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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Canada’

Israel’s ‘Trophy’ Defense for APCs Passes Tough US Army Test

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

Israel’s “Trophy” defense system for General Dynamic’s LAV-III armored personnel has passed tough tests, including live fire under harsh terrain conditions in Canada, Israel Defense reported Tuesday.

The system withstood advanced anti-tank rocket fire, recoilless guns, short range fire and fire from different weapons simultaneously to verify the system’s functionality.

The Trophy system’s success in Israel has been proven on the IDF’s Merkava Mark IV tanks, which were deployed in Gaza during last year’s Pillar of Cloud counter-terrorist operation.

Legalizing Marijuana Would End Black Market, Says Israeli Study

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Legalizing marijuana would generate more than $450 million annually for the Israeli economy, according to  a new study released by the Jerusalem Institute for Market Studies.

The black market for cannabis in Israel currently is worth $707 million annually, and legalizing the sale of grass, if taxed like cigarettes, would blow $268 million into the government’s money pot. In addition, it would save law enforcement agencies $198 million since they would not have to spend money to smokers of weed.

The study found that approximately 275,000 Israelis, 4 percent of the population, used marijuana in the past year, only 26 percent of Israelis support legalization of marijuana, while 64 percent opposes it.

In the United States, slightly more than half go those surveyed support legalizing grass. Marijuana is illegal under federal law, but 20 states to allow the use of medical marijuana. However, the Obama administration last week gave the green light for Colorado and Washington to carry  out their laws to permit recreational use of marijuana.

The Justice Department said it would bring charges on marijuana only in certain cases, such as distributing it to minors.

The announcement “demonstrates the sort of political vision and foresight from the White House we’ve been seeking for a long time,” said Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, an advocacy group.

The Justice Department added that it is watching Colorado and Washington closely to see  if they can properly control marijuana use.

President Barack Obama has said he smoked grass when he was young, and a federal survey has found that 42 percent of Americans age 12 and older have smoked marijuana at some point in their lives.

The financial gains for states – and Israel is not being ignored,

“Recognizing the enormous financial gains that would come from legalization demands that the government take a serious look at the proposal to legalize cannabis use under specific guidelines,” said Yarden Gazit, who co-authored the study in Israel.  “There is no disputing that if the public is able to get past the wholly negative misperceptions associated with marijuana usage and appreciate the potential benefits with limited social or healthcare costs, this is an idea that needs open-minded and serious re-examination at this time.”

News of the survey coincided with Canada’s launch of controlled medical marijuana, an industry that is expected to be worth more than $1 billion in the next 10 years. Medical marijuana has been legal in Canada for years but has been highly regulated. Now it is available by mail-order with a doctor’s approval.

Besides all of the arguments  over whether marijuana is a drug that can lead to addiction, the underlying desire for governments to legalize it is money.

“We’re fairly confident that we’ll have a healthy commercial industry in time,” Sophie Galarneau, a senior Health Canada official told the Canadian Press.  

The Green Leaf party in Israel has been trying to get into the Knesset for years to push its agenda to legalize pot. In early pre-election polls, it usually receives support that puts it on the brink of winning the minimum number of votes to win Knesset seats, but when the real ballots are counted, it always loses out.

The pro-marijuana campaigns in the United States may generate new enthusiasm to legalize marijuana in Israel, where liberal leaders  almost always turn to American for cultural guidance.

Portland, Maine media reported Wednesday that supports of legalizing recreation marijuana will start promoting their agenda on city buses, with a message that grass is a better and safer alternative to alcohol.

Critics have complained that the campaign should not be on buses because children ride them to school.

Portland’s voter will go the ballot box in November to decide on a proposal to legalize marijuana by 2016. I

The Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project has targeted Maine and nine other states in its campaign to legalize grass within three years.

The JTA contributed to this report.

Kenya, Unlike Israel, ‘Does not Negotiate with Terrorists’ (Video)

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Loud explosions pouring black smoke into the skies of Nairobi Monday afternoon signaled a hoped for conclusion of the bloody military-style terrorist attack on the partly-Israeli owned Westgate Mall in Nairobi, where the death toll is feared to rise to nearly 70 or more.

Authorities, who promised on Sunday that the three-day siege would end by nightfall, said they are in the final stages of killing or arresting all of the terrorists after having “smoked them out” with an assault at dawn.

Security forces said that they have taken control of the entire mall, but gunfights and explosions continued after the announcement. Despite claims that no hostages remain, it is feared that several still remain trapped by the terrorists.

Nearly 200 people already have been counted as wounded, and 62 have been confirmed as murdered, including the wife of a U.S. AID worker.

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, whose nephew and his fiancé were among the victims, maintained a policy that Israel introduced to the world in the Entebbe raid and then abandoned in recent years – no negotiations with terrorists. “We will not negotiate with terrorists,” said Colonel Cyrus Oguna, a Kenyan military spokesman.

Al Shabaab has been airing propaganda, claiming that its terrorists on Monday repulsed “Israelis and Kenyan forces” that tried to enter the mall. Kenyan officials said clashes erupted inside the building early Monday morning, when approximately a dozen terrorists or believed to be holed up in a supermarket.

Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage said in an online audio statement, “The mujahedeen will kill the hostages if the enemies use force.”

At least five Americans have been injured and at least four Britons have been killed.

Among the dead are the wife a foreign worker for the U.S. Agency for International Development in Nairobi, a dentist, a widely-known Ghanan professor and poet, a British-Australian architect and his pregnant girlfriend, a Canadian diplomat who was a liaison officer with the Canada Border Services Agency, an 8-year-old child from India, two French women, a woman form China who worked in real estate, and a retired UNICEF worker from Peru.

Al Qaeda Takes ‘Credit’ for Kenya Attack, Holds Hostages in Mall

Sunday, September 22nd, 2013

Al Qaeda has taken responsibility for the ongoing terrorist attack that so far has resulted in the murders of at least 59 victims, with others still being held hostage by up to 15 terrorists. Nearly 200 have been wounded.

The attack began on Saturday with an armed attack on Nairobi’s upscale Westgate Mall. More than 1,000 have escaped, but Sky News reported Sunday that security forces have not been able to secure the second floor of the shopping center after clearing terrorists from the upper and lower levels.

Several American were injured, but none have been killed, according to the latest reports. Two Canadians, at least one of them a diplomat. were murdered by the Somalia-based al Shabaab terrorist organization, linked with Al Qaeda. A statement from al-Shabab on its official Twitter feed Saturday says the attacks are retribution for military action by Kenya inside Somalia.

One eyewitness told Sky News, “I witnessed a few people get up and say something in Arabic and the gunmen let them go. A colleague of mine said he was Muslim and recited something in Arabic and they let him go as well. I saw a lot of children and elderly people being shot dead.

Leaked Quebec Plan would Ban Kippot on Public Workers

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

A plan by Quebec’s government to ban “religious symbols,” including the kippa, among public sector workers has elicited worry from religious minorities in the Canadian province.

The bill would seek to ban public employees from wearing large Christian crosses or religious headwear such as that worn by Sikhs, Muslims and Jews while at work.

Richard Marceau, a former politician who now advises the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, wrote responded to the plan in a critical article in the Huffington Post, where he wrote, “How could one believe that a kippah-wearing Jewish librarian is… trying to impose his religion on society?”

The details of the proposed law were leaked to Journal de Montrèal last week, but the Parti Quebecois, which heads the provincial government, has refused to confirm them or answer questions related to the issue.

Garin Tzabar: Helping Lone Soldiers Feel At Home In Israel

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

These lone soldiers, hailing from countries including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Turkey and Azerbaijan arrived in Israel without their families to join the Israel Defense Force and help build the Jewish nation.  ’Garin’ means seed in Hebrew but can also refer to a group of people who collectively immigrated to Israel and ‘tzabar’ refers to the ‘sabra’ cactus fruit which is prickly on the outside but soft and sweet on the inside, a euphemism to describe Israelis.

The Garin Tzabar program is in charge of bringing these lone soldiers to a kibbutz or Israeli city, providing them with an adopted family, a Garin community that supports them throughout their army service and Hebrew classes to assist their immersion into the IDF.  Several months from now the new recruits will begin to serve in the Israeli Army.  The Garin Tzabar  ensures lone soldiers receive support and attention on their birthdays, during holidays, Shabbat, and their days off .

The State of Israel officially welcomed this year’s Garin Tzabar participants during a special ceremony held at Tel Aviv University. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  gave a video greeting praising these young Jewish men and women and  numerous other government officials attended the event.

MK Sofa Landver, who addressed the group, stated, “We are here to receive the immigrants and the soldiers in our country, the most wonderful country in the world. It’s you who have come to serve and defend Israel. You will change the world.” A representative of Nefesh B’Nefesh added, “It’s not just a plane ride, it’s the destination and that’s Israel. Enjoy your new life.”

Netta Gelb, a new Garin Tzabar participant, was born in the Israeli city of Netanya and has spent the past 15 years growing up in Canada. Although she has Israeli relatives,  she is leaving behind her parents and siblings.  Gelb expressed the excitement many Garin members felt when she said, “I have been really looking forward to this for a long time.”

Michael Kosky, another Garin Tzabar participant, added, “We have come here to play our chapter in Jewish history. I am part of this program. Good luck to every one here.”  A lone soldier already serving in the IDF named Ariella, who hails from an Argentine family and grew up in both America and Israel told the audience that she holds dear the “values of loyalty to the state, its people, and the Tzabar members” and said to the new recruits “If you live together, you will learn a lot.”

Eitan Press contributed to this report.

Visit United with Israel.

Police Launch Hate Crimes Probe of Toronto Arab Leader

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

Toronto police launched a hate crimes investigation into comments made by an Arab community leader who called for the murder of Israelis.

“We have received a complaint with regards to things said at last week’s Al-Quds Day rally, a global and annual event started by the late Iranian cleric Ayatollah Khomeini to press for the “liberation” of Al-Quds, the Arabic name for Jerusalem.

There is an investigation ongoing,” Toronto police spokeswoman Wendy Drummond told the Canadian Jewish News.

Addressing an Al-Quds Day rally on Aug. 3, Elias Hazineh, former president of Palestine House in suburban Toronto, said “an ultimatum” must be issued to Israelis: “You have to leave Jerusalem. You have to leave Palestine,” he said.

“We say get out or you’re dead! We give them two minutes and then we start shooting. And that’s the only way that they will understand,” Hazineh said to cheers from a crowd of approximately 400 at the annual rally.

His remarks were captured on video and posted to several blogs and websites, including YouTube.

Hazineh later said his comments were not meant to be taken literally.

Rabbis Urge Netanyahu to Quit Rather than Free Terrorists

Sunday, August 11th, 2013

The Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP), a group of 1,200 rabbis from the United States, Canada and Israel, has sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to each Cabinet minister, urging them to cancel their decision to release terrorists.

The agreement to free more than 100 terrorists was made to satisfy Palestinian Authority demands to resume direct talks on altering the borders of Israel, and the RCP it would be better for the Prime Minister and the Cabinet to quit rather than buckle under American pressure.

“Out of all the deplorable and dangerous moves that governments in Israel carried out in the past to start a so called ‘peace process.’ the current move is the most dangerous of them,” the Rabbinical Congress wrote in a letter to the Prime Minister and the Cabinet.

“Today there is absolutely no expert or pundit who thinks that Abu Mazen is serious about peace with Israel, they know he has no control over the Arab street. ‘ In a final resolution, in the new Palestinian state we would not see the presence of a single Israeli,’ he told Egyptian journalists last week. Does he sound like a man seeking peace with Israel?”

The letter added that the Palestinian Authority “knows that the Obama Administration will never punish it if it balks but probably will only offer it more. The negotiations will, as in the past, only make matters worse and in the end the world will blame Israel.

“We unequivocally affirm that according to Jewish Law, if you cannot withstand the political pressure, each one of you is morally obligated to resign immediately. Releasing even one terrorist endangers Jewish lives. A recent research found that 75 percent of the terrorists that have been released in the past revert to attack Jews. This also encourages others to engage in terrorism confident that they will be released.

Thus it is better that the whole government resign than to release even one terrorist.

In a special message sent to Jewish Home party ministers, the rabbis added: “According to Jewish Law it is forbidden for you to remain even one day in a government that releases cruel terrorists and is prepared to negotiate with its enemies and murderers on the borders of Israel.

“You are not doing a favor to the Jewish nation by adding more apartments in Judea and Samaria because by remaining in a government that advances such dangerous policies you are stabbing the settlers in the back. Besides, there is no guarantee that you in fact will get these housing units following the international outcry against it.

“We pray and hope that the government of Israel will come to their senses the last minute and refrain from carrying out such an absurd policy. The Netanyahu government still has time to regret its life threatening decision and safeguard the security of the Jewish people in their land.

The RCP warned nearly 20 years ago repeatedly warned against negotiating surrender of land in Israel to the Palestinian Authority, a ruling that it has said “proved to be without error The Congress cited  the 2005 expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif and northern Gaza and their forced relocation elsewhere.” To their horror, they found their new homes repeatedly bombarded by missiles dispatched from the very homes that they themselves had built and from the very fields that they had tilled.

“Unfortunately, the predictions of this Ruling proved accurate: every single withdrawal in these years has invited waves of increased terror and bloodshed of thousands of Jews, men, women and children, young and old. And today, those withdrawals jeopardize the security of millions of Jews in Israel.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/rabbis-urges-netanyahu-to-quit-rather-than-free-terrorists/2013/08/11/

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