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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Nir Barkat’

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

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/nyc-mayor-de-blasio-when-you-are-attacked-we-also-feel-attacked/2015/10/18/

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