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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Shelly Yachimovich’

Netanyahu Tells Knesset He Wants ‘Broader Government,’ Herzog: Stop Zigzagging

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

During Monday’s special plenary session honoring the memory of Theodor Herzl, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) said, “I wonder what Herzl would have said had he seen the massive construction, the building of roads, the economic growth, the absorption of immigration, the scientific innovations and the fact that the state of the Jews discovered gas at sea and will extract it for the benefit of its citizens.”

“I met today with the French Prime Minister and stressed that [the Israeli] government wants peace,” Netanyahu also said, relating, “I told him that I seek to move forward in the diplomatic process on the basis of the outline of a demilitarized Palestinian state which recognizes the Jewish state. [But] the two principles of demilitarization and mutual recognition are not preconditions for the opening of negotiations. The process must be direct, bilateral and devoid of international dictates.”

“I am working with all my power to expand the coalition,” the PM told the Plenum, speaking as he did on the eve of signing a new deal with MK Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu to join his coalition government, expanding it from 61 to 67 members. “I said I would do so when we established the government, and I am continuing with these efforts to form a government that is as broad as possible. The door is open to anyone who wants to [join] for the good of the country. There is much to do and a lot to fix, but there is no justification for the complaining that is rampant in certain circles. Israel is a stable, advanced, innovative and democratic state, and this House is proof of that.”

Following the Prime Minister’s speech, opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp – Labor) addressed last week’s political storm in which many have depicted him as being used by Netanyahu for leverage to bring in Lieberman. “During the past couple of weeks I have stood upright against unprecedented attacks, against an incited crowd and against violent exclamations which I have never heard before,” Herzog complained, adding, realisticly, “It is possible that I have jeopardized my political seat, and have shaken it so much that it will be difficult to stabilize. But as opposed to other leaders – I did not join politics to pass the time. In an era where leaders change their minds according to the morning wind blowing on Facebook, I have chosen to stick to my words.”

Herzog’s poison arrow was shot unambiguously at MK Shelly Yachimovich, the former Labor chairwoman Herzog had unseated, whom he nicknamed “Princes of Facebook,” for her frequent—albeit effective and biting—posts.

“In the past couple of months, due to the terror wave and the futile feeling which characterizes the relationship with our neighbors, I have tried to evaluate the situation [based on the statements] of senior leaders from around the world and our region,” Herzog continued to make his case. “Some may seem familiar to you and some less, some are part of the senior leadership of the area and some are younger, whose names cannot be revealed yet. These leaders have a crucial influence over our fate, the fate of our families and children. I wanted with all my might to identify the glimpse of light in the darkness. I have reached the conclusion that we are facing a rare regional opportunity based on a group of Arab leaders who are moderate, young, powerful and lack the Israel complex that their predecessors have had, and who are willing to take action and lead a powerful and stirring process against our neighbors.”

“I have chosen to risk my internal political status and extend a hand to the rival political leader about whom I have said during the elections – ‘it’s either us or him’ – in order to recruit all possible national power and together change the present and the future of our children,” Herzog continued his gallant attempt to explain his abysmal failure in negotiating with his “rival political leader.”

“I know I have let down many of my supporters, my colleagues and friends and a broad public that did not believe Netanyahu in the first place, but I had decided anyhow to not let the opportunity slip away as it stands right in front of our eyes and depends upon Israel having a different, more moderate, government. That is the condition. I chose to give it a try,” Herzog stated.

“Sadly, at the end of the day, while choosing between being a leader that will be remembered in history as going against the flow, and a leader that goes with the flow into the ocean of forgetfulness, Netanyahu has made his choice,” Herzog lamented. “He has slammed the door on the European and American leaders and became a captive of the extremist political group which will lead him and us into a national disaster which we are already a part of, and some of us decide to live in the illusion that everything will be fine.”

