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August 31, 2015 / 16 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Foreign Ministry’

Anti-IDF ‘Breaking the Silence’ to Speak in Swiss Parliament

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

The leftist Green Part in Switzerland has invited Yehuda Shaul, leader of the anti-IDF Breaking the Silence group, to speak in the parliament a week after the government funded his exhibit that charges the military with human rights violations.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry last week failed to cancel the Breaking the Silence exhibition, which it said has the ” sole purpose to tarnish the image of Israel’s …and Israel’s image.”

The Swiss Foreign Ministry shelled out $25,000 to help Breaking the Silence stage the exhibit and justified its action as a “commitment to increasing dialogue about human rights.”

Yehuda Shaul is as an Orthodox Jew in Jerusalem but has stated he was Not raised as an Israeli.” His agenda is clearly leftist, and he states on the Breaking of Silence website:

Moral values disintegrate, that’s inherent in these circumstances and you can’t both be there and not be there. Occupation is an equation. Soldiers dominate civilians. It starts with what I talked about and ends with what we don’t want to listen to, yet we must because our society is an occupying one, and our soldiers are doing these things in our name.

Shaul founded Breaking the Silence, which is generously funded by the leftist New Israel Fund, and he has recorded allegations by anonymous soldiers of indiscriminate fire at Arabs in Gaza during last summer’s Protective Edge counter-terror campaign.

Ten Swiss parliament members strongly opposed last week’s the exhibit and stated, as translated and published by The Jerusalem Post:

Disinformation and the political ideology of hatred are being directed against the Jewish state and, of all things, it is shameful that Switzerland, on whose soil the nucleus of peaceful political Zionism developed in Base at the First Zionist Congress in 1897, is participating in such activities.

Israeli pressure so far has not stopped the Green Party, which issued an invitation to Shaul to speak in the parliament to speak.

IDF Reservists last week appealed to Hotovely and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to stop the exhibit and said they also “will not remain silent in the face of an organization that retries to degrade the IDF.” They should form a group and call it “Breaking the Slander.”

The Breaking the Silence report is ammunition for BDS. Its 237-page report titled “This Is How We Fought in Gaza” is full of anonymous testimonies form 60 soldiers among tens of thousands who were called up during the war.

NGO Monitor has charged Breaking the Silence with making “sweeping accusations based on anecdotal, anonymous and unverifiable testimonies of low-level soldiers.” It added:

These ‘testimonies’ lack context, ignoring the fact that during the 2014 Gaza war heavy fighting took place between Israel and terror groups in Gaza, and that soldiers faced grave danger throughout the conflict from rockets, mortar shells, and terrorists emerging from tunnels dug beneath private homes. These distortions and erasures dovetail with BtS’s ideological agenda and fuel delegitimization campaigns against Israel.”

With Liberman Out , Bennett Toughens Position, But Who Will Blink First?

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

Following the resignation of Avigdor Liberman from the Foreign Ministry and his decision to bring the Yisrael Beytenu party into the opposition, the Bayit Yehudi held an emergency meeting on Monday evening to reconsider their strategy and Netanyahu’s offer/threat.

Kulanu, UTJ and Shas have already signed with the Likud to join the coalition. The only options left open to Netanyahu at this point to put together his coalition is with either Bayit Yehudi, Yesh Atid or the Zionist Camp, and he has only until this Wednesday to sign one of them, otherwise President Rivlin will offer a different party the opportunity.

UTJ will absolutely not sit with Yesh Atid, nor does Netanyahu want Lapid in his coalition.

The Zionist Union could be a possibility, but it would be a major betrayal of the Likud voters who don’t want them in the government, and most likely they would need to dump Tzipi Livni, whom Netanyahu also doesn’t want to see again in his government, if possible. The Zionist Camp has said they won’t sit in Netanyahu’s coalition.

So, the keys to the kingdom are in Bennett’s hands.

Bayit Yehudi is a natural partner, but the Bayit Yehudi party feels that Netanyahu is not giving them a fair deal, especially after quietly acquiescing to Netanyahu’s siphoning off their voters with his emergency appeals right before elections.

Bennett also claims that Netanyahu, before the elections, offered him the Defense Ministry, and then recanted the offer after the elections.

