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October 21, 2016 / 19 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Nir Barkat’

Israeli Officials Call for Prime Minister To Approve Jewish Construction in Israel’s Capital

Monday, July 4th, 2016

By Jonathan Benedek/TPS

Israeli officials emphasized the importance of maintaining a clear and undivided Jerusalem this morning at the annual conference held by the Yesha Council, an organization representing the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria.

“Givat Hamatos is a strategic point for the future of Jerusalem,” said Education Minister and Jewish Home Party Chairman Naftali Bennett. “It is where the fate of the unity of Jerusalem will be set.”

Minister Bennett made the remarks following the approval of 600 new housing units for Arabs in the neighborhood of Beit Safafa, located on land in southern Jerusalem territories annexed by Israel after the Six Day War in 1967. The new housing units will further connect the Arab neighborhood to Givat Hamatos, also located on southern Jerusalem lands gained by Israel in 1967.

“The goal of the world and the Palestinians is to create Palestinian territorial continuity through Givat Hamatos from Beit Jala to Malha,” continued Minister Bennett.

Beit Jala is a Palestinian town located next to Bethlehem and south of Givat Hamatos. Malha is another neighborhood in southern Jerusalem to the west of Givat Hamatos.

“We are opposed to such a goal,” Bennett stressed. “We want continuity between Talpiot and Gilo and to preserve the unity of Jerusalem.”

Talpiot is a neighborhood located southwest of Jerusalem’s Old City and Gilo, like Givat Hamatos, is another neighborhood in southern Jerusalem located in territories taken over by Israel in the Six Day War.

Although Israel maintains that Givat Hamatos and Gilo are part of its capital city, many in the international community refuse to accept Israel’s annexation of those neighborhoods or Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital city.

Minister Bennett asserted that authorization for Palestinian construction without Israeli construction in such areas would only serve to further divide Jerusalem.

“Arab construction without Israeli construction in Givat Hamatos will create [Palestinian] territorial continuity up to the Malha mall,” Bennett noted. “It will create a de-facto divide of the city and create a Palestinian buffer in Jerusalem. I urge the prime minister not to only allow Palestinian construction and I trust that he will permit Israeli construction as well.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has often cancelled or postponed plans to build additional Jewish housing units in neighborhoods like Givat Hamatos and Gilo due to intense pressure from the international community. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who also spoke at the conference, insisted that Netanyahu not abide by such a standard, which he implied to be prejudiced against the city’s Jewish residents.

“Building in Jerusalem should not be stopped for no reason,” Barkat asserted. “We need to allow construction within the framework of the work plans of the city of Jerusalem without prejudice.”

“I would argue that it would be a mistake not to allow construction and that it is a mistake to only authorize it after an attack,” continued Barkat.

Israel has often announced construction plans near the site of a terror attack shortly after its occurrence. Netanyahu announced over the weekend that 42 new homes would be built in the Harsina neighborhood of Kiryat Arba, where 13-year-old Hallel Yaffa Ariel was stabbed to death by a Palestinian Arab last Thursday. Critics countered that such a plan was already in the works.

Barkat contended that Israel should insist upon continuing to build sans any discriminatory standards. “The message is to allow construction without prejudice in the city of Jerusalem,” the mayor reiterated.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Jerusalem Mayor to Fire Ancient Ramadan Cannon Ending Islamic Fast

Monday, June 27th, 2016

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat is set to fire the ancient Ramadan cannon on Tuesday signaling the end of the Islamic holy month’s daily fasts.

The cannon will be fired at the ancient cemetery on Salah a Din Street near the Old City police station together with the Haj Yahya Sandouka family.

The Sandouka hamullah (clan) has been responsible for firing the cannon during the month of Ramadan and on Eid al-Fitr, the holiday ending the fast, since the Ottoman period 200 years ago.

The cannon is fired twice each day of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan, at sunrise and sunset, marking the beginning and the end of the fast each day.

Following the ceremony, the mayor will join the dignitaries of the neighborhood for the Iftar meal.

Ramadan, which began on June 6, ends this year on July 5, when Muslims celebrate the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of the fast, and which lasts in countries for up to three days.

