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September 5, 2015 / 21 Elul, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Sephardi’

Bombshell Video of Rav Ovadia Trashing Deri Spells Doom for Shas [video]

Monday, December 29th, 2014

A leaked video showing the late Rabbi Ovadia Yosef castigating Aryeh Deri, now the leader of the Shas party, has set off an earthquake in the Sephardi religious community, already split into at least three factions.

Among other epithets, Rav Ovadia, as he was affectionately known, called Deri “evil, “too independent,” and the rabbi said he cannot be a “traitor” to Eli Yishai, who succeeded Deri, Shas’ political leader after the 1999 elections. One year later, Deri was convicted for bribery and was sentenced to three years in jail.

Ever since Rav Ovadia, the founder and spiritual leader of Shas, died in October 2013, the party began to fall apart without his monolithic leadership.

Whatever Rav Ovadia said was gospel to hundreds of thousands of Sephardi Jews, even those not considerably religious.

No one is taking “credit” for leaking the video, which was shown on Channel 2, but the damage to Shas, Deri, the memory of Rav Ovadia, and Deri’s arch enemy Eli Yishai is immeasurable.

In the 76-second video of Rav Ovadia talking to family members and an aide in 2008, he said:

If we place [Deri] at the top of the [party] list, 20 to 40 percent will leave us. Why? Because he was judged as a thief. For what? So they should try me in court? Why take a bribe?

Aryeh won’t listen to me. He is too independent. He is not a bad person?…He can go to another party…. What do I care? …

I cannot be a traitor to Eli Yishai.

The video, seen below is complete with Hebrew sub-titles.

Yishai and his aides, of course, deny they leaked the video.

Deri and his camp, of course, accuse Yishai of leaking it and said it will cause a backlash against Yishai because voters will blame Yishai for leaking the video that (somehow) defames the memory Rav Ovadia.

Deri said after the video was aired on television:

 In these days when the public expects unity, the man who calls himself ‘faithful’ chose to release tapes in which he recorded [Rav Ovadia] in the darkness like the worst of the subversives, and exploited the trust placed in him. Yishai is trampling the honor of [Rav Ovadia] only for his petty personal interests….Even in his lifetime he betrayed the trust the rabbi placed in him.

It does not matter now who leaked the video. The damage is done and there is more on the way.

“The real black box is hidden and still is in the safe, and we hope we won’t have to bring it out because if they are published, they will cause an earthquake. Our aim is to retain the honor of Rav Ovadia,” said Rav Ovadia’s family

When the family heard that the video of Rav Ovadia trashing Deri had been exposed, they said, “We were in shock. We didn’t want this to be exposed… This video is tiny compared with the material we have.”

Will the black box be opened? And who will it make an earthquake for?

“Only is there is no choice,” the family said.

Either way, the once mighty Shas is puny.

It was doomed from the  start to becoming a comatose party like every other political party that evolves around one person and only one person.

Remember Shinui, the fiercely secular party headed by Tomy Lapid? It won 17 seats in 1977, split into factions and won only two seats in the next elections. It  came roaring back with 15 Knesset Members in 2003 and then died after splitting up again not several useless factions.

Ditto with Rafi Eitan’s Pensioners’ party, which won a stunning seven seas in the 2006 elections and then fell apart.

High Court to Rule If Raising Vote Limit to be MK Violates Human Rights

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

The Supreme Court is hearing Sunday morning an appeal from representatives of Arab parties who argue that the Knesset law raising the limit of the number of votes needed for a party to elect Knesset Members violates human rights.

The Basic Law on Human Rights gives the court power to overthrow Knesset laws it thinks don’t meet its standards of equality, which are totally subjective.

The Knesset this year raised the “threshold” from 2 percent to 3.25 percent for a party to be represented in the Knesset.

The law was sponsored by Yisrael Beitenu and hoped to do away with a lot of little parties vying to be in the coalition. The higher limit theoretically discourages tiny parties from running but it also could mean that the Arab parties, unless they unite, will not win enough votes to return to the Knesset.

In the 2013 elections, 32 parties ran, of which, 20 did not win enough votes to enter the Knesset.

Among them were Moreshet Avot, which won a grand total of 461 votes, the Pirate party, with 2,076 votes, the Greens and Youth, which garnered 8,117 votes, and the Green Leaf pro-marijuana party, with 43,734 votes but still only a little more than half the number needed for representation.

All told, approximately 240,000 votes., worth three Knesset seats, went to losers.

There are two Arab parties in the outgoing Knesset, one with four MKs and the other with three MKs. An Arab-Jewish party – Hadash – has three MKs.

Lawyers for the Arab parties argued that the higher limit violates their human rights and equality.

They didn’t mention it, but it also increases the extortion capabilities of the mid-sized parties that become far more important for their electoral size.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein approved the law and told the court that it was not aimed at the Arab parties but was designed to make the elections and the government more manageable.

If the court overturns the law, it would make it easier for a third Sephardi party to enter the race and would increase the chances that the right-wing Otzma, headed by Michael Ben-Ari, will win Knesset representation.

If so, its seats would come at the expense of the Jewish Home party, making it harder for Binyamin Netanyahu to form a coalition if the Likud wins the election. Otzma is not likely to join a government that talks about “two states” and does not make it clear that all of Judea and Samaria is part of Israel.

Haredi and Hard-Core Right-Wingers May Help Elect the Left

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

A new poll on Friday showing the possible demise of Shas should make Sephardi Rabbi Chaim Amsalem and right-wing Otzma leader Michael Ben-Ari think twice about running the elections, but their egos probably will seal their ears.

If each of them insists on running in their own independent parties, they are unlikely to win the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset and will waste tens of thousands of votes that otherwise would go to the Jewish Home and the other two Sephardi parties.

That means the other parties, particular those on the center-left, get a bigger slice of the pie and could end up with enough votes to form a coalition government, thanks to those who are dead-set against it.

It will be tougher for a party to enter the Knesset this year because the new threshold has been upped to 3.25 percent of the vote, meaning that a party needs approximately 125,000 votes to win representation.

In the last election, the threshold was only 2 percent, but Otzma still missed being elected.

Ben-Ari is known to support the Lehava anti-assimilation group, whose leader Bentzi Gupstein and nearly a dozen others were arrested this month.

Ben-Ari is a true ideologue. He compares Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog, both of whom are left-wingers in his opinion. He calls himself the real “right wing,” a label Likud Knesset Member Danny Danon claims for himself in his campaign to defeat Netanyahu as party chairman in elections next week.

As for taking votes away from the Jewish Home (Bayit Yehudi) party and ending up with zero seats in the Knesset, Ben-Ari apparently has no answer. When asked by Channel 20, “Aren’t you afraid of wasting right-wing votes?” he simply blamed Yisrael Beitenu for raising the threshold, as if blaming someone else for the likely result justifies his being the reason.

Ben-Ari’s anger at right-wing politicians who compromise in order to stay in power is absolutely correct but also proves why he should not be in politics. There is an old expression, “Would you rather be right or be president?”

In his case, he would rather be right, in both senses of the word, a position that could help Herzog and his sidekick Tzipi Livni become the rotating prime ministers.

Rabbi Amsalem’s Am Shalem party, like Otzma, failed to enter the Knesset in the last elections, and he is not likely to fare better this time around.

That did not stop him from meeting with supporters this week to discuss tossing his kippa into the political ring again and splitting up the Sephardi religious vote that already is divided between Shas, headed by Aryeh Deri, and Eli Yishai’s new party.

And now for today’s poll released by Panels, rated as one of the most accurate election campaign polls.

Shas would not win enough votes to enter the Knesset, and Yishai would win only four, which is marginal, compared with nine Shas MKs in the Knesset that disbanded this month.

That means votes for Shas are wasted.

The poll was taken before Ben-Ari announced his intentions to run and it gave the Jewish Home a very impressive 18 seats in the Knesset.

The Otzma party could easily cut that down to 16.

Here is the lineup if elections were held today, according to Panels:

Labor-Livni – 24;

Likud – 24;

Jewish Home -18;

Arab parties – 13;

Lapid (Yesh Atid) – 11;

Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) – 7;

Yehadut HaTorah (Ashkenaz Haredi) – 7;

Meretz – 6;

Yisrael Beitenu – 6;

Eli Yishai – 4.

If Amsalem enters the race, he could take away enough seats away from Yishai to leave the three religious Sephardic parties with zero.

Shas Politicians Fight It Out to Destroy the Party

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

Shas Haredi Sephardi party leader and ex-con Aryeh Deri has demanded that former party chairman Eli Yishai deposit a resignation letter just in case he decides to work against the party, the Haredi Kikar Shabbat website reported Thursday morning.

Yishai met with a rabbi from the “Council of Torah Sages” and was presented with Deri’s letter of conditions for unity between him and Deri.

Yishai saw the condition for the letter and refused, setting the groundwork for Deri and Yishai to call off their “unity peace talks” that were scheduled this morning.

“Why does Deri think that Yishai has to submit this kind of letter,” an aide to Yishai told Kikar Shabbat. “Yishai doesn’t believe Deri and is sure he will use the letter to chase him out of the party. Deri tells the media he will be number two [on the party election list], but the public knows that Deri is making conditions he cannot accept and wants to make Yishai leave the party in a move that will appear, in principle as if he does not want unity.”

A spokesman for Deri did not deny the report of conditions.

A poll published on Wednesday shows that Yishai as Shas party chairman would attract enough voters to elect nine Knesset Members, two more than with Deri as leader.

The Shas party lost its founder and spiritual leader, former Chief Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, last year. Ever since, Deri and Yishai have been at each other’s throats, the way politicians act out of “good for the country.”

The Deri-Yishai feud could split up the party into two factions.

That could leave Netanyahu, or Herzog-Livni, playing Deri and Yishai off each other to bait them into a coalition.

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Hospitalized Again

Monday, September 2nd, 2013

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, former Chief Sephardic Rabbi and the spiritual leader of the Shas Sephardi party, is in the Intensive Care Unit of Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital, where he is being treated for an infection.

He is conscious but is breathing with the help of a respirator.

“Rav Ovadia,” as he is popularly known, had been in the hospital on Sunday for tests, was released but later was rushed back after not feeling well.

He has been in and out of the hospital several times this year.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rabbi-ovadia-yosef-hospitalized-again/2013/09/02/

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