One more liberal who got mugged by reality

T. Belman. I think you will enjoy this beautifully written article. I did. The comments, which now number close to 500 are also very interesting to read. It really struck a chord.

I’m Out


I remember the righteous smugness I used to feel when the one conservative friend in my social circle would begin expressing his opinions at a dinner gathering. I and the other ‘enlightened’ diners would shift uncomfortably and glance at one another, rolling our eyes: “Here he goes again.” My stomach would tighten with a worry not fit for the occasion. I began to feel personally offended. And the smugness sometimes boiled over into anger, as I’d listen to my friend, loyal and kind, simply share his “crazy” ideas and opinions with us.

April 30, 2015 | 0 Comments » | 16 views

Netanyahu agrees to 0% VAT on basic products

The agreement with Aryeh Deri paves the way for Shas to enter the new Israeli government coalition.

By Lilach Weissman, GLOBES

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has surrendered to demands by Shas for exempting basic products from VAT, thereby paving the way for Shas’s entry into the government.

Netanyahu met today with Shas chairman Aryeh Deri to discuss a possible outline, and to settle the question of which ministries Shas will hold. In addition to the Ministry of the Economy, Deri is demanding either the Ministry of Welfare and Social Services or the Ministry for the Development of the Negev and Galilee.

The first coalition agreements were signed yesterday with Kulanu and United Torah Judaism, six days before the deadline for forming a government. Moshe Kahlon will be Minister of Finance, Yoav Galant will be Minister of Construction and Housing, and Kulanu will also receive the Ministry of Environmental Protection.

April 30, 2015 | 0 Comments » | 8 views

Chinese is becoming the dominant force in Israel’s transport infrastructure

China seeks to establish new trade routes in the region

By Dubi Ben-Gedalyahu, GLOBES

“Independence” is a very popular concept in Israel, however, the concept is a very flexible one. In reality, Israel’s strategic geopolitical position has made it the political and economic playground of foreign powers throughout history, leaving very limited room for the judgment of the “local” residents. The establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 did not change the big picture much.Until last decade, for example, the dominant force that molded Israel’s financial-political “independence” was the United States. US interests still carry significant weight in Israel’s economic and political conduct, but over the past five years, the beginnings of what may be termed the “Chinese chapter” in the history of the Israeli economy have become apparent.

April 30, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 11 views

Kulanu: Keep Your Hands Off High Court

T. Belman. The upshot of this is no coalition solidarity.  Bibi is allowing partners to bring the legislation while at the same time to allow other partners not to vote for it. What’s that all about? Window dressing?

Kulanu will not tolerate any attempts to harm the current standing of the High Court, a top party official said.

By Yaakov Levi, INN

Avigdor Yitzchaki, a member of the Kulanu negotiating team, said Thursday that the party had made clear in its discussions with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that it would not tolerate any attempts to harm the current standing of the High Court.

That includes several laws that Jewish Home is demanding be included in its deal with the Likud, as well as a tenet that is included in Likud’s agreement with United Torah Judaism.

April 30, 2015 | 3 Comments » | 14 views

Rubio’s ‘Poison Pill’ May Force Democrats to Get Off the Fence on Israel

How many Democrats, especially the Jewish ones, would vote against the idea that Iran recognizes Israel?

By:Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu, JP

Sen. Marco Rubio’s insistence on amending the proposed Senate bill for review of a deal with Iran by requiring the Islamic Republic to recognize Israel is beginning to make Democrats squirm.

Iran has repeatedly stated that Israel should be wiped off the map. It is building Inter-Continental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs) and by all accounts, except Tehran’s, is not far from being able to obtain a nuclear warhead.

It doesn’t take an evangelist Republican to connect the dots despite Iran’s position that it would never never even dream of obtaining a nuclear weapon.

April 30, 2015 | 0 Comments » | 15 views

“Congress Must Approve of Any Iran Deal”


Today, there is no greater threat to U.S. national security than the prospect of a nuclear Iran. Led by theocratic zealots who have pledged to “annihilate Israel” and who regularly lead chants of “Death to America,” an Iran with nuclear weapons poses an unacceptably high risk of murdering millions of Americans or millions of our allies.

