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January 16, 2017 / 18 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Naftali Bennett’

Anti-Trump Jews Petition Against Simon Wiesenthal Museum Founder Attending Inauguration

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Rabbi Marvin Hier, the founder and dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Museum of Tolerance, is one of six religious leaders who were invited take part in President Elect Donald Trump’s inauguration ceremony January 20 (That’s Tevet 22 to you and me).

Which is why Mya Stark, a businesswoman from Los Angeles, is calling on the Hebrews to sign her petition which she titled: “Rabbi Marvin Hier: do not offer a ‘prayer’ at Trump Inauguration.” No idea why she put quotes around the word prayer.

President George W. Bush appointed Hier to serve on the Honorary Delegation to accompany him to Jerusalem for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the State of Israel in May 2008. He is working on a A $100 million Museum of Tolerance and Human Dignity to be built in Jerusalem.

Inaugural Committee Chairman Tom Barrack said that “since the first inaugural ceremony, our leaders have paid tribute to the blessings of liberty that have been bestowed upon our country and its people,” which is why “I am pleased to announce that a diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in of President Elect Trump and honor the vital role religious faith plays in our multicultural, vibrant nation.”

“I am shocked and dismayed to see no such protest from Jews over Rabbi Marvin Hier’s agreement to deliver a ‘prayer’ at the Inauguration. Hier is the head of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, named for the heroic Nazi-hunter, and the Museum of Tolerance – normalizing Trump with his participation will turn these organizations into a mockery and be a shame on the Jewish name forever.”

To justify her bizarre ire, Stark pulls the tried and true KKK card, writing: “Apparently, Hier thinks it is acceptable to legitimize and collaborate with a political figure who the KKK is literally marching in the streets to celebrate.”

Don’t forget Vladimir Putin and Naftali Bennett…

“Even more shameful and disgusting,” she continues, “it has just been revealed that the Simon Wiesenthal Center under Hier has been the recipient of donations from Jared Kushner (Ivanka Trump’s husband) family foundation.”

Note the absence of an explanation as to why a donation from the Kushner foundation is impure. Stark relied on a hatchet job report by Judy Maltz in Ha’aretz Monday, which revealed to the world the shocking facts about the Kushner donation, and using – for irony – the fact that the Weisenthal Center 2016 list of “Top 10 Worst Global Anti-Semitic Anti-Israel Incidents” had in the No. 5 spot white nationalist leader Richard Spencer, “who celebrated the Trump victory with a Nazi-style salute.”

Looks like guilt by association is back in style big time.

Stark reaches a kid of height of chutzpah when she concludes: “Rabbi Hier, redeem your name and the name of the important organizations you lead by dropping out of the Inauguration proceedings,” and, “Simon Wiesenthal Center, take disciplinary action against Hier if he refuses to desist from this shameful action.”

We’re actually looking forward to hearing the good rabbi. The petition, incidentally, as of Wednesday, is still shy of 1,000 signatures.


Defense Minister Urges Acceptance of Guilty Verdict, Lawmakers Call on President Rivlin to Pardon IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Within minutes after IDF Sgt. Elor Azaria was pronounced guilty of manslaughter in the death of an injured terrorist who had stabbed a fellow soldier, lawmakers were calling on the public to accept the verdict, but also urged President Reuven Rivlin to grant a presidential pardon.

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman told reporters after the verdict was announced, “This is a difficult ruling.”

But he said, “We have to accept the court’s ruling on Azaria even if we don’t like it.” Sgt. Azaria is the first Israeli soldier in 12 years to be convicted for actions on duty.

Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi party chairman were the first to call for an immediate pardon for the soldier, as did Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, chairman of the Shas party. “The court has done its job,” Deri tweeted. “I respect its verdict. But now the correct thing to do is pardon him. The process of the trial and the suffering of the soldier and his family justify a pardon.”

Likud MK Oren Hazan also called for amnesty for Sgt. Azaria, as did Zionist Union MK Shelly Yachimovich, who said in a statement to media that the court acted professionally and bravely in its conviction but added the guilty verdict would deeply divide the nation.

“Azaria’s narrow shoulders will not be able to withstand the weight of that divide,” she said. For that reason, she said, President Rivlin should consider exercising his privilege to issue a pardon.

Opposition leader Isaac Herzog also added his voice to the chorus, saying in a statement that although the verdict must be respected, “it cannot be ignored that to some degree, Azaria was a victim of the situation. But the ruling strengthens the IDF, since you cannot ignore the circumstances of the incident, which reflect an impossible reality in a field that is complicated, which IDF soldiers deal with daily, hourly.”

“Immediate clemency for Elor Azaria,” Bennett wrote on his Facebook page.

“We need to say the truth. The trial was corrupted from the outset. The harsh comments by political leaders even before the opening of the army’s investigation, the removal of the soldier, himself from the investigation process, the critical media coverage surrounding the case caused Elor irreparable harm.

“I expect Defense Minister Yvette (Avigdor) Liberman to keep his many promises and secure an immediate pardon for Elor Azaria, so that he does not have to spend a single day in prison.”

Likud Culture Minister Miri Regev also called for a presidential pardon, saying that she too would seek a discussion with President Rivlin to raise the issue on behalf of Elor Azaria. Regev, a former IDF spokesperson, accused the army of abandoning Azaria and attacked the IDF chief of staff – who rejected a public campaign slogan depicting him as “everyone’s child” – specifically for not backing him up. Regev underlined that in fact, Azaria is not only “everyone’s child,” but in fact is also “everyone’s soldier.”

The soldier has been living on his army base under an “open arrest” arrangement.

Hana Levi Julian

Education Committee Debate on ‘Breaking the Silence’ in Schools Hits High Notes

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

The Knesset’s Education, Culture and Sports Committee last week met to debate allowing Breaking the Silence group into Israeli public schools, following petitions filed by MKs Amir Ohana (Likud) and Oded Forer (Yisrael Beitenu).

The meeting was called after Breaking the Silence representatives had been invited to give lectures in schools, and against the background of a bill which is being drafted by Education Minister Naftali Bennett to prohibit the appearance of the organization’s representatives in front of children in educational institutions.

As right- and left-wing MKs argued over whether to prohibit the activity of Breaking the Silence in schools, six MKs were ejected from the stormy debate, during which MK Ohana said Breaking the Silence “is at the top of the industry of lies against the State of Israel.”

MK Zehava Galon (Meretz) said Breaking the Silence is a “patriotic organization” and that those who object to it want a “paranoid education system that does not deal with criticism.”

Breaking the Silence did not send representatives to the meeting, and the two school principals who invited the organization’s representatives to appear in front of their students were absent as well.

According to its website, Breaking the Silence “is an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. We endeavor to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life. Our work aims to bring an end to the occupation.”

MK Oren Hazan (Likud) called Galon a “traitor” and she replied, “You are a pimp [as confirmed by the] court.”

“Our children fight no less and are killed no less than you,” Galon added. “Whoever reveals improper conduct should be respected. You are a group of cowards and hypocrites, that’s what you are.”

“Breaking the Silence does so in order to present the IDF soldiers as soldiers who systematically abuse locals,” Ohana said, adding “this poison against the soldiers and the State of Israel which is created by Breaking the Silence should be stopped, and we must say ‘not in our schools.'”

According to MK Forer, the organization has crossed the line. “It slanders Israel in the world, takes a fragment of [an event] and turns it into a whole story. The organization should be unequivocally taken out of the schools and the academia’s walls,” he said.

MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz) asked, “Who slanders Israel in the world more than [Prime Minister] Benjamin Netanyahu and Naftali Bennett’s people, who argue among themselves over who has a bigger flag? When I have to reply to the question of who do I trust more, Naftali Bennett or [Tel Aviv school principal] Ram Cohen – I unequivocally trust Ram Cohen more.”

Cohen was recently reprimanded by the Education Ministry after inviting Breaking the Silence to address his students.

“Breaking the Silence is more Zionist and patriotic than anyone here,” Gilon continued. “The hypocrites are the most repulsive. They are the ones who, just like a hyena, jump on a corpse. I will not tell you that I refer to (Yesh Atid Chairman MK) Yair Lapid; you will understand that on your own.”

MK Merav Ben Ari (Kulanu) called on the Ministry of Education to invite organizations “which present the IDF as it is – a moral army,” to appear in schools. She also urged Breaking the Silence to “stop disrespecting the Knesset” and attend discussions which its representatives are invited to.

Amit Deri, head of the Reservists on Duty organization, said that Ram Cohen refuses to allow representatives of IDF reservists to give lectures to his students. “We have been to every school which Breaking the Silence lectured in, we arrived immediately afterwards. This organization encourages insubordination de facto.”

