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November 25, 2015 / 13 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yair Lapid’

Three Opposition MKs Resign to Pursue More Exciting Careers

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

(JNi.media) On Wednesday, three Knesset members, one from Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beytenu party and two from Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid decided to abandon their political careers following their parties’ failure to join Prime Minister Netanyahu’s coalition government.

The most senior among the three is Rabbi Shai Piron, an Orthodox Jew who once was the dean of a yeshiva, and who served as Education Minister in the previous government, for a little over a year and a half. Piron traded his MK’s seat for a position in the Sderot school system, not far from the Gaza Strip border. Piron did tell reporters a few months ago that he is as ready to serve the nation from the opposition as he had done from the government, but, apparently, a few months of being kept away from an executive post cooled his enthusiasm.

The second, more surprising resignation, also hit the Lapid party, as MK Aliza Lavi, another Modern Orthodox Jew, departed Wednesday. Dr. Lavi, a renowned Orthodox feminist, used her position as chair of the Knesset committee to advance women’s status to push several laws to help women seeking a divorce, and to create shelters for battered women.

One of the Lapid seats will be filled by another Modern Orthodox Jew, Elazer Stern, who switched from Tzipi Livni’s party to Lapid’s, only to watch both factions ending up outside the government. Stern, who was raised in the National Religious movement, is not considered an avid advocate of the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.

MK Sharon Gal, who has been a vociferous promoter of the positions of his party boss, MK Lieberman, in attacking Arab MKs and Israel’s left. His biggest claim to fame during his short term in politics has been his membership in the committee to appoint judges, where he insisted that no non-Jewish candidate will ever receive his vote. Gal will host a personal show on Israel’s channel 20, which deals with Jewish issues.

Gal is the second dropout from Lieberman’s party, following Tsfat Mayor Ilan Shochat, who left as soon as he realized there won’t be an executive job for him.

Israeli media commentators have pointed to the fact that both parties, Lieberman’s and Lapid’s can only exist in conjunction with a membership in government, unlike Likud, Labor, and Meretz, which rely on substantial institutions and a historic following that sustain them during the dry seasons. It can be expected that, come next election, Lapid’s and Liberman’s electoral value will drop even further, as their access to patronage jobs and influence on special interest legislation have diminished considerably.

Jews, Arabs Unite to Underline Co-existence in Gush Etzion

Sunday, August 2nd, 2015

Some 200 Arabs and Jews demonstrated together Sunday night at the Gush Etzion junction on Highway 60 in Judea.

The intersection is an important one for more than one reason: in addition to its position as the turnoff leading to most of the area’s Jewish communities in the region, it also leads to the Rami Levy Supermarket just a few hundred meters away.

If ever there was a perfect example of what an apartheid state is NOT, the Rami Levy store in Gush Etzion most certainly would be it.

Observant women from the Jewish and Muslim Arab communities both work and shop in the store, as do observant men from both worlds. There is a walkway around the building where Muslims often step outside to pray to Allah and there is a synagogue within the store where Jewish men gather for the required quorum of 10 (a minyan) three times a day when needed.

The synagogue also conveniently doubles as a bomb shelter when less friendly or socially advanced Arab neighbors from south of the border (read: Gaza or Sinai) send rockets flying in the direction of the store.

Most of the people who shop at Rami Levy – and those who live in the area – have managed to get along quite well. They have no interest in murdering each other, nor do they support the calls to “Days of Rage” or “Price Tag” attacks they hear from others.

In response to last week’s horrific firebombing attack on a small family in the Arab village of Duma near Shechem, Jewish and Arab organizers decided it was time to speak out.

Late Sunday afternoon, some 200 people answered the call to rally at the Gush Etzion junction to show their solidarity with the wounded family and others who have been the victims of terror over the past several weeks.

Among the speakers were Rav Yaakov Medan of Yeshiva Har Etzion, Rav Yoel Bin Nun, Rav Yaakov Nagen of Otniel, and Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Hawa.

Opposition faction member MK Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party also participated in the rally, according to one of the organizers.

Tensions in the region are high and those who speak out to condemn others in their communities – especially those in the Arab community – face a very high risk, regardless of whether they are condemning crimes or not.

It takes extraordinary courage for a Muslim leader, someone like Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Hawa, to step into the media spotlight and risk a sniper’s bullet to speak in favor of co-existence with Jews in Judea and Samaria. To speak of peace. To bless a crowd.

Many rabbis and many Jews speak of peace and speak against hate. Few Arabs have the courage to do so, in part because the price exacted from them by their own people is so much higher and more deadly.

This writer salutes an Arab leader who has gripped the courage of his convictions and stepped up to the podium to lead his people not only with words, but actions as well.

Perhaps it will be through this demonstration of true faith in the protection of Allah that Islam may someday symbolize peace between peoples for us, too.

Lapid: The UN has Lost Its Mind

Monday, June 15th, 2015

The United Nations is “obsessed” with criticizing Israel, and “always assumes the Jews are to blame,” Yesh Atid party head Yair Lapid has accused. His comments from a Yesh Atid party gathering were reported by the Hebrew-language site NRG.

