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August 29, 2015 / 14 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Yisrael Beitenu’

New Poll Bad News for the Left and Bayit Yehudi

Thursday, February 5th, 2015

A new poll published by the Israeli Walla! website Thursday shows that the left and center-left parties are losing support, as is the Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) party.

If elections were held today, the Likud would win 26 seats in the Knesset, compared with 23 for the Herzog-Livni “Zionist Camp” duo, according to the poll.

The most significant changes from previous polls are weakening support for Meretz and Bayit Yehudi. The left-wing Meretz party will barely win representation, apparently losing voters to Herzog-Livni, a merger of Livni’s HaTnuah party and Labor (The Zionist Union), the poll reveals. Theirs candidates are more much more leftist than before, attracting Meretz supporters but apparently putting off supports who may have flocked to Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid party and the new Kulanu party founded by Moshe Kahlon.

Bayit Yehudi, headed by Naftali Bennett, is losing ground. For the first time since the beginning of the campaign, the party has dropped to 12 Knesset seats, the same as in the outgoing Knesset but two to four less than in nearly all previous polls. This puts them as the same size as the Arab party, who could end up being the 3rd largest party in the Knesset.

That drop accounts for the increase in support for Likud.

The shifts in supports for Meretz and Bayit Yehudi do not change the left-right balance, but they leave the Likud in a better position.

The Walla! poll gives Yesh Atid 10 seats, one more than in most other previous polls. All other parties are more or less in the same position, except for Yisrael Beiteinu, which was granted seven seats, according to the poll. Previous surveys projected the party headed by Avigdor Lieberman would barely win enough support to enter the Knesset.

The new Yachad party headed by Eli Yishai continues to be on the edge of winning enough votes to enter the Knesset.

 

Minister Gidon Saar Unexpectedly Announces Resignation

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Internal Affairs Minister of Israel, MK Gidon Sa’ar (Likud) has announced he is temporarily leaving politics. Saar, age 47, is resigning both his ministerial and Knesset positions, effective right after the holidays.

He made the announcement at a pre-Rosh Hashana toast for 1000 Likud activists at Kfar Hamaccabiah in Ramat Gan, surprising those present, and shocking the Israeli political landscape.

Saar made a point to add that he is not resigning from the Likud party.

Saar says he wants to devote more time to his family. His wife, Geula Even, is a TV news anchor for Channel 1.

Saar’s quitting will significantly affect the balance between the parties.

Despite the breakup between the Likud and Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beitenu, the next person up to enter the Knesset on the join list is Leon Letinitzky of the Yisrael Beitenu party, a source in the Yisrael Beitenu party told JewishPress.com.

As a result, the Likud will drop to 18 seats, making it the second largest party after Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid (19).

Yisrael Beitenu will go up one, to 13 seats, putting it one seat ahead of HaBayit HaYehudi.

What this does to the election fever already in the air is anyone’s guess.

Avigdor Liberman, Tough Foreign Minister, is Back

Tuesday, November 12th, 2013

He’s been called the most investigated politician in Israel – and that’s saying something! But after enduring years of others sifting through the bowels of his political history, Avigdor Lieberman was unanimously acquitted of corruption charges last Wednesday. On Monday, Nov. 11, Liberman was reinstated as Israel’s Foreign Minister.

Liberman had been charged with suspicion of fraud and breach of trust.

The vote in the knesset to reinstate Liberman took place Monday afternoon.  The vote was 62 to 17. Members voting against the Yisrael Beiteinu chair included members of the leftist Labor and Meretz parties, as well as Arabs from the Balad party.

Balad leader Jamal Zahalke said bringing back Liberman meant bringing back “the bad spirit of racism, fascism and mafia to the Knesset.”

Zahalke frequently speaks out against what he calls Israel’s system of “Apartheid.” The Israeli Arab received three degrees from Israel’s Hebrew University, serves in the Israeli Knesset and is the leader of a political party in Israel.  Some Apartheid.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu had left the Foreign Ministry’s top position open since Lieberman stepped down in December, 2012, after Liberman was indicted on graft charges. Liberman served as Israel’s Foreign Minister since April, 2009.

