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August 1, 2015 / 16 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Netanyahu’

FIFA Pres. to Bibi: No Reason to Suspend Israel, But That Might Not Help

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

The head of FIFA, Fédération Internationale de Football Association, the European football (soccer) league, Seppp Blatter, told Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday, that he sees no reason that Israel should be suspended from the FIFA as it hasn’t violated any FIFA statutes.

Terrorist leader Jibril Rajoub, who is also president of the Palestinian Authority Football Association has been working hard to get Israel kicked out.

FIFA is actually set to meet on May 29 to debate Rajoub’s motion among its 209 members. It’s needs a three-quarter majority to pass. If it passes, Israel will be banned from international competitions.

Rajoub has rejected an Israeli request for a Peace Game between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, the PA’s partner. Hamas, has hidden underground missile launchers in its soccer fields, and has used them to launch rocket attacks on Israeli civilians. If anyone should be kicked out of FIFA, it is the Palestinian Authority.

In 1970, Rajoub threw a grenade at an IDF bus. He’s been arrested numerous times for other terrorist activities, and was allegedly involved in a plot to assassinate Ariel Sharon in 1992.

Liberman Calls for Terrorist Death Penalty Like Massachusetts, and Opens Door to Joining the Coalition

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

PM Netanyahu is probably beginning to realize that 61 to 59 is going to be difficult to maintain over a long period of time. Not because members of his coalition are going to vote against coalition positions, but because it means that everyone will have to be in the Knesset for every single vote, including the Prime Minister. No sick days, no vacations, and no important meetings in the White House.

MK Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) is probably realizing how lonely it is in the opposition, sitting with MKs he has no ideological connection with, but is still upset with how the PM treated him.

Liberman has begin sending out trial balloons. He said on Saturday that he would join the coalition if there were specific changes to the coalition’s guidelines. His position now isn’t that different from the position he took when he turned down the Prime Minister’s offers of various high-level ministries. But he also made sure to point out how poorly Netanyahu is mistreating his allies, even within the Likud.

One guideline change Liberman suggested is the death penalty for terrorists. He pointed out that even Massachusetts, a capital of liberalism and higher education, decided on the death sentence for the Boston Marathon bomber.

Liberman wants the guidelines to include: having the “Jewish-National State” law passed, equal sharing of the security burden (draft), the death penalty for terrorists, and building in Jerusalem and the Settlement blocks.

Will this power couple two realize they need each other to succeed, or will they let everything fall apart?

Israeli Cabinet Sworn in after Being Sworn At

Friday, May 15th, 2015

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began his fourth term as Prime Minister of Israel late Thursday night, presiding over a cabinet of 20, after a raucous Knesset session culminated in the ministers’ swearing-in.  Lest there be any uncertainty about whether Israel really is both a Jewish and a democratic country, the Israeli Parliament session featured empassioned addresses by Arab legislators.

The session also featured a disgusted speech by Labour Party leader Isaac Herzog, who denounced the country’s newly-elected leader and refused to join the government, calling it a “circus” because its platform rejects the Socialist Worker views of the party that controlled Israel from 1948 until Menachem Begin became Prime Minister in 1977.

Herzog’s address was a frontal and personal attack on both Netanyahu and the entire concept of cross-party cooperation in the national interest:

“This is not the government the people wanted,” Herzog said. Facing Netanyahu directly, he went on: “Your partners swindled you. What you created was a circus. Your mentors Ze’ev Jabotinsky and Menachem Begin would have been embarrassed of you. Your way is not my way. My way is the way of the Labor movement that founded this country. Give the Foreign Ministry to one of your MKs. No decent leader would join your circus,” as reported by Gil Hoffman in the Jerusalem Post.

No doubt Bibi has very thick skin, but it would be hard for any human being, even a politician, to forget that personal insult, delivered in front of the entire government and, via the press, the rest of the world.

The  “swindling” that Herzog denounced was in fact a long negotiation with each person who wound up as a Cabinet official – and with several others who did not wind up as such – over who would hold which office.

After oaths had been administered, Netanyahu explained to the Knesset that this lengthy game of musical chairs was necessitated by Israeli’s system of parliamentary elections, which fractures power in the hands of numerous small parties, each of which then has the right to extort as high a price as possible for its support of a coalition.

Netanyahu called for change of this system Thursday night. Though both his own Likud party and Herzog’s “Zionist Union” – the two largest parties – would benefit from such reform, it’s hard to see how sufficient support for it could be found across all these criss-crossing party lines.

Still, there is some hope for progress on some fronts.  Ayelet Shaked will take over as Justice Minister, and she takes office with an ambitious plan to reform the Israeli Supreme Court – long seen by many as a profoundly anti-democratic institution that rejects Knesset-passed laws whenever a majority of its 15 justices disagrees with them.

Likud plans to introduce a bill in the Knesset that will, among other things, require a modest super-majority of the Supreme Court’s justices, rather than a bare majority, before a law could be struck down.

It will be interesting to see whether, if the Knesset adopts such legislation, the Supreme Court strikes that down.

Could Attorney General’s Report Trigger New Elections?

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein reported to Prime Minister Netanyahu that he would find it difficult to defend the appointments of MK Aryeh Deri (Shas) as a Minister, and of MK Yoav Galant (Kulanu) as Minister of Construction if the High Court were to decide against their appointments.

Aryeh Deri served prison time for graft, and while there are no legal impediments to his appointment anymore, Weinstein believes the High Court could decide otherwise if someone were to actually petition them against Deri.

Galant, on the other hand, was accused of expanding his house, building a private road and planting an olive grove on public land, which makes his appointment as Minister of Construction somewhat ironic. Galant lost his appointment as IDF Chief of Staff due to the scandal.

If Aryeh Deri loses his ministerial position, he could pull Shas out of the coalition, and cause everything to fall apart.

Weinstein’s report and statement that he might not be able to defend the appointments could trigger a series of events that bring about new elections.

Netanyahu Names 3 Likud Ministers in Agonizing Path to New Government

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has named three Likud Knesset Members as minister, but nine other posts remain vacant only a few hours before the scheduled launch of the new government at 7 p.m. (Noon EDT) Thursday.

The re-appointment of Moshe Ya’alon as Defense Minister is no surprise. He also will be the Deputy Prime Minister, taking Netanyahu’s place when he is out of the country. Ya’alon is a safe pick because he has not shown any ambition to become Prime Minister and is not one of those Likud members who cause Netanyahu trouble.

Yuval Steinitz, a close friend of Netanyahu and who was Minister of Strategic Affairs and Intelligence in the last government, will be Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. He also will be Netanyahu’s’ pivot for coordinating the campaign against nuclear Iran, one of Steinitz’s pet activities.

Yisrael Katz has been re-appointed as Transportation Minister and Intelligence Minister. Whether anyone likes him or not – he one of the old-guard party hacks – few question his outstanding work in expanding Israel’s railroad and highways.

Katz also will sit on the Security Cabinet

There are more Likud Knesset Members hungry for a ministry post than there are ministries.

Miri Regev, who was near the top in the Likud primaries, will most certainly receive a Cabinet post.  Benny Begin, son of the late Prime Minister, will be a Minister without Portfolio.

Ofir Akunis officially will be Minister without Portfolio but in effect will head the Communications Ministry, a post that is Netanyahu keeping vacant.

Other Likud MKs in the running for other ministries are Tzipi Hotovely, Yariv Levin, Silvan Shalom, Gila Gamliel, Gilad Erdan, Ze’ev Elkin, Danny Danon and Chaim Katz.

Erdan has been a long-time nemesis to Netanyahu, and it is possible he will be left out of the Cabinet. He wanted to be Education Minister, but that post was given to Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett. Then he wanted to be Foreign Minister, but that is a non-starter. Netanyahu also refused Erdan’s request to be Public Security Minister of Interior Minister, posts which Netanyahu has reserved for others.

If Prime Minister Netanyahu can finish the puzzle by 7 p.m., the Knesset will meet in special session.

If not, there always is another day.

New elections are four years away, or maybe tomorrow.

Knesset Votes to Expand Number of Ministers

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

The Knesset voted on Wednesday 61 to 59 (that’s a number we’ll be hearing over and over for a while) to remove the restriction on the number of ministers the government can appoint from a limit of 18.

This was the third and final reading, and paved the way for Netanyahu to make all his needed ministerial appointment.

The extra ministers serve two important purposes.

The first is that it stabilizes the coalition.

The second, less recognized reason, is that a government the size of Israel only benefits by having enough ministers managing specific sectors, rather than concentrating numerous tasks on fewer ministers, who can’t realistically dedicate enough time or focus to everything they’re put in charge of.

The previous coalition had 22 members. This coalition may have only 20.

It also allows Netanyahu to bring in the Zionist Union and have ministerial positions to offer them.

Gov. Walker Visits Kotel in Likely Pre-Election Campaign Photo-Op

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Wisconsin’s Republican Gov. Scott Walker visited the Western Wall (Kotel) this week for the first of several photo-ops that are likely to precede an announcement in June that he will be another candidate for the GOP presidential nomination.

“Really, for us though, we wanted to make it an educational focus, not just a media trip,” Walker said.

His “education” will be focused on learning enough about Israel that he can convince people he know something about foreign policy, a subject on which he already has proved is far from being his ace.

Walker recently compared the Islamic State (ISIS) with union protesters, meaning he could take care of both groups, CNN reported.

He obviously is not on the left side of the Republican party.

Walker said in South Carolina last Saturday:

We need a commander-in-chief who will once and for all call it what it is, and that is that radical Islamic terrorism is a threat to us all. We need a president who will affirm that Israel is our ally, and start acting like it.

His itinerary covers the usual required sites, such as the Yad VaShem Holocaust Memorial. He also will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Knesset Members and IDF officers.

A helicopter tour will give him a bird’s-eye view of Israel’s narrow borders with unfriendly neighbors.

Walker returns to the United States on Thursday, where he undoubtedly will tell everyone how much he now knows about Israel.

It is amazing how politicians learn so much so quickly. Gov. Walker said in South Carolina last week:

Although I’ve only been here once this year, I know South Carolina. Now get to know me.

If Israel is going to be his calling card in the crowded field of Republican presidential candidates, Walker does not have much of a chance. Israel is near the bottom of subjects that interest most American voters.

But terror is big, and Walker is big on fighting terror.

In his speech in South Carolina, he said:

it is not a matter of if another attempt is made on American soil; it is a when another attempt is made on American soil…. I want a leader who is willing to take the fight to them before they take the fight to us.

If Gov. Walker joins the race to be the GOP presidential candidate in 2016, he will have plenty of company. His problem, and that of most other Republican candidates, is that they all sound alike.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/gov-walker-visits-kotel-in-likely-pre-election-campaign-photo-op/2015/05/12/

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