Jewish Press News Briefs

International Jewish Unity Day Ceremonies Hosted by Pres. Reuven Rivlin

Thursday, June 2nd, 2016

More than a million and a half people participated in International Jewish Unity Day commemorations around the globe on Wednesday (June 1), marking the second anniversary of the kidnappings and murders of three Israeli teens, Naftali Frenkel, Gil-ad Sha’er and Eyal Yifrach.

Now in its second year, Jewish Unity Day is an initiative of the Jerusalem Unity Prize created by the families of the three boys together with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and Gesher. Unity Day and the Jerusalem Unity Prize are designed to bring together all elements of the global Jewish community to demonstrate the sense of national collectiveness which defined the Jewish people in the wake of the boys’ kidnappings.

Global events were planned for 25 countries and include programs in over 100 cities with an expected participation of 750,000 people. Unity Day is working with 160 different partner organizations to coordinate the 200 different events in schools, synagogues, community centers and parks.

In Israel, an expected 850,000 participated in official government, school and private events on Unity Day, June 1st, highlighted by the award ceremony for the Jerusalem Unity Prize at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem.

In his comments at the ceremony, President Rivlin said, “The Jerusalem Unity Prize and Unity Day allow us to salute the togetherness which exists in society- both out of choice and out of tragedy.” The award salutes the accomplishments of individuals and initiatives who have prioritized unity within the Jewish community.

This year’s winners include the Global Schools Twinning Project, an initiative of the Jewish Agency’s Partnership2Together, Hapoel Katamon Sports Club which uses athletics to bring together diverse groups within Jerusalem society, Kesher Yehudi (The Jewish Connection), which works to bridge social gaps between Israel’s secular and haredi populations and the youth programs of Bnei Akiva together with the Noar Haoved V’Halomed and Dror Yisrael, which unite youth of diverse backgrounds in cultural and social programming.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, the Chair of the Prize Committee said, “The Jerusalem Unity Prize was created to promote the value of togetherness among the Jewish people. The 2016 winners of the Jerusalem Unity Prize demonstrate the very best of Jewish unity through their work to bridge gaps and strengthen ties among the Jewish people. I am confident that each of this year’s winners will continue their impressive work as ambassadors for Jerusalem and the Jewish world and will create a brighter future for the Jewish people.”

The families of the three boys said, “We are deeply appreciate of the level of support that we have received in enabling unity to become the lasting legacy of our sons. While the tragedy of their deaths can never be lessened, the fact that their memories are helping to build a better and strong Jewish world is deeply inspiring.”

Hana Levi Julian

Families of 3 Martyred Yeshiva Teens Meet With Netanyahu, Barkat for Unity Day Preparations

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

The families of three Jewish teens who were kidnapped and murdered on June 12, 2014 by Hamas terrorists two years ago, met Monday (May 30) with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat.

The gathering came in advance of the Day of Unity organized by the families to commemorate the lives of their sons and their unity that coalesced around the families during the days of the desperate search to find them.

Although the search ended in tragedy, the families decided to mark the day with an everlasting memorial to the unity of Jews coming together for good, in a Day of Unity.

Each year the families present an award to those whose lives and actions best demonstrate these characteristics in Israel and around the world.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu Issues Stop-Work Order against Waqf Temple Mount Bathrooms

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

On Tuesday the PM’s office instructed the City of Jerusalem to issue a stop-work order against a project that has been under construction for two years, converting an ancient Ottoman structure near the compound’s wall into bathroom stalls and showers for use strictly by Muslim worshipers.

According to Israel Radio, Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday assembled Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan, and Minister of Culture and Sport Miri Regev, to discuss the offensive Waqf project on the Temple Mount, because it endangers rare archaeological treasures.

The move was appropriate, especially since the Waqf had been constructing those bathrooms, as well as carrying out other projects for two years now without a license. The only question was how come the PM’s office waited for two years to act, after being bombarded with complaints by archaeologists, including the Israel Antiquities Authority, regarding the irreparable damage caused by the Waqf?

It was Yehuda Glick, now an MK, who in 2014 caught Waqf officials red-handed in the act of drilling through the ancient stones of the holy site, using heavy machinery. “They saw me coming and immediately tried to hide. It set off warning bells for me and I started filming straight away,” Glick related back in 2014. “They tried to hide, and then shouted to the policeman who was there that I could not take pictures without their permission. The policeman ignored them.”

