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October 26, 2016 / 24 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘israeli’

All-Time High Israeli Tax Collection: $57 Billion So Far in 2016

Monday, October 10th, 2016

Over the first 9 months of 2016, the Israeli tax authority has collected an unprecedented 216.1 billion shekel, or about $57 billion, a full 5% more than during the same period in 2015, the Finance Ministry’s Accountant General’s Management Information Division reported Sunday. In fact, in September 2016 alone Israel has collected $6.67 billion, 12.3% more than in September 2015.

According to the report, tax collection has far surpassed early forecasts at the Finance Ministry, so much so that the Finance Ministry’s Chief Economist Yoel Naveh in mid-July pushed up the 2016 forecast and set it at 282.5 billion shekel, or $74.5 billion.

The new, record tax collection is expected to impact the government budget deficit. The 2016 budget permits government a deficit of 2.9% of GNP, or as much as $9.23 billion. But based on the tax collection bonanza, it appears government could go on a mad spending spree, especially on security, and still end up with only a 2% of GNP deficit. The accumulating government deficit over the past 12 months stands at only 2.2% of GNP.

Overall, government expenses in September stood at $8.05 billion, out of which expenses came up to $6.7 billion, interest payments on the national debt was $500 million, and interest and repayment of principal to Social Security came to $820 million.

Since the beginning of 2016, government expenses came to $55.28 billion, a 7% rise compared with the same period last year. Of that, civil ministries’ expenses rose by 8.9%, while the security apparatus showed more restraint with only a 2.2% rise in spending. The original budget plan, however, called for an 11.4% rise for civil services, while the security apparatus was actually scheduled to go down by 3.7%.


60 Israeli Arab Women in Danger of Honor Murder in Lod, 15 Killed Since 2010

Sunday, October 9th, 2016

Du’aa Abu Sarah, mother of four, was murdered a month ago in front of her children. Last week, her two sister and mother testified before the Knesset Committee on the Status of Women. Committee Chairwoman MK Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint Arab List) said the focus of the hearing was on police failure to defeat violence against women in the mixed cities of Ramla and Lod. “Fifteen Arab women have been murdered in Ramla and Lod since 2010,” she said, adding, “We’re not willing to continue counting the dead bodies.”

Du’aa’s sister testified that the murder victim had launched a complaint with police but no one followed up on it. “We have no one to talk to. We feel threatened, this murderer killed all of us,” she told the committee. She reported that her family members are forced to hide indoors in the evening. “I’m a strong woman, but recently I’m afraid I’m being followed,” she said.

The Arab committee members pointed an accusing finger at police, but were also critical of Arab society. MK Ahmad Tibi said the main problem was the lack of police deterrence of criminals. “When there are no solved crimes, there’s no deterrence of the next murderer,” he said. “In most cases police know who is the killer, but he remains free for lack of substantial evidence.” But beyond the problem of an inept police force, Tibi said, “we have a social sickness of men who think they can easilty take the life of a woman because she is inferior to them. It’s primitive, inferior thinking.”

Several other Arab MKs blamed the Israeli “colonialist” system which prefers to employ police in pursuing political activists rather than focus on crime in Arab society. But some, like MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) acknowledged the need to reach beyond criticism of police to dealing will the general violence in Arab society, and specifically violence against women.

An Arab woman from Lod testified about the threats on her life. “I am being threatened. I filed a complaint with police but they told me not to complain. When they shot at my house police didn’t do anything to prevent the shooting and protect me. Everyone is aware of my story, including Police and Social Services. Social Services directs me to Police and vice versa. Today I’m still alive, but I don’t know when it’ll happen, when I’ll be murdered. No one is doing anything, they’re just waiting for it to happen.” Turning to the police representatives at the hearing, the woman pleaded, “Please change things. It’s not just me, men are also murdered and you’re doing nothing. There’s evidence, there’s cameras, there’s shooting. The man who shot at my house was pictured and his license plate is known, and you still don’t have sufficient evidence? What are you waiting for?”

Police Central District Officer, Commander Dado Zamir, told the committee the murders in question “are keeping me up nights. The files are being treated by our central unit and we don’t spare manpower to solve these cases. There are many women whose lives have been saved by Social Services and Police, be it treatment within the community or sending them to communities abroad. We’ve left no stone unturned and every shred of evidence is being examined.”

Zamir stressed the gap between police intelligence and evidentiary proof that can be used by a prosecutor, meaning Police may well know who committed a murder, or who had the motive and intent, “but the gap between that intelligence information and putting together an evidentiary foundation to support a murder indictment is great.”

Samah Salaime, who runs a countrywide project for the prevention of violence within Arab society said that one of the problems in Police being able to elicit testimony from Arab victims of violence has to do with the plea bargain system, which lets criminals out of prison in time to take revenge against the women who put them there. Therefore, she argued, “you can’t convince a woman to testify [against men who threatened her life] if she knows that seven years later they’ll come looking for her.”

Orly Dahan, representing the City of Lod, told the committee that she knows of 80 women whose lives have been threatened, 20 Jews and 60 Arabs.

Hagai Moyal, National Inspector at the Ministry of Social Affairs, told the committee it was difficult to recruit workers to deal with family violence in the Arab society.


Fighting Anti-Israel NGOs And BDS Activists: An Interview with Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

In just a few years, Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has shot to political stardom in Israel. A computer engineer turned politician, Shaked, 40, has been a member of Knesset for the Jewish Home party since 2013 and was appointed justice minister by Prime Minister Netanyahu in 2015.

Shaked, a forceful champion of Israel’s rights both at home and abroad, is an outspoken supporter of Jewish settlements and was the driving force behind Israel’s 2016 NGO transparency law.


The Jewish Press: Can you describe your background and what influenced your political views and your decision to join the Jewish Home party?

Shaked: I was right wing since I was a child, after having watched a debate between Yitzhak Shamir and Shimon Peres. I served in the army in the Golani Brigade and that also influenced my ideology, since most of the soldiers were from the Religious Zionist movement.

For a few years I was a Likud member, working with Benjamin Netanyahu after the Gaza Disengagement. I decided to leave the Likud and join the Jewish Home party because I thought that it’s very important to have a party that has secular and Orthodox working together on the basis of Religious Zionist values.

How concerned are you that the UN will try to impose a unilateral solution on Israel?

The UN is a very political and biased organization and I don’t believe in truth coming from it. It’s just a body of political interests. The fact that the UN has failed to deal with Syria while hundreds of thousands of women and children are being slaughtered there proves that it does nothing. The UN tries to hit Israel whenever it can in a very biased approach without even mentioning the ongoing incitement by the Palestinian Authority. Just the other day Mahmoud Abbas paid a condolence call to families of terrorists who tried to kill Jews.

The UN also ignores the fact that there are terror attacks conducted in the U.S. for the same reason – radical Islam against the West. In dealing with the UN, Israel should stick to its own beliefs.

Establishing a Palestinian state right now is a very dangerous thing. It’s also not realistic at all. The majority of the people in Israel, including those from the left and center, don’t think we have a partner right now. So Ban Ki-moon can talk, but it’s just wishful thinking. In reality we will do what we think is good for us.

How would you advise America to combat the scourge of Islamist terrorism that both America and Israel face?

You just need to face reality. In Europe they are already facing reality and identifying it as radical Islamic terrorism. We are not at war with Islam. In Israel, 20 percent of the population is Muslim. And we have a very good relationship with them. But we need to distinguish between Islam and radical Islamic terror, which threatens the Western world.

This is actually a war between two civilizations; between the Western world and radical Islamic terror. It’s in the U.S., in Europe, in Israel; it’s all over the Middle East. And radical Islam is mainly aimed at hurting other Muslims. There are hundreds of thousands of Muslims all over the Middle East who have been slaughtered because of this extreme ideology. We need to face this reality.

What is your position on Israel’s claim to Judea and Samaria?

After the Oslo Accords, Judea and Samaria were assigned to areas A, B, and C. Areas A and B are under the Palestinian Authority and area C is under Israeli authority. If you ask me what will be in the end, how will we finish the conflict, I believe we should annex area C. There are 425,000 Jews and 90,000 Arabs who are living there. The Arabs should be full citizens of Israel and get all the according rights. Areas A and B should be a strong autonomy or in conjunction with Jordan.

Under international law, those territories are not occupied territories; they are territories under dispute. There is a lot of land in area C that belongs to the state and we should expand building on those lands. There’s nothing we need to apologize for. It’s legally state land and we should continue to build there.

You initiated and then advanced Israel’s NGO bill through the Knesset. What do you hope it will achieve in terms of deterring agitators from working within Israel?

It’s a transparency bill. In Israel, there are a few NGOs that get the majority of their money from abroad from different countries. Those countries actually try to interfere in a diplomatic way in Israeli policy and are trying to do it through NGOs.

We are not forbidding that, but we want the public to be aware of it. That’s why we passed a transparency bill that any NGO that gets more than 50 percent of its budget from a foreign country should declare it when approaching a Knesset member and in their official publications.

What more can be done about many of these NGOs who are aligned with the BDS movement and their allies, such as the Black Lives Matter delegation that recently visited Israel and accused it of “genocide”?

There are definitely NGOs in Israel that cooperate with BDS groups, mainly in the United States. They actually lay the groundwork for the lies and they distort the facts the BDS groups end up using.

We need to determine what falls under freedom of speech, but we are fighting against the threat of delegitimization the NGOs are pursuing. This is something we are dealing with on a regular basis because it’s based on lies and it hurts Israel.

Unfortunately, many agitators against Israel in these various groups are Jewish. What would you say to them as Jews?

They are confused. I talked about it in the lecture that I gave to the JNF, in which I said there are extreme liberal Jews who just swallow the lies and the propaganda the BDS movement is selling. They are confusing liberal and human rights values with the new anti-Semitism. BDS is perpetrating a fraud and unfortunately there are people who are buying into it.

Sara Lehmann

Update: Flotilla Vessel Arrives in Ashdod Port, Accompanied by Israeli Naval Forces

Thursday, October 6th, 2016

The Zaytoun-Oliva Women’s Flotilla Boat to Gaza arrived after midnight Wednesday night in Ashdod Port, accompanied by Israeli Naval forces, the IDF told JewishPress.com.

“The members on board were transferred to the appropriate authorities for further processing,” an IDF spokesperson said in a statement.

The Israeli Navy seized control over the Women’s Flotilla to Gaza late Wednesday afternoon and began redirecting the Zaytouna-Oliva ship to Ashdod Port.

An all-female IDF Naval unit was used for the first time to seize control of the vessel.

“In accordance with government directives and after exhausting all diplomatic channels, the Israeli Navy redirected the vessel in order to prevent breach of the lawful maritime blockade,” said the IDF.

“The visit and search of the vessel was uneventful. In accordance with international law, the Israeli Navy advised the vessel numerous times to change course prior to the action. Following their refusal the Navy visited and searched the vessel in international waters in order to prevent their intended breach of the lawful maritime blockade of the Gaza Strip.”

No injuries were reported in the operation, which involved a unit of female Israeli Naval commandos who seized the vessel when it was just a few dozen kilometers from a beach in southern Israel.

By afternoon ranting had already begun on the Twitter social networking site, starting with a litany of red “SOS” signs sent by one user who signed off in Greek letters. A second wrote in despair, “this is sickeningly sad” … A third was so graphic that even the Twitter management was finally pushed to delete it — “This Tweet is unavailable” showed in blank grey space.

The ‘Women’s Boat to Gaza’ group pleaded, meanwhile, “Pls contact your Govt to demand their release and an end to the illegal blockade!”

Equally vocal were supporters of Israel.

Sussex Friends of Israel noted in a tweet, “According to @GazaFFlotilla they’ve been ‘captured!’ What-like if you sailed a boat into UK waters without authorization? (#expletive)

“@GazaFFlotilla complete waste of time and energy,” wrote another. “Want to help #Gaza? teach them #hate is not the answer.”

A third wrote, “you came to our home. You came to aid terrorists. Now you must be treated the same. Don’t mess with #Israel”

And another: “I’ll contact my government to make sure that people like you @GazaFFlotilla get #arrested and put on #trial for #terrorism #support.

Hana Levi Julian

Britain’s PM Theresa May Visits Israeli Embassy to Pay Respects

Wednesday, October 5th, 2016

Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May visited the Israeli Embassy in London on Wednesday to pay her respects and offer condolences on the passing of Israel’s ninth President, Shimon Peres, z’l, last week.

The prime minister signed the Embassy’s Book of Condolences during her visit.

“Honoured to welcome PM Theresa May @Number10gov to @IsraelinUK today to sign the Book of Condolences for our late President Shimon Peres” tweeted Ambassador Mark Regev.

England’s Prince Charles of Wales attended the funeral for the 93-year-old former president last Friday (Sept. 30) together with a delegation of top leaders from Great Britain who had known and spent many years exchanging views with the elder statesman.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Navy Prepared to Escort Women’ Gaza Boats to Ashdod

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

As Zaytouna and Amal, two boats with about 30 Gaza-bound passengers, mostly women, are getting closer to Israel’s shores, the IDF navy has been preparing to exercise the routine protocol in such cases, namely to board the boats and escort the passengers, politely but firmly, to the harbor city of Ashdod.

The website Women Boat to Gaza has been billing the endeavor as a “flotilla,” but the term commonly describes a fleet of ships or boats, so, in this case, the term “boats” is probably more accurate.

Ashdod has been serving as a destination for aid supplies for Gaza, for most of the decade since Hamas has taken over control of the Strip. Israeli officials go through the cargo, remove the contraband weapons and explosives that routinely arrive in those shipments, and clear the goods for trucking to Gaza, a few miles southward. Presumably, whatever goods the one or two boats manage to bring in will end up in Ashdod for inspection, followed by shipping to Gaza.

Israel’s Channel 2 News has reported that naval gunships have been waiting in Ashdod harbor for the signal to intercept the two boats. The same report suggested that the women onboard the boats are planning to exercise civil disobedience, which could get splashy.

The Zaytouna Captain is US Army retired Colonel Ann Wright, who served in the State Dept. diplomatic corps. She resigned from the US government in 2003, over her objection to the Bush Administration’s foreign policy. Since then she has been active in every single attempt to break through the blockade on Gaza.

It should be noted that the Turkish government, which ended up in a six-year tiff with Israel over the tragic end of the largest and most memorable 2010 Gaza flotilla, has expressed its anger at the mostly Turkish activists in that endeavor, for forcing it into this quagmire. Since Turkey has settled its dispute with Israel, Turkish goods destined for Gaza have been arriving in Ashdod regularly and then shipped to their intended recipients.

It should also be noted that the reason Israel has imposed a naval blockade on the Gaza Strip is because the Hamas government has been declaring practically every day its intent to destroy Israel, and has been devoting most of its international aid money to military preparations to carry out this threat.


3 Israeli Arabs Convicted of Funding Mourabitoun

Thursday, September 29th, 2016

By Michael Zeff/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Jerusalem District Court convicted three Arab Israelis Thursday of illegal activity under the Terrorism Funding Act.

Muhammed Jabarin, 52, from Umm al-Fahm, Najib Qawasmeh, 61, and Khalil Abbasi, 59, both from the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan, were charged with illegally paying Arabs to harass Jewish worshipers visiting the Temple Mount. The Arabic name for the harassment squads is mourabitoun.

The mourabitoun were founded in 2012 by the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel. Before being declared an illegal organization in September, 2015, the group operated free daily shuttles to the Temple Mount for Islamic activists from all corners of the country. Israeli security officials said that activists were paid USD 771–1,028 a month, with some of the funds coming from the Gulf States.

According to the indictment, the three men were convicted of transferring money from dubious sources, such as Qatar, placing the funds in prepaid debit cards, handing them out to Temple Mount activists as payment. This activity was conducted after the organization had been declared illegal and thus constitutes a criminal offense.

According to the indictment, Jabarin delivered USD 32,000 in cash to Qawasmeh and Abbasi, who then were responsible for distributing the money to activists as payment for rioting and harassing Jews on the Temple Mount.

All three men plead guilty as part of a plea bargain with the Jerusalem District Attorney. They expect to receive a sentence of 14 months prison time and a USD 5,000 fine each.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/3-israeli-arabs-convicted-of-funding-mourabitoun/2016/09/29/

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