Shas has signed their coalition agreement with Netanyahu.
Shas chairman Aryeh Deri will become the new Minister of the Economy, replacing Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) who held that position in the previous coalition.
Despite the battle between Bayit Yehudi and Shas over the Ministry of Religious Affairs, Netanyahu has given that ministry exclusively to Shas.
The Conversion Authority will remain with the Prime Minister’s office, and not be returned to the Ministry of Religious Affairs.
Shas will receive the Ministry for Development in the Negev and the Galilee, as well as a Deputy Finance Minister position.
To top it off, Shas will chair the Knesset’s Education Committee.
The Likud also announced their offer to Bayit Yehudi.
Bayit Yehudi would get the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of the Diaspora, the Ministry of Agriculture along with control of the Settlement Division, the Ministry of Culture and Sports, and a Deputy Defense Minister position.
In addition, Bennett was offered a seat in the Security Cabinet.
The Likud simultaneously threatened that if Bayit Yehudi rejected the offer, Netanyahu would form a government with Herzog’s Zionist Camp.
At this point, Kulanu, UTJ and Shas have signed. Yisrael Beytenu has said they won’t join, leaving Bayit Yehudi as the last party to decide. If Bayit Yehudi joins, Netanyahu has his 61 seat coalition just in time for his Wednesday deadline.
Police said Monday morning that anarchists incited protesters to violence in last night’s march in Tel Aviv against police brutality and racism, undermining the demonstrators’ objectives.
Protesters were armed with rocks and metal objects which they hurled at police officers, 56 of whom were injured lightly. Police arrested 43 demonstrators and hurled stun grenades in the middle of a crowd blocking a major artery at rush-hour in Tel Aviv.
Both a senior police official and “Elazar,” who made Aliyah from Ethiopia years before the massive airlift in Operation Shlomo, told Voice of Israel radio (Reshet Bet) that the protest turned violent partly because of anarchists, whom the interviewer later said could be “leftists or rightists,” although the term “right-wing anarchist” in Israel is almost contradictory.
Left-wing elements, many of them funded by American Jews and non-Jews, often have been accused of inciting Arabs and illegal African immigrants to violence.
The charge of “racism,” which undoubtedly is true but not always to the Nth degree as sometimes described, is a good way to rile up the riff-raff. That is exactly what happened last night.
Mahratta Baruch-Ron, the deputy mayor Tel Aviv and an Ethiopian, tried to calm down the protesters, but to no avail; the anarchists and trouble-makers took over.
Like last week’s protest in Jerusalem that turned violent when nearly 1,000 protesters surged towards to the official residence of the Prime Minister, last night’s demonstration lacked responsible leadership.
Police did not interfere Sunday night even when protesters blocked major arteries near Rabin Square in downtown Tel Aviv, and it appeared that some people in the crowd were itching for a fight by deciding to proceed towards the high-speed intra-city Ayalon Highway.
Yediot Acharonot, which never misses an opportunity to whitewash leftist criminals and find cause against Netanyahu, reported that “social activists” joined the protesters.
The protests were sparked by a video shown on Israeli television last week of two policemen assaulting, without any provocation, an Ethiopian soldier, who was clad with kippa. Discrimination against Ethiopians is widespread while the police show no discrimination when it comes to excessive violence.
The protesters have concentrated on racism, while political leaders, including Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali Bennett, have hitched a ride on the “race card” rather than pursuing the opportunity to demand massive reform in the police force.
The plagues of racism and violence against police, as well as police violence against civilians, elicited an immediate response from Prime Minister Netanyahu.
He is meeting Monday with Ethiopian community representatives, soldier Damas Pakada who was filmed being beaten by the policemen. Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, and representatives of the Public Security, Social Affairs and Social Services, Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, and Interior ministries.
They will make statements announcing funding for projects aimed at the Ethiopian community and will ignore police brutality.
The new protest movement is continuing Monday morning with a march in Jerusalem. Travelers are advised that major arteries, including Sderot Herzl, Rabin, Shazar, Ben Tzvi and Ruppin are closed as of 11 a.m.
