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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘court’

Inspired Rally Protesting Supreme Court Flights of Fancy with Helium Balloons

Monday, January 16th, 2017

Activists of the Derech Chaim (way of life) movement last Thursday engaged in an original event as part of their ongoing campaign against the tyrannical ways of Israel’s Supreme Court. Some 20 activists arrived at the Jerusalem central bus station, a bustling part of the city, and handed out to pedestrians hundreds of helium-filled balloons with the slogan (we paraphrase) “The Supreme Court is flying on its own hot air,” beside a drawing of a judge.

Apparently, the Jerusalemites were delighted with their gift balloons, and most of them agreed with the message.

The same activists also handed out brochures and stickers with clever slogans about the court’s dictatorial style and how it considers its own ego ahead of the needs of Israeli citizens (as in forcing 40 Amona families to lose their homes and community over a Supreme Court ruling given without the benefit of evidence or proper documentation).

Derech Chaim activists in Jerusalem

Derech Chaim activists in Jerusalem

Uri Kirshenbaum, from Derech Chaim, said in a statement that “recent surveys have shown once again the growing lack of trust of the Israeli public in the Supreme Court.”

“Everyone nowadays understand that the high court is flying on its own supply of hot air,” Kirshenbaum explained, “but what we must realize is that as long as the court grabs for itself authority to which it is not entitled and no one is protesting, it’s only natural that it results in judges who feel they are above the rest of us, ‘a closed family,” as retired Justice Barak put it, and would continue to dictate to the rest of us [their version of] what’s right and moral.”

“We believe it’s high time to deal radically with this problem,” Kirshenbaum concluded, “and return to the public the authority the court has usurped from us – otherwise the bloated balloon of BaGaTz (acronym for High Court of Justice) would continue to hover above us.”

So far the Derech Chaim activists have demonstrated in front of the home of Supreme Court President Justice Miriam Na’or and hung provocative signs around Israel.

David Israel

UK Man Convicted After Pleading Guilty to Anti-Semitic Attack on Jewish Shoppers

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

Three members of a Jewish family and a fourth person, also Jewish, may breathe a little easier this week after an anti-Semitic British attacker was arrested and convicted.

Patrick Delay, 19, a resident of the small market town of Coggeshall, Essex, pleaded guilty to charges of racially aggravated harassment this past Thursday.

The charges were connected to his yelling ‘Hitler is on the way to you. Heil Hitler, Heil Hitler. Heil Hitler!’ while hurling at least six canisters of nitrous oxide (laughing gas) at four members of an Orthodox Jewish community in the north London neighborhood of Tottenham Hale on January 6, as he was riding by in a van.

Delay faces sentencing at Wood Green Crown Court on February 2.

The victims, Cheya Stern, her 13-year-old son, her brother Simon Lemberger and a fourth person, Abraham Law, were hit by the canisters, according to a report by Metro.

Shomrin civil patrol organization spokesperson Shulem Stern told the news website, “They were scared about what would happen next. Jewish people have to face this anti-Semitism on a daily basis and visibly Jewish people are often targeted…

“It’s good that someone had been convicted and some actions has been taken,” he added.

Hana Levi Julian

German Court Rules No Jail for Muslim Synagogue Arsonists

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

The German court in the city of Wuppertal has upheld the 2015 decision of a lower court validating an attempt by three Muslim attackers who tried in 2014 to burn down a synagogue as a means of “drawing attention to the Gaza conflict” with Israel.

The attack took place on the anniversary of Kristallnacht – the night in which the Nazis hordes burned down more than 1,000 synagogues in Germany, including the original synagogue in Wuppertal, and killed nearly 100 Jews.

At the time of the attack, the 81-year-old former president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Charlotte Knobloch, declared, “When synagogues burn, it is time for all leaders to ask, ‘What must we do to protect Jewish citizens!” She also demanded to know why other German citizens were not responding to the anti-Semitic outrages and instead were remaining silent – again – and added, “Whoever is silent now affirms what is happening!”

Several days prior to the firebombing, “Free Palestine” was sprayed in paint on the wall of the synagogue. The case was first reported by Jerusalem Post journalist Benjamin Weinthal.

The German regional court ruled that the actions of the three Muslim perpetrators were governed by “anti-Israelism” and not anti-Semitism. The judge declined to incarcerate the attackers.

Green Party MP Volker Beck protested the ruling, saying, “This is a decision as far as the motives of the perpetrators are concerned. What do Jews in Germany have to do with the Middle East conflict? Every bit as much as Christians, non-religious people or Muslims in Germany, namely, absolutely nothing. The ignorance of the judiciary toward anti-Semitism is for many Jews in Germany especially alarming.”

Dr. Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, expressed outrage at the verdict.

“It is unbelievable that attempts to burn a synagogue have been equated with displeasure of Israeli government policies,” said Dr. Moshe Kantor, President of the EJC. “This has now given a carte blanche to anti-Semites across Germany to attack Jews because a German court has given them a ready justification.

“This court decision equates to open season on Jews.”

The decision “can also lead to anarchy across Germany because it provides a legal justification for the targeting of any minority, religion and nationality on the basis of a conflict that they could be in some way connected to because of religious or national ties,” Kantor continued. “Is it possible that when Arabs are targeted by far-Right groups then it could be claimed they are reacting to the bloodshed and violence in the Arab world? That of course would be absurd, but like in many other areas, there appears to be a separate rule when it comes to Jews and anti-Semitism.

“In fact, it could be argued that this ruling as it singles out a different way of treating Jews has elements of anti-Semitism,” he said.

A new definition of anti-Semitism was agreed upon last May at a conference of the Berlin-based International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA), which Germany is a member of, and which stated that “Holding Jews collectively responsible for actions of the state of Israel” is anti-Semitic.

Hana Levi Julian

Deal Busted with Border Guard Caught Shooting Rioter on CNN [video]

Friday, January 13th, 2017

A plea deal was scrapped Thursday between the state prosecution and a Border Guard policeman who allegedly shot and killed an Arab rioter on “Nakba (catastrophe) Day,” also known as Israeli declaration of independence day, May 15, 2014, at the Bitunia (Beitunia) check post near Ramallah in Samaria, Israeli media reported.

The deal, which had the accused admit to negligent homicide instead of the original charge of manslaughter, was rejected at the last minute by the defense.

One of the reasons the case received international attention at the time was the fact that the policeman, Ben Derry, was caught both on a local CCTV camera and by a CNN reporter, who presented the event as a shoot-to-kill incident. As the trial later revealed, a live round had been present in the soldier’s weapon, which was supposed to be loaded only with rubber bullets, for crowd control.

According to Attorney Zion Amir, who spoke to Ha’aretz, the prosecution, after having reached a plea agreement with his client, tried to sneak a fast one on him. “Today I receive the draft indictment with the plea arrangement,” Amir said, “and there – in the deal, not the indictment, there’s an item saying we agree that the [Israeli] force was never in any danger. That’s why I got angry.”

Speaking on the phone to Ha’aretz, the attorney stated he had told the prosecutors that the meaning of such an item, that a riot in which a mob of young Arabs are hurdling stones at an Israeli security force does not place the force in danger, would “expose Israel to attacks by the European Union, the UN, and the UN Security Council.”

Amir added that in the post-Sgt. Azaria era, he expected the prosecution to avoid dealing with a security event on the merit of its technical aspects only, but take into account the context.

Amir was also astonished to find out that his confidential discussion with the prosecutors was leaked to the media while he was still in the lobby on his way out.

David Israel

US Court Orders Iran, Syria to Pay $178M Compensation For Death of Baby in 2014 Jerusalem Terror Attack

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

A U.S. court has ordered Iran and Syria to pay millions of dollars in compensation, to the parents of a three month old baby who was killed in a 2014 terrorist attack.

Little Chaya Zissel Braun, just three months old, was in her stroller on October 22, 2014 when a 21-year-old terrorist rammed his car into a crowd of Israelis exiting a Light Rail station in Jerusalem.

The baby’s father, Shmuel, was also wounded in the attack. But her mother, Chana, wasn’t physically injured. A woman from Ecuador, Karen Jemima Mosquera, was also killed in the attack, and seven others were wounded in addition to Shmuel.

Hamas claimed responsibility for the attack and praised the actions of Abed al-Rahman Shaludeh, a resident of the Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan who was shot by a police officer at the scene and later died of his wounds in a hospital. He had spent 16 months prior in prison for security offenses, and had been released in December 2013.

Because the baby had American citizenship, her heartbroken parents filed a lawsuit in a United States court of law, suing Iran and Syria on the grounds the two countries finance terrorism by Hamas.

The family was represented by Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, the head of Shurat HaDin – the Israeli Law Center – an organization that wages a legal war around the world against terror.

Chaya Zissel’s parents are slated to receive $ 178 million in compensation for the death of their baby daughter.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Don’t Put Her Back in the Cage’ – Supreme Court Enjoins Rabbi from Voiding an Aguna’s Divorce

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

Supreme Court Vice President Elyakim Rubinstein on Wednesday issued a harsh criticism of the intent of the Supreme Rabbinic Court to reconsider a ruling of the regional rabbinic court in Tzfat granting via an exceptional procedure a get-divorce decree to a woman whose husband had been in a coma for nine years, Walla reported.

The Tzfat rabbinic court employed an exceptional process known as “zikuy get” (awarding a divorce) to circumvent the halakhic requirement that a get be given with the explicit consent of both husband and wife. In this process, the court appoints itself the emissary of the husband who is unaware of his environment. The court acted with the full consent of the husband’s family.

“I don’t like this picture,” Justice Rubinstein said during a Supreme Court debate of an appeal against the Supreme Rabbinic Court’s intent to reconsider the get. The justice added: “What if the petitioner were to remarry in the meantime and had children, everything would reopen?”

On Tuesday, the women petitioning the Supreme Court said: “Almost three years ago, I was given my life back, and all of a sudden a man who doesn’t even know me is demanding to take me all the way back, to be an Aguna again.” She said she felt this was “completely unjust.”

Rubinstein also noted that the petitioner against the get is a third-party without personal connection to the case, saying, “This petition is inappropriate. The petitioner is getting involved in someone else’s fight.”

However, attorney Raphael Schtube, representing the petitioner at the Supreme Rabbinic Court, argued that he, in effect, represents the husband who is in a coma. “The real petitioner here is the husband,” argued the attorney.”

The Supreme Court finally issued an injunction against the rabbinic court, enjoining it from taking up the matter for 21 days, until the Supreme Court rules on the woman’s petition to block the process of withdrawing her get.

Dozens of women demonstrated outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem in support of the woman, carrying signs saying: “You can’t put a woman back in the cage.”

The Chief Sephardi Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has said on several occasions that he favors annulling the get, and supported the petitioner despite his lack of personal connection to the case.

David Israel

Don’t Judge the Soldiers

Monday, January 9th, 2017

The video of Jewish soldiers running away during the Armon Hanatziv terror attack was difficult to watch.

Realistic or not, we expect our soldiers to be well trained, physically, and, more important, mentally, to charge and engage the enemy.

It’s all too easy to ignore that these soldiers are inexperienced teenagers, some with more training, most with less. And yet we expect them to respond properly, effectively and professionally to bewildering situations on a level of competence we’d expect from seasoned combat veterans.

The IDF has to invest a lot of time and effort to train combat soldiers to charge the enemy and then pull the trigger. For most people it’s not a natural act.

Most of the soldiers in the Armon Hanatziv attack had had minimal combat training, and were designated for deployment in office positions, “Jobnikim,” in IDF slang.

In addition, it would be foolish to assume that the Elor Azaria trial which has torn up the country for close to a year did not impede their reaction time, compelling them to think ten times before charging and opening fire.

However in a civilian milieu, even experienced security personnel must think three times before pulling the trigger, in case their target is actually an innocent civilian.

There were mistakes made yesterday, just like there were mistakes made in Hebron, including mistakes made by Azaria’s officers, going all the way up the chain of command.

There were also heroes.

Lessons will be be learned from this incident, just as the IDF learned from previous ones. There will be investigations and consequences, as there should be.

Unfortunately, our suicidal enemy will still invent new, different and evil way to attack us.

In our war against Islamic terror, we must not drag our soldiers to court like common criminals, or shame them in social media.

Sgt. Elor Azaria last March and the soldiers in Armon HaNatziv on Sunday had to deal with an evil enemy in a very complicated situation, and whether or not their responses were picture perfect, or even warranted, they were acting in the service of our country. To treat them any other way is to invite more confusion and, inevitably, more victims of terrorism.

 


May all our wounded soldiers have a Refuah Sheleimah – a healthy and complete recovery.

 

Stephen Leavitt

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/dont-judge-the-soldiers/2017/01/09/

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