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October 24, 2016 / 22 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Sara Netanyahu’

Hudson Institute Awards 2016 Herman Kahn Prize to Israeli PM Netanyahu

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

The Hudson Institute has awarded its 2016 Herman Kahn Prize to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu “in appreciation for his leadership and achievements in leading the State of Israel.”

Netanyahu and his wife Sara attended the institute’s gala event Thursday night in New York City.

The prime minister discussed his policies vis-à-vis socio-economic and foreign policy issues in his acceptance speech, and said there was no alternative to Israel’s great alliance with the United States, which is based on shared values.

At the same time, Netanyahu said Israel is working to strengthen its standing in the international arena, so the automatic majority against Israel in the United Nations will disappear.

He noted the strength of Israel is based in its abiding faith and said that its position is strengthening thanks to its strength and its knowledge. Netanyahu also said that in the Middle East, “One makes peace with the strong,” adding that Israel is strengthening daily.

The prime minister predicted that in the end, modernity will defeat radical Islam.

Hana Levi Julian

MK Amsalem to Propose that Prime Ministers Be Immune from Prosecution for Minor Offenses

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

By Ilana Messika/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Chairman of the Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee MK David “Dudi” Amsalem (Likud) declared on Tuesday that he intends to propose a new bill during the winter session which would prohibit criminal investigation of the prime minister for minor offenses that would carry less than a six-month prison sentence.

“Being the prime minister of Israel is the most important job in the country,” wrote MK Amsalem in a Facebook post. “He cannot be busied with investigations on a daily basis. There has not been one prime minister in the last thirty years that has not been involved in investigations—from Rabin and his wife’s Dollar Account affair to Barak and the NGOs to Sharon’s Greek island, Olmert and his travels, Netanyahu and the gifts and bottles, and so on.”

The proposal also follow on the heels of the recent investigation opened against Prime Minister Netanyahu who allegedly approached an advertising office in 2007 with the aim of purchasing advertising space in the Arab press for his political war against former Labor leader Ehud Barak.

The Israel Police also recently began probing allegations that the prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, had accepted expensive gifts as part of a greater corruption scheme.

“Nevertheless, since it would be inappropriate for the prime minister not to answer for those crimes, it is proposed that the duration of the rest of his term not be counted within the period of the statute of limitations and it will as such be permitted to prosecute him on the matter after his term ends.”

According to the Likud, the new law would not be applicable retroactively, meaning that it would have no effect on the investigations currently being conducted against Prime Minister Netanyahu. As such, Netanyahu’s son, Yair, is soon to be called to testify to the police about the allegations against his father.

The initiative sparked great controversy within the political arena. “No one is above the law,” said Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni. “Investigations are not detrimental to the public, but to its benefit, as it is deserving of an immaculate leadership. An honest prime minister would reject such a proposal.”

Meretz MK Zahava Galon also criticized the bill, claiming that “MK Amsalem’s proposal will turn the Prime Minister’s Office into a sanctuary for criminals.” Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharar sarcastically suggested to “just crown him Sultan.”

Members of the Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee told TPS that they did not wish to comment on the matter at present.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Experts: Putin Sent Israel the Wrong Missing Tank

Friday, June 17th, 2016

Last week, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepted in a heartfelt ceremony from Russian President Vladimir Putin a Magach-3 Israeli tank that had been captured by the Syrians in the 1982 Battle of Sultan Yacoub in the First Lebanon War, and had been on display in a museum in the Moscow area. Netanyahu posted in his Facebook page: “My wife Sara and I have participated today in an emotional ceremony of returning the tank that had fallen in Syrian captivity during the Battle of Sultan Yacoub in the First Lebanon War.” But now, according to Yedioth Aharonoth, one week after Israel received the tank in which the still missing in action Israeli fighters had met their demise, it appears, to the chagrin of the mourning families, that it may not be the same tank.

On June 10, 1982, IDF 90th Armored Division was rushed forward with orders to gain as much ground as possible before a cease-fire would come into effect. Late that night the force fought its way through Syrian infantry in the Lebanese village of Sultan Yacoub, in the eastern Beqaa Valley, only four miles from the Syrian border. Apparently, in its rush to gain ground, coupled with intelligence failures, the force was cut off and surrounded by Syrian army units. At dawn, the force broke out and escaped to the south, supported by Israeli artillery. The battle lasted six hours resulting in the force losing eight tanks and 30 men. The force was unable to destroy the disabled Magach-3 tanks they left behind and those were recovered by the Syrians, and were put on display in Russia and in the Tishreen Panorama Military Museum in Damascus. Three IDF soldiers remain missing in action: Zachary Baumel, an Israeli-US citizen, Yehuda Katz and Zvi Feldman. These soldiers were captured and paraded through Damascus on top of their captured tank.

Returned tank lands in Israel / Courtesy

Returned tank lands in Israel / Courtesy

In his Facebook post, Netanyahu noted that the returned tank is “the only testimony to our missing soldiers from that battle… For 34 years we’ve been searching for our fighters and will not cease the search until we inter them in a Jewish cemetery in the State of Israel. For these 34 years the Baumel, Katz and Feldman families have not had a gravesite to visit. Now they’ll have this tank, a remnant from the Sultan Yacoub battle which they can visit and touch and remember their sons in Israel.”

Not really, says tank expert Lt. Col. (Ret) Michael Mas, who told Yedioth the returned tank is not the one inside which the three missing soldiers were fighting. “It’s very sad that the prime minister and the media follow misinformation,” Mas said. “This is not the tank that belonged to the missing. What was returned is a whole tank, and the tanks where the missing fought look different. While this is for sure one of the eight tanks captured by the Syrians in the battle, this tank bears no mark of any injuries. When Netanyahu said that the families who haven’t had a gravesite to visit will now find peace, he committed two errors: one, it’s not their tank; and two, they’re missing, not dead.”

Returned tank in Israel / Courtesy

Returned tank in Israel / Courtesy

Pirchia Heiman, Yehuda Katz’s sister, responded angrily, telling Yedioth: “All the families of the missing are enraged. What do we need all these spins for?” She asked, adding, “Since I’ve heard of the plan to return the tank I waited eagerly, I couldn’t sleep at night. Ten days ago they conducted the ceremony in Russia and there Ndetanyahu said the families would have this tank ‘to be able to touch it and the memory of their sons,” and he already knew it was the wrong tank, but we didn’t. Only the next day did we get the right shield number for the tank, not through the IDF, and I realized this wasn’t Yehuda’s tank.”

At this point it should be noted that PM Netanyahu could have avoided this embarrassment had he read up IDF reports filed 18 years ago, which determined after a thorough examination of the tank on display in Russia that it’s not the tank that belonged to the missing soldiers, and that the soldiers who fought in this tank were able to flee the scene unharmed and are alive and well.

Here’s another embarrassing point Netanyahu could have saved himself had he read the IDF reports: the three missing soldiers fought in two different tanks, one of which was burnt beyond recognition, and neither of which is the returned tank. Like cars, tanks receive identifying numbers, and this tank, 817581, is not the one.

Or, as Lt. Col. (res) Danny Krief put it, “Clearly, the Russians didn’t care which tank they handed over, and that’s what Netanyahu used for his gimmick.”


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.


‘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.


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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bibi-wants-president-shimon-to-squeeze-one-more-year/2014/02/19/

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