web analytics
July 31, 2016 / 25 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Sara Netanyahu’

Bennett: ‘You Can’t Be in Favor of Eretz Israel in Hebrew while Establishing the State of Palestine in English.’

Monday, June 6th, 2016

On Sunday night, during the celebrations of Jerusalem Liberation Day at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, the academic crown jewel of the rightwing Greater Israel movement, Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett flatly accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of lying about his true intentions regarding a Palestinian State. “You can’t be in favor of Eretz Israel in Hebrew while establishing the State of Palestine in English,” he said, obviously pointing to the PM, who was present at the same ceremony, and accusing him of telling his voters (in Hebrew) during the last campaign that he was opposed to dividing the land, while scheming with foreign dignitaries and a number of Israeli politicians to bring on some form of the two-state solution.

The relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) is about as bad as can be, feeding on 20 years of bad blood, resentments, betrayals and condescension. Ten years ago, after fighting in the 2006 Lebanon War, Bennett served as chief of staff for Netanyahu, who was then the opposition leader. He helped Netanyahu dig his way up from a deep electoral hole, but couldn’t get along with Mrs. Netanyahu (few could). Eventually, in 2008, Bennett and his political partner, Ayelet Shaked, set out to carve their own path among Israel’s rightwing voters.

When they returned victorious in 2013, with 12 seats, as leaders of a National Religious Party that everyone had been certain was going to leave the political stage — they were considered Netanyahu’s natural coalition partners — but Sara Netanyahu put down her foot. Instead of a negotiation between friends, Bennett et al were put through the wringer. It took the intervention of a third party leader, MK Yair Lapid, who forged an ad hoc, mutual-benefit alliance with Bennett, to finally open the door. Then, after the 2015 elections, when Bennett generously endorsed Netanyahu’s message that it made no difference if the settler community voted for Likud or for his own party, because he had been promised they’d all be part of the same winning coalition in the end — Bennett ended up as the last man the PM had turned to for a government post. Promises of the Defense Ministry were reneged on, and Bennett, a party chairman, ended up with a second-tier portfolio. Mind you, Bennett believes a full five of Likud’s 30 Knesset seats should have gone to him. That’s ten years’ worth of resentment.

And now, as Netanyahu continues his pursuit of a broader coalition with MK Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Camp (Labor), voices in Labor are starting to say that they’d consider the offer only if the PM is sincere in his desire for a two-state solution, and the profound way in which he could signal that commitment would be by sacrificing the only dedicated enemy of the very idea of a Palestinian State, Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi. If Netanyahu were to go ahead and fire, or demote Bennett and the other two Habayit Hayehudi ministers, Ayelet Shaked and Uri Ariel, it would mean that five seats worth of voters who believed Netanyahu was just as anti-two-state as Bennett, actually cast their vote to get themselves and their families evicted from their homes and lands. There’s plenty to resent there.

“There are some, in Israel and the world, who join various Arab initiatives according to which we would divide the land, divide–God forbid–Jerusalem, and return to the 1967 lines,” Bennett said, “because the world is pressuring, and we must appease them. I tell these individuals tonight: never.”

As to the dual-language policy, Bennett told Netanyahu: “It’s time to say in a clear voice: the Land of Israel belongs to the nation of Israel. In Hebrew, English, Russian and French, in summer, in winter, during elections and when there are no elections. Why? Because the world is listening to us. To every word we say. The world recognizes weakness, just as it recognizes strength. The world sniffs whenever we are not certain of our right to the land, and attacks us with the fury of boycotts.”

It was a painful, raging attack, that marked the worst day in the complex relationship of these two politicians. But it would be a mistake to suggest that Bennett was acting emotionally. In fact, this had to be a well planned assault, ahead of a foreseeable dismissal of Habayit Hayehudi from the coalition. Even before Sunday’s de facto declaration of war, Bennett’s party was up at least three seats in the polls, while Likud was down by those same three seats — that was the Judea and Samaria vote. And should Netanyahu actually pursue peace negotiations at this juncture, those three seats could grow to become five, putting in risk Likud’s numeric supremacy in the next Knesset.

It was such an aggressive attack on Bennett’s part, that the pushback had to come from Likud’s own rightwing, pro-settlements wing: an anonymous Likud senior official was cited by the press, but everyone knew it was Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin, who accused Bennett of hypocrisy—since he had lived comfortably in the previous coalition government with Minister Tzipi LIvni, while the latter was in charge of the two-state negotiations. Elkin, speaking as senior anonymous Likud man, also said it was Bennett who was threatening the stability of the most rightwing government in Israel’s history.

