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May 7, 2016 / 29 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Norway’

Israel’s Material Well-Being and National Wealth Stats Up Across the Board

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Real national disposable income per capita in Israel has gone up by 1.7% in 2014 compared with the year before, reaching a level of 119% compared with the year 2000, Israel’s Central Board of Statistics announced on Wednesday.

In 2014, the government debt as a percentage of GDP (65%) was lower than that of France (85%), Spain (88%), the UK (94%), the US (98%), and Italy (127%). It was higher than Germany’s (48%), the Czech Republic (46%), Sweden (44%), Turkey (37%), Switzerland (21%), and Norway (17%).

Between the years 2008-2011 there was a moderate rise in net income inequality in Israel (according to the Gini coefficient, a.k.a. the Gini index or Gini ratio — a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income distribution of a nation’s residents, which is the most commonly used measure of inequality.) It was followed by a downward trend in the Gini index until 2013, but remains high in Israel, compared with other OECD countries — higher than the US, Turkey, Mexico and Chile.

In 2013, the net annual income per standard capita was 91,604 shekel ($24,283), a rise of 5% compared with the year before, in 2013 rates. The net annual reported income per standard capita in Jewish households was double the amount in Arab households.

In 2013, Israel’s household debt as a percentage of GDP (47%) was significantly lower than most other OECD countries, such as Spain (79%), France (63%), Germany (56%), and Italy (49%). It was still higher than that of Poland (35%), Slovakia (32%), and Hungary (31%).

58% of Israelis ages 20 and up were satisfied with their economic situation in 2014: 59% of men, 57% of women.

Israeli Jews were more satisfied than Israeli Arabs — 60% vs. 48% respectively.

JNi.Media

Knesset Pays Tribute to former Speaker of the Norwegian Parliament Jo Benkow

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

(Monday, February 15, 2016) – Today at the Knesset in a moving ceremony, Norwegian Foreign Minister Børge Brende, Speaker of the Knesset MK Yuli Edelstein and Yisrael Beytenu Chairman MK Avigdor Liberman paid tribute to Jo Benkow, former Speaker of the Norwegian parliament, author and Holocaust survivor.

The event was initiated by MK Liberman where two books by Benkow were presented that were translated into Hebrew and Russian by the Genesis Philanthropy Group in conjunction with World Yisarel Beytenu. The books, both bestsellers in Norway, are an autobiography called ”From Synagogue to Parliament” and “Olav – Man and Monarch”, which is a product of several conversations Benkow held with his friend Norway’s King Olav V.

Director General of World Yisarel Beytenu Alex Selsky presented Benkow’s life story, including his family background as both his parents were refugees from Russia, and while the men in the family fled Norway to the UK to join the Royal Norwegian Air Force, all of the female family members, including his mother, sister and aunt were murdered in Auschwitz. Selsky spoke Benkow’s work on behalf of human rights issues, including becoming one of the most active fighters for the emigration and Aliyah of Soviet Jewry. “Benkow openly supported Israel and fought against Anti-Semitism and strongly criticized Norwegian leaders who expressed biased views toward Israel,” Selsky said.

MK Liberman who led the event said that Benkow is a great example for Jews all around the world. “He was at the same time a true Norwegian patriot, a proud Jew and a passionate Zionist,” MK Liberman said Speaker of the Knesset Edelstein then spoke about Benkow’s unique life story. “Benkow’s Jewish roots informed his activities and he stood up for Israel even when it was unpopular to do so,” Speaker Edelstein said.

The Deputy CEO of the Genesis Philanthropy Group, Sana Britavsky, explained why these translations were so important for Israelis and Jews. “Many Jews in the Diaspora are struggling with the question of their identity, but Benkow’s life and story shows that nothing can prevent a Jewish citizen from being loyal to their home nation,” Britavsky explained.

Foreign Minister Brende, who began in politics as an advisor and a speech writer to Benkow expressed how emotional and important the event was for him personally and how he and MK Liberman would often recount stories about Benkow when they would meet.

“Benkow had profound feelings for Israel and this gave a sense of pride among Jews in Norway,” Foreign Minister Brende said. “He said that when Israel was founded he could be both fully Norwegian and fully Jewish because he understood it was difficult to be a minority without security.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Debt-Ridden PA Owes Israel $400 Million for Electricity

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

The Palestinian Authority now owes the Israel Electric Corporation $400 million (1.7 billion. shekels) despite the trumpeted agreement nearly a year ago in which Israel resumed transferring tax collection revenues to the PA for the umpteenth time.

The debt-ridden regime in Ramallah supposedly would use some of the money to cut the debt for electricity, but Israel Electric CEO Ron Tal says the debt has grown to an “insane” amount.

He wants to start cutting the power to the Palestinian Authority, but that is unlikely to happen because the world would start screaming, “War Crime! War Crime.”

In the United States, and elsewhere, if someone does not pay for water or electricity, the municipality or utility company pulls the plug, without being charged with a war crime.

But there is hope, sort of.

The World Bank has announced it is transferring another $25 million to the Palestinian Authority from its “Palestinian Reform and Development Plan Trust Fund” that the Bank manages to support the PA budget.

The World Bank stated:

The funds contributed by the governments of Norway and the United Kingdom will help support the urgent budget needs of the Palestinian Authority (PA), providing inter alia support for ongoing macroeconomic and public financial management reforms.

Since the fund was established in 2008, the World Bank has turned over to the Palestinian Authority a staggering $1.38 billion.

The World Bank statement did not mention anything about what reforms, if any, the Palestinian Authority has carried out, and instead it said the PA economy is suffering from a lack of foreign aid.

Off to the rescue is Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, who will travel to New York this month for one of the Palestinian Authority’s favorite events, a donor’s meeting at which countries pledged billions of dollars for Ramallah.

Most of the pledges, especially from Arab countries, remain as pledges, just as the debt to the Israel Electric Corp. remains a debt.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

French NGOs and Palestinian Authority behind BDS Pressure on Orange

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

A coalition of French NGOs, some of them partly funded by the government, last month published a 51-page document named “Orange’s Dangerous Liaisons in the Occupied Palestinian Territory” to spearhead the campaign to pressure Orange to boycott Israel’s Partner Communications, which markets the Orange mobile phone service brand.

The Palestinian Authority joined the French NGOS to lobby the government and Orange to boycott Israel, the Israel-based NGO Monitor reported.

The NGOs reportedly met with Orphanage officials on May 26 and told them that its business link with Partner endangered its reputation. Orange told the BDS promoters that the agreement for Partner’s marketing the Orange brand expires in 10 years.

NGO Monitor reported:

The authors of the report asked Orange to publicly and explicitly state its decision to disengage and to denounce the human rights violations that Partner is involved in  Israeli settlements in the OPT [occupied Palestinian territories-sic]. In other words, the statements made by the France-based company are a wholesale adoption of the NGOs’ BDS agenda (which is illegal in France).

Following the publication of the report, Saeb Erekat, lead negotiator of the Palestinian Authority (PA), wrote to France’s foreign minister, Laurent Fabius, to denounce the link between Orange and Partner.

Organizations participating in the move to pressure Orange to boycott Israel include the European-based Who Profits, Al Haq, Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development-Terre Solidaire (CCFD), FIDH, and Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS).

Who Profits, which now is a separate organization, began to campaign against all of Israel’s cell phone companies in 2009 for allegedly being “commercially involved in the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Golan Heights” and “exploit[ing] the Palestinian frequencies and to impose their services on the Palestinian captive market.”

The Who Profits webpage also attacks Partner for sponsoring IDF units in the Golan, Judea and Samaria in the “Adopt a Soldier” project.

The 51-page document stated:

During the attack on Gaza in the summer of 2014, Partner was on the front lines providing material support, cellular services and entertainment to the Israeli soldiers. The company also waived service fees for soldiers carrying [sic] the assault during July-August 2014.

The French government, which owns 25 percent of Orange, granted the Catholic Committee Against Hunger and for Development-Terre Solidaire received nearly $400,000 from France in 2012. The same organization is a member of the Platform of French NGOs for Palestine,

FIDH last year libeled Israel with allegations that it deliberately targeted civilians in the war against Hamas rockets and missiles on Israeli civilians. The NGO is funded in part by the European Union and the governments of Finland, France, Ireland, Netherlands, Norway and Sweden.

NGO Monitor added, “Al Haq is funded directly by the governments of Belgium, Spain, Switzerland, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, and Ireland, and indirectly by UK, Sweden, Germany, and the UN.”

Its report continued:

Al Haq is a leader of lawfare and BDS against Israel. A main actor in the NGO campaign to file war crimes charges against Israeli officials at the International Criminal Court (ICC)….

Al Haq proposed sabotaging the Israeli court system by ‘flooding the [Israeli Supreme] Court with petitions in the hope of obstructing its functioning and resources.’

