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April 25, 2015 / 6 Iyar, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Tzipi Livni’

Kachlon Offered Prime Minister Rotation Deal – By Buji Herzog

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

Yitzchak “Buji” Herzog is starting to look like a one-trick pony.

Senior members of the Zionist Union claim that party leader Yitzchak Herzog offered Kulanu chief Moshe Kachlon, who holds the key to forming any coalition a deal, a deal he can’t refuse, according to a Maariv report.

They claim that besides offering Kachlon a senior ministerial positions in the government, like Netanyahu did, Herzog upped the ante and also offered to share the Prime Minister’s seat with Kachlon, in a rotation agreement.

The party members didn’t say if they would be ruling on alternate days, or would it be one week on and one week off, and how exactly it would all that fit into Tzipi Livni’s rotation schedule with Herzog (depending on the hour, if that rotation deal is on or off), and would this just turn into some sort of convoluted 3-way relationship.

Herzog is making offers to all the parties that might sit in Netanyahu’s coalition that he thinks could be bought off, in hope of becoming a partial prime minister.

One does wonder how many Prime Ministers Herzog envisions sitting in that chair at the same time.

His rotation schedule could look like this:
Sunday: Herzog (Labor)
Monday: Kachlon (Kulanu)
Tuesday: Gal-on (Meretz)
Wednesday: Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu)
Thursday: Odeh (Arab List)
Friday: Livni (HaTnua)
Saturday: Lapid (Yesh Atid)

PM Netanyahu’s Prayer of Thanks at Western Wall for Historic Victory

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took his family and went straight to the Western Wall in his first post-election public appearance Wednesday to say a prayer of thanks for the resounding victory of his Likud party.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara go to the Western Wall following an historic fourth landslide win at the polls.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara go to the Western Wall following an historic fourth landslide win at the polls.

The Likud garnered 30 mandates out of 120 seats in the Knesset; Netanyahu’s closest rival, Isaac Herzog, won 24 mandates with his Zionist Union coalition merger with Tzipi Livni.

Netanyahu is the first Israeli prime minister since David Ben Gurion to be re-elected for a fourth term. He also is well aware of who is really in charge: Netanyahu also made sure to head for the Western Wall just prior to leaving for the United States to deliver his historic address to the U.S. Congress in Washington DC — the only head of state ever to address America’s legislators three times, other than Winston Churchill.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prepares to place a note in the Western Wall.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu prepares to place a note in the Western Wall.

Netanyahu told media who were present for his post-electoral visit to the Western Wall on Wednesday that he was moved by the responsibility that he felt was placed upon his shoulders.

“Here in this place I am awed by the historical significance of a people renewing itself in its homeland after 4,000 years. I am moved by the weight of responsibility that the people of Israel have placed upon my shoulders and appreciate the decision of Israeli citizens to choose me and my colleagues against all odds.

“I would like to say that I will do everything in my power to care of the welfare and security of all Israeli citizens,” he added.

Netanyahu was accompanied to the Wall by his wife Sarah.

Last night (March 17) during his victory speech at Likud campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv, Netanyahu said, “Reality is not waiting for us. The citizens of Israel expect us to quickly put together a leadership that will work for them regarding security, economy and society as we committed to do – and we will do so.”

The Likud said in a separate statement that it is talking with the Bayit Yehudi party led by Naftali Bennett, as well as with Kulanu, the party led by former Likud member Moshe Kahlon, and the hareidi-religious parties.

The prime minister was clear during the campaign in stating his belief that recent history shows it is no longer in Israel’s best interests to support the establishment of an independent Palestinian Authority state. Netanyahu is therefore intent on building a right-wing government coalition that holds similar views.

Understand Israeli Elections – Here’s a Primer, Part 1

Friday, March 13th, 2015

The Israeli political system is radically different from the one in the United States. The most obvious differences are that Israel is a parliamentary system with more than 20 potential parties in the mix, unlike just the two standard American parties, the Democrats and the Republicans.

This year 26 parties are vying for positions in the upcoming vote, 11 of which are likely to pass the threshold requirement for becoming part of the next Knesset.

The first step of this year’s Israeli election to determine who makes it into the Knesset at all, then which parties will form the governing coalition, and finally, who will be the prime minister of the state of Israel, takes place next Tuesday, March 17.

The date was set by a formal meeting in early December, of all the then-current Knesset party leaders. Those leaders chose the date for the election to take place in just four months. While four months is a dramatically short campaign period by American standards, Israeli law permits only five months to elapse between the dissolution of one Knesset and the election for the next.

