Israelstreet returns today after a 12 day absence. Your humble servant thanks all of you dear readers for your indulgence.
7:00 pm Israel time, Saturday, January 24 2015
51 Days Until The Election
***The last 24 hours have seen:
–Palestinian terrorists from Gaza captured after breaching the Gaza border fence
—an Arab armed with a butcher knife captured near the Presidential House in Jerusalem
–a young mother and her infant daughter wounded by “rocks” thrown by Palestinian terrorists in Samaria
—a drumbeat of threats emanating from Hezbollah about an impending attack in the north
–six Egyptians killed by terrorists in El-Arish following the discovery of yet another an explosives-laden tunnel running from Gaza into Egypt by the Egyptian Army.
Meanwhile, Palestinian incitement on the Har HaBeit (Temple Mount) in Jerusalem continues unabated. Here is a picture from a demonstration on the Mount today–the flags you see are ones in support of Al-Qaeda.
***An extraordinary report issued several days ago by the Israel Venture Capital Research Group shows that the world is coming to Israeli start up companies more than ever.
In 2014, 688 Israeli high-techs raised $3.4 billion dollars–46% more than was raised in 2013. In the fourth quarter alone, Israeli companies raised more than $1.1 billion.
As you may or may not know, Israeli high-tech companies are responsible for about 12.5% of Israel’s economic output, and 8% of the country’s jobs.
***We are now 5 days away from January 29th which is the day that all parties that plan to run in the coming election must declare themselves and declare who the candidates on their list will be.
There is still much turmoil everywhere you look as various politicians begin to think about the higher threshold in this election (each party will have to win at least 4 seats in order to enter the Knesset). What this means is that there is much jockeying around for “partnerships”. For example, will Eli Yishai’s new party join with the “Jewish Power” party? If not, neither party will likely be represented, and all votes cast for each will be lost.
For a different reason, there is much talk that PM Netanyahu wants to merge Likud with Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party. Netanyahu wants this because it will assure him of being the head of the party that receives the most seats. However, Bennett continues to assert that no such merger will take place.
Let’s hope that Bennett sticks to his guns because a merger with Likud would almost certainly result in a Likud-Jewish Home party receiving fewer Knesset seats than would each party receive if it runs separately. We only have to look back at the last election to see what happened when Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu ran together. They apparently lost some ten seats that they would have had if they had run separately.
Beginning next week when the party situation has clarified, israelstreet will begin to post various polls of the electorate.
It is all so easy to forget.
The date was March 21, 2013. Israeli elections had taken place less than two months before–elections which were a profound disappointment to President Obama who had sought from the beginning of this first term in office the overthrow of the government of Benjamin Netanyahu (you may recall Mahmoud Abbas’ famous comment that there was no reason for the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel because the Americans were going to engineer a new, pro-Palestinian, government in Israel).
But back to March 21, 2013. President Obama had finally come to Israel and had been invited to speak in the Israeli Knesset.
Astonishingly, he rejected the invitation outright.
Fearful of the reaction he would get among Israel’s democratically elected representatives, Obama went instead to the Jerusalem Convention Center where his handlers hand-picked several thousand “leftist” students (for example, students from the university in Ariel were excluded) who were guaranteed to cheer every word that Obama spoke.
And so they did.
In a speech marked by one dangerous delusion after another, Obama called on the students to rise up against the democratically elected government of PM Netanyahu and demand “peace with the Palestinians”. Here are a few snippets from that speech:
Given the demographics west of the Jordan River, the only way for Israel to endure and thrive as a Jewish and democratic state is through the realization of an independent and viable Palestine . . .
Speaking as a politician, I can promise you this: political leaders will not take risks if the people do not demand that they do. You must create the change that you want to see . . .
Only you can determine what kind of democracy you will have . . .
Your voices must be louder than the extremists who would drown them out . . .
And who exactly were the extremists that Obama was referring to? Democratically elected leaders like Benjamin Netanyahu, Naftali Bennett, and everyone else who disagreed with Obama’s delusional vision of the “new Middle East.”
Fast forward to the great irony of this week.
President Obama is now beside himself with anger because Benjamin Netanyahu has accepted an invitation to come speak before a joint session of the U.S. Congress on the subject of Iran and Muslim extremism.
He is so beside himself that he refuses to meet with Netanyahu (the claim that the White House has a policy of not meeting with leaders during election campaigns is completely specious).
Not only was Obama permitted to come to Israel, reject an invitation to speak at the Knesset, handpick an obsequious audience, and deliver a message that attempted to delegitimize the government of Israel . . . but also . . . he now wants to dictate the terms of a Netanyahu visit to the United States.
One more thing.
Yesterday we had White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest answering a question concerning PM Netanyahu’s upcoming address to the U.S. Congress. When asked if “President Obama will accept a change of government in Jerusalem” in the upcoming Israeli elections, Earnest replied: “Yes, the Obama Administration’s intention is to change the positions of the Prime Minister.”
He later retracted this statement claiming he didn’t understand the question.