web analytics
December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Attorney General’

AG Just Sank the Channel 10 Submarine Scandal

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

According to a breaking report on Channel 2, Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, after consultation with the State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan at the Ministry of Justice this evening, has reached a decision that there’s no reason to involve the police in investigating the alleged Netanyahu submarine scandal reported by Channel 10. This implication of this statement is that there was no criminal wrong-doing on PM Benjamin Netanyahu’s part.

After the Channel 10  submarine report came out, Netanyahu’s lawyer and the central figure in the alleged submarine scandal, Dovid Shimron, took and passed a polygraph test, indicating he was speaking the truth when he said Netanyahu did not know about anything illegal or unethical.

Shimron was asked four questions: “Did you tell the Prime Minister about any connection between you and German shipyards? Have you talked to the Prime Minister about procuring submarines? Have you talked to the Prime Minister about maintenance of the vessels? And did you tell the Prime Minister you represent Miki Ganor?”.

Shimron responded in the negative to all the questions.

According to the report, the AG will still continue to check into any possibilities of a conflict of interest, presumably on the part of Dovid Shimron, but there’s nothing here that requires a police investigation or criminal probe.

Netanyahu has made it clear that security considerations were his only criteria and concern in the decision to purchase the additional three submarines.

The decision effectively sinks Channel 10’s attack and accusations against Netanyahu.

After Channel 10’s report came out, all of Netanyahu’s political adversaries, Yair Lapid, Ehud Barak, Moshe Yaalon and Yitzchak Herzog, jumped into the tub and joined the cacophony calling for Netanyahu’s investigation.

Jewish Press News Briefs

New Missouri Governor: Jewish and Assembles Rifle in 30 Seconds [video]

Friday, November 11th, 2016

Eric Greitens, Missouri’s first Jewish governor, a Republican, on Tuesday defeated his state’s Attorney General Chris Koster with 51 percent of the vote. Greitens, a retired former Navy Seal, made many headlines for his aggressive gun-toting and, most notably, gun assembling, and not at all for the fact that he is Jewish.

The son of Becky and Rob Greitens, Eric Greitens was born in 1974 in St. Louis, Missouri, and in high school was member of the 1995 USA Today All-USA Academic Team. He was an Angier B. Duke Scholar at Duke University, where he studied ethics, philosophy, and public policy. After graduating in 1996, he was selected as a Rhodes and Truman Scholar.

Greitens attended Naval Officer Candidate School in January 2001, and in 2002 graduated Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training. He is a lieutenant commander in the United States Navy Reserve, and has been deployed four times to Iraq, Afghanistan, the Horn of Africa, and Southeast Asia. He served as the commander of a joint special operations task unit, commander of a Mark V Special Operations Craft detachment, and commander of an al Qaeda targeting cell.

His personal military awards include the Bronze Star, Purple Heart, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Navy Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, Navy Achievement Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, and the Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal.

According to the Riverfront Times, religion was never an issue in Greitens’s gubernatorial campaign. Which is uncanny, considering the fact that Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich, who was running for governor, committed suicide in February 2015, believing he was the victim of a “whisper campaign” that he was Jewish. Schweich, an Episcopalian, had some Jewish roots, but who doesn’t?

Schweich blamed Missouri Republican Party chairman John Hancock for the rumors, which Hancock denied. And Hancock says he is “as proud as I can be” of Greitens’ victory, which demonstrated that anti-Semitism “is certainly not a problem that is endemic to being a Republican, it just doesn’t exist in our party.”

Rabbi Hyim Shafner, of the Bais Abraham Congregation in the Delmar Loop, on the western edge of St. Louis, told the Riverfront Times that Greitens, like former Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, was seen as an American, rather than as a Jewish candidate. “Obviously, it’s a positive thing in terms of how people see Jews and how they see Israel,” Shafner said.

Greitens married Sheena Elise Chestnut in Spokane, Washington. The Rev. Dr. Kenneth Onstot, a Presbyterian minister, officiated. They live in St. Louis, Missouri, with their two sons.

