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August 26, 2016 / 22 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Netanyahu’

MK Hazan Darling of Israeli Left over Dismissal by Netanyahu in Gaza Inquiry Brawl

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

MK Oren Hazan (Likud), traditionally the legislator most loathed by the Israeli left, both inside and outside the Knesset, now gets his turn to be the darling of the left, because of the courageous way he stood up to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Naturally, when Hazan was just as brave in the past, calling out Netanyahu on his shabby treatment of Israel’s rightwing majority, especially in Judea and Samaria, he did not receive recognition by the Labor MKs who this week have been stepping on each other to defend him, or, more accurately, attack Netanyahu on his behalf.

Hazan himself told Israel Radio Wednesday morning that he is paying a high price for his daring to criticize the prime minister, like several other Likud members (former MK Moshe Feiglin comes to mind). Hazan supports establishing a state committee of inquiry to investigate the 2014 Gaza war, specifically how aware had the IDF command been of the 30 to 40 Hamas terror tunnels? Netanyahu has released documentation showing the IDF conducted eight sessions, followed by 20 technical sessions, instructing the security cabinet on those tunnels. But Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett insists no such heightened attention was ever paid to the tunnels, and, in fact, it had taken his, Bennett’s, tenacious nagging to steer the cabinet and the high command towards hitting those vexing tunnels.

The Likud has launched a move to remove MK Hazan from the State Control Committee, where the vote on a state commission of inquiry will take place — because Hazan suggested he was in favor of appointing such a body. For his part, Hazan acknowledges that Netanyahu has just had enough of his “colorful” personal style, although it should be noted for the record that Hazan is one of the most hard working MKs: he is Knesset Deputy Speaker, and participates diligently and industriously in the Finance, State Control Committee, Special Committee for Discussion on the Public Broadcast Bill 2015, House Committee, Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and the Joint Committee for the Defense Budget. He is also member of a long list of Knesset Lobbies.

The above impressive record of Hazan’s contributions is surprising only to those who recall how the media introduced him following the last election, as a playboy drug dealer who managed casinos in Bulgaria and furnished cocaine and escorts for Israelis on vacation.

The Likud leadership has had it up to here with Hazan’s erratic behavior (he has endured several reprimands and a suspension for verbal brawls with opposition members, most recently his arch-enemy Hanin Zoabi from the Joint Arab List). They would like to post a more obedient MK at the Control Committee, because Netanyahu desperately wants to avoid a hearing on his cabinet’s management of the Gaza campaign. To remind the reader, 67 Israelis died in that war, and there are growing voices in Israel saying many of those deaths could be avoided. The head of the most right wing government in recent memory, Netanyahu does not need to be accused of military failure.

The opposition has been livid over Netanyahu’s intent to drop Hazan from the committee less than a week before the conclusion of the Knesset summer session. The same Zionist Camp NKs who last year condemned Netanyahu for letting into the Knesset a sketchy character such as Hazan now released a statement saying: “Bibi is afraid of Hazan. He is afraid of criticism, and above all he is afraid that criticism of operation Defensive Shield would expose him as being weak against the Hamas — that he is more a talkback artist than a leader.”

MK Karin Elharrar (Yesh Atid), chair of the State Control Committee, accused Netanyahu of trying to sabotage the committee’s work. “The prime minister is acting on strictly political considerations and it isn’t clear of what he is so afraid,” she said.

Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) called on Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud) to block the Likud Knesset faction’s move against Hazan. “The prime minister is so fearful of the comptroller’s report on Defensive Shield that he dishonors the Knesset and steps on the foundations of democracy,” Jelin said. “The next phase for the PM, after completing his domination of all the MKs, would be to pass the constitution for a new dictatorship.”

Incidentally, it’s been suggested recently that Netanyahu, who is 67, could remain Israel’s prime minister for many years to come — seeing as his exulted father Prof. Benzion Netanyahu lived to the ripe old age of 101. It could mean as many as 10 more terms for the ambitious Netanyahu, who would be the prime minister of Israeli children who are not yet born.

David Israel

Netanyahu ‘Not Prepared to Tolerate Racism in our State’

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday night received the conclusions and recommendations of a team that studied eradicating racism against Israelis of Ethiopian origin. Netanyahu received the report from Justice Ministry Director General Amy Palmor, who headed the inter-ministerial team on eradicating racism against Israelis of Ethiopian origin.

The team was established by the Prime Minister following a decision by the special ministerial committee on advancing the integration into Israeli society of Israelis of Ethiopian origin, which he chairs. The ministerial team is convening Monday to discuss the report and, most likely, approve its recommendations.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said after receiving the report, “I am not prepared to tolerate racism in our state. I am not prepared for people to be tripped up by the color of their skin. This is terrible. We, on the ministerial committee, have heard heart-rending and hair-raising stories and we started to take action against racism even beforehand. But now, in the wake of this report, which is part of our decisions, we will take further steps and I am pleased that there are people, men and women, who are determined to uproot this phenomenon from our lives. This befits neither our country, our citizens nor our people.”

The report is 170 pages long and includes 52 recommendations intended to help correct institutionalized and societal racism. It says: “For years, those of Ethiopian descent have experienced discriminatory treatment from Israeli institutions and citizens, exclusion from the public sphere, discrimination in education and employment, stigmatization and negative stereotypes, and have even been exposed to physical and verbal abuse.

“Claims by those of Ethiopian descent of institutional and police racism, and alternatively, of the forgiveness of the heads of institutions for such displays, have been heard throughout the team’s work. At this point, we have the obligation not to miss the opportunity to heal the rifts. Wide implementation of the recommended steps in this report is intended to provide the conditions required for zero tolerance for expressions of discrimination and racism.”

The report details the scandals related to the mistreatment of the Ethiopian-Israeli community in recent years, including the healthcare system’s practice of destroying blood donated by Ethiopians, injecting Ethiopian women with contraceptives without their consent, segregated maternity wards, segregating students in educational institutions, a lack of recognition of Ethiopians’ Jewish roots by the religious establishment, the use of Tasers against Ethiopian-Israeli Yosef Salamsa who later killed himself, the police assault on the soldier Damas Pakada, and Israel’s failure to retrieve Avra Mengistu, who crossed the border into Gaza.

JNi.Media

Analysis: Pro-Terrorist PA Senior Compares IDF Actions to ISIS Terrorism

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Shortly after Israeli forces last week eliminated Muhammad al-Faqih, who had murdered Rabbi Miki Mark ZL in a drive by shooting, top Palestinian peace negotiator Saeb Erekat issued an announcement condemning the killing of the terrorist, calling it a crime. Hamas has also praised the same terrorist as “Hero of the attack in Otniel.” It should be noted that locals from al-Faqih’s hiding place, Surif village, have blamed the PA security service of informing on the murderer to their Israeli counterparts. Perhaps this explains the PA high official’s protesting too much those actions by Israel.

It also means that come January 17, 2017, the pro-PA Obama Administration will make room for a new tenant in the White House, and at least in case said tenant sports an orange pompadour and employs the word “huge” as both adjective and verb—the PA’s path to Washington would be all but blocked. And so the boys from Ramallah will be using the coming few months to squeeze as much as they can in anti-Israeli gestures from the Obama team. That, too, will necessarily be limited to the period after November 8, up until which Democratic criticism of Israel could cost candidate Clinton the election.

This past week has seen a general increase in the energy and zeal of the PA in pursuing a sharply anti-Israeli line of attack under the guise of participating in the peace efforts, the French peace efforts to be precise. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has absolutely rejected the French initiative last April, insisting that the “best way to resolve the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is through direct, bilateral negotiations.” And so, naturally, the PA brass migrated to Paris for the Vacance months, seeking peace on the banks of the Seine with French and US diplomats.

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Paris on Saturday to meet with Secretary of State John Kerry and French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, to devise new ways to push the French-invented (imagined?) peace process forward.

Last Thursday, State Department Spokesman John Kirby said Kerry’s meeting with Abbas would be devoted to discussing the “prospects towards helping us create conditions for a two-state solution,” because, as he put it, “there is a possibility there could be additional bilateral meetings while we’re in Paris.” The fact that all these multi-lateral gymnastics are being planned and conducted without the only truly decisive power in the saga was not mentioned.

In fact, in the same spirit of talking strictly to themselves, the French Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying Abbas and Ayrault will meet by the end of the year to work on implementing the multilateral French peace initiative, which is going to feature yet another international summit on the Isralil-Palestinian conflict — so at least 50% of the sides in the conflict would be there.

Meanwhile, Erekat has raised the flame under his attacks on Israel for its audacious killing of Arab terrorists, possibly looking to link in the Europeans’ minds the horror Arab terrorists are inflicting on their civilian population with the IDF and Israel police efforts to enforce law and order in Israel’s cities and on the highways.

“Those who murder children in Europe in the name of religion are no different from those who murder children on Palestinian land,” Erekat told the press on Saturday. Because, as we all know, the slaughtered children in Europe have all taken up knives and Molotov cocktails to attack lone wolf ISIS terrorists.

Both Erekat and Abbas have been demanding that Secretary Kerry furnish them with a timetable for the re-launching of the peace talks, as well as a timetable for the implementation of the one-sided, pro-Palestinian agreements they view as the only legitimate outcome of such talks. “We need a timetable for restarting negotiations, a timetable for implementing agreements, and an international framework to oversee any future agreements,” Erekat insisted.

JNi.Media

Assad to Netanyahu: Help Me Keep my Seat and I Guarantee You a Calm Golan

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

A Kuwaiti news website on Friday cited a source saying Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has received a message from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, in which Assad vowed to keep the Golan as a demilitarized zone, and the rest of Syria committed to a cease-fire with Israel, if Netanyahu commits to not engaging Israel in an effort to topple Assad.

The source commented that Assad was saying to Netanyahu, in effect: “Help me to control my region and I guarantee calm for Israel in the Golan Heights.”

Commenting on rumors that former US ambassador to Israel Martin Indyk is slated to be President Hillary Clinton’s special envoy on the peace process between Israel and its neighbors, the source told the news website that Israel is very concerned over a report that was prepared by Indyk for President Bill Clinton about the Golan Heights. Israel is anxious to point US attention to the fact that the situation on south Syria and south Lebanon has been altered by the five-year civil war, and American notions about returning the Golan to Syria are absurd under these circumstances. Assad apparently wishes to take advantage of an opportunity to strike a deal with the Israelis to secure their neutrality in the war.

Meanwhile, Politico.eu reported Saturday that Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said his country is offering Russia access to the Gulf Cooperation Council Market and regional investment funds in return for pulling its support for the Assad regime.

“We are ready to give Russia a stake in the Middle East that will make Russia a force stronger than the Soviet Union, greater than China’s,” the Saudi minister said, adding, “It would be reasonable for Russia to say, that’s where our relations will advance our interests, not with Assad. We don’t disagree on the end game in Syria but on how to get there. Assad’s days are numbered,” he urged, “so make a deal while you can.”

JNi.Media

Israel Demolishes 20 Illegal Arab Structures in Jerusalem and in Outskirts of Capital

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS Jerusalem (TPS) – The Israeli National Planning and Construction Enforcement Unit demolished 20 illegal Arab structures in Jerusalem and its surrounding areas overnight in what is being described as the largest enforcement operation of planning and construction ordinances in the last 20 years.

“The national unit will continue to enforce the law and exercise its responsibilities regarding any violation of planning and building laws,” the unit said in a statement on Tuesday morning.

Due to the wide scope of the operation, the national unit called in reinforcements from other localities throughout Israel to help the Jerusalem team carry out the demolitions.

A total of 14 of the 20 illegal structures were located in the village of Kalandia next to the Atarot Industrial Zone in northern Jerusalem. Some of these structures were built in a zone where construction is illegal due to the area’s proximity to the security fence.

The 14 structures were demolished in coordination with the Border Police from the nearby Binyamin region, who managed to complete the operation in the face of rioting and blockades by local residents.

Another six illegal structures were demolished in eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem in coordination with the Jerusalem municipality. As was the case with the 14 illegal structures in Kalandia, none of the six structures had yet been occupied.

The Israeli NGO Regavim (The National Land Protection Trust), which has campaigned against illegal Arab construction throughout Judea and Samaria, expressed praise for this morning’s demolition of the 20 illegal structures.

“The Israeli public has been dismayed for many years that the widespread illegal construction in the Arab sector is a fait accompli,” the organization wrote in a statement. “The Israeli government proved to itself overnight that the expression ‘rule of law’ is not just an empty cliché and that it can restore sovereignty to every corner of the State of Israel.”

The Regavim statement referred in particular to The Planning and Construction Law of 1965, which delineates a legalization process for construction to be determined by district commissions and the National Board for Planning and Construction.

“The enforcement operation last night is an important first step on the long road to putting the Planning and Construction Law back in its rightful place,” the statement added.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had announced on Sunday at the weekly cabinet meeting that the government would increase the enforcement of legal planning and construction.

“Today, the cabinet will approve the law to increase and strengthen enforcement in the field of planning and construction,” said Netanyahu.

“We are working to create a reality of one state with one law; law and order for everyone, without exception,” Netanyahu asserted.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Bennett Rebukes Netanyahu on Misrepresenting Terror Tunnel Record

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett on Tuesday morning tweeted a response to the statement by Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu Monday night, that the security cabinet discussed the Gaza terror tunnels before the 2014 Protective Edge Operation. Bennett said Netanyahu should accept responsibility for the ramifications of his decisions, not try to conceal them.

“Any company commander in the army learns his lessons at the end of an exercise, to avoid making future mistakes, and what’s true for an infantry company is doubly true for the political and security leadership of the State of Israel,” Bennett tweeted. “In preparation for the next war, we must learn from the mistakes of the past and not deny them. Drawing real lessons is a sign of strength and self-confidence. He who does not learn from the mistakes of the past is doomed to repeat them,” Bennett concluded.

Netanyahu has been saying in closed sessions that the IDF had been seeking operational solutions to the terror tunnels since 2013, and the security apparatus had dealt with it numerous times. The PM was responding to the harsh attacks on his administration’s conduct of the 2014 Gaza War.

On Sunday, 32 bereaved families of fallen IDF soldiers in Gaza demanded in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman that a state commission headed by a judge investigate the government’s decision-making process throughout the war.

Bennett stood out during the war weeks as the most stubborn advocate of sending the IDF in to demolish the Hamas terror tunnels, and was behind the popular notion that the Netanyahu security cabinet was unaware of the tunnel threat. But Walla, which in recent years has emerged as Netanyahu’s other favorite media outlet, reported on Tuesday that the cabinet held at least eight debates on the tunnels, and hosted 20 professional discussions with IDF and Intelligence officials to examine ways to locate and demolish the tunnels.

JNi.Media

Knesset Passes Law Assigning Running State Mikvahs to Chief Rabbinate

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Following a lengthy debate and numerous objections, on Monday night the Knesset plenum passed the amended Jewish Religious Services Bill by a 41 to 35 majority. The amended law, proposed by MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism) and endorsed by several MKs, will require that state-run mikvahs-ritual baths be subject solely to the directives of the Chief Rabbinate. The law will take effect within nine months of its passage in order to allow preparation for the new amendment.

The explanation attached to the bill reads, “Since the inception of the State of Israel, the mikvahs have been used for halakhic traditions and customs, and for this purpose they were allotted public funding for construction and maintenance. In the wake of petitions by entities wishing to destroy the accepted foundations of Judaism that have been in existence for thousands of years, the High Court has ruled that various sects should be permitted to use the mikvahs to their various ends.”

MK Aliza Lavie (Yesh Atid) said that “this is the first time that a mikvah, which is a place of purity, has become a place of exclusion. We view this as discrimination under primary legislation.”

“Others who are hurt by this are, of course, our Jewish brothers and sisters in the Diaspora,” Lavie continued. “Once again they receive the ‘heartwarming’ message that the State of Israel doesn’t count them in. Not at the Western Wall, or in marriages, or in conversions, and now at the mikvahs, too — you have no place in the State of Israel.”

“This law is neither Jewish, nor legal, nor democratic,” Lavie added.

Meretz Chair MK Zehava Galon said the law is part of a “battle over the face and character of Israeli society.” Turning to the ultra-Orthodox MKs, Galon said, “You feel threatened? Why? Because someone is trying to undermine your monopoly over the Rabbinate, over Orthodoxy, over a pluralistic and equal life here?”

MK Ksenia Svetlova (Zionist Camp) said, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated so many times that every Jew, wherever he may be, should consider Israel his national home. So what do they do in order that a Jew feel at home in Israel? They do not allow him to wed in a civil marriage; they do not allow him to be buried next to his loved ones if he is defined as someone who is not worthy of burial in a Jewish cemetery; they do not allow him to convert in an appropriate and respectful manner; and then they pass the Mikvah Law which deals a devastating blow to all those who underwent a Reform or Conservative conversion, which is about 20 percent of all converts.”

MK Yehuda Glick (Likud), who is an Orthodox rabbi, also expressed his objection to the legislation. “MK Gafni, why does it bother you that a Reform woman immerses in a mikvah?” Glick asked the bill’s author. “She does not stop you from immersing. Why do we need this divisiveness? You said the Jewish Agency will build mikvahs (for the non-Orthodox), but a representative of the Agency told me they do not plan to build any,” he said. Glick held a 30-second moment of silence in the plenum in protest of the legislation.

MK Gafni argued back, saying his law is not discriminatory. “All the claims made here that this constitutes a ‘selection’ are baseless,” he said, adding, “There was a violation of the status quo by the High Court of Justice; we asked that the status quo not be violated. Reform Jews in the US don’t have a single mikvah. All of a sudden they need a mikvah over here? This law aims to prevent the Reform from getting this legitimization through the back door.”

Jewish Agency of Israel Chairman Natan Sharansky has released a statement in response to the passage of the bill, saying, “This bill, which offers no solution to the non-Orthodox denominations, circumvents the rulings of the High Court of Justice. It is unfortunate that the bill passed before such a solution was ensured.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/knesset-passes-law-assigning-running-state-mikvahs-to-chief-rabbinate/2016/07/26/

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