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January 29, 2015 / 9 Shevat, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Tzipi Livni’

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.

 

Elections? Polls Show Center-Left on the Skids

Friday, October 31st, 2014

A new poll shows that the center-left parties have no chance of winning general elections and that the Jewish home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, would be the number two party after the Likud, chaired by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s media establishment, which likes Netanyahu as much as President Barack Obama likes him, recently has been talking up an atmosphere of instability in the coalition government and that elections will be held in the spring.

A survey by the reputable Rafi Smith firm, carried out for the left-leaning Globes business newspaper, reveals that the center-left has everything to lose and nothing to win by pushing for an early vote.

The popularity of the Jewish Home party has increased, and it could expect 15 Knesset Members, three more than in the current session. It would be the second largest party after the Liked, with a projected total of 24 MKs, and would replace Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

Yisrael Beitenu and Likud ran together in the last elections but since have gone their separate ways. The poll shows the Likud would win 24 seats today and that Yisrael Beitenu would garner only 10 mandates.

The number-three party would be Labor, with 14 seats, one less than it now enjoys.

The biggest loser is Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party, which would be left with only 9 MKs, 10 less than the current 19.

Lapid swept into the Knesset as the great hope of the mainly secular, center-left voters who consider a Jewish presence in all of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem a drain on their pockets.

Lapid promised everything under the moon, which so far remains eclipsed both by his failure to produce results and by his wake-up call from the war with Hamas, which proved once again that it might be so smart to play Monopoly with the Palestinian Authority and draw a border between Ventnor Avenue and Park Place, or between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

The projected line-up if elections were held today is, on the right with a total of 49:

Likud – 24;

Jewish Home – 15;

Yisrael Beitenu – 10.

On the left, with a total of 22:

Labor – 14;

Meretz – 8.

The parties that could go either way, depending on the wind, have a total of 28 MKs:

Yesh Atid – 9;

Shas – 7;

Yehadut HaTorah – 8;

Tzipi Livni’s HaTnua party – 4.

Kadima, as earlier polls have shown, would disappear. The Arab parties would have 12 votes but would not join a center-left coalition. The wild card is Moshe Kahlon, former Likud Minister of Communications who broke the mobile phone oligarchy in Israel and brought prices of mobile phone calls down by 90 percent. His new party is projected to gain 9 seats in the next elections, and he could go left or right.

Even if all the swing parties and Kahlon were to join a center-left coalition, they would have only 59 seats, two less than the needed absolute majority of 61. In any case, a coalition of the seven parties would be a nightmare and have zilch chance of becoming a reality.

With 49 projects MKs on the right, Netanyahu would have a choice of re-negotiating with Lapid and tempting Kahlon, or he could go with the Haredi parties.

In either case, he would have a majority without having to worry about having to deal with Livni again.

Livni, Lapid Warn Netanyahu Over Construction Approvals

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni and Finance Minister Yair Lapid – who both have opposed Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on past issues regarding Judea and Samaria – again warned him late Sunday night over his cancellation of a de facto freeze on Jewish building there.

The two senior cabinet ministers told Netanyahu following a Channel 2 report about his approval of projects to build several new roads and some 2,000 housing units in already-existing settlement blocs that the move would exacerbate already-strained ties with the U.S.

“Plans for more construction, even if it’s in the settlement blocs, under such sensitive circumstances that we find ourselves in, is irresponsible from both a diplomatic and security standpoint,” Livni warned. “The fear of publicly acknowledging that there is a construction freeze outside of the settlement blocs will lead to damage to the bloc themselves.”

Lapid also spoke of his fears that the move would further inflame already hot tempers at the White House and State Department. The finance minister said any construction in Judea and Samaria would lead to a “serious crisis in ties with the United States, and it would harm Israel’s international standing.”

He added that while in principle he is not opposed to construction inside the settlement blocs, “at this stage it will cause damage to Israel.”

The Obama Administration has drawn closer to Iran and Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorists despite Israel’s efforts to maintain stable relations with the United States and despite the de facto building freeze that residents of those areas have endured for months.

Such a building freeze means that residents living in Judea and Samaria cannot even repair a road or driveway, or build an addition to a porch, let alone add an extra room to their homes, without the risk of having it destroyed.

It means that no community can add a new classroom to a burgeoning school, no matter how many new babies are born in the town, and no new apartments can be built to accommodate the natural growth among the families.

No new libraries, or community centers, or even bypass roads can be created to avoid the dangerous areas that are increasing by the day, as Arabs in the region are incited to violence by their Palestinian Authority unity government.

This, as neighboring Arabs in precisely the same areas are building freely without cease, beautiful, free-standing new homes going up on a near-daily basis with brand-new roads springing up alongside.

Arab construction is moving forward at a brisk pace with the assistance of generous funding from the European Union and other foreign sources – in the same disputed areas where Jews are warned not to build.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/livni-lapid-warn-netanyahu-over-construction-approvals/2014/10/27/

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