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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tzipi Livni’

Likud MK Silvan Shalom to Lead Israeli Negotiating Team

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Likud Interior Minister Silvan Shalom has been appointed to become Israel’s new lead negotiator in any talks with the Palestinian Authority, as well as in strategic dialogue with the United States.

Palestinian Authority officials made it clear they were not happy with the appointment.

“He does not believe in a Palestinian state,” a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) source told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity. “He’s against a two-state solution. It’s not an issue of names. It’s an issue of policy.”

Leftist politician Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnua party and a justice minister in the prior government was the last minister to head Israel’s negotiating team.

Shalom said Monday that he is “ready to review every subject in every area from the most weighty issues of the United Nations, to smaller matters such as managing joint day-to-day life.”

Having served as foreign minister from 2003 to 2006 (during the second intifada and the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza), Shalom is no novice to the role. He will also be responsible for strategic talks with officials from the United States as well, according to a report broadcast on Galei Tzahal Army Radio.

Likud members are expected to raise some opposition as well, because party member and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was expected to be given the appointment.

Hotovely evaded reporters’ questions on Monday, saying only that until she is told otherwise, she will “work diligently to fulfill [her] duties faithfully in every sector in which Israel must act.”

Although it is usually the foreign minister who manages the issue of negotiations, at present Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is holding that post. Yisrael Beytenu party chairman Avigdor Liberman, the previous minister of foreign affairs, quit the coalition and withdrew his party as well.

Shalom’s new role is also likely to bring him in to security cabinet discussions on strategic issues such as how to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue vis a vis any dialogue with the United States.

Herzog Wants New Elections

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog has called for new elections because it took Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu two months to put together a coalition government that he said will cost the taxpayers an additional $250 million.

He told a meeting of the Zionist Union, the merged parties of Labor and Tzipi Livni’s HaTnuah parties, that it would be best to go again to the polls and let the people decide if they really want what they got.

He reiterated that not only will he not join Prime Minister Netanyahu in a national unity government, but he also will do everything he can to topple the new government.

His call for a new election should not be dismissed so quickly.

There is no question that if elections were held today, the Hareidi parties would retain at least the 13 seats they now have in the Shas and Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) parties. They probably would win a couple of more from those who made the mistake of voting for Eli Yishai’s Yachad party, which failed to get enough votes to enter the Knesset.

There also is no question that the Likud would lose at least four seats that Netanyahu grabbed from the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) in his last-minute blitz. Considering how the Prime Minister mistreated Bayit Yehudi in forming the new coalition, the party’s current strength of eight MKs likely would rise to more than 12 because it would also win back one or two seats that voters gave to the failed Yachad party.

Kulanu, led by Moshe Kachlon, would probably take a couple of seats from the Likud and a couple from Yair Lapid, who has succeeded in proving to voters there is nothing but air inside a windbag.

On the left, Livni is a dead duck, and Labor is not going to get any more votes than it now has unless they take them from Meretz, and vice-versa..

Yisrael Beiteinu also would not win any more than it now has and could even be headed for oblivion.

The Arabs would return with more or less the same 12 seats they now have.

The bottom line is that if Herzog wants new elections, let him have them.

The result will be a stronger national-religious government.

And then Herzog can call for a third round of elections, and a fourth, unit he finally figures it out that he represents a diminishing minority.

Liberman is Persona Non Grata, and Bennett Can Forget About Judicial Revolutions

Friday, May 8th, 2015

PM Netanyahu has no one to blame for the results of his coalition negotiations but himself, though that’s not stopping him from blaming his partners (and former partners) he mistreated.

Netanyahu’s natural partners, Bayit Yehudi and Yisrael Beytenu, were prepared to sign with the Likud immediately and with relatively reasonable demands, but Netanyahu saved them to last, played hardball with them, and basically abused them, until they decided they had enough.

