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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘government’

Bewildered Southerners Ask, ‘Is It Really Quiet Yet?’

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

IDF officials are now saying that southern residents can return to their homes and “feel safe” – but not everyone is buying that line; especially those whose homes were bombed just hours ago, first thing this morning. If it is so safe, how did Hamas manage to fire 26 rockets and missiles within 10 minutes at southern and central Israel, just before 8 am?

The families whose homes are located about a stone’s throw from Gaza, and who watched video footage of terrorists popping up from holes in the ground a jump and a half away from their communities, are also pretty uneasy. IDF soldiers fought really fierce battles to kill those terrorists, and Israel lost some of its finest young men in those fights.

Those same communities are located too close to Gaza for mortar fire to trigger the Code Red incoming rocket alert system – so they never have any warning of shelling attacks on their homes. As it is, they had only a bare 15-second window in which to find shelter from the constant rain of Qassam rocket fire Hamas terrorists sent their way, right up until 8 am this morning.

The cease fire officially ends in two days, unless negotiators find a way to lock it down permanently.

So why should anyone trust their fate to paper?

IDF officials told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and defense brass in a briefing at IDF Southern Command headquarters Monday (August 4, 2014) that all of the tunnels that were identified and located during Operation Protective Edge, were destroyed.

But many residents of the south are worried. The question, as one person told TheJewishPress.com, “is not so much whether the tunnels that were identified were destroyed, but whether all of the relevant tunnels were identified.”

The prime minister was filled with praise for the IDF, and rightfully so. He himself was a member of a Sayeret Matkal unit back in the day, so he knows first-hand what they’ve been going through.

“This was a complicated operation carried out by heroic soldiers under difficult combat conditions,” Netanyahu said.

“I would like to commend IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz, GOC Southern Command Maj.-Gen. Sammy Turgeman, commanders, soldiers and ISA personnel all of whom had the fighting spirit that led to very impressive results.

“The operation struck at a strategic network that Hamas had invested great effort in over the years,” he pointed out. “These tunnels would have enabled Hamas to kidnap and murder civilians and IDF soldiers by launching simultaneous attacks from the many tunnels that penetrate our territory.”

But then, Netanyahu got to the point that all residents fear most: “As I said at the onset of the operation I said that there is no guarantee of 100% success — but we did the utmost in order to achieve the maximum,” he said.

Achieving the maximum in what time period, is the issue. Initially, the government assured the nation it would continue the operation until the objectives were achieved. Those objectives included tracking down and destroying all of the terrorist tunnels, as well as silencing the rocket fire “for a long, long time.”

Have these objectives been achieved?. That’s an ugly question but one that has to be asked. A ground operation was required in order to identify and reach the terrorist tunnels, and it took the government two weeks to arrive at a decision to approve a ground operation. It took two more weeks to carry it out, and now the troops have been withdrawn, due to massive disapproval from the world’s response to gory photos from Gaza, all of which was expected from the outset. And just as happened during the last three operations, the job is once again probably not finished.

Exclusive: MK Moshe Feiglin Joins Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Cte

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

MK Moshe Feiglin, head of the Likud’s Manhigut Yehudit faction, confirmed in an exclusive interview with JewishPress.com Tuesday night that he has become a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Feiglin is replacing President-elect Reuven Rivlin, who has left the committee to take his place as the leader of the nation in the presidential position.

Currently the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Feiglin has long advocated basing Israel’s government policy on the principles of freedom, Jewish identity and restoring meaning to Israeli life.

He advocates full Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount and has pushed for the government to abandon the Oslo Accords. Feiglin also supports permanent Israeli resident status for Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria but does not support citizenship for them. He opposes a two-state solution and supports annexation of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Coalition Sharks Smell Netanyahu Blood

Monday, June 9th, 2014

A guy ought to be able to look to his own cabinet for support in the face of enemy threats. It’s a reasonable supposition, one would think, but apparently it isn’t the case for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The coalition sharks are smelling blood, and it seems to be coming from the prime minister.

Apparently, it isn’t enough that Fatah, supposedly Israel’s “peace partner”, has welcomed Hamas back into the Palestinian Authority with open arms. It also isn’t enough that the United States and major European countries have blessed the new Palestinian union. But instead of a united defense for Israel in the face of the Fatah-Hamas front, the second-largest party in Netanyahu’s coalition – Yesh Atid – has aligned with Hatnua chairwoman and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni to form a fifth column and threatened to ‘bring down the government’ if the boss doesn’t follow orders.

