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December 11, 2016 / 11 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘clash’

Bennett, Netanyahu, Clash over Amona, Regulations Act

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Sunday’s cabinet meeting witnessed an escalation of the conflict between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, over the fate of a Jewish settlement named Amona in Samaria. The clock is ticking on the demolition of Amona and the evacuation of between 40 and 50 families, as decreed by the Supreme Court — no later than December 25, 2016. Bennett proposed the cabinet debate the proposed Arrangements Act, which compels Arab claimants to accept market value compensation for their land. Netanyahu attacked the idea, calling it “childish and irresponsible,” suggesting it might earn a moment’s relief, while his AG is trying to get a seven-month postponement from the court.

A whopping 25 out of Netanyahu’s 30 Knesset Members have signed a commitment to pass the Arrangements Act, which would force a war between the government and the high court. In 2014, the high court struck down a lower court’s judgement awarding $85,700 to 6 (anonymous) Arab plaintiffs who claimed they had been affected by the Amona settlement on their land.

Things went wild at the meeting when Minister Miri Regev (Likud) stated that “the Prime Minister has never said that he opposes the Arrangements Act.” Netanyahu turned to her and said, “I don’t need to be defended from the spins, both of politicians and the media.” At which point Regev continued, saying “it’s a shame Habayit Hayehudi are making it look as if only they support the arrangements and the Likud doesn’t.” So Bennett confronted the PM, asking if he really did support the proposed bill, and Regev exclaimed, “Of course he supports the Arrangements Act.” So Netanyahu turned on her, saying, “I don’t need your defense, Miri, we won’t waste our time on bloggers here.” And Bennett pressed in response, “Excellent, let’s vote on the bill,” so Netanyahu called him childish.

Habayit Hayehudi has been adamant on their plan to introduce the bill for approval by the Ministerial Legislative Committee, chaired by their own Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, despite vociferous objections from AG Avichai Mandelblit. Netanyahu declared that introducing the bill now would harm his own petition that the Supreme Court postpone by seven months its decree against Amona.

Last week, Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) was quoted as saying “there’s plenty of time to pass the Arrangements Act should the Supreme Court reject the state’s petition to postpone the evacuation.”

Bennett, who last week declared that Trump’s election meant the end of the Palestinian State, urged the Netanyahu government to take advantage of the change in Washington to push pro-settlement legislation. “It’s time to stop treating as second class citizens the tens of thousands of residents in Judea and Samaria who serve in the Army Reserves and pay taxes,” Bennett declared.

Habayit Hayehudi MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Shuli Mualem, who authored the Regulations Act, sent Netanyahu a letter urging him to “act in the window of opportunity that was created” and pass the bill. “The election results in the US have ended a complex relationship with the current administration and [made possible] the creation of a different relationship with the new administration,” the two MKs wrote, suggesting that “a combination of a new spirit in the White House and the fact that the US is in a period of transition in government have created a historic opportunity to confirm the Jewish settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.”

JNi.Media

Sunday Off? Israel’s Unions, Employers, Clash over Shorter Work Week

Friday, May 27th, 2016

British entrepreneur Richard Koch has invented the “80/20 Principle” that argues we get 80% of our work done in 20% of our work time, and the remaining 20% of our work gets done in 80% of the time. Israel’s official work week is 43 hours long, but many Israelis work many more hours than what’s common in the OECD, and still, productivity in Israel is low. The question organized Labor and the employers have been debating over the past few weeks, ahead of upcoming legislation to modify the Israeli work week, has been: will a shorter week reduce even further or enhance productivity?

On Sunday, the Ministerial Legislative Committee headed by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) is expected to debate four different proposals dealing with the shorter work week. The leading bill, submitted by MK Eli Cohen (Kulanu) and endorsed by a number of MKs, proposes starting the shorter work week reform with one Sunday off every two months.

“Initially, we were talking about one long weekend a month, starting Thursday night and going through Monday morning,” Cohen said in a recent interview on Radio 103FM. However, he explained, “after many debates, which included Histadrut trade union Chairman Avi Nissenkorn and representatives of the Israeli industrialists and other players, we’ve formed the proposal we’re submitting to the ministerial committee, which talks about six long weekends a year.”

The employers’ organizations object to the move, but by week’s end it appeared they’d acquiesce, after the threat of 12 long weekends was reduced by half. They estimate the damage to the economy at about $2 billion annually. It’s interesting to see that in addition to traditional capitalist employers organizations such as the Manufacturers Association, and the Chamber of Commerce, the long weekend enemies also include the Kibbutz Industries Association and the Farmers’ Union. We expect that more than a few Labor Zionists, including former Histadrut chairmen David Ben-Gurion, are rolling in their grave.

The average OECD work week is between 35 and 40 hours, and Israeli workers receive fewer religious and state holidays than their OECD counterparts. And yet, despite their shorter work week, German and American workers’ productivity is significantly higher than in Israel. Is this counterintuitive?

Stanford University Professor John Pencavel has argued that working longer hours increases fatigue and stress that leads to a greater probability of errors and accidents that will decrease productivity. Likewise, Marianna Virtanen of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health found that overwork can result in health problems leading to absenteeism, greater employee turnover rates, and higher health insurance costs. A 2013 paper by the New Zealand Productivity Commission showed that working longer hours does not make people more productive.

A recent study by the OECD revealed that more productive workers tend to work less: while Greek workers put in an average of 2,000 hours of work per year, Germans worked only 1,400 hours per year and were 70% more productive. More productive workers tend to be better paid, not worse, contrary to what the Israeli employers are predicting, and the correlation between higher productivity and fewer hours worked is due to the reduced fatigue and stress from working less.

CEO Maria Brath of the tech start-up Brath has implemented a six-hour, as opposed to an eight-hour, work day, claiming that her employees get more done in that time than comparable companies do in the longer work day. Treehouse, an online interactive education platform, uses a four-day work day and claims that employee morale, retention, and quality of output, have all improved. (Source: Investopedia)

Will Israel, known for its national obsession with plunging into new, radical changes, take on this moderate change? We’ll know more on Sunday.

JNi.Media

German Rightwing Party Calling for Ban on Islam as Leftists Clash with Police

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The rightwing party Alternative for Germany has declared that “Islam does not belong in Germany” as part of its new party manifesto which was passed on Sunday. “An orthodox Islam that does not respect our constitution or even contradicts it is incompatible with our legal system and culture,” the manifesto declares.

The Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, or AfD), led by Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen, is a rightwing, Eurocentric political party founded in 2013. The party won 4.7% of the national vote in the 2013 federal election, just short of the 5% electoral threshold. In 2014 the party won 7.1% of the votes and 7 out of 96 German seats in the European election, and joined forces the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group. As of March 2016 the AfD had gained representation in eight German state parliaments.

Current opinion polls give AfD as much as 14% of the vote in the 2017 national elections, a figure that could grow depending on immigration-related events over the summer. Even at 14%, the AfD would make the big parties’ job of coalition cobbling next to impossible.

An estimated crowd of 2,000 AfD members came to Stuttgart to discuss and adopt the manifesto during a two-day party congress that opened Saturday, complete with violent protests from leftist demonstrators. Some 2,000 leftwingers clashed with police on Saturday as they tried to break up the AfD conference. An estimated 500 leftists were detained and 10 police officers were injured, a police spokesman said.

The AfD manifesto includes a ban on foreign financing of the construction and operation of mosques, rejection of minarets and muezzin calls as Islamic symbols of power, and a ban on head scarves for girls and women in state schools. The party congress considered and rejected a proposal to ban immigration, “in particular from foreign cultures.” Instead, the new platform says, “We welcome immigrants who are qualified for the labor market and who are willing to integrate into society.”

The platform calls for the deportation of foreigners with a criminal record. It also bans the slaughtering of animals according to Muslim and Jewish laws.

Ah, well, that was to be expected.

JNi.Media

Egyptian VP El Baradei Resigns

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

Egypt’s interim vice president, Mohamed ElBaradei, resigned today in response to the violent crackdown of security on Islamist protest camps set up in support of deposed president Mohamed Morsi, Reuters reports.

ElBaradei wrote in his resignation letter that “the beneficiaries of what happened today are those who call for violence, terrorism and the most extreme groups.”

“As you know, I saw that there were peaceful ways to end this clash in society, there were proposed and acceptable solutions for beginnings that would take us to national consensus,” he wrote. “It has become difficult for me to continue bearing responsibility for decisions that I do not agree with and whose consequences I fear. I cannot bear the responsibility for one drop of blood.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptian-vp-el-baradei-resigns/2013/08/14/

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