"ALL CAPS IN DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE."

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Fortunate news: Gantz agrees to join unity government will Netanyahu, while Lapid and Yaalon split up from Blue & White

Here's some relieving news after what initially happened 2 weeks ago: it looks like Benny Gantz has agreed to form a unity government of sorts with Benjamin Netanyahu, and not only that, it appears Yair Lapid and Moshe Yaalon are breaking up their joint list called Blue & White, not willing to join the same government as Gantz now is:
Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz is set to partner Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a unity government, serving initially as foreign minister but then taking over from Netanyahu as prime minister in September 2021, according to a reported deal taking shape amid immense political drama in Israel on Thursday afternoon.

Gantz’s decision to join forces with Netanyahu immediately led to the collapse of Blue and White, with the party’s No. 2 Yair Lapid rejecting the move and apparently heading into opposition with others from his Yesh Atid component of Blue and White. “Gantz chose Netanyahu over Lapid,” Channel 12 reported succinctly.

Yesh Atid and Moshe Ya’alon’s Telem faction both filed a formal request to break away from Blue and White late on Thursday afternoon, leaving only Gantz’s Israel Resilience Party to join forces with Netanyahu’s Likud. Lapid had reportedly told Gantz he preferred that Israel go to fourth elections rather than see Blue and White partner Netanyahu in power.

The coalition is reportedly likely to constitute 78-79 MKs — Likud, Gantz’s Israel Resilience, Labor, Yamina, Shas and United Torah Judaism — according to Channel 12. That would leave Lapid’s Yesh Atid, Ya’alon’s Telem, Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu, Meretz and the mainly Arab Joint List in opposition. However, various other fluctuations are deemed possible, with Yoaz Hendel and Zvi Hauser from Telem, for instance, said to be weighing joining the coalition.

The unity deal was taking shape as the Knesset met to vote for a new speaker, following Likud speaker Yuli Edelstein’s resignation on Wednesday.
If this is so, it's good news. In fact, it indicates the now disrespectful Avigdor Liberman will be left out in the opposition, as he deserves for all the trouble he caused. Considering the crisis the whole globe is now facing with the Coronavirus outbreak, that's why it's crucial there be a government formed now to officially deal with it, and hopefully get the country back on track as soon as possible.

So hopefully, next week there'll be a coalition formed, and then we can concern ourselves with all the most vital issues for the rest of the year.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Arab sector in Israel isn't heeding Coronavirus procedues properly

If there's any other segment around Israel besides the Satmar-like clans who aren't following directives properly during the Coronavirus crisis, it's the Arabic sector:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged Israel’s Arab sector of not adhering to the health ministry’s guidelines for combating COVID-19, including a major lack of social distancing in Arab population centers, and urged health professionals in those communities to call on the public to observe the rules for the sake of everyone.

“This corona is no longer a disease. It is an epidemic that hits everybody. It does not discriminate between Arabs, Circassians, Bedouin and Christians,” the prime minister said in a meeting with senior Arab doctors at his office in Jerusalem.

“There is a problem in the general public, and there is a problem especially in the small villages,” Netanyahu noted. “We are going to fix this immediately.”

The virus does “not discriminate between religions and sectors; therefore, all of the country’s citizens must be fully responsible and show strict discipline. We can take all the steps that we have and it will not help if the general public does not respond accordingly,” he added.

Netanyahu stressed that if one sector of the public is not following the restrictions, it would “lead to the infection of dear and beloved family members and the public at large.”

“There is mutual responsibility here,” the prime minister said.

“I ask for the cooperation of the entire Arabic-speaking sector, of Israel’s Arab citizens. I ask you, for yourselves and for our common future, please strictly follow the instructions,” he said.

Moshe Lion, the mayor of Jerusalem, which is home to some 350,000 Arabs, announced that the capital may soon enter a lockdown unless residents took the guidelines to stay indoors seriously.

In the city of Jaffa adjacent to Tel Aviv, where around 30% of the population is Arab, it seemed to be business as usual on Wednesday, with many cafes, knaffeh places and stores still open to the public.
So who knows how much of that area could be infected and at risk of the same? Just like the Haredis, they're proving colossally irresponsible, if you know where to look. This is exactly why, if proper action isn't taken to make them cut this out, the crisis could go on for longer.

Update: and speaking of ultra-Orthodox clans like Satmar, this Times of Israel article points to how those living in NYC are also posing a horrible problem. All of them literally believing the Torah and prayer alone will protect them. Those who don't live insular lifestyles know better.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Very sad: it appears Gantz managed to get majority to form government because of Liberman

It looks like not only Liberman, but also the 2-3 alleged dissenters within Blue & White have thrown all sincerity under the bus, and now, Gantz got a majority of backers, with president Reuven Rivlin capping the insult by handing the mandate to Gantz to form a government:
President Reuven Rivlin will give the task of forming the government to Blue and White chairman MK Benny Gantz tomorrow, the Presidente announced Sunday night.

The announcement follow's Rivlin's meetings with the heads of the Knesset political parties Sunday.

Gantz received the recommendation of 61 MKs, a bare majority, while incumbent Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu received the recommendation of 58 MKs.

Gantz's Blue and White party received 33 Knesset seats in this month's elections, three less than the 36 the Likud received.

The Blue and White chairman received the backing of the Joint Arab List, Labor-Meretz, and Yisrael Beytenu. The Joint Arab List is not expected to agree to join any coalition, but it may support a minority coalition from the outside.
If the aforementioned MKs like Yoaz Hendel decided to abandon any previous hardline stance, they only deserve to be shunned for this betrayal, as does Liberman himself. Now, at a time when the country is facing a serious health crisis, they just had to do this.

Of course, Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked also have to shoulder blame for what they led to last year, by causing a split on the right that led to this whole deadlock and now potential ouster. It's very sad this had to happen, and now, Liberman was able to commit the betrayal he doubtless always had in mind.

Update: here's also a post by Caroline Glick:

Exactly. Now, everyone who's a realist is going to have to work very hard to prevent this awful combination from succeeding in doing any awful. Which should include forming a delegation to Washington to talk with Trump and the GOP in Congress.

Sunday, March 08, 2020

Gantz and Liberman are trying to steal the election

Benjamin Netanyahu addressed the offensive case of Benny Gantz and Avigdor Liberman now trying to get him disqualified after they failed to find significant success in this week's election:
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu sharply attacked Blue and White chairman MK Benny Gantz and Yisrael Beyteinul chairman Avigdor Liberman on Thursday for their support of a law that would prevent the president from imposing the job of forming a government on Netanyahu. "The Likud and the Right won the knockout. Gantz who failed in the polls now together with Lieberman is trying to steal the decision of masses of citizens in Israel who gave the Likud led by me a crushing victory. Erdogan has a lot to learn from them," Netanyahu said.

"Even in Iran this doesn't occur. There candidates are rejected before the elections, not after the elections. And after all, the masses of civilians knew full well what the charges were against me and yet they gave me the mandate, a strengthened and renewed mandate," Netanyahu said

The prime minister cited statements by Liberman and Gantz from the past. "Liberman declared "I will not support a law that would prevent an MK from being charged with forming a government. We are against personal laws. ' Gantz declared 24 hours before the election, "We will not sit down with the joint list and will not lean on them from outside."

Netanyahu asked: "Who are you working for? We, the millions of citizens of Israel are not going to allow you to steal the election.''
So once again, those concerned are going to have to start making themselves heard, in order to deal with this new, serious problem. For now, the Likud's ideally called for an investigation into Liberman's past shady dealings:
The Likud party on Thursday called for a probe of Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman after he announced earlier in the day that he would support legislation that could prevent Likud’s Benjamin Netanyahu from becoming prime minister. Liberman is also intending to endorse Blue and White leader Benny Gantz for the prime ministership, according to Hebrew media reports Thursday that he neither confirmed nor denied.

Likud officials formally asked Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit to open a corruption investigation into Liberman for his alleged role in the “Yisrael Beytenu affair.”