JNi.Media

Shabak ‘Lost’ Documents Permitting Use of Torture in Duma Arson Interrogations

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

One of the most disturbing aspect of the way in which the state handled the investigation of the Arson-Murder case in the Arab village of Duma, was not so much the fact that the accused are two Jews, one of them a minor, but the fact that the country’s military, police, government and even the judiciary have colluded in an effort to get a confession out of those Jewish suspects, even at the cost of using torture.

Media reports from the time of the investigation clearly indicated that then Attorney General Yehuda Weinsten, and the Supreme Court, gave the GSS (Shabak) permission to employ “aggressive” means of interrogation. Defense attorneys called for press conferences in which they decried the fascistic nature of such orders, warning that no matter what confessions the authorities manage to squeeze out of their clients using these brutal means, in the end no court could possibly accept them considering the manner in which they were extracted.

Not really. To paraphrase the old pseudo-philosophical adage: if a fascistic permission by the court to use torture disappears, does it still count against a conviction?

In a revelation that brings to mind some of the worst regimes in history, the Honenu legal aid society on Wednesday issued a press release accusing the state of losing documents pertinent to the case of one former Duma case suspect, said documents being the authorization to use torture in interrogating him.

The accused, who was initially part of the Duma investigation, was interrogated for a full month by GSS employees using violence and forceful shaking, until it became clear that he had no connection to the case. At that point, the prosecution indicted him on the charge of attacking an Arab during a brawl that had taken place two years earlier.

His attorney, Sinaia Harizi Moses, of Honenu, has been requesting for month to be shown several documents from the investigation, and her requests have been ignored. Among those documents, she asked to see the specific documents that supported the prohibition against letting her meet with her client, as well as the full protocol of his GSS interrogations.

According to the Hunenu release, during a court hearing last week, the prosecution declared that some of the investigation documents had “disappeared” and that despite many efforts, they could not be found. As to a few other documents, the prosecution objects to sharing them with the defense. The court will have to decide on those.

According to Moses, the “disappeared” documents were the alleged permission issued by the Attorney General to GSS employees to brutalize her client for a month in their dungeon. Other documents, she alleges, are the false statements issued by GSS interrogators to persuade the AG and, in turn, the courts, to permit her client to stay behind bars without seeing his lawyer or his family, and to be interrogated “aggressively.”

Which brings us back to the Duma case which rattled the country when it literally burst in flames on July 31, 2015, and has since been relegated to the far regions of media and public memory. The case, should it ever come to court again, could become an indictment of former AG Weinsten as well as the players and coaches of the much hallowed Israeli Supreme Court team.

Unless someone conveniently loses the documents.

Stay tuned.

David Israel

Minister Ariel: If AG Can’t Defend Law Saving Amona, Let’s Get an Attorney Who Can

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) may end up being the politician who broke the iron hold of the judicial civil service on Israel’s democracy — when all along we were certain it would be his teammate, Ayelet Shaked.

In years past, when the Attorney General, who serves both as the executive officer for Israel’s law enforcement agencies and as the government’s legal counsel and litigator, would tell ministers that he could not defend a certain legislation before the Supreme Court, that was the end of said legislation. Which is why, early on in her term as Justice Minister, Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) was looking to cut the job in half and hire one person to manage law enforcement, and another to manage the government’s legal affairs. But she couldn’t find enough support for the idea and, possibly, didn’t want to appear too radical so early in her administration.

Now, as the government is mulling legal means of bypassing a draconian Supreme Court decree calling for the demolition of the community of Amona in Samaria over a lawsuit by phantom Arab owners—the entire affair has been managed by Peace Now and other anti-Zionist NGOs—the AG, Avichai Mandelblit, on Sunday announced, through his deputy, Avi Licht, that he could not defend the proposed Regulation Act before the high court.

