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May 3, 2016 / 25 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Knesset’

Newest MK: When Soldiers Are Defamed, I Am a Soldier, When a Girl Is Murdered at the Gay Pride Parade, I’m a Gay Man

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015

(JNi.media) Likud MK Amir Ohana was sworn into the Knesset on Monday following the resignation of former Interior Minister Silvan Shalom. In his inaugural speech before the Knesset Plenum, Ohana said “I am here with all of who and what I am, what I’ve chosen and what I haven’t, and am proud of being Jewish, Israeli, Mizrahi (origins in an Arab country), gay, Likudnik, hawk, liberal and free-market man.”

“When people shout ‘Itbach al Yahud’ [Arabic for kill the Jews], I am a Jew. When they shoot, boycott, label and expel, I am a settler… When soldiers are defamed, I am a soldier.” MK Ohana said.

His line about the defamation of IDF soldiers was a reference to the recent controversy over the “Breaking the Silence NGO,” which turns alleged abuses by IDF soldiers into anti-Israel propaganda paid for by foreign interests.

Ohana also sided with the residents of south Tel Aviv, who have long complained about the influx of African migrants from Sudan and Eritrea. “When entire neighborhoods are not as they were, and the elderly are forced to live out the remainder of their lives in fear — I am a south Tel Aviv resident. And when the outside appearance of a man is considered a good reason to hate him, to distance him from neighborhoods and employment — I am an ultra-Orthodox Jew who is not afraid,” he said.

“When a baby is burned with his relatives, damn it, I’m with you, brothers,” Ohana said, finishing his sentence in Arabic. Ohana was referring to the fatal firebombing in the village of Duma, in which three members of the Palestinian Dawabsha family perished.

“When they stab to death a young woman in the parade of love and tolerance I’m gay, a gay person who does not just hope the day will come but gets up and brings it. A gay person who understands that the flag we carry, lesbians and gay men, trans and bi, is the rainbow flag.” The latter comment was a reference to the murder of Shira Banki in the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade last summer.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attended the ceremony and gave his blessing from the Knesset podium. “I want to make a clear point that may not be clear. Amir is the first clear, candid representative of the gay community who was elected in an open primary when he was completely out [of the closet]. He was elected by thousands of voters in the Likud primary,” Netanyahu said. He voiced his confidence that “Amir represents very well our view of liberal nationalism. He believes in the rights of the Jewish people to their land, in protecting the country’s security, civil rights, capitalist economics and a free market.”

Netanyahu added: “I’ve had the chance to work with him. He is pleasant but firm in his opinions, steadfast in his principles, and I think he will be an excellent Knesset member and a bridge between different parts of the public. I receive him with respect and pride.”

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog (Zionist Camp) said he hoped MK Ohana and the rest of the coalition members would support the opposition’s attempts to improve the standing of Israel’s gay community through legislation.

JNi.Media

Can You Cry ‘Death to Arabs’ in Crowded Social Network? Knesset Committee Wants to Know

Monday, December 28th, 2015

(JNi.media) The Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee on Monday discussed the anti-terrorism bill, specifically the level of proof that is needed in order file an indictment for incitement to terrorism and encouraging acts of terrorism.

According to the current law, publicizing support for terrorism, or calls for violence, can result in a five-year prison term if there is “a distinct possibility that it will lead to a terrorism attack or violence.” The bill, however, states that a direct call to commit an act of terrorism is in itself an offense punishable by five years in prison, regardless of whether there is a distinct possibility that it will lead to a terrorism attack or violence.

Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) asked Deputy Attorney General Raz Nizri whether the call “death to Arabs” will constitute an act of incitement to violence punishable by five years imprisonment. He requested that the law clearly state what constitutes incitement to violence, rather than have the Attorney General’s Office determine the matter.

In response, Nizri said that for every 100 complaints of incitement to violence, only one indictment is filed. “I do not believe in using indictments against words. I think the issue should be handled in the educational arena,” he said.

MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) asked Nizri why he has met only with right-wing Jewish detainees and not with non-Jewish ones. Nizri said in response: “In the past, I have met with Palestinian security detainees. This is not the time or place to discuss the circumstances or the number of times I did it.”

MK Dov Khenin (Joint Arab List) accused the AG’s Office of foot-dragging and failing to take steps against extremist rabbis who incite to murder. Nizri said in response that “those who read the Makor Rishon newspaper believe there is excessive enforcement against rightists. Those who read Haaretz believe there is excessive enforcement against leftists. We have filed many indictments against rabbis, Qadis (judges in Muslim communities), right-wing activists and left-wing activists.”

MK Revital Swid (Zionist Camp) asked Nizri if the stabbing of a photo of a murdered Palestinian baby constitutes incitement to violence. Swid was referring to a video of a wedding which features right-wing extremists dancing with guns, knives and firebombs. One guest stabs a photo of Ali Dawabsheh, the toddler killed along with his parents in the Duma firebomb attack over the summer.

Nizri said an investigation has been launched, but the suspects have yet to present their version of the events. Some of the chants or actions may be considered incitement, he said.

JNi.Media

Knesset Passes Law Making Judea and Samaria Division Part of WZO

Sunday, December 27th, 2015

(JNi.media) After hours of overnight deliberations, the Knesset approved Thursday morning a bill to regulate the legal status of the Settlement Division as part of the World Zionist Organization. The bill, submitted by MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) passed its second and third readings in a 53-48 vote. One Knesset member, Eitan Broshi of the Zionist Camp, abstained.

The bill will enshrine into law the WZO Settlement Division’s role in funding and developing rural Jewish communities in the Golan, Binyamin and Judea Hills, Jordan Valley, Hebron Hills and the Galilee and the Negev, subject, however, to the government’s approval.

The notes accompanying the proposal read, ”The purpose of the bill is anchored in legalizing the longstanding engagement between the Israeli government and the WZO Settlement Division, which for decades has served as the singular body for settlement development in Israel, and the realization of the Zionist mission of the State of Israel.”

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Bayit Yehudi) presented the proposal. ”This is something that should have taken place 67 years ago, with the establishment of the State,” he said.

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) said, ”This appears to be a technical debate, but we just saw the video showing youngsters repeatedly stabbing the photo of a baby who was murdered — this is the general topic we are discussing today. My Judaism is not the Judaism of those who danced at the wedding with knives. My Judaism is not Judaism of hatred or burning or dancing on the blood of babies.” Livni was referring to a Channel 10 report which showed a video of Jewish extremists dancing at a wedding while cheering the murder of a Palestinian family in Duma and calling for more killings.

”This Settlement Division Law is part of that same group. This proposal is meant to fool the Americans,” she added. ”In essence, the government is transferring to the Settlement Division the powers, but not the obligations. I would have been prepared to accept this law had one sentence been added to it – that everything that applies to the government also applies to the Settlement Division. But of course this was not accepted.”

MK Osama Sa’adi (Joint Arab List) said, ”The freedom of information clause does not include all the activity of the Settlement Division because they want to continue to rob the land of the Palestinian people and continue to build in the settlements. Many segments of the settler population carry out acts of terror. The solution is to dismantle the settlement enterprise, which is a war crime, and establish a Palestinian state.”

MK Elazar Stern (Yesh Atid) said ”perhaps [the law] is meant to deceive the European Union, but it makes room for lying to the state and lying to the court. [Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development] Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi), you are a dishonest and inciting man, and it cannot be that funds allotted by you will go to incitement and deception.”

MK Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said the Settlement Division ”is trying to create a political reality that will come at the expense of the settlement blocs. Ma’ale Adumim, Gush Etzion and Ariel are being held hostage by the illegal outposts. We are protecting the settlement blocs. Earlier we saw footage from the blood wedding. These people are not Jews, and we must fight them just like we fight Hamas and Hezbollah. They did not grow in a void – they have rabbis and an ideology. It is time that we come out against the extremism of the blood wedding, which was born in those same outposts which people are trying to fund through this bill.”

JNi.Media

Ukraine’s Parliament Considers Using Israeli Knesset Attendance Board System

Monday, December 21st, 2015

The Ukraine Rada (parliament) is considering the possibility of adopting the legislator attendance system used by Israel’s Knesset.

A delegation of senior Ukrainian parliament arrived last week for a seminar at the Knesset in Israel, and encountered the “MK Attendance Board” – the manner in which the Jewish State handles the issue of dealing with low attendance.

After delegation members told their hosts that it is hard to tell whether a member of the Rada is present in the house or not, they were briefed on the Knesset method and its work.

All this, while attending a seminar during which they met with Ronen Plot, Knesset’s director-general, who introduced them to the “Green Knesset” initiative.

The attendance board is displayed in the Knesset house at the entrance to the discussion hall, as well as in the Knesset website. The board shows the photos of all members along with their names. When an MK is attending discussions in the house, his or her photo and name are lit with colors, while the photo of those absent appear in black and white. The board is updated using the information given by Knesset ushers stationed at the entrances to the building.

The Ukrainian delegation included, among others, Ukrainian Rada Vice President Vladimir Slishinski and the Rada Deputy Director General Vladimir Bondarenko. The delegation was led by Israel’s honorary consul in Ukraine, Oleg Vishnyakov, who has actively promoted relations between the two countries.

Hana Levi Julian

MK Hanin Zoabi Denounces Lieberman’s Campaign Against Her as “Fascism”

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

By Alexander J. Apfel/TPS

Hanin Zoabi, a member of the Arab Joint List party, the third largest faction in the Israeli Knesset, issued a statement today, stating her determination to fight a political campaign announced by Avigdor Lieberman.

The Soviet-born leader of the right-of-center Yisrael Beitenu party recently announced his campaign to “remove Hanin Zoabi from the Knesset – for good!” He also uploaded a photo of himself bearing this slogan on his Facebook page.

Lieberman also posted on his Facebook page on Wednesday that Zoabi had “supported terror against Israel and incited against our country.”

Zoabi has indeed made comments in the past, seemingly sympathetic to serious acts of terrorism. In mid 2014, when three Israeli youths were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists, Zoabi said that “I can’t call this act terrorism, even if I don’t agree with it. This incident is a result of Israeli war crimes. [The terrorists] have to use these means until Israel will wake up a little, until citizens of Israel and Israeli society will wake up and feel the suffering of others.”

Zoabi was also quoted on a Hamas website encouraging Palestinians to take place in “popular resistance” and called upon Palestinians to “put Israel under siege instead of negotiating.”

“That is why I initiated legislation that will not allow the Israeli Supreme Court or any other body to overturn the decision of the Israeli Central Elections Committee to disqualify Zoabi from standing during elections,” he continued.

Zoabi, who has thrust herself into the public limelight several times in recent years released a statement this afternoon in which she described Lieberman as a “dangerous political figure” and a “fascist.”

“He is trying to gain cheap and inappropriate popularity by attacking and inciting against me and against the public that I represent,” Zoabi wrote.

The response went on to portray Zoabi and Liberman as the respective proponents of democracy and fascism: “This is a classic conflict between democracy and fascism. I represent justice, democracy and human rights, and Liberman represents fascism and hateful politics. Obviously my democratic principles irritate an opponent of democracy like Liberman.”

She expressed her determination to remain steadfast and to continue fighting for her cause. “This campaign and its name will not deter me or move me from my struggle for the values in which I believe: justice, equality, freedom and democracy. I will continue to struggle for my people and their just struggle.”

Zoabi fell out of favor with much of the Israeli public after a series of provocative actions that included participating in the Mavi Marmara Flotilla in May 2010, which sought to breach Israel’s security blockade. The flotilla contained weapon caches and armed activists. Moreover, the incident severely damaged Israeli-Turkish relations.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Hareidi Rabbis Rejected Netanyahu Request that Lapid Join Coalition

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Rabbis who advise the Hareidi Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism – UTJ) party have rejected a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to expand the government with the inclusion of Yesh Atid, chaired by Yair Lapid.

UTJ Minister Yaakov Litzman confirmed the report that was published Monday afternoon by the Hedrei Haderim website.

The coalition has survived for half a year with the narrowest of majorities, a single vote, and it has had to scramble several times to bring in Knesset Members to prevent an embarrassing defeat of a government bill or stop passage of an unwanted Opposition bill.

The Opposition also has not grabbed at opportunities to topple the government, and Opposition MKs often have left the Knesset forum in the same numbers that coalition MKs are absent.

Prime Minister Netanyahu would like to have a more comfortable majority, and Lapid’s chameleon-like positions have made it possible for him to sit with any government.

However, the Hareidi rabbis have drawn a giant X on Lapid, whose Holy Grail is to draft Hareidim, regardless of how much they learn in yeshivas or at least are listed as learning.

Hedrei Haderim reported that Litzman said:

I confirm that I received the request from the Prime Minister and that according to the advice of the Torah Sages Council, the answer is negative.

Lapid is a red line.

The office of the Prime Minister has not commented on the report, and Shas Hareidi party chairman Aryeh Deri told the website he knows nothing about it.

As for relations between Litzman and Lapid, the Yesh Atid leader recently approached the Knesset podium as Litzman stepped down.

Lapid reportedly patted Litzman’s shoulder, and the minister coolly brushed off his clothes, as if to clean off the dirt.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Sharansky Berates Arabs MKs for Boycotting Jewish Agency

Saturday, December 12th, 2015

Jewish Agency chairman Natan Sharansky has berated an Arab Knesset Member for scoring “cheap political points” by refusing to meet U.S. Jewish leaders in the same building that houses the Zionist group.

Joint Arab List MK Ayman Odeh on Thursday refused to enter a meeting with the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in New York, as reported here.

Sharansky’s spokesman issued a statement Saturday night saying:

It is unfortunate that members of Knesset from the Joint List are more interested in scoring cheap and expedient political points than they are in advancing the well-being of their communities.

Along with our core mission of ingathering the exiles of the Jewish people via Aliyah, The Jewish Agency is proud to serve all the citizens of Israel, regardless of religion or ethnicity, which we view as an integral part of our Zionist vision.

Thousands of Arab Israeli families enjoy a range of Jewish Agency programs, including our Youth Futures mentorship program, which has placed a particular emphasis on schoolchildren in Israel’s Arab community; Masa Israel Journey and Project TEN, which run programs focused on Arab-Jewish coexistence and on serving underprivileged Arab citizens of Israel; and an innovative Jewish Agency high school opened just this year for Bedouin youth in the Negev.

Sharansky added, “Thousands of Arab Israelis have already found their way to The Jewish Agency’s programs and to the dedicated professionals and volunteers who run them. It is high time MK Odeh and his colleagues did the same.”

Conference of Presidents Executive Vice President Malcolm Hoenlein came downstairs with MK Merav Michaeli to try to persuade Odeh to change his mind, which is a bit of an irony since Michaeli’s Labor party recently changed its official name to “Zionist Camp.”

Odeh later explained”

I came here to represent the Arab public in Israel to American audiences. As their representative, I cannot in good conscience participate in meetings in the offices of organizations whose work displaces Arab citizens, just as in the Knesset, we do not participate in the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign Ministry, and the Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption.:

Conference of Presidents Chairman Stephen Greenberg and VP Hoenlein said in a statement that they are “deeply disturbed and shocked at [Odeh’s] refusal to fulfill his commitment to speak before a meeting of the Conference, because our premises are shared with the Jewish Agency, and other Zionist groups.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/sharansky-berates-arabs-mks-for-boycotting-jewish-agency/2015/12/12/

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