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June 1, 2016 / 24 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Nir Barkat’

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

City of Jerusalem & Parents’ Group Declare School Strike Over Inadequate Security

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

The Jerusalem municipality joined the city parents’ association to declare a school strike Thursday for students in grades 9-12 to protest inadequate government security funding.

High schools throughout Jerusalem will be on strike as both the city and the parents demand the government pay for security measures that will protect schools throughout the school day.

Elementary schools are in session as usual.

“As long as the government is shirking its responsibility for school security, we will not abandon our children,” explained Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in a statement released Wednesday night.

According to the statement, security for Jerusalem schools is funded only until 1:30 pm.

Security coverage at school is not funded after that time, and those communities who cannot afford to pay for it may simply have no coverage until the end of the school day.

Hana Levi Julian

Jerusalem Mayor – Armed and Dangerous

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat caused a minor storm yesterday when he was spotted in the Beit Hanina neighborhood, next to Shuafat, armed with what appeared to Israel’s Channel 1 as a mini-assault rifle, which the reporter misidentified as a variation of the Galil. The Arabs have been violently rioting in Beit Hanina and Shuafat.

Channel 1 was very concerned that the mayor was walking around Jerusalem without a proper license for the weapon. It’s still difficult for the average Jerusalem resident (and Israeli) to get a gun license.

In fact, Barkat, who earlier this year caught a terrorist mid-attack in Jerusalem has a proper license for a .40 caliber Glock pistol (personally, I recommend the CZ P-07, but to each their own). He was using it with a RONI carbine conversion kit, which allows quick conversion of a handgun into a carbine rifle (it’s very cool). The conversion kit increases shooter accuracy.

The mayor’s office released a photo of the gun in the RONI, and the mayor’s gun license.

The mayor should know, his gun license expires at the end of the month. It’s renewal time.

Nir Barkat's Glock in a RONI carbine conversion kit.

Nir Barkat’s Glock in a RONI carbine conversion kit.

Nir Barkat's gun license

The Channel 1 report:

Photo of the Day

Pro-Israel Legislators in Jerusalem to ‘Stand with Israel’

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Twenty-two parliamentarians from 18 countries around the world are in Jerusalem for the annual Israel Allies Foundation conference in Jerusalem and will focus on attacking the Boycott Israel (BDS) movement.

They also will discuss the threat of a nuclear Iran on Israel and the Western world, and Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.

The three-day conference starts on Tuesday and is sponsored by the World Jewish Congress (WJC) and the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (ICEJ). Represented countries are Britain, Italy, Slovakia, Holland, Greece, Hungary, Czech Republic, Greece, Finland, Canada, South Africa, Uganda, Guatemala, Uruguay, Dominican Republic, Brazil, Chile and Paraguay.

President Reuven Rivlin, several Knesset Members and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will address the visitors on Tuesday.

They will tour Judea and Samaria on Wednesday, including the Rami Levi supermarket between Jerusalem and the communities of Beit El and Ofra. Arabs who work with Jews in the market will speak with the delegation.

The group also will visit Bat Galim Shaer, the mother of one of the boys kidnapped and murdered by Hamas last summer.

On Thursday, the parliamentarians will draft and sign a resolution declaring their support for Israel and vowing to take a stance against racist, anti-Israel movements such as BDS.

Jewish Press Staff

New Jerusalem Street Honors Savior of 40,000 Jews During Holocaust

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Mayor Nir Barkat inaugurated a new street in Jerusalem in an official ceremony this week to honor Moshe (Miklós) Krausz, a little-known Hungarian Jew who saved about 40,000 Jews during the Holocaust

The street-naming publicly recognizes and honors Krausz’s work in a rare instance of recognition.

“This commemoration only begins to correct a historic injustice,” said Nachi Eyal, CEO of The Legal Forum for Israel and one of the people behind this initiative.

Eyal told Tazpit:

Krausz was a man of the World Zionist movement and the Mizrachi movement who saved tens of thousands of Jews and yet his name has been left out of the public knowledge. Krausz died alone and almost forgotten in Jerusalem after having immigrated here with the end of World War II.

Krausz served as the director of the Palestine Office for the World Zionist Movement in Budapest and was responsible for obtaining emigration permits for Jews to the British Mandate of Palestine.

Following the Nazi invasion of Hungary in 1944, Krausz, aided by his connections with Swiss Vice-Consul Carl Lutz, began producing diplomatic patronage certificates to thousands of Hungarian Jews and their entire families, effectively granting them diplomatic immunity from the Nazis.

Through his Swiss connection, Krausz also obtained extraterritorial status under the auspices of the Swiss government to many private buildings where Jews would hide from Nazi extermination.

Most prominent among these “safe houses” was a disused glass factory in Budapest. Dubbed “The Glass House” by survivors, over 3,000 Jews used the building as a hiding place and survived the Holocaust.

“Jews from all walks of life and different backgrounds huddled together in the crowded cellars,” Mordechai Newmann, a Glass House survivor who attended the ceremony told TPS. “Orthodox rabbis, socialist youth activists, Zionist Organization workers, and their families all had their place in the Glass House.”

“At night, members of Zionist Youth organizations would dress up in Nazi uniform and sneak out of the cellars to find more Jews and smuggle them into the glass house,” recounts Newmann, who was 14 at the time.

This elaborate scheme that saved such a staggering number of lives from the Nazi extermination machine went unnoticed and did not receive much public attention in Israel until now.

According to Dr. Ayala Nadivi, a historian of Hungarian Jewry, the reasons for Krausz’s hitherto anonymity might have been political. She told Tazpit:

There was quite a lot of infighting and political ego struggles between the various Jewish and Zionist bodies of the time. Krausz was a member of the Mizrachi movement, while the Jewish leadership in British Mandate Palestine was predominantly of the Mapai movement (Worker’s Party of The Land of Israel). Independently of Krausz and Lutz’s rescue efforts, Mapai established the Budapest Rescue Committee and appointed Israel Kasztner to head it.

Later, with the end of the British Mandate and the founding of the State of Israel, the same Mapai became the governing party in Israel. When Kasztner was accused of collaboration with the Nazis during his rescue activities, Krausz gave unfavorable testimony against him on trial. From that point on and despite the evident existence of records of Krausz’s rescue efforts, not a single national organization or newspaper acknowledges him.

According Eyal, it was Dr. Nadivi’s book “Between Krausz and Kasztner: The Battle to Save Hungarian Jewry” published in 2014, that was the catalyst to the reemergence of Krausz’ name on public record.

“After being told about the book by my assistant and reading it, I felt compelled to petition Mayor Barkat,” Eyal told Tazpit. “After filing a request and all the necessary paperwork, including the historic records assembled by Dr. Nedivi, the Mayor acquiesced and named a Jerusalem street after this man who saved more Jews than Schindler and Kasztner combined and was a Jew himself.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Jerusalem Mayor to Close Central Supermarkets on Sabbath

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is planning to force at least eight supermarkets that currently operate on the Sabbath in the holy city to close on Saturdays, according to a report Wednesday on Galei Tzahal Army Radio.

All eight are centrally located.

The move reportedly comes as a peace-making gesture to the hareidi factions in Barkat’s coalition who represent a large population in the city.

Last week hareidi religious men protested violently against the opening of the new “YES Planet” cinema complex in the capital, even though the complex is located far from the hareidi-religious section of the city.

“I’m happy the mayor kept his word to take steps to bolster the status of Shabbat in the holy city,” Jerusalem city council member Aryeh King told Galei Tzahal in a separate interview.

“I really hope that this will be the start of a new era of keeping Jerusalem united in the truest sense of the term. That includes preserving the holiness of the city – and the holiness of the Sabbath.”

King added that Barkat had promised the move in exchange for his return to the coalition.

Hana Levi Julian

Jerusalem Mayor Responds to U.S. Decision Against Israel’s Capital

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat responded to today’s US Supreme Court’s decision that U.S. citizens born in Jerusalem won’t be able to list Israel as their country of birth in their passports.

Barkat said,

“Just like the U.S. capital is Washington [D.C.], London is the capital of England and France’s capital is Paris – Jerusalem was and will always be the capital of Israel, but more importantly the heart and soul of the Jewish people.

Just as anti-Semitism is currently trying to raise its head and BDS is supporting Hamas’ positions that endanger the peace of the world and deny the existence of Israel, we expect the United States to strengthen the State of Israel and recognize Jerusalem as its capital.

I call on President Obama to publicly declare what has been known for generations, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and Israel is the home of the Jewish people.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

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