The U.S. Embassy yesterday warned citizens that protests that are “intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence” and advised, “You should avoid areas of demonstrations, and exercise caution if in the vicinity of any large gatherings, protests, or demonstrations.”
Below, an Ethiopian protester tells Channel 2, in Hebrew, that outside inciters turned the peaceful march into a violent riot.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told a Washington think tank Friday that the proposed deal with Iran to restrict its nuclear program “would make the world would a much more dangerous place.”
He spoke through a video message at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where Vice President Joe Biden insisted the deal was “reasonable” and that the United States “has Israel’s back.”
Netanyahu said reminded his audience that Iran “repeatedly threatens to annihilate Israel” and has created “terrorist bases across three of Israel’s borders in Lebanon and Gaza and now on the Syrian Golan.
The Prime Minister asserted:
The international community cannot let Iran’s aggression in the region — in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Syria, in Yemen and elsewhere – to continue under the protection of an Iranian nuclear umbrella. And the international community cannot afford to let the planet’s foremost sponsor of terrorism have nuclear capabilities with which to terrorize the entire world….
The Lausanne framework….would make the world would a much more dangerous place…. Now there are those who say that the Lausanne framework will make Israel safer.
As the prime minister of Israel I can tell you categorically this deal will endanger Israel — big time. But it’s not just Israel that will be in danger: The Middle East and the entire world will be threatened.
Biden told the think tank, “Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other. They [Iran] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material. Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
What he didn’t say is that Iran has gotten that far while Obama and Biden were in office. Netanyahu is saying that the proposed deal guarantees that Iran can achieve its goal.
The vice-president said that the United States will go to war with Iran if necessary to keep it from procuring a nuclear weapon.
The inference from Netanyahu’s position is that war can be prevented if Iran can be stopped from becoming a nuclear power, which is why the Prime Minister told the think tank, “A better deal is necessary. A better deal is possible. A better deal must and can be achieved. But if not, no deal is better than this bad deal.”
MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) said that Bayit Yehudi will not let Shas get the Religious Affairs Ministry, even if it means blowing up the negotiations, according to Nana10.
Shaked said the Bayit Yehudi party would not abandon all the achievements it made on religion and state issues.
Channel 2 reports that Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) and Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) have reached an agreement so that Bayit Yehudi would stop demanding the Foreign Ministry from PM Netanyahu, which is the ministry that Liberman wants; in exchange Liberman would help Bennett get the Religious Affairs Ministry, which the Hareidi Shas party is demanding, and at this point is expected to get.
Bennett also wants either the Defense or Foreign Ministry, but would be willing to settle for less if properly compensated with additional, smaller ministries as well as an alternative senior position. Netanyahu supposedly promised Bennett the Defense Minsitry before the elections, when it was thought Bayit Yehudi would have at least 12 seats.
Liberman and Bennett would both work together to prevent Netanyahu from bringing the Zionist Union into the coalition.
Yitzchak Herzog (Zionist Union) again said that he would not be joining the coalition with Netanyahu, and will be in the opposition working to replace Netanyahu.
It appears that Netanyahu wanted to save negotiating with Liberman for last, after he had 61 seats on board from the other coalition partners. This would have given Liberman very little negotiating power.
But Netanyahu isn’t making his most natural partner, Bayit Yehudi, very happy at the moment, and the plan may have backfired.
One of the latest rumors says that Bayit Yehudi will receive four ministries, of which Naftali Bennett would receive both the Ministry of the Economy and the Intelligence Ministry.
The other two ministies they would get are Agriculture for Uri Ariel and Senior Citizens for Ayelet Shaked.
Yisrael Hayom, which is close to Netanyahu, says that the Likud will keep 12 ministries, including: Defense, Justice, Interior Security, Communications, Transportation, Social and Education.
Leopards do not change their spots and Iran’s radical Islamist government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism either. U.S. President Barack Obama apparently does, in fact, know that — he just doesn’t think it’s important enough to stop the U.S. from closing a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.
Why? Because he says he believes it’s the best way to keep everyone, including Israel, safe.
