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June 27, 2016 / 21 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’

Prosecution Loses Round As Judge Recused in Trial of Soldier Who Killed Neutralized Terrorist

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

President of the Military Court, Colonel Maya Heller, on Sunday decided to approve the defense request in Sgt. Elor Azaria’s trial, and recuse one of the judges on the panel, Israeli media reported. The defense argued that the judge is on friendly terms with Hebron Brigade commander, Colonel Yariv Ben Ezra. The defense attorneys said they did not doubt the military judge’s honesty, but wanted to avoid a conflict of interest nevertheless. They won the round and will start the proceedings with a point advantage.

The trial of IDF medic Sgt. Elor Azaria, who shot dead a stabbing terrorist who was already on the ground, is scheduled to start on Monday in a military court in Jaffa with much less media attention than the case received back in March, when the military prosecutor was still hell-bent on charging Azaria with murder. Many Israelis were irate at the sheer injustice of the idea and the widespread protests convinced Prime Minister Netanyahu that his defense minister was pushing him off a cliff with his newly found, left-leaning political posturing. The case, which would have ended with a disciplinary hearing had an Arab B’Tselem cameraman not immortalized the episode, was downgraded last month to manslaughter and misconduct, as well as defying the rules of engagement without operational justification. Netanyahu, who met with Azaria’s father to reassure him his son is in good hands, has meanwhile fired Moshe Ya’alon, his pesky defense minister, reducing further the chances for collateral damage to Netanyahu from the trial come the next elections.

This is a do or die case for the military prosecution, which has taken its share of lumps so far. Its requests to remand Azaria to prison until the end of his trial was rejected, and he is free to walk around his unit’s base, just not go out. Except that the prosecution also lost its demand that he not be allowed to join his family seder at home. He did, with the court’s blessing. And so, feeling understandably wobbly on its feet, the military prosecution decided to enlist attorney Nadav Weisman, a renowned litigator and senior partner in the biggest law firm in Israel, Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal.

Making star attorney Weisman the litigator means the prosecution is going for broke. MK Bezalel Smotrich (Habayit Hayehudi) in early May demanded clarifications from IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot about the army conscripting a ringer for this match, among other things — how much was this costing the IDF?

From its show of zeal, it’s obvious the prosecution does not plan to offer Azaria a plea bargain, which should have been the easiest and least painful solution to everyone involved. A plea would have meant that the case would eventually disappear from memory, making room for newer attacks on Israel and the IDF. Dragging the case in court will have the opposite effect, keeping the gory details in the news: was the terrorist on the ground moving? Was Azaria justified? Why didn’t he call out an alert? It will also, inevitably, reveal that the majority of Israelis believe that a terrorist who picks up a knife and goes about stabbing Israelis should be certain of being killed. It’s like the death penalty, but cheaper and faster. It’s a perfectly reasonable sentiment, but do we want it debated on the BBC every night? Hardly. Now, however, thanks to a few wounded prosecutors’ egos, the tired topic of “it all started when Israel retaliated” will be king once more on the world’s stages.

It is funny, though, one must admit, to prosecute a soldier for killing a terrorist. Richard Goldstone, you have taught us so much…

JNi.Media

UPDATED: Ya’alon Uses Last Crumbs of Authority to Lock Out Habayit Hayehudi Deputy

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

According to TPS, access to Sunday’s farewell ceremony for departing Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has been revoked from Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) and his staff, who were told they had to leave the IDF Kirya compound in Tel Aviv by 4:30 PM Sunday.

According to Rabbi Ben-Dahan, Ya’alon’s chief of staff informed Ben-Dahan’s staff, seven employees altogether, that their entry permits would be revoked as of 4:30 PM. Ben-Dahan noted that, according to the law, when a minister resigns, his or her deputies automatically lose their positions as well, but the same does not hold for their entry permits. Someone in Ya’alon’s office had to go out of their way to revoke those.

Ben-Dahan’s position as Deputy Defense Minister is anchored in Habayit Hayehudi’s coalition agreement with PM Netanyahu, and it is expected that once the new defense minister is sworn in, presumably this Tuesday, Ben-Dahan will receive his commission back. So someone under Ya’alon wanted to make sure the Deputy and his staff not be allowed in between ministers.

Petty? You bet. Ya’alon maintained a cool relationship with Ben-Dahan throughout the current coalition term, and would not permit him to run the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), as was his assignment in the coalition agreement. According to TPS, Ya’alon’s people also personally harassed Ben-Dahan’s staff whenever they could.

UPDATE: Prime Minister Netanyahu has stepped in, according to an A7 report, and cancelled the eviction orders against Deputy Minister Dahan and his staff.

David Israel

Beware the Echo Chamber, Fear the Media Savvy Left, Stick to the Truth

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

I’m not sure which is more worrisome: the ease with which the media, politicians and public opinion were manipulated by the White House and by Ben Rhodes and his associates, or the fact that Ben Rhodes and his associates not only do not care care that their methods have been exposed, they are openly proud of how they did it and are apparently just waiting for the next opportunity and client, so they can do it again.

The Ploughshares Fund was one of the most egregious abusers of the public’s right to receive good, unbiased information, when, during the critical period leading up to the Senate vote on the Iran nuclear deal, suddenly new organizations and experts began popping up out of nowhere, filling up the internet and social media with their distorted information.

Ploughshares used their money to network and amplify the voices of 86 organizations and 200 individuals during the Iran Debate, creating, what Ben Rhodes described as an “echo chamber” effect, where it looked and sounded like the voices on their side of the public debate were the overwhelming majority, always making a point to be there to oppose any conflicting opinion.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen this technique being used.

Remember V15 in Israel? A previously unknown group which popped out of nowhere during the 2015 elections and tried to oust PM Netanyahu, claiming to be a “grassroots” organization, yet flush with suspiciously copious funds, enough to make a lot of noise. Now we know V15 was connected to OneVoice, which had received a $233,500 grant from the US State Department in 2013, according to NGO-Monitor, and, by their own admission, other money from overseas Jews, including S. Daniel Abraham (Founder of Center for Middle East Peace) and Daniel Lubetzky (Founder of PeaceWorks, which created OneVoice Movement). They also hired Jeremy Bird, President Obama’s 2012 campaign director, to help in their anti-Bibi campaign.

Then there’s that multi-headed hydra, The New Israel Fund, with the multiple NGOs they fund.

The Left’s war for the public’s votes and opinions isn’t being fought based on issues or values. Its operation is based on confusing the message and tricking the public, overwhelming them with variations of the same message over and over, simultaneously hitting them from different sources from every direction, having them think that support for one side of the debate is overwhelming larger than it is, trying to give credibility to radical ideas simply through constant repetition — when in fact those who support it may be minuscule in numbers and in some cases dangerously on the fringe.

I expect that the reporters who thought they were actually in tight with President Obama and then discovered they were being proactively manipulated will let it happen to them again, despite whatever anger and embarrassment they feel right now. And who in the public is going to remember Ploughshares, V15 and NIF’s manipulations come the next event or policy they want to manipulate?

The question is, how do we fight it?

Do we immitate them and duplicate their media manipulations — fighting fire with fire, to the point where no one has credibility any more, and it comes down to who can slam you harder and more often with his message?

Or do we stick to the truth and hope that by pointing out how easily they were fooled last time, this time they won’t let it happen — praying that even that message doesn’t get overwhelmed by the next Ben Rhodes’ “hammer and ploughshare” campaign?

I don’t have the answer. I don’t believe that those on our side of the political spectrum even comprehend the scale and deviousness of the media and public opinion manipulations of the Left.

But if we don’t learn, if we don’t try and if the financial backers on our side ignore these lessons, whatever the solution, then our message, our truth, our way of life will simply be drowned in the Left-generated echo chambers of social media and lies.

JoeSettler

Ya’alon Out, Temple Mount Activist Yehuda Glick In

Friday, May 20th, 2016

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Friday announced his retirement from his post and from politics. He wrote on his Facebook page: “This morning I informed the prime minister that following his conduct during recent developments, and because of my lack of confidence in him, I resign from the government and will be taking a time out from the political life. I will deliver a statement to the media at noon at the Kirya (the IDF command compound in midtown Tel Aviv).

It is expected that Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) will take up Ya’alon’s Defense portfolio as part of his deal with PM Netanyahu to enter his coalition.

Ya’alon’s retirement brings to the Knesset the next candidate on the Likud list, Temple Mount activist Yehuda Glick, who has survived an assassination attempt in October 2014 by an Arab terrorist over his activity. Netanyahu was unhappy with Glick’s presence on his party’s list, and, in fact, refused to employ the “Norwegian Law,” which permits party ministers to resign from the Knesset to make room for rank and file MKs—just so Glick won’t become a Likud legislator. Well, now Ya’alon forced that bitter pill down Bibi’s throat. MK Glick will bolster the rightwing section of the Likud, and will make it tougher for Netanyahu to deliver concessions to the Arabs.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) issued a statement Friday saying, “Minister Ya’alon is a principled man who contributed a lot to the State of Israel. His place should have been next to the cabinet table. I am sad to see him retire from politics.”

American born Rabbi Yehuda Glick, Likud member since 1997, lives in Otniel. He was among the founders of former MK Moshe Feiglin’s Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction in Likud.

Glick is chairman of the Temple Mount Heritage Foundation, and former executive director of The Temple Institute, a group that supports the building of the Third Temple on the Temple Mount.

