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Sunday, September 15, 2013

Israel's Right starts to fight back

MK's from the Likud Beytenu and Bayit Yehudi parties - the two 'right wing' parties in the Prime Minister's coalition - are stepping up the pressure on Prime Minister Netanyahu not to make more concessions to the 'Palestinians.'
MKs on the Right said they were concerned that US Secretary of State John Kerry would pressure Netanyahu to make more concessions, so they felt it necessary to counter-act Kerry's demands to Netanyahu with pressure of their own. To that end, 16 MKs in the coalition wrote the prime minister as he was meeting with Kerry.
"Tell the secretary of state that Israel has no intention of returning to the parameters of the Oslo Accords or relinquishing any more of Israel's homeland to the Palestinian Authority," the MKs wrote in the letter.
Among the 16 MKs were legislators from Likud Beytenu and Bayit Yehudi, including deputy ministers Ze'ev Elkin (Foreign Ministry), Tzipi Hotovely (Transportation), Eli Ben Dahan (Religious Services), Avraham Wortzman (Education), and Ophir Akunis (Knesset Liason).
Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon complained that the Palestinians had upped their demands in the negotiations by asking for the concessions made by former prime minister Ehud Olmert. In September 2008 when he was prime minister, Olmert offered the Palestinians 100 percent of the West Bank with land swaps, the return of thousands of Palestinians to Israel's final borders, a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem and the internationalization of the Holy Basin of Jerusalem's Old City.
That's 16 out of 68 MK's or one shy of a quarter of the coalition. And you will note that the list doesn't include any ministers - only deputy ministers. That's because the ministers probably all fear Sharon treatment (Sharon fired all the ministers who voted against expelling Jews from Gaza in 2005).

But here's one Right wing minister who did not sign on.
Netanyahu receive unexpected defense from the most right-wing minister in the cabinet, Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel.
"I am strengthening the prime minister to withstand all the pressure he is under the best way he can and maintain Israel's clear interests," Ariel said. "I am sure that 20 years after the Oslo agreement was signed, he learned the historic lesson to not accept false promises at the expense of Israel's security."
I wonder what makes Ariel so sure. I'm not so sure.

In the meantime, the Likud's Moshe Feiglin is stirring up a hornet's nest by questioning the authority of the Muslim Wakf on the Temple Mount.
The Knesset Committee of the Interior will hold a hearing on Monday regarding preparations for Jewish visitation to the Temple Mount over the upcoming Succot holiday.
Groups lobbying for Jewish prayer rights at the site criticized the lack of access afforded to them over the recent Rosh Hashana festival and are demanding that Jewish visits over Succot be enabled by the police.
Access was restricted on the first day of Rosh Hashana and the site was closed on the second day to Jewish and other non-Muslim visitors when non-Muslims are generally not given access.
The second day of Rosh HaShana was a Friday....
Feiglin also intends to publicly question the legality of the Waqf and its authority to administer the Temple Mount.
He recently sent a letter to the Israel Police asking for clarifications regarding the legal authority of the body, and subsequently challenged the reply that a government decision taken after the Six-Day War of 1967 authorized the Waqf to continue running the site.
“To the best of my knowledge there is no such decision, and from a reading of the words of the ministerial committee in 1968 it is clear that they thought there was no such agreement,” Feiglin wrote to Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino.
He then quoted the comments of then Justice Minister Yaakov Shimshon Shapira from a committee meeting in June 1968 as saying "We never announced that the entirety of the Temple Mount belongs to the Arabs. We never announced that it is forbidden for Jews to pray there, we never announced that it is forbidden for Jews to establish a synagogue there.”
Feiglin wrote that in the absence of such a decision, “all directives which discriminate between Muslims and non-Muslims regarding entrance to the [Temple] Mount should be immediately rescinded, and free entrance from all gates to the Mount be enabled, in accordance with the law.”
The MK also demanded that all Waqf stewards be removed from the site and raised questions about the institutes legal status, questions that he will raise in Monday’s committee hearing.
In particular, Feiglin claims that the Waqf is not a registered institute in any state framework, and therefore does not pay the appropriate taxes and national insurance contributions as required by law.”
“It seems to me that this a badge of shame for the Israel Police to cooperate with this criminal organization and for its police officers to respond to the whims of its officials,” wrote Feiglin.
It's a pity that it's taken 45 years for anyone to raise this. And that sizzling sound you just heard was Moshe Dayan rolling over. 

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