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February 1, 2015 / 12 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Livni Party Minister Amir Peretz Quits the Government

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Environment Minister Amir Peretz, one of six legislators in Tzipi Livni’s hapless HaTnua party, announced Sunday he is quitting the government, taking away from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the privilege of firing him for saying he would vote against the 2015 budget.

A champion of the lower-income sector, Sderot’s vocal politician said on Israeli television Saturday that even though his party is in the coalition, he could not support the budget when he hears the “cries of the poorest people.”

He charged that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is “is not the solution, but the problem.”

Peretz’s unpredicted personal attack on the prime minister in whose government he serves as Cabinet minister automatically put him on the chopping block.

Netanyahu was expected to fire him, but Peretz beat him to the punch.

Peretz’s political history has been full of ups and downs, mostly downs, since he delighted businessman by quitting as head of the Histadrut national labor union.

He joined the Labor party, won the leadership but led the party into defeat in the 2006 elections to Kadima party leader Ehud Olmert and then joined the coalition as Defense Minister, leaving him with the reputation as being the worst person ever to serve in that positon.

He subsequently lost the leadership of the Labor party to Ehud Barak, and he emerged by riding the very short coattails of Livni.

Her party won only six seats in the current Knesset, and all polls show her winning no more than three seats in the next elections.

With Peretz out of the picture, maybe she will get four.

 

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar Prepares to Step Down

Sunday, November 2nd, 2014

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar is making his final formal preparations to step down.

Sa’ar announced back in September that he would resign from his post, citing personal issues as the reason for the move.

The ministry told journalists that Sa’ar will leave his post within 48 hours; he tendered his formal letter of resignation to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu today (Sunday, Nov. 2).

Netanyahu has yet to name a successor to the post. Top candidates include Deputy Minister Ofir Akunis, MKs Miri Regev, Yariv Levin, and Gila Gamliel.

Bibi’s Approval Drops While US Jews Stay Connected (Guests Jeremy Saltan & Rabbi Avi Berman)

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai Yishai speaks with Jeremy Saltan about the radical drop in the Prime Minister’s approval rating. What is the reason for the about-face in the public’s perception of the war? Then Yishai interviews Rabbi Avi Berman, Executive Director of the OU Israel, about the amazing connection of North American Jews to Israel in this tough time. Finally, Gilead Mooseek, a resident of southern Israel, tells us how he and his family has been coping, including a message from the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

Presented live and online by: Voice of Israel and Galei Yisrael FM.
Music by Lazer Lloyd

Thank you to the Yishai Fleisher Show Sponsors: The Jewish Press, United With Israel, and Janglo.net

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Political Fallout Begins From Ceasefire

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

Israel’s political landscape awoke Wednesday to the latest ceasefire with a sharp round of criticism for Prime Minister Netanyahu, and jostling for position amongst senior politicians who have begun to smell the aroma of early elections, possibly in the first half of 2015.

Even prior to the end of Operation Protective Edge, members of the coalition were outspoken in their objection to the prosecution of the conflict. Most prominent amongst the critics was Danny Danon, who served as deputy defense minister until he was summarily fired by Netanyahu after blasting the government’s refusal to launch a wide scale ground invasion in the initial stage of the conflict.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman shared Danon’s position; both men were critical of the Prime Minster’s acceptance of four separate ceasefire agreements (all broken by Hamas). Danon called the agreements “humiliating”.

Today, as the fighting wound down, Liberman and other members of his Israel Beteinu party ramped up their criticism of the prime minister.

“As long as Hamas rules Gaza we cannot ensure security for Israeli citizens and we will not be able to reach a diplomatic agreement,” Liberman wrote on his Facebook page. “We cannot and we must not rely on lowly murderers. Therefore, we object to this ceasefire, thanks to which Hamas will be able to continue to grow stronger and will eventually conduct another war against Israel, at a time that is favorable (for Hamas). As long as Hams rule is not excisedc— the threat of missiles and tunnels remains. We have a responsibility to ensure that Hamas (walks away from this ceasefire) with no diplomatic achievements…

Hamas must be fought without compromise,” Liberman wrote.

In addition, Tourism Minister Uzi Landau (Israel Beteinu) told Israel Radio that Operation Protective Edge should have “ended differently”, and stressed that Israel’s agreement to stop targeted killings of Hamas officials meant that Israel had ceded one of its keep weapons.

“Hamas remains in Gaza, with its command in tact and its (military) strength in tact. Hamas will try to establish weapons factories and to smuggle weapons into the Strip” as a result of this deal, Landau said.

Elections coming?

Even before the start of the war, there were inklings that the present government was nearing the end of its shelf-life. Sunday, Oppositiion leader MK Yitzhak Herzog (Labor) called for new elections immediately following the close of fighting, a move that was seconded by Meretz Chairwoman Zahava Gal-On. Both parties supported the war effort, but are certainly to bring pressure on the government now to open negotiations with the Palestinian Authority in order to sideline Hamas by driving towards a diplomatic settlement with the PLO.

And even before the abduction and murder of Eyal Yifrah, Gil-Ad Sha’ar and Naftali Fraenkel on June 12 – the incident that precipitated Operation Protective Edge when Israel responded with a massive series of arrests of Hamas operatives in the Hebron area – Haredi parties banded together on June 10 to support Likud veteran Reuven Rivlin for president.

United Torah Judaism and Shas officials denied that their support for Rivlin was a downpayment on their inclusion in the next government – or on replacing the Jewish Home party should the latter decide to bolt.

But the possibility that Jewish Home, Israel Beteinu or both could quit the government is real. Constituents for both parties are deeply opposed to the ceasefire agreement and are angry the prime minister has “abandoned” residents of the Gaza Belt, as some have accused. Tourism Minister Landau dodged questions on Israel Radio this morning about whether or not his party would leave the government, given his and Liberman’s criticism of the prime minister. However, Israel Beteinu MKs will be forced in coming weeks to leave the government and to push for new elections, or to abandon their criticism of the ceasefire and to support the prime minister and his policies.

Significantly, both the Haredi parties and the prime minister have worked hard to maintain close ties with United Torah Judaism and Shas in the opposition. Netanyahu views the Orthodox parties as natural political allies, whereas the latter’s thirst for a seat at the government table is nearly unquenchable.

A year-and-a-half ago, during coalition negotiations following the 2013 election, Netanyahu tried hard to convince Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid and Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett to renege on their campaign promises not to join a government with Haredi parties, to no avail. Eventually, Netanyahu had to accept Lapid’s and Bennett’s condition, but not before making clear to UTJ and to Shas that the Likud was not the “bad guy” who left the religious parties out in the cold. Those points could serve both sides well if there is a government shake up in the aftermath of Operation Protective Edge.

Trouble at Home

If it becomes clear the country is headed towards elections, Netanyahu’s greatest challenge is likely to come – ironically – from his own Likud Party. Although he successfully sidelined his political nemesis Danny Danon for the latter’s criticism of the war effort, Danon represents a popular young guard of up-and-coming Likudniks that have important inside the Likud Central Committee.

At the same time, many members of the Central Committee feel the prime minister has overstepped the bounds of his office as party leader,and they feel Netanyahu does not take their views or votes into account. For the moment, Netanyahu has continued to maintain control of the party, but only just. The Likud Central Committee is due to meet in Ashkelon in two weeks to discuss Operation Protective Edge and the ceasefire agreement. Expect it to be a stormy session, that could conceivably end badly for the prime minister.

MK Ariel: Unity Zionist Government Now

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Minister Uri Ariel (Jewish Home) called on Israeli politicians to set their political considerations aside and to create a national Zionist government to ensure the security and spirits of the nation. Ariel called on government ministers to focus on what Israel needs at the current time – an end to infighting and argument – and not on individual or party politics.

 

Netanyahu Shocks Israeli Politicians, Champions Rivlin for President

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Former Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin got the nod from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday in a move that sent shockwaves around the Israeli political scene.

Rivlin, long considered Netanyahu’s nemesis, is the sole candidate for the upcoming June 10 presidential race from the prime minister’s Likud party.

“We have been through a lot together in our lifetimes. Some days were good, some not so good,” Netanyahu allegedly told him, as quoted by the prime minister’s spokesperson. “I hope we will know better days.”

Rivlin, who is not a vindictive person by nature, said he was genuinely happy to receive Netanyahu’s support, according to sources close to the MK.

Rivlin is also supported by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who told reporters he is “a Zionist with values and a good heart.” Rivlin is known for his modesty, said Bennett, and his concern for minorities and weaker sectors of society.

There are six candidates running for the post:
Rivlin (Likud); former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor); MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua); former Knesset Speaker and MK Dalia Itzik; Nobel Prize winner Prof. Dan Shechtman; and former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner.

MK Ze’ev Elkin to Chair Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee

Monday, May 12th, 2014

At last, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has a new chairperson: Likud Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin.  It’s taken six months to get there.

Elkin will chair in rotation with senior Likud lawmaker and coalition chairperson Yariv Levin. Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi is expected to replace Elkin as deputy foreign minister.

To soothe the ruffled feathers of Yesh Atid chairman and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, his choice for the post – Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah – will instead be made a senior deputy minister.

Lapid has been negotiating with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the issue, forever and a day. The position remained vacant since Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was forced to leave while facing corruption charges in a trial that acquitted him of the allegations last November.

The appointment now goes to the Knesset House Committee for ratification. If approved, Elkin will take the first rotation, until January 1, 2015. Levin will then serve 17 months, until June 1, 2016. Elkin returns at that point, and remains until 2017. Levin will also continue to serve as coalition chairperson until November 2014, and simultaneously chair the Knesset House Committee.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-zeev-elkin-to-chair-knesset-foreign-affairs-and-defense-committee/2014/05/12/

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