The affair, dubbed by police “Case 242,” involved a sprawling three-year corruption investigation of several Yisrael Beytenu officials. It was one of the most far-reaching public corruption cases in Israel’s history, and revealed allegations of a widespread kickback scheme involving national and local politicians, as well as non-governmental organizations and private firms. [...]

In a statement, Likud demanded that Mandelblit “examine and if necessary investigate” an alleged meeting between Liberman’s two sons and a real estate developer, Moshe Yeshayahu, some time before the defense ministry, led by Liberman, rezoned land owned by the developer from a firing zone to an area where construction was permitted.

Likud claimed the former defense minister has been implicated in the case by testimonies now being heard at the ongoing trial involving former lawmakers from the party.
I think this is definitely something authorities should look into, and Liberman has a lot to answer for after all the trouble he's been causing.

Update: here's an article by former MK Dov Lipman about how Blue & White failed in their campaign.

Monday, March 02, 2020

Israeli right-wing did better than expected in the 2020 election

It looks like the Likud did better than expected, while Benny Gantz's Blue & White party, on the other hand, is losing appeal for the left. The results are in for the Israeli election:
With polls closing across Israel, exit polls published by Channel 12 News show that the Likud party has won 37 Knesset seats while the Blue and White party has won 33 seats.

The Joint Arab List won 14 seats, Shas nine seats, United Torah Judaism seven seats, Yamina seven, Labor-Gesher-Meretz seven, and Yisrael Beyteinu six seats.

According to the exit poll, the right-wing bloc received 60 seats, one shy of the 61 majority necessary to form a coalition.

A Channel 13 News exit poll also showed the right-wing bloc winning 60 seats. The poll also found that the Likud won 37 seats, while Blue and White won 32 seats.

According to the Channel 13 poll, the Joint Arab List won 14 seats, Shas nine, Yisrael Beyteinu eight, United Torah Judaism eight, Yamina six, and Labor-Gesher-Meretz six seats.
The additional good news along with the Likud's results is that in all exit polls released so far, the right-wing coalition got 60 seats, and hopefully could win at least one more. The real bad news is surely that the Joint Arab List got another seat or two, possibly taking from Blue & White. If we're to take a view of a "veteran" party though, what's most interesting is the disaster Labor wound up with coming from their formation of a joint list with the anti-religious, anti-Zionist Meretz party, along with Orly Levy's Gesher party. Evidently, nobody found their combination appealing, and they wound up losing at least 4-5 seats. That's quite a comedown for the Labor party alone. But Gantz's party clearly didn't fare better this time, and it's apparent he's lost whatever "appeal" he had with leftists.

We'll see what happens within a week, when full results are in. For now, Netanyahu's Likud did very well in their campaigning, drawing the best results in elections since the 1999 election 21 years ago.

Friday, February 28, 2020

One of Gantz's own strategists says he's unreliable

In a most interesting development, a campaign strategist for Benny Gantz slammed him in a recording aired on Israel's Channel 12 as a liability to the country, the transcript provided on Israel National News:
Bachar: She (Haredi social activist and Blue and White MK Omer Yankelevich) says he is stupid, [completely incompetent] and 'must not become prime minister'.

Acquaintance: They're [dangerous], and as I've already told you, very dangerous.

Bachar: They will make the wrong decision. When people in the world try to attack Iran, they will prevent them from doing so.

Acquaintance: And how do you know they'll prevent it?

Bachar: He has no courage to attack Iran.

Acquaintance: Like, because that's the type of person he is?

Bachar: Because he's that type.

Acquaintance: And what can happen then, my love?

Bachar: You see?

Acquaintance: Danger to the people of Israel.
Isn't that something. One of Gantz's very own employees considers him bad for the country. Gantz didn't take kindly to this news, and now he's fired the guy:
Blue and White Chairman MK Benny Gantz has fired an adviser after a recording published on Channel 12 revealed the adviser as warning against a Gantz victory in the elections, since Gantz is "a danger to Israel."

Blue and White said: "[Yisrael] Bachar fell into a planned ambush which included personal exploitation, use of inappropriate means, and fraud - which will be dealt with via the judicial system. The political sources' manipulative involvement will also be revealed soon."