The bill compels Arab claimants against existing Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria to be treated like similar claimants inside green line Israel: if it can be shown that the land indeed belongs to them and the construction on it had been done illegally, the court rules on an amount, usually fair market value plus a fine, to be paid out by the defendant. No one inside 1949 Israel has ever demanded that standing buildings be struck down to remedy such a situation.

But over in Judea and Samaria, the Israeli Supreme Court has been riding high for years, insisting that the only remedy, even in cases in which there is no living and breathing claimant, the only acceptable remedy is destruction.

The cabinet decided to delay their discussion of the proposed Regulation Act until next week, to give the state time to petition the court for a postponement of the demolition date, December 25, 2016. It’s doubtful the Miriam Naor court, which has already voiced its exasperation over the Netanyahu government’s failure to carry out its demolition order for Amona given back in 2006, would grant yet another delay. As we noted earlier, should the court not grant a delay, Deputy AG Licht told the cabinet that his boss is not prepared to defend the proposed law before the high court.

Minister Uri Ariel then issued a statement saying, “I regret the prime minister’s decision to postpone the debate on regulating communities, most importantly Amona. It is an unjust decision which contradicts the prime minister’s own announcement two and a half months ago. We will continue to promote the Regulation Act despite the difficulties.”

And then Ariel released a shot across the bow of the AG’s office: “The AG’s statement regarding his inability to defend the state under certain conditions is unacceptable, and I hope he will change his mind. Should the AG not be willing to defend the new law at the Supreme Court, we’ll demand private representation, rather than give up our righteous struggle.”

And that’s how you teach a civil servant about the limits of his office.

JNi.Media

Ministerial Committee Delays Vote on Bill to Legalize Amona

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

A vote by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation has delayed by a week a decision on a bill to officially recognize the Jewish community of Amona and other similar communities.

The measure was to have prevented the expulsion of residents of Amona from their homes by the end of this year, as ordered by the High Court of Justice. The community, founded in 1995, is comprised of approximately 40 families.

Although the High Court has ordered its destruction on the basis of a lawsuit that contends it is built on “private” Palestinian Authority land, to this day not one “private” citizen of the Palestinian Authority has come forward to document that claim. A group of PA residents allegedly represented by the leftist Israeli Yesh Din NGO filed a petition in 2008, claiming Amona was encroaching on the group’s land and demanding its demolition.

There are still no replacement homes and community for the families, as also happened to more than 8,000 Jewish residents of the Gush Katif region and northern Samaria, who were forced out of their homes in the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza.

Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit has asked lawmakers not to approve such a bill, however, saying it is unconstitutional. Government ministers decided to delay their decision after a meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked and coalition leaders.

The committee was to have voted Sunday on the measure. The law was proposed by Bayit Yehudi MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli, whose party has threatened to leave the coalition if the bill to save Amona is not passed.

Hana Levi Julian

Woman of the Year 5776: Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

The January 22, 2013 general elections in Israel marked the emergence of two new parties; one, journalist Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, was yet another attempt to grab the undecided center among Israel’s voters; the other, Habayit Hayehudi, was a coalition of National Religious parties led by hi-tech executive Naftali Bennett and his long-time political ally, a 30-something computer engineer from Tel Aviv named Ayelet Shaked, who stood out as the only secular Jew in an otherwise Orthodox Jewish party. Both parties did well, although Lapid’s party took seven more seats than Bennett’s (19 vs. 12). Both parties also represent new challenges to the current power status quo in Israel, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud leading a right-leaning coalition government over an opposition being led by Labor (a.k.a. Zionist Camp).

At this point in the life of the 20th Knesset, the polls are showing Yesh Atid as the new largest party, siphoning off votes from Likud’s centrist voters and Labor’s more nationalistic supporters, as well as from Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party which barely passes the threshold percentage in the polls. At the same time, Likud is also being bitten on its right flank, by Habayit Hayehudi. And, also for the first time, the National Religious leader Naftali Bennett has been speaking openly about his ambition to be Israel’s next prime minister, at the helm of a rightwing, pro-religious, pro-settlements government.

That ambition is a new thing to a party that, since its incarnation as NRP in 1956, has always seen itself as a second banana, always in government, be it with leftwing or rightwing majority parties, but never at the helm. And while Chairman Bennett has been outspoken about his ambition to carve out a new direction for the country in the image of his party’s ideology, another Habayit Hayehudi leader has been giving the nation an idea of how a national religious government would carry out its agenda — Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Since the end of the 1990s, it has become clear that Israeli Jews are only going to become more traditional, even religious, and, consequently, the chance for a left-leaning party to receive the largest percentage of the vote will continue to grow dimmer. But while political positions have been given by the voter to rightwing governments, key decisions on issues that are close to the heart of the same rightwing voters have continued to lean to the left. This has been most notable in the liberated territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, where evictions of Jewish settlers have been carried out over the past decade and a half by rightwing-led governments, and those same governments have been refusing to implement Israeli civil law in Jewish communities hat have been living under martial law since the 1970s.

This is because the judiciary in Israel has been ruling as a shadow government, unelected and with a leftwing, secular agenda. In addition, Israel has had the most activist supreme court anywhere in the West, a court that has seized for itself powers well outside the norm in countries that uphold the principle of three branches of government. In countless cases, the high court has acted as a legislator, siding with the opposition against a ruling government (the recent vote on exploiting Israel’s natural gas come to mind, when the court torpedoed a government signed contract with US and domestic companies). The judiciary has also had its hand on the executive branch through the Attorney General and the legal counsels who are appointed to every ministry, and who often force the hands of elected officials using the threat of legal action against them.

The appointment of Ayelet Shaked to be the Minster in charge of this judiciary stronghold of the real power in Israeli society was received with a great deal of alarm and trepidation in the leftwing media, which called her “Israel’s Sarah Palin,” and accused her of inciting the mobs against the Supreme Court justices, “as if she were the worst [Internet] talkbacker and not the minister in charge of the holiest holy of every democracy — its separate and independent judiciary.” (Uri Misgav, Haaretz, Aug. 11, 2015).

The attack came in response to the new Justice Minister’s tweet on the same evening the Supreme Court was convening to rule on a law designed to block infiltration of illegal migrants from Africa through Israel’s southern border. Shaked tweeted that the law had already been quashed twice by the court, causing the infiltration, which had been reduced to single digits, to grow to dozens of new border crossings.

“If the law is revoked a third time,” Shaked tweeted, “it would be tantamount to declaring south Tel Aviv an official haven for infiltrators.” She then added that, until the court’s ruling, she would upload every two hours a new video describing the “intolerable life conditions of south Tel Aviv residents,” urging her followers to spread the message.

The court took notice and restricted itself to a few minor corrections, mostly regarding the length of time an illegal migrant could be held in a locked facility until his case is resolved by the Interior Ministry. The court continued to take notice throughout Shaked’s first year in office, and has been noticeably mindful of the need to avoid unnecessary friction with a Justice Minister who is probably the most popular minister in Israel. How popular? In 2013 she was picked by the Knesset Channel as the summer session’s most outstanding MK, and in 2014 as the second most outstanding MK of the winter session. In 2015 the Jerusalem Post ranked her 33rd on its list of the most influential Jews in the world. In 2015 she was ranked by Forbes Israel as the fifth most influential woman in Israel. And in 2016 Lady Globes ranked her second on its list of 50 most influential women.

Most importantly, Minster Shaked has afforded Israelis a view of a nationalist, rightwing politician who can be trusted to run the country’s third most complex system, after Finance and Defense. As Justice Minister, Shaked also chairs the ministerial legislative committee which decides which bills receive the backing of the government. Her role is comparable to that of the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House, in terms of influencing the legislative process. And the fact that she has been a competent, creative and resourceful Justice Minister might suggest to people in the secular center and right of center that her and Bennett’s party is worthy of their vote.

Shaked and Bennett are in troubled waters currently, over the fate of Amona, a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria that the Supreme Court has slated for demolition by early December, 2016, over claims to ownership of the land by Arab PA residents. The fact is that no one on the right in Netanyahu’s government believes that Amona could be saved, which Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated openly. Shaked wants to see the residents being relocated to a nearby plot of land, that could turn out to be just as problematic. But both Bennett and Shaked are also interested in advancing new legislation that would compel future claimants to settle for fair market value or comparable land from the Israeli government. At stake are an estimated 4,000 homes, the bulk of which were built as part of a government sponsored settlement program. The Supreme Court has rejected these “arrangement law” initiatives, and the current AG, Avihai Mandelblit, also objects to them, even though he himself is on the record as supporting them in the past.

For now, Shaked and Bennett are under attack by their voters, who cannot believe that a government that is as rightwing as this one would still engage in the forceful removal of Jews from their homes. And the last thing Shaked and Bennet want is to be forced to resign from Netanyahu’s government over this dispute.

Shaked, like Bennett, is a vehement enemy of the two-state solution. But she is also a liberal when it comes to many legislative initiatives. She has fought court activism; she objected to imposing jail sentences on Yeshiva students who refuse to enlist; and she supports a free and open market and reducing state regulations of businesses. She also believes in cutting down on new laws.

Noting that her government legislative committee has processed over the past year and a half no less than 1,500 new legislative proposals, Shaked wrote an op-ed in the right-leaning website Mida, saying that “every time the Knesset puts its faith in a new law intended to serve a worthy cause and solve a social or economic problem, we are, in effect, raising our hands to support a vote of no confidence. … It’s a vote of no confidence in our ability as individuals and as communities to manage ourselves in a good enough manner; it’s a vote of no confidence in the wisdom of the nation and of each person to create and preserve mechanisms that are better than those which are designed artificially by experts; it’s a vote of no confidence in the ability of familial, social and economic communities to run their own lives and strive successfully to reach their goals.”

Spoken like a true, sane Libertarian. And a Libertarian who knows how to combine the principles of freedom with the ideals of nation and Torah — could make one fine prime minister some day. Which is why we believe 5776 was the year of Ayelet Shaked.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu OKs Major Road Works on Shabbat with Tacit Haredi Approval

Friday, August 26th, 2016

After a tense night of negotiations, on Friday morning Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that he succeeded in resolving the potential coalition crisis with the two Haredi parties in his government over work that had been scheduled for Shabbat at the Derekh HasHalom (Heb: Peace Road) train station in Tel Aviv. The resolution was that works which must be carried out because of risk to human life will proceed on schedule on Shabbat, while other works will be delayed until after Shabbat.

The Prime Minster’s office released a statement announcing the establishment of a new committee, headed by Netanyahu’s chief of staff Yoav Horowitz, to look into enhancing communication between the Ministry of Transport and the Haredi factions.

Haredi party officials have told Walla that “the crisis is behind us. The Prime Minster’s announcement was made in full coordination with us. We see it as our success, when Netanyahu announces that works which do not pose risk to human life will not be carried out on Shabbat.”

Members of Netanyahu’s inner circle have reportedly requested that the Haredim not turn the resolution into a victory celebration, and so they have maintained a restrained response.

Over the past 24 hours, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas), Health Minister Yakov Litzman and MK Moshe Gafni (both from UTJ) sent Netanyahu an urgent letter Thursday night, demanding a halt to the works on Shabbat, warning of a possible coalition collapse. “Should these works be performed by order of the Israeli government, causing public desecration of Shabbat, this would constitute a serious precedence and a blatant violation of the status quo,” they wrote.

What ensued was a back-and-forth debate as to who is in fact in charge of making Shabbat-work decisions: Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Welfare Minister Haim Katz, who is in charge of Work and Rest decisions, or Prime Minister Netanyahu. They approached Attorney General Avichai Mandelblitt who ruled that the authority is, indeed, with Haim Katz, but since this constitute a coalition breaking issue, it should be sent up to the PM.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/netanyahu-oks-major-road-works-on-shabbat-with-tacit-haredi-approval/2016/08/26/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: