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March 4, 2015 / 13 Adar , 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yesh Atid’

’5 Shades of Israel’ Debate the Issues for Anglo Votes in Jerusalem

Wednesday, February 25th, 2015

The top five political parties in Israel vied for the English-speaking vote in Jerusalem on Wednesday in a far more polite debate held at Cinema City in Jerusalem than is usually seen in Hebrew-speaking forums, in keeping with the cultural tenor of the audience.

JewishPress.com editor-in-chief Stephen Leavitt noted at the start of the event that Israel is home to nearly half a million “native English speakers” who have immigrated from countries as diverse at Australia, South Africa, the UK, Canada, the U.S. and other areas where the English language is spoken.

Representatives of the Likud, Yesh Atid, Bayit Yehudi, Yisrael Beytenu and Labor-Tnua merger parties addressed the anglo voters on a set of five core issues. Among those that has been raising blood pressure in Israel and abroad is the Iranian nuclear threat and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s planned trip next week to address a joint session of the U.S. Congress in Washington D.C.

Yisrael Beytenu representative Ashley Perry led off the responses by asking, “How can we take on Iran if we cannot successfully take on Hamas and Hezbollah? We can achieve a draw at best,” he said, pointing to the results of the recent operations carried out against terror groups in Gaza and Lebanon.

“We have to first deal with the more imminent threat on our borders,” Perry said. “We have to take the gloves off. We need to return deterrence. The next time a single rocket comes over, we need to respond with such impact that … quiet returns for generations.”

Yesh Atid representative and MK Rabbi Dov Lipman commented, “There are times when leaders speak with bravado, but create tremendous damage to Israel along the way… I see it when I travel abroad. There is a way to go about such things.” Netanyahu’s upcoming speech to Congress, Lipman contended, is “doing tremendous damage.” He insisted the Congress could have — and would have — come up with a two-thirds vote to “override” any deal with Iran that President Barack Obama would have brought before the Congress for approval. Now, he said, “Congress cannot do anything about it.”

Hillik Bar, representing the Herzog-Hatnua parties, said he believes in “smart diplomacy” and that in essence, he agreed with Lipman. “But this time I agree with Netanyahu in that we in Israel do not believe the Iranians when they say they are using their nuclear power for peace. We know better.” The difference, Bar said, was that his party differs with Likud on how to differentiate between “those Arabs who want to live with us and those who don’t — those who want to live here INSTEAD of us. With those, we should speak with them in the language of the IDF; on this we agree with Netanyahu,” he said.

Likud representative and former MK, Professor Benny Begin’s oratorial skills prompted even the moderator to lose track of his own timekeeping — for which he later apologized to the audience.

“What a miracle,” he began quietly. “I should remind you that in the last decade and up to about two years ago, everyone agreed that Prime Minister Netanyahu was exaggerating about the Iranian threat in order to keep the debate about “internal” issues. The P5+1 was claiming there was “no weapons program” there in Iran… everyone was insisting that Netanyahu was making it up.

“There was only one person who carried that banner and he carried it high. It speaks about the far-sighted ability of Netanyahu, and his courage to carry it in the face of major opposition from everyone… These guys are a menace not only to Israel but to the whole world.

Working Charedim

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

Originally posted to author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah}

The denial came very quickly. Former Eida HaCharedis (unofficial) spokesman Shmuel Chaim Pappenheim is featured in a Yesh Atid ad (viewable below) promoting the idea of Charedim learning secular subjects (English and math) and getting jobs. He laments the fact that a typical 45 year old Charedi doesn’t even know the English alphabet!

Mr. (Rabbi?) Pappenheim denied that he has anything to do with the Yesh Atid ad and claims this was an unauthorized use of a video he was involved in for an entirely different project. I don’t really blame him for his quick disavowal of anything to do with them. I’m sure that he doesn’t want his head handed to him. Rafi Goldmeier made note of this ad on hisblog, Life in Israel and adds that if what Mr. Pappenhiem said is true, he should sue. Perhaps.

But one cannot get away from the fact that the message he sent in the video was exactly the message that Yesh Atid sends. And yet when Yesh Atid sends that message they are called Amalek. Now it’s also true that Yesh Atid was able to legislate their views into law. In effect that forces a core secular studies curriculum upon them if they want continued government funding. But the idea behind the law is identical to what Mr. Pappenheim advocates: educating Charedim out of ignorance about anything besides Torah – so that they can get better jobs.

How ironic it is that the hated (by Charedim) Yesh Atid is on the same page about working Charedim with someone like Shmuel Papenheim, a man of Meah Shearim who was weaned on the Hashkafos of the Eida HaCharedis for whom he once was spokesman. There is no greater animosity between 2 Jewish groups than there is between the Eida and Yesh Atid.

The view expressed by Rabbi Pappenheim in that video is why I still believe that Yesh Atid founder and party head, Yair Lapid is not the Rasha the Charedi world makes him out to be. Yes, he is a secular Jew with secular values. Values that are sometimes at odds with those of us that are observant. It should be no surprise for example that he endorses something like gay marriage. In this he is no different than many other liberal secular Jews. But in areas that affect Charedim the most, he wants for them the same thing that Shmuel Pappenheim wants, a Charedi community that can support themselves, their family, and contribute materially to the general welfare of Israeli society.

Despite Lapid’s past heated negative rhetoric on his Facebook page (and perhaps elsewhere) about the Charedi world (which is cited by them as proof that he is anti Charedi) I tend to believe what he said to students at the Charedi college program at Kiryat Ono during his first campaign for the Knesset. I think that is who he really is. When a man is constantly attacked by a community that calls him the vilest of names, it shouldn’t be surprising that he ‘hits back’. He is human.

I truly believe that he does not want to hurt Charedim. He wants to help them support their families. But he also wants to equalize their obligations to the country with everyone else. He calls it ‘sharing the burden’. And that means some sort of service to country. Either via the army; or some sort of alternative ‘Sherut Leumi’ type service.

These are not the words are acts of someone who wants to destroy them. This is not someone who wants to disabuse a single Jew of his Yiddishkeit. Or a single Charedi of his values. Despite claims by Charedi leaders and politicians to the contrary.

He is not anti Charedi at all. He is pro-Charedi in his own way. He wants them to flourish. He even wants secular society to be more involved in what they do: Talmud study! Did he not publicly say that the Talmud belongs to all the Jewish people and not only Charedim?

He even chose two religious Jews to be on his list. One of them a former Rosh Yeshiva of a Hesder Yeshiva in Petach Tikva, Rabbi Shai Piron. He is high on the Yesh Atid list and will surely be in the next Kenesset – if the polls are anywhere near accurate. The other is Charedi and one of my favorite people, Rabbi Dov Lipman.

I am disappointed that it is unlikely Rabbi Lipman will be in the next Kenesset. The polls project a loss of seats by Yesh Atid and Rabbi Lipman has one of those seats. This is too bad. He is an asset to Yesh Atid and to Charedim (even though they vehemently deny it). Unlike many Charedi cynics who saw Rabbi Lipman as a willing fig leaf for Lapid’s nefarious agenda, I saw him as fighter for improving the financial lot of Charedim whose grinding poverty seems to be greater than ever – and getting worse by the day. But Charedi leadership rebuffs him and rejects his agenda. Instead they ask for increased charity from abroad so they can continue as before without the need to learn how to support themselves.

I can understand why Charedi leaders do not want others to make decisions for them. They believe that their own decisions are the only ones that are Torah true. The problem is that their decisions are not helping them rise out of the poverty. Their decisions are in fact doing the opposite. Increased charity from abroad is not a plan for the future.

The truth is so do the grass roots members of the Charedi world. They seem to be increasingly embracing the idea that a secular education is needed in order to improve their lives. That’s why the Jerusalem College of Technology (Machon Lev), which has a Charedi track produced a humorous video (viewable below) that shows the truth about the value of a working Charedi. And that’s why the Charedi parties might lose a seat in the next election despite their increased numbers. Working Charedim are looking elsewhere for representation of their interests.

Interestingly, Charedi MK Rabbi Moshe Gafne denies the very existence of a classification called working Charedim. And thus does not see his mission as representing them in the Knesset. (You can’t represent people you say don’t exist.)

Perhaps things are changing. (Albeit if you ask me, far too slowly.) And if enough Charedim become working Charedim, they may actually end up valuing an education for their children that includes a core secular studies curriculum… along the same lines many Charedi schools in America operate. If that happens, and there are enough schools that offer it – then the primary political party to thank for that will be Yesh Atid.

Update
I have been informed by Menachem Lipkin who is a close friend of MK Rabbi Dov Lipman that he received the following note from him :

“Shmuel Poppenheim signed a document saying that he was aware that the video was being used for the Yesh Atid campaign.The video was filmed by a Yesh Atid crew and Yesh Atid representatives were there.”

Doesn’t that speak volumes?

Election Committee Bars Arab MK Zoabi from Running for Knesset

Thursday, February 12th, 2015

The Central Elections Committee Thursday overwhelmingly against Arab Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi’s eligibility for running for election because of her association with terror.

The Joint Arab List, which includes Zoabi’s Balad party, will appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, where Zoabi stands a good chance of a ruling in her favor.

The 27-6 vote in the committee rejected arguments by the attorney-general that banning Zoabi would be an open invitation to the Supreme Court to get involved in the political process.

Weinstein also advised against disqualifying right-wing activist Baruch Marzel, whose candidacy with the Yachad party also has been appealed to the committee, which has not yet decided on his eligibility.

The opposition to Zoabi’s candidacy by the Herzog-Livni-led “Zionist Camp” party cemented her disqualification, which also was backed by delegates from the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home), Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu, Shas and Yachad parties.

