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December 2, 2015 / 20 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Yesh Atid’

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.

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.

Yesh Atid Starting to Disinitegrate

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

After Yesh Atid’s failure in the elections, cutting them down to 11 seats from 19, and most likely heading them into the opposition, there is much disappointment in the party.

MK Shai Piron, who was the former Minister of Education in the 19th Knesset said that he is considering the idea of leaving politics.

MK Yaakov Perry, who served as the Minster of Science in the last Knesset is expected to quit if he isn’t appointed as a minister in this government, an appointment which is very unlikely to happen.

If Piron and Perry quit, then Elazar Stern, who served in HaTnua in the last Knesset, and Pnina Tamnu-Shateh are expected to take their place.

Facts Contradict Lapid’s Claims

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

Claims by Finance Minister Yair Lapid that he has spearheaded a major change to reduce overcrowded classrooms have no resemblance to reality, two Israeli business newspapers noted on Sunday.

Lapid said late last week that the budget, which the Cabinet approved but was not passed by the Knesset before it was dissolved, is the “most social budget” ever and incorporates a “national program for reducing overcrowded classrooms.”

The Calcalist and The Marker reported that the itemized Education Ministry budget for 2015 does not make any reference to Lapid’s claim.

The largest increases in the budget are for absorbing the natural growth of the school-age population, extending the school year to include grades 1-4 in the “summer camp in school and providing free pre-nursery school for children ages 3-4.

Reducing the size of classes would cost approximately $250 million, not including the cost of building new classrooms.

According to Lapid’s response to the articles,  he is reducing the “size” of classes by adding teachers and student-teachers to existing classes to reduce the teacher-student ratio.

UTJ Not in the Bag for Bibi (Sort Of)

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

MK Yaakov Litzman who heads one of the two factions within the United Torah Judaism (UTJ) party made it clear that his party’s vote for Netanyahu to form the coalition isn’t a given.

Litzman told Channel 2 that while his party prefers to sit with the Right, they have also sat with Meretz in the past, and could just as easily recommend that Herzog form the coalition.

Litzman’s only condition is that his party won’t sit with Yair Lapid, the head of Yesh Atid.

Without Yesh Atid, Herzog has no hope of forming a coalition according to current polls.

Yair Lapid, hearing Litzman’s statements, said that Litzman’s is saying one thing before the elections to get votes from a specific sector, but after the election Litzman will be saying something different, allowing UTJ to sit with Yesh Atid in the government.

If Aryeh Deri Keeps His Word, Herzog Cannot Be Prime Minister

Friday, March 13th, 2015

Aryeh Deri has crushed any hope of the Herzog-Livni duo that they can form the next government coalition and has paved the way for a Netanyahu-led Haredi-right-wing administration.

Deri, and the Shas party he heads, have a long record of moving left or right so long as the party can be part of a coalition and squeeze the government for money for its institutions. The party and its chairman have no ideology when it comes to being part of the power structure.

When Deri says he is a leftist, don’t believe him

When he say he is a nationalist, don’t believe him.

However, on Thursday made it clearer than ever, with no reservations, and said at a campaign stop at Jerusalem’s Mahane Yehuda market and also on Israeli radio stations:

I have un-categorically stated that I will not sit in a leftist government, and then I was asked about my personal association with Herzog. I answered, ‘I don’t discard Bujie [Herzog] personally….I have explained clearly that the participation of Shas with the Likud goes back many years.’

That is not entirely true.  Shas sat in the Peres-Rabin coalition and voted for the Oslo Accords, and Deri said earlier this week he favors the expulsion of Jews from Jewish communities that are not part of large populating centers in Judea and Samaria.

So with the election results in doubt and polls showing a trend in favor of Herzog and Livni’s Zionist Union party, why is Deri locking himself out of a possible coalition led by Yitzchak Herzog and Tzipi Livni, who have a commanding lead over Netanyahu, according to the polls?

The simple and correct answer is that Deri knows that a Herzog-Livni coalition would be incredibly unstable, unless there is a sudden sweep beyond the leftists’ wildest imagination. On the other hand a government headed by Netanyahu, even with the tiniest majority, would be stable.

In other words, a coalition in the hand is better than a coalition is in the bush.

The arithmetic is very simple, much more so than colleague Shalom Bear stated here yesterday.

Let’s give Bujie the benefit of the doubt and grant him 26 seats in the Knesset. Let’s give Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid 13 and Kulanu, headed by Moshe Kahlon, eight. That comes out to 47, and make it 53 with six seats for Meretz, and that is being generous.

The missing seats won’t come from the Likud or Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home). Nor will they come from Yisrael Beiteinu. They won’t come from the United Arab List because Kahlon has ruled out sitting with a coalition that is kept in office by outright anti-Zionists, although the same objection could be raised concerning a cajole of future MKs on Herzog’s list of candidates.

The only way Herzog and Livni can fill the gap is with the Haredi parties. YaHadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) traditionally sits with the right wing. Even if they were to agree to sit with Herzog and Livni, all of the hate in the world for Netanyahu will not convince Lapid and Meretz to sit together with the Haredim. And vice-versa.

The UTJ chairman even refused to show up for a question and answer session on Thursday that would have required him to sit in the same room with Lapid.

Yes, if Shas wins eight seats, it could give Herzog a majority, but Deri knows that a leftist-Haredi coalition is too shaky to last any longer than the time between Mincha afternoon prayers and Maariv evening prayers.

But Deri knows very well that he is the deal-breaker for a coalition led by Netanyahu, even if the Likud wins only 21 seats. Add five from Yisrael Beiteinu, 12 from Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) and eight from Kulanu. The sum total is 46, and these numbers are conservative.

That is where the Haredim will call the shots. Shas and UTJ will come up with at least 15 seats, giving Netanyahu a tiny but stable majority of one. Unlike a leftist coalition with Haredim, all of the parties in the projected Netanyahu government have no problem sitting with each other.

In the past, that would not have been true because Avigdor Lieberman, chairman of Yisrael Beiteinu, was one of the major reasons, the previous coalition broke up, But his party has been whittled down to almost nothing, leaving him little room to let out much more than a weak squeak.

If Yachad wins enough votes to enter the Knesset, and that is a big question mark, the coalition would have a majority of four, after subtracting Baruch Marzel, who has said he won’t sit with Netanyahu.

Deri has done his math, and if the above scenario becomes reality, the irony of ironies is that the anti-Netanyahu media blitz will have resulted with their two most hated voting blocs waving the heaviest hand in the government – settlers and Haredim.

However, there is one big caveat emptor, as a reader responded to this article on Facebook:

LOL. “If Aryeh Deri keeps his word …

Netanyahu’s Speech to Congress – Blocked from U.S. Prime Time, Perfect for Israel

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

As Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu departed for Washington, D.C. today, March 1, he underscored the solemnity of his mission, and the fact that his efforts are made on behalf of all Israelis. Every one of them.

The prime minister said:

A few days before the Fast of Esther, I am leaving for Washington on a fateful, even historic, mission. I feel that I am the emissary of all Israelis, even those who disagree with me, of the entire Jewish People. I am deeply and genuinely concerned for the security of all Israelis, for the fate of the nation, and for the fate of our people and I will do my utmost to ensure our future.

Throughout this campaign season in Israel, every one of the major center- to right-wing parties stated that they are in agreement with Netanyahu regarding Iran.

As far left as Labor-Livni, including Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beitenu and Bayit Yehudi, all pledged that there is no space between them and Netanyahu’s position regarding the existential threat posed to Israel, and the entire western world, by an Islamic Republic of Iran with nuclear weapons capability.


One of the main criticisms aimed at Netanyahu for coming to speak to Congress in March is that it is a scant few weeks before the Israeli elections. Presumably, the thought was, the speech would unfairly boost his standing and translate into more votes for him.

How strange, then, that Netanyahu’s speech to Congress is slated for 10:45 a.m., east coast time. This means that very few working Americans will be able to watch the speech live; they will all be at work.

Having Netanyahu speak to Congress at 10:45 east coast time, however, means that he will be on the air in Israel during  prime viewing time, starting at about 5:50 p.m. (there will be a five minute delay in Israel).

In other words, to the extent the White House had any ability to influence the timing of the speech, it was deemed more important that Americans not be able to see and hear the Israeli prime minister, than that Israeli voters might be influenced by their prime minister’s congressional speech.

Had the speech been scheduled for 9:00 p.m. EST, as most important speeches are, only the most die-hard Bibi fans in Israel would be up at 4:00 a.m. to watch.

The fear is and was that Netanyahu will be able to infuse Congress and the American people with the necessary backbone to stand up to the global threat of a nuclear armed Iran.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahus-speech-to-congress-blocked-from-u-s-prime-time-perfect-for-israel/2015/03/01/

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