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November 30, 2015 / 18 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Shas’

With Liberman Out , Bennett Toughens Position, But Who Will Blink First?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Following the resignation of Avigdor Liberman from the Foreign Ministry and his decision to bring the Yisrael Beytenu party into the opposition, the Bayit Yehudi held an emergency meeting on Monday evening to reconsider their strategy and Netanyahu’s offer/threat.

Kulanu, UTJ and Shas have already signed with the Likud to join the coalition. The only options left open to Netanyahu at this point to put together his coalition is with either Bayit Yehudi, Yesh Atid or the Zionist Camp, and he has only until this Wednesday to sign one of them, otherwise President Rivlin will offer a different party the opportunity.

UTJ will absolutely not sit with Yesh Atid, nor does Netanyahu want Lapid in his coalition.

The Zionist Union could be a possibility, but it would be a major betrayal of the Likud voters who don’t want them in the government, and most likely they would need to dump Tzipi Livni, whom Netanyahu also doesn’t want to see again in his government, if possible. The Zionist Camp has said they won’t sit in Netanyahu’s coalition.

So, the keys to the kingdom are in Bennett’s hands.

Bayit Yehudi is a natural partner, but the Bayit Yehudi party feels that Netanyahu is not giving them a fair deal, especially after quietly acquiescing to Netanyahu’s siphoning off their voters with his emergency appeals right before elections.

Bennett also claims that Netanyahu, before the elections, offered him the Defense Ministry, and then recanted the offer after the elections.

Bayit Yehudi was also offered to chair the Judicial committee, but it is unlikely that the Likud will allow them to make major reforms against the overly powerful Supreme Court, so that position may be less valuable than previously thought.

At the emergency meeting, Bayit Yehudi saw Liberman’s withdrawal as an opportunity to get the Foreign Ministry, which they have demanding since the elections were over. Bayit Yehudi is particularly miffed that Shas got full control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and will probably now roll back all the progress that Bayit Yehudi made in rectifying that troubled field.

With the keys in his hands, Bennett has the opportunity to demand corrections in the deal with Shas (unlikely as Shas will bolt), as well as to demand a more significant post or posts.

The question is, in this game of chicken, who will blink first?

Shas Signs with Likud, Bayit Yehudi Gets Offer

Monday, May 4th, 2015

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.

Avigdor Liberman Resigning from FM, Quitting Coalition, Heading to Opposition

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) dropped a political bombshell today, and apparently not as a negotiating tactic, when he announced he is quitting as Foreign Minister and his party will not be joining PM Netanyahu’s coalition.

Liberman, unhappy with the directions of the negotiations said his party will be sticking to its principles, and as a result, will be joining the opposition. He wants Hamas destroyed and construction in the settlements. He also wants to be Foreign Minister again, which Netanyahu doesn’t want.

Sources close to Netanyahu have said that the Likud will be keeping the Foreign Ministry.

Netanyahu has until Wednesday to form a coalition.

Even without the Yisrael Beytenu party, Netanyahu can still form a coalition of 61 with his remaining “natural” partners – Kulanu and the various religious parties. But Netanyahu has been unable to seal the deal as Shas and Bayit Yehudi are in an intractable fight over the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Yisrael Beytenu’s exit may be a blessing for Netanyahu, as it frees up some of Liberman’s ministries which Netanyahu can now offer to his remaining potential partners.

Liberman has claimed that Netanyahu wants to bring in the Zionist Camp (Labor) into the coalition.

Within the Zionist Camp, an open revolt has begun against Tzipi Livni, with Shelly Yechimovitch publicly proclaiming that she does not see Livni as the co-head of the party, after boycotting the Zionist Camp party meeting.

If it weren’t so late in the coalition negotiations game, this could have been the first shot in removing Livni from the party, and paving the way for Labor to enter the coalition, and forming a ‘National Unity’ government.

Yitzchak Herzog has denied he planned to join Netanyahu’s coalition at any point. Herzog believes that Netanyahu’s coalition will be “unstable” and “doomed to failure.”

Deri Plays Tough, Refuses to Share Religious Affairs Post with Bennett

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Shas’ demand to lock out Bennett from the religious court is forcing a last-minute coalition showdown.

Shas leader Aryeh Deri has refused to allow the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) the post as Deputy Religious Affairs Minister, leaving party chairman Naftali Bennett and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a last-minute showdown to form a coalition government.

Without Bennett, Netanyahu has only 61 Knesset Members unless he can come to terms with Yisrael Beiteinu Avigdor Lieberman. As it stands now, he has only the minimum needed for a new government, but that number is too fragile to keep a coalition from falling apart.

He has until 8 p.m. Wednesday to put up or shut up. Either he, Bennett and Shas come to terms or Reuven Rivlin asks someone else to form a government. The only other alternative is a national unity coalition, which by all accounts would last for perhaps a day, or a week or month, but not much longer.

The Religious Affairs Ministry is the stumbling block. Deri wants it to himself, lock stock and barrel, knowing that allowing a Tel Aviv Bayit Yehudi Knesset Member to be his deputy would mean slicing money from Hareidi institutions and compromising on religious issues that are the foundation of Shas.

Deri always has proven he can be bought for a price and knows how to make it an expensive one. He might compromise with Bennett if Netanyahu offers him another key Cabinet post, likely at the expense of a prospective Likud minister.

