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September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘foreign’

Taking Israeli Measures, France ‘Roots Out’ Foreign Supporters of Incitement Groups

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

Israel is sending information to the French government, which is discussing an initiative to prevent foreign financing of bodies that harm the security of French citizens.

The discussion came in the wake of the attack last week by two Da’esh terrorists on a church in Normandy. The terrorists slaughtered an 84-year-old Catholic priest on the altar of his own church as he was celebrating Mass, forcing a fellow priest to video the ordeal.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls, meanwhile wrote in a lengthy article in the Journal du Dimanche (the Sunday Journal), that France has throughout its history and geography maintained “very strong” ties with Islam, the “second-largest” religion in the country.

“Millions of French Muslims live here without necessarily identifying themselves as an Arab-Muslim culture,” he noted, adding that because of this specific French connection, plus the country’s centuries-old connection to Christianity and its long Jewish presence that it has been targed by Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists.

“A terrible poison is spreading,” he warned. “Many Muslims in France are taken hostage by the fundamentalism Salafism, the Muslim Brotherhood who use their worship as a banner, a weapon against others.”

“We were all shocked by the vicious terrorist attack in France last week. I have heard about a French government discussion on preventing the foreign financing of bodies that harm the security of French citizens,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in opening remarks at the start of the Israeli cabinet meeting Sunday.

“This sounds familiar to us. We are also disturbed by such donations to organizations that deny the State of Israel’s right to exist,” he said.

Some two dozen leftist organizations in Israel have been found to receive more than half of their funding from foreign governments. All of them have actively worked to either tear down the government or to incite the population against government policies.

“I have requested a preliminary inquiry,” Netanyahu said. “In this inquiry we found support from European countries — including France — for several organizations that engage in incitement, call for a boycott of Israel and do not recognize the State of Israel’s right to exist,” he said. (ed: italics added for emphasis)

“We will complete the inquiry and submit the findings to the French government. We will discuss this with them because terror is terror everywhere and incitement is incitement which, apparently, encompasses the world, governments must be as united as possible in dealing with them.”

Hana Levi Julian

Consistent Use Of Correct Hebrew Proves Man Is Foreign Spy

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

{Originally posted to the satirical website, PreOccupied Territory}

Tel Aviv, July 19 – Investigators in Israeli counterintelligence have caught a foreign agent when the man unwittingly exposed himself by being the only person who used grammatically correct Hebrew, Shin Bet sources reported today.

The man, an employee at a government-owned enterprise in the defense industry, was exposed during a twice-yearly review by Shin Bet officers who determined he could not be the native Israeli and Hebrew speaker he claimed to be, since no Israelis are particular about using the correct grammatical forms in everyday conversation, and most even disregard it in more formal contexts.

A source within the agency, known by its formal acronym Shabak, told reporters on condition of anonymity that reports of a mole within the enterprise had surfaced last year, but that clear evidence of the spy’s activities and identity did not begin to emerge until several months ago. Investigators gradually narrowed the field until it was clear materials were being leaked to foreign interests from a specific unit in the company.

In the guise of conducting an efficiency examination for quality purposes, the Shabak agents posed as consultants and interviewed several dozen staff and supervisors in the suspected unit. “It became pretty clear that the guy we were looking for was sitting in front of us when he started using the right verb form for the third-person feminine plural future,” recalled the agent, rolling his eyes. “I mean, even the radio announcers, who are required to speak a certain way, don’t say ‘telekhna’ when everyone just says ‘yelkhu’.”

Investigators’ ears further perked up when the interviewee actually used the first-person singular future prefix instead of just using the third-person form that everyone has adopted out of sheer laziness and mishearing. “He actually made sure we heard him pause between ‘Ani’ and ‘eshmor’ so we would hear that he wasn’t saying ‘yishmor’ as everyone else would,” said the agent. “That basically clinched it for us. Afterwards we conducted a more thorough background check and found a relative who works for a courier service used by one of the embassies here, and put it all together.” The relative has already confessed to involvement.

“Also, the guy made sure to use masculine numbers with masculine nouns and feminine numbers with feminine nouns,” added the agent, contrasting it with the general practice of using the simpler feminine form for all purposes. “It was just further proof that he didn’t have genuine roots in the country and society. What idiot does that?”

