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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Meretz’

Raucous Knesset Passes NGO Foreign Funding Transparency Bill

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

The Knesset plenum on Monday night passed the NGO Law, a.k.a. the Transparency Law, by a 57 to 48 majority. The new legislation’s official title is “Law on disclosure requirements for recipients of support from a foreign political entity.” It was the brain child of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and it requires NGOs that receive more than 50% of their budget from a foreign source to report this fact to the NGO registrar and to note it in a visible fashion in all their publications as well as their communications with public officials.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu commented Monday night on his Facebook page that “the purpose of the law is to prevent an absurd situation whereby foreign countries intervene in Israel’s internal affairs through their NGO funding while the Israeli public is unaware of it. Contrary to the arguments on the left, passing the law will increase transparency, contribute to creating a dialog that reflects accurately the views of the Israeli public and will bolster Democracy.”

The vote followed a boisterous, even rowdy six hour debate during which the opposition submitted no less than one thousand reservations, and opposition members expressed resolute objections to the bill. Meretz chair Zehava Galon accused the bill’s authors that their purpose “isn’t enhancing the transparency but [constitutes] political persecution. … the bill’s authors and promoters wish to shut the mouths of organizations that challenge government policy.”

MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) warned that the new law “defames our reputation in the world worse than any NGO could have done and destroys us from within.” Other ZC members were also of the opinion that the law is intended to quash opposition to the rightwing majority, at the expense of Israel’s reputation as a world democracy.

For comparison, the US Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), passed in 1938, requires that agents representing the interests of foreign powers in a “political or quasi-political capacity” disclose their relationship with the foreign government and information about related activities and finances. The purpose is to facilitate “evaluation by the government and the American people of the statements and activities of such persons.” In 2007 the Justice Department launched an online database which can be used by the public to search filings and current reports.

The US law requires periodic disclosure of all activities and finances by people and organizations that are under control of a foreign government, of organizations or of persons outside of the United States (“foreign principal”), if they act “at the order, request, or under the direction or control” of this principal (i.e. as “agents”) or of persons who are “controlled or subsidized in major part” by this principal. Organizations under such foreign control can include political agents, public relations counsel, publicity agents, information-service employees, political consultants, fundraisers or those who represent the foreign power before any agency or official of the United States government.

But the US law provides explicit exemptions for organizations engaged in “religious, scholastic, academic, or scientific pursuits or of the fine arts,” as well as for those “not serving predominantly a foreign interest.”

Constitution, Law and Justice Committee Chairman MK Nissan Slomiansky (Habayit Hayehudi) told the House that “anyone wishing to influence the agenda of the Israeli public must be transparent. It is inconceivable that foreign states would hide behind associations and organizations acting on behalf of interests that are not in line with those of the State of Israel. Now everything is on the table, everything is revealed, and they will undergo the public’s scrutiny.”

Slomiansky proceeded to read from a list of just how much money some leftwing NGO received from abroad—some of whom get 100% of their budget this way—and the opposition benches went on the warpath, drowning his voice with their angry shouting.

JNi.Media

Knesset to Vote on Paternity Leave

Monday, June 20th, 2016

The Labor, Welfare and Health Committee on Monday unanimously approved for its second and third readings at the Knesset plenum a bill presented by MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) making Israeli fathers eligible for five days of paternity leave after their spouse has given birth.

The leave, to run parallel to the leave granted mothers, will consist of three vacation days and two additional days on the account of the father’s sick-pay allocation—this in addition to the father’s permitted absence on the day the baby is born.

Since May 1998, fathers have been allowed to take paternity leave instead of — rather than in addition to — their wives, as well as one day of leave when the baby is born and a second day for the circumcision ceremony if the baby is a boy.

“This is nothing less than an historic achievement,” Zandberg said. “For the first time, a father will have the legal right to be at home during the first days after the birth, and this is the first time the term ‘paternity leave’ will enter the book of laws in Israel.”

“A birth is a family event which does not belong to the mother alone,” Zandberg continued. “The proposed bill was born of necessity — out of employers’ lack of support for their workers.”

Zandberg thanked Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) for his support in advancing the legislation.

Labor Committee Chairman MK Elie Elalouf (Kulanu) said, “This is a real improvement. Families should be together during these important moments.” Elalouf added that he would promote legislation that would enable the 270,000 self-employed Israelis to also take paternity leave.

MK Dov Khenin (Joint Arab List) said, “This is the beginning of a significant revolution. I stayed at home for three months with each of my children after they were born, and I enjoyed it very much.”

JNi.Media

President Rivlin: Israel Is Democratic and Jewish and Tribal, and There Are Arabs, Too

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The 16th Annual Herzliya conference opened at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, with a discussion by Israeli senior ministers and political party leaders on the joint initiative “Shared Israeli Hope.” President Reuven Rivlin opened his keynote address saying Israeli society has transitioned from being made up of a clear majority and minorities into a society made up of four main sectors or tribes, which are becoming more and more equal in size: secular, Modern Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox and Arab.

“We must speak the truth; this is not something that we expected,” he said, noting that many had called him a post-Zionist following his previous Herzliya conference address and questioned, “Is anyone who discusses the issues of Israeli identity, post-Zionist?” He explained that Israel was “Four tribes, four competing, different stories, about who we are, and what we want to be.” He noted that “the headline of the conference should have been, ‘Israeli hope: to be or not to be.’” He said that “a year ago there were those that interpreted my words as yet another typical, joyful presidential call… but first and foremost, my words were intended to serve as a call to wake up to the gaps and inadequacies between the reality of Israeli society and the system of Israeli institutions.” Looking ahead he said, “We are obliged to strive for institutional and systematic changes which must be conducted as a national effort… we must recognize that there are material and structural barriers to forming shared rules of the game for the different sectors… The creation of a shared Israeli identity and a shared Israeli hope is a mighty and noble process which will take a generation.”

One of the main engines for change Rivlin discussed was that of academia and employment. “Academia and the Israeli labor market will become an engine of real change, only when academic institutions and employers view the establishment of the Israeli dream – for a young man from Ofakim, a young woman from Bnei Brak, a young man from Jatt and a young woman from Binyamin – as a national mission of paramount professional and economic interests… Academia and the labor market today cater mainly to two tribes, but there are two more.”

He noted that if Israeli society were willing to embrace the necessary changes, the State of Israel would serve as a model for others, “A Jewish and democratic state; democratic and Jewish is one in the same.”

Following the president’s keynote address, senior ministers and political party leaders were given the opportunity to respond.

MK Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs, and Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi party, began his address by taking the audience on a journey to 3,000 years in the past: “We are in a sovereign state. A Jewish State under the rule of King David with great economic and political power.” He traced Jewish history through the periods, explaining how Jews in the Diaspora lived in survival mode, “Zionism was based on survival and security.” He noted that now, back in the Jewish homeland, Jews no longer needed to be afraid and could “break into a new creativity without being afraid,” adding that the new generation of Zionism needed to be based on “destiny.” He stressed that Judaism was a religion focused on contending “with the reality of the world and bringing values into it.”

Directing his address to his role as minister of education, Bennett said, “I am the minister of education of all children in Israel… they are all my children and they are equal regardless of their color, religion, politics or anything else. We express this with an intensity unlike anything else in Israel.” He also noted how his office had adjusted budget allocations to ensure that adequate funds were appropriated to areas in need in Robin Hood fashion: “We take from the strong and give to the week… when I took on my position… per capita more funds were invested in wealthier areas.”

MK Aryeh Deri, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Chairman of the Shas Party, said, possibly ignoring the entire books of Numbers and Deuteronomy: “It was never the dream that one [nation] should get rid of the other.” He stressed that the Arab citizens “truly want to integrate within us and be a part and parcel with us… We need to show them that we respect their culture, heritage and history… We have no desire to mix cultures but rather to live together in one state” with full equality and egalitarian rights. Also paying an homage to the man from Sherwood Forest, Deri said, “There are steps, even as painful as they may be, where we will take from the big… and give to the smaller ones.” He added that any “discourse of hatred” needed to immediately be stopped. To a round of applause he stated, “In our state it is prohibited that we should accept any racism or discourse of racism.” He should have possibly share this with the minister of Religious Services from his own party, who announced a while back (I paraphrase) that non-Orthodox Jews are not really Jewish.

MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List, opened his address noting all the ideals and values that he shared with the president: “Bringing the various populations closer to one another. Advancing the general welfare of all citizens. Building shared citizenship.” But he added that there are “important things that we cannot ignore… The basic thing that guides me in politics is my deep internal conviction that the guiding interests of both people are equal. Everyone wants the blessing of life.”

He emphasized the principles of nationalism: “What does it mean to be a citizen? What does it mean to be a national? We want complete equality on the national level and the civil social level.” He said that it was impossible to only talk about the economy and citizenship without nationalism. He also noted how he was always steered to discuss the future rather than the past: “We have a deep pain. In the heart of every Arab. The injustices of the past. And it hurts me so much when I hear narratives of 3,000, 4,000 years and I am told not to talk about the narratives of 60 years but to look into the future.”

By that narrative, MK Odeh referred to the fact that the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine had a chance to receive two thirds of the land if only they accepted that the Jews could have one third — and they refused. They wanted instead to murder all the Jews of the land with the help of the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. They failed and have yet to recover from the shame and disappointment of that terrible failure.

Odeh focused specific attention on the subjects of unrecognized villages and said that it would not hurt anyone for the state to “state recognizes the terrible massacre of Kafir Qasim and the massive injustices and confiscation of land.” He stated that his party’s stance was two states for two people, side by side with complete equality for both but “crimes occurred and we have to talk about that… There are citizens of the State of Israel who are not allowed to return to their land… Will it harm one Jewish person…. If people of Mahalul are returned to Mahalul… To build 80 villages… Will it harm one Jewish person?… We need to talk about civil and national rights for Arabs in Israel and it doesn’t have to harm anyone. The opposite. That is what will heal these two people.”

Naturally, when MK Odeh speaks of two states, he really means four states: three purely Arab — Jordan, the PA and Gaza, and one 20% Arab — Israel.

MK Zahava Galon, Chairman of Meretz, said that the “elephant in the room” was that the Arabs do not have their own state and we are “50 years into the occupation of the territories.” She said that no discussion could take place regarding the demographic question without talking about occupying this nation and controlling their lives.

Taking on the judicial perspective of “Shared Israeli Hope,” Chief Justice Miriam Naor, president of the Supreme Court, noted that “Our image as a democratic society requires a balance between the individual and society.” She said that the legal system plays a role in advancing Israeli partnerships and creating boundaries. “Discrimination undermines social solidarity. The courts are responsible for eradicating discrimination.”

Which is why they are appointing their own judges, evading the control of the legislator on judicial selections — because as soon as you let the people make their own decisions they’re bound to start discriminating.

David Israel

Pro-IDF Arab Priest Gabriel Naddaf Denies Accusations of Sexual Harassment

Monday, May 9th, 2016

A Channel 2 News report Sunday night presented serious evidence of sexual abuse against Gabriel Naddaf, an Israeli priest of the Greek Orthodox Church, a judge in the community’s religious courts, and a spokesman for the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem. Naddaf, who has been selected to light a torch at the Independence Day ceremony this year for his role in encouraging Christian Arabs to enlist in the IDF, has allegedly conducted conversations rife with sexual innuendo with soldiers who sought his help. He is also accused of soliciting benefits from PA Arabs in return for helping them obtain entry permits into Israel.

Naddaf has been embraced by the Israeli establishment for his pro-Zionist activism, as part of a growing group of Israeli Arab activists of the Christian faith who declare their loyalty to the Jewish State and insist on being viewed and treated in a different manner than Muslim Arabs.

Naddaf issued a statement Sunday saying the source for the complaints against him are criminal elements in the Arab community who are determined to deny him the success he has enjoyed in promoting Christian youths’ enlistment in the IDF. He noted that he had passed two separate polygraph tests regarding the allegations against him and that he had filed a complaint with police over them.

MK Tamar Zandberg (Meretz) approached Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev demanding that she prevent Naddaf from lighting the torch in light of the allegations against him. Regev issued a statement Sunday night saying she supports the decision of the public committee which had chosen Naddaf unanimously for his good works in the service of the state, and as long as law enforcement official have not stated that they suspect otherwise, Naddaf is considered fit to be honored.

David Israel

There’s Hope for the Left After All

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

Sometimes, when all you hear are the radical and loud voices from the extreme left, such as from the No Israel Fund, the Reform movement’s IRAC, and Meretz, you think they exclusively and unanimously represent everyone on that side of the spectrum – all the secular, all the non-Orthodox and all the Leftists.

But now we know they don’t.

A Meretz councilwoman from Raanana tried to initiate a boycott against a popular restaurant in Raanana

The owner recently decided he wanted his restaurant to be closed on Shabbat – and the Meretz city councilwoman went on a rampage, posting her boycott call on the Meretz-Raanana page.

But instead of getting backing and support – she was strongly rebuked by her own constituency, with hundreds of responses from people who were utterly disgusted, repulsed and embarrassed by her actions and anti-religious beliefs.

When you read these responses, you realize that these radical leftwing leaders don’t properly or fully represent their constituencies, and they are very much like the Arab MKs who are obsessed with acting as anti-Israeli 5th columns in the Knesset, rather than working to improve the quality of life of the citizens that voted them in.

It’s responses like these that show me can all live together.

While our society does have many political and religious differences, perhaps those differences are in truth exaggerated and overstated by these radical organizations and their leadership seeking to maintain, fund and promote themselves via a supposed struggle, schism and conflict that no longer actually exists, and which, in reality, has evolved into a straightforward, healthy and respectful diversity of thought among our different sectors.

Today, that is what I’m choosing to believe.

Here are some of the responses:

Nitay Sheinenzon: “As a member of the Meretz party I express objection and repulsion over this shocking post. Every time a place decides to become kosher and offers service to the religious public, it is blessed, every business that decides to rest on the Day of Rest according to our tradition is legitimate, and I wish them a good day of rest and Shabbat Shalom.”

Nir Koren: “Really? Boycotting a restaurant because it’s kosher? As a Meretz voter, activist and member of the Meretz Conference, I am ashamed that this announcement was posted on a page with my party’s name on it.”

Arik Meshulam: “As a complete atheist, I don’t give a hoot which restaurant is open on Shabbat and which is closed. If a person has decided to close his restaurant on Shabbat, it’s his business, why would you force him to keep it open? It’s his private restaurant. You’re just as bad as the religious people who force businesses to close on Shabbat.”

Erez Wohl: “I join the extreme leftists who think this post is embarrassing. We thought we were past the phase of hate for the religious in Meretz L.”

JoeSettler

Left-Wing Arab MK in B’nei B’rak to Change Ultra-Orthodox Vote on Women Qadis

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) MK Isawi Frej (Meretz) on Tuesday night came to the ultra-Orthodox enclave of B’nei B’rak to meet with two senior Haredi rabbis, Rabbi Shimon Baadani of the Council of Torah Sages of Shas, and Rabbi Mordechai Gross, of the Lithuanian community, Kikar Hashabbat  reported. The issue at hand was the ultra-Orthodox veto on a Frej bill calling for including at least one woman among the Qadis-Muslim jurists in Israeli courts that operate under Sharia Law. The bill is also sponsored by MKs Zouheir Bahloul (Zionist Camp-Labor) and Aida Touma-Sliman (Joint Arab List).

The ultra-Orthodox opposition to Frej’s bill stems from their fear that appointing women as Muslim Qadis might create a precedent to would force rabbinical courts to follow suit. The government is expected to object to the bill, based on the coalition agreement between Likud and the Haredi parties giving them veto power over religious legislation. MK Frej asked for the meeting with the rabbis in B’nei B’rak to try and change their minds.

