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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Swiss MP at the Knesset: UNESCO Resolution on Jerusalem ‘Absurd’

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2016

The Swiss-Israel Friendship Association, headed by MP Corina Eichenberger-Walther (Liberal Party), visited the Knesset on Wednesday and conducted several meetings with Israeli lawmakers, including members of the Israel-Switzerland Parliamentary Friendship Group, headed by MK David Amsalem (Likud).

The Swiss MP also met with MK Avraham Neguise (Likud) and the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman, MK Avi Dichter (Likud).

MP Eichenberger-Walther is the head of a European association for fighting BDS, and emphasized during her meetings that she is ceaselessly working to improve relations between Switzerland and Israel.

MK Amsalem noted that Israelis from the entire political spectrum often feel as though the attitude toward Israel around the world, especially in Europe, is unfair and unjustified. Amsalem pointed as an example to the latest resolution passed by UNESCO regarding the Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the holy sites.

Eichenberger-Walther called the UNESCO decision “absurd” and said it “undermines the organization’s credibility.”

During the meeting with Knesset Deputy Speaker MK Yehiel Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp), the Swiss delegation members expressed their concerns regarding the year 2017, when the PA and their BDS supporters are expected to launch a propaganda campaign against Israel, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War.

MK Bar responded, “It is good to see once again that Israel has many friends around the world, some in influential positions. The challenge Israel faces is to recruit all of our supporters for a joint active initiative.”

JNi.Media

Liberman to Knesset Defense Committee: Hamas Preparing for Next Round

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

“Hamas in Gaza has 26,000 soldiers and another 40,000 clerks who receive their salary from the Hamas. It is currently building up an attack force to try to move the fighting into Israeli territory in the next round, but it is also working to restrain various entities within the [Gaza] Strip, mainly due to the change in the Israeli response policy after every incident, which has become dramatically harsher,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) on Monday told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chaired by MK Avi Dichter.

The defense minister said Israel will invest close to $1 billion over the next few years on defending the Gaza-vicinity communities.

Liberman noted the financial distress of Hamas, due to the reduced flow of funds from abroad and the economic and civic distress in across the Gaza strip. He said that today only 1% of the civic budget in Gaza comes from Hamas, while another 4% comes from the PA. 95% of the Gaza budget is donated by the international community.

There is tension, Liberman said, between the desire to allow Gaza citizens better living conditions, and the awareness that Hamas uses it to gain strength, as was the case when the Knesset approved the entry of construction materials into Gaza.

The defense minister also said that Hamas is not interested in solving the crisis in Gaza, looking instead to force the international community to get involved. So, for instance, it avoids connecting the Israeli power supply of a decontamination facility that was funded with $100 million from the World Bank.

Liberman noted that more than 90% of the water in Gaza is not suitable for drinking, and water desalination by international organizations will take at least two years to deliver. The crisis will arrive before then, he warned, and Israel will consolidate the plans to deal with it in the next few months.

Liberman also said that people within the Palestinian Authority are preoccupied with the day after Abu Mazen (nom de guerre of PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas). Liberman noted that Abu Mazen himself is occupied mainly with leaving behind a diplomatic legacy, including a number of diplomatic initiatives planned for 2017, and is not working to improve the economic situation in the PA.

“Improving the economic conditions of the Palestinians is a security interest of Israel, and when it is clear that it would not be possible to reach agreements on diplomatic issues such as Jerusalem, it is still possible to work to improve living and economic conditions,” Liberman said, noting that the PA has instructed its representatives to not speak of these things, but to address diplomatic issues only.

JNi.Media

Israeli Coalition MKs to Snub Arab Lawmakers After Peres Funeral Boycott

Monday, October 31st, 2016

Knesset coalition lawmakers say they’ll walk out when Arab members of the Israeli parliament speak from the podium this week.

The action comes in response to the boycott of the September 30 funeral of former President Shimon Peres z’l, by the Arab legislators. The boycott was condemned by numerous other MKs.

Yisrael Beytenu party chairman and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman praised the coalition for the boycott. “I hope that same boycott will continue until the end of the session,” he said.

Liberman called the Israeli Arab lawmakers who boycotted the Peres funeral, “representatives of terror groups in the Israeli government” who were “not legitimate.” Most Israeli Arab citizens, he contended, are loyal and should be integrated into Israeli society.

Israeli Arab MK Ahmad Tibi, a member of the Joint Arab List, slammed the boycott. “The announcement by the prime minister, advocating for a boycott of an entire faction representing an entire segment of the population, is unprecedented,” he wrote in a Hebrew tweet on the Twitter social networking site.

Joint Arab List chairman and MK Ayman Odeh told reporters that he’s not surprised by the move, which he said was part of the “fascist and racist policies” of the Israeli government.

“Even if you leave the plenary, even if you shut your eyes really tightly, we will still be here,” he warned, adding that he saw the move as a way to speak directly to the public without interference from other lawmakers.

Hana Levi Julian

Sovereignty for Maaleh Adumim

Monday, October 31st, 2016

At a protest held in front of the Knesset, with the participation of MKs, residents of Maaleh Adumim demanded the government officially annex their city of 40,000 residents into sovereign Israel.

Don’t stop there.

Annex Maaleh Adumim

As part of their campaign, they are displaying banners of previous prime ministers of Israel and the positive things to say about Maaleh Adumim.

Photo of the Day

Anti-Porn Censorship Bill Passes Unanimously in Ministerial Committee

Sunday, October 30th, 2016

A bill to censor pornography on the internet by default has passed unanimously in a vote on Sunday by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. It was sponsored by Bayit Yehudi MK Shuli Mualem-Refaeli, who said she is “not interested in blocking a campaign for breast cancer awareness,” but rather wants to be sure that local websites clearly tag content in a way that assists the filters.

The bill forces Israeli internet service providers (ISPs) to censor pornography by default, and requires users to notify their service providers either in writing, by phone or via the ISP website in order to opt out of the censorship.

The measure is aimed at knocking out underage access to online adult content.

“In the balance between the private individual and society, we take a wide view,” Mualem-Refaeli said. “We are calling to create a society that protects itself from things for which we pay a heavy price. A person who is interested in these sites needs to understand that at the moment Israel is in a process, that he is an individual but part of a whole society.”

The measure now heads to the Knesset to begin the process of final approval in the Knesset plenum.

Israeli ISPs are required by law to notify their customers that they provide internet filters they can use without charge. But lawmakers say many parents and other adults are not aware the option exists, making it clear that ISPs either do not notify their customers, or provide the notification in such a way as to make the option difficult to understand.

Hana Levi Julian

Knesset Committee to Debate Proposed Law Expanding Defense Minister’s Powers

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

A proposed new law would magnify the authority of the Israeli defense minister (within pre-1967 Israel only, as the Civil Administration deals with Judea and Samaria), enabling him or her to restrict the freedom of a citizen without trial, under considerations of “national security of the public safety.”

The bill is to be debated next week by the Knesset Constitution Committee, whose legal advisers had already called it “problematic.”

Bayit Yehudi MK and Committee Chairperson Nissan Slomiansky told Ha’aretz the committee will have to consider how to balance the protection of national security and the public, against the “severe injury to human rights.”

The legislation if passed would allow the minister to restrict the professions in which a citizen could work, stop a citizen from leaving the country and/or stop that person from making contact with certain individuals, reports the Ha’aretz newspaper. It would also enable the defense minister to detail Israeli citizens without trial, among other privileges.

But all of the above restrictions already exist as privileges of the Public Security Minister in pre-1967 Israel, and the right of the Defense Minister in areas of Judea, Samaria and some parts of Jerusalem as well.

For instance, the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet domestic intelligence service) can recommend to either minister that any individual be held under “administrative detention,” given enough reason to do so. Those reasons are not always made public, but one can be held under the law relating to administrative detention without being charged or brought to trial, for months. The validation must be renewed every three months, but the minister may detain anyone he likes as long as he can justify it to the High Court.

This law would limit that administrative detention – in pre-1967 Israel, at least, to six months.

As for restricting the professions in which one is able to work, security clearance, one’s military record and one’s criminal record and/or academic record – all of which can be traced via one’s Israeli identity card – already is used for such purposes, whether that information is always shared with the applicant or not.

As regards leaving the country, the average Israeli traveling abroad – as other travelers – goes through at least five security checks before ever reaching the airline check-in counter. By that time, Israeli security personnel have either decided one is a risk to national security, or they’re not.

If so, you’ll never make it to the plane.

Hana Levi Julian

Report: 3 MKs, IDF General Were KGB Agents

Wednesday, October 26th, 2016

Three Knesset members, senior IDF officers (including one member of the IDF General Staff), engineers who worked on classified projects such as the Lavi supersonic warplane and the Merkava tank, as well as intelligence officers in sensitive positions, have been exposed as KGB agents by documents to be revealed by the daily Yediot Aharonot this Friday.

The secret documents have been copied over a period of 20 years by Vasili Mitrokhin, a former senior KGB agent, who hid his work in milk jugs under his vacation home in a suburb of Moscow. In the early 1990s, Mitrokin contacted the West and he, his family and his milk jugs were transported to the UK. The revelations in these documents were a harsh blow to the Soviet spy network, exposing an estimated one thousand KGB agents around the world. Those documents included revelations about KGB activity inside Israel, and Yediot has now received some of them from a secret archive at Cambridge.

One of those KGB spies in Israel’s highest echelons was MK Elazar Granot, a socialist leader who served on the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee and was privy to Israel’s military secrets. The KGB also employed a senior engineer in Israel’s national water project in the 1950s and 60s, and even a senior agent in the GSS counter intelligence dept.

According to Yediot, the KGB’s highest prize was the recruitment of an IDF general who was member of the General Staff. When he was exposed, in 1993, the high ranking was already terminally ill and the powers that be decided not to prosecute. They likely did not relish the exposure either. He died shortly afterwards.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/report-3-mks-idf-general-were-kgb-agents/2016/10/26/

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