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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Nir Barkat’

Benny Gantz, Natan Sharansky Named to Jerusalem Unity Prize Committee

Wednesday, January 13th, 2016

Former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gants and Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky have joined Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on this year’s committee to choose recipients for the Jerusalem Unity Prize.

Nominations are now being accepted for the prize, now in its second year of awards to those who are recognized for fostering Jewish unity. The Jerusalem Unity Prize was created by Mayor Nir Barkat to promote unity among the Jewish people. It was conceived with the Shaer, Frenkel and Yifrach families in memory of their sons Gil-ad, Naftali and Eyal, whose kidnappings and subsequent murders became a turning point in Jewish communal relations.

Jews from all walks of life came together in an unprecedented display of solidarity to pray for the safe return of the boys at that time.

In partnership with GESHER, the award was designed to harness that spirit of national unity and inspire continued work to bridge divides within the greater Jewish community. “Benny Gantz is a natural leader whose resolve carried the Israeli military through the tragic period following our boys’ abduction and the subsequent campaign in Gaza,” the Fraenkel, Shaer and Ifrach families said in a statement.

“Natan Sharansky serves as the ultimate symbol of Jewish heroism and courage whose personal story has inspired millions.

“Both of these figures therefore exhibit the traits which inspire pride and unity within the modern Jewish experience and we feel deeply honored to have them as part of this effort.”

“Jerusalem is the eternal home and capital of the Jewish people and the very symbol of the power of our unity. Historically, Jerusalem was not divided into tribes and the gates of our city have always been open to all. The Jerusalem Unity Prize is a modern celebration of that very power of the Jewish people coming together,” said Mayor Nir Barkat.

Gantz welcomed the appointment. “My position allowed me a unique perspective to appreciate the power of national unity,” he said. “I truly believe that the security of our future, as a People and as a country, relies on the strength we possess when united. I am excited to be able to encourage and support those who believe in the importance of working together, and I consider it a privilege to be a part of the Jerusalem Unity Prize committee.”

Sharansky added, “Jerusalem serves as a bridge between our People’s dream and our reality, and is the very realization of our national aspirations. The city unites us in times of victory as well as tragedy, reminding that when tragedy strikes it is incumbent upon us to rise and unite in action, in giving back and with mutual respect for all.

“I salute the Frenkel, Shaer and Yifrach families on this remarkable initiative and it is an honor to have been invited to be part of the program.”

Nominations for the Prize will be accepted via the Prize website until February 4, 2016. Prizes of up to 300,000 NIS total will be awarded in three separate categories of unity initiatives on the local, regional and global levels.

In 2015, awards were presented to Brigadier General Ram Shmueli, Harav Chacham David Menachem, Nifgashim B’Shvil Yisrael and the Chabad House of Bangkok, Thailand. The 2015 Unity Prize was awarded in June on Unity Day, where over 1 million people participated in educational and entertainment events worldwide.

Unity Day this year will take place in early June 2016 with programs already being scheduled across the Diaspora. “Unity Day proved itself as not just a welcomed program but indeed a necessary one whereby the Jewish world was reminded of just how much we can achieve when we put our differences aside and focus on our commonalities,” said Anat Schwarz Weil, director of the Jerusalem Unity Prize.

“There is no doubt that we as a people face many challenges- indeed to our very existence. So it is all that much more important that we rally behind this initiative so that we can be a stronger and more united Jewish people.”

Jewish Press Staff

Histadrut Labor Union Files Grievance in Jerusalem Over Layoffs

Sunday, January 3rd, 2016

The Histadrut Labor Union started the secular calendar year with a warning to the Jerusalem municipality that it will file a grievance over the layoff of 170 sanitation workers.

That move is the first step towards starting a job action that could eventually paralyze the entire capital, if the union continues to proceed with each step in the typical work slowdown process.

“We are talking about cutting off the food supply of workers who are in the weakest position, a complete breach of trust when dealing with a group of workers,” said the Histadrut in a statement.

The move followed the city’s fight to save the jobs of more than 1,000 other sanitation workers, and up to 9,000 others in the city.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said last week there was no choice, given the refusal of the Finance Ministry to transfer funds to the city budget to support ongoing services. Calling the cuts “unbearable,” Barkat warned that if the government did not find a way to help, the city’s budgets for “social services, education and culture” would also be affected.

Last Thursday the Finance Minister agreed to allow the Jerusalem City Council to keep all the workers except 170 on the municipal payroll, and even to hire others.

But the grievance to be filed by the Histadrut will allow city workers who are union members to take unified action. Under the terms of a grievance, workers can participate in anything from a work slowdown to a full-scale strike after a period of two weeks.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Painful Cuts Ahead in Jerusalem’ Warns Mayor Barkat

Thursday, December 31st, 2015

A deaf ear from the Finance Ministry will force the city of Jerusalem to send home thousands of workers across the capital, Mayor Nir Barkat warned on Thursday. Services in at least three key departments are also likely to be compromised.

