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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘vote’

Liberman, Bennett, Shaked to Vote Against Turkish Deal

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

So far, only two government ministers, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and Housing Minister Yoav Galant, both from Likud, are on the record as supporting Prime Minister Netanyahu’s deal with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to pay upwards of $21 million as reparations to the families of anti-Zionist Turkish activists who attacked IDF soldiers with metal rods, rocks and knives when they attempted to take over the ship Mavi Marmara back in 2010. The deal also included a public apology (check) and easing the Israeli blockade on Gaza, which always ends up as a wise move when dealing with Hamas.

The loud objections from both sides of the aisle which the Netanyahu deal has raised on Monday may be the reason that four ministers Netanyahu was counting on to support him are yet to say anything on the subject: Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), Aryeh Deri (Shas), Gilad Erdan (Likud) and Israel Katz (Likud). Meanwhile, three ministers have erected a strong front against the deal: Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi), and Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi).

Liberman this week denied reports that he had committed to supporting the deal, as part of his entering the Netanyahu government. In closed sessions he went as far as to say that if he thins the deal is bad, he would vote against it.

Bennett said on Tuesday morning that “the State of Israel must not pay reparations to terrorists who tried to harm the IDF. A rapprochement with Turkey is important for this time and for the interests of the State of Israel, but paying reparations to terrorists is a dangerous precedent the State of Israel would regret in the future.”

A Channel 10 News survey released Monday showed that 56% of Israelis object to the deal with Turkey, and 67% believe it should have been conditioned on the return of the bodies of IDF soldiers in Hamas’ possession, as well as two Israeli civilians believed to be alive.

David Israel

Justice Committee Approves NGO Foreign Funding Transparency Bill for Final Vote

Monday, June 27th, 2016

After rejecting dozens of objections, the Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Wednesday approved for its second and third readings in the Knesset plenum a bill which would require non-governmental organizations that get more than half their funding from foreign governments or governmental agencies to make the public servants and elected officials they meet with aware of this fact and also report it in all their written publicity material.

The committee decided to merge three bills: one sponsored by the government and two other proposed by MKs Robert Ilatov (Yisrael Beitenu) and Bezalel Smotrich (HaBayit HaYehudi).

NGOs that will violate the so-called NGO Transparency Law will be fined $7,500. The law, if passed, will not apply retroactively, meaning these organizations will not have to declare such contributions that were received in the past. The law, should it be approved, will go into effect in January 2017 and will only apply to donations received from that date on.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) praised the transparency law, saying it would expose the fact that anti-Israeli NGOs are being funded by foreign governments. She said in a statement, “Countries should know that expressing their opinion about events inside Israel should be done via the familiar diplomatic channels. There is no comparable foreign intervention in a state’s internal affairs anywhere in the world, and there is no democracy that would have approved it. We, too, will not permit such a blunt intervention without exposing its foreign funding sources and bringing it to the public’s attention and to the attention of its elected officials.”

After the bill was approved by a vote of 7-6, Constitution Committee Chairman Nissan Slomiansky (HaBayit HaYehudi) said the bill was revised to avoid any constitutional harm. Addressing members of the opposition, he said, “You also admit that nothing much is left of [the bill].”

As to the opposition, its members on the committee were not happy. Neither was MK Benny Begin (Likud), who was elected with the strong intervention of Prime Minister Netanyahu, but who might as well be in the opposition. Begin said the legislation may produce results that do not coincide with the legislator’s intention. “We should operate thrrough diplomatic means,” he argued. “This was proven by the negotiations with Holland, Britain and Switzerland.”

MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) said, “If it were up to MK Smotrich, the law would differentiate between Jewish and Arab donors. The law is devoid of any legal content.”

MK Yael German (Yesh Atid) said the bill “shames and slanders NGOs which criticize the government’s work. Someone recently said that there are buds of fascism in the country. That is what there is in this law – buds of fascism against organizations that promote human rights.”

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) said the bill clearly “persecutes” NGOs, and called to “throw out of the Knesset legislators who introduce such bizarre laws.”

MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) said, “There is a person who contributes tens of millions of dollars to an NGO through a company that is listed in Panama. If we are talking about transparency, then an NGO which is hiding its funds should reveal its sources [of funding].”

MK Revital Swid (Zionist Camp) said the bill was introduced solely “for the political gain of parties that want to show their public that they acted and labeled.”

MK Micky Rosenthal (Zionist Camp) stated that the purpose of the law is to “poke in the eye and say ‘Here, we did it to you on purpose.'” He said NGOs will easily find a way to circumvent the law.

Back in January, Bild, Germany’s largest circulation daily newspaper, supported Shaked’s NGO transparency bill, which had been attacked as anti-democratic by a Washington Post editorial. Bild noted that the criticism of the bill ignores the fact that millions of foreign dollars are given each year to anti-Israeli NGOs which operate inside Israel and support the boycotts against the Jewish State. Can the bill, which merely requires those NGOs to openly reveal their funding sources, really be compared to Putin’s blatantly anti-democratic rule, Bild was wondering.

David Israel

MK Ahmed Tibi: “I Would Vote for Bernie Sanders in the US Election”

Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

On IDF radio this morning, Member of Knesset Ahmed Tibi announced that he would vote for Bernie Sanders — if he could vote in the US presidential election.

Tibi said, “All Palestinians and most Arabs would vote for Sanders…the candidate’s political views are more important than their ethnicity.”

Now that’s a ringing endorsement if I ever heard one.


Knesset to Vote on Paternity Leave

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The Labor, Welfare and Health Committee on Monday unanimously approved for its second and third readings at the Knesset plenum a bill presented by MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) making Israeli fathers eligible for five days of paternity leave after their spouse has given birth.

The leave, to run parallel to the leave granted mothers, will consist of three vacation days and two additional days on the account of the father’s sick-pay allocation—this in addition to the father’s permitted absence on the day the baby is born.

Since May 1998, fathers have been allowed to take paternity leave instead of — rather than in addition to — their wives, as well as one day of leave when the baby is born and a second day for the circumcision ceremony if the baby is a boy.

“This is nothing less than an historic achievement,” Zandberg said. “For the first time, a father will have the legal right to be at home during the first days after the birth, and this is the first time the term ‘paternity leave’ will enter the book of laws in Israel.”

“A birth is a family event which does not belong to the mother alone,” Zandberg continued. “The proposed bill was born of necessity — out of employers’ lack of support for their workers.”

Zandberg thanked Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) for his support in advancing the legislation.

Labor Committee Chairman MK Elie Elalouf (Kulanu) said, “This is a real improvement. Families should be together during these important moments.” Elalouf added that he would promote legislation that would enable the 270,000 self-employed Israelis to also take paternity leave.

MK Dov Khenin (Joint Arab List) said, “This is the beginning of a significant revolution. I stayed at home for three months with each of my children after they were born, and I enjoyed it very much.”


Shaked’s Anti-Terror Law Approved for Second and Third Knesset Vote

Monday, May 30th, 2016

The Knesset Constitution Committee on Monday approved the Fight Against Terrorism Act submitted by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi), in preparation for its second and third reading in the plenum, and in the process annulling many of the emergency defense laws which have been in effect since the establishment of the state. The bill was approved in its first reading last September.

The new Fight Against Terrorism Act dispenses punishments from 25 years to life in prison to individuals who lead terrorist organizations. The law also sets mandatory punishments of 10 to 20 years, as well as fines, for using and transferring weapons.

Training terrorists is subject to 9 years in prison, while receiving the training is punishable by 7 years. Recruiting terrorists or providing transportation, food, clothing and money for terrorists is punishable by 5 years in prison. Voicing or publishing support for terrorists will be punished by 3 years.

According to the Shaked bill, the defense minister or the prime minister may issue a decree designating a terrorist organization based on a request from the head of Shabak, supported by the AG. The security cabinet may do the same concerning a terror group organized abroad based on the decision of an authorized foreign body, or the UN Security Council.

Justice Minister Shaked issued a statement Monday, saying her bill will give security forces the power to fight terrorism while maintaining human rights.


A Vote For ‘None Of The Above’

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

I don’t know what it is about Republican voters this year but it’s deeply troubling. That goes double for Americans generally as Bernie Sanders’s campaign continues to roll on despite little chance of replacing Hillary Clinton as this year’s Democratic nominee.

What this heralds, if no act of God intervenes, is a presidential election going into November with two bad choices: Hillary or Bernie on the Democratic side vs. Donald Trump, the loudest mouth in the race and certainly the biggest boor, on the Republican.

What does this say about us, the voters, when these are the people who win our allegiance in either of our two major parties?

Sanders is a single-minded socialist with a beef against business per se and a vision of this country as rigged against the “little guy,” a charge he levels against a country that has led the world in opportunity and wealth creation.

Yet today a significant number of American voters clearly think as he does, preferring a system that leads to economic stultification a la Europe’s and a stifling of individual liberty. As the Wall Street Journal’s Dorothy Rabinowitz put it:

In an era when the young emerge from years of schooling that portrays the U.S. as the world’s leading threat to peace and justice in the world – as a militarist aggressor awash in racism, in a system run by and for Wall Street – the Sanders campaign was a magnet. Long instructed in the progressive faith that is now established religion on the nation’s campuses, they found in Mr. Sanders’s politics, and his view of American society, a confirmation of all they have been taught.

But it doesn’t stop there, for an equal if not greater proportion of voters these days are drawn to the gesticulating, camera-mugging Donald Trump, real estate magnate and reality TV impresario extraordinaire, whose outraged and outrageous rhetoric on the stump has tickled their ids and raised anger politics to a whole new level.

Blithely unaware of Trump’s manipulative methods, as he channels great orators like the late Benito Mussolini and insults his way to the nomination, Republican voters who support him seem to found their hero and leader in a man whose prior claim to fame lay in having parlayed his self-stoked personal celebrity into a billion dollar business.

