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December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yair Lapid’

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.

Yair Lapid Apologizes for Sabbath Desecration

Monday, October 6th, 2014

During a Yesh Atid party meeting on Sunday, Finance Minister Yair Lapid apologized for the Sabbath desecration he caused a few weeks ago, according to an NRG report.

“I made a mistake. I didn’t need to cause other people to desecrate Shabbat,” Lapid told his fellow party members.

At the time, Lapid called out reporters to his house for an unimportant press conference on Shabbat.

The outcry was surprising. Lapid was met with criticism, not only from the press corps who were forced to work on Shabbat, but from anti-religious, secular and leftwing politicians who were upset that he interrupted the day of rest of hard working people.

Report: Netanyahu, Lapid Reach 2015 Budget Deal

Saturday, September 20th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yair Lapid have reportedly resolved their differences over the 2015 state budget.

The target deficit will be raised from 2.5 percent to 3.4 percent and the defense budget will be increased by NIS 6 billion, according to the report by The Marker.

There will be a zero percent VAT (value added tax / sales tax) and no increase in taxes.

Lapid Won’t Let Defense Demands Turn Into ‘Turkish Bazaar’

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014

Finance Minister Yair Lapid vows to quit the government rather than raise taxes, an issue being debated as the government considers the budget for 2015, and says he won’t let the defense budget become a “Turkish bazaar.”

Lapid, who chairs the Yesh Atid party, is not willing to quit the coalition without a fight over the issue, however – and certainly not willing to crash the government over it.

“Elections are not a good thing for the state of Israel,” Lapid said in an interview with the Hebrew-language Ynet site. “I’m not afraid of elections, but they’re not necessary.. “

Nevertheless, he said, “I will quit the government rather than raise taxes. I ran with this for office and I said I won’t let it get to a situation in which every time there’s a problem, the government milks the public for all it has.”

At the end of the day, however, it doesn’t seem as though there will be a real problem in getting a budget passed. The kind of wrangling going on over the issue is the same kind of debate that is seen every time a budget comes up for discussion, Lapid said.

“It does not seem to me to be very different to the kind of conduct we’ve seen before every budget passing. I’ve been through a hard budget already with all of the pressures it involved. There are always pressures being put on the finance minister.”

Pressure is one thing, Lapid said, and he understands the defense ministry needs more money to be able to deal with the expenses of this summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge. There must also be a budget to pay for defense against other enemies, and to deal with the issue of possible return shelling and rocket attacks, and terrorists rebuilding tunnels in Gaza.

Yes, he acknowledged, “We need money for that. But I won’t let it turn into a Turkish bazaar. I want to give you all the money we have, but I can’t give you money we don’t.”

Poll: Netanyahu and Bennett Benefit from War at the Expense of Lapid

Thursday, August 14th, 2014

The Likud and Jewish Home parties would come out smelling like roses if elections were held today, according to a new poll released by the Knesset Channel.

Their gains primarily came at the expense of Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid. The popularity of Yisrael Beitenu , Tzipi Livni’s Tnuah party and the Haredi Shas and United Torah Judaism parties dropped slightly. Labor remained static, and the left-wing Meretz party attracted more followers, with 10 projected seats in the Knesset compared with the current six.

Likud would have 28 Knesset Members if elections were held today, according to the poll, compared with 19 in the current session. Jewish Home’s representation would soar from 12 to 19, giving Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett’s parties a combined strength of 47 seats., 14 less of a majority.

Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beitenu party was ranked with nine mandates, two less than it now has in the Knesset, while Shas lost four seats from its current 11. UTJ, now with seven Knesset Members, dropped one.

Livni’s party won enough support for four seats, two less that it now has.

As in previous polls, Kadima, headed by Shaul Mofaz, would disappear from the political map.

Kidnapping Saga: Lapid Dusts Off His Siddur to Pray

Friday, June 20th, 2014

Secular Yesh Atid party leader Yair Lapid’s turning to prayer for the safe return of three teenagers kidnapped by Palestinian Authority terrorists symbolizes the country’s ability to plug the dikes against surrender to the frustration that has followed the initial reaction of anger to the abductions.

Every media outlet in the country has rightfully tried to keep the crisis in the headlines, but the truth is that for all the efforts to report something new, the bottom line is “nada.”

Zilch. Zero.

If the security forces know something, they aren’t saying or may even be lying to throw the terrorists off course. Hanging on to every word to interpret, analyze and dissect, journalists have covered every possibility and every angle possible,  and the IDF has carried out thousands of searches for the terrorists and their captives, Gilad Sha’ar, Naftali Frankel and Eyah Yifrach.

Lapid, during a visit to the family of Sha’ar, told Gilad’s mother, “I haven’t prayed for six years. Since the bar mitzvah of my son I haven’t been in a synagogue. When the story of your sons broke, I looked through the entire house searching for my grandfather’s siddur. I sat and prayed.”

It would be easy – and mean – to ridicule Lapid, whose who has made a religion out of spewing venom against observant Jews, especially Haredim.

Mocking him so would simply be another way of venting frustration, and we have already seen this week enough cracks in the unity that Israelis have displayed in their prayers for the kidnap victims and the trust that the IDF will find them alive and will capture the terrorists, dead or alive.

Naftalii Frankel’s mother Racheli said this week, “I believe wholeheartedly that they will return, but whatever happens, remember God does not work for us. Do not forget, even if God forbid, something happens, I believe they will come back but if not, please be united. Be united.”

Not everyone was listening.

David Ha’Ivri, who has done wonders in the Shomron Regional Council to bring journalists like Lapid as well as foreign media and political leaders to see for themselves that Jews are not oppressors and that settlers are not terrorists, vented his anger and frustration on the Arutz Sheva website Thursday and blamed the Israeli security forces for not preventing the kidnapping.

And Rabbi Dov Lior of Hebron-Kiryat Arba, one of the leading national religious rabbis, blamed the kidnappings on the failure of Israelis to do more mitzvot.

Between Ha’Ivri, Rabbi Lior and Lapid, guess which one gets the thumbs up for saying the right thing at the right time?

As every day passes without real news, the danger grows that frustration will turn to hopelessness.

Pundits already are warning that the army’s operating against the Hamas terrorist infrastructure in Judea and Samaria could have repercussions as we get closer to next week’s beginning of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Security forces have arrested more than 300 terror suspects and killed at least one, while three soldiers have suffered light injuries.

Rabbi Berel Wein, in comments on the Jewish view of frustration., has written,  “Usually, frustration leads to feelings of anger and anger leads to bitterness of spirit and even to violence….

“’Blowing off steam’ is an understandable reaction to moments of extreme frustration. Yet the Torah and Jewish tradition militates strongly against such expressions of anger in almost all circumstances of life. Maimonides, who advocates moderation and a middle of the road approach regarding all human behavior traits, nevertheless advocates extremism in avoiding anger.

“The Talmud is replete with statements denigrating anger as a response to the frustrations of life. Anger is a statement that there is no God present in the world. Anger by its very presence is heresy and a denial of faith.”

Easier said than done, but Lapid, of all people, has shown the country how to do it.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/kidnapping-saga-lapid-dusts-off-his-siddur-to-pray/2014/06/20/

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