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  • December 29, 2012

    Bennett is filling the vacuum left by Bibi

    The actions of Netanyahu to support the two state solution, to bury the Levy Report and to resist attempts to legislate against the power of the Supreme Court, the NGO’s and the Attorney General, have left a huge vacuum. Bennett is successful because he is filling that vacuum. Not only that, he has created a new coalition of constituencies which includes Jews who are traditional, religious or nationalist. A third of his supporters are secular nationalists. His vision finds great support among the under 40 crowd. He is the heir apparent to PM Netanyahu. Ted Belman

    By Ari Shavit, HAARETZ

    I am a despairing Israeli voter, I tell Habayit Hayehudi chairman Naftali Bennett. I am not lunatic left, but I believe in the kind of enlightened Zionism that is now going down the drain. I believe in the Jewish and democratic state that is evaporating. And I believe in the partition of the land, which you are trying to put a stop to. Plus, when I see the limpness and the wretchedness in my own camp and the energy and momentum in yours, I am horrified.


    What can you, Naftali Bennett, tell me and people like me who see the end of our Israel in the rise of your Israel? Can you persuade me and my readers that you do not herald the end of the state we have so loved?

    Since becoming a political star, Bennett, 40, has gained a bit of weight. After a long day of tiring campaign appearances, he sits across from me at a cafe somewhere in the center of the country. He orders a spicy Asian dish and types a fast facebook status on his laptop – in support of Avigdor Lieberman and against the State Prosecutor’s Office. Then he looks at me with the eyes of a dedicated troop leader in the Bnei Akiva national religious youth movement, and tries to assuage my concerns.

    “Zionism arose thanks to secularism,” he says. “The dogmatic religious establishment in the Diaspora was not capable of initiating Zionism without [Theodor] Herzl’s secular involvement. But secular Zionism was an existential Zionism that saw the state of the Jews as a refuge state.

    “A state that is 64 years old cannot continue to exist on the ethos of a refuge state, on security alone. After all, if this were the reason for our existence, there are many places that are safer for Jews – like Melbourne, Australia, or New Jersey. They don’t send children to the army there, and missiles aren’t flying there. Therefore, the time has come to move from the existential Zionism that you come from to a Jewish Zionism. It is necessary to base our national life on a Jewish basis, and it is necessary to give the state a Jewish coloration.

    “I don’t support religious coercion, but I do believe that Judaism is our ‘why’: Judaism is the reason for our existence and the justification for our existence, and the meaning of our existence. I know that for your ‘tribe,’ this is difficult. It is difficult because your tribe established the state in a secular-socialist spirit. And as you see the society changing and the state changing, you feel like you are done for. Your feeling is that the home that had been your home is no longer yours.

    “I am not indifferent to your distress. I am also personally connected to your ethos. When I was a child, I had Yoni’s letters [the reference is to war hero Yoni Netanyahu] and [military commando] Meir Har-Zion’s book next to my bed. So for me it’s not tactics and it’s not cosmetics. My whole life I’ve had one foot here and one foot there.

    “You are right,” he continues. “What is happening is a revolution. Behind the success of Habayit Hayehudi there are deep forces that are changing the face of the country. But for me in particular, it’s important to be a bridge to you. One of the biggest challenges from my perspective is to connect you to religious Zionism, too.”

    But you are about to annex 60 percent of the area of the West Bank, I persist. Menachem Begin, Yitzhak Shamir and Benjamin Netanyahu all refrained from taking this extreme step. Implementing the Bennett plan will bury the two states once and for all. Implementing the Bennett plan will perpetuate the occupation and make Israel a leper apartheid state. Though you are a high-tech person from Ra’anana who has seen the world, I continue, you are entirely ignoring the world. You will bring disaster down upon us by causing the international community to condemn us, and by causing a third of all Israelis to be entirely alienated from that new Israel you will shape.

    The chairman of Habayit Hayehudi tells me the international reaction concerns him, and therefore he will not annex most of the territories right at the start of what will be a long process. He believes that, ultimately, the world is busy with the economic collapse of Greece, the United States’ fiscal cliff and the slaughter in Syria, and thus it is possible to bring the world to come to terms now with facts on the ground and firm Israeli decisions. Back in 1981, when then-Prime Minister Begin was about to apply Israeli law to the Golan Heights, Shimon Peres and Amos Oz also warned him that it would lead to Israel becoming a leper state. He passed the Golan Heights Law, we received a few criticisms – and we carried on.

    Bennett says the internal Israeli rift disturbs him far more. Consequently, he will conduct a dialogue with the center and the left just as he is conducting a dialogue with me right now. But after making the “right” noises, Bennett straightens up and declares we tried Oslo and we tried the disengagement – and we’ve seen what has happened. If a Palestinian state were to arise in Judea and Samaria (the West Bank ), it would threaten Israel both with missiles and refugees. When he is abroad and when he reads The Economist magazine, it seems to him, too, that the establishment of Palestine is inevitable. But when he drives to Jerusalem via Ariel, he understands that it is not going to happen.

    It is not going to happen, he emphasizes. The 400,000 settlers in Judea and Samaria do not make this possible. And when the number of settlers reaches a million, there won’t be a person in the country who does not understand that this is the reality. There will be a million – no doubt about that. After the annexation, the economic dynamic will have its effect and people will flock to those areas, which will become an integral part of the State of Israel.

    But this does not mean apartheid. On the contrary, he says: The Palestinians will be able to travel in all of Judea and Samaria without barriers and without seeing any soldiers on the shared high-speed roads that will serve both them and the Jewish settlers. They will have freedom of movement and they will have jobs and they will have economic prosperity. They will elect themselves, they will pay taxes to themselves, they will run their own lives in every respect. And in the end, Jordan will be Palestine. There is no chance that, between the river and the sea, a Palestinian state will arise. The two-state solution is dead. There is no need to bury the two-state solution because it is already buried.

    Refusal debacle

    And what if a different decision is taken, I inquire. If the moment of evacuation comes, will you refuse to obey the order or not refuse to obey the order? Will you behave the way you told ?(Channel 2’s?) Nissim Mishal [and refuse], or will you behave the way you promised two days later?

    Bennett talks with surprising frankness about the difficult days he endured after last week’s refusal-to-obey-army- orders tempest. He admits that, when he said what he said, he spoke from the heart and expressed his true feelings. But last Saturday he thought it over quietly and concluded that since he is now a leader, responsibility of a different sort is incumbent upon him. He cannot bring about the shattering of the Israel Defense Forces or destroy proper governance and statesmanship.

    What will he do when a leftist soldier refuses to obey an order and attributes his refusal to Naftali Bennett’s statement?

    He still believes that evacuating a Jewish village or an Arab village is terrible, and the act of expulsion of Jews or Arabs from their homes is an act that should not be carried out. However, if the government takes the decision, he will implement it. And he won’t follow the instructions of the rabbis who preach refusal. In the difficult clash between contradictory values, the unity of the state and the army prevails.

    And what about the rule of law, I ask. Where do you stand regarding the supremacy of the law and supremacy of the court?

    Now the gloves come off. Bennett’s eyes glitter. In his opinion, the constitutional revolution was a terrible mishap. It has paralyzed the country and it is still paralyzing the country. What former Supreme Court President Aharon Barak did, says Bennett, was to pour sugar into the motor. Judicial activism has meant that, today, it is impossible to do here what Finance Minister Pinhas Sapir did when he established the national water carrier. The Supreme Court justices and the attorneys general are silencing the whole system.

    Take the case of Maj. Gen.Yoav Galant, says Maj. ?(res.?) Bennett. Let’s assume that Galant was the better candidate for chief of staff, but because of fear of the High Court of Justice, the better candidate was disqualified. Who takes responsibility for the damage this caused to the State of Israel and for the soldiers who are liable to get killed? This is an intolerable situation of authority without responsibility, and there is a need for a comprehensive reform. It is necessary to change the way judges are selected and the way attorneys general work. If he has sufficient political power, Naftali Bennett will bring about a judiciary counterrevolution.

    I first met Bennett six years ago. He had returned, appalled, from the Second Lebanon War and wondered what he should do as a citizen in the wake of the war. The Bennett of 2006 was levelheaded, determined and rather impressive. And he wasn’t alone, either. At that time, quite a number of reserve soldiers, reserve officers, academics and businesspeople ? from the right and the left ? felt they had to rehabilitate the country from the ruination they had just experienced.

    However, while the protesters from the left lost their way or went home, Bennett first went to Benjamin Netanyahu as his chief of staff. He then went to the West Bank and founded Yisrael Sheli in 2010. Recently he took over Habayit Hayehudi and became the surprise of this election. He has managed to do for religious Zionism what no shining star has ever done for secular liberal Zionism.

    So, when Bennett closes his laptop, shakes my hand and vanishes into the night, it is clear to me that his narrative is not only the story of his upsetting success. The narrative of the 2013 election is also the story of our failure.

  • Posted by Ted Belman @ 9:25 am | 36 Comments »

    36 Comments to Bennett is filling the vacuum left by Bibi

    1. Bill Narvey says:

      Shavit sounds like he is grudgingly moving into the Bennett fold. If so, maybe Bennett is the one to unite the nation.

