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Israel Finally Has A New Government Coalition (Well… Sort Of…Maybe)

After four elections in two years Israel has new government coalition. But to be honest it may not last long enough to be approved by the Knesset

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Twenty-five minutes before his mandate to form a new government was to expire and force Israel into its fifth election in a bit more than two years, a new coalition was formed. Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid called President Rivlin (who was at a soccer game) and informed him that he had managed to form a government. Lapid and Naftali Bennett, the head of the Yamina party, were together during the call, and Rivlin took the call from the locker room of the soccer stadium.

“Mr. President, I call you to say that I was able to form a government with factions. There is a future, right, blue and white, RAAM, new hope, Meretz and the Labor Party,” Lapid said, adding: “Everyone signed and informed me that they had succeeded. I can form a government. “Lapid then handed the phone to Bennett, who also spoke with the president.

Israelis do not vote directly for a Prime Minister, nor do they vote for a representative—remember, it’s a tiny country. Actually, there were direct elections for the Prime Minister in the 1980s, but that was changed back to the original system when direct voting didn’t produce a more stable government.

There has never been an Israeli election where one party gained a majority of the 120 seats in the Knesset. Every election has produced a coalition government.

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If the new coalition is confirmed by the new Israeli Knesset when it meets (sometime before June 14), it will be comprised of eight parties with a total of 61 seats in the Knesset. The eight parties included in the coalition are Blue and White, Labor, Meretz, New Hope, Ra’am, Yamina, Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beiteinu. Ra’am has the historic possibility of being the first Arab party to ever be a part of an Israeli government. Arabs have almost always had seats in the Knesset.

The new government will be the first in a dozen years that won’t include Binyamin Netanyahu as its leader and Prime Minister, include an Arab party for the first time ever, has no real dominant party, and will the broadest coalition in Israeli history. But the operative word is ifEverything I just mentioned is a reason why the government coalition may not hold together until the Knesset votes to approve it—or why it may not last long if installed.

Before we get to that, understand that a coalition is more than a few parties getting together over a beer and deciding to work together. A coalition agreement outlines who the ministers will be and for how long, and if there is a rotation of ministries who gets what and in which order. A coalition agreement will also outline the important legislation to be passed. Any coalition negotiation is arduous. The final details of this agreement have not as of yet been negotiated.

Note: I have asked to be given the ice cream or Oreo cookie ministry portfolios, but since I don’t live in Israel and those portfolios do not exist, my request was ignored.

Because the coalition has a razor-thin 61 seats, it would take only one Knesset member in one of the coalition parties to disagree with the final deal, vote not to approve the government, and toss the new government out the window. There are already cracks beginning to show.

Recognizing the coalition’s fragility, the Knesset ministers (MK) of the parties involved want a Knesset vote ASAP. They understand that all Netanyahu’s Likud Party has to do is pick off one of the 61 MKs to destroy the coalition. The Knesset speaker Yariv Levin comes from Likud and wants to delay a vote on the coalition as long as possible per Israeli law, wanting to give Bibi the time to pick off one MK if possible.

On Thursday, the 61 MKs due to make up the new coalition submitted a formal request to the Secretary of the Knesset to begin the process of replacing Levin. However, Nir Orbach of Yamina announced he did not support the request to remove Levin, that his signature was added without his knowledge, and asked that it be withdrawn—that leaves them one short of the votes needed to toss the speaker. So Lapid vetoed the movement to keep the coalition together.

Note: although I researched it, I couldn’t discover if Orbach is related to my favorite character from Law and Order, Lenny Brisco, who was played by the late great Jerry Orbach.

Israeli law requires a new election at least every four years. Per the public part of the coalition agreement, which is not fully known or worked out, Bennett will be the Premier for the first two years and Lapid for the next two.

That in itself is strange. Naftali Bennett’s Yamina party (6 seats) conservative in nature, even more to the right than Likud. Bennett will be the most religiously observant PM in Israel’s history. He wears a yarmulke all the time and believes that Judea and Samaria should be annexed by Israel. Lapid’s party (17 seats), on the other hand, Yesh Atid is liberal, supports a two-state solution, and is secular in nature, including the demand of ending military draft exemptions for the ultra-Orthodox.

The eight parties in the coalition are all over the place politically.

 

Notice Yesh Atid, the largest party, has only 17 seats and Yamina only six. Before that, the smallest party to lead a coalition was Labor in 1999, with 26 seats. This particular coalition doesn’t include a dominant party, making the government more prone to splits, thus, less stable. The party receiving the most seats this past election isn’t in the coalition. It was Likud with 30 seats. But Netanyahu couldn’t attract 31 more seats to join his coalition when given the opportunity.

If the parties are all over the place ideologically, how were they able to coalesce? The primary objective of each of the parties in the coalition was to make sure that Binyamin Netanyahu was no longer part of the ruling government. If the coalition receives Knesset approval, they achieved their goal.

But then they have to rule. Can a coalition so ideologically diverse stay together after it achieves its goal of removing Netanyahu? Doubtful. As I have said many times before, as fractured as American politics are, our Democratic Vs. GOP battles are kid’s play compared to Israeli politics. A few of the parties in the coalition broke off from Likud. Others are combinations of other parties. If the new government gets seated, meaning it reached its primary goal of ousting Bibi, the glue uniting the parties will no longer work. The coalition is guaranteed to be fractured and fall apart. My prediction is six months at the most.

Again the important word is if. Those who do not believe the coalition can fall apart before the Knesset vote, allow me to point you to 1990, or what Shimon Peres called “the dirty trick.”

The existing coalition at the time was led by Likud and Yitzhak Shamir. It was voted down by a no-confidence vote after the Labor Party’s Peres pulled his and other leftist parties out of the government because Shamir did not accept a plan by Bush #41’s anti-Israel secretary of state James “F**k the Jews” Baker. It was the only time in Israeli history that a government was dissolved by a motion of no confidence.

After being given the mandate to form a new government, Peres announced he could form a new government made up of left-wing and ultra-orthodox parties. The new government was to be approved on April, 11,1990. However, on that morning of the vote, two MKs from the ultra-orthodox party Agudat Yisrael didn’t show up. Apparently, the Lubavitcher Rebbe ruled they could not support any concession of Israeli territory (one of Peres’ objectives). With their absence, Peres didn’t have enough votes for Knesset approval. Eventually, the mandate to form a government was passed to Shamir, who managed to form a right-wing coalition. Proving that old saying once again, “the opera ain’t over until the zaftig lady sings.”

This will be a fast-changing story. A coalition has been agreed to, but not every detail has been worked out. Before it reaches the Knesset for a vote, Netanyahu will be working hard to pick off the one MK needed to squash the new coalition and force another election. And even if the new ideologically fractured coalition gets the requisite 61 votes in the Knesset, it is not likely to last long. Keep checking back here at The Lid to stay on top of the news.

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DirecTV Removes Conservative News Network in Blow to Free Speech

The move is just the latest incident in which conservative bandwidth has been arbitrarily limited, and it certainly won’t be the last. 

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In our nation, we’ve long held the belief that the diversity of opinion is a tool for sharpening our abilities and ingenuity.  The freedom to speak as you want is the best way to keep the evil among us from snatching up the entirety of the American Dream for themselves, and it levels the playing field among the masses.

That it why the latest move from DirecTV is so egregious.

The largest satellite provider in the United States said late Friday it will drop One America News, a move that could financially cripple the rightwing TV network known for fueling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.

The announcement by DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, comes three months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN’s founder testified that AT&T inspired him to create the network. Court testimony also showed that OAN receives nearly all of its revenue from DirecTV.

The sudden change comes after years of cooperation.

DirecTV, with approximately 15 million subscribers, is by far OAN’s largest carrier. According to testimony by OAN’s accountant reviewed by Reuters, DirecTV provided 90% of the conservative network’s revenue.

“We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” DirecTV said in a statement.

The OAN-DirecTV contract is set to expire in the next several months. DirecTV began airing OAN in April 2017, a deal that began shortly after OAN and AT&T settled a lawsuit over alleged oral promises during negotiations.

The move is just the latest incident in which conservative bandwidth has been arbitrarily limited, and it certainly won’t be the last.

In our nation, we’ve long held the belief that the diversity of opinion is a tool for sharpening our abilities and ingenuity.  The freedom to speak as you want is the best way to keep the evil among us from snatching up the entirety of the American Dream for themselves, and it levels the playing field among the masses. That it why the latest move from DirecTV is so egregious. The largest satellite provider in the United States said late Friday it will drop One America News, a move that could financially cripple the rightwing TV network known for fueling conspiracy theories about the 2020 election. The announcement by DirecTV, which is 70% owned by AT&T, comes three months after a Reuters investigation revealed that OAN’s founder testified that AT&T inspired him to create the network. Court testimony also showed that OAN receives nearly all of its revenue from DirecTV. The sudden change comes after years of cooperation. DirecTV, with approximately 15 million subscribers, is by far OAN’s largest carrier. According to testimony by OAN’s accountant reviewed by Reuters, DirecTV provided 90% of the conservative network’s revenue. “We informed Herring Networks that, following a routine internal review, we do not plan to enter into a new contract when our current agreement expires,” DirecTV said in a statement. The OAN-DirecTV contract is set to expire in the next several months. DirecTV began airing OAN in April 2017, a deal that began shortly after OAN and AT&T settled a lawsuit over alleged oral promises during negotiations. The move is just the latest incident in which conservative bandwidth has been arbitrarily limited, and it certainly won’t be the last.

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My Pillow CEO Blackballed by Banking Institutions Over ‘Reputation Risk’

The left is taking their war on conservatism to absurd new lengths.

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As the 2022 midterm election remains just over the horizon, casting an already dark cloud over the coming months, there has been a concerted effort among those on the left side of the aisle to exploit the events of January 6th, 2021 for political gain.  And, as Democrats continue to fear for the worst in 2022, they are casting an ever wider net.

The tactic is essentially spray and pray:  Throw subpoenas and accusations all over the place, and then beg the heavens above that something sticks.

This is making life very difficult for those who are, or were once, associated with Donald Trump.  This includes the CEO of the My Pillow corporation, Mike Lindell.

During a Friday episode of right-wing political strategist Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, Lindell claimed that Heartland Financial and Minnesota Bank and Trust are attempting to “de-bank” him over concerns that they could face fallout related to having him as a client. During the podcast, Bannon and Lindell played an audio recording that they said was a call with a bank official.

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“Just because of our organization saying, ‘Well, why are we connected with somebody that could be in the news.’ And, not that the FBI is even sniffing and looking, but what if somebody came in and said, ‘You know what, we are gonna subpoena all his account records…and then also we make the news,'” the person in the recording said. “So it’s more of a reputation risk.”

Lindell went on to tell Bannon that the financial institutions want him to shutter his accounts within 30 days. But the pro-Trump businessman insisted that he is refusing to comply.

“I said, ‘I am not being part of this. I’m not leaving. So you’re going to have to throw me out of your bank,'” he said. During the segment, Bannon put the phone numbers and contact information of top officials at the institutions onscreen—urging supporters to call and complain.

And, finally…

“Where does it end everybody? Where does it end?” Lindell asked, suggesting that he is being persecuted for his controversial activism. He contended that the banks’ decision was related to his refusal to comply with the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021 pro-Trump attack against the U.S. Capitol.

As the January 6th committee grows bolder and brasher, we should perhaps expect more examples of such political discrimination to make headlines.

As the 2022 midterm election remains just over the horizon, casting an already dark cloud over the coming months, there has been a concerted effort among those on the left side of the aisle to exploit the events of January 6th, 2021 for political gain.  And, as Democrats continue to fear for the worst in 2022, they are casting an ever wider net. The tactic is essentially spray and pray:  Throw subpoenas and accusations all over the place, and then beg the heavens above that something sticks. This is making life very difficult for those who are, or were once, associated with Donald Trump.  This includes the CEO of the My Pillow corporation, Mike Lindell. During a Friday episode of right-wing political strategist Steve Bannon’s War Room podcast, Lindell claimed that Heartland Financial and Minnesota Bank and Trust are attempting to “de-bank” him over concerns that they could face fallout related to having him as a client. During the podcast, Bannon and Lindell played an audio recording that they said was a call with a bank official. “Just because of our organization saying, ‘Well, why are we connected with somebody that could be in the news.’ And, not that the FBI is even sniffing and looking, but what if somebody came in and said, ‘You know what, we are gonna subpoena all his account records…and then also we make the news,'” the person in the recording said. “So it’s more of a reputation risk.” Lindell went on to tell Bannon that the financial institutions want him to shutter his accounts within 30 days. But the pro-Trump businessman insisted that he is refusing to comply. “I said, ‘I am not being part of this. I’m not leaving. So you’re going to have to throw me out of your bank,'” he said. During the…

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