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Category Archives: Knesset

The start of something new? A gov’t without Israel’s ultra-Orthodox

Netanyahu hopes to present new government by next week, and it likely won’t have any ultra-Orthodox parties, giving national religious and ‘secular’ a chance to redefine Israel’s religious policies

Tuesday, March 05, 2013  Ryan Jones  israeltoday.co.il

120913_condolencesDevelopments in Israel on Sunday might have signaled the start of a major earthquake in the political foundations of the state.

According to reports across the Hebrew media, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally conceded that he will not be able to form a stable majority coalition that includes the ultra-Orthodox parties that have long controlled the religious institutions of the State of Israel.

While Netanyahu would prefer a government that included the ultra-Orthodox Shas, which tends to simply go along with any and all policies so long as tax revenues flow to its own causes, an impromptu alliance between the centrist Yesh Atid and the right-wing Jewish Home parties meant that doing so would leave Netanyahu with a minority government.

Yesh Atid, which stunned everyone by becoming the Knesset’s second largest party in January’s election, and Jewish Home, the new face of the old National Religious Party, don’t necessarily see eye-to-eye on major diplomatic issues like Jewish settlements and the peace process.

However, the two parties are fully united in their belief that ultra-Orthodox hegemony over determining who is a Jew and how Jews must live needs to be broken. They also agree that it is high time that the ultra-Orthodox community, which receives large sums of government funding for child welfare and seminaries, join the workforce, start paying taxes and carry their fair share of the military burden.

The talk now is that Netanyahu will give Yesh Atid the ministries of health, interior and welfare, allowing it to keep its election promises to bring about social change that will benefit the entire population, and institute an educational system that fosters broad acceptance of the Bible and Jewish culture.

Jewish Home is looking to take the ministries of industry, housing and religion, the last of which will allow the party to seriously alter the way the state relates to Jewish religious issues. There is even talk of Israel electing its first national religious (as opposed to ultra-Orthodox) chief rabbi.

Netanyahu reportedly hopes to present the new government sometime next week, and if Yesh Atid and Jewish Home have their way, it could mark the beginning of something quite unique in the Jewish state.

We will explore this new phenomenon in greater depth in the upcoming issue of Israel Today Magazine.

 
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Posted by on 5. March 2013 in Israel, Knesset, Middleeast, Netanyahu

 

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New Knesset Bible study group off to strong start

More than 30 Knesset members show up for inaugural weekly Bible study session initiated by new centrist party Yesh Atid, which has called for all Israelis to both learn the Bible and serve the nation

Friday, February 22, 2013  Israel Today Staff

tremble1We have already reported several times on Benjamin Netanyahu’s revival of the Prime Minister’s Bible Study group in Israel. Now the Knesset is getting in on the trend with the establishment of its own weekly sessions of scriptural enlightenment.

The initiative came from one of the new Knesset parties, the centrist Yesh Atid, which fields both secular and religious lawmakers.

Despite running an election campaign that emphasized an end to army exemptions for and exaggerated welfare payouts to the ultra-Orthodox Jewish sector, and subsequently being labeled anti-religious by ultra-Orthodox leaders, Yesh Atid has since the election been the most outspoken party about getting more Israelis to study the Bible.

Tuesday’s Knesset Bible study was led by Yesh Atid lawmakers Rabbi Shai Piron, Rabbi Dov Lipman and Torah scholar Dr. Ruth Calderon. More than 30 Knesset members attended the inaugural session.

“Seeing MKs and staff members from ultra-Orthodox through secular studying Torah together showed the beauty of the environment we are creating in this new Knesset,” Lipman told the Times of Israel.

There is a growing sense in Israel that the Bible needs to form the basis of the state’s culture and policies, but that the ultra-Orthodox must not have a monopoly on the biblical interpretation of what it means to be Jewish.

 
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Posted by on 22. February 2013 in Bible, Israel, Jerusalem, Knesset, Middleeast, Netanyahu, Tanakh, Torah

 

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Another election for Israel!?

With time running out, and obstacles mounting, it is looking increasingly unlikely that Netanyahu can form a stable, majority coalition

Thursday, February 21, 2013  Ryan Jones – israeltoday.co.il

120913_condolencesIt might sound ludicrous, but Israel could be headed for another early election just a month after the last poll, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces mounting challenges to forming a stable coalition.

That was the threat issued by senior members of Netanyahu’s Likud Party this week, and they were taken seriously by at least one major party, Jewish Home, which reportedly reinstated its election campaign committee, just in case.

Netanyahu has until the middle of March (which includes a standard 14-day extension) to present a stable coalition. Should he fail to do so, either another party will be given a chance to form a government, or new elections will be called.

Earlier this week, Netanyahu scored his first coalition partner in Tzipi Livni and her six-seat party, Hatnuah (The Movement). The centrist Kadima Party, which has been reduced to a paltry two seats, is expected to join in the coming days.

All together, that gives Netanyahu 39 out of 120 seats. The ideal solution in the minds of most Israelis would be for Netanyahu to add to that total the centrist Yesh Atid and right-wing Jewish Home parties, giving the coalition a commanding 88 seats.

However, Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid chief Yair Lapid have forged something of an alliance, and are refusing to enter the coalition unless Netanyahu agrees to their joint demand that the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community be stripped of its exemption from serving in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).

Bennett and Lapid also want the ultra-Orthodox to begin entering the work force in greater numbers, or risk losing their massive welfare payouts, which are provided by the government despite the fact that most ultra-Orthodox do not pay taxes.

It is a policy that would shake the existing unwritten rules of Israeli politics, and Netanyahu is presumably fearful of rocking the boat so severely.

Netanyahu has long been chummy with the ultra-Orthodox political sector, and so is looking at bringing the religious Shas Party into the coalition as an alternative to Lapid and Bennett.

Reports Thursday are that Shas is very close to joining the coalition, and the other Orthodox party, United Torah Judaism, would likely follow suit.

If that happens, and if Lapid and Bennett stick to their guns, that would give Netanyahu a minority coalition of 57 seats. Sources in the Prime Minister’s Office told Israel Hayom that would be unacceptable, and would result in another election.

The idea is to put pressure on Bennett to join the coalition, even if Lapid remains outside. The main plank of Lapid’s election platform was ending draft exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox, so it is extremely unlikely he would join a government that includes Shas.

If this is Netanyahu’s direction, and if the gamble pays off, making Lapid the head of the opposition could be a two-edged sword. While Lapid and Netanyahu largely see eye-to-eye on security, the peace process and many economic issues, it is no secret that Lapid intends to himself become prime minister one day, and might work undermine Netanyahu and bring about, yes, another early election.

 

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MOCK CEASE FIRE

 

Posted on November 22, 2012 on israelgpm.wordpress.com

Shalom beloved prayer warriors and lovers of Israel!

A mock cease fire agreement between Israel and Gaza was concocted politically by USA and Egypt. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton was the conduit by which President Mursi of Egypt was “persuaded” to mediate or actually command this cease fire. Obama most probably threatened the brand new Egyptian president with removal of financial support unless he intervened to mediate a cease fire.
13 rockets were launched by Hamas in the Neguev AFTER the cease fire went into effect! And yet Israel is still honoring the “cease fire”! This is only giving them time to rearm! The sense of betrayal that we and many in the Neguev feel is huge!
PM Benjamin Netanyahu declared that this cease fire is the right thing to do in order to allow the Israeli citizens to go back to routine. He stated that Israel hit many targets in Gaza, decreased their arsenal of rockets substantially and seriously hurt the command chain of the Hamas. But he added that a much more drastic operation may be needed at a later stage.

Our question is when is a “later stage”? How many more rockets does the Hamas need to shoot against innocent Israeli civilians before the “later stage” comes and a MUCH more drastic operation is put in effect?

In Gaza they have been celebrating tonight their victory against the Zionists!

The only thing I pray is that Israel will get the biggest laugh at the end because He that sits in the Heavens is laughing at the vain attempt of the nations to make him look as a liar. No doubt He will have the last laugh and word on this! Pray Psalm 2

Pray for unity among the people of Israel to prevail so the more drastic operation can take place swiftly! Pray for hope into the hearts of the battered citizens of the Neguev and the IDF soldiers. Psalm 121, Isaiah 61
Pray for confidence and determination in the Israeli government to finnish what they started so that the citizens of the Neguev can celebrate their family Shabbats with peace and quiet and without rockets flying over their heads for all the years to come.

 

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DEMONSTRATIONS IN ISRAEL AGAINST CEASE FIRE

 

Posted on November 20, 2012

Shalom beloved prayer warriors and lovers of Israel!

All over the Neguev there are demonstrations against the intended cease fire and while all those talks about an artificial cease fire are going and the Secretary of State of the US Hilary Clinton is right now having a talk with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, the Hamas has been freely launching more and more Kassam Rockets all over Israel! The more they talked about cease fire today more Israelis were hurt and in fact two men were killed and one of them an IDF soldier of 18 years old and many wounded by shrapnel or shell shock.

The Hamas rockets reached Rishon Letsion today a large city South of Tel Aviv and hit an 8 story building destroying the top three stories! A real miracle happened on the top floor that was totally destroyed as a family of six had obeyed the security instructions and had taken shelter in the bomb shelter room inside of the apartment! The whole apartment was totally destroyed by the rocket but the armoured room was intact and so was the family six, praise be to YHVH!

In Ashdod, Ashkelon and Beersheba there were many attacks today and many miracles of people rescued from death. In one case a single mom with a little girl heard the Red Alert sound while in the shower. She was wondering whether to get out of the shower and get into the armored room with her daughter and at the last moment she felt an urge to take shelter! As she managed to reach the special secured room in her apartment, a kassam rocket hit her building penetrating her apartment through the shower where she had been seconds earlier and destroying it completely! Had she not obeyed the security instructions because of convenience, she would have been killed and her daughter also!

One of our team members leaves in Beersheba and works in a nursing home as a nurse. She told me today over the phone how hard it is for many of the elderly residents to get into the bomb shelter, some of them cannot even move from their beds! Please pray for the elderly in nursing homes and elsewhere, for pregnant mothers, for lactating mothers, for the handicapped, for those with down syndrome, for those in hospitals, for birthing mothers and babies and all challenged people to be totally protected by the Almighty when the rockets fall!

The response of the IAF (Israeli Air Force) was very serious tonight against Hamas after a very terrifying day. The entire government building of Hamas has been completely destroyed, nothing is left of it and other serious targets have been hit! We must pray seriously that no cease fire will happen before the terror infrastructure is totally destroyed or Israel takes over Gaza completely. We must pray to silence all the demonic voices from the political activists and international media that is presenting Israel as the aggressor and Hamas as the poor victim. “Woe to those who call good bad and bad good” and this is what is happening right now in the international press and especially in the UK and the BBC radio but in other places as well.
For prayer: Jeremiah 12:14-17 Notice that YHVH calls all those who strike at the inheritance that He has given Israel “MY wicked neighbors!”

 

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