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December 28, 2014 / 6 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’

Haredi and Hard-Core Right-Wingers May Help Elect the Left

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

A new poll on Friday showing the possible demise of Shas should make Sephardi Rabbi Chaim Amsalem and right-wing Otzma leader Michael Ben-Ari think twice about running the elections, but their egos probably will seal their ears.

If each of them insists on running in their own independent parties, they are unlikely to win the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset and will waste tens of thousands of votes that otherwise would go to the Jewish Home and the other two Sephardi parties.

That means the other parties, particular those on the center-left, get a bigger slice of the pie and could end up with enough votes to form a coalition government, thanks to those who are dead-set against it.

It will be tougher for a party to enter the Knesset this year because the new threshold has been upped to 3.25 percent of the vote, meaning that a party needs approximately 125,000 votes to win representation.

In the last election, the threshold was only 2 percent, but Otzma still missed being elected.

Ben-Ari is known to support the Lehava anti-assimilation group, whose leader Bentzi Gupstein and nearly a dozen others were arrested this month.

Ben-Ari is a true ideologue. He compares Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog, both of whom are left-wingers in his opinion. He calls himself the real “right wing,” a label Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon claims for himself in his campaign to defeat Netanyahu as party chairman in elections next week.

As for taking votes away from the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party and ending up with zero seats in the Knesset, Ben-Ari apparently has no answer. When asked by Channel 20, “Aren’t you afraid of wasting right-wing votes?” he simply blamed Yisrael Beitenu for raising the threshold, as if blaming someone else for the likely result justifies his being the reason.

Ben-Ari’s anger at right-wing politicians who compromise in order to stay in power is absolutely correct but also proves why he should not be in politics. There is an old expression, “Would you rather be right or be president?”

In his case, he would rather be right, in both senses of the word, a position that could help Herzog and his sidekick Tzipi Livni become the rotating prime ministers.

Rabbi Amsalem’s Am Shalem party, like Otzma, failed to enter the Knesset in the last elections, and he is not likely to fare better this time around.

That did not stop him from meeting with supporters this week to discuss tossing his kippa into the political ring again and splitting up the Sephardi religious vote that already is divided between Shas, headed by Aryeh Deri, and Eli Yishai’s new party.

And now for today’s poll released by Panels, rated as one of the most accurate election campaign polls.

Shas would not win enough votes to enter the Knesset, and Yishai would win only four, which is marginal, compared with nine Shas MKs in the Knesset that disbanded this month.

That means votes for Shas are wasted.

The poll was taken before Ben-Ari announced his intentions to run and it gave the Jewish Home a very impressive 18 seats in the Knesset.

The Otzma party could easily cut that down to 16.

Here is the lineup if elections were held today, according to Panels:

Labor-Livni – 24;

Likud – 24;

Jewish Home -18;

Arab parties – 13;

Lapid (Yesh Atid) – 11;

Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) – 7;

Yehadut HaTorah (Ashkenaz Haredi) – 7;

Meretz – 6;

Yisrael Beitenu – 6;

Eli Yishai – 4.

If Amsalem enters the race, he could take away enough seats away from Yishai to leave the three religious Sephardic parties with zero.

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.

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.

Likud Party Bars Netanyahu from Running as Chairman

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

The Likud party’s comptroller ruled on Wednesday that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cannot run to head the party in the December 31 leadership vote because he allegedly used party funds for his own campaign to head the party again.

Netanyahu’s lawyer said that the Prime Minister will appeal the decision and that party comptroller Shai Galili, does not have the authority to bar Netanyahu from running for re-election as party leader.

Galili claimed that Netanyahu used Likud party headquarters and employees for his own campaign to be re-elected December 31.

His decision, if it is upheld, means that Knesset Member Danny Danon, the only other candidate in the race to lead the Likud, will take over the party. Danon is one of the most nationalist Likud Knesset Members, and Netanyahu has tried to weaken his influence in the government.

Galili ruled, “Due to the current facts, I have not reasonable choice other than employ my authority, according to Likud law Number 28, to order the cancellation of the candidacy of [Netanyahu] in the [leadership] elections December 31.

He quoted a verse from the Torah – “You shall not place a stumbling block before a blind person…[Leviticus, 19:14" – to state that “my decision is given by the authority invested in me according to the Likud law cited above. I ask {Netanyahu] to note that ignoring the decision is liable to be construed as breaking a law that provides for punishment of two years in jail.”

 

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.

Netanyahu Exploits Elections to Raise Minimum Wage

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told the Cabinet meeting Sunday the minimum wage for approximately 700,000 Israel will rise by 15 percent to $1275 a month.

“This morning, I met with Histadrut [labor federation] Chairman Avi Nissenkorn and Manufacturers Association of Israel President Tzvi Oren,” the Prime Minister said.

“I informed them that I have instructed the Finance Ministry to enable the Cabinet to raise the minimum wage to NIS 5,000. This is in continuation of our raising the minimum wage from NIS 3,800 to NIS 4,300, which we did in 2011, and now we are raising it from NIS 4,300 a month to NIS 5,000 a month,” he added.

Netanyahu issued the order two weeks after he fired Yesh Atid leader and coalition nemesis Yair Lapid as Finance Minister.

Raising the wage by 15 percent all at once will  have an inflationary effect, but no one will notice it so quickly.

Aren’t elections a great way  for getting things done?

Actually it is a terrible way but it seems to be the only way that works.

 

 

Netanyahu Rejects EU Court’s ‘Technicality’ to Whitewash Hamas

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

“We are not satisfied with the European Union’s explanation that the removal of Hamas from its list of terrorist organizations is a ‘technical matter,” ‘Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Wednesday following the decision of the General Court of the European Union.

“The burden of proof is on the European Union and we expect it to put Hamas back on the list forthwith given that it is understood by all that Hamas – a murderous terrorist organization, the covenant of which specifies the destruction of Israel as its goal – is an inseparable part of this list. We will continue to fight Hamas with strength and determination so that it never achieves this goal,” he added.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-rejects-eu-courts-technicality-to-whitewash-hamas/2014/12/17/

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