Frequently referred to by many in the mainstream media as a “hard-liner,” a “hawk,” or other pejorative terms, Liberman is likely to confirm that view if he, as is expected, refuses to agree to still further concessions and appeasement efforts towards the Palestinian Arabs.

Liberman’s propensity for straight talk about the Palestinian Arab leadership is certain to raise hackles with the U.S. administration which has been trying desperately to browbeat Israel into overlooking the terrorist creed of its so-called “peace partner.”

MK to Arab League: Don’t Forget Jews on World Refugee Day

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

Yisrael Beitenu  Knesset Member Shimon Ohayon, on United Nations World Refugee Day, called on the Arab League to accept responsibility for the exodus of Jews from the group’s countries before and after the re-establishment of the State of Israel .

“The Jews of Arab countries, starting in 1947, were used as weapons by the Arab League against the establishment of the Jewish State,” MK Ohayon said. “The Arab League drafted laws for its member states to withdraw civil and human rights from its Jewish inhabitants, and it is time for it to own up to its role in the ethnic cleansing of the Jewish population from most of the Middle East and North Africa.”

The Political Committee of the Arab League drafted a law in 1947 to govern the legal status of Jewish residents in all Arab League countries.

The “Text of Law Drafted by the Political Committee of the Arab League” called for the freezing of bank accounts of Jews and confiscating their assets. Subsequent meetings reportedly called for the expulsion of Jews from Arab League countries.

MK Ohayon, who along with his family fled Morocco in 1956, is the chairman of the Knesset Caucus for the Rights of Jewish Refugees from Arab Lands and has drafted a law to hold an annual day to commemorate the Jewish refugees in the Israeli calendar.

The Next Round: Will Netanyahu Retain His Title?

Tuesday, May 7th, 2013

Netanyahu had no real opponent in the recent election for Israel’s 19th Knesset, making his re-election clear before elections were even announced. Thus, despite what many analysts graded as the worst campaign of the Knesset’s 12 parties, the alliance between the Prime Minister and former Foreign Minister Lieberman resulted in a clear win of 31 seats for Likud Beitenu. Second place Yair Lapid was the surprise of the elections, winning 19 seats, and he quickly announced he was looking to be a coalition member and not the Opposition Leader.

This Friday, Smith conducted a poll published by Globes, which put Prime Minister Netanyahu’s center-right Likud-Beitenu and Finance Minister Lapid’s center-left Yesh Atid at a 30-30 tie.  While polling is not an exact science, polls provide us with the latest voting trends and they are the best tool we have for predicting election results. The Smith poll is significant because Smith is not only one of the highest rated polling companies, but it most accurately predicted the 2013 election results.

In addition, the Smith poll makes Lapid the first contender to achieve that kind of success in a mid-term poll since Kadima, under Tzipi Livni, hit 30 seats in polls following Ehud Barak’s split from Labor in early 2011.  Friday’s poll also indicated that the two other current self-labeled center parties, led by Tzipi Livni and Shaul Mofaz, would fail to pass the threshold in a new election, with their eight seats likely heading to Yesh Atid.

Ever since Netanyahu climbed to the top of the polls in the aftermath of the Second Lebanon War in 2006, there has been a shift of support from the traditional ideological left vs. right vote to the “Netanyahu & friends” vs. the “Anti-Netanyahu” vote. This phenomenon was evident when extreme left-wing party Meretz dropped to three seats in the 2009 elections because left-wing voters supported Tzipi Livni, hoping she would defeat Netanyahu.

In that election, Livni won 29 mandates, but Netanyahu, with 28 mandates, nevertheless formed the coalition. After Barak formed the Independence party and Labor faced another possible split led by MK Amir Peretz, polls showed that Labor voters began to support Livni. A few months later, however, voters have pulled their support from Livni. That’s because while Netanyahu hasn’t had any real competition since – he has now.

