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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Shaul Mofaz’

Jewish Press Radio: The Scoop on the New Government

Monday, May 14th, 2012

The Scoop on the New Government

A new unity government was formed in Israel during the last week and in order to properly discuss the ins and outs of the new government and its foundation, the Jewish Press’ Yishai Fleisher is joined by Jeremy Man Saltan, an insider on the Israeli Knesset and host of the definitive English-language Knesset blog. Together, they discuss the situation that created the new government including a wide-reaching agreement between Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and leader of Kadima Shaul Mofaz to create an overwhelming coalition government. Specifics about the new government are discussed along with thoughts on how long it could last.

EU’s Ashton Briefs Netanyahu on Iran Talks, PM: ‘Iran Playing for Time’

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton that Iran must agree to halt all uranium enrichment in upcoming talks.

Ashton was in Jerusalem on Wednesday to brief Netanyahu in the run-up to the second round of nuclear talks with Iran scheduled for May 23 in Baghdad.

Netanyahu also accused Iran of “playing for time” by agreeing to continue to negotiate with the six world powers: the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain and Germany. The powers and Iran met last month in Turkey, where they agreed to the Baghdad meeting.

Netanyahu invited Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and new coalition member Kadima head Shaul Mofaz to join the meeting with Ashton, Ha’aretz reported.

Mofaz has spoken out in the past against a unilateral Israeli strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. The United States has called on Israel to hold off on attacking Iran and instead give sanctions time to take hold.

Shaul Mofaz and Jewish Settlements: He Knows Everything But Learns Nothing

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

It appears that Tuesday night’s big winner of the Kadima party primary vote, like the Royal house of Bourbon, has not forgotten anything and has not learned anything. On November 11, 2009, the Israel Policy Forum (a NY based American Jewish organization which has been criticized for being pro-Palestinian) hosted a conference call discussion with former Defense Minister and former IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz, in which he laid down his plan for a Permanent Palestinian State. If you or your loved ones reside in Judea and Samaria – be afraid, be very afraid.

Indeed, over the past few years, Mofaz has been visiting the parts of Judea and Samaria located within the security fence, to reassure residents that their future is safe. Ynet quotes him as saying, in late 2005: “I intend to operate on two issues: The first is to continue to promote the building of the fence in order to provide the citizens with maximum security, and the second is to strengthen settlement blocs, because I believe that the settlement blocs must be strong, together with the Jordan Valley.”

But anyone else, apparently, is fair game. On a visit to Ma’ale Adumim, days before the Kadima vote, Mofaz reiterated that he considered this settlement with its 39,000 residents, near Jerusalem, as “an integral part of Israel’s political agenda.” Meaning, this one gets to stay, others – not so.

The truth is that Shaul Mofaz, who may become Israel’s next prime minister, is as firm on uprooting thousands of Jewish families from Judea and Samaria as he was about doing the same to the Jews of the Gaza strip.

And it is clear that he acted in Gaza’s Gush Katif with the full expectation that once the settlements were cleared, a reign of terror and attacks on Israel were likely to follow.

Back in June, 2005, the Jerusalem Post’s David Horovitz reported that Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz was preparing to hand over to the Palestinian Authority written information on the location of settlements and on settlement infrastructure in Gush Katif, to keep the PA (which still ruled in Gaza) in the know and help coordinate with them the uprooting of the Jewish settlers.

Briefing reporters, Mofaz “took a swipe at former chief of General Staff Moshe Ya’alon,” whose term at the helm of the IDF was not renewed because Mofaz did not trust him to carry out the removal of Jews from their homes.

The week before that June briefing, Ya’alon had “warned of an upsurge in terrorism and ultimately war with the Palestinians in the aftermath of disengagement,” recorded Horovitz. Mofaz declared, without mentioning Ya’alon by name, that some people were inventing “radical scenarios about what will happen the day after,” when in reality, there were “lots of possibilities” and Israel had to be “ready to deal with any and all of them.”

But then, at the very same briefing, Mofaz warned that Hamas was growing stronger in Gaza, outpacing the PA, and that—as Horovitz put it—he “envisaged a possibility of Hamas becoming the dominant player there.”