In this context, Herzog did not explain how a 55% majority of the House can be considered “extremist” while the remaining 45% are the proverbial moderates. In effect, he described anyone on the right as extremist, while anyone on the left, including the Joint Arab List’s MKs Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka, and Basel Ghattas, who stood at attention in honor of Arab terrorists killed by Israel, are part of the moderate center.

“I am sorry Mr. Netanyahu that you have chosen to zigzag again,” said Herzog, whose zigzagging during the 2015 campaign included landing MK Tzipi Livni and five colleagues in top spots on his party’s candidates list, and changing the party name from the traditional—and honest—Labor to Zionist Camp, which includes renowned Zionist MK Zouheir Bahloul, who declared earlier this year that Arab attacks on IDF soldiers manning check posts are not acts of terror. “I am sorry that you are the one who slammed the door,” said Herzog, who had fled the negotiations when he finally realized Netanyahu had been double-dealing with Lieberman. “I am sorry that you have chosen to abandon the benefit of the State in favor of your narrow political interest. Your Twitter may remember you favorably, but history won’t.”

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein (Likud), who opened the House debate, said, “We have a serious problem with the culture of argument here; with the ability to listen, which has deteriorated [greatly]; with the lack of respect, the blatant contempt and the obscene language. Our ideological and cultural richness is a source of uniqueness and strength, but we all have a lot of work to do in order to narrow the artificial gaps between us which some make certain are nurtured, because, truthfully, we have more things in common than things that separate us.”

“A [government] is also judged by its ability to bridge the gaps between positions and converge in order to better serve the public,” Edelstein said, concluding, “Therefore, there was no other choice but to work towards expanding the coalition. The first step in this direction should be welcomed, and I hope additional Zionist parties will join. We must stand together, better and more united, in front of the great challenges facing us. This is an important message, internally, for the Israeli public, and also externally, for all those who are eagerly waiting to see our internal disintegration – God forbid.”

MK Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid faction, said “Herzl envisioned a state with equal rights for women at a time when such a notion was almost avant-garde. He wrote that every citizen will be obligated to give two years for military or civil service and that religious coercion would be forbidden. He spoke of the need for a clean country that would protect the environment. He wrote about a country where education is free for everyone, where there is a clear separation between the military and politics; a state that is technologically advanced. He believed that the Arabs of the land are entitled to equal rights.”

OK, that last part, about Herzl advocating for Palestinian rights is a bit of a stretch. As Ernst Pawel noted (The Labyrinth of Exile: A Life Of Theodor Herzl, Farrar, Straus, Giroux), “His attitude toward the indigenous population was one of benign indifference at best. He never questioned the popular view of colonialism as a mission of mercy that brought the blessings of civilization to stone-age savages… He fully believed that the Palestine Arabs would welcome the Jews with open arms; after all, they only stood to gain from the material and technological progress imported by the Jews.”

Some things never change.

JNi.Media

After Failed Maneuver, Deep Fractures Show in Israel’s Labor Party

Friday, May 20th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Israeli Labor party is showing signs of internal fracture on Thursday as several party members called on chairman Isaac Herzog to resign following a failed maneuver to join Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government the previous day – a move that ended with the appointment of right-wing Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Liberman as incoming defense minister.

Herzog’s public negotiations with Netanyahu drew the ire of many MKs – most notably of previous party leader MK Shelly Yachimovich – in the historically left-wing Labor party, which governed the country from its founding in 1948 until 1977.

“Now that Netanyahu and Liberman are shaking hands, does Herzog realize what he has done to his party and to our values?” wrote Yachimovich on her Facebook account. “Herzog is responsible for this embarrassing farce. With him the whole Zionist Union party has suffered a major blow,” she charged, referring to the joint list created by Labor and MK Tzipi Livni’s Hatnuah party.

A faction of Labor MKs galvanized by Yachimovich – including Stav Shaffir, Erel Margelit, and Mickey Rosenthal – called for Herzog to resign.