The Israeli Supreme Court has identified Al Haq’s general director Shawan Jabarin as ‘among the senior activists of the Popular Front terrorist organization.’

The Association France Palestine Solidarité (AFPS) was funded by the French government in 2012, refers to the “Gaza extermination camp” and states, “It is inconceivable and unacceptable that the ‘Jewish-executioner’ would hide behind the ‘Jewish victim!’” Other AFPS rhetoric includes ethnic cleansing, apartheid state, and “Stop hunting Palestinian children!”

A French court in 2014 ruled in favor of the French distributor of Israel-based SodaStream in a lawsuit charging the pro-BDS group with stating that SodaStream products were being illegally sold in France.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Norway’s Muslims Protect Oslo Synagogue in Sabbath ‘Peace Ring’

Sunday, February 22nd, 2015

A group of young Muslims organized a symbolic “ring of peace” to encircle the sole functioning synagogue in Oslo as Jew prayed within on Saturday.

At least 1,300 were inspired to join them in the initiative, which came in solidarity with Jews who were targeted last weekend by a radical Islamist terrorist in Denmark.

“This shows there are many more peacemakers than warmakers,” 37-year-old Zeeshan Abdullah, one of the organizers, told the crowd.

“There is still hope for humanity, for peace and love across religious differences and background,” he said.

Still, Norwegian sharp shooters were deployed on buildings around the synagogue. Police superintendent Steiner Hausvik told reporters, “It has been calm as we expected. We had no reason to expect any trouble but we were prepared.”

Jewish community spokesperson Ervin Kohn expressed gratitude and said it was “unique” that Muslims stood up “to this degree against anti-Semitism,” adding that “this fills us with hope, particularly as it’s a grassroots movement of young Muslims.”

Kohn advised the rest of the world to “look to Norway.”

There are only approximately 1,000 Jews left in Norway’s population of 5.3 million, while immigration of Muslims, about 3 percent of the population, continues to grow.

Last weekend two people died and five police officers were wounded in two attacks several hours apart by the same radical Islamist terrorist. The suspect, 22-year-old Omar el-Hussein, targeted a free speech event at a cafe and then a Bat Mitzvah at the Copenhagen Great Synagogue in Denmark.

Hussein, born in Denmark to Palestinian parents, had reportedly been released from jail only two weeks earlier after serving a two-year prison term for “grievous bodily harm.”

Hana Levi Julian

Young Muslims to Protect Oslo Synagogue as Jews Pray in Norway

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

A 17-year-old Muslim teen has rallied hundreds of young Muslims in Oslo who say they plan to protect Jews as they pray on Sabbath in synagogue this Saturday. The group says they’ll form a “peace ring” around the Jewish house of worship in the Norwegian capital.

Hajrad Arshad told state broadcaster NRK she initially called for 30 volunteers. Instead, at least 630 have risen to the challenge. She and her six co-organizers are part of a Facebook discussion forum called URETT AVSLØRES, “Injustice Revealed.”

The group intends to “extinguish the prejudices people have against Jews and against Muslims,” the young activist said. “We think that after the terrorist attacks in Copenhagen, it is the perfect time for us Muslims to distance ourselves from the harassment of Jews that is happening.”

Oslo Jewish community spokesperson Ervin Kohn welcomed the initiative, welcomed the initiative, pointing out the group was willing to defend the city’s Jews with their own bodies. “What they are showing is that if anyone wants to do anything against Jews in Norway, they ‘have to go through us first’ – and I think that’s very positive.”

Kohn said the synagogue agreed to the initiative as long as more than 30 young Muslims showed up – because otherwise, “it may seem counterproductive. “But if you fill Bergstien (the street on which the synagogue is located),” he added, “it will be very good.”

Arshad told Vårt Land the group had decided on the project both as “fellow human beings and Muslims in Norway, to show that Muslims distance themselves from the anti-Semitism which Jews encounter daily.”

In a statement on the group’s Facebook, they write that “Islam is to rise above hate and never sink at the same level as the haters. [We as] Muslims wish to show that we take deep exception to all forms of hatred of Jews and that we are there to support them. This is why we shall be forming a human ring around the synagogue.”

Contrary to the poison spewed from countless televised and live sermons by radical Islamist imams in mosques around the world daily, not all forms of Islam are malignant, nor do all Islamic scholars or clerics preach hatred.

Turkish Islamic scholar Adnan Oktar warned Muslims to protect Jews and their synagogues as far back as 2008.  “The world ‘Israel’ is the name