In the meantime, Gantz has decided to immediately end Bachar's involvement in his campaign.
They're all trying to spin it as something else, but it's clear this is embarrassing for Gantz, and doesn't reflect well on him going forward.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Hebron's Tomb of Patriarchs must be included in Trump's Deal of the Century

The Tomb of the Patriarchs in Hebron's wisely been brought up in mapping out the Deal of the Century:
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised to apply Israeli sovereignty to the Tomb of the Patriarchs and to the Jewish community of Hebron, during a visit to the nearby West Bank Kiryat Arba settlement on Sunday.

“We will apply Israeli sovereignty over Kiryat Arba and the Jewish community in Hebron, including the Tomb of the patriarchs and the roads that lead to it,” Netanyahu said.

“Only we [the Likud] can do this,” the prime minister said as he stood in a white tent set up to celebrate the inauguration of a new neighborhood in Kiryat Arba called Nofei Cramim with 210 homes.

All West Bank settlements are slated to become part of sovereign Israel under US President Donald Trump’s peace plan, but according to the map, the status of Jewish Hebron and the Tomb is unclear.

Netanyahu’s statement about sovereignty over the Tomb of the Patriarchs and Jewish Hebron is the clearest statement he has made to date on the matter. [...]

Prior to Netanyahu’s speech Bennett also spoke of the importance of sovereignty over the Tomb of the Patriarchs noting, that a Jewish state without that biblical site, is like Washington without the Lincoln Memorial.
It'll be interesting to see if this is brought to a Knesset vote soon, because it's about time it was.

Netanyahu, in interview with Mark Levin, points out Gantz's leftism

Mark Levin interviewed Benjamin Netanyahu for FOX News, and made some vital points about the "advisors" Benny Gantz is employing for his laughable Blue & White party with Yair Lapid, who've gone out of their way to follow the offensive example many leftists in the USA have employed in their attitude towards Donald Trump:
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu spoke with Fox News' Mark Levin about the "deal of the century" and how it might be implemented following the March election.

In the interview, Netanyahu explained that the rival center-left "Blue and White" party, led by MK Benny Gantz, is "a leftist party in disguise."

"Remember, the majority of Israelis are basically right and center-right. So in order to get center-right voters, they pretend to be a center-right party and that they will take up the terrific Trump plan that has been put forward by [US] President [Donald] Trump that's very good for Israel, that has Israel applying Israeli law, adding to Israel's sovereign territory important places like the Jordan Valley."

"This is completely anathema to Blue and White, and their leaders said the opposite just a few months ago. But when the Trump plan came out, they said, 'Oh, we're for the Trump plan.'

"There's only one problem with that. A, they're not. B, they've said horrible things about President Trump just before the Trump plan was announced. Like comparing him to Hitler. And three, they're dependent on the support in the Knesset, in our parliament, to form a government, on the Joint Arab List that says to them: 'If you actually accept the Trump plan, you won't be Prime Minister.' So they're not going to adopt the Trump plan."

Netanyahu explained that Gantz's advisers, who have compared Trump to Hitler, "are the guys who give him the lines" and that Netanyahu has "asked him to fire them. But he wouldn't."
The video sample can be found on the news page. If Gantz still employs those 2-3 aides and advisors, he's only continuing an utter disgrace and shame that causes embarrassment in the Israeli-relations with the USA.

Thursday, February 06, 2020

Kirk Douglas passes away at 103 years old

Veteran actor Kirk Douglas, famous for roles like Spartacus in the movies, died at 103 years old:
Issur Danielovitch Demsky, who changed his name to Kirk Douglas and gave movie fans immortal performances in films such as Spartacus and Champion, died Wednesday in Los Angeles at age 103, from natural causes, surrounded by family.

