Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu Form a Mega Party
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman announced this evening (October 25th) that their parties will run together in the upcoming election. According to polls, Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu are expected to receive approximately 28 and 15 seats respectively. We have yet to see what the union between the two parties will do to the polls. As of yet, it is also unclear how the party list will be formed. Likud has scheduled its primaries for November 25th, while Yisrael Beiteinu’s list is formed by Avigdor Lieberman himself. The joint list will be called “HaLikud Beiteinu”.
Politicians Continue to Levitate to Where the Seats Are
More politicians have announced that they will be leaving Kadima this week, while others have joined the rising powers of Labor and Yesh Atid:
MK Ruchama Avraham of Kadima will be leaving politics.
MK Nino Absedze of Kadima has joined the Labor party.
MK Ze’ev Bielsky, former mayor of Raanana may be seeking re-election as mayor of Raanana.
Yariv Oppenheimer, the general director of the extreme-left movement “Peace Now” has joined the Labor party.
Nahum Hofri, mayor of Raanana will also be running in the Labor party.
Meanwhile, Yair Lapid has been introducing the candidates on his list one by one. This week, two mayors joined his list: Yael German, mayor of Herzliya and Meir Cohen, mayor of Dimona.
The Race in HaBayit HaYehudi Gets Ugly
The three candidates for the leadership of HaBayit HaYehudi turned up the heat this week. On Monday, the current party leader, Rabbi Prof. Daniel Hershkovitz, who is also Minister of Science and Technology, announced that he is dropping out of the race and will support Zvulun Orlev. In return, Orlev agreed to appoint Hershkovitz as either a minister in the next government or as president of the Technion or Bar-Ilan University.
Later that day, the third and leading contestant, Naftali Bennet, claimed that he received a request from Orlev to cancel their primaries altogether, in order to set up a triumvirate of Hershkovitz, Orlev and Bennet as joint leaders of the party, similar to what was done in Shas. Bennet declined the offer, and the next day Orlev claimed that Bennet had been the one who had suggested the idea of a triumvirate.
Today, a man named Yehuda Cohen surprised everyone by joining the race for the leadership of the party. Cohen is unknown to the public, and it is suspected that he may be in league with either Bennet or Orlev and that he joined the race in order to force a second round if one of the other two remaining contestants fails to receive over 50% of the vote.
For more information on what’s happening in Likud, Labor, Kadima, Habayit Hayehudi and Yisrael Beiteinu, you may want to read last week’s election update –
or read a general explanation on the different parties-
Qassams in the South
Every few months, Hamas, the terrorist organization ruling over Gaza, increases the number of rockets fired at Israeli towns. I have written about this previously, in June (here). This week the citizens of the Negev had the dubious pleasure of spending the week in their shelters, with dozens of rockets falling around them. A number of people were injured. The media has connected this newest barrage of rockets to a visit by the Qatari prince to Gaza. The IDF has retaliated with air strikes and killed a number of terrorists in Gaza.
Meanwhile, many media outlets have made this out to be an equal-sided conflict- both sides are attacking the other. Here’s the difference: Qassam rockets can hit anyone indiscriminately. They have no guidance systems and are fired by terrorists at population centers, with the hope that they will kill as many civilians as possible. On the other hand, the IDF only targets terrorists from Hamas and other terrorist organizations, and takes every precaution in order not to harm innocent civilians, even if they are Palestinian. Big difference.
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