With prophetic foresight, Mofaz said: “An alternative leadership is rising up under the noses of the PA.” He warned that Hamas had “a people’s army” which was bringing weapons in clandestine ways into Gaza. Indeed, all of Hamas’ soldiers were now armed and trained, unmolested by the PA’s security forces.

On a different occasion, during a tour of Gush Katif that summer, Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz told reporters that Ashkelon was within the range that needed extra protection from terrorist rockets.

But with all this prophetic insight, Mofaz still did not hesitate to move in on the Jews of Gush Katif and plant the seeds for the very scenario about which he was so worried. Deprived of a base within Gaza, the IDF was later forced to employ a great deal more power than would have been necessary to curtail rocket attacks on Israel — just as Mofaz had predicted.

A brilliant analyst he is — if only he listened to his own analysis.

There is no love lost between Shaul Mofaz and the settlement movement.

Two years after the annihilation of Jewish Gaza, in his capacity as Transportation Minister in the Kadima government led by PM Ehud Olmert, Mofaz was invited by the Gush Etzion municipality to participate in a ceremony naming the intersection at Efrat’s northern entrance after the convoys that brought aid to the Jews of Gush Etzion and Jerusalem, who were under Jordanian siege during the 1948-49 War of Independence.

Kadima Calls Faction Meeting Amid Rumors of a Split in the Party

Monday, March 19th, 2012

The Kadima Party has asked all its Knesset Members and assistants to attend a faction meeting scheduled for today at 3 PM. “With rumors of an impending split in the party next week no matter who wins, Opposition leader Tzipi Livni is looking to keep her ship together,” said a source in the Knesset.

Dalia Itzik, Kadima’s Faction Chairwoman and the last faction member yet to announce who she will support in the upcoming primary between Livni and Shaul Mofaz, has been linked to discussions with Mofaz’s campaign over the weekend. Last week, Kadima’s faction meeting was cancelled because of tensions between the two camps, but with Itzik expected to declare her support today at the faction meeting, Mofaz appears to be gaining in his challenge against the incumbent.

Itzik’s announcement of support for Mofaz would be a particularly stinging blow for Livni, as Itzik has reportedly been a longtime political confidante and friend of the Opposition leader.

Kadima Battle Begins; Lieberman Faces Inquiry

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The leaders of two of Israel’s largest political parties are fighting for their political lives, with one contending with challengers from within and the other facing a criminal indictment.

Kadima leader and opposition chairwoman Tzippi Livni announced that her party would hold primary elections two months from now, responding to pressure from party members dissatisfied with Kadima’s slipping position in recent opinion polls.

Two years ago, Livni led Kadima in general elections that gave the party the highest number of Knesset seats, but her inability to build a coalition allowed Likud to lead the government under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Since then, Livni and Kadima have gradually faded; in recent weeks, various polls have even forecasted a major decline for Kadima, with many of its voters preferring the party that new political entrant Yair Lapid intends to create.

In her announcement on Wednesday, Livni said that only she could lead Kadima to victory over Netanyahu and the Likud in the next general elections. She will face stiff competition, however, from former defense minister Shaul Mofaz, who narrowly lost a bid for the Kadima leadership last time. Mofaz welcomed the announcement of party primaries in March, declaring Livni’s tenure at the top of the party over.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Knesset’s third-largest party, Yisrael Beiteinu, faced a possible indictment on charges of fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and witness tampering. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein is overseeing hearings with prosecutors and defense lawyers as he weighs whether to indict Lieberman.

The accusations relate to alleged offenses dating from 2001 to 2008. Prosecutors say Lieberman set up straw companies to launder millions of shekels that he did not report to tax authorities.

Following the pre-indictment hearings, Weinstein could take several months to reach a decision. The decision would likely have significant political consequences, as Lieberman has said that he would step down as Foreign Minister and leave the Knesset if he is charged.

Livni Sets Kadima Primaries for March 27

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Kadima MK and Chairperson Tzipi Livni announced Wednesday that the party would hold primary elections on March 27, two days after the Knesset’s winter session ends.