Shai-El Nachmani from the Herzliya Hebrew Gymnasium high school told the committee that he was present at a Breaking the Silence lecture and the message he received was that students must not enlist in the army. Committee Chairman MK Yakov Margi asked whether the Breaking the Silence representative explicitly said to not enlist. “They did not clearly say it, but that’s what I concluded,” Nachmani replied.

According to “Im Tirtzu” director Matan Peleg, “The main issue with Breaking the Silence’s activity is that they blame the entire Israeli society for war crimes. I want to take every soldier who has committed a crime and put him in jail, but this organization blames the entire State of Israel for war crimes. You tell me: how is this educational, and why should we bring them to [our] schools?”

Avichai Shorshan, one of the founders of “My Truth,” added, “Breaking the Silence takes extreme events which do not reflect everyone and disseminate them all around the world as if this is the face of the IDF. Hamas uses materials from Breaking the Silence in order to operate against us in international institutions. Is it appropriate for this organization to meet our children?”

MK Yehuda Glick (Likud) said that since “Breaking the Silence declares that it is against the occupation, it means that it holds a political position – which should be prohibited in schools.” Schools, according to Glick, “must only host pluralist organizations.”

MK Yousef Jabareen (Joint Arab List) said, “This is another campaign of silencing which is not only aimed towards Breaking the Silence, but also against human rights organizations. He added, “This is an attempt of silencing the main issue of occupation. It is becoming clear that the State of Israel is not democratic even for Jews themselves, when it silences other’s opinions.”

MK Dov Khenin (Joint Arab List) read aloud Natan Alterman’s poem “Al Zot” (For This), and noted that in 1948 David Ben-Gurion requested to print out the poem and hand it out to all IDF soldiers. “Today there is one school principal who still has the courage to bring out this voice and he is immediately summoned to a field court martial. We are not only talking about Breaking the Silence. We are talking about the moral image of our society,” Khenin said.

MK Haim Jelin (Yesh Atid) told the committee that he grew up in a dictatorship and each time someone is called a traitor his heart tears apart. “When Bedouins were killed during Operation Protective Edge, the mayor of Dimona was the first one to offer his condolences, not the MKs who are here shouting. I am sad because I don’t see how it is possible to mend the rift.”

MK Michal Rozin (Meretz) said that she educates children to join the army and contribute as much as they can, but at the same time educates them to be aware of all opinions, ask questions and criticize.

“The only system where this still somehow exists is in the public education system, and now the Minister of Education wants to take it away. In the state religious education system there is no place for asking questions and criticizing,” said Rozin. The discussion, she said, exists only in the secular public education sector, “because the rest are blocked from pluralism.”

David Israel

Bennett Takes Down CNN on Occupation (Again)

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Minister Naftali Bennett explains to the CNN anchor how Israel can not be an occupier in its own land.




Video of the Day

Majority of Israeli Leaders Condemn US Secy’s Speech

Thursday, December 29th, 2016

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasn’t the only Israeli leader who was deeply offended by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on Wednesday, scolding Israel for nearly an hour over its settlement policies.

Education Minister and Bayit Yehudi party chairman Naftali Bennett had harsh words in response to Mr. Kerry’s speech, saying Israel should not support the establishment of what he called “another terror state” in the heart of the country. The minister said that if it were up to him, he “wouldn’t allow it to happen.”

Tourism Minister Yariv Levin (Likud party) likewise hit back at the American diplomat, saying Mr. Kerry “lacked the proper understanding of the conflict” between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Levin added that Mr. Kerry “is trying to force on us, in his last days on the job, a world view that constitutes a prize for Palestinian terror and that completely ignores our rights to the country.”

He added that a “true friend of Israel” should have shown support for the elected government.

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, joined in the censure, writing in a tweet Wednesday night that the Obama Administration acted against Israel at the UN, and that “any claim to the contrary is a distortion of reality.”

The lone Israeli politician who spoke out in support of the speech was Opposition leader Isaac Herzog of the Zionist Union (Labor party). He called Mr. Kerry a “great friend,” adding in a tweet that the Secretary’s speech expressed “true concern” about the well-being and future of Israel.

Hana Levi Julian

Bennett’s ‘Breaking the Silence’ Bill Bars Anti-IDF Groups from Israeli Schools

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

Education Minister Naftali Bennett (Habayit Hayehudi) is pushing, along with MKs Shuli Mualem and Bezalel Smotrich, as well as Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, and MKs Merav Ben Ari (Kulanu), Oded Forer (Yisrael Beiteinu), and Yoav Kisch (Likud) a bill barring groups that harm the IDF, such as Breaking the Silence, from appearing in Israeli schools. It is estimated the bill would be approved by the ministerial legislative committee in the coming weeks.