However, despite the unusual gesture, both Rabbis Baadani and Gross did not offer Frej the breakthrough he was seeking. “A woman cannot be a court judge according to the Torah,” Rabbi Gross explained, “so there can’t be an allowance to support appointing women as Islamic judges.” Frej told his hosts that “only the ultra-Orthodox opposition is likely to thwart the appointment of a woman to this job.”

MK Frej used the opportunity of the meeting to speak with the rabbis about the tense security situation. Among other things, he quoted from a publication of the Israel Democracy Institute that “the most negative attitude toward the Arab sector is prevalent in the religious and ultra-Orthodox communities.” He asked the rabbis to suggest ways “for each of us to emphasize the love of goodness and the love of mankind.” In response, Rabbi Baadani spoke about his grandson who was killed a year ago in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem, and said: “We need to speak with Minister Aryeh Deri to organize something.”

Frej told Kikar Hashabbat  that although he did not receive the message he was hoping for from the rabbis, he plans to continue “knocking on every door until I get what I want.” He said, “My religious law allows it, and I should not have to be a captive of another religious law. We need to be independent and I believe in the righteousness of my way. I will continue my fight inside the Haredi society and in society in general. I’m here to do my work faithfully.”

Meanwhile, the Commission for the Appointment of Qadis in Israel—in which MK Frej is a member—is scheduled to vote soon on five new appointments to the Sharia Courts. As of today, 11 male Qadis serve in regional Sharia courts and in the Court of Appeals in Israel.

JNi.Media

Coalition and Opposition MKs Petition to Ban Trump from Israel [video]

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015

Several Opposition Knesset Members and at least one coalition MK have signed a letter that demands that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu cancel a scheduled Dec. 28 meeting with Donald Trump during the Republican presidential candidate’s planned visit.

The Prime Minister has said he will meet with Trump, but aides have been careful to point out that he does not necessarily agree with Trump’s views.

The gadfly GOP presidential candidate raised the rafters Monday when he said that Muslims should be banned from entering the United States “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

Meretz MK Michal Rozin initiated the letter, supported by a Shas MK, to the Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Opposition Knesset Members figure that If Trump can say “No Muslims,” they can say, “No Trump.”

Meretz MK, Esawi Frej and an Arab, said:

Just as it is clear Israel wouldn’t allow a hater of the Jews to use it in order to advance his political wares, the same must be in the case of Trump.

Trump is not just a racist; he is a man who poses a threat to the free world. A man who through racist incitement tries to gain the post of US president. A man whose presence in the public sphere is based on racism.

The state of Israel cannot let Trump enter, particularly given his intentions to use his visit for political propaganda. This is a man who incites against a public (Arabs] that represents 20% of the population of the state of Israel, a man who asks to incite flames and hatred in every place he visits.

At least two MKs grabbed the headlines Wednesday and demanded that Trump be barred from the Knesset, although he has no plans to visit, at least not this time around. That caudal change if he were to be elected President of the United States.

Zionist Union MK Omer Bar Lev (tweeted Wednesday:

 As far as it depends on me, this racist @realDonaldTrump should not be welcome in the @knessetisrael

Arab Knesset Member Ahmed Tibi called Trump a “neo-Nazi” on Twitter and added:

I asked the Speaker of the Knesset to prevent Trump from entering the Knesset.

Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog has said nothing and probably will remain silent. He stated last month he is staying out of American politics after being asked how he would deal with Trump if he were elected to the White House.

In Britain, 105,000 people have signed a petition to ban Trump from entering the country, and the number is rising every minute

The online petition in Britain, whose population includes nearly 3 million Muslims, states:

The UK has banned entry to many individuals for hate speech.

If the United Kingdom is to continue applying the ‘unacceptable behavior’ criteria to those who wish to enter its borders, it must be fairly applied to the rich as well as poor, and the weak as well as powerful.

 

Britain has an estimated 2.7 million Muslim population.

Below is Trump’s “NO Muslims” speech.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/meretz-knesset-member-petitions-to-ban-trump-from-israel-video/2015/12/09/

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