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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Minister Netanyahu’

UPDATE: Terror Attack Kills 7 Israeli Tourists In Bulgaria

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

As news of the passing of Torah sage and leader of Lithuanian Jewry Rav Yosef Shalom Elyashiv cast a pale of sorrow over Israel, breaking news of a suicide bombing attack against Israeli tourists in Bulgaria sent shock waves across the country.

Seven Israelis were reported killed and 30 injured when an explosion blew up an Israeli tourist bus and caught two adjacent buses on fire at the Burgas airport on Wednesday, also the 18th anniversary of the Iran-sponsored attack on the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Reports state that among the injured are at least 2 pregnant women and an 11 year old child.  Six of the deceased were pronounced dead at the scene, and one died in hospital. At least two of the 27 injured are reported to be in serious condition.

The explosion occurred while the bus was still in the terminal, after the group arrived in country at 4:45pm.. Burgas, located on the Black Sea Coast, is a popular tourist spot for Israelis.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu issued a statement in which he charged Iran with conducting the attack and warned the regime that Israel would respond forcefully.

“All the signs lead to Iran. Only in the past few months we have seen Iranian attempts to attack Israelis in Thailand, India, Georgia, Kenya, Cyprus and other places,” Prime Minister Netanyahu said.

“This is an Iranian terror campaign that is spreading throughout the world,” Netanyahu said. “Israel will react powerfully against Iranian terror,”

Despite fierce political mudslinging in the wake of the angry withdrawal of the Kadima party from the coalition because of rancor over Haredi service in the IDF, politicians across the spectrum united to condemn the murders.  Opposition leader Shelly Yechimovich said “there is no doubt that instability in the region is spawned by Iran aiming expressly for Israelis and Jews throughout the world,” expressed her condolences to the families of the terror victims, and expressed her confidence in Israeli security forces.

ZAKA and Magen David Adom rescue services have already begun making their way to Bulgaria and will attempt to evacuate some of the wounded for treatment in Israel.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman called for an immediate meeting at the Foreign Ministry’s situation room.  The Israeli embassy in Bulgaria is investigating the explosion.  Initial reports indicated that a suicide bomber boarded the bus and detonated himself.  Follow-up reports suggested that a bomb may have been planted in the luggage compartment of the bus and detonated by remote control.

In January, Israel requested additional security for citizens traveling in the country after a suspicious package was found on a bus carrying Israeli tourists from Turkey to Bulgaria.

Israel has also expressed concern that Hizbullah would target Israelis overseas in connection with the assassination of Hizbullah commander Imag Mughniyeh, which Hizbullah suspects was conducted by the Mossad.

In the meantime, Hizbullah has denied any connection to the attack.  No organization has claimed responsibility.

Channel 1 quoted Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nikolay Mladenov as calling the explosion a terrorist attack.

Liberman Buys Time for Coalition, Hareidim Not Buying Idea of Service in Jewish Army

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

The fierce political, religious, and sociological debate over whether Hareidi Jews should be mandatorily drafted into the Israeli Army like their Religious Zionist and secular counterparts hit a boiling point on Tuesday, with the Kadima party backing out of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition and threatening the stability of the government.  Yet Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman has made it clear that he will continue to pursue the drafting of all Israelis at the age of 18, but will uphold the current administration and keep his party at the center of the action.

“We won’t leave the coalition under any circumstances. We will fight the battle from within,” Liberman said on Wednesday in an interview with Army Radio. “Those who really want universal enlistment must support our bill. You can postpone the end, but you can’t evade a decision forever.”

Yisrael Beytenu has drafted its own version of a national conscription law following Kadima’s departure under the leadership of Shaul Mofaz over the failure of committees to draft a replacement for the Tal law to its liking.

The Tal law, which exempted Hareidi Jews in yeshiva from the military draft was declared unconstitutional by the High Court of Justice earlier this year.  If an alternative law is not drafted, all Hareidim will be subject to the draft beginning on August 1.

