Money (illustration)Flash 90Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has decided to allow the transfer of funds to the Palestinian Authority, which is ruled by Fatah.
The Prime Minister’s Office said that the decision was reached with the consent of the ministers who sit on the diplomatic-security cabinet. Treasury Minister Yair Lapid will instruct his ministry to transfer the funds to the PA.
The funds, from customs collected by Israel on behalf of the PA, were frozen after the PA made a unilateral move in the UN, gaining recognition as a non-member observer state.
The last transfer of funds from Israel to the PA was made in late November, just two days before the PA’s UN move.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman. Photo: LIFE.
A new Israeli poll released this morning, and conducted following the cease-fire with Hamas, announced yesterday after 8 days of fighting, shows a significant drop in public support for Israeli Prime Minister Netanayhu.
The poll which was commissioned by Israel’s Knesset website and conducted by the Panels Institute shows Netanyahu’s joint list with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, named Likud-Beiteinu dropping significantly from a current 42 seats combined to 33 seats.
Israel’s Labor party gained two seats from a previous poll rising to 22 seats, and the Yesh Atid party of former Journalist Yair Lapid dropped from 13 seats to 11.
Strong gains on Israel’s right were marked by the Jewish Home party headed by former Netanyahu Chief of Staff Naftali Bennett which rose from 11 to 13 seats, and the Power to Israel party of Michael Ben-Ari and Aryeh Eldad, now projected to win 4 seats. The Orthodox Shas party remained static in the poll with 10 mandates, while Meretz and United Torah Judaism both came in with 6 seats.
The new figures may be a result of the unpopularity in Israel of the ceasefire agreement, which a Channel 2 poll taken before the ceasefire was announced concluded that 70% of Israelis opposed.
According to Israeli website Walla, a Likud mister who did not wish to be named said that the, “public response is very, very difficult. We do not remember such a magnitude of an enraged response. People call and say: this time we will not vote Likud.”
Another minister is quoted as saying that a reserve soldier said: “A week ago all of my battalion were Likudniks. Now, if you think anyone would vote Likud You’re kidding yourself.”
Another minister coming to the defense of Netanyahu said that the situation was more complicated, citing the famous Israeli saying: “what you see from here is not visible from there.”
Israeli political commentator and Algemeiner blogger, Arik Elman, said that he is not sure if these results will hold in the longer term. “Obviously the first reaction to the agreement is deep disappointment,” he said, ”and that is before all Israeli concessions to Hamas on the issues of movement and border crossings have been realized.”
“Likud Beitenu voters many of whom live in the South feel that Netanyahu and Lieberman bowed to Ehud Barak,” he continued. However he said, “it is hard to tell whether this opinion climate will endure – there are two months to elections, and if the calm will hold, perhaps Netanyahu will yet persuade right-wing voters to support him and not the untested alternative in the person of Naftali Bennett.”
“On the other hand,” he added, “Labor is benefiting from the renewed public image of Amir Peretz, who is considered a “father” of the Iron Dome and savior of lives.”
“The accounts of the negotiations published so far reveal that the Israeli government bowed to the American request not to push Egypt too far and accepted conditions that it first considered unsatisfying,” he concluded.
Naftali Bennett will support Likud if in danger of the Left ever taking over and if there were ever any bowing to the tyranny of the Obama administration. As for a guy like Amir Peretz taking credit for an Anti missile system… that is just typical of those who are self righteous in their own mind… like in Al Gore’s claim to of created the internet, they take credit for things that were made by millions through hard work.
(Carl) If we as a country are foolish enough to do this, then we as a country deserve the lousy retread leadership we would get. A JPost poll has a ‘center left mega party’ including former Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert, former Prime Minister Tzipi Livni, convicted sex offender Haim Ramon (who once told Ted Koppel that if his party has just one more vote than the other side, they can crush the other side), and the vapid Yair Lapid, would win 31 Knesset seats as compared with 22 for the Likud.
The poll found that such a party would win more seats than Likud, which would receive 22 mandates. Yisrael Beytenu would come in third, with 14 mandates, closely followed by Labor with 12, and Shas with 11 seats.
The poll of 500 people representing the general population was conducted on October 9 and 10, and has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.
The poll results follow reports of progress on Wednesday by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s political opponents, in their efforts to build a “Center-Left mega-party” that could pose a serious challenge to him in the upcoming general election.
Netanyahu officially informed President Shimon Peres of his intention to advance the elections, in a meeting at the President’s Residence on Wednesday. Peres expressed hope that the elections would be clean.
Netanyahu finalized the election date on Thursday. The date is acceptable to all the coalition parties and is just two days after the inauguration of the president of the United States.
Ramon’s first preference is for former prime minister Ehud Olmert to lead the mega-party, which would bring together former Kadima head Tzipi Livni, current Kadima MKs and other well-known figures on the Left. He would also want Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid’s party to join.
Olmert told a stream of visitors to his office and home on Wednesday that he would decide whether to run within a week or two after receiving the results of in-depth surveys.
Livni, who met recently with Olmert, will not decide her political future until she returns from a lecture tour in the US in the middle of next week.
While popular former IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi is legally prevented from running for Knesset, Olmert, who is close to Ashkenazi, would present him as his candidate for defense minister if he chooses to make a comeback.
If Olmert heads a Center- Left bloc he would be able to form a coalition with religious parties and with Yisrael Beytenu, whose leader, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, met with Olmert this week.
Kadima leader Shaul Mofaz has said in closed conversations that he would not stand in the way of an Olmert comeback, but he is not expected to cooperate with an effort to reinstate Livni as head of the Center-Left bloc after he defeated her by a landslide in Kadima’s leadership race.
Itzik expressed confidence that Mofaz would be willing to make political compromises for the good of the country.