European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 08.04.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 08.04.2016

Major Headlines
  • Report: Netanyahu and Herzog swapped draft agreements in talks for unity government

Up until the announcement of the investigation into opposition leader Isaac Herzog's primary finances, he and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had been in touch about Zionist Union joining the governing coalition for many long months, Ha’aretz reports.

The talks had grown more intense in the past few weeks, the paper claims. Both sides had intended to reach an agreement during the spring Knesset break and present a unity government by the start of the summer legislative session, at the end of May.

Gaps still remained over various issues: In the diplomatic realm, and also with respect to Herzog's demand to remove Habayit Hayehudi from the coalition, which Netanyahu rejected.

Herzog's representative to the talks, which are now frozen following the criminal examination opened against the Zionist Union leader, was and in effect remains, Yossi Kucik, the one-time director-general of the Prime Minister's Office when Ehud Barak was premier from 1999-2001. Herzog was cabinet secretary at the time.

Kucik, currently chairman of the Yashir Insurance group and head of a consultancy firm, was in charge of the secret contacts on Herzog's part, with Netanyahu's representatives, among them, cabinet minister Yariv Levine.

In recent weeks they were even exchanging drafts of a possible coalition agreement.

Herzog has refused to confirm or deny this. His associates say: "There was some running around on the part of many people in the past year, who tried to advance contacts for unity, and it didn't ripen into anything substantial."

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • 1,300 Ethiopian Jews to make Aliyah

The governing Likud party said on Thursday that an agreement had been reached enabling 1,300 Ethiopian Jews to make Aliyah, thus putting an end to the latest coalition’s crisis, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The announcement was made after Likud MKs David Amsalem and Avraham Neguise refused to vote with the coalition because of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s refusal to bring to Israel the remaining Jews of Ethiopia.

In a statement, the Likud party stated that "even though the MKs acted out of moral motives, they are both aware that they violated accepted procedure and accepted to be punished during the summer session: interdiction to submit legislative proposals, queries, motions and to give speeches in the Knesset."

Amsalem and Neguise partially got what they requested, but were punished for violating coalition discipline and for refusing to vote. During the last week of the winter session, the coalition considered suspending the MKs from joining committees but for fear of worsening the situation - especially with the coalition being so narrow – they decided to postpone the suspension and tried to reach a negotiated solution.

Last February, only three months after the government approved the immigration of the remaining Falash Mura in Ethiopia, the programme was put on hold until the budget debate.

Two weeks ago, about 1,500 Ethiopian Jews demonstrated in front of Kiryat HaMemshala in Jerusalem demanding to bring the remaining Falash Mura to Israel. They called upon the government to carry out its decisions while others carried pictures of their relatives who remained in Ethiopia.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Labour MK seeks party leadership

Eitan Cabel said he intends to run for the leadership of the opposition Labour party should current Chairman Isaac Herzog step down over recent corruption allegations, the Times of Israel reports.

Speaking at the party’s conference in Netanya on Thursday, Cabel stressed that he would only submit his candidacy should Herzog quit.

“After Herzog I see myself as a contender,” Cabel told the convention. “It will be my time.” He claimed to have a wide support base within the party, which he said had led to the successful election of the current head of the Jewish National Fund.

“I have a big camp [behind me]. We’ve already seen its success when I managed to place Dani Atar at the head of the JNF,” Cabel said.

Herzog is awaiting a police decision on whether to initiate a criminal investigation against him, following allegations of corruption during the 2013 race for the party leadership, in which he defeated then-leader Shelly Yachimovich.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


Friday, April 08, 2016
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