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December 29, 2014 / 7 Tevet, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘primary’

Mofaz Wins Kadima Primary Polls by 62% to Livni’s 38%

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

With all the votes counted, Shaul Mofaz became the new chairman of Kadima with 61.7%, to Tzippi Livni’s 37.23%.

Out of 95 thousand registered Kadima party members, only 40% voted by 10 p.m., when the polls closed. Shaul Mofaz and Tzippi Livni struggled  throughout the day to persuade members to get out to the polls and vote.

After congratulating her rival on his win, Livni stated  that she was not going to answer questions regarding her future political path. “It has been a two-months-long, long day. I’m going to sleep,” she told her followers at her campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Some Israeli political commentators are expecting Livni to retire from Kadima and either take a break from politics, or join forces with the new claimant on the Israeli political center, former journalist and TV host Yair Lapid.

Regardless of Tuesday’s vote, it is unclear how Kadima would be able to sustain its status as the largest faction in the Knesset. This means that the war over the political center in Israel will resume, and voters will be “treated” to many acts of realignment, as well as a slew of strange bedfellows.

Even before the polls closed, it was rumored that Haim Ramon was planning to resign as Chair of the Kadima Council. Along with the Mofaz win, this may suggest that the party is moving to the right. It may also mean that Kadima could not be taken for granted as partnering with the left on issues such as  the religious vs. secular tensions.

When Kadima had been established by Ariel Sharon, Mofaz, who was then running to become the new head of the Likud party, was initially reluctant to join him, warning that an alliance with leftists who supported the Oslo accords and a return to the pre-1967 lines, was dangerous. Mofaz then coined the memorable slogan: “You don’t leave a home,” a slogan he abandoned and joined Kadima when it became clear he would not win the leadership post in Likud.

As Defense Minister, Mofas carried out the evacuation of Gush Katif.

Still, ideologically speaking, Mofaz remains further to the right than Livni. On the other hand, since he stated his goal to be the next prime minister of Israel, it is unclear if he would settle for a “mere” cabinet position in a coalition government under Netanyahu.

Chairman of  the Knesset Finance Committee, United Torah Judaism’s MK Moshe Gafni, may have sensed this change when he said Monday night that Tzipi Livni’s loss in the primaries came because she had been attacking the ultra-Orthodox community relentlessly over the past two years. “Just as [Tommi Lapid's] Shinui party has disappeared from the political map, and all the hatred parties are gone, Kadima voters today  said no to hatred and incitement against the ultra-Orthodox society.”

In the end, a weaker Kadima party will bolster Netanyahu’s chances in next year’s elections (unless he decides to bring them on earlier, while the opposition is weakened).

Kadima (Hebrew for Forward) has been the most recent party to try and fill up the gap between the left-leaning Labor and right-leaning Likud. The trend of capitalizing on the vast middle in Israel’s politics began back in 1977, when Labor, which had been ruling since the formation of the state, was finally defeated thanks to the emergence of the Dash (Hebrew acronym for Democratic Movement for Change) party.

Typically, every such attempt to form a coalition of centrist interest groups inevitably ended with a collapse of the “package” and with a re-opening of the appetizing vacuum at the center.

Kadima was established in the fall of 2005 by followers of then Premier Ariel Sharon, who realized he could not execute a planned, unilateral evacuation of thousands of Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip without moving to the left of his own party, Likud.

The Kadima vortex drew in a huge flow of politicians from the “moderate” right, including the former mayor of Jerusalem and top-rank Likud politician Ehud Olmert, who later became party chairman, following Ariel Sharon’s stroke.

Kadima scored the biggest success of a centrist party to date, picking up 29 of the 120 Knesset seats in the 2006 elections. But the illness of its founder and the entanglement of his successor in charges of corruption which are still being prosecuted in the courts, the qualuity of leadership in Kadima dwindled down. So much so, that the third party leader, Tzippi Livni, was unable to form a working coalition despite the fact that Kadima won the largest number of seats in the 2009 elections. Livni et al were outmaneuvered by Benjamin Netanyahu who formed the current government, and Kadima was demoted to the opposition.

 

Vayikra: The Sacrifice Of Thanksgiving

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

To the modern mind, korbanos may seem foreign or hard to understand. Yet they were a key component of the service of Hashem.

Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that offerings served many purposes, including a primary purpose of expressing thanks to Hashem. Thus, following the book of Exodus comes the book dealing with sacrifices as an expression of thanks for the deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

“A man, when he offers…” (1:2).

