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December 19, 2014 / 27 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘center’

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Victim of Scientology Recites his Plight as Church’s New Tel-Aviv Center Is Inaugurated

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Back in October, 2010, nine workers were saved from a burning building belonging to the Scientology movement in Tel Aviv. Arson was suspected as the cause of the fire. The fire spread to the stairwell, preventing the workers from escaping the building on their own. Firefighters that arrived on the scene successfully overcame the blaze and save the workers. On Tuesday, the new, renovated Scientology Center is opening at the same address.

Recently, Maariv reported that Scientology members in Israel distributed a document that caused an unprecedented storm. The document, “open letter to all Scientologists,” was signed by 14 members of the “Dror College,” a Scientology center in Haifa. The document revealed in great detail the “crimes” they claimed had been committed by the elders of the Main Church of Scientology.

According to Maariv, the document used internal language and codes familiar to the faithful, providing a rare and disturbing glimpse at what happens inside the church. It shed light on the mechanism by which the church operates, including – according to the authors – threats, slander, boycotts, financial exploitation, false propaganda, information control, and a prohibition on the transfer of control or exposure to negative content. “Because of the situation we had to expose the crimes. We do not see any other solution. This is not comfortable, it will make a lot of mess,” the authors wrote.

Apparently, there is a rebellion taking place within the Scientology movement, which encompasses many of its branches in the U.S. as well. It appears that the Scientology movement may be in trouble.

But you wouldn’t get it from the way Scientology is being treated by the Tel Aviv city council, which endowed the Church with the magnificent Alhambra edifice in Jaffa. Two years after the fire, and only a few months after the movement’s attorney was indicted for ordering gangland-style hits on his ex-wife’s husband, the façade, at least, appears solid.

And then IDF Radio on Tuesday morning interviewed Erez Meshulam, who said his family fell apart after his wife had joined the Church of Scientology.

Host Niv Raskin asked Meshulam about the events of 14 years ago, when his wife responded to a Help Wanted ad in the newspaper.

According to Meshulam, the address his wife reached was the Scientology run college. She was handed a 300-question questionnaire, and after she filled it out, Meshulam said it turned out that she was “depressed.”

She was sent by the center to a course in communication, that cost her only 300 shekel ($75). “That’s when the process began, of her falling deeper and deeper into Scientology,” he said.

The host, Raskin, asked if during the course his wife mentioned the term “Scientology.”

“We knew it was a college of Scientology, which must be like any other college,” his guest answered. “I had no idea that Scientology was a cult. Also, after she had started with Scientology she had turned much, much happier. So I was so happy that my wife was happy. Why not?”

Meshulam proceeded: “So she continued to join another course, and another, and it really makes her happier and happier each time.”

He notes: “I did not know what we were entering. They combat Ritalin and other psychiatric drugs. My reaction was, Great, at last there’s an organization that fights over this issue. Until the time my wife, slowly but surely, began to transform.”

“What do you mean?”

“First her body language. When she responded to me, it was a ‘uh hmm,’ a kind of confirmation that she heard me, not more. Slowly this person I had known was changing, and then she started joining courses for 15 thousand shekel ($3,750)…”

“What kind of courses?”

“They audit the students. The idea is that the more you cleanse yourself of your past, so will your life become happier. So you can go back a billion years – for 15 thousand. She was going deeper, and our economic situation was very, very bad. It meant we didn’t buy the kids shoes. We took hand-me-downs from the family. Still, we went and took out a loan from the bank – my parents came and co-signed. And my brother lent us 20 thousand shekel ($4,000).

Who Is Behind the Wave of Fires in Israel?

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Firefighters cannot remember a summer like this in many years. For the past few weeks, the country has been burning. But this story is not about the blazes, according to Channel 2 News reporter Shay Gal, rather it is about the blame that is immediately flung into the air, usually even before the fires subside. As renowned Journalist Ed Murrow put it: A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.

Two Intifadas and continuous hostilities have solidified the idea in Israelis’ minds. It’s not as if there aren’t cases of arson based on nationalistic motives, but those take place mainly in areas along the line of demarcation between Israel proper and the disputed territories. Still and all, every time a wave of fires sweeps through our country’s forests, we are quick to suspect that the Intifada has returned.

The fire that broke out in June at Kibbutz Maale Hachamisha served as a good example of this worrisome phenomenon. There it happened because of a Molotov cocktail that was thrown from a neighboring village – in other words – arson. Minutes later, a fire was lit in Motza as well. The immediate assumption was that the arsonist continued directly there. However, in Motza it was actually workers at an archeological site that went out to lunch and left the fire burning, and so that story was gone.

Last Wednesday, there was a fire on a mountain adjacent to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. The first suspicion here was also arson. The following day, Gal returned to the mountain with arson investigator Moshe Elazri of the Fire Department. “We discovered signs of beer bottles here,” he relates. People from the village even related that they had seen people making a barbecue in the area.

As the fire investigator was talking, the wind that had caused the coals to burn began to blow and the fire broke out again. Everything started again right in front of their eyes. The picture becomes clear; a command center was established and fire trucks rushed to the area. Then, inevitably, a report came over the wire: “Listen, there are some individuals here that are starting fires all over the place.”

“I don’t know what they’re talking about here,” said Elazri and thereby clarified the absurdity in the flammable situation.

And, as the command center was preparing to alert helicopters to search for suspects of an arson that had never been committed, Elazri tried to calm everybody down. “Eli, I was just at the scene where the fire started again – no arsonists.” A short while later, the fire was extinguished; for the prejudice to be extinguished will take more time.

On the way to the next destination, Elazri looked at a tree trunk that was still burning, a clue that the fire could once again break out. From there, they continued to another, heavy-topped tree, the kind that started the fire in the Carmel forest tragedy. Officials back then suspected two children who were playing in the area.

“We’re referring to a 75 square dunam area that was burnt – almost half the area of the forest,” explains Dr. Leah Wittenberg that has been researching the effects of the Carmel fire for years. She estimates that it will take 40-50 years before the forest will get back to its original, green state. The recovery process, surprisingly enough, has not even begun.

According to Israel Police statistics, 500 new arson files have been opened since the beginning of the year. At least 400 suspects have been arrested. However, be aware, nationalistically motivated arsons constitute less than one per cent of the incidents, or about 10 incidents. The rest of the fires are either criminal arson or simple negligence.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/who-is-behind-the-wave-of-fires-in-israel/2012/08/20/

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