In the end, the cooling down of the internal fighting came from the new defense minister, Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), also a former Netanyahu lieutenant in Likud who broke up with the boss and has maintained a terrible personal relationship with him, complete with bad blood and burgeoning resentments. Liberman said Monday morning: “I call on Naftali Bennett to calm down. Right now we need fewer declarations and more coordinated, quiet work.”

“If he can’t hold back, I suggest he undergo surgery to remove his short fuse,” Liberman said about Bennett, in a bearish kind of humor.

Incidentally, you may recall that Liberman has endured his share of ridicule upon taking on his important new position, because in an interview Liberman had given only last April, he promised that should he become defense minister, he would demand that Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniya return the bodies of Israeli soldiers in his possessions or face death. There’s even a website counting the days since Liberman’s appointment and noting that the Hamas leader is still alive.

“I suggest to anyone who is asking me regarding taking care of Haniya to wait until the end of my term, and not [harass me] in my first week in office,” the new defense minsiter said.

Except that in that interview Liberman actually said Haniya should be counting his days on this earth from Liberman’s first day in office. So the inquiries are certainly legitimate.

JNi.Media

‘I Didn’t Mean to Hurt the Judge’s Feelings’ Says Sara Netanyahu’s Lawyer

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The attorney for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sara expressed regret Wednesday over harsh remarks he made against the judge during a court session over a case involving a former domestic employee in the Netanyahu household, according to the Hebrew-language 0404 website.

Attorney Yossi Cohen told media following the appearance in court, “I appreciate the entire justice and court system and judges, and always treat them with respect.

“My criticism of the [District] Court focused on a specific legal procedure that infringed on Mrs. Netanyahu’s legal right to call witnesses.

“I had no intention of hurting the personal feelings of the judge. I apologize if things were understood otherwise.”

Hana Levi Julian

Report: Police Recommend Indicting Sara Netanyahu over PM’s Residence Charges

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Police on Sunday recommended indicting Prime Minster Netanyahu’s wife Sara over the case of the PM’s residences, Israeli media reported. Police say they have evidentiary foundation to indict three individuals involved in the case: Sara Netanyahu, the Deputy Director of the Prime Minister’s office Ezra Saidoff, and Avi Fahima, an electrician who allegedly was ordered to work on Yom Kippur in the PM’s private residence in Caesarea.

So far, despite the media reports, the police official statement on Sunday did not clearly mention the evidentiary foundation for an indictment against the three suspects. Rather it announced that “the National Unit of Israel Police has concluded its investigation of the case of the prime minister’s residences. The case was opened in February 2015, with the approval of the attorney general and state prosecutor, and focused on several topics regarding which there was suspicion of criminal violations. These included suspected fraud, fraud, and breach of trust, as well as examining mutual complaints. By the end of the investigation, all the alleged evidence, the findings and insights gathered during the police inquiry were handed over to the Jerusalem District Attorney’s Office—which has been following the investigation—for reference and decision.”

The State Comptroller’s report for 2009-2013 found that Sara Netanyahu had invited Fahima to carry out electric works in her Caesarea private home on the weekends, when the rates are higher. The comptroller’s report showed that for three straight months Fahima was called on almost every weekend to do the repair work, including on Yom Kippur, which is the one day during the year when almost all of Israel’s Jews refrain from work.

Last July, the investigation of the comptrollers’ findings turned criminal, and two months later Saidoff was interrogated for ten hours in the offices of police anti-corruption unit Lahav 433. Saidoff is suspected of hiring Fahima because he is a member of the Likud party, and of ordering work for him after being told not to.

Last December, Sara Netanyahu was interrogated by the same anti-corruption unit about the use of the electrician on weekends and on Yom Kippur, as well as regarding using public funds to purchase of patio furniture and other equipment for the Netanyahus’ Caesarea private home.

JNi.Media

Bibi Wants President Shimon to Squeeze One More Year

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Many years ago, the late humorist songwriter Chaim Cheffer wrote a seemingly innocuous ditty called “How Did the Flea Rise Up,” about this industrious flea who may have been born in a mouse’s fur, but he knew he was meant for larger animals, and so he kept rising up the ranks, to a doggie, then to a donkey (he hated that one because donkeys have to work), moved up to a horse and then, finally, made it to the government.

It was sung by the satirical group Mo’adon Hateatron (Theater Club), became a hit, and everybody in Israel, but everybody, knew it was about Shimon Peres, the indefatigable climber. According to Cheffer himself, who devoted part of his video last will to this song, Peres himself knew it too, which is why he and the gifted lyricist were not very close.

It’s all I could think about this morning.