“The bill seeks to give the minister of education, as chief of the educational system who is responsible for the students in Israel, the power to ban individuals or organizations that are not part of the education system from conducting activities in an educational institution when said activities undermine educational goals, or harm IDF soldiers who are part of the consensus in Israeli society,” the bill explains.

“Organizations which are wandering abroad and harming IDF soldiers will not enter our schools,” Minister Bennett stated.

An earlier attempt on the part of the education minister to ban BtS from entering Israeli schools was mired in legal difficulties for close to a year, until finally, two weeks ago, the ministry’s attorneys were able to decide on an acceptable language and a memorandum was sent out to school principals across the land – who read it and went right ahead, inviting those groups to their schools. Which is why Bennett decided to make it outright illegal to permit those groups to teach Israeli students about the “war crimes” they’d be ordered to commit as soon as they turn 18 and enlist.

Lapid said about the law that “Israel’s school system must not permit entry of organizations that slander IDF officers and soldiers, calling them criminals and encouraging insubordination. Consider what happens to a student who hears these stories just before joining the Army. What does it do to his motivation and his willingness to contribute.”

BtS issued a statement saying, “Bennett is free to continue his efforts to turn his education system into an occupation education system, crushing every democratic value on the altar of the settlement enterprise – it failed in the past and it will fail this time, too. Those who harm IDF soldiers are the ones who have turned the IDF from being Israel Defense Forces into an army protecting the illegal outposts. To the indignation of Bennett and his ‘brother’ Lapid – we will continue to fight the Bennett and Smotrich occupation of everywhere, even in the education system.”

Well, not if they’re not allowed into the building – although the line in proverbs about how “stolen water is sweet” should also be considered.

Meretz Chair MK Zehava Galon accused Bennett and Lapid of McCarthyism, although, to be fair, neither politician has accused the Communists of conspiring to overtake the Israeli government, they only wish to keep them–or, rather, their heirs–from appearing in schools. Galon also argued that BtS are patriots. Yes, but of which country?

David Israel

Global School Twinning Network Launched by Jewish Agency for Israel

Wednesday, December 21st, 2016

A new government-established Week of Strengthening the Connection to Diaspora Jewry was kicked off Tuesday night (Dec. 20) in a conversation with Jewish children and teens on three continents, together with Chairman of the Executive of The Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky and Israeli Minister of Education and Diaspora Affairs Naftali Bennett.

The conversation took place in The Jewish Agency’s situation room in Jerusalem via videoconference and focused on the connection between Israel and the Jewish world.

Students from five schools were involved in the event: Golda Ochs Academy in West Orange, New Jersey; the Arthur I. Meyer Jewish Academy in Palm Beach County, Florida; the Begin Interdisciplinary School in Safed (Tzfat), Israel; the Merchavim Regional School in Merchavim, Israel; and Ulpanat Noga in Beit Shemesh, Israel — as well as campers at a Bnei Akiva summer camp in South Africa, where it is currently summertime.

The students are all connected to one another via The Jewish Agency’s Global School Twinning Network, which pairs Israeli schools with Jewish schools throughout the world. There are 650 schools currently connected through the program, touching the lives of tens of thousands of Jewish young people on six continents every year. Sharansky said that Israel and the Jewish world are attached and dependent on one another in the two great Jewish battles of our generation, the battle against assimilation for the sake of the Jewish people’s future, and the battle against delegitimization for the sake of the State of Israel’s future.

“We will prevail only if we work together, in full cooperation, and it is important that that conversation start among schoolchildren,” Sharansky said. “The Jewish Agency’s Global School Twinning Network is an initiative that I was proud to promote four years ago. It started with three schools and has grown to 650. I hope that striking growth continues until all schoolchildren in Israel and the Jewish world are connected and in dialogue with one another.” Likewise, Bennett added that he was “pleased to see the success of The Jewish Agency’s Global School Twinning Network, which strengthens connections between Israel and Diaspora Jewry.

“I am Minister of Education for Israeli students, but as Minister of Diaspora Affairs I also feel a sense of responsibility for the education of Jewish students around the world. I see great importance in strengthening the ties between all Jews in Israel and in the Diaspora. We are one big family.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/global-school-twinning-network-launched-by-jewish-agency-for-israel/2016/12/21/

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