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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yesh Atid’

Either Bibi Wants Elections or Livni and Lapid Want Political Suicide

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu would return to power with a smaller but stronger coalition if elections were held today, according to two polls.

His public complaining that it is impossible to function with the current coalition quarrels lends support to the theory that he is pushing the “Jewish State bill” in order to force his coalition partner-enemies, Tzipi Livni and Yair Lapid, to shut up.

If they don’t want to concede, they are welcome to commit political suicide because both of the leaders are likely to find themselves in the Opposition next time around.

Two polls, one published by Globes and the other by Haaretz, show that the big winner in new elections would be the Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett.

The invisible card in the political deck is Moshe Kahlon, who could be the kingpin to the next coalition. Kahlon quit as a Likud Knesset Member last year after doing what other politicians promise and promise and deliver nothing but more promises – break a monopoly.

He ended the oligarchy of three mobile phone companies who charged outrageous prices , opened up the field to competition and was acclaimed for the result of a 90 percent drop in the costs of phone calls.

And guess what? The companies still make money.

Netanyahu wanted him to do so the same thing with the housing market, a maze of vested interests that keep land and housing scarce to the delight of housing developers.

Kahlon was smart enough to know that ending 60 years of selfish control by the government landlord is going to happen like a snowstorm in July in the Negev.

Given Lapid’s pseudo-solution of zero Value Added Tax for buying new homes, with so many conditions that it would not even act as Band-Aid, Kahlon is in a good position to win over Lapid’s supporters who want a politician who works with something other than his mouth.

The Globes poll gives Kahlon nine seats in the next Knesset, leaving Netanyahu two seats shy of a majority if he teams up with Kahlon, Yisrael Beitenu and Jewish Home.

The Haaretz polls gives Kahlon 12 seats, which would mean Netanyahu would have a small but solid majority.

Livni would be out of a job if elections were held today, according to the poll for Globes, while she would retain four of her current six MKs , according to the Haaretz survey.

It is likely that the expected establishment media punish for Livni would help her return to the Knesset, if elections indeed are called.

Lapid would be the biggest loser. His party now has 19 MKs, The two polls give him 10 and 12 seats.

Despite Labor party chairman Yitzchak Herzog’s smug talk that he will be the next Prime Minister, God forbid, the polls show is he is lucky, he will barely hold on to his current 15 seats, and he might even lose a couple.

Add it up and there is no way he can form a coalition. Even if Labor gets 15, Livni 4, Lapid 12, and the left-wing Meretz party 10,, a very generous estimate and four more than it now has, and Kahlon with 12, the result is 53, eight less than a majority.

Kadima, which now has two seats, is destined to the political graveyard, by all accounts.

So who is left to join Labor-Livni-Lapid?

The Haredi parties? Lapid would make himself the joke of the country.

Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Lieberman? The Labor party would have a collective heart attack, and Lapid would have to make a quick exit from the airport..

Here is how the parties line up according to the polls, with a few seats open since the totals do not equal the Knesset representation of 120 MKs.

Israel May Call Early Elections Next Month

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will likely call early elections next month as controversy continues over the Jewish nationality bill and other measures — and as the second-largest political party, Yesh Atid, fights for control of the government.

The prime minister has slammed the 2015 budget proposal advanced by Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of Yesh Atid, saying the budget would hurt the IDF and jeopardize Israel’s security.

A bill proposed by Lapid to drop the VAT (sales tax) to zero was also criticized by Netanyahu, who said the plan would “waste billions, won’t lower the cost of housing and will help only contractors who are close to Lapid advisers.”

More to the point, Netanyahu maintained Lapid is blocking him from governing the country effectively — and said new elections were preferably to the “back room deals” he said were sabotaging his leadership.

“The coalition will only survive if I can govern,” he said Friday. “I’m not sticking to my chair. I was chosen to run the country and the nation as I see fit but I cannot run the country this way. If Yesh Atid and Lapid continue their irresponsible behavior it will be right to go back to the voters.”

