Israel Political Brief February 3, 2013: A third term for PM Benjamin Netanyahu

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A third term for Netanyahu

Source: Jerusalem Post, 2-3-13

On Saturday night President Shimon Peres assigned the task of forming Israel’s 33rd Government to Netanyahu for the third time….READ MORE

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Israel Political Brief February 3, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu, asked to form government, calls for broad national unity coalition

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Netanyahu, asked to form government, calls for broad national unity coalition

Source: JTA, 2-3-13

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for the formation of a broad national unity coalition after being tasked with forming the new government….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief February 3, 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Cabinet Meeting on Forming a National Unity Government

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PM Netanyahu’s Remarks at the Start of the Cabinet Meeting

Source: PMO, 2-3-13
יום ראשון כ”ג שבט תשע”ג

Photo by GPO

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, today made the following remarks at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting:

“Last night, I called upon the Knesset factions to join me in as broad a national unity government as possible that would unite the public at a decisive time in our history. The supreme mission that a national unity government will face is stopping Iran from arming itself with nuclear weapons.
This is all the more complicated because Iran has equipped itself with new centrifuges that shorten the enrichment time. We cannot countenance this process.

Additionally, there are three tasks that we will need to deal with in the first year: The first is to enact a responsible budget and the reforms that will allow us to lower the cost of living. The second task is to significantly increase equality in sharing the burden without causing a rift in the nation. The third mission is to move forward on a responsible and realistic diplomatic process.

We need to deal with these three tasks all at the same time and not deal with only one or two of them. Reality and time demands this and it is possible only with a broad national unity government. Our goal is to unite the nation around these tasks and not divide it. Only as broad a union of forces as possible will enable us to meet these tasks and to ensure the future of the State of Israel.

Today, the Cabinet will hear a review from Negev and Galilee Development Minister Silvan Shalom, who has done major and important work that needs to be summarized. I think that it heralds the unity that we have spoken of, the union of the Negev and the Galilee, the union of the periphery and the center, the cancellation of distances, the creation of centers of life and activity the likes of which we have not seen for many years. I think that this is very welcome action by the Government and it is appropriate that it receive a proper review.”

Israel Political Brief February 2, 2013: President Shimon Peres charges Benjamin Netanyahu with forming next government

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President Peres charges Benjamin Netanyahu with forming next government

Source: PMO, 2-3-13

Representatives of 82 members of the 19th Knesset recommended to me that I should task the current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with forming the government.

President Peres and PM Netanyahu

President Peres and PM Netanyahu (Photo: GPO)
(Communicated by the Office of the President)

President Shimon Peres, this evening (Saturday, 2 February 2013), announced, at an official ceremony, that Member of Knesset and current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will be tasked with forming the next government. Earlier President Peres signed a letter to Benjamin Netanyahu in which he tasks him with the responsibility of forming the government, as demanded by Basic Law: The Government.

President Peres said, “I was handed the official results of the elections to the 19th Knesset by the Central Elections Committee Chairman Judge Elyakim Rubinstein, on Wednesday late afternoon.

Basic Law: The Government empowers me with the responsibility to task one of the Members of Knesset with the responsibility to form the government, within seven days from receipt of the official results. The country needs the new government at the earliest possible opportunity. And so, immediately after receiving the results I began a round of consultation meetings with representatives of the parties elected to the 19th Knesset, as demanded by the law.

The discussions with the representatives of the parties were conducted with full transparency, with professionalism and dignity. I wish to thank all the party representatives who made themselves heard clearly and responsibly.

Representatives of 82 members of the 19th Knesset recommended to me that I should task the current Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, with forming the government. I considered the matter and decided to task Benjamin Netanyahu with the formation of the government, after I received his agreement, as stipulated by law.

The representatives of the different parties raised important issues with me during our discussions and asked that they be considered when the government is formed. Included amongst them: the national deficit, social justice, the fight against discrimination, equitable sharing of the national burden, conscription to the IDF, restarting diplomatic negotiations to achieve peace and ways to deal with the security threats facing Israel. I will pass these issues on to the Prime Minister.

I hope that the work will be concluded quickly. The State of Israel needs diplomatic and economic stability so that the government can make the necessary decisions which are on the agenda. The challenges are many, serious and urgent. The people expect a worthy government to be formed quickly so that it can roll up its sleeves and get to work. With the responsibility given to me by the Basic Law of The Government, I am pleased to task the formation of the government upon Member of Knesset Benjamin Netanyahu. I do that with the utmost respect and I wish him luck with this commendable duty.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu said, “Thank you, President Peres.

Dear citizens of Israel, I wish you all a good week. I thank you for the trust you have placed in me. It is an honor and a major responsibility to receive the mandate from you, for what is now third time, to lead our country.

We have many internal issues to deal with. But firstly, in the Middle East, we must ensure our security. The primary mission of the next government is to stop Iran from becoming armed with nuclear weapons. We will also have to deal with other lethal weapons which are building up in our area and with threats against our cities and our citizens.

We must continue to strengthen the Israeli economy. The next government which I will form will be committed to peace. I call upon Abu Mazen to return to the negotiating table.

I am committed to dramatically increase the equitable sharing of the national burden. I am sure we can do this in a responsible manner, which will bring about a fundamental change without tearing apart. Tasks of this nature demand a national unity government, as wide and stable as possible. The reality in which we live has no place for boycotts.

And so, I call upon those who said they would not sit in the government to reconsider and to come and find common ground. I call upon all sections of society and all the parties, including those who didn’t recommend me, to join a responsible national unity government which will be as wide as possible, a government which will ensure the security, the unity and the future of the State of Israel.”

Israel Political Brief February 1, 2013: President Shimon Peres formally tasks PM Benjamin Netanyahu with forming Israel’s next government

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Peres formally tasks Netanyahu with forming Israel’s next government

Source: Haaretz, 2-1-13

Netanyahu stresses the importance of forming as broad a government as possible; the president’s announcement commences the start of coalition talks, leaving Netanyahu 28 days to form the 19th Knesset….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 30, 2013: President Shimon Peres receives official Knesset elections results

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Peres receives official Knesset elections results

Source: JTA, 1-30-13

Israeli President Shimon Peres received the official results of the elections for the 19th Knesset….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 28, 2013: 19th Knesset: Israel’s new Knesset members

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Meet some of Israel’s new Knesset members

Source: JTA, 1-28-13

Last week’s Israeli election saw 53 new members elected to the Knesset. Meet five of the lesser-known lawmakers likely to make a splash in the coming years….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief January 28, 2013: President Barack Obama congratulates PM Benjamin Netanyahu on election victory in phone call

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Obama congratulates Netanyahu in phone call

Source: JTA, 1-28-13

President Obama congratulated Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on winning the most seats in the next Knesset and said he looked forward to working with the new government.

Readout of the President’s Call with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu

“President Obama spoke today by telephone with Prime Minister Netanyahu to congratulate him on his party’s success in winning a plurality of Knesset seats in Israel’s recent election.  The President indicated that the United States looks forward to working with the next government.  He also reiterated his commitment to the deep and enduring bonds between the United States and Israel, and pledged to work closely with Israel on our shared agenda for peace and security in the Middle East.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 25, 2013: Shelly Yacimovich’s magnificent failure

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Yacimovich’s magnificent failure

Source: Haaretz, 1-25-13

Yacimovich’s magnificent failure. Shelly Yacimovich’s campaign was saturated with serious strategic errors stemming from her personality – but she’d never admit it….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 24, 2013: Elections 2013: Estimated voter turnout 3 percent higher than in 2009

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Estimated voter turnout 3 percent higher than in 2009

Source: Haaretz, 1-24-13

Estimated voter turnout 3 percent higher than in 2009. This is up from the previous 66.6 percent figure estimated by the Central Elections Committee Wednesday night, based on a sampling of 60 polling stations….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 24, 2013: Elections 2013: Final Israeli vote: Jewish Home gains a seat to give right wing a majority with 61 Seats

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Final Israeli vote: Jewish Home gains a seat to give right wing a majority

Source: JTA, 1-24-13

The Jewish Home party gained one seat in the final results of Israeli voting, pushing the right-wing bloc to a majority in the 19th Knesset….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 23, 2013: Elections 2013: Right bloc slips to exactly half of Israeli vote

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Right bloc slips to exactly half of Israeli vote

Source: JTA, 1-24-13

Israel’s final election results showed the right wing with exactly half of the Knesset’s 120 seats, down five from its current number….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 23, 2013: Elections 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Meets Yair Lapid for 2.5 Hours, Puts Naftali Bennett on Back Burner

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Netanyahu Meets Lapid for 2.5 Hours, Puts Bennett on Back Burner

Source: Arutz 7, 1-24-13

Prime Minister was quick to call other potential coalition partners, but extra-slow to call Bayit Yehudi head Bennett.

Yair Lapid

Yair Lapid
Flash 90

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has phoned Bayit Yehudi chairman Naftali Bennett and spoken to him. The two exchanged congratulations on their respective achievements in the elections.

