web analytics
September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘agreement’

Anti-Aircraft Missiles in Sinai?

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

http://israelisoldiersmother.blogspot.co.il/2012/08/anti-aircraft-missiles-in-sinai.html

Anti-Aircraft Missiles in Sinai?

According to recent news reports, the Egyptians are mad about the recent attack that resulted in the deaths of 16 Egyptians. They are right to be mad. What is interesting is that the world supports their going after the terrorists who planned and implemented the attack. Where Israel would never get a green light to hunt these terrorists down (at best, we would get silence after the fact), Obama’s government and others are all in support of Egypt’s actions, stating it will bring more stability to the new Morsi government.

To accomplish this hunt, the Egyptians need serious military equipment. They have identified 1,600 terrorists and to get them, they have moved in tanks and anti-aircraft missiles into Sinai. This is a violation of the 1979 peace agreement with Israel. One would think that if Egypt was about to violate the agreement, they would, at least, contact Israel and tell them so.

They didn’t, of course.

Israel contacted the US, which contacted Egypt. That’s all well and good but have a simpler question…why does Egypt have to move in anti-aircraft missiles? Have the terrorists demonstrated any indication that they have aircraft? And how many tanks do you need to go against 1,600 terrorists?

I’m all for cleaning out the Sinai of it infestation of terrorists – an infestation that was allowed to happen by successive Egyptian governments. But I do not understand why anti-aircraft missiles and tanks are required. And, if they are for some reason the only method that Egypt knows to use, they should have acknowledged the peace accords and their hope/intention of violating them temporarily to accomplish their task. No such announcement was made in advance.

The Egyptians have never proven themselves to be particularly open or honest in their dealings with Israel. At least four wars have been fought between our countries. Peace is a fragile thing that must be nurtured. It must be built on honest dealings and trust. Moving tanks and anti-aircraft missiles violates not only the agreement, but the trust as well.

Netanyahu’s Poignant Message to Cairo: Get Those Tanks Out of the Sinai

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

After Egypt has dispatched tanks into the northern Sinai area over the past few weeks, as part of its attempt to combat Islamist terror cells in the peninsula, the Prime Minister’s office has decided that this must stop. Using the White House, Netanyahu sent a sharp message to Cairo to withdraw the tanks immediately.

Israel also requested that Egypt refrain from further dispatching military forces to the area without prior coordination, as this is a breach of the peace agreement between the two nations.

American intervention was called upon after the closely aligned military and security coordination between the two countries was recently compromised. The United States has strong influence on Egypt – mainly because of the vast military support that it provides that country every year – upwards of $1.3 billion.

Yesterday, a senior Israeli source confirmed: “Israel is worried about the tanks in northern Sinai. This is an outright breach of the peace agreement.”

One of Israel’s suspicions is that Egypt would not take action to recapture security controls over the Sinai, and that its actions against the terror cells would remain on a limited scope.

Another suspicion is that Egypt would take advantage of the deviations from the peace agreement in order allow the armed forces to remain in the Sinai for an unlimited time, thus altering the agreement de facto.

The Nestling

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Dear Readers:

The following short story is fictional. However, many of you will surely nod your heads in agreement as you recognize people you know – perhaps yourself – in the characters I have described. I hope in future articles, to touch on what I believe are the various psychological factors that contribute to the shidduch crisis.

The Nestling

Mrs. Bredin glanced worriedly at her watch. Her Leahleh had left on a shidduch date at 6:00 p.m. and it was now 9:30 p.m. The hour itself was not what concerned her. After all, Leah was 28, had a thriving dental practice and took her Yiddishkeit to heart. By all standards, 9:30 p.m. was a respectable hour to still be out with a potential mate – and that was the source of Mrs. Bredin’s concern.

Mrs. Bredin felt her blood pressure rising with each passing moment. Surely a girl as smart as her daughter would have found a way to end her date well into the second hour – thereby tactfully terminating what Mrs. Bredin considered a gross mismatch.

Could it be that Leah did not see this boy was not in her league?

Mrs. Bredin shuddered at the folly of youth. It would not be the first time Leahle liked a totally unsuitable boy.

In fact, in the five years her daughter had been dating – Mrs. Bredin had insisted she finish her schooling first – Leah had wanted to continue seeing numerous boys with whom she “clicked,” much to her mother’s despair. While all these young men had been from suitable families, and were thoroughly examined, inspected, scrutinized and investigated – each had what she considered an irreconcilable flaw.

To pass the time while she waited, Mrs. Bredin went over them in her mind: There was Chesky, taakeh a nice boy, a dental school classmate whose parents were from the same town as her late husband. (His untimely death had left her a young widow with an 11-year-old daughter and twin sons of 15. After the shiva, the boys returned to their out of town yeshiva, then married and moved near their wives families. Thank G-d for her Leahle, how empty her life would be without her.)

She turned her thoughts back to Chesky. He would have been a good catch – except he was short. Wearing his hat, he was just a couple inches taller than Leah, who didn’t exactly qualify as a basketball player herself.

Then there was Duvid, the internist. He had real potential, but his family did not eat gebrokts. Why should Leah complicate her life with such a difficult minhag? Pesach might be only a week, but it could feel like a year with that added restriction. And why make it more difficult to eat by her brothers?

And, how could she not insist Leah reject Berel, a brilliant lawyer who also had yadin yadin smicha.

He was tall, but he also had a double chin and a paunch that made Humpty Dumpty seem scrawny. Mrs Bredin would have been embarrassed for such a grobe yingel to be her daughter’s husband even though he was a talmid chacham and worked at a prestigious law firm.

When Leah had come home from her date bubbling with enthusiasm over Berel’s witty and insightful conversation, Mrs. Bredin had cut her short.

“Don’t even think about it, Leah, he is not for you. As soon as you left I called Mrs. Weinstock and let her know how insulted I was that she could even suggest such a boy for you. She had told me he was a bit chubby, but I never imagined he would be so big.”

“Ma,” Leah had exclaimed with exasperation. “He isn’t so heavy, you always exaggerate. He just needs to lose a few pounds. All that studying he did over the years – eating late night snacks to keep up his energy…. If he was married and had home cooked meals waiting for him, I’m sure the weight would come right off. I really enjoyed talking to him. He is such a mentsch.”

But Mrs. Bredin had been firm in her resolve that her daughter get the best – she deserved it. And as much as she wanted Yiddishe nachas, Mrs. Bredin was not willing to “settle” for anything less.

Open Skies

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

I spent nearly half an hour in search of an image that would best illustrate the concept of an open sky policy, in a way that expresses the yearning of the average citizen of this planet to go places for a while, if only it didn’t entail getting so deep in debt they won’t see the sky again until next summer. I think this one does the job in a strange and immediately understood way.

Now the story – and remember, I could have just picked up a picture of an airplane either on the tarmac or in the air, or a bunch of planes in all kinds of weird positions – and you would have given it a glance and moved on. This image, on the other hand, is worth watching for a while.

OK, now the story.

The Ministry of Tourism’s initiative from 2006, which has led to thorough discussions lasting a number of years (6), has led Israel and the European Union to initial on Monday morning the Open Skies Agreement.

Israeli Minister of Tourism Stas Misezhnikov, who supported the initiative and was active in promoting it, congratulated the signing of the agreement, saying it is “an essential move that will jumpstart tourism to Israel by hundreds of thousands, and will bring about a decrease in fares for the Israeli consumer as well.”

Misezhnikov pointed out that Israel’s joining the European club will bring new and varied opportunity for new players in the airline industry as well, which will promote competition. Nevertheless, he cautioned, “the state must find a way to ensure support for the Israeli airline companies within the new agreement.”

Open skies is an international policy concept that calls for the liberalization of the rules and regulations of the international aviation industry—especially commercial aviation—in order to create a free-market environment for the airline industry.

Why Abbas Will Never Make Peace With Israel

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

What are the chances that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would ever sign a peace agreement with Israel? The answer: zero.

Abbas, who is in his late 70s, has been in power since 2005 even though his term in office formally ended in January 2009.

If Abbas did not sign a peace agreement with Israel when he was a legitimate president during his earlier four-year term in office, he is most unlikely to strike any deal with Israel now that he does not have a mandate from his people.

If he wished, Abbas could have reached a deal with the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. But Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, chose to turn down a generous offer that could have seen Israel relinquish control over most of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Abbas is not interested in reaching any deal with Israel: he knows that such a move would require him to make concessions. Abbas knows that Israel will never give him 100% of his demands; that is enough for him to refuse to sign any historic agreement.

Like Arafat, Abbas does not want to go down into history as the first Palestinian leader to make concessions, especially on sensitive issues such as refugees and Jerusalem.

