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September 17, 2014 / 22 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tzipi Livni’

Palestinians’ New Enemy: Tzipi Livni

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

The Palestinians have now turned against Israeli Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who also heads the Israeli team to the peace talks with the Palestinian Authority [PA].

Livni is probably the most dovish member of the Israeli cabinet. Yet her moderate views and support for the two-state solution have not made her immune to a new campaign against her by the Palestinians.

The Palestinian Authority leadership is now saying that Livni is no longer fit to negotiate with the Palestinians and must be replaced. In other words, any Israeli negotiator who does not accept all Palestinian demands should be excluded from the US-sponsored peace talks.

The reason why the Palestinians are furious with Livni is a statement she made during an interview last Saturday, where she announced that PA President Mahmoud Abbas’s positions are “not only unacceptable to us, but to the whole world, and if he continues to stick to them, then the Palestinians will be the ones to pay the price.”

Livni’s statement has been misinterpreted by Palestinians as a personal “threat” against Abbas. Of course, Livni never made such a threat in her statement and was merely warning against the repercussions of Abbas’s positions on the peace process and his people.

But the PA leadership often interprets Israeli criticism of Abbas as a threat to eliminate him. This is a way of telling the Palestinians that Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, is facing threats from Israel for refusing to make concessions on Palestinian rights.

The Palestinian Authority is preparing Palestinians for the possibility that the talks with Israel could end in failure, and that Abbas may be face the same fate as Arafat — isolated and boycotted by Israel and the international community. The goal is to make Abbas appear in the eyes of his people as a “martyr” who paid a heavy price for standing up to Israel and the US.

Less than 24 hours after Livni made her statement, several PA officials and organizations responded by accusing her of “incitement.”

Mahmoud al-Aloul, member of the Fatah Central Committee, said in response to Livni’s remark: “If the Israelis think that threats and pressure on President Mahmoud Abbas would drive him to make concessions on Palestinian rights they are deluding themselves. The threats made by the officials of the occupation government are directed against Abbas’s life, but they won’t affect his positions.”

PA Foreign Minister Riad Malki condemned Livni’s “threat” against Abbas and said he would bring them to the attention of the international community. “We are studying the threats and their implication,” Malki told reporters. “We will distribute Livni’s statements to all foreign ministers and the international community. We can’t remain silent towards these threats. This is a clear threat to Abbas in person and it must be taken seriously.”

Abbas Zaki, another senior Fatah official, claimed that Livni’s “threats” are designed to distract attention from Israel’s refusal to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians. “The threats show that the Israelis are not mature for peace,” he added.

The radical Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, one of the PLO groups, accused Livni of “political audacity.” The group said that Livni’s demand that Abbas recognize Israel as a Jewish state was completely unacceptable and reflected “despicable arrogance.”

Abbas’s spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudaineh, announced that “Livni’s statements make her unacceptable for negotiations…. She has joined those voices in the Israeli government that are trying to destroy prospects for peace. This is a very dangerous statement.”

The attacks on Livni correspond with a campaign that is already being waged by Palestinians against U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Over the past few weeks, many Palestinians representing various Palestinian groups have been waging protests against Kerry’s ongoing efforts to reach a deal between the Palestinian Authority and Israel. Kerry is being accused of endorsing the Israeli point of view, especially on security, settlements, Jerusalem and the “right of return” for Palestinian refugees to their former homes inside Israel.

This Palestinian escalation of rhetoric does not bode well for the future of the peace talks. The Palestinians were first unhappy with Kerry, whom they accused of being biased in favor of Israel. Now they are angry with Livni for daring to criticize Abbas. In the end, Israel and the U.S. will be blamed for the failure of the peace process. This is exactly what happened after the botched Camp David summit in 2000, when Arafat held Israel and the U.S. fully responsible for the failure of the peace process. A few weeks later, the Second Intifada erupted. The same scenario is likely to repeat itself unless the Palestinian Authority leadership stops putting all the blame on others.

Thomas Friedman in Israel: Only Livni and Kerry Are Believers

Monday, January 27th, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Israeli negotiator and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni are the only two people who still believe in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman said in Tel Aviv Monday night.

“The Israelis are the Palestinians are ambivalent towards their future and towards the chances for peace,” he told a conference with the highfalutin title of “Cross Border Environmental Issues and Water Resources in the Context of the Peace Process.”

On Thursday, Freidman will speak with journalists on the topic “There Goes the Neighborhood.” Seriously, that is what the blurb say, followed by, “How the Arab Awakening, Climate Change and Technology are changing the World around Israel.”

Polls Show No Chance for Obama to Wreck Netanyahu Coalition

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Two new polls show that Israel is marching rightward and that the nationalist and religious parties would even be stronger than in the current coalition if elections were held today, mostly at the expense of Yair Lapid

The Likud Beitenu party, which reflects the merger of Likud and Yisrael Beitenu that still may be dissolved, would increase its strength from 31 in the current Knesset to 34, according to a Channel 1 poll, and 40 according to a survey by Geocartography. The second poll also showed that if the two parties were to split, they would win a combined number of 55 mandates

The Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, would hold its own, with one poll showing a gain of one seat and the other a loss of one seat. If Likud and Yisrael Beitenu were to split, the strength of Jewish Home would sink to seven.

The left-wing Meretz party, which now has six Knesset Members, would gain one or four seats in the next Knesset, depending on which poll is accepted.

The increased strength of Likud Beiteinu comes at the expense of Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party, which was the star of the last election by winning 19 seats. The Channel 1 poll gives it only 9 seats and the Geocartography survey came up with 13.

Despite the difference in the results, the trend is clear – a sharp rise for Likud Beiteinu and a punch in the pace for Lapid. The “champion of the middle class” has lost its luster as the truth quickly emerges that he represents the upper middle class.

He has an ace up his sleeve if he can bring down the price of housing, but that is not about to happen tomorrow, next month or even this year.

The gain of Meretz and Likud Beiteinu at his expense indicates that Lapid’s charisma attracted leftists and center right secular nationalists.

As for the other parties, Shas still is around and will stay or more at less with 11 seats, according to the polls.

Labor, now under the lead of Yitzchak Herzog instead of Shelly, Yachimovich, would drop from the current 15 to 11 or gain one seat.

Both polls reveal that Tzipi Livni’s HaTunah party would be cut in half in the Knesset, from the current six MKs to only 3.

One surprise result is that former MK Aryeh Eldad, Baruch Marzel and Itamar Ben-Gvir, all of them to the right of the right, would win three seats.

Knesset Bill to Cut Number of Chief Rabbis by 50%

Monday, January 20th, 2014

The Knesset Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted Sunday to approve the legislation to create one chief rabbi’s position instead of the current two, proposed by Justice Minister Tzipi Livni of the Hatnua Party, and co-sponsored by Religious Affairs Minister Naftali Bennett and lawmaker Eli Ben-Dahan of the Jewish Home Party.

The bill must be approved by the Cabinet and then pass three readings in the Knesset in order to pass. It would take effect after the ten-year terms of the current chief rabbis, Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi David Lau and Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, expire.

That’s ten years from now. Ten years of double the expenses, double the needless waste.

The fact is, Israel has no need for a chief rabbi—check that, it has no use for a chief rabbi.

Imagine if you will, that someone in the U.S. were to appoint a chief rabbi. Who would listen to him? Not the non-Orthodox, because they either have their own take on halacha-Jewish law, or follow no halacha at all. Presuming the American chief rabbi would be Orthodox, that would eliminate half the Jews in America. Then come the secular Jews, and they would have no need at all for a chief rabbi, because there’s nothing he could say or do that touches on the reality of their lives.

Out of the Orthodox, all the Haredim, both Chassidim and Litwacks, would sneer at the idea that anyone would presume to replace the authority of their rebbe or rosh yeshiva.

So who’s left? Probably the RCA crowd, your everyday frumies, the Jewish Press readers. But the chief rabbi would be—because that’s how these things roll—a Haredi, and the moderate-to-liberal Orthodox won’t have much use for him either.

And that’s the situation in Israel. The chief rabbinate is a goiter on the neck of Israeli Jews, a remnant from a time when the Ottoman Empire, followed by the British Empire, appointed a religious chief over every ethnic group in Palestine. Even back in the 1920s that position bore little more than a symbolic value, depending on the chief rabbi. Today the situation is that Israelis are serving the chief rabbinate rather than the other way around.

Besides being entirely alien to the spiritual needs of the vast majority of Israelis, the chief rabbinate actually stifles the organic growth of religious communities. Siphoning off much needed budgets from social services to the needy, in a country where half the population is poor or near-poor, why spend money on an elaborate service nobody needs?

Local Jewish communities have always been very good at keeping records of marriages and burials. The burial societies, the “Chevra Kadisha,” don’t need a chief rabbi to monitor them – the state comptroller should be very good at that. Concentrating control over the Jewish life cycle in Israel in the hands of Haredi chief rabbis and judges with little or no relationship with the people under their domain is tyranny. Expensive tyranny at that.

So why wait ten years to cut this silliness in half? Cut it now, both halves. Give power back to the local Jewish communities. Let local rabbis decide halacha for their followers wherever they are, just as they’ve been doing in America, or, before the war, in Poland. Wherever we’ve had a thriving, magnificent Jewish community, we didn’t need a chief rabbi. Those were more likely to be state appointed than part of the people they were supposed to serve.

Just like in today’s Israel.

“In a state where there is only one president, one Supreme Court president, one prime minister and one chief of general staff, there is no way to justify the doubling of the position of chief rabbi,” Tzipi Livni said. “We have to rid ourselves of the old-fashioned division of ancestral congregations and start bringing the country together.”

Court Orders Livni to Respond to Lawsuit of PA Terror Victims

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

Israel’s Supreme Court has given Justice Minister Tzipi Livni one week to respond to a lawsuit by an Israeli NGO representing victims of Palestinian terror victims in a case against the Bank of China.

On Tuesday, the court put its time mandate on Livni hours after the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center filed a suit requesting information issued by the New York District Court under the Hague Convention on the Taking of Evidence Abroad in Civil or Commercial Matters.

In November, the Israeli government filed a petition with the U.S. federal court seeking to block the testimony of former Israeli intelligence official Uzi Shaya, saying he would divulge state secrets.

Shaya, according to reports, in 2005 alerted Chinese security officials to suspicious transactions, including transfers of money to terrorist organizations such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad.

Some 22 families of victims of Palestinian suicide bombers who brought the suit accuse the Bank of China of funding terrorist organizations through U.S. accounts. They are seeking millions of dollars in damages; a guilty verdict under anti-terrorism laws also could affect the bank’s ability to continue conducting business in the United States.

The families, through Shurat HaDin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, requested specific documents from the justice minister last June as well as the testimony of Shaya. No response or documents have been forthcoming, according to Shurat HaDin

“We have filed this suit today as we believe Minister Livni is culpable not only of failing in her duties under the Hague Convention, but of failing the Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism in their quest for justice,” Darshan-Leitner said in a statement Tuesday.

A similar case against the bank was brought by the family of American student Daniel Wultz, who was killed in a 2006 terror attack in Tel Aviv.

Israel Website Offers ‘John Kerry Solutions, Ltd.’

Monday, January 6th, 2014

A spoof website now offers the world “John Kerry Solutions, Ltd,” an offer for anyone wanting to solve problems as he has done the past year in the Middle East.

The My Israel organization, in coordination with the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea and Samaria, created the website with its promotional material below:

 

John Kerry is an American politician who is an expert in international crisis management and creative solutions.

In light of  his  great diplomatic experience, in recent years he has been acting in the Middle East with great success and brought creative solutions that transformed the region.

Syria, Egypt , Libya , Iran and other countries thank him for the creative quiet that he brought to the region.

Now John brings his skills also to ordinary citizens!

Problems with your boyfriend?

Need original idea for a disguise?

Your neighbor’s lawn glows more?

John has a solution!

John Kerry Solutions Inc.

We have no good solutions, but we must do something. Right?

Our company thanks the good people who helped us in Israel besides Minister – Tzipi Livni and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

As Peace Talks Wane, Bennett Advising Livni to Negotiate with Aliens

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

To our readers who might be alarmed by the possibility that the Earth, or Israel alone, has been negotiating with creatures from outer space, let me assure you that this was merely a quip by Minister Naftali Bennett, and not a report about an admittedly shocking situation. Also, those readers who object to satirical material on our website, seeing as the headline of this report could be considered somewhat spoofish, let me assure you that every bit of it is absolutely, honest to goodness sober and real.

Now that the bus full of murderous, bestial, horrible Palestinians with Jewish blood of women and children on their hands (feel free to add your own adjective, but it won’t stop anything)…

and the government ministerial committee on legislation has approved 8-3 a kind of annexation of the Jordan valley (to the great relief of the Jordanian king who refuses to have those crazy Palestinians at his border)…

and Chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat had his say (“the decision destroys all efforts for peace with Israel, showing the Israeli government’s indifference toward international law,” which it isn’t), we are officially in the next phase.

It’s the phase where the two opposing sides are attempting to galvanize their own public support, while making the other side look greedy, foolish, nearsighted, dangerous.

The two opposing sides, of course, are Justice Minister and Chief Negotiator Tzipi Livni vs. Jewish Home Chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett. Because, frankly, there’s very little daylight between Tzipi and Erekat, or Tzipi and Kerry, but there’s a blast of Sahara desert sun between Tzipi and Naftali.

On Monday, Livni talked about the viability of the “peace negotiations,” saying “I’m not saying it’s easy, and I have issues with the Palestinians, too”—remember the daylight thing?—but the right’s glee over the fact that the Palestinians are not proving to be an honest partner for peace seems to her to be a fool’s delight, and an excuse.

“The question is not whether or not there’s a partner – we need to mark a target and take action.”

Very good advise to mortgage bankers, by the way: it makes no difference whether or not the borrower can pay it back – he’s over there, give him the money…

“My partner is Zionism,” Livni declared – I’m not making this up. “Today’s negotiation is not being conducted only with the Palestinians, but also with the world, through the United States, which is not merely the go between but an ally, with whom we share common interests.”

And then she added: “We can still reach a deal with the Palestinians and with the world and recruit them to our interests.”

If you feel that this phrase is bizarre, about recruiting the Palestinians and the world to our interests – it sounds just as bizarre in Hebrew.

Naftali Bennett, on his Facebook page, responded quickly: “If there’s no Palestinian partner, we’ll seek a treaty with aliens.”

Which makes for the fantastic image above, posted by Shahaf Pelovitz on Rotter.net.

Livni is livid at the Miri Regev bill to annex, for the first time in almost half a century, yet another part of the land of Israel, the valley alongside the Jordan River.

There isn’t a single reputable military expert who doesn’t say that without control over the eastern border with Jordan, Israel might as well give back the keys and try a different location—I hear the Fiji Islands are nice year round. Here’s why:

Netanya, where I live, like Tel Aviv, is smack in the middle of the country, where the vast majority of Israelis live, where our industry and commerce are, it’s about as “green line” as they come.

Netanya is also about 6 or 7 miles from the same “green line,” which is nothing but the spot where the Jewish and Arab armies stopped fighting in 1949.

(It has no geographic significance and, for that matter, no legal significance, other than marking a vast no man’s land nicknamed “The West Bank,” which was ceded by its last legal sovereign, the British Mandate in Palestine, back in 1948. The Hashemite Kingdom was never officially recognized as its sovereign—except for the Brits, no one else in the world thought they owned it, and in 1988 it gave up whatever claim it had had over it. When it was conquered by the IDF in 1967, the IDF became its legal sovereign according to international law. Not its occupier, but its sovereign. But that’s a lot of water under the Jordan River bridge.)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/as-peace-talks-wane-livni-bennett-to-negotiate-with-aliens/2013/12/31/

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