web analytics
September 2, 2014 / 7 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yesh Atid’

Coalition Sharks Smell Netanyahu Blood

Monday, June 9th, 2014

A guy ought to be able to look to his own cabinet for support in the face of enemy threats. It’s a reasonable supposition, one would think, but apparently it isn’t the case for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The coalition sharks are smelling blood, and it seems to be coming from the prime minister.

Apparently, it isn’t enough that Fatah, supposedly Israel’s “peace partner”, has welcomed Hamas back into the Palestinian Authority with open arms. It also isn’t enough that the United States and major European countries have blessed the new Palestinian union. But instead of a united defense for Israel in the face of the Fatah-Hamas front, the second-largest party in Netanyahu’s coalition – Yesh Atid – has aligned with Hatnua chairwoman and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to form a fifth column and threatened to ‘bring down the government’ if the boss doesn’t follow orders.

Orders from whom? How about from Finance Minister and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, for starters. He is the one who this time ordered Netanyahu to produce a map with borders for a new Palestinian Authority country, once and for all. Sound familiar? It should. You can find the same words in quotes from PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, or from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Chomp, chomp.

Then there’s Bayit Yehudi chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who has taken to the public soapbox to fight with Lapid and everyone else over what he thinks should be done about the Jews in Judea and Samaria. He probably means well, but instead of keeping the discussion in the Cabinet, he is taking the argument to public radio interviews. The ‘only sane plan’ is to annex Area C, he says. It’s not a new plan – he has said it for years – but why isn’t this discussion being kept behind closed doors? If he is Netanyahu’s ally, he should say so. If not, what is he doing in the coalition?

Chomp. Chomp.

And now, the Big Kahuna. Avigdor Liberman – the guy who cut the Likud votes in half because so many Likudniks couldn’t bear the thought of voting for a ‘Likud-Beytenu’ ticket – owes his political survival to the prime minister. It should be recalled that Liberman was on trial for corruption at the time of last year’s election, but Netanyahu kept his job as foreign minister open for him until Liberman was acquitted. The deal cost the Likud several seats in the Knesset, but Netanyahu was true to his word.

Now, Liberman has turned around to stab his ally in the back by making public comments about his boss’s dilemma, rather than simply helping solve the problem behind closed doors.

“What happened yesterday, when four senior ministers gave public addresses one after the other with each proposing a different political solution, was a grotesque performance,” Liberman said today (Monday) at a conference of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Eilat. “We need to cut down and adopt a single political plan to bind all parts of the coalition… as soon as possible, because if we don’t do it on our own, we will be dragged towards what we don’t want, and what is not in our best interest,” he said.

Right. But why is he saying that in public? A bit of the old pot calling the kettle black, no?

Liberman also directly addressed remarks made by Bennett and Lapid: “The economy minister spoke of annexing settlement blocs, and the finance minister threatened to disband the coalition if such a plan is approved. They both know they are talking about something that will never happen.” He commented that he supported Bennett’s plan, but said it was “not feasible.” Liberman then added drily, “he thinks it is worth saying to maybe get two more seats (in the Knesset).”

Lapid Calls for Unilateral Disengagement 

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid slammed Economy Minister Naftali Bennett Sunday, and threatened to bring down the government if Bennett’s plan to annex Judea and Samaria is adopted. Lapid also called for a building freeze.

In addition, Lapid called for an Ariel Sharon-style flight from Judea and Samaria “in order to preserve Israel’s Jewish character.”

Lapid warned that “if a Palestinian state is not established alongside Israel, the Palestinians will come to us sooner or later, with full backing of the world’s nations, and tell us: ‘Since you don’t intend to give us our own state, at least allow us to become citizens.’”

But he did not reference demographic evidence that the Palestinian population in Judea and Samaria continued to decline in 2013, and refused to address the fact that neither the Arabs or the United Nations accept Israel’s unilaterally-drawn Gaza border. Despite Israel’s withdrawal, Palestinians and their supporters continue to describe the Gaza Strip as “occupied.”

In addition, Lapid failed to explain whether or not he had learned any lessons from the destruction of Gush Katif in 2005, or how he would prevent the security nightmare that plagues southern Israel – Israeli Civilians in Sderot and other Gaza border region communities have withstood nearly 10,000 rocket attacks from Gaza since the Gush Katif manoeuvre – from reaching other parts of the country, particularly Ben Gurion Airport, well within rocket distance of the Binyamin region of Samaria.

Netanyahu Team To Evaluate Hamas Unity, Yesh Atid Threatens to Quit Coalition

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

PM Netanyahu has set up a special committee to evaluate and create plans for dealing with the new Hamas-Fatah unity government.

Following the EU, the UN, and the US’s rush to embrace the Hamas supported Palestinian Unity Government (PUG), Netanyahu’s committee will deal with the diplomatic and security dangers that Israel will face in this new reality.

On Saturday, Yesh Atid Minister Meir Cohen said that Yesh Atid believes that peace talks with PUG will be renewed, and if they aren’t, then Yesh Atid will leave the coalition.

Finance Ministry Leaves IDF Empty-Handed

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014

Finance Minister Yair Lapid was apparently not satisfied with the IDF decision to cancel military reservist training for the entire year.

A bare few hours after IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz made the announcement, the Finance Ministry also rejected a separate funding request for a cash infusion to the defense establishment.

Moreover, according to a source who spoke with Ynet, the ministry plans to slash more of the military budget for fiscal 2015.

Right down to the bone.

The ministry claims the cuts come in response to a Bank of Israel estimate released Monday urging the government to balance the books by raising taxes to the tune of some NIS 18 billion and trimming the budget in each ministry for fiscal 2015.

Critics say the IDF is using the elimination of reservist training as a weapon against the budget cuts.

Traditionally, the defense establishment has been the one area in which cuts kept to a minimum, if any are made at all. But there are those who believe the IDF should trim the number of career soldiers it maintains and take a second look at restructuring pensions and other benefits.

The chief of staff expressed his concern Tuesday in a statement warning, “This is no trick, and no shtick. I am very concerned. The IDF is in the service of the people, not the other way around. We will make every effort to secure the safety of Israeli citizens no matter the circumstances.”

But the question is how that can be carried out if reservists are untrained – and called upon to suddenly use — any new equipment that arrives on Israeli shores.

Moreover, as Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon pointed out Tuesday, the financial stress on the IDF is “not new – the figures were presented to the Cabinet at the beginning of the year.” The defense budget, he noted, “is not the biggest one” and he too warned that “it is growing smaller.”

Ya’alon said that due to Lapid’s budget cuts, “We will not call up reserves even for operational activity.”

Translation: All military activities will have to be carried out by active forces only – and most are young and relatively inexperienced. A high percentage have never been through a war.

At present, the head of the Ramallah-based Palestinian Authority’s paramilitary force has announced he believes it is time to end the security cooperation agreement with Israel. That Fatah-led force is on the verge of merging with Gaza’s Hamas terror organization.

If Lapid succeeds in slashing the IDF budget, what will happen should the new PA unity government decide to challenge Israel’s existence altogether in Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem, with aid from Arab nations?

Yesh Atid Blocks Israel’s ’No Early Release for Terrorists’ Bill

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Yesh Atid minister Yaakov Perry appealed a new law preventing the premature release of terrorist inmates from prison on Monday night, effectively blocking the measure.

The bill amends one of the Basic Laws of Israel, formulated in the 1960s, that allows the president to pardon terrorists under certain conditions. It was passed Sunday by the Ministerial Legislative Committee – but the move by the Science and Technology Minister stops the law from going to the Knesset plenum for its first reading.

Instead, it will go to the full Cabinet for a vote on Sunday.

Jailed terrorists — particularly the ones who are serving life sentences for multiple murders of Israeli citizens in terror attacks — are often used as bargaining chips by Arab nations and terror groups in talks with the State of Israel.

IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, kidnapped in a cross-border raid near the Gaza border by three Hamas-affiliated terrorist groups in 2006, was held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. His freedom and safe return was purchased after more than five years only at the cost of releasing more than a thousand Arab terrorist inmates from Israeli prisons — many of whom immediately resumed their activities against the Jewish State.

There are many who believe that if the option of early release for terrorist prisoners — “prisoner swaps” — was not available, terror groups with whom Israel deals would no longer find benefit in kidnapping Israeli hostages, and therefore would cease such activities.

Perry’s move was immediately condemned by lawmakers from the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party, one of the two sponsors of the bill.

Bayit Yehudi MK Ayelet Shaked, who proposed the measure together with MK David Tzur – against the objections of his own Hatnua party’s chairperson, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni – expressed outrage over Perry’s appeal.

“Tonight the truth was revealed that small politics are stronger than the blood of Israeli citizens,” Shaked told media.

“Minister Perry in the past expressed his support for the law, both to me and to my partner MK David Tzur, so his appeal is puzzling… How can the former head of the Shin Bet support releasing murderers?”

Economics Minister and Bayit Yehudi chairperson Naftali Bennett slammed the move, calling it a “mark of disgrace” on the entire Yesh Atid political party.

“Every day that this law is delayed human life is in danger,” Bennett underlined. “We will use all the tools at our disposal, including burying laws proposed by Yesh Atid, until this law is passed.

“I do not have, nor will I have any tolerance and patience for political games at the expense of laws that are essential for the security of Israeli citizens.”

MK Ze’ev Elkin to Chair Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee

Monday, May 12th, 2014

At last, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has a new chairperson: Likud Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin.  It’s taken six months to get there.

Elkin will chair in rotation with senior Likud lawmaker and coalition chairperson Yariv Levin. Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi is expected to replace Elkin as deputy foreign minister.

To soothe the ruffled feathers of Yesh Atid chairman and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, his choice for the post – Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah – will instead be made a senior deputy minister.

Lapid has been negotiating with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the issue, forever and a day. The position remained vacant since Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was forced to leave while facing corruption charges in a trial that acquitted him of the allegations last November.

The appointment now goes to the Knesset House Committee for ratification. If approved, Elkin will take the first rotation, until January 1, 2015. Levin will then serve 17 months, until June 1, 2016. Elkin returns at that point, and remains until 2017. Levin will also continue to serve as coalition chairperson until November 2014, and simultaneously chair the Knesset House Committee.

Who is to Blame for the Divisiveness?

Monday, May 5th, 2014

The Charedim are at fault. That statement coming from me should not be too surprising to those who constantly accuse me of Charedi bashing. They will cite it as further proof of that. But as I always say, I do not bash Charedim. I simply observe – and comment.  So how do I reconcile that with my opening statement? It’s quite simple, unfortunately. Anyone who read the latest edition of Mishpacha Magazine would come to the same conclusion.

In its cover story it reports on the survey that Mishpacha commissioned (originally reported in their Hebrew edition). They wanted to know what secular Jews in Israel really think of Charedim.  – the conclusion was quite revealing to its editor, Rabbi Moshe Grylak. The fact is that most secular Jews do not hate Charedim.

Additionally many other negative assumptions about secular Jews in Israel are also untrue… as I wrote about in an earlier post. His conclusion was that we should throw away all that misinformation and try to reach out more in the spirit of harmony and Achdus.  To paraphrase the immortal words of Rodney King, why indeed can we not all get along? We should.

Unfortunately Rabbi Grylak is part of the moderate Charedi world that does not reflect the current views of the rabbinic leadership there. Instead we keep hearing the same thing we have always heard. The narrative is the same. It’s almost as if these are pre-selected talking points. Old notions about secular hatred of Charedim still prevail. And that of course generates Charedi hatred of secular Jews in return.

In Mishpacha’s section on responses to the survey of both Charedim and secular Jews, we find stark differences.

In the very first interview we find a clean shaven young man, Dr. Chaim Zicherman who says that the solution to the problem is better Hasbarah (PR). He says that Charedim need to do a better job of showing the secular public what Charedim are all about… and not allow the negative images of them spun by the secular media to be their only source of information about them.

I agree. Charedim do need to reach out and make a better presentation of themselves. But then he falls into the same pattern of blame that many – even moderate Charedim fall into. He casts Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party as anti Charedi – equating it to his father Tommy Lapid’s Shinui party and all previous anti Charedi political parties.

Why can’t he realize that Lapid is not anti Charedi? There is no possible way that MK R’ Dov Lipman would belong to a party that is anti Charedi! Lapid’s political and media critics do not have the same access to Lapid that R’ Lipman does. He knows him and says unequivocally says that Laipd is not anti Charedi.

But they don’t care. They accuse R’ Lipman of selling out. But -as R’ Lipman has shown – there is ample evidence of Lapid’s desire to help Charedi get out of their poverty. Charedim counter that Lapid is anti Charedi because of some angry rhetoric they’ve heard or seen on his Facebook page. Or more recently the fact that he insisted on a criminal penalty for Charedi draft dodgers.

They always frame the issue this way: Lapid wants to throw Yeshiva students in jail because they want to learn Torah. That is patently false. Why can’ they frame it the way it really  is? …that Lapid simply wants to equalize the penalty for all draft dodgers?! Not that he wants to penalize Limud HaTorah! The oppsosite is true. He wants to install some Limud HaTorah into the secular schools!

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/who-is-to-blame-for-the-divisiveness/2014/05/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: