The poll also contains good news for Netanyahu – it has the far-right Otzma Yehudit party passing the electoral threshold and receiving four seats, giving the right-wing bloc led by Likud 59 seats without the support of Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu – close to the 61 required to create a coalition, with the center-left bloc garnering 54 seats.
Friedman, Florida Sen. Rick Scott, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, evangelical preacher John Hagee, conservative TV host Mike Huckabee and Netanyahu’s son, Yair, have been among the many politicians and VIPs to attend parties at Simon Falic’s Jerusalem home.
The Falics also support American politicians, both Democratic and Republican. Since 2000, they have given over $1.7 million to pro-Israel politicians, including Trump, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New York Sen. Chuck Schumer and Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
The Falic family of Florida, owners of the ubiquitous chain of Duty Free Americas shops, funds a generous and sometimes controversial philanthropic empire in Israel that runs through the corridors of power and stretches deep into the occupied West Bank.
An Associated Press investigation shows that the family has donated at least $5.6 million to settler organizations in the West Bank and east Jerusalem over the past decade, funding synagogues, schools and social services as well as far-right causes considered extreme even in Israel.
Israel’s Supreme Court banned on Sunday Kahanist leader Michael Ben Ari from running in the April 9 general election and reversed the disqualification of Arab joint slate Balad-United Arab List and Ofer Cassif, a member of political alliance Hadash-Ta’al.
If we are to defeat this dangerous alliance, we must provide a clear alternative. The only way for the left to prevail is to choose solidarity and the shared Jewish-Arab struggle for peace, equality and democracy.
Palestinian Arab citizens of Israel represent 20 percent of the population. We cannot change the course of the country alone. But there is no electoral math that leads to victory for a center-left-wing coalition without the participation of the Arab parties.
The Central Election Committee disqualified the Arab joint slate Balad-United Arab List and Ofer Cassif, a member of politicial alliance Hadash-Ta’al, from running in the election on Wednesday, opposing the opinion of Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit.
After successfully instilling public opinion with an automatic association between “the left” and disloyalty in the service of malevolent foreigners, Netanyahu and his Likud messengers are studiously attaching the stigma to their political rivals including, most ludicrously, former Chief of Staff Benny Gantz and his newly-formed Blue and White party, which would be classified as center-right by any normal standard. For those too dense to comprehend, Netanyahu now insists on expanding the term “left” with the arguably racist determiner “backed by Arabs” to drive home the opposition’s subversive treachery.
(25.2.2019) Last week, the remnants of the National Religious Party – known in its latest incarnation as Habayit Hayehudi – merged with Otzma Yehudit, a party whose members embrace the racist ideology of the late Kahane and are disciples of his. The party he originally founded, known as Kach, is outlawed in Israel. The alliance was pushed by Netanyahu, who feared that without the Kahanists joining their ranks, Habayit Hayehudi might not reach the electoral threshold, jeopardizing his ability to form a right-wing majority bloc after the April 9 election.
American Jewish Committee (AJC) does not normally comment on political parties and candidates during an election. But with the announcement that Otzma Yehudit (“Jewish Power”), a new political party formed by longtime followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, is now seeking election to the Knesset, we feel compelled to speak out.
Netanyahu lost his moral compass years ago, but his electoral deal with Israel’s most extreme racists is a moment of crisis, and a test, for American Jews. Don’t fail it
The order of candidates is:
1. Rabbi Rafi Peretz (Jewish Home)
2. Bezalel Smotrich (National Union)
3. Motti Yogev (Jewish Home)
4. Ofir Sofer (National Union)
5. Michael Ben Ari (Otzma Yehudit)
6. Idit Silman (Jewish Home)
7. Orit Strook (National Union)
8. Itamar Ben Gvir (Otzma Yehudit)
9. Yossi Cohen (National Union)
10. Davidi Ben Zion (Jewish Home)
One of those factions is Otzma Yehudit, or Jewish Power, made up of followers of the late Meir Kahane, an ultranationalist American Israeli rabbi. Israeli commentators and U.S. Jewish groups immediately decried the move, saying the faction was clearly an offshoot of Kahane’s Kach party, a group that is designated a terrorist organization by the State Department and banned in Israel.
(20.2.2019) Habayit Hayehudi approved the merger with Otzma Yehudit, a right-wing party led by followers of racist Rabbi Meir Kahane who was banned from running for Knesset in 1988