Shimon Peres’s term is coming to an end (not a minute too soon, if you ask me, but few do) this July. This was supposed to conclude a career that began with him carrying Ben Gurion’s attaché case and making coffee, and ended with repeated failed bids to win the Prime Minister’s seat all to himself (he did share it with Likud’s Yitzhak Shamir), then some more back stabbing and more dirty tricks, and then the presidential palace, which he successfully incorporated into the promotional machine that bears his name (the Peres Center for Peace—for wire transfers include SWIFT# WFBIUS6S)…

It was all supposed to be over for the country’s favorite flea, and then I saw the reports about the new maneuver in Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, to change the way Israel receives its presidents. According to Army Radio, the new plan is to let the voters pick directly, through a popular vote, their symbolic figure who has no real function other than whatever hits his fancy.

OK, there’s one constitutional function for the Israeli president: after an election, he or she meet with all the new Knesset factions, and collect from them recommendations as to whom should be tapped to build the next coalition. The law determines that it must be the MK with the best chance to form a government, the president’s role is largely a formality. As is the fact that he signs the laws and treaties passed by the Knesset. Even pardons must be approved by the Minister of Justice, who has the power to veto a presidential pardon, if it’s been deemed unethical.

Because the role is strictly ceremonial, the Jewish equivalent of the Queen of England, the president has been selected, rather than elected, by the Knesset. Occasionally this process has included a floor fight, but no one, until this morning, has seriously considered picking the president through a popular vote. It’s just not worth it.

Enter the only other equally indefatigable politician in Israel’s history: Benjamin Netanyahu. As of today, in addition to all the other challenges he’s facing at home and abroad, Bibi is now thinking of changing the constitution regarding picking a president.

In Israel, you see, what we do to change the constitution is Bibi says “I want this change in the constitution” and we vote on it and it passes.

Very dynamic country, Israel.

Anyway, government sources have confirmed to Walla that it’s really the case, and that Bibi wants direct elections for president, which means that legislation covering this couldn’t possibly be ready in time for the vote this July, so Shimon will get to rule another year.

Yori Yanover

Netanyahus Buy $2400 a Month in Goods from ‘People’s Tycoon’

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

By now, the world knows that Benjamin Netanyahu is a sucker for pistachio ice cream (the financial website Kalkalit revealed recently that Netanyahu’s 2012 household accounts include close to $3,000 for pistachio and vanilla ice-cream. It means the Netanyahus and their guests (not sure Sara would let the staff have any) scarf down 30 lbs. of ice-cream a month. However do they maintain their girlish figures?)

But prime ministers do not live by ice cream alone: the Netanyahu family purchases food and household items worth close to $30 thousand a year, $2,500 a month—all of them tax payer shekels, mind you—at the Rami Levy supermarkets.

Rami Levy is known as Israel’s no-nonsense marketing tycoon. Rami Levy Hashikma Marketing is the third largest Israeli discount retail supermarket chain, 21 stores, 3,000 employees, annual revenues around $430 million. His aisles are a little less spotlessly clean than the competition, you won’t find fancy fruits and yuppie veggies there, and inquiries with the staff might not always yield useful advice, and the lines at the cashier are longer and less orderly – but everybody in Israel knows, Rami Levy gets you the best prices. Rami Levy also sells no-nonsense cellphones and a slew of other bare essentials goods at very good prices.

Rami Levy, whose company went public in 2007, and who is counted among the richest people in Israel, is also a dyed in the wool Likud supporter. And that explains why the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu takes the household budget awarded him each year by the taxpayers and puts so much of it in the coffers of his sworn supporters – just doesn’t look so good.

Globes reported that the Prime Minister’s residence has been purchasing from Levi without a bid. That doesn’t smell great either, except for the fact that the regulations don’t require a bid in this case, only common sense.

That’s Rami Levy’s point, by the way. He told Globes: “You know why they started to buy from me? Because three years ago there was an article in a local newspaper in Jerusalem criticizing Netanyahu for not buying at Rami Levy’s, where everything is the cheapest, but instead preferring the fancy shops in Rechavia (Jerusalem’s high rent neighborhood).”

See? You can’t win with us media folks.

The same was true with the pistachio fiasco (that’s a fun word combo): after being slammed from every direction for buying hundreds of pounds of ice cream from a local, fancy parlor, at local fancy parlor prices – the Netanyahus switched to Rami Levy’s nutty delights. Now they’ll have to swear off that, too?

The prime minister’s office is yet to comment on the developing emergency.

Yori Yanover

Israel Has New Government

Friday, March 15th, 2013

Reshet Bet announced early Friday morning that the Likud and Habayit Hayehudi have resumed their talks, after a 12-hour disconnect, and reached a final agreement on a new government, which will be introduced later today, Friday.

