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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘party’

Liberman Dumps Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon from Knesset List

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Avigdor Liberman’s campaign to unload the “stars” of his party, Israel Beiteinu, continues full blast into Tuesday, the day of submitting all the lists of nominees to the Knesset, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported.

The list of Liberman’s party is shared this election with Netanyahu’s Likud.

After the untimely “retirement” of Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov (accused of drunkenness, but also one of the most effective Tourism ministers Israel has ever had), and MK Anastasia Michaeli (spilled a glass of water on an Arab MK), Israel Beiteinu’s powerful chairman on Tuesday dropped his own deputy at the Foreign Ministry, the talented and very charismatic Danny Ayalon.

The Deputy Foreign Minister, picked for seventh place on the party list in the previous Knesset, will be remembered, among other things, for the embarrassing incident with the Turkish ambassador, whom Ayalon forced to sit in front of the cameras on a humiliatingly low chair. It did not help Israel’s already toxic relationship with Turkey. But U.S. Jews will remember Ayalon’s brilliant stint as co-chairman of the North American aliyah organization Nefesh B’Nefesh.

On the other hand, Liberman is also intending to place the MK Faina Kirschenbaum in seventh place on the list, a 3-spot upgrade from her tenth place in the 2009 Knesset elections.

Rand Paul to Visit Israel

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), a skeptic of assistance to Israel who also is considering a 2016 presidential run, will travel to Israel.

According to a report Friday on the Christian Broadcasting Network website, Paul will be accompanied by Christian and Jewish leaders, and will also visit Jordan.

He will meet with leaders in both countries, as well as Palestinian leaders.

The trip is organized by David Lane, a “prominent evangelical activist,” according to CBN, and will include Republicans from Iowa, the critical first caucus state in the primaries.

Paul has backed eliminating foreign aid, including to Israel, but unlike his father, rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas), who has run for the presidency in the past, he has refrained from using Israel-critical rhetoric, instead framing his opposition to aid as bolstering his policy that Israel should remain free of outside influence.

Paul has attracted conservative grassroots attention because of his budget-slashing rhetoric, but his opposition to Israel assistance has been as an impediment to winning over the party base.

Results in from Labor Primaries

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Results are in from the Labor party primaries held on Thursday.

On Wednesday we published Shelly Yechimovitch’s blacklist of Labor party members she didn’t want to see high up in the party.  Three of them made the top five positions.

1. Shelly Yechimovitch
2. Isaac Herzog
3. Amir Peretz
4. Eitan Cabel
5. Meirav Michaeli
6. Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer
7. Chilik Bar
8. Omar Bar Lev
9. Stav Shaffir
10. Avishai Braverman
11. Arel Margalit
12. Itzik Shmuli
13. Miki Rosental
14. Michal Biran
15. Nachman Shai
16. Moshe Mizrachi
17. Dani Atar
18. Nadia Hilo
20 Nino Absadza
21. Yossi Yona
22. Daniel Ben-Simon
23. Over Kornfeld
24 Chili Tropper

28. Yariv Oppenheimer

A Big-Time Pollster In The Making?

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

I come across Yair Michaeli standing amid the bustle of an Israeli shopping mall, a clipboard in his hand. He appears to be a serious-minded Israeli haredi. What is he doing in a place like this?

Yair, a 22-year-old graduate of prestigious Lithuanian and Sephardic yeshivot, is a licensed realtor but hopes one day to be the man all Israeli politicians turn to at election time – the premier pollster of Israeli politics.

“I was always interested in politics, even as a child,” says Yair. “First I made personal connections with all the haredi and religious parties and their leaders. Eventually I became interested in all the parties. Israeli politics is an amazing mix of personalities, ideologies and sheer energy. It is the most fascinating political process in the world, without a doubt.”

“So,” I ask him, “what is your method for polling?”

“As you know,” he replies, “there are many others working in the field, and there is no shortage of polls. First I gather all the recent polls done by other groups and factor the results together, arriving at an average score for each party running. Then I use my own special method.”

“Which is what?” I ask.

“Other pollsters try to get a random sampling of the population based on all kinds of statistical models. Then they call people on the phone. However, many people when polled by telephone don’t respond seriously. Sometimes the questions don’t resonate. So the results are inaccurate. What I do is more down to earth. I choose a sampling of locations and take my teams directly to places where people naturally come together. There we ask the relevant questions face to face. People get to consider the questions carefully and ask for explanations or clarifications.”

I look at him questioningly. “Is this really a superior method?”

“In a face-to-face encounter you can always see if someone is being serious with you or not,” he sys. “Sometimes people share their thoughts and feelings, and we take special note of this information. After tabulating the responses, we can see how far our results correlate with or diverge from the other polls. Sometimes there are big differences, which make us go back and retry our polling method. When we retry several times and our results remain consistent, we know we are on to something important which the other pollsters might have missed.”

As the Israeli election draws near, Yair works almost around the clock. He visits population centers and party activists. He is always eager to share his unique insights.

“In this upcoming election,” he says, “there are several new parties that have entered the race. This happens every election and ordinarily it is not statistically significant. New independent parties don’t usually register with Israeli voters. Most successful politicians have his or her power base in some pre-existing social context. This means that in Israeli politics the people end up getting more of the same old stuff term after term. But this time around it seems that something fundamental has shifted in voters’ attitudes. People are tired of running over the same ineffectual solutions time and time again. There is a breath of fresh air blowing this time, and I believe that at least one independent party has a fighting chance of getting into the next Knesset.”

“Which party is that?” I ask.

“The Calcala Party,” he responds. “But of course there are still lots of polls to be taken between now and Election Day, and Calcala has an uphill battle ahead of it.”

I ask him to sum up his own personal and professional goals.

“First, my goal is to provide accurate information to the politicians I consider worthy of my help. Second, I intend to become the main pollster for the Israeli political system.”

“You seem pretty confident,” I tell him.

“Yes, I’m confident I can do it. How? Well, if after the upcoming elections it turns out my polls were the most accurate at predicting the various parties’ performance, that will pretty much seal the matter.”

Maybe a little too skeptically, I press him: “So you really think you can pull this off?”

He replies with a smile: “Time will tell, time will tell.”

Political Nesting Dolls: Tzipi Livni the Politician Launches Tzipi Livni the Movement

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

Politicians are by nature narcissistic creatures, but it is possible that former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni will come down in history as the narcissist’s narcissist. This afternoon she announced the launching of her new party, to be named: The Movement under the Leadership of Tzipi Livini. And if you figured that it only sounds this bad in English, trust me, it sounds just as bizarre in Hebrew.

Tzipi Livni, chairwoman of the movement led by Tzipi Livni, with her dark blonde Prince Valiant, obviously after a good, pre-run diet to trim that zaftig post-defeat figure, told a room packed with her supporters (a huge no-no in Israeli politics, you don’t bring your fans to a press conference – as one Israeli reporter made sure to protest loudly during the live broadcast) that she had spotted a vacuum at the center of Israel’s political map, a vacuum created largely by the colossal failure of her own party – and that she was determined to go after those low hanging fruits of Israel’s mythical, undecided centrists.

The press conference and the announcement against a backdrop of campaign posters that bore her name, marked a kind of last stand for a leader whose career was always hers to lose. Like Dan Meridor and Benny Begin, Livni is member of the Likud royalty, a princess among princes, daughter of Eitan Livni, the chief of staff of the Irgun, Livni picked up her engraved invitation when she was appointed by Prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996 to manage the privatization of government-owned companies. In 1999 she made it, after one failed attempt, into the Knesset, and shortly thereafter was picked up by Prime Minister Ariel Sharon to serve in his government. She followed Sharon out of the Likud and into Kadima, all the time serving in a variety of ministerial positions, including a stint as Foreign Minister for Sharon’s successor Ehud Olmert.

