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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tzipi Livni’

Elections Likely after Purim Parties but MKs Already Take Off Masks

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

Barring Divine Intervention, the Knesset will vote to dissolve itself but not forever, and new elections likely will be held in mid-March, perhaps the week after Purim.

Elections are exactly what no one in the country wants, except for a few sadists who pose as politicians.

It will cost the country about $500 million, and it will leave Israel without a budget just when there is little shine left on the image of the once-fabulous Israeli economy that has weakened under the weight of government-sanctioned monopolies that extort the public for obscene profits, and under the burden of eternal security unrest, whether it come from Gaza, Syria, Ramallah or Washington.

As The Jewish Press reported here earlier today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu told Yair Lapid, one of his alleged partners, to stop rocking the boat or get off.

Lapid, head of the Yesh Atid party and who was Israel’s glamour boy two years ago when his new party grabbed 19 seats in the Knesset, took the first raft he could find and jumped ship.

With an ego bigger than the size of the fat lady in the circus, Lapid could not possibly accept Netanyahu’s terms to stay in the government.

For his part, the Prime Minister’s ultimatums were a public political flogging of Lapid.

Elections cannot be held until90 days after the end of a government, according to the law that ensures that every Israeli citizen suffer the maximum punishment and still survive.

The projected timeline for new elections is a vote on Wednesday to dissolve the Knesset, with the final decision and date being set next week, revolving around the Jewish holidays. Before then, President Reuven Rivlin will go through the motions to offer someone else a chance to form a make-believe government.

The most likely date for elections is the week after Purim. The second possibility and a lot less likely one is mid-April, when Israel returns to normal after Passover and is involved with Yom HaShoah (Holocaust Memorial Day) and Yom Ha’Atzmaut.

Lapid and Netanyahu’s lieutenants in the Likud party already are throwing around enough dirt to cover the entire Knesset, which sometimes sounds like a good idea.

Lapid accused Netanyahu of making deals with the Haredi parties to enlist their support by bribing them with money for yeshivas and easing conditions of the universal draft, as demanded by Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas Sephardi Haredi party.

Likud ministers responded by throwing poison darts at Lapid’s performance as Finance Minister.

Lapid’s big-ticket populist banner has been the “Zero VAT” panacea that is supposed to make housing affordable for the middle class by eliminating the 18 percent Value Added Tax on the purchase of new homes.

Netanyahu obviously took this into account and figures that Lapid is going to use Zero VAT to try to con the voters into backing him.

If Lapid thinks he can fool all of the people all of the time, the con game would work, but Israeli voters are not as stupid as their leaders. The whole Zero VAT scheme is has so many conditions and so many limitations that it would help no more than a few thousand families.

Lapid knows his popularity in the polls is almost as low as the ethics of certain Knesset Members, as far-fetched as that seems. He is counting on the Israel’s anti-Netanyahu media, with the exception of Sheldon Adelson’s Israel HaYom, to lead his campaign.

Ditto for the pathetic and hapless Tzipi Livni, an intelligent woman who took the wrong turn when she entered politics. Her party of six MKs is another alleged partner in the coalition, in which she has spent most of her time kissing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s pinky for the Peace Process.

She spent Tuesday by calling the Netanyahu government, of which she has been a partner, “paranoid and extremist,” and she said she is different from the government because she is a “Zionist,” about as nasty remark as possible, even for an Israeli politician.

Either Bibi Wants Elections or Livni and Lapid Want Political Suicide

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would return to power with a smaller but stronger coalition if elections were held today, according to two polls.

His public complaining that it is impossible to function with the current coalition quarrels lends support to the theory that he is pushing the “Jewish State bill” in order to force his coalition partner-enemies, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, to shut up.

If they don’t want to concede, they are welcome to commit political suicide because both of the leaders are likely to find themselves in the Opposition next time around.

Two polls, one published by Globes and the other by Haaretz, show that the big winner in new elections would be the Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett.

