible that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) initiated the legislation that so upset Supreme Court President Miriam Na’or not so much to make constitutional changes at a breakneck speed, but instead as a shot across the court’s bow on the future of Amona?

Israeli media are bustling with more and less informed commentary regarding this week’s showdown between Justice Na’or and Justice Minister Shaked. Na’or was so enraged at the insolence of Shaked’s move to promote (tacitly) a bill that deprives the high court of its veto power on high court judicial nominations, that she sent her a written warning, well leaked, about how Shaked’s move was tantamount to placing a gun on the table.

Not exactly what one imagines as “judicial temperament…”

The fact is that Shaked is determined to curb the outrageous activism of Israel’s Supreme Court, begun after the 1977 elections when a Likud-led coalition replaced the country’s uninterrupted 29-year Labor-led rule. Justice Aharon Barak, who began his term on the high court in 1978, was the architect of a brilliant, calculated and patient campaign to usurp many constitutional powers from the elected officials, representing the will of the natural sovereign — the people, for the unelected judicial system.

In her exulted as well as vilified essay this past October (Tracks toward Governing), Minister Shaked detailed the dire need to restrain Israel’s expansionist Judiciary. She noted an ongoing war between the Supreme Court and the executive branch, which necessitates the passing of a new constitutional-level legislation (Foundation Laws in Israel’s system) to regulate once and for all this combative relationship.

In that context, Justice Na’or, despite her aggressive language, is not necessarily out of line in saying that crucial constitutional changes, such as a bill to deprive court representatives of their ability to disqualify Supreme Court judicial candidates at will, deemed serious discussion prior to submission. Which leads me to believe that Shaked, whose own temperament is far cooler than Na’or’s, did not necessarily intend to actually cut the court’s power with the new legislation, but only to scare it a little.

As was made clear from reading Shaked’s essay, she is quite the student of US history and democracy. In that case, she must be aware of the legendary battles between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Supreme Court. FDR taught generations of Poli-sci students how an executive can tame his hostile high court.

Roosevelt won the 1932 presidential election following the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression, promising America a “New Deal” for national economic recovery. The 1932 election also gave the Democrats a majority in both houses of Congress, giving Roosevelt legislative support for his reform. Roosevelt and the 73rd Congress called for greater governmental involvement in the economy as a way to end the depression. But a series of successful challenges to New Deal programs were launched in federal courts, and, inevitably, the very constitutionality of much of the New Deal legislation, especially that which extended the power of the federal government, was rejected by the Supreme Court. A series of Supreme Court decisions knocked down major FDR legislation, culminating in Black Monday, May 27, 1935, when Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes arranged for the decisions to be announced from the bench that day to be read in order of increasing importance, after the Court had ruled unanimously against Roosevelt in three separate cases.

In 1936, after a sweeping victory, FDR came back to the battlefield ready to take down the Supreme Court. He proposed to reorganize the federal judiciary by adding a new justice each time a justice reached age seventy and failed to retire. It was the subject of Roosevelt’s 9th Fireside chat of March 9, 1937. The argument FDR made was that it was for the benefit of the court to establish continuity in this manner — but, of course, what he really meant was that he could make the justices irrelevant if they continued to mess with his legislation.

Three weeks after the radio address the Supreme Court published an opinion upholding a Washington state minimum wage law in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish. The 5–4 ruling was the result of the sudden shift by Associate Justice Owen Roberts, who joined with the wing of the bench supportive to the New Deal legislation.

He got the message.

In the spirit of the great architect of the New Deal, the most creative and decisive Justice Minister in Israel’s recent history may be aiming only to throw the fear of God (and the voter) in the hearts of Na’or et al. Currently the Netanyahu government is asking the court to postpone the demolition of Amona, a Jewish community in the liberated territories the court wants to see razed. Meanwhile, Shaked and the Habayit Hayehudi Knesset faction are working on an Regulation Act that will compel Arab claimants to accept market value for their seized land, instead of destroying the communities in question.

Is the new threat Shaked imposes on the future makeup of the Supreme Court only her way of using FDR’s recipe to scare justices? Will there be a behind closed doors deal to exchange Shaked’s killing the new bill in exchange for the court letting the Regulations Act slide?

 

David Israel

Right Won’t Budge as AG Rejects ‘Softer’ Regulations Act

Friday, November 4th, 2016

The Regulation Act, aimed at stopping the hateful phenomenon by which anti-Zionist NGOs haul into court Arabs who claim ownership of Judea and Samaria land where Jewish communities have lived for decades—followed by the court’s decision to raze said communities out of existence—is in its final stages before being submitted for a first reading in the Knesset plenum. The new law will compel the claimants who proves his case in court to accept the same outcome any claimant does over on the 1949 side of the green line, namely, market value compensation, possibly accompanied by a fine if malice was involved.

However, in preparation for the vote on the Regulation Act, authored by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi), the law was modified, softened, if you will, to include an option whereby should the claimant be unhappy with the offered compensation, they are allowed to sue in Israeli court.

Several MKs involved in the new legislation have told Makor Rishon that its chances to pass are high. But that does not seem to alter AG Avihai Mandelblit’s objection to the very idea of a Regulation Act, which, as he told Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, would constitute a violation of international law.

A decision to take the bill to a vote would forever alter the relationship between the Netanyahu government and its legal counselors, who so far have been used to riding roughshod over proposed legislation, getting elected ministers to kill bills based strictly on their recommendations, warnings and, occasionally, threats.

“Gone are the days when the politicians were guests and the jurists owned the house,” Likud and Habayit Hayehudi MKs told Makor Rishon this week. Indeed, Amona appears to be merely the excuse for this new confrontation between rightwing legislators and the Supreme Court. The real cause célèbre here is the curbing of Supreme Court powers, something a majority of Israelis appear to crave.

JNi.Media

Liberal Zionist Rabbis Support ‘Mixed’ Kotel Section While Reform Kotel Activists Attack Zionism [video]

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

For the first time in more than 25 years, three Israeli National-Religious Orthodox Rabbis: Shlomo Riskin, Benny Lau and Ronen Lubitsch, have called on the Netanyahu government to implement its decision to establish a special section of the Western Wall where Reform and Conservative Jews would be allowed to practice “mixed prayer” of men and women together, Israeli media reported Wednesday.

On Wednesday morning, a large group of non-Orthodox Jews marched carrying Torah scrolls to protest restrictions on non-Orthodox prayer at the Western Wall. Members of the Israeli Reform Movement, Progressive Judaism and the Women of the Wall, they held prayers marking the start of the month of Cheshvan. They also protested the Netanyahu government’s delay in implementing its decision to create an egalitarian prayer section at the Wall.

The Liba organization, which is dedicated to fighting intermarriage in Israel, pointed out that many of the leaders of the Reform struggle to gain access to the Kotel as a movement are also extreme left-wing activists, such as Reform Rabbi Idit Lev, who led the “egalitarian prayer” at the Kotel on Wednesday, and is a senior official of Rabbis for Human Rights, which provided testimonies for the Goldstone report.

Against this very busy background, Rabbi Riskin has stated that Judaism as a whole and the Western Wall in particular are too important and precious to be left in the sole possession of Orthodox Jews. A video of his and his two colleagues’ statements was produced by Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, a religious Zionist movement whose stated mission is “to forge a more open and tolerant discourse in Religious Zionism, one that integrates a halakhic lifestyle with active engagement in Israeli society, in order to strengthen tolerance, equality, and social responsibility on the national level.”

Rabbi Lau added, on the same video, that “we must give everyone a feeling of being at home [at the Kotel].” The Kotel is not sectarian, it is the heart of the Jewish people, he argued, and so every single individual from the Jewish diaspora must find a home there.

Rabbi Lubitsch, leader of Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, also supports a solution to the needs of non-Orthodox Jews at the Kotel, even though, as he puts it, “It would have been better had they recognized everybody from the start.”

The movement’s campaign will be launched next week, on the 7th of the month of Cheshvan, which marks a unique point of cooperation between the Jews of Israel and diaspora. Even though the Jewish rainy season began on the holiday of Shmini Atzeret, at the end of Sukkot, the rabbis ruled that prayers for rain be suspended for two weeks, to allow the pilgrims who celebrated the holidays in Jerusalem time to return to their homes in Babylon.

Reform Rabbi Gilad Kariv, CEO of the Israeli Reform Movement congratulated the rabbis on their courage and sense of responsibility, and told Ynet that he has no doubt that “a large religious Zionist majority supports their approach, rather than the severe and separatist approach of the Haredi establishment.”

JNi.Media

Minister Ariel: If AG Can’t Defend Law Saving Amona, Let’s Get an Attorney Who Can

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) may end up being the politician who broke the iron hold of the judicial civil service on Israel’s democracy — when all along we were certain it would be his teammate, Ayelet Shaked.

In years past, when the Attorney General, who serves both as the executive officer for Israel’s law enforcement agencies and as the government’s legal counsel and litigator, would tell ministers that he could not defend a certain legislation before the Supreme Court, that was the end of said legislation. Which is why, early on in her term as Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) was looking to cut the job in half and hire one person to manage law enforcement, and another to manage the government’s legal affairs. But she couldn’t find enough support for the idea and, possibly, didn’t want to appear too radical so early in her administration.

Now, as the government is mulling legal means of bypassing a draconian Supreme Court decree calling for the demolition of the community of Amona in Samaria over a lawsuit by phantom Arab owners—the entire affair has been managed by Peace Now and other anti-Zionist NGOs—the AG, Avichai Mandelblit, on Sunday announced, through his deputy, Avi Licht, that he could not defend the proposed Regulation Act before the high court.

The bill compels Arab claimants against existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to be treated like similar claimants inside green line Israel: if it can be shown that the land indeed belongs to them and the construction on it had been done illegally, the court rules on an amount, usually fair market value plus a fine, to be paid out by the defendant. No one inside 1949 Israel has ever demanded that standing buildings be struck down to remedy such a situation.

But over in Judea and Samaria, the Israeli Supreme Court has been riding high for years, insisting that the only remedy, even in cases in which there is no living and breathing claimant, the only acceptable remedy is destruction.

The cabinet decided to delay their discussion of the proposed Regulation Act until next week, to give the state time to petition the court for a postponement of the demolition date, December 25, 2016. It’s doubtful the Miriam Naor court, which has already voiced its exasperation over the Netanyahu government’s failure to carry out its demolition order for Amona given back in 2006, would grant yet another delay. As we noted earlier, should the court not grant a delay, Deputy AG Licht told the cabinet that his boss is not prepared to defend the proposed law before the high court.

Minister Uri Ariel then issued a statement saying, “I regret the prime minister’s decision to postpone the debate on regulating communities, most importantly Amona. It is an unjust decision which contradicts the prime minister’s own announcement two and a half months ago. We will continue to promote the Regulation Act despite the difficulties.”

And then Ariel released a shot across the bow of the AG’s office: “The AG’s statement regarding his inability to defend the state under certain conditions is unacceptable, and I hope he will change his mind. Should the AG not be willing to defend the new law at the Supreme Court, we’ll demand private representation, rather than give up our righteous struggle.”

And that’s how you teach a civil servant about the limits of his office.

JNi.Media

Worried About Obama: Netanyahu’s Request for Amona Industrial Quiet Becomes Scandal De Jure

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

It’s not easy to be the prime minister of the Jews, as Benjamin Netanyahu discovered yet again this week.

It began a week ago, in a meeting between Netanyahu and the residents of Amona and Ofra, the former being under the gun of demolition by order of the Supreme Court come December. In the meeting, as can be surmised from a Channel 2 News Wednesday report and from social media posts by the participants, Netanyahu warned that the Obama Administration could become very dangerous in its last two months in office, which is why they, the settlers, and the Israeli government must be careful not to provoke them.

As the news channel put it, the PM said, “It’s not only Amona, in the coming period between the elections in the US and the end of the Obama term our entire settlement enterprise is at risk.”

This was not the kind of explosive charge the Netanyahu government wanted to throw at the gates of the White House. In fact, Netanyahu was probably asking the residents for industrial quiet that would help keep the Administration’s attention on other things, such as the transition or the actual wars elsewhere on its doorstep.

On Wednesday night, Netanyahu’s office quickly denied the report, and stated, “Prime Minister Netanyahu never said the things that were attributed to him, but rather noted that past residents at the end of their term would promote initiatives that were not consistent with Israel’s interests. The Prime Minister reiterated that he hopes that [such misquotes] not be repeated, as he expects the US not to change its traditional policy of several decades to prevent anti-Israeli resolutions at the UN Security Council.”

And now we’ll all hold our breath until November 9, when a brave new world might just emerge for Israel…

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahus-request-for-amona-industrial-quiet-becomes-scandal-de-jure/2016/10/20/

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