David Israel

Pres. Rivlin Understands Arab Students’ Dilemma on National Symbols, Anthem: ‘Must Be Addressed’

Monday, May 30th, 2016

President Reuven Rivlin is seeking a way to find the “shvil hazahav” – the golden mean – wherein everyone can find something to agree upon in Israel’s national symbols and anthem.

On Sunday, Rivlin acknowledged that the national anthem, ‘HaTikva,” stirs the hearts of the nations Jews but as such does not do the same for those in the country who were not born Jewish — and this issue must be addressed.

The president acknowledged while speaking with Jewish and Arab students at Jerusalem’s Himmelfarb High School that one “can’t expect loyal Israeli citizens who are not Jewish to say that they have ‘a Jewish spirit yearning deep in the heart’ (quoting from the lyrics on the anthem) because they are not Jews. Maybe their spirit is yearning for their country, but not as part of the Jewish People because they are not part of the Jewish People,” he acknowledged. But the dilemma is not one that is easily remedied, Rivlin said.

Rivlin made the remark in response to a question by an Arab student who asked if it was possible to change or add anything to the symbols of the state, so that Arab citizens can identify with it, and feel a part of the country.

The president deferred to Education Minister Naftali Bennett, who had accompanied him to the school along with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. “This dilemma must be solved by Israeli leaders, one of whom is sitting right next to me,” he said. “The question you are asking needs to be on the national agenda in the next generation or two. This is a dilemma we cannot ignore. It needs to be addressed by leaders, by members of Knesset who were chosen by the people,” Rivlin said.

“At this point, where we have to base the existence of the State of Israel on a Jewish State, and a democratic one, we have to hold on to and strengthen the Zionist dream which comes with and often causes friction with those citizens who are not Zionist,” he went on.

“I await the day that every Israeli citizen can identify with the State of Israel and not just the deep, important idea of the 2,000-year-old quest of the Jewish people to return to their homeland.”

Hana Levi Julian

Attacks on Jews at Ancient Cemetery Cause Israel to Beef Up Security

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

By Michael Bachner/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – The Jerusalem Municipality Finance Committee approved on Tuesday the transfer of 1.5 million shekels (nearly US$400,000) to reinforce security at Jerusalem’s ancient Mount of Olives cemetery following a rash of violence against Jewish visitors and vandalism of Jewish graves. On the same day, an Arab-Israeli man was sentenced to prison for attacking Jews on the Mount of Olives.

The Mount of Olives Jewish cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery in the world, dating back 3,000 years to the time of the First Temple – and is still in use today. It houses some 70,000 tombs from different historical eras, including the graves of many prominent rabbis, writers, and political leaders.

The cemetery is surrounded by Arab neighborhoods such as A-Tur, Ras Al-Amud and Al-Sawana. Many Jews have been targeted over the years in and near these neighborhoods while making their way to visit the cemetery. Additionally, many graves have been torched, smashed, or sprayed with graffiti.

The new plan is intended to improve the personal safety of those ascending the mount and to prevent vandalism and desecration of the graves. It will include the construction of fences, installation of gates, and placement of additional security measures in the area of the mount.

“The Mount of Olives is a holy place which is very important to the Israeli people,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat in a statement. “We are obligated to preserve its sanctity and the safety of its visitors. We will not allow it to be harmed and desecrated.”

Also on Tuesday, Khalil Jayousi, a 21-year-old resident of A-Tur, was sentenced to five years and eight months in prison for organizing and leading violent riots on the Mount of Olives during which pipe-bombs and firebombs were thrown at Israeli civilians and security forces.

The riots were held in the summer of 2014, following the murder of Jerusalem-Arab teenager Muhammad Abu-Khdeir by Israeli extremists and Operation Protective Edge in Gaza. Fireworks, rocks, and explosives were hurled at a Jewish home and security forces who were guarding it. In one case, fireworks were also used to attack Jewish drivers in their cars.

According to three detailed indictments filed against Jayousi at the Jerusalem District Court, he purchased and supplied arms to dozens of teenage rioters, and also actively participated in the violent riots.

Jayousi, who recently served a prison term for similar offenses, was convicted of aggravated assault, carrying and manufacturing weapons, and negligent and reckless use of explosives. According to the indictment, his actions were motivated by a desire to attack Jews.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/attacks-on-jews-at-ancient-cemetery-cause-israel-to-beef-up-security/2016/05/24/

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