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Posts Tagged ‘Interior Ministry’

With Haredim Out of Govt. Summer Clock Will Be Stretched

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

Israel Daylight Savings Time (DST) has long been a bone of contention between the religious and the secular communities. The extended summer clock is a major problem for religious Jews. I recall, back in New York, heading to the early minyan in pitch darkness in mid October, which was never enjoyable and also presented a problem in terms of when it was halachically appropriate to put on a tallit. Needless to say, I gravitated to the later minyanim, but that’s a luxury religious Jews in Israel cannot afford, as the work day here begins at 8 AM, and so they need to be done and in the car going to work by 7.

Traditionally, the Interior Ministry, which decides these things, has been held, more often than not, by a religious minister, and so, despite vociferous objections from secular Israelis who wanted their autumn days longer, DST usually ended here right before or right after the high holidays (nothing sweeter than a Yom Kippur fast that ends at 6 PM).

But now, following the great Lapid-Bennett victory, the new Interior Minister is Gideon Sa’ar, a secular Likudnik, who is bent on flexing some secular muscle on DST.

A committee that had been appointed by the outgoing Shas Interior Minister Eli Yishai—because the secular folks were pushing him relentlessly—extended the maximum DST period from 190 to 198 days, which the religious promptly protested but eventually accepted.

Now Minister Saar has appointed yet another committee to examine the issue, which should submit its report within a month, according to Yedioth Aharonoth, and if you don’t think it will recommend extending the daylight savings period then you haven’t listened to a word I’ve been telling you about Israeli coalition politics..

Haredi politicians from both black hat parties were smart enough to refuse to comment on the prospects of a longer DST, preferring not to ignite a new firestorm over this issue—which they couldn’t possibly put out. The votes are stacked against them.

For comparison, in Europe the summer clock is stretched over 218 days, and in the U.S. a whopping 239 days, which makes you wonder if the measly 126 winter clock period deserves to be named “Standard.”

Minister Saar wrote on his Facebook page yesterday: “The purpose of the committee is simple, to determine the best arrangement for the citizens of Israel, having examined all relevant aspects. I instructed the committee to hold hearings quickly and efficiently, in an effort to complete them within a month.”

And vote in favor of the secular.

This is one more area where the Israeli—and European—notion of democracy differs from the Anglo-Saxon. Over here, democracy means making sure the will of the majority is expressed in government decisions. In British-influenced civilized democracies, the purpose of legislation is to protect the interests of the minority.

Muslim Brothers’ Spring: Police Shoot Protestors in Tahrir Sq. (Video)

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

Photos circulated on social media Tuesday of activist Gaber Salah Gaber, with claims that he was killed in clashes on the streets surrounding Mohamed Mahmoud. Head of the emergency department at Qasr al-Aini Hospital Hesham Abu Aisha says Gaber is currently on life support in the intensive care unit.

He told MENA that Gaber was shot by rubber bullets in his head, neck, chest and arm. Aisha added that Gaber has a hematoma on the right lung.

Aisha said that shots had injured Gaber’s brain and that surgical intervention would be useless.

Clashes that began on Monday flared up again after a day of calm on Tuesday evening with both protesters and police throwing rocks at one another in the area surrounding Mohamed Mahmoud Street.

Clashes broke out in downtown Cairo Monday evening after security forces used tear gas to disperse protesters and prevent them from approaching the Interior Ministry.

Protesters “of unknown affiliations” attempted to break into the Shura Council (the parliament’s upper house) building and the nearby Qasr Al-Eini Hospital, according to state-run news agency MENA. The entrance to the square from Qasr Al-Eini Street has also been closed off.

According to Al Ahram, also a semi-official publication, clashes between police forces and protesters, which have erupted intermittently since Monday afternoon, continued into Tuesday evening after protesters regrouped on Qasr Al-Eini Street adjacent to Tahrir Square.

Gunfire was still being heard intermittently around the flashpoint square, according to MENA. Earlier Tuesday evening, an Ahram Online reporter saw volunteer doctors attempting to remove birdshot pellets from a protester’s body.

Al Ahram reported that skirmishes broke out Monday afternoon when protesters commemorating the anniversary of last year’s clashes began fighting with Central Security Forces near interior ministry headquarters on Nubar Street.

But no one actually knows why the clashes started in the first place. The interior ministry said that fighting began when “lurkers” threw stones and Molotov cocktails at security officers on Qasr Al-Eini Street.

Dozens were injured in the subsequent clashes, including two currently in critical condition.

Eight policemen and 20 soldiers were injured during the clashes on Monday, the interior ministry said.

Human rights activists and lawyers said a number of protesters had been arrested in Tahrir Square early Tuesday morning.

According to Egypt Independent, members of youth and political groups in the city of Mahalla in the Nile Delta governorate of Gharbiya besieged a police station on Tuesday evening, chanting slogans denouncing the Interior Ministry and the Muslim Brotherhood and demanding the overthrow of President Mohamed Morsi and retribution for victims of the Mohamed Mahmoud Street violence.

They also demanded the dismissal of Hesham Qandil’s Cabinet and bring to trial those responsible for the Assiut train accident that killed over 50 children on Saturday. They said they would continue to demonstrate until their demands are met, and warned President Morsy of a revolution that would topple him.

Similar Terror Attempt in January?

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Was there a similar attempt to kill Israeli tourists in Bulgaria in January?

A news report from January 2012 in a Bulgarian News Site discusses a eerily similar attempt on Israeli tourist in Bulgaria.

The report said:

 

January 9, 2012

Bulgaria’s border police have no information of a bomb being found in a bus boarded with Israeli tourists traveling towards a Bulgarian winter resort, the country’s Interior Ministry has stated.

On Sunday, Israeli media reported that Bulgarian authorities last week foiled a bomb attack targeting a bus chartered to take Israeli tourists to a local ski resort. According to the report, there is an ongoing investigation concerning a terrorist group based in Europe and linked with Hezbollah.

The device was allegedly found by Bulgarian authorities last Tuesday.

However, representatives of the Bulgarian Interior Ministry told the Bulgarian National Radio on Monday that they have not received any information of such device being discovered.

Already last week, Dan Shenar, head of security at the Israeli Transportation Ministry, told the Bulgarian Darik radio that a suspicious package found on a bus carrying Israeli tourists from Turkey to Bulgaria was the cause for Israel’s request to boost security over its citizens traveling in the country.

The planned attacks were said to be in connection with the February 12 anniversary of the killing of Lebanese militant Hezbollah group leader, Imad Mughnieh.

The Bulgarian authorities reacted by denying having received information from Israel concerning possible terrorist attacks on the country’s territory.

On Friday, Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov advised the media against publishing sensational information about possible terrorist attacks in the country, explaining that such reports would hurt the ties between Bulgaria and the Arab countries.

 

Three Jews with Yarmulkes Attacked in Southeast France

Monday, June 4th, 2012

Three Jews wearing yarmulkes were assaulted by 10 people in southeast France in what the French Interior Ministry is calling an anti-Semitic attack.

The attack, which occurred on Saturday and was announced by the Interior Ministry on Sunday, took place in Villeurbanne, near Lyon.

The attackers, who used a hammer and an iron bar, injured two of the Jewish men, who were sent to the hospital. The attackers are being described as “of North-African origin,” according to reports.

Police reportedly are searching for the attackers.

Chevra Kadisha Forum Says Ministry’s Plans for Mass Burials ‘Problematic’

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Israel’s Chevra Kadisha (Burial Society) has rejected the government’s plan for mass burials in the event of a mass casualty incident, and submitted an alternative plan to Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai on Sunday.

The Chevra Kadisha Forum, in a letter to Vilnai, challenged the Interior Ministry’s 2011 plan, which mandates temporary burial in coffins at temporary cemeteries as well as the option of transferring bodies to cooling facilities until they can be identified and final resting places can be arranged. According to the Interior Ministry’s plan, such transfers would not take place during the national emergency itself.

According to the Forum, which is headed by Wolf Rosenberg and brings together the 12 major chevrot kadisha in Israel, the Interior Ministry’s plans are “problematic from a halachic and humane perspective.”

The Forum wrote that it would be able to provide a proper and permanent burial even during a national emergency, through advanced and standardized planning. Crucial to its plan is the provision of a permanent reserve of 10,000 vacant burial plots designated specifically for national emergencies.  “All work would be performed by chevrot kadisha. Allotment of these reserves would occur on the national level, from the north to the south, and the land used will be from areas adjacent to or nearby existing cemeteries, so that the necessary infrastructure and facilities will be well-prepared for emergencies.” Such a plan would require “the state to unfreeze lands adjacent to cemeteries and designated for expansion, and expedite approvals for designated lands or cemeteries.”

The Forum lamented that “as it stands now, there is no chance that chevrot kadisha would be able to to perform the necessary tasks. The system would collapse within minutes. This is a nightmare scenario of which the chevrot kadisha are not ready to participate.”

The Forum added that “this solution will spare the grieving families the added pain of exhuming the dead from makeshift cemeteries to permanent ones, will spare another burial and all the accompanying trauma. Our solution preserves the dignity of the dead as well as result in significant financial savings.

Jewish population in Judea and Samaria tops 342,000

Sunday, January 15th, 2012

The Jewish population in Judea and Samaria rose by 4.3% in 2011, reaching 342,414.

The statistic was released by the Interior Ministry, and does not count the approximately 275,000 Jews in neighborhoods in Jerusalem over which the PA demands sovereignty, but which Israel deems to be part of undivided Jerusalem.

 

The Anchor Who Fell For An Obvious Hoax

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Back in November 1991, Forbes FYI, a supplement to Forbes magazine, ran an article that, as had to have been clear to anyone of even piddling intelligence, was an obvious put-on, a joke, a hoax.

The article began with the notice that “It has come to our attention through private channels that the Soviet government is preparing to make a very unusual, indeed unprecedented, offering: the embalmed remains of [founder of Soviet Communism] V.I. Lenin.”

The piece went on to explain: “With its ruined economy fast approaching crisis point, and a severe winter food shortage looming, the Russian government is being forced to undertake some very drastic measures in an attempt to bring in desperately needed hard currency…. The Deputy Minister, Mr. Victor Komplectov, first proposed selling Lenin’s remains last April, pointing to the enormous profits earned by the British government when it sold London Bridge to an Arizona developer in 1962.”

If the analogy between a bridge and a corpse wasn’t enough to tip off even the most credulous of readers, the following should have been:

“In an attempt to save the significant commission that an auction house such as Christie’s or Sotheby’s would charge – as well as to discourage an extraordinary, and to the Russians, unseemly, public spectacle – the [Interior] Ministry has decided to hold a closed, sealed bid auction. Bids must be received by the Ministry no later than midnight (Moscow time) on December 31 of this year…. A condition of the sale is that the Lenin corpse not be used for any ‘commercial, or improper’ purpose, the deed of purchase to be administered by the International Court of Justice at The Hague, in the Netherlands, making the conditions of sale enforceable by that international legal community.”

And if, by chance, there breathed an individual so naïve or intellectually challenged that he still had no idea his leg was being royally pulled, here was the description of the Lenin corpse offered by Forbes FYI: “Mr. Lenin’s body was embalmed at his death in 1924, and stored in a sealed, climate-controlled glass casket. (Shades of Sleeping Beauty!) It has been periodically re-embalmed. Every five to ten years the skin, somewhat yellowish but by no means jaundiced-looking, requires a special application of preservative, or ‘waxing.’ Under the terms of sale, maintenance is to be provided only by qualified Russian mortuary specialists from the Interior Ministry, expenses to be paid by the purchaser. (Estimated annual upkeep: $10,0000-$15,0000; varies with climate.)”

Finally, there was this: “Obviously, the Lenin corpse is not for everyone. But as a conversation piece, it would certainly have no equal. You might have some explaining to do to the lady of the home, but the item is fairly compact and could be accommodated to fit most large dens.”

Several years after the article appeared, Christopher Buckley, the then-editor of Forbes FYI (which would be renamed ForbesLife in 2006) reminisced about the incident on C-Span’s “Booknotes,” describing to host Brian Lamb the transparently phony details of the story and how the piece had been faxed to news organizations at the precise time the day’s evening newscasts were being prepared.

Most journalists were a little too savvy to fall for the hoax, related Buckley. There was, however, one exception.

“I was on my NordicTrack cross-country ski machine that night watching Peter Jennings … and on came a photo of Lenin. And I thought, ‘Oh, my God.’ I felt a little bit like, you know, the kid who puts the rock on the railroad track and the next day hears grownups talking about the train derailment. So that became a big story, quite a big story….”

How big? The interior minister of Russia, no doubt wondering why American networks employ morons as news anchors, had to make an appearance on Russian TV to reassure his people there was no plan to sell off Lenin’s corpse. Jennings subsequently apologized to viewers, saying “we were had.”

Why is the Monitor bringing this story up at this time? Well, August 7 marks the 4th anniversary of Peter Jennings’s passing, and the Monitor detested everything about Jennings – his smarmy demeanor, his skewed reporting, his pronounced anti-U.S. and anti-Israel bias, and the way his colleagues showered him with so many posthumous tributes you’d have thought he was a tribune of unvarnished truth and objectivity, a figure of unimpeachable trustworthiness, Diogenes’s Honest Man personified.

Jennings was none of those things, and apparently he wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer either.

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/the-anchor-who-fell-for-an-obvious-hoax/2009/08/05/

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