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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘issues’

IDF Military Advocate General Issues Update on 2014 Gaza War-Related Criminal Investigations

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

IDF Military Advocate General (MAG) on Wednesday issued a press release regarding a number of alleged “exceptional incidents” that took place during Operation Protective Edge in the summer of 2014. Many of these claims originated in complaints that were transmitted to the MAG Corps on behalf of Arab residents of the Gaza Strip, as well as by several NGOs. Other allegations were made in media reports, as well as by internal IDF operational reports.

To date, the MAG Corps has received some 500 complaints about 360 incidents alleged to have occurred over the course of the Operation. Some alleged incidents received more than one complaint.

Each complaint suggesting misconduct by IDF forces, undergoes an initial examination. If the allegation is deemed credible, prima facie, and is sufficiently concrete, it is referred to the MAG for a decision as to whether an immediate criminal investigation is warranted without further examination, or whether the incident should be referred to the General Staff Mechanism for Fact-Finding Assessments (FFA Mechanism), for a prior factual examination before making a decision on whether to open a criminal investigation.

To date, in the wake of allegations that indicated prima facie grounds for a reasonable suspicion of criminal misconduct, the MAG has ordered the opening of criminal investigations without the need for prior factual examination with regard to 24 exceptional incidents. Of these criminal investigations, the MAG decided to issue indictments against three IDF soldiers, accused of looting and of aiding and abetting looting. The legal proceedings regarding these charges are underway at the present time.

Regarding 13 other criminal investigations, the MAG has closed the cases without undertaking any criminal or disciplinary proceedings. The remainder of the investigations are still ongoing – some are still underway, and some have been completed with their findings having been submitted to the MAG for review.

Other allegations, which did not indicate prima facie grounds for a reasonable suspicion of criminal misconduct, were referred to the FFA Mechanism for examination. This mechanism, which was initiated while the operation was still underway, collates information and relevant materials and undertakes inquiries, in order to assess the facts of exceptional incidents. These efforts are intended to provide the MAG with as much factual information as possible in order to reach decisions regarding whether or not to open a criminal investigation, as well as for the purpose of a “lessons-learned” process and the issuance of operational recommendations that will assist in mitigating the risk of exceptional incidents occurring in the future.

All in all, to date, around 360 complaints and reports relating to around 220 exceptional incidents alleged to have occurred over the course of the Operation have been transmitted to the FFA Mechanism for examination, after undergoing an initial examination by the MAG Corps.

To date, after reviewing the factual findings and the material collated by the FFA Mechanism, the MAG has referred seven incidents for criminal investigation. One of these investigations has already been the subject of a decision by the MAG. Other investigations have been completed and are awaiting review of their findings by the MAG, or are currently ongoing.

With regard to around 80 additional incidents that were examined by the FFA Mechanism, the MAG decided to close the case without opening a criminal investigation, where the actions of the IDF forces involved did not give rise to reasonable grounds for suspicion of criminal behavior. However, in relation to some of these incidents, the MAG recommended reviewing operational methods in order to assess whether any changes should be made. In certain cases that were closed, the MAG found that no involvement of IDF forces could be identified in regard to the incident.

David Israel

Justice Ministry Issues List of 27 NGOs that Must Disclose They Work for Foreign Entities

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

The Justice Minsitry NGO Registrar on Thursday published the official document detailing the 27 NGOs and Associations which would be compelled to mention in all their official literature that the bulk of their funding comes from foreign countries, and their representatives would have to wear special ID tags while visiting the Knesset — should the “NGO Law” be passed. The law was initiated by Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi).

The list was published upon request by five opposition members of the Knesset Constitution Committee of the Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon, after the Committee Chair, MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi), had refused to reveal the list. The opposition members were concerned that Slomiansky refuses to share the list because it proves that the law affects primarily leftwing organizations.

The list notes the names of the NGOs, next to their annual turnover, the amount they received from foreign entities and the percentage of their income those foreign funds constitute.

Attorney Talia Sasson, President of the New Israel Fund, said on Thursday that about half the NGOs on the list receive funding from NIF.

In 2005, Talia Sasson issued the Sasson Report, an official Israeli government report that concluded that Israeli state entities had been discreetly diverting millions of shekels to build settlements and illegal outposts in Judea and Samaria. The report was rife with inaccuracies and outright lies, including intentional misquotes of the dates when settlements had been approved so that they would appear illegal.

Here are a few choice NGOs who are, for all intents and purposes, foreign agents working to influence Israeli policy:

B’Tzelem | Annual turnover: $2,353,140.50 | Foreign donations: $1,615,337.99 | % Foreign donations: 69%

Breaking the Silence | Annual turnover: $984,838.30 | Foreign donations: $594,868.58 | % Foreign donations: 60%

Committee Against Torture in Israel | Annual turnover: $604,243.26 | Foreign donations: $606,809.34 | % Foreign donations: 100%

Akevot: Trace: Institute for the Study of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict | Annual turnover: $118,907.99 | Foreign donations: $118,909.79 | % Foreign donations: 100%

Hallo Trust Ltd. | Annual turnover: $1,099,469.33| Foreign donations: $1,019,386.18 | % Foreign donations: 93%

The NGO Ir Amim, which on Thursday appealed to the Supreme Court to ban Jerusalem Liberation Day flag marchers from entering the Muslim Quarter Sunday, has an annual turnover of $844,539.90, out of which 64%, or $537,405.17 come from foreign entities. It is the most current and vivid example of how the will of the majority of Jews living in Israel is being directly subverted using millions of dollars from groups which are often the declared or tacit enemies of the Jewish State.

It should be noted that US organizations that receive any of their funding—not 50% or more as the Shaked bill demands—from non-American sources must register as foreign agents in their dealing with any of the branches of government.

David Israel

Netanyahu Issues Stop-Work Order against Waqf Temple Mount Bathrooms

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

On Tuesday the PM’s office instructed the City of Jerusalem to issue a stop-work order against a project that has been under construction for two years, converting an ancient Ottoman structure near the compound’s wall into bathroom stalls and showers for use strictly by Muslim worshipers.

According to Israel Radio, Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday assembled Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, and Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev, to discuss the offensive Waqf project on the Temple Mount, because it endangers rare archaeological treasures.

The move was appropriate, especially since the Waqf had been constructing those bathrooms, as well as carrying out other projects for two years now without a license. The only question was how come the PM’s office waited for two years to act, after being bombarded with complaints by archaeologists, including the Israel Antiquities Authority, regarding the irreparable damage caused by the Waqf?

It was Yehuda Glick, now an MK, who in 2014 caught Waqf officials red-handed in the act of drilling through the ancient stones of the holy site, using heavy machinery. “They saw me coming and immediately tried to hide. It set off warning bells for me and I started filming straight away,” Glick related back in 2014. “They tried to hide, and then shouted to the policeman who was there that I could not take pictures without their permission. The policeman ignored them.”

David Israel

Cutting Edge Army: IDF Issues Vegan Combat Rations, Shoes, Berets

Tuesday, May 31st, 2016

The IDF Central Food Technology and Logistics Division recently completed the development of the first Vegan combat rations, following years during which Vegan soldiers have had to settle for a portion of the military issue meal, mainly corn preserves, olives and peanuts. While Vegetarians do not eat meat, fish, or poultry, Vegans, in addition, do not use other animal products and by-products such as eggs, dairy products, honey, leather, fur, silk, wool, cosmetics, and soaps derived from animal products.

Back in 2013, two members of the Israeli animal rights organization Anonymous approached the military prosecutor’s office asking to absolve Vegan soldiers from wearing leather shoes during their service, on conscientious grounds, since making leather shoes involves the “cruel murder of animals.” Apparently, they could not tolerate the thought of killing people while wearing shoes made from killed animals. Since then, the IDF has been supplying declared Vegan soldiers with non-leather shoes.

Also in 2013, the IDF has begun to supply Vegan berets, made from synthetic material, to soldiers who asked for them. Currently the inoffensive berets are available only in green (for the infantry) and black (for the armored troops). Paratroopers (red berets) are still required to wear head cover made from the sheared coats of innocent barnyard animals.

Vegan soldiers are encouraged to file their complaints with the military ombudsman by fax or email, whenever their military assignments clash with their core Vegan beliefs.

The new combat rations are due to reach over the next few months the 600 or so declared Vegans currently serving. The promised rations will include raw tehini, bernflex, energy bar, natural almonds, walnuts, dried fruits, roasted peas and chickpeas, peanuts, and preserved beans. One ration should last one soldier two weeks or two soldiers one week, provided they trust each other.

Combat Zone Cooking Competition: IDF base chef preparing and serving his unit's competition dish / Photo Credit: Gadi Yampel, IDF Spokeserson's Unit

Combat Zone Cooking Competition: IDF base chef preparing and serving his unit’s competition dish / Photo Credit: Gadi Yampel, IDF Spokeserson’s Unit

The IDF HR insists that new recruits declare their Vegan status upon enlisting, otherwise they must wait six months before they can be granted Vegan status. The reason is economic, since the army spends much more on the preparation of Vegan food at the military bases and on the rations than it does on normal food. According to the Central Food Technology and Logistics Division, everybody enjoys the Vegan delicacies: last year they budgeted about $80,000 to purchase Vegan goodies for the general military population, but the stuff was consumed in a single quarter and the budget had to be increased.

In 2013 there was a wave of protests regarding the sandwiches IDF soldiers were given on field trips. There were Facebook pages dedicated to the fact that Vegans had to work their way around the cold cuts in their food supplies, there were online petitions, and the military ombudsman was bombarded with complaints, both by fax and email. So now every base kitchen is equipped to provide healthy, nutritious and cruelty-free sandwiches to Israel’s heroes.

JNi.Media

Shabak Issues Last Administrative Detention Order Before Lieberman Takes Over

Monday, May 30th, 2016

Only days before MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) takes over as defense minister, the Shabak secret police on Friday issued an unprecedented administrative detention, ordering a Jewish youth to avoid contact with a list of 87 individuals, legal aid society Honenu announced Monday morning. The decree, issued by GOC Home Front Command Major General Yoel Strick, also ordered the same youth to be under house arrest at night. An additional decree, signed by OC Central Command Major General Roni Numa, bans the same youth from entering Judea and Samaria.

The Shabak ordered a Jewish youth to avoid contact with a list of 87 individuals.

The Shabak ordered a Jewish youth to avoid contact with a list of 87 individuals.

Like all administrative detentions, the orders against this youth do not mention any charges pending against him, or even any specific suspicions. The reason for the severe limits on his civil rights is stated as: “To secure state security, public peace, and maintaining public order.”

Israeli citizens could probably observe on Monday to see if any of the above conditions have improved following these orders, which were issued on the recommendations of the Jewish section of the secret police.

Administrative detentions have been the modus operandi of outgoing Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, who used them generously in place of thorough police investigation. His reign will be remembered, among other things, for the torture interrogations of Jewish suspects for long weeks without access to an attorney or their families. Considering Ya’alon’s repeated concern for Israel’s democracy, it’s evident he probably did not complete the entire course on this subject.

Honenu’s statement included the organization’s hope that “the new defense minister will learn this subject during his grace period, and maybe succeed in stopping the values that have already been falling down this slippery slope.”

Meanwhile, it is unclear whether Meir Ettinger, the grandson of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, will be released from his ten months of administrative detention, imposed by Ya’alon last August.

David Israel

Counter-Terrorism Bureau Issues Travel Advisory Against Visiting Djerba Island on Lag B’Omer

Monday, May 9th, 2016

The Counter-Terrorism Bureau in the prime minister’s office has issued a warning on Monday that Israelis should not attend the Lag B’Omer celebrations on the Island of Djerba, Tunisia, because of credible terror threats.

Djerba is a 198 square mile island off the coast of Tunisia, North Africa, in the Gulf of Gabes. A Jewish community has existed on the island continuously for more than 2,500 years. It is unique for its unusually high percentage of Kohanim (the Jewish Priestly caste), direct Patrilineal descendants of Aaron, the first Biblical high priest. Djerba island is known among Jews as the island of the Kohanim.

