Next Prime Minister of Israel?

Yair Lapid, the next Prime Minister of Israel?

Last night, Susan and I went to a Yesh Atid (There is a Future) meeting (Anglo Division) in Tel Aviv to hear the party leader, Yair Lapid. He was introduced as the next Prime Minister of Israel which is – to put it mildly – somewhat optimistic. However, let there be no doubt, he is by far my preferred candidate. Why? Partly because I like the man, but mainly because I like how Yesh Atid handled itself the last time it was in power – sticking largely to its policy promises – and also, no less, because of the party’s policies. Their intentions for the country address all the key areas in the right way, so to speak. I was particularly pleased to hear Yair promise that one early law, were he successful, would be to limit the number of times one person could be the Prime Minister to twice. (Hello Bibi!)

Underpinning a lot of Yesh Atid’s policies is an honest streak that seems to be missing from the other parties. For example, when in power, Yesh Atid refused to take the money that all the other coalition parties took from the State, just for being in power. Shocking. For another example, within minutes of the election being called, the coalition parties robbed the welfare and education budgets to fund their own political expenditure. Also shocking. Another almost unbelievable story was the reminder that Bibi ordered a personal – OK, a Prime Ministerial – plane at a cost of hundreds of millions of shekels, for no good reason. (The theory is that Bibi felt envious at Air Force One…) A funny story was told about the ministerial vote on work programs. Only two ministers voted against it. Guess which two ministers were appointed to be in charge of the work programs? Welcome to Israel…

Before Yair could start, he was interrupted by a protester – demonstrating against weapons sales to Sudan – who had to be removed by the security team. It’s unclear why the protester targeted Yair Lapid, as the offending matters were not of his creation. Anyway, Yair spoke for about 45 minutes – in reasonably good English – and then took questions.

The questions ranged from aliyah to illegal immigrants to non-orthodoxy to gay rights to educations, pensions, and so on. His answers were OK, but the poor guy has clearly been running around with far too much to do. I say this because his English in the answers was not as sharp or polished as it can be. He had not had enough time to prepare fully, I suspect.  In this arena, he is not as good a performer as Bibi. But, he will improve, and it’s one area that – despite declarations to the contrary – matters least in the Israeli elections. In other words, the Anglos will not have a material effect on the result. That having been said, I was impressed and cheered by the very young profile of the audience. Very heartening. Anyway, for election success, it’s more important how he comes across in the Hebrew media. And there he is very much equal to the Bibi challenge.

What are his chances? In the past elections, Yesh Atid has typically done less well in the polls until the closing stages. That appears to be the case this time around, too. But it needs to do much better this time to break the Likud stranglehold, and so far there’s been no hint of such a change. Instead, the opposition keeps getting split by new parties popping up. So, when it does come to the election, Lapid as Prime Minister is unlikely. But, then again, in the world of Israeli politics, almost anything is possible. After all, this is a country where a new politician could be ranked as getting 20% plus of the vote before making a single speech or uttering a single word on policy or beliefs. So, unlikely, but not impossible.

I’m resigned to another Bibi/Likud victory, but let’s see what actually happens.

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Deceit of the Guardian

“In France and Britain, gilets jaunes have mutated into symbols of anger against anything from austerity to Islam”

Click the image to view the complete article

The Guardian are so deceitful. Guess which group targeted by the ‘gilet jaunes’ is not mentioned by the Guardian? Why didn’t the article mention antisemitism? Because it might taint the purity of the French protesters they empathize with and support? Or, because antisemitism means nothing to them? Or because the Guardian has sold out its journalistic roots?

In the scheme of things, it’s like a drop in the ocean. But to mix metaphors, it’s the drip, drip, drip effect of approaches as in this article that minimizes antisemitism and fosters a world view that is, put simply, wrong.

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Code Pink – Completely Potty

Another in the ‘you could not make it up’ department of true stories:

The people who are so upset over Israel’s supposed crime of “pinkwashing” LGBTQs by treating them well is now on a tour of Iran…

Click the image to read the Elder of Ziyon’s incredible story.

The extent of the ability of so called liberal or leftist proponents of human rights to turn a blind eye to almost anyone’s crimes – so long as they are anti Israel – is shocking. Why should anyone believe a word these people say? Why should anyone believe they have any morality left? They are enablers of hate.

As the Elder says:

It is difficult to imagine a more hypocritical organization than CodePink.

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Israel Post Strikes Again!

I have a subscription to Private Eye. Today, I arrived home from work to find that Israel Post had excelled themselves: they had managed to deliver two issues at once. How efficient!

Except, as you will see from the above, their performance was anything but efficient. It’s taken at least four weeks for number 1485 to be delivered. Delivery of number 1486 has only taken three weeks. If only there were a realistic prospect of that improvement continuing…

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Israel’s 2018

Away from the political front, away from the security challenges, away from the stresses and strains that undoubtedly exist in Israeli society, 2018 was a record year for Israel – in a good way.

Actually, ‘good’ may be an understatement. It almost seems like the more noise BDS groups and other assorted haters try to make, the more tourists want to come to visit, the more foreign investment floods in, and the more business Israel does. It’s almost like there’s an invisible presence looking after us…

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Respect – Jordanian Style

Click the image to go to the Times of Israel story.

The Jordanian narrative is typical of many states in the Middle East. Jordan’s economy is a joke. Civil liberties are a joke. Health standards are a joke. The country is a basket case. So, do they focus their energies and attention on improvement? Initiatives for betterment? Campaigns for freedom? Oh no. Instead, their number one focus seems to be to blame the Jews.

Jordan continues to ensure its people will be served lives of poverty, oppression, and bigotry instead of progress, peace, and hope.

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Bibi, Bennett, Liberman, and Gaza

The West’s warmonger is not waging war. What fools they are. Source: WikiMedia

Be warned: I have no answers. I do have questions, and I do have thoughts. Consider this a stream of consciousness post, with a dash of analysis.

First off, the mission in Gaza that went wrong. Was it a mission of the highest priority that absolutely had to be carried out, regardless of the risk to the potential truce? Or was it less than that, but the army went for it, anyway? My gut tells me it’s the latter, but Bibi and co say it’s the former. I am skeptical. However, there might be a third possibility. It has been suggested to me that Israel regularly penetrates into Gaza, entirely unknown to Hamas. So successful have these penetrations been that they are not seen as risky, but routine. Then Murphy’s Law (or Moshe’s Law?) struck this one time, and all hell broke loose. For sure, I don’t think anyone in the IDF wanted to put a potential truce at risk, but they did. Continue reading

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How to Make More Money by Paying More Taxes

This may be a first. Companies in Israel have been making money by paying too much tax.

I’ll pause while you take that in.

In essence, after a reduction in the tax rate, companies did not reduce their tax payments. Whether this was done deliberately or otherwise is not certain. However, when it came time to reconcile payments, these companies were due a refund. And here’s the kicker. The refunds attracted interest at 4%, a rate higher than the companies could have received had they paid the money into a bank… In short, the tax man became a kind of bank!

The worst effect is that because of this somewhat strange set of circumstances, the budget predictions are off, and the state is looking at a deep deficit. Oh dear.

Check out the report in Globes, here.

Only in Israel?

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For Pittsburgh

Ra’anana held a rally last night (after Shabbat) in support of the community in Pittsburgh. There were several speakers, including Daniel Shapiro, former USA ambassador to Israel who is now a Ra’anana resident. Another speaker was a nephew of Jerry Rabinowitz, one of the victims. All spoke from the heart, but the nephew was clearly in pain. The well attended event finished with Havdalah and Hatikvah.

Apparently, this rally happened not because of the Ra’anana Council, but from a Facebook post by a former Pittsburgh resident who wanted to do something to show solidarity and support. The post went viral, and the rally duly took place. Video of the event was sent to those sitting Shivah. Sometimes, social media makes a positive difference.

I hope it’s the last time I go to such an event. I hope it’s the last time there is a need for such an event.

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