Orders from whom? How about from Finance Minister and Yesh Atid chairman Yair Lapid, for starters. He is the one who this time ordered Netanyahu to produce a map with borders for a new Palestinian Authority country, once and for all. Sound familiar? It should. You can find the same words in quotes from PA chief negotiator Saeb Erekat, or from PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

Chomp, chomp.

Then there’s Bayit Yehudi chairman and Economy Minister Naftali Bennett, who has taken to the public soapbox to fight with Lapid and everyone else over what he thinks should be done about the Jews in Judea and Samaria. He probably means well, but instead of keeping the discussion in the Cabinet, he is taking the argument to public radio interviews. The ‘only sane plan’ is to annex Area C, he says. It’s not a new plan – he has said it for years – but why isn’t this discussion being kept behind closed doors? If he is Netanyahu’s ally, he should say so. If not, what is he doing in the coalition?

Chomp. Chomp.

And now, the Big Kahuna. Avigdor Liberman – the guy who cut the Likud votes in half because so many Likudniks couldn’t bear the thought of voting for a ‘Likud-Beytenu’ ticket – owes his political survival to the prime minister. It should be recalled that Liberman was on trial for corruption at the time of last year’s election, but Netanyahu kept his job as foreign minister open for him until Liberman was acquitted. The deal cost the Likud several seats in the Knesset, but Netanyahu was true to his word.

Now, Liberman has turned around to stab his ally in the back by making public comments about his boss’s dilemma, rather than simply helping solve the problem behind closed doors.

“What happened yesterday, when four senior ministers gave public addresses one after the other with each proposing a different political solution, was a grotesque performance,” Liberman said today (Monday) at a conference of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Eilat. “We need to cut down and adopt a single political plan to bind all parts of the coalition… as soon as possible, because if we don’t do it on our own, we will be dragged towards what we don’t want, and what is not in our best interest,” he said.

Right. But why is he saying that in public? A bit of the old pot calling the kettle black, no?

Liberman also directly addressed remarks made by Bennett and Lapid: “The economy minister spoke of annexing settlement blocs, and the finance minister threatened to disband the coalition if such a plan is approved. They both know they are talking about something that will never happen.” He commented that he supported Bennett’s plan, but said it was “not feasible.” Liberman then added drily, “he thinks it is worth saying to maybe get two more seats (in the Knesset).”

Israel, U.S. Reach Agreement on IRS Regs for Dual Citizens

Thursday, May 15th, 2014

Americans living in Israel, watch out for this year’s June 30 tax deadline.

The Israel Tax Authority has formally reached an agreement with the U.S. regarding the Model 1 FATCA agreement with the IRS, according to attorney Dave Wolf, of the firm Hacohen and Wolf.

The full details of the FATCA Agreement are yet to be published upon the signing of the FATCA Agreement, but according to the Israel Tax Authority’s spokesman, the agreement contains certain restrictions on the use of information passed to the IRS and relief of reporting for certain institutions.

According to U.S. law, all U.S. citizens — regardless where they live — have an obligation to pay taxes on their worldwide income. In addition, in cases where the aggregate value of all foreign accounts exceeds $10,000 at any time during the calendar year, they also have to report this information on a special form commonly known as the FBAR.

Since July 1, 2013, the FBAR needs to be e-filed before June 30 of the following tax year.

Under FATCA, foreign financial institutions (banks, hedge funds, pension funds, insurance companies etc.) are required to report information to the U.S. tax authorities (the IRS) information about foreign accounts held by U.S. taxpayers, or by foreign entities in which U.S. taxpayers hold a substantial ownership interest.

This means the Israeli financial institutions will have to report to the U.S. government all their clients who are U.S. citizens and/or green card holders, disclosing all these accounts.

This has huge implications for any American living in Israel or abroad who has never reported his foreign accounts or paid taxes on its income to the IRS, and also to some states if applicable (such as NY and NJ).

Individuals have four options with which to comply, according to Wolf, who can be reached at this link for more information.

Destruction in Gush Etzion: It’s Only ‘Anatevka’

Wednesday, May 14th, 2014

When the IDF soldiers and Border Police officers who destroyed the homes of seven families and a kindergarten in Gush Etzion take off their uniforms to lay down for the night, will they be able to sleep when they close their eyes? What images will they see?

Hundreds of security personnel were involved in today’s (Wednesday) in demolitions, making sure the small playground vanished where Ma’aleh Rehavam’s children once learned and played.

A like number of Arab workers – just pour a little salt on the wounds please — were present to shove their precious few belongings into big metal shipping containers. When it was over they were sent who knew where.

A few scattered pieces of shelving lay broken on the rocky ground, carelessly tossed in the rush to finish the job done before media could report the gory details. Pitiful bits of furniture left here and there gave testimony to the presence of seven families and their small children. They didn’t have much.

It was only Anatevka. Or some Bedouin clans. Frankly, in this day and age, they don’t look much different, do they?

If you live in Israel and travel the Negev or the hills of Judea and Samaria, or around the Galilee and the Golan Heights, you know the truth. You know that Jews who choose to help settle the Land – as Jews are commanded to do in the Bible – don’t do it because it is easy.

They do it out of a commitment to their People and their nation, and to their Creator. They bring their faith and sometimes their small children and whatever few things they manage to pull together for a home. And then they live in a caravan for a while. Eventually, if they’re lucky, the caravan becomes a “real” house – but usually it’s a hut with a corrugated tin roof. Just like those of the Bedouin in the Negev and up north.

We’re basically the same. We’re only different when it comes to how our government treats us.

Fear of the European Union, which generously funds the radical leftist Peace Now movement, has driven the government to discriminate against the settlers. Peace Now files hundreds of lawsuits that whip the courts and the government into expelling Jewish settlers from their homes. They don’t bother to do the same with Arab settlers.

According to Peace Now, Arabs own all the land outside of the 1949 Armistice line. Peace Now would never dare to harass the Palestinian Authority into “enforcing” any law – nor would it attempt to force the PA to formulate a law to control settlement or housing construction.

They are too busy harassing Jews. It’s also safer. Harassing Hamas or Fatah would earn a death sentence for anyone attempting to “enforce” anything and well does the European Union’s proxy agency know it. So they aim at those who are committed to holding the land won in 1967 in a war not even of Israel’s making. Land that was ours decades before, and millenia before, towns whose names were written eons ago in the Bible. They persuade Israel’s military – who rush with an agenda – to clear out the settlers. They figure it will eliminate the “facts on the ground” and create an atmosphere of “peace” with the Arabs.

The saddest and most destructive part of what happened today at Ma’aleh Rehavam, however, is the haste with which the entire demolition was carried out.

What on earth was that about?

Here is a copy of the Supreme Court restraining order, clearly stating that the IDF forces are not to take any steps that carry “irreversible outcomes.”

Government Plan to Hand King David’s Tomb to the Vatican?

Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

Is there a deal in the works to hand the Tomb of King David over to the Vatican?

Rumors of such an agreement appear to have enough substance to have prompted Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) to write a query to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Hotovely reminded the prime minister of the importance of the tomb of the Biblical monarch, noting its sanctity to the Jewish nation. She warned Netanyahu not to make the same mistake with King David’s Tomb that previous administrations made with the Temple Mount – that is, handing sovereignty over the sacred site to a foreign power.

In the case of the Temple Mount, the Jordanian-linked Islamic Waqf Authority controls all matters over the site, even though it is located in the heart of Jerusalem’s Old City and is the holiest place in the Jewish faith. Because the Waqf is in control, Jewish access to the Temple Mount is severely restricted – and Hotovely warned Netanyahu that handing the Tomb of King David to the Roman Catholic Vatican could create exactly the same situation for Jews there too.

There has not yet been any announced response to Hotovely’s letter.

Although an Israeli government source has denied any intention of transferring control over the site to the Vatican, other sources have said otherwise – including journalist Gulio Meotti, an editorial contributor to Arutz Sheva, who maintains there is truth to the rumors a deal is still in the works.

Egyptian Government Resigns

Monday, February 24th, 2014

In what is apparently a surprise move, the army-backed Egyptian government just resigned, following a 15 minute cabinet meeting.

According to the Egyptian Al-Ahram website:

Prime Minister Hazem El-Beblawi announced his cabinet’s resignation Monday on state TV. Interim President Adly Mansour is expected to accept the resignation and commission Ibrahim Mahleb, minister of housing in Beblawi’s government, to form the new cabinet.

There is no information yet as to why they resigned, or what the ramifications are.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/egyptian-government-resigns/2014/02/24/

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