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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Uri Orbach’

Jewish Home Punched Out in Losing Bid to Keep Terrorists Jailed

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

A Cabinet committee unsurprisingly defeated on Sunday a motion by the Jewish Home to propose a bill that would prevent the government from freeing heavy-duty terrorists.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted 8-5 against the proposal, with Likud, Yesh Atid and Livni’s HaTunah party minsters opposing it and Jewish Home and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers voting for it.

With Justice Minister Tzipi Livni heading the committee, the bill had no chance. Click here to understand how she wears three hats, all of them oversized.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, a senior Likud member and a close aide to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, characteristically played the role of a sore winner and told Jewish Home Minister Uri Orbach, “If you don’t like it, you can resign.” Sa’ar berated the Jewish Home for daring to propose a bill that would have gone against government policy.

Livni was even cruder with her snipe that the government does not act on the orders “of the rabbis in the West Bank.”

The party stated after the vote, “This is a sad day for the struggle against terrorism in Israel.”

For his part, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not directly mention at the Cabinet meeting Sunday morning the second step in the four-stage plan to free 104 terrorists, a program that started in July to pave the way for the resumption of talks between Israeli negotiators, headed by Livni, and the Palestinian Authority. Instead, he made an undisguised reference to the deal, stating that “promises” must be kept, as reported here in an article on mortar shelling attacks on Israel today.

No one reminded him that he once promised that he never would vote to expel Jews from their homes in Gush Katif. That was before he passed up every effort to vote against the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gaza until after was a done deal and his vote did not matter.

Sa’ar and Livni got in their licks, and the terrorists will be released, but the Jewish Home party is far from down and out.

Freeing terrorists, especially for talks and not even for a solider, a civilian or a dead body of one of the two, is decreasingly popular, and it is doubtful that a majority of Israelis are much more than unenthusiastic over the idea.

Every previous release of terrorists has been followed by attacks by several of the same terrorists. Every time, the government finds another reason to say it won’t happen again. Two years ago, it went through he ludicrous procedure of forcing each one to sign on the dotted line, “I will be a good boy, and will not return to terror,” before being free to kill more Israelis, more than 120 at last count.

This time, the government experts on terror says the terrorists are too old to return to terror. Time will tell how they celebrate their birthdays, but it would not wise to attend the party because the cake might blow up in your face.

With every attack by freed terrorists, the voters will remember who voted to free them and who voted to keep them in jail.

But the Jewish Home has a lot of other reasons to be confident that it can buck the government even if it is a member of the coalition.

Every poll in the past several months has shown the party is more and more popular. It has shed the old National Religious Party’s stigma of considering a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria as the only thing that matters in the country. Unlike the NRP, Jewish Home and its chairman Naftali Bennett do not “take orders from rabbis.”

It has taken popular stands on civil marriages, leniency towards homosexuality, like it or not, and it has forged into the area of consumer rights, once a monopoly of the Meretz party.

Elections are probably a long time away, but Sa’ar and Livni may end up taking it on the chin.

New Netanyahu Coalition Govt All Cobbled and Ready, Maybe

Monday, March 18th, 2013

On Monday evening, the Knesset will host the swearing in ceremony for Israel’s 33rd government, and Benjamin Netanyahu’s third term—second consecutive—as prime minister (his first term ran from June 1996 to July 1999).

Immediately after the ceremony, Netanyahu will convene a brief cabinet meeting, with a toast. Then the bunch (22 ministers and 8 deputies) will travel to the presidential residence, for the traditional group picture.

The Knesset session will open with the selection of the Speaker of the House. It will likely be Likud MK Yuli Edelstein, who will replace the former Speaker, Reuven Rivlin, who wanted very much to continue in his post but, unfortunately, had committed the ultimate sin of criticizing the Prime Minister’s anti-democratic tendencies, not the kind of slight which Netanyahu’s wife Sara easily forgives.

As usual, Netanyahu never shared with Rivlin his plan to depose him. In fact, as far back as a year ago, he assured the popular Speaker—who is also closely associated with the Settlement movement—that he’d have his support for the post of President when Shimon Peres completes his 7-year term, 2014.

Yuli Edelstein’s life’s story is fascinating: Born in the Soviet Union to Jewish parents who converted to Christianity (his father is a Russian Orthodox priest), Edelstein discovered his Jewish connection through his grandparents. He studied Hebrew back when that was considered a subversive act, for which, in 1984, he was sent to Siberia (the charges were drug related, but everybody knew it was the Hebrew thing). He made aliyah with his wife, Tanya, served in the army, and entered politics, ending up in the Knesset in 1996. He has switched between several parties, until finally landing in the Likud, and has held several ministerial portfolios. And if he doesn’t catch Sara’s ire, he could become as memorable a Speaker as Rubie Rivlin.

But the biggest losers, without a doubt, are the Haredi parties, Shas and United Torah Judaism. They were almost literally kicked out by Yair Lapid, who stated openly that, should he be seen in the government group picture with the Haredim, his voters would abandon him. Surprisingly, Naftali Bennett, his newly found brother from a different father (Yair’s father, the late MK Tommy Lapid, was a true hater of the religion), supported the dubious position that, in order to truly help the Haredi public, government had to first be cleared of Haredi partners.

Shas, a party that depends completely on patronage for its very existence, is seething with anger over Bennett’s “betrayal.” It’s hard, however, to take seriously the victimized self-pity of Shas, whose spiritual father Rav Ovadia Yosef dubbed the Jewish Home party a “Goy Home.” Altogether, it appears that, perhaps counter intuitively, the National Religious leaders as well as the rank and file, have been harboring heaps of resentment against the Haredim. The Haredi slights of several decades, including their occupation of the Ministry of Religious Services and the Chief rabbinate, doling out jobs to Haredi officials who reigned over a population that looks nothing like them—those slighted chickens have been coming back to roost.