In 2000, Arafat rejected Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s generous offer, which included more than 90% of the territories captured by Israel in the Six Day War.

Arafat turned down the offer because he was afraid of being condemned by Arabs and Muslims for having “sold out to the Jews.” Arafat was later quoted as explaining that if he made any concessions to Israel he would “end up drinking coffee with [slain Egyptian President] Anwar Sadat up there.”

So if Arafat, the popular symbol and leader of the Palestinians was unable to make any concessions to Israel, who is Abbas to accept anything less than 100%?

Abbas knows that in a final deal, Israel would not permit millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps to enter the country. He also knows that Israel is planning to retain control over some parts of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Arafat walked away from the Camp David summit in 2000 because he had been telling his people that anyone who makes concessions to Israel is a traitor.

Similarly, Abbas has also tied his hands by constantly promising the Palestinians that he would never make concessions on the “right of return” and settlements.

Abbas has even gone a step further by mobilizing Palestinian public opinion against Israel to a point where his people are not even ready to see him meeting with Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz.

Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has been denouncing Israel and many of its leaders, including Mofaz, as war criminals. This is why when, two weeks ago, Palestinians heard that Mofaz was planning to visit Ramallah to meet with Abbas, hundreds took to the streets to protest.

Abbas quickly succumbed, and called off the meeting with Mofaz.

The next time Abbas plans to meet with any Israeli government official, Palestinians will once again take to the streets to protest.

The motives of the protesters are understandable. Why should they approve of such meetings while Abbas himself has been telling them for many years that Israeli leaders are war criminals and do not want peace?

If Abbas is not even able to hold a meeting with a senior representative of the Israeli government, who said that he could ever reach any peace agreement with Israel?

Abbas’s problem is more with his people than with Israel. Not only does Abbas not have a mandate to reach any deal with Israel, he has also lost much of his credibility among Palestinians for his failure to end his dispute with Hamas and to implement major reforms in his ruling Fatah faction

Today, Abbas is not in a position that allows him to sell to most Palestinians any agreement he reaches with Israel. Even if he were to bring home an agreement that includes 100% of his demands, most Palestinians would still receive it with full skepticism because it would be coming from a leader who does not have a mandate to make even the slightest concession.

Getting Serious About Get-Refusal

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

It’s human nature to hide our heads in the sand. That may be because we are mostly optimistic. We believe everything will be all right even when we know we are taking a chance.

On the flip side, it’s emotionally very difficult to admit we have a problem. We are worried about how others will regard us. Moreover, addressing a problem entails gathering strength to go about solving it. It’s so much easier to hide our heads in the sand.

About ten years ago, at a rabbinic convention in Israel, I was introduced to a well-known American Orthodox rabbi as a to’enet rabbanit – rabbinical court advocate. The rav politely asked me what I do. I briefly explained how I work with dayanim in Israeli batei din on cases of Get-refusal they have difficulty resolving. I stressed my focus on prenuptial agreements to prevent the agunah problem from arising in the first place, through the Council of Young Israel Rabbis in Israel.

“Oh, I know all about prenups” the rabbi replied. “My daughter just got married but I didn’t tell her to sign one. We don’t need these things.”

This rav, one of the most effective leaders in the American Orthodox world, did not recognize the very real agunah problem in his community. In fact, I have received cries for help (even though I am in Israel) from women who belong to every manner of Orthodox community in the U.S., from chassidishe and haredi to Modern Orthodox and everything in between.

Truth be told, it is difficult for a rav to admit publicly to a problem of Get-refusal in his community when no one is admitting it in the other communities. It is more comforting to imagine that should an agunah case arise, the community will take care of it. However, individuals who begin to tread the path of a me’agen are becoming more and more resistant to communal pressure or even rabbinic influence.

By recognizing the potential for the problem and arranging the signing of prenuptial agreements for its prevention, communal and rabbinic influence can be restored. The problem needs to be prevented from taking root in each individual case before it is too late.

Nevertheless, the practice is to hope for the best, rationalizing the agunah problem with statistics. “What,” we think, “are the chances of this happening to me or to my daughter?”

And yet our communities have overcome deep-seated reluctance in order to deal with other widespread problems. To cut down on the number of cases of genetic disease afflicting the Orthodox community, for example, practical yet dignified solutions were found. The community needed to find a way to assist individuals on a communal level and so now many Orthodox educational institutions routinely bring professionals into twelfth-grade classes to administer blood tests.

In this manner, the individual understands the implicit stamp of approval by the rabbanim and the fear of “what will others think?” is erased, since all are working toward the prevention of the problem.

Similarly, the leadership of each of the various Orthodox communities can make practical arrangements for prenup education with every educational institution – high school, yeshiva gedolah, seminary or college.

A service should be provided whereby every student, man or woman, who becomes engaged is called in. The school’s rabbi or counselor can present the couple with a halachic prenuptial agreement together with an explanation, and arrange for notarization services in the school’s office. In this manner the community will quickly understand that all are expected to sign a prenuptial agreement. It will become “automatic” – one of the things you have to arrange before you get married.

Even those who marry later, while no longer under the aegis of educational institutions, will remember to sign a prenuptial agreement since it will have become a standard part of the shidduch process.

Twenty-one rabbanim of one of Americas’ Orthodox communities – roshei yeshiva of Yeshiva University – recently signed a (second) kol koreh calling on all rabbis and the Orthodox community to promote the standard use of a halachic prenuptial agreement. They were spurred to do so by the Organization for the Resolution of Agunot. There are those who may feel YU or ORA is not their derech, but that does not relieve them of the responsibility to address the agunah problem in their own communities.

Germans to Pay Holocaust Restitution to Former Soviet Union Victims

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

In what the Holocaust Claims Conference is calling a “historic breakthrough”, the German government decided on Monday at pay restitution to victims of Nazi Germany now living in the former Soviet Union.

The group of 80,000 living survivors of the German genocide attempt had never received any compensation.

Former US Ambassador to the European Union Stuart Eizenstat, the Claims Conference’s Special Negotiator, praised Germany  for “its willingness, so long after World War II, and in such challenging economic times today, to acknowledge it’s still ongoing historic responsibility.”  The Chairman of the Claims conference claimed the group has been working for decades to get the country to pay restitution to this group of victims.

The compensation package comes just days after a German court’s decision to ban ritual circumcisions, halting one of the most fundamental practices of Jewish faith and raising an uproar of protest throughout the Jewish world.

Estimates are that the new compensation package will be worth approximately $300 million.

Most of the money will come from the Hardship Fund, and will consist of one-time payments of approximately $3,150 to Jews who fled the Nazis during their eastward push. Applications for Jews from Ukraine, Russia and other non-European Union countries in Eastern Europe will begin November 1.

Victims from the east will also now receive as much restitution as victims from western countries – approximately $370 per month.

Germany also decided to relax eligibility rules for those who receive restitution payments for being forced to go into hiding. Eligibility had only been for those who went into hiding for at least 12 months.  Now the eligibility threshold will be six months.

German restitution to victims of the Holocaust was controversial when the idea was originally floated by West German leadership in the 1952 Luxemborg/Reparations Agreement.  Signed by Israeli Prime Minister Moshe Sharett and West German Chancellor Konrad Adenauer, the agreement held Germany responsible for paying Israel for Jewish slave labor used by the Nazis and paying damages for persecution of Jews during the Holocaust.  Private victims would also be paid for property stolen by the Nazis.

Advocates of the measure argued that the funds were a significant contribution to the building of Israel, helping Israel to absorb 500,000 refugees from war-torn Europe, and also helped create awareness of the Holocaust around the world.  In the ten years following the signing of the agreement, West Germany paid three billion marks to the State of Israel for victims who left no surviving heirs.  The money was used to build Israeli infrastructure and other projects.  Half a million private victims have been paid over $60 billion.

Menacham Begin, then Herut party MK in Israel’s first Knesset, former Irgun fighter and future prime minister of Israel, was vehemently against the agreement, leading a large and violent demonstration against the measure.  At the event, Begin told protesters  “Our honor shall not be sold for money, our blood shall not be atoned by goods, we will wipe out the disgrace!”.

The opposition of some members of Israeli society of being given money to appease the loss of the Holocaust was so great that many attempts were made to thwart the agreement.  In 1952, Dov Shilansky, a Holocaust survivor and former commander in Europe’s  Jewish underground tried to bring explosives into Tel Aviv’s Foreign Ministry building in order to stop Israeli-German negotiations.

That same year, an assassination attempt on Adenauer led investigators back to Israel’s Herut party and its members from the Irgun.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/germans-to-pay-holocaust-restitution-to-former-soviet-union-victims/2012/07/11/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: