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February 11, 2016 / 2 Adar I, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Attorney General’

Attorney General Clashing with Netanyahu over Changing Rules of Engagement Against Rioters

Monday, September 21st, 2015

(JNi.media) Government legal experts opposed the demand to ease the rules of engagement with live ammunition when there is a risk to civilian lives. Speaking at a special session convened on Sunday by the Prime Minister in response to the rise in violent incidents in the capital, the same experts did authorize the use of non-lethal weapons. They said an examination of the plan to ease the rules will continue.

Netanyahu’s office said that during the hearing the prime minister instructed his legal experts to re-examine the rules of engagement in order to “adapt them to the reality on the ground, so that the police can prevent and deter terrorism.”

Netanyahu told his cabinet meeting on Sunday about the policy changes he wished to enforce following the deterioration in the security situation in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. “The police have already used new measures under the new directives this weekend, and struck the stone throwers and Molotov cocktail throwers,” Netanyahu reported. “Today we will allow further expansion of the ability of police forces to act and will add forces to damage the rioters,” he said.

But there have been tensions between the political and legal participants in the debate about the rules of engagement, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again demanding that the legal team at the office of the Attorney General re-examine the rules in light of the escalation of Arab violence in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. According to NRG, the legal team told the Prime Minister that he cannot change the rules of engagement with live ammunition, which is why the AG’s office had approved police use of the Ruger .22 sniper rifle, a non-lethal weapon used by the military to disperse rioters. However, the Prime Minister’s repeated demand, the Attorney General stated that the examination of the proposed changes will continue.

According to preliminary reports, the police was supposed to present at the discussion a draft proposal, finalized with the Attorney General, on the changes in the permission to open fire on rioters, namely that police would be able to use live fire in cases of risk to civilians inside Israel. However, as the debate had begun, representatives from the Attorney General’s and the State Attorney’s offices stated their opposition to the draft.

Later on Sunday, Israel Radio reported that the Prime Minister said in a private conversations that he was determined to confirm his new anti-terrorism measures put forward earlier. Netanyahu reportedly said his government is the sovereign and it can decide. Netanyahu once again instructed his professional staff to examine changes in the rules of engagement for rioters who throw stones and Molotov cocktails, setting minimum sentences for said violations, and denying the parents of rioting minors their government entitlements, such as social security benefits.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein told Israel radio he objected to minimum sentences, but said he was inclined to agree if the penalties remain part of a temporary order and be applied only to adults, and not to children. Weinstein also opposed a change in the rules of engagement for police but agreed to clarify the rules again, in case of a misunderstanding.

According to the Prime Minister, “there is a new situation and we should match the punishment and the rules of engagement to the new reality. We can’t allow that in Jerusalem, our capital, or in any part of the State of Israel, the Galilee or the Negev, people would organize popular terror and start throwing bottles at passing cars, or stones that kill people. This will not become the norm here, the opposite norm will be enforced — we will stop you in mid-action, and punish you to the full extent of the law,” Netanyahu said.

AG Weinstein Overrides Judge’s Decision, Permits Soccer on Shabbat

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

(JNi.media) There will be soccer league games in Israel this Shabbat, despite a ruling by Labor Court Judge Ariela Glitzr Katz to the contrary. Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced that the policy of ignoring Shabbat labor laws regarding soccer—practiced for more than 50 years in Israel—will continue. In other words, should the teams violate Israel’s labor laws and play this Shabbat, government inspectors will continue to avoid serving them with summonses.

In an interview on Army Radio, Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Bayit Yehude), criticized Attorney General Weinstein’s ruling, that there is no reason not to hold a soccer game on Shabbat. “If Weinstein were to say the same thing about any other topiv, there would have been a great outcry in response.”

On Tuesday, Israel’s Football Association’s management confirmed that it would not play on the day of rest without the authorization of the Ministry of the Economy. Economy Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) was not available to extend the league the needed permit absolving them of the requirement to observe Shabbat.

