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January 19, 2017 / 21 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Mayor’

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

Jerusalem Mayor Praises Train Guards for Stopping the Terror Attack

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat praised the Jerusalem Light Rail’s guards for their vigilance which resulted in the foiling of the terror attack this morning.

Barkat said, “This morning, thanks to the vigilance of the Jerusalem municipality guards of the Light Rail a major attack was prevented. The guards stationed at the Light Rail are part of the fabric of the human shield of Jerusalem against the terrorists who are trying to sow terror and fear. Our message to the public is to continue the routine, vigilant and never give in to terrorism. We must pursue the terrorists everywhere without compromise and without restraint, while continuing to develop and strengthen Jerusalem. We can be proud of the security men of the Jerusalem Municipality and the policemen of Jerusalem with their great devotion and willingness to risk their lives to save the inhabitants of Jerusalem. Thank you on behalf of local residents.”

Jerusalem resident Miriam Schwab described the scene on her Facebook page:

I’m on the bus to work and we come to a complete standstill. The bus driver tells us it’s a suspicious object, and opens the door so we can get off and walk since it looks like it will be a while. Oh man, I sigh, and start walking. I figure I’ll try to catch the light rail. I get to King George and Jaffa Road, and it’s crawling with police and taped off. More serious looking than your typical “suspicious object” situation. What’s going on, I ask two guys standing next to me. One of them saw it all: a terrorist with a bomb was going to get on the light rail. One of the train guards saw him and suspected him. He risked his life, tackled him, and neutralized the threat. That’s what I know so far. I’m a little bit freaking out, but at the same time am in awe of people like this guard who risk their lives to save all of ours. We are surrounded by heroes. Update: the guard who stopped the terrorist is a Druze Arab.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Jerusalem Mayor to Fire Ancient Ramadan Cannon Ending Islamic Fast

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is set to fire the ancient Ramadan cannon on Tuesday signaling the end of the Islamic holy month’s daily fasts.

The cannon will be fired at the ancient cemetery on Salah a Din Street near the Old City police station together with the Haj Yahya Sandouka family.

The Sandouka hamullah (clan) has been responsible for firing the cannon during the month of Ramadan and on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday ending the fast, since the Ottoman period 200 years ago.

The cannon is fired twice each day of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, at sunrise and sunset, marking the beginning and the end of the fast each day.

Following the ceremony, the mayor will join the dignitaries of the neighborhood for the Iftar meal.

Ramadan, which began on June 6, ends this year on July 5, when Muslims celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of the fast, and which lasts in countries for up to three days.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Ma’alot Mayor Visits Muqata in Ramallah, PLO Chief’s Grave

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

Ma’alot Mayor Shlomo Abuhbut visited Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday (May 31, 2016) in his office at the Muqata compound in the PA capital city of Ramallah. Abuhbut also paid ceremonial respects at the tomb of PLO terrorist chief Yasser Arafat — enraging his constituents at home — and visited with Abbas at home as well.

Ma'alot Mayor Shlomo Abuhbut with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas at the Muqata in Ramallah, Samaria.

Residents of Ma’alot say their mayor, a member of the Labor Party, seems to have forgotten the May 15, 1974 attack on a school in their city in which more than 85 high school students were taken hostage while on a trip there from Tzfat. The standoff with the three terrorists from the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) terror cell ended with the deaths of 22 children and five adults, in addition to 70 wounded Israelis.

The PFLP is the second largest faction within the PLO terror organization, after Fatah.

But in response to the residents’ outrage, Abuhbut posted a long, detailed statement Thursday morning on his Facebook page.

“Last night I went on a visit to Abu Mazen and his associates with the heads of local authorities in the Galilee from both ends of the political spectrum,” he wrote. “Abu Mazen (the nom de guerre of Abbas) has been negotiating with Israeli governments for many years, including that of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and others.

“I too believe there is a path to achieving two states for two nations, and that it is through this means we can negotiate a way to guarantee the security of Israel as a nation, and ensure a unique, Jewish majority.

“This is not the first time I have participated in such a venture. I have gone with delegations to visit the Palestinian Authority together with heads of state, mayors of cities and local authorities and local heads of the Likud party, and even heads of the councils of Judea and Samaria.

My son currently serves as an IDF soldier in the Golani Brigade; another is a warrior in the reserves. I reared them as combat soldiers to contribute meaningful service, to guarantee the security of Israel as a nation and to ensure a distinct Jewish majority here.

I grew up in Morocco; it was there I absorbed the values of a life in which Arabs and Jews can co-exist in peace. I believe it is actually those of us who are from North Africa, who have skills and a background like no one else, who can to bring to the table to resolve the conflict with the Arab nations, knowing it can be a way for us to continue as a Jewish State respecting the rights of minorities as neighbors.

“That is precisely why I won’t abandon an opportunity for interaction that has a hint of a chance of creating peace. I will continue my efforts to that end, to extend a hand in peace, to make it clear that Israel has a right to exist in security and peace.

“During our visit I emphasized to Abu Mazen that I see in Minister [Avigdor] Liberman a [new] chance to start negotiations because Liberman had always proposed a plan in which there would be a political arrangement with the Palestinian Authority as part of a greater arrangement with the Arab nations.

“Abu Mazen – who spoke in Arabic and who with other officials appears in Arab media – specifically said that he recognizes the existence of the State of Israel and does not denigrate the words of Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu and Minister Libberman. He also said that he sees in Liberman a legitimate negotiating partner who can promote dialogue.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/maalot-mayor-visits-muqata-in-ramallah-plo-chiefs-grave/2016/06/02/

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