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August 20, 2014 / 24 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Binyamin Netanyahu’

Gov’t Passes on ‘Terrorists Bill’

Sunday, June 1st, 2014

Prime Minister Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister who has released more murderers than any other Israeli leader, and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein have scuttled a bill intended to prevent lopsided prisoner swaps involving IDF hostages.

At today’s government session, Netanyahu announced that the bill, submitted jointly by by Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) and David Tzur (Hatnua) Law and approved three weeks ago by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, would move for further debate to the security cabinet instead of allowing the government to vote. The measure calls for granting the judicial branch the option of rescinding the president’s right to grant clemency or pardon in cases involving first-degree murder.

But the bill is essentially an admission that the government will have to bypass the prime minister if it wants to prevent lopsided prisoner releases that have made Israel (in)famous, like 1,027-for-1 prisoner swap for Gilad Shalit in 2011. For nearly two years Netanyahu has refused to release findings by the 2012 Shamgar Commission for Prisoner Releases. That Commission, headed by former Chief Justice Meir Shamgar, was founded in July 2008 by then-defense minister Ehud Barak after the bodies of IDF hostages Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were returned in exchange for unrepentant murderer Samir Kuntar, four Hezbollah terrorists and the bodies of almost 200 Lebanese and Palestinians.

There is another reason the bill hardly bodes well for sane diplomatic judgements: It gives Israel’s judiciary, notorious for its left-wing activism and stubborn deaf ear to pleas by the families of terror victims not to release the killers of their loved ones, yet another tool to override the government.

“I cannot understand twhy the government would want to pass a law like this. It will tie the government’s hands,” Attorney General Weinstein told the Hebrew-language Ynet website.

As of this writing, however, the commission’s recommendations remain classified, at the behest of the prime minister. A spokesman for Mr Netanyahu told Ynet that the security cabinet would “likely” discuss the Terrorists Bill this week, but no mention was made about when the measure might be resubmitted to the government for approval, followed by a vote in the Knesset plenum.

Netanyahu Shocks Israeli Politicians, Champions Rivlin for President

Thursday, May 29th, 2014

Former Knesset Speaker MK Reuven Rivlin got the nod from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Wednesday in a move that sent shockwaves around the Israeli political scene.

Rivlin, long considered Netanyahu’s nemesis, is the sole candidate for the upcoming June 10 presidential race from the prime minister’s Likud party.

“We have been through a lot together in our lifetimes. Some days were good, some not so good,” Netanyahu allegedly told him, as quoted by the prime minister’s spokesperson. “I hope we will know better days.”

Rivlin, who is not a vindictive person by nature, said he was genuinely happy to receive Netanyahu’s support, according to sources close to the MK.

Rivlin is also supported by Bayit Yehudi (Jewish Home) chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who told reporters he is “a Zionist with values and a good heart.” Rivlin is known for his modesty, said Bennett, and his concern for minorities and weaker sectors of society.

There are six candidates running for the post:
Rivlin (Likud); former Defense Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer (Labor); MK Meir Sheetrit (Hatnua); former Knesset Speaker and MK Dalia Itzik; Nobel Prize winner Prof. Dan Shechtman; and former Supreme Court Justice Dalia Dorner.

Netanyahu Vows on Jerusalem Day, ‘We Will Never Divide Our Heart. Never!’

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Tuesday evening in a passionate address marking the start of Jerusalem Day “never” to divide Jerusalem.

The day marks the 47th anniversary of the liberation of the Old City of Jerusalem from Jordanian occupation during the 1967 Six Day War, and the capital’s unification since. Jordanian forces expelled the Jews from their 3,000-year-old ancient capital in 1948 during Israel’s War of Independence.

The venue for Netanyahu’s speech – at Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav Kook — was anything but accidental: In 2008, an Arab terrorist murdered eight boys and men and wounded 18 others in a shooting spree that left the learning hall and holy books covered in blood.

Netanyahu was blunt in his vows not to allow talks with the Palestinian Authority to get in the way of keeping Jerusalem united, despite diplomatic commitments to the “two-state solution” being forced on Israel by the U.S. and international community.

“Forty-seven years ago Jerusalem was reunited – that was the way it used to be and that is the way it will always be,” the prime minister stated.

Jerusalem is Yad Vashem (the Holocaust Memorial Center), [Theodore] Herzl’s grave (the founder of Zionism – in the military cemetery at Mt. Herzl), and the Mount of Olives, where both my grandmother and grandfather are buried, as well as [former Prime Minister] Menachem Begin and our forefathers,” Netanyahu said.

“Jerusalem is also Har Tzion (Mt. Zion) and Har (Mount) Moria (the Temple Mount) and Jerusalem is the Western Wall – Israel eternal!”

Netanyahu vowed to keep Jerusalem united, saying, “Jerusalem is our heart, and we preserve our heart – the heart of the nation – and we will never divide our heart. Never!”

Pope Francis Lashes Out at Nazi Murderers During Yad Vashem Visit

Monday, May 26th, 2014

Pope Francis has had a busy day so far in the ancient Old City of Jerusalem.

He began his day on the Temple Mount, in the Al Aqsa Mosque, visiting with the Mufti of Jerusalem and the Waqf Islamic Authority. The pontiff was quoted as telling both, “May we work together for justice and peace.”

Given the violence that has emanated week after week from that quarter towards Christians and Jews alike, that would seem to be a tall order. There is no information about the response of the Arab officials to the Pope’s comments at the mosque. On the first leg of his journey to the Holy Land, yesterday, he made an unscheduled stop at the separation barrier that was built by Israel to prevent suicide bombers from infiltrating and murdering citizens in areas of the country that were under the government’s control prior to 1967.

The Pope was then led to Judaism’s holiest site for prayer by Western Wall Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch. The Kotel (Western Wall) had been cleared of visitors for security reasons earlier by police. The pontiff bowed his head in prayer with his hand on the ancient stones. He followed those silent moments of communion with the Creator by placing a note in the Wall — an ancient tradition observed by nearly everyone who comes to the Wall — and embraced close Jewish and Muslim friends with him.

Francis met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Shimon Peres and made a quick visit to the Mt. Herzl cemetery where he laid a wreath at the tomb of the ‘father of Zionism,’ Theodore Herzl. He then visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Center in a moving ceremony where he laid a wreath in the Hall of Remembrance and greeted six Holocaust survivors. There the pontiff questioned the role of G-d in the slaughter of the millions of victims murdered by the Nazis.

“The Father knew the risk of freedom, he knew that His children could be lost, yet perhaps not even the Father could imagine so great a fall, so profound an abyss,” he reflected. Having lit the memorial light in the center just minutes before, he compared the Nazi Holocaust to idolatry, and standing before Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, himself a survivor, lashed out against the murderers.

“Who convinced you that you were G-d? Not only did you torture and kill your brothers and sisters, but you sacrificed them to yourself, because you made yourself a god. Today, in this place, we hear once more the voice of G-d: ‘Adam, where are you?’ Hear “L-rd and have mercy,” Francis prayed. “We have sinned against You. You reign for ever.”

The Pope also received from Yad Vashem chairman Avner Shalev a reproduction of a painting of a Chossid engrossed in prayer created in the Lodz ghetto by a teenage victim of the Holocaust.

He is expected to celebrate Mass at the Cenacle, the upper room in the complex where some believe the tomb of the Biblical King David is located – and where Christians believe the Last Supper took place, sometime before leaving to return to the Vatican in the afternoon hours.

There have been protests against the Pope’s visit to various sites in the Old City of Jerusalem by both Muslim and Jewish groups, both saying the leader of the worldwide Roman Catholic Church is intent on defiling their respective holy places of worship.

Netanyahu Warns Japan to Take Iran Seriously

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Prime Minister Netanyahu concluded his visit to Japan with a call on Japan to address Iran’s nuclear program with the same seriousness it treat’s North Korea’s.

“We are interested in peace and stability throughout the world. We see a danger and a challenge posed by a rogue state arming itself with nuclear weapons. In your case it’s North Korea and we obviously sympathize and understand the predicament facing you. We are faced with such a rogue state in the form of Iran and its quest to develop nuclear weapons… Clearly the Ayatollahs (in Iran) cannot be trusted and if the international community wants to avoid the specter of nuclear terrorism, they must assure that Iran, the foremost sponsor of terrorism on the planet, not have the capability to develop nuclear weapons,” said Netanyahu.

Abbas Snubs Kerry, PA Ends Peace Option with Israel

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas finally took off the mask and formally refused Tuesday to meet with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz broke the news to the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in an evening speech.

Earlier this week, the State Department confirmed that Kerry and Abbas were set to meet in London. Apparently the Secretary became desperate enough to come back to Israel for another attempt at reviving the dead-on-arrival “framework talks.”

He even offered to travel to the PA capital of Ramallah. But Abbas rejected the offer, leaving Kerry to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

“Abbas rejected Kerry’s framework and refused to meet him .. Kerry flew back the next morning without any meeting,” Steinitz told his audience.

“No one should tell us that we need peace in order to survive, exist and flourish,” he said. “We will survive. Israel will survive as a democratic Jewish state whether our neighbors will finally agree to accept it and make peace with us or not.”

He added that Abbas had always said he would never recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state – just as the Hamas terrorist organization that controls Gaza has as well. Last month Abbas signed a deal with Hamas to create a new Palestinian Authority unity government.

Inasmuch as Hamas is formally committed to Israel’s destruction and is backed and funded by Iran, the move effectively ends any option for peace with the PA at this time.

IDF forces have beefed up their lines along the roads in Judea and Samaria, particularly along Highway 60, where the number of road terror attacks on Israeli motorists has increased dramatically over the past year.

MK Ze’ev Elkin to Chair Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee

Monday, May 12th, 2014

At last, the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee has a new chairperson: Likud Deputy Foreign Minister Ze’ev Elkin.  It’s taken six months to get there.

Elkin will chair in rotation with senior Likud lawmaker and coalition chairperson Yariv Levin. Likud MK Tzachi Hanegbi is expected to replace Elkin as deputy foreign minister.

To soothe the ruffled feathers of Yesh Atid chairman and Finance Minister Yair Lapid, his choice for the post – Yesh Atid MK Ofer Shelah – will instead be made a senior deputy minister.

Lapid has been negotiating with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu over the issue, forever and a day. The position remained vacant since Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman was forced to leave while facing corruption charges in a trial that acquitted him of the allegations last November.

The appointment now goes to the Knesset House Committee for ratification. If approved, Elkin will take the first rotation, until January 1, 2015. Levin will then serve 17 months, until June 1, 2016. Elkin returns at that point, and remains until 2017. Levin will also continue to serve as coalition chairperson until November 2014, and simultaneously chair the Knesset House Committee.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-zeev-elkin-to-chair-knesset-foreign-affairs-and-defense-committee/2014/05/12/

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