[...] Douglas was born in Amsterdam, New York, to Bryna and Herschel Danielovitch, who immigrated from Chavusy in the Mogilev Region, in today’s Belarus. The family spoke Yiddish at home. Douglas grew up as Izzy Demsky and changed his name legally to Kirk Douglas before enlisting in the US Navy during World War 2.
A shame he's gone, but he did make some valuable contributions to cinema, for which he should always be remembered. And he certainly lived a long time.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Senior Gantz advisor made obscene social media comments about Trump

Some horrifying data's turned up, showing that Ronen Tzur, a prominent advisor to leftist Benny Gantz who's accompanying him on his trip to the White House, made numerous social media posts against Donald Trump in the past few years:
A senior adviser to Blue and White chairman Benny Gantz, currently accompanying Gantz on a visit to Washington, D.C., to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump, has likened Trump in the past to Nazi leader Adolph Hitler and insinuated that he colluded with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He has also suggested that Trump play Russian roulette with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

In August 2017, Tzur tweeted: “Barack Hussain Obama left, Donald Adolf Trump arrived. Dying to see who comes next.”

Similarly, in March 2016, Tzur tweeted: “Donald’s next book: Mein Trump,” playing on the spelling of Trump’s name (in Hebrew, “p” and “f” are represented by the same letter).

In September 2017, during attempted negotiations between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, Tzur tweeted, “It seems right to me to suggest a compromise between Trump and Kim Jong: Russian roulette with two bullets. What will be will be.” [...]

The Likud Party responded in a statement:

“Political ignorance and irresponsibility on the part of Benny Gantz to bring with him the White House his personal adviser Ronen Tzur, who called the U.S. President ‘Donald Adolph Trump’ and posted a long series of tweets against him on social media. Let’s hope Gantz’s irresponsibility does not hurt Israel’s national interests vis-à-vis the U.S. government.”
Tzur's attempted to do damage control, but it's just so offensive, his efforts to backtrack are for naught. The POTUS would do well to confront both Tzur and Gantz about the noxious statements made by the former when they arrive at the Oval Office. Tzur's proven an utter embarrassment and atrocity, totally bad for Israel.

History of the Bundy affair in Nevada

The Ammo website's got some history of the Cliven Bundy affair that took place in the state of Nevada back in 2014, at the time the leftist Obama administration was around. Worth reading.

Thursday, January 23, 2020

CBR sugarcoats the most politically developed member of Batman Inc.

In another of CBR's dreary lists, they bring up a precursor to Geoff Johns' Islamic creation for the Green Lantern books who was introduced by UK writer David Hine a decade ago to serve as a cast member in a Batman spinoff called Batman Incorporated:
One of the most unique and underutilized members of Batman Inc who could use more storylines going forward is Nightrunner. Real name Bilal Asselah, the young boy is a French-Algerian living in Paris when he and his friend are injured when caught in the crossfire between protestors and the police.

After his friend passes away, Bilal becomes the vigilante hero Nightrunner, sworn to uphold Batman’s ideology of defending what’s right no matter a person’s race or religion. A skilled free runner and parkour expert, Nightrunner assisted Batman in taking down a child-slavery ring in Paris, joining Batman Inc in the process.
Wanna bet that slavemongering operation wasn't managed by Muslims? It's shameful CBR's fawning over these politically motivated embarrassments, most of which they all but moved away from in the past few years, but I'm sure they wouldn't have an issue boomeranging on if they think Marvel can get away with it. The way the character's made out to look most righteous despite having a bad religion ascribed to him, "no matter the race/religion" of others, is head-shaking. It's honestly offensive to make a character look almost like a saint based on his ideological/religious background, because all humans, no matter their race/religions, are prone to err and do bad things.

As mentioned, most of this propaganda was eventually abandoned by DC, but has since been replaced in some way or other by more, and come to think of it, if they think they can get away with it, they're sure to bring back any and every bad element they've created since.

Monday, January 20, 2020

Yair Lapid's Knesset faction signed letter accusing Donald Trump of "racism" in 2015

Breitbart reported that 5 years ago, members of Yaid Lapid's Yesh Atid party, now joined with Benny Gantz's party, signed a disgusting letter railing against Trump:
Members of the Knesset for the ruling Likud party’s main challenger, Blue and White, signed a letter in 2015 aimed at pressing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to cancel a meeting with then-presidential hopeful Donald Trump.

The letter in question, a copy of which was rehashed on Twitter by Netanyahu’s son, Yair, demanded the Israeli prime minister cancel a December 2015 meeting with Trump over the latter’s “disgraceful racism” with his so-called “Muslim travel ban” campaign promise.

“Trump this week declared that all Muslims must be banned from entering the U.S.,” the letter stated.

“In light of such a shameful, racist declaration, which received harsh condemnation in the U.S. and around the world, it is unthinkable to consider that the meeting go ahead as planned.”

“We call on the prime minister to publicly condemn the statement and cancel the meeting with Trump until there is a retraction,” the letter concluded.

At the time, 37 MKs signed the letter, the majority of whom were in the opposition.

One of the signatories was Israel’s former health minister, Yael German, today a Blue and White MK.

Six Yesh Atid MKs signed the letter against Trump, including Aliza Lavie, Mickey Levy, Yael German, Karin Elharar, Haim Yellin, and Yaacov Peri. Peri stepped down from the Knesset amid allegations of misconduct, Yellin resigned from political life after not making it into the 21st Knesset under his new party Labor, and Lavie also left politics
.
Now this is simply disgusting, and notably fails to distinguish between religion and race, all out of desperation to find something to condemn Trump for. If this awful party is ever elected to lead a government, it'll be an embarrassment to have them speaking with Trump, assuming they're even willing to. The Yesh Atid party really is far more of a disgrace than previously thought.

Thursday, January 09, 2020

Lara Logan Plans Comeback on Fox News’ Streaming Service

This woman is a beacon of truth and moral clarity, and of course it was too much for the MSM establishment hacks at CBS.

Flashback to 2012, "Lara Logan Speaks Truth to War on Terror."

And today, at LAT, "A combative Lara Logan plans a comeback on Fox News’ streaming service. Can she succeed?":


NEW YORK  —  Veteran foreign correspondent Lara Logan keeps a video of her Texas Hill Country home on her iPad. It shows the sunlight streaming through large trees on the five-acre property with only the sounds of chirping birds and an occasional truck passing by.

Logan, who risked her life being embedded in war-torn regions, has no desire to leave the bucolic domicile, even as she starts rebuilding her career as the host of a new documentary series — “Lara Logan Has No Agenda” — debuting Monday on the Fox News-operated streaming service Fox Nation.

“I don’t want to leave my children,” Logan, 48, said in a recent interview at a studio at Fox News headquarters in midtown Manhattan. “I don’t want to move to New York or Los Angeles. I live in a small town. I’m very happy there.”

No one would blame the former CBS News star for seeking some serenity after a turbulent decade. In February 2011, she was sexually assaulted on the streets of Cairo’s Tahrir Square while covering the celebration of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation.

Two years later, a serious mistake in a “60 Minutes” report that questioned the Obama administration’s response to the September 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, led to a diminished role for Logan on the venerable newsmagazine program. She took a significant cut in her $2-million-a-year salary, and her contract with CBS was not renewed in September 2018, a stunning downfall for an award-winning journalist and sought-after TV news talent.

But the South Africa native’s combination of grit, charisma and candor has kept her in the spotlight. She resurfaced in February in a 3 ½ hour interview on the podcast of her friend, former Navy SEAL Mike Ritland, in which she described the news media as predominantly left-leaning.

“The media is mostly liberal everywhere, not just the U.S.,” Logan said. “We’ve abandoned our pretense, or at least the effort, to be objective today.”

Right-wing websites and commentators latched onto her remarks, which went viral online. Invitations came from Fox News for her to appear as a guest with its President Trump-supporting prime-time hosts, who nightly accuse mainstream media outlets of liberal bias.

A noodle soup without the soup? A chef doubles down on a sidelined dish.

Her segments were well-received by the Fox News audience, and host Sean Hannity even lobbied his bosses on the air to hire her. Logan’s newest assignment eventually followed.

Logan insists her remarks were not an attempt to position herself a politically partisan pundit for a polarized media age. Her commitment to Fox News is limited to her four-episode series. “I’m not trying to be an opinion person,” she said.

Logan believes viewers who stream her new program will see that it adheres to its “No Agenda” title, despite its association with the conservative-leaning network.

