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November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yisrael Beiteinu’

On Politics and Circumcision

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Late Tuesday night, December 4, 2012, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, also iron fisted boss of Yisrael Beiteinu, announced his slate for the January 22 elections, a slate he’ll be cohabitating with PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud. It’s going to be a “ritchratch” (zipper) list, with Likud 1 coming first, followed by Yisrael Beiteinu 1 in second, Likud 2 in third place and YB 2 in fourth.

I’d like to see Nate Silver crack this one…

And, as iron fisted leaders often do, Liberman (who doesn’t like his name spelled Lieberman, like Joe’s) decided to shed a few celebs from his current list of candidates, including MK Danny Ayalon, his deputy foreign minister; Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov who resigned from political life (Driver, take me to your finest Gulag); and MK Anastassia Michaeli, the lady who never met an Arab she liked and became world famous for emptying a glass of water on Labor MK Raleb Majadele.

In light of all of the above, here’s the reason for making this the photo of the day. It has to do with the curious connection between the Hebrew word for “word” – Milah, and for “circumcision” – also Milah (brit milah means covenant via circumcision).

Liberman’s election slogan, Milah Zu Milah (A Word Is a Word, meaning you can count on my word) can also be interpreted to mean Circumcision is Circumcision – and so it came in handy on the night a fifth of the old party list was cut off.

Siman Tov U’Mazal Tov…

Likud Beitenu’s Political Juggernaut

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

TEL AVIV – Political pundits have long debated who is the real Benjamin Netanyahu. Is he a pragmatist handcuffed by his right-wing support base and fealty to his late father’s nationalist vision? Is he a true right-wing ideologue whose apparent concessions to Israeli-Palestinian peace are but feints?

Or is he merely a political survivor willing to do whatever it takes to stay in office, ideology be damned?

Last week’s surprise announcement that Netanyahu’s Likud Party and Avigdor Lieberman’s nationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party would merge their candidate slates in the upcoming election – but not merge their parties – offers some signs that the smart money is on the right-wingers.

The move deals a potential knockout blow to Netanyahu’s left-wing rivals and makes a third term for Netanyahu more likely than ever. Some polls show the two parties losing seats as a result of the deal, but even low estimates predict them to be the Knesset’s largest list.

Lieberman’s nationalist agenda also will likely gain further traction in the next government. That agenda has included legislation requiring loyalty oaths for new non-Jewish Israeli citizens and a ban on settlement boycotts – moves that many Israeli and American Jewish critics have slammed as undemocratic.

“The real government reform starts now,” Lieberman said at a news conference Thursday night. “We advance to finish the work.”

Critics worry that with the merger, Netanyahu has unambiguously embraced Lieberman’s hard-line domestic platform.

“The prime minister is essentially signaling that he has chosen the extremist, pro-settlement right, that he has chosen to walk in place, not to make progress in the diplomatic process,” Zehava Gal-On, head of the left-wing Meretz party, told Israel’s Army Radio, according to Reuters.

Not that the Orthodox parties will be happy with the deal.

Lieberman, a secular immigrant from the former Soviet republic of Moldova, is one of Israel’s most prominent anti-haredi politicians. He wants Israel to allow civil marriage in addition to religious marriage, and he has railed against government privileges granted to haredim. The current coalition’s tensest moments came this past summer when Lieberman and the haredi parties battled over whether to require army service for haredi youths who had previously received exemptions to study Torah.

In that battle, Netanyahu sided with the haredim, breaking up the committee assigned to draft a new military service law.

The merger represents a real triumph for Lieberman. He founded Yisrael Beiteinu in 1999 as a right-wing party for Russian constituents, then quickly broadened its appeal. In 2009, when Israel last held elections, Yisrael Beiteinu won 15 of the Knesset’s 120 seats, becoming the nation’s third-largest party. Lieberman was awarded the coveted post of foreign minister, which he will retain should the joint list lead the next government.

In the elections scheduled for Jan. 22, Netanyahu’s party was previously expected to win a plurality of votes, but there has been talk among Israel’s left and centrist parties of creating an alliance to challenge Likud. Since the elections were announced, rumors have swirled about former prime minister Ehud Olmert or former opposition leader Tzipi Livni, both of the centrist Kadima Party, returning to politics and uniting a joint center-left list.

HaLikud Beiteinu, however, is expected to win more votes than any center-left party. Polls before the merger showed Likud winning 29 seats and Yisrael Beiteinu winning close to its current 15 seats. One poll following the merger showed the new list winning 42 seats, while another put it at 35 – still much greater than the 23 predicted for the left-wing Labor Party.

Under the agreement, the parties will join for the election but remain independent after the vote. Lieberman will be No. 2 on the list, behind Netanyahu.

Some Likud politicians, led by Michael Eitan, opposed the move because of discomfort with Lieberman’s ideology as well as concern the party will lose seats in the election. But a Likud Central Committee vote approved the merger.

“The time has come to unite for the state of Israel,” Netanyahu said during the news conference announcing the merger. “We ask for a mandate to lead Israel with strength.”

He said the beefed-up party would allow him to more effectively combat Iran’s suspected nuclear weapons program, fight terrorism, and make domestic social and economic changes. Netanyahu said reducing the cost of living in Israel is one of his top priorities.

The Blending of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu

Thursday, November 1st, 2012

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Yishai is joined by Mordechai Taub, a political analyst who formerly worked for the Republican National Committee and now works for Israel’s Likud party, to discuss the recent agreement between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu parties to combine their representation in the Israeli government.  They discuss the specifics of this agreement along with how it will both help and potentially hurt the Israeli system.  Don’t miss this segment!

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Secret Ballot Could Determine Likud-Beiteinu Future

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Prime Minister Netanyahu is finding out that there is significant opposition to his plans to run the Likud on a joint list together with Yisrael Beiteinu in the upcoming elections.

Following a petition signed by 400 Likud central committee members, and as per Likud rules, the Likud will now be required to hold a secret ballot among all the central committee members to see if they approve of the joint list proposition.

In surveys taken of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu members, the majority claimed to support running as a joint list.

But opponents of the joint list are hoping that in a secret ballot, the results will go against Netanyahu. One Central Committee Member told JewishPress.com that this merger “strips internal democracy from the Likud.”

The secret ballot may be held on Monday.

Related Article: In Mixed Reactions, Some Call Likud-Beitenu Move Brilliant, Some Warn of Losses

Likud-Beiteinu Worrying Left

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

The merger of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s Likud party and the Yisrael Beiteinu party of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman on Thursday has left-wing parties scrambling for a solution to the sudden show of solidarity on the part of the pro-nationalist camp.

In an article by Israel HaYom, an anonymous Kadima MK said unity on the left is a big item of discussion now, with emphasis on securing a great leader who will draw votes.

According to the MK, Kadima chairman Shaul Mofaz, Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, and Labor chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich are being called on to unify under the leadership of either former Foreign Minister and failed almost-Prime Minister and Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni, or the recently acquitted former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

Both are expected to announce whether they will re-enter politics early next week.

Mofaz has said he will relinquish leadership of Kadima if either party needs the position in order to run for prime minister.

The strong Sephardic party, Shas, has expressed its concern over the Likud-Beiteinu merger, saying it could mean the drafting of Hareidi Jews into the army.

The Exile is Officially Over

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

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Yishai and Malkah kick off by discussing Yishai’s visit to the annual Yisrael Beiteinu meeting in Jerusalem and how he decided to take public transportation in order to avoid the ever-rising gas prices in Israel.  Yishai talks about his day spent in Jerusalem and how he had gained insight by going to an event for Chai Elul, the 18th day of the month of Elul, hosted at a known Shul in Jerusaelm.  They move on and end the segment by talking about how Jewish exile is rapidly ending with the last remaining Synagogue in Egypt canceling High Holiday services for “security reasons”.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Winners and Losers: Israel’s Historic Unity Government

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

A joint JoeSettler-Jameel post. 

Left behind in the wake of Netanyahu’s surprise unity maneuver are some serious winners and loser. There is no doubt that elections would have shaken things up, but this unity coalition shakes up things even more.

What Netanyahu managed to do today is of historic proportions and has some serious ramifications for many people on both a personal and national level. We present to you our list of winners and losers.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: Winner. Bibi would probably have done well in elections, but now he runs the largest unity government ever in the history of Israel, giving him a support base not even Ben-Gurion could have dreamed of.  

 

Shaul Mofaz: Winner. Mofaz made a fool out of himself when he jumped ship to Kadima, but after sitting it out on the back benches behind Tzipi Livni on the back benched, he’s manages to come out on top and resuscitate the essentially dead Kadima party.

 

Kadima Party: Winner Until yesterday they were completely irrelevant and simply dead in the water; the largest individual party in the Knesset was forced to face the fact that they might as well not even have been voted into office. Now they have a seat at the table, and perhaps some influence too.

 

Tzipi Livni: Loser She could have been in the government 3 years ago, 2 years ago, and even 1 year ago. This could have been her and not Mofaz. At the end of the day, Kadima was kept in failure and disgrace because of her. Now it’s obvious to all.

 

Likud Party: Winner The Likud as a party is more powerful than ever.

 

Likud MKs: Losers For the most part, their individual influence and power has been diluted. Perhaps significantly.

 

Labor: Losers They were positioned to be the second largest party. Who knows what will be in a year and a half. They may be in for an even bigger shock in the opposition (see Ahmed Tibi below).  

 

Shelly Yachimovitch: Black eye Labor lost, but Shelly only got a black eye out of this. Perhaps she’ll lead the Tel Aviv summer block party, if it happens.  

 

Yisrael Beiteinu: Winner/Loser Yisrael Beiteinu didn’t really want elections, so this is good for them. The downside, their influence has been diluted, perhaps almost completely. One of the goals of this unity coalition is to implement a good replacement for the Tal law. It may happen. Yisrael Beiteinu may even get part of the credit for it, so they can at least bask in the reflected glory.  

 

Avigdor Lieberman: Loser Lieberman will keep his job, avoid elections, and get the opportunity to try to pass more laws he wants. But on the downside, the investigation(s) against him will now continue, and his influence has been severely diminished. We’ll see if he can make a comeback out of this.  

 

Ahmed Tibi: Winner What does Ahmed Tibi have to do with this? It’s simple math. Depending on a few factors, there will be only around 26 MKs in the opposition. The Arab have the largest number of opposition members compared to Labor, Meretz (and maybe Ichud Leumi). Ahmed Tibi is poised to be the new head of the opposition.  

 

Meretz: Losers Outside, irrelevant, no following, and not going to be opposition leader. Not even the Tel Aviv summer block party will be able to help them.  

 

Aryeh Deri: Loser No explanation needed.

 

Shas: Winners See Aryeh Deri above.  

 

Yair Lapid: Loser No explanation needed, but we’ll give one anyway. Sure he can go back to TV and perhaps try again next year, but he really lost his opportunity, even as his followers lost their enthusiasm for him the longer he stayed in the race.

 

President Obama: Loser Obama is a partisan president, while Bibi is the leader of the largest national unity coalition in the history of Israel. Netanyahu has the support of most of the country behind him for whatever he may need to do. Obama may have hoped he’d be facing a weaker Bibi after November, there’s no chance of that now.  

 

Dagan, Diskin, etc.: Losers Netanyahu and Barak are messianists, and irrational? Well, then add Mofaz too, and 80% of the Knesset. Now the former security chiefs sound like sore losers.  

 

Ehud Barak: Winner He still has a job.

 

Yuval Zellner: Winner Yuval Who? We asked the same thing. Zellner just replaced Livni in the Knesset. Until this morning, he was going to go down in history as one of the shortest serving MKs (who would never get a second chance at it either). Now he gets a chance to serve.  

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/winners-and-losers-israels-historic-unity-government/2012/05/08/

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