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November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Yisrael Beiteinu’

IDF Discusses Ways to Deal with Electronically-Amplified Muezzin Calls

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Last week, the head of the Israeli Civil Administration in Judea and Samaria, Brig. Gen. Moti Almoz convened a meeting with an array of IDF technical experts to discuss the problem of electronically-amplified muezzin calls from mosques.

The five-times-daily muezzin call frequently precipitates complaints of noise pollution, as residents of nearby Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria can easily hear them, especially at night during regular sleep hours.

One proposed solution was the installation of a system in every mosque that would automatically lower the volume if it exceeded a preset decibel level. Almoz ordered his staff to investigate the systems’ feasibility.

Last month, Yisrael Beiteinu MK Anastassia Michaeli proposed a bill to ban the use of electronically-amplified muezzin calls entirely, asserting that “hundreds of thousands of Israelis” were suffering from the Muslim calls to prayer. Initially supported by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, the bill was shelved due to objections from within his own party.

Kadima Battle Begins; Lieberman Faces Inquiry

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

The leaders of two of Israel’s largest political parties are fighting for their political lives, with one contending with challengers from within and the other facing a criminal indictment.

Kadima leader and opposition chairwoman Tzippi Livni announced that her party would hold primary elections two months from now, responding to pressure from party members dissatisfied with Kadima’s slipping position in recent opinion polls.

Two years ago, Livni led Kadima in general elections that gave the party the highest number of Knesset seats, but her inability to build a coalition allowed Likud to lead the government under Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. Since then, Livni and Kadima have gradually faded; in recent weeks, various polls have even forecasted a major decline for Kadima, with many of its voters preferring the party that new political entrant Yair Lapid intends to create.

In her announcement on Wednesday, Livni said that only she could lead Kadima to victory over Netanyahu and the Likud in the next general elections. She will face stiff competition, however, from former defense minister Shaul Mofaz, who narrowly lost a bid for the Kadima leadership last time. Mofaz welcomed the announcement of party primaries in March, declaring Livni’s tenure at the top of the party over.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, head of the Knesset’s third-largest party, Yisrael Beiteinu, faced a possible indictment on charges of fraud, breach of trust, money laundering and witness tampering. Attorney-General Yehuda Weinstein is overseeing hearings with prosecutors and defense lawyers as he weighs whether to indict Lieberman.

The accusations relate to alleged offenses dating from 2001 to 2008. Prosecutors say Lieberman set up straw companies to launder millions of shekels that he did not report to tax authorities.

Following the pre-indictment hearings, Weinstein could take several months to reach a decision. The decision would likely have significant political consequences, as Lieberman has said that he would step down as Foreign Minister and leave the Knesset if he is charged.

Likud Tops Recent Poll

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

A new poll has the Likud party winning 33 Knesset seats if elections were held today, while Kadima would plummet to 11, and Labor would get 13 seats. Currently, Likud has 27 seats, Kadima has 28, and Labor has 8.

The poll also found that Yisrael Beiteinu would gain a seat to reach 16 seats, and Shas would lose five seats from its current 13. The Arab parties would win 11 seats total.

Yair Lapid’s impact on the political map appears to be fading a bit, according to the poll. While polling at 20 Knesset seats when he announced his entrance into politics, the most recent poll has him down to 13.

The poll was carried out by by Geocartography Knowledge Ltd.

MK Tibi Suspended from Knesset Week For Profanity-Laced Poem

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

The Knesset’s Ethics Committee has suspended Raam Taal MK Ahmad Tibi from participating in any Knesset sessions for a week, after he recited a poem disparaging Yisrael Beiteinu MK Anastassia Michaeli.

Tibi read the poem after Michaeli threw water at Labor MK Raleb Majadle during a committee session last week.

In the poem, Tibi spoke of Michaeli, “who  grew there in the garbage pile of Yisrael Beiteinu,” and used an Arabic profanity to describe the incident.

Yisrael Beiteinu Introduces Bill To Restrict Knesset Membership To IDF Veterans

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Yisrael Beiteinu on Tuesday introduced a bill that would restrict Knesset membership to citizens that have completed IDF or national service.

The proposal was submitted on Tuesday by MK Moshe Matalon, who said that “serving the country is part of the Israeli ethos . . . Knesset members are supposed to be role models.”

If passed, the bill would effectively mean that the Arab and Ultra-Orthodox parties would be dissolved, as neither community serves in the IDF. With Shas and United Torah Judaism serving as influential members of the current governing coalition, it is unlikely the bill will be passed into law.

Immigrant Absorption Minister: ‘Ethiopian Immigrants Should Be Grateful To Israel’

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Immigrant Absorption Minister and Yisrael Beitenu MK Sofa Landver said on Wednesday that Ethiopian immigration representatives in the Knesset should be grateful to Israel.

Landver made the comments during an emergency session held by the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs to investigate the issue of discrimination against Ethiopians in Kiryat Malachi. She was responding to an Ethiopian representative, Gadi Desta, who told the MKs that “apartheid” was taking place.

The emergency session was convened against the backdrop of a news report that local homeowners’ committees in Kiryat Malachi consistently refuse to sell or rent property to Ethiopians.

Labor Agrees To Join Likud-Led Government

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

The Labor Party voted Tuesday to join the Likud-led coalition government, virtually guaranteeing that Benjamin Netanyahu will be Israel’s next prime minister.

After a contentious meeting of the Labor Central Committee, members voted 680-507 to join the coalition, which already includes Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Shas. The vote provides Netanyahu the Knesset majority he needs to form a new government.

Labor’s decision has important implications for the country and the party.

Arguing in favor of joining the government, Labor leader Ehud Barak told party members that Labor’s participation in the coalition was necessary to counteract right-wing forces, ensure that Israel remains committed to the peace process and help the country face uniquely grave threats from Iran, Hizbullah and Hamas.

“We won’t be anyone’s fig leaf or anyone’s third wheel,” Barak told the Central Committee. “We will act as an opposing force that will ensure there will not be a narrow right-wing government, but a real government that looks after the State of Israel.”

In exchange for Labor joining the coalition, Netanyahu agreed to commit the government to all agreements signed by previous Israeli governments, the pursuit of regional peace and enforcement of the law when it comes to illegal Jewish settlement outposts in the West Bank. The deal also allows Barak to stay on as defense minister and makes him a full partner in the diplomatic process.

For Barak – and perhaps for many of Israel’s international partners – the Netanyahu-led government is now palatable.

For Netanyahu, the partnership with Labor, historically a center-left party, burnishes the image of an incoming government that until Tuesday risked being comprised solely of right-wing and religious parties. While such a government would have been a welcome change in some corners of Israel, it likely would have been ill received by Israel’s allies overseas.

Some European officials already had expressed public misgivings about Netanyahu’s coalition, especially the prominence of controversial Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, who was promised the portfolio of foreign minister. While the Obama administration was careful publicly to maintain a neutral stance on the composition of Israel’s government, Israeli observers predicted a right-wing coalition would be on a collision course with Washington.

Netanyahu himself expressed a preference for avoiding a narrow coalition even before the Feb. 10 vote, which saw significant gains for Israel’s right wing. All along the Likud leader said he’d like to see a national unity government comprised of his party, Labor and the current ruling party, Kadima – and led by him. Like Barak, Netanyahu says the seriousness of the threats Israel is facing mandates a strong, stable government.

Critics, including some in Labor who spoke out before the committee vote Tuesday, say what Netanyahu really seeks is diplomatic cover to pursue a right-wing agenda.

“We would be entering this government as a third wheel, as a wagging tail, not more than that,” Labor Knesset member Shelly Yachimovich said before Tuesday’s vote. “There is no shame in sitting in the opposition. On the contrary, it’s an honor.”

Following Tuesday’s vote, the “honor” appeared to be reserved for Kadima. Despite Netanyahu’s entreaties, the party has refused to join the coalition. Kadima leader Tzipi Livni said she would not join the new government unless Netanyahu committed to the pursuit of a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and agreed to a rotating premiership that would make her prime minister for two years.

By staying in the opposition Livni – whose party captured 28 seats in the Feb. 10 vote, one more than Likud – believes she will be able to solidify Kadima’s position as an alternative to the Likud-led government.

Livni’s critics say she is putting party before country at a time when Israel can ill afford an unstable government. Iran is pushing forward with its nuclear program, Hizbullah in Lebanon now has missiles capable of reaching Tel Aviv and Hamas in Gaza continues to fire rockets deeper and deeper into Israeli territory.

With Barak, the opposite is true. He can claim he is putting country before party by helping Israel’s government deal with these threats and mitigating any right-wing tendencies, but the upshot may be the collapse of the Labor Party.

While Labor’s decision to join Netanyahu’s coalition gives Barak a personal boost – keeping him in the important post of defense minister – it erodes Labor’s place in Israel’s political spectrum as the party of the center-left.

Kadima arguably can now claim that mantle. If Netanyahu succeeds, Likud will gain rather than Labor. And if Netanyahu fails, Kadima stands to gain, not Labor. (JTA)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global//2009/03/25/

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