According to a report on Israel Channel 10, Shelly Yechimovitch, the head of the Labor party, said that if she is appointed Minister of Finance, she would increase healthcare taxes, legislate an inheritance tax, and increase the corporate tax rate.
Posts Tagged ‘Israel Channel’
Hamas claimed that they launched 2 Fajr (long-range) rockets at Tel Aviv at 9:30AM.
Israel Channel 2 says that it is now believed that recently intercepted rockets over Ashdod were of the long-range variety.
If you saw our posting [here] about the thoughtful Israeli television series that takes a remarkably close look at Europe’s Muslims, you may be interested to know that the fourth episode of the four-part series went to air this week on Israel’s Channel 2, and is posted in full on the web.
The final episode looks at Europe’s Jewish communities and their experiences with Europe’s fast-growing Muslim population. Again, few conclusions, and as with the first three parts, the audience is left to draw their own conclusions from what they see and hear.
Click here to watch the video.
Unfortunately there are no English subtitles. At this stage, the series is intended for an Israeli audience. But to judge from the impact and the responses we have seen, it’s very likely to be repackaged for non-Israeli audiences very soon.
Visit the This Ongoing War blog.
Noam Shalit, father of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, has decided to enter politics. Shalit campaigned for his son’s release during Gilad’s five year captivity, leading to the controversial exchange of Gilad in return for 1,027 Palestinians, the highest price Israel has ever paid for one soldier. In January, less than three months after Gilad’s release, Noam stood at a press conference next to Labor’s new leader, Shelly Yachimovich, and announced his candidacy for a spot in the next elections as an MK on Labor’s list. Since that time, Shalit has been meeting voters and campaigning – but has refused to conduct interviews. The first interview of his campaign aired this week on Channel 10. The 37-minute interview was enlightening, to say the least.
Shalit had trouble addressing his positions on key issues or on what ticket he will be running. He refused to discuss Iran or security in general. At one point he candidly confessed that he does not have an answer as to why he is worthy to be an MK. He said that he is still learning the issues so he does not yet have established positions nor a clear picture of what he wants to change. He did stress that he supports increasing the resources given to the North and South and in strengthening the education there.
Addressing the issue of religion and the state, he said he supports a full separation, but made a major gaffe when he praised Israel’s civil marriage system. The interviewer corrected Shalit, informing him that there was no civil marriage framework in Israel, and that people who want to marry civilly must fly to Cyprus. Shalit admitted he had a lot to learn.
In discussing Hamas, Shalit announced that he would talk with them if they agreed to it, and he would even shake the hands of Gilad’s kidnappers, also saying he would kidnap Israeli soldiers if he was a Palestinian. His advice for future captives’ parents was to fight politically, through the media, and not wait for the government to take action.
Shalit sees no problem running against Netanyahu – the man who made the decision to free his son. He was very critical of Netanyahu and insisted that the PM was not solely responsible for the release of Gilad, and did not deserve all of the credit. He charged that Netanyahu only released his son because the polls showed that 70-80% of the public supported the deal. He criticized both former Prime Minister Olmert and Netanyahu for not having the courage to take a better deal earlier in the process. He stated that he would have implemented collective punishment in Gaza until Gilad was released. He did note that Olmert told him that he would not return Gilad, and that Netanyahu promised to return Gilad in their first meeting. But he charged that Netanyahu was part of the government that was responsible for Gilad’s captivity, which was another gaffe – since Gilad was captured in 2006 during Kadima Prime Minister Olmert’s term, when Likud was in the opposition. His criticism of Netanyahu was not limited to his son’s captivity, as he attacked Netanyahu’s handling of the Carmel fire as well.
He conceded that Yachimovich never visited the Shalit tent, nor active in pushing for Gilad’s release, but said that this did not matter. He rejected claims that he was an opportunist, saying if he was he would have run for a spot in Likud. He said that he thinks Yachimovich picked him because of his activities and not because of his last name, but agreed that if he ran in 10 years he would be irrelevant. He found it very important to stress he will not use Gilad to get votes.
He admitted that Gilad doesn’t want to write a book, but that he is pushing him to do it because he feels it is important to have Gilad’s story heard. In a sensitive moment, he confessed that the death of his twin brother in captivity was what moved him to launch a high-profile campaign for releasing Gilad. He said that he is not upset by former Shas Minister Ben Izri’s statement that Ben Izri had it worse in jail than Gilad had in captivity. He also stated that the rumors about him having a French lover did not bother him and he summarily dismissed them.
Towards the end of the interview there was a segment in which he spoke to Labor party voters at an event. They interviewed attendees after, and their feedback was less than positive.
Following Noam Shalit’s first public in-depth political interview, it’s understandable why he waited so long to have one. The Israeli public in general and the Labor party members in particular got a chance to see a different side of the man they previously knew only as ‘Gilad’s father’. The internal Labor election could be over a year away, and from Shalit’s perspective it would seem the later the better.
The full interview, courtesy of Israel Channel 10 TV
Two explosions have been reported in the Iranian town of Isfahan. The first occurred at around 2:30 AM and was originally reported by Farsnews, until the report was taken down.
Israel’s Channel 10 is reporting that a second explosion occurred not long ago at a Shahab-4 ballistic missile facility, also in Isfahan.
Isfahan hosts a nuclear technology center and a uranium conversion facility, as well as a production plant which make alloys for nuclear reactors.
Isfahan has a population of over 1.5 million people.
Below is a satellite photo taken of the previous explosion that hit an Iranian missile base on November 12, 2011.