The UN is expected to release a report in the upcoming days criticizing Israel over the 2014 Protective Edge operation in Gaza.

Lapid noted that the UN had chosen not to investigate the kidnapping and murder of three Jewish teens at the hands of Hamas immediately prior to the operation. “If that’s not hypocrisy, I don’t know what is,” he said.

Overall, the report “is yet another example that the UN has lost its mind,” Lapid declared. Instead of investigating Israel, he continued, the UN should investigate itself. “How did it lose its honesty, its moral standards, the basic values of fairness for which it was created?” he asked.

He noted that Israel took extensive measures to protect Gaza civilians, including giving advance warning of military operations to allow civilians to leave affected areas and setting up a field hospital near Gaza.

Operation Protective Edge was launched in response to the Hamas terrorist group’s use of tunnels from Gaza to Israel to attack Israeli communities, and to near-constant rocket attacks. During the operation Hamas repeatedly attacked IDF troops in Gaza, leading to heavy fighting at several points near the Gaza border.

Following the operation Hamas accused Israel of war crimes, and claimed that nearly all of the dead were civilians – a claim repeated in the international media, despite strong evidence that at least half of those killed were combatants.

Two recent reports on the conflict have found that Hamas committed war crimes against both Israel and the civilian population of Gaza, and that Israel went above and beyond the law in its attempts to prevent civilian casualties.

Supreme Court Slaps Down Lapid’s Appeal to Freeze Netanyahu Coalition

Monday, May 11th, 2015

The Israeli Supreme Court Monday morning dismissed Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid’s appeal to rule against moves to expand the proposed coalition Cabinet.

The outgoing Cabinet approved the expansion bill that would remove the limit of 18 Cabinet ministries, and the Knesset is to vote on the legislation this week, paving the way for the inauguration of the new coalition.

The court, despite its decision not to freeze the legislative process, still has not yet ruled on Lapid’s appeal  questioning the legality of the expansion.

The Knesset’s attorney, Eyal Yinon, argued before the court that Lapid’s appeal was “baseless” and “unprecedented” as an attempt to interfere with legislation even before the Knesset votes on it.

The Cabinet cannot exceed 18 ministries, under current law. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wants it expanded to satisfy the demands of coalition partners, which is exactly why the Knesset previously passed a law limiting the size of the Knesset.

The expansion costs taxpayers millions of dollars and more importantly opens the door again to politicians auctioning off their participation in the government.

Lapid’s appeal was typical of his grandstand political style, but if the court eventually rejects his appeal, it will be one more defeat in his growing list of failures.

Yesh Atid Starting to Disinitegrate

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

After Yesh Atid’s failure in the elections, cutting them down to 11 seats from 19, and most likely heading them into the opposition, there is much disappointment in the party.

MK Shai Piron, who was the former Minister of Education in the 19th Knesset said that he is considering the idea of leaving politics.

MK Yaakov Perry, who served as the Minster of Science in the last Knesset is expected to quit if he isn’t appointed as a minister in this government, an appointment which is very unlikely to happen.

If Piron and Perry quit, then Elazar Stern, who served in HaTnua in the last Knesset, and Pnina Tamnu-Shateh are expected to take their place.

Facts Contradict Lapid’s Claims

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Claims by Finance Minister Yair Lapid that he has spearheaded a major change to reduce overcrowded classrooms have no resemblance to reality, two Israeli business newspapers noted on Sunday.

Lapid said late last week that the budget, which the Cabinet approved but was not passed by the Knesset before it was dissolved, is the “most social budget” ever and incorporates a “national program for reducing overcrowded classrooms.”

The Calcalist and The Marker reported that the itemized Education Ministry budget for 2015 does not make any reference to Lapid’s claim.

The largest increases in the budget are for absorbing the natural growth of the school-age population, extending the school year to include grades 1-4 in the “summer camp in school and providing free pre-nursery school for children ages 3-4.

Reducing the size of classes would cost approximately $250 million, not including the cost of building new classrooms.

According to Lapid’s response to the articles,  he is reducing the “size” of classes by adding teachers and student-teachers to existing classes to reduce the teacher-student ratio.

UTJ Not in the Bag for Bibi (Sort Of)

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

MK Yaakov Litzman who heads one of the two factions within the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party made it clear that his party’s vote for Netanyahu to form the coalition isn’t a given.

Litzman told Channel 2 that while his party prefers to sit with the Right, they have also sat with Meretz in the past, and could just as easily recommend that Herzog form the coalition.

Litzman’s only condition is that his party won’t sit with Yair Lapid, the head of Yesh Atid.

Without Yesh Atid, Herzog has no hope of forming a coalition according to current polls.

Yair Lapid, hearing Litzman’s statements, said that Litzman’s is saying one thing before the elections to get votes from a specific sector, but after the election Litzman will be saying something different, allowing UTJ to sit with Yesh Atid in the government.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/utj-not-in-the-bag-for-bibi-sort-of/2015/03/15/

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