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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘israeli society’

Survey: Only 22% of Israeli Jews Completely Trust Supreme Court

Sunday, December 11th, 2016

A new survey published by Prof. Avi Degani, founder and President of the Geocartography opinion and marketing institute, points to a sharp, 25% drop in the Israeli public’s trust, Jews and Arabs alike, in the Supreme Court. Only 22% of Israeli Jews expressed their complete faith in the court.

A similar survey that was done in 1991, 25 years ago, showed that 80% of the Israeli public, including Arabs, had a high or complete trust in the Supreme Court, compared with only 56% today. 12% of the Jews say have no trust whatsoever in the court, as opposed to only 3% that held the same view in 1991.

41% of Israelis had complete faith in the Supreme Court in 1991 – today it’s down to 22%.

Another institution that has suffered a severe loss of prestige is the State Auditor. In 1991, 80% had complete or high trust in this institution – today only 55% do. In the Arab sector, the drop was from 57% in 1991 to only 47% today.

The Knesset has maintained most of its status, but that’s only because it was very low 25 years ago – 27%. Today it’s down to 23%.

Prof. Degani cautioned that the fate of democracy is uncertain when the two branches of government whose job it is to restrain the executive branch are being held in such low regard by the public.

JNi.Media

As 5777 Rolls In, Israel’s Population at 8.585 Million

Wednesday, September 28th, 2016

On the eve of the Jewish new year 5777, Israel’s population is estimated at 8.585 million, not including about 183 thousand foreign residents, according to a statement released Tuesday by the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics.

The Jewish population of Israel has reached about 6.419 million, constituting 74.8% of the overall population.

The Arab population is 1.786 million, or 20.8% of the overall population.

Non-Arab Christians, as well as members of other religions and individuals without religious affiliation are estimated at 380 thousand, about 4.4% of the overall population.

Since last Rosh Hashanah, Israel’s population has grown by about 172,000. The rate of growth remained at 2%, similar to previous years.

About 189 thousand babies were born in Israel in 5776, and an estimated 46 thousand passed away.

Some 30 thousand were added to the immigration balance, 25 thousand out of them new olim.

It should be noted that 5776 was a leap year, with 13 lunar months, or 385 days.

JNi.Media

Israeli Court Rules: It Is Criminal for Jews to Enter Areas Where Police Cannot Control Arab Violence

Sunday, September 4th, 2016

Israeli District Court last week ruled that Jews commit a crime when they enter without prior arrangement with security forces an area where their lives would be in danger due to Arab violence. The area in question, Joshua’s Tomb in Samaria, is in Area B where there are no restrictions on Jewish travel. On its face the ruling is tantamount to a NY City judge punishing a victim of violence for entering a dangerous neighborhood without first receiving police permission.

Judge Zahava Bustan of the district Court in Lod last Thursday rejected an appeal submitted by legal aid society Homenu attorney Hai Haber over the detention and removal of 13 Jews who wanted to pray at Joshua’s Tomb near the city of Ariel and were attacked by Arabs from the village of Kifl Haras, where the Jewish shrine is located.

Attorney Haber argued that the group, which had been punished by the court — they were ordered to stay out of Judea and Samaria for 60 days — did not commit any crime, since entry into the Arab village is legal to Jews. Kifil Haras is located in Area B, which Israeli citizens may enter at will, just as they are permitted to drive on sections of Route 60 which cuts through the Area B Arab town of Hawara, as well as on the road from Jerusalem to the Jewish community of Nokdim.

Haber added that by punishing the victims of terrorism rather than going after the terrorists who attacked them, police and now the court are encouraging terrorism. He also argued the 60-day restraining order was needlessly harsh, since there is no ongoing police investigation which the restrained individuals could potentially be interrupting. Rather it was purely punishment for punishment’s sake on the part of the court.

Judge Bustan ruled on the appeal that even in cases where it is legal for Jews to enter, when there is danger of Arab violence the Jewish visitors must first request the consent and support of the security forces, because they are, inevitably, going to be called on to rescue them.

Honenu issued a statement saying, “All of Judea and Samaria, and, indeed, all of Eretz Israel is considered dangerous territory. The decision constitutes a prize and an encouragement to terrorism, since the court decided that a village where violence is used against Jews would become verboten to Jews without rearrangement with the Army. In a sovereign country of laws, it is the role of security forces to facilitate the safe access of civilians to every area where they are permitted to be. It is inconceivable that an area where entry is permitted, especially a holy site where Jews have been visiting for years, would be closed on account of a failure to enforce the law, and law-abiding worshippers would become criminals due to the failures of police and the Army.”

“Today it’s Breslov Hasidim at Joshua’s Tomb, tomorrow it would be hikers who are attacked on a trip, and next it would be orphans who attend their parents’ graves on Mt. Olives, which is well-known as a dangerous area.”

(See also: Legal Group Challenging Police on Criminalizing Entry into Judea and Samaria Area B)

JNi.Media

Liberman Plans to Bypass Chairman Abbas, Forge Direct Relationships with PA Arabs

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told military correspondents in his Kirya office in Tel Aviv on Wednesday that he intends to seek out Arab leaders living in the Palestinian Authority and bypass the PLO-run authority government. He wants a personal dialogue with academics, business people and intellectuals. In fact, according to Liberman, his staff has already put together a list of these people whom he now intends to pursue.

There’s also going to be a new website in Arabic, reporting the news of the day from the Defense Ministry’s perspective. It will cost about $2.5 million.

“I want to connect with them directly, not through the [PA headquarters in Ramallah] Muqata,” Liberman reiterated, saying he expects the new website to hit the Internet by the end of January. He admits it’s an ambitious and challenging project, but he’s going for it nonetheless, budgets, regulatory standards and all.

According to Liberman, PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has been an obstacle to a working solution for the area. Indeed, he asked, “if there are intellectuals, academics, those who stand out on the municipal level — why should they talk to us through Abbas?” Also, if “[Abbas] is talking directly to the Israeli society, why can’t we speak directly to the Palestinian society?”

When asked why, then, if he is seeking out PA Arabs for a dialogue, did he bar the entry into Israel of Muhammad al-Madani, chairman of the Committee for Interaction with Israeli Society, Liberman said al-Madani, a senior PLO official, was not coming to have a dialogue and seek co-existence, but the opposite.

Liberman also told the military correspondents about a rift between himself and the Attorney General Avihay Mandelblitt, who objects to the Defense Minister’s policy of holding on to the bodies of terrorists killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis and has gone so far as to state that he would refuse to defend the new policy before the Supreme Court. Liberman said that’s fine, if need be he would defend the policy before the court. Liberman said he asked Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss the issue in the cabinet, because “it looks a little grotesque that the two ministries (Internal Security and Defense) maintain contradictory policies on this matter.”

The Justice Ministry also objects to Liberman’s new policy on terrorist bodies, because it contradicts fundamental Supreme Court rulings. They do support conditioning the release on the families’ committing to small funerals that won’t erupt into riots.

JNi.Media

Netanyahu ‘Not Prepared to Tolerate Racism in our State’

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday night received the conclusions and recommendations of a team that studied eradicating racism against Israelis of Ethiopian origin. Netanyahu received the report from Justice Ministry Director General Amy Palmor, who headed the inter-ministerial team on eradicating racism against Israelis of Ethiopian origin.

The team was established by the Prime Minister following a decision by the special ministerial committee on advancing the integration into Israeli society of Israelis of Ethiopian origin, which he chairs. The ministerial team is convening Monday to discuss the report and, most likely, approve its recommendations.

Prime Minister Netanyahu said after receiving the report, “I am not prepared to tolerate racism in our state. I am not prepared for people to be tripped up by the color of their skin. This is terrible. We, on the ministerial committee, have heard heart-rending and hair-raising stories and we started to take action against racism even beforehand. But now, in the wake of this report, which is part of our decisions, we will take further steps and I am pleased that there are people, men and women, who are determined to uproot this phenomenon from our lives. This befits neither our country, our citizens nor our people.”

The report is 170 pages long and includes 52 recommendations intended to help correct institutionalized and societal racism. It says: “For years, those of Ethiopian descent have experienced discriminatory treatment from Israeli institutions and citizens, exclusion from the public sphere, discrimination in education and employment, stigmatization and negative stereotypes, and have even been exposed to physical and verbal abuse.

“Claims by those of Ethiopian descent of institutional and police racism, and alternatively, of the forgiveness of the heads of institutions for such displays, have been heard throughout the team’s work. At this point, we have the obligation not to miss the opportunity to heal the rifts. Wide implementation of the recommended steps in this report is intended to provide the conditions required for zero tolerance for expressions of discrimination and racism.”

The report details the scandals related to the mistreatment of the Ethiopian-Israeli community in recent years, including the healthcare system’s practice of destroying blood donated by Ethiopians, injecting Ethiopian women with contraceptives without their consent, segregated maternity wards, segregating students in educational institutions, a lack of recognition of Ethiopians’ Jewish roots by the religious establishment, the use of Tasers against Ethiopian-Israeli Yosef Salamsa who later killed himself, the police assault on the soldier Damas Pakada, and Israel’s failure to retrieve Avra Mengistu, who crossed the border into Gaza.

JNi.Media

Analysis: Should Israeli Settlers Fear Trump’s Peace Negotiations? [video]

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Donald Trump’s website mentions only two foreign countries by name: in its Positions section it deals with “Reforming The US-China Trade Relationship To Make America Great Again,” and in its Issues section, which is a series of videos with the candidate spending about a minute speaking forcefully on the issues, the one country that’s mentioned as an “issue” is, you guessed, Israel.

Should Israelis and US Jews be concerned that the Jewish State is so clearly a burning issue for Trump? Not if you believe the opening, where Trump straightens his gaze at the camera and declares, “I love Israel, I’m very pro-Israel.” He hasn’t said it about any other country in quite this total fashion.

But what to Trump is the Israel issue begins and ends with what he considered, back in March, when he shot this video, a challenge to his skills as negotiator. You can be a Trump supporter and still be perplexed by the amount of personal prestige the candidate has invested in being that one American president who finally brought peace to “Israel and the Palestinians.”

“Trump is plainly the best bet for the Jews,” Seth Lipsky wrote in the NY Post Wednesday, citing neoconservative Norman Podhoretz, who berated Hillary for the 2012 rejection by the Democratic convention of restoring both God and Jerusalem to the DNC platform.

True enough, but Trump was booed at his AIPAC appearance last December when he, too, refused to commit to moving the US embassy to Jerusalem.

“Trump’s also the candidate siding with religious Americans whose rights are in jeopardy from the proliferating series of laws and court rulings in which religious persons are being asked to bow to a liberalism hostile to religious law,” Lipsky argued.

But religious Jews are not under attack by the liberal government anywhere in America: unlike in Europe, Jewish rituals are not under attack anywhere, with the possible exception of the Bay area; why even the latest NYC policy on oral suction in circumcision is restricted to educational pamphlets, rather than court orders.

The problem with Trump regarding Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria (and, possibly, eastern Jerusalem) is the candidate’s eagerness to make a difference in the age old Israeli-Arab conflict.

Here is what Trump said on tape in March, which the campaign has chosen to keep up there as one of his key concerns:

“I would love to see a deal be made between Israel and the Palestinians. It’s probably the hardest negotiation there is. Great negotiators have tried and they failed. It’s just so deep seated, the hatred, the level of distrust.

“But I’m going to give it an awfully good shot. I want to remain as neutral as possible, because if you’re not somewhat neutral the other side is never going to do it.

“But just remember, Israel, I love you, we’re gonna’ see if we can get something done, it has to be done for both sides, it cannot continue to be the way it is. Let’s see what we can negotiate, let’s see if it can be done.”

Does the last paragraph strike you as something you might tell your child before taking him for his booster shots? It’ll hurt, for sure, but remember, Daddy loves you very much and when the doctor is done poking you Daddy will buy you an ice cream cone.

There’s no doubt that presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is easily as worrisome when it comes to Israel. She is surrounded by anti-Israel advisors, one of whom is a radical Muslim. It is a tough call to make — which Roman emperor will bring more trouble to tiny little Judea: Hillary, who might end up just talking the talk but avoid the actual walk; or Trump, who might just, God forbid, decide to test his skills — and then what would Israel do when the Arabs agree to some of his proposals and a victorious Trump turns to Netanyahu and says, Brother, I got you a great deal, just hand over control of eastern Jerusalem and take the Jews out of the “territories.”

We welcome a civilized discussion of the concerns raised in this article.

David Israel

Ya’alon: I’m Running for PM Next Elections, to Fight Hate, Discrimination and Fear Mongering

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

At his keynote speech at the 2016 Herzliya Conference, Lt. Gen. (res.) and former Minister of Defense Moshe (Bogie) Ya’alon announced his plan to run for Prime Minister of Israel in the next elections. But he did not reveal in which party.

Ya’alon began by describing the current security situation of Israel and reviewed the different threats it is facing. “Terrorist organizations have taken the place of the nation states. War against them will be costly, not an existential threat towards Israel,” he said. Ya’alon argued that following the nuclear agreement with Iran, even though it continues to be “the number one element thriving to destabilize the region and attempt to hurt Israel through terrorist organizations,” it is not an immediate threat to the existence of the state of Israel.

“Knowing the strategic situation of Israel in detail, and the IDF’s power and capabilities, I can say that today and in the foreseeable future there is no existential threat to the state of Israel,” Ya’alon insisted. “Therefore,” he continued, “it is expected of the leadership to stop scaring the citizens of Israel and giving them the sense that we are on the brink of a second holocaust. It is a cynical attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the public, because of the perception that if the public is scared, they will forget the everyday challenges they are facing.”

“Last month I resigned my positions as Israel’s minister of Defense and member of the Knesset. In my announcement I declared my plan to return to public life. My intent is to run for the leadership of Israel in the next elections. The last few months have added and clarified for me the perceived differences between the prime minister and myself.”

“What I am truly worried about are not the weapon trucks travelling from Syria to Lebanon, nor Iran’s attempts to terrorize us – Israel can handle these threats. What I am worried about are the cracks in Israeli society, and the breaking down of fundamental values. The attempts to hurt the IDF in a way that endangers its resilience. The fact that the leadership became litigious instead of building an exemplary society.”

“The state of Israel needs change. We need a leadership that will lead Israel according to its conscience and not based on polls and radical responses on social media. We deserve a leadership that does not use underhanded tactics of ‘divide and concur,’ dividing and inciting Israelis against each other to gain an additional month in government.”

“It is the role of a state leadership to connect the different parts of society, not tear them apart. We require a leadership that would not allow attacking judges and Supreme Court. We deserve a leadership that is not busy with incitement and lashing out against judges and enslaving the media for its own survival needs. The media in Israel must be free and unthreatened, and allow people of all opinions on the right and the left to express them. We deserve a leadership that will be a model of tolerance, a leadership that will vigorously fight sexual harassments and violence against women. A leadership that will not base its survival upon hatred and incitement towards leftists, rightists, settlers, Arabs, Kibbutz members, or any other group – only to get a few more votes.”

“Israel must remain a Jewish, democratic state, and part of the family of nations. It must not allow the violent and racist discourse of a radical minority that have infiltrated the mainstream and the leadership to roll us down to the abyss.”

“A change is important for the future of the state of Israel and it is our obligation to execute it for our future. Therefore, I plan to offer an alternative to the current leadership, because we have no other country,” Ya’alon concluded.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/yaalon-im-running-for-pm-next-elections-to-fight-hate-discrimination-and-fear-mongering/2016/06/16/

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