Moreover, the two main inciters, Netanyahu and Lieberman, are exploiting both the tense security situation and their polished racist rhetoric to put enormous pressure on Gantz to enter a unity government based on the president’s proposal. Gantz, who until now has demonstrated impressive steadfastness, must not cave into this pressure. Soon, the dense smoke of the rockets will dissipate, and Israel will once again be overshadowed instead by the picture of the serial criminal suspect Netanyahu, the man who is unfit to be prime minister.
Until now, it seemed the entire political system was fumbling all the way to another election, and that perhaps this was our new system of government – elections and yet more elections, devoid of either victory or significance. But on Tuesday, Israelis woke up to a historic moment. A “crisis government” led by Netanyahu, with the participation of Benny Gantz and his Kahol Lavan party, now seems like the most probable outcome.
Yair Lapid, the No. 2 on the Kahol Lavan roster, said at the party meeting that a government can’t be created in the space of 48 hours, and that all Netanyahu had to agree to was to be second in the rotation – i.e., to agree that Gantz serve as prime minister first, then Netanyahu. But what Netanyahu wants is a third election, Lapid said.
“That’s what his lawyers suggested to him, that’s what he needs because of the indictments,” Lapid said.
According to reports in the Hebrew media, Gantz could offer Netanyahu a “compromise deal” that would force him to choose between including his religious allies in the coalition, and being prime minister first in any rotation deal.
STUTTGART, Germany — When the new U.S. and German defense chiefs held high-level talks in Washington this week, Defense Secretary Mark Esper wasted no time getting to his main point — the dollars and cents of defense spending.
While Saudi Arabia wanted to avoid war and escalation, Iran would be held accountable for the drone and missile strikes, Adel al-Jubeir told the BBC.
A US assessment claiming Iran was behind the attacks was backed up by the UK, France and Germany this week.
NEW YORK — The leaders of France, Germany and the United Kingdom on Monday blamed Iran for an attack on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia earlier this month.
“We condemn in the strongest terms the attacks on oil facilities on Saudi territory on September 14th, 2019 in Abqaiq and Khurais, and we reaffirm in this context our full solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its population,” French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in a joint statement after meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly.
Yes, this initiative of yours, Mr. President, is very grave indeed! You are dividing the country on an ethnic basis, you are placing one people above another, one public above another, one group above another, when your job is to say loud and clear: They are all my sons. And for this you do not have a mandate. You do not have a mandate to divide the country between Jews and Arabs. You do not have a mandate to exclude a fifth of the population.
“The time has come for Iran to accept negotiation on a long-term framework for its nuclear program as well as on issues related to regional security, including its missiles program and other means of delivery,” the three countries added
Less than a week after his impressive electoral achievement, the head of the largest Knesset faction, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz, conceded his right to be the first to try and form a coalition government. The explanation given by “party sources” for this concession is that Gantz prefers to wait for Netanyahu to try first and fail.
Regrettably, this lame excuse is unconvincing. This move looks like a capitulation without a fight, an admission that the right wing’s long-standing tactic of delegitimizing parties representing Arab society succeeded.
Netanyahu getting a first nod from the president would land a harsh blow on the center-left’s morale, which could facilitate Netanyahu’s plan to divide the party from within. The nightmarish vision of Netanyahu settling back in the driver’s seat and recklessly pushing the gas pedal to reach his target would make a mockery of his clear-cut defeat in last Tuesday’s election. While Gantz and his colleagues rejoice over sucker Netanyahu supposedly falling into their well-laid trap, their supporters will see them as naive novices who could soon add insult to injury by reneging on their main pledge not to participate in his coalition.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (L) shakes hands with Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz (R) as President Reuven Rivlin looks on, at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, on September 23, 2019.
“It is clear for us that Iran bears responsibility for this attack,” the leaders of the three European powers said. “There is no other explanation.”
Gantz responded to Netanyahu’s request by saying he would only lead a „liberal“ coalition, a statement which excluded the ultra-Orthodox political bloc on whom Netanyahu has relied throughout his tenure.
Moshe Yaalon, another Blue and White leader, added that the party would not enter into a coalition led by Netanyahu because of the corruption charges against him.
Netanyahu’s recent announcements, like a pledge to annex parts of the West Bank he made three days before the April 9th elections, have barely registered in the campaign of Blue and White, the centrist party co-led by Generals Benny Gantz, Moshe „Bogie“ Ya’alon, and Gabi Ashkenazi (all former chiefs of the Israeli Defense Forces) along with former finance minister Yair Lapid
The key political difference between east and west Germany is that the disintegration of the mainstream political parties is far more advanced in the east. This is one of the main reasons the AfD performs best in the east. Unlike in the west, the traditional parties have never had a stable electoral base in the east. Election successes have been largely down to the popularity of individual leaders. In the west, the traditional parties are still able to rely on some form of voter loyalty. But these loyalties have been breaking down quickly in the west too, as the broader decline of the SPD illustrates.
Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt discussed the incident with Jean-Yves Le Drian and Heiko Maas.
Ursula von der Leyen has been confirmed as the next president of the EU Commission, winning a vote in the European Parliament by 383 to 327.
But despite the involvement of MEPs, the process that put von der Leyen in place was nothing short of a coronation.
The report claims that local groups such as the Middle East Peace Forum and WerteInitiative (Values Initiative) worked together with Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs in order to promote the resolution, an enterprise that included “donations to politicians.” The groups deny these charges, but the story has evoked a stormy public debate. Bild, the most widely-read newspaper in Germany, sharply criticized the report, calling it anti-Semitic.
„We want ground troops from Germany to partly replace our soldiers,“ Mr Jeffrey told dpa and the German weekly Welt am Sonntag. He said he expects an answer before the end of the month.
„My aim is the United States of Europe — modelled on federal states like Switzerland, Germany or the U.S.,“ she told Der Spiegel in 2011. She repeated her call for a federal EU in an interview with Die Zeit in 2016, adding: „I imagine the Europe of my children or grandchildren not as a loose union of states trapped by national interests.“
As defense minister, she pushed for greater security cooperation in the EU, urging a „defense union“ and calling for the establishment of an „army of Europeans.“
Netanyahu and Blue and White party co-chairman Benny Gantz are reportedly not personally involved in any negotiations over a unity government.
Blue and White issued a statement reacting to the report, saying, “There is only one option for cancelling the elections: Netanyahu steps down to deal with his legal issues and Blue and White will lead a wide government.”
Yair Lapid, the co-chair of opposition party Kahol Lavan, said on Sunday that he believes a unity government headed by his outfit is the „right thing for Israel.“
Lapid said he would agree to form a coalition with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in response to comments made by former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Saturday.
According to an EU Council document, the EU police agency Europol intends to process fingerprints and DNA traces in The Hague that are processed by the US military in war zones. This data is being exchanged in the context of Operation Gallant Phoenix, which is an intelligence project spearheaded by the US military that according to media reports, is based in Jordan. US intelligence services are also involved in this undertaking. Operation Gallant Phoenix is being coordinated by the United States Joint Special Operations Command, which commands the special units of all branches of the US military.
Alongside Operation Gallant Phoenix, the US Government has offered to set up a database on “foreign fighters” for a number of EU member states and to compare this information with the biometric data of incoming refugees.
– Boris Johnson abandons ambitions of becoming PM after Michael Gove drops him and launches own campaign
– Justice Secretary says Johnson was not up to job and questions if his ‚heart and soul‘ were in pushing through Brexit
– Boris aide said to have vented anger at Gove in expletive-laden text accusing him of plotting to win keys to No10
– Furious Conservative MP Jake Berry says on Twitter that there is a ‚very deep pit reserved in Hell‘ for Gove
– Alliance between Leave campaigners ripped up as Treasury minister Andrea Leadsom enters Tory contest
– Home Secretary Theresa May installed as favourite after delivering bravura performance at her launch
On Fox News last night, Mr Farage vowed: ‚If we do not leave the European Union on October 31, I will lead the Brexit Party after that into the next general election and we will sweep away parties that have dominated British politics for over 100 years.‘
If the Tories thought they were having trouble getting rid of Theresa May, they should spare a thought for the German CDU where Angela Merkel has just announced that she won’t be resigning as German Chancellor after all.
Merkel has decided that Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, who took over as leader of the Christian Democratic Union in December, is not up to the country’s top job, according to two officials with knowledge of her thinking. As a result, the chancellor has become more determined than ever to stay in power until her term ends in 2021, the officials said.
Until Wednesday night, Mr Johnson had appeared the firm favourite to take over from David Cameron as Tory leader, and therefore prime minister. But shortly after 9am on Thursday, he learnt that he was the victim of the most spectacular political assassination in a generation.
Michael Gove’s sensational entry to the Tory leadership race has electrified a contest that had hitherto been proceeding predictably enough towards a final round between Theresa May and Boris Johnson. The justice secretary’s statement tore up the script and, extraordinarily, persuaded the former London mayor not to run.
– Theresa May’s plan to bring forward new Brexit Bill is in tatters after repeated attempts to woo Labour MPs
– Her chances of getting the deal through are fading as Tories voice opposition with 65-plus set to rebel
– Michael Gove has refused to guarantee that the Withdrawal Agreement Bill would come to the Commons
– Tory 1922 committee is meeting at 4pm – after PM faces Commons – with members pledging to topple her
Theresa May’s premiership is on the brink amid a full-scale revolt over her new Brexit deal, with Tory MPs calling for a change in the party rules to facilitate a leadership challenge.
As Mrs May faces her final battle:
– Tory grandees threaten to change party rules so the leader can be removed immediately
– Fed-up backbenchers said she should go now and leave Brexit to her successor
– The PM’s DUP allies warned she is leaving Britain at the mercy of the EU
– Even Mrs May’s most loyal MPs said she should scrap the planned vote on her deal
Environment Secretary Michael Gove gave an apparent hint that a big Commons vote on the Withdrawal Agreement Bill, due in the week of June 3, should be pulled.
Sources said several Cabinet ministers agreed with him that the vital Bill should be kept back for a new Tory leader to manage.
A long-standing – but not usually a very public – critic likened me to a spectator at the guillotine as I stalked the commons corridors.
I asked him when he felt the political blade would fall on Theresa May’s premiership.
With a smile, he said: „Soon – very soon.“
I fear we are in for a long, hot summer.
Senior Tory backbenchers will now try to force a confidence vote in the PM when the party’s grandees meet at 4pm on Wednesday.
Brexiteer Nigel Evans said: “She has U-turned on absolutely everything. We cannot put up with this any longer.
Theresa May has committed to ‘ten commandments’ as part of the new offer she is putting before Parliament in one final attempt to pass her Withdrawal Agreement. They include a vote on a second referendum. Read them here: