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August 31, 2016 / 27 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘decision’

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.

Yori Yanover

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.

Yori Yanover

Amid International Condemnation, Israel Selling New Apartments East of Jerusalem

Sunday, December 2nd, 2012

Housing and Construction Minister Ariel Atias commented Saturday night on the cabinet decision to approve the construction of 3,000 housing units in Judea and Samaria, saying in the coming days his office will start selling hundreds of new housing units in Pisgat Ze’ev.

Pisgat Ze’ev, named after Revisionist Zionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky, the ideological forefather of the Likud movement, is the largest residential neighborhood in Jerusalem, with a population of more than 50,000. The neighborhood was established by Israel as one of the city’s five ring neighborhoods on land that was annexed after the 1967 Six Day War.

Most of the international community considers Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem illegal under international law, but the Israeli government disputes this as per the Edmond Levey report which determined that Judea and Samaria rightfully belong to Israel. This report, while not yet officially state policy, is turning into a guiding document for Israeli policy.

The U.S. opposes construction in the area because it effectively sabotages a contiguous Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Pisgat Ze’ev is situated east of Shuafat and Beit Hanina, west of Hizma, south of Neve Yaakov, and north of ‘Anata and the Shuafat refugee camp.

A source in the housing and construction ministry told Kikar HaShabbat that since, after the Israeli government decided on an unprecedented, ten-month freeze on construction, Abbas refused political negotiations, “There is no benefit in maintaining a de facto construction freeze while Abbas is delegitimizing Israel. Abbas’s move at the UN will not bring the Palestinians any closer to having their own state.”

“At the same time,” the same source maintained, “we are committed to increasing the supply of residential land throughout the country. Our policy of increasing the supply of land has culminated in the marketing of more than 130,000 housing units in recent years, generating a 13-year record of the volume of active construction. We have to persist with this policy to further lower demand and prices.”

Following the Palestinians unilateral move at the UN declaring themselves a state, and in abrogation of the Oslo Accords,Israel appears to be both flexing muscle and retaliating for the Palestinians unilateral UN move, and this seems to be worrying the Palestinians and their supporters.

The NY Times on Sunday quotes anti-settlement activist, attorney Dani Seidemann, as saying: “Now approaching the point of no return,” the announced new construction drive would be “the largest settlement surge in Jerusalem since the 1970s.”

And Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s executive committee, told the Times that Israel is moving at “a mad pace” to “impose its own solution” to the conflict. “They want to predetermine the fate and status of Jerusalem,” she said, adding that Israel “does everything to create on the ground facts that would make any solution impossible.”

British Foreign Secretary William Hague on Saturday expressed his concerns over Israeli plans to establish 3,000 new settlements in East Jerusalem. “The UK strongly advises the Israeli government to reverse this decision,” Hague said in a statement reported by AFP.

Hague also cautioned that “the window for a two-state solution is closing, and we need urgent efforts by the parties and by the international community to achieve a return to negotiations, not actions which will make that harder.”

He added that the decision makes a sustainable two-state solution increasingly difficult.

We sincerely hope so.

The US condemned the Israeli project on Friday, saying it was “counterproductive.”

“Direct negotiations remain our goal and we encourage all parties to take steps to make that easier to achieve,” said National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in Washington that the Obama Administration has been clear with Israel that establishing settlements set back the peace negotiations.

Again, we sincerely hope so.

France on Saturday and called on Israel not to go through with its decision to expand settlements. “I call on Israeli authorities to refrain from any decision to that effect and to clearly show their willingness to restart [peace] negotiations,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.

Finally, the AP quoted Palestinian envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour, who called the Israeli announcement “a provocation.”

“They are trying to provoke us to react — I don’t know in which way,” Mansour told the General Assembly.

Figure it out.

Yori Yanover

Speak Softly, Carry a Big Russian?

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Two weeks ago I wrote this to my mother;

My assessment is that Benjamin Netanyahu is not big enough to do a proper job in Gaza. When I vote in the next elections here in January, I will vote for Avigdor Liberman, currently the Foreign Minister, the man the left wing Israeli press loves to demonize. Provided, of course, he has not been indicted for some crime or other. I know the Attorney General has been investigating him for about a dozen years, without getting anywhere, but they’re always right on ‘the verge’ of indicting him. Basically, he’s a gracious man, an émigré from the FSU, who speaks with a heavy Russian accent and doesn’t bother with the ‘speak softly – carry a big stick’ type of diplomacy we’re so used to in the west. Goes more for the Russian, ‘bellow at the survivors – after you’ve beaten the ringleaders to a bloody pulp with the howitzer,’ kind of thing.

Just goes to show what a useless assessor I am, doesn’t it? It’s clear I know nothing about him at all. All I’ve done is delude myself, once again. Listen to this quote:

“I am proud that we have a leadership that can make decisions even when they are contrary to its electoral interests,” Liberman told Channel 2 News about the decision to call a ceasefire in Gaza rather than choosing to launch a ground assault.

“It is obvious that a majority of the population was in favor of continuing the operation,” Liberman added, “but power is not only about hitting but also about holding back… This was not a strategic operation. We explicitly said that there are three goals: stopping the rocket fire, restoring deterrence and destroying Hamas’s stockpiles of long-range Fajr missiles. We achieved all those goals.” (as reported by Elad Benari for Arutz 7)

Liberman says we achieved all three goals, which makes him a liar carrying a very small gummy-bear, indeed.

a.) We didn’t stop Hamas rocket fire, Hamas stopped it.

b.) We did not restore deterrence. There never was any and there isn’t any now. Any quiet is the result of a Hamas tactical decision, not a situation imposed by the IDF.

c.) Finally, we have no clue as to the numbers or location of the long-range Fajr missiles in Hamas’s arsenal. They were still being fired as the ceasefire took effect.

What Liberman is saying is this: “I know things you don’t. The view looks very different looking out of the window in my office. I can’t explain it without revealing classified info and losing my job, so you’ll just have to trust me when I tell you that we, in the government, know what’s best for you.”

Nice. Very nice.

What happened is that by the time Mr. Liberman and his colleagues agreed on the inescapable necessity for a ground invasion, and pumped themselves up into a full blown testosterone party, they were undercut by Ehud Barak telling them that we had run out of Tamir anti-missile missiles with which to restock the Iron-Dome batteries. That, were we to invade Gaza, the exchange would turn very sanguinary for us in Israel, leaving Mr. Liberman with nothing to contribute.

In effect, we were a week late.

A week is a long time in politics, too, Mr. Liberman, as you will discover.

We who were watching the debacle unfold knew soon after the third day of hostilities that the war was lost. You missed the opportunity to invade when it presented itself; when it practically prostrated itself in front of you, begging to be taken.

Because you know things we don’t? Somehow I doubt it.

There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

(Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3, 218–224)

The journalistic piece quoted above ends with the following: Referring to the potential impact the ceasefire may have on the elections, Liberman said: “The public knows exactly what I represent. In this case, the right decision was made, even if it is not popular and against my electoral interests.”

You can say that again, sir, with knobs on.

Sheni Leumi

Post-Ceasefire, Outraged Citizens Take to Streets

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

Outraged residents of the beleaguered cities of Sderot, Ashkelon, and Kiryat Malachi took to the streets, decrying the government’s decision to enter into a ceasefire with Hamas.

Many of whom had been holed up in bunkers for eight straight days of rocket lobbies and emergency alerts in their cities, the residents demanded protection from the government and urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to conduct a ground war in Gaza.

Malkah Fleisher

On the Guardian’s Opinion Section: Hamas Propoganda

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

IDF strikes on Nov. 18 knocked out the Hamas television stations Al Aqsa and Al Quds in Gaza, but Hamas leaders were likely not too concerned, and knew they could always count on Plan B: Propagandizing at the Guardian.

In fact, later that same day, Nov. 18, a ‘Comment is Free’ essay by the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, Musa Abumarzuq, was published – one out of several members of the Islamist terror group who has been published by the paper which aspires to be the ‘world’s leading liberal voice.’

Other than Abumarzuq, who published a previous essay at CiF in 2011, the list includes Hamas ‘Prime Minister’ Ismail Haniyeh, their head of international relations Osama Hamdan, and their ‘advisor‘, Azzam Tamimi.

Abumarzuq’s piece, ‘We in the Gaza Strip will not die in silence,’ is full of unserious, vitriolic claims befitting a group whose founding charter cites the antisemitic forgery ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ as “proof” that Jews indeed are trying to take over the world.

However, Abumarzuq also advances a narrative of Israeli villainy which had already found fertile ground within the Guardian coven of “journalists” and commentators.  Echoing the “analysis” of  Harriet SherwoodSimon TisdallAhdaf Soueif, and Jonathan Freedland, on the “real reasons” for Israeli operation ‘Pillar of Defense,’ the Hamas apparatchik writes the following:

“With the approach of the Israeli elections, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, wanted to trade with the blood of the Palestinians, especially after his alliance with the ultra-extremist Avigdor Lieberman failed to boost his popularity in the polls as he’d expected. This is not the first time the Israelis have launched a war for electoral gain. Shimon Peres did it to Lebanon in 1996 and the Olmert-Livni-Barak alliance did it to Gaza in 2008.”

Interestingly,  Abumarzuq’s rhetoric is restrained compared to Ahdaf Soueif (a frequent CiF contributor) who, in her piece, literally accused Israeli leaders of murdering Palestinian children for political gain.

Turning to the issue of supreme concern to the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, “human rights”, Abumarzuq complains thus:

“The human rights that Europe claims to defend all over the world are denied to the Palestinian people.”

Which freedoms are cruelly denied to Palestinians, per Abumarzuq?

“The right of people to resist occupation and confront aggression is guaranteed to all peoples; but if Palestinians seek to exercise this right it immediately becomes terrorism and for this they must be persecuted.”

Yes, of course. The Palestinians’ ‘universal’ right of “resistance”, murdering civilians with impunity, is stymied by their cruel Jewish oppressors.

Abumarzuq then adds the following:

“The Israeli military attacks on Gaza did not stop after the last Gaza war. Since 2009, 271 Palestinians have been killed, compared to three Israeli deaths.”

The numbers he cites about Israeli deaths are incorrect.

There have been 3 Israeli deaths since Nov. 14, when operation ‘Pillar of Defense’ began, but the Israeli death toll from Gaza terror attacks since 2009 is 13, not 3.

While you can contact the Guardian’s readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, at readers@guardian.co.uk, to request that Abumarzuq’s lie be corrected, perhaps you should consider asking Mr. Elliott a more pertinent question:

How does he reconcile the ‘progressive’ politics he and the paper he works for evidently aspire to with their decision to continue providing a platform to violent religious extremists who represent ultra right-wing values on issues such as democracy, freedom of the press, the rights of women, gays, and religious minorities?

Though I don’t expect anything resembling an honest answer from Elliott, he and his colleagues need to be confronted with the mounting evidence of their supreme moral hypocrisy.

Visit CifWatch.com.

Adam Levick

Landmark Case: Israel Court Has Jurisdiction Over Suits Against Palestinian Authority

Monday, November 19th, 2012

The Jerusalem District Court, in a landmark decision 10 years in the making, ruled on Sunday that the Palestinian Authority can be sued in Israeli court for damages suffered by an Israeli Arab tortured and kidnapped by their security forces on suspicion of spying for Israel.

The case will not only enable Arab victims of PA intimidation to find justice, but will allow terror victims to sue the PA for compensation.

According to a report by The Times of Israel, the case was brought in 2002 by a man who was suspected by the PA of being an informant for Israel.  In 1999, the man was kidnapped twice – once in Israeli-controlled Hebron and once in Jerusalem outside the school in which he taught.  PA security forces allegedly tortured Rajoub during questioning, even firing a gun next to his head in a mock execution.

He was severely disabled, and tried bringing a suit against the PA in Israeli court for NIS 10 million.  However, the PA said it could not be sued in Israeli court, and that the man should attempt to sue in PA court.

Judge Moshe Drori ruled that the man could sue the PA in Israeli court for injuries and suffering, and set in motion deliberation over the amount of compensation to be paid out.  The method of extracting the settled amount is undetermined.

Malkah Fleisher

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/landmark-case-israel-court-has-jurisdiction-over-suits-against-palestinian-authority/2012/11/19/

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