Kadima MK Shaul Mofaz is expected to compete with Livni for leadership of the party, hoping to vindicate his narrow loss in the last primary vote. MKs Avi Dichter and Meir Sheetrit are also expected to enter the running for chairman.

Mofaz spoke of the primaries as a new beginning for Kadima: “She [Livni] is finished as head of the party . . . Today has begun the journey to replace Netanyahu. I am going to lead this journey.”

Saber Rattlers

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008


         The scent of approaching Kadima primaries has turned the heads of this party of corruption into saber-rattling hawks. Keen politicians sense the fact that the public has turned sharply right, so now they are trying to prove that they are the biggest bullies in the neighborhood. As we know, Israel’s politicians have few inhibitions and even less national responsibility if their personal careers are in jeopardy. The most preposterous and dangerous of them all is Shaul Mofaz. Within the space of a week, Mofaz has already bombed the Iranian nuclear installations and gone for an all-out war in Gaza. He is preposterous because it is difficult to imagine a feebler politician than Mofaz. He is dangerous because he used to be a military man, and somebody may actually take him seriously.

 

         It was Prime Minister Ariel Sharon who brought Mofaz into the Likud as soon as his military career ended. Sharon wanted a political puppet, and he made the perfect choice. Mofaz the military expert became the rubber stamp for all of Sharon’s dangerous misadventures. Never – not even once – did Mofaz compromise his government position by sticking to his security principles. Besides Sharon himself, Shaul Mofaz, the defense minister of the Expulsion, bears the greatest responsibility for the fact that Ashkelon is being hit with Grad missiles. He is the last person who should be pontificating on security issues in general – and on returning to Gaza in particular.

 

         It is hard to forget the good-faith letter that Mofaz sent to Likud members before the primaries two years ago. “I am a Likudnik with every bone in my body,” Mofaz wrote to the members. “I will never leave the party.” The only problem was that in the few days it took for the letters to arrive in the mail, polls showed that I had pulled ahead of Mofaz in the Likud primary race. When the Likudniks opened their letters, Shaul Mofaz was already on his way to Kadima.

 

         The letter would be no more than a pitiful memory if not for the fact that Mofaz is now playing with our lives. He is liable to push the IDF into an unwinnable war in Gaza just so that he could win the primary election in Kadima.

 

         If you have children in the army, you should ask yourselves if you are willing to endanger their lives just to increase Mofaz’s chances of winning the Kadima primary, or Ehud Barak’s chances of winning the Labor primary.

 

Dawn of Reality


 


           In stark contrast to the saber rattling politicians that we heard this week, Effi Eitam was a breath of fresh air. Eitam said that he opposed a military operation in Gaza. He reasoned that a corrupt prime minister does not have the ethical backbone and public support that he needs for such an undertaking. Eitam also explained that it is absurd to risk Israeli soldiers’ lives in Gaza just to hand the area over to Mahmoud Abbas when the fighting subsides.

 

         Eitam’s words are an important sign that the ability to criticize the government and to think independently is beginning to crack the thick orange shell of the religious Zionist establishment. If Eitam is willing to make that type of statement, it is clear that there are a lot of people in the Orange Camp who are at least as ambivalent as he is about the Gaza operation.

 

         It is important, though, to clarify our position. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s corruption is not the reason that he should not lead the IDF into Gaza. The reason that he does not have the public legitimacy to do so is due to his direct involvement in expelling the Jews from Gush Katif. The legitimacy of a decision to go to war is determined first and foremost by its goal. There are goals that are not legitimate, and Eitam mentioned one of them (capturing Gaza in order to give it to Abbas). But additionally, the legitimacy of a decision to go to war is determined by the record of the nation’s leader. A leader who took the IDF out of Gaza – despite all the warnings – does not have the moral standing to send our sons back there.

 

         To learn more about Moshe Feiglin and Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership), and their plan for Israel’s future – and to order Feiglin’s newest book, The War of Dreams - visit www.jewishisrael.org.


 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/saber-rattlers/2008/06/25/

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