Then, in 2009, after Olmert was forced to resign following corruption charges, Livni led theKadima party to victory in the polls. She beat Netanyahu’s Likud party by one vote, 28 to 27. But Tzipi Livni who had made a superb second and third in command for three masters, was unable to apply the lessons she had learned and ended up being outmaneuvered by the wilier and more experienced Netanyahu, earning the dubious record of being the only party leader who won the numeric vote and didn’t get to form the coalition government.

This afternoon, a reporter hammered that point in with the kind of cruelty one expects of the Israeli press: With all due respect, she asked the candidate, the voter has already given you a mandate four years ago, and you dropped the ball. Why should anyone choose you again?

Livni, who had clearly been practicing for just this kind of an in-your-face dig, was nevertheless shaken by it. She answered that she had lost her first chance because she stuck by her values, and preferred to sit out the term on the opposition benches rather than lower her standards.

Ah, well, that’s encouraging.

With the date for submitting the final party lists approaching (next week), Livni received a generous prediction in one of this morning’s polls – 9 seats. But does she even have nine potential seat-worthy candidates, or is she going to follow the example another narcissist, Yair Lapid, and appoint her hairdresser, gardener and trainer?

It was a disheartening press conference of a political hack well past her prime who believes she has any credit left with the voters. From what we’ve seen this week at the Likud primaries, the Israeli voter has no problem dropping his leaders when they’ve disappointed him – and Tzipi Livni is one big, self inflated disappointment.

Feiglin Says Rivalry with Netanyahu Is Over, But Two-State Solution Could Split the Party

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

If things at the Likud stay the way they appear today, we should all start getting used to saying “MK Moshe Feiglin.” The relentless and almost disturbingly patient leader of the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction in the Likud, has finally managed to get himself elected—and stay elected—into a realistic spot on the combined Likud-Israel Beiteinu list.

Feiglin, who started his political path as leader of a civil disobedience movement against the Oslo Accords, back in 1994, realized fairly early on that there was a kind of perpetual dichotomy taking place within Israel’s largest right-wing party. When you go to Likud events – after joining the Likud party in 2000 he would tell anyone who would listen – you see a sea of yarmulkes and headscarves in the audience, while the dais is populated with non-observers.

Above and beyond his own candidacy for the Knesset, Feiglin sought to alter this insufferable imbalance, encouraging fellow frumies, many, but not all of them, from the “wrong” side of the green line, to register as Likud members and start voting for religious candidates.

One would think that a candidate who brings in thousands of new potential voters would be welcomed with a warm embrace, but the fact is that Feiglin and his highly organized camp were greeted as a kind of Mongol invasion. In fact, Limor Livnat, today minister of culture & sport, once called Feiglin’s movement “a hostile takeover of the Likud.” And party chief Benjamin Netanyahu outmaneuvered the “Feiglins” at least twice so far, using his prerogative as chairman to drop the candidate’s name from his rightfully-earned realistic spot to the political dungeon that lurks beyond the 40th spot.

Now that he’s won the 15th spot on the Likud list in yesterday’s primaries, MK hopeful Moshe Feiglin told Army Radio that his relationship with the prime minister has improved. “The PM and I are in the same movie,” he said, using an Israeli colloquialism meaning on the same page. “The relationship is good, I intend to cooperate with the prime minister, the prime minister believes in democracy and in that which the Likud represents – and so it will be.”

He added: “The Likud has a list that represents Israel’s society in its entirety, it is a realistic list which will continue the good works of the Netanyahu government.”

Of course, those ‘good works’ included a period of a housing freeze in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, the uprooting of two whole neighborhoods, and a pitifully indecisive campaign against the Hamas in Gaza which ended with the legitimization of the terrorist government and with no strategic gains for Israel. But Feiglin is hopeful:

“The entire public in this country has become more nationalist,” he said. “Those loony notions of the Oslo accords which have led to the shelling of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – the public has sobered up from them.”