On this week’s Jewish Press radio program hosted by Yishai Fleisher, Hareidi tour guide and resident of the eastern Jerusalem Jewish community of Maale HaZeitim, Meir Eisenman, defended the Hareidi position against serving in the army, but also stressed the importance of understanding that despite the disagreements, Hareidi Jews support the IDF.  “I think the first thing we have to do is make a very strong difference [and not lump together Israeli Arabs and Hareidim when ].  The Hareidim are on our side, they support the state of Israel, they support the army, and they are certainly not wishing, G-d forbid, for the army to fail, and we have to make that clear distinction any time we discuss this issue,” he said.

Eisenman cited the Book of Joshua’s emphasis that there is “clear connection of inheriting the Land of Israel through the Torah of Israel” as a case for exempting full-time Torah students from participating in the IDF.  He also tied the last major terror attack – a 2009 attack in Eilat which killed 8 and injured 40 – to the summer “bein hazmanin” yeshiva break, summer vacation for Torah students.  If you look back through the latest 10- 15 years, many of the most horrific terror attacks occurred when the national study level is on a down.” The Sbarro bombing and the Number 2 bus bombing, are among those attacks, according to Eisenman, as well as the Park Hotel bombing which occurred during the Passover break.

Eisenman further said that the success of the IDF is not rational, and that Israelis should attribute at least part of their safety to Torah study.  “To see that the Jewish people, all we need is the soldier that goes and risks his life, however important it is – that he’s the only thing that’s protecting the Land of Israel and the Jewish nation and the Torah of the Land of Israel, you’re just looking at half the picture, you’re not looking at the full picture.”

Fleisher replied by saying the draft is not a threat to Torah study, but rather lets them “fulfill the great mitzvah of being in the Jewish army”.  He said “the best, the most religious” Jews – including Joshua himself – were also the greatest warriors on behalf of the Jewish nation.  “You’re going to mention the Book of Joshua and you’re going to use that as a proof that because he was told to take the Torah with at all times and study the whole time…? He’s the exact example of the Torah student who is the greatest of the generation, he’s the biggest rabbi around, and he’s the number one soldier as well,” Fleisher said.   “To me, what’s missing in this whole discussion is that soldiering and being a Torah Jew in the Land of Israel are one.  Those are connected things.”

But Hareidi leadership has not seen it that way.  In late June, thousands of Hareidi men gathered for an early morning “sack and ashes” prayer service to beseech God to “annul the evil decree” of being forced to serve in the Jewish army.  Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef recommended to cancel the “bein hazmanim” yeshiva break and continue Torah study in order that God would hear their prayers not to be drafted.

Excerpt of Letter From Prime Minister Netanyahu to Shaul Mofaz

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

Following is an excerpt from the letter that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sent to Shaul Mofaz on Tuesday:

“I regret your decision to give up on an opportunity to make an historic change. After 64 years, we were very close to a substantial change in the division of the burden. I gave you a proposal that would have led to the conscription of ultra-orthodox and Arabs from the age of 18. I explained to you that the only way to implement this on the ground is gradually and without tearing Israeli society apart, especially at a time when the State of Israel is facing many significant challenges. I will continue to work toward the responsible solution that Israeli society expects.”

Thousands Protesting Against Draft

Monday, July 16th, 2012

Thousands of Ultra-Orthodox adults and young children are protesting against the universal draft in Kikar Shabbat in Jerusalem.

The adults have handcuffed all the children together as part of their protest.

United Torah Judaism and Shas have renounced  the demonstration and passed the message to Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Politicians Talk About the Universal Draft

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Chief Rabbi Amar and President Peres met today and discussed the draft issue. They concluded that the debate must continue, but without extremism from any side. Peres restated that everyone must bear the burden.

Prime Minister Netanyahu announced at the weekly cabinet meeting that drafting every 18 year old makes for a good headline, but it’s not realistic. The introduction must be done gradually, as unity is just as important as sharing the burden. His goal is 6000 Chareidi draftees a  year by 2016.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/politicians-talk-about-the-universal-draft/2012/07/15/

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