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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jewish.’

Argentine Judge Wants to Probe Former President on 1994 Jewish Center Bombing

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

Judge Claudio Bonadio wants to restart the investigation of former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner over a cover-up that followed the 1994 bombing of the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association, media outlets reported Tuesday. In January 2015, special prosecutor Alberto Nisman, who was Jewish, was found dead with a bullet in his head in his apartment on the day he was scheduled to present his charges against Fernandez to a Congressional committee.

Magistrate Daniel Rafecas, who a few days earlier had refused to reopen the case against Fernandez, which he closed in 2015, on Tuesday accepted a request for the investigation’s files from Judge Bonadio, but told Spanish news agency EFE that “the case has been closed for the lack of a crime, so that technically there is no case. What Dr. Bonadio could do is open a new investigation — but exclusively based on new evidence.”

Rafecas added that he is “obligated to send [the files] to him so that he has it on hand to evaluate or study all the findings of my inquiry.”

Nisman was appointed Special Prosecutor in charge of the AMIA bombing investigation on September 13, 2004. The probe into the 1994 terrorist attack against the AMIA had been marked by judicial misconduct, and was at an impasse. On October 25, 2006, Nisman formally accused the government of Iran of directing the AMIA bombing, and the Hezbollah militia of carrying it out. The theory was that Argentina had been targeted by Iran as punishment for its decision to suspend a nuclear technology sale to Tehran. In November 2007, Interpol published the names of six individuals officially accused for their role in the terrorist attack: Imad Fayez Moughnieh, Ali Fallahijan, Mohsen Rabbani, Ahmad Reza Asghari, Ahmad Vahidi and Mohsen Rezaee.

In 2008 Nisman asked to arrest former president Carlos Menem, along with Judge Juan José Galeano, who first presided over the AMIA case until his removal in 2004. WikiLeaks revealed that US diplomats considered that Nisman may have done it as a gesture to new President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, since he was seeking the post of Argentina’s General Prosecutor.

In January 2015, Nisman accused President Kirchner, Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman and other politicians of covering up the roles of Iranian suspects in the case, in exchange for Iranian business. The charge was based on wire tap reports of meetings of Kirchner’s people with Mohsen Rabbani, a former cultural attaché at Iran’s embassy in Buenos Aires.

Nisman’s body was discovered on the day he was supposed to appear before a parliamentary committee to present his case against the president (who has since lost her post).

JNi.Media

Orthodox Jewish Teen Girl to Try for 2020 Tokyo Olympics

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

An Orthodox Jewish teenage girl from West Hempstead, Long Island says she’s hoping to make the grade for the 2020 Olympic Summer Games in Tokyo, Japan.

Estee Ackerman, 14, is Sabbath-observant, and missed out on going to the Olympics this time around. But she won double gold medals in last week’s Junior Olympics in table tennis competition in Houston, according to a post on The Jewish Week website.

Ackerman failed to qualify for the Rio Olympics, but won first place last week in the Amateur Athletic Union’s Junior Olympics instead. It’s not a bad prequel: The event attracts more than 15,000 athletes and coaches.

Ackerman won in two events: The under-16 girls singles division, and the under-16 girls doubles division, teaming with Amy Lu of Maryland.

The young competitor attends Yeshiva University High School for Girls.

Hana Levi Julian

Israel Publishes Plan to Solve Urgent Water Crisis in Jewish and Arab Communities in Judea and Samaria

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s Subcommittee on Judea and Samaria convened on Monday to discuss and approve a new executive plan to implement an immediate solution to the water shortage in both Jewish and Arab communities in Judea and Samaria. A total of 26 water reservoirs of up to 400 cubic meters each will be built throughout the region to reduce the amount of water shortages, at a cost of six million shekels (approximately USD 1.5 million).

The plan was formulated as a result of a collaborative effort by the Civil Administration, the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), the Water Authority, Israel’s national water company Mekorot, the National Emergency Authority, and local councils in the region.

