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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Yesh Atid’

Bennett’s ‘Breaking the Silence’ Bill Bars Anti-IDF Groups from Israeli Schools

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) is pushing, along with MKs Shuli Mualem and Bezalel Smotrich, as well as Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, and MKs Merav Ben Ari (Kulanu), Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu), and Yoav Kisch (Likud) a bill barring groups that harm the IDF, such as Breaking the Silence, from appearing in Israeli schools. It is estimated the bill would be approved by the ministerial legislative committee in the coming weeks.

“The bill seeks to give the minister of education, as chief of the educational system who is responsible for the students in Israel, the power to ban individuals or organizations that are not part of the education system from conducting activities in an educational institution when said activities undermine educational goals, or harm IDF soldiers who are part of the consensus in Israeli society,” the bill explains.

“Organizations which are wandering abroad and harming IDF soldiers will not enter our schools,” Minister Bennett stated.

An earlier attempt on the part of the education minister to ban BtS from entering Israeli schools was mired in legal difficulties for close to a year, until finally, two weeks ago, the ministry’s attorneys were able to decide on an acceptable language and a memorandum was sent out to school principals across the land – who read it and went right ahead, inviting those groups to their schools. Which is why Bennett decided to make it outright illegal to permit those groups to teach Israeli students about the “war crimes” they’d be ordered to commit as soon as they turn 18 and enlist.

Lapid said about the law that “Israel’s school system must not permit entry of organizations that slander IDF officers and soldiers, calling them criminals and encouraging insubordination. Consider what happens to a student who hears these stories just before joining the Army. What does it do to his motivation and his willingness to contribute.”

BtS issued a statement saying, “Bennett is free to continue his efforts to turn his education system into an occupation education system, crushing every democratic value on the altar of the settlement enterprise – it failed in the past and it will fail this time, too. Those who harm IDF soldiers are the ones who have turned the IDF from being Israel Defense Forces into an army protecting the illegal outposts. To the indignation of Bennett and his ‘brother’ Lapid – we will continue to fight the Bennett and Smotrich occupation of everywhere, even in the education system.”

Well, not if they’re not allowed into the building – although the line in proverbs about how “stolen water is sweet” should also be considered.

Meretz Chair MK Zehava Galon accused Bennett and Lapid of McCarthyism, although, to be fair, neither politician has accused the Communists of conspiring to overtake the Israeli government, they only wish to keep them–or, rather, their heirs–from appearing in schools. Galon also argued that BtS are patriots. Yes, but of which country?

David Israel

Knesset Speaker to Set Up Team to Reexamine Dress Code

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

In a meeting Wednesday afternoon between Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein and several legislators, it was agreed on setting up a combined team of MKs and the Knesset Management to examine the checking of visitors’ dress code at the entrance to the House. Meanwhile, according to Speaker Edelstein, the dress code will not be enforced until a new one is issued.

Last week the Knesset guards began stopping female staffers at the entrance to the House and sending them home to change, because their attire was deemed inappropriate. On Sunday, Shaked Hasson, an aide to MK Merav Michaeli (Zionist Camp), was stopped at the entrance to the Knesset for an hour and reportedly examined by five male Knesset guards because her dress was too short.

Knesset staffers in disqualified skirts. Photo credit: Lahav Harkov

Knesset staffers in disqualified skirts. Photo credit: Lahav Harkov

Knesset director general Albert Saharovich has apologized to the parliamentary aides, in the wake of a protest that saw 40 women staffers protesting, dressed miniskirts, the new dress code, including aides to Yesh Atid MK Yael German, Meretz MK Michal Rozin, Joint Arab List MK Dov Khanin, MK Manuel Trajtenburg and Yesh Atid MK Karin Elharar.

MK Trajtenberg took off his shirt at the Knesset entrance, cautioning that “tomorrow all of you will have a burqa.”

The meeting with the speaker included MKs Merav Michaeli, Yael German, Aida Touma-Suleiman, karin Elharar, Aliza Lavie, Rachel Azaria, Dov Khanin, Emanuel Trachtenberg, Ilan Gilon, Ayelet Nahmias and Knesset director general Albert Saharovich.

All the participants emphasized the need to adhere to a dress code, but objected to a code that was dictated by the more conservative, Haredi members of the House. According to Ha’aretz, Sakharovich said in private that the MKs who initially complained about the female staffers’ attire described it as “Sodom and Gomorrah.”

JNi.Media

Tzipi Livni Names Her Price [video]

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

In an interview on the Knesset Channel, Tzipi Livni named her price for joining her Hatnua party up with Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid.