Election day is a big deal in Israel. Virtually everything, except the polling places, is closed. Free transportation is provided for any voter who needs it to reach their regular polling place.

On March 17,  all eligible voters – every Israeli citizen over 18 years of age – can vote. That includes Arabs, Muslims, Christians and Jews, men and women, able-bodied and those with disabilities. There is no voter registration system; every citizen is automatically registered once they turn 18. Nearly six million Israelis are eligible to vote in this year’s election.

MARCH 17: THE BALLOT BOX

Eligible Israeli voters go to polling places in their neighborhoods. There are more than 10,000 polling places throughout this tiny country. Most open at 7:00 a.m. and remain open until 10:00 p.m.

Turnout for Israeli elections has been declining for years, but it’s still well over 60 percent. In the U.S., turnout has been in the low-to mid 50 percent zone since the early 1970’s.

Before entering the voting booth, each voter is handed an envelope. Inside the booth is a tray, with different strips of paper. Each strip of paper includes the name and symbol of a party. The voter chooses the slip of paper which has the name and symbol of the party for whom they wish to vote, and puts that piece of paper in the envelope they were handed. After leaving the booth the voter places the envelope with their chosen party slip into the ballot box.

Israeli voters choose parties, not individual candidates, which, among other things, means their national representation is ideological, not geographic, and the vote is proportional, meaning the 120 Knesset seats are divvied up in proportion to each party’s percentage of the total vote. There is a minimum threshold for a party to meet before it can sit in the Knesset. That minimum is currently set at 3.25 percent of the total votes cast, which translates into four seats.

PHASE TWO: HORSE TRADING

Once the polling places close and the ballots are counted, the second phase of the Israeli election begins, the one frequently described as “horse trading.” In order to have the right to form a government and choose the prime minister, a group of parties needs to be able to control a majority of the Israeli Knesset, the single chamber Israeli legislature. The Knesset has 120 seats.

With so many parties competing, no single one has ever attained that magic number of 61 seats, and it is even likely that three or more parties need to agree to work together to form the ruling coalition. Therefore, parties which have been thrashing each other in public now start eying each other as potential dance partners, trying to figure out with whom they can create a functioning coalition to run the government.

This coalition building phase is a little bit like when, after a brutal primary in the U.S., the second place vote getter and the winner frequently kiss, make up, and agree to live with each other as their party’s candidate for president and vice president during the general election. But several different parties and lots of individual members of those parties are all added into the Israeli decision making mix. It isn’t easy.

But first let’s back up. How were the individuals on each party’s list chosen?

     PARTY LISTS

As soon as the Knesset is dissolved, either because it reached its four year expiration date, or because it is dispersed for some other reason (such as happened in the current case, when Prime Minister Netanyahu asked the Knesset to disperse and the Knesset unanimously agreed, on Dec. 8), the parties begin internal negotiations to determine who will be on their official “list,” and in what order. The higher up on the list one is, the greater the likelihood of actually making it into the Knesset.

There are various systems for determining who are included, and where they are placed, on each party’s list, including voting by the party leadership. Additional factors are taken into consideration, such as whether enough women are included, whether there are security experts represented, whether certain ethnic minorities will be included.

     PRIME MINISTER SELECTION

How does one of the party members then become the prime minister? Israel’s president, currently former Knesset member Ruby Rivlin, selects the member of Knesset believed to have the best chance of forming a viable coalition government, given the election results. This can take some time until the parties are able to align so that they can govern together.

Some of the horse trading here involves party leaders with high numbers demanding significant ministry positions in exchange for pledging their party’s support. Compare this to the ability of the U.S. president, once elected, then deciding who will become the various cabinet members.

This phase is incredibly complicated. For example, right now at least five different parties will be needed to join together to create a ruling coalition. And it is not as if just the top five vote-getting parties will join together, because of differences in ideology.

For example, the tiny far left Meretz party, which currently is polling at five seats, thought it would be able to create a power bloc by pairing up with the Joint Arab List. The Arab group dashed those hopes, claiming they would not join with “Zionists.”

Another complicating factor is that certain parties have claimed they will not join in a coalition with Netanyahu, and the Likud has ruled out creating a coalition with other parties, including the current frontrunner, the so-called “Zionist Union.” That party is a joining together of the center-left Labor party and Tzipi Livni and her entourage. Livni has changed parties so many times in the past few years most people just refer to this new party as Labor-Livni.

Once finally selected, the prime minister announces the formation of a new Knesset and the offices each minister will hold.

