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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yisrael Beiteinu’

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)

Polls Point To Big Win For Netanyahu, Israeli Right

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

JERUSALEM – If the polls are right, the outcome of next Tuesday’s Israeli election is a foregone conclusion. Not only does Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud seem bound to emerge as the largest single party, but the bloc of right-wing and religious parties that it leads seems certain to garner a winning majority in the 120-member Knesset.

All the latest polls put Likud ahead of Tzipi Livni’s ruling Kadima Party, some by as many as 12 seats (34-22), others by as few as three (28-25), which theoretically is a small enough margin to be overcome via a coalition deal. But all the surveys without exception give the religious and right-wing parties a virtually unassailable lead, ranging from at least 10 seats (65-55) to as many as 18 (69-51).

That means Netanyahu is almost certain to be invited to form the next government.

The only question seems to be the nature of the coalition he forms. Will he go for a narrow right-religious government that includes the hard-line Yisrael Beiteinu party led by Avigdor Lieberman; two fervently Orthodox parties, Shas and Torah Judaism; and two national-religious parties, Jewish Home and National Union, associated with supporters of the settlements?

Or will he opt for a national unity government that also includes Kadima and/or Ehud Barak’s Labor Party? Netanyahu claims his biggest mistake as prime minister from 1996 to 1999 was in not forming a national unity coalition with then-Labor leader Shimon Peres.

It is a mistake he does not intend to repeat.

This time, Netanyahu says, he wants to establish the widest possible national unity government with the parties on the right balanced by Kadima and

Labor on the left. Likud insiders, however, suggest that he would actually prefer to leave Kadima in opposition, where he believes it will disintegrate as a political force. The thinking is that Kadima in opposition might split, with the hawks rejoining the Likud in return for government portfolios.

Moreover, including Labor without Kadima would be enough to enhance the otherwise hard-line government’s international image and, more importantly, give Netanyahu a degree of flexibility in the Cabinet in dealing with peacemaking initiatives.

Livni, who just four months ago seemed certain to become the country’s next prime minister, is now very much the underdog, and she is pulling out all the stops. Her most recent campaign tactic is to appeal for support as a woman. A campaign ad suggests that no one would question the prime ministerial credentials of a man with her record: army officer, Mossad agent, head of the government companies’ authority, minister of immigrant absorption, regional cooperation, justice and foreign affairs, and deputy prime minister.

Livni is also highlighting the “Obama factor,” arguing that an intransigent Netanyahu-led government would be almost certain to clash with a new U.S. administration bent on bringing peace to the Middle East. Israel needs to put a peace plan on the table now because time is running out, she declared Monday at a conference on national security.

As for Barak, the most significant element of his campaign is the way he has been targeting Livni, not Netanyahu. More than anyone else, he has played on the “think twice before voting for a woman” card. When Livni called for tough action in the wake of renewed rocket fire from Gaza this week, Barak referred to her as “geveret mebarberet” – the chattering lady – and said he found it difficult to see people who had never held a gun or fought a battle calling for military action.

In contrast, Barak, a former chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces, highlights his performance as defense minister in the 22-day war against Hamas in Gaza. Given Israel’s tough security environment, he suggests that anyone who can manage the defense portfolio can also serve as prime minister.

But Barak’s chances of actually winning the election seem negligible. According to the polls, the best he can hope for is perhaps to supplant Livni as runner-up.

Whether or not Labor finishes ahead of Kadima, Barak’s post-election dilemma is likely to be whether to join a Netanyahu government that includes the hawkish Lieberman. As much as Barak would like to stay on as defense minister under Netanyahu, there are strong voices in Labor insisting that if Lieberman, who is advocating a “loyalty test” for Israeli Arabs and says only he knows how “to deal” with them, they will stay out in principle.

Netanyahu, however, will find it difficult to keep out Lieberman. Indeed, Lieberman has been the big story of the 2009 election. Latest polls give his Yisrael Beiteinu party about 16 Knesset seats, with some even placing it ahead of Labor as the country’s third largest party.

Lieberman, who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1979, started his political life close to Netanyahu in the Likud. In 1999, after a falling-out with the then-prime minister, Lieberman founded a small Russian immigrant party, which has since developed into a major force on the international stage.

The showdown with Hamas and the widespread criticism by Israeli Arabs of the devastation in Gaza has helped Lieberman’s cause. His main election slogan – “No citizenship without loyalty” – suggests that if empowered he would deny citizenship and its concurrent voting rights to Israeli Arabs. Lieberman’s many critics on the left accuse him of racism.

One thing that could prevent him from becoming a minister in the next government is the fact that police have just accelerated a long-standing criminal investigation against him involving the alleged laundering of huge sums of money.

The probe might actually help Lieberman win more seats – many see its sudden renewal just days before the election as a part of a conspiracy against Lieberman.

But if he is indicted or if the attorney general disqualifies him from serving in the new government because of the allegations against him, he would not be able to join the coalition, making it easier for Barak to lead Labor into a Netanyahu administration.

What could change things and have all the pollsters eating their hats? Thirty percent of voters say they are still undecided. If they have not been factored in by the pollsters, Feb. 10 could still provide a surprise twist or two.

(JTA)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global//2009/02/04/

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