Herzog fired back in a press conference Wednesday night boasting of sweeping oral commitments he had received from Netanyahu – which Herzog rejected, he said, because Netanyahu refused to commit them to writing – and blasting Yachimovich for sabotaging him.

“She rudely and violently undermined [me], and was ready to sacrifice a bold, groundbreaking political maneuver backed by powerful international forces,” Herzog said, alluding to an international initiative to forge a regional peace as expressed in a Tuesday speech by Egyptian President Abdel Fateh al-Sisi.

Herzog blamed Yachimovich’s “extreme, radical leftist views” for pushing away public support from the party. “She will have signed on the bottom of Liberman’s appointment as defense minister and she is responsible for the consequences of his appointment.”

As the war of words threatens to escalate into a party schism – a popular Israeli satire show featured Yachimovich beheading Herzog ISIS-style on Thursday night – some voices in the Labor party and the Zionist Union attempted to ease the tensions by shifting criticism toward Netanyahu.

“History will not forgive Netanyahu for the damage he is doing to Israel, and our children will not forgive us if we engage now in personal matters and infighting,” wrote Zionist Union MK Tzipi Livni in a Facebook post. “This is exactly the time to go into battle together over the identity and future of Israel.”

“Our moral duty now, facing the insanity taking place, is to fight for our positions, not to flinch and not be victims and create for ourselves a strong and determined opposing camp.”

Labor MK Nachman Shai also defended Herzog and directed his criticism at the Israeli prime minister.

“Herzog is not a sucker,” said Shai. “He conducted responsible negotiations that led the prime minister to a series of concessions.”

Nonetheless, Shai also directed some criticism at the party chairman.

“Herzog made a mistake by attacking Shelly Yachimovich last night,” argued Shai. “He should have focused on attacking the bad government that we have here.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Labor Boss Herzog Interrogated with a Warning for 2nd Time

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

MK Yitzhak Herzog, chairman of the Zionist Camp (Labor) party and leader of the Knesset opposition, on Sunday was interrogated with a warning by the police anti-corruption unit Lahav 433 on suspicion of receiving illegal donations, failing to report donations and providing a false affidavit. The interrogation focuses on Herzog’s activity during the primaries for Labor Party Chairmanship in 2013, when he competed against incumbent chairman MK Shelly Yachimovich. The special police unit received the approval of Attorney Genral Avichai Mandelblit to pursue the interrogation.

Police want to know whether Herzog set up a parallel campaign center whose assignment was to find out and publish dirt on Yachimovich. Police suspect that Herzog funded that “dark headquarters” through copanies and business people whose interests he had served as minister of social services.

In May 1999 police investigated former prime minister Ehud Barak over alleged violations of the Party Funding Law, which later involved the interrogation with a warning of Herzog, who then served as cabinet secretary. In his interrogation Herzog maintained his right to keep silent. The prosecution eventually decided to close the case against Herzog, despite police objections. At the time Herzog was criticized severely for his conduct both during the campaign and in his interrogation by AG Elyakim Rubinstein (now Supreme Court Justice) and state prosecutor Edna Arbel (former Supreme Court Justice). But despite their rebuke, they let him get away with it.

Herzog’s office issued the statement: “Head of the opposition and chairman of the Zionist Camp MK Yitzhak Herzog arrived this morning to offer his version of events in response to a request from law enforcement officials. From the moment his investigation had been leaked, Herzog stressed and requested to be allowed to offer his version of events in order to leave the matter behind him, which he has done. Herzog has full confidence in the law enforcement officials and he is grateful for their dignified and decent conduct.”

MK Yachimovich said on Sunday that she is “convinced Herzog has the best interests of the party and the opposition on his mind.” She promised to “act in cooperation with him and with my colleagues in the party to decide what steps to take next. There is no doubt that an interrogation with a warning of the chairman of the party and the opposition makes the situation worse. I trust completely the police and law enforcement authorities.”

Last week Herzog referred to the possibility that he would be invited for an interrogation with a warning and said that the job of a leader is to “deal with crises, deal with criticism and also deal with libel.” Speaking at a ceremony of raising a glass in honor of the approaching Passover organized by MK Amir Peretz, Herzog added that “there are few leaders who have endured personal and political upheavals, absorbed nasty criticism, dealt bravely with a complex reality and still managed to carve out one of the most impressive success stories in military history ever — I believe Amir is familiar with all of the above up close.”

As defense minister, Amir Peretz endured a punishing war against Hezbollah in Lebanon and was ridiculed worldwide for looking through a pair of covered binoculars pretending to be seeing something. Eventually, though, he made his reputation as the man who dreamed up the concept of Iron Dome, the computerized defense system that allows Hamas to continue amassing and shooting rockets at Israeli civilian centers without Israel’s having to retaliate for it because few civilians are ever hurt.

Herzog told his party pals on that occasion: “You’ve followed me since I entered politics, you know my clean hands and honesty are the values in whose light I’ve walked and in which I believe. Since the announcement of the authorities’ looking into the party primaries became public knowledge, I’ve been telling all of you, publicly and personally, that this is part of the role of a leader: to also deal with libels that always rise up on the eve of elections. The job of the leader is to deal, lead and win. You elected me to lead this party and this camp towards governing and I intend to continue marching on this path, even if it is difficult and full of obstacles.”

David Israel

Senior Opposition Leader Attacks Netanyahu’s New Gas Deal

Thursday, August 13th, 2015

(JNi.media) Opposition Zionist Camp (Labor) MK Shelly Yachimovich on Thursday attacked economic ministers Kahlon and Deri, whom she said should have prevented the advancement of the Israeli government’s new offshore gas agreement with several energy companies, including Delek and Noble Energey.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz introduced the outline that was obtained Wednesday night with the gas companies over the sale of offshore gas to the Israeli market.

In an interview on Army Radio, Yachimovich said: “I say to both Finance Minister Kahlon and Economy Minister Deri — I’m disappointed in you. You have betrayed the public’s trust.”

She accused the two ministers of having earned their tickets into politics during the last election campaign on social and economic issues, and then reneging on their voters.

Yigal Landau, CEO of Ratio Energy that owns 15% of the Leviathan offshore field, said that if the outline is now rescinded by the legislator, there would be serious consequences for the Israeli market as a result.

“This does not mean that Noble Energy (of Houston, Texas) will walk away from such promising property,” Landau explained, adding: “The story is very simple — it would become impossible to raise and invest the necessary billions without which we will continue to ramble on, but the gas will stays at the bottom of the sea.”

According to the agreement reached, the base price per unit will be between $4.7 and $5.5, linked to the electricity production components’ costs. The outline will be brought to the cabinet for approval on Sunday.

“I thank this team for reaching an agreement that will earn the citizens of Israel hundreds of billions of shekels in the coming years,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said Thursday afternoon, adding, “This money will be used for health, education and welfare and therefore it will help us to lower the cost of living.”

Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said: “With the approval of the outline, we will start moving forward the development of Leviathan, Karish and Tannin, creating competition and dismantling the [energy] monopoly.”

“We have indeed added several changes to the outline in the areas of prices, milestones for the development of Leviathan and certain changes in the article dealing with [the project’s] stability,” Steinitz explained.

JNi.Media

Shelly Yachimovich at Cinema City

Thursday, January 15th, 2015

A few days ago Cinema City in Jerusalem got into a little bit of trouble with Amir Peretz, after he found out that they had “Caveman” statue next to the popcorn concession that bore a striking resemblance to the politician, probably due to the binoculars.

The statue was taken down and replaced with a new statue.

We suspect this politician might have a better sense of humor about it.

But if they have to take this one down, my money is that they’ll do Naftali Bennett next. He definitely has a good sense of humor about these things.

Photo of the Day

Pro-Labor Settler and Pro-Bennett Bedouin

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

There are Israeli voters making some surprising and rather unexpected choices for political candidates on Tuesday, January 22.

Yair Hizni, who grew up in a settler family in Hebron, is casting his vote for Shelly Yachimovich, the leader of Israel’s Labor Party. Hizni, a teacher who lived in the settlement community of Nokdim in Judea before recently moving to Jerusalem, spoke with Tazpit News Agency about his decision to support Yachimovich.

“It’s less about the political parties and more about who Shelley is for me,” said Hizni.

“I believe that Shelly speaks a language that people can respect – she is a very ethical and honest person,” Hizni told Tazpit News Agency.

“Shelly doesn’t take the typical left-wing stance on certain issues and has the ability to bridge between the different sectors of Israeli society and solve the problems of this country,” he said.

“Take for example, the settlers,” said Hizni. “Shelly is probably one of the few politicians on the left who doesn’t speak with hate against the settlers – as well as the ultra-Orthodox community in Israel – she is someone who wants to talk with these groups. She doesn’t speak with the hatred that has characterized many leftist politicians over the years against the settlers.”

In an interview with Ha’aretz last year, Yachimovich stated that seeing the settlers join Israel’s summer social justice protests made her “unequivocally” happy. “There is a new language, a unifying language, a uniting language,” she stated in the interview.

“But for me,” said Hizni, “Shelly’s stances on economic and domestic issues are just as important. The economy, the weaker sectors of our society – for example, the elderly, Holocaust survivors – also need to be addressed.”

In a country where politics is taken very seriously, Hizni says that his parents, who live in Hebron, found it difficult in the beginning to accept his more liberal perspective.

“In the beginning, they were shocked,” he said laughing. “Politics is very important to them. But now we talk freely about politics and I love the dialogue – even with their right-wing neighbors.”

Another Israeli citizen, Khaled Mazared of Beit Zarzir, in northern Israel, is also looking for an “honest” politician. Mazared is casting his vote for the religious Zionist party, Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home.

A Bedouin who served as Captain in the IDF’s Givati brigade, Mazared believes that Bennett’s “stand on Israel’s security and his commitment to the spirit of the IDF and values of the army and soldiers’ moral is critical.”

For Mazared, who is Muslim, the fact that Bennett is religious and wears a kippa makes him trustworthy. “In the army, I served with men like Bennett, who were religious and had values. I know their word is good, and, based on my army experience, I trust Bennett,” Marazed told Tazpit.

“Bennett speaks in a simple and real way. He says that whoever is loyal to the country deserves to be acknowledged for their service and to be addressed. As a Bedouin, politicians have always made us promises and in the end, they didn’t do anything,” Mazared said.

Bedouin citizens are a minority within the Arab minority in Israel, and make up three percent of Israel’s population. Considered to be semi-nomadic tribes, most Bedouins originally came from Hejaz, a region in the northern Arabian peninsula, and immigrated to Israel between the 14th and 18th century. Some also arrived in Israel from the Syrian desert. Today Israel’s Bedouin tribes are found in the southern, central and northern regions of the country, with a significant number, especially those from northern Israel, serving in the IDF and identifying with the Jewish state.

“Most of my community want to give Bennett a chance – he is new and it seems that he will be able to appreciate the Bedouin people and help us, especially with education, government employment and public transportation. My Bedouin community has always supported politicians like General Raful Eitan and Rehavam Ze’evi in the past, and Bennett seems to follow their path.”

“I hope that Bennett does well on Tuesday,” concluded Marazed. “ I’ve done everything I can to encourage other Bedouins to vote for him.”

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

Ben Ari’s Nightmare: Shas Will Crown Shelly Yachimovich

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

To understand just how realistic is the prediction that the January 22 elections will result in a Labor-led coalition, with Shelly Yachimovich as prime minister, you must become acquainted with a traumatic event in Israel’s political history, which has come to be known as HaTargil HaMasriach – the stinky maneuver.

It was the late Yitzhak Rabin who awarded the above maneuver its aromatic name. It described a 1990 attempt by Rabin’s eternal rival inside the Labor party, Shimon Peres, to create a narrow, leftist coalition partnership with the Haredi parties.

The trick almost succeeded, but was blocked finally, believe it or not, by the late Lubavitcher Rebbe. We’ll deal with that parsha further down in this report, but, for now, just keep in mind that when you ask the average Israeli who was old enough to follow the news back then about the stinky maneuver, he or she would cite three names: Shimon Peres, Haim Ramon, and Aryeh Deri.

Disturbingly, all three men are today in positions of power, although two of them, Ramon and Deri, have been convicted by criminal court—Deri for embezzling, Ramon for sex without consent—to manufacture yet another stinky maneuver, and this time the numbers are on their side.

Last week, MK Michael Ben Ari of Power for Israel took the podium at a conference of party activists to attack not his favorite target on the right—Bibi Netanyahu—or on the left—take your pick—but the Shas party. And more specifically, Aryeh Deri, a member of the leadership triumvirate who is considered to be the real power at the helm.

According to Ben Ari, in the current situation in Israel’s politics, with two distinct blocks vying for the voter’s chit, Aryeu Deri is perfectly capable of scrambling all of Bibi’s best laid plans for a right-leaning or even left-leaning coalition, and deliver Shas over to the leftist block.

“It’s no secret that Aryeh Deri is deep inside the left,” Ben Ari said. “His friends, led by Haim Ramon, are clearly leftists. The daily Yedioth Aharaonoth is pinning its hopes on him as the left’s great, last hope, while the leftist papers have turned him into their “etrog,” and have forgiven him his serious corruption convictions.”

Ben Ari added: We’ve already been to that scenario where Deri took votes from the right and handed them over to the left. Today this is an obvious thing, which he himself is not denying.”

In a statement to The Jewish Press, MK Ben Ari advised anyone planning to vote for Shas, “if they’re really looking to vote for someone who is loyal to the Torah, to vote for Power for Israel.”

“Unfortunately, the cowboy [Deri] is back on the range,” Ben Ari added, “and he hasn’t been concealing his intentions.”

Perhaps to allay his party voters’ fears regarding such a possibility, on Saturday’s “Meet the Press” on Channel 2, Deri called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to immediately invite him to negotiate the next coalition government. “Call me,” Deri invited Bibi, looking at the cameras, “I will come to your house and we’ll decide about [Shas] entering the government.”

In response, Likud-Beitenu came after Deri with both fists pounding: “The public should remember Deri’s association with the left during the Oslo Accords. Those who vote Shas may find it in a coalition with the Left.”

Deri seems to have forgotten the Likud’s partner, the largely Russian-born Israel Beitenu, led by former foreign minister Avigdor Liberman. Just days ago, Shas was forced by the Knesset elections committee to take down their commercial showing a blonde, goyish looking Russian bride, who under the chupah receives her Jewish conversion by fax. That slight will not make for warm ties between Liberman and Deri, even if the latter actually ends up inside Netanyahu’s government.

In response, Deri told Yedioth that “this is not appropriate. We’re hearing Likud accusations of having contacts with the left, while they are not willing to sit with us. Was it because Netanyahu himself is planning a center-left coalition? Instead of attacking us, let them declare whether or not they want to go with us or with the center-left.”

“Despite all the occupations with the health of [Rav Ovadia Yosef, who suffered a minor stroke], I am prepared to start talks even tonight,” Deri added, explaining that the chupah commercial was not intended as a slight against Russian immigrants: “Our commercial is light and satirical, and doesn’t utter a bad word against anyone.”

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/ben-aris-nightmare-scenario-how-shas-can-crown-shelly-yachimovich-israels-next-prime-minister/2013/01/13/

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