    2. Canadian Otter says:

      A NEW AND IMPROVED PRODUCT – but the same product, nevertheless.

      Whenever a company sees its sales numbers dropping, it comes up with a NEW AND IMPROVED version. Different packaging, different looks, different marketing strategies, and loud promises that it can do much, much more now.

      The company does not want you to switch to so far ignored, but more effective products in the market (the extreme right) – so it comes up with this new product.

      But is it more effective? So they say. Until you look at the small print. It only promises to annex Area C (if ever) – while disengaging from Areas A and B, leaving them ripe for a Gaza 2 situation, which you can’t really afford in terms of money (missile defense during last Gaza operation NIS One Million) – and more importantly, Jewish lives.

      It’s been all choreographed for decades. They neuter whoever offers a better option. They talk Feiglin into being a salesman for fraudulent Likud, and they persuade National Union to keep a low profile. Perfect. And once Likud loses consumer approval, they come up with a new and improved version.

      It’s all a marketing game, folks.

    3. yamit82 says:

      Ad - Reasons to vote for Otzma Le’Yisrael (STRONG ISRAEL)
      Posted Sunday, December 16 @ 09:30:41 EST

      Israel [JewishIndy Editor likes the platform.]

      Reasons to vote for Otzma Le’Yisrael (STRONG ISRAEL)
      What do we know for sure about the members of Otzma?

      They are a party of “No Compromise.”
      They will be the ONLY strong voice in the opposition.
      They will not be tied down by coalition obligations of how to vote, which always turned into destruction for Israel.
      Their voice will push other right-wingers to do what has to be done for the Land of Israel and People of Israel.

      MK Prof. Areyh Eldad, MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, Baruch Marzel, Arieh King, Itamar Ben-Gvir are the top 5 candidates for this right-wing party of:

      No Compromise on the Sovereignty over All the Land of Israel
      No Two-State Solution
      Jewish citizens’ rights to live without fear of attacks and missiles
      Deportation of all illegals that are making Jewish lives a nightmare, especially in the Hatikvah neighborhood of Tel Aviv and any problem plaguing the Jewish State.

      Unlike others, they will not be a government of destruction. A promise is a promise and will not change once they are in the Knesset. They are men of truth, those who are not reluctant or afraid to tell the truth, even when it hurts. They will be a party of “Power in Israel, a list of quality people who can be trusted not to flip-flop for jobs or seats in the Knesset, a party not to blend in with those who call themselves right-wing and yet will vote the way they are told to in order to keep their seat or ministry.

      MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari and MK Prof. Eldad have proven themselves for the last 4 years. Ben-Ari has been on hilltops when homes were being destroyed, sitting on the tractor hoping to stop them from moving to destroy. He took off his jacket and helped rebuild destroyed houses.
      Ben-Ari, Eldad, Marzel and Itamar ben-Gvir have highlighted the illegal immigration issue by going into the Tel Aviv area where the problem is the strongest. They have been in east Jerusalem, supporting the rights of Jews to live there.

      They called for strong police reaction to the attackers; they went against Zoabi for being a traitor in the Knesset; without fear of world condemnation they called for collecting taxes from the Arabs who owed them to the government and advocated giving that tax money to the nurses who need a decent salary. They go into Arab neighborhoods to show the Arabs and the world that the Land is Ours. They call loudly for No Two-States, but One-State – a Jewish State called Israel. Arieh King, Director and Founder of the Israel Land Fund, working for the last 10 years in East Jerusalem

      Otzma Le’Yisrael has conducted psychological warfare with the media who do not cover all that they do and speak. The media is using the same tactics as they did with Rabbi Meir Kahane h”yd. However, the strength of the public is enormously strong, and the surveys show that Otzma L’Yisrael is gaining strength and will pass the threshold and more.

      Please multiply Otzmah Le’Yisrael’s power in the next Knesset; surprise anyone who seeks to erase us. Together with you we will win seven and even eight seats.

      VOTE FOR OTZMAH Le’YSRAEL.
      ONE-STATE for ONE PEOPLE!!!

    4. yamit82 says:

      Wednesday, December 26, 2012
      POLL: 4 seats and growing
      New poll by Prof. Avi Degani, Geocartography group shows “Otzma Le’Yisrael” (Power to Israel) winning 4 seats in the elections. MK Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, Prof. Aryeh Eldad, Baruch Marzel and Arieh King will make it into the Knesset. We are campaigning for at least 6 seats by election time.