Bayit Yehudi was also offered to chair the Judicial committee, but it is unlikely that the Likud will allow them to make major reforms against the overly powerful Supreme Court, so that position may be less valuable than previously thought.

At the emergency meeting, Bayit Yehudi saw Liberman’s withdrawal as an opportunity to get the Foreign Ministry, which they have demanding since the elections were over. Bayit Yehudi is particularly miffed that Shas got full control of the Ministry of Religious Affairs, and will probably now roll back all the progress that Bayit Yehudi made in rectifying that troubled field.

With the keys in his hands, Bennett has the opportunity to demand corrections in the deal with Shas (unlikely as Shas will bolt), as well as to demand a more significant post or posts.

The question is, in this game of chicken, who will blink first?

Israeli Rescue Planes on Way to Nepal as 2nd Quake Hits; 2,000 Dead [video]

Sunday, April 26th, 2015

A second earthquake registering 6.7 on the Richter scale rocked Nepal Sunday morning at the same time Israelis teams were en route to help with the rescue effort and to evacuate Israelis.

The Foreign Ministry hopes that all Israelis with whom contact has been made, including 25 surrogate babies, will be in Israel by tomorrow night.

Ministry officials estimate that Israelis who were injured suffered only light bruises. Approximately 400 Israelis are in Nepal at this time, but the whereabouts of 150 are unknown.

The death toll has passed 2,000 and is expected to rise. Thousands of others were injured in the first quake, measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale.

At least 17 people were killed on Mount Everest.

The earthquake was the worst in 80 years. In 1934,  an  8.1 magnitude earthquake centered near Mount Everest killed more than 10,000 people.

“The reports of the devastation are still coming in and the numbers of people killed, injured and affected by this earthquake continue to rise,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement.

Tremors from the quake were felt in Tibet, where more than a dozen of people were killed as roads and buildings collapsed.

At least 34 people died in tremors felt in India.

British mountain climber Daniel Mazur, stranded on Mt. Everest, tweeted to Indian NDTV, “Aftershock @ 1pm! Horrible here in camp 1. Avalanches on 3 sides. C1 a tiny island. We worry about icefall team below.. Alive?”

Liberman and Bennett Teaming Up Against Netanyahu

Sunday, April 19th, 2015

MK Ayelet Shaked (Bayit Yehudi) said that Bayit Yehudi will not let Shas get the Religious Affairs Ministry, even if it means blowing up the negotiations, according to Nana10.

Shaked said the Bayit Yehudi party would not abandon all the achievements it made on religion and state issues.

Channel 2 reports that Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu) and Minister Naftali Bennett (Bayit Yehudi) have reached an agreement so that Bayit Yehudi would stop demanding the Foreign Ministry from PM Netanyahu, which is the ministry that Liberman wants; in exchange Liberman would help Bennett get the Religious Affairs Ministry, which the Hareidi Shas party is demanding, and at this point is expected to get.

Bennett also wants either the Defense or Foreign Ministry, but would be willing to settle for less if properly compensated with additional, smaller ministries as well as an alternative senior position. Netanyahu supposedly promised Bennett the Defense Minsitry before the elections, when it was thought Bayit Yehudi would have at least 12 seats.

Liberman and Bennett would both work together to prevent Netanyahu from bringing the Zionist Union into the coalition.

Yitzchak Herzog (Zionist Union) again said that he would not be joining the coalition with Netanyahu, and will be in the opposition working to replace Netanyahu.

It appears that Netanyahu wanted to save negotiating with Liberman for last, after he had 61 seats on board from the other coalition partners. This would have given Liberman very little negotiating power.

But Netanyahu isn’t making his most natural partner, Bayit Yehudi, very happy at the moment, and the plan may have backfired.

One of the latest rumors says that Bayit Yehudi will receive four ministries, of which Naftali Bennett would receive both the Ministry of the Economy and the Intelligence Ministry.

The other two ministies they would get are Agriculture for Uri Ariel and Senior Citizens for Ayelet Shaked.

Yisrael Hayom, which is close to Netanyahu, says that the Likud will keep 12 ministries, including: Defense, Justice, Interior Security, Communications, Transportation, Social and Education.

Coalition Talk Updates

Friday, April 17th, 2015

Sources in Bayit Yehudi are signalling that party chief Naftali Bennett is prepared to give up his demand for the Foreign Ministry under two conditions.

The first condition is that Bayit Yehudi be properly compensated for giving up the lucrative ministerial position, which rumor has it, the compensation has already been offered to him.

The other demand is that Avigdor Liberman doesn’t get the Foreign Ministry instead of him, according to an NRG report. Netanyahu is meeting with Liberman today.

This week JewishPress.com reported that Bennett is likely to receive the Ministry of the Economy, as well as the Ministry of Strategic Affairs as compensation.

Another major disagreement is over the Ministry of Religion, which Shas’s Deri is expected to get, but Bayit Yehudi wants.

The Likud told Bayit Yehud that Shas will be getting the Minsitry of Religion and will not be sharing any part of it with Bayit Yehudi.

Shas will probably also get the Ministry of the Interior, minus the Planning Division, which will be transfered over to Moshe Kachlon’s Kulanu party.

Update: Netanyahu met personally with Naftali Bennett today for the first time in 2 weeks. The meeting was held before Netanyahu’s meeting with Liberman.

Coalition Talks Progressing

Thursday, April 16th, 2015

Coalition negotiations with the Likud are advancing, as the current deadline for forming a coalition draws near.

According to Globes, an agreement will soon be reached with Bayit Yehudi.

Naftali Bennett would keep his existing position as Minister of the Economy, where he did very well. Bennett would also get the Ministry of Strategic Affairs.

Uri Ariel would leave the Ministry of Building and Construction and transfer to the Ministry of Agriculture.

A Ministerial position will also be reserved for Ayelet Shaked.

The Likud team wants to try to reach an agreement with Moshe Kachalon’s Kulanu party by Independence Day next week. Kachlon was offered the Ministry of Finance.

Netanyahu has asked Aryeh Deri of Shas to take the Ministry of Transportation instead of the Ministry of the Interior, and UTJ has recommended to Shas that they take the offer.

Likud and UTJ seem to be on the same page.

PM Netanyahu will be meeting privately with Avigdor Liberman tomorrow to discuss Liberman’s demands for the Foreign Ministry.

According to Globes, once Netanyahu reaches an agreement with Kulanu, Bayit Yehudi, Shas and UTJ, Netanyahu will decide if he will bring in either the Zionist Union or Yisrael Beyteinu into the coalition.

Iran’s First Female Ambassador Since 1979 Islamic Revolution

Tuesday, April 14th, 2015

Iranian news agencies are reporting the Islamic Republic is preparing to appoint its first female ambassador since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Marzieh Afkham, one of the country’s highest-profile female public figures, has been tapped for the appointment according to the semi-official FARS and Mehr news agencies. It is not yet clear to which country Afkham would be assigned.

If the appointment is confirmed, Afkham would become the second female ambassador in the history of Iran. Mehrangiz Dolatshahi served as Iran Ambassador to Denmark in the 1970s.

President Hassan Rouhani has presented himself to the international community as a moderate and during his 2013 election campaign promised to improve the rights of women in the country. In 2009 Rouhani’s predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, was credited with having appointed Iran’s first female minister.

Domestic reform in Iran, as elsewhere in the Middle East, is a process that can take decades and is measured in micro steps, rather than milestones – a reality that few Westerners understand.

Girls as young as age 10 are forced into Islamic marriages in Iran, and as in other Muslim-majority nations, there is also a high rate of domestic violence. Neither issue is considered unusual in the Islamic world, although more community leaders are at least beginning to recognize it is a matter for “discussion.”

In October 2014, 26-year-old Reyhaneh Jabbari was executed in Tehran by hanging for killing a man who tried to rape her. A massive flood of international appeals to the Iranian government on her behalf to stay the execution proved worthless.

Jabbari was arrested in 2007 for killing a former employee of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence. She was sentenced to death by a Tehran court in 2009 and the verdict was upheld in by the country’s Supreme Court. The scheduled execution, however, was delayed by several months following reception of an online petition bearing 240,000 signatures, urging her release.

Jabbari herself admitted to having stabbed the victim once from the back but said another man had actually done the killing. Amnesty International said her claim was believed never to have been properly investigated.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/irans-first-female-ambassador-since-1979-islamic-revolution/2015/04/14/

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