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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Committee’

Israeli Paralympic Delegation Comes Back to Cheers, but Committee Says That Gaps Remain

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

By Ilana Messika/TPS

Tel Aviv (TPS) – Approximately 200 Israelis from all over the country, most of them youngsters and students, welcomed the Israeli team home from the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio with signs and balloons at Ben-Gurion Airport.

“I felt we needed to show our appreciation and our respect to the members of the Paralympic delegation. They accomplished incredible things and succeeded in connecting the Israeli community together.” said Ouri Shechter, who organized the welcoming reception at Ben-Gurion, to Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

Thirty-three athletes in 11 sports participated in the games, winning three bronze medals, bringing the total number of medals won by Israel in the Paralympic Games to 383 since the country’s first delegation in 1960.

Rower Moran Samuel won bronze for the 100 meter women’s single sculls event on September 11. The next day, Doron Shaziri repeated the feat in the men’s 50 meter Rifle 3 Positions SH1, adding to continuing his record winning at least one medal minimum in each Paralympic game. Finally, on September 15, swimmer Inbal Pezaro finished third in the 200 meter individual medley.

In response to statements made on the inequitable coverage of the Paralympic games as opposed to the Rio Olympics, Leah Schneider, Spokesperson for the Israel Paralympic Committee, told TPS:

“Coverage was better this year than in the past, but it remains insufficient and definitely not on par with the broadcasting generated by the Olympics,” she said.

Schneider added that there has been a perceptible shift in Israeli society and media regarding Paralympic team members. “Whereas once people viewed us as disabled people with sport capabilities, today we are primarily seen as athletes,” she said.

Committee members also said that Israel lags behind other countries in terms of support and investment for sports, especially for disabled people.

“Israel is not a sports country.” said Schneider. “In other states, such as China or the United States, sport is considered a profession in itself. Here in Israel, members of the Paralympic delegation all have regular jobs. Their achievements are a credit to their capabilities, less than any institutional investment made by the government.

“We need mechanisms in order to identify disabled kids with potential for sports, to train them properly with specific courses and resources for adaptive sports. It takes regular people constant training over the course of six-to-eight years to acquire a professional level.

“[But mainly we need] awareness. We need plans and budgets on an institutional level. But for the moment, constructing a Paralympic team remains extremely difficult,” she concluded.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Knesset Committee Approves $80 Million to Support New Immigrants

Monday, August 15th, 2016

The Knesset Finance Committee, headed by MK Moshe Gafni (United Torah Judaism), on Monday approved the transfer of an additional $80 million to the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, mainly for the purpose of finding housing solutions for elderly immigrants.

Some of the funds are designated for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants from France, Belgium, and Ukraine.

Of the amount allotted, about $68 million are designated for housing solutions for elderly immigrants; $4 million for encouraging entrepreneurship among new immigrants, including employment fairs and seminars for new immigrants, coupons for Hebrew lessons, absorption-related activities in local authorities, encouraging Aliyah abroad by strengthening the professional capabilities of potential olim, and adding more operators to the information call center for those interested in making Aliyah; $2 million for the implementation of the government’s decision to allow members of the Bnei Menashe community entry into Israel, and $1.3 million are designated for increasing the assistance provided to immigrant soldiers who are recognized by the IDF as lone soldiers or as soldiers who are eligible for family stipends.

JNi.Media

Knesset Committee discussed Yitzhar Minor’s Case

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

On the morning of Tuesday, August 2, the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child discussed the case of the Yitzhar minor banned by an administrative order from all of Yehuda and Shomron, including his own home.

No representatives from either the Justice Ministry or the Shabak showed up for the meeting.

Knesset Member Betzalel Smotrich, who with Knesset Member Rabbi Yehuda Glick initiated the discussion, said,

“The intolerable ease with which [the GOC”s] decide to use administrative orders, force, and violence against youths and children from Yehuda and Shomron under the code name of “security” is improper and illogical. The distancing order served to this specific youth and the increasingly shameful treatment of the general population of Yehuda and Shomron must stop. There are serious consequences to the irresponsible conduct of the ISA and security authorities, firstly in terms of the trust that the public has in the security authorities, and that itself is very serious. Additionally, even we as Knesset Members have limits. The failure of the representatives of the Justice Ministry and the ISA to appear, is nothing other than disrespect for us the Knesset Members and for the Knesset, and we must not let this pass quietly.

“I announce to anyone who has not yet heard, the settlements are not an enemy of the people and if there is a child who has “gone astray” he should be treated and returned to the proper path. A Youth Probation Service officer and social workers must be assigned to him during administrative proceedings exactly as is customary in criminal proceedings against minors. He must not be treated like the worst terrorist. I call on the Defense Minister and the Justice Minister to introduce a different approach than that which has been prevalent over the past few years, and to restore sanity. The residents of Yehuda and Shomron must not be perceived as the enemy.” Knesset Member R. Yehuda Glick: “A 15-year old boy is not a ticking time bomb. An administrative order is a type of emergency order which is given in the case of a ticking time bomb. There’s a chance that he will scribble a word on a mosque or puncture something? Then a Youth Probation Service officer can be assigned to monitor him. This is a boy without a criminal record and they are using a method against him which is unnecessary.

“For the past eight years I have experienced the Israeli Police fighting me, besmirching me and presenting me as the most dangerous man in the Mid-East, and in the end claimed that I want to change the status quo [on the Temple Mount]. It appears that the security forces are taking upon themselves the task of educating the public. It cannot be that an administrative order is served to a 15-year old boy without even [consulting] the Youth Probation Service or a social worker. It is inconceivable that this has to be said in this committee.”

Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado, who participated in the discussion, stated that, “Over the past year and a half there has been massive use of administrative orders, and the [security] system is caught unprepared for the use of such orders. They [the orders] are being implemented without any consideration by the welfare authorities or their involvement, without any judicial oversight, and they have caused enormous damage, and situations which would never have occurred in criminal proceedings. “Additionally, only following the appeal which we filed and criticism from the courts, have preliminary hearings begun recently to be held, although they are required by law.”

The representative of the National Council for the Child, Attorney Carmit Pollack Cohen, called for increased involvement of the welfare authorities in the procedure of serving administrative order when minors are involved. In June 2016 the Israel National Council for the Child sent urgent letters to the GOC’s of the Home Front and Central Commands requesting that they investigate the possible consequences of the administrative orders served to the Yitzhar minor.

The mother of another minor under an administrative order described how every night policemen arrive at the family’s home in the middle of the night, bang loudly on the door, and wake up the entire family, which has caused some of the families whose children are under administrative orders to request that the child stay out of the house so that the family will not suffer from the house checks by the police. See here for the Yitzhar minor’s experience.

Knesset Member Moti Yogev, who is a member of the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child: “I still have faith in the security system, but I think that there must be supervision over the authorities. I think that statements need to be made here, that in order to come to a decision concerning distancing a minor from his home and place of education, there needs to be a near certain danger and that a professional welfare authority must be involved.” MK Yogev further described several cases in which he intervened and returned youths to their place of study, which shows that a balanced method had not been properly implemented.

Chairwoman of the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child, MK Yifat Shasha Biton concluded the discussion with a statement that the treatment of minors in administrative proceedings must be similar to that of minors in criminal proceedings, in which there is increased judicial review and involvement of the welfare authorities.

Jewish Press News Briefs

MK Hazan Darling of Israeli Left over Dismissal by Netanyahu in Gaza Inquiry Brawl

Wednesday, August 3rd, 2016

MK Oren Hazan (Likud), traditionally the legislator most loathed by the Israeli left, both inside and outside the Knesset, now gets his turn to be the darling of the left, because of the courageous way he stood up to Prime Minister Netanyahu. Naturally, when Hazan was just as brave in the past, calling out Netanyahu on his shabby treatment of Israel’s rightwing majority, especially in Judea and Samaria, he did not receive recognition by the Labor MKs who this week have been stepping on each other to defend him, or, more accurately, attack Netanyahu on his behalf.

Hazan himself told Israel Radio Wednesday morning that he is paying a high price for his daring to criticize the prime minister, like several other Likud members (former MK Moshe Feiglin comes to mind). Hazan supports establishing a state committee of inquiry to investigate the 2014 Gaza war, specifically how aware had the IDF command been of the 30 to 40 Hamas terror tunnels? Netanyahu has released documentation showing the IDF conducted eight sessions, followed by 20 technical sessions, instructing the security cabinet on those tunnels. But Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett insists no such heightened attention was ever paid to the tunnels, and, in fact, it had taken his, Bennett’s, tenacious nagging to steer the cabinet and the high command towards hitting those vexing tunnels.

The Likud has launched a move to remove MK Hazan from the State Control Committee, where the vote on a state commission of inquiry will take place — because Hazan suggested he was in favor of appointing such a body. For his part, Hazan acknowledges that Netanyahu has just had enough of his “colorful” personal style, although it should be noted for the record that Hazan is one of the most hard working MKs: he is Knesset Deputy Speaker, and participates diligently and industriously in the Finance, State Control Committee, Special Committee for Discussion on the Public Broadcast Bill 2015, House Committee, Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, and the Joint Committee for the Defense Budget. He is also member of a long list of Knesset Lobbies.

The above impressive record of Hazan’s contributions is surprising only to those who recall how the media introduced him following the last election, as a playboy drug dealer who managed casinos in Bulgaria and furnished cocaine and escorts for Israelis on vacation.

The Likud leadership has had it up to here with Hazan’s erratic behavior (he has endured several reprimands and a suspension for verbal brawls with opposition members, most recently his arch-enemy Hanin Zoabi from the Joint Arab List). They would like to post a more obedient MK at the Control Committee, because Netanyahu desperately wants to avoid a hearing on his cabinet’s management of the Gaza campaign. To remind the reader, 67 Israelis died in that war, and there are growing voices in Israel saying many of those deaths could be avoided. The head of the most right wing government in recent memory, Netanyahu does not need to be accused of military failure.

The opposition has been livid over Netanyahu’s intent to drop Hazan from the committee less than a week before the conclusion of the Knesset summer session. The same Zionist Camp NKs who last year condemned Netanyahu for letting into the Knesset a sketchy character such as Hazan now released a statement saying: “Bibi is afraid of Hazan. He is afraid of criticism, and above all he is afraid that criticism of operation Defensive Shield would expose him as being weak against the Hamas — that he is more a talkback artist than a leader.”

MK Karin Elharrar (Yesh Atid), chair of the State Control Committee, accused Netanyahu of trying to sabotage the committee’s work. “The prime minister is acting on strictly political considerations and it isn’t clear of what he is so afraid,” she said.

Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) called on Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud) to block the Likud Knesset faction’s move against Hazan. “The prime minister is so fearful of the comptroller’s report on Defensive Shield that he dishonors the Knesset and steps on the foundations of democracy,” Jelin said. “The next phase for the PM, after completing his domination of all the MKs, would be to pass the constitution for a new dictatorship.”

Incidentally, it’s been suggested recently that Netanyahu, who is 67, could remain Israel’s prime minister for many years to come — seeing as his exulted father Prof. Benzion Netanyahu lived to the ripe old age of 101. It could mean as many as 10 more terms for the ambitious Netanyahu, who would be the prime minister of Israeli children who are not yet born.

David Israel

Ethics Committee Reprimands MK Zoabi ‘Severely’ over ‘Extreme’ Comments

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

The Knesset Ethics Committee on Monday issued a severe reprimand to MK Hanin Zoabi (Joint Arab List) over her “extreme” comments during a recent plenary debate on the reconciliation agreement between Israel and Turkey.

During a June 29 debate on the deal with Turkey, under which Israel agreed to compensate the families of Turkish terrorists who were killed when they attacked IDF soldiers attempting to take over a Gaza-bound vessel, Zoabi, who had been on the ship during the May 2010 raid, said: “I stood here six years ago, some of you remember the hatred and hostility toward me, and look where we got to. Apologies to the families of those who were called terrorists. The nine that were murdered, it turns out that their families need to be compensated. I demand an apology to all the political activists who were on the Marmara and an apology to MK Hanin Zoabi, against whom you’ve incited for six years. I demand compensation and I will donate it to the next flotilla. As long as there’s a siege, more flotillas need to be organized.”

During the plenary debate, Zoabi also said the reconciliation deal is an admission of guilt by Israel regarding the flotilla raid. Several MKs began shouting and moved toward the podium to complain about her inciting statements. As MKs were pushing against the podium, Zoabi shouted, “They murdered,” and “Shut up,” repeatedly. The Ethics Committee described the debate as “Exceptionally caustic,” saying that “at moments it seemed that it could deteriorate into physical violence and undoubtedly harm the dignity of the Knesset and its members.”

The Ethics Committee said it had received complaints against Zoabi from nine different lawmakers. The majority of the committee members said Zoabi’s statements were “extreme, provocative, not anchored in reality, and at the very least pushed the boundaries of freedom of expression for MKs.”

“However, because of the broad freedom of political expression MKs enjoy, together with the fact that the disturbances to her speech didn’t actually allow her to complete a sentence or an organized argument from the moment she had stepped up to the podium, there are no grounds at this time to increase her punishment for the content of her remarks themselves,” the committee ruled.

In her defense, Zoabi pointed out that she did not say the words “IDF soldiers are murderers,” as she had been accused, but the committee noted that the majority of its members accepted this explanation “with difficulty” and that other MKs and the public “justifiably” understood from her comments that she was accusing IDF soldiers of being murderers. They also said Zoabi misled Deputy Knesset Speaker Hamad Amar (Yisrael Beitenu) by telling him that she intended to apologize for her remarks, and when he allowed her back at the podium, ostensibly to apologize, repeated her inflammatory remarks, making the incident even worse than it already was.

Zoabi submitted complaints against several MKs who shouted at her, including MK Oren Hazan (Likud), whom she said yelled “offensive” things at her.

Hazan was also severely reprimanded by the Ethics Committee, which said he “undoubtedly was the one who instigated the commotion in the plenum and continued to fan the flames, breaking all acceptable codes of behavior.”

MKs Mickey Levy (Yesh Atid), Nava Boker (Likud), Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp) and Aliza Lavi (Yesh Atid) were reprimanded with a “comment,” the lightest sanction by the Ethics Committee, for their conduct during the debate.

In its decision, the Ethics Committee called on MKs to “show restraint and allow appropriate discussions in the plenum, even when extreme remarks are made. As for getting threateningly close to the stage, the committee believes that doing so has the potential to erupt into violence and breaks the rules of behavior in the Knesset plenum. The committee wishes to warn the MKs that from now on it will consider serious sanctions in such cases, including suspension.”

David Israel

Knesset Committee Holding Hearing Tuesday on Plight of Yitzhar Minor

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

The Knesset Secretariat on Monday authorized the request of MKs Betzalel Smotrich and Yehuda Glick to hold an urgent hearing on the Yitzhar minor’s case at the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child. The hearing was set for today, Tuesday, at 9:00 AM, and will bring to the public’s attention the abusive use of administrative orders against Jewish minors in Judea and Samaria. An estimated 50 Jews are under restrictive administrative orders, many of them minors (See: Police Harass Grandparents of the Minor from Yitzhar).

The Yitzhar minor, 15, was banned by administrative order from entering Judea and Samaria, including his own parents’ home, and was placed under house arrest at night. As is the case with all administrative orders, no evidence has been presented and the minor has not been brought to trial. Since July 6, just under a month, the minor has been wandering from house to house due to the difficulty of finding him a permanent host family: prospective families have been discouraged by the disruptive house checks carried out by police in the middle the night, and sometimes several times a night, complete with hollering and banging, disturbing entire neighborhoods — so that by now no one is willing to host the minor for more than one night.

The minor has been detained several times on suspicion of violating the restriction order, including after reporting to a police station and informing them that he did not have a place to sleep. He has also been accused of being late with informing the police of his new address for the night. His unique situation, a minor pulled out of his own home, without judicial due process and without seeking expert opinion from a social worker and the Youth Probation Service, has already moved the Knesset Committee for the Rights of the Child to strongly oppose the decree against the Yitzhar minor. The committee on Tuesday will also hear the critical statements made by several judges before whom the minor has been brought, about police abusive behavior in this case.

The minor and his family, legal aid society Honenu staff members, and the families of other youths who are similarly restricted by administrative orders are expected to participate in the committee hearing.

The vast majority of the administrative restriction orders have been repeatedly extended by the Central and Home Front Commands, who rely on the claims of the Jewish Department of the clandestine police Shabak, predicting that the individuals under administrative restriction orders are liable to disturb the public peace. (See also: Military Court of Appeals Critical of Administrative Restrictions of Jews without Hearings)

David Israel

Knesset Committee Recognizes Armenian Genocide

Monday, August 1st, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Education, Culture and Sports Committee decided to recognize the Armenian genocide on Monday at a meeting initiated by Meretz Chairwoman MK Zehava Galon.

“It is our moral obligation to recognize the holocaust of the Armenian nation,” said the committee’s chairman and Shas MK Yaakov Margi.

The declaration by the committee is symbolically important in light of Israel’s maintenance of a policy to refrain from officially recognizing the Armenian genocide in which approximately 1.5 million Armenians were reportedly massacred by Ottoman Turkish forces during World War I.

Israel has previously abstained from recognizing the genocide in order to avoid negative repercussions on its relationship with Turkey. Israel signed a reconciliation agreement with the country last month following a strain in bilateral relations since the summer of 2010.

Nevertheless, MK Margi called upon Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein to follow through on remarks he made last year at a committee meeting at which he said that he would work to have the Knesset formally recognize the Armenian genocide.

“I will try to promote the issue and I hope that MKs will know the right way to vote at the moment of truth,” Edelstein said in July of 2015.

“I visited one of the Armenian memorial sites and it is very hard to ignore what I saw there,” he continued . “I expect that I and the Knesset behave appropriately so that we can make decisions according to the moral standards of a democratic state.”

MK Galon also lamented Israel’s continued failure to recognize the Armenian genocide.

“Each year we instill false hope in the people sitting here,” said Galon. “It dishonors the Knesset to continue going on and on about this issue, year after year, without reaching a decision that the State of Israel and the Knesset recognize the genocide of the Armenian people.”

Georgette Avakian, chairwoman of the Armenian National Committee in Jerusalem, echoed remarks made by Margi and Galon.

“The Knesset and the president of the State of Israel must recognize the genocide of our people,” she insisted.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/knesset-committee-recognizes-armenian-genocide/2016/08/01/

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