      Our presence in the Knesset is critical to make the right wing draw ideological lines… to warn against any slide to the left on Netanyahu’s part and to remind the Likud of its ideological conscience. .

      We may be a small party, but a strong party. Remember, a small piece of iron can crack a large piece of plastic. We are the iron.

    5. yamit82 says:

      Bennett Should Embrace Refusing Orders
      Ben-Ari: Bennett Should Embrace Refusing Orders

      David Lev
      Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett has spent a great deal of time and effort to make it clear that he did not call for IDF soldiers to obey orders in an interview Thursday night – but he would be doing everyone a much greater service if he actually did come out and advocated disobeying immoral orders, said MK Michael Ben-Ari.

      In an interview with Arutz Sheva, Ben-Ari said that for anyone that calls himself a religious Zionist, there was no question whatsoever. “All those who adhere to the teachings of Rabbis like former Chief Rabbi Avraham Shapira z”tl know that the issue is clear, and that he must disobey illegal orders and encourage others to do so as well. A soldier is not a cog in a machine who just ‘obeys orders.’ The task of he IDF is to defend Jews, not evict them from their homes,” Ben-Ari said.

      The ferocity with which Binyamin Netanyahu has attacked Bennett is an indication of the Prime Minister’s intentions in his next term, said Ben-Ari. “He intends to go full-force into evicting Jews from many parts of Judea and Samaria, as he described in his Bar Ilan University policy speech several years ago.”

      Bennett, said Ben-Ari, should embrace the idea of refusing illegal orders. “He must be clear that he is in favor of this, and not mumble or make excuses. We expect leaders to make clear statements, and his performance Saturday night was not clear. What he did was an example of ‘pragmatism,’ which has gotten us into much trouble in recent years.”

      Speaking Saturday night, Bennett sought to deflect accusations that he called for IDF soldiers to disobey orders, saying that he had just been trying to express the difficulty soldiers face when being asked to throw anyone – Jewish or Arab – out of their homes. “An order to uproot an Arab village or a Jewish community is a fatal blow to the most basic human rights, and it places the soldiers before a heart wrenching dilemma between human rights on the one hand, and the obligation to obey orders on the other.

      “This is an unbearable dilemma. I pray with my entire heart that such an order will not be given again, ever, but in the bottom line, if worst comes to worst, I say clearly: a soldier must obey the military’s orders,” Bennett said.

    6. Bernard Ross says:

      After all, if this were the reason for our existence, there are many places that are safer for Jews – like Melbourne, Australia, or New Jersey.

      not a good argument, Germany was the safest and most liberal place in europe before WW1. anti semitism is rising exponentially in the US. Things change but pogroms continue.
      The evicton of jews from the land of Israel is immoral, and even secular Jews are aware of that. The restirictin of worship for jews to the benefit of muslims in the land of Israel is immoral and even secular jews are aware of that.
      It appears that one thing is guaranteed by likud beteinu and that is the eviction of jews and the contiued restriction of jewish worship.
      A vote further right of LB would limit the possibility of a center left concessionary coalition and increase chances for Jewish settlement and worship in the land of Israel. Hoewever, I did not see these issues put forward head on by Bennett: massive jewish settlement in YS and unlimited free worship of Jews.

    7. Bernard Ross says:

      yamit82 Said:

      Ben-Ari has been on hilltops when homes were being destroyed, sitting on the tractor hoping to stop them from moving to destroy. He took off his jacket and helped rebuild destroyed houses.

      This is the kind of PR that politicians tend to do to get votes from their constituency(similar to the perennial “ground breaking” ceremony). However, it doesn’t usually do much to advance Jewish settlement. This is where you and I usually differ in that I would expect a party for Jewish settlement to exercise a minimal amount of grey matter and be the leading effort to press suits in the various legal forums (as those minority leftists obstructing settlement do with success). Is it that a legal pursuit is considered to be a pollution of the biblical basis? Is this party only for the religious jews? Is it that it is too strenuous on the intellect for the right wing?

    8. NormanF says:

      @ yamit82:

      Naftali Bennettt is a good man… Netanyahu’s underhanded attacks on him have if anything made him more popular.
      That said, whether the new and improved version of the old Mafdal can stop Netanyahu from handing over Judea and Samaria to Hamas remains to be seen.

    9. Laura says:

      @ Bill Narvey:
      You need to read the article more carefully. Shavit regrets Bennett’s success and the failure of the left.

    10. yamit82 says:

      @ Bernard Ross:

      This is Israel not America.

      When a Politician puts his butt on the line and gets beaten by the police it transcends photo-ops of ground breaking ceremonies. In Israel we are talking about ground destruction ceremonies and few politicians here stick there nicks out.