“I am glad that all the relevant authorities have come together to find a short-term solution that will enable regular water supply after years of neglecting the water infrastructure,” said Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan. “This is not the last word though. I intend to work together with National Infrastructure Minister Yuval Steinitz to promote long-term master plans for developing the water infrastructure in Judea and Samaria.”

However, due to a lack of funds for the project and the urgency of finding a solution to the water shortage in the mid-August heat, Minister Ben-Dahan is expected to request additional funding from Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon.

According to Mekorot, there is currently a water shortage of 7000 to 9000 cubic meters a day in Judea and Samaria. Experts in the field claim that this is due to a long period of negligence in the water sector and that none of the authorities had adequately prepared for the increase in population and in agricultural fields that require large amounts of water.

The severe shortage has affected both Jewish and Arab residents of the region. However, Palestinian Authority and international organizations as well as media outlets have been blaming Israel for what they perceive as a deliberate policy to withhold water from Palestinian Authority communities.

Israeli sources have repeatedly denied the charges, citing that the shortage existed in Jewish communities as well. The Israeli Water Authority has blamed Palestinian Authority Arabs for stealing water and for refusing to convene the Israeli-PA Joint Water Committee, which was established under the 1993 Oslo Accords, a step that would be necessary in order to upgrade the outdated infrastructure.

Idit Druyan, spokeswoman for Deputy Defense Minister Ben-Dahan, told Tazpit Press Service (TPS) that the solution would affect Jewish and Arab communities alike.

“The pipe system needs to be fixed to prevent it from becoming overloaded in certain spots,” Druyan said. “When this is done and balance is restored to the various parts of the pipe, all communities will benefit.”

“Today, the problem mainly affects communities that are 800 meters above sea level,” she added. “Once we fix that problem, then the lower communities, including the Palestinian villages and towns, will also have more water.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Complying with Ottoman Law, IDF Panel Revokes Jewish Community’s Land Ownership

Monday, August 8th, 2016

The IDF Appeals Committee in Judea and Samaria has ruled recently that the 2013 declaration of an area of some 55 acres in the vicinity of Kokhav Ya’akov, between Jerusalem and Ramallah, as state land is null and void, because the process of making the acquisition was improper, Ha’aretz reported Monday. The military panel was also critical of the lack of transparency in making the declaration public — meaning that it was being kept out of PA Arabs’ earshot.

The panel’s ruling on an appeal by NGO Yesh Din on behalf of alleged Arab land owners, is more a judicial recommendation to the IDF in the area than a compelling decision, but should the declaration of state land be appealed in the Israeli Supreme court — as it surely will be — the panel’s decision would influence the justices’ ruling.

The grounds for dismissing the government acquisition of the land has to do with its failure to adequately comply with Ottoman Law — a remnant of the Turkish government’s rule over these lands before 1918, which continues to be the law of the land; and will continue to be so as long as Israel fails to impose Israeli law on Area C, where Jews live.

Ottoman law says that a man can establish claim to his land if he can show that he has been tilling it for the previous ten years. The state tried to comply with the law by providing aerial photographs of the area from 1969, showing clearly that the land was not being cultivated.

However, the dissemination of lands to local Arabs by King Hussein, who ruled the area from 1949 to 1967, took place in 1961. So the panel ruled that the aerial photos proving the land was not being cultivated had to be from before 1961, and, according to the state, such photographs could not be found.

There are photographs from 1944 showing that some of the land was being tilled then.

The judges wrote that they were not convinced the state had made the full effort to discover those 1956 aerial photographs, and that without them the panel must rule that the situation back in 1944 continued uninterrupted through 1961. Of course, the decision to require a photograph from before 1961 assumes that when King Hussein handed over lands to the heads of local Arab clans (whom he viewed as a source of potential rebellion) — he had the right to give those lands away. But Hussein was never recognized universally as the sovereign of the “West Bank,” which was considered an occupied territory, along the 1949 armistice border with Israel.

Local residents of Kokhav Ya’akov say they have also purchased the land, but regardless of the ownership papers they would present to the high court, organizations like Yesh Din will rustle up a group of Arab claimants to the land, with papers freshly minted by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah showing the land belongs to them.

According to NGO Monitor, Yesh Din operates on an annual budget of $1.58 million, provided by the EU, UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norwegian Refugee Council, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HEKS (Switzerland), Norway, Ireland, Germany, and Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands).

David Israel

Surrealist Postmodern Jewish Artist Esther Warkov Showing at WAG

Monday, August 8th, 2016

Esther Warkov, a surrealist postmodern Jewish artist living in Winnipeg, Canada, grew up on the Canadian prairies, but her stylized motifs reveal the clear influence of the Eastern European immigrant community into which she was born (in 1941).

“Warkov is adamant that her paintings do not tell a specific story and invites the viewer to meander through her work,” says Andrew Kear, the Winnipeg Art Gallery curator of Historical Canadian Art, which is showing Warkov’s paintings from the 1960s to the 1980s. WAG is actually showing two Jewish artists who dabble in the surreal, Warkov and Marc Chagall, who apparently was no stranger to Winnipeg. “It is exceptional to view Warkov and Chagall alongside each other; the stylistic parallels are stunning,” says Kear.

The WAG presented Esther Warkov’s first solo exhibition in 1964. Since then, the Gallery has acquired nearly 50 works by Warkov, spanning her career as one of Manitoba’s most distinctive artists. In recent years the Gallery has received a number of Warkov’s large multi-panelled paintings, a body of work that earned her national attention beginning in the 1970s. This exhibition showcases one of her most celebrated and defining periods of creative production.

Subtly psychedelic, Warkov’s stylized motifs reveal the influence of the Eastern European community into which she was born. Her motley scenes integrate a recurring and morphing array of images—townsfolk, historical figures, insects, and engine parts—appropriated from the old photographs, postcards, medical textbooks, and department store catalogues the artist scavenged from local junk shops and second-hand stores.

Warkov’s refreshingly idiosyncratic paintings engage with matters of race, ethnicity, social history, and cultural memory. At the same time, her work does not correspond to specific intentions, revealing no coherent stories. “When most people look at my work,” Warkov told Maclean’s in 1977, “they want to know what the symbolism is—and the truth is I don’t have any.” In the absence of an encompassing narrative, Warkov invites the viewer to meander, as one might through a found box of nameless photographs, and simply revel in the partial, provisional, and ultimately inarticulate strangeness of her painted worlds.

Esther Warkov: Paintings, 1960s-1980s

Winnipeg Art Gallery, 300 Memorial Boulevard, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3C 1V1

Tel 204.786.6641

Through October 16, 2016

Sat., Sun, Tue. Wed. Thu. 11 AM- 5 PM, Fri. 11 AM – PM, Mon. closed.

JNi.Media

RJC Applauding New Republican Jewish Voice in Congress

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks on Friday released a statement congratulating David Kustoff on his primary victory, defeating 12 opponents to capture the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional district Thursday night, making him the projected successor of Rep. Stephen Fincher in Congress.

“David Kustoff’s victory last night is wonderful news, as it means there will be another strong Jewish Republican voice in Congress, joining our friend, Congressman Lee Zeldin,” Brooks said. “Our country needs more lawmakers like David and Lee, who will fight to roll back President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s disastrous foreign policies and stand up for our principles.”

Meanwhile, in the Tennessee 9th Congressional District, which includes a large portion of Memphis and its immediate suburbs, Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen won the primary vote by a whopping 86%. Cohen is projected to win the November general election in the Democratic district versus Republican Wayne Alberson and independent Paul Cook.

JNi.Media

Jewish Practice In The U.S. Military (III)

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Eight years after the issue of Chaplain Geller and his beard was tried, the issue of accommodation to Orthodox practice would again spread its wings in the United States Air Force. This time the focus was Captain Rabbi Dr. Simcha Goldman who entered the military in September 1970.

From the time of his induction into the Navy, Goldman never encountered a problem wearing a yarmulke in the U.S. military. Initially, he had served as a chaplain (the JWB Navy chaplain screener at the time of Geller had subsequently retired) and for those years (1970-1972) the yarmulke that he constantly wore was never a concern to anyone. In 1973 Goldman’s aspirations took flight when he realized that the Air Force had more to offer him and his professional interest in clinical psychology than the Navy.

Goldman made the necessary adjustments between the military branches and was admitted to the Armed Forces Health Professions Scholarship Program earning his PhD in clinical psychology in 1977. Goldman’s method to repay Uncle Sam for the education was four years of active military duty. He was awarded the rank of captain and assigned to the March Air Force Base (subsequently closed) in Riverside, Calif., some 30 miles east of Los Angeles.

At this deployment too, he also wore his yarmulke without controversy, until matters would change in April, 1981. At that time Dr. Goldman was called as a defense witness in a court martial. As the hearing was a military tribunal, Dr. Goldman testified in uniform.

The prosecution’s case against an airman accused of grand theft of government property was contingent upon discrediting the testimony that the psychologist provided in his defense. Toward this goal, the prosecutor questioned as to which precise examinations were applied to determine the defendant’s sanity, as there are different methodologies that are considered standard.

“Was,” queried the prosecutor, “the MMPI (Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory: a standard psychometric test of adult personality and psychopathology) administered?”

As Dr. Goldman had not administered every exam, the thoroughness of his evaluation was called into question. Simcha Goldman did not take this as a personal affront, assuming that this was standard procedure employed by the prosecution to advance their case and weaken the defense.

One year later, Goldman was again called as a defense witness in a court-martial where the accusation was argued by the very same prosecutor. The man wanted to know which exams were used to determine the mental health of the accused. Repeating the tactics of one year earlier, the prosecutor demanded, “Did you perform an MMPI?”

This time the answer was affirmative, causing the prosecution to wax long and hard as to how inferior an evaluation the MMPI provides. The fact that the very same man could change 180° in just one year irritated Goldman, but he did not say anything, dismissing it once again as the methodology of litigators who are wont to employ the arguments that best serve their case, even if it is not consistent.

He didn’t say something initially, but he also did not totally dismiss it. Goldman put his psychological training to work and plotted how to one-up the prosecution. Dr. Goldman argued that the defendant possessed a weak personality and was influenced by bad friends with stronger personalities. And with this assertion Simcha Goldman had sowed the seeds of manipulation.

The prosecutor took the bait and, electrified like a cold motor from a jump-start, questioned, “Did you ask him if he had any good friends?”

“I didn’t believe that this was relevant.” Goldman deliberately answered vaguely, placing the red meat directly before the predator.

The military prosecutor fell for the trap head first and demanded to know why such a key factor would not be considered relevant when determining the innocence or guilt of the accused?

“Captain, I did not believe,” explained Goldman in the tone of a teacher repeating what should have been comprehended on the first take, “that this was a relevant question.”

Goldman’s response did not merit an immediate response. Silence began to flood the courtroom as everyone present understood with dread clarity that the prosecutor had been irked. The insult leveled caused annoyance to spew out of him like the spray from a hydrant wrenched open in the summertime.

Grabbing hold of himself, he finally uttered through clenched teeth, “Dr. Goldman just answer the question and let the court decide what is relevant.”

“Captain,” Goldman responded all smiles, “I don’t think the question is relevant to my clinical evaluation.” It was cheap, but it worked. This snappy rebuttal brought down the house. Ultimately, however, it was the prosecutor who would have the last laugh.

Ten days later, Goldman’s commanding officer informed him that a complaint had been lodged against him for wearing a yarmulke in violation of Air Force regulations. And just as a face can launch a thousand ships, one line can ignite a legal battle all the way up to the United States’s Court of Last Resort.

 

To be continued

 

Chodesh Tov – have a pleasant month!

Rabbi Hanoch Teller

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/chodesh-tov/jewish-practice-in-the-u-s-military-iii/2016/08/05/

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