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July 1, 2016 / 25 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘zeev elkin’

Bennett: ‘You Can’t Be in Favor of Eretz Israel in Hebrew while Establishing the State of Palestine in English.’

Monday, June 6th, 2016

On Sunday night, during the celebrations of Jerusalem Liberation Day at the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, the academic crown jewel of the rightwing Greater Israel movement, Habayit Hayehudi leader Naftali Bennett flatly accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of lying about his true intentions regarding a Palestinian State. “You can’t be in favor of Eretz Israel in Hebrew while establishing the State of Palestine in English,” he said, obviously pointing to the PM, who was present at the same ceremony, and accusing him of telling his voters (in Hebrew) during the last campaign that he was opposed to dividing the land, while scheming with foreign dignitaries and a number of Israeli politicians to bring on some form of the two-state solution.

The relationship between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) is about as bad as can be, feeding on 20 years of bad blood, resentments, betrayals and condescension. Ten years ago, after fighting in the 2006 Lebanon War, Bennett served as chief of staff for Netanyahu, who was then the opposition leader. He helped Netanyahu dig his way up from a deep electoral hole, but couldn’t get along with Mrs. Netanyahu (few could). Eventually, in 2008, Bennett and his political partner, Ayelet Shaked, set out to carve their own path among Israel’s rightwing voters.

When they returned victorious in 2013, with 12 seats, as leaders of a National Religious Party that everyone had been certain was going to leave the political stage — they were considered Netanyahu’s natural coalition partners — but Sara Netanyahu put down her foot. Instead of a negotiation between friends, Bennett et al were put through the wringer. It took the intervention of a third party leader, MK Yair Lapid, who forged an ad hoc, mutual-benefit alliance with Bennett, to finally open the door. Then, after the 2015 elections, when Bennett generously endorsed Netanyahu’s message that it made no difference if the settler community voted for Likud or for his own party, because he had been promised they’d all be part of the same winning coalition in the end — Bennett ended up as the last man the PM had turned to for a government post. Promises of the Defense Ministry were reneged on, and Bennett, a party chairman, ended up with a second-tier portfolio. Mind you, Bennett believes a full five of Likud’s 30 Knesset seats should have gone to him. That’s ten years’ worth of resentment.

And now, as Netanyahu continues his pursuit of a broader coalition with MK Isaac Herzog’s Zionist Camp (Labor), voices in Labor are starting to say that they’d consider the offer only if the PM is sincere in his desire for a two-state solution, and the profound way in which he could signal that commitment would be by sacrificing the only dedicated enemy of the very idea of a Palestinian State, Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi. If Netanyahu were to go ahead and fire, or demote Bennett and the other two Habayit Hayehudi ministers, Ayelet Shaked and Uri Ariel, it would mean that five seats worth of voters who believed Netanyahu was just as anti-two-state as Bennett, actually cast their vote to get themselves and their families evicted from their homes and lands. There’s plenty to resent there.

“There are some, in Israel and the world, who join various Arab initiatives according to which we would divide the land, divide–God forbid–Jerusalem, and return to the 1967 lines,” Bennett said, “because the world is pressuring, and we must appease them. I tell these individuals tonight: never.”

As to the dual-language policy, Bennett told Netanyahu: “It’s time to say in a clear voice: the Land of Israel belongs to the nation of Israel. In Hebrew, English, Russian and French, in summer, in winter, during elections and when there are no elections. Why? Because the world is listening to us. To every word we say. The world recognizes weakness, just as it recognizes strength. The world sniffs whenever we are not certain of our right to the land, and attacks us with the fury of boycotts.”

It was a painful, raging attack, that marked the worst day in the complex relationship of these two politicians. But it would be a mistake to suggest that Bennett was acting emotionally. In fact, this had to be a well planned assault, ahead of a foreseeable dismissal of Habayit Hayehudi from the coalition. Even before Sunday’s de facto declaration of war, Bennett’s party was up at least three seats in the polls, while Likud was down by those same three seats — that was the Judea and Samaria vote. And should Netanyahu actually pursue peace negotiations at this juncture, those three seats could grow to become five, putting in risk Likud’s numeric supremacy in the next Knesset.

It was such an aggressive attack on Bennett’s part, that the pushback had to come from Likud’s own rightwing, pro-settlements wing: an anonymous Likud senior official was cited by the press, but everyone knew it was Minister of Jerusalem Affairs Ze’ev Elkin, who accused Bennett of hypocrisy—since he had lived comfortably in the previous coalition government with Minister Tzipi LIvni, while the latter was in charge of the two-state negotiations. Elkin, speaking as senior anonymous Likud man, also said it was Bennett who was threatening the stability of the most rightwing government in Israel’s history.