Late last night, Netanyahu shared his regret over the fact that ministers Beni Begin and Dan Meridor have not been elected to a spot within the top-20 (Likud is sharing the slate with FM Avigdor Liberman’s Israel our Home 15-member list in an alternate-feed method, so that the Likud candidate who reached the first spot after Netanyahu, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, will be in spot number 3, after Liberman, and the next Likudnik will be in spot number 5, after Liberman’s number 2. It’s called the “zipper” system…). Netanyahu also promised to invite both Begin and Meridor to serve as ministers in his new government even if they aren’t Knesset Members.

The law permits Israeli prime ministers to include anyone they wish in ministerial positions, provided they receive a vote of confidence from the Knesset. But practical considerations, such as awarding ministries to coalition partners—who in turn use them to create patronage positions for their followers—usually prevent the proliferation of ministers who are not elected members of Knesset.

Take THAT, constitutional separation of powers…

Accordingly, Feiglin told Army Radio this morning that he didn’t think Netanyahu would make good on his promise to Begin and Meridor, mostly because, in the end, he will have to respect the public sentiment that sent them home.

Dan Meridor has been associated with the left wing of the party, and was extremely useful to Netanyahu in dealing with the center and even left-of-center. But, as Feiglin has observed, the Likud membership has made it extremely difficult for the prime minister to try and establish a coalition with, say, Labor.

Text of Ceasefire Agreement

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

CAIRO: Israel and Hamas agreed Wednesday to an American-Egyptian-brokered ceasefire accord to end a week of violence in and around the Gaza Strip following days of marathon talks.

Here is the text of the ceasefire agreement which took effect at 1900 GMT:

“Israel shall stop all hostilities in the Gaza Strip land sea and air, including incursions and targeting of individuals.

“All Palestinian factions shall stop all hostilities from the Gaza Strip against Israel, including rocket attacks and all attacks along the border.

“Opening the crossings and facilitating the movement of people and transfer of goods and refraining from restricting residents’ free movements and targeting residents in border areas, and procedures of implementation shall be dealt with after 24 hours from the start of the ceasefire.

“Other matters as may be requested shall be addressed.”

“Implementation mechanism:

“Setting up the zero hour understanding to enter into effect.

“Egypt shall receive assurances from each party that the party commits to what was agreed upon.

“Each party shall commit itself not to perform any acts that would breach this understanding.

“In case of any observations, Egypt, as a sponsor of this understanding, shall be informed to follow up.”

National Union Chooses MKs; Uri Ariel Replaces Katz as Party Chair

Monday, November 19th, 2012
תקומה

Logo of the Tekuma Party, the last remaining faction of the National Union.

MK Uri Ariel was selected for the lead spot in the Tekuma party, making him the new chairman of the National Union, replacing MK Ya’akov Katz.

The Tekuma party was the last remaining party of the National Union, after MK Aryeh Eldad and firebrand MK Michael Ben Ari deserted the party due to its merger agreement with the Jewish Home party.

Eldad and Ben Ari complained that they were being forced out by being placed at unrealistic spots on the list in a deal that Katz had brokered.

The two left and formed a new party “Otzma L’Yisrael” (Strength to Israel).

Ariel has repeatedly said that he wants the two to return to the National Union.

Following Ariel, Tekuma/National Union’s list is as follows: former Rabbinical court judge Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan, Zevulon Kalpa, Orit Strook, Hillel Horowitz, and General-Director of the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Nachi Eyal.

The highest number of seats polls show the joint Jewish Home-National Union list is 13, making any further spots on the Tekuma list unrealistic, especially if Eldad and Ben Ari were to return and push other candidates further down.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/national-union-chooses-mks-uri-ariel-replaces-katz-as-party-chair/2012/11/19/

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