The invisible card in the political deck is Moshe Kahlon, who could be the kingpin to the next coalition. Kahlon quit as a Likud Knesset Member last year after doing what other politicians promise and promise and deliver nothing but more promises – break a monopoly.

He ended the oligarchy of three mobile phone companies who charged outrageous prices , opened up the field to competition and was acclaimed for the result of a 90 percent drop in the costs of phone calls.

And guess what? The companies still make money.

Netanyahu wanted him to do so the same thing with the housing market, a maze of vested interests that keep land and housing scarce to the delight of housing developers.

Kahlon was smart enough to know that ending 60 years of selfish control by the government landlord is going to happen like a snowstorm in July in the Negev.

Given Lapid’s pseudo-solution of zero Value Added Tax for buying new homes, with so many conditions that it would not even act as Band-Aid, Kahlon is in a good position to win over Lapid’s supporters who want a politician who works with something other than his mouth.

The Globes poll gives Kahlon nine seats in the next Knesset, leaving Netanyahu two seats shy of a majority if he teams up with Kahlon, Yisrael Beitenu and Jewish Home.

The Haaretz polls gives Kahlon 12 seats, which would mean Netanyahu would have a small but solid majority.

Livni would be out of a job if elections were held today, according to the poll for Globes, while she would retain four of her current six MKs , according to the Haaretz survey.

It is likely that the expected establishment media punish for Livni would help her return to the Knesset, if elections indeed are called.

Lapid would be the biggest loser. His party now has 19 MKs, The two polls give him 10 and 12 seats.

Despite Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog’s smug talk that he will be the next Prime Minister, God forbid, the polls show is he is lucky, he will barely hold on to his current 15 seats, and he might even lose a couple.

Add it up and there is no way he can form a coalition. Even if Labor gets 15, Livni 4, Lapid 12, and the left-wing Meretz party 10,, a very generous estimate and four more than it now has, and Kahlon with 12, the result is 53, eight less than a majority.

Kadima, which now has two seats, is destined to the political graveyard, by all accounts.

So who is left to join Labor-Livni-Lapid?

The Haredi parties? Lapid would make himself the joke of the country.

Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Lieberman? The Labor party would have a collective heart attack, and Lapid would have to make a quick exit from the airport..

Here is how the parties line up according to the polls, with a few seats open since the totals do not equal the Knesset representation of 120 MKs.

Coalition Runs Away from Elections and Delays Vote on Jewish State Bill

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to postpone a scheduled vote this week on the “Jewish State Bill,” during which time he will try to come up with a version that is acceptable to coalition partners, who does not want to see the government fall and then have to risk serious losses in new elections.

As The Jewish Press reported here and here, the media mania over early elections – two years before the government’s term ends – makes great headlines but is mostly wishful thinking by Netanyahu’s enemies, which include the establishment print and electronic media and his coalition “partners.”

The largest party in the government after the Likud is Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid. He has said he could back a milder version of the Jewish State idea, which has been resented in three versions.

The bill has given Israel a huge black eye around the world, mainly because most people don’t have a clue what they are talking about or simply decide that calling Israel a “Jewish” state means it will be less of a “democratic” state.

If “democracy” means a form of government, the bill changes nothing, but “democracy” has become one of those holy terms, like ”human rights” and “freedom [to kill, incite, be a traitor or simply blow up the world]” that people toss around to support their agenda.

The arguments over the bill have become a joke, mainly because the coalition leaders are using it to make themselves popular among their supporters while knowing that if they go to the polls, the entire country will be angry at everyone for a useless exercise that, barring a change in the rotation of the Earth, will leave Netanyahu in power and Lapid and Tzipi Livni with less seats in the Knesset.

The Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, likely would gain seats, making the coalition even more right wing than it is now.

The strongest version of the Jewish State bill, which might not pass the test of Israel’s left-leaning Supreme Court, would leave Hebrew as the only official language and would downgrade Arabic to having a special status.”

