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July 28, 2016 / 22 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Yisrael Beiteinu’

Analysis: An Afternoon of Hard Maneuvering May Yield New Defense Minister and 67-Member Rightwing Coalition

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Israeli media reported Wednesday evening that MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) has accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to join his government and receive the portfolios of Defense and Immigrant Absorption — which is a nice package considering Liebrman is only adding six seats to the coalition.

But what a difference six seats make. With the budget vote coming up this Summer Session, Netanyahu will be able to breathe easy. Last session, three rogue members of his Likud faction chose to abstain from voting just to make a point, which helped derail some government legislation, awarding undeserved wins to the opposition. With 67 members, the fourth Netanyahu government can live out its entire four-year term.

Also, unlike the earlier potential coalition partner, Isaac Herzog’s left-leaning Zionist Camp, Lieberman is a natural fit in the current government. When he ended his 90 minute private meeting with the PM (which followed the PM’s meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, where the latter was given his walking papers), most of Likud’s senior ministers were quick to congratulate and welcome him back into the fold. Liebrman really is no stranger to Likudniks — from 1993 to 1996, with Netanyahu in place as party chairman, Lieberman served as the Likud party’s director-general. When Netanyahu was elected to his first term as prime minister, Lieberman served as director-general of the prime minister’s office, the equivalent of the White House chief of staff, from 1996 to 1997. With a few noted exceptions, Lieberman has been to the right of Netanyahu, and left his side to start Yisrael Beiteinu in 1999 over concessions Netanyahu granted the Palestinians in the 1997 Wye River Memorandum. But these days there’s very little daylight between Lieberman and the majority of the Likud Knesset faction.

In addition to Netanyahu’s need for coalition stability, the other issue behind Wednesday’s dramatic change was the growing gap between Defense Minister Ya’alon and the rest of the Likud party, which could have put Netanyahu’s future in danger had he continued to be associated with his DM. In several key episodes in the country’s fractious confrontations with Arab terrorists, Ya’alon appeared to be going out of his way to drag the Netanyahu government to the left.

Last Purim, an IDF medic in Hebron shot and killed a terrorist who had already been neutralized by six bullets to his body. The soldier’s commanders on the ground planned to give him a disciplinary hearing at the time, but an Arab B’Tselem agent shot and released a video of the event, and shortly thereafter military police picked up the medic on murder charges. Ya’alon supported the MP and the military prosecutors, despite an unprecedented wave of protest against the IDF brass that frightened Netanyahu. The PM met with the Medic’s father, the charges were reduced to manslaughter and the case may yet be dismissed, but the PM felt that his DM had stuck him in an untenable spot with the Likud diehard rightwing voters.

Then came the notorious Holocaust Memorial Day speech of the IDF deputy chief of staff, who compared, albeit not directly, episodes such as the Hebron shooting of the terrorist to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany. Again, Netanyahu’s core voters were outraged. He ordered his DM to extract and apology from the general, but the IDF would not apologize, and denied the charges instead.

Finally, there were the terrorists’ bodies. On several occasions, Netanyahu opposed returning the bodies of killed terrorists to their families for burial without some cost, the least of which would be to let them wait a few days, or weeks, as a deterrence to others. In early May, against Netanyahu’s explicit request, Ya’alon ordered the return of the body of a terrorist who had been killed after attacking and wounding three IDF soldiers, one critically, with his car. Then the IDF said something preachy about having no interest in detaining the bodies, ostensibly as political chips.Netanyahu was livid. Anyone who was following those events and understood the growing resentment in Likud against Ya’alon, could see that his days at the helm were numbered.

It isn’t clear whether Netanyahu was very smart or just very lucky when he allowed himself to be talked by his finance minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) into inviting MK Isaac Herzog to join his coalition government. On its face the move looked crazy if not stupid: for one thing, it wasn’t at all certain that more than half of the Zionist Camp MKs would make the switch over, seeing as they view Netanyahu as the poison tree that must be uprooted, not the shade tree for their top members to sit on lucrative portfolios. So the most Bibi would have gotten were 15 or 16 new MKs, but at the cost of Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi 8 seats, which would have netted him only 7 or 8 additional seats — but would have alienated his rightwing voters. So why did he embark on this apparent fool’s errand? Like we said, either because he is frighteningly clever or frighteningly lucky.

Avigdor Liebrman’s mission from the first day of the 20th Knesset has been to topple Netanyahu’s government and come back after the next elections as the most viable rightwing leader. This is why he refused Netanyahu’s repeated courting in the spring of 2015, and continued to bide his time in the opposition, together with Arabs and leftists, the people he dislikes the most—waiting for his chance. He figured, when the time came, with a big enough issue, and with Bibi’s rogue MKs doing their bit, Lieberman could deliver the deadly blow to Netanyahu, with a resounding vote of no confidence.

But when it started to look as if the Zionist Camp was going to boost Bibi’s numbers beyond the point of toppling, Lieberman realized it was time to shelf his revenge plan and get inside the tent before he’d lose any hope of leaving an impression on his voters this term. And so, seemingly out of the blue, Lieberman gathered a press conference in the afternoon, even as Bibi was scolding Bogie (Lauren Bacall’s nickname for Humphrey Bogart which somehow stuck with Ya’alon during his long and decorated military service) — and the Russian refusnik of yesterday suddenly started to play a serenade to Bibi on his balalaika. For the right price—defense and absorption, and the right terms—the death penalty for terrorists, for instance, he and his Yisrael Beiteinu are definitely ready to jump in.

Netanyahu may have been clever or lucky, but Lieberman was, without a doubt, brilliant. He may appear from this day on as serving Netanyahu, but it will be the PM who’ll be forced to do his bidding on security, because it is Lieberman and not Netanyahu who speaks for the rightwing Likud voters. If Bibi flinches at one of Lieberman’s calls (which the latter will issue politely and calmly) — then Bibi’s voters could easily go for the alternative. Say what you will about Avigdor Lieberman, but he could teach a class on maneuvering to a school of sharks.

As a result of all of the above, and should the coalition talks between Bibi Netanyahu and Yvette Lieberman be successful, Israel will have its first truly rightwing government ever. The Haredim are concerned about the draft, but it’s doubtful the new DM will focus on that hornet’s nest at this stage of his new career. If he does, it would bring a quick and unhappy ending to the 20th Knesset.

The one remaining unknown at this point is Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who really wanted to bring the Zionist Camp into the government and is now stuck to the left of Netanyahu, and with polls that show his Kulanu party dropping from 10 to 7 seats come next elections, while his identical twin, Lapid, is projected to win 19 or 20 seats next time around. Kahlon could kill this latest coalition deal in a kamikaze departure followed by resounding vote of no confidence, at which point nothing could save Bibi’s fourth government.

Oh, what interesting times we’re having.

David Israel

Netanyahu-Liberman Meeting Successful

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beytenu Chief Avigdor Liberman met today at 4 PM to discuss the possibility of Liberman’s party joining the coalition.

According to reports the meeting was successful, and both sides will be setting up negotiation teams to finalize the terms of Liberman joining the coalition. The two sides hope to conclude negotiations by Friday.

Before the meeting Liberman set three conditions for entering the coalition, which he shared with journalists at a news conference Wednesday morning. The former minister of foreign affairs said his party would demand the defense portfolio, imposition of the death penalty for terrorist murderers, and pension reforms.

The Likud’s rumor mill is running full force, and it’s saying that Liberman will be getting the position of Defense Minister and Moshe Ya’alon will be getting the boot. Reportedly Netanyahu also offered Liberman the Aliyah (Immigrant Absorption) portfolio as well, to sweeten the deal. Ya’alon is very much out of favor within the Likud these days as he hasn’t stopped running off his mouth with a range of statements that have angered much of the Likud’s rank and file, even causing PM Netanyahu to call him onto the carpet the other day.

Update: PM Netanyahu spoke with Defense Minister Ya’alon and informed him that Liberman had accepted the position of Defense Minister if he joins the coalition.

Labor chief Yitzchak Herzog is also facing problems, and if it looks like Herzog failed or got played by Netanyahu, he could be facing a putsch within his own party.

Shalom Bear

Netanyahu Openly Calling on Lieberman to Join Government

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has been engaged through proxies in a long and seemingly failed negotiation with Zionist Camp Chairman (for now) Itzhak Herzog, declared during his weekly cabinet meeting that he intends to “publicly call on (Israel Beiteinu Chairman MK) Lieberman to join the government.” Netanyahu added that, as a signing bonus, he would promote a solution for the pensions of newcomers from Russia, Liberman’s base constituency. Netanyahu sounded optimistic, according to Israeli media outlets, about his ability to get Lieberman, his closest coalition partner for most of the 19th Knesset, to join up. He also said the chances for the Zionist Camp joining are low at this point.

Liebrman quickly responded to Netanyahu’s invite on his Facebook page, calling it a spin. He added that Netanyahu has been conducting his flirtation with Zionist Camp leading MKs Herzog and Livni “in direct contradiction of what he promised during the election campaign,” and that “Netanyahu’s government is not rightwing.”

“Should there be a serious and truthful approach to Israel Beiteinu, we will respond to it, “Lieberman concluded.

David Israel

MK Avigdor Liberman: ‘It’s Israel’s Turn to Help Support Diaspora Jewry’

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

In a small sparsely-furnished office, containing a cherry wood desk, a matching credenza, an Israeli flag, some small personal photos and a large framed print of the father of Zionism, Vladimir Jabotinsky, is seated a man larger than life, the head of Yisrael Beiteinu and former Foreign Minister of Israel: Avigdor Liberman.

When the JewishPress.com met with Liberman late one morning this past week, he was told that most non-Israeli Jews really don’t have a good sense of who he is. So he was asked to explain himself.

ALIYAH, JEWISH CONTINUITY, ABSORPTION

Liberman began this way:

“First of all, my highest priorities are Aliyah, Jewish Continuity and Absorption. My positions are clear right wing without compromise, but very pragmatic.”

One of his pet projects combines all three priorities: he envisions schools of Jewish education everywhere in the Diaspora, along the lines of American schools abroad. Those schools would focus on both Judaism and Zionism.

Liberman explained the need for this educational initiative: “At the Saban meeting, people like [American Jewish journallist] Jeffrey Goldberg talked about the problem of the younger Jewish generation not being so supportive of Israel.”

“He said that the decline in support was due to Israeli government policies. But that’s not the problem,” Liberman said.

The problem is that the “younger generations of Jews don’t really know much about and so don’t care much about Israel.”

This dovetails with Liberman’s preoccupation with Jewish assimilation. He cites statistics and surveys which predict the near total extinction of Jews in only a few more generations.

“Fewer than 10 percent of American Jews have a Jewish, Zionist education. In places like France, Russia, even Canada, there is a 70 percent assimilation rate,” Liberman explains, with horror.

Naturally, the first question is who would fund such a project? Knowing that even many American Jewish Federations have turned away from significant contributions to Jewish day schools, the prospect seems bleak.

But Liberman isn’t looking to the Diaspora as the primary funding source. He explains: “during the 1940’s and ’50’s, Israel was a small, poor country and needed tremendous financial and political support – which it received – from the Jewish Diaspora.

“Now, with Israel’s vibrant economy, it’s our turn to give back and our turn to help support the Jewish people. We are a strong country with a huge budget,” explains Liberman.

Liberman believes that Israel must contribute something on the order of $365 million – which should be met with matching funds – to this vitally important enterprise.

The suavely-dressed, slimmed-down, blue-eyed politician sees this contribution by Israel not just as providing moral support to the waning Diaspora Jewry, but as a crucial investment, “it is for our future as well.”

The idea was first pitched by Liberman nearly a year ago in a speech in the United States. The concept was immediately overshadowed by the subsequent Israeli elections and, increasingly, by the nation’s focus on the then-looming and seemingly catastrophic Nuclear Iran Deal which the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the U.S., the U.K., France, China and Russia), plus Germany (the P5+1) was negotiating, and then concluded, with Iran.

Liberman believes his concept is critical if there is to remain a global Jewry outside of Israel. Not surprisingly, one of the reasons Diaspora Jewry with a strong Jewish and Zionist identity matters so much is as a steady source for Aliyah.

But the current governing coalition “does not care about the Diaspora,” Liberman said.

This discussion led naturally to the question of why Yisrael Beiteinu walked away from being in the ruling coalition. It’s of course harder to promote enormous new projects from the outside.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Lapid ‘Fed Up with the Palestinians’

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

Yesh Atid party chairman Yair Lapid said Sunday morning he is “fed up” with Palestinian Authority Arabs and “the time has come to separate from them” but with the IDF remaining able to operate to prevent attacks on Jews.

Lapid sounded on Israel radio’s Voice of Israel (Reshet Bet) like a responsible centrist opposition leader, filling the vacuum left by Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog whose only reactions to the recent wave of terror have been to blame Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and to claim that none of this would have happened if he had been Prime Minister.

Not even the anti-Netanyahu media have swallowed Lapid’s weak and divisive stance, and Lapid took the opportunity today to say that he backs the Prime Minister’s efforts to defeat terror.

Lapid, a former journalist, reads the political tea leaves better than Herzog and even Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman, who is huffing and puffing over polls that show his is one of the most trusted political leaders to deal with terrorism.

Seven months after the elections that gave Prime Minister Netanyahu only a one-seat majority in the coalition government, it is as strong as ever. Herzog’s refusal to join a national unity government, along with his pathetic demand that Netanyahu resign, have been met with the sound of one hand clapping.

Lieberman’s rants win him some headlines, but his rise in popularity will last as long as the wave of terror, which appears to be winding down even if it does not end.

Lapid understands better than anyone else outside the coalition that Israelis are more unfired than ever in their distrust of the Palestinian Authority and Mahmoud Abbas, whose blatant incitement and lies have left the left-wing camp look like a home for dwarfs.

The anti-Netanyahu media, which include the largest electronic outlets and the Yediot Acharonot newspaper, have dismissed Tzipi Livni as useless and are ignoring Herzog for the same reason.

The same media hate Lieberman even more than Netanyahu. The only one left is Lapid, and he milking it for all it’s worth in preparation for the next elections, which don’t appear on the horizon.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Lieberman: Let the Police Shoot like American Cops Shoot

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor “Tough Guy” Lieberman came out Tuesday with a 4-step plan to combat the current wave of terror, including open-fire orders similar to those in the United States.

A large number of the Palestinian Authority and Jerusalem Arab terrorists who have attacked Jews the past two weeks have been shot dead by security forces, but several of them still are alive.

A recent Israeli television poll showed that Lieberman is most favored by the public to handle the security situation. People are unhappy with Netanyahu, which usually is the case no matter what.

They have even less of an appetite for Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog, whose speeches recently have made him sound like a male version of Tzipi Livni. In other words, pathetic.

Lieberman, who heads the Yisrael Beiteinu party that was severally punished in the elections this past March, also suggested three other steps that the Security Cabinet should take:

— No terrorist should be left alive.

— Cancel citizenship of any Jerusalem Arab involved in terror; and

— Declare army rule in every place necessary to stop terror.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Arab Knesset Member Damns Leftists as ‘Rich Racists’ Who Feign ‘Peace’ [video]

Monday, September 7th, 2015

An Arab Knesset Member dumped all over Knesset leftisits in a theatrical speech Monday that was hilarious for the simple reason that he said everything about bleeding heart liberals that a right-winger would like to state but can’t do so because of political correctness.

He labeled the leftists with several adjectives, such as “Ashkenazim,” “spoiled,” “snobs” and “racists.” And what about the leftists ‘agenda for peace?

Garbage.

Zahalka said exactly what right-wingers know about leftists:

They are the ones who told us ‘We have brought peace upon you!’ Shame on you.

The engineers of racism, the engineers of expropriation, of expulsion. Shame on you.

Zahalka’s speech came during a debate on the government proposal to finalize an agreement concerning royalties on offshore natural gas.

MK Stav Shaffir, one of the most extreme leftists in the old Labor party that now is merged with Tzipi Livni’s faction under the funny title of “Zionist Camp,” has asked the attorney general to investigate reports that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu promised to earmark nearly $250 million for the Arabs sector if Arab MKs did not vote against the natural gas deal.

That lit a fuse under Zahalka’s feet, and he launched into a 4-minute outburst of rage that could have made him a fortune, with proceeds for his constituents, if he saved it for the stage and sold tickets for the performance.

Shaffir was the perfect target because she represents the “peace and love” sector that brings back to mind the “limousine liberal “Jews in the 1960s who were all for integration of blacks and whites but had second thoughts if it meant that opening up neighborhoods for everyone would include their street.

A more current example is the rich north Tel Aviv leftists’ campaign for asylum for illegal immigrants, who have flooded the relatively poor area of southern Tel Aviv.

Former right-wing MK Michael Ben-Ari pulled off the stunt of the decade a couple of years ago when he brought a group of illegal immigrants to a swimming pool in north Tel Aviv, where the shocked liberals were infuriated.

Shaffir, who at the age of 30 is the youngest MK in Knesset history, has impeccable credentials as the perfect leftist.

She was a leader in the “cottage cheese’ protests three years ago and joined a Women of the Wall spectacle. She supports asylum for illegal immigrants whom she says should be classified as “refugees,” and, of course, she backs LGBT demands.

Earlier this year, she attacked right-wingers and said:

Don’t preach to us about Zionism, because real Zionism means dividing the budget equally among all the citizens of the country. Real Zionism is taking care of the weak. Real Zionism is solidarity, not only in battle but in everyday life.

So what is her beef that some of the gas royalties will help the Arab sector? Good question, and there is simple answer: Shaffir and the rest of the Opposition, as almost every Opposition party in the Knesset, have one ideology: Dump the coalition, especially when it is headed by Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Zahalka blew all his fuses.

The video below is n Hebrew, but here are just some of his remarks:

Since you [Shaffir] came to the Knesset, you never spoke to me. You never told me hello. I try and try to say hello and you do not answer.

Racist!

At least, the extreme right are human beings; they smile at you and say hello. Even Yisrael Beiteinu MKs smile at us. But the members of the Labor party are the mother and father of racism! You invented racism!”

Shaffir, visibly hurt and upset by the accusations called him a liar, but Zahalka responded to almost everything she said with, “Shame on you.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/arab-knesset-member-damns-leftists-as-rich-racists-who-feign-peace-video/2015/09/07/

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