The Jerusalem municipality has already notified 170 city cleaning workers of impending layoffs after a request for additional funding was denied by the Finance Ministry.

Some 2,000 more workers across the city are also to be laid off and the city’s cultural institutions, social services and education infrastructure will be affected as well.

“It’s an intolerable decision but unfortunately we have no choice,” Barkat said in a statement Thursday.

“The refusal of the Finance Ministry to transfer funds to Jerusalem does not allow the city to continue to provide these services. We are forced to take this most difficult step and lay off the workers we need.

“Making cutbacks on municipal requests affects social services, education and culture and it means the layoff of thousands of workers in the city,” Barkat warned.

“We were expected that in a period of terrorism there would be wider support, rather than be shown a cold shoulder,” he said.

“Without the transfer of government support to Jerusalem, there will be no escaping more painful cuts that will further compromise the standing of Israel’s capital city, and will hurt each and every resident.”

Hana Levi Julian

Jerusalem Declares War on Israeli Govt. with Garbage Trucks and Psalms

Monday, November 16th, 2015

(JNi.media) Hundreds of municipal employees of the City of Jerusalem are planing to demonstrate on Monday morning in the Israeli Government Complex with 50 garbage trucks and dozens of municipal vehicles, following the announcement of budget cuts planned by Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, Army radio reported. Treasury officials are unafraid, declaring, “We will continue to advance the city.”

The Jerusalem municipality appears committed to a fight to the bitter end against the Finance Minister. A letter sent to Kahlon by the capital’s administration warns that the cuts he proposes would result in hundreds of kindergartens losing their security personnel. The full list includes dramatic cuts in education, welfare and culture.

The Finance Ministry is outraged by this campaign of Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat, and Treasury officials are expected to meet Monday morning with the Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Zeev Elkin to push back the attack on their decisions, even as the City’s protest continues downstairs.

Barkat posted on his Facebook page a call to “the Treasury and its leader” accusing them of forgetting Jerusalem, paraphrasing the Psalm verses (137:5-6), Barkat said Kahlon et al “forgot thee, O Jerusalem, forgot their right hand, and their tongue cleaves to the roof of their mouth, because they did not raise Jerusalem above their greatest joy.”

Where else but in Israel would a mayor and a minister conduct their open warfare using both garbage trucks and biblical verses?

“We have come today to protest the abandonment of Jerusalem,” Barkat proclaimed, “to sound the voice and the opposition of the people to the finance minister’s unprecedented refusal to transfer the funds necessary for the existence and strengthening of our capital city.”

Finance Ministry officials said in an angry response that “apparently Nir Barkat’s Jerusalem municipality suffers from serious managerial problems, otherwise there is no explanation to how they’ve wasted the $500,000 allocated to them in recent years. The Ministry of Finance will continue to develop and advance the city along with Jerusalem Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin.”

Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem Yael Antebi told Army Radio that “as member of Knesset, Kahlon promoted a law to increase the grants allocated to the capital. What happened [to his commitment] when it is now in his hands? Did it evaporate, like his promise to take care of the gas monopoly?”

Candidate Moshe Kahlon promised voters to resolve the disputes surrounding the best way to utilize the vast natural gas reserves off Israel’s shores—but after he was elected, Finance Minister Kahlon recused himself from dealing with the issue altogether, citing a personal relationship with the parties involved.

JNi.Media

Only 10% of Applicants are Approved for a Gun License

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

Despite the official easing of restrictions to get a gun license in Israel, along with the explicit calls by elected officials, such as Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, for citizens to carry licensed weapons on them, and the much increased public demand for gun licenses in the wake of all the ongoing Arab terror attacks, 90 percent of the approximate 10,000 applications for a licensed weapons have been turned down, according to Vered Pelman, a reporter for Israel’s Channel 1.

The 10% who made it past the first stage of government filtering still have many months of waiting ahead before they will get their gun.

Israel has one of the most restrictive personal gun licensing requirements in the world, and ranks as number 70 out of 178 countries in terms of gun ownership, with only 7.3 personal guns per 100 citizens, in 2014.

Those numbers don’t include guns issued by the army or to guards via security companies.

Though unlike the US, once licensed, most gun owners can openly carry their weapons practically anywhere.

A significant percentage of Arab terrorists have been neutralized by civilian gun owners.

Jewish Press News Briefs

NYC Mayor De Blasio: ‘When You Are Attacked, We Also Feel Attacked’

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio says New Yorkers are empathizing with Israelis.

Hizzoner went together with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Saturday night to visit severely wounded terrorist victims at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.

De Blasio told Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, with whom he has been in close contact, that New Yorkers have had a lot of experience with the effects of terror, particularly since the Al Qaeda attack on September 11, 2001.

“When you are attacked, we also feel attacked,” De Blasio said.

Barkat responded that terrorism is an international phenomenon, one that has become an epidemic that must be wiped out.

“The war on terror is global and common to many countries and the September 11 attacks, as well as our wave of terror, originate from the same source of evil that we must eradicate,” Barkat said. He added that although terrorists have done their best to try and disrupt the lives of Israelis, people living here do not allow their lives to be controlled by terrorism.

“Our residents are strong, determined and believe in the justness of our cause, and the desire to live in peace together,” he said.

Barkat added that Arab incitement that causes terrorism must also be stopped.

“This is not just a war against the terrorists themselves, but also factors that foment and create propaganda — lies and disinformation that we have to refute at every opportunity — to say instead one thing: the truth!”

He added that he believes that just as New Yorkers overcame terror, Jerusalem will also “soon return to normal.” Barkat thanked De Blasio for his visit at a challenging time, what he called “an expression of true friendship and solidarity.”

Hana Levi Julian

A Slice of Jewish Life in Jerusalem’s Ancient City

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Barnea and Shoshanah Selavan, long-time residents of the Old City of Jerusalem, begin sharing their lives with JewishPress.com readers this week. The couple brings us a glimpse into what it’s like to walk among the ancient alleyways and enjoy the bright new artwork adorning the shops in Jerusalem’s Jewish Quarter.

Here in Jerusalem’s Old City we live this surreal existence. You aren’t just living your own life. It’s a sense that whatever you do you are representing the entire Jewish people. You can’t be scared, you can’t give in.

We are here in the center of the world, the magnetic field that attracts the entire Jewish world. And the truth is, we aren’t scared. We send our children to school, we go to the supermarket, go to work run our errands…but with one ear listening for sirens, helicopters, gun shots. I’d say we are all looking over our shoulders a bit more than before.

My newlywed daughter just called me. She needs to see a doctor and is scared to go alone. I wonder if my Arab neighbors in the Muslim Quarter are also showing signs of anxiety. As I hear the kindergarten children playing under my window I also hear the whir of helicopters in the distant background and wonder what the day will bring. Just in case, I’ve cancelled my husband’s tunnel tours for the rest of the month. The phone is not exactly ringing off the hook. But hey — the sun is shining and it’s a glorious day, and Rosh Chodesh to boot! So I’m putting on my dancing shoes and away I go … and in case you’re wondering, I will be walking out through the Arab shuk (market) because this is my home and that’s how I go. As I continue writing this it is late afternoon. When I left the Old City this morning I was bombarded by the sound of sirens, first going in one direction and then heading to another. I asked a police officer what was going on and heard about the two attacks in Armon HaNatziv and Geula. I felt short of breath, felt the world crashing in on my lungs, but I continued to town to meet my daughter. It’s relatively empty there now and those who are on public transportation or walking the streets are ill at ease. Everyone is talking about the attacks, and everyone is fed up. Everyone wants reprisals. But how do you reprise against a non-entity? Maybe we should let them declare a state and then we declare war on our enemies — makes sense doesn’t it? Tomorrow I may be meeting with President Reuven Rivlin. Other community council leaders are drafting a letter demanding an end to the violence to be translated into Arabic and they want us to present it to the president to sign. But if it was as simple as a letter, don’t you think someone would have thought of this earlier????? Just got a call to attend an emergency security meeting in the municipality — see you later! And yes, I am walking through the shuk to get there! Fascinating meeting, hearing Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and his advisors describe the situation in the Arab schools in our city.

The mayor has been going into the schools where the terrorists are coming from and hearing from the principals and teachers how the children and teens are being fed a totally inaccurate pictures of reality from the Arab social media. How they truly believe that the terrorists are innocents being murdered by Israeli police officers! How they all have pictures of one of the young murderers and idolize him like a movie star, and look forward to joining him in the next world (and we all know how they plan on joining him, don’t we?) The principals are unable to combat the lies and our municipality is going in there trying to spread truth. Indeed fascinating how we continue to believe that they care to hear the truth.

But on a positive note, Old City youth organized a march from Jaffa Gate to Zion Square this afternoon, complete with Israeli flags and lots of heartfelt singing. Yesterday, at the end of the Lavie shiva, they closed up the tent which they set up at the site of the murder and held a special tefilla (prayer) at the Western Wall. Today they have focused their energies on keeping the spirits high for all Jerusalem residents.

Another day in the life of an Old City resident. Neighbor Rav Motty Berger once said that all Jews are driving in the car of Jewish history, but those living in Israel are in the driver’s seat. In that case we in the Old City are sitting on the windshield!

Prayers for peace throughout the land of Israel, and a speedy recovery to all of our victims of terror.

Shoshanah Selavan

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/a-slice-of-jewish-life-in-jerusalems-ancient-city/2015/10/13/

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