web analytics
August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Reuven Rivlin’

Knesset Swears in New Govt with Hugs and a Walkout

Monday, March 18th, 2013

The Knesset Monday evening officially approved by a 68-48 vote the 33rd Knesset in what a Meretz Knesset Member Zahava Gal-on correctly called a “celebratory affair” that was long on pomp and circumstance and short on government leaders “telling it as it is.”

The Opposition did not lose any time getting in its digs, with Labor party leader Shelly Yechimovich attacking the new coalition as a bunch of “rich capitalists,” pinpointing her disgust at Jewish Home leader and millionaire Naftali Bennett and former journalist and TV news celebrity Yair Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid (Future) party. Looking to Lapid, she said he earned $700,000 last year. She did not mention how much she earned as a journalist.

Netanyahu took the podium to warn for the umpteenth time that Iran is getting closer to the “red line” he drew in his speech to the United Nations last September.

Speaking less than two days before President Barack Obama arrives for a short visit, Prime Minister Netanyahu made sure to say, “We stretch out our hand to the Palestinians” for a “historic compromise,” a nice diplomatic phrase for saying that the United States can forget about any peace deal with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, whose only suggestion of compromise is that Israel accept all of his demands.

Even Tzipi Livni, Netanyahu’s de facto “Minister of the Peace Process” told Israeli television that successfully completing the peace process will be “very difficult,” the understatement of the day.

Netanyahu was closer to the truth when he said that Israel will take advantage of Obama’s visit to thank America for its support.

The Knesset easily elected Yuri Edelstein as the new Speaker, replacing Reuven Rivlin, who hid his rage at being dumped by Prime Minister Netanyahu and instead silently accepted praise for having served in the post.

Arab MKs, as usual, were good for headlines.  Jamal Zahalka charged Lapid with “racism” because he was not in the Opposition. Hanin Zoabi later told Israeli television that the coalition will be “racist,” in other words, just like the previous one, in her view.

One interesting comment came from Arab MK Ahmed Tibi. With the Haredi parties in the Opposition for the first time in recent memory, he suddenly saw a common cause between them and the Arabs on social issues, meaning more money for their sectors.

New Netanyahu Coalition Govt All Cobbled and Ready, Maybe

Monday, March 18th, 2013

On Monday evening, the Knesset will host the swearing in ceremony for Israel’s 33rd government, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term—second consecutive—as prime minister (his first term ran from June 1996 to July 1999).

Immediately after the ceremony, Netanyahu will convene a brief cabinet meeting, with a toast. Then the bunch (22 ministers and 8 deputies) will travel to the presidential residence, for the traditional group picture.

The Knesset session will open with the selection of the Speaker of the House. It will likely be Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who will replace the former Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, who wanted very much to continue in his post but, unfortunately, had committed the ultimate sin of criticizing the Prime Minister’s anti-democratic tendencies, not the kind of slight which Netanyahu’s wife Sara easily forgives.

As usual, Netanyahu never shared with Rivlin his plan to depose him. In fact, as far back as a year ago, he assured the popular Speaker—who is also closely associated with the Settlement movement—that he’d have his support for the post of President when Shimon Peres completes his 7-year term, 2014.

Yuli Edelstein’s life’s story is fascinating: Born in the Soviet Union to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity (his father is a Russian Orthodox priest), Edelstein discovered his Jewish connection through his grandparents. He studied Hebrew back when that was considered a subversive act, for which, in 1984, he was sent to Siberia (the charges were drug related, but everybody knew it was the Hebrew thing). He made aliyah with his wife, Tanya, served in the army, and entered politics, ending up in the Knesset in 1996. He has switched between several parties, until finally landing in the Likud, and has held several ministerial portfolios. And if he doesn’t catch Sara’s ire, he could become as memorable a Speaker as Rubie Rivlin.

But the biggest losers, without a doubt, are the Haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. They were almost literally kicked out by Yair Lapid, who stated openly that, should he be seen in the government group picture with the Haredim, his voters would abandon him. Surprisingly, Naftali Bennett, his newly found brother from a different father (Yair’s father, the late MK Tommy Lapid, was a true hater of the religion), supported the dubious position that, in order to truly help the Haredi public, government had to first be cleared of Haredi partners.

