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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Balad’

13 More Balad Activists Arrested in Fraud Crackdown

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Police continued the crackdown on the Israeli-Arab Knesset party Balad Wednesday, arresting 13 additional suspects on suspicion of fraud. The arrests bring the number of Balad activists, lawyers and accountants arrested since Sunday to 36. No Balad Knesset members have been arrested.

The police suspect that the new detainees, all party activists, have been involved in a money laundering ring to defraud the Israeli government by misrepresenting the origin of millions of shekels (at least hundreds of thousands of US dollars). Balad reported the money to have been donated from hundreds of donors in Israel, but police suspect the funds were in fact received from other sources, both in Israel and abroad. Police have not provided further details.

Balad Party members allegedly committed a series of financial offenses, including money laundering, false reporting, forgery, receiving an object by deception under aggravated circumstances and numerous violations of the Political Parties Financing Law.

Balad is part of the Joint List faction in the Israeli parliament, a conglomeration of three Arab-majority parties, and describes itself as a “national party for the Palestinian citizens of Israel.” The party is more (Arab) nationalistic than the dovish and socialist Hadash party and the Islamic religious United Arab List. Balad MK Hanin Zoabi participated in the 2010 Mavi Marmara flotilla to Gaza, and more recently called IDF soldiers “murderers” in the Knesset plenum.

In February, Zoabi and fellow Balad MKs Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas were suspended from all Knesset deliberations for four months for meeting with and honoring families of Palestinian terrorists.

The latest detainees are expected to be brought before courts in northern and central Israel to extend their remand. In addition, six of the 23 suspects arrested on Sunday will appear in court Wednesday and are expected to have their remands extended. The 17 remaining suspects will appear on Thursday.

The investigation was initiated several years ago following a report by State Comptroller Joseph Shapira and approved by the previous Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, in keeping with the state attorney’s recommendation. The covert investigation was closely monitored by the state attorney’s office.

Balad officials denounced the crackdown Sunday as “political persecution.”

“This is a dangerous escalation and another stage in the campaign of political persecution against the Arab minority and its political movements,” said the party in a statement. “The real purpose is to silence Balad and harm its role as spearhead in the struggle against oppression and discrimination. Like in the past, this attempt will fail and the mountain will turn out to be a mouse.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Joint Arab Party Rejects “Zionist” Meretz Party as a Partner

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

As part of the election system in Israel, political parties can sign vote-sharing agreements with other parties.

If both parties pass the minimum electoral threshold, then the party that is closer to getting an additional seat will get the leftover votes from its partner that would otherwise be thrown away. Sometimes its enough to get the recipient party another seat once all the votes are counted.

Typically the parties sign vote-sharing arrangements with parties close to them ideologically.

The Likud and Bayit Yehudi have a vote-sharing arrangement. Yisrael Beytenu signed with Kulanu, and Shas signed with UTJ.

On Friday, the Zionist Union signed a deal with Meretz – but they didn’t want to.

The Zionist Union had originally chosen to sign with Meretz, but they really wanted to switch to Yesh Atid, who had no partner at all.

But in order to do that, they needed to find a new partner for Meretz, and another natural partner for Meretz would have been the Joint Arab List – or so they thought.

But, life and politics are funny that way.

The Balad component (Hanin Zoabi’s party) of the Joint Arab list refused to allow the Joint Arab List to sign a deal with Meretz.

Their leadership said they refuse to cooperate with any Zionist party, including Meretz.

Meretz chief Zahava Gal-on said, “The Arab parties let their [Arab] nationalists foundations define their party, nationalism and poverty, rather than cooperation.”

Meretz just doesn’t seem to understand the Arab party and sector, whom they imagine to be their natural partners and allies in Meretz’s battle to destroy settlements and create a Palestinian state.

Shalom Bear

High Court Rules Zoabi and Marzel Can Return to Election Race [election]

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

Israel’s High Court has ruled that Israeli Arab candidate Balad MK Hanin Zoabi can run for re-election — despite her numerous statements, and actions, in support of terrorists from the Palestinian Authority.