Although the current government has an unconventional make-up, splitting the Knesset into its traditional blocks, the key to the next government, shows a tie between the right and left. The poll gives the right-religious block of Likud-Beitenu, Bayit Yehudi, Shas and UTJ 60 seats. The center-left-Arab block of Yesh Atid, Labor, Meretz, Hadash, Ra’am-Ta’al and Balad win the other 60. One could argue that the Arab parties would never join a coalition, but splitting the seats between the traditional blocks gives a good indication for Netanyahu’s chances of forming a government. That’s because one can expect members of the center-left block to not join a Netanyahu government unless they expect him to form a coalition without them.

Many in the ideological-left camp feel that Labor, the third largest party, will be a big player in the next election. But Labor ran as the alternative to the Netanyahu government this past election and won a disappointing 15 seats. The Smith poll has Labor falling to 12, lower than the 13 seats Labor achieved under Ehud Barak in the 2009 elections. Labor, which has seen six leadership changes in the last dozen years, has become somewhat of a joke in many political circles. It seems highly unlikely that the party, under whichever leader it chooses, will be able to convince the Israeli voter to yet again look to them as the alternative to Netanyahu.

Naftali Bennett’s Bayit Yehudi came in fourth place in the recent elections with 12 seats. Bennett is an obvious future candidate for Prime Minister and will be a key player in the next election. The Smith poll has Bennett’s party in third place which means that after the next elections, he may have a chance to play the traditional kingmaker role of Israeli politics deciding between his former boss Prime Minister Netanyahu and his new best friend Yair Lapid. The thought of Bennett not backing the right-wing candidate seems improbable, but not if Netanyahu treats Bennett during this administration as poorly as he did in the weeks following the recent elections.

Israeli Arab Citizen Charged with Joining Syrian Jihadists

Wednesday, April 10th, 2013

An Arab with Israeli citizenship allegedly turned against the state and now is the first Israeli Arab to be charged with joining Syrian jihadists and fight with the rebels, according to an indictment filed in an Israeli court Wednesday.

The case has been under wraps since his arrest last at Ben Gurion Airport after the citizen, 29-year-old Hikmat Massarwa, returned from Syria via Turkey.

His lawyer claimed that Massarwa had no intention of harming Israel and was in Syria for the innocent purpose of locating his brother, who left Israel for Syria several weeks ago and also is suspected of joining  Al Qaeda-affiliated groups.

The increasingly frequent phenomenon of Arabs helping enemy states is of great concern not only to intelligence officials but also to politicians.

Avigdor Lieberman, who heads the Israel Beitenu faction that has since joined the Likud party, has won broad support from nationalists and horrified center-left parties by pushing for a loyalty oath and insisting that Arabs have no less an obligation to the country to fulfill a term of national service.

Israeli Arabs have no less than former Knesset Member Azmi Bishara to look “up” to as a model for a fifth column.

He fled the country six years ago after being indicted for passing on intelligent information to Hizbullah during the Second Lebanon War, in which thousands of Israeli soldiers and civilians were killed or wounded in the 34-day war that devastated northern Israel, including Haifa.

The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) said that Massarwa, a resident of an Arab area called the “triangle” because of its three-sided area between Netanya and Tel Aviv and the western border of Samaria, is a foreign agent.

Massarwa’s lawyer argued that after his client entered Syria to look for his brother, he was forced “to be part of this population,” referring to Syrian rebels associated with jihadists.

“He did not join the rebels. He helped them build tents and so on, said the attorney, Helal Jabar. “It seems more than a few Israeli Arabs have done this.”

Security agents asserted that rebels in Syria asked Massarwa about information concerning IDF weapons and the nuclear reactor in Dimona and that he was asked to carry out a terrorist attack in Israel, a request he refused.

Arabs with Israeli  citizenship have plenty of encouragement to work against the state. Most Arab Knesset Members not only side with the Palestinian Authority but also often speak against Zionism and the existence of a Jewish state. MK Hanin Zoabi boarded the Mavi Mamara flotilla ship, manned by IHH terrorists, three years ago and has incited against the state.

She has called Israel “inherently racist,” rejects the idea of Israel as a Jewish country, and Zoabi has backed Iran’s efforts to acquire a nuclear weapon, apparently preferring to die in an Iranian nuclear attack if Israel would be destroyed at the same time.

Other magnets for Israeli Arabs to help destroy Israel include the Hamas regime in Gaza, which recruit Bedouin Negev, turning several Arab population centers, such as Tel Sheva next to Be’er Sheva, into Hamas strongholds that Israeli police are frightened to enter.

Another attraction for Israeli Arabs to become Israeli traitors is the Palestinian Authority, whose official maps define Arab Palestine’s borders as the Mediterranean Sea in the west, the Jordan River on the east, and the Lebanese and Egyptian borders on the north and south.

With the spillover of the Syrian war into Jordan and Lebanon, and occasional fire on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, Massarwa may not be the last Israeli Arab citizen to be charged with helping the enemy.

With Hamas ruling over Gaza and recruiting Bedouin allies in the Negev and with Palestinian Authority Arabs increasingly frustrated with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ failure to improve their political and economic lives, the Syrian civil war is another inducement to work against Israel.

With the spillover of the Syrian war into Jordan and Lebanon, and occasional fire on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, Massarwa may not be the last Israeli Arab citizen to be charged with helping the enemy.

Danny Ayalon Shows his True Colors

Sunday, February 10th, 2013

When he served as Israeli Ambassador to the United States during the Disengagement, Danny Ayalon did not merely execute his duties as ambassador, but threw his personal support behind the Disengagement.

For instance in an interview a month before the expulsion was carried out, Ayalon said that “The prime minister had to make the decision because he knew this was the best course of action to take and the best way to strengthen Israel” (emphasis added).

When Ayalon returned to Israel and jumped into politics, he joined Yisrael Beitenu, led by Avigdor Liberman who opposed the Disengagement as a Minister in Ariel Sharon’s government.

Yisrael Beitenu presented itself as being to the right of the Likud and its leader Benjamin Netanyahu (though now the Likud and Yisrael Beitenu sit together as one faction in the Knesset).

In the last government, Liberman served as Foreign Minister and Ayalon served as his deputy. Ayalon even released an English version of video explaining Israel’s right to sovereignty in Judea and Samaria and narrated the video himself. Needless to say, Israel, Liberman and Ayalon worked against Palestinian efforts to get recognized as a state without Israeli agreement at the United Nations.

Ayalon, for instance, was quoted as criticizing the Palestinians’ statehood bid, saying:

The Palestinian Authority, which cannot even collect municipal taxes, wishes to pose as a state… It is clear that the P.A. does not meet the minimum requirements of a state. It also fails to meet another requirement of the U.N. Charter — to be a peace-loving nation. Ayalan also took up Yisrael Beitenu’s Anglo division-campaign, which focused on recruiting the support of Israel’s English-speaking immigrant community which is a little bit more conservative, especially on foreign policy, than the rest of Israel.

Then, unexpectedly  Liberman informed Ayalon that he would not be included in Yisrael Beitenu’s Knesset list. Not long after that Ayalon recalled things he did previously did not which were added to the indictment against Liberman.

Now, Ayalon has taken up the left-wing position regarding the U.N. General Assembly vote recognizing Palestinian statehood, arguing that Israeli should offer the Palestinians recognition as a state:

“Israel will give the Palestinians sovereignty and independence and in return, they will recognize Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and will guarantee security arrangements.” That’s a position which doesn’t quite match his prior criticism of the Palestinian’s U.N. bid, his assertion that regardless of what recognition they may receive the Palestinian Authority simply is not a state, his previous criticism of Palestinian Authority funding going towards terrorism, or the general realistic approach towards the Palestinian Authority, which he, Liberman and Netanyahu have championed during the government’s term.

Far from punishing the Palestinians from their efforts to side step Israel at the United Nations, such an offer would reward them and would incur immense amount of international pressure on Israel to sweeten the deal by making more unilateral concessions or to just recognize Palestinian statehood regardless of what the Palestinians agree to.

Aside from the merits of Ayalon’s new position, his zigzagging over the years is yet another lesson in how political ambitions affect a politician’s positions or at least the part of his philosophy he chooses to emphasize to the public.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/hadar/danny-ayalon-shows-his-true-colors/2013/02/10/

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