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April 21, 2014 / 21 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘District Court’

Who Moved Abutbul’s Cheese?

Friday, February 14th, 2014

The cliche definition of insanity, as making the same mistakes over and over, while expecting different results, could apply to Moshe Abutbul’s response to the High Court decision to instruct new elections in Beit Shemesh.

Current mayor Moshe Abutbul responded to the court’s decision by stating:

injustice and theft has been done in the wake of my sweet victory. There was not one Supreme Court ruling in favor of the ultra-Orthodox sector. The court despises the Right and the ultra-Orthodox. People tell me that if my name was not Abutbul the ruling would be different, and it’s hard for me to deny that. It is obvious what the public environment is and the judges swept after the media. I hope that a crushing victory in the upcoming elections will be our answer.”

Within this short response (which Abutbul had four months since the October elections to carefully consider beforehand) he accuses the Supreme Court of injustice, theft, of being hareidi-bashers, Sephardi-phobes and being corrupted by the Press.

The claim that the court was motivated by hatred of Sephardim was perhaps the most bizarre, as Moshe Abutbul was facing off in the court case against mayoral challenger Eli Cohen who is from..urr..Morocco.

This theme has been amplified by the Bet Shemesh Hareidi Newspaper, Chadash, which flatly accuses the whole legal system of being anti-chareidi and anti Sephardi -screaming in this weekend’s front page headline “My name is Abutbul [Sephardi] and I am Chareidi – so I didn’t have a chance”. Not a word of regret, soul searching, admission of fault, reaching out for unity.

Instead, the message is one of negative integration – rallying the Abutbul camp through claiming their camp is under vicious attack by malevolent external forces – in this case the Supreme Court, the District Court, the Police, The Attorney General, Yehudah Weinstein, Abutbul’s rival candidate, Eli Cohen, and presumably Lord Voldemort.

The famous book Who Moved My Cheese, posits that it is extremely difficult to change deeply entrenched habits and assumptions – a mouse will repeatedly go back to the cheese spot in the cage, even after the cheese stops being placed there, and new avenues to cheese are opened.

Ever since the voter fraud in Beit Shemesh was publicly exposed in a police sweep on election day, 22nd October 2013, Moshe Abutbul has taken the knee-jerk response to all criticism and perceived threats:

Deny; Minimize; Marginalize; Attack the Messenger (by calling non-Chareidim Chareidi-bashers; and by calling internal critics traitors); Attack the Victim (in this case Eli Cohen and the electorate of Beit Shemesh). If all else fails, the response is to admit to some measure of error, and sincerely promise to clear it up internally. And above all, Circle The Wagons!

In his election victory speech in October Abutbul missed an opportunity to unite the city, instead reverting to lashing out at the Press, demonic “outside forces” etc:

Abutbul stated that the elections had not only taken place over the last several months, but that they had been a “brutal battle” that started at the beginning of his first term when the press tried to “blacken” his name and make him into a “threat” to the non-haredi residents of Beit Shemesh.

“Today we see that all of the delegitimization did not stand the test,” the mayor said, stating that he always acted out of concern for peace, love and unity.
“I think that the media needs to search their souls” and the time for a “cease-fire” has come, he said. “The residents of the city noted clearly that they had enough of outside interference. Let us live in harmony.”

Moshe Abutbul also missed an opportunity to take the moral high ground against the election fraudsters.

If I had been Abutbul’s speechwriter I would have had him say in his election victory speech, and on every occasion since then:

“I was appalled that there are serious allegations by the police that there was widespread and organized election fraud in Beit Shemesh. If true, this criminal behavior brings shame upon Beit Shemesh. Anyone who is found to have been involved, directly or indirectly, in this election fraud will have no place in my coalition and I shall do everything in my power to make sure they have no further involvement in Beit Shemesh public life. I call on every single citizen across the community to actively assist the police in their inquiries and to bring criminals to justice.”

However, instead, Moshe Abutbul and the local Hareidi press have consistently accused the legal system of being solely motivated by hatred of chareidim; they have claimed that, if there was a crime, it was by a few random individuals; and that Eli Cohen had gone to the courts because Cohen was just a bad loser.
Have Moshe Abutbul and his supporters learned anything from their election debacle? Will they repeat their past mistakes? Can they kick the habit of negative campaigning and negative integration?

If their response to the Supreme Court ruling is an indication – then the Abutbul camp is back to business as usual in this month-long new election campaign till 11th March.

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Women of the Wall Relish Victory, Won’t Support Temple Mount Prayer

Tuesday, April 30th, 2013

The Jewish Press just received a press release from Women of the Wall, declaring (gloating, actually) that in light of the District Court decision on April 24, and after 24 years of monthly prayers at the Western Wall (Kotel), “Women of the Wall will return to the holy site to pray with Torah, tefillin (phylacteries) and tallit (prayer shawl) on Rosh Hodesh Sivan, May 10.”

The WOW add: “It is with great pride that the women, from diverse Jewish backgrounds, adopt the important ruling by Judge Moshe Sobel, and join for this joyous occasion.”

“It’s about equal rights and democracy,” WOW Director of Public Relations Shira Pruce told The Jewish Press. “The Western Wall is not an Ultra Orthodox synagogue. It’s a public space. What the judge declared is that you cannot tell women not to pray a certain way in this public space.”

Expect the Wall site is administered by an Ultra Orthodox rabbi, who is a government official.

“That does not make it an Ultra Orthodox synagogue, which would make it a private place” argues Pruce. “It’s not a private place. Does he (Rabbi Shmuel Rabinovitch, the ‘Kotel Rabbi’) oversee it? Yes. But in our petition, which has been endorsed by many organizations, including some Orthodox groups, we made it clear that the site has been mismanaged.”

The March 10 online petition, which will eventually be sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and to Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky, states, among other things:

The Torah teaches us to love one another and our neighbors. Subjecting women to verbal and physical abuse, detention and threat of prosecution for simply exercising their human right to worship fosters a generation of Jews for whom Israel and the Kotel Plaza are associated with fear and religious intolerance.

Speaking of exercising the human right to worship, this reporter mentioned the nearby other holy site, a mere 20 feet or so above WOW’s area of contention—the Temple Mount—where Jews are forbidden to pray and are removed by police sometimes when they just close their eyes and start whispering, even if they’re just doing math.

I asked Pruce if she saw a connection between the plight of the women not being allowed to pray at the Kotel and the plight of Jews in general not being allowed to pray, and often even to visit, the Temple Mount.

“There is no connection, as far as we are concerned” she answered emphatically. “There’s no comparison between the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. I understand that people want to jump on the wave of Women of the Wall, to advance other political agendas. But ours is a struggle for women’s equal rights, religious freedom—civil rights that women do not have and men do have, in a public site that Israel has and oversees and runs. Temple Mount is not even comparable. It’s not relevant, it’s apples and oranges.”

This reporter suggested it was more like comparing Granny apples to Delicious apples (which is pretty brilliant, if you read it a second time). But Pruce insisted strongly that it is apples and oranges.

“We’re talking about a completely different political reality. Our struggle is and always has been at the Western Wall. Because of what it represents to us, religiously, culturally, spiritually, and to the world at large. to the Jewish people internationally, who could not speak up about it, and who now have found their voice about it.

“Our struggle is only about the Kotel.”

Of course, the aspirations of Jews throughout the past 2500 years or so have not been to go daven outside the rear supporting wall of God’s Temple, but rather way up there, where God’s House actually used to stand – but once you acknowledge that, you probably turn off three quarters of your support on the left. And so, for the record, WOW’s position is a case of severe official myopia regarding any other group who might be blocked from prayer literally 20 feet away.

Regarding Jewish Agency Chair Natan Sharansky’s suggestion to, essentially, erect a permanent Reform synagogue at the Robinson’s Arch part of the site, the press release says “Women of the Wall share great respect and appreciation” for “his thoughtful, good faith effort to find a resolution to the conflict at the Kotel. We recognize the significance of this plan for an egalitarian section at the Kotel and commend all those who worked tirelessly together to reach an agreement that respects the great diversity of Jews in Israel and abroad,” but…

5 Arabs Indicted for Temple Mount Shooting Plot

Thursday, April 18th, 2013

The Jerusalem District Attorney on Thursday filed in District Court an indictment against five young residents of East Jerusalem, accused of participating in a conspiracy to commit kidnapping and shooting attacks against Jewish civilians in the city. According to the indictment, in February the group leader, Nur Hamdan, decided to launch a shooting attack on Jews coming to pray on the Temple Mount and against the police in East Jerusalem.

The indictment says that Hamdan recruited a gang of four young residents of Ras al-Amud and of a-Tur. To reach the recruits, Hamdan was in touch with the Hamas military wing, the Izz a-Din al-Qassam Brigade, and Fatah’s military arm, The Al-Aqsa martyrs Brigade, and with terrorists in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Those organizations gave their support to the new gang with training and weapons to carry out the plan.

During the months of February and March, the gang members, most of them in their 20s, held meetings in which they drew plans to shoot Jewish worshipers on the Temple Mount and police forces stationed in Jerusalem. Also, the members planned to kidnap a Jew in order to take his gun and kill him, and then commit more criminal offenses.

According to the indictment, early last month two defendants, Imad Shaar and Jalal Qutub, planned to grab a Jews and kill him in order to obtain his weapon. They decided to ride between pickup stands for hitchhikers, and welcome into their vehicle an armed Jewish civilian (many Israeli civilians who live east of the green line carry handguns), grab his weapon and then murder him.

The two men, along with defendant Amjad Razem, drove two vehicles towards the Pisgat Ze’ev neighborhood, with one of them carrying a weapon. They picked up a Jewish civilian who was at a bus stop, looking to reach the Adam settlement. But once it became clear that their passenger did not carry a weapon, the defendants dropped him at the entrance to his destination.

So, really, the only thing the terrorist gang actually managed to execute is giving a lift to a Jew.

During his interrogation by the General Security Service, the head of the cell confessed to planning to carry out military operations on the Temple Mount, “to protect the Al-Aqsa Mosque.” The plan was inspired by videos bio he had watched on You Tube about attacks carried out in Jerusalem, especially the attack against the Merkaz Harav yeshiva in 2008.

According to the indictment, Hamdan contacted the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade in Gaza and Shchem, and asked for assistance to carry out a shooting attack against security forces on the Temple Mount. He later recruited his friends, Omar Wazwaz, Shaer and Qutub, who live in aTur, for the attack.

Members of the cell carried out several gun target practices near the Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, and were planning to go to Shchem to meet with a local Tanzim terrorist, to ask him for assistance with weapons and money for their activities.

The indictment also states that two guns, magazines and a pipe bomb were seized from the home of another defendant, Firas Dajani, a resident of aTur.

School Sued for Ignoring Anti-Semitic Taunts

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

A suburban New York father is suing his school district over the anti-Semitic taunting of his son.

Robert Slade filed the suit last week alleging that officials at Northport High School on Long Island took no action to stop a group of 20 students from traumatizing his son with taunts such as “Jews are disgusting,” “Being Jewish must suck,” “Hitler was a good person” and “My love for you burns like a thousand Jews in an oven.”

The suit says that 20 students mercilessly teased the boy in person and on Facebook during his freshman year in 2011 until he was forced to leave.

“This student was subjected to some awful things,” Slade’s lawyer, Chaim Book, told the NY Post. “His parents alerted administrators at the school and they were ignored. Nothing was done.”

A lawyer for the school district said officials reacted appropriately to the student’s concerns.

The suit, which seeks compensatory damages, was filed May 3 in U.S. District Court. The superintendent and high school principal also are named as defendants.

Jerusalem Court Refuses Extradition on Kashrut Grounds

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Tuesday the District Court in Jerusalem declared a respondent extraditable to the United States – but because there is no entitlement to kosher food in Florida State prisons, the court conditioned the extradition on receipt of an obligation from the Untied States to provide kosher food for the respondent.

The respondent’s attorney, Eric Bukatman said, this is “a precedent decision –  which the government may appeal.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jerusalem-court-refuses-extradition-on-kashrut-grounds/2012/02/14/

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