Tag Archive | Bennett

And MORE Terrorism

Really, guys.  I’m kind of sick of it.

Not just sick of it, scared of it.  Like there would be any place to move to.  Europe is filled with rising anti-Semites, Canada has had over 1,600 anti-Semitic incidents last year alone, and in America – oh, America.  All you need to do is look in this past week’s news.  Wonderful, isn’t it?

And why is Boston allowed to execute a terrorist, but Israel isn’t?  I think the answer is this: Jewish blood is cheap.  Always has been.  And unfortunately, probably always will be.  I feel like we’re dealing with a repeat Holocaust, just slower; this is frustrating for two reasons: 1. The world claimed to have learned its lesson, and we claimed to have learned ours. 2. Hello, nutcases!  We have our own state, our own government, our own army.  Yet it is a little state, and little states need to keep big friends.  Those big fiends like to tie our hands.  Yes, sir.  Unless we stand up for ourselves soon, and do what needs to happen instead of playing along with what the world wants to have happen, we will all be in the sea in record time.  (Muslims aren’t smart enough to build gas chambers, but you have to ask what’s better – to die quickly and painlessly in a gas chamber, or to be shot or knifed the middle of the street, or to be drowned at sea.  Honestly, not sure.  I think I’d prefer the gas chambers.  And I kid you not.)

Rockets, yeah.  That’s the smaller of the problems.  Tunnels, that’s a much bigger problem.  People walking around with knives, Molotov cocktails, metal rods, rocks; terrorists driving cars, trucks, and sometimes buses – those are much bigger problems.  And the guns, too.  But luckily guns are more controlled; except that we have allowed the PA “government” to own guns and are now paying for it.  Oh, and Iran.  Yeah, Iran.  Big problem.  Not that big, if Israel is allowed to deal with it efficiently and the world either supports us or turns a blind eye.

Guys, this is scary.  I haven’t written too much this past week because I just don’t know what to say.  What am I supposed to say?  Let’s ship all the Muslims off the Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia?  Well, I wish I could say that, but no one would listen, and I kind of feel like saying it is counterproductive.  Again, maybe if the attacks were criminal in nature, we could make the terrorists’ lives better and that would be the end of the story.  But when 43% of the Arab population wants to conquer all of Israel AND kill all the Jews, it’s not criminal, it’s nationalistic.  And there is no choice but to kill the terrorists and potential terrorists, and nothing that we can do to better their lives will help us save our skins.

The world’s Jewish population has just returned to pre-Holocaust levels, 60 years later.  I wonder what it’ll be in another sixty years.  I wonder if Israel will still exist then, or if the world will be partying because they managed to create a world without Jewish communities in other countries and without a Jewish state.

Here are some of the nationalistic terror incidents from [just] this past week:
A farmer was beaten to death in the field, by Arabs who came in illegally from the PA looking for “work”;

Arabs threw firebombs at a Jewish school, three times in a row, and the police did nothing;

an ambulance was attacked (lynched, more accurately) by a group of Druze (and I’m disappointed, I thought better of the Druze community);

obviously, the UN blames Israel for abusing Hamas; we Jews are the only ones blamed for the murder of our own people;

a border policeman was injured in an attack by an “innocent Arab youth”;

there was a rocket attack;

Hamas is proud of the fact that they steered a drone into Israeli airspace;

two youth who stopped to answer a question put to them by an Arab youth were shot by said Arab youth; one is seriously injured and one is dead;

the terrorist who attempted to murder two Jewish youths on Shavuot is not being charged with attempted murder, but with “aggravated assault.”

I could go on, but Tova is insisting on drinking ‘Mama milk,’ so I need to stop here.

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Coalition Disappointments

I promised I would get back to the elections, and I am.

Truth to tell, I’m disappointed in Bibi.  He promised to take Bayit Yehudi as one of the first, if not the first.  He promised to remember that we gave him 4 entire mandates.  He said he was indebted to the national religious, as he should be.  He even made his first post-election phone call to Bennett.

And now?  Nothing.  He had a meeting with Bayit Yehudi, but it was just general talks, with nothing concrete.  He is sucking up the chareidi parties, who want him to give them billions of shekels for their institutions, and want to reinstate the draft exception favor that they had until two years ago.  And Bibi will suck up to them, because as long as they have their money, you can sell half of Israel for peanuts and they won’t say boo.  It feels sick.  It feels completely wrong.  Give them money and they let you do what you want.  Blackmail?  Bribery?  I don’t know.  But it’s free votes for whatever you want, as long as they have money.

Deri as Interior Minister? Here I have to agree with Lapid, even though I can’t stand him.  G-d save us, the guy got put in jail last time he was Interior Minister, for corruption.  The guy shouldn’t be allowed to represent anyone religious, and shouldn’t be allowed to sit in the government.  Both he and Zoabi should be in jail.  The stupid thing is that because of anti-Jewish racism in Israel, Deri is more likely to sit in jail than Zoabi.  Even though Zoabi is the wose of the two.  And Deri, again, shows his maturity level.  Yes, Lapid was a huge failure as finance minister.  But he didn’t bring thousands of families to starvation, sorry.

Bibi is smart, though.  Kachlon, who has been threatening to refuse to join the coalition if he didn’t get what he wanted (finance), has finally reached an understanding, or unofficial agreement, with Bibi.  I believe (I could be wrong, though) that Kachlon should get Finance and that he would do the job fairly and well.  However, UTJ has insisted on chairmanship of the Finance Committee, and so the two parties are “fighting” over the post.  Bibi very cleverly solved the issue, by giving Kulanu (Kachlon’s party) the final word on budgetary demands.  So, as it looks now, Kulanu is in the coalition.

It looks like UTJ (Aguda) is also in.  Shas – I would hope not, except that they’re necessary to form a coalition.  I hope Bibi finds a way to get them to join without landing us a corrupt Interior Minister, reinventing the draft favor, or putting us all in debt by paying for too many people to sit in yeshiva.  I’m all for people in yeshiva being paid.  I really am.  But I don’t think that every single chareidi man should be in yeshiva – that’s not what G-d wanted, it’s not what most Israelis want their tax money to be doing, and most importantly, it’s not good for the vast majority of yeshiva students.

But I think that Bayit Yehudi will be stuck with the leftovers.  The question is, will they take the leftovers, or will they insist on sitting in the opposition?  Somehow I think that they will take the leftovers.  Yitzchak says that they will get deputy minister of every important ministry.  I don’t know.  But I hope that Yitzchak is right and I am wrong, or I will be very, very disappointed.  Part of what makes Yitzchak so certain is that Bibi knows that a lot of his mandates came from Bayit Yehudi, and that he will lose them if he doesn’t make up for it.  I think he’s right.  The question is if that’s what Bibi will do in the end, or if he’ll get too heady with so many mandates.  I said Bibi was smart, did I?  He is.  Let’s hope Yitzchak is right and Bayit Yehudi gets richly compensated for their loss of mandates.

Bennett seems to think that Bibi is looking to form a unity government.  Maybe yes, and maybe no.  There are two reasons Bennett would keep insisting on this: a) he really thinks this is going to happen, b) if he says it enough, people will be more aware of it and not allow it to happen.

Speaking of which, Deri is a disgusting and self-serving.  Only.  He makes me puke.  “You only have 8 mandates and we have 13?”  Really?  If Bayit Yehudi hadn’t donated four mandates to Likud, they would have 12 on their own – compared to Shas and Aguda’s 13 when they are put togther.  Besides, Deri, are you a kindergartener?  Nananakishka, I have a bigger cupcake than youuuu! Nanabanana, nanabanana!  Real maturity, huh?

What I think about the PA, Iran, and international stupidity, I will save for another post.

P.S. – I just realized that while here in Israel it is a regular [matza-eating] weekday, all of the Jews outside Israel are still observing a second day of chag.  Oops.  But hey, for me it’s a regular day.  One seder, that’s it.

 

 

Election 2015 – Preliminary Results

We won – and we lost.

Likud came out six mandates ahead of Avoda ((Labor;) or rather, Hahitachdut HaTzionit (Zionist Union)).

Hertzog, unless Kulanu (“Together”, headed by Moshe Kachlon) will sit with the Arabs, will not be able to form a coalition.

In order to form a coalition, you need 61 mandates.

Hertzog has 24; Yesh Atid has 11; Meretz has 4.  24+11+4=39

If he takes Kulanu, which has 10 mandates, he will get 49.  The Arabs have 14 mandates; if Hertzog takes them in addition to Kulanu, then he will have 63 mandates, or, in other words, a coalition.  If Kachlon doesn’t agree to sit with the Arabs – and being a former Likud member, and whose voters are right-wing, he very possibly may not agree – then Hertzog has no coalition.  Yay!!

The chareidi parties, Shas and Aguda (UTJ) will not sit with Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid), because he is the one who spearheaded the campaign to force chareidim into the army.  Technically, the chareidim are more worth it than Lapid, because together, they have 14 mandates, while Lapid has only 11.  But Hertzog’s natural partner is Yesh Atid, and he will take the chareidim (some of whom will probably agree to sit with Arabs, some of whom will probably not) only as a last resort – unless a miracle occurs and they agree to sit with Lapid, which is highly unlikely.

Let’s take a look at Bibi.  I was right last time, and maybe I will be right this time.  Last time I said, why not just take Lapid and Bennett?  With Likud, Lapid, and Bennett, we already have a coalition, and because it is only three parties, it was expected to be stable (less demands, less zigzgging, less chance of it toppling over stupidities; Lapid proved stupider than I thought and therefore the potentially stable coalition was very unstable).

At any rate:

Bibi has 30 mandates; Bayit Yehudi has 8; Shas has 7; Yisrael Beiteinu and Aguda (UTJ) have six each. 30+8+7+6+6=57.  It’s still just short of a coalition, but if Kulanu joins them, then they will have 67, which is a good coalition.  Will it happen?  Actually, it’s very likely.

What does it depend on?  A few things:

1. That Kulanu refuse to sit with Arabs, and agree to join Bibi.

2. That the chareidim not insist on changing the draft law, and agree to sit with Bibi without making completely unreasonable demands.

3. That no one else on the right make completely unreasonable demands or refuse to sit with each other.

4. That Netanyahu and Hertzog not agree to a unity government.

If any of the first three happen, we are headed for new elections.  If the last one happens, we are in big trouble.

I am also very frustrated that 3+ mandates of right wing votes went to trash.  Like in previous elections, a lot of right wing votes went to a start-up party that no one was entirely sure would pass the threshold.  Last time, it was Otzma L’Yisrael, and 66,775 votes went down the drain.  This time, it was Yachad, and 118,368 votes went down the drain.  Also remember that last time, the minimum was 2 mandates; this time, the minimum was raised to 4 mandates.  Especially during these elections, when every right wing vote mattered, losing that many votes is a huge frustration and loss.  Wherever you would’ve put them – Shas, Aguda, Bayit Yehudi – they would have done something.  If they had all gone to Bayit Yehudi, then they would have 11 mandates instead of 8.  Let’s say some were taken from Shas and some from Aguda, as well as those from Bayit Yehudi – Bayit Yehudi would have 9, Shas would have 8, Aguda would have 7.  And possibly one of those would have gained two extra seats, because it’s not just 3 mandates – it’s 3+, which means that Yachad’s extra, plus someone else’s extra, might’ve added a second mandate to one of those.

Remember we said that a right-wing government, without Kulanu, had 57 mandates?  If we had those 3+, we might very well have had a coalition right there, even without worrying about who Kachlon will join.  Isn’t that a shame?  I, and many other right wing voters, think it is.

Coalition, Politician

If pro is the opposite of con, is progress the opposite of congress?

Seriously, though.  Have any of you been paying attention to the political issues we’re having over here now?

Here’s how it goes in short:

In the previous two governments, at least one National Religious (NR) party sat outside.  Now the two NR parties have merged.  They don’t want to sit outside the government, they want in.

Netanyahu doesn’t like the National Religious parties.  They have demands.  They don’t let him do what he wants, and they won’t take money as a bribe.  He wants the chareidi* (hareidi) parties.  As long as you give them money for their people and their schools, you can do whatever you want.  Meanwhile, government-controlled prices for basic foods are rising.  The housing shortage has caused every little dilapidated apartment to cost a fortune.  Property taxes rose.  Sales taxes rose.  Gas prices rose.  Electricity and water prices rose.  Cell phone fees for big-time talkers dropped, but for small-time talkers, the prices rose.  But it doesn’t matter – we can still bribe the chareidim (plural of chareidi) with as much money as we want, right?

No.

Bennett, the head of the unified NR party, Bayit Yehudi, did not want to be left out.  He spoke the the heads of the two chareidi parties, to see if they wanted to make a unified religious block.  They said, “You’re not going to be in the coalition anyways, and we are.  This is your battle to fight.  And besides, you’re not religious enough for us.  Go deal with it all yourself.”  (This is in addition to the name-calling that the chareidi parties were doing.  It is also in addition to their belief, that they unashamedly said to the media, that, “it is better to pull out of all of Judea and Samaria than to draft the chareidim.”)

So what did Bennett do?  He went to Lapid, the head of the new centrist party Yesh Atid.  While Bennett and Lapid don’t agree on everything, they do agree on some things, such  as: changes in the economy, helping out the struggling middle class and lower middle class, social reforms, Iran, and drafting the chareidim (though their approaches differ on this last one).

They differ on: approaches to the settlements, specific security policies, and religious issues.  They decided to put aside their differences and band together.  Not a bad idea, considering that Likud-Yisrael Beiteinu has 31 mandates, and Bennett + Lapid = 31 mandates.  Theoretically, Likud-Beiteinu, Bennett, and Lapid could have a coalition by themselves, and a stable one at that, since the less parties there are, the less people who have demands and can ruin your coalition by pulling out of it.

Again, though, Netanyahu did not want Bennett.  Bennett has demands.  Netanyahu wanted a leftist government that included the chareidim, who would “represent” the right-wing community.

However, Netanyahu had a problem: Labor does not want to work with him (though they have agreed to help in case Netanyahu wants another expulsion.  Golda Meir would be turning over in her grave if she knew what her party had become).  And Lapid does not want to work with the chareidim.  And, Lapid and Bennett made an agreement: They will enter the coalition together or not at all; and neither will make demands that are objectionable to the other.

And that was the problem.  Netanyahu needs at least 61 mandates to make a coalition.  Here’s the math:

Likud-Beiteinu is 31.

Lapid (There’s A Future) is 19.

Labor is 15.

Bennett (Jewish Home) has 12.

Shas (chareidi) has 11.

Aguda (chareidi) has seven.

Tzipi Livni has six.

Kadima has two.

Netanyahu needs 31 mandates in addition to his own party.  He can’t do that if Labor won’t work with him, and Lapid and Bennett refuse to join.  Since Labor flat out refused to work with Likud-Beiteinu, Netanyahu’s only choice was to split Bennett and Lapid up.  That approach didn’t work, and he had to ask for a two-week extension to form the government.  (Want to hear something else?  Netanyahu promised Bennett that if he joins without Lapid, there will be no more land concessions and he will build in Judea and Samaria.  Then he promised Lapid that if he joins without Bennett, they will be able to destroy certain communities in Judea and Samaria and expel people from others.  Sound like a hypocrite to you?)

In the end, it looks like the chareidim will be out of the government, since Lapid and Bennett come together, and Lapid won’t work with the chareidim.

I am actually excited.  I would really, really like to see some social reforms, not the least of which a housing price reform.  But I’m also very nervous.  Here’s why:

If Netanyahu wants to make concessions, and Bennett pulls out, we’ll be stuck and in bad shape.  Netanyahu could take the chareidim, instead of Bennett.  But as Yitzchak pointed out, Lapid won’t work with the chareidim, so if Bennett pulls out and the chareidim take his place, Lapid will pull out, too, and the coalition will fall apart.

When Yitzchak said that, I calmed down a lot.  Brilliant guy!  Neither I nor my cousin even thought of that problem!

But then Labor’s head, Yechimovitch, put a wrinkle in things.  She said that she would be willing to join with Netanyahu if Bennett threatened to bring down the coalition.  Ostensibly, Lapid would be willing to work with Labor.  So even if Bennett pulls out, there will still be a coalition.

Will Lapid and Bennett stick together, through thick and thin, even after the coalition is made?  If so, there is no problem (er, almost no problem.  Likud + Labor + chareidim = coalition.  An unlikely coalition, but still a coalition).  But if not, we could end up with a left-wing government that will give away half of Israel, and allow terrorists to rain chemical and conventional weapons down on the rest of us.  Because, really, the left doesn’t care, or maybe simply doesn’t understand.  They think that the Arabs will be happy if we make concessions.  The truth is, the Arabs will be happy only when Israel no longer exists.  And the more concessions there are, the less Israel is able to defend itself.

And if we end up with a left-wing government, I will seriously consider moving back to the Unites States.  Because seriously, if this is what my country has become, if this is what is going to happen, I cannot put Shlomo through it.  It’s simply not fair.  And I don’t know that I have the inner strength to deal with it, either.  I really, really, really do not want to do that.  I love Israel with all my heart and soul.  But I simply don’t feel that I can take that risk.

Hey, at least if we move back, Yitzchak’s mother will be happy!

*I happen to like chareidim.  Many of them are very sweet, very normal, very simple people.  Yes, there are some crazies – but there are crazies in every group, and there’s nothing unique to the chareidim in that respect.  The chareidi parties, however, I happen to dislike immensely.  And, they give normal chareidi people a VERY bad name.  So, don’t mind my rant against the chareidi parties.  It is against the politicians, not the chareidi people that you see on the street.  And, in addition, remember which politician promised two contradictory things to two different groups in order to break their pact: Netanyahu.  And he’s not religious at all, much less chareidi.