Recent polls have put her current partnership with Machane Tzioni at barely a dozen MKs, while polls show Yesh Atid in the twenties.

Livni said her joining with Yesh Atid would be subject to Yair Lapid making a few changes, such as moving his political positions closer to hers, and to not make any political partnerships like he did before with Naftali Bennett of Bayit Yehudi.

Of course, one of the reasons that Yesh Atid is going up in the polls is that Yair Lapid is moving his party’s political positions away from those of Tzipi Livni.

If she joins Yesh Atid, it would be the fifth time she jumped from a sinking ship.

Jewish Press News Briefs

MK Begin Suspended for Voting Against Amona Regulation Act

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) on Tuesday afternoon suspended MK Benny Begin from the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice after the latter had voted against the government-sanction Regulation Act which compels Arab claimants against Jews in Judea and Samaria to accept market value for their land.

Begin’s suspension for three weeks for defying coalition discipline was approved by Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and of Environmental Protection Ze’ev Elkin (Likud). “I used to frequently see such moves when I was coalition chairman,” Elking told Army Radio. “It’s well-known that when a coalition MK votes against the government line he knows he’s going to pay a price. This goes for every coalition MK.”

“In this instance Benny chose to vote the way he did and I’m sorry about it. I think he is wrong on the issue, but the coalition chairman’s response was unavoidable.”

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) responded to Begin’s suspension saying, “The fact that they’re suspending Benny Begin says everything about today’s Likud. Netanyahu used Begin’s reputation as an honest man for his election, now he steps on this reputation and on the truth with is decision.”

Incidentally, rumor has it that MK Livni is preparing to jump ship from the Zionist Camp to her fifth party, Yesh Atid. Livni’s chances to win a realistic spot in the ZC primaries are not high, according to surveys.

Opposition leader MK Isaac Herzog tore up the proposed law at the Knesset podium, thus following in the footsteps of his exulted grandfather, Israel’s Chief Rabbi, Rabbi Isaac Herzog, in 1939 tore up the British White Book that imposed severe limitations on Jewish immigration to Palestine and on land purchase there by Jews. The MK’s father, UN Envoy Haim Herzog, in 1975 tore up the “Zionism is Racism” assembly resolution.

Their scion tore up a bill seeking to keep Jewish families on their land.

JNi.Media

Finance Committee Approves Long Term Savings for Every Child Retroactive to Jan. 2015

Sunday, December 4th, 2016

The Knesset Finance Committee on Sunday gave its final approval to the long-term savings plan for every child, to take effect January 1, 2017. Starting on this date, the state, through Social Security will deposit 50 shekel ($13.10) each month for every child until he or she turns 18, or 21, if the child or their parents decide to stay in the program an additional three years, in which case they would receive a 500 shekel ($131.00) bonus from Social Security.

Parents will be allowed to set aside an additional 50 shekel for their child out of the children’s allowance they receive from Social Security. They will be asked to pick a savings bank or a fund, without mobility between those plans. The plan is expected to yield for every participating child as much as 22,000 shekel ($5,764.00) by the time they turn 21.

The plan will be presented for two final votes at the plenum in the coming days.

Finance Committee chairman MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) congratulated the Finance Ministry on its willingness to backdate the implementation of the law to as early as the start of next year. He reminded the committee members that it was his faction which pushed for the savings plan. He also expressed satisfaction at the ministry’s returning children’s allowances to their level in 2013, before then Finance Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) had his way with them.

The monthly deposits will be adjusted according to the cost of living index. All management fees for the individual savings accounts will be paid by the state.

The committee approved a 2.7 billion shekel ($710 million) indemnification across the board to pay for the new plan through 2019, with retroactive payments for 2015-16.

MK Manuel Trachtenberg (Zionist camp), who was his party’s nominee for finance minister before the last elections, said he is voting for the plan because it is good and valuable, but protested the indemnification at the expense of other government social programs.

MK Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid) also praised the program and condemned the indemnification, which was added to earlier cuts, comprising altogether an estimated 5.2% of the current budget.

JNi.Media

Finance Minister Exposing Fresh Meat Market to Foreign Competition

Monday, October 17th, 2016

At a time when free markets are losing favor in the eyes of GOP voters in the US, Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) has decided to open up the fresh meat market to competition from abroad. As part of this move, the quota for duty-free fresh meat imports will be doubled.

