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February 12, 2016 / 3 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘arson’

Arson Burns Holy Books at Givat Sorek, Near Karmei Tzur

Saturday, February 6th, 2016

Once again, Arabs from the Palestinian Authority violated the sanctity of a Jewish house of worship. They burned the holy books with which Jews pray, first taking time to pile them ruthlessly, carelessly, and then setting them alight.

The holy books were burned Friday night in the synagogue in Givat Sorek, adjacent to the Jewish community of Karmei Tzur in Judea, south of Jerusalem, nestled in the Judean Hills.

The site is located on a strategic hill overlooking the location where the bodies of three kidnapped Israeli teens were found in 2014. The synagogue itself is a place where people go to meditate and pray; a site visited daily by Jewish children, teens and adults alike. It’s a house of prayer; a youth center; a tour site.

It’s also important to note that the arsonists took the time to pile up the holy books before setting them afire. In Karmei Tzur, the residents have taken this very hard, the Gush Etzion spokesperson sources said.

“It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that in the very heart of the country, something like this takes place, which reminds us of some of the darkest events in our history, not even a hundred meters away,” residents said.

“It is dangerous to allow this to continue,” they said. “It is necessary, and possible, to put an end to this,” they added.

Davidi Perl, head of the Gush Etzion Regional Council, said, “These difficult pictures send chills over one’s entire body. I am sure the survivors of Kristallnacht and the founders of Gush Etzion never dreamt they would see burnt holy books under Israeli rule. The Israeli government must take control over the Arab rampaging that is turning Israeli lives and society upside down.”

Tazpit News Service contributed to this article.

CSI: Jerusalem

Monday, January 11th, 2016

Forensic investigators at the entrance to a building in Talpiot where the offices of the radical left-wing NGO B’Tselem are located.

A large fire broke out late at night at their offices, and while some quickly accused the Right of arson, the investigation now points to an electrical short circuit that caused the fire.

B’tselem has been in the news lately, due to an investigation that was shown on the Uvda program, where leftwing activists claim to be turning over Arab land dealers who sell land to Jews, over to the Palestinian Authority for torture and execution.

Fire at B’tselem’s Jerusalem Office Building

Sunday, January 10th, 2016

A fire broke out in the building that houses the offices of the NGO B’tselem in the Makor Chaim neighborhood of Jerusalem, on Sunday evening.

According to the fire department, the fire broke out on the second and fourth floor of the building, and there are reports of at least one person trapped on the fourth floor.

B’tselem’s offices are on the first floor. It is unclear if the fire broke out within B’tselem’s offices.

B’tselem was recently in the public’s eye after the expose on Ilana Dayan’s show, Uvda.

Knesset Committee Extends Security Prisoners’ 96-Hour Remand by 1 Year

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Monday approved the extension by a year of a temporary order that allows interrogators to delay bringing a suspect in a security-related crime before a judge for 96 hours. The order further authorizes the court to extend a suspect’s remand in absentia.

The remand or detention of a suspect is the process of keeping a person who has been arrested in custody, prior to a trial, conviction or sentencing. The word “remand” is used generally in common law jurisdictions to describe pre-trial detention The pre-charge detention period is the period of time during which an individual can be held and questioned by police, prior to being charged with an offense.

The prohibition of prolonged detention without charge, habeas corpus, was first introduced in England about a century after Magna Carta.

Israel, which sadly does not have a Magna Carta, is currently debating the arrest without charges, remand in absentia and prevention of seeing an attorney in the case of at least three Jewish suspects in the Duma Village arson investigation. In that case the suspects’ incarceration is entering its fourth week in incognito detention.

The existing law allows authorities, under certain circumstances, to delay a suspect’s arraignment, to keep a security-related suspect in custody for a longer period of time than a suspect in another type of crime, to hold hearings in absentia and to limit the suspect’s freedom to appeal court decisions regarding his or her arrest. In addition, the law requires the security bodies that make use of these freedoms to file a biannual report indicating how often this law was implemented.

Deputy Attorney General Raz Nazri said statistics indicate that the Shin Bet (General Security Service) is making use of the temporary order in a “logical and restrained” manner. In 2014, Nazri told the committee, the law was used in cases involving only 23 of 200 relevant detainees, “a relatively high figure compared with previous years.” This year has seen a significant reduction in the use of the law, Nazri said. “The law’s clauses were implemented this year in cases that involved only seven of 341 relevant detainees. The Shin Bet is using this special tool only to prevent the loss of life,” he argued.

In the spirit of Israel being “light unto the nations,” Nazri told the committee that countries around the world “want learn about our use of the anti-terror law.”

Addressing the investigation involving the Jewish suspects, Nazri said “there are no interrogations in the dark; the Shin Bet is not hiding anyone. All of the actions are being accompanied by the attorney general.” He admitted that in this case “irregular measures have indeed been taken, and clauses of the discussed law have been implemented.” In response to a question by MK Uri Maklev (United Torah Judaism), he said the suspects “have been allowed to put on Teffillin (phylacteries) and light [Hanukkah] candles. I personally spoke with the administrator at the facility in which they are being held. Terror is terror. There is no terror law for Arabs and a terror law for Jews. To our regret, there is also severe Jewish terror which sometimes justifies the use of these tools.”

Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) refused to extend the temporary order by two years, as was initially requested. The committee unanimously approved its extension by one year. Addressing the Duma affair, Slomiansky said “if I will learn that there have been deviations from the law, I will hold a special meeting on the issue.”

MK Anat Berko (Likud) said “Jewish terror should be treated like terror, but we must remember that we are facing jihadist Muslim terror.”

The Slippery Slope of the Duma Case

Sunday, December 13th, 2015

Eight months ago, when I was in court for the trial of one of my clients, I ran into the murderer of the late Shalom Sharki, who was all smiles, conferring with his attorney. It was very shortly after the murder, and when I asked police why they were so quick to allow the meeting between the terrorist and his lawyer—who advised him to claim that he committed the crime was by accident—the police responded, “What can you do, we live in a democracy.”

I recalled that event in recent days, while running from one judge to another, demanding to meet with my client, a young man who had been kept in the Shabak’s cellars for many days—and who, according to his wife, was injured during his arrest. The courts cooperated with the Shabak, extending my client’s detention and, time and again, imposing the ban on letting him meet an attorney. No one mentioned the word Democracy.

Each week when we deal with Arab terrorism and the conflict of security needs versus civil rights, we inevitably hear the media, human rights organizations and “sensitive” politicians protesting that a youth who chased Jews with a knife didn’t get a decent meal; or demand that a policeman who made a racist remark while guarding a terrorist be prosecuted, and if he isn’t, they demand to know why.

The same standards aren’t being applied in the Duma investigation.

Over the past weeks we have not heard even one politician crying out in protest against the violations of the suspects’ human rights, and no right wing organization, other than the legal aid society Honenu, has gone public with a demand to stop the abuse.

Despite the fact that investigation of the arson in Duma is important, I believe the interrogators have crossed boundaries and red lines. Unfortunately, I can’t expand on this issue because of the gag order imposed on the case—in the future we will reveal the truth about these dark days for civil rights in Israel.

The problem is not only the severe harm to the detainees’ civil rights, but most importantly it is the fact that any such interrogations are contrary to the purpose of finding the truth, and may cause a terrible miscarriage of justice. When interrogators abuse, threaten and harass a suspect—all for the sake of forcing him to admit his guilt—it is possible that an innocent person would confess to crimes he did not commit. Such things have happened.

In dozens of decisions on Arab terrorist cases, former Chief Justice Aharon Barak ruled that while investigations of security issues are important, at the same time there is a duty to set limits the actions of Shabak interrogators: “This is the plight of a democracy, that not all the means are acceptable in it, and not all the practices which are employed by its enemies are available to it. A democracy must sometimes fight with one hand tied behind its back,” Barak stressed. But regarding the hilltop youths, it appears that those statements of the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court have been forgotten by today’s Israeli judges.

Another problem, perhaps the central one here, concerns the conduct of our own camp: rabbis, municipal heads and public leaders in the settlements do not go out of their way to help the incarcerated hilltop youths.

It’s easy to understand the settlement leaders’ behavior: why should they go out of their way to help those kids who often come across as insolent, anti-Zionist and rebellious.

But such a view is fundamentally mistaken. Even those who disagree with the hilltop youths, should learn from our experience that the persecution of the hilltop youths will then continue on to the physical abuse of settlers in Amona and Efrat, and eventually reach even to the “good children” of Givat Shmuel and Ra’anana; the abuse of a 16-year-old boy with giant side curls will soon spread to impact the settlement’s rabbi and the settlement’s security chief, and so on.

This slippery slope is visible before our eyes: the Jewish Department of the Shabak, the police nationalistic crime unit in the Judea and Samaria district, and elements in the prosecutor’s office see the hilltop youths as “the enemy, terrorists, attackers,” the way Shabak agents have put it. If the hilltop youths are the enemy, then their parents from the previous generation of settlers are “parents of terrorists,” their neighbors from the community are “supporters of terrorism” (“If you give them water, it means you support terrorism” goes the Shabak’s rationale), and we’ll all soon discover that the boundary line between terrorists and supporters of terrorism is very thin.

Make no mistake about it: despite the fact that the heads of major security forces—Roni Alsheikh, Yoram Cohen and Yossi Cohen—are observant Jews, or perhaps because of it, many in their organizations view all settlers as the enemy.

Parents of Duma Arson American Suspect Appeal for US Intervention

Saturday, December 5th, 2015

(JNi.media) The US Consulate in Jerusalem announced that it plans to intervene in order to protect the legal rights of an American citizen who is among the suspects in the torching of the house in Duma village. Several Arab family members were killed in the July 30 arson. According to Walla, the consulate wrote the suspect’s parents: “We will contact the Israeli authorities to arrange a visit by the consul. We have noted his medical condition and his need for medication for his allergy problems, and will talk about it with the Israeli authorities.” The letter concluded with, “Thank you for updating us on the condition of the detainee.”

The suspect’s parents appealed to the US consulate in Israel as well as to US Senators, demanding their intervention in the case in light of the fact that he is an American citizen. In their letter, the parents noted that their son was prevented from seeing his lawyer, that he is being held in an unknown location, and that his medical condition—he suffers from allergies and ADHD—has deteriorated during his interrogation period. “The suspect, a US citizen, should receive protection for his rights,” the letter pleaded.

According to attorneys Hai Haber and Adi Keidar, who represent some of the suspects in the arson murder case for the Honenu legal aid society, the Shin Bet has been acting with brutal forcefulness. “There’s been a violent and brutal investigation that included disappearing people without bringing them to trial, and without allowing their families or attornies to see them, just to force confessions from the suspects,” they said. “Something alarming has happened in Israel, and once the protocols will be published the citizens of Israel will be horrified and won’t even remember the arson event in light of the conduct of this investigation.”

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel also criticized the policy regarding the detainees. “Using these tools is unacceptable and prevents a suspect from obtaining legal advice maintaining contact with the world outside the interrogation room. The Association objects to it,” attorney Roni Pelli told Walla.

“Of course we have to solve this murder, we but have to use legal interrogation methods to prosecute the culprits. If you want to get to the truth it is certainly not through a course that leads to a false confession because of the pressure applied to the detainees and the violation of their rights,” said Pelli.

The Shin Bet said in response to the claims made by the family: “The Shin Bet is a national organization and all its activities are performed in accordance with the law. Shin Bet interrogations are conducted in accordance with the law and court rulings, and are overseen by the Attorney General, the State Attorney’s Office and the courts.”

Canadian Synagogue Invites Muslims in after Mosque Firebombed

Sunday, November 29th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Beth Israel synagogue in Peterborough, Central Ontario, Canada, invited Muslim worshipers at the Masjid al-Salaam mosque to pray in their building, after it had been firebombed on Nov. 14 by arsonists, Canadian media reported. The damage to the mosque was estimated at $80 thousand.

On Saturday night, the synagogue’s website published an announcement stating, “Yesterday, Friday November 27, Beth Israel became a house of worship for the local Muslim community.” On Friday, Beth Israel hosted two prayer sessions for local Muslims and a potluck dinner.

Beth Israel Synagogue president Larry Gillman told CBC, “As Canadians we have to stick together. It’s not about religion, it’s not about race. Canadians do this.” According to CBC, as soon as Gillman heard about the fire at the mosque, he reached out to his synagogue’s board of directors to find out about sharing space with the Muslim congregation. They voted unanimously in favor. “I hope this can be some kind of small example to others,” Gillman said.

Kenzu Abdella, the president of the Kawartha Muslim Religious Association, told CBC, “In the beginning, it was a shock. Within 24 hours, that changed. They walked to the mosque and told us that whatever we need, they will support us. Even though it came out of a tragedy, we are working together.”

The invitation to the synagogue was the first meeting between Abdella and Gillman. Since then, Gillman has given a speech at the Muslim Institute of Toronto and his synagogue has become part of an interfaith group working to sponsor Syrian refugees to come to Canada.

“We have more similarities than differences,” Abdella told CBC. “We have so much in common — the details of worship and the ceremonies. Even the stories we hear are similar. At the end of the day, it’s a house of God.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/canadian-synagogue-invites-muslims-in-after-mosque-firebombed/2015/11/29/

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