Lag B’Omer will be celebrated this year starting Wednesday evening, May 25, through Thursday evening, May 26. The Counter-Terrorism Bureau’s travel advisory says terrorist elements, most notably global Jihadists, “continue to operate in Tunisia and carry out attacks,” making the threat level against Jewish sites high. Israelis should “refrain from visiting” the Island.

On April 11, 2002, Al-Qaeda blew up a truck bomb near El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, one of the oldest and most famous synagogues in the world, killing 21 people (14 German tourists, 5 Tunisians and 2 French nationals).

David Israel

A Closer Look at Bill de Blasio’s Record

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

Bill de Blasio, the current frontrunner in the Democratic primary for mayor, has been running his second television commercial of the campaign, titled “Dignity,” since Monday. Fact checking the ad, Michael Barbaro of the NY Times found it quite misleading. Mr. de Blasio argues he’s the only candidate pledging to end the way the Police Department carries out the stop-and-frisk tactic. The problem with that claim is that his opponents have all, in one way or another, pledged to reform it, too.



Nor is Mr. de Blasio, per his claim, the only candidate proposing an income tax on the rich to pay for education. John C. Liu, the city comptroller, has proposed raising the city’s marginal income tax to pay for after-school programs, among other things.

“Dropping the misleading word ‘only’ from several of his claims, or using it more carefully, would do wonders for the accuracy and credibility of his commercials,” Barbaro concludes.

Bill de Blasio’s exaggerating his role as an advocate for the issues he believes are at the top of voters’ concerns is nothing new. In fact, his record of representing the outer-boroughs, as he now promises not to let down any New Yorker, is far from exhilarating.

Back in 2001, when he first ran for City Council in the 39th district, Mr. de Blasio was examined for mismanagement and controversial ties that had put in question his credentials at the time. “[Bill de Blasio] carries a lot of baggage as well,” The Village Voice wrote in a profile on the race for council.

“De Blasio was elected to School Board 15 in 1999, and his tenure has been rocky. Many public school parents charge that de Blasio was stubbornly supportive of Frank DeStefano, the former superintendent of District 15 who resigned in the winter amid allegations of overspending and mismanagement. Reports first surfaced in the fall of 1999 that DeStefano had begun to run up big deficits, taking himself and other school officials on several expensive junkets costing a total of more than $100,000. One year later the school deficit topped $1 million, leading to the cancellation of a popular after-school reading program while DeStefano maintained an expensive car service.

“De Blasio still defends his decision to stick with DeStefano for as long as he did. “He was a visionary and a great educator, but he was a horrible communicator,” de Blasio says of DeStefano. “I was deeply concerned, but I was not going to make a final decision until I saw the evidence.” In the end, de Blasio says, “he could have made better decisions, but I don’t think the spending was wildly excessive. Both of my parents were victims of the McCarthy era. I do not take lightly the idea of ousting someone. You have to have the evidence.”

“De Blasio has also been linked to the flap over New Square, the Hasidic village in upstate New York that has been mired in pardon scandals. Candidate Clinton assiduously courted the small Rockland community last year, winning the town by the whopping margin of 1400 to 12. Six weeks after the election, Israel Spitzer, New Square’s deputy mayor, met with the Clintons at the White House, where pardons for four New Square civic leaders convicted of fraud were discussed. In January, Bill Clinton commuted their sentences, leading to a probe by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in which several Hillary Clinton campaign aides were called in for questioning. At a Manhattan fundraiser for de Blasio in December, Spitzer made a $2500 donation, the largest permitted under the city’s Campaign Finance Board. De Blasio refused to comment on that matter, including the issue of whether he was questioned by the U.S. Attorney’s Office. De Blasio would only offer this comment: “I’m waiting to hear what’s going to happen with that.”

in 2007 as councilman, Mr. de Blasio was lambasted for not living up to his promises and for a lackluster performance as representative of his district.  In a hard hitting piece by a local blogger named “Parden Me For Asking,” Mr. de Blasio was criticized for running a dysfunctional office and keeping himself distracted from the issues that mattered to the neighborhoods he represented, going back to his time he served on the Board of Education before his run for council.

Jacob Kornbluh

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/a-closer-look-at-bill-de-blasios-record/2013/08/21/

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