Posts Tagged ‘Ben Gurion Airport’
Religious coercion has come from the labor union, of all places, but not for the right reason.
The Histadrut announced on Thursday plans to strike the Ben Gurion Airport throughout this Shabbat – from sundown Friday until Saturday night – but don’t think we are on the eve of the Days of the Messiah.
The union’s problem is not Shabbat. Its complaint is that the Ben Gurion Airport Authority is employing too many contract workers, who are outside of the union.
The Histadrut planned to give those workers the chance to obey the Fourth Commandment, as written in Exodus (Shmot) 20, verses 8-11:
Remember the Sabbath day to sanctify it. :
Six days may you work and perform all your labor;
But the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord, your God; you shall perform no labor, neither you, your son, your daughter, your manservant, your maidservant, your beast, nor your stranger who is in your cities.
For [in] six days the Lord made the heaven and the earth, the sea and all that is in them, and He rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and sanctified it.
The Airport Authority and the Histadrut have been talking for a month on the union’s demand to limit the number of contract workers, who now number approximately 500 along with 3,400 unionized employees.
The Histadrut planned to observe Jewish law to the hilt. It not only was going to enforce the Fifth Commandment by not working on Shabbat, but it also was not going to interfere with emergency services, which will operate as usual in line with the dictate that one must work on the Shabbat if it means saving a life.
Later on Thursday, the Histadrut reached an agreement with Airport Authority and called off the strike.
The planned strike came at the peak of the summer tourist season. Air traffic is relatively slow on the Sabbath, but nevertheless there are approximately 200 planes scheduled to take off and land this Shabbat.
Police have arrested five hilltop activists who allegedly were behind the June 18 arson at the Church of the Multiplication of the Loaves and Fishes at Tabgha on the shores of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee).
The Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) and police announced Wednesday afternoon that the suspects also have been involved in other hate crimes.
The arrests are a major victory against “price tag” vandals who have blackened the image of residents of Judea and Samaria, especially those who live in hilltop communities.
Indictments were filed against two suspects,20-year-old Yinon Reuveni of the western Negev town of Ofakim; and 19-year old Yehuda Asraf of Elad, a predominantly Haredi city in central Israel.
Administration steps will be taken against the other three.
All five suspects are “hilltop youth” and some of them have a record of violent activity.
Police and the Shin Bet said that Reuveni recently had been barred from Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria for xi months because of suspicion that he was involved in several “price tag” attacks in the Old City and against Arabs in Judea and Samaria.
The other suspects are 18-year-old Mordechai Meyer, of Maaleh Adumim, 24-year-old Moshe Orbach of Bnei Brak and “John Doe” of Ramle, located near Ben Gurion Airport.
Meyer recently was served with an injunction barring him from Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem due to his suspected involvement in several incidents of arson. Orbach and “John Doe” also have lived in various hilltop youth outposts and also is suspected with several hate crimes.
The Shin Bet and police stated:
This group operates in the context of an ideological infrastructure composed of a limited number of hilltop youth activists. This infrastructure has operated since 2013 and holds to an extremist ideology that aspires to change the regime and bring about the redemption via various stages of action.
The infrastructure sought to hit ‘weak points’ in the State of Israel in order to arouse dialogue and win adherents and also tried (unsuccessfully) to disrupt the May 2014 visit of Pope Francis.
It added that the ringleader of the infrastructure now lives in Safed (Tzfat) and has recently lived in various hilltop youth outposts. He also has been served with an administrative order barring him from Judea, Samaria and Jerusalem for one year.
The infrastructure began with mainly anti-Christian activity, including the vandalism of the Dir Rafat monastery in April 2014.
In the past year, the infrastructure began to commit more significant terrorist attacks of arson against Arab homes in Judea and Samaria.
The blog of the head of the group on the “Jewish Voice” site on May 20 of this year sought to encourage attacks on Christian religious sites and stated, “Only those who deny idolatry and fight against Christianity and aspire to remove the churches from the Holy Land – they are called Jews.”
Approximately 70,000 passengers on 430 flights will have passed through Ben Gurion Airport by the end of Thursday, making it the busiest day of the year so far.
Tourism is up by approximately 7 percent, and 1.7 million passengers are expected to arrive and depart at the airport next month.
Israel suffered a sharp decline in tourism last August and September during Operation Protective Edge and now is rebounding.
Turkey, which Israel sunned two years ago after worsening relations, is back in favor and follows Greece as the favorite destination. Next in line are Italy and the year.
Slightly more than a quarter of passengers fly El Al.
Israel finally has an honest religious Zionist as acting Foreign Minister.
Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely has changed protocol for foreign dignities who now will be asked to visit the Western Wall (Kotel) as well as Yad VaShem and Mt Herzl Cemetery.
The new protocol is at least the second major change she has introduced into the Foreign Ministry since her appointment by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
When she took office, she met with Foreign Ministry officials and gave them a short sermon on Torah – “Dvar Torah” in Hebrew – and instructed them to made the Jewish People’s Biblical right to Israel as part of the “Hasbara” public relations program.
Now she wants foreign dignities to understand that official visits to Jerusalem sites should not be limited to the sadness identified with the military cemetery and the Holocaust Memorial.
Hotovely told the new head of the “Ceremonies Branch”” of the ministry to include the Kotel as part of the itinerary for foreign dignitaries, Yediot Acharonot reported.
In my eyes, the fact that the Kotel will become part of official visits of foreign dignitaries in Israel is a meaningful statement that strengthens the position of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
This visit will take dignitaries from the ethos and sentiment of Yad VaShem, which deals with the catastrophe of the Holocaust, to the positive character of the Kotel that speaks of deep roots of the city.
This will change the view of visits from 100 years of Zionism to 3,000 years of Zionism.
Hotovely she has taken into account that there will be some dignities who will refuse to visit the Western Wall because they consider it part of “disputed territories,” depending on the visitor’s political agenda.
Barack Obama anxiously visited the Kotel when he was campaigning for president in 2008. In his last visit to Israel, he refused to come near to the holy site and instead opted for Tel Aviv.
“If there are those who refuse to visit, we will try to convince them to do so, but the change is that until now, visiting the Kotel was not even a priority in the Foreign Ministry.
She added that she will not object if dignities condition their visits to the Western Wall on their being able to go to the Temple Mount, presumably to visit mosques and not to utter forbidden non-Muslim prayers, or to the Holy Church of the Sepulchre.
The first foreign dignitary to come under the new protocol will be Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, who will be met at Ben Gurion Airport next week by Hotovely. She will escort him to the Kotel.
Hotovely’s innovations – a Dvar Torah and now visits to the Kotel – are brilliant if not simple moves that should have been part of policy from Day One of the modern State of Israel.
The beauty in the changes is that leftist and pluralistic politicians and media cannot easily oppose them.
They may not like including a bit of Torah in Israel’s explanations to the international community, but how can they be against it without saying that the Torah should not an official part of Israel?
They may not like her including the Western Wall as a part of the protocol for vesting dignities, but as Hotovely said, the Western Wall is part of the Israeli consensus.
Hotovely’s real innovation is that her observance of Judaism is above politics, exactly what has been lacking in Israeli governments.
Minister Ze’ev Elkin will welcome 221 new immigrants from the United States and Canada at Ben Gurion Airport on Tuesday., one year after Operation Protective Edge.
The flight, organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh in cooperation with the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency and JNF-USA, will carry 32 families and 53 singles from 14 states, the District of Columbia and four Canadian provinces.
Among the Olim are 95 children – 49 girls and 46 boys – who are immigrating with their parents. About one-fourth of the Olim arriving on the flight have decided to settle in Israel’s periphery as part of the “Go North and Go South” programs.
During 2015, more than 4,000 new immigrants are expected to make Aliyah from North America, and half of them will arrive ii the summer.
Police Thursday morning arrested a rabbi from Safed (Tzfat) whom a woman said raped her after giving her spiritual guidance several years ago.
A second woman filed a complaint Wednesday night.
The allegations were presented to rabbis in Tzfat last month, and rabbinical leaders, including Safed’s Chief Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, asked the alleged rapist to leave the city during the investigation. The rabbis informed the police, who were not able to act until one of the women filed a complaint, which she finally did this week.
The national religious rabbi, who is a Kabbalist, was arrested while he was on his way to Ben Gurion Airport. He has denied the allegations.