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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘court’

Terrorist in Failed Light-Rail Attack Arraigned in Jerusalem Court

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Israeli police on Tuesday afternoon revealed details of an attempted attack on Jerusalem’s light rail that was foiled by security forces two weeks ago.

The suspect, 21-year-old Ali Abu-Hasan who is a Palestinian Authority student of civil engineering in Hebron, infiltrated into Israeli-controlled territory with pipe bombs and a knife. Abu-Hasan intended to carry out the attack on July 17 in what he claimed would be response to visits by Jews and non-Muslim tourists to the Temple Mount complex.

The details of the foiled attack had been under a gag order so as to prevent any interference in the investigation, which was carried out in collaboration with the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency). The details were published after the investigation was completed.

Abu-Hasan revealed under questioning that he had entered Israeli-controlled territory two days before his arrest by crossing through an olive grove near the Arab neighborhoods of Sur Baher and Jabel Mukaber in Jerusalem. He then changed his clothes and shaved his beard, leaving a goatee so as to blend in with the Israeli population.

The police said that the suspect prayed at a nearby mosque on the morning of July 17 and boarded a bus heading to Jaffa Street, a major Jerusalem street in the city’s center along which runs the light-rail train.

According to the investigation, Abu-Hasan decided that the light-rail would be the best target for a terror attack, since it is frequently crowded with pedestrians. Security guards noticed and became immediately suspicious of Abu-Hasan as he stood near the light-rail stop with his backpack, which contained the pipe bombs and explosives.

The light-rail security guards closed off the area and called in police bomb technicians to investigate Abu-Hasan’s backpack. They discovered three pipe-bombs tied together and dipped in rat poison with nails and screws glued onto them. Two knives and a mobile phone were also discovered in Abu-Hasan’s backpack.

Abu-Hasan claimed that he acted alone without organizational help and that he had been planning the attack for a long time. He purchased the equipment and materials needed to assemble the pipe bombs and learned about how to make them as well as to how to maximize their potential impact. He also tested the pipe bombs several times by detonating them.

Before heading to Jerusalem, the terrorist left a will in the hands of his friends at his university in Hebron, asking them to give it to his parents.

Abu-Hasan was arraigned on Tuesday at the Jerusalem Magistrates Court and has been charged with attempted murder, weapons manufacturing, and conspiracy to commit a crime. The court extended his remand until August 5.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Military Court of Appeals Critical of Administrative Restrictions of Jews without Hearings

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

The President of the Military Court of Appeals, Judge Col. Netanel Benisho, leveled sharp criticism at the IDF Central Command for issuing dozens of administrative restriction orders against Jews over the past year.

In July, Judge Col. Benisho ruled on an appeal filed by legal aid society Honenu Attorney Menasheh Yado regarding an administrative restrictive order served by the GOC of the Central Command against a Jewish youth residing at Givat Baladim, a hilltop community adjacent to Kochav HaShahar in the Binyamin region. The youth was banned from entering Judea and Samaria, except for Kiryat Arba, which meant he was prevented from tending his flock which he keeps in the area of Kochav HaShahar. The duration of the order was extended after it had expired once, which was the reason for the appeal.

More than 50 administrative restriction orders were issued by the GOC of the Central and Home Front Commands over the past year against Jewish youths.

Judge Col. Benisho accepted Yado’s argument that the Central Command systematically withholds the right to a hearing before serving the administrative orders against Jewish subjects, and called on the authorities to make sure that the right to a hearing is observed.

The right to a hearing is granted by law and may be revoked only under unusual circumstances, when an individual poses an immediate danger. Attorney Yado argued that the unusual had become the rule and the Central Command admitted that not one of the Jews who had been served with an administrative order over the past few years had received the opportunity of a hearing before the order was served, including in cases of extending an existing order.

Judge Col. Benisho wrote in his decision that “the commanding officer must be conscientious in granting [detainees] the opportunity to plead their case, prior to serving them with restriction orders, unless there is significant cause to grant this right only after the order has been served. … Closely adhering to the above-mentioned guidelines is especially advisable when dealing with the extension of an order, as it is in this case. In such situations it is reasonable to assume that the suspicions raised by the representative of the commanding officer are weaker. Therefore it is expected that there must be even more diligence in correctly implementing the right to appeal.”

Judge Col. Benisho also called on lawmakers to require mandatory appearance in court in every case of an administrative restriction order, as is currently done in the case of an administrative detention order: a deliberation must be held within 24 hours at a district court.

The judge also recommended to the Knesset: “It would be proper for lawmakers to institute a mandatory judicial review similar to the one existing concerning administrative detention orders.”

Judge Col. Benisho also ruled that, after “lengthy consideration,” the order currently being appealed will not be canceled, due to confidential information provided by the Shabak. However, he also demanded that in order to extend the order again, the army and the ISA must present “intelligence information which fundamentally alters the evaluation of dangerousness,” or there must be “a fundamental change in the security situation of the district.”

Honenu Attorney Yado said in a statement: “This is the first step in limiting the discretion of a GOC in issuing [administrative restriction] orders. We have no doubt that many of the orders are disproportionate and will not stand the test of a [trial in civilian court]. Concerning the procedure, the court reminded the GOC that young residents of Judea and Samaria also have legal rights to a court deliberation, and compelled the GOC to hold hearings prior to serving [administrative restriction] orders, something which the GOC, contrary to the requirement of the law, had systematically neglected over the past year.”


Israeli Soldier Charged for Shooting Wounded Hebron Terrorist Testifies in Court

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jaffa (TPS) – Sgt. Elor Azaria, the Israeli soldier who is charged with manslaughter for shooting and killing an already wounded Palestinian Authority Arab terrorist in Hebron in March, began testifying on Sunday at the military court in Jaffa. Azaria offered his version of the incident, which has been under extensive media scrutiny, and criticized the country’s leaders for condemning his actions and for not supporting him.

“The prime minister, defense minister and chief of staff all condemned my actions before hearing what I had to say,” charged Azaria. “I immediately lost faith in them. I feel like a scapegoat that they picked to clear the army’s name.”

Azaria’s testimony follows that of relevant state witnesses, including IDF soldiers and officers, members of the IDF Criminal Investigations Department, and Imad Abu-Shamsiya, a photographer for the NGO B’Tselem. Abu-Shamsiya filmed Azaria shooting and killing the wounded terrorist, who had stabbed and injured another IDF soldier several minutes earlier. The video quickly circulated and provoked outrage, causing the military to suspend Azaria.

“I am an army medic so I was not present at most military briefings,” testified 20-year-old Azaria. “I felt I was assigned tasks beyond my capabilities. I was given serious responsibilities without adequate sleep.”

Azaria’s main line of defense is that he shot the wounded Arab terrorist, Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, due to fear that al-Sharif was wearing an explosive vest and that the shooting was thus carried out in self-defense.

“I rushed to the scene and was told that there had been an attack and that someone was stabbed, my first incident with a real casualty,” Azaria testified in court. “I treated the wounded soldier while people started yelling, ‘he has an explosive device,’ and I saw that the terrorist had a big black coat that looked like he was hiding something. We were warned about the possibility of a ‘high-level attack,’ and I understood that this was it.”

“I saw that the terrorist was moving his hand toward the knife and it looked suspicious to me,” said Azaria. “I had no way to know for certain and felt that everyone at the scene was in danger. I took my weapon, loaded it, and saw that the people around me were complacent. I walked between them, screamed ‘move,’ and fired one bullet towards the terrorist’s head. I neutralized him to save the lives of everyone at the scene. I had a dilemma before pulling the trigger, but felt I had no choice.”

“After the shooting, I told my company commander Tom Na’aman that I had fired the shot,” he added. “He shouted at me, saying ‘what are you doing? Are you nuts?’ And then he slapped me twice. It was the first time I had shot a person and I was under stress. I did not understand why he reacted like that in front of everyone instead of trying to calm me down.”

“I was shocked by the incident itself and also by my commander. I lost faith in him,” testified Azaria. “The army had told us it would take care of us like a parent, but my commander turned on me. It was all lies.”

The prosecution alleges that Azaria shot a terrorist that posed no threat. “The soldier acted against the rules of engagement and without operational justification,” the military prosecution said. “The terrorist al-Sharif was lying on the ground, did not attack again, and did not pose an immediate threat to the defendant or to the civilians and soldiers who were at the scene. In his actions, the defendant caused the unlawful death of the terrorist.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

“Go For Your Dreams And Don’t Compromise Your Religious Standards”: Rachel Freier Is Not Your Typical Civil Court Candidate

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

It was the week of erev Shavuos and Rachel “Ruchie” Freier was getting ready for the holiday just as any typical chassidic homemaker would. Over our conversation on the phone, she told me how she was busy preparing to bake challah, kugel, and other sumptuous delicacies for Yom Tov. Her children and grandchildren living nearby her home in Brooklyn were expected to be there for the seudos.

All this seems typical, but Ruchie Freier is not your typical Borough Park balabusta. The married mother of six is a real estate attorney, a community activist, and a current candidate for civil court judge in Brooklyn’s fifth judicial district, which includes Borough Park, Kensington, Midwood, Ocean Parkway and 21 other Brooklyn neighborhoods. If elected, Freier will likely be the first chassidic female judge in New York, perhaps in the United States.

“My mother always said that as long as it’s legal, moral and not against the Torah, just do it and do it the best way you can,” Freier said. “I grew up believing that I would do whatever I am allowed to do and succeed with Hashem’s help.”

The other contenders for the post include Mordy Avigdor, a former counsel to Agudath Israel of America who also has worked with former Congressman Anthony Weiner and current Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, and Jill Epstein, who currently serves as principal law clerk to Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes. The election will take place in the September 13 primary.

At her law offices in Brooklyn and Monroe, Freier specializes in transactions, financing properties, and residential and commercial properties. She is licensed in New York, New Jersey, and the District of Columbia, and has experience in both the private and pro bono sectors.

“My knowledge and experience is broad-ranging,” she said. “I have years of experience in contracts and closings, transactional law, litigation, corporate law, trust and estates, family law and personal injury.”

Freier’s experience in the legal field started with modest beginnings. Born and bred in Brooklyn, Freier began her career as a legal secretary after graduating from the Bais Yaakov of Borough Park. She then started working as a legal secretary, advanced to become a paralegal, and eventually continued on to college and law school, all while raising her growing family.

Freier explained, “Attending college after high school was not the norm and at the time there were no separate women’s college programs in Brooklyn. Because graduates didn’t go to college, our high school trained us in legal stenography. I worked in the legal field for a number of years and loved it! After my husband finished his studies at kollel and received his BA from Touro, I realized it was now my turn. I began Touro College at age 30 and graduated six years later, majoring in political science and directing the Women’s Pre-Law Society. Afterward I attended Brooklyn Law School.”

It was at law school when Freier became intrigued with the idea of becoming a judge. “Since I was a kid, I wanted to become a lawyer,” she explained. “Then as I was studying law, the idea of becoming a judge began to percolate…. My interest in becoming a judge was a natural progression.”

The seeds began when she studied Constitutional Law. She remarked, “In law school I really appreciated the opportunity to learn Constitutional Law under William Hellerstein; he made the law come alive through his enthusiastic teaching style. And as a Jew, I believe that we have a mission to carry out justice in the world.”

Among her role models are her uncle Judge David Schmidt (now retired), as well as Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Noach Dear. “Without my uncle’s encouragement and the encouragement I received from my husband and family, I wouldn’t have gotten as far as I have already,” she said.

Atara Arbesfeld

Analysis: Rabbinical Court Lookstein Ruling Could Spell Our Next Kamtza and Bar Kamtza Tragedy

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

It should be noted that despite our fantastical idea, Ivanka Trump was actually converted under the Rabbinical Council of America and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate Geirus Policies and Standards Network (GPS) agreement, and so her conversion is not, in fact, in jeopardy.

Now to the fantasy:

A friend of ours suggested a rereading of the Talmud narrative of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza (Gittin 55–56) in light of Wednesday’s ruling of the High Rabbinical Court. Same Rabbis, same Roman Emperor, except he could be living in DC come next January:

They went and said to the presidential candidate, “The Jews hate you, they think you’re nothing but a nasty Goy, and they’re all praying Hillary humiliates you.”

Said he, “That would be YUGE. How do I know you’re not lying?”

“Send an offering to the Jewish Nation,” they said, “and see whether they will accept it on their altar.”

So he sent them the most gorgeous blonde offering he could find, his own flesh and blood. But while on the journey, they put a blemish on her Haskel (or as some say, on the Look of her Stein) – in a manner where the Chief Rabbinate counted it a blemish but we do not.

Most of us urged the Rabbinical Court to accept her in order not to offend a presidential candidate. Even the two chief rabbis, the Ashkenazi and the Sephardi, begged the Rabbinical Court to accept her as Jewish.

Said the Rabbinical High Court to us: “People will say that blemished blonde offerings are acceptable on the altar.”

Most of us tried to kill the story so that no one write or talk about it on CNN, but the Chief Rabbinical Court objected, saying “Are we who are just doing our jobs, pointing out obvious blemishes on consecrated offerings, to have our story be killed, our sage honor impugned and our authority undermined?”

We thereupon remarked: “Because of the scrupulousness of the High Rabbinical Court our House was destroyed, our Temple burnt, and we ourselves were exiled from our land.”

To remind you (since it’s been almost a full year since Tisha B’Av), this is the original story from Gittin 55–56 (courtesy of the Soncino Talmud):

Kamtza went and said to the Emperor, The Jews are rebelling against you. He said, How can I tell? Kamtza said to him: Send them an offering and see whether they will offer it [on the altar]. So he sent with him a fine calf. While on the way Kamtza made a blemish on its upper lip, or as some say on the white of its eye, in a place where we [Jews] count it a blemish but they do not. The Rabbis were inclined to offer it in order not to offend the Government. Said R. Zechariah b. Abkulas to them: People will say that blemished animals are offered on the altar. They then proposed to kill Bar Kamza so that he should not go and inform against them, but R. Zechariah b. Abkulas said to them, Is one who makes a blemish on consecrated animals to be put to death? R. Johanan thereupon remarked: Through the scrupulousness of R. Zechariah b. Abkulas our House has been destroyed, our Temple burnt and we ourselves exiled from our land.

David Israel

Sorry, Ivanka, Israel’s High Rabbinical Court Doesn’t Recognize Your Conversion

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

(JNi.media) Presumptive Republican candidate Donald Trump is often referring to his daughter Ivanka as an Orthodox Jew (which she is), but Israel’s high rabbinical court on Wednesday raised the question in everyone’s mind as to whether the court might agree with him or not, along with the rest of the converts who used the services of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, an Orthodox Rabbi who serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and was principal of the Ramaz School. Perhaps the rabbinate would next revoke the diplomas of the Ramaz graduates as well…

It should be noted, though, that despite our catchy headline, Ivanka Trump herself was converted under the Rabbinical Council of America and the Israeli Chief Rabbinate “Geirus Policies and Standards” network (GPS) agreement, and so her conversion is not, in fact, in jeopardy.

The high court debated on Wednesday an appeal regarding a ruling of a lower rabbinical court in Petach Tikvah, which revoked the Jewish status of a convert because she had been converted by Rabbi Lookstein, and Rabbi Lookstein was not on the approved list of rabbis submitted by the Rabbinical Council of America (RCA).

The high rabbinical court panel was headed by Dayan (judge) Rabbi Nahum Gortler and with the dayanim Rabbi Yitzhak Elimelech and Rabbi Maimon Nahari — all three being recent appointments for whom this has been their very first ruling in this capacity. Which may explain why they chose to ignore the public and strong urgings of both Sephardi and Ashkenazi chief rabbis to accept Rabbi Lookstein’s conversions.

The high court decided to deny the Lookstein conversion, thus essentially annulling all his past conversions and called on the petitioner to undergo a “giur l’chumra,” which essentially means a new conversion. She was instructed to repeat before the high court panel that she had faith in the one God, and that she accepted the yoke of the rabbis on halakhic matters. The court ruled that when she dips in the mikvah before her wedding it would count as the halakhicly required dipping for the conversion as well.

The petitioner endured the procedure, actually showing she was indeed accepting the rabbinical yoke and then some, but outside the court she said, “I feel humiliated, they were actually saying they’re not recognizing my being Jewish. I love Rabbi Lookstein, he is my rabbi, he brought me into the Jewish world, and I don’t want his conversions not to be recognized.”

Natan Sharansky, Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel, which handles the vast majority of Jewish immigrants to the Jewish State, responded in a statement to the Wednesday ruling, saying, “Today’s decision by the Supreme Rabbinical Court, which effectively de-legitimized a prominent rabbi in the American Jewish community, demonstrates why Israel is in danger of being delegitimized as a center of religious authority in the eyes of world Jewry. I call on the Government of Israel, which recognizes the vital importance of the Israel-Diaspora relationship, to take immediate steps to change the attitude of Israel’s religious authorities toward the spiritual leaders of the Diaspora.”

The rabbinical courts administration said in statement that “since the issue of setting the criteria for recognition of the validity of rabbinical conversions abroad is in discussion at the chief rabbinate of Israel, the Rabbinical High Court decided not to enter the issue of the validity of Rabbi Haskel Lookstein’s conversions and approved the petitioner’s right to get married after the court had been impressed by her sincerity and she accepted with a full heart the yoke of Torah and Mitzvot — in order to facilitate the petitioner’s speedy marriage.”


Families of Terror Victims Sue Facebook in NY Federal Court

Monday, July 11th, 2016

The horrified, traumatized families of victims of terror who died in Israel filed a lawsuit in an American federal courtroom Monday in an attempt to reach justice for their loved ones.

Five families of American and dual Israeli-American victims of terror are suing the giant Facebook social networking site for failing to curb incitement to terror.

The Israel Law Center filed the lawsuit on behalf of the families Monday morning in New York federal court, citing the U.S. 1992 Anti-Terrorism Act.

The law bans American corporations from providing any and all aid to terrorist groups or their leaders.

The families are demanding one billion dollars in damages over Facebook’s failure to delete and limit the rampant pro-terrorist incitement on the site.

Among the plaintiffs are the families of: – Taylor Force, a U.S. veteran who was stabbed to death earlier this year in Tel Aviv; – 76-year-old Richard Laikin, shot to death on a bus in Jerusalem last year; – little baby Chaya Zissel Braum, murdered in Jerusalem by Hamas in 2014; – Naftali Frenkel, one of the three teens kidnapped and shot to death by Hamas in 2014; – Menachem Mendel Rivkin, who was brutally stabbed in Givat Ze’ev this year.

This is not the first lawsuit aimed at Facebook over its unwillingness to take a stand against terrorism on its social networking site — even though the company says it works “aggressively” to remove terrorist content as soon as it becomes aware of it.

There have been many times users complain that Facebook is not responsive to reports of terrorist content, however. Those reports may now be included in this lawsuit.

The family of 23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez also sued the internet giant last month, filing the claim in California.

The lawsuit by the Gonzalez family included Twitter and internet search engine giant Google, accusing the Big Three over providing material support to the ISIS terrorist organization.

Gonzalez was murdered in the 2015 ISIS terrorist attack on Paris.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/families-of-terror-victims-sue-facebook-in-ny-federal-court/2016/07/11/

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