In addition, the Court ruled Israel’s electoral authority must also allow Yachad candidate Baruch Marzel to run in the country’s national election on March 17 as well.

A panel of nine judges voted 8-1 in favor of reinstating both, with Deputy Supreme Court President Elyakim Rubenstein as the sole dissenting justice. The decision on the matter was moved up due to the proximity of the election.

Zoabi had been disqualified from running for the Balad Knesset seat by an overwhelming majority of the Central Elections Committee. This is the second time the High Court has overturned such a decision; a similar move took place just prior to the election of 2013.

Adalah NGO attorney Hassan Jabareen argued before the Court that all six statements attributed to the Balad MK that were used to disqualify her from running would “fall apart” once they were “placed into context.” Zoabi, he said, would be found to exhibit a record of consistent opposition to violence once her statements were examined, despite her statements in support of the Palestinian Authority.

Considering the law – and only the law – meant Zoabi’s recent six-month suspension by the Knesset also had no bearing on the case, he added. The MK’s recent visit to Qatar likewise was ruled a non-issue, inasmuch as Qatar is not considered an enemy state: Israel and Qatar actually do trade with each other.

Although the state described the MK’s conduct as “very troubling” it found that in principle it was forced to agree with Jabareen that there was no legal basis for her disqualification.

Nevertheless, attorney Yoav Mani, arguing for Yisrael Beytenu, warned the Court was setting the bar at an unreachable “high” in terms of the standard for evidence for disqualification. “When do you decide that enough is enough?” he asked. It was not about what the MK would do, Mani said – “say you’re against [her views] because they’re against who we are!”

Arguments for and against the disqualification of Baruch Marzel, candidate for the Yachad faction, were equally fierce.

Attorney Itamar Ben-Gvir argued – as had Zoabi’s lawyer – that Marzel’s statements had largely been taken out of context, and in some cases “he didn’t say them at all!”

He also contended that saying “Kahane was right” did not constitute a crime, nor did it violate the standard for election law violation. Marzel, once a member and leader in the banned “Kach” movement, had changed over the years, Ben-Gvir argued – but public and court opinion may not take that into account, with memory casting its long shadows back into the past instead.

A statement by Marzel made after an attack on a Jerusalem school that focuses efforts on co-existence was examined: the Court questioned its “anti-Arab” tone while Ben-Gvir said the intent was an expression of doubt that co-existence is possible today.

As with Zoabi, Rubinstein dissented, saying it seems likely Marzel has not changed at all. “If it walks and talks like a duck, why isn’t it a duck?” the judge asked.

Nevertheless, both candidates, seen as extremists by each others’ constituencies, are back in the race and will run for election with their parties on March 17.

Jewish Press News Briefs

High Court Maintains Ban on Israeli Arab MK Hanin Zoabi

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

The High Court has rejected an attempt by Israeli Arab Knesset Member Hanin Zoabi of the Balad party to block the parliament from banning her activity.

One after another, the five-member panel of justices scored Zoabi for her claims that she backs non-violence. Zoabi clearly identifed with the Hamas kidnap-murderers of three yeshiva students in Gush Etzion in a broadcast interview on Radio Tel Aviv last June, before it was known that the boys had been murdered.

Zoabi was barred for six months from all Knesset activity other than voting in response to a flurry of complaints from her colleagues — including Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein — about a statement she made regarding the abduction and particularly brutal murder of Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar  were not guilty of terrorism.

“Is it strange that people living under occupation and living impossible lives, in a situation where Israel kidnaps new prisoners every day, is it strange that they act this way? They are not terrorists. Even if I do not agree with them, they are people who do not see any way open to change their reality, and they are compelled to use means like these until Israel wakes up and sees the suffering, feels the suffering of the other.”

The complaints charging Zoabi with incitement led the Knesset Ethics Committee to ban Zoabi at the end of July from making speeches, submitting legal questions or initiating debates from the plenum or in committee for half a year. It was the maximum punishment the committee was allowed to impose.

On October 7 Zoabi tried to appeal the ruling in committee, calling it a violation of freedom of speech. That effort failed, and the ban was confirmed by the full plenum at the end of October.

However, Zoabi has still won a victory: despite breaking the laws of the state by repeatedly visiting enemy nations and participating in events clearly as an advocate for an enemy entity (the Palestinian Authority), Zoabi has yet to be charged with treason.

Moreover, despite her verbal support for an enemy during wartime in July – when Israel was facing impending conflict with the Hamas terrorist organization, as she obviously knew, being a privileged lawmaker – Zoabi is free.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein ruled in the current case that Zoabi’s statements in July did not constitute criminal incitement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hana Levi Julian

Arab MK Zoabi Says IDF ‘Worse than’ ISIS

Monday, October 20th, 2014

Hanin Zoabi, Israel’s de facto Minister for Anti-Zionism and chair of the Fifth Column, outdid herself on Sunday be comparing the IDF with the Islamic State (ISIS).

Actually, that is not true. She did not compare them. The IDF is much worse, she stated on Channel 2 television, because the Islamic State “kills one person at a time with each knife while an IDF pilot kills dozens of Palestinians by pressing a button.”

Not to be totally outdone by Zoabi’s love for hate, another one of her Balad party colleagues, MK Basel Ghattas, chimed in on Army Radio Monday to say that there is a big difference between the Israeli army and the Islamic State, which “unlike the IDF, has not committed crimes against humanity.

Zoabi, a resident of Nazareth in the Galilee, is the same cheerleader for terror who was on the IHH terrorists’ Mavi Mamara ship aimed at breaking the maritime embargo on Hamas.

She previously has used the Knesset podium to call Israel a Nazi state, reject Israel as a Jewish state, a basic part of the Balad party’s platform, and to dismiss the Iranian nuclear threat simply as one of “potential.” She also has sung the Palestinian anthem at a Hamas rally.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, on cue, called the Balad party a “terrorist organization” that exploits the Knesset to “advance terrorism while taking advantage of parliamentary immunity.”

Previous moves to indict her for incitement were ditched by Israel’s cowards in the office of the Attorney General.

Transportation Minister Israel Katz of the Likud party called Zoabi’s statement “treason and sedition.”

As usual, everyone is trying to matching Zoabi’s mouth with shocking words , but no one ever does anything about Zoabi, who would long have been thrown into jail in any other democratic country that understands the principle that freedom of speech does not include yelling ”fire” in a crowded theatre just to get attention.

The Jewish Press has come up with a practical idea and is asking you to put some money in the pushkie to raise enough shekels to buy her a first-class airline ticket for her to fly to Syria.

Once there, Zoabi can see herself the difference between the ISIS and the IDF, and when she comes back to Israel, maybe she will have some more sense in her head, unless it comes back on a separate ticket.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israeli Arab Math Teacher is Suspected ISIS Supporter

Monday, September 29th, 2014

A 24-year-old math teacher in northern Israel is being held as a suspected supporter of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror organization.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, is being held until Wednesday for questioning while the investigation continues under an order from the Hadera Magistrate’s Court.

ISIS was banned officially in Israel – along with its members – at the beginning of September by Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon. The legal decree outlaws meetings or contact of any kind with members of the terrorist organization.

Police discovered an ISIS flag and a large amount of jihad literature during a search of the suspect’s home in Kfar Kara, in the Wadi Ara region of central Israel, an area known as “the triangle.” The town is located 22 miles (35 km) southeast of Haifa, home to some about 15,000 residents, mostly Muslims, and is a town with the highest record for doctors relative to population size in the country as of 2007.

Also known for its high number of academics and Master’s degree holders, Kfar Kara is home as well to fiery Israeli Arab Knesset member Jamal Zahalka, chairman of the radical Balad political party, who has often slammed Israel as an “occupier” of “Palestinian lands.” Zahalka is known for his trips abroad to enemy Arab nations — such as Syria — to meet with President Bashar al-Assad as well as terrorist leaders. He has yet to be charged in connection with such activity, due in part to his diplomatic immunity as a Knesset member.

Among the items seized from the suspect’s home were computers, several other electronic devices, the ISIS flag and a large quantity of literature on jihad (Islamic holy war.)

Thus far, the suspect has told police that he brought the items back with him from Jordan, where he was studying.

But he is not the first.

Umm al-Fahm resident Ahmed Shurbaji, 23, was convicted last week in the Haifa Magistrate’s Court for illegally traveling to Syria for military training. This, after confessing to terrorist training with ISIS.

Efraim Halevy, chief of Israel’s international Mossad intelligence agency, warned in an interview on Army Radio this month that Israeli Arabs might volunteer to fight with ISIS.

“There are signs of sympathy for the Islamic State among Israeli citizens,” Halevy said. “When a backdrop of sympathy exists, there are usually some who cross over to wider action.”

A similar process has already occurred in western Europe, he said.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Journalist Amira Hass Bashes Israel at Government-Funded ‘Peace Forum’ in Finland [video]

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

At what was called a “peace forum” held at the Helsinki University in Finland, one of the furthest left journalists of the far left Israeli newspaper Haaretz, Amira Hass, was invited to share her hatred for the Jewish state, and to lionize by justifying those who attack Israel. There were two other speakers, one as anti-Israel as Hass, the other, slightly less so.

The event was sponsored by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture, and put together by ICAHD, a virulently anti-Israel (Israeli) NGO that started as opposing the demolition of (any) Arab (but not any Jewish) homes in Israel, but now stands in opposition to the “Occupation,” which frequently is polite speak for the existence of Israel. It was held on Monday evening, Sept. 8.

Kenneth Sikorski, founder and editor of the pro-Israel blog Tundra Tabloids, was present at the event. He reported that Hass was in her usual form, excoriating Israel for existing, claiming – literally – that “every single Palestinian in the world has been victimized by Israel’s policies.” Every single one.

As Sikorski reported, Hass told the Finnish audience that Israel is “responsible for state terror, cruel policies of marginalization, departmentalization and apartheid policies that are far worse than was practices in South Africa.”

Fed up with listening to Hass – at a peace forum no less! – Sikorski stood during the Question and Answer session at the end of the forum and said for all to hear that the forum “is the anti-theses of what it supposedly  promotes,” that instead of promoting peace, “it includes promoters of violence, namely Amira Hass, who stated that throwing stones is the Palestinian’s ‘birthright.'”

Several pro-Israel members of the audience were tossed out of the event for refusing to sit quietly to the blatant hostility and falsehoods hurled by the speakers at the Jewish state.

Hass was not the only over-the-top spewer of venom towards Israel. Jamal Zahalka, an elected member of the Israeli Knesset of the Arab Balad party, also was present to explain to the Finns just how awful Israel is.

Zahalka said that “Apartheid under South Africa was preferable to what Arabs are suffering under Israeli hegemony.”

Got that? One wonders whether Zahalka can name any black South Africans who were members of the South African government during the Apartheid regime? It is astounding that Arabs in the Israeli government – as did Zahalka’s predecessor, Amir Bishara (who later had to flee Israel to evade charges that, while serving in the Israeli government, he had been spying for Hezbollah) – still claim, with a straight face, that Israel is an Apartheid state.

What’s worse, perhaps, is that audiences hear these charges of Apartheid against Israel by members of the Israeli government or leading journalists, and neither convulse with laughter or demand that the speakers understand the words they use, especially when the accusers’ own pictures could be used as icons to disprove their claims.

Hass not only justified stone-throwing by Arabs at Israelis, she transformed the act into a literary performance, saying: “Throwing stones is the birthright and duty of anyone subject to foreign rule. Throwing stones is an action as well as a metaphor of resistance.”

Watch the video of the event. Try not to be distracted by the frightening hairdo of the student presenter.

 

 

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-journalist-amira-hass-bashes-israel-at-government-funded-peace-forum-in-finland/2014/09/10/

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