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June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Too Pious to Give a Get

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

The Get, Judaism’s divorce document, was a revolutionary concept when it was introduced. It is a legal instrument that protects the rights of the woman from simply being thrown out of the house by her husband.

A husband cannot divorce his wife without her consent, and as a married woman, the husband had financial obligations towards his wife which he must fulfill. In an ancient world that hardly recognized a woman’s rights, this concept was downright radical. It protected the woman socially and financially.

But like most anything good in this world, someone will come along to find a way to abuse and distort it. The most common abuse of the Get being extortion. Since the Get requires consent from both sides, the husband or the wife can use it to extort and/or abuse the other, and unfortunately both sides have been known to do that to each other, lavishly.

But since the prohibitions on extra-marital relationships are far stricter on the woman, generally speaking, the woman often ends up as the weaker party in the fight. Typically you’ll hear more cases of men refusing to give a Get than of women refusing to accept it. I do know of a number of cases where the woman refused to accept the Get until she got the inequitable child custody terms she demanded.

Update: A reader pointed out a 2007 study which shows that in Israel, from the unresolved divorce cases, there were actually more women (20%) than men (19%) who refused to grant the divorce and use the Get for extortion purposes. That study didn’t show if among the closed cases, there were similar ratios of extortion.

Another important aspect of the Get is that it must be given and received through free will. There is a concept in Judaism, that a Jew always wants to do the right thing, so sometimes a little “convincing” (if you know what I mean) is all that’s needed to get him over the hump.

Habayit Hayehudi Chair MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli submitted a bill that hopes to address the issue of Get denial among Orthodox men to help convince them to do the right thing.

Her law will strip religious men sent to jail for Get refusal of the extra privileges they’re used to when it comes to the religious practices they follow. They will be able to get Kosher food in jail, but not Glatt-Kosher/Mehadrin food.

They won’t be able to sit and learn in the Torah wing of the prison.

Essentially her message is, your ongoing behavior of withholding the Get is not pious behavior, therefore you will not be entitled to privileges and services that a pious person requires, demands or expects.

(Unlike a criminal act that was already committed and is over, withholding a Get is an ongoing act).

But, from what I understand, a law that clearly only targets a specific sub-population is legally problematic.

So while Moalem-Rafaeli’s law may be a very good idea in practice (or theory), it may also not be a very legal one.

If it passes in the Knesset, we’ll see if it stands up in the Supreme Court.

JoeSettler

New Bill Revokes Get-Refusing Inmates’ ‘Mehadrin’ Kosher Food, Boarding Privileges

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

The Knesset on Wednesday debated a bill submitted by Habayit Hayehudi Chair MK Shuli Moalem-Refaeli revoking the special privileges of prisoners who refuse to grant their wives a get-religious divorce. The bill singles out Orthodox Jewish prisoners who are entitled while behind bars to stay in the prison’s “religious” section, participate in Jewish studies, and eat a stricter-standard “kosher l’mehadrin” meals. The idea is to use the loss of these privileges to force the prisoner to set his wife free.

To be clear, the law does not deprive the Orthodox inmate of his basic Jewish needs, it merely takes away elements of his “ultra-Religious” lifestyle.

Some Orthodox prisoners are actually sitting in jail for their refusal to grant the get, so that by freeing their wives they can set themselves free. But in the case of these Orthodox men, prison often resembles their normal everyday life, and in some cases may be an improvement — in prison they can sit and learn all day with a group of other Orthodox men, celebrate Shabbat and the holidays, and not have to worry about parnossah (making a living). MK Moalem hopes that removing those prisoners’ ability to live a full Jewish life behind bars and inserting them in the general population might help change their outlook on life in prison.

MK Moalem-Refaeli said, “A man who turns his wife into an aguna and refuses to obey the judges’ order to stop abusing her is not truly a man who values halakha and maintaining a Jewish lifestyle. He tramples the most essential Jewish principle, Love your fellow man as you would yourself, only to make his wife’s life miserable. Therefore he is not worthy of enjoying the plethora of privileges prison affords religious inmates.”

JNi.Media

Tunnel Digging Part of New War on Terror Law Passed by Knesset

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

The Knesset on Wednesday night, following a lengthy debate, passed in a second and third and final vote the War on Terror Law 5776-2016,by a 57 to 16 majority. The new law includes stricter punishment for terrorists and expands the state’s legal means of fighting them, including, for the first time, making digging a tunnel for terrorist purposes a criminal act.

The new law eliminates the emergency regulations which have been used since the establishment of the state. One of the new law’s provisions says that the punishment of a terrorist sentenced to life in prison may not be reconsidered during the first 15 years. It also punishes with 5 years’ imprisonment the direct incitement or encouragement for acts of terrorism. The new law does not require proof of any actual act of terrorism that resulted from the incitement.

The new law authorizes the defense minister to impose administrative forfeiture of the property of individuals suspected of security violations. It also empowers government to prevent an attorney representing two clients involved in the same investigation from meeting his clients. The law also imposes seven years’ imprisonment on a person threatening to carry out a violation that would be punishable by a life sentence.

The new law also revises the court procedures in terrorism cases, including interviewing a witness outside court, pre-trial testimony, statute of limitation on terrorist acts, detention of a security suspect, diversions from the rules of evidence, and concealed evidence.

Altogether, the new law cancels out two laws, two orders, and dozens of emergency Defense Regulations. It also modifies a long list of sub-items in as many as 14 existing laws.

Constitution Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi) who presented the bill for its final vote said that the conformation of the new law nullifies “60 laws and rules dating back to King George VI, so this is a kind of Day of Independence.” He praised the new law for emanating directly from Israel’s real, everyday experiences, “the real life in the State of Israel.”

MK Zahava Gal-On (Meretz) said that the only way to fight terrorism effectively is to eliminate the motivation for terrorism. She voted against the bill , saying, “I think it won’t do one thing: it won’t really provide tools for the war on terror, instead it will place us yet again on the list of countries that take advantage of a democracy’s ability to carry out anti-democratic legislation.”

The Arab MKs objected to the new law, saying it was anti-Arab rather than anti-terrorism. But MK Yoel Hasson (Zionist Camp) said in response that despite the fact that the law is complex, it is an Israeli law and not an anti-Arab law, “and it’s a law intended to protect all the citizens of Israel, since terror, if I may remind you, my friends, does not tell the difference between those sitting by this table or the other.”

JNi.Media

Despite Pressure, Ethics Committee Votes to Keep MKs Off Temple Mount

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The Ethics Committee on Tuesday voted to uphold its decision from seven months ago, banning Knesset Members from entering the Temple Mount compound. In its November 2015 decision the committee said it had been told by senior Israel Police officials that visits by MKs to the holy site in eastern Jerusalem would significantly deteriorate the security situation throughout the country.

The Ethics Committee stated that, until further notice, visiting the Temple Mount, which is holy to both Jews and Muslims, may be considered an ethics violation that carries sanctions. It cited the ethics rule that MKs are supposed to act for the good of the country.

The Ethics Committee said it discussed the matter again on Tuesday following pleas by committee member MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint Arab List) and Jewish MKs. Jerusalem District Police Commander Major-General Yoram Halevy briefed the committee and said that for the time being Police position on the ban remains unchanged.

The committee said it was further informed that in light of the relatively calm situation, Israel Police is considering allowing Arab MKs to visit the Temple Mount towards the end of the month of Ramadan, and allowing Jewish lawmakers to visit the site as well after the Ramadan and the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

“In light of what the committee has heard, it has reached a majority decision to uphold its previous decision for the time being,” the Ethics Committee said in statement, adding that it would change the decision should the security forces decide that MKs may be allowed to visit the Temple Mount once again.

David Israel

Knesset Extends Law Limiting Arab Family Reunification in Israel

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The Knesset plenum on Monday extended by a year an emergency provision that restricts the ability of residents of Iran, Afghanistan, Lebanon, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, and the Arabs of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip to automatically gain legal status in Israel under the Family Reunification Law.

The Family Reunification Law grants automatic legal status to foreign nationals who marry Israeli citizens. The provision to the law, the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, was first enacted in 2003 at the height of the Second Intifada. While the Supreme Court banned the provision from being permanently added, the Knesset has voted to extend the temporary act as an emergency measure every year since 2004.

Sixty-five MKs voted in favor of extending the provision until June 20, 2017, while 14 opposed.

“In the war against terror there is no one switch that stops all the attacks; there are a number of switches, and one of them is the Citizenship and Entry into Israel Law, which was enacted in 2003 during the Second Intifada, when hundreds of Israelis were murdered and thousands more were injured in terror attacks,” said MK Avi Dichter (Likud), chairman of the joint committee of the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and the Internal Affairs Committee, which discussed the various aspects of the provision.

“One way of dealing with this is self-flagellation, which has become popular as of late,” Dichter continued. “There are those who say we treat the Arabs as an inferior race and compare us to Nazi Germany. A mayor became a star on Al-Jazeera when he said the terror attack in Tel Aviv was the result of the occupation. A ‘we apologize for winning’ attitude has been created here. The other way is to understand that the barrel of terror has a bottom. There are ways to fight terror, and this law is one of them.”

Ahead of this year’s vote to extend the act, the joint committee heard testimony from experts and security officials on the effects of the provision.

A representative of the Shin Bet internal security service said those seeking reunification with family members in Israel pose a security risk due to the possibility that they will be used to carry out terror attacks or engage in espionage. According to the Shin Bet, 104 citizens or legal residents who had been brought into Israel under the Family Reunification Law had committed acts of terrorism from 2001 to 2016. Of those 104, 17 had married Israeli citizens, while 87 were relatives of those who had married Israelis.

The Shin Bet official also noted that residents brought into Israel under the Family Reunification Law were playing an increasing role in terrorism. He noted that 73% of terrorists with Israeli citizenship who had committed acts of terror against Israelis since the beginning of the terror wave last September were brought in as part of family reunification.

Of the 104 terrorists who entered Israel in this manner, 30 had committed terror attacks over the past nine months. He also noted they were responsible for 13% of all terror attacks in the recent terror wave.

During Monday’s plenary debate, MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) called the law “the most racist in the Israeli book of laws,” and said the statistics presented to the joint committee were misleading because residents of eastern Jerusalem who took part in terror attacks over the past year have nothing to do with family reunification. “In practice, barely one out of every 1,000 people who carried out terror attacks since 2003 are living here by virtue of family reunification,” Sa’adi told the plenum.

JNi.Media

After Orlando Bloodbath, Israeli Leaders ‘Stand Shoulder to Shoulder’ With US

Monday, June 13th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein expressed his condolences to US Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Paul Ryan over the deadly shooting at a gay bar in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night.

“On behalf of all the members of the Israeli Knesset, I would like to express our condolences and to join in the great sorrow of the tragedy that befell you and the deaths of innocent people from this crime,” said Edelstein to his US counterpart Speaker Ryan.

“Terrorism strikes everywhere and it does not differentiate between Orlando to Tel Aviv,” Edelstein continued. Only a few days earlier, two Arab terrorists murdered 3 Israeli civilians in a shooting in Tel Aviv.

“To my great dismay, the Israeli public is very familiar with the feelings of grief and anger caused by these events, and all we can do is to join hands in the fight against global terrorism,” added Edelstein.

Prime Minister Netanyahu conveyed similar condolences to the US earlier today during his weekly cabinet meeting.

“On behalf of the government and people of Israel, I would like to again express our condolences to the American people and the families at this especially difficult hour,” said Netanyahu. “We stand shoulder to shoulder with the American people.”

Like Edelstein, Netanyahu had also called for unity against global terrorism.

“This terror threatens the entire world and it is necessary above all that the enlightened countries urgently unite to fight against it.”

President Rivlin shared his sympathies with US President Barack Obama on Sunday night, writing that “the Israeli people stand shoulder to shoulder with our American brothers and sisters in the moral and just fight against all forms of violence and hatred. On behalf of all of Israel, I send my condolences to the families of the victims, and prayers for a speedy recovery of the injured.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

MK Ayman Odeh Slammed by Danny Danon over Request to UN via Palestinian Authority

Friday, June 10th, 2016

In a letter to Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstien, Israel’s UN Ambassador Danny Danon accused Knesset Member Ayman Odeh of “crossing a red line”. The allegation followed a letter by Odeh, Chairman of the Joint List faction, to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon calling for an investigation into land disputes in the Negev.

The application for the probe was submitted by Odeh through UN Palestinian Authority Representative Riyad Mansour. In it Odeh asked for a “UN fact-finding mission to the Negev to examine the dire situation of the land’s indigenous Arab population, and work to secure their rights as guaranteed by international law and conventions.”

Danon reacted harshly to Odeh’s actions in a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, “I find it appalling that MK Odeh decided to work together with the Palestinian representative who regularly spreads Antisemitic lies against the State of Israel.  A red line has been crossed.”

Mansour is known for particularly vehement rhetoric towards Israel. In November he accused Israel of harvesting organs from Arab bodies, and last month he compared Israel to Nazis in the Warsaw uprising.

UN Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman denied Odeh’s request in a response to the Israel’s Mission to the UN, and not via the Palestinian Authority Representative.

Stephanie Granot

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mk-ayman-odeh-slammed-by-danny-danon-over-request-to-un-via-palestinian-authority/2016/06/10/

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