He is also active in pro-settlement forums inside the party. As such, Glick has been the coordinator of the lobby for implementing Israeli Law in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which is headed by MK Miri Regev (Likud). Interestingly, openly gay MK Amir Ohana, who was ahead of Glick on the candidates list and has been upgraded to the legislator only a few months ago, served as Glick’s security guard after the assassination attempt.

Ha’aretz journalist Nir Hasson credits Glick as having put the Israeli left on the defensive by “uncovering the absurdity created at the Temple Mount” by a status quo that, by permitting Muslim prayer while prohibiting Jewish prayer, “discriminates against people because of their religion”

American political commentator Bernie Quigley compared Glick to Gandhi: “Earthy, wise, thoughtful, nonviolent and compassionate.”

Jerusalem Post columnist Larry Derfner called Glick a non-violent man, and “the friendly face of the Temple Mount movement.”

Mazal Tov, MK Glick, we know you’ll do us proud.

David Israel

Musical Chairs: What This New Rightwing Coalition May Look Like

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

I can’t deny it, it’s exciting that we’re potentially getting a right-wing coalition, at least on paper and according to the rumors.

A lot of changes are said to be afoot. Let’s take a look at them.

Liberman as Defense Minister: This could be great – if he walks the walk as much as he talks the talk.

It remains to be seen how he’ll act once he has the job, but after months of Ya’alon talking down to the nation from his pseudo-moral perch and rushing to castigate our soldiers in the public arena before running proper investigations, it will be good to have a Defense Minister who is hopefully more interested in winning wars and crushing the enemy rather than telling us how moral his army is compared to the rest of the country and then telling us how the army’s first job is to educate the country, as he’s handing over another terrorist’s body.

Netanyahu will need to decide if he wants Ya’alon around anymore, or if he’s become too much of a political liability for the Likud. This could always just be a ploy to get Ya’alon back in line and to shut up, but I doubt it.

But that’s only the first of the changes that may soon happen.

Liberman’s party is potentially also getting the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, so Minister Ze’ev Elkin would be moved from there to become the Minister of the the Economy – Bennett’s old job.

And speaking of Naftali Bennett, he may be moved from being the Education Minister to being appointed as Israel’s Foreign Minister.

It’s a great move. His English is good enough, he understands the foreign media, and he brings his ideology with him to the job. It’s also astounding that a member of Bayit Yehudi (Mafdal) party will hold one of the top 3 positions (to the best of my memory), as amazing as it was when a Bayit Yehudi member was appointed Justice Minister.

Unfortunately, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked may have to take over the Education Ministry.

It’s practically guaranteed she’ll do an amazing job as Minister of Education. Probably even better than Bennett (Shaked is potentially Prime Ministerial material, if she improves her English).

What’s disappointing is that she was doing an incredible job in reforming the justice system in Israel, and things were starting to change for the better.

But all is not lost, the Likud’s Yariv Levin might be moved over from the Tourism Ministry to take over Justice. He comes from a legal background, he’s a staunch right-winger and will hopefully want and be able to finish what Shaked started. The upside is that he won’t be as much as a lightning rod as she was, so it may be easier for him to complete the task.

Tzachi Hanegbi may get Strategic Affairs. He can’t do us too much damage there.

Overall, the coalition will be more stable.

With Liberman as Defense Minister may see the end of the building freezes and the anti-democratic administrative detentions/distancing orders without trials, perhaps he’ll implement a plan to help the poor, trapped Gazans emigrate to first-world countries where they won’t be under the tyranny of Hamas, and who knows, maybe he’ll try to extend Israeli law onto at least Area C.

One can certainly dream.

JoeSettler

Netanyahu-Liberman Meeting Successful

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beytenu Chief Avigdor Liberman met today at 4 PM to discuss the possibility of Liberman’s party joining the coalition.

According to reports the meeting was successful, and both sides will be setting up negotiation teams to finalize the terms of Liberman joining the coalition. The two sides hope to conclude negotiations by Friday.

Before the meeting Liberman set three conditions for entering the coalition, which he shared with journalists at a news conference Wednesday morning. The former minister of foreign affairs said his party would demand the defense portfolio, imposition of the death penalty for terrorist murderers, and pension reforms.

The Likud’s rumor mill is running full force, and it’s saying that Liberman will be getting the position of Defense Minister and Moshe Ya’alon will be getting the boot. Reportedly Netanyahu also offered Liberman the Aliyah (Immigrant Absorption) portfolio as well, to sweeten the deal. Ya’alon is very much out of favor within the Likud these days as he hasn’t stopped running off his mouth with a range of statements that have angered much of the Likud’s rank and file, even causing PM Netanyahu to call him onto the carpet the other day.