“I can’t control the media landscape,” Logan said. “What I can control is the work that I do. I’m going to do that the same way here the way I did it at ‘60 Minutes.’ To date nobody has tried to make me do anything other than that. Nobody.”

The first episode of “Lara Logan Has No Agenda” looks at immigration enforcement, largely from the perspective of U.S. border agents who work along the Rio Grande. But she also devotes significant time to depicting the dangers that undocumented migrants face, and avoids taking a side in the heated political debate surrounding the issue...
RTWT.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

Supreme court appears to be backing away from undermining Netanyahu

It looks like the uproar over Avichai Mandelblit's intention to indict Netanyahu over petty issues has paid off, and he too seems to be backing away so far. The Jerusalem Post reported on what happened at a hearing to discuss the prime minister's eligibility to form a coalition post-election:
A hearing was held before the High Court of Justice on Tuesday morning to discuss a petition asking that the court rule that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under indictment on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, cannot form the next government. The hearing ended with no immediate decision.

Although the High Court announced that it would decide on the matter at a later point, the overall feel of the justices’ questions to the lawyers was that they would very much prefer to stay out of the issue. [...]

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit had made it clear before the hearing that he is not interested in personally being the hand that forces Netanyahu out of office.

He has made legal arguments protecting Netanyahu from being forced out on multiple legal grounds of attack, while postponing indefinitely analyzing whether the prime minister can form a new government now that he has been indicted for bribery.

Mandelblit has ruled that the issue can be kicked down the road because it is only theoretical.

Until Netanyahu is actually in a position in which he has the support of 61 MKs – something that may never happen, and in any event is more than three months away given that a third election is imminent – Mandelblit said that there is no reason to rule on it.
It certainly looks so far like they've taken notice of public reaction to what transpired in the past month or so, and realize it would actually harm their own image and help Netanyahu more. This is thankful news. A columnist for the Post said:
Attacks on Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit and the High Court of Justice have worked their magic. We may never know what Mandelblit and the High Court really think about whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is eligible to form the next government, as they probably will never tell us.

Some will be overjoyed by the result. They will say that Mandelblit and the High Court get involved in too many issues beyond their purview and that whoever leads the nation should be left to the will of the voters.

They might be right. Maybe the High Court should not force a prime minister to resign, leaving such issues to the voters, and maybe Netanyahu is innocent of the charges against him.

But what was striking about Tuesday’s hearing before the High Court was that neither the Attorney-General’s Office nor the High Court justices appeared interested in those fateful issues that will shape the nation’s future.

Rather, they were interested in esoteric and formalistic legal arguments about timing, jurisdiction and procedure.

Mandelblit has taken the position that until he must rule on whether Netanyahu is eligible to govern, he would prefer not to. Translation: He is really hoping Netanyahu does not get the support of 61 MKs after March 2 so he never has to give an opinion.

Although the High Court sort of flirted three times over recent weeks, and even Tuesday, with trying to get Mandelblit to reveal his position, they seem to have picked up on his bottom-line message: “Let’s stay out of this” more than anything else.
Based on the startling contempt Mandelblit put on display, and all he did to undermine the government so far, it won't be shocking if it turns out he intends to vote for Benny Gantz's farce of a party to boot. For now, if anything's apparent:
Although it was never 100% clear in the attorney-general’s legal briefs, and it took around 90 minutes of arguments on Tuesday to clarify, the real reason finally became clear as day.

Mandelblit is terrified of the consequences for his office if he intervenes.

A lawyer from his office talked to the High Court on Tuesday about the intensity of public attacks on the High Court over the last week for even daring to hear the issue of Netanyahu’s eligibility. He warned the entire legal establishment could be on the chopping block if there was a wrong move, and they would be accused again of a coup against the executive branch.

This is a radical change from the High Court’s previous readiness to, for good or bad, follow its conscience and address the fateful issues at hand.
It's certainly a positive development, but nevertheless, this should come as a crucial issue in the coming election in March. Mandelblit and those leftists he's serving caused a lot of problems that could've been avoided, and this calls for some serious reforms in the judicial system.