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December 18, 2014 / 26 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘decision’

Israel Law Center Wins Landmark Decision Against PA in NY Court

Friday, November 21st, 2014

Shurat HaDin – the Israel Law Center – on Thursday (Nov. 20) won a landmark decision against the Palestinian Authority (PA) on behalf of 11 families of victims of terror. The U.S. District Court in New York set a date for a jury trial in January for the case that began in 2004.

The Israeli civil rights advocacy group is representing the families in a lawsuit that holds the PA and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) responsible for the deaths of their loved ones due to seven terror attacks between 2001 and 2004, during the period of the second intifada.

“For years the PA provided funding and every measure of support for the murderous terrorist operations in Israel that devastated the country and left so many civilians dead,” said Shurat HaDin head Attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner.

“The decision and trial will provide an unprecedented opportunity to present to a New York jury all that the evidence that has been amassed documenting the Palestinians’ use of terrorism as an official policy to advance their goals,” she added.

At issue is the question of whether the PA and PLO are “vicariously liable” for the deaths of the American citizens killed in the seven terror attacks.

Thursday’s decision found there was sufficient evidence to prove that PA employees were involved in carrying out terror attacks against civilians in Israel and that the PA and PLO provided weapons, money and other material support to the operatives, in violation of U.S. Anti-Terror laws.

Moreover, there is sufficient evidence to provide the possibility that a jury could also rule the PA and PLO guilty of providing “safe haven” to the terrorists, and material support to Fatah’s military wing, the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades and Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization.

Recently Shurat HaDin won a ruling against the Arab Bank in which the bank was found guilty of providing material support to Hamas in funding terrorist attacks. The bank has appealed the case.

The trial set for January is a landmark case whose costs in terms of damages awarded by the court to the plaintiffs could reach up to $1 billion.

 

 

Denmark Bans Meatballs to Accommodate Muslims

Sunday, August 18th, 2013

One of the largest hospitals in Denmark has admitted to serving only halal beef — meat that is slaughtered in accordance with strict Islamic guidelines — to all of its patients regardless of whether or not they are Muslim.

The revelation that Danes are being forced to eat Islamically slaughtered meat at public institutions has triggered a spirited nationwide debate about how far Denmark should go to accommodate the estimated 250,000 Muslim immigrants now living in the country.

The halal food row erupted in July when the Danish tabloid Ekstra Bladet reported that Hvidovre Hospital near Copenhagen has been secretly serving only halal-slaughtered meat for the sake of its Muslim patients, for the past ten years. The hospital serves more than 40,000 patients annually, many (if not most) of whom presumably are non-Muslim.

Halal — which in Arabic means lawful or legal — is a term designating any object or action that is permissible according to Islamic Sharia law. In the context of food, halal meat is derived from animals slaughtered by hand according to methods stipulated in Islamic religious texts.

One such halal method, called dhabihah, consists of making a swift, deep incision with a sharp knife on the neck that cuts the jugular vein, leaving the animal to bleed to death. Much of the controversy involving halal stems from the fact that Sharia law bans the practice of stunning the animals before they are slaughtered. Pre-slaughter stunning renders the animals unconscious and is said to lessen their pain.

Amid a surge of public outrage over the decision to serve only halal beef, Hvidovre Hospital’s vice president, Torben Mogensen, has been unapologetic. “We have many patients from different ethnic backgrounds, which we must take into account, and it is impossible to have both the one and the other kind of beef,” he says.

“First,” Mogensen adds, “I do not think that a slaughter method as such has anything to do with faith. Second is, of course, that all chickens in Denmark are halal slaughtered, and it has to my knowledge not caused anyone to stop eating chicken.”

Mogensen also says the hospital is not trying to “push the Islamic faith down the throats of non-Muslim patients”

In a press release, Hvidovre Hospital states, “We introduced halal meat both for practical and economic reasons. It would be both more difficult and more expensive to have to make both a halal version and a non-halal version of the dishes. Then we have two production lines. It requires more people, more equipment and more money.”

The hospital advises non-Muslims to take it or leave it: “We always have alternatives to halal meat such as pork, fish or vegetarian dishes. It is a question of attitude.”

According to the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, there is no comprehensive inventory of the number of hospitals in Denmark have halal meat on the menu. But officials at the University Hospital in Aarhus, the second-largest urban area in Denmark after Copenhagen, say the decision by Hvidovre Hospital to serve only halal is an example of political correctness run amok.

In an interview with the newspaper Jyllands-Posten, Ole Hoffmann, the head chef of Aarhus University Hospital says: “We have never had a patient ask for halal meat, and therefore it is an issue that we have never discussed. I think it is a strange decision. If there was a desire to serve halal meat, then we would of course consider it, but we would never completely eliminate non-halal meat.”

 

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

Prisoner Release Highlights Erosion of Israel’s Will

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Under pressure to restart talks with Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority, Israel has diverged from its refusal to accede to Palestinian preconditions and agreed to free 104 Palestinian terrorists from its jails. It’s a mistake. Israel should withstand the pressure and say no. Why?

Because it makes a mockery of justice – and inflicts unimaginable pain on families of the victims – when multiple murderers walk free. It also boosts the standing of terrorist groups; encourages the kidnapping of Israelis for the purpose of extorting the release of further terrorists; demoralizes Israeli counter-terrorism personnel who risk life and limb to capture these murderers; erodes Israeli deterrence to vanishing point when the most bloodthirsty murderers know they are likely to be freed early; and, above all, results in the subsequent murder of additional Israelis by terrorists freed under such deals.

In short, we’ve been here before and the results have been tragic. The Almagor Terrorist Victims Association (ATVA) disclosed in April 2007 that 177 Israelis killed in terror attacks in the previous five years had been killed by terrorists who had been previously freed from Israeli jails.

An earlier ATVA report showed that 123 Israelis had been murdered by terrorists freed during the period 1993-99. Former Mossad chief Meir Dagan has observed that the terrorists released in the 2004 Elhanan Tenenbaum prisoner exchange deal caused the death of 231 Israelis.

In agreeing to this morally unjust, tactically unwise, strategically harmful, militarily hazardous and life-endangering unilateral concession, we see the profound and purposeless erosion of Israeli will.

In the past, Israel at least scrupled not to free those with “blood on their hands” and demanded the return of living Israelis, however lopsided the exchange. In July 2008, however, Israel agreed to release to Hizbullah a gruesome murderer, Samir Kuntar, and four others prisoners in return for merely the corpses of two kidnapped Israelis. In August 2008, Israel freed 198 jailed terrorists, including two with blood on their hands and 149 others guilty of attempted murder, as a “confidence-building measure.”

In October 2009, Israel freed 20 Palestinian terrorists – not for a life or a corpse, but for a video of a kidnapped Israeli. And in October 2011, Israel freed 1,027 Palestinian prisoners, including hundreds of convicted terrorists, in exchange for a single kidnapped Israeli serviceman, Gilad Shalit, leading Hamas’s Khaled Meshaal to crow that “This is a national achievement for the Palestinian people…we promise the rest of the Palestinian detainees to liberate them…. Those released will return to armed struggle.”

On this occasion, however, Israelis cannot even take refuge in the consolation that they freed a loved one, retrieved a corpse or even obtained a video. They cannot even say that they exacted any concession from the PA. To the contrary, Mahmoud Abbas just reiterated that he will not permit “the presence of a single Israeli – civilian or soldier – on our lands.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu is not unaware of the danger; to the contrary, he once warned against the very thing he now intends to do. In his 1995 book Fighting Terrorism, Netanyahu observed that refusing to release terrorists was “among the most important policies that must be adopted in the face of terrorism.” With this release, he erodes his credibility by dishonoring his pledge to withstand Palestinian preconditions.

U.S. pressure alone explains Netanyahu’s decision, not some valuable quid pro quo. How else to account for a decision opposed by 85 percent of the Israeli public and the Shin Bet head, Yoram Cohen? The Obama administration has not expressed a new determination to see Iran cross no red lines in its march to a nuclear weapon. Obama has not altered his earlier negotiating baseline of an Israeli return to the 1949 armistice lines. Abbas’s goal of a judenrein Palestinian state has just been reiterated, not withdrawn.

Those trying to make sense of the decision speak of Israel keeping the U.S. on board in dealing with Iran – which suggests that Israel has lacked this all along. The idea that the U.S. needs some Israeli concession to unify its Arab allies against the Iranian nuclear threat is in any case absurd, given the imploring of Arab leaders for Washington to deal with the problem, as revealed by the Wikileaks documents.

Govt. to Court: Names of Prisoners Going Free Kept Secret from Bennett

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

On Wednesday, the State asked the High Court to reject a petition of the families of terror victims against the decision to release 104 Palestinian prisoners as part of renewing the peace process.

The State made ​​it clear that the purpose of the ministerial committee formed to decide on which prisoners will be released and when, is to keep the negotiations secret from some coalition partners.

A quick review of the current coalition partners suggests that the party in government who is most likely to oppose the releases is Jewish Home, as well as the majority of the Likud MKs.

“The decision to appoint a small team of ministers, including concerned senior government ministers, was adopted in order to ensure the confidentiality of the discussions that will take place within the team, so as not to reveal the full breadth of the negotiations conducted with the Palestinians in a way that could harm the peace process and even thwart it,” the state told the court.

The “team” includes Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitz, Science Minister Yaakov Peri and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni.

There is not a single Jewish Home Party representative on the “team.”

According to the State’s Attorney’s response to the high court, the first group of Palestinian prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands will be released next week, and the next three groups will be released on the fourth, sixth and eighths month of the negotiations with the Palestinians, depending on the success of the talks.

In its response to the victims of terror petition, the state argued that the release of prisoners is a purely political matter, which the High Court has always considered to be outside of its purview.

“The issue of releasing prisoners is an integral part of a political process which the government has begun, and which the decision to release the prisoners an integral part of, and will be made along the way in accordance with the progress made by the two sides of the negotiations,” the State Attorney’s Office insisted. “The position of the bereaved families has been and will be brought before the proper authorities and will be considered as part of every decision.”

Who Am I Voting For, and How Should You Vote?

Monday, January 21st, 2013

There’s no doubt that this is an unusual Israeli election. There are no real fights going on about how to deal with the Palestinians, nor about social welfare, and no one is even mentioning Iran.

The general consensus in Israel is that the outgoing government had us on the right track and was a good government, and this election is about whether the next government should focus either slightly more on this, or slightly more on that – issues it was already dealing with.

For now, the traditional Left-Right debate is irrelevant, simply because the majority of the nation understands the Left is as wrong about the Palestinians as they are about socialism.

And that’s why instead of the Left-Right debate, we have this massive infighting between political parties who are supposed to be on the same side.

This election is also significantly dirtier than any other I can recall in recent times, because it’s essentially internecine, with the parties not fighting over the undecided Center, but over their own existing shared voter base.

At JewishPress.com we’ve spent countless hours discussing the pros and cons of voting for each particular party, and for the purpose of transparency, we need to disclose that all the members of the staff have a relationship with one party or another, starting from our Likud Central Committee members, down to being friends, acquaintances and neighbors with the candidates and staff of HaBayit HaYehudi and Otmza L’Yisrael.

With Election Day tomorrow, in the office we face another unusual event, with the exception of our Likud Central Committee members, most of us are still undecided as to whom we plan to vote for. And the wavering is interesting, either Likud-Beytenu – HaBayit HaYehudi, HaBayit Hayehudi – Otzma L’Yisrael, and even Likud-Beytenu – Otzma L’Yisrael.

The success of each party carries with it, its own risks and benefits, and I hope to share with you some of the discussions that have made this election decision such a difficult one.

Likud-Beytenu

There’s almost no doubt that the Likud will be the largest individual party.

For the most part, it has an excellent list of prospective MKs. It is prepared to deal with the important national issues that this country faces such as Chareidi integration, electoral reform, and Iran.

With the exception (we’ll get to that) of the settlements, Netanyahu has been an excellent Prime Minister, he’s protected Israel’s interests, and there’s no doubt he’s qualified to continue leading the country.

A large Likud would give them the mandate to do what they want, and what needs to be done.

But there’s a definite downside.

First of all the Settlements.

We certainly can’t ignore that Netanyahu heavily invested in settlement infrastructure such as schools and roads, as well as upgrading Ariel University. And no established Jewish towns were evacuated in this last term.

But he’s had the settlements on a starvation diet when it comes to additional housing – something that would have also helped the country’s center too, by releasing a lot of the housing pressure.

Then there was the Settlement Freeze, and letting Ehud Barak have a free and violent hand in Judea and Samaria, and there is the still purposely unadopted Edmond Levy report. Netanyahu had political reasons to use the Jews of Judea and Samaria as pawns in the larger political game, but it’s still unpleasant to be a pawn.

There’s no reason to assume that under a new Netanyahu-led government it won’t be more of the same, especially if things change and the Palestinian issue becomes important again.

The threats and intimidation coming out of the Likud, that there will be negative ramifications if a significant number of Settler don’t vote Likud, aren’t helping them win over friends and voters either.

The second issue comes down to who will also be sitting in the coalition.

There’s little doubt that Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid will be in, despite his left-wing, secularist views, or perhaps even because of them. He’s a comfortable partner for Netanyahu.

Kadima is likely to be there if they pass the threshold, and possibly even Tzipi Livni.

Numerically there won’t be a choice, particularly if Netanyahu doesn’t want the Chareidi parties in – which it seems he doesn’t.

Haredim Temporarily Off the Hook, Only 1,300 to Do National Service

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

On Sunday the Israeli cabinet approved a proposal submitted by Defense Minister Ehud Barak and the Minister in Charge of National Service Daniel Hershkowitz regulating the absorption of about 1,300 young Haredim in the civilian national service. The Supreme Court’s elimination of the Tal Law which used to regulate Haredi conscription also interrupted the absorption of new volunteers into the non-military service.

Earlier this year the court declared the Tal Law unconstitutional and required the state to come up with a better alternative. As such an alternative had not been proposed by August, when the old law expired, Haredi youths could face normal enlistment, like their non-Haredi peers. The new order preserves the old situation—criticized by the court—whereby only a miniscule number of Haredim are enlisted.

Critics of the government are saying that the new decision was intended to improve Netanyahu’s coalition negotiations with the Haredi parties, especially with Shas, after the January election.

“The operation of the civil service as a means of promoting the Haredi share in the national burden has been recognized by the Supreme Court as an appropriate option for enlistment, and the government recognizes the importance of the civilian service as one of the major means of increasing an equal sahre the burden,” says the draft resolution that was approved today.

This resolution offers automatic exemption from military service to around 1,300 young Haredim and regulates their national service, which is available to volunteers age 26 and older without children, or age 22 with one child or more. However, the proposal emphasizes that this is merely a temporary solution “until such time when the issue is resolved through legislation,” and it will expires in August, 2013.

The decision has already elicited passionate reactions across the political system. Tzipi Livni, Chairperson of the Movement headed by Tzipi Livni, said that “Netanyahu prefers his natural coalition partners over those who actually bear the burden. The government’s intention to circumvent the High Court and to continue perpetuating the historical injustice is outrageous, immoral, and does not withstand the high court test.”

According to Livni, “on the eve of the elections, the government chooses to spit in the face of the Zionist majority which serves in the army, enlists for reserve duty every time anew, and is no longer willing to ignore this prolonged failure.”

Livni pledged to “work to change the situation radically and enforce a condition in which the service requirement applies to all levels of society, including Haredim and Arabs. There is no social justice or equality without full equality in shouldering the burden.”

The prime minister’s office stressed that without today’s decision on national service thousands of Haredim who are eager to join the police, EMT, and firefighting services, could not do it because the Tal Law regulating civilian service recruitment expired last August.

The PM’s office also noted that the data show that 85% of Haredim who joined the civilian service were later integrated into the labor market. Three months ago there were 2,026 Haredim enrolled in civilian service, Netanyahu’s office added, but because the Tal law had not been extended, their number dropped to 1,450. Today’s decision will bring the number to more than 2,000.

Israeli Court Allows Country’s Most Celebrated Gay Couple to Divorce

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

In a precedent decision, which will undoubtedly be considered good news for all Israeli same-sex couples, especially those who aren’t getting along so much any more, a family court in Ramat Gan allowed the couple Prof. Uzi Even and Dr. Amit Kama, both men, to divorce, Ynet reports.

In the ruling, first of its kind, the judge determined that the family court is “the natural forum, the proper forum in which to hear this kind of a divorce case, since the rabbinical court does not recognize same-sex marriages and views them as sinful.” The judge further ruled that the rabbinical court is too “foreign and artificial a forum” to discuss the issue of same-sex relations.

Prof. Even, 64, is a former Meretz MK, and head of the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Amit Kama, 44, is a professor of Communications at Emek Yizrael College. The two met 19 years ago, and since they live as a couple. Their struggles for the rights of same-sex couples received wide coverage in the local Media.

Even was the first openly gay man elected to the Knesset. The two have adopted Yossi, a 30-year-old man who had been living with them for almost 14 years. That adoption—although largely symbolic, given their son’s age—was also a ground breaking family cort case.

For the record, when Even and Kama met, almost two decades ago, homosexual relations were prohibited by law, and they could be subject to ten years in prison – although that was not very likely.

Now, having been the most celebrated Israeli gay couple, the two decided to go their separate ways (no idea which one of them broke the news to Yossi).

Professor Even said there was no legal way for him to turn from being married to being divorced. “This is an absurd situation and I fought it for three years,” he said. “I met someone else and I live with him. He is a foreign national and the Interior Ministry wants to deport him, which was hurting me, because I could not go on with my life without solving the problem of my divorce. They would not give him resident status, only a tourist visa, because I’m already married and there was no legal way for me to get a divorce.”

According to Even, when he approached the rabbinic court, which is in charge of marriages and divorces of Jewish residents, “it started a holy raucous. They refused to record our documents, receive the fee, schedule a meeting. They told us to wait. So we waited a few days. Finally I had enough and I took back the suit, and filed it instead with family court.”

Even suggests that the court’s decision could serve as a precedent not just for the gay community, but for the public at large. “Now we’ll wait and see if the Ministry of the Interior will endorse the decision. I’m doubtful that they will be enlightened about it.”

“Why are they having so much trouble changing my marital status? Why are they forcing me to remain married to someone I no longer live with?”

Even and Kama were married in Canada and their status was changed to married by the Israeli interior ministry. Their marriage hit the rocks back in 2009 and they’ve been living separately since. The two have signed a separation agreement which was accepted by family court in 2011. The couple then requested that the court recommend to the interior ministry to change their status from married to single.

The family court judge indeed recommended the status change, but the Ministry of the Interior refused to change the status based solely on the signed agreement, arguing they had to approach the rabbinical court. But the rabbinical court rejected their request for a ruling saying it did not have the legal framework within which to discuss it.

The family court judge who granted the couple the divorce wrote in his ruling that the various branches of the civil court are the natural forum for such a case, where there exists a long list of decisions determining the specific rights and obligations of same-sex couples.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israeli-court-allows-israels-most-celebrated-gay-couple-to-divorce/2012/12/03/

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