Israel Political Brief April 18, 2013: Yair Lapid pushes PM Benjamin Netanyahu off the Time 100 list



Yair Lapid pushes Netanyahu off the Time 100 list

Source: Haaretz, 4-18-13

Finance Minister Yair Lapid may have to wait until 2016 for another shot at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s seat, but he can boast a more modest victory right away: He has replaced Netanyahu as Israel’s lone representative on Time Magazine’s list….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 7, 2012: Last Minute Unity Government Agreement Between PM Benjamin Netanyahu & Opposition, Kadima Leader MK Shaul Mofaz Removes Need for Election



Last Minute Unity Government Removes Need for Election

PM Netanyahu and Opposition leader Mofaz form a unity government, removing the need for elections.
Netanyahu at the Knesset, May 7, 2012

Netanyahu at the Knesset, May 7, 2012

Just hours after the Knesset approved the first reading of a bill to dissolve itself and hold elections, it appears as though no early elections will be held.

Kol Yisrael radio reported that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Opposition leader MK Shaul Mofaz have reached an agreement to form a national unity government.

According to the report, the Likud and Kadima parties converged at 2:00 a.m. (Israel time), and the members of both factions are being updated on the meetings between Netanyahu and Mofaz. It was also reported that Mofaz is expected to be appointed either a minister without portfolio or Homefront Defense Minister, a position recently vacated by MK Matan Vilnai (Independence).

It was also reported that the agreement reached between the Likud and Kadima calls for the Tal Law for the recruitment of hareidim into the army to be replaced by the end of July. Netanyahu and Mofaz will head a team which will be tasked with forming the new law.

In addition, Kadima has promised to remain in the coalition until the end of its term in November 2013. Also, it was agreed between the parties that by the end of December, a law changing the Israeli system of governemtn will be put to a vote. According to reports, the talks between Netanyahu and Mofaz went on for several days.

A unity government is likely to harm the Labor Party, which has gained strength in the polls, as well as Yair Lapid’s party, as he will now have to wait until the current Knesset completes its term in order to run.

A unity government would definitely help Kadima which, according to all polls, was set to suffer a dramatic blow in the next election….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief May 7, 2012: PM Benjamin Netanyahu Reaches Unity Government Agreement with Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz — Cancels Early Elections



Israeli media: Early election canceled

Source: AP, 5-7-12

Israeli media reports early Tuesday indicate that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has reached an agreement with the Kadima opposition party for a unity government, canceling an early election.

There was no immediate comment from official sources on the decision that was reported at about 02:00 A.M. local time.

The reports came as Israel’s parliament held debates long into the night over whether to disperse ahead of early elections called for the fall.

Earlier in the day, the Israeli government proposed the election be moved up to Sept. 4.

The election had originally been set for 2013.

According to the reports, Netanyahu forged an agreement with opposition leader Shaul Mofaz of Kadima a short while before parliament was set to vote to disperse.

Reports said Kadima agreed to join Netanyahu’s government on condition it supports a proposal about military deferment for Ultra-Orthodox Jews. The issue was one of the main reasons Netanyahu decided to bring forward the election date….READ MORE


Israel drops threat of ban to journalists covering Gaza flotilla

Source: JTA, 6-27-11

Israel has dropped the threat of a ban against journalists who participate in the Gaza flotilla.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday ordered Israeli authorities to formulate a special procedure for journalists who are arrested on board the flotilla, which is trying to evade the country’s maritime blockade of the coastal strip.

The order came a day after the head of Israel’s Government Press Office had threatened to deny entry to the country for 10 years to any journalist who participates in the flotilla.

Netanyahu said in a statement that the policy for journalists covering the flotilla should not be the same as against infiltrators and those who enter Israel illegally.

Members of the Israeli media and international journalists will be embedded in Israeli Navy vessels in contact with the flotilla “in order to create transparency and credible coverage of the events,” said a statement issued Monday from the Prime Minister’s Office.

The Foreign Press Association, which had criticized the threats made to journalists, applauded Israel’s decision.

“We are pleased to see that Israel has recognized the value of allowing reporters to cover an important news event and understands that journalists should be treated differently from political activists,” the association said Monday in a statement. “We urge the government to continue to do its utmost to promote freedom of the press as core values of a democratic society.”…READ MORE

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