In response, Lapid told an audience at a cultural event in Tel Aviv that Netanyahu had not spoken to him in the past month. “Housing reforms are stuck, the budget is stuck, our international relations are deteriorating. Insteading of passing the budget and dealing with these issues [Netanyahu and his advisers] are dealing with petty politics,” he complained.

Other politicians are also gearing up for what appears to be an inevitable drive towards early elections.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, chairman of Yisrael Beytenu, has released a diplomatic plan to Hebrew language dailies — but Liberman had started his political posturing already during this past summer’s counter terror Operation Protective Edge.

Former social services minister Moshe Kahlon also held a rally as part of preparations to form a new political party and he too has been making statements to media in what clearly appears to be preparation for elections.

Hareidi religious political parties are holding talks with all sides in order to see who will give them the best deal, as usual; United Torah Judaism has long had a handshake with Yisrael Beytenu, trading local votes for favors in small towns and cities throughout the country. In return, it is likely a similar deal will come into play at the national level when early elections are held.

Coalition Runs Away from Elections and Delays Vote on Jewish State Bill

Saturday, November 29th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to postpone a scheduled vote this week on the “Jewish State Bill,” during which time he will try to come up with a version that is acceptable to coalition partners, who does not want to see the government fall and then have to risk serious losses in new elections.

As The Jewish Press reported here and here, the media mania over early elections – two years before the government’s term ends – makes great headlines but is mostly wishful thinking by Netanyahu’s enemies, which include the establishment print and electronic media and his coalition “partners.”

The largest party in the government after the Likud is Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid. He has said he could back a milder version of the Jewish State idea, which has been resented in three versions.

The bill has given Israel a huge black eye around the world, mainly because most people don’t have a clue what they are talking about or simply decide that calling Israel a “Jewish” state means it will be less of a “democratic” state.

If “democracy” means a form of government, the bill changes nothing, but “democracy” has become one of those holy terms, like ”human rights” and “freedom [to kill, incite, be a traitor or simply blow up the world]” that people toss around to support their agenda.

The arguments over the bill have become a joke, mainly because the coalition leaders are using it to make themselves popular among their supporters while knowing that if they go to the polls, the entire country will be angry at everyone for a useless exercise that, barring a change in the rotation of the Earth, will leave Netanyahu in power and Lapid and Tzipi Livni with less seats in the Knesset.

The Jewish Home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, likely would gain seats, making the coalition even more right wing than it is now.

The strongest version of the Jewish State bill, which might not pass the test of Israel’s left-leaning Supreme Court, would leave Hebrew as the only official language and would downgrade Arabic to having a special status.”

It also would define the country as aiming to “settle Jews’ in Israel, without any mention of Arabs. Of course, that is exactly what Israel does anyway, put putting it writing is somehow “undemocratic.”

It also is meaningless. It is like stating that the country should “try to encourage everyone to be vegetarian.”

A milder version of the bill ignores the issue of language and settling Jews, and it does not refer to vegetarians or those who are carnivorous.

 

Coalition Plays ‘Chicken’ and Runs Away from New Elections

Monday, November 24th, 2014

Knesset leaders backed away from dissolving the government for the second time in three weeks Monday by postponing for a week a vote on a bill that would declare in law that Israel is a Jewish State.

In principle, most coalition leaders back the idea but are arguing over the details, some of which are problematic and some are excuses to squabble over who gets Brownie points for sponsoring the bill.

A “Jewish State bill” has been on the table since the previous administration, headed by Ehud Olmert, until Tzipi Livni took over when he resigned because of charges against him and some of which have placed him on the doormat of jail.

But Livni is cockle-doo-doo-ing against the bill and accused Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Monday of trying to force her party ”to vote against this so you can fire us.” She has dared Netanyahu by vowing to vote against the bill, no matter what, even she supported the idea in the Olmert government.

Netanyahu would love to get rid of Livni, whom he brought into the government to widen the coalition and keep her out of mischief by be given the booby prize that she so much wanted so much – negotiator for the Peace Process, may it be rest in peace.

With six seats in the current Knesset and a projected three if new elections were held today, Livni has nothing to lose if the government falls apart and new elections are called.

Yesh Atid and its leader Yair Lapid also are against the bill. Yesh Atid has a hefty 19 seats in the Knesset. Netanyahu could stay in power without Livni, who is on Lapid to stick his neck out for her.

But polls and common sense show that Lapid’s cheaper populism has worn off and that his party would lose nearly half of its seats if the coalition crashes.

Netanyahu, the smartest politician in the bunch with the possible exception of Avigdor Lieberman, decided to go along with the Jewish State bill and play chicken with Livni and Lapid.

Israel’s establishment media have been performing a repeat of their miserable performance two weeks ago when they insisted elections were around the corner because of the budget crisis.

Last week’s savage murders in Har Nof pushed the crisis aside and all of a sudden the budget no longer was the headline of the day.

The media hate Netanyahu mainly because, as I wrote last week, he is smarter than the opposition that the center-left media wants back in power.

Israel Radio, known by the grossly unfit name of the “Voice of Israel,” twisted itself into a deformed pretzel Monday by reporting that the Netanyahu coalition is doomed to be one of the shortest governments on record, surviving only for two years.

What about Ehud Barak, whose own party disowned him in 2000? Israel reported that Barak opted for elections,” a blatant lie. He had stayed in power for as long as he did only because the establishment media constantly propped him up until it became too embarrassing. The Knesset threw up its hands at his incapability and dumped him, ending a miserable 18-month administration.

Like the budget crisis, the Jewish State Bill crisis disappeared Monday, at least for a week while all sides try to come up with a version that Lapid and Netanyahu’s hawks can accept.

The Cabinet voted on Sunday 15-6 for not one but three versions of the bill.

The Knesset was scheduled to vote on it on Wednesday before it would be referred back to a committee.

Instead, coalition leaders have a week to play chicken again and come up with a version that is acceptable to everyone, with the exception of Livni, who prefers to lay a bad egg.

Ashdod Joins Ashkelon to Impose Racism to Stop Terrorism

Thursday, November 20th, 2014

Ashdod and at least one moshav farming community joined Ashkelon Thursday to declare that Arabs will not be allowed to work in the area of kindergartens despite widespread condemnation from political leaders.

Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni got the ball rolling with his public announcement Wednesday that no Arabs are welcome, as reported here. He not only refused to back down on Thursday but also stood his ground that his decision is legal because of the need for security.

Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said she has asked the Attorney General to enforce the law against discrimination and stop Shimoni in his tracks. Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid called Mayor Shimoni’s policy a surrender to terror and a denial of co-existence.

Jewish Home party Naftali Bennett took the opportunity to show a liberal face of the national religious community and went off the edge to declare that “99.9 percent of Israeli Arabs are loyal to the country.”

Everyone is racing, no pun intended, to show he is the most democratic politician since ancient Greece, even if it was not so democratic.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said, “There can be no discrimination against Israeli Arabs. We must not generalize about an entire public due to a small and violent minority. The vast majority of Israel’s Arab citizens are law-abiding and whoever breaks the law – we will take determined and vigorous action against him.”

Lest anyone think Netanyahu is flying on a left wing, he added that “in the framework of the draft nationality law that I will submit to the Cabinet on Sunday, we will enshrine the full equality before the law of every citizen regardless of religion, race or sex alongside ensuring Israel’s identity as the national state of the Jewish People.”

Mayor Shimoni’s declaration brought out the gut feeling of Israelis who reacted to Tuesday’s massacre of Jews praying in a Jerusalem synagogue exactly the way future murderers want – fear.

His ban on Arab workers in the vicinity of kindergartens comes on the background of trauma in the city from more than a decade of rocket and missile attacks on the port cities of Ashdod and Ashkelon.

It took the mayor’s statements to arouse Israel’s yellow journalist media to take a break from its own racism the past week that has tried to demonstrate that Israeli Arabs as a whole are at war against Israel.

Bennett grossly exaggerated to say that 99.9 percent of Israeli Arabs are loyal to the country. Netanyahu was more on the mark when he said a majority, without measuring it, are “law-abiding.”

Mayor Shimoni hit a raw nerve

Placing all Arabs in one basket of terror is racist, illegal and immoral.

It also expresses a frustration that the police must heed so that Israelis can be safe.

Un-Caged Knesset Beasts Claw Each other as Election Bait

Monday, November 17th, 2014

Virtually every Knesset party went wild Monday to claw the coalition government to near-death, leaving enough oxygen for resuscitation before forcing elections that, if held, should focus on blaming all the beasts for leaving their cages.

Israel’s establishment media, especially the center-left electronic and print outlets, always use a day of quiet from riots and rocket attacks to whip up the winds to blow apart the collation headed by Binyamin Netanyahu, the Prime Minister that it hates because he is so successful.

The coalition’s main partners are the Likud, headed by Netanyahu; Jewish Home, headed by Naftali Bennett; Yisrael Beitenu, headed by Avigdor Lieberman; Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid; and HaTnua, headed by Tzipi Livni.

Not one of the parties really loves the other, and more accurately, everyone hates each other. Bennett and Lapid started out the coalition as the oddest of odd couples, but its life span was pre-destined to be short.

Lieberman for years has said that he will be Prime Minister one day, and Netanyahu looks over his shoulder so often that he is under constant medical treatment for a stiff neck.

Bennett, the most unseasoned of them all, swings back and forth from tree to tree, depending on whether he wants to please the settlers or Lapid’s voters.

Livni, whose party has only six seats in the Knesset and which will barely squeak into the next Knesset, according to polls, throws around borrowed weight that hides her hapless political performance and destiny.

In the background, the Haredi parties are breathing fire through their nostrils, begging to be begged to help Netanyahu form a new coalition or possibly Lapid to form an alternative coalition.

Don’t worry. The lion is not about lie down with the sheep.

Left-wing Meretz and center-left Labor want new elections because they have nothing to gain by their somewhat weak standing as opposition parties that roar like a mouse.

So will new elections be held soon?

Here are three of several rules in Israeli politics:

First, there are no rules, even the one that says that there are no rules.

Secondly, if elections were held every time the media reports that a coalition will not survive, Israelis would be going to polls twice a week.

Thirdly, since only Netanyahu, Bennett and Lieberman probably would gain from new elections, the beasts probably will be back in their cages by next week, if not by this evening.

It is questionable whether the issues are the reason for the current crisis or whether they simply symbolize the need of the beasts to escape once in a while for exercise.

The big issue for months has been Lapid’s proposal to eliminate the 18 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) on the purchase of new homes. The bill for zero VAT has so many holes in it that it could not pass as Swiss cheese, but no one in Israel likes to confuse the circus – or jungle – with facts.

Under the bill, if it is ever passed into law, the lucky buyer who won’t pay the tax will have had to serve in IDF – 18 months for a man and 12 months for a woman. The home must not be larger than 140 square meters and cost no more than 1.6 million shekels.. The buyers must be employed – bye, bye Haredim – and must not have owned another home in the past 19 years and must be at least 35 years old and have at least one child.

All of these conditions whittle down the potential buyers to a small minority, but the noise over the proposal has been enough to shake the nation to its foundations.

Yair Lapid Apologizes for Sabbath Desecration

Monday, October 6th, 2014

During a Yesh Atid party meeting on Sunday, Finance Minister Yair Lapid apologized for the Sabbath desecration he caused a few weeks ago, according to an NRG report.

“I made a mistake. I didn’t need to cause other people to desecrate Shabbat,” Lapid told his fellow party members.

At the time, Lapid called out reporters to his house for an unimportant press conference on Shabbat.

The outcry was surprising. Lapid was met with criticism, not only from the press corps who were forced to work on Shabbat, but from anti-religious, secular and leftwing politicians who were upset that he interrupted the day of rest of hard working people.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yair-lapid-apologizes-for-sabbath-desecration/2014/10/06/

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