Take for instance Rabbi Hayim Drukman, who responded to both the Haredi pols and to Netanyahu, who accused the Lapid-Bennett axis of “boycotting” the Haredi parties. Rabbi Drukman Argued that “the Haredi public are the biggest boycotters, boycotting for years the Torah of the national religious public.”

“Any Haredi apparatchik who gets elected to the Knesset, immediately becomes a rabbi, while the real rabbis of the national religious public are noted in the Haredi press by their first names (without the title ‘Rabbi’). Is this not boycotting?” Rabbi Druckman wrote in the Saturday shul paper “Olam Katan.”

Inside Shas, the short knives have already been drawn and they’re aimed at MK Aryeh Deri, the former convict who came back from the cold to lead Shas into a glorious stalemate (11 seats before, 11 after).

“We were very disappointed in Deri,” a senior Shas pol told Ma’ariv. “He did not bring the votes he promised Rav Ovadia, there was no significant change in seats, and, in fact, Deri is responsible for our failure.”

In United Torah Judaism they also seem to regret their alliance with Shas, it’s highly likely that, in a few months, they’ll opt to enter the government without Shas.

Voting for Bennett Is Sectoral, for Likud National

Wednesday, December 26th, 2012

It is amazing to see how the same people can be deceived time and again.

The two new stars of the Jewish Home Party, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked – both fine and worthy people – were preparing themselves to run for a place on the Likud Knesset list. This time, though, the competition for a realistic place on the list was very tight. It was clear that the chances to get on the national list were slim. And so the well-orchestrated political exit of Bennett and Shaked – wrapped in Manhigut Yehudit terminology – was born. Their move, however, was the complete opposite of Manhigut Yehudit’s ideology. It was a patently sectoral move.

The struggle for the votes of the religious Zionists currently revolves around two parameters: Who will give more to the sector and who will better protect the land of Israel. Both of these parameters are an illusion. They divert the discussion to an irrelevant place and deflect attention from the main point of the debate. In both parameters, the advantage of a significant faith-based power base within the ruling party is clear and unequivocal. It has also proven itself well in the reality of the last four years. Real power cannot be acquired without the true integration that was expressed in the recent Likud primaries.

Why does the education minister send all Israeli students to the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron? Because of the members of the Jewish Home Party? Why does the transportation minister pave every road he can in Judea and Samaria? Because of Jewish Home MK Uri Orbach?

The above discussion is really nothing more than a smokescreen. If someone thinks that he can get more for his sector with the services of a sectoral middleman instead of with a direct and binding connection with the relevant minister – so be it. Whoever thinks that he can better protect the land of Israel from within a satellite party that is already committed to joining a coalition with the ruling party – and that has no other option – can go right ahead. Whoever has forgotten where the Jewish Home’s predecessor, the Mafdal, with its 12 mandates, was during the destruction of Sinai; how the Mafdal minister defused the political option for preventing the destruction of Gush Katif; how the Yesha Council – from where the current head of the Bayit Hayehudi came – sidelined an effective struggle against the destruction; and whoever has forgotten the entire sad history of sectoral politics, is invited to once again enjoy himself in the sectoral backyard.

The real discussion, however, revolves around a completely different point.

In a panel discussion at the Nechalim Yeshiva, Orbach asked me who would ensure that the next chief rabbi would be a Zionist – the Likud or the Mafdal? This question perfectly illuminates the two paths open now before the religious Zionist public. What is your dream? What is really important to you? A chief rabbi who sees eye to eye with you on the issues? Or a prime minister who believes in what you believe? All the other questions – like where you will get more funding (I think the answer is the Likud) – are irrelevant.

Look at yourself in the mirror and answer honestly – and then vote. But no putting your head in the sand, no buying the line that a new, improved Mafdal middleman with a secular fig leaf has suddenly morphed into the Likud and will lead the country. Ask yourself this question: What is your dream? Then choose between these next two questions: Is it leadership of the country like you were supposed to have been taught over the years? Or is it the comfort and familiarity of your sector?

What do you prefer, the chief rabbi or the prime minister? Do you believe that you have something other than religion to offer Israeli society? What is the relevance of your Torah outside your closed communities? What do you communicate about yourselves and your beliefs when you flee the Israeli reality for the fenced-in sector? What message do you project when you are afraid to present Israeli society with a leadership alternative based on your beliefs?

Both Religious Zionist Knesset Factions Celebrate the Mimouna; Ketzele: We Run Together or I Quit

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

Members of the two Knesset religious Zionist factions National Union and The Jewish Home celebrated the Mimouna together Saturday night in Lod, in a show of unity.

Chairman of the National Union MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzele), MK Zvulun Orlev, Uri Orbach, and former MK Nissan Slomiansky, visited the home of Aaron Attias, founder and one of the leaders of Lod’s Gar’in Torani and CEO of the pre-military academy in the city, who is widely influential in bringing unity to the religious Zionist ranks.

MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzele) repeated his earlier announcement that if the two factions do not run as one, he would remove himself from the campaign.

Hundreds of activists who had arrived to celebrate the Mimouna applauded the MKs announcements that there was no other option for their two factions but to run a united list in the next Knesset elections.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/both-religious-zionist-knesset-factions-celebrate-the-mimouna-ketzele-we-run-together-or-i-quit/2012/04/15/

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