Actually, there is another alternative. It is called “elections.”


The ‘Almost’ Coalition: Bennett Education Minister and Lieberman FM

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

Formation of a new government is almost complete after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman Naftali smoked a peace pipe on Friday.

Bennett has backed down on his party taking over the post of Foreign Minister, which Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman will retain, or Defense Minister, where the Likud’s Moshe Ya’alon will continue to run.

Instead, Bennett will head the Education Ministry, a plum because of its budget allocations that include national religious institutions. He will give up the post as Minister of Economy, which Reshet Bet (Voice of Israel) radio said may be filled by Silvan Shalom of the Likud.

Bayit Yehudi will get two other posts. Uri Ariel will serve as Minister of Agriculture, which is important for Jordan Valley farmers as well as those in Judea and Samaria, and Ayelet Shaked reportedly will be Minister of Sport and Culture. Pensioners’ affairs and responsibility for national service, such as Sherut Leumi for girls and boys who prefer that option as an alternative to IDF service, probably will be attached to the ministry.

Shas is slated to head the Religious Affairs Ministry under a compromise with Bayit Yehudi, whose Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan probably will be deputy minister.

The last remaining puzzle in the coalition is the Yehadut HaTorah (UTJ) party, but with all the other pieces in place, Netanyahu should have no problem finalizing the coalition by the end of this week or shortly after, meeting the latest deadline granted by President Reuven Rivlin.

One other question is what ministry will be run by senior Likud MK Shalom, who was Minister for Development in the Galilee and Negev in the last government. The best bet is that he will replace Bennett as Minister of Economy.

The proposed coalition, for now, includes Sofa Landver continuing as Minister of Immigration, and Kulanu chairman Moshe Kachlon as Finance Minister. His party also is slated to head the Environment and Housing Ministries.

Yisrael Katz of the Likud will continue as Minister of Transportation, and Voice of Israel reported that Yuval Steinitz will be the new Minister for Public Security.

That will be good news for the public at large following a miserable defense of the police by outgoing Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich. Several senior police officers have been dismissed or are under investigation for sexual harassment.  Aharonovich also has been under constant criticism for ignoring police brutality.

The proposed coalition is a far cry from the previous government, which was doomed from the outset with the inclusion of Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid.

With all coalition partners more or less seeing eye to eye on most foreign and domestic policies, the next government has a chance of achieving a rare feat and staying in office until the end of its four-year term, sparing Israeli voters of another exasperating election until 2019

Shas MK Deri Calls Hareidi Assault on IDF Officer ‘Terror’

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and several Knesset Members expressed outrage on Friday after Hareidim attacked an IDF officer’s car when he ventured into the Jerusalem neighborhood to visit two of his soldiers.

One of them is a lone soldier, without family in Israel, and the other recently lost his grandfather.

The officer, who is from Kiryat Arba, escaped with bruises after the Hareidi attackers smashed the back window of his private vehicle, whose windows were reinforced against Arab rock-throwers on the highway between Kiryat Arba and Jerusalem.

“They had murder in their eyes,” the soldier told his mother, according to Yediot Acharonot. “They were just like terrorists in encountered in Gaza,” he added. The 21-year-old officer saw action in Gaza in the Protective Edge counter-terrorist operation against Hamas last summer.

A rising number of Hareidim who enlist in the IDF has made a minority of extremists even more violent in their opposite to anything that hints of Zionism.

They are subservient to their rabbis, who so far have not taught that there is no mitzvah in physically attacking a fellow Jew.

Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Hareidi Shas Sephardi party, called the attack “terror.” Yehadut HaTorah (UTJ) MK Yaakov Litzman said, “Attacking a soldier by extremists is a red line that must be condemned. Use of violence of any kind is sacrilegious.

UTJ Knesset Member Uri Maklev called the incident “terror” and charged that the extremist gang is headquartered in Beit Shemesh. He also accused the police of negligence by ignoring the gang.

He told Kikar Shabbat:

This is a gang of extremists who are more violent to other Hareidim than they are to the general public. It is the same group that once attacked [Hareidi] MK Moshe Gafni and the late Yosef Shalom Elyashiv. The police know the identity of some of their leaders but surrender and do nothing about it.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said after the attack, “This is an outrageous incident, and the lawbreakers who raised a hand against an IDF officer should be prosecuted. Military service is a source of pride. The IDF is the people’s army that protects us all. Population groups from all of Israeli society serve in it – that’s how it was and how it will continue to be.

Rivlin Gives Netanyahu Two More Weeks to Form New Government

Monday, April 20th, 2015

President Reuven Rivlin granted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two more weeks Monday morning to form a new government coalition after negotiations with different t parties have not produced a positive result.

Rivlin really had no other choice. He would like to see a national unity government with the Likud and the Zionist Union, the euphemism for the merged HaTnuah party headed by Tzipi Livni and Labor, chaired by Yitzchak Herzog.

Herzog and Livni do not want to be part of a Netanyahu-led government no more than he wants them on board.

The term “national unity” sounds terrific, but in this case it would be “national disunity” govern the deep ideological gap between the two parties.

Likud officials are to speak with the Hareidi Shas and Yehadut HaTorah parties today. Shas is the biggest obstacle for Netanyahu because of the threat by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) to ditch the coalition if Shas heads the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rivlin-gives-netanyahu-two-more-weeks-to-form-new-government/2015/04/20/

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