In the end, the cooling down of the internal fighting came from the new defense minister, Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu), also a former Netanyahu lieutenant in Likud who broke up with the boss and has maintained a terrible personal relationship with him, complete with bad blood and burgeoning resentments. Liberman said Monday morning: “I call on Naftali Bennett to calm down. Right now we need fewer declarations and more coordinated, quiet work.”

“If he can’t hold back, I suggest he undergo surgery to remove his short fuse,” Liberman said about Bennett, in a bearish kind of humor.

Incidentally, you may recall that Liberman has endured his share of ridicule upon taking on his important new position, because in an interview Liberman had given only last April, he promised that should he become defense minister, he would demand that Deputy Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau Ismail Haniya return the bodies of Israeli soldiers in his possessions or face death. There’s even a website counting the days since Liberman’s appointment and noting that the Hamas leader is still alive.

“I suggest to anyone who is asking me regarding taking care of Haniya to wait until the end of my term, and not [harass me] in my first week in office,” the new defense minsiter said.

Except that in that interview Liberman actually said Haniya should be counting his days on this earth from Liberman’s first day in office. So the inquiries are certainly legitimate.

JNi.Media

Musical Chairs: What This New Rightwing Coalition May Look Like

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

I can’t deny it, it’s exciting that we’re potentially getting a right-wing coalition, at least on paper and according to the rumors.

A lot of changes are said to be afoot. Let’s take a look at them.

Liberman as Defense Minister: This could be great – if he walks the walk as much as he talks the talk.

It remains to be seen how he’ll act once he has the job, but after months of Ya’alon talking down to the nation from his pseudo-moral perch and rushing to castigate our soldiers in the public arena before running proper investigations, it will be good to have a Defense Minister who is hopefully more interested in winning wars and crushing the enemy rather than telling us how moral his army is compared to the rest of the country and then telling us how the army’s first job is to educate the country, as he’s handing over another terrorist’s body.

Netanyahu will need to decide if he wants Ya’alon around anymore, or if he’s become too much of a political liability for the Likud. This could always just be a ploy to get Ya’alon back in line and to shut up, but I doubt it.

But that’s only the first of the changes that may soon happen.

Liberman’s party is potentially also getting the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption, so Minister Ze’ev Elkin would be moved from there to become the Minister of the the Economy – Bennett’s old job.

And speaking of Naftali Bennett, he may be moved from being the Education Minister to being appointed as Israel’s Foreign Minister.

It’s a great move. His English is good enough, he understands the foreign media, and he brings his ideology with him to the job. It’s also astounding that a member of Bayit Yehudi (Mafdal) party will hold one of the top 3 positions (to the best of my memory), as amazing as it was when a Bayit Yehudi member was appointed Justice Minister.

Unfortunately, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked may have to take over the Education Ministry.

It’s practically guaranteed she’ll do an amazing job as Minister of Education. Probably even better than Bennett (Shaked is potentially Prime Ministerial material, if she improves her English).

What’s disappointing is that she was doing an incredible job in reforming the justice system in Israel, and things were starting to change for the better.

But all is not lost, the Likud’s Yariv Levin might be moved over from the Tourism Ministry to take over Justice. He comes from a legal background, he’s a staunch right-winger and will hopefully want and be able to finish what Shaked started. The upside is that he won’t be as much as a lightning rod as she was, so it may be easier for him to complete the task.

Tzachi Hanegbi may get Strategic Affairs. He can’t do us too much damage there.

Overall, the coalition will be more stable.

With Liberman as Defense Minister may see the end of the building freezes and the anti-democratic administrative detentions/distancing orders without trials, perhaps he’ll implement a plan to help the poor, trapped Gazans emigrate to first-world countries where they won’t be under the tyranny of Hamas, and who knows, maybe he’ll try to extend Israeli law onto at least Area C.

One can certainly dream.

JoeSettler

Elkin Attacks Netanyahu’s Temple Mount Ruling

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

PM Netanyahu gave instructions to the police to prevent any coalition MK and minister from going up to the Temple Mount, out of fear that it will cause an escalation (really!), according to Galei Tzahal.

Minister Ze’ev Elkin (Likud) publicly attacked the Prime Minister’s decision to restrict Temple Mount access to Jewish public officials only.

Elkin said that while he understands how in this situation it might make sense for ministers and Knesset members to not go up to the Temple Mount, Elkin asks, why isn’t this restriction extended to MKs from the Arab parties? Elkin pointed out that there is no one who is inciting more on the Temple Mount than the Arab MKs in the Joint List.

According to YNet, following the criticism this morning, Netanyahu flip-flopped and extended the ban to all MKs and ministers, including the Arabs.

Jewish Press News Briefs

20,000 Israelis Ignore Terror and Visit Gush Etzion

Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

Approximately 20,000 Israelis from all over the country visited Gush Etzion on the first day of Chol HaMoed Tuesday, numbers that regional council chairman Davidi Pearl said prove the strong connection between the area and all of Israel.

He added that the throng of visitors shows that terror cannot intimidate people.

Minister Ze’ev Elkin and Uri Ariel visited the Givat Oz V’Gaon park adjacent to the Gush Etzion junction. The area was dedicated to the memories of the three yeshiva youth were murdered by Hamas terrorists last year.

Thousands of tourists also traveled through Gush Etzion to visit the Patriarchs’ Cave (Maharat HaMachpela) in Hebron and the southern Hebron Hills.

Travelers reported a heavy presence of IDF patrols on Highway 60 to deter Arabs from trying to murder Jews with rocks and firebombs.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Special Aliyah Flight to Bring 200 French Jews to Israel

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

More than 200 immigrants from France ware scheduled to land in Israel aboard a special Aliyah flight next Monday evening.

They will be greeted by Minister of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption Ze’ev Elkin and Jewish Agency chairman Israel Natan Sharansky.

The number of 3,000 immigrants from France this summer is expected to reach 3,000, compared with 7,086 for all of 2014.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Charter ‘Aliyah’ Flight to Land in Israel Tuesday with 221 New ‘Olim’

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

Minister Ze’ev Elkin will welcome 221 new immigrants from the United States and Canada at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday., one year after Operation Protective Edge.

The flight, organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency and JNF-USA, will carry 32 families and 53 singles from 14 states, the District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces.

Among the Olim are 95 children – 49 girls and 46 boys – who are immigrating with their parents. About one-fourth of the Olim arriving on the flight have decided to settle in Israel’s periphery as part of the “Go North and Go South” programs.

During 2015, more than 4,000 new immigrants are expected to make Aliyah from North America, and half of them will arrive ii the summer.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Yom HaZikaron at the Gush Etzion Cemetery

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

More than an hour before the Yom HaZikaron ceremony was to begin at 11:00 a.m. in Kfar Etzion at the Gush Etzion Regional Cemetery this morning, hundreds of school children lined the streets, streaming towards the event.

Police and security personnel were stationed on the approach road, directing the cars and buses to park in such a fashion that there would be order going in, and an orderly departure.

GERC4park

The cemetery lies in a rolling series of hills, with various communities represented in plateaued graveyards, with gravel in between and lots of lush greenery and wildflowers sprouting in all the open spaces

.GERCboysgraveside

Just recently a building was put up, until then, every memorial service and every funeral took place in the open. Israeli funerals, unlike those elsewhere, can take place any time of day or night, and they generally take place within just a few hours of death.

But for today’s Yom HaZikaron ceremony, all those in the Gush Etzion area touched by loss showed up, and here in Israel, that is almost everyone. Some family members were lost to illness, others simply to old age. But in this cemetery, as in so many cemeteries in Israel, there is a disproportionate number of graves of young people – those who fell in all the wars Israel has endured, and those who were murdered by terrorists.

GERC2sailor

For more than an hour people were milling around, visiting the various graves, placing stones of remembrance, saying tehillim.

And when the hour drew near 11:00 a.m., the small area near the speakers’ platform filled beyond overflowing. There were many dozens of soldiers in uniform, closely-cropped young men and young women with impossibly thick curls, most soldiers wearing their units’ berets, others with their berets neatly folded and pinned to their shirts.

GERCwomansalute

When the sirens rang out at the stroke of 11:00, four jets in formation took off from nearby: “they’re buzzing the entire country,” a woman said, “it will take about a minute.”

And then the speeches – is it fair to call them that? The messages invoking the memories, the love, the devotion to those who had given their lives for the Jewish State, washed quickly over the crowd, interspersed with a few haunting songs including “Ani Ma’amin” (“I Believe”) and Hatikvah. Two boys from a nearby high school spoke about the loss of two graduates of the school who were killed during last summer’s war.

Israeli crying at Yom HaZikaron Ceremony at Gush Etzion Regional Cemetery, April 22, 2015.

Several speakers mentioned the abduction and murder of the three teenagers which touched off last summer’s war. Eyal Ifrach, Gilad Sa’ar and Naftali Frenkel were kidnapped just down the road from where the ceremony took place.

A chazan sang out the names of all the soldiers and the victims of terror who are buried in this cemetery, as pain crossed the faces of so many who stood listening.

A representative of the Israel Defense Forces spoke, as did two representatives of the Knesset. One, MK Ze’ev Elkin, reminded those in the audience that David Ben-Gurion, Israel’s first president, famously recognized Gush Etzion as the savior of Jerusalem.

MK Zeev Elkin at Yom HaZikaron Ceremony at Gush Etzion Regional Cemetery. April 22, 2015.

MK Zeev Elkin at Yom HaZikaron Ceremony at Gush Etzion Regional Cemetery. April 22, 2015.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yom-hazikaron-at-the-gush-etzion-cemetery/2015/04/22/

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