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September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Mayor’

Interior Ministry Cancels Netanya Municipality’s Award, the Reason: Mayor in Jail

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

The Netanya municipality was scheduled to receive the Interior Ministry’s Proper Financial Management Award, which will be given this Monday in a ceremony at the Jerusalem Convention Center to dozens of local municipalities that have met the ministry’s standards. This years the list includes Yavne, Kiryat Bialik, Kiryat Ata and Hod Hasharon, among many others. But at the last-minute this beautiful, coastal city, a third of the way between Tel Aviv and Haifa, was taken off the list.

Netanya has been an award recipient for the past consecutive four years, and the staff at City Hall told Clacalist they were frankly surprised at the decision to withdraw them from the list. A Calcalist inquiry with the Interior Ministry revealed that the decision came after the arrest of Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg Ikar on suspicions of corruption. Israel police arrested Feirberg and several of her colleagues and relatives on September 7, 2016 on charges of bribery, fraud, and abuse of power. Apparently the ministry preferred to err on the side of caution, especially since the current Interior Minster, Aryeh Deri (Shas) has himself served a hefty stint in prison for embezzlement.

The Interior Minister’s Proper Financial Management Award is given once a year to dozens of municipalities in Israel that show proper financial management and responsible behavior on the part of senior officials in local government. The parameters tested include deficits, income, expenses and rates of real estate tax collections. Other areas include proper awarding of bids.

Although it does not spell it out, the rules for the award most likely do not allow for the recipients to be under police investigation.

JNi.Media

Netanya Mayor Remanded for Another 3 Days

Sunday, September 11th, 2016

Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg Ikar on Sunday was remanded to another three days in jail. Feierberg is suspected of receiving bribes and benefits estimated in millions of dollars. Earlier on Sunday the same court extended the remand of the Mayor’ son Tzafrir Feirberg, contractor Avraham T’Shuva, attorney Abraham Gogig and architect Gabi Tetro.

David Israel

Mayor Barkat Thanks Czech Government For Refuting ‘Palestinian Lies’ on Jerusalem

Thursday, September 8th, 2016

Jerusalem (TPS) – Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat praised the Czech government on Wednesday for reversing a decision last week by its Education Ministry to require the removal of any reference to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in educational books. Barkat called the decision a victory against Palestinian incitement and lies against Israel.

“Truth has overcome lies,” said Barkat. “Future generations of Czech students will continue to learn the truth: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital and the heart and soul of the Jewish people.”

Last week, the Education Ministry in Prague ordered the Shocart publishing company to erase references to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, after Palestinian Authority ambassador to the Czech Republic Khaled al-Atrash complained that Shocart school atlases referred to the city as the Jewish state’s capital.

“The atlas says something that is unacceptable not only for the Palestinians but also according to international law and the official position of the European Union, including the Czech Republic,” argued al-Atrash.

Irena Valentova, a spokeswoman for the Czech Foreign Ministry, initially told local media that the country does not consider “east Jerusalem” to be Israeli territory.

“The EU member countries, including the Czech Republic, view Jerusalem as the future capital of both states, i.e. the State of Israel and the future State of Palestine,” Valentova said.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry slammed the short-lived policy, saying the Palestinian Authority is “no longer satisfied with poisoning the minds of Palestinian youth. Now it wants to spread lies and misinformation among Czech youth as well.”

Sunday, Barkat added his voice to the protest, asking Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka to reverse the decision.

“ Just as Prague is the capital of the Czech Republic, so too is Jerusalem the eternal capital of Israel,” Barkat wrote. “Future generations of Czech students deserve nothing less than the truth: Jerusalem’s rightful place as the capital of Israel, and the heart and soul of the Jewish people, cannot and should not, be denied,” Barkat continued.

By Tuesday, Education Minister Valentova had reversed the decision, saying “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital from the viewpoint of the declaration of the country to which this relates, which means Israel.”