It also would define the country as aiming to “settle Jews’ in Israel, without any mention of Arabs. Of course, that is exactly what Israel does anyway, put putting it writing is somehow “undemocratic.”

It also is meaningless. It is like stating that the country should “try to encourage everyone to be vegetarian.”

A milder version of the bill ignores the issue of language and settling Jews, and it does not refer to vegetarians or those who are carnivorous.

 

Coalition Plays ‘Chicken’ and Runs Away from New Elections

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Knesset leaders backed away from dissolving the government for the second time in three weeks Monday by postponing for a week a vote on a bill that would declare in law that Israel is a Jewish State.

In principle, most coalition leaders back the idea but are arguing over the details, some of which are problematic and some are excuses to squabble over who gets Brownie points for sponsoring the bill.

A “Jewish State bill” has been on the table since the previous administration, headed by Ehud Olmert, until Tzipi Livni took over when he resigned because of charges against him and some of which have placed him on the doormat of jail.

But Livni is cockle-doo-doo-ing against the bill and accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday of trying to force her party ”to vote against this so you can fire us.” She has dared Netanyahu by vowing to vote against the bill, no matter what, even she supported the idea in the Olmert government.

Netanyahu would love to get rid of Livni, whom he brought into the government to widen the coalition and keep her out of mischief by be given the booby prize that she so much wanted so much – negotiator for the Peace Process, may it be rest in peace.

With six seats in the current Knesset and a projected three if new elections were held today, Livni has nothing to lose if the government falls apart and new elections are called.

Yesh Atid and its leader Yair Lapid also are against the bill. Yesh Atid has a hefty 19 seats in the Knesset. Netanyahu could stay in power without Livni, who is on Lapid to stick his neck out for her.

But polls and common sense show that Lapid’s cheaper populism has worn off and that his party would lose nearly half of its seats if the coalition crashes.

Netanyahu, the smartest politician in the bunch with the possible exception of Avigdor Lieberman, decided to go along with the Jewish State bill and play chicken with Livni and Lapid.

Israel’s establishment media have been performing a repeat of their miserable performance two weeks ago when they insisted elections were around the corner because of the budget crisis.

Last week’s savage murders in Har Nof pushed the crisis aside and all of a sudden the budget no longer was the headline of the day.

The media hate Netanyahu mainly because, as I wrote last week, he is smarter than the opposition that the center-left media wants back in power.

Israel Radio, known by the grossly unfit name of the “Voice of Israel,” twisted itself into a deformed pretzel Monday by reporting that the Netanyahu coalition is doomed to be one of the shortest governments on record, surviving only for two years.

What about Ehud Barak, whose own party disowned him in 2000? Israel reported that Barak opted for elections,” a blatant lie. He had stayed in power for as long as he did only because the establishment media constantly propped him up until it became too embarrassing. The Knesset threw up its hands at his incapability and dumped him, ending a miserable 18-month administration.

Like the budget crisis, the Jewish State Bill crisis disappeared Monday, at least for a week while all sides try to come up with a version that Lapid and Netanyahu’s hawks can accept.

The Cabinet voted on Sunday 15-6 for not one but three versions of the bill.

The Knesset was scheduled to vote on it on Wednesday before it would be referred back to a committee.

Instead, coalition leaders have a week to play chicken again and come up with a version that is acceptable to everyone, with the exception of Livni, who prefers to lay a bad egg.

Ashdod Joins Ashkelon to Impose Racism to Stop Terrorism

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Ashdod and at least one moshav farming community joined Ashkelon Thursday to declare that Arabs will not be allowed to work in the area of kindergartens despite widespread condemnation from political leaders.

Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni got the ball rolling with his public announcement Wednesday that no Arabs are welcome, as reported here. He not only refused to back down on Thursday but also stood his ground that his decision is legal because of the need for security.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said she has asked the Attorney General to enforce the law against discrimination and stop Shimoni in his tracks. Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid called Mayor Shimoni’s policy a surrender to terror and a denial of co-existence.

Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett took the opportunity to show a liberal face of the national religious community and went off the edge to declare that “99.9 percent of Israeli Arabs are loyal to the country.”

Everyone is racing, no pun intended, to show he is the most democratic politician since ancient Greece, even if it was not so democratic.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “There can be no discrimination against Israeli Arabs. We must not generalize about an entire public due to a small and violent minority. The vast majority of Israel’s Arab citizens are law-abiding and whoever breaks the law – we will take determined and vigorous action against him.”

Lest anyone think Netanyahu is flying on a left wing, he added that “in the framework of the draft nationality law that I will submit to the Cabinet on Sunday, we will enshrine the full equality before the law of every citizen regardless of religion, race or sex alongside ensuring Israel’s identity as the national state of the Jewish People.”

Mayor Shimoni’s declaration brought out the gut feeling of Israelis who reacted to Tuesday’s massacre of Jews praying in a Jerusalem synagogue exactly the way future murderers want – fear.

His ban on Arab workers in the vicinity of kindergartens comes on the background of trauma in the city from more than a decade of rocket and missile attacks on the port cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon.

It took the mayor’s statements to arouse Israel’s yellow journalist media to take a break from its own racism the past week that has tried to demonstrate that Israeli Arabs as a whole are at war against Israel.

Bennett grossly exaggerated to say that 99.9 percent of Israeli Arabs are loyal to the country. Netanyahu was more on the mark when he said a majority, without measuring it, are “law-abiding.”

Mayor Shimoni hit a raw nerve

Placing all Arabs in one basket of terror is racist, illegal and immoral.

It also expresses a frustration that the police must heed so that Israelis can be safe.

Lapid, Livni Oppose Israeli Law for Jews in Judea, Samaria

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

A bill to apply Israeli law to citizens living in Judea and Samaria was approved by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation today (Sunday, Nov. 9).

But Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid and Hatnua party chairwoman Tzipi Livni – both members of the government cabinet – are opposing its final approval.

The two ministers immediately appealed the vote that approved the legislation, 6 to 4, with two abstentions.

At present, Jews living in Judea and Samaria live under regulations administered by the Israeli military civil administration.

The new law was proposed and sponsored by a host of lawmakers from the Likud, Bayit Yehudi, Yisrael Beytenu and United Torah Judaism factions.

According to Land of Israel Caucus heads Yariv Levin (Likud) and Orit Strook (Bayit Yehudi) the bill does not violate international law nor change the status of the land in Judea and Samaria.

Livni Party Minister Amir Peretz Quits the Government

Sunday, November 9th, 2014

Environment Minister Amir Peretz, one of six legislators in Tzipi Livni’s hapless HaTnua party, announced Sunday he is quitting the government, taking away from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu the privilege of firing him for saying he would vote against the 2015 budget.

A champion of the lower-income sector, Sderot’s vocal politician said on Israeli television Saturday that even though his party is in the coalition, he could not support the budget when he hears the “cries of the poorest people.”

He charged that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is “is not the solution, but the problem.”

Peretz’s unpredicted personal attack on the prime minister in whose government he serves as Cabinet minister automatically put him on the chopping block.

Netanyahu was expected to fire him, but Peretz beat him to the punch.

Peretz’s political history has been full of ups and downs, mostly downs, since he delighted businessman by quitting as head of the Histadrut national labor union.

He joined the Labor party, won the leadership but led the party into defeat in the 2006 elections to Kadima party leader Ehud Olmert and then joined the coalition as Defense Minister, leaving him with the reputation as being the worst person ever to serve in that positon.

He subsequently lost the leadership of the Labor party to Ehud Barak, and he emerged by riding the very short coattails of Livni.

Her party won only six seats in the current Knesset, and all polls show her winning no more than three seats in the next elections.

With Peretz out of the picture, maybe she will get four.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/livni-party-minister-amir-peretz-quits-the-government/2014/11/09/

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