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October 23, 2016 / 21 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘majority’

Majority Compromise

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

Mr. Landau, builder, had just finished doing extensive renovations on Mr. Naiman’s house. When the time came for the final payment, a dispute arose over certain additional charges Mr. Naiman refused to pay. Mr. Landau tried unsuccessfully to reach an agreement with Mr. Naiman, who refused to pay anything extra.

“I have no choice but to sue you,” Mr. Landau said.

“Go ahead,” said Mr. Naiman. “I am convinced that I’m exempt and am willing to litigate in any reputable beis din.”

Mr. Landau sued Mr. Naiman in Rabbi Dayan’s beis din.

“We serve as a beis din,” the secretary said, “but we require the two parties to sign a binding arbitration agreement, to make the ruling of beis din enforceable in civil court.” The two parties signed the form.

The case was complicated. There were disagreements over factual issues with conflicting evidence; the halacha was also subject to a wide-ranging dispute between the authorities.

The three dayanim wrestled with the case, but could not achieve a clear-cut ruling. Two wanted to obligate Mr. Naiman for 40 percent of the disputed amount as an imposed compromise, whereas the third wanted to exempt him completely. The three continued to deliberate but remained entrenched in their positions and could not reach a unanimous agreement.

Rabbi Dayan announced to the parties: “In accordance with the majority view, Mr. Naiman must pay 40 percent as a compromise.”

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Naiman. “However, I have a question, if I may ask.”

“Certainly,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “Go ahead.”

“You said the compromise ruling is based on the majority,” said Mr. Naiman. “While a legal ruling clearly follows the majority, I recall learning that compromise arbitration must be a unanimous decision; perhaps we should not follow the majority in our case.”

“Indeed, the Shulchan Aruch cites from a number of Rishonim that compromise arbitration requires a unanimous decision of the arbitrators,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “They limit the Torah’s decree of majority rule to beis din, but other forums, which are based on the parties’ agreement, require unanimous decision to obligate a person in payment.” (C.M. 12:18; Rama 18:1; Responsa Rashba 5:289)

“What is this based on?” asked Mr. Landau.

“The Gemara (Avodah Zarah 72a) addresses the case of a buyer and seller who agree the price will be established by a panel of evaluators,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “If they say, ‘As a group of three evaluates,’ it reflects a legal ruling that follows the majority, whereas if they say, ‘As three say,’ it reflects arbitration that requires unanimous agreement. Nonetheless, in most cases nowadays, a compromise arbitration decided by the majority of the dayanim suffices.”

“Why is that?” asked Mr. Naiman.

“First, when coming before a beis din for arbitration, you signed an arbitration agreement that authorizes the beis din to rule either according to the letter of the law or by imposed compromise,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “It is recommended that the agreement explicitly state the requirement to follow even the majority of a compromise. Even if it doesn’t, some maintain the compromise is implicitly made parallel to a ruling that follows the majority.” (See Sma 13:20; Pischei Teshuvah 13:6; Aruch Hashulchan 12:15)

“Furthermore,” added Rabbi Dayan, “the compromise imposed by the beis din is usually intended to be close to the letter of the law. The dispute between the dayanim regarding the compromise often reflects a dispute over what the law should be, so that the majority of the compromise actually reflects a majority of ruling.” (Divrei Malkiel 5:10)

“Finally, some suggest that when the litigants initially came before the beis din for a judicial decision and the dayanim encouraged them to accept imposed compromise,” concluded Rabbi Dayan, “they continue to serve as dayanim who rule not as arbitrators, so that we follow the majority opinion.” (Cheishev Ha’efod 2:17)

Rabbi Meir Orlian

Survey: Majority of Israeli Jews Favor Keeping Judea and Samaria, Israeli Arabs Favor Keeping Large Settlement Blocs

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

“Sometime after the Six Day War the settlement enterprise began to develop. In your opinion, from a perspective of 50 years later, has the settlement enterprise contributed to or damaged Israel’s national interest?” was one of the opening questions in a June survey comparing the attitudes of Israeli Jews and Arabs on the liberated territories.

The survey found that 52% of the Jewish public thinks the settlement enterprise has contributed to the national interest.

And so the survey noted that “some claim that over the years Israeli governments have invested many resources and monies in developing the Jewish settlements and infrastructures in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria, and previously also in Gaza, at the expense of other areas and populations in Israel that are disadvantaged and would have needed these resources and budgets. Others claim that there is no connection between the two because one does not come at the expense of the other.” Then it inquired, “With which claim do you agree?”

49% of the Jews said there is no connection between the two; 45% say the investment in the territories comes at the expense of budgets for deprived areas and disadvantaged populations.

In the Arab public, a two-thirds majority considers the investments in the territories a detraction from investments in deprived areas and disadvantaged populations inside green line Israel.

The Peace Index is a project of the Evens Program for Mediation and Conflict Resolution at Tel Aviv University and the Guttman Center for Surveys of the Israel Democracy Institute. The June survey, conducted by phone on June 28-29, 2016, included 600 respondents — 500 Jews, 100 Arabs, who constitute a representative national sample of the entire adult population of Israel aged 18 and over. The maximum margin of error for the entire sample is ±4.1%.

The survey also found that a majority of the Jewish respondents do not know for sure the size of the Jewish or of the Palestinian population in the West Bank/Judea and Samaria. Asked how many Jews live in these territories (not counting the neighborhoods of expanded Jerusalem such as Gilo or Pisgat Ze’ev), about 25% underestimated the figure to be 100,000-250,000, 30% answered correctly that the number is 250,000-500,000, 13% gave an overestimate of 500,000-750,000, 3% thought the correct number was 750,000 to a million, and about 25% did not know at all.

As to the Arab population in Judea and Samaria, not counting Jerusalem, the estimates were: 24%—half a million to a million, 36%—one to two million, 10%—two million to three million, and 3%—over three million. 27% did not know.

The fact is that no one really knows how many Arabs live today in the parts of Judea and Samaria governed by the Palestinian Authority, and so, in this instance, there is no wrong answer.

59% of the Jews and 73% of the Arabs favor holding a referendum on Israel leaving the territories. As to how the respondents would vote in such a referendum, 52% of the Jews reported that in the existing situation they would vote against a withdrawal, while 36% answered that they would vote in favor.

Among the Arabs 69% said that if a referendum were to be held today, they would vote in favor of leaving the territories while retaining the large settlement blocs.

Only 51% the Jewish respondents believe all the citizens of the state would be entitled to participate in such a referendum. 44% believe that only the Jewish citizens of the country should be entitled to participate.

David Israel

Egypt Coptic Christian Leadership Condemns Western Media Coverage

Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

In the face of an unprecedented wave of violence directed against Coptic Christians amid the turmoil in Egypt that has left hundred’s dead, the church’s leadership issued a statement condemning the Western media’s biased coverage of the events in Egypt.

“We strongly denounce the fallacies broadcasted by the Western media and invite them to review the facts objectively regarding these bloody radical organizations and their affiliates instead of legitimizing them with global support and political protection while they attempt to spread devastation and destruction in our dear land,” reads the statement, according to a Google translation.

“We request that the international and western media adhere to providing a comprehensive account of all events with truth, accuracy, and honesty,” the statement added.

The Coptic Church also reaffirmed its support for the military-backed government, calling on the army and security forces to continue their fight against the “armed violent groups and black terrorism.”

One of the oldest communities in Christianity, Coptic Christians have survived numerous persecutions in the past. But the recent violence is unprecedented. The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), an independent human rights organization, has documented 39 attacks against Coptic Christian churches, schools, monasteries and businesses since late last week, NPR reported.

Coptic Christians constituted a majority of Egypt’s population until the Middle Ages, when Islam, introduced by the Arab invasions in the 7th century, eclipsed their religion. Today, Coptic Christianity comprises nearly 10 percent of Egypt’s 85 million people, making it the largest single Christian community remaining in the Middle East.

JNS News Service

Krugman’s Lament

Monday, August 19th, 2013

Originally published at The American Thinker.