      Re Law. In a perfect world were Jews don’t have the deck stacked against them from the outset I might agree with you but we will never receive a fair hearing from any existing Political Law forum Internationally or internally. In my long held opinion it’s a waste of time and energy. We tried that at Taba. Any lawyer will tell you that there are no guarantees of winning even in the most objective and non political courtrooms.

      We are as far as the sun from such a situation. It’s a given Israel will never be allowed a victory in any international/political court or forum. Those are the rules and It’s smart to to understand those limitations and find other methods to achieve the same results.

    11. yamit82 says:

      @ Laura:

      Shavit is a leftist elitist who who believes the State only belongs to them and they look down on the unwashed mob who they tolerate as long as they don’t threaten their status quo power. Well they said that about Begin and Begin shocked them when he gave up Sinai and destroyed settlements. They said that about Shamir and he kept beating their boy Peres. They said that about BB and BB tried his hardest to be loved by them and Sharon put them into a tizzy with his Gaza fiasco.

      Well the mob this time is going to make a statement. They won’t wrest the seat of power this time but they will be on the map and will work to bring the Likud down once BB begins to implement his expected programs. The right need a large party they can rally round when unity is called for and that’s what I see congealing now.

    12. Squall says:

      Yamit, voting for ichud leumi really worked well last time huh ? They sat in the opposition just like Ben Ari and Eldad will (if they even passe the 2% threshold). They have zero influence. Even Feiglin have more.

    13. yamit82 says:

      @ NormanF:

      Depends on the results of the elections every vote against the Likud going to real right wing parties increases the chances of blocking BB’s program. There are only two right wing parties and only one of those can be depended upon not to compromise. The Likud must be stripped of their public persona of being a right wing party. They aren’t and haven’t claimed to be since Oslo.

    14. leonard white says:

      @ yamit82:
      Israel is largely hated by the outside world. But that hatred is nothing compared to the bitter antagonism experienced internally. Religious vs secular, left vs right, ashkenazim vs sephardim, north American vs European. Oh, I almost forgot, Arab vs Jew. And of course Rich vs poor.

    15. yamit82 says:

      @ Squall:

      Yamit, voting for ichud leumi really worked well last time huh ? They sat in the opposition just like Ben Ari and Eldad will (if they even passe the 2% threshold). They have zero influence. Even Feiglin have more.

      Well I didn’t exactly have an alternative or a 2nd choice. They all got invited into the coalition and those results are known. Those who compromise core principles are as if they have no principles, no red lines and for a seat at the table have sold out the country and caused death and misery to many innocents that need not have been.

      Sitting in the opposition is not without influence. It depends on who is doing the sitting. Democracy requires a strong fighting opposition.

      I choose principles over pragmatism and compromise always as they eventually lead to Auschwitz’s.

    16. Bernard Ross says:

      yamit82 Said:

      When a Politician puts his butt on the line and gets beaten by the police it transcends photo-ops of ground breaking ceremonies.

      I defer to your proximity

      yamit82 Said:

      Any lawyer will tell you that there are no guarantees of winning even in the most objective and non political courtrooms.

      Of course there are losses. I am sure Peace NOw did not win all their filings. However, as a political leader one undertakes actions not only to win but to demonstrate the illegitimacy of the opposition. There is no winning when he stands up to an eviction, nothing is gained, but PR. Therefore, why be so pragmatic and pessimistic on the legal front which can accomplish as much and more if won. It is not only about winning but showing the public that the other side does not win on the merits but on fraud and technicalities. Obama won his challenges to his birth certificate only on technicalities which indicated that he could not win on the issue. You say that you are more interested in “principles that in pragmatism”. If those who contend to the seat of power do not have enough ambition to utilize the law which they petition the public to legislate then it is just a hopeless dog and pony show. A wannabe parliamentarian with no interest in utilizing the law, yet seeking to participate in creating law,only able to chat at debates, cast votes, and stand in front of bulldozers is of little value as a real leader only as a squeaking wheel. I am starting to wonder if the the right lacks intellect.

    17. drjb says:

      I don’t understand the overall unhappiness on this board.
      Finally a leader with a kippah is doing well and you guys are not happy!
      I don’t believe that a strong Bayit Yehudit (ie. 14-15) seats will be easy to ignore by Bibi. As a matter of fact, given that many within Likud share many commonalities with BY members, it will be impossible to dismiss Bennett!. If anything, Eldad and friends may be marginalized easily!, although I wish them well.
      The real problem of the Right is Shas and UTJ. Both religious parties should be big proponents of the national camp, and they’re not! they’re proponents of their own pocket and will sit in any coalition as long as they get their money. Bayt and Otzma should strive to “convert” Shas and UTJ supporters into national camp supporters, and then watch Bibi squirm.
      By the way, all the Feiglin critics, will finally get to see him in action from within the Knesset and the ruling party, and until such time, he should be given the benefit of the doubt! I’m looking for something significant from him once in Knesset.

    18. Bernard Ross says:

      yamit82 Said:

      It’s a given Israel will never be allowed a victory in any international/political court or forum.

      What about Israeli courts? A jew has no hope in justice for jewish settlement in a court in Israel when Law favors him but those in office do not? More political judges will be got rid of the more the public is convinced of their fraudulent agenda to win legally what they cannot politically.
      yamit82 Said:

      Those are the rules and It’s smart to to understand those limitations and find other methods to achieve the same results.

      dont agree, if the principles of the law are on your side and you are applying for the position of creating and changing laws then it is your obligation to take the lead(leadership) and seek justice in the forums you are seeking to enter. The politician most obligated to initiate confrontation based on Law is he whose platform is based in that principle of Law. It is a tactic using principles of leverage whereby a small force can lift large objects. Law and civil disobedience are tactics of a repressed minority.

    19. yamit82 says:

      @ leonard white:

      Israel is largely hated by the outside world. But that hatred is nothing compared to the bitter antagonism experienced internally. Religious vs secular, left vs right, ashkenazim vs sephardim, north American vs European. Oh, I almost forgot, Arab vs Jew. And of course Rich vs poor.

      You forgot women hating men, men hating women, young hating the elderly and the elderly hating the young.

      All I can say is so what. So we ain’t perfect and after we nuke all the Arabs to their paradise and 72 virgins each, we will then solve our internal conflicts if they sill exist at that time.

      I remember Alexander king remarking “that Negroes were happy to have the Puerto Ricans because now they would have somebody to look down upon”.

      Today the Puerto Ricans are looking down on the Negroes. Somethings change over time and others don’t.

      La vie suit son cours comme un long fleuve tranquille

    20. yamit82 says:

      @ Bernard Ross:

      What about Israeli courts? A jew has no hope in justice for jewish settlement in a court in Israel when Law favors him but those in office do not? More political judges will be got rid of the more the public is convinced of their fraudulent agenda to win legally what they cannot politically.

      When Alan Dershowitz praises the Israeli SC and especially Aharon Barak, with praise even exceeding his respect and praise for the American court then buddy you don’t stand a rats chance against a determined cat. Our court make the laws on the fly by interpreting the law according to their political world view. I have seen cases where such interpretations contradict decisions of the same court made at a different time and circumstance. Once the court rules there is no other place to go except back to the legislature. They are loath to cross the courts. While the courts have lost much of the confidence of the Israeli public from a high of over 90% to today’s low of less than 40% but compared to our lawmakers and the Knesset who have the confidence of less than 10% of the Israeli public the more popular and respected court wins out in the eye of the people.

      dont agree, if the principles of the law are on your side and you are applying for the position of creating and changing laws then it is your obligation to take the lead(leadership) and seek justice in the forums you are seeking to enter. The politician most obligated to initiate confrontation based on Law is he whose platform is based in that principle of Law. It is a tactic using principles of leverage whereby a small force can lift large objects. Law and civil disobedience are tactics of a repressed minority.

      Nice theory for civics 101, but we live in the real world where the balance of power is dictatorial. Begins spent some 30 year in opposition and when he finally made it to the big chair he changed nothing, even co-opted Dayan and Weizmann into his cabinet.

      Our whole dysfunctional system need reform even revamping but what is to replace what we got and who is going to force the changes? It won’t come from those who rose to power through and by the existing system.

      Democracy is very serendipitous. Changes can happen in the twinkling of an eye or it can happen generations in the future.

    21. yamit82 says:

      @ drjb:

      By the way, all the Feiglin critics, will finally get to see him in action from within the Knesset and the ruling party, and until such time, he should be given the benefit of the doubt! I’m looking for something significant from him once in Knesset.

      Where is Feiglin positioned on the joint Likud-betenu list? He was 15 on the primary results but you have to add Lieberman’s guys.

      Feiglin cannot operate in open opposition to BB and the Party. He might make some damming speeches but unless he can organize and lead a palace revolt when BB declares himself I can’t see how he can influence the rest. They were all part of the current government coalition till now. The made small voiced dissent over BB’s policies but all toed the line in the end.