However, the timing of the phone call is significant. Netanyahu was quick to call the heads of hareidi-religious parties Shas and United Torah Judaism, as well as Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, once exit poll results were known Tuesday evening. By early Thursday afternoon, he had already met with Lapid. Yet he procrastinated in calling Bennett until Thursday afternoon….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 23, 2013: Elections 2013: Rabbi Dov Lipman, US national elected to Knesset will give up citizenship

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U.S. national elected to Knesset will give up citizenship

Source: JTA, 1-23-13

Rabbi Dov Lipman, a dual American-Israeli citizen who was elected to the Knesset, will give up his American citizenship when he takes office….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 23, 2013: Elections 2013: Yair Lapid Yesh Atid Chairman’s Victory Speech ‘We Have a Great Responsibility’

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Lapid: We Have a Great Responsibility

Source: Arutz 7, 1-23-13
“A heavy responsibility was placed our shoulders,” says Yesh Atid chairman after exit polls predict he’ll lead the second largest party.

Yair Lapid
Yair Lapid
Flash 90

“A heavy responsibility was placed our shoulders tonight and the State of Israel is facing serious challenges,” Lapid said in a victory speech at his party’s headquarters.

“Throughout the campaign there was one sentence that I was told again and again,” he added. “Everywhere I went someone stood up and said: ‘Do not forget us when you’re there, do not be like all those who get elected and then forget.’ I will not forget.”

“We are here together, not at the expense of one another but with each other,” said Lapid, calling to form as broad a government as possible, uniting the moderate forces in the left and right “so we can really bring about a real change in Israel.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 22, 2013: Elections 2013: Yair Lapid: Yesh Atid Chairman, TV news star turned everyman defender

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Yair Lapid, TV news star turned everyman defender

Source: AFP, 1-22-13

With classic good looks and a deep but even tone, Yair Lapid looks every bit the news anchor he was before he quit television to start a centrist party now projected to be Israel’s second biggest faction….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 23, 2013: Elections 2013: Final Voter Turnout: 66.6%

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Final Voter Turnout: 66.6%

Source: Arutz 7, 1-23-13

66.6% of eligible Israeli voters exercised their right to vote in the 2013 elections, according to final numbers.

Ballot
Ballot
Flash 90

66.6% of eligible Israeli voters exercised their right to vote in the 2013 elections, according to final statistics presented on Tuesday night.

Voter turnout remained high throughout the day and going into Tuesday evening, with 63.7% casting a ballot as of 8 p.m….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 22, 2013: Elections 2013: Likud leads, but rise of Yesh Atid, Jewish Home bode bumpy road ahead for PM Benjamin Netanyahu

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Likud leads, but rise of Yesh Atid, Jewish Home bode bumpy road ahead for Netanyahu

Source: JTA, 1-22-13

The prime minister’s list fell to 31 seats in the voting from its current representation of 42, while the biggest election surprise was the ascendance of Yair Lapid’s centrist Yesh Atid party, which won 18 seats….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief January 22, 2013: Elections 2013: Winners and losers: Ten insights on Israeli election exit poll results

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Winners and losers: Ten insights on Israeli election exit poll results

Source: Haaretz, 1-22-13

According to the polls, Benjamin Netanyahu is the only man who can form the next government, though it will be a tough job….READ MORE

Full Text Israel Political Brief January 22, 2013: Elections 2013: PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s Remarks on Facebook on Election Exit Poll Results ‘Now Time to Create As Broad a Government as Possible’

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PM: Now Time to Create As Broad a Gov’t as Possible

Source: Arutz Sheva, 1-22-13

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wrote Tuesday night on his Facebook:

“I want to thank the millions of citizens of Israel who exercised today their democratic right. According to the sample results it is clear that the people of Israel have decided they want me to continue to serve as Prime Minister of Israel, and that I should create as broad a government as possible.”

“The results which are emerging are a great opportunity to many great changes for the good of all Israeli citizens. The elections are behind us and we have many complex challenges ahead. Already tonight I will begin efforts to create as broad a coalition as possible,

אני מבקש להודות למיליוני אזרחי ישראל שמימשו היום את זכותם הדמוקרטית. על פי תוצאות המדגמים ברור שאזרחי ישראל קבעו שהם רוצים שאמשיך לכהן בתפקיד ראש ממשלת ישראל, ושארכיב ממשלה רחבה כלל האפשר.

התוצאות המסתמנות הן הזדמנות גדולה לשינויים רבים לטובת כלל אזרחי ישראל. מערכת הבחירות מאחורינו ואתגרים רבים ומורכבים לפנינו. כבר הערב אתחיל במאמצים להרכבת הממשלה הרחבה ביותר שניתן.

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