The hullabaloo began when Israel’s professional players’ union demanded to move all league games to weekdays, arguing they wished to spend the holy day of rest with their families, like the rest of the Jewish people. That reversed a practice that some say dates back to the first word war. Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev (Likud) said on Wednesday that “we need to reach a compromise between the association, the management, the Ministry of Culture and the teams. Fromt the start, I told the leaders of the Association that some in the Knesset wanted to pass such a law, but we couldn’t make it happen. Now they will have no choice but to be flexible.”

Weinstein’s decision only absolves the football teams from the threat of administrative criminal sanctions. Players, individually or in a class action suit, can still seek remedy from the teams or the players’ union in civil court. The defendants would in turn appeal to the Labor Court for an injunction against holding the games on Shabbat. It was precisely such a petition which has been was filed—and removed in the meantime—which began the entire controversy.

Best Friends Forever?

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked met with Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein at a special Cabinet meeting held in the Israel Museum on May 19, 2015.

The position of Attorney General is one of those that Shaked hopes to reform.

Likud Breaching Bayit Yehudi’s Coalition Agreements One by One

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

The Bayit Yehudi party may be wondering if the coalition agreements it signed are worth the paper they’re written on.

Last week, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ruled that a coalition agreement between the Likud and Bayit Yehudi, which increased the budget to the Settlement Division is not valid and therefore won’t be implemented.

This week, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon (Likud) said that he refuses to transfer control of the Civil Administration over to Deputy Minister Eli Ben-Dahan.

According to the coalition agreements, the Civil Administration is supposed to be under Ben-Dahan’s control.

The Civil Administration controls and coordinates security, construction and infrastructure in Area C of Judea and Samaria, specifically affecting Jewish and Arab communities there, as well as interfacing with the Palestinian Authority.

Instead, Yaalon said he wants Ben-Dahan to deal with Reservists and the Home Front.

A Bayit Yehudi party source very matter-of-factly told JewishPress.com, “We expect Likud to live up to the coalition agreement that was signed.”

He didn’t add any threats or warnings to his statement.

But what will Naftali Bennett do to enforce it?

Israeli A-G Breaks Own Rule, Interferes in Gov’t Coalition Talks

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

by Ben Niran

In a controversial move seen by democracy watchdog groups as endangering Israel’s separation of powers, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein announced when his opposition to a bill proposed last year by Naftali Bennett’s Jewish Home party, the Justice Ministry reported in a statement to the press.

Coming on the last, crucial day of the coalition negotiations, Weinstein’s rejection of the bill, which proposed to limit the powers of Israel’s High Court of Justice, was interpreted by The Movement for Governability and Democracy as a blatant interference in the negotiations, and a move that contradicts a directive Weinstein himself issued two years ago, in which he forbade government involvement in coalition affairs.

“The separation between the national public sphere and the [political] party sphere is a basic notion in Israel,” the Movement for Governance and Democracy, a non-profit watchdog group, wrote in an open letter to Weinstein, and demanded an explanation for his statement.

“This separation is necessary in order to prevent a conflict of interests and the politicization of public service,” the organization wrote.

Coalition Last Minute Talks: Likud Capitulates, Bayit Yehudi Wins Justice + 2 Security Cabinet Votes

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

It appears that Bayit Yehudi’s Ayelet Shaked will be made Justice Minister in Israel’s next government, Israel Radio reported.

Bayit Yehudi party chairman, Nir Orbach said, that talks with the Likud are now in a very sensitive state, and “all options are open,” including the Justice portfolio going to Shaked—which, incidentally, was a promise made to the voters by party chief Naftali Bennett at the onset of the campaign, back in January.

Orbach wrote to Bayit Yehudi activists Wednesday morning that unity and cohesiveness have awarded the party with unprecedented achievements and an opportunity for real impact on the future of the country.

Speculation is that, should the current intense talks reach a positive outcome, Bayit Yehudi would indeed come out the big winner, despite its loss of 4 seats in the March 17 vote. Netanyahu is desperate to seal a deal by midnight, and Bennett is taking full advantage of that.

With Shaked in charge of Justice, she will be able, for the first time since 1967, to start reforming this office’s largely anti-settler, left-entrenched civil service, starting with the appointment of the next Attorney General. She will also be able to reform the process of appointing judges, including supreme court justices, shifting the balance of power in the committee to appoint judges, which to date has been dominated by a closed circle of professionals, with lawmakers—the representatives of the voter’s will—in the minority.

Having control of the Justice Ministry will also balance out the Chareidi control over the Ministry of Religious Affairs, since the Justice Ministry enforces government decisions. The Justice Ministry also controls the appointment of Rabbinic judges, along with the enforcement of kashrut laws. This means that restaurants and other food-related businesses could be allowed to buy their independent kashrut supervision—regardless of the policy set up by the Shas run ministry of religious services.

Update: Benjamin Netanyahu pulled a twist on Naftali Bennett, reportedly agreeing that Shaked could be Minister of Justice, but with a few very significant restrictions, specifically that Shaked would not have the ability to select judges or other judicial appointments, and won’t be sitting on the ministerial committee for legislation and the judicial appointments committee. Bennett has said he will only accept a while Justice Ministry.

Also, Bayit Yehudi scored two seats in Netanyahu’s security cabinet, which will influence countless choices, including the treatment of settlers.

Despite settling for the less influential Education portfolio, going to Bennett, the party leader will also be deputy minister of defense, a role which would give him control over specific departments in the ministry.

And Bayit Yehudi’s Uri Ariel is likely to be given ministerial control over the Agriculture Ministry with the Settlement Division, which should favor expansion of settlement building, as well as support services.

So far, Bayit Yehudi denied reports from Likud sources that they demanded the defense portfolio in negotiations. According to Bayit Yehudi, they’re only insisting on Ayelet Shaked getting the Justice portfolio, which they say Netanyahu promised her months ago.

Senior politicians now tell Israel Radio the crisis is over, and Netanyahu is going to present a 61-seat government to the president tonight. A Likud source said the new proposal made to Bennett was “rich and fair.”

It’s about time.

Update: The rumor mill says that Shaked’s appointment will have certain restrictions, specifically related to the appointment of judges.

Obama Promises Peres A-G Will ‘Check Into’ Pollard

Thursday, June 26th, 2014

U.S. President Barack Obama assured Israel’s outgoing President Shimon Peres on Wednesday he would ask Attorney-General Eric Holder to “check into” an offer that Peres made regarding the case of former Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard.

Peres’s office submitted his request to the White House prior to arriving for what will be his last official state visit as Israel’s president.

“I made an offer but won’t go into details about it,” he told reporters on Wednesday. However, he did discuss the specifics with members of the Pollard family, he said, before presenting the plan to Obama.

“If I share too many details it will just ruin things,” he said at the briefing. “I cannot say that [the president] responded positively on the spot. I don’t want to add to what he said, which was that the U.S. Attorney-General would decide.”

Pollard is entering his 29th year of incarceration in a North Carolina prison after being convicted in 1985 on a single charge of passing classified information to an allied nation, Israel. The crime usually carries a maximum penalty of up to four years in jail. But although Pollard’s attorneys worked out a plea bargain with the prosecution, during the sentencing a note was passed to the judge. Suddenly Pollard was charged with and convicted of treason without recourse to a new trial. His attorney had no access to the evidence that had apparently led to the new charges, which was locked due to “national security” — and instead Pollard found himself sentenced to life in prison. All attempts at appeal have since failed.

Since Peres was serving as Israel’s prime minister at the time of Pollard’s arrest, and since it was he who submitted the documents to the U.S. with Pollard’s fingerprints that were used to incriminate him, it is Peres who is most likely to persuade Obama now to grant clemency for humanitarian reasons.

He and Obama also share a unique status as being the only two current heads of state in the world who are both Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Pollard’s health has deteriorated significantly over the past several years, and the request by Peres is reportedly to be based on the issues of Pollard’s extremely poor health, the impact on his wife, and the length of his time already served — in short, humanitarian reasons. At age 90, Peres this year retires from politics and made a promise to Pollard’s wife and the people of Israel prior to his departure that he would try to win her husband’s release during his visit to the U.S. He is scheduled to meet again with Obama Thursday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-promises-peres-a-g-will-check-into-pollard/2014/06/26/

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