PreOccupied Territory

New UK Foreign Minister Compared Hillary to ‘Sadistic Nurse in a Mental Hospital’

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Liberty Unyielding}

Not everyone is a fan of Boris Johnson, the former mayor of London who was named this week to head the foreign ministry for incoming Prime Minister Theresa May.

The Atlantic has gleefully run two articles in the last 24 hours recounting Mr. Johnson’s history of diplomatic solecisms: one to list them, and the other to list them again in the context of the prompt blowback after his new cabinet post was announced.

A number of foreign ministers and their spokesmen had giggling fits.  But Carl Bildt of Sweden, formerly foreign minister and prime minister, won the meme-stakes hands down with his take, which Atlantic introduces so you don’t have to check and see if it was some elaborate photoshop.

Former Swedish Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Carl Bildt went to the photo archive to belittle Boris, using an image from the moment when the then-mayor of London was trapped on a zipline…

I wish it was a joke, but I fear it isn’t. Exit upon exit.

Boris

Frankly, I’m not sure it isn’t Johnson who wins that one.  You only wish, Bildt-arino.

But that’s the wonderful thing about Boris.  No matter what you say, you’re just reacting to some way in which he has preemptively topped you.  You can’t out-Boris him.

In 2007, he managed to endorse Hillary Clinton for president in a manner entirely his own:

“She’s got dyed blonde hair and pouty lips, and a steely blue stare, like a sadistic nurse in a mental hospital,” he wrote, comparing Clinton as First Lady to “a mixture between Cherie Blair and Lady Macbeth, stamping her heel, bawling out subordinates and frisbeeing ashtrays at her erring husband.”

 

That column, however, was headlined “I want Hillary Clinton to be president,” and in it, Johnson characterized himself as wanting her to win, to his own great surprise – despite the fact “she represents, on the face of it, everything I came into politics to oppose: not just a general desire to raise taxes and nationalize things, but an all-round purse-lipped political correctness.”

 

He went on to explain that he actually wanted her to be president so that Bill Clinton would return to the White House, concluding that “if Bill can deal with Hillary, he can surely deal with any global crisis.”

In online correspondence, some of my British acquaintances have spoken of this interlude solemnly — even apologetically — and have shown the same sympathetic indignation about Johnson’s swipe at Obama during the run-up to the Brexit vote.  Obama urged the Brits to vote to Remain, but that didn’t sit well with Johnson:

  • Johnson took aim last April at Obama’s ultimately unsuccessful attempt to dissuade British voters from voting to leave the E.U.
  • This time writing inThe Sun…Johnson made reference to Obama’s “part-Kenyan” roots.
  • Recalling that a bust of Britain’s wartime leader Winston Churchill was removed from the Oval Office after Obama moved in, Johnson wondered why.
  • “Some said it was a snub to Britain,” he wrote. “Some said it was a symbol of the part-Kenyan President’s ancestral dislike of the British Empire – of which Churchill had been such a fervent defender.”

It’s nice of Brits to care.  But most Americans don’t.  About half of them think Obama was born in Kenya.  But it’s indisputable that he is, in fact, part Kenyan.  The Americans who regard it as offensive to mention that are a vanishing minority.  It’s not offensive — it’s just a fact — but perhaps it’s best categorized as frivolous to base your analyses of Obama’s conduct on it.

That would be Boris: frivolous.  He seems like something of a git.  But I think Americans can survive his opinions on our politicians without succumbing to a fit of the vapors.  However long he struts and frets on the world stage, he’ll be by far the most entertaining Official Foreign Minister out there.  And by no means the most foolish.

J. E. Dyer

Egyptian Foreign Minister Visits Israel, Pledges Commitment To Regional Peace

Wednesday, July 13th, 2016

JERUSALEM – In the latest sign of improved ties between Israel and Egypt, an Egyptian foreign minister made an official visit to Israel for the first time in nine years on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry was in Jerusalem for meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The two leaders discussed the recently reached reconciliation deal between Turkey and Israel, agreements regarding natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and other issues.

Two weeks ago, Shoukry met with Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah. He confirmed on Sunday that the earlier meeting was linked to an Egyptian effort to mediate in the peace process.

At the start of the meeting, Netanyahu noted that nearly four decades have passed since Egypt and Israel signed a peace treaty. During a press conference he described Israel’s relationships with Egypt and Jordan as “the cornerstone of stability in the region” and “critical assets for our countries.”

He added that he was ready and willing to take up an offer by Egypt to take a leadership role in peace talks. He cited the track records of both Egypt and Jordan as an example for the PA to follow.

“Today I call again on the Palestinians to follow the greatest example of Egypt and Jordan and join us for direct negotiations,” he said. “This is the only way we can address all the outstanding problems between us, and turn the vision of peace based on two states for two peoples into a reality.”

Shoukry said “the situation of the Middle East is becoming ever more volatile and dangerous, particularly as the phenomenon of terrorism continues to grow and proliferate, representing an existential threat to the peoples of the region and the world at large. No person, group or people are exempt; none are immune from this threat.”

Addressing Netanyahu, the Egyptian minister said that “ever since the cessation of negotiations between the Palestinian and Israeli sides in April 2014, the situation on the ground has been in constant deterioration, be it on the humanitarian, economic, or security level…. The current state of affairs unfortunately is neither stable nor sustainable…. I would like to assure that Egypt’s commitment to supporting a just, comprehensive and sustainable resolution for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and to supporting peace and security in the Middle East is a steadfast and unwavering commitment, and that the Egyptian leadership is serious in its determination to provide all possible forms of support in order to achieve this goal.”

The Israeli-Egyptian relationship has long been a “cold” one, and the latter years of the Hosni Mubarak regime saw few meaningful diplomatic interactions. Israel did intermittently look to Cairo to help ease tensions with the Palestinians, but there was little if any public interaction between officials of the two countries.

Under the Muslim Brotherhood government that followed Mubarak’s departure in 2011, relations deteriorated further, due largely to the Muslim Brotherhood’s ideological opposition to Israel and its close affiliation with Hamas. The terrorist group, which had seized control of Gaza from Abbas’s PA by force in 2007, was originally established as a Palestinian branch of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, on a platform sworn to Israel’s destruction.

But under the government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt has moved ahead with a significant, if low-key, security relationship with Israel, especially focused on the Sinai peninsula, where Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)-affiliated terrorists are operating.

Israeli officials have also praised Egypt for cracking down on Hamas’s smuggling tunnels between Gaza and the Sinai, and Netanyahu and el-Sisi speak by phone frequently. (In public forums like the UN Human Rights Council, Egypt continues to criticize Israel harshly.)

Sunday’s meeting was held at el-Sisi’s behest.

There has been a push in recent months by the so-called Mideast Quartet and the French government to restart the peace process. A recent report by the Quartet – comprised of the U.S., Russia, European Union and United Nations – was panned by both the Israelis and Palestinians.

It pointed to Israel’s continued expansion of settlements in disputed territory and the PA’s inability to control the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The statement also scolded both sides for violence and incitement.

Despite international efforts, including a concerted push in recent years by Secretary of State John Kerry, both sides have rebuffed external pressure to resume talks, each accusing the other of responsibility for the stall.

“Evidently, certain parties of the international community insist on trying to avoid their own legal and moral responsibilities to implement international law and conventions,” PLO secretary-general Saeb Erekat told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an after the report was published.

Netanyahu has repeatedly said he wants to advance peace in the region. Following a meeting in Rome with Kerry and other foreign representatives two weeks ago, he reiterated his position.

“The world and the Middle East are in turmoil and my policy is to create centers of stability in this unstable and stormy region,” he said at the time.

He added that Israel wants to work in cooperation with neighboring Arab countries, as well as Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Turkey, and the United States, referring to “a clear strategy, to create centers of stability in the stormy Middle East.”

(CNSNews)

Genevieve Belmaker

Raucous Knesset Passes NGO Foreign Funding Transparency Bill

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

The Knesset plenum on Monday night passed the NGO Law, a.k.a. the Transparency Law, by a 57 to 48 majority. The new legislation’s official title is “Law on disclosure requirements for recipients of support from a foreign political entity.” It was the brain child of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and it requires NGOs that receive more than 50% of their budget from a foreign source to report this fact to the NGO registrar and to note it in a visible fashion in all their publications as well as their communications with public officials.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented Monday night on his Facebook page that “the purpose of the law is to prevent an absurd situation whereby foreign countries intervene in Israel’s internal affairs through their NGO funding while the Israeli public is unaware of it. Contrary to the arguments on the left, passing the law will increase transparency, contribute to creating a dialog that reflects accurately the views of the Israeli public and will bolster Democracy.”

The vote followed a boisterous, even rowdy six hour debate during which the opposition submitted no less than one thousand reservations, and opposition members expressed resolute objections to the bill. Meretz chair Zehava Galon accused the bill’s authors that their purpose “isn’t enhancing the transparency but [constitutes] political persecution. … the bill’s authors and promoters wish to shut the mouths of organizations that challenge government policy.”

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) warned that the new law “defames our reputation in the world worse than any NGO could have done and destroys us from within.” Other ZC members were also of the opinion that the law is intended to quash opposition to the rightwing majority, at the expense of Israel’s reputation as a world democracy.

For comparison, the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), passed in 1938, requires that agents representing the interests of foreign powers in a “political or quasi-political capacity” disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about related activities and finances. The purpose is to facilitate “evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons.” In 2007 the Justice Department launched an online database which can be used by the public to search filings and current reports.

The US law requires periodic disclosure of all activities and finances by people and organizations that are under control of a foreign government, of organizations or of persons outside of the United States (“foreign principal”), if they act “at the order, request, or under the direction or control” of this principal (i.e. as “agents”) or of persons who are “controlled or subsidized in major part” by this principal. Organizations under such foreign control can include political agents, public relations counsel, publicity agents, information-service employees, political consultants, fundraisers or those who represent the foreign power before any agency or official of the United States government.

But the US law provides explicit exemptions for organizations engaged in “religious, scholastic, academic, or scientific pursuits or of the fine arts,” as well as for those “not serving predominantly a foreign interest.”

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi) told the House that “anyone wishing to influence the agenda of the Israeli public must be transparent. It is inconceivable that foreign states would hide behind associations and organizations acting on behalf of interests that are not in line with those of the State of Israel. Now everything is on the table, everything is revealed, and they will undergo the public’s scrutiny.”

Slomiansky proceeded to read from a list of just how much money some leftwing NGO received from abroad—some of whom get 100% of their budget this way—and the opposition benches went on the warpath, drowning his voice with their angry shouting.

JNi.Media

Foreign Funded NGOs, Hypocrisy, and the Need for Transparency

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

In December 2009, a British court issued a warrant for the arrest of then Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni over alleged war crimes committed by the Israeli government during Operation Cast Lead. Consequently, Livni decided not to take any chances and cancelled her planned trip to a Jewish National Fund conference in London. But this threat followed her once again this past week, when on her way to a conference in London she was summoned by Scotland Yard’s War Crimes unit for questioning.

Foreign governments are funding the. murder of Jews and we need to stop it.

There was no shortage of Israeli organizations that joined the fray of accusing Israel of war crimes for their activities during Operation Cast Lead. Some were gathered under the umbrella organization, “Coalition of Women for Peace,” and some, like “Zochrot” and “Israel Social TV,” acted alone. These organizations receive funding from foreign political entities and governments including Holland, Germany, Norway, and the European Union. This foreign funding is used to accuse Israel on a daily basis of war crimes, apartheid, ethnic cleansing, and more. These funds also promote a policy of boycott against Israel, and represent the clear product of the campaign of delegitimization and dehumanization against Israel.

Another common denominator shared by these organizations is that they would all be affected by the “Transparency Bill,” which is going to the Knesset plenum for a vote this week. Given this, it is surprising to discover that the very person leading the opposition against this bill is none other than MK Tzipi Livni, who almost spent the night in a London prison cell because of these very organizations.

Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn once in a while, and this week MK Livni sounded very different when speaking in London: “The British legal system unfortunately, is being abused by those who seek to blur the moral distinction between those fighting terror and those defending it, and we cannot accept that, especially because of the good relations between our countries and the partnership of values and interests.”

