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July 30, 2016 / 24 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘center’

Hurricane Biberman

Friday, October 26th, 2012

The person I like least in the Knesset, the person I detest by far more than I do Haneen Zoabi, or Ahmad Tibi, two openly pro-Palestinian Arab MKs who are on occasion very hard to take – the one person who awakens the angry Jew in the pit of my stomach is MK Zehava Gal-On, leader of the now-minuscule, ultra-leftist Meretz party, who looks and sounds like the aging Communists who used to gather at Union Square for fiery speeches on May Day, except her voice reminds me of fingernails screeching down a glass window.

The same Zehava Gl-On, last night, on one of the local TV channels in an interview that followed the Netanyahu-Liberman announcement of their upcoming wedding, has come up with the perfect name for the new political creature born by the happy couple: she named it Biberman.

She invested this nickname with all the Jew-hating zeal of the left, which by now has stopped bothering to hide its anti-Semitism. This is not the left of Hubert Humphrey or even George McGovern, not to speak of David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir. This is the left of the Yevsektsia and gulags, whose repulsion of things Jewish is pathological. When Gal-On calls the new deal of the two major right-wing parties “Biberman,” she spatters the name like an evangelical Christian decrying the Prince of Darkness.

But I must tell you, having provided the emotional and historical context for the new name, I must admit that I love it, and that come January 22, I’m most likely going to vote Biberman. As will many other Israelis, I trust, who have in the past voted for neither Biberman partner.

The short announcement by the two men last night—there were no questions from the reporters in the room—described a logical union of Likud, with its 27 seats in the outgoing Knesset, and Yisrael Beitenu, with its 15 seats, to create a powerful new party with the potential to attract more seats than its sum total of 42.

An old, by now departed, chavruta of mine used to say that before you start talking about good government, you have to have government. And both men have proven to the voter that they are able to govern. Netanyahu boasted that this has been the most stable government in Israel’s history, and he may not be so far from the truth. More than that, it has been a government that faced the worst global economic tides in decades, and under its rule Israel was among the very first Western countries to emerge from the worst of it. They faced adversity on the social welfare front and managed to calm the “Occupy Sderot Rothschild” protests. They also managed a hot border with Gaza and a cooler border with the PA, and were able to mobilize the world against a nuclear Iran. They’ve done quite well.

Now, I was going to vote for Liberman’s party and not for Likud. I was disappointed by Netanyahu’s cavalier treatment of the settlements, his use of Ehud Barak as his errands boy against the settlers, and his failure to adopt the Levy Committee’s recommendation to apply Israeli law to the Jewish towns and villages of Judea and Samaria.

I planned to vote for Liberman not because I thought he was any more trustworthy regarding the fate of the settlements, despite his show of anti-Abbas machismo. I also didn’t think he was such a stellar foreign minister—although he did improve relations with Russia in ways only he could have done, and brought in from the cold  several former Soviet republics, as well as rebuilding relationships with long-ignored countries, because they weren’t the United States. I was also aware of the cloud hovering above Liberman’s head, as five-years’ worth of attorneys generals have been threatening to prosecute him for “corruption” (this mostly has to do, as I understand it, with just how blind is the blind trust managing his businesses).

My reason for supporting Liberman this time around was gratitude. One of the portfolios held by his coalition party is Absorption: the Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver is a member of Yisrael Beiteinu.

My family arrived in Israel last December and we have had a charmed aliyah, largely due to the competent and compassionate help we received from the Absorption officials, starting at Ben Gurion airport on a very early Monday morning. It has been obvious to us that letting recent immigrants—the largely Russian crew at the ministry—run absorption services is an ingenious idea, and it works. As a voter, I’d like to reward competence with my vote.

Yori Yanover

Probes Launched Into Alleged Police Brutality

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The NYPD and Brooklyn district attorney’s office have both opened investigations into the October 8th beating of 21-year-old Ehud HaLevy by two Brooklyn police officers.

The officers, Luis A. Vega and Yelena Bruzzese, entered the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults Center in Crown Heights at 5 a.m. in response to a call by Zalmy Trappler, a center volunteer. Trappler had apparently found HaLevy sleeping naked on a couch in the center’s lounge and asked him to leave. HaLevy refused, which prompted the phone call to the police.

As caught on surveillance video, available online, Vega and Buruzzese woke up HaLevy – who by now was wearing pants – and engaged in conversation for about a minute. They then tried to handcuff him, which he resisted by turning around and shifting his arms. After about 20 seconds of this stand-off, Vega began pummeling Halevy, hitting him in the face 25 times over the next two minutes.

“Those two officers behaved like animals,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind in comments to Vosizneias.com. “How can two police officers who are sworn to uphold the law break the law like that? I have been close with the NYPD for years, and there are so many fine officers, but clearly these are two bad apples.”

Hikind held a press conference on Monday in Crown Heights, joined by State Senator Eric Adams, Assemblyman Karim Camara, New York City Comptroller John Liu, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and City Council members Letitia James and David Greenfield.

According to a criminal complaint, the police officers warned HaLevy they would arrest him for trespassing. In response, he said, “Go ahead and try it. I am going to hit you.”

HaLevy claims he had permission to sleep in the center. Rabbi Moishe Feiglin, a director at the youth outreach center (and cousin of the Likud politician of the same name), confirmed to The New York Times that HaLevy was telling the truth. He needed “a place to crash for a short period,” Feiglin said.

In response to a request for comment, the police department e-mailed the following statement to The Jewish Press: “The officers used force to affect the arrest, in which Ehud Haleavy M/W/21 was charged with assault, trespass, resisting arrest, harassment, and unlawful possession of marijuana. The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau opened an investigation of the incident yesterday, after having seen a video of it. The matter was also referred by IAB to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. One of the officers, M/H/49 and assigned to the 71st Pct, has been placed on modified assignment while the incident is under investigation.”

“M/H/49” refers to Officer Vega.

Elliot Resnick

Police Beat Up Unarmed Israeli in Brooklyn Jewish Center (Video)

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Last Monday evening, October 8, police were called to take care of Ehud Halevi, a homeless man who was sleeping on the couch in the lounge of the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults (ALIYA), a synagogue and outreach center for troubled youth on East New York Ave. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, reports the website CrownHeights.info.

One male and one female officers from the 71st precinct arrived and woke up Halevi, who appeared baffled by their arrival, and would not comply with their order to vacate the premises, insisting he had permission to be there.

The officers decided to arrest Halevi, who refused to be handcuffed and pushed the two cops off. In an instant, the male officer flew into a rage and began to beat up the half naked Halevi. The officer leaped on his defenseless victim, smacking him repeatedly.

Next the shirtless, already subdued Halevi was pepper-sprayed and hit with a truncheon by the female officer.

After about two minutes of out of control violence, the officers are joined by a squadron of cops who were finally able to handcuff the badly beaten man.

According to CrownHeights.info, a source inside ALIYA confirmed that Ehud Halevi indeed had permission to sleep on the premises, and had been a model resident for a month.

Now Halevi is being charged with assaulting a police officer, a felony charge that could put him in jail for five years, as well as four Misdemeanor charges and four violations, including trespassing, resisting arrest and harassment.

Halevi is now out on bail. ALIYA declined to comment on the disturbing affair.

Tibbi Singer

Mitt, You Were Right the First Time!

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

I have strongly criticized President Obama for his policy toward Israel. In particular — although there are numerous other issues, like his remarkable disrespect for Israel’s Prime Minister — I was unhappy about his pronounced tilt toward the Palestinian position in peace process negotiations. I won’t go into detail here, but I called Obama the most anti-Israel President we have ever had.

Now for the first time it is beginning to seem that Mitt Romney has a good chance to win the election. I’m not suggesting that we can neglect the many other considerations, in foreign and domestic policy, that are relevant for choosing a president, but I want to look at this particular issue — Israel — and examine what we know about Romney’s attitudes.

In May of this year, at the same private fund-raiser at which he made his unfortunate “47%” remark, Romney said this about the “peace process:”

I’m torn by two perspectives in this regard. One is the one which I’ve had for some time, which is that the Palestinians have no interest whatsoever in establishing peace, and that the pathway to peace is almost unthinkable to accomplish.

Now why do I say that? Some might say, well, let’s let the Palestinians have the West Bank, and have security, and set up a separate nation for the Palestinians. And then come a couple of thorny questions. And I don’t have a map here to look at the geography, but the border between Israel and the West Bank is obviously right there, right next to Tel Aviv, which is the financial capital, the industrial capital of Israel, the center of Israel. It’s—what the border would be? Maybe seven miles from Tel Aviv to what would be the West Bank…The other side of the West Bank, the other side of what would be this new Palestinian state would either be Syria at one point, or Jordan.

And of course the Iranians would want to do through the West Bank exactly what they did through Lebanon, what they did near Gaza. Which is that the Iranians would want to bring missiles and armament into the West Bank and potentially threaten Israel. So Israel of course would have to say, “That can’t happen. We’ve got to keep the Iranians from bringing weaponry into the West Bank.” Well, that means that—who? The Israelis are going to patrol the border between Jordan, Syria, and this new Palestinian nation? Well, the Palestinians would say, “Uh, no way! We’re an independent country. You can’t, you know, guard our border with other Arab nations.” And now how about the airport? How about flying into this Palestinian nation? Are we gonna allow military aircraft to come in and weaponry to come in? And if not, who’s going to keep it from coming in? Well, the Israelis. Well, the Palestinians are gonna say, “We’re not an independent nation if Israel is able to come in and tell us what can land in our airport.”

These are problems—these are very hard to solve, all right? And I look at the Palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway, for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel, and these thorny issues, and I say, “There’s just no way.”

And so what you do is you say, “You move things along the best way you can.” You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem. We live with that in China and Taiwan. All right, we have a potentially volatile situation but we sort of live with it, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it. We don’t go to war to try and resolve it imminently.

On the other hand, I got a call from a former secretary of state. I won’t mention which one it was, but this individual said to me, you know, I think there’s a prospect for a settlement between the Palestinians and the Israelis after the Palestinian elections. I said, “Really?” And, you know, his answer was, “Yes, I think there’s some prospect.” And I didn’t delve into it. [my emphasis]

Here Romney made two very important points which, if we go by their public statements, nobody in the Obama Administration understands:

* The Palestinians do not want a peaceful state alongside Israel, they want to replace it with an Arab state;

* A “two-state solution” with hostile Arabs would present insoluble security problems for Israel.

Since the 1970′s American policy in the region has been based on the idea that the result of the 1967 war must be reversed (if you are cynical, you may think that this is because of the influence in the US of the Petro-Saudi lobby). This has been expressed since the Oslo accords or 1993 as support for a “two-state solution.”

While events — the Hamas takeover of Gaza, the Second Intifada — have convinced the great majority of Israelis that a practical two-state solution is a fantasy based on wishful thinking, this has generally not penetrated the US media or political establishment.  So Mitt’s remarks in May came as a breath of fresh air.

Unfortunately, it seems as though Romney has now changed his mind. In a speech that he gave today at Virginia Military Institute, he said,

I will recommit America to the goal of a democratic, prosperous Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with the Jewish state of Israel. On this vital issue, the President has failed, and what should be a negotiation process has devolved into a series of heated disputes at the United Nations.

It’s the same old nonsense! (I wonder who the “former Secretary of State” was that may have moved him in this direction — perhaps Saudi Lobbyist James A. Baker?)

Having said this, Romney still seems far more likely to be friendly to Israel than Obama, who Aaron David Miller said “really is different [from other presidents about Israel].” He has a good personal relationship with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He is not associated with anti-Zionists like Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi or Ali Abunimah, or  left-wing Israel-haters like Bill Ayers, or antisemites like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright.

Mitt, you were right the first time!

Visit FresnoZionism.org.

Vic Rosenthal

Jerusalem Municipality Approves New NIS 18 Million Deer Park and Sanctuary

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Sunday – The Jerusalem Municipality approved a plan to invest in and upgrade the Jerusalem Deer Sanctuary  in Deer Valley (near the Pot Junction), and to turn it into the first city-based nature park in Israel. The park will cover an area of over 60 acres.

New deers will be brought into the existing sanctuary, and the park will now also have a section for people which will include a bicycle path, bird watching terraces, and a reception and education center. There will also build a water reservoir.

The first part of the new park is expected to be completed in January 2014.

Mayor Nir Barkat said this will turn Jerusalem into a “green” city and inprove the standard of living of the residents.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Outrage Over Planned Truancy Center In Brooklyn Neighborhood

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

In a move that has sparked outrage among many in the Flatbush Jewish community, the New York City Department of Education has set into motion the opening of a Truancy Center at 1780 Ocean Ave., corner of Ave. M. The location is just yards from Yeshiva Shaarei Torah, a girls’ high school.

The center is part of a truancy program known as Track that was inaugurated at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Truancy,” said Bloomberg “is often a child’s first step in the wrong direction. Chronic absenteeism leads to higher rates of school failure, delinquency, and dropping out. From there, it is often hard to recover.”

“This shows us just the kind of kids that will be at the center,” said one concerned parent. “We send our daughters to a yeshiva so that they will not come in contact with these elements. Now they will see them on the street, the nearby kosher pizza shop, etc.”

Ironically, in a press release published by the Department of Education, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly has warned about students who wind up in truancy centers.

“Truancy and chronic absenteeism is a public safety issue,” said Kelly. “When children and teens are truant during school hours, they are more likely to be the victims of and commit crimes. The risk of drug use, gang activity and criminal behavior increases significantly when students are on the street instead of in the classroom.”

According to the DOE website specially trained police officers will patrol the streets, stopping all school-age kids and checking if they have legitimate reasons for being out of school. If no reason can be produced they will be taken to the truancy center.

Brooklyn Assemblyman Dov Hikind said in a statement that the proposed plan was “outrageous and unacceptable” and criticized the DOE for keeping local officials and area residents completely in the dark about the facility.

Naomi Klass Mauer

Captain Picard Visiting our Planet

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

British actor Patrick Stewart, aka Captain Jean-Luc Picard, the finest captain of the Starship Enterprise ever, is seen here on a movie set on Jaffa Street in the center of Jerusalem.

According to JTA, Stewart is playing a disgraced, eccentric British lord in a heist comedy titled “Hunting Elephants,” in which three Israeli senior citizens help a 12-year-old boy hatch a plan to rob a bank in order to save his home.

Stewart is replacing John Cleese of Python fame, who reportedly withdrew from the project due to heart trouble.

Refuah shleima.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/photos/captain-picard-visiting-our-planet/2012/08/22/

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