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More About Ulpana Hill

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Those who read my book, Where There Are No Men, already know that no real struggle can be conducted by the Yesha Council. We understood that the hard way when we established the Zo Artzeinu movement, and we have since explained how we reached this conclusion in detail.

Nevertheless, during the Expulsion from Gush Katif, I abstained from publicly voicing my opinion on the Yesha Council. I hoped that perhaps I was mistaken, and in the face of the approaching struggle I did not want to create conflict. We did all that we could to organize a parallel struggle against the Expulsion – without entering into conflict with the Yesha Council. The organizers of our struggle, who established the Bayit Haleumi movement, sat in jail for many long months and were the object of contempt and castigation at the hands of Yesha establishment leaders.

The end of the Yesha Council’s “great struggle” against the Expulsion was the Kfar Maimon farce and the channeling of the young people’s anti-Expulsion energies into sobbing in the Gush Katif synagogues. Since then I have a guilty conscience over the fact that I, who had written a book on this very topic, didn’t warn everyone of the end that was already determined at the beginning of the struggle.

Approximately a month ago, we held marathon meetings with government ministers to convince them to vote in favor of the Regulation Law. After a few meetings, I began to once again smell the same old smell. I understood that the deals were all being struck in a different place – not inside the political system and not in the grassroots struggle. Once again, shadowy leaders were making deals behind the backs of the public.

I decided to publicize my view, doing so in two separate sector-based columns and in our weekly update. Apparently, the things I wrote touched upon the most sensitive nerves in the Yesha Council, which embarked on a campaign to restore its legitimacy. The sector’s media filled up with adoring articles about the Yesha Council, petitions supporting each other, mutual praise gatherings and, of course, a scathing attack on me and distortion of my words.

From the attacks it is clear that what bothers the Yesha establishment more than my opinion on the Ulpana Hill controversy is the fact that I am in the race for the Likud chairmanship. On the surface, there is no connection between the two and it is not clear why they are lumped together. If there is a political strategy that has aided the settlements from within the Likud, it is the fact that, as mentioned, I am running for the Likud chairmanship. This in turn has fostered mass registration for the Likud in Judea and Samaria, and has given the settlers political power inside the party. Without this move, it is questionable if the settlers would have received such generous proposals in exchange for a quiet evacuation.

In truth, though, those who cannot create an alternative always remain captive to the current leadership and will necessarily conduct themselves in the manner about which I warned. They are fighting for their positions as the arms-bearers of the existing leadership. Manhigut Yehudit is their downfall. It is inherently opposed to their very essence. When they lose the public’s confidence, they strike out at me – justifiably so.

The more faith-based leadership consciousness grows, the more the Yesha Council becomes extraneous. That is why they have opposed me, working tirelessly for Prime Minister Netanyahu in the previous and past elections for Likud head. They conducted an expensive campaign that encouraged Likud voters to stay home and not vote.

I do not retract what I wrote in my columns about the Yesha Council. My arguments were precise and it is important that they are in writing. But I would like to issue a clarification: On a personal level, I have absolutely nothing against those people currently attacking me. I value their dedication, I do not want to take away from their many merits, and I am friendly with some of them. The debate between us is on matters of essence, and those people who, even after Gush Katif and Kfar Maimon, still want to cling to the same methods and the same leaders have every right to do so.

I have no intention of getting sucked into a sectoral political debate. From the moment that the fate of Ulpana Hill was determined, I see no reason to continue to deal with the subject.

PM Establishes Special Committee for Judea and Samaria

Monday, June 18th, 2012

The government on Sunday voted to put a ministerial committee headed by the Prime Minister in charge of Jewish development in Judea and Samaria , the first time in 16 years that the establishment and expansion of Jewish communities in the biblical heartland will not come under the purview of the full government.

In 1996, then-and-current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu established Decision 150, making the establishment of new communities contingent on full governmental approval.  The rescinding of that decision in 2012 makes the establishment of those communities the responsibility of an 11-member ministerial committee, with the approval of the defense minister.

The committee will be responsible for formulating policy pertaining to unauthorized construction in Judea and Samaria, as well as authorizing construction and demolitions, and it would formulate policies and principles pertaining to state responses to petitions to the High Court of Justice on Judea and Samaria land issues.

Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar called the creation of the committee significant.

Political analyst and Knesset insider Jeremy Man Saltan said the new arrangement has more to do with political maneuvering than the establishment of Jewish communities.  “This new committee strips Defense Minister Barak of some but not all of his authority over settlers and settlements,” Saltan told the Jewish Press.   “Most ministerial committees don’t meet that often and I don’t see the Chairman Prime Minister Netanyahu conducting weekly or even monthly meetings. It is a known Bibi trick to create a committee that rarely meets and buys him time. In reality this will mean very little to the settlement enterprise.”

Vice Premier Shaul Mofaz, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Industry, Trade and Labor Minister Shalom Simhon and Government Services Minister Michael Eitan opposed the decision, with Vice Premier and Regional Development Minister Silvan Shalom, immigrant Absorption Minister Sofa Landver, Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch, and  Energy and Water Minister Uzi Landau abstaining.

The new committee will be headed by the prime minister, and will include Barak, Mofaz, Saar, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, Strategic Affairs Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Diaspora Affairs Minister Yuli Edelstein, Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan, Minister-without-Portfolio Bennie Begin and Science and Technology Minister Daniel Herschkowitz.

Peace Now executive director Yariv Oppenheimer warned that the committee would authorize additional communities in Judea and Samaria.

Kosher Delight in Midtown NY Closing

Friday, June 15th, 2012

YeahThatsKosher.com reports that Kosher Delight, the 28-year old establishment on Broadway between 36th and 37th street is scheduled to close on Sunday, according to rumors and the restaurant’s staff. This closing comes on the heels of two other recent closures/moves in the midtown area, J2 Pizza and Clubhouse Cafe.

According to the website, Kosher Delight has recently been charged with violations of the City’s health code. During the most recent inspection, last month, seven violations were identified, according to the NY Restaurant Report. Two were classified as minor, and five major.

On its previous inspection, the restaurant received a deduction of 12 points and a grade of A, and had 4 violations. Over the four years for which we have published records, Kosher Delight has been written up for 49 violations.

Historic Jaffa Cemetery Comes to Life

Monday, May 7th, 2012

The Tel Aviv-Jaffa Chevra Kadisha burial society will invest NIS 10 million in preserving and refurbishing a historic Jaffa cemetery established in 1840.

The cemetery, at the corners of Yehuda Hayamit and Yehuda Meragusa streets, will revamp the site into a tourist location highlighting the settlement of Jews in the area prior to the establishment of the State of Israel, and the establishment of the city of Tel Aviv.

Among the deceased buried in the cemetery are Jaffa’s first rabbi, Rabbi Yehuda HaLevi Meragusa, Tel Aviv founder Moshe Beck, Sephardic kabbalist Rabbi Aharon Azriel, and Rabbi Nissim-Yaakov Sorizon.

Plaques explaining the significance of the departed will be added to the site, with aging gravestones restored and the site rejuvenated.

Ayatollah’s Advisor: ‘Iran-Egypt Unity will Form Core of a Great Islamic Power’

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

The Mehr news agency reports that Ali Akbar Velayati, a senior advisor to Iran’s Supreme Leader, has said that Iran and Egypt are the major countries of the Muslim world, so their unity will form the core of a great Islamic power in today’s world.

Velayati made the remarks during a meeting with a number of Egyptian media and cultural intellectuals in Tehran on Tuesday.

He also said that certain figures, whose interests are in division among Muslims, are opposed to the establishment of relations between Tehran and Cairo.

‘No’ To A Jewish Super District

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

The current New York State Senate redistricting map championed by the Republican majority calls for the establishment of what has been characterized as a super Jewish district. Under the plan, Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods, spanning four separate districts but which have recently exhibited Republican tendencies, would be redistricted into one district with an overwhelming majority of Orthodox Jews. We believe this plan to be ill advised.

Currently, though they do not constitute a majority, Orthodox voters have become so pivotal in the various districts that elected official must take notice of their concerns. The new plan would replace that reality with just one district in which just one elected official would have to take notice.

Proponents of the new plan say that since Republicans have scant chance of being elected in Brooklyn, the new super district would guarantee the election of a Republican and ensure a State Senate Republican majority that has pledged to do the Orthodox community’s bidding.

It’s an argument that on its face may sound compelling, but it seems to us that when it comes to providing for constituents’ needs, four points of access are better than one.

Report: Abbas, Mashaal Agree to Unity Government

Sunday, February 5th, 2012

According to a report published by YNet News, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and outgoing Hamas Politburo Chief Khaled Mashaal have agreed on the establishment of a unity government.

The two have been discussing the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement in Qatar, and are reported to be discussing the composition of the interim government.

 

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-abbas-mashaal-agree-to-unity-government/2012/02/05/

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