Actually, Obama believes the world powers led by the United States should close that deal precisely because the Iranian government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism. At least, that is the way Obama explained his reasoning in an interview Monday with NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. In the exclusive interview, he also said Israelis are right not to trust Iran, but that they can always trust America to be there to help protect them.
The interview was focused in its entirety on the issue of the nuclear deal worked out between U.S.-led world powers and Iran last week, and how it affects the rest of the world, particularly Israel.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been especially critical of what he has called, from the start, a ‘bad deal” repeatedly urging the “P5+1” world powers to reconsider, and reformat the agreement into a “different, better deal.”
Netanyahu this week expressed his deep concern over the enhanced ability of Iran to promote its terror agenda with newly-increased funds earned when international sanctions are dropped as a result of the agreement.
But Obama told NPR he believes it is more important to keep the focus on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon – via the current agreement – than dealing with anything else Tehran is doing.
“I’ve been very forceful in saying that our differences with Iran don’t change if we make sure that they don’t have a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.
“They’re still going to be financing Hezbollah, they’re still supporting Assad dropping barrel bombs on children, they are still sending arms to the Houthis in Yemen that have helped destabilize the country.
“There are obvious differences in how we are approaching fighting ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq, despite the fact that there’s a common enemy there.
“So there’s still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran — and one of the most profound ones is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime.
“But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment,” he said.
“The — I want to return to this point. We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can’t bank on the nature of the regime changing. That’s exactly why we don’t want [Iran] to have nuclear weapons. If suddenly Iran transformed itself into Germany or Sweden or France, there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.
“So, you know, the key here is not to somehow expect that Iran changes — although it is something that may end up being an important byproduct of this deal — but rather it is to make sure that we have a verifiable deal that takes off the table what would be a game-changer for them if in fact they possess nuclear weapons.
NPR: The demand that’s being made there, of course, underlies a broader concern that Israelis have. You’re suggesting implying through this nuclear that Israel must live another 10 or 15 years and longer with a country that is fundamentally opposed to the existence of Israel. How should Israelis think about Iran in the years to come?
Labor Secretary-General Eitan Cabel, discussing the understandings reached between Iran and the P5+1 regarding Tehran’s nuclear program, backed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the issue.
“The nuclear deal with Iran giving me insomnia,” Cabel wrote in a post published on his Facebook page. “This time it’s really not a question of left or right. When the crazy clerical regime, with a proven track record of terrorism and cheating, are allowed to get within touching distance of a nuclear bomb – I am very concerned.”
Cabel added that this is the only subject where he stands with the prime minister, he wrote, “With all the criticism on the way he ran his fight against the impending agreement, the bottom line is, his fight against it [the nuclear agreement] is right”.
Former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, leader of the Kulanu party, became the “kingmaker” of the next coalition Monday when recommended President Reuven Rivlin task Likud’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the formation of the new government.
“We nominate Netanyahu and the broader the base of the coalition, the better it will be for all of us,” said Kahlon, who told the president that his party had a social orientation that was focused on the human being.
Kahlon’s hearty endorsement brought Netanyahu to an absolute majority of 61 votes in his favor, which allowed Rivlin to announce the prime minister would be tasked with forming the next government – one of the swiftest coalition assignment determinations ever to take place.
Also voting for Netanyahu on Sunday in addition to the Likud were the delegates from the Bayit Yehudi, Shas and United Torah Judaism parties. An endorsement from Yisrael Beytenu that followed shortly after brought Netanyahu’s total to 67 mandates.
The total meant that although the president had yet to meet with the far-left Meretz party, which had five votes to either add or withhold, neither would change the outcome.
At present, not including Meretz, the merged Zionist Union led by Labor party chairman Isaac (“Buji”) Herzog holds 24 votes. The remaining 24 potential coalition members, which include Yesh Atid and the Joint Arab List are holding back for the time being.
Rivlin pointed out that it is not a given that all those who voted for Netanyahu will actually support the government he assembles, when the time comes.
Even after a president has tasked a designated person to form a government, and even that person successfully forms a coalition, the government still must be approved by the Knesset plenum, he noted.