Needless to say, the move was not received well by Israeli farmers. On Friday, they demonstrated outside the Kfar Yehoshua train station, where the first commercial service on the Jezreel Valley railway line was being inaugurated. Armed with their tractors and pickup trucks, the cattle growers accused Kahlon of plotting to destroy Israel’s 460 cattle farms. They received support from MK Eitan Broshi (Zionist Camp), chairman of the agricultural lobby in the Knesset.

The Finance Ministry began exposing the local fresh meat market to foreign competition about two years ago, under Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) who now shares the opposition benches with Broshi. Indeed, this year there were a number of fresh meat brands available on the local market at roughly 25% less than the average price. The low price drove high consumer interest and supplies ran out before the end of the year.

According to the Agriculture Ministry, opening up the Israeli market to supplies from the EU countries is intended to replace the frozen meat market with higher-quality fresh meat, a move similar to the Agriculture Ministry’s eliminating the frozen poultry market, which used to encompass the bulk of Israel’s poultry market, replacing it with fresh poultry.

The new move will extend these lower prices to the coming years. The Finance Ministry has been conducting talks with the major local players in the industry, and an agreement has been reached on government subsidies to grass-fed, free range cattle growers and on spreading the import outline so that the market will become completely open by 2020.

The plan is for the quotas for fresh meat from abroad to be raised in 2020 to 17,500 tons, while duty will be reduced to 12%. In addition, local farmers will be permitted to import up to 10% of the market in fresh meat, to encourage local production and safeguard employment.

Israel’s  Chief  Rabbinate supervises the slaughtering of kosher meat  being  imported  to  Israel. Currently,  the  importation  of  non-kosher  meat  to  Israel  is  forbidden. The  Import Department of  the Chief  Rabbinate conducts tests  and  authorizes  slaughterhouses  and  teams of  inspectors.

JNi.Media

Woman of the Year 5776: Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

The January 22, 2013 general elections in Israel marked the emergence of two new parties; one, journalist Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, was yet another attempt to grab the undecided center among Israel’s voters; the other, Habayit Hayehudi, was a coalition of National Religious parties led by hi-tech executive Naftali Bennett and his long-time political ally, a 30-something computer engineer from Tel Aviv named Ayelet Shaked, who stood out as the only secular Jew in an otherwise Orthodox Jewish party. Both parties did well, although Lapid’s party took seven more seats than Bennett’s (19 vs. 12). Both parties also represent new challenges to the current power status quo in Israel, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud leading a right-leaning coalition government over an opposition being led by Labor (a.k.a. Zionist Camp).

At this point in the life of the 20th Knesset, the polls are showing Yesh Atid as the new largest party, siphoning off votes from Likud’s centrist voters and Labor’s more nationalistic supporters, as well as from Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party which barely passes the threshold percentage in the polls. At the same time, Likud is also being bitten on its right flank, by Habayit Hayehudi. And, also for the first time, the National Religious leader Naftali Bennett has been speaking openly about his ambition to be Israel’s next prime minister, at the helm of a rightwing, pro-religious, pro-settlements government.

That ambition is a new thing to a party that, since its incarnation as NRP in 1956, has always seen itself as a second banana, always in government, be it with leftwing or rightwing majority parties, but never at the helm. And while Chairman Bennett has been outspoken about his ambition to carve out a new direction for the country in the image of his party’s ideology, another Habayit Hayehudi leader has been giving the nation an idea of how a national religious government would carry out its agenda — Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Since the end of the 1990s, it has become clear that Israeli Jews are only going to become more traditional, even religious, and, consequently, the chance for a left-leaning party to receive the largest percentage of the vote will continue to grow dimmer. But while political positions have been given by the voter to rightwing governments, key decisions on issues that are close to the heart of the same rightwing voters have continued to lean to the left. This has been most notable in the liberated territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, where evictions of Jewish settlers have been carried out over the past decade and a half by rightwing-led governments, and those same governments have been refusing to implement Israeli civil law in Jewish communities hat have been living under martial law since the 1970s.

This is because the judiciary in Israel has been ruling as a shadow government, unelected and with a leftwing, secular agenda. In addition, Israel has had the most activist supreme court anywhere in the West, a court that has seized for itself powers well outside the norm in countries that uphold the principle of three branches of government. In countless cases, the high court has acted as a legislator, siding with the opposition against a ruling government (the recent vote on exploiting Israel’s natural gas come to mind, when the court torpedoed a government signed contract with US and domestic companies). The judiciary has also had its hand on the executive branch through the Attorney General and the legal counsels who are appointed to every ministry, and who often force the hands of elected officials using the threat of legal action against them.

