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Kadima

  • Netanyahu announces early elections, expected to hold Knesset majority

    The political parties, along with media, will sell a story of a tight battle, but the Likud-led majority is as stable as it was four years ago. A quick breakdown of the upcoming elections, expected to take place in roughly ninety days.  Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announced Tuesday evening his intention to hold early elections in roughly three months. Elections were due to take place in November 2013 in any case, but Netanyahu estimates that he will have trouble passing next year's budget in the current Knesset. The following is an excerpt from Netanyahu's statement tonight: Today, I finished a round of…

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  • Did Romney snub Labor leader at PM Netanyahu's request?

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been accused of playing the American political game. It seems that his friend Mitt Romney is now involved in Israeli politics, having cancelled a meeting with Labor head Shelly Yachimovich at the last minute. Labor Minister: 'Romney may have been misled by political players in Israel.' A meeting between the Republican nominee and the Labor leader, Shelly Yachimovich, was cancelled last minute by Romney's staff, despite having initiated it and repeatedly confirmed it until today. According to Haaretz, a probable reason for the cancellation was a request from Prime Minister Netanyahu, who sees Yachimovich as…

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  • Netanyahu lacks votes from 'inner cabinet' to bomb Iran

    Israel's top-selling newspaper reports that Netanyahu hasn't convinced inner council to back war; his latest attempt to rig the game has only hurt him more.  Yedioth Ahronoth is reporting some very good and surprising news on the Iran front: Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn't have a majority in the inner council of his government for an attack. In the eight-minister "octet," an unofficial body sometimes called the "security cabinet" or "inner cabinet," it's tied 4-4, with PM Netanyahu, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz in favor of war, and Interior Minister Eli Yishai and ministers-of-whatever Moshe "Bugi" Ya'alon, Dan Meridor and Benny…

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  • NYTimes' due fear for Israeli democracy adds some misconceptions

    The New York Times published a laudable, bold editorial this weekend that highlights a number of creeping threats to Israeli democracy. The article is vital for reaching audiences who really care about Israel's future. After three years of onslaught on Israel's democratic foundations (which were already deeply flawed), the situation is now urgent. Every day, truly scary signs of under-the-radar McCarthyism can be seen – just this morning Haaretz reported on the attempt to oust an official (Hebrew) in the Education Ministry responsible for civics education, who has come under a right-wing witch-hunt, despite protests by both left- and right-leaning colleagues. The legitimization…

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  • National unity gov't splits; PM likely to call, win early elections

    After only 70 days, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's mega-coalition shrank back to 66 members of Knesset yesterday. Kadima, the Knesset's biggest party, decided to leave the government over the failure to reach an agreement on national draft reform. A few takeaways: 1.    The entire maneuver that resulted in the national unity government was a mistake by the prime minister, who had been about to announce elections on September 4, and win them easily. Currently, elections are scheduled to take place in October 2013, but common wisdom says they will happen six to nine months from now, in the winter or spring…

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  • The profitable occupation, and why it is never discussed

    An understanding of the profitable side of the occupation - way more considerable than most people imagine – could force us to change our entire political thinking. Ami Kaufman (on his +972 blog) and Emily Hauser (Open Zion) join the debate regarding the financial burden the occupation puts on the Israeli economy. As Ami notes, this is something that goes hand in hand with the conversation on J14 (a.k.a the "social justice" protest). Terminating the occupation and the expensive settlement project, the saying goes, would benefit Israeli economy more than any other measure the protesters offer. As both Emily and…

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  • King Bibi, the last King of Zion

    King Bibi, as TIME Magazine recently crowned him, the fiercest Zionist to ever lead Israel, will go down in history as the one who brought Zionism to its knees   TIME Magazine published a lengthy item on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month, with a close-up photo of him on the cover so huge it left just enough room for the headline: “King Bibi.” It was a Hasbara official’s wet dream. No hard-hitting questions; but rather soft, caressing queries. As the cover said, the feature claimed to ask, yet not answer, the question of “Will Bibi make peace?” Well, for…

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  • Thousands take part in May 12 protests, ten arrested

    Rallies were part of international day of protest. The largest event took place in Tel Aviv, where speakers denounced the new unity government. UPDATE: A video showing protesters expose and confront an undercover policeman was added to this piece. Around 5,000 protesters in Rabin Square. took part yesterday (Saturday) night in what was labeled "the first social justice demonstration of the summer." Smaller events took place in other Israeli cities. The protest was part of the international May 12 protest movement, and a live feed from similar rallies around the world was displayed in the square. The demonstration was organized…

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  • Netanyahu, strongest prime minister since David Ben-Gurion

    The new coalition demonstrates the absurdity of "the only democracy in the Middle East" slogan. Ninety percent of the Jewish public is now represented by the government, while most Palestinians under Israeli control have no political representation at all. With 94 Knesset Members behind him, Benjamin Netanyhu is now the strongest prime minister in Israeli history since David Ben-Gurion, the founding father of the country. Netanyahu's Likud party alone has more seats than all the opposition parties combined. The opposition's 26 seats are not even enough to call an unscheduled Knesset session – and even this number is misleading, because…

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  • Did Mofaz sell himself short, or does he know something we don't?

    Is Mofaz following Begin's example from 1967 – and will he be vindicated with a war with Iran? Let's begin with the positive sides of the Netanyahu-Mofaz deal. The weak joke named Yair Lapid won't last 18 more months, so the danger the Israeli public will once more waste precious votes on a seasonal feel-good party is lessened. Lapid whined about the deal this morning (Hebrew), though one can hardly understand why. Lapid said before that he would join any  future government, and denounced former Kadima leader Tzipi Livni for not joining Netanyahu's. So why the bee in his bonnet?…

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  • Through deal, Bibi buys 'industrial peace' for Iran war

    It wasn't domestic politics that prompted Netanyahu last night to forgo early elections; it was the need to clear out his calendar.  Why does a national leader decide to scrap new elections that he and everyone else knows he's going to win by a landslide, which is what Bibi did last night? Because he's got important work to do and he wants what's called "industrial peace" - or, as Netanyahu himself put it, "stability." Our national leader wants to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities and he's waiting for the right opportunity to do so - when the Obama administration is hard put to stop him, meaning sometime between now and…

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  • Coalition deal's bright side: Days numbered for rotten government

    The Israeli political system and the media were thrown into a frenzy by the unprecedented announcement that the early elections will be postponed following a coalition deal between Kadima – formerly known as the opposition – and Likud. Everyone is spitting mad: the talking heads have been cheated out of their favorite game; newbie Yair Lapid is like a child who was pushed out of the sandbox; Labor was basking in poll numbers that had it slated for second place, and is now left dazed and confused. The far-right faction of Likud has to get into bed with Kadima, which…

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  • Elections called off; Kadima joins huge Netanyahu coalition

    With 94 out of the Knesset's 120 members behind him, the prime minister might have enough political support to launch war with Iran despite the opposition within the security establishment. This was the shortest election cycle in history: On Sunday, Likud brought to a Knesset vote a bill moving elections up to September 4, officially launching a four-month campaign season. Less then 48 hours later, the elections were cancelled. Kadima, it was announced, will join Netanyahu's coalition, and Israelis will only go to the polls a year and a half from now, in October 2013. Since the legislation of the…

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