January 29 was the deadline for all parties to submit their lists of candidates. As of that date, the following parties had the following members in the following order (the parties are listed in terms of their most recent polling status):

ZIONIST UNION (1) Isaac Herzog (2) Tzipi Livni (3) Shelly Yachimovich (4) Stav Shaffir (5) Itzik Shmuly (6) Omer Bar-Lev (7) Hilik Bar (8) Amir Peretz (9) Merav Michaeli (10) Eitan Cabel (11) Manuel Trajtenberg (12) Erel Margalit (13) Mickey Rosenthal (14) Revital Swid (15) Danny Atar (16) Yoel Hassan (17) Zuhair Bahloul (18) Eitan Broshi (19) Michal Biran (20) Nachman Shai (21) Ksenia Svetlova (22) Ayelet Nahmias Verbin (23) Yossi Yona (24)Eyal Ben-Reuven (25) Yael Cohen-Paran. The left-center Zionist Union was forged by combining Labor and Tzipi Livni and her followers, has very recently been polling at between 20 and 24 seats.

LIKUD: (1) Benjamin Netanyahu (2) Gilad Erdan (3) Yuli Edelstein (4) Yisrael Katz (5) Miri Regev (6)Silvan Shalom (7) Moshe Ya’alon (8) Ze-ev Elkin (9) Danny Danon (10) Yariv Levin (11) Benny Begin (12) Tzachi Hanegbi (13) Yuval Steinitz (14) Gila Gamliel (15) Ophir Akunis (16) David Bitan (17) Haim Katz (18) Jackie Levy (19) Yoav Kish (20) Tzipi Hotovely (21) Dudu Amsalem (22) Miki Zohar (23) Dr. Anat Berko (24) Ayoob Kara (25) Nava Boker. Likud has been polling at between 26 and 20 seats, most recently declining.

YESH ATID (1) Yair Lapid (2) Shai Piron (3) Yael German (4) Meir Cohen (5) Yaakov Peri (6) Ofer Shelah (7) Haim Yalin (8) Karine Elharrar (9) Yoel Razvozov (10) Alize Lavie (11) Mickey Levy (12) Elazar Stern (13) Pnina Tamano-Shata (14) Boaz Toporovsky (15) Ruth Calderon. Yesh Atid focuses on social and economic issues and was brand new for the last elections. Yesh Atid has been polling at around 10 – 13 seats.

JOINT ARAB LIST (1) Aiman Uda (Hadash) (2) Masud Ganaim (Islamic Movement (3) Ahmad Tibi (UAL-Ta’al) (4) Aida Touma-Sliman (Hadash (6) Abd al-Hakim Hajj Yahya (Islamic Movement) (7) Haneen Zoabi (Balad) (8) Dov Khenin (Hadash) (9) Taleb Abu Arar (Islamic Movement). The Joint Arab party has been polling between 11 and 13 seats.

BAYIT YEHUDI (1) Naftali Bennett (2) Uri Ariel (3) Ayelet Shaked (4) Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan(5) Nissan Slomiansky (6) Yinan Magal (7) Moti Yogev (8) Bezalel Smotrich (9) Shuli Mualem (10) Avi Wortzman (11) Nir Orbach (12) rabbi Avi Rontzki (13) Orit Struck (14) Anat Roth (15) Ronen Shoval. Bayit Yehudi, the religious Zionist party, has recently been polling between 10 and 14 seats.

KULANU (1) Moshe Kahlon (2) Yoav Galant (3) Eli Alalouf (4) Michael Oren (5) Rachel Azaria (6)Tali Ploskov (7) Dr. Yifat Shasha-Biton (8) Eli Cohen (9) Roy Folkman (10)Merav Ben-Ari. Kulanu is a brand new party created by its number one on the list. Kahlon is understood to have destroyed the cell phone monopoly in Israel. Kahlon has not ruled out joining with Likud or Zionist Union. His determination to be the next finance minister is well-known. Kulanu has been polling around 8 – 10 seats.

SHAS (1) Aryeh Deri (2) Yitzhak Cohen (3) Meshulam Nahari (4) Yakov Margi (5) David Azoulay (6) Yoav Ben-Tzur (7) Yitzhak Vaknin (8) Avraham Michaeli. Shas (the Sephardi Haredi party which has experienced severe upheaval since its leader, Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef’s death in Oct. 2013) has been polling pretty consistently at 7 seats.