The appointment of Ayelet Shaked to be the Minster in charge of this judiciary stronghold of the real power in Israeli society was received with a great deal of alarm and trepidation in the leftwing media, which called her “Israel’s Sarah Palin,” and accused her of inciting the mobs against the Supreme Court justices, “as if she were the worst [Internet] talkbacker and not the minister in charge of the holiest holy of every democracy — its separate and independent judiciary.” (Uri Misgav, Haaretz, Aug. 11, 2015).

The attack came in response to the new Justice Minister’s tweet on the same evening the Supreme Court was convening to rule on a law designed to block infiltration of illegal migrants from Africa through Israel’s southern border. Shaked tweeted that the law had already been quashed twice by the court, causing the infiltration, which had been reduced to single digits, to grow to dozens of new border crossings.

“If the law is revoked a third time,” Shaked tweeted, “it would be tantamount to declaring south Tel Aviv an official haven for infiltrators.” She then added that, until the court’s ruling, she would upload every two hours a new video describing the “intolerable life conditions of south Tel Aviv residents,” urging her followers to spread the message.

The court took notice and restricted itself to a few minor corrections, mostly regarding the length of time an illegal migrant could be held in a locked facility until his case is resolved by the Interior Ministry. The court continued to take notice throughout Shaked’s first year in office, and has been noticeably mindful of the need to avoid unnecessary friction with a Justice Minister who is probably the most popular minister in Israel. How popular? In 2013 she was picked by the Knesset Channel as the summer session’s most outstanding MK, and in 2014 as the second most outstanding MK of the winter session. In 2015 the Jerusalem Post ranked her 33rd on its list of the most influential Jews in the world. In 2015 she was ranked by Forbes Israel as the fifth most influential woman in Israel. And in 2016 Lady Globes ranked her second on its list of 50 most influential women.

Most importantly, Minster Shaked has afforded Israelis a view of a nationalist, rightwing politician who can be trusted to run the country’s third most complex system, after Finance and Defense. As Justice Minister, Shaked also chairs the ministerial legislative committee which decides which bills receive the backing of the government. Her role is comparable to that of the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House, in terms of influencing the legislative process. And the fact that she has been a competent, creative and resourceful Justice Minister might suggest to people in the secular center and right of center that her and Bennett’s party is worthy of their vote.

Shaked and Bennett are in troubled waters currently, over the fate of Amona, a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria that the Supreme Court has slated for demolition by early December, 2016, over claims to ownership of the land by Arab PA residents. The fact is that no one on the right in Netanyahu’s government believes that Amona could be saved, which Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated openly. Shaked wants to see the residents being relocated to a nearby plot of land, that could turn out to be just as problematic. But both Bennett and Shaked are also interested in advancing new legislation that would compel future claimants to settle for fair market value or comparable land from the Israeli government. At stake are an estimated 4,000 homes, the bulk of which were built as part of a government sponsored settlement program. The Supreme Court has rejected these “arrangement law” initiatives, and the current AG, Avihai Mandelblit, also objects to them, even though he himself is on the record as supporting them in the past.

For now, Shaked and Bennett are under attack by their voters, who cannot believe that a government that is as rightwing as this one would still engage in the forceful removal of Jews from their homes. And the last thing Shaked and Bennet want is to be forced to resign from Netanyahu’s government over this dispute.

Shaked, like Bennett, is a vehement enemy of the two-state solution. But she is also a liberal when it comes to many legislative initiatives. She has fought court activism; she objected to imposing jail sentences on Yeshiva students who refuse to enlist; and she supports a free and open market and reducing state regulations of businesses. She also believes in cutting down on new laws.

Noting that her government legislative committee has processed over the past year and a half no less than 1,500 new legislative proposals, Shaked wrote an op-ed in the right-leaning website Mida, saying that “every time the Knesset puts its faith in a new law intended to serve a worthy cause and solve a social or economic problem, we are, in effect, raising our hands to support a vote of no confidence. … It’s a vote of no confidence in our ability as individuals and as communities to manage ourselves in a good enough manner; it’s a vote of no confidence in the wisdom of the nation and of each person to create and preserve mechanisms that are better than those which are designed artificially by experts; it’s a vote of no confidence in the ability of familial, social and economic communities to run their own lives and strive successfully to reach their goals.”

Spoken like a true, sane Libertarian. And a Libertarian who knows how to combine the principles of freedom with the ideals of nation and Torah — could make one fine prime minister some day. Which is why we believe 5776 was the year of Ayelet Shaked.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/woman-of-the-year-5776-justice-minister-ayelet-shaked/2016/10/01/

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