Paul Krugman laments but does not condemn the voting public for getting it wrong. We are, after all,  “… often misinformed, and politicians aren’t reliably truthful.” So it is at least not our fault when we get it all wrong. Get what wrong?

Well, Krugman wondered whether the public was clueless about whether “the deficit has gone up or down since January 2010.” He got one of his pals, Hal Varian, to run a Google Consumer Survey on the question. And guess what? We got it wrong, “A majority of those who replied said the deficit has gone up, with more than 40 percent saying that it has gone up a lot. Only 12 percent answered correctly that it has gone down a lot.” So, according to Krugman, under [in spite of?] Obama the deficit has gone down a lot since 2010.

The amount of the deficit in 2010 was 1.3 trillion. The amount of the deficit in 2011 was 1.3 trillion.

Obama’s 2011 deficit same as 2010: $1.3 trillion

That means big things must have happened in  2012, right?

For fiscal year 2012 the federal budget deficit will total $1.1 trillion

Wow. Did we get that wrong. For Krugman the move from 1.3 trillion to 1.1 trillion is “down a lot.”

Now maybe Krugman had the projected government deficit for 2013 in mind. That is projected to be .7 trillion.  But he didn’t ask that did he? He didn’t even ask if the deficit for 2012 is lower than the deficit in 2011. He just asked if the deficit has gone up or down.

But which is it Mr. Krugman? You’ve been telling us that deficits don’t matter. If they don’t matter why should we, the clueless misinformed, pay attention? But now you seem to be suggesting that a reduced deficit is a good thing and that you and the Obama administration should take credit for the reduced deficit in 2013 – forced sequestration, condemned by you and the Obama administration, had nothing to do with the 2013 drop in the deficit?

So if deficits go up it doesn’t matter but if they go down it’s a good thing? Well, count me among the clueless.

Read more: http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2013/08/krugmans_lament.html#ixzz2cRV1ZhGB
Follow us: @AmericanThinker on Twitter | AmericanThinker on Facebook
Richard Butrick

Nothing ‘Reasonable’ about Mideast Divide

Thursday, August 1st, 2013

Thanks to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s decision to swallow a painful and embarrassing concession to please the Palestinians, Secretary of State John Kerry had his moment of triumph.

In announcing the start of a new round of Middle East peace talks, Kerry has seemingly justified the way he has concentrated his efforts on an issue that was not in crisis mode and with little chance of resolution while treating other more urgent problems such as Egypt, Syria, and the Iranian nuclear threat as lower priorities.

But now that he has had his victory, the focus turns to the talks where few, if any, observers think there is a ghost of a chance of that the negotiations can succeed despite Kerry’s call for “reasonable compromises.”

The reason for that is that despite the traditional American belief that the two sides can split the difference on their disagreements, as Kerry seems to want, the problem is much deeper than drawing a new line on a map.

Ironically, proof of this comes from a new poll that some are touting as evidence that both Israelis and Palestinians support a two-state solution. The poll was a joint project of the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. It shows, among other often-contradictory results, that a majority of Israelis (62 percent) supports a two-state solution while 33 percent oppose it. Among Palestinians, 53 percent support and 46 percent oppose the two-state solution.

But the question to ask about this poll and the conflict is what the two sides mean by a two-state solution. The answer comes in a subsequent query:

We asked Israelis and Palestinians about their readiness for a mutual recognition as part of a permanent status agreement and after all issues in the conflict are resolved and a Palestinian State is established. Our current poll shows that 57% of the Israeli public supports such a mutual recognition and 37% opposes it. Among Palestinians, 42% support and 56% oppose this step.

In other words, Israelis see a two-state solution as a way to permanently end the conflict and achieve peace. But since a majority of Palestinians cannot envision mutual recognition even after all issues are resolved and they get a state, they obviously see it as merely a pause before the conflict would begin anew on terms decidedly less advantageous to Israel.