Shas, a party that depends completely on patronage for its very existence, is seething with anger over Bennett’s “betrayal.” It’s hard, however, to take seriously the victimized self-pity of Shas, whose spiritual father Rav Ovadia Yosef dubbed the Jewish Home party a “Goy Home.” Altogether, it appears that, perhaps counter intuitively, the National Religious leaders as well as the rank and file, have been harboring heaps of resentment against the Haredim. The Haredi slights of several decades, including their occupation of the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief rabbinate, doling out jobs to Haredi officials who reigned over a population that looks nothing like them—those slighted chickens have been coming back to roost.

Take for instance Rabbi Hayim Drukman, who responded to both the Haredi pols and to Netanyahu, who accused the Lapid-Bennett axis of “boycotting” the Haredi parties. Rabbi Drukman Argued that “the Haredi public are the biggest boycotters, boycotting for years the Torah of the national religious public.”

“Any Haredi apparatchik who gets elected to the Knesset, immediately becomes a rabbi, while the real rabbis of the national religious public are noted in the Haredi press by their first names (without the title ‘Rabbi’). Is this not boycotting?” Rabbi Druckman wrote in the Saturday shul paper “Olam Katan.”

Inside Shas, the short knives have already been drawn and they’re aimed at MK Aryeh Deri, the former convict who came back from the cold to lead Shas into a glorious stalemate (11 seats before, 11 after).

“We were very disappointed in Deri,” a senior Shas pol told Ma’ariv. “He did not bring the votes he promised Rav Ovadia, there was no significant change in seats, and, in fact, Deri is responsible for our failure.”

In United Torah Judaism they also seem to regret their alliance with Shas, it’s highly likely that, in a few months, they’ll opt to enter the government without Shas.

Knesset Speaker Cancels Knesset Delegation to US Over Visa Denial to Nationalist MK

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin announced that he has canceled a Knesset delegation’s trip to the US after MK Michael Ben-Ari (National Union) was denied a US visa due to his past membership in Meir Kahane’s political party Kach.

MKs Tzipi Hotovely (Likud), Einat Wilf (Independence),  and Zehava Gal-On (Meretz) were scheduled to attend a women’s empowerment conference in Washington in late March. Although the visa denial was unrelated to the visit, Rivlin said he canceled it because the visa denial was “an affront to the entire Knesset.”

The State Department rejected Ben-Ari’s visa application two weeks ago because it considers Kach a terrorist organization. The party was banned from the Knesset in 1988.

In a letter to US ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, Rivlin blasted the rejection, saying that “[t]he United States’ allegation that a member of Knesset is a terrorist in unacceptable and is an affront to the entire Knesset.”

Ben-Ari, in a statement released by his assistant Itamar Ben-Gvir, thanked Rivlin for “standing strong against disrespect of the Knesset.”

Kahane, the controversial Rabbi and former MK, was assassinated in New York 20 years ago.

The US Embassy in Tel Aviv had no immediate comment.

Israel Celebrates Tu B’Shevat

Wednesday, February 8th, 2012

School children, families and communities across Israel celebrated the holiday of Tu B’Shevat on Wednesday, planting trees and eating fruits native to the Land of Israel in honor of the New Year of the Trees.

Tu B’Shevat is one of four “New Years” mentioned in the Mishnah.  Occurring on the 15th day of the Jewish month of Shevat, it is the first day of the yearly agricultural cycle, and is important in terms of calculating biblical tithes and the appropriate time to begin cultivating fruits for eating.

According to Jewish law, a tree which is under the age of three may not be farmed for its fruits, but must be allowed to grow uninhibited, a law called Orlah.  Only after the tree reaches the age of three may its fruits be taken for eating.  Fourth-year fruits crops are brought to Jerusalem as a tithe, a law called Neta Revai.  Tu B’Shevat is the cut-off date for calculating the age of a fruit-bearing trees, and is important today for maintaining kosher standards  for the religious community, which continues to follow the laws of permitted fruits according to age.

In the 16th century, the great kabbalist and mystic Rabbi Yitzchak Luria of Tzfat (the Arizal) instituted the tradition of making a Tu B’Shevat seder including fruits grown in the Land of Israel and featuring those which constitute the seven species noted in the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 8: “For the Lord thy God bringeth thee into a good land, a land of brooks of water, of fountains and depths, springing forth in valleys and hills; a land of wheat and barley, and vines and fig-trees and pomegranates; a land of olive-trees and honey.” The purpose of conducting the seder, which involves eating specific fruits, drinking four cups of wine, and saying blessings would raise people and even nature up to a higher spirituality.

Tu B’Shevat is also the time when members of the Chassidic and Sephardic communities pray for the etrog they will use during the holiday of Sukkot.

Planting a date palm in Hebron with the Kumah organization, 2006

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin planting a tree with the Jewish National Fund, 2012

Pack containing the Seven Species, all grown in Israel

Jordan Sends Back Israeli New Year’s Letter in Protest

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry has rejected the New Year’s wishes of Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, sending the letter back because it called Jerusalem the capital of the State of Israel.

Israeli Ambassador to Jordan Danny Naveh was called in to receive the protests of head of the Jordanian Senate Taher al-Masri, who said the letter’s “objectionable opinions” reflect a “mentality of someone who conquers land and other people’s rights,” according to Jordanian daily newspaper al-Ghad. In the letter, similar copies of which were sent around the world to various international leaders and parliamentarians, Rivlin wished al-Masri a happy solar new year, and signed it from “the holy city of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel”.

In the letter, Rivlin also noted current threats to the Jewish state from Iran, Hamas, and Hizbullah, and criticized the Palestinian Authority, who he says “refuses to resume face-to-face peace negotiations with Israel.” Yet he expressed hope for the future of Israel, saying “despite all challenges, we will remain optimistic because our fathers who founded the state in 1948 were optimistic” despite the harsh physical conditions they encountered.

Al-Masri said the letter exemplified “Israel’s arrogance, boasting and racism, as well as pervert[s] historic facts to prove Israel’s claims.”

Rivlin commented Sunday at England’s House of Lords that Zionism is not anti-Arab or anti-Islam. He said he would be willing to meet with al-Masri to discuss the letter, if the Jordanian legislator wished.

PM Netanyahu Urges Migron Residents to Evacuate ‘with Consent’

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, speaking at his weekly Sunday cabinet meeting, urged Migron outpost community residents to evacuate their homes willingly.

Netanyahu said, “The High Court ordered that Migron must be evacuated by March 31. The government wants to carry out the court’s decision peacefully and with consent.”

Netanyahu expressed his support for a proposal by Minister without Portfolio and Likud MK Benny Begin for evacuating Migron, in which the state would build new homes for Migron’s residents on state-owned land nearby known as Yekev Hill, while the evacuated land would be turned over to the Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria.

“The government is calling on Migron residents to agree to the compromise under offer and to enable the government to approach the High Court soon for its approval of the deal,” Netanyahu said. “This is a good offer that does not solve all problems, but is able to solve the problem of Migron.”

Other Likud members have come out against the evacuation, including Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin.

“There should be a legal regularization of the outposts in Judea and Samaria, with the participation of their inhabitants,” Livnat said. “Uprooting them without regularization would be undemocratic and immoral,” she added.

Return to Sender: Knesset Speaker Rivlin’s New Years Greeting ‘Biased,’ ‘Political’

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Tahar Al-Massri, Jordan’s Speaker of Parliament, returned a New Year’s greeting from Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin on Sunday, claiming that it is “biased and political,” and racist for calling Jerusalem the capital of Israel.

Rivlin had sent a letter to parliamentary speakers around the globe honoring the 2012 New Year. The letter began with Rivlin stating that he was writing from “the Holy City of Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/return-to-sender-knesset-speaker-rivlins-new-years-greeting-biased-political/2012/01/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: