Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
Monday, May 28, 2012
"No Jew really holds a candle to the influence that the 62-year-old Netanyahu – by virtue of his position as the leader of the sovereign Jewish state, a position he solidified recently by significantly expanding his government – wields over world affairs."
Sunday, May 20, 2012
"The people who say that we should split Jerusalem believe that this would bring peace," he said. "They believe it, but they are wrong... Jerusalem is the heart of the Jewish people and it will not be divided."
Saturday, May 19, 2012
"I think all of us agree that Iran has the right to peaceful nuclear power, but that its continuing violations of international rules and norms and its inability thus far to convince the world community that it is not pursuing the weaponization of nuclear power is something of grave concern to all of us.""We are hopeful about the discussions that will be taking [place] in Baghdad, but all of us are firmly committed to continuing with the approach of sanctions and pressure, in combination with diplomatic discussions. And our hope is, is that we can resolve this issue in a peaceful fashion that respects Iran's sovereignty and its rights in the international community, but also recognizes its responsibilities."
Friday, May 18, 2012
"An article such as this would never be published by the Israeli media. Not because Netanyahu is not a talented and powerful politician, and not because of the hostility that Netanyahu has for the Israeli press. The main reason is far more trivial – for the past three years, no Israeli journalist has been granted the kind of access to Netanyahu that the editor of TIME was granted – it is mainly only American journalists who get this level of quality time with the prime minister.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
"A private door opens from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office in central Jerusalem directly into a long, modestly furnished, half-paneled room decorated with modern paintings by Israeli artists and a copy of Israel's 1948 declaration of independence. It contains little more than a long wooden table, brown leather chairs and a single old-fashioned white projector screen. This inner sanctum at the end of a corridor between Netanyahu's private room and the office of his top military adviser, is where one of the decade's most momentous military decisions could soon be taken: to launch an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear program."
When Benjamin Netanyahu's grandfather immigrated to Palestine from Lithuania in 1920, he changed his family name to one that means "God's gift." The grandson often seems to take that literally. Israel's new Prime Minister is self-assured; but more than that, he has the air of someone who is pleased with himself, someone who thinks he knows more than those around him--and deserves more. It is visible in his swagger, his smirk, his well-practiced gestures. Only a man with supreme confidence and a generous sense of entitlement could have wrested control of the Likud Party as a relative newcomer. And only a man with such qualities would, at 46, have sought to become Israel's Prime Minister, a post to which no one under 60 had ever been elected.
"Netanyahu is poised to become the longest-serving Israeli Prime Minister since David Ben-Gurion, the founding father of Israel. He has no national rival. His approval rating, roughly 50%, is at an all-time high. At a moment when incumbents around the world are being shunted aside, he is triumphant."
Friday, May 11, 2012
"Don't be sad," Gaia Talmon of Raanana, wrote to the prime minister. "Your father wants you to be happy.""I saw you on TV when your father died," she wrote. "I wanted to tell you not to be sad because he was 102 years old and did a lot in his life. Think about him wanting you to be happy always and manage our country in a good way."Talmon didn't forget to add: "What you still have left to do is bring peace, because our country is perfect (almost perfect, because we still don't have a water park in Raanana)."Netanyahu read the letter and couldn't ignore it, responding to the girl on Tuesday with his own personal letter."I received many letters since my father passed away, but yours moved me in a special way,” he wrote. “I see that you care about me and that you were sad because of my sadness. Thank you, dear Gaia."
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
44 percent of the Israeli public supports Kadima’s joining Netanyahu's coalition. In contrast, 37 percent said they opposed the move, while 18 percent of respondents claimed that they had no opinion on the subject.
The poll also found that Netanyahu continues to be the leading candidate were elections to be held in the near future. The poll found that 43 percent of the Israeli public believes Netanyahu is best suited to serve as Prime Minister.
The poll also found that Netanyahu’s popularity index has risen by five percent. Tuesday’s poll found that after he postponed the elections in favor of a broad unity government, Netanyahu’s popularity index stood at 46 percent, whereas in a previous poll conducted before the announcement, his popularity was 41 percent.
Maariv poll shows Israelis are divided on unity deal:When asked if they supported postponing elections and the formation of the unity government, 39.6% answered positively and 31.9% answered negatively. Twenty-eight percent said they were undecided. When asked who they felt is most suitable to serve as the next prime minister of Israel, 39.8% of respondents said Netanyahu, a significant uptick compared to an Israel Hayom poll conducted two weeks ago in which 29% said they would vote for Netanyahu.The biggest leap in support for Netanyahu came from the religious sector — more than 60% said Netanyahu is most suitable to be the next prime minister — followed by around 51% of 35-44 year-olds who felt the same way. More than 50% of people with average incomes also favored Netanyahu as the next prime minister.
In a survey published in the Maariv newspaper on Wednesday, 30.7 percent of respondents expressed support for the formation of the surprise coalition, with 29.9 percent saying they were opposed and 31 percent expressing indifference. But over half of respondents -- 50.9 percent -- said the move was "justified as far as the interests of the country are concerned."The Maariv poll also showed that a solid majority, 57.4%, believe the new government will stay in power until the next elections, scheduled for fall 2013.On the plus side, the Maariv poll revealed that a slim majority, 44.9%, versus 39.5%, believes that the unity coalition advances Israel’s position vis-à-vis the Iranian nuclear threat.
Channel 2 poll:63 percent of respondents said the coalition was created for narrow political reasons, and only 23% said it was for the sake of the country’s future. Netanyahu and Mofaz stressed repeatedly at their joint press conference Tuesday that they had joined forces “in the national interest.”
Channel 2 poll: 39% of Israelis back the Bibi/Mofaz deal and favor forming a unity government, 34% oppose and 27% have no opinion yet.— Netanyahu report (@Bibireport) May 8, 2012
Monday, May 7, 2012
Shortly after 2:30 AM Netanyahu and Mofaz arrived at the Knesset to brief their parties of the details of their agreement. Kadima joined the government in exchange for Mofaz’s appointment as a deputy prime minister, a minister without portfolio, and a cabinet member.Additionally, the government will propose a replacement for the Tal Law, which is set to expire in August. Mofaz said that in the coming year Kadima will receive additional ministerial positions. Both parties have agreed that the 18th Knesset will complete its term and elections will be held on schedule in November 2013.“Moments before the dissolution of the Knesset, a hasty meeting to establish a national unity government,” Likud MK Carmel Shama Cohen wrote on his Facebook wall. Initial reports indicated that Netanyahu and Mofaz identified a common interest in staving off early elections and forging a new unity partnership: It would reduce the prime minister’s dependence on the smaller factions that have been pressuring him, and it would give Mofaz a chance to try to build up Kadima’s public standing.
Jacob Kornbluh explaining the political developments, for those not familiar with Israeli politics:
UPDATE: Likud MK, Danny Dannon opposes unity deal:"This was the shortest election season in the history of Israel. Last week Monday, amid facing problematic difficulties in operating as a stable government, and the failure to come to an agreement with the Ultra-Orthodox parties and coalition partners on a national service bill, replacing the Tal-Law, PM Netanyahu called for early Knesset elections, in order to restore government stability, and the prevent any of the smaller parties to threaten to leave and break the coalition.Riding high in the poll, the motive to call for early elections was viewed as an attempt of Netanyahu to take advantage of his popularity and get a renewed mandate, if according to some polls Obama is elected to a second term. In a dramatic shift that took the Israeli political establishment yet again by surprise, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Kadima Chairman Shaul Mofaz signed late Monday night an agreement to form a nation unity government that will serve until October 2013.To Run the Government: In order to serve as Prime Minister, you need to have a majority - sixty one of the 120 seats in the Parliament (aka Knesset). Obviously, over the past decades, no party won enough seats, so the government operates as a coalition of various parties.The Government Until Now Comprised of 67 Seats: Bibi’s Likud 17; Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu 15; Shas 11, Barak 5, United Torah Judaism 5, Jewish Home 4.What Could Have Been: Because the Ultra religious parties such as Shas and UTJ are not happy with Bibi’s approach to the alternative Tal Law, they could threaten to leave the coalition. So in order to prevent or preempt such a move, he called for early elections, and with polls showing him gaining more seats on the backs of others, he had the upper hand.What Happened Now: Shaul Mofaz, the leader of Kadima, fearing of losing many seats and lose the chance of even become relevant in a future government, offered to join Bibi’s coalition and negotiated a deal to form a unity government. Thus, giving Netanyahu a strong NINTY FIVE seat majority - the largest coalition in Israel’s history. Now even if Shas, UTJ decide to leave the coalition, Bibi will still remain in power with a stronger and larger government, since Kadima is now on board.What it means for Iran (and Obama): Well… Bibi is now stronger than ever.
Danon opposes Likud-Kadima deal. "Likud values violated. So is public that voted Likud and got Kadima&Barak. We gave oxygen 2 Kadima corpse"— Gil Hoffman (@Gil_Hoffman) May 8, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Call to Action: Ariel, Do What is Right - Stand United behind Netanyahu for a Strong and a Powerful Likud
“I’d like to thank from the depths of my heart the many thousands of you who came to my father’s house to give your condolences to my family and me, and to the tens of thousands who sent messages of comfort and support."“You touched my heart in my time of grief, From Jerusalem, I send my thanks to all of you.”