Netanyahu Checkmates Everyone in Ulpana Battle (INN) ISRAEL NATIONAL NEWS) By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu 06/06/12)
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Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu once again has proven that it is
more important for a politician to win than to be liked. His
nationalist ministers fell in line on Wednesday and did not support
the bill that would have prevented the fall of five homes in Beit El,
where 30 families face a court-ordered expulsion.
A master chessman who once won a tie with chess expert Nathan
Sharansky, he turned what 24 hours ago seemed liked a certain divorce
bill from nationalists into a reconciliation based on mutual need as
well as an agreed mutual distrust.
All but one of Yisrael Beytenu’s MKs either voted against the bill or
left the Knesset hall, as did Shas ministers.
Nationalist ministers put up a brave and united front in the face of
the Prime Minister‘s ultimatum to oppose the bill to legalize the
homes or be fired from their jobs and lose their portfolios.
All of them vowed to stand on principle, and, one by one, each one
fell, leaving Prime Minister Netanyahu the clear leader whose
authority is not to be challenged.
The only 22 votes for the bill were from Opposition Knesset Members,
specifically four from the National Union headed by Yaakov (Ketzaleh)
Katz, and MKs without portfolios, including Likud Carmel Shama-
HaCohen, Ofir Akunis, Ze’ev Elkin, Danny Danon, Tzipi Hotovely, Chaim
Katz, Yariv Levin and Miri Regev.
Elkin may lose his position as coalition leader.
The outcome left a bitter taste in the mouths of nationalists, but
they won some sweeteners from Prime Minister Netanyahu that in the
future might be seen as a matter of “losing the battle and winning
the war," albeit at the expense of more expulsin victims.
Prime Minister Netanyahu’s manipulations checkmated the 30 families
who will lose their homes, but he also may have paved the way for the
necessity to appease nationalists in order to avoid a certain divorce
from them after the next elections if he has to choose between them
and the Kadima and Labor parties as coalition partners.
Prime Minister Netanyahu did not want his nationalist ministers to
leave the government any more than they wanted to. He pressured each
one before the vote, and the most prominent of them – Likud MK Yuli
Edelstein and Jewish Home chairman Daniel Hershkowitz – explained
their absenting themselves from the vote as better than standing on
principle and losing practicalities.
MK Edelstein pointed out Prime Minister Netanyahu’s moves to approve
dozens of more homes in Beit El, one of the most prominent and
influential national religious communities in Judea and Samaria.
Possible even more significant was the Prime Minister’s move Tuesday
night to establish a new ministerial committee that can authorize
construction of Jewish homes in Judea and Samaria. That power until
now has been in the sole hands of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, who
has a long record of opposing expansion of a Jewish presence in Judea
and Samaria. (IsraelNationalNews © 2012 06/06/12)
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