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October 31, 2014 / 7 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘new coalition’

Coalition Finally in Place after Bennett’s Mediation

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

A new government coalition finally took form Wednesday night and is expected to officially take the reins on Monday.

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett mediated a crisis between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, who had refused to back down from his demands for the Interior and education ministries.

Netanyahu has agreed to replace Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar with a Yesh Atid Knesset Member, Rabbi Shai Piron, while his deputy minster will be a Likud MK.

Lapid gave up his demand for the Interior Ministry, which apparently will be taken over by Sa’ar, and Bennett won his demand for the Jewish Home party to head the powerful Knesset Finance Committee. Lapid will be Finance Minister.

Amir Peretz, who ditched Labor to join Tzipi Livni’s party, will hold a Cabinet post, probably as Environment Minister.

The Jewish Home party will have three ministers, with Bennett taking over the portfolio of Industry and Trade. Most significantly, Jewish Home MK Uri Ariel may head the Housing Ministry, which is a key in building in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as well as in regulation of illegal Arab and Bedouin construction in Israel.

Netanyahu will act as Foreign Minister. He has reserved the post for current Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman in case he wins an acquittal in a criminal charge against him.

Moshe Ya’alon will be Defense Minister and Shaul Mofaz and his two-seat Kadima will not be in the coalition, leaving four parties in the government – Likud Beiteinu, Jewish Home, Yesh Atid and Tzipi Livni’s “Movement” party, with a combined total of 68 seats, seven more than a majority.

Report: Bennett Mediates Compromise for Coalition

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

Jewish Home chairman Naftali Bennett has mediated a compromise between Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that will enable a new coalition government to be formed, Israeli media reported Wednesday evening.

Lapid’s party  apparently hold the position of Minister of Education, in place of Gideon Sa’ar, but Lapid will give up his demand for his party to take over the Interior Ministry, according to the compromise.

Only a few hours before, Lapid and Netanyahu were threatening each other with drastic moves. Lapid said he was ready to sit in the Opposition rater than give up his demands, while the Prime Minister was reported to be ready to ditch Lapid and Bennett and form a government with the Haredi parties and Labor.

Bennett was unhappy with Lapid’s refusal to compromise, and party sources said he was ready to scrap what until now been an iron-tight alliance with Yesh Atid, leaving open the possibility that his party would join the Haredim instead of Labor.

Supermarket Epiphanies in Israel

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012

So what was I doing behind six shopping carts at the local Shufersal Deal supermarket in Mishor Adumim on a Friday morning? After all, as far as I’m concerned, hell hath no more infuriating nadir than being stuck in that place at that time.

But I had no choice: We had returned from a long overseas trip on Thursday evening and if we wanted to eat on Shabbat, it was the Friday grocery zoo or bust. I hadn’t kept up fully on Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s new coalition or President Shimon Peres’s American trip, but one blaring newspaper headline had reached me before I got home to Ma’aleh Adumim: “Shufersal Deal out to murder [competitor] Rami Levi.”

A take-no-prisoners price war had broken out, apparently, which even a friend in distant Pisgat Ze’ev gushed, was attracting her weekly to one or the other emporium in our town.

My worst fears were instantly confirmed. The usually bare parking lot had overflowed onto adjacent streets stretching three blocks in every direction.

The glazed expressions of entering consumers mirrored the grim fatalism of soldiers about to enter battle, while the jubilant looks of the exiting victors towing ridiculously filled carts reflected raw, gluttonous triumphalism.

There I was, in dire gloom, cart frozen well distant from the cash register. I was sorely aggrieved. Until I remembered a flash of soul-searching during my flight when I promised I would try to improve my grumpiness a bit and seek alleged silver linings even in dismal circumstances (I get weird thoughts, and also swollen ankles, on 10-hour flights). What could I do save give my commitment the old college try.

Here are the observations that ensued during the next 40 minutes.

The Holocaust 

A few decades ago, our people faced starvation in the ghetto and worse in the camps. The images haunt us to this day.

And here, in Mishor Adumim, hundreds of Jews in shorts and sandals, were inundated with fine, healthy, nutritious food… at cutthroat rates, priced to put a nearby competitor out of business. What a remarkable, epiphanous and profound change. No joke – I would say it borders on miraculous when seen in this light.

Law and order 

Not usually an attribute associated with Israeli social norms, but here we were. A nasty environment, crowded and frustrating… yet I couldn’t help but notice how everyone, without exception, stayed calm (even resigned), didn’t shout, didn’t whine, didn’t act like babies. It was downright civilized. It disproved the global image that “Israelis do not know how to stand in line.”

Respecting the different 

I saw two handicapped people. One was a Down Syndrome child with his dad. The other a severely handicapped woman navigating the maze with difficulty, burdened by two crutches and a cart. No stares. No averted glances. No looks of pity or annoyance. As naturally as could be, the carts parted, Red Sea-style, as everyone readily made way and moved aside and even smiled…not grudgingly or artificially, but naturally. It was nice to see.

The peace process 

I know crass consumerism can’t bridge the entire Arab- Israeli divide, but there is something to be said about the commonality of getting a good bargain.

Arab women, covered albeit in festive demeanor, husbands, babies… they were all well-represented. Again, it might not be the magic formula, but a vibrant economy in which all parties reap the benefits can clearly encourage a peaceful attitude far quicker and more seriously than umpteen squawking talks around conference tables.

What would generic observations be without, ultimately, a final test. After the 50-minute marathon wait, I received my own personal test.

The lost hour of course meant that we missed the final home delivery.

Now that wasn’t fair, I thought, eyeing our 18 bags of groceries. Our first inclination was to yell it out with the manager and insist on our “rights.” I duly dispatched my “personal commando,” i.e., my wife, dutifully escorted by the cash register guy, but suddenly all my positive thoughts flooded back and I realized this was a defining moment.

Dare I make those five carts now lined up behind me wait for 10 minutes of silly arguing, or should I just forget about it? I canceled the fight and decided that three trips up and down three flights of stairs were preferable to making those folks behind me wait even one minute longer.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/supermarket-epiphanies-in-israel/2012/07/03/

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