Although many matters are taught in this book of Vayikra, the first and therefore most conspicuous subject is the korbanos. This had been foretold: “We shall go…and we shall sacrifice to Hashem our G-d” (Shemos 3:18); also “Send out My son and he shall serve Me” (ibid. 4:23), “and we shall sacrifice to Hashem our G-d” (ibid. 5:3), and “go sacrifice to your G-d” (ibid. 8:21).

The first service of Hashem in the form of korbanos was actually performed by the Pesach-sacrifice in Egypt, and the first national achievement after the giving of the Torah was the Mishkan where they would serve Hashem with offerings. We learn therefore the principle that after being delivered from affliction or from peril, the first reaction should be to bring offerings to Hashem.

Even before, it is proper to make vows to sacrifice to Hashem. “I beseech You, I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving.… I shall pay my vows unto Hashem” (Tehillim 116:16-17). Sefer Vayikra, therefore, which follows Sefer Shemos (which contains the entire narrative of the Exodus from Egypt), properly begins with the outstanding subject of sacrifices to Hashem.

Although the korbanos have many purposes and many lessons, the first of all the intentions is the expression of gratitude; and the foremost is the gratitude for the Exodus from Egypt. Thus Noach offered sacrifices when he survived the Flood (Bereishis 8:20), and Jacob (ibid. 28:20) vowed offerings for his deliverance from adversity.

Before beginning on the subject of sacrifices, mention must be made of the opinion of the Rambam (Moreh Nevuchim 3:32). He declares that because at that time men were accustomed to the practice of sacrificing to images, Hashem’s plan was to substitute sacrifices to the true G-d in the place of the idolatry of the nations: “He transferred to His service that which had formerly served as a worship of creatures or of imaginary things.”

But once these sacrifices to Hashem have become Torah, they remain Torah forever, even after all the nations have discontinued the practice of sacrifices. It thus becomes included in the principle: “The Holy One, blessed is He, desired to bestow merit on Israel; therefore He increased for them Torah and mitzvos” (Makos 23b).

But even without the Rambam’s explanation (or in addition to his explanation) there are important and eternal lessons to be gained from the korbanos, and that the practice of these commandments bestowed excellence of intellect and character on our nation. Thus the loss of the Sanctuary was not only the loss of the many mitzvos which the sacrifices provided, but it was also a loss of great opportunities for perfection of mind and character available because of the Beis HaMikdash.

But the impression the service of the Sanctuary created in the minds and souls of the nation never went lost, and continues forever as part of the national heritage. The words of the Torah that describe the Sanctuary service continue forever to be read and studied, and thus our nation gains part of the benefits the Avodah was intended to provide.

Compiled for The Jewish Press by the Rabbi Avigdor Miller Simchas Hachaim Foundation, a project of Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Yisroel, which Rabbi Miller, zt”l, founded and authorized to disseminate his work. Subscribe to the Foundation’s free e-mail newsletters on marriage, personal growth, and more at www.SimchasHachaim.com.

For more information, or to sponsor a Simchas Hachaim Foundation program, call 718-258-7400 or e-mail info@SimchasHachaim.com.

Report: Kadima Headed for Split, No Matter Who Wins Primary

Monday, March 19th, 2012

A source in the Knesset told the Jewish Press in the wake of Monday afternoon’s Kadima faction meeting that a consensus is building that Kadima is headed for a split. The source said that although the faction meeting ended with smiles and handshakes all around, party members appeared convinced that a split will occur, no matter who wins the Kadima leadership primary slated for March 27.

Since Kadima’s fracturing is inevitable, the leadership primary becomes significance in that it will determine which leader will secure the votes of Kadima MKs whose allegiance is to the party, and not its leader; MKs whose continued membership in Kadima is not contingent on the victory of either Livni or Mofaz. The source said that MKs like Nachman Shai are the ones that will inevitably serve as kingmakers for the next Kadima chairman.

Kadima Calls Faction Meeting Amid Rumors of a Split in the Party

Monday, March 19th, 2012

The Kadima Party has asked all its Knesset Members and assistants to attend a faction meeting scheduled for today at 3 PM. “With rumors of an impending split in the party next week no matter who wins, Opposition leader Tzipi Livni is looking to keep her ship together,” said a source in the Knesset.

