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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘January’

Early Elections in Israel: When & Why?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Last night Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he had decided to call early elections – that is, earlier than the scheduled date of October 2013. Though this was no shock as Israeli governments rarely finish their terms and there had been many reports in recent days that Netanyahu was considering early elections).

So for everyone who is trying to figure out what exactly is going on:

Date of Elections: January or February?

Netanyahu did not announce a specific date for the elections.  The Knesset returns from its summer break on October 15th. By law there must be at least 90 days between the decision to disperse the Knesset and the date of elections.

At the end of his statement Netanyahu said it is preferable to have a “three month” campaign cycle than what would in practice be a year of campaigning until October 2013. Assuming that he would seek dissolution of the Knesset at the opening of the session — October 15th — that would put the elections at around or a little after January 15th.

However, Netanyahu also said at the beginning of his address that, “In a few months, we will finish the fourth year in office of the most stable government in recent decades.” Towards the end, he also said, ”And therefore, after four years, we will go to elections.” Four years means elections after February 10th of next year, as that was the date the last elections were held in 2009. That meshes with earlier reports that Netanyahu desired a February 12th election in order to close a four year cycle.

According to Yisrael HaYom, negotiations between coalition partners began yesterday regarding the date of elections and sometime between January 15 and February 5th was discussed. According to the paper, which is considered friendly to Netanyahu, “the Prime Minister prefers the earliest possible date.”

Oct. 11th UPDATE: Elections have been set for Jan. 22nd. Though the bill dispersing the Knesset and setting the date still has pass through the Knesset on Monday, October 15th.

Why Early Elections: The Budget

The primary reason for the elections is the inability of the coalition to agree on a budget, or at least a responsible budget. Here’s what Netanyahu said:

Today, I finished a round of consultations with the heads of the coalition parties and I came to the conclusion that it is not possible at this time to pass a responsible budget. We are on the threshold of an election year, and to my regret, in an election year it is difficult for parties to place the national interest ahead of the party interest. The result of this is liable to be a budgetary breach and a massive increase in the deficit, which would very quickly put us in the situation of the crumbling economies of Europe. I will not allow this to happen here.

(The full text of Netanyahu’s statement can be found at PMO.gov.il.)

Why Early Elections: Maintaining the Lead

It is also surmised that early elections will ensure that the Likud maintains its current lead against all other parties. Two recent polls have given the Likud 28 mandates (Knesset seats) while it’s closest project rival, Labor, would receive 19 or 20 seats. Kadima which currently had 28 Knesset seats to the Likud’s 27, wouldn’t even break double digits.

Early elections mean surprises such as Ehud Olmert or other high profile figures joining parties like Kadima or Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid’s new party) and changing the political dynamic are less likely. It also gives other parties less time to put their campaigns together.

Prime Minister Netanyahu Announces Elections “As Soon As Possible”

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanayhu announced Tuesday evening that general elections will be held in early 2013.

A date was not specified, though the prime minister said the elections would take place “as soon as possible” – possibly as early as mid-January.

The Prime Minister touted his government as an achiever in the arenas of security and economy, and “one of the most stable in decades”, having marked almost four years in office.  But many goals, such as obstructing Iran from attaining a nuclear weapon, protecting Israel’s borders to the north and south east, and continuing negotiations with the Palestinians, remain still unfinished, he said.

The Prime Minister also expressed the nation’s concern for the residents of southern Israel, who experienced renewed rocket fire from Gaza in the last days.

Due to the election schedule, Netanyahu will not have to pass a 2013 budget before the vote.

Analysts say reelection would give Netanyahu a mandate to pursue a more aggressive policy toward Iran.  They also say the move may have been made in order to catch opponents off guard.

Opinion polls indicate that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Likud party would gain even more than its current 27 seats, with Labor also rising.  Kadima, says the polls, would plummet.

Jerusalem Municipality Approves New NIS 18 Million Deer Park and Sanctuary

Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Sunday – The Jerusalem Municipality approved a plan to invest in and upgrade the Jerusalem Deer Sanctuary  in Deer Valley (near the Pot Junction), and to turn it into the first city-based nature park in Israel. The park will cover an area of over 60 acres.

New deers will be brought into the existing sanctuary, and the park will now also have a section for people which will include a bicycle path, bird watching terraces, and a reception and education center. There will also build a water reservoir.

The first part of the new park is expected to be completed in January 2014.

Mayor Nir Barkat said this will turn Jerusalem into a “green” city and inprove the standard of living of the residents.

The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

The recurring uproar over the facts surrounding the life of Jesus now surrounds the discovery of an ancient papyrus bearing the words “Jesus said to them, my wife”.

The discovery of a 4th century Egyptian Coptic papyrus fragment was publicized at the Tenth International Congress of Coptic Studies in Rome on Tuesday by a professor of the Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Karen King, Hollis Professor of Divinity at the school, released a statement noting that Christian tradition “Has long held that Jesus was not married,” and stated that the new find – being called “The Gospel of Jesus’s wife” – suggests that his being dubbed unmarried was likely due to “vociferous debates about sexuality and marriage.”

An analysis by King of the fragment will be published in the Harvard Theological Review in January 2013.

French-Jewish Mother in Custody Battle with Saudi prince Dies in Fall

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

A Jewish mother from France locked in a custody battle with a Saudi prince fell to her death from an apartment window in Paris.

Candice Cohen-Ahnine died last week, less than a month before she was to see her 11-year-old daughter for the first time in four years.

It is unclear whether Cohen-Ahnine’s death was accidental or the result of foul play, according to the Daily Telegraph, which reported that French media have suggested Cohen-Ahnine had slipped and fallen to her death “as if she was escaping something dangerous.”

A Paris criminal court ruled in January in favor of Cohen-Ahnine’s plea to have her daughter, Haya, returned to her. Cohen-Ahnine claimed that Haya was being held captive by the girl’s father, Prince Sattam al-Saud, a member of the Saudi royal family, since September 2008. The court also ordered Sattam to pay child support.

Sattam continued to refuse to turn the girl over after the ruling, but had agreed to next month’s visit.

Cohen-Ahnine alleged that when she agreed to visit Sattam with her daughter in 2008 after the couple had separated, she was swiftly locked up in a Riyadh palace and separated from Haya. Accused by authorities of being a Muslim who converted to Judaism — a capital crime in Saudi Arabia — Cohen-Ahnine was able to escape to the French Embassy and return to France. Haya remained behind and the two reportedly spoke occasionally by phone.

Cohen-Ahnine, 34, met Sattam in London when she was 18. Despite their differences in religion and nationality, the couple continued their relationship, and Haya was born in 2001. But the couple separated in 2006; the prince allegedly said he would have to marry a cousin and could only keep Cohen-Ahnine as a mistress or second wife.

Cohen-Ahnine published a book in French about the ordeal with the literally translated title “Give me back my daughter” (l’Archipel).

Michigan Inmate Sues for Kosher Meals

Monday, July 30th, 2012

A Michigan prison inmate has filed a federal lawsuit over the prison’s lack of kosher meals.

Bradley Sleighter, 54, has been an inmate in the Kent County jail in Grand Rapids since January, where he is serving a nine-month sentence for retail fraud.

He said in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in Grand Rapids that he has lost 30 pounds since his imprisonment and is subsisting on a diet of vegetables, bread and cereal.

The jail only has a special menu for medical needs, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Sleighter’s lawsuit calls for sealed kosher meals or that the jail equip its own kosher kitchen if it cannot acquire the meals. The suit seeks a financial penalty for every day that Sleighter is not given a kosher meal.

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.

 

Chabad of Westport Hoping for Town Approval at Long Last

Friday, June 15th, 2012

According to the Westport Daily Voice, the structure that used to house the Three Bears Restaurant in Westport, CT, will shortly officially become the new home of Chabad Lubavitch of Westport, which has been operating without approval out of the space since January.

On Thursday night, an attorney for Chabad appeared before the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, seeking a change of use from restaurant to religious institution, as well as approval of interior renovations.

“We are planning modest renovations,” Weisman said. “We’re not doing anything to the outside of the building. We may paint it, we may do some cosmetic work, but it will look exactly as it does today.”

The building will be divided into a sanctuary, three classrooms, and office space.

Five months ago, Chabad was cited by the Planning and Zoning Department for occupying the building without a special permit.

The citation was issued after a complaint from a neighbor.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/chabad-of-westport-hoping-for-town-approval-at-long-last/2012/06/15/

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