There are many reasons why the peace negotiations are likely to fail. The Palestinians are deeply split, with Gaza being ruled by the Islamists of Hamas who still won’t even contemplate talks with Israel, let alone peace. Kerry has praised Palestinian Authority head Mahmoud Abbas, but he is weak and hasn’t the ability to make a peace deal stick even in the unlikely event he signs one.

Though Netanyahu went out on a political limb to enable the talks to begin by releasing scores of Palestinian terrorists, Abbas has shown in the past that he will say no, even when offered virtually everything he has asked for. Netanyahu will rightly drive a harder bargain and refuse to contemplate a deal that involves a complete retreat to the 1967 lines or a Palestinian state that isn’t demilitarized. But it’s hard to imagine Abbas ever recognizing the legitimacy of a Jewish state no matter where its borders are drawn.

The real problem, however, isn’t about where negotiators would draw those lines. As the poll indicates, even after Israel withdraws from almost all of the West Bank (reports indicate Netanyahu is ready to give up 86 percent of it), a substantial majority of Palestinians still can’t fathom the possibility of mutual recognition and normal relations.

How can that be?

The reason is very simple and is not something Kerry or his lead negotiator Martin Indyk (a veteran of numerous diplomatic failures who hasn’t seemed to learn a thing from any of them) can fix. Palestinian nationalism was born in the 20th century as a reaction to Zionism, not by focusing on fostering a separate identity and culture from that of other Arab populations. That doesn’t mean Palestinians aren’t now a separate people with their own identity, but it does explain why they see that identity as indistinguishable from the effort to make Israel disappear.

Jonathan S. Tobin

In Hebrew: ‘The Majority’

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012


An important part of what חֲנֻכָּה – Hannukah – represents is the victory of the few over the many.

The common spoken-Hebrew word for many is הַרְבֵּה, but in a more literary sense or when referring to majority, the word is רוֹב. The ר.ו.ב (r.w.b) root is the same as that of the word for rabbi –רַב – and means greatness.

Whereas in English, we talk about the vast majority, in Hebrew we say: הָרוֹב הַמֻּחְלָט the absolute majority 

or הָרוֹב הַמַכְרִיעַ the decisive majority

or, to simplify: הָרוֹב the majority

חַג חֲנֻכָּה שָׂמֵחַ! Happy Hanukkah holiday!

Visit Kzat Ivrit.

Ami Steinberger

50 UN Members Did Not Support Palestinian Upgrade

Friday, November 30th, 2012

I agree that this is a little like the joke about the police commissioner who boasts that while there has been an increase in crime incidents in the city, there are millions of citizens who have not committed any crimes in the past quarter — nevertheless, a measure of sanity among the world’s nations must be acknowledged and even praised.

The UN General Assembly today voted 138 to 9, with 41 abstaining, to upgrade the PLO’s observer status to the same level held by the Vatican, that of a “non-member state.”

An email sent out last night by UN Watch notes that although the number of Yes votes may appear large, in fact it amounted to the usual automatic majority for any resolution attacking Israel — and the proposal actually won 28 fewer votes than a pro-Palestinian resolution adopted last week, and fewer than is usually received by such resolutions.

Moreover, as UN Watch also reported — in a Tweet reposted by Canadian Cabinet Minister Rona Ambrose among many others —  the PLO won 38 fewer than the 176 votes the U.N. General Assembly gave to genocidal Sudan when recently electing it to a principal U.N. body that oversees human rights.

Let’s be grateful for small favors. Think of it, there are 50 whole nations out there that are not sure they want Israel to be erased from the map, and 9 of them are actually against the idea at this time!

Although mostly symbolic, the statehood designation, as President Abbas boasted last year in a New York Times op-ed, paves the way for the “internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter,” enabling the PLO to pursue claims against Israel in the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Incidentally, just so you wouldn’t be completely overcome by euphoria, the UN Human Rights Council is planning to release a massive report in early 2013 — by a commission of inquiry modeled after the one that produced the notorious Goldstone Report — which is likely to recommend the ICC prosecution of Israeli officials for “war crimes” in connection with the settlements.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/50-un-members-did-not-support-palestinian-upgrade/2012/11/30/

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