The Ultra-Orthodox Free-Loaders in Israel Posing Existential Threat to Israel and to Jews

Israel Headed Toward Political Meltdown as Shasniks Refuse to Submit to Mandatory IDF Service Like all Israelis

The New York Times

With 2 Days Left, Israel’s Netanyahu Struggles to Form a Government

 

JERUSALEM — With just two days left before the deadline for forming a government, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel was struggling Monday to sign up coalition partners, thrusting the country into a political crisis and raising the possibility that it could be forced to hold a new election.

The drama stemmed from a battle of wills between two political forces that Mr. Netanyahu needs to form a right-wing coalition: the ultra-Orthodox religious parties that won 16 parliamentary seats in the April 9 election, and Avigdor Lieberman’s ultranationalist Yisrael Beiteinu party, which won five seats and whose constituents are mostly secular, Russian-speaking Israelis.

Having long sparred over issues of religion and state, the sides are now wrestling over legislation to replace a military draft law that exempted ultra-Orthodox men. Mr. Lieberman supports a law that sets modest quotas for enlisting them, which the religious parties oppose.

A new law must be passed by late July, according to a deadline imposed by Israel’s Supreme Court.

Mr. Netanyahu’s conservative Likud party, which won 35 seats, needs the ultra-Orthodox parties, Yisrael Beiteinu and two other parties to assemble a 61-seat majority.

Analysts said it was entirely possible that the parties could resolve their differences, allowing Mr. Netanyahu to announce a new government by midnight Wednesday, which would not be the first time Israeli coalition negotiations have gone to the wire.

But the alternative threatened to catapult Israel into uncharted political terrain: Israel has never had to hold a new national ballot because of a failure to form a government after an election.

“Right now it looks as if we are at a deadlock because everybody has climbed to the top of a tree and nobody’s ready to get down, especially not Lieberman,” said Abraham Diskin, professor emeritus of political science at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Putting the chances of a new election at 50-50, he added, “Definitely there is a possibility that we will have early elections even before the government was formed.”

On Sunday, Likud submitted a motion to disperse the newly sworn-in Parliament, paving the way for new elections. While questions arose over the legality of an interim government taking such action, the move seemed like a canny negotiating tactic in a game of political chicken.

By Monday, one newspaper, Maariv, had already published a poll asking, “If elections were held today, who would you vote for?”

On Monday evening, the motion passed a preliminary vote in Parliament; possible dates were being bandied about for a new election in about three months.

Even as his party moved toward a new election, Mr. Netanyahu insisted he didn’t want one.

“It is still possible to come to our senses,” he said in a televised address Monday evening. “I promise that I will continue to work in every possible way during the time that is still left in order to form the government. I call upon Avigdor Lieberman to reconsider.”

Mr. Netanyahu also quoted a tweet posted on Monday by President Trump endorsing Mr. Netanyahu’s efforts, which many critics described as an improper intervention in Israel’s domestic politics. Mr. Trump, calling Mr. Netanyahu by his nickname, Bibi, wrote: “Hoping things will work out with Israel’s coalition formation and Bibi and I can continue to make the alliance between America and Israel stronger than ever.”

Calling a new election would pre-empt another possibility, distasteful to Mr. Netanyahu, that Israel’s president, Reuven Rivlin, could offer someone else the chance to form a government.

Image
Avigdor Lieberman, the former defense minister, said he was not prepared to be part of a government controlled by religious law.CreditDan Balilty for The New York Times

The opposition is led by Blue and White, a new centrist party whose main appeal was that it was not led by Mr. Netanyahu, who has already served 13 years as prime minister and is facing indictment on corruption charges.

Mr. Netanyahu, who is on track to become Israel’s longest serving prime minister this summer, is also the first to face possible criminal charges while in office. In February, the attorney general announced plans to indict him in three cases for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

The attorney general has set a hearing for October where Mr. Netanyahu’s lawyers can plead his case before a final decision is made.

The Likud nevertheless won five more seats than last time, which Mr. Netanyahu took as a vote of confidence, and together with the right-wing and religious parties that made up his last coalition, seemed poised to form a government with a majority of 65 seats.

He also appeared set to take on another challenge — promoting legislation that would guarantee him immunity from prosecution while in office. Tens of thousands of Israelis rallied in Tel Aviv on Saturday night in a protest against such a move.

Instead, Mr. Netanyahu has found himself at the mercy of smaller parties engaged in a power struggle over the military draft law, which critics said was in any case a mild compromise unlikely to significantly change the status quo.

There is a long history of bad blood between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Lieberman, a blunt, tough-talking politician who resigned as defense minister in Mr. Netanyahu’s last government and was eyeing returning to the post.

Some commentators suggested that Mr. Lieberman was driven by a desire for revenge against his old nemesis, or was counting on the prospect that Mr. Netanyahu could not survive an indictment and was setting himself up as an alternative.

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TIME TO GET NETANYAHU OUT! Selling His Soul to the Ultra-Orthodox

Ultra-Orthodox parties to ‘unequivocally’ back Netanyahu as next PM

United Torah Judaism’s Yaakov Litzman and Shas’s Aryeh Deri meet in Jerusalem, vow not to join Gantz-led coalition ‘under any circumstances’

Shas leader MK Aryeh Deri (right) speaks with United Torah Judaism leader MK Yaakov Litzman (left) during the opening session of the 20th Knesset, March 31, 2015. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

The leaders of the two major ultra-Orthodox political factions, Shas and United Torah Judaism, announced Thursday they were joining forces to ensure that Benjamin Netanyahu wins the April 9 election and forms the next coalition government.

Shas chairman Aryeh Deri and UTJ head Yaakov Litzman met in Deri’s office in Jerusalem on Thursday to begin coordinating their parties’ campaigns.

They vowed to back Netanyahu over rival Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz.

“We continue with all our might to unequivocally support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and not Gantz,” the two party leaders said in a joint statement after the meeting.

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Following Complaints of Sexism, Women Can Speak on Haredi Radio Station

In an article posted on FailedMessiah.com in 2011:

 

Following Complaints Of Sexism, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef Rules Women Can Speak On Haredi Radio Station

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef 3 A female Knesset member was harshly criticized by one of the radio station’s broadcasters but was banned from responding on the air because she is a woman. She believes this is a case of ongoing discrimination against women, as well as a violation of journalistic ethics.
Shas rabbi: Woman’s voice allowed on radio
Following complaints filed against haredi radio station, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef rules ‘there’s no problem’ in having women present programs or letting female listeners call in. Station’s management: We won’t change our policy
Kobi Nahshoni • Ynet

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, has ruled that a woman’s voice can be heard on the radio.

The rabbi was asked to address the issue following complaints filed against haredi Sephardic radio station Kol Barama for refusing to have women present programs or call in as listeners.

According to a report on the Young Shas website, affiliated with party Chairman Eli Yishai, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef saw no halachic basis for banning women from the radio and said, “Let women talk. What’s the problem?”

The complaints against Kol Barama Radio were filed in recent months to the Second Authority for Television and Radio, as well as to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. The Authority has begun discussing the issue and is even considering imposing sanctions on the haredi station.

Most complaints were filed by the Israel’s Media Watch, which wrote to the attorney general that “such a reality, in which women are excluded, is intolerable in the modern era. This is not a private broadcasting body, but a radio station with a franchise from the State, and as such it cannot violate basic rights, values and norms.”

The organization clarified that it did not expect Kol Barama Radio to broadcast women singing, which does not match the Halacha and the “station’s nature”.

Ynet has learned that one of the reasons for the quick handling of the complaints was the intervention of a female Knesset member, who was harshly criticized by one of the radio station’s broadcasters but was banned from responding on the air.

According to the MK, this is another case of ongoing discrimination against women, as well as a violation of journalistic ethics.

POSTED AT 01:40 AM IN HAREDIM, ISRAEL, SEFARDIM, WOMEN & JUDAISM | PERMALINK

COMMENTS

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Dave
Seymour, I think that sometimes Rav Ovadiah would not be that machmir, but he’s under pressure from other rabbonim so he sometimes rules more machmir than a traditional Sefardic posek of the old days. So this ruling is actually more in line with the old Sefardic tradition.

POSTED BY: DAVE | MAY 18, 2011 AT 09:21 PM

seymour
as someone said on vin

this is the start of a new era a godel going against the chumra of the day.

Or maybe he has lost it and gone the the dark side (mo)

POSTED BY: SEYMOUR | MAY 18, 2011 AT 08:56 PM

jj
shmarya. this is a big problem because what this means is that the chief editor of ami mag will no longer come on radio to talk because she wants to be more machmir. besides the fact that according to her husband a woman is provocative in pictures so of course a. womens voice is provocative too.

POSTED BY: JJ | MAY 18, 2011 AT 03:02 PM

Yosef ben Matitya
he didn’t reveal anything new. this is permitted. the lithuanian an chassidic haredim are regressing to the stone age.

POSTED BY: YOSEF BEN MATITYA | MAY 18, 2011 AT 02:41 PM

seymour
I do not understand the shas leader says no problem but the radio management say no.

or did I read it wrong

POSTED BY: SEYMOUR | MAY 18, 2011 AT 09:13 AM

Adam Neira
Good !

POSTED BY: ADAM NEIRA | MAY 18, 2011 AT 02:45 AM