An angry Avigdor Liberman quit as foreign minister and made it clear that he won’t be part of Netanyahu’s coalition. A fed-up Naftali Bennett decided to instead go for the gold, since his trust in Netanyahu was approaching zero, and he believed he had nothing left to lose.

According to a Makor Rishon report, Netanyahu told Likud MKs that not only will Liberman not be a member of his coalition now, Liberman will not be a member of his coalition, ever. Even if Liberman changes his mind, “there’s no coming back.”

Sources in the Likud said there will be revenge on Bennett for playing hardball during the last days of negotiations, and Netanyahu is plotting to kick Bennett out of the coalition as soon as possible and bring in Yitzchak Herzog and the Zionist Camp instead.

Within Bayit Yehudi, they believe that has been Netanyahu’s plan all along, even before Bennett began playing hardball back.

According to the Makor Rishon report, Netanyahu also said Bayit Yehudi can forget about introducing any judicial revolutions, whether they be reforms in how judges are selected or any other decisions that negatively impact the judiciary, as he will personally block it.

Netanyahu plans to rely on one of the conditions in the coalition agreement which prevents proposing “explosive” legislation in the legislation committee. This condition was introduced in the previous coalition to thwart then Justice Minister Tzipi Livni from going overboard, but it still didn’t stop Livni from proposing them all the time in the committee.

Likud sources say that Netanyahu is personally holding on to the Foreign Ministry portfolio so he can offer it to any party that might join the coalition later.

Since Lapid and Liberman won’t be allowed back in, that only leaves Yitzchak Herzog and his Zionist Camp (Labor).

For his part, Herzog says that he won’t be joining Netanyahu’s coalition, but when asked to confirm that position with a party vote, Herzog refused, leaving the feeling among his party members that he is leaving that door wide open.

Even within the Likud, a minor rebellion is brewing, with MKs jockeying for the limited number of ministerial positions, and each one feeling they deserve it more than their friends and associates, and that Netanyahu owes it to them.

Netanyahu’s coalition is off to a rough start, with a lot of anger and an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust.

In the previous coalition, Netanyahu tried to keep Bennett out of the government, but Bennett forced his way in and proved to be Netanyahu’s most trusted and reliable ally. Liberman has also been Netanyahu’s trusted and reliable ally for decades.

Maybe these relationships are now broken, but the thing about politics, and Israeli politics in particular, is that there is no such thing as forever –unless you’re Shimon Peres.

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.”

Echoing Netanyahu, Livni and Herzog Criticize Major Holes in Obama Deal

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

Even Israel’s Left are unsatisfied with US President Obama’s nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic of Iran.

While US President Obama ignores Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s very specific criticisms and recommended amendments of major faults in the P5+1 nuclear deal, which the Prime Minister has dubbed a “bad deal”, the Zionist Union party, led by Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni added their voices to the criticism, presenting their own alternative plan of action for Israel and the P5+1.

The two Leftwing leaders said the current deal was “problematic” and potentially dangerous over the long term, echoing the Prime Minister of Israel.

They said these problems must be fixed before a June 30th signing.

Among the changes they demanded in their alternate plan of actions, quite similar to some of Netanyahu’s demands, are eliminating Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile, forbidding Iran from using both new or old centrifuges, allowing intrusive inspections, and only a gradual lifting of sanctions.

Unlike Netanyahu, the two want Israel to officially receive a green light from the US as part of an official understanding, where Israel can strike Iran’s nuclear facilities, with US permission and backing, if Iran violates the agreement and Israel is endangered.

The duo’s last demand is both understandable and problematic, as Israel doesn’t need a green light from anyone to defend itself from an existential threat, though knowing the US isn’t going to obstruct your attack is important.

The two added that Israel and US must hold immediate and deep strategic discussions before the agreement is signed. It appears that currently, at the highest level, those discussions are not happening.

The pair said, the US that needs to make clear to Iran, that US military action is still on the table, if Iran violates the agreement with the P5+1.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pm-netanyahus-prayer-of-thanks-at-western-wall-for-historic-victory/2015/03/18/

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