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August 23, 2014 / 27 Av, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘MK’

Exclusive: MK Moshe Feiglin Joins Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Cte

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

MK Moshe Feiglin, head of the Likud’s Manhigut Yehudit faction, confirmed in an exclusive interview with JewishPress.com Tuesday night that he has become a member of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Feiglin is replacing President-elect Reuven Rivlin, who has left the committee to take his place as the leader of the nation in the presidential position.

Currently the Deputy Speaker of the Knesset, Feiglin has long advocated basing Israel’s government policy on the principles of freedom, Jewish identity and restoring meaning to Israeli life.

He advocates full Israeli sovereignty on the Temple Mount and has pushed for the government to abandon the Oslo Accords. Feiglin also supports permanent Israeli resident status for Arabs who live in Judea and Samaria but does not support citizenship for them. He opposes a two-state solution and supports annexation of Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

UN Leader Backpedals: ‘No Concrete Evidence’ of Abduction

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appears to be retracting his condemnation on Saturday of last week’s kidnapping of three Israeli teens by Arab terrorists.

In his statement at the time, Ban had spoken of his “deep concern over the trend towards violence on the ground and its attendant loss of life, including today of a child in Gaza as a result of a recent Israeli air strike.” The reference to an IAF bombing that following four missiles fired from Gaza at Israeli civilian population centers, ended with Ban’s plea that Israel and Gaza terrorists both “exercise restraint and lend urgent support for the release and safe return of the three youths.”

Thus it makes no sense that Ban’s spokesperson would follow such a statement on Tuesday night by telling journalists the U.N. has “no concrete evidence” that 19 year old Eyal Yifrach, and 16 year old Naftali Frenkel and Gilad Sha’ar were “actually” kidnapped by terrorists last Thursday as they hitchhiked home for the Sabbath from Gush Etzion.

Israeli public radio quoted Farhan Haq, the spokesperson, as saying the United Nations also does not have an independent investigative unit that could even confirm the incident.

Perhaps, however, Haq’s statement had something to do with a letter sent to the United Nations by Yisrael Beytenu MK Orly Levi-Abekasis.

“Last Thursday evening, June 12, 2014, three Israeli youths were abducted, two of them only 16 years old,” the MK wrote. “The kidnapping highlights, among other things, the breaking of all humanitarian boundaries and is a blatant violation of the rights of Israeli children to live their lives safely and without fearing for their lives.”

Since the Palestinian Authority unity government is now a member of the U.N. International Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC), which states “member states shall take all appropriate measures at the national level … in order to prevent the abduction, sale or trafficking of children for any purpose or in any form,” – and since the PUG has been celebrating the kidnapping on its television programs and its population has been passing out sweets in the street to encourage children to perpetrate similar acts in the future – this places the U.N. in an awkward position.

“The CRC provides that ‘member states must undertake to respect and to ensure respect for rules of international humanitarian law relating to the child, applying them in situations of armed conflict,” the MK pointed out in the letter.

Since Ban had already acknowledged his awareness of the teens’ abduction last Saturday, his spokesperson appears to now be doing his best to help his boss climb down from the tree. They may even be trying to pretend the incident may never have happened – because if it did, what action will have to be taken against the United Nation’s newest non-sovereign member?

MK Tzipi Hotovely Names Her Baby ‘Ma’ayan’

Monday, March 24th, 2014

Deputy Transportation Minister Tzipi Hotovely announced Monday that she and husband Or Alon, an attorney, have named their new baby girl “Ma’ayan.”

The Likud-Beyteynu Knesset member gave birth last Wednesday morning at Hadassah Mt. Scopus Medical Center in Jerusalem.

Hotovely’s family Facebook page was filled with “Mazel tovs!” in numerous languages Monday morning in response to the announcement.

The Israeli lawmaker was raised in Rehovot and educated in the national religious movement

Bnei Akiva girls’ schools in Tel Aviv. After graduating high school she served two years in National Service (Sherut Leumi). She and her husband were married in May 2013.

Dep. Minister Hotovely: the Solution Is Greater Israel without Gaza

Sunday, August 25th, 2013

Speaking at a Spoke at a conference of Professors for a Strong Israel in Jerusalem Sunday, Transportation Deputy Minister MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud-Beiteinu) said the solution to the Israeli Palestinian conflict lies in annexing Judea and Samaria and turning Israel into a Jewish state with a small Arab minority enjoying equal rights.

The conference debated an option of transforming the Hashemite Kingdom in Jordan into a Palestinian state. “The Jordanian initiative is good, but there’s a problem with it—we don’t control it,” Hotovely said. “There may be a revolution there tomorrow or in a hundred years. We need an additional option which would be an active Israeli initiative: the vision of Greater Israel, with one correction – it would be without Gaza.”

“This is not an instantaneous plan, it’s a plan for a generation,” Hotovely added.

According to Hotovely, the plan of annexing the territories of Judea and Samaria, including its Arab population, which would enjoy equal rights and obligations, “is absolutely possible, with a few emphasized points: bolstering aliyah, which has been neglected in the last decade, and bringing over about a million and a half Jews who would cover the demographic problems. In addition, we must have control over Palestinian and Israeli Arab education, to prevent incitement and to implement the Basic Law of the Knesset.”

According to Hotovely, “It isn’t right that [late MK Rabbi Meir] Kahane is illegal, but Zoabi and Balad (Arab anti-Zionist party) are legal. When all is said and done, this is a national, not a bi-national state, with an Arab minority which would grow only by about 5% compared to its size today.”

Regarding the negotiations going on right now between Israel and the Palestinians, Hotovely said that Prime Minister Netanyahu had entered the negotiations with a heavy heart and under heavy American pressure.

“As prime minister, if he sees it as an Israeli interest, he must pursue it. We have the responsibility to present the alternatives, as in this conference today.”

MK Hotovely said the current political negotiation is different from previous ones in its quest for a Palestinian state within temporary borders. What will remain unresolved would be the fact that the Palestinians do not recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, there is no solution for the refugees and there is no arrangement regarding Jewish settlements.

“Nevertheless, it will result in a bona fide Palestinian state with a UN representation, which will harm Israel,” Hotovely said.

Pragmatism Or Ideology?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

During the week that the EU announced its planned sanctions against Israel, one of the dedicated Land of Israel lobbyists requested that I add my signature to a petition from MKs to the prime minister requesting the renewal of construction in Jerusalem. Thirty-two highly respectable signatures of loyal MKs from the center and right of Israeli politics already adorned the petition. But after a cursory glance at the following petition, I clearly could not sign:

To: MK Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister

Re: Renewal of Construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – Now

We turn to you regarding the above issue as follows:

1. In these days, we are witness to another attempt by the European Union to terrorize the State of Israel and to damage its vital interests. This attempt may thwart any chance for a political breakthrough and foil the efforts of Secretary of State Kerry to renew the diplomatic negotiations.

2. On the backdrop of this attempt and its results, there is no place to wait any longer and it is imperative to immediately renew construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

3. We request that you give the appropriate instructions for renewal of construction.

Respectfully,

“I can’t sign,” I gently said to the lobbyist. “I have a problem with the wording.”

“What’s the problem?”

“This document implies that we must renew construction in Jerusalem so that Kerry can succeed in the diplomatic process. But I think that we must build in Jerusalem for entirely different reasons, and I am absolutely opposed to the diplomatic process.”

The lobbyist tried to convince me that this is pragmatic politics, that this is the argument around which we can now achieve a consensus. “I also don’t like it,” he explained, “but that’s politics.”

The reputable number of MKs that signed the letter proved, on the surface, that he was right. One week later, Kerry succeeded in renewing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Thirty-two MKs, those most loyal to the land of Israel – from Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu and even Shas – are now signed onto a document that implies that there is no longer a reason to renew construction in Jerusalem. Our common goal – renewal of “peace” talks – has already been achieved.

Would a leftist MK ever dream of adding his name to this type of convoluted document that fundamentally contradicts his entire worldview – all in the name of political pragmatism?

Which politics ultimately determines Israel’s agenda? The “pragmatic” politics of the Right or the ideology of the Left?

It is time for the Right to connect its politics to its ideology.

Civil Liberties and the Governance Act

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

I recently received an anxious phone call from an Israeli coalition MK. Due to a mix-up in the Knesset scheduling he left early for an overseas vacation.

“They want me to come back to Israel because of you,” the affable MK said to me. I inquired as to what I had done wrong.

“You are going to vote against the Governance Act,” he replied. “It is a Basic Law and the coalition needs 61 votes to pass it. If you plan to vote against the law, as you did the last time it was voted upon in the Knesset, they will force me to come back to Israel to vote.”

It was a very awkward moment, as the MK is my friend.

“Look,” I said to him, “my problem with this law is not the raising of the votes threshold [required to win a Knesset seat]. I actually support that measure. I also have no problem with limiting the number of ministers in the government. On the contrary, I would be pleased if they would lower the number of ministers to fewer than 10. My problem is with the part of the law that requires 61 signatures in order to submit a no-confidence measure in the Knesset. This will actually neutralize the no-confidence option because if you have 61 signatures, you already have a new coalition; thus no need for no confidence.

“In this situation,” I continued, “I am terribly sorry to say that you will have to come back to Israel. There is no way that I am going to vote in favor of legislation that eliminates the Opposition just to be nice to a friend. But let me check once more. Perhaps the 61-clause was taken out of the legislation. In that case, with or without your vacation troubles, I will support the law.”

I called MK David Rotem (Yisrael Beiteinu), head of the Knesset’s Constitution Committee.

“Please explain to me exactly what the new version of the law says,” I asked him. “Does it still require 61 signatures for a no-confidence vote?”

“No,” Rotem replied. “The new version allows for the submission of a no-confidence measure just like it is now, except that instead of allowing for it once a week, it will be once a month. In addition, the prime minister will have to be present during the deliberations.” (I agreed to that immediately). “If you have 61 signatures,” Rotem added, “you will be able to submit the no-confidence measure in the same week. [There will be] no need to wait a month.”

I was very pleased. First, I am happy that my MK friend will not have to cut short his vacation. But more than that, I am happy because I know that I have a part in the transformation that this law underwent: from a bad law to a just and even important law. The farce of bountiful no-confidence votes, which keeps the entire government running back and forth to the plenum in the middle of their week’s work in order to reject every hiccup from Ahmad Tibi (Ta’al), was in dire need of balance. On the other hand, those in the government who thought that they could take advantage of this problem in order to undermine civil liberties also had to change.

“Enjoy your vacation and don’t forget to bring me a souvenir,” I happily told the anxious MK.

IDF: Haredi Yeshiva Deans Cheat, Covering for No-Show Students

Tuesday, August 6th, 2013

Yesterday, during an in-camera session of the Knesset committee preparing the “equal burden” bill for its second reading before the plenum, the IDF representative at the meeting, Brigadier-Gen. Gadi Agmon, launched a vehement attack on the deans of Haredi yeshivas, accusing them of outright lying and covering up for students who are registered but do not show up for classes, Ma’ariv reported.

The legal arrangement between Israeli governments and Haredi yeshivas over the years, known as the “Torato umnuto” (his Torah study is his occupation) deal, recognized that young men whose only engagement was Torah scholarship would be absolved from enlisting in the army so long as they continue their studies. To be fair, the IDF has been giving similar deals to young men engaged in secular studies, but in many cases those deals involved attending students technical schools who went on to serve a longer stint, often using the skills they had learned.

The “Torato Umnuto” soon became a blanket covering the vast majority of Haredi young men, whether they were actually studying or not. It also turned out to be a two-edged sword, as those young men were barred from legal employment because of their military status, and so many were condemned to a life of dead-end jobs paid for illegaly.

This was the main purpose of the Tal Committee Law, which, back in 2002, was attempting to interject fairness and honesty into a seriously broken system. Many in the Haredi world have pointed to the steady stream of recruits, as well as the steadily rising numbers of Haredim both in the job market and in academic institutions as signs that the Tal law was working. But the Supreme Court, ever eager to equalize the country, was dissatisfied with what it considered lukewarm results and eventually killed the bill in the winter of 2012.

The new law, hammered out by the (Yesh Atid MK and Minister) Jacob Perry committee over the past six months, is a more sweeping version of the Tal law, calling for larger numbers of Haredi recruits in a shorter period of time. But while on paper the numbers might please the high court—in the Haredi world the Perry effort (which they usually pin on Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett’s back) is tantamount to at least the Russian Czar’s conscription of Jews, if not an outright holocaust.

This is the background of Brigadier-Gen. Agmon’s assault on the yeshiva deans, whom he sees as saboteurs of all the arrangements ever reached between the Zionist establishment and the Haredim, whether the Haredi representative were inside or outside the coalition government.

“It is inconceivable that deans of yeshivas would lie knowingly and sign for their students as if they’re present full time in the yeshivas, while in reality they’re not there,” Agmon, who serves as head of the Planning and Military Personnel Dept. in the IDF. “There are thousands who don’t study in the yeshivas [while stating that they are], but we don’t have the apparatus to enable us to identify them and enforce their enlistment,” he added.

Agmon’s appearance marked a distinct change in the IDF’s approach to the new draft legislation being cobbled in committee, this time headed by Jewish Home MK Ayelet Shaked. Until yesterday, the army stayed away from the discussion, essentially committing to carry out whatever the political echelon would decide. But the gloves were taken off yesterday, and all the spades were called out by the general.

MK Shaked decided to keep the session closed to the media, most likely to enable the Haredi committee members to speak frankly, away from their own newspapers which have been frothing at the mouth over the new bill for six months now. According to Ma’ariv, MK Moshe Gafni (UTJ) and MK Ariel Atias (Shas) both agreed that a yeshiva boy who comes of age and is not attending classes should be drafted. Gafni went as far as to say that, should it be needed, those students should go to jail if they refuse to serve.

The problem is that that, too, is part of the Haredi parties’ kabuki theater, whereby they talk a good line, but when it comes to anyone actually encouraging those young men to inject a measure of honesty into their lives and go serve in the army – everybody is collaborating to keep them in the black garb, hat and all.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/idf-yeshivas-cheat-covering-for-no-show-students/2013/08/06/

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