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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Yesh Atid’

Analysis: Bennett Threatening to Walk If Bibi Gives Shaked’s Justice Portfolio to Bougie

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Two left-leaning Israeli media outlets, Ha’aretz and Channel 10, on Monday signaled the formation of advanced negotiations between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Opposition Leader Itzhak Herzog (Zionist Camp a.k.a. Labor) to build a broad coalition. The talks, which have been egged on by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), were interrupted by police investigation of Herzog over election corruption charges. Now, as it appears that the investigation is about to be concluded without a recommendation for an indictment against the son of Israel’s late president and grandson of Israel’s late Chief Rabbi, the rumors of new talks have returned to the foreground in full force—but, as we noted, mostly from the left. Is it wishful thinking or reality?

Ha’aretz on Monday framed the story as a new confrontation between Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennet and the prime minister. According to the daily, Bennett has been threatening that if Netanyahu transfers the Justice portfolio from his party’s number 2 Ayelet Shaked to an incoming Labor minister, the National Religious would depart the coalition. Bennett is quoted as having said “behind closed doors” that “we see in the Justice portfolio an essential issue, which would mean the same as changing the government’s guidelines agreement. It’s not just a personnel issue.”

Ha’aretz, which has been advocating the kicking of Bennett et al to the curb since about the time Netanyahu presented his 61-seat coalition, relishes the story which it presents as the first ultimatum made by a coalition party leader this term. That is, of course, inaccurate, not only because said ultimatum is yet to be voiced publicly, but because Haredi MK Yisrael Eichler in March voiced an actual ultimatum regarding the reversal of Netanyahu’s permissive policy regarding the Reform and Conservative in Israel.

Ha’aretz cited a “senior Likud member” who insisted that the Justice portfolio is, nevertheless, on the table, because Netanyahu is convinced that he can’t go on much longer with his tiny and fragile majority. Over the Winter Session, the PM was blackmailed by several of his members, which cost him a few key votes and ended up costing his government an arm and a leg in flying to Israel hordes of Ethiopian Christians who may or may not have Jews somewhere in their background—all because two pro-Ethiopian Likud members stayed out of the plenum when they were most needed.

But an examination of the reality in both Netanyahu’s coalition and Herzog’s opposition reveals several hurdles the two leaders may not wish to tackle, never mind jump, at this point. There’s little doubt that Bennett, whether he threatened or didn’t threaten with an ultimatum “behind closed doors” would leave the coalition in a huff over Netanyahu’s violation of the coalition guidelines. He will then join with Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu in a rightwing block that would make Netanayahu’s life miserable at every turn, and will certainly cost him a hefty chunk of the Likud base. With several Likud members already barricading themselves along the party’s rightwing wall, this could mark the beginning of the end for Bibi.

But that’s not all. Despite the fact that about a third of Labor, especially the Histadrut trade union chairman Avi Nissenkorn, are very much in favor of joining a Netanyahu government without Habayit Hayehudi, a third of the party—those MKs who don’t stand to gain portfolios or committee chairmanships—are only somewhat inclined to follow, and a third, led by Herzog’s chief opponent MK Erel Margalit, are vehemently opposed to the move and will surely vote with the opposition on most issues.

So that even if Netanyahu manages to wed Herzog, he won’t be getting much more than half his seats as a dowry. He’d be giving up a sure 8 seats and getting in return an iffy 12 to 16, with a chance for open rebellion in the Likud’s right flank.

JNi.Media

Annals of Democracy: Lapid Cancels Primaries, Retains Total Control

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

Yesh Atid Chaieman Yair Lapid decided to withdraw his decision to conduct free elections among party members for the role of party chairman and primaries to decide the list of candidates, Israel’s Channel 10 News revealed Thursday. Lapid initially promised, when he established Yesh Atid in 2012, that he would lead the party for two consecutive terms and then open it up for the voters to choose their leaders. Channel 10 reported Lapid had reached the decision on his own, without consulting with other party members.

Israeli political parties have three ways of picking their candidates: Likud, Labor, Bayit Yehudi, Meretz, and the United Arab List (at least two out of three of its factions) invite their members to vote for their favorite leaders, each party on a separate, nationwide primary day; the ultra-Orthodox party decides its candidate list through negotiations and Shas by a directive of the Council of Sages; and the rest are the private domain of the party bosses — Avigdor Liebrman, Moshe Kahlon, and Yair Lapid.

Lapid, like the other two bosses in the Knesset, also retained the right to pick the list of candidates for the next Knesset elections. Now, does this mean that he knows something the rest of us do not? Is Netanyahu planning yet another run, less than a year after the last one?

Yesh Atid dropped from 19 to 11 seats in the 20th Knesset, and has been sharing the center with Kahlon’s Kulanu, with its 10 members. Both Lapid and Kahlon have run the Finance Ministry during their stint in government, and both are competing for the same voters; they could cobble together the largest party in the Knesset, but they won’t. So the fight between them promises to be fierce. And so, whether the next elections come now or in three years from now, Lapid must recruit the best list of candidates he can against Kahlon, who will have the momentum of incumbency.

In other words, Democracy, shmedocracy, ya first gotta’ win it to be in it…

David Israel

Lapid: Iran Deal Now Funding Terror at Israel’s Expense

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

Israel is now reaping the fruits of the IranDeal signed with Tehran by the United States and five other world powers, Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid told a gathering of foreign journalists Monday at the Jerusalem Press Club.

Lapid clearly backed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in his stance on the Iranian threat to Israel – and U.S. culpability in strengthening that threat.

The former finance minister told reporters that the new flow of funds released in the relief of sanctions against Iran is already threatening Israel. “Secretary of State [John] Kerry said himself last week that some of the sanctions relief will go to funding terrorism. For us this is not theoretical. This money translates itself into rockets aimed at our children,” Lapid said.