“I am pleased that my letter to Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka, together with other diplomatic efforts, have positively impacted this decision,” said Barkat on Wednesday. “I’m thankful to the Czech government for making the right choice, and for refusing to surrender to Palestinian incitement and lies.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Netanya Mayor Remanded for 6 Days on Suspicion of Corruption, Bribes

Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg Ikar was in Rishon Lezion Magistrate’s Court Wednesday, along with three other suspects, including a senior official in her administration and a real estate developer, to hear police request for a remand in her investigation on suspicion of corruption.

A representative of the Police told the court that “this is a convoluted and complex investigation involving serious suspicions of public corruption on the highest order,” which is why police were requesting a 10-day remand. In the end the court allowed a 6-day remand for the mayor, her former husband Eli Feierberg, Rabbi Shimon Sher, chairman of the local planning and construction committee, and a developer whose name was not disclosed.

Mayor Feirberg and the other three are suspected of various crimes of accepting bribes. “These are public figures who violated the public’s trust,” the police representative told the court.

During the hearing, Feirberg interfered in her attorney’s comments to the court and the judge stopped her and said, “I understand this situation is uncomfortable for you, but do let your attorney speak, he knows what he’s talking about.” Feirberg shot back, “Why? I only asked to answer all their questions.”

Police suspect high ranking officials in the Netanya municipality and their circles of associates of working to promote the interests of contractors and developers in Netanya real estate projects, in return for bribes and other gifts. These officials are suspected of operating habitually with conflicts of interest without reporting them, with everyone being involved in bribery, fraud, money laundering and tax evasions.

Since the investigation has been revealed, police have seized and frozen accounts and assets to support possible future requests for forfeiture. The investigation is being run in collaboration by the National police Unit and the Income Tax Investigations Unit.

Other suspects, in addition to Mayor Feirberg, are her son, attorney Tzafrir Feirberg, contractor and developer Avraham T’shuva, the brother of natural gas and real estate tycoon Itzhak T’shuva, Attorney Rabbi Avraham Gogig, and architect Gabi Tetro.

David Israel

Police Raid Netanya City Hall, Mayor to Be Questioned

Monday, September 5th, 2016

Netanya Mayor Miriam Feirberg Ikar is expected to be invited for police questioning with a warning, as part of a large-scale investigation of the Netanya municipality which culminated with a raid of city hall Monday morning. A senior source in the police has told Haaretz that the mayor and members of her family may be suspects. Searches in the homes and offices of several suspects as well as offices in Netanya’s city hall building have yielded documents and other content. Three men, including an attorney and a developer have been detained for questioning.

According to an Haaretz investigation, the mayor’s family members have been involved in construction projects associated with members of tycoon Yitzhak Tshuva, the chairman of El-Ad Group which owned the New York Plaza Hotel.

Investigators of the Lahav 433 crime-fighting umbrella organization within the Israel Police along with Income Tax investigators on Monday carried out raids in multiple locations in the coastal city of Netanya. Also on hand were the Prohibition of Money Laundering and Financing of Terrorism Authority, and the State Attorney’s Economic Department. A preliminary announcement states that the investigation is based on suspicion that elements involved in construction have promoted their interests illegally with the Netanya municipality, among other things through bribery and while committing tax violations.

Back in 2007 police closed a similar investigation of Mayor Feirberg for lack of sufficient evidence.

Feirberg is the first female mayor elected in Netanya and one of very few women who have served as mayors in Israel. She was first elected in 1998, and again in 2003, 2008 and 2013. She has won a prize for efficient management from the Union of Local Authorities in Israel.

Netanya is one of the most affluent cities in Israel, and has attracted a large population of Russian and French immigrants. The city is considered one of the cleanest in Israel, with a long stretch of sandy beaches. It features of balanced mix of secular, national-religious and Haredi Jews, and is home to a growing Arab population.

JNi.Media

‘Jerusalem Has Much in Common With Hebron’

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat says that his city, the holiest city on Earth has “much in common” with the holiest city in Judea, Hebron.

Barkat toured the city with Rabbi Hillel Horowitz, who serves as head of the Cemeteries Council in Jerusalem and works closely with the mayor.

Joining the tour was Uri Karzen, director-general of the Jewish Community of Hebron and other local officials.

After afternoon prayers at the Cave of the Patriarchs, Barkat addressed officials and others who participated in the event.

“We have a lot in common,” he said. “Not just the religious/historical aspect, but also similar challenges in housing, economic development, cooperation with our cousins, and security challenges that we must know how to deal with.

“We have a lot in common and I came to strengthen and connect with the residents [of Hebron] from Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”

Rabbi Horowitz described to Barkat the words of Israel’s first prime minister, David Ben-Gurion, after he wrote the introduction to the book, “Sefer Hebron,” in 1970.

The “father of the Jewish State” wrote in an essay that served as the introduction to the book, “We will make a great and awful mistake if we fail to settle Hebron, neighbor and predecessor of Jerusalem, with a large Jewish settlement, constantly growing and expanding, very soon… Hebron is worthy to be Jerusalem’s sister.”

Hebron and the adjacent community of Kiryat Arba have a combined population of almost 10,000 Israelis, while Hebron’s Palestinian Authority population is about 180,000.

Mayor Barkat requested a framed plaque of Ben-Gurion’s words for his office. He has been mayor of Jerusalem since 2008.

Hana Levi Julian

Jerusalem Mayor to Avoid Thursday’s Pride Parade While Securing Its Path

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

A year ago this month, Ishai Schlussel, a known Haredi criminal who had just been released from jail after serving time for attempted murder in the 2005 gay pride parade in Jerusalem, was allowed by a negligent police to attack the 2015 gay parade, where he finally managed to murder a teen girl, Shira Banki, and six others. And so the 2016 Jerusalem gay pride parade has naturally become a kind of Selma march to condemn hate and violence, attracting thousands. But Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced that he would not march in this likely the most publicized gay parade in Israel’s history.

Barkat told the media on Wednesday that he supports the rights of gay people to parade in his city, and that he plans to “lay down a flower” on the spot where young Shira Banki was murdered, because he fiercely objects to anyone using violence in a political debate. But at the same time Barkat still feels that the gay pride parade is a bad idea in Jerusalem, because it needlessly offends hundreds of thousands of religious people in the city.

It was a complex decision by the mayor of the most important city in Israel, in the midst of a political environment that does not tolerate complexity and nuance. And, obviously, Mayor Barkat’s move has already been added by many to the long list of “homophobic” political acts by “hating” Israeli public servants. But Barkat should be admired, not condemned, for his sensible decision to facilitate and provide security for the parade which he openly admits he’d rather not have in his citry.

Unlike the Tel Aviv gay pride parade, which ravenously takes after New York City, Rio and New Orleans in its all-out explicit gesticulations and exhibitionism — the Jerusalem parade is more about people walking in an orderly fashion with rainbow flags, singing and yelling out anti-hate and pro-tolerance slogans. Still, Barkat argues that he would hurt many of his residents’ feelings were he to associate himself directly with the march which promotes acts specifically prohibited by scripture.

Meanwhile, Schlussel’s mother and five of his brothers were detained on Wednesday by police, as were 11 rightwing activists. They were all warned to stay away from the parade’s route, and then released. According to Walla, as is usually the case in such business, most of the rightwing activists were not aware there was going to be a parade Thursday and thanked the cops for keeping them informed.

The fact is no one is allowed to stand where the parade is going, the sidewalks will be kept deserted by heavy police guard (of whom, presumably, 3 to 10 percent are gay). According to Jerusalem District Commandeer Major General Yoram Halevy, there will be only two points where the marchers will experience contact with the non-marching public — at the beginning and at the end. Participants will have to report to the start point, undergo security check and receive an ID tag. But the controls will be in place even earlier on: participants from outside Jerusalem will be arriving in buses and will be checked before boarding. And so, as is often the case in our self-protecting democracies these days, what was meant as a lively, vivacious exchange of ideas and, yes, insults, between excitable people, will be reduced to a safe, but quite zombie-like affair.

Which, to some extent, means that Ishai Schlussel actually defeated the gay pride parade with his despicable attack, making it less gay and less proud.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jerusalem-mayor-to-avoid-thursdays-pride-parade-while-securing-its-path/2016/07/20/

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