Update: PM Netanyahu spoke with Defense Minister Ya’alon and informed him that Liberman had accepted the position of Defense Minister if he joins the coalition.

Labor chief Yitzchak Herzog is also facing problems, and if it looks like Herzog failed or got played by Netanyahu, he could be facing a putsch within his own party.

Shalom Bear

Analysis: Sheldon Adelson Investing in Trump Presidency with Netanyahu ‘Incident’ in Mind

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Last December, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying, “Prime Minister Netanyahu rejects Donald Trump’s recent remarks about Muslims. The State of Israel respects all religions and strictly guarantees the rights of all its citizens.”

It was a proper statement, expressing all the best sentiments regarding respectful interfaith relations, but its timing made it a potential disaster for the Israeli leader’s future relationship with the White House, should Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump win in November.

Back in 2013, Donald Trump announced his endorsement of Netanyahu for prime minister of Israel. It’s not clear why Bibi needed that show of support, but there it was. “I think he would have been a great president of the United States,” Trump said at the time. Now, the Netanyahu circle expected, Trump would expect to be rewarded in kind, with an endorsement from Netanyahu before the start of the primaries, which would have gone a long way to attract the pro-Israel vote.

It’s not even certain that Netanyahu was entirely against endorsing Trump, or at least giving the candidate a useful, very friendly photo-op. The meeting had been arranged two weeks earlier, according to the PM’s office, and Trump disclosed his plans to visit Israel in a Twitter post: “Prior to the end of the year, I will be traveling to Israel. I am very much looking forward to it.”

But then the Jerusalem Post reported that Trump wanted to visit the Temple Mount, and that “the campaign was looking into the logistics of visiting the site.” Talk about starting WW3. One can only imagine the Arab reaction had the US presidential candidate who promised to oust Muslims who tried to set foot in his country come to spread his message in the eternal city.

This is why Netanyahu felt compelled to reject Trump’s views openly, and to continue to state, in the same release, that the PM had decided this time around “on a uniform policy to agree to meet with all presidential candidates from either party” who visit Israel, but “this policy does not represent an endorsement of any candidate or his or her views, rather, it is an expression of the importance that Prime Minister Netanyahu attributes to the strong alliance between Israel and the United States.”

In the context of the clandestine yet at the same time hyper-publicized relationship between Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and Benjamin Netanyahu, that unavoidable error of December 9, 2015, where the modern-day ruler of Judea snubbed the modern-day Roman Emperor-to-be, had to be mended. Anyone who has followed the Trump campaign so far know that the candidate does not forgive slights, ever, and that being rejected publicly by “his friend” Netanyahu, as he had defined their relationship had to sting, and that there would be hell to pay.

And so Netanyahu’s patron Adelson has taken on himself the mission of mending the rift between the PM and the candidate. Adelson had initially passed on Trump in favor of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and former Texas Governor Rick Perry. It’s doubtful that Trump’s flashy public style appealed to Adelson, whose demeanor is reserved and secretive. But one week after the Netanyahu rejection note, Adelson asked for a meeting with Trump. At that stage of the race Adelson did not endorse Trump, but came out of the meeting telling reporters he found Trump to be “very charming.”

A few hours later, Trump issued the statement Adelson had been waiting to hear: “Sheldon knows that nobody will be more loyal to Israel than Donald Trump.”

Since then, Trump has stuck by his very positive views about Israel, and even endorsed continued settlement construction. Granted, he would have done it regardless of his meeting with Adelson. It is paramount for Trump to position himself as a greater friend of the Jewish State than his presumptive opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton. But general sentiment and access to the White House for the Israeli PM are two very different things, as Netanyahu has learned so painfully during the Obama Administration.

Now, with the primary campaign all but over, Adelson told Trump in a private meeting last week that he was willing to contribute more than $100 million to his campaign. Adelson has also appointed himself Trump’s envoy to wealthy and influential Republican Jews, and this week sent fifty of them an email soliciting their support for the candidate. The Republican Jewish Coalition is not in Trump’s pocket. It is much more concerned with shielding Republican candidates in blue states from the Trump toxins than it is with endorsing the winning candidate. So Sheldon has his work cut out for him.

Meanwhile, as Trump has announced that he abandoned his plan to fund his campaign with his own money in favor of soliciting $1 billion from donors, Adelson would be a pivotal gain for him, on his way to reaching Jewish billionaires like hedge fund head Paul Singer. Singer is easily as pro-Israel as Adelson.

Of course, Adelson’s choice would have naturally been Trump, but it is doubtful their relationship would have been forged as it has done without Adelson’s concerns for Netanyahu’s political future.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/analysis-sheldon-adelson-investing-in-trump-presidency-with-netanyahu-incident-in-mind/2016/05/18/

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