Trump’s the guy who has told us, repeatedly, how great he is and how everyone else isn’t and that, unlike the others, he doesn’t need advisers because, of course, he consults with himself. A man, we can see, of substance and wisdom.

Against Sanders in the Democratic primaries, and against a presumptive Trump candidacy in the general, we have Hillary Clinton, a woman who is shrill, tired, and deceptive beneath an array of Damocletian swords dangling precariously above her head, swords stemming from Benghazi to ‘e-mailgate’ to the activities of the Clinton Foundation, not to mention the huge speaking fees racked up by the then-secretary of state and her former president husband, fees that dwarf what ordinary folks in the political or business world typically command, fees that suggest . . . what? That perhaps her paying hosts figured such costs were a good investment?

And Clinton not only promises to be a third term for the outgoing incumbent, doubling down on President Obama’s most controversial decisions to date, she bids fair to come down even further to his left, trumping the Vermont socialist himself.

This presidential election season is shaping up to be a humdinger with no one on the ticket for whom a rational conservative can cast a vote, and, if nothing changes between now and November, a president in the White House who’s as likely to sell the sheets in the Lincoln Bedroom as rename it as just one more bauble in a gaudy treasure trove of his personalized properties. Perhaps the Trump Taj South?

Maybe a nice casino on the White House Lawn would kick up property values in the neighborhood.

In this incredible election season the American electorate at last seems to have lost its collective mind.

Stuart W. Mirsky

Demographers Weigh In On Jewish Vote In 2016

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

America’s primary election season is inching closer to its conclusion: the Republican National Convention in Cleveland from July 18-21 and the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia from July 25-28.

As of Tuesday morning, five candidates remained in the primary race: Democrats Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, and Republicans Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas), Ohio Governor John Kasich, and businessman Donald Trump.

When it comes to projecting the Jewish vote in 2016, understanding demographics might lend some semblance of sanity to an election that most observers would compare to a roller coaster ride.

While Jews represent just 2 percent of the American population, surveys indicate that more than 90 percent of Jews who are registered to vote make it to the polls, compared to 74 percent of all Americans.

Additionally, in 2013, 70 percent of U.S. Jews were living in New York, California, Florida, New Jersey, Illinois, and Pennsylvania – states whose combined 167 electoral votes make up more than half of the 270 electoral votes a presidential candidate needs to win the election.

In 2013, the Pew Research Center’s “Portrait of Jewish Americans” survey showed that 70 percent of Jewish voters were Democrats, compared to 49 percent of the general American public. But the survey found that 57 percent of Orthodox Jews identify or lean Republican, while 36 percent identify or lean Democrat.

Other Jewish groups likely leaning Republican are what Cohen calls “ethnic Jews” – those who are more “culturally conservative,” including immigrant Russian-speaking Jews, who “see a conservative political philosophy as most opposed to the government that oppressed them for decades.”

While 21st century American Jews lean overwhelmingly Democrat, that wasn’t always the case.

“In the late 19th century, from roughly 1864 until roughly 1916, American Jews voted Republican in overwhelming numbers. We don’t have a lot of data to substantiate that…but what we do know allows us to make a judgment call,” said Dr. Steven Windmueller, a demographer from Hebrew Union College’s Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management.

Dr. Ira Sheskin, a demographer at the Sue and Leonard Miller Center for Contemporary Judaic Studies at the University of Miami, explained that “the nature of the parties does change over time” and that “back in the 1800s, Republicans and Democrats held different views than they do today.”

From 1916 onward, the Jewish vote went to the Democratic Party. By the time President George H. W. Bush ran for reelection in 1992, he received only 16 percent of the Jewish vote, Sheskin noted.

Jews continued voting predominantly Democratic through President Obama’s two campaigns. But while Obama garnered anywhere from 74 to 78 percent of the Jewish vote in 2008, depending on whose data is used, his Jewish support dropped to 69 percent in the 2012 election.

“Was that a reaction to some of [Obama’s] policies? His relationship with the government of Israel, or other issues? It’s difficult to say,” Windmueller told JNS, but we think there has been some small trending over the last 15 to 20 years toward voting for more Republicans on the part of some Jews who are maybe historically voting Democratic.”

This growth in Jewish Republican votes might be attributed to younger Jews who don’t affiliate with a party and who register as independents, although only 17 percent of Jews ages 18-29 identified as Republican in Pew’s 2013 survey. America’s growing Orthodox Jewish population and single-issue voters who focus exclusively on Israel and Middle East foreign policy are additional factors that may lead to more Jews voting Republican.

Sheskin, however, cautions against reading too much into the aforementioned factors when it comes to the Jewish vote. He said the uptick in Jewish Republican voting had already started after George H.W. Bush’s 1992 campaign.

Alina Dain Sharon

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles/demographers-weigh-in-on-jewish-vote-in-2016/2016/05/04/

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