For that reason, the top priority for the Senate should be to stop a bad Iran deal.

The Senate is now considering the Iran Nuclear Review Agreement Act (Corker-Cardin), which provides that any Iran deal must be submitted to Congress. This legislation started out with good intentions, and I supported moving it forward in committee. Indeed, I support anything that slows down the Obama administration’s headlong rush into finalizing an Iran deal that jeopardizes U.S. national security.

April 30, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 22 views

Chief justice raps Netanyahu for trying to curb Supreme Court’s power

Miriam Naor’s comments come as Likud is crafting a bill to let parliament override the top court.

By Revital Hovel, HAARETZ

The Israeli president, the current and former Supreme Court presidents and the state attorney general on Wednesday all sharply criticized Likud’s legislative efforts to weaken the court.

Supreme Court President Miriam Naor noted that her team was “the last barrier against harm to human dignity.” She was speaking at a conference on human dignity as a constitutional principle; the event was held at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

April 30, 2015 | 2 Comments » | 8 views

Deal Reached for Expansion in Judea and Samaria

T. Belman.  Is the “quiet understanding” for investment in infrastructure, the end of it or is Bennett going to insist that Netanyahu publically commit to building more homes?

Arutz Sheva has learned that settlement figure Ze’ev Haver has come to a quiet understanding with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

By Yaakov Levi, INN

In the wake of demands by the Tekuma component of Jewish Home, Arutz Sheva has learned that the head of the Amana construction firm, Ze’ev Haver (“Zombish”), one of the most influential members of the settlement movement in Judea and Samaria, has come to a “quiet understanding” with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon.

The two have been discussing the needs of Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria via “back channels” – and Ya’alon has promised that the new government will ensure that those needs are satisfied.

April 30, 2015 | 2 Comments » | 10 views

Turkey joins Qatari bid to broker Israel-Hamas deal

T. Belman. Under no conditions should Israel agree to a Hudna so Gaza can be rebuilt. Hamas started the war and is unwilling to bury the hatchet. They keep rearming, building tunnels and training an army of youths. Also they keep talking about destroying us and are now connected to Iran. If they want to rebuild they must sign a peace agreement with Israel and agree to demilitarization. Nothing less will do.

In addition Turkey is our enemy and Qatar is also and haven’t recognized us. Neither should be intermediaries. We would just be giving them a foothold. This is madness.

Ankara floats idea of offshore harbor for Gaza; Hamas official accuses Israel of stonewalling all long-term ceasefire proposals


A new proposal for a long-term ceasefire between Israel and Hamas has been put forth by Qatar and Turkey, The Times of Israel has learned.

Palestinian sources said that Turkey passed along the proposal via the Qatari ambassador to the Gaza Strip, Muhammad Al-Ahmadi, who visited Israel and even met with Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories Maj. Gen. Yoav Mordechai.

April 29, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 10 views

Russia bails Greece out

By Ted Belman

Recently I suggested that Israel should bail Greece out in exchange for favours. Now it appears that Russia took my advice.

INN reports:

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced today (Wednesday) that his country will receive 3 billion Euro ($3.3 billion US) for shipping Russian gas to Europe.

Russia has expressed interest in building an energy center in Greece to open up the European market to its natural gas.

Now Europe and Israel must ponder the new situation. No doubt Israel will negotiate with Russia to see how the two can work together.

April 29, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 13 views

Top experts for upcoming Shurat Hadin conference on law, warfare discuss thorny issues

By Yonah Jeremy Bob, JPOST

The Jerusalem Post spoke this week to three top experts on the law of armed conflict who will be among a plethora of other experts speaking and debating thorny issues at Shurat Hadin’s upcoming conference – “Toward a New Law of War.”