Dalia Itzik, Kadima’s Faction Chairwoman and the last faction member yet to announce who she will support in the upcoming primary between Livni and Shaul Mofaz, has been linked to discussions with Mofaz’s campaign over the weekend. Last week, Kadima’s faction meeting was cancelled because of tensions between the two camps, but with Itzik expected to declare her support today at the faction meeting, Mofaz appears to be gaining in his challenge against the incumbent.

Itzik’s announcement of support for Mofaz would be a particularly stinging blow for Livni, as Itzik has reportedly been a longtime political confidante and friend of the Opposition leader.

‘Jewish Home’ Blues

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Knesset’s Jewish Home faction is in danger of splitting, following the internal political maneuvering that has taken place in the National Union.

The National Religious camp has seven seats that are spread across six parties in two factions. The previous attempt at a merger before the 2009 elections failed and led to the formation of more political parties.

Jewish Home is made up of rookie MKs Daniel Hershkowitz and Uri Orbach that were brought in as compromise candidates to complement the National Religious Party’s veteran MK Zevulun Orlev. Hershkowitz and Orbach have been trading public attacks with Orlev over the course of the last few weeks, with an escalation yesterday when the NRP decided against some of the Jewish Home’s guidelines for internal primary elections to set up its list for the next general Knesset election.

Following leadership races in Likud, Labor, and Meretz, and with Kadima’s internal primary elections a couple of weeks away, many in the National Religious camp want their parties to get their act together. National Union Chairman MK Yaakov (Katzeleh) Katz and Jewish Home Chairman MK Hershkowitz have worked hard to bring their factions together in a joint list for the next elections.

MK Katz and MK Uri Ariel’s Tekuma party are settling their differences within the National Union with Hatikva Party MK Arieh Eldad and Eretz Yisrael Shelanu MK Michael Ben Ari. MK Eldad is secular, but his Hatikva Party does have a National Religious following. Eretz Yisrael Shelanu is a merger of Baruch Marzel’s Jewish National Front party and the Chassidic followers of Chabad’s Rabbi Wolpo. Analysts agree that National Union Faction Manager and Moledet Party front-runner Uri Bank still has electoral value, although it is not clear if he will be slated in a realistic spot for the next Knesset by the powers-that-be.

Over the years, many Israeli National Religious and Modern Orthodox national camp members have grown tired of keeping up with their communities’ smaller parties and have gradually lost votes to the Likud and Yisrael Beitenu. There is hope among those who have stayed loyal to the smaller parties that they will overcome their differences and run on a joint list. Insiders have suggested that a new political superstar at the head of the list is needed to accomplish this.

Time will tell us who is in, who is out, and if there will be any room for fresh new candidates.

Romney Leads, Republicans Pick Jewish Senate Candidate, and Kucinich Loses

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

Super Tuesday Republican primaries were a race between Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum, Republicans selected a Jewish veteran for Ohio’s Senate run, and Dennis Kucinich lost his bid for reelection.

Ten states went to the polls Tuesday in what is the biggest election day of primary season.

“Super Tuesday” usually helps determine a frontrunner, but Santorum, the former Pennsylvania senator, won decisively in important southern states Oklahoma and Tennessee and appeared headed for a tie with Romney in Ohio. Santorum also picked up North Dakota.

Romney won his home state of Massachusetts and its neighbor, Vermont and as well as Idaho and Virginia.

The former Massachusetts governor faced only Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) on the Virgina ballot; Santorum and Newt Gingrich failed to place on the ballot.

Head to head with Romney in the state, Paul, a libertarian who rejects foreign assistance including for Israel, scored one of his most impressive outcomes this season: 40 percent to 60 Romney’s percent.

Gingrich, the former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, won Georgia, the state he represented in Congress, keeping him in the race for now, although Santorum’s decisive wins in southern states Tennessee and Oklahoma seemed to dampen Gingrich’s prospect of a rally. I

It was too early to call Wyoming and Alaska, the ninth and tenth states voting on Tuesday.

The next primaries are in Alabama and Mississippi on March 13.

Romney Wins Michigan

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

With most of the vote counted, Mitt Romney was ahead with 42 percent compared to 37 for Santorum in the Republican presidential primary in Michigan on Tuesday. NBC, CNN and Fox projected him the winner, after a tight race in which neither candidate mentioned how they had been against the Detroit Big Cars bailout. Negative ads against Romeny in Michigan were run by… MoveOn.

Romney easily defeated Santorum in Tuesday’s other primary in Arizona.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/romney-wins-michigan/2012/02/29/

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