Meretz and the Joint Arab List voted in favor of Zoabi.

The vote paved the way for similar action against Marzel, who later on the day also was disqualified.

Both Zoabi and Marzel, who is not a MK, have shown a proficiency for grabbing headlines. Zoabi is known for her nasty language against the IDF and right-wing Jews, and she also was onboard the Mavi Marmara boat in the flotilla led by IHH terrorists nearly six years ago to break the Israeli maritime embargo on Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Marzel has been involved in stunts such as marching with an Israeli flag in the city of Umm el-Fahm, which also serves as the headquarters for the northern branch of the radical Islamic Movement.

Marzel and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman, along with the new Yachad party, petitioned the Election Committee to bar Zoabi from running.

The committee hearing was nothing less than a shouting match between Zoabi and hecklers, including Marzel, who jeered when she said Marzel and Lieberman “turned my nation into terrorists,” referring to her nation as “Palestinian.”

Yachad party chairman Eli Yishai shouted at Zoabi that she is a terrorist.

 

Yesh Atid Prefers Herzog/Livni Over Netanyahu

Monday, February 9th, 2015

Shai Piron, the number 2 man in the Yesh Atid party said the party’s preference is to replace Netanyahu, and as such, given the choice would join a Herzog/Livni led coalition.

Piron said it is time for new leadership in Israel.

New Poll Shows All Parties Going Full Blast in Neutral

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

The oddest result of a month of polls is that there has been almost absolutely no change in the numbers.

The weekly Rafi Smith poll published Thursday night reveals that all parties are more or less stagnant and that national religious voters favoring the new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai may be wasting their votes.

The new party has been on the edge of winning the minimum number of votes to enter the Knesset, but the Smith poll leaves Yachad under the radar. If polls in the next two weeks do not clearly show that the party has enough backing to win Knesset representation, voters are likely to abandon the sinking ship in favor of the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.

Labor-Livni, running under the banner of the “Zionist Camp” party, would win 25 seats in the Knesset if elections were held today, according  to the Smith survey. The number is unchanged from last week’s survey.

Similarly, the Likud party, headed by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, would win 24 seats, followed by Bayit Yehudi with 16, one more than last week.

Next in line are Yesh Atid, whose chairman is Yair Lapid, with nine seats, and Shas, headed by Aryeh Deri with eight Knesset Members. Both parties’ support is unchanged from last week.

Kulanu (All of Us) headed by Moshe Kahlon won enough backing for eight seats, one less than last week.

Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism), the Ashkenazi Haredi party, gained one seat and now has eight projected MKs. Both Meretz and Yisrael Beiteinu lost one seat and are down to five,

The joint Arab list of parties won 12 seats, one more than in the previous poll.

The changes of one seat up or down are relatively insignificant given the margin of error in surveys.

Pollsters insist there is a large bloc of undecided voters, but if that is the case, they appear to be decidedly undecided.

No matter how you spin the  numbers, the results still show that Labor-Livni, or the Zionist Camp if you prefer the official name, have no chance of forming a government.

One Jewish Press report last week suggested that the Arab parties are “natural partners” for a left-wing coalition and that even if they don’t join the coalition, they would give their support for it in critical votes. Arab parties never have agreed to be part of an Israeli government, and given the fact that several of the Arab MKs are blatantly pro-Palestinian Authority and openly against a Jewish State of Israel, they are not about to change the tradition.

However, it also is unlikely that Kulanu and Yesh Atid would accept demands of the Arab parties if push came to shove and Herzog and Livni were to propose a coalition needing support of Arab MKs.

No party has any momentum. The only likely changes in the strength of the left-wing or right-wing camp will come from lukewarm supporters of Kulanu and Yesh Lapid.

That leaves the undecided voters to make up their minds, and they have a little more than six weeks to do so.

Yesh Atid Announces Knesset List

Tuesday, January 27th, 2015

Yair Lapid has announced his candidate list for Yesh Atid for the upcoming elections:

1) Yair Lapid

2) Shai Piron

3) Yael German

4) Meir Cohen

5) Yaacov Peri

6) Ofer Shelach

7) Haim Yelin

8) Yoel Razbozov

9) Karin Elharar

10) Aliza Lavie

11) Miki Levy

12) Elazar Stern (formerly of Hatnua)

13) Pnina Tamnu-Shata

14) Dov Lipman (not final)

15) Ruth Calderon

MK Elazar Stern to Join Yesh Atid

Saturday, January 17th, 2015

MK Elazar Stern, who quit Tzipi Livni’s HaTnua party last month when she merged with Labor, will be joining Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, according to Reshet TV.

Yesh Atid was actually Stern’s preferred choice before the previous election, but as he was late in making up his mind about running, the only realistic option left open to him at that point was the HaTnua party.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-elazar-stern-to-join-yesh-atid/2015/01/17/

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