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April 25, 2014 / 25 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yesh Atid’

Lapid Opposes Airplane and New Official Residence for Netanyahu

Sunday, December 15th, 2013

Finance Minister and Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid has come out against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s request for buying a plane for him and the president and for new offices and official residence.

“At the moral level, we are of the view that in these days of belt tightening and tax raises, when the gaps between rich and poor are among the widest in the world, the government of Israel ought to act with modesty, and not take steps that will cause the public to perceive its behavior as divorced from the difficulties of day-to-day life,” Lapid stated on Sunday.

Cost estimates from the Knesset Finance Committee and the Office of the Prime Minister have come up with contradictory conclusions on the economic feasibility of the proposal.

The Olmert administration five years ago approved a plan for new offices and residence for the Prime Minister, but the plan was put aside after Netanyahu took office.

Cost of Lapid’s Housing Plan Estimated to Be Bigger than His Ego

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Finance Minister Yair Lapid, chairman of the Yesh Atid party, has come up with a fantastic plan to solve Israel’s apartment shortage but it has one large problem –  a cost of approximately $14 billion, according to an estimate by Globes business newspaper. That may be par for the course for the former journalist who didn’t even finish high school, let alone specialize in math.

Approval of the plan has not taken into consideration how the government will pay for it. A large cost will be compensating owners of farmland where some of this planned 150,000 apartments are to be built.

“Contractors regret that no one consulted with them in drawing up the plan, assessors call it ‘hallucinatory,’” Globes reported. The land will cost the government approximately $12 billion but will have to be sold for far less  in order to make it a feasible investment for contractors.

The plan also faces heavy opposition from environment groups and the environment ministry.

Even the estimate of $14 billion is low, according to Israel’s Real Estate Appraisers Association chairman Ehud Danus, who said the final cost could be double after taking into considering necessary schools and parks.

The Ministry of Finance responded to the report with a weird admission of that “we’re talking about the preliminary stage, and as we accumulate the land for projects, we’ll budget the activity later on.”

Mobile Phone Rate-Buster Kachlon to Form New Party

Sunday, December 8th, 2013

Moshe Kachlon, the former Likud minister who busted the mobile phone oligarchy in Israel, announced on Sunday he is forming a new party to run in the next scheduled elections in 2017, assuming the current coalition holds together that long.

Kachlon resisted appeals from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to run again in the previous elections a year ago. The former minister of communications won wide popularity by allowing mobile phone competition, which has brought user rates down by 90 percent.

His new party will be based on a  social-economic platform, the badge of the Labor party that has consistently disappointed its supporters by concerning itself more with intra-party strife than its platform. Labor, unlike Kahlon’s new party, also has been saddled weighed down with an obligation by tradition to oppose a strong Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

Kachlon’s support also will come from many who voted for Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party, which so far has done little to fulfill its promise of being the champion of the middle class.

Lapid Restores $14 Million for Foreign Yeshiva Students

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Yair Lapid, chairman of  the Yesh Atid party and Finance Minister, has agreed to a request from a Jewish Home Knesset Member to cancel a scheduled budget cut of $14 million (50 million shekels) earmarked for foreign students studying in yeshivas in Israel.

The funds will be for Haredi as well as national religious yeshivas although Haredi yeshivas almost were left out of the picture.

Jewish Home MK Nissan Slomiansky, who also heads the Knesset Finance Committee, rejected a suggestion by Lapid that money be restored only for students at Zionist yeshivas. Slomiansky said that the presence of students, even in non-Zionist yeshiva, is good for Israel because many of the students eventually decide to live in Israel.

Jewish Home Punched Out in Losing Bid to Keep Terrorists Jailed

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

A Cabinet committee unsurprisingly defeated on Sunday a motion by the Jewish Home to propose a bill that would prevent the government from freeing heavy-duty terrorists.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted 8-5 against the proposal, with Likud, Yesh Atid and Livni’s HaTunah party minsters opposing it and Jewish Home and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers voting for it.

With Justice Minister Tzipi Livni heading the committee, the bill had no chance. Click here to understand how she wears three hats, all of them oversized.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, a senior Likud member and a close aide to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, characteristically played the role of a sore winner and told Jewish Home Minister Uri Orbach, “If you don’t like it, you can resign.” Sa’ar berated the Jewish Home for daring to propose a bill that would have gone against government policy.

Livni was even cruder with her snipe that the government does not act on the orders “of the rabbis in the West Bank.”

The party stated after the vote, “This is a sad day for the struggle against terrorism in Israel.”

For his part, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not directly mention at the Cabinet meeting Sunday morning the second step in the four-stage plan to free 104 terrorists, a program that started in July to pave the way for the resumption of talks between Israeli negotiators, headed by Livni, and the Palestinian Authority. Instead, he made an undisguised reference to the deal, stating that “promises” must be kept, as reported here in an article on mortar shelling attacks on Israel today.

No one reminded him that he once promised that he never would vote to expel Jews from their homes in Gush Katif. That was before he passed up every effort to vote against the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gaza until after was a done deal and his vote did not matter.

Sa’ar and Livni got in their licks, and the terrorists will be released, but the Jewish Home party is far from down and out.

Freeing terrorists, especially for talks and not even for a solider, a civilian or a dead body of one of the two, is decreasingly popular, and it is doubtful that a majority of Israelis are much more than unenthusiastic over the idea.

Every previous release of terrorists has been followed by attacks by several of the same terrorists. Every time, the government finds another reason to say it won’t happen again. Two years ago, it went through he ludicrous procedure of forcing each one to sign on the dotted line, “I will be a good boy, and will not return to terror,” before being free to kill more Israelis, more than 120 at last count.

This time, the government experts on terror says the terrorists are too old to return to terror. Time will tell how they celebrate their birthdays, but it would not wise to attend the party because the cake might blow up in your face.

With every attack by freed terrorists, the voters will remember who voted to free them and who voted to keep them in jail.

But the Jewish Home has a lot of other reasons to be confident that it can buck the government even if it is a member of the coalition.

Every poll in the past several months has shown the party is more and more popular. It has shed the old National Religious Party’s stigma of considering a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria as the only thing that matters in the country. Unlike the NRP, Jewish Home and its chairman Naftali Bennett do not “take orders from rabbis.”

It has taken popular stands on civil marriages, leniency towards homosexuality, like it or not, and it has forged into the area of consumer rights, once a monopoly of the Meretz party.

Elections are probably a long time away, but Sa’ar and Livni may end up taking it on the chin.

Bills in the Works for Homosexual Marriages and Buses on Shabbat

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Yesh Atid Knesset Members are drafting bills that would carry out the party platform’s election promises to give legal blessings to homosexual marriages and public bus transportation on the Sabbath, both actions forbidden under Jewish law but with two important differences.

Homosexuality is explicitly prohibited by the Torah, no matter how one does somersaults to conclude otherwise.

“Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination’ (Lev. 18:22) is open to interpretation only to the point of defining the word “lie.”

Riding on a public bus on the Sabbath, if the driver is not Jewish, is a prohibition based on Torah law but not explicitly forbidden by the Torah.

The second difference is that homosexuality, unlike riding on the Sabbath, is more of an emotional issue because of its contradiction of the family unit, a foundation of a long-lasting democratic state that does not dissolve into social anarchy, and of the Torah commandment to be “fruitful and multiply.”

However, a law providing public transportation on the Sabbath would dramatically affect a change that would make Israel more secular with less recognition of Shabbat as a holy day.

This is of no interest to those in Israel, such as Yesh Atid and a large number of other political parties, who take the liberty to define a “Jewish” state based on their own views. After all, that is the modern Western thing to do these days. Everyone can be a rabbi.

Anyone who disagrees with them is not “liberal,” “progressive” or “democratic” and therefore not fit for this world.

Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid, has begun discussions on the bills with the initiative of MKs Aliza Lavie and Ruth Calderon. They reportedly are trying to soften the language to gain support of the entire party.

Four unnamed Yesh Atid MKs reportedly have said they will object.

American-born Rabbi/MK Dov Lipman, told The Jewish Press Tuesday, “We are currently working on the precise details of these laws but I can say that they are being crafted with the utmost respect to the religious population and to Halacha,” he said.

Asked if he will support or oppose the bills, MK Lipman replied by e-mail, “We are formulating laws that we all agree to.  That is the beauty of working together instead of fighting against one another.”

He also stated in response to other questions, “Yesh Atid is a party which was founded with the guiding principle that the time has come for religious and Jews to respect one another and work together instead of continuing to combat each other.

“Israel is both a Jewish and democratic country and we are working as a team to navigate through challenging issues. There is no desire for anyone religious to be less religious and we actually believe that removing some of the religious coercion will actually attract people to re-engage with their Judaism.”

The probable language of homosexual “unions” and not “marriages” is semantic trickery. The difference between the two is mainly in the field of rights, but the Supreme Court in Israel already has ruled must be granted to same-sex couples.

If public opinion were to decide the issues, homosexual marriages and bus transportation on the Sabbath probably would pass, according to most opinion polls.

Lapid, whose popularity has been sinking, enthusiastically backed both upcoming bills last week, saying, “A law in favor of homosexual unions will allow every couple in the country to declare the love for each other and be recognized.”

As for public transportation on the Day of Rest, he said he is not trying to irritate the religious community. He said the bill would provide that buses not travel through religious neighborhoods but will allow “poor grandfathers to visit their grandchildren in the hospital on Shabbat” instead of having to take an expensive taxi.”

The fallacy in his thinking is that it presumes Israel is divided into “religious” and “secular” camps. That is not true. There is a large, perhaps plurality, which is “traditional” and would prefer the Sabbath to remain a public Day of rest to remain as such, even if they personally violate it.

Once the Knesset puts its official stamp to recognize homosexuality marriages – excuse me, unions – and transportation on the Sabbath, it is encouraging the practice. It would not be “coercion” because no one would be required to ride on the Sabbath, but it would increase social pressure on those who might violate it at home but not in public as a matter of respect.

Lapid is crouching to pounce on his secular prey and boost his sinking popularity, and the slogans of “a Jewish democratic state” are about to be heard ad nauseum.

Gas to Pump $60 Billion into Economy in 20 Years, Says Lapid

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Israel’s new offshore gas industry will generate $60 billion in revenues in Israel over the next 20 years, Finance Minister and Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid told the Knesset in its first day of the winter session Monday.

He charged the Opposition with damaging the economy by placing obstacles to the natural gas hook-up, which Lapid said will help lower the price of electricity and boost employment.

Taxes on gas will allow Israel to lower taxes, he added.

The High Court is to decide on who has the authority to decide how much of the gas can be exported. Several Opposition parties are demanding that Israel retain all of the gas for domestic use. The government has adopted a policy of exporting 40 percent of the gas.

Yesh Atid Skips Out of Critical Finance Vote for Beit El

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Three Yesh Atid MK quietly skipped out of the room when the vote came up for financing some settlement related expenses, in particular, reimbursing the residents of Beit El’s Ulpana neighborhood whom the government kicked out of their homes when it destroyed their neighborhood last year.

The three Yesh Atid coalition members did not inform anyone they were not going to be at the vote, and Gila Gamliel (Likud) noticed moments before the vote that the three were missing. She called MK Robert Ilytov (Yisrael Beiteinu) to come in to replace them, to ensure there was still a coalition majority.

If the opposition had noticed, the vote could have gone the other way.

Yesh Atid head, Yair Lapid, recently said in an interview, that he doesn’t care if the Palestinian Authority recognizes Israel as a Jewish State or not, contradicting the negotiating position laid down by PM Netanyahu.

Sources in Yesh Atid say the move was not preplanned, and the 3 MKs left the room for other reasons.”

The only question we have is for chareidi MK Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), “Are you still so sure your views are aligned with the Yesh Atid party?”

 

 

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yesh-atid-skips-out-of-critical-finance-vote-for-beit-el/2013/10/11/

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