UNITED TORAH JUDAISM (1) Yaakov Litzman (2) Moshe Gafni (3) Meir Porush (4) Uri Maklev (5)Menachem Eliezer Moses (6) Israel Eichler (7) Yaakov Asher (8) Eliezer Sorotzkin. UTJ, the Ashkenazi charedi party, has recently been polling between 6 and 7 seats.

YISRAEL BEITEINU (1) Avigdor Lieberman (2) Orly Levy-Abekasis (3) Sofa Landver (4) Ilan Shohat (5) Sharon Gal (6) Hamad Amar (7) Robert Ilatov. Yisrael Beiteinu is identified with the Russian immigrants and is considered right wing, although it does not believe in annexing Judea and Samaria. It has been polling at 5 seats for quite some time.

MERETZ (1) Zehava Gal-on (2) Ilan Gilon (3) Issawi Frej (4) Michal Rozin (5) Tamar Zandberg (6) Mossi Raz (7) Gaby Lasky. Meretz, which is left on social and Arab-Israeli issues, has been polling pretty consistently at around 5 seats.

YACHAD (1) Eli Yishai (2) Yoni Chetboun (3) Michael Ayash (4) Baruch Marzel (5) Sasson Trebelsi. Yachad, only recently created as a split off from Shas, has been polling between 4 – 6 seats.

Other parties which are not expected to reach the threshold number of votes include the Green Party, the Green Leaf (legalize marijuana) Party, Rent with Honor Party, the Economics Party, a Charedi Women’s Party (called Ubezchutan) and even something called the Pirate Party. Gotta love Israelis.

JewishPress.com will post another primer once the elections reach the second phase: assembling the ruling coalition.

US and Herzog Try to Reincarnate the ‘Peace Process’

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept and Yitzchak Herzog, who wants to be rotating Prime Minister with Tzipi Livni, are on the same page when it comes to the never-never world of the Peace Process.

It has not existed for several years. Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has ditched it, but there still are two voices who have not heard the news.

Let’s begin with Herzog, the co-leader of so-called “Zionist Union” party, while Livni has more or less gone into hiding during the campaign in order not to scare voters away from the left.

She failed to form a government when she beat Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by one seat in the elections five years ago, and her only accomplishment since then has been to throw spit balls at Netanyahu at every opportunity.

Herzog is the visible opponent of Netanyahu, and he told Kol Yisrael (Voice of Israel) radio in a softball interview Tuesday that he, and only he, can resume negotiations with the Palestinian Authority.

Yes, he really said “negotiations” with the Palestinian Authority, which has stated that the only issue to be negotiated is who will be the village idiot who signs on the dotted line to surrender half of Jerusalem and all of Judea and Samaria, accept millions of foreign Arabs as new immigrants and live in peace and quiet forever with Hamas and Fatah on the borders of what is left of  Israel

And how can Herzog pull off this trick of bringing Abbas back from the United Nations and to the “negotiating” table when Israelis are under attacks from his citizen-terrorists every day.

Here’s how:

We are the only ones who can stop the tsunami against Israel, defend the IDF and force the Palestinians to face an international coalition to return to the process.

The entire anti-Israel international community will be so happy to see Netanyahu out of office that it will tell Abbas he has to start negotiating? No, the entire anti-Netanyahu international community will be so happy to see Netanyahu out of office that it will tell Herzog and Livni to sign, in whatever color ink they choose.

The Kol Yisrael interviewer didn’t dare ask Herzog Prime Minister Netanyahu honest questions, such as what about Hamas, and what about Jerusalem, and what about refugees, and what about “settlement blocs” that Herzog says he would keep as part of Israel?

And what about nearly 300,000 Jews living in Jerusalem neighborhoods such as Ramot, French Hill, Gilo, Talpiot and Pisgat Ze’ev?

And what land would he “trade” to the Palestinian Authority in return for keeping Jerusalem united? And how many Arabs with Israeli citizenship would agree to give up their freedom to vote for anti-Zionist MKs and join a Palestinian Authority where criticizing Abbas is an invitation to arrest, after a good beating?

Herzog may be counting on the United States to answer these questions.

Jen Psaki, State Dept. spokeswoman, told reporters at Monday’s press briefing after being remanded that Netanyahu that a Palestinian Authority country would open the door for the Islamic State (ISIS):

I would say that – just to reiterate, of course, our commitment to achieving an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through a two-state negotiated solution remains strong. We count on having Israeli and Palestinian partners who are also committed to that goal.

And since Netanyahu said this week that the “two-state solution” is irrelevant, Psaki is saying that she is counting on Herzog and Livni to win the election.

And Herzog is counting on Psaki to support him.

New Poll Gives Herzog-Livni 3-Seat Lead but no Coalition

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

The Likud party lost two Knesset seats and now would win only 21, compared with 24 for the Herzog-Livni “Zionist Camp,” according to a new poll published Wednesday and carried out by the highly reliable Panel Politics for the Knesset Channel.

Yesh Atid, led by Yair Lapid, jumped up to 13 seats, along with the new United Arab List, and Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) is in neutral with 12 projected Knesset Members.

It is not clear where Lapid’s two seats went unless there are supporters of Netanyahu who would drift to Lapid. The other parties are holding steady, with Kulanu, headed by Moshe Kahlon, at eight seats, Shas and Yehadut HaTorah at seven seats each, Meretz with six, Yisrael Beiteinu with five and Yachad squeaking by with the minimum four mandates.

Lapid has said he will not sit in a coalition with Shas. Yisrael Beiteinu will not sit in a leftist coalition. That leaves Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, who would be rotating prime ministers if they form the next government, with Meretz, Yesh Atid, and Kulanu as potential partners. Even if YeHadut HaTorah were to join and Lapid would not go ballistic, Herzog and Livni would have only 58 seats, three less than a majority.

The Arab List is not going to join, and if it did, Kulanu and YeHadut HaTorah would drop out. The best it can for Herzog and Livni is give it a security blanket on critical votes, but that would last for perhaps a day, maybe even two days.

Netanyahu can count on the Haredi parties, Yisrael Beiteinu, Kulanu, Bayit Yehudi and Yachad for a total of 64.

The big question mark is whether Yachad can win enough votes to enter the Knesset. If not, its ballots will go in the trash and larger parties would gain.

Another unknown factor is yesterday’s speech in Congress by Netanyahu, who is likely to gain one or two seats in the next poll.

Elections are on Wednesday in two weeks.

Report on Housing Crisis to be Released Wednesday Night

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

The State Comptroller and Ombudsman will release his report on the housing crisis at 6 p.m. (11 a.m. EST) Wednesday night.

The report will cover the Olmert and Netanyahu administrations, letting Tzipi Livni and Yitzchak Herzog off the hook. They were Ministers of Housing in the Sharon government.

The Likud party is concerned that the report will blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for the constantly increase in the price of housing.

The Herzog-Livni “Zionist Camp” also is anxious to read the report, which they hope will boost their popularity in the pre-election polls that so far show Netanyahu as the only one who would be able to form a government coalition.

Israel’s anti-Netanyahu media, which include all of the largest networks and newspapers, already have published speculation that Netanyahu will be blamed. If the report is less dramatic than expected, it will be a major blow for Herzog-Livni, and the media will have to find some other way to undermine Likud’s popularity.

Likud and Bujie-Livni Use Stabbing Attack to Stab Each Other

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

The Likud and the Herzog-Livni “Zionist Camp” parties attached each other for being soft on security only hours after a Palestinian Authority Arab stabbed a Haredi man in his stomach near City Hall in Jerusalem.

Mayor Nir Barkat was at the scene and helped tackled the attacker, whose victim suffered moderate wounds in his stomach.

The terrorist attack and Barkat’s action did not interest the two major parties in the election. Instead, they continued to stab each other below the belt with personal insults, continuing a campaign absent of reason and logic.

The Likud started the verbal free-for-all by suggesting that the terrorist attack was a result of Tzipi Livni’s remarks that dividing Jerusalem is an option.

The Likud’s statement declared:

If Tzipi and Bujie [Yitzchak Herzog] form a left-wing government – Hamas will be in the heart of Jerusalem.

That is the way this campaign has been going. The price of water, determined by experts in the bureaucracy, goes down, and everyone takes credit. An Arab terrorist attacks, and all of a sudden it is because someone said something, or did not say something.

It didn’t take long for Herzog-Livni to react on Facebook, writing that the Likud disseminated “another lowly and despicable lie from the man who is personally responsible for the loss of security in the capital.”

Here we go again.  Netanyahu is “personally” responsible? And was Livni “personally responsible” for every terrorist attack when she was acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert quit?

And do Israelis feel any less secure now than they did when Livni was Prime Minister.

Livni, who still acts like her figment of a politician, as usual could not restrain herself from showing everyone that she is as lowly and despicable as Netanyahu. She accused him of “dancing on the blood” of the victim of the stabbing attack and using it to win more votes, which may be true but is exactly what she is doing.

The good news is that we are less than four weeks away from the end of this disastrous campaign.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/likud-and-bujie-livni-use-stabbing-attack-to-stab-each-other/2015/02/23/

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