At the same time MK Livni is condemning those who seek to convict her and other Israeli officials by circumventing the Israeli judicial system and turning to international tribunals, she is voicing the complete opposite view in Israel. In the UK, and only in the UK, Livni seems to understand and recognize the problems of such organizations engaging in lawfare against a democratic state that is fighting a war of terror.

Livni and her colleagues from the Zionist Left must understand that this “British problem” is nothing compared to the problem in Israel. Only a sick democracy allows for foreign governments to meddle in its internal affairs and to advance a policy that undermines its very right to exist.

These delegitimization organizations are not “human rights” organizations, they are political pawns implanted in Israeli society by foreign governments in order to serve their interests. This objective was best illustrated by Britain’s former Minister of Middle East Affairs, Alistair Burt, who noted: “Since we began supporting these programs some significant changes have been made in the Israeli justice system, both civilian and military, and in the decisions they make.”

It is the right and the obligation of the Knesset to institute transparency laws on organizations that receive the majority of their funding from foreign governments, the very same organizations that were leading the calls to convict Livni and other Israeli officials for alleged war crimes. The “Transparency Bill” is just a drop in the bucket of the parliamentary action needed to halt this anti-democratic intrusion.

In France for example, the Penal Code states that contacting a foreign government or a foreign organization with the intent of engaging in hostile activities towards France is punishable by 30 years of imprisonment and a fine of over 450,000 euro. Israel can learn a lesson from France’s policy of self-protection and see to it that the right to freedom of expression is not distorted into the right to freedom of incitement.

Tzipi Livni above all else symbolizes someone who suffers from a severe case of Stockholm syndrome, as she has been leading the charge against the bill that seeks to defend Israeli democracy from foreign persecution and arrests. In one of the Knesset committees discussing the bill, Devorah Gonen, a bereaved mother whose son Danny z’l was murdered last year by terrorists, expressed the sentiment shared by many other bereaved families: “Foreign governments are funding the murder of Jews and we need to stop it.”

It would be wise for the leader of the Hatnuah Party to understand this and stop defending those who are advocating for her arrest. If not for her own sake, then at least for the sake of Israeli democracy and sovereignty.

Matan Peleg

Housing Ministry to Ease Requirements for Foreign Companies Building in Israel

Monday, July 11th, 2016

Minister of Construction and Housing Yoav Galant has called on foreign construction companies to build in Israel new housing compounds of 1,000 units and more, in collaboration with local companies, and the Ministry of Housing will ease the requirements for the foreign builders’ integration in the Israeli market, Yediot Aharonot reported Monday. Some of the eased conditions are: the requirement for a company’s annual business cycle was lowered from $500 million to $300 million; the requirement to prove the minimum volume of construction will be spread over five rather than three years.; and building for housing only will be expanded to include proposals for office space construction.

The companies will be required to show that they’ve built at least one 25-story or two 15-story towers outside their own home country.

Dozens of foreign construction companies have already responded with interest to the call, including builders from China, Turkey, the US, Canada, and several European outfits. The Housing ministry plans to accept only two companies from the same country.

“One of the main areas of economic activity in the State of Israel is the construction industry, whose importance is reflected in its significant scope, investments and accumulated capital,” Minister Galant wrote in his ministry’s report, Israel Housing Market Emerging Opportunities, May 2016. “The industrialization and productivity levels in this area are relatively low compared to other sectors of the Israeli economy and worldwide. As a growing state, with one of the highest rates of population growth in the developed world, increasing housing construction capacity is of crucial importance, both as an answer to an immediate need for new homes as well as a contributing factor to the growth of the Israeli economy.”

“The key factor for resolving the housing crisis is a conceptual change in the planning process, the land development and the construction methods. A fundamental change is required, which, at the end of the process, will enable the entire population of the State of Israel to obtain appropriate housing solutions within a reasonable time and at reasonable prices,” Galant wrote.

But Roni Brick of the Israel Builders Association told Yediot that flooding the Israeli construction industry with foreign competition is not the right way to increase production, and that what the field needs desperately is an infusion of foreign labor, not foreign companies.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-housing-ministry-to-ease-requirements-for-foreign-companies-building-in-israel/2016/07/11/

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