The experts, Col. (res.) Richard Kemp, former British commander of forces in Afghanistan, Professor Chris Jenks, a former US JAG officer and Professor Rachel Vanlandingham, a former US Air Force lawyer, presented a variety of views to the Post on cutting-edge issues under debate about how the law of armed conflict should evolve as Western armies find themselves fighting more asymmetrical conflicts against non-state actors who ignore or abuse those same laws.

Kemp said there are “many persuasive arguments” why change should happen with the law of armed conflict or at least how it is interpreted.

April 29, 2015 | 4 Comments » | 11 views

Should Israel negotiate with Obama

T. Belman. Former Masssad Chief, Efraim Halevy, says Obama was right, Iran capitulated
Op-ed: Netanyahu should accept the American offer of dialogue on the draft agreement reached in Lausanne, instead of signalling his intent to scupper it out of hand. This is worth reading.

Op-ed: Netanyahu needs to stop the hysterical rhetoric and start thinking about the benefits Israel can get – like full coordination, a diplomatic umbrella, fighter jets and missile defense funding.

By Ron Ben-Yishai, YNET

President Obama is now willing to promise Israel the moon and the stars, provided that Congress, under the influence of Benjamin Netanyahu, does not spoil his “deal” with Iran. The framework agreement is not yet final, but is supposed to be the crowning glory – and in fact almost the only legacy – of Obama’s foreign policy, and he will do anything to remove the obstacles in his path.

April 29, 2015 | 12 Comments » | 18 views

Confirmed: Netanyahu to Appoint Bennett Education Minister. But what else?

T. Belman. Bibi is gutting the key reforms of the last government having to due with the conversion law and the draft law. I would have preferred to have Yesh Atid  in the government instead of UTJ and Shas. But this was not to be.

While Bennett is asking for more Jerusalem construction he is not asking for construction in J&S. Why not? Bibi on the other hand hasn’t granted either.


After coalition crisis as Jewish Home walks out of talks, Likud tells party its request for education portfolio will be granted.

By Ido Ben-Porat, INN

After Jewish Home cut off coalition negotiations, Likud representatives have indicated to the party Tuesday night that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will grant its chairman Naftali Bennett his request to become the education minister in the coalescing coalition.

Bennett lost no time in demanding a budget increase for the ministry to the tune of a billion shekels ($260 million) according to Channel 2, with the large expenses meant to add an additional assistant in every kindergarten with over 30 children, and to continue the summer camp program initiated by previous Education Minister Shai Piron (Yesh Atid).

April 29, 2015 | 3 Comments » | 8 views

Jewish Home MKs vent their fury at Likud

After cutting off talks with PM, Jewish Home MKs vent their fury at Likud for ‘taking us for granted’; ‘We’re not in Likud’s back pocket’.

By Ari Sofer, INN

The Jewish Home party convened a stormy faction meeting Tuesday afternoon, following its dramatic decision to cut off coalition negotiations with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Party officials were particularly annoyed that Netanyahu has still not given any answer regarding Jewish Home’s key demands for more Jewish construction in Jerusalem.

But MKs also challenged that Bennett’s request for the Education Ministry is aiming too low, noting that Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party – which received just two more seats (10) – has reportedly received a far better deal from Netanyahu. They also lamented that the haredi parties Shas and UTJ – which received 7 and 6 seats respectively, to Jewish Home’s 8 – have also fared far better in coalition negotiations.

April 29, 2015 | 0 Comments » | 7 views

Will Obama Pick Another Fight with Israel?

T. Belman. Rosen says that the intent is to put pressure on Israel by further isolating her. He does not get into what, if any, the U.N. tools are, to enforce it. He goes so far as to say that they could amend Res 242. I will try to find someone to write a follow up article on what would happen if Israel rejected the resolution.

Obama has two cards to play to achieve his goals, the Iran card and the U.N. resolution card. He aims to force the opposition to both cards, to choose between minor amendments to both to get their approval. Its called linkage.

While the U.N. Charter specifically acknowledges the “sovereignty equality” of all members, Art. 25 provides “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.” So much for sovereignty..

by Steven J. Rosen, Wash Times

The concessions that President Obama is making to Iran have alarmed not just the right in Israel but also the left, and forced pro-Israel Democrats to choose between loyalty to the President and steadfast support for the Jewish state. Even former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has cautioned that “we need to all work together to return the special U.S.-Israel relationship to constructive footing, to get back to basic shared concerns and interests.”

April 29, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 11 views

Expose the Saudi connection to 9/11

by Michael Freund, JPOST

It may be hard to fathom, but more than 13 years after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, the public is still being kept in the dark about a critical issue related to the events of that dreadful day.

As former Senator Bob Graham (D-Florida), who chaired the Senate Intelligence Committee from 2001 to 2003, put it in an April 17 opinion piece in the Tampa Bay Times, “This is the essential unanswered question remaining from 9/11: While the hijackers were inside the United States, did they act alone or did others facilitate them?” Specifically, as Graham and others have noted, there is a host of evidence suggesting that senior figures from Saudi Arabia financed and assisted the atrocity that was perpetrated on American soil.

April 28, 2015 | 7 Comments » | 24 views

Bennett should align again with Lapid to replace Shas and UTJ in the new government

T. Belman. To this list I would ask how can Bennett join a government that won’t lift the construction freeze or embrace the Levy Report. So far I have read nothing about this issue. Why doesn’t he once again join with Yair Lapid (11 mandates) and insist that Shas and UTJ be dropped from the Government if they don’t greatly reduce their demands. Yesh Atid would be a better fit than the two of them.

I just talked to a Bayit Yehudit insider about the thrust of this article and he advised that I shouldn’t believe anything I read in the papers and that the reality is far different. He went so far as to say that Bennett is not getting screwed and that any agreement achieved so far, with anyone, even if in writing is tentative only. Finally he nixed the Lapid idea saying Lapid is the only leader that Netanyahu has not talked to and that is because Lapid has removed himself from the running.

MK Rabbi Dov Lipman (Yesh Atid), Open letter to Naftali Bennett

Please, please be strong, and don’t cave. You are a man with values, and you represent a population that has strong principles. Represent them. And don’t give in just to sit in the next government.

April 28, 2015 | 4 Comments » | 10 views

Defenders of the High Court are defending the power of the Left, not democracy

By Ted Belman

I was very upset to read that Kahlon was against legislation limiting the power of the High Court.

But today I read that MK Zahava Gal-on head of Meretz, met with Netanyahu to discuss the proposed legislation. She wrote on FB:

“Without a meaningful judicial authority, democracy cannot exist” and

“There is no one to defend it against the tyranny of the majority, no one who will guard it against itself.”

“a chance majority in the Knesset, a random parliamentary majority” to take away power from the judicial branch of the government, and inflict “the greatest possible damage on — first of all — human rights and also on Israel’s standing in the world.”

She is wrong on all counts. The role of the court is not to defend “human rights nor Israel’s standing in the world”. It role to apply the laws passed by the Knesset. It also has the role, as in most democracies, to declare laws unconstitutional and therefore not valid. All constitutional democracies provide for this. But Israel doesn’t have a constitution. To get around this problem, Israel passes laws which she calls Basic Laws to approximate a constitution in regard to certain issues.

April 28, 2015 | 5 Comments » | 10 views

The Moderate Muslim Stands Alone

T. Belman. Daniel Pipes used to say “moderate Islam is the solution”. To this I replied that only if we support them and reject the Jihadists such as CAIR. I have argued that we should fund the equivalent CAIR for moderates. If we don’t do this the moderates will never stand up. If the establishment doesn’t reject CAIR, how can we expect the moderates to stand up for themselves.


On March 6, the Association of Chief Police Officers, a body funded by the Home Office, launched a national campaign named, “We Stand Together,” which called upon British police forces and constabularies across the United Kingdom to bring together local communities to “stand against hate crime and intolerance.”

The campaign was apparently a public relations campaign launched in the wake of “recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Denmark, which increased tension in some communities in the UK.”

As part of the campaign, local police forces across the country organized events and arranged photo opportunities with Muslim community groups and spokespersons.

April 28, 2015 | 1 Comments » | 11 views