The agreement was reached after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called up Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett and asked him personally to overlook the slight of not receiving the title of Deputy Prime Minister. He told him that in the new government there will be no Deputy Prime Ministers at all.

Both Bennett and Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid responded curtly to a news item they heard over the radio on Thursday, that the Deputy positions, about which they had reached a verbal agreement with the Likud-Beiteinu negotiating team, were taken away.

Likud circles not particularly enamoured with the PM spread the rumor that it was Sara Netanyahu, Benjamin’s wife, who insisted, at the last minute, on sticking it to her husband’s new coalition partners.

The PM’s circles denied the rumors, saying it was just another vicious attack on Sara Netanyahu, and her personal arch-enemy, Naftali Bennett.

Habayit Hayehudi circles said in response that it was not a reassuring way of ushering in a new coalition—killing unilaterally an item everybody had shaken hands on.

The Bennett people refused to attend the meeting Thursday evening in which the government deal was supposed to be finalized, and the first coalition crisis appeared to have erupted even before there was a coalition in place.

Netanyahu had to swallow a frog in apologizing to Bennett personally, and Bennett and Lapid in return swallowed the frogs of not becoming acting PMs when Bibi is away touring the world.

Now the fact that Sara’s contribution effectively killed the position of Deputy PM, Netanyahu will not be able to dole out bites at this honor to senior Likudniks, such as MK Silvan Shalom, who won’t receive a real portfolio. Thank you, Sara.

The Shas and United Torah Judaism factions are livid, obviously, arguing that if they’re out of office, their constituency is going to be ignored. Well, not exactly ignored, more like enlisted and made to study Math and English in yeshiva.

MK Aryeh Deri, who was reinstated in the Shas Knesset list with the hope of increasing its size (they ended up with 11 – just like the Knesset before), was making the rounds all day Thursday, promising to be part of a fighting opposition, whose utmost goal would be to topple this government. A renowned Haredi leftists, who pushed his party into signing on to the Oslo Accords, Deri said he had no problem cooperating with Labor, Meretz, and the Arab lists, to bring down Netanyahu.

Unless he get a government seat sometime down the road.

Habayit Hayehudi will possess five portfolios in the new government, although those will be divided among only three ministers. So Naftali Bennett is now also Minister of Religious Services.

The 20 Likud MKs are competing over a mere 15 positions of power: seven ministerial roles, four deputy ministers, four heads of Knesset committees and the role of Speaker of the House. The portfolios of Homeland Security, Agriculture, Tourism and Absorption has been given to members of the Israel Beiteinu, while members of the Likud will take Interior, Transportation, Communications, Homeland Defense, and the Strategic Affairs Ministry.

A big improvement would be the appointment of former IDF chief of staff Moshe “Bogie” Yaalon as Defense Minister. Yaalon, whose boss at the time, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz, opted not to renew his contract in 2005, because he did not trust the former to pursue zealously the evacuation of thousands of Gush Katif Jews. Mofaz appointed Dan Halutz to the job, and Halutz promptly bungled an invasion of Gaza and a war in Lebanon.

Beginning next week, probably on Monday, Israel’s 33rd government—Netanyahu’s third—will be sworn in, featuring 22 ministers, including the Prime Minister, and eight deputy ministers. The Speaker is expected to be the current Minister of Information and Diaspora, MK Yuli Edelstein.

In the almost-final compromise agreement reached Thursday, Netanyahu agreed to give up the education portfolio, which will go to Yesh Atid’s MK Rabbi Shai Piron, Likud-Beiteinu will get Interior, and Habayit Hayehudi will head the Knesset Finance Committee.

Yori Yanover

Sara’s Latest: Lapid, Bennett’s Posts Torpedoed

Thursday, March 14th, 2013

The negotiating teams of both Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi did not arrive at what could be the final round of negotiations with the Likud-Beitenu team. It turns out the two parties received notices that, contrary to what had been agreed, Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett will not serve as deputy prime ministers.

According to Likud-Beitenu officials, the decision was made for reasons not directly related to the issues at hand, but, instead, to the prime minister’s wife’s refusal to allow the two coalition members to serve as her husband’s deputies.

The Yesh Atid and Habayit Hayehudi negotiating team told Ma’ariv that “something here doesn’t smell right. We are not looking to blow up the negotiations, we just want to return to what had been agreed with us.”

The position of Deputy Prime Minister is more than mere honor, as the Prime Minister is absent from the country an average of 50 days a year.

No one knows yet if this is a deal breaker.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/saras-latest-lapid-bennetts-posts-torpedoes/2013/03/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: