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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘European Union’

EU Urges Israel: ‘Advance Peres’ Vision for 2-State Solution’

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

The European Union issued a clarion call to Israel in response to the death of former President Shimon Peres, urging the Jewish State to redouble its efforts to reach a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority.

EU High Representative and foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini said in a statement issued Wednesday morning that she personally was “heartbroken by the death of President Shimon Peres, a man of peace, and an immense source of inspiration.

“President Shimon Peres has never lost hope in peace, and has never stopped working to turn hope into reality,” she said.

“Even in the darkest moments his wit, his irony, his obstinate pursuit of dialogue have been a source of inspiration for many around the world, including myself.

“President Peres believed that the best way to serve the State of Israel and to deliver security to the Israeli people was through peace with the Palestinians. We can only honor his memory with a daily commitment to reconciliation, preserving and advancing his vision for a two-state solution,” she maintained.

British Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, recently re-elected to a second term and known for his anti-Israel positions, reinforced Mogherini’s statement with one of his own.

“Shimon Peres’s role in Israel-Palestine negotiations… should be the spur for a renewed drive for peace and justice,” Corbyn tweeted in a statement on the Twitter social networking site.

Peres was the last living founding father of the State of Israel, the ninth president of the country. He passed away early Wednesday morning two weeks after he was struck down by a massive cerebral hemorrhage. He was hospitalized at Chaim Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer Hospital, where he was sedated and on life support, reportedly passing away without pain, hospital sources said. His casket will lie in state in the Knesset in Jerusalem on Thursday, where dignitaries and citizens will pay their final respects; the funeral is set for Friday.

Hana Levi Julian

OECD Global Education Industry Summit Kicks Off in Jerusalem

Monday, September 26th, 2016

For the first time ever, Israel is hosting the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Global Education Industry Summit.

The conference began Monday in Jerusalem at the David Citadel Hotel with opening and welcoming remarks delivered from the podium by Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett, and President Reuven Rivlin.

More than 30 delegations from around the world are attending the two-day event, which is focusing on innovation in education.

The keynote speaker at the event was U.S. native Daphne Koller, president and co-founder of Coursera. Education Minister Naftali Bennett was scheduled to speak at the official dinner for the event Monday night.

On Tuesday, participants are scheduled to hear a presentation on Educational Technology, facilitated by Avi Warshavsky, the CEO of the Israeli MindCET firm. The second presenter on Tuesday’s program will discuss Technology in Education as a Tool for Developing Innovation, facilitated bby Okhwa Lee, Professor and CEO of SmartEducation Ltd., of Korea.

The gathering is jointly sponsored this year by the Israeli Education Ministry and the European Union.

Hana Levi Julian

Some UK Jews Flee Brexit ‘Horrors’ Back to Germany

Thursday, September 22nd, 2016

The June 2016 Brexit vote in favor of the UK leaving the European Union has resulted in a rise in the number of British citizens inquiring about an alternative European citizenship, the most popular destination being Germany and Ireland, Deutsche Welle reported. The German Embassy in London announced that on the first week after Brexit it dealt with about 200 inquiries a day, compared with the usual 20. Since then, the Germans have been fielding some 100 inquiries a day throughout the summer.

According to CBC News, these include some descendants of Jewish refugees who escaped Nazi Germany to settle in the UK, who now wish to claim their German citizenship. German law allows anyone stripped of their German citizenship by the Nazis “on political, racial or religious grounds” between 1933 and 1945 to reclaim it, and this includes their descendants.

“I’m like, OK, if I don’t have to give up my British passport, don’t have to speak German and don’t have to have residency, then why not? What do I have to lose?” author and journalist Thomas Harding, whose book “Hanns and Rudolf: The German Jew and the Hunt for the Kommandant of Auschwitz” was published in 2013 by Random House and Simon & Schuster, told CBC.

Harding came from the kind of Jewish refugee family who wouldn’t buy a German car or appliance when he was growing up, never mind reclaim its German citizenship. But he already knows what he would say to those polite German officials who would question him on his motives for coming home to the fatherland. “We never rejected Germany, Germany rejected us,” Harding offers his eloquent explanation. “We were German citizens and the Nazis ceased our citizenship in 1939. My grandmother always felt part of Germany.”

In 1993, a trip He took with his grandmother, Elsie, to look for her family’s summer home, seized by the Nazis in a village near Berlin, became the subject of Harding’s latest book, “The House by the Lake.” So that for Harding Brexit was not so much the reason as the final push for his return to his ancestral country.

An estimated 70,000 Jews fled Nazi persecution to the UK from Germany, Austria and Central Europe before the start of WW2. About 10,000 Jewish children came on the Kindertransport. Today, a German passport offers their descendants the freedom to travel, live and work anywhere in the 28 EU nations, which other Britons have given up with their Brexit vote.

Of course, most of the UK’s estimated 260,000 Jews wouldn’t dream of applying for any EU passport, never mind the German one, although some, we are led to understand, are considering applying for a Blue passport, the one that comes with that controversial anthem, Hatikva.

David Israel

Analysis: Merkel’s Party Losing Badly as Social Democrats, Anti-Immigrant AfD Win Berlin State Vote

Monday, September 19th, 2016

The Social Democrats (SPD) have won roughly 33 of the 149 seats in Berlin’s state assembly, and will continue to lead a coalition government, although it appears that their former partner, the local chapter of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU), may no longer be useful, having finished with 17.5% of the vote, its worst showing since 1990. Going into the election, incumbent mayor Michael Müller led a grand coalition of his SPD and the CDU. Meanwhile, Berlin voters have welcomed the anti-immigrant party Alternative for Germany (AfD), giving them 12.9% of the vote and representation in the tenth regional assembly out of Germany’s 16.

The AfD, founded in 2013 as a middle class, conservative party, has adopted last spring a platform based on opposition to Islam, including a call for banning Islamic symbols such as burkhas, minarets and the call to prayer, under the slogan, “Islam is not a part of Germany.” The party is also opposed to gay marriages and denies the role of industry and technology in causing global warming. And it supports reinstating the draft in Germany.

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung wrote on Sunday that the AfD gains in a major city like Berlin prove that the party “doesn’t just benefit from discontent in rural areas but can establish itself … in a city of millions that is known for its open lifestyle.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, the AfD, who score as high as 15% in national polls, took 20.8% of the vote and finished ahead of the Christian Democrats in the state election in the northeast region of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania two weeks ago.

Incidentally, according to an ARD exit poll, only 32% of Berlin voters said they were afraid of refugees, while 55% said they saw refugees as enriching life in Germany.

The SPD is expected to form a new regional coalition government with the Left and the Greens, who suffered a 2.5% drop to 15.1%.

Mayor Müller warned on Saturday night that a strong AfD showing would be “seen throughout the world as a sign of the resurgence of the right and of Nazis in Germany.” Well, what do you know…

And so, as Germany is stepping once again into a period of economic and political uncertainty and the EU is still licking its wounds following the UK’s departure, the reader is encouraged to avoid reading history books, because they’ll only upset you.

JNi.Media

Rebellion: 25 Likud MKs Tell Netanyahu to Avoid Amona Demolition

Saturday, September 17th, 2016

As of Saturday night, 25 Likud MKs have signed a petition calling on the Netanyahu government to pursue legislation to prevent the demolition and evacuation of Amona, an Israeli outpost in central Judea and Samaria. Israel’s Supreme Court ruled in 2006 that the Amona community is illegal under Israeli law, but its status remained unresolved as the government continued to fight the court’s eviction order. In December 2014, the court ordered the state to completely evacuate and demolish the settlement within two years.

Likud MKs petition to save Amona

Likud MKs petition to save Amona

Last week, Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman said the Court ruling was unequivocal, and there was no hope to keep Amona intact. “There is no way that Amona can be left as it is built today, because most of the houses are built on private Palestinian land,” Liberman told an audience in Ariel University. But he added that “all the rules that apply to Amona apply to every other place as well,” suggesting that leftwing MKs and NGOs, as well as the EU and the US government, are only interested in removing Jews from their homes, “but when it comes to enforcing rulings against other trespassers everyone stands up on their hind legs.”

The court has ordered the final date for the evacuation of the entire outpost to be no later than December 25 this year.

MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli (Habayit Hayehudi) has submitted a bill dubbed the “Arrangement Law,” suggesting that homes that have been constructed using government supports would not be demolished should the claimants be able to show prior ownership. Instead, the land of the community in question would be confiscated by the State and the claimants would receive fair market value. This moves the burden of proof from the Jewish residents to the Arab claimants.

The signatories on the current petition include the vast majority of the Likud Knesset faction, including a few sworn enemies of the PM, such as Transport Minister Yisrael Katz and MK Oren Hazan. But since the entire Likud list is only 30 members strong, there are also many Netanyahu supporters who would like to see Amona spared.

Back in 2012 Netanyahu torpedoed a similar bill, submitted by Zevulun Orlev (Habayit Hayehudi), which attempted to save the community of Migron, north of Jerusalem. Netanyahu employed the coalition discipline, which killed the bill with a 69 to 22 vote. The same bill came up during the Knesset summer session, but the ministerial legislative committee decided to kill it.

The legal community opposes the idea, and AG Avihai Madelblit is on the record as saying such a law would be unconstitutional (a strange phrase in a country without a constitution), and is sure to be killed by the Supreme Court. He prefers instead purchasing land nearby and transporting the entire community over, at an enormous cost. Why not purchase the land and give it to the claimant? Why not lease the land from the claimant? Why not offer the claimant an opportunity to sell the land to the community? Apparently, all those ideas have not risen to the same constitutional validity as that of destroying a Jewish community.

JNi.Media

Israel to Ship Gas to Gaza, Can’t Be Used to Fuel Rockets

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Israel and the PA have reached an agreement on laying down a gas pipeline from Israel to the Gaza Strip, to alleviate the power shortage in Gaza, Walla reported Thursday. The Israeli government informed the PA that it has approved the arrangement, and invited the PA to join with an Israeli delegation that would appeal to the donor nations conference in New York at the end of this month, requesting funding for the gas pipeline project.

Currently, Israel ships Diesel to the power station in the Gaza Strip. But diesel is problematic in terms of security considerations, says the Israeli security community, since it can be used by terror organizations in their manufacturing of missiles. Natural gas is not nearly as useful to rocket makers.

The deal between Israel and the PA comes in the wake of a major deal that was reached between Israel and the PA on managing the latter’s $530 million debt to the Israel Electric Company.

Prime Minster Netanyahu, on his recent visit to the Netherlands, mentioned the gas pipeline to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, who viewed it favorably as part of his government’s efforts to promote essential services in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip as a way of supporting the peace process.

Qatar is on the record with an offer to help finance a Israeli gas pipeline to Gaza. The idea was being promoted a year ago by some in the European Union and former Prime Minister Tony Blair.

JNi.Media

Mayor Barkat Thanks Czech Government For Refuting ‘Palestinian Lies’ on Jerusalem

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Jerusalem (TPS) – Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat praised the Czech government on Wednesday for reversing a decision last week by its Education Ministry to require the removal of any reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in educational books. Barkat called the decision a victory against Palestinian incitement and lies against Israel.

“Truth has overcome lies,” said Barkat. “Future generations of Czech students will continue to learn the truth: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and the heart and soul of the Jewish people.”

Last week, the Education Ministry in Prague ordered the Shocart publishing company to erase references to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after Palestinian Authority ambassador to the Czech Republic Khaled al-Atrash complained that Shocart school atlases referred to the city as the Jewish state’s capital.

“The atlas says something that is unacceptable not only for the Palestinians but also according to international law and the official position of the European Union, including the Czech Republic,” argued al-Atrash.

Irena Valentova, a spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry, initially told local media that the country does not consider “east Jerusalem” to be Israeli territory.

“The EU member countries, including the Czech Republic, view Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, i.e. the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine,” Valentova said.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry slammed the short-lived policy, saying the Palestinian Authority is “no longer satisfied with poisoning the minds of Palestinian youth. Now it wants to spread lies and misinformation among Czech youth as well.”

Sunday, Barkat added his voice to the protest, asking Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to reverse the decision.

“ Just as Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, so too is Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel,” Barkat wrote. “Future generations of Czech students deserve nothing less than the truth: Jerusalem’s rightful place as the capital of Israel, and the heart and soul of the Jewish people, cannot and should not, be denied,” Barkat continued.

By Tuesday, Education Minister Valentova had reversed the decision, saying “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital from the viewpoint of the declaration of the country to which this relates, which means Israel.”

“I am pleased that my letter to Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, together with other diplomatic efforts, have positively impacted this decision,” said Barkat on Wednesday. “I’m thankful to the Czech government for making the right choice, and for refusing to surrender to Palestinian incitement and lies.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mayor-barkat-thanks-czech-government-for-refuting-palestinian-lies-on-jerusalem/2016/09/08/

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