    22. yamit82 says:

      @ drjb:

      Great year for settlers

      Op-ed: Leftists rejoice in Migron evacuation, but they know Right has won West Bank war

      Hagai Segal

      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4278927,00.html

    23. drjb says:

      @ yamit82:
      Hi Yamit,
      Feiglin placed 14 on the Likud list. Will surely be in the next Knesset. The only question is how effective will he be. For all his talk throughout the years about how it is at Likud, and within Likud, that all the fights are fought and the decisions made, Feiglin will have his chance to show up or shut up. He has a strong constituency within Likud and very close relations with ALL the candidates above him in the Likud list, so he is on firm ground. That’s why I believe he has to make a big splash. Recently he was shown in an Arutz Sheva video davening openly with a group of supporters at Har Habayt, without any police or arab interference. This is only the beginning. He’s degree of efficacy will also depend on the composition of the coalition. The more Right the better he’ll do. My fear is Bibi goes to Livni, Lapid and Shelly for coalition purposes and that leaves all the Right parties whistling in he wind, ignored and irrelevant, and Feiglin, on his own, criticized by the Left for being a right wing lunatic, and by the right for “koshering” Bibi. You can’t win!

    24. Shy Guy says:

      yamit82 Said:

      palace revolt

      Zing! Nothing less will do.

      That is why throwing your votes at coalition or opposition parties is the least efficient way to get rid of Netanyahu. It is not enough to negotiate a compromise with Bibi. What’s needed is a Sharon/Kadima II.

    25. NormanF says:

      yamit82 Said:

      @ drjb:
      Great year for settlers
      Op-ed: Leftists rejoice in Migron evacuation, but they know Right has won West Bank war

      Hagai Segal
      http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4278927,00.html

      It might take a generation to replace the leftist judicial oligarchs running Israel into the ground. They need to be replaced sooner.

    26. NormanF says:

      yamit82 Said:

      @ NormanF:
      Depends on the results of the elections every vote against the Likud going to real right wing parties increases the chances of blocking BB’s program. There are only two right wing parties and only one of those can be depended upon not to compromise. The Likud must be stripped of their public persona of being a right wing party. They aren’t and haven’t claimed to be since Oslo.

      This was true in the past but apart from BB not one candidate on Likud list in a realistic slot supports Oslo. And Israelis are fed up with the Arabs.

    27. NormanF says:

      Shy Guy Said:

      yamit82 Said:
      palace revolt
      Zing! Nothing less will do.
      That is why throwing your votes at coalition or opposition parties is the least efficient way to get rid of Netanyahu. It is not enough to negotiate a compromise with Bibi. What’s needed is a Sharon/Kadima II.

      A blocking minority is better than three to five guys who pose no real threat to BB and his plans. The only weight one has in the opposition is to fill up at the Knesset cafeteria counter.

    28. Shy Guy says:

      The minority won’t block anything. Where have you been since 2009?

      It’s not 3 or 5 guys. There is a major amount of disillusionment within the Likud of Netanyahu and his cronies. Influencing the Central Committee members and the swaying Likud MKs from within is the only thing that has accomplished anything within the Likud against Netanyahu all these years. It is was got Sharon to abandon the Likud and take his drek with him.

    29. yamit82 says:

      @ Shy Guy:

      What? Sharon accomplished what he set out do do, the Likud got massacred at the polls and wound up with 12 seats. Those who opposed Sharon got marginalized and or forced out of the party and politics. Then what did that same Likud do? It brought back BB, who inserted Barak and imposed Meridor and Begin on the central committee. I didn’t see or hear Feiglin oppose Barak, Meridor or Begin. When Feiglin tried to get the central committee to vote for extending Israeli Law in the Territories they buried him. The only impact Feiglin has had is to influence the party election lists and that too is spotty. Those that he supported didn’t support him on votes that really mattered and they all lock stepped behind their “fearless leader”

      I maintain that Feiglin can’t accomplish his goals inside of the Likud. Maybe another more charismatic politician might but not Feiglin. My problem is not so much Feiglin’s stated aims but Feiglin himself. He has demonstrated he can’t do it and is too stubborn to admit he wasted 14 years for nothing. The way forward has always been building an alternative national party that can compete with the Likud and replace the Likud.

      This has been a fact ever since Begin himself destroyed the ideological base of the Likud. The only political Party in Israel that has physically ceded territory and destroyed Jewish settlements is the Likud.

    30. drjb says:

      @ yamit82:
      “I maintain that Feiglin can’t accomplish his goals inside of the Likud. Maybe another more charismatic politician might but not Feiglin. My problem is not so much Feiglin’s stated aims but Feiglin himself. He has demonstrated he can’t do it and is too stubborn to admit he wasted 14 years for nothing”
      You may be right but I’m willing to give him a chance, because, as you’ve stated, he’s got the right aims and goals. Nevertheless, as I have stated before, if I could, I would vote strategically for Bayt Yehudi, since Feiglin will make it to Knessett irrespective due to his relative safe spot on the list, barring a Likud catastrophe. So why not make BY stonger or Otzma?? It’s only I think Bayt has a better chance.

    31. Shy Guy says:

      yamit82 Said:

      What? Sharon accomplished what he set out do do, the Likud got massacred at the polls and wound up with 12 seats.

      But they Likud tried to stop it from within. The thug Sharon went against his own party. The Likud deserved the massacre. As a result, the pressure from within forced Sharon to depart and the Likud grew again. Yep, they once again chose a party leader who turned out to be as toxic as Sharon. But Bibi employed his charm and cunning first to win them over. Only afterward did BB announce his support of 2 states. Again, having attended many a Likud meeting (not inlcuding Manhigut Yehudit meetings), the mood was very strong against BB and the MKs knew it very well.

      I didn’t see or hear Feiglin oppose Barak, Meridor or Begin.

      Then you’re deaf – or blind. What a farce of a claim.

    32. Canadian Otter says:

      @ yamit82:
      THANK YOU YAMIT for your comments on Strong Israel.

      Reasons to vote for Otzma Le’Yisrael (STRONG ISRAEL)

      I criticized Bennett’s party, but I should have included something on the true alternative, the one the elite wants to keep marginalized – until the time they figure they will have completed the dismantling of the heartland. I hope Israelis will see through these manipulations.

    33. Bert says:

      @ yamit82:
      At the Nuremberg war crimes trials the Nazi criminals pleaded ‘not guilty’ claiming they were ‘just following orders’. The Judges ruled them guilty for obeying orders that were immoral. An immoral order can be immoral in Germany and in Israel despite both orders being issued by a government.

    34. yamit82 says:

      @ Shy Guy:

      Then you’re deaf – or blind. What a farce of a claim.

      Maybe I am, but then so was practically everyone else in the Likud because if he did oppose Bar Ilan, the settlement freeze, and all the other crap BB pulled in the last three and a half years,it had no effect either with the likud MK’s but certainly not on BB. Yes I’ve read his blog and articles he’s written but then he should go into journalism full time because it’s political effect is zero. I saw that based on results not theories. Feiglin just didn’t just now begin to get involved he’s been around the block many times and has had opportunities to make a difference, a difference that is measurable and based on results he comes up with a lot of AAA’s for effort and a Lot of FFF’s for failure.

      Tachlis: If Feiglin theoretically would have succeeded where a majority of the party members were his supporters, do you think for a moment that most of the current membership would stick with such a Likud? I don’t. He wouldn’t get most of the national religious to back him either not to mention traditional Likud voters. Like Sharon those disaffected Likud voters would either form their own party like Kadima gravitate to parties like Shas or Leiberman even drop out. So he would at best have the Likud name,Logo and Jingle but few followers and be where Bayit HaYehudi was 3-4 years ago with one difference he would be saddled with millions of shekels of Likud debt.

      For his plan to succeed he would have to be a lot more charismatic than he not only is but can be. Being smart and I concede he is smart and being right and I agree with most of his stated political agenda is not enough. He is placed 23 on the Joint Likud-Betanu List. The way things seem to be going it might not even be a safe slot. Just ribbing!

    35. yamit82 says:

      @ Bert:

      Rule #1 in selecting Jewish judges to the high court: Never, Never select any Judge with a German sounding name or from a German Jewish Family background. Nuff said!

      Funny irony, The German Jews came here out of no choice, never fitted in and were as anti Zionist and anti Jewish State as the Satmar, yet they achieved control over all the right positions of power: Academia, Journalism, Engineering, architecture the fine arts, (first real Industrialists),the Mossad and Shabak and finally the courts, They took over the control of the country they never wanted. They formed the strongest anti Jewish (Judaism) ethos of the pre-state mentality even more so than the socialists. At least the socialist came from in most cases a Jewish background. They may have rebelled but many if not most had an inkling of what they were rebelling against. Most German Jews didn’t even have that, they were generational Jews fully assimilated into the German culture who always considered themselves first and foremost Germans and not Jews. Thew were practitioners at best of the Mosaic Faith. (Reform Judaism)

      German Jews in Israel differed little from the German Jews in America. They are the main reason why Jews today in America are in danger of self extinction.

    36. yamit82 says:

      TED: Comments of mine zapped by spam filter. I guess not having links and their brevity shocked the system.

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