According to a report on Israel Channel 10, Shelly Yechimovitch, the head of the Labor party, said that if she is appointed Minister of Finance, she would increase healthcare taxes, legislate an inheritance tax, and increase the corporate tax rate.
Posts Tagged ‘Yechimovitch’
The Labor party, headed up by Shelly Yechimovitch, will be holding primaries on Thursday.
Nana10 reports that senior staffers in Yechimovitch’s office have set up white lists and black lists of who they want in the Knesset and who they don’t want to see at all.
Among those that Yechimovitch reportedly does not want running for Knesset on the Labor list are: Noam Shalit (father of Gilad), Meirav Michaeli, Yariv Openheimer (head of Peace Now), Eitan Cabel, and Amir Peretz.
While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to move the next Knesset elections from October to February, 2013.
The Israeli press has been featuring several leaks from Netanyahu’s inner circle on Tuesday and Wednesday regarding the approaching declaration of a February vote, although an official declaration is yet to made.
“We will make a decision by the opening of the winter session” of the Knesset, Netanyahu said on Tuesday. The winter session will start in two weeks.
Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz have been discussing a less severe clipping of the national budget, which was supposed to be trimmed by $3.9 billion. In light of the expected elections, they are likely to reduce the cuts to $2.6 billion.
“Over four years, we have responsibly managed the economy, reduced unemployment, protected growth and added hundreds of workplaces. We coped better than most countries in the Western world with the global economic crisis. For four years we acted as a responsible government and we must continue on this path,” the Prime Minister said, already sounding as if he is campaigning for his next term in office.
It is expected that the early vote will be scheduled for Tuesday, February 12. The last elections were held on February 10, 2009.
Interior Minister Eli Yishai from Shas said his party would rather not have the early elections.
“I told the prime minister that if the budget is passed with compassion, we will support it,” Yishai said, hinting at the need to avoid cuts that would hurt the needy segments of Israel’s population, adding: “We are prepared for elections at any given time, although Shas would be happy to continue its term for the year that remains.”
Opposition leader Shaul Mofaz of Kadima, who spent a short stint in Netanyahu’s coalition government this summer, said that “Netanyahu must be replaced and hope needs to be returned to the people of Israel.”
Labor Party Chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich said that setting an early date for the national elections, because “Israel needs elections to decide between different alternatives and to reset the country’s path.”
Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) told Israel Today: “In my opinion, the prime minister does not have a majority to approve a national budget… There is no majority in the coalition to approve the cuts. Without a budget, the government cannot continue to function and therefore there will have to be early elections.”
The stealth move Monday night by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and opposition leader Shaul Mofaz has left everyone in Israel’s political arena reeling. First, the very idea that such a game-changing deal could be kept secret in Israel was shocking. It served to remind everyone of the military combat background of both leaders.
And then there was the realization that by joining forces the two have almost accomplished the oldest dream of every Israeli premier since David Ben Gurion – to rule without partners.
Today, a Likud and Kadima coalition relies on 55 of the 61 seats needed for a majority government.
But in reality, Kadima is “Likud light,” having been formed in 2005 by then Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, with Likud members who were willing to support Sharon’s plan to uproot the Jews of the Gaza strip, dubbed the “unilateral disengagement plan.”
In that sense, the Likud-Kadima coalition is more reunification than realignment. Mofaz et al are more lost children coming home than political foes overcoming their differences.
Back in December of 2005, then Defense Minister and Likud MK Shaul Mofaz sent personal letters to party members who were defecting to Ariel Sharon’s new party, begging them to return home. Later Mofaz would be ridiculed for the memorable slogan he included in his personal letter, “You don’t desert your home,” because shortly after coining it, Mofaz himself up and deserted that very home.
Seven years later it appears that all is forgotten.
Incidentally, Shaul Mofaz is fast becoming the Mitt Romney of Israeli politics, famous for making bombastic announcements which he disregards in a matter of days. Just before the Kadima primaries in March, Mofaz wrote on his Facebook page: “Listen well, I will not join Bibi’s government. Not today, not tomorrow and not after I become the head of Kadima on March 28. It is a bad, failing and disconnected government, and Kadima under my stewardship will replace it in the coming elections. Clear enough?”
The new deal awards the Kadima returnees significant legislative powers.
Under the section “Sharing the burden of military service,” the agreement states:
“The Parties undertake to enact, by July 31, 2012, a law regulating fair and just distribution of the burden of military service among the various segments of the population in Israel, in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling. Clear goals will be set for Haredi recruitment with progressive increases over the years. The bill will be written by a team from Kadima.”
Under the section “Correcting the system of government,” the agreement reads:
“The Parties undertake to fundamentally change the system of government in Israel, establishing a system of governance which will enhance governmental stability and effectiveness. Among other things, the new system will allow a prime minister to fulfill his agenda as determined by the voter, to create continuity of government, enhance the capacity for long-term planning and the protection of the public good.”
Under the section “The political process,” the agreement reads:
Both sides agree that the government will act to renew the political process and to advance negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. Both sides agree on the importance of preserving the State of Israel as a democratic, Jewish state, and on the importance of maintaining defensible borders.”
This third segment essentially embraces the two-state solution, which is bad news for the Jews in settlements east of the security fence. It means the beginning of a countdown towards the evacuation of thousands of Jews, and should that undertaking appear unrealistic, many settlers recalled today that Shaul Mofaz, serving as Sharon’s Defense Minister, was the enforcer in the removal of thousands of Gush Katif’s Jews.
The immediate huge loser of this move is Prime Minister wannabe Yair Lapid, who – before last night’s earthquake – was projected to gain between 11 and 12 seats in the coming elections, as newbie center parties have been doing in Israeli politics since 1977.
Coalition chairman Ze’ev Elkin, on Tuesday morning told Israel’s Army Radio that it is clear that Yair Lapid is the big loser of the new move. “He was already revving up his engine and saw himself in the Knesset,” Elkin mocked.
Lapid’s Facebook page offered this entry by the disappointed proto politician:
“What you saw today is exactly the old politics, dingy and ugly, which the time has come to kick out of our lives. Politics of seats instead of principles, of jobs instead of the public good, of interest groups instead of the whole country. They think now they will play for time and we’ll forget, but they are wrong. This disgusting political alliance will bury all its members under its ruins.”
But while the damage to Lapid’s dreams adds comic relief to the story, the new coalition deal means decidedly sobering news for Israel’s two major religious camps – the Haredim and the Religious Zionist settlement movement.