Photo Credit: Aaron Klein
Aaron Klein

Feiglin’s Pledge To Drain The Swamp

Moshe Feiglin, chairman of the Zehut Party, vowed in an interview with this radio host that if he enters the Knesset following next month’s election here, he will work to “drain the swamp” by fighting corruption and big government policies that, Feiglin argues, are negatively impacting Israelis’ day-to-day lives.

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Feiglin’s surprise surge in the polls in recent days sent shock waves across the Israeli political arena amid widespread speculation that his party could be the ultimate kingmaker in the formation of the next government, determining which Israeli leader will be able to cobble together enough seats to form a majority coalition in the 120-seat Knesset.

Among other issues, Feiglin discussed his plans to address the longstanding housing crisis that has been plaguing Israelis, a scenario in which construction here is hampered by a massive amount of bureaucracy and the average cost of an apartment makes purchasing a home difficult for a large segment of the population. In some areas, bureaucratic holdups have contributed to housing shortages.

The Israeli politician posits that Israeli housing woes are fueled by a low supply of residential land due to what he described as the state’s “monopoly” over the land. Feiglin points out accurately that a full 93% of all land in Israel is registered to the Israel Land Authority. He notes that government regulation makes purchasing land and obtaining construction permits extremely difficult.

To address the issue, the Zehut Party pushes a radical restructuring of the land regulating industry in Israel starting with the dismantling of the Israel Land Authority itself and the transfer of vacant lands to the citizens for sale in the open market. Instead of the state disbursing land, local communities will “determine whether to restrict the designation of the land to industry, commerce, housing, agriculture,” Zehut’s extensive platform states.

The Zehut platform further calls for a massive reduction of regulations to obtain construction permits and an end to obstacles for Israelis to build homes in Judea and Samaria.

Feiglin explained that President Donald Trump’s catchphrase “drain the swamp” applies to Israel.

“[Trump] spoke about draining the swamp. This is exactly what we are talking about here,” Feiglin stated. “Drain the swamp. And believe it or not, in Israel the swamps are much deeper.”

Feiglin continued, “America is at least based on the free market. The concept of the free market and freedom all together is what created America. Israel started as one big swamp of socialism to begin with from the time of Mapai (the Workers Party of the Land of Israel) and Ben-Gurion and so on. It was socialists who established the State of Israel and the Histadrut (General Organization of Workers in Israel) and the unions is what ran the show over here from the very beginning.

“So the swamp here is much deeper. It is not going to be easy to deal with but because we are coming not from within the establishment but from outside of it and we are coming with the will to fight it and to win that fight. And add to that the fact that there is a new and young generation in Israel that understands what we are talking about and is giving us the backing that will stand with us. … I think there is a very good chance that we will succeed.”

 

Turkey’s Erdogan Slanders Yair Netanyahu

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan screened a video at a campaign rally that falsely links Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s son, Yair, to the deadly shooting massacre in Christchurch, New Zealand in which 50 people were murdered at two mosques.

The Turkish leader followed the video screening with comments further attempting to tie the younger Netanyahu to the deadly rampage.

Erdogan reportedly screened videos at multiple campaign rallies in recent days showing the livestream of the assault on Muslim houses of worship at the same time social media giants have been working to remove the footage of the mosque rampage from their platforms. Municipal elections are being held in Turkey on March 31, and Erdogan was clearly using the footage to gin up support.

Missing from most news media coverage about Erdogan’s use of the footage is that in at least one event the Turkish strongman screened a version of the video that first zeroes in on a tweet from Yair Netanyahu about Istanbul while serious music is playing in the background.

“I will remind him that Istanbul is actually a city called Constantinople! The capital of the Byzantine empire and center of orthodox Christianity for more then [sic] a thousand years before Turkish occupation!” the younger Netanyahu wrote in the tweet. The video then jumps to footage from the livestream of one of the mosque attacks in a clear attempt to falsely link Yair Netanyahu to the massacre.

In actuality, Netanyahu’s March 13 tweet had nothing to do with the Christchurch mosque shootings and Erdogan’s connecting the two may constitute incitement to violence against the Israeli leader’s son by the president of a NATO-member country.

Yair Netanyahu made the remarks about Istanbul in response to a political spat between Erdogan and his father after Erdogan smeared the Israeli prime minister as a racist for stating, factually, that Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish people.

The elder Netanyahu responded that the Turkish leader is a “dictator” and “a joke.”

Erdogan replied by slandering the Israeli leader even further, this time calling Netanyahu a “thief” and “tyrant” who “massacred” Palestinian children.

That’s when Yair Netanyahu chimed in with his remarks about Istanbul.

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