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July 5, 2015 / 18 Tammuz, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yesh Atid’

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.

TIMING OF THE SPEECH

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.

‘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?

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/217636/2015/02/22/

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