JERUSALEM – Coming as a self-described “pilgrim of peace,” Pope Benedict XVI vowed to fight anti-Semitism and called for a Palestinian state in the moments after his arrival in Israel for a five-day visit.
But controversy marked the visit this week from the start, as the pope’s supposedly non-political trip abounded with politics and his hosts in Israel and the Palestinian Authority parsed his words with nearly Talmudic precision eyeing support for their positions.
On Monday, his first day in Israel, the pope was criticized for not being contrite enough about the Holocaust on behalf of the Catholic Church. Later he cut short an interfaith meeting of clergy after a Palestinian Muslim cleric launched a surprise attack on Israel during an impromptu address.
“I come, like so many others before me, to pray at the holy places, to pray especially for peace – peace here in the Holy Land, and peace throughout the world,” Benedict said Monday morning during a welcoming ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport, where he was met by President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Benedict would repeat that desire for peace and interfaith dialogue in every appearance in the early days of his trip, which the Vatican insisted is non-political.
But his visit to Yad Vashem, Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, sparked criticism by former Israeli Chief Rabbi Israel Meir Lau and Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin, who greeted the pontiff at the museum.
“I am deeply grateful to God and to you for the opportunity to stand here in silence: a silence to remember, a silence to pray, a silence to hope,” the pope said.
The cry of those killed “echoes in our hearts. It is a cry raised against every act of injustice and violence. It is a perpetual reproach against the spilling of innocent blood.”
Following the visit, in which the pope did not enter the actual museum due to an exhibit that offers an unflattering portrayal of Pope Pius XII, who has been accused of being silent in the face of Nazi atrocities against the Jews during World War II, Lau criticized the pope’s speech in an interview on Israel’s Channel 1.
Lau, a survivor of Buchenwald who serves as the chairman of the Yad Vashem Council, lamented that while Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, in his address at the museum nine years ago offered a moving personal expression of grief, the current pope did not go that far, instead offering the Church’s “deep compassion” for those killed in the Holocaust.
“I personally missed hearing a tone of sharing the grief,” Lau said. “I missed hearing ‘I’m sorry, I apologize.’ ”
Lau also pointed out that the pontiff, who is German by birth and was a member of the Hitler Youth, did not mention the Germans, or Nazis, as those who carried out the genocide, and used the word “killed” instead of “murdered” to describe how the Jews died.
And, he added, the pope never said that 6 million were killed, saying only “millions.”
Rivlin also criticized the pope.
“With all due respect to the Holy See, we cannot ignore the burden he bears, as a young German who joined the Hitler Youth and as a person who joined Hitler’s army, which was an instrument in the extermination,” he said Tuesday on Israel Radio.
Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi fired back Tuesday, noting that the pope has denounced the Nazis and spoken of his German heritage in previous speeches, including during a visit to the Auschwitz death camp, and used the six million figure during his remarks upon arriving in Israel.
Lombardi also said four times that the pope never served in the Hitler Youth, whose members were volunteers, but that he was forced to join anti-aircraft troops against Allied aerial raids near his hometown.
The pope stopped an interfaith conference in Jerusalem after the head of the Palestinian sharia court accused Israel of killing women and children and urged the pope “in the name of the one God to condemn these crimes and press the Israeli government to halt its aggression against the Palestinian people.”
“We hope that such an incident will not damage the mission of the pope aiming at promoting peace and also interreligious dialogue, as he has clearly affirmed in many occasions during this pilgrimage,” a papal spokesman said. “We hope also that interreligious dialogue in the Holy Land will not be compromised by this incident.”
During a brief visit Tuesday to the Western Wall, the pope placed a handwritten personal prayer between the stones of the wall asking God to “send your peace upon this Holy Land, upon the Middle East, upon the entire human family,” according to a text released by the Office of the Holy See.
Following his quiet reflection at the wall, the pope made a courtesy visit at the compound to the chief rabbis of Israel. He had made a similar visit to the grand mufti of Jerusalem before his wall appearance.
The pope, who traveled with a 40-person staff and 70 reporters, and stayed at the papal nuncio’s residence in Jerusalem during his visit, was scheduled to visit a Palestinian refugee camp in Bethlehem on Wednesday and Nazareth on Thursday. He was to fly back to Rome Friday afternoon on a special El Al flight.
Upon the pope’s arrival, “Operation White Robe,” which included 80,000 police officers and security guards, went into effect to protect his safety.
The pope arrived in Israel after spending two days in Jordan, where he celebrated Mass before an estimated audience of 25,000 in a soccer stadium in Amman.
On Saturday he visited Mount Nebo, from where the Bible says Moses saw the Land of Israel. The pope said the site was a reminder of “the inseparable bond between the Church and the Jewish people.”
Benedict also visited the King Hussein bin Talal Mosque in Amman. He did not remove his shoes while visiting the mosque and engaged in silent reflection rather than prayer, according to reports. In a meeting there with Muslim leaders, the pope called for a “trilateral dialogue,” including the Church, to help bring Jews and Muslims together to discuss peace.
The pope and Peres together planted an olive tree at the president’s residence Monday afternoon, followed by a performance by a choir made up of Jewish and Arab girls joined by Israeli tenor Dudu Fisher, who sang “Bring Him Home” from the musical “Les Miserables” only minutes after the pope met with the family of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
“Old divisions have aged and diminished,” Peres told the pope. “So more than the need for another armored vehicle, we need a strong, inspiring spirit to instill both the conviction that peace is attainable, and the burning desire to pursue it.”
“Ties of reconciliation and understanding are now being woven between the Holy See and the Jewish people,” he added. “We cherish this process and your leadership. Our door is open to similar efforts with the Muslim world.”