“The next conflict in the north or south of Israel is just a matter of time,” he warned. “The provocations, the breaches of international law, the preparations… are already happening every day by Hamas in the south and Hezbollah in the north. Both with [and result from] Iranian backing.

“When the fighting breaks out, the analysis and reporting shouldn’t start with the first Israeli strike, but with what’s happening on the ground right now,” he told reporters.

He added that although he agrees with his former coalition partner on these points, Lapid said he still intends to run against Netanyahu in the next election – as the alternative candidate for prime minister.

Hana Levi Julian

Hareidi Rabbis Rejected Netanyahu Request that Lapid Join Coalition

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Rabbis who advise the Hareidi Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism – UTJ) party have rejected a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to expand the government with the inclusion of Yesh Atid, chaired by Yair Lapid.

UTJ Minister Yaakov Litzman confirmed the report that was published Monday afternoon by the Hedrei Haderim website.

The coalition has survived for half a year with the narrowest of majorities, a single vote, and it has had to scramble several times to bring in Knesset Members to prevent an embarrassing defeat of a government bill or stop passage of an unwanted Opposition bill.

The Opposition also has not grabbed at opportunities to topple the government, and Opposition MKs often have left the Knesset forum in the same numbers that coalition MKs are absent.

Prime Minister Netanyahu would like to have a more comfortable majority, and Lapid’s chameleon-like positions have made it possible for him to sit with any government.

However, the Hareidi rabbis have drawn a giant X on Lapid, whose Holy Grail is to draft Hareidim, regardless of how much they learn in yeshivas or at least are listed as learning.

Hedrei Haderim reported that Litzman said:

I confirm that I received the request from the Prime Minister and that according to the advice of the Torah Sages Council, the answer is negative.

Lapid is a red line.

The office of the Prime Minister has not commented on the report, and Shas Hareidi party chairman Aryeh Deri told the website he knows nothing about it.

As for relations between Litzman and Lapid, the Yesh Atid leader recently approached the Knesset podium as Litzman stepped down.

Lapid reportedly patted Litzman’s shoulder, and the minister coolly brushed off his clothes, as if to clean off the dirt.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Lapid ‘Fed Up with the Palestinians’

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid said Sunday morning he is “fed up” with Palestinian Authority Arabs and “the time has come to separate from them” but with the IDF remaining able to operate to prevent attacks on Jews.

Lapid sounded on Israel radio’s Voice of Israel (Reshet Bet) like a responsible centrist opposition leader, filling the vacuum left by Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog whose only reactions to the recent wave of terror have been to blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and to claim that none of this would have happened if he had been Prime Minister.

Not even the anti-Netanyahu media have swallowed Lapid’s weak and divisive stance, and Lapid took the opportunity today to say that he backs the Prime Minister’s efforts to defeat terror.

Lapid, a former journalist, reads the political tea leaves better than Herzog and even Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, who is huffing and puffing over polls that show his is one of the most trusted political leaders to deal with terrorism.

Seven months after the elections that gave Prime Minister Netanyahu only a one-seat majority in the coalition government, it is as strong as ever. Herzog’s refusal to join a national unity government, along with his pathetic demand that Netanyahu resign, have been met with the sound of one hand clapping.

Lieberman’s rants win him some headlines, but his rise in popularity will last as long as the wave of terror, which appears to be winding down even if it does not end.

Lapid understands better than anyone else outside the coalition that Israelis are more unfired than ever in their distrust of the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas, whose blatant incitement and lies have left the left-wing camp look like a home for dwarfs.

The anti-Netanyahu media, which include the largest electronic outlets and the Yediot Acharonot newspaper, have dismissed Tzipi Livni as useless and are ignoring Herzog for the same reason.

The same media hate Lieberman even more than Netanyahu. The only one left is Lapid, and he milking it for all it’s worth in preparation for the next elections, which don’t appear on the horizon.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

High Court Demands Ultra-Orthodox Deputy Health Minister Be Upgraded to Minister or Fired

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

(JNi.media) Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday accepted a petition from the opposition Yesh Atid party asking that Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman may not continue to serve as de facto Minister so long as he does not officially receive the appointment. The court decided Litzmann must make up his mind within 60 days.

The arrangement, which had been used routinely in the past with ultra-Orthodox politicians, was for Prime Minister Netanyahu to be the official Health Minister, while Litzman, as his deputy, actually ran the ministry. The reason for the unusual arrangement was to shield the ultra-Orthodox politician from responsibility for decisions of the Health ministry which may conflict with Jewish law—such as issues related to homosexual patients.

Deputy Minister Litzman, who is considered by most of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to be one of the most competent elected officials today, will now be forced to choose assuming responsibility for a variety of medical ethics decisions which may be in direct conflict with halacha (Jewish law), in order to maintain his hold on the ministry.

If he receives the approval of the United Torah Judaism party’s rabbinic advisory board, Litzman would become Israel’s first Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox minister since David Ben Gurion’s first coalition government, when Itzche Meir Levin (Aguda) served as Minister of Social Services.

The aim of the Yesh Atid appeal to the high court was to force Ultra-Orthodox politicians to embrace without reservations their participation in the Zionist endeavor in Israel, possibly creating a rift between the Israeli ultra-Orthodox party and anti-Zionist Ultra-Orthodox Jews both in Israel and abroad.

It is also now more likely that the Netanyahu government could fall over a medical dispute between the ultra-Orthodox and mainstream Israelis, because now Minister Liztman will not be able to recuse himself from dangerously sensitive issues.

JNi.Media

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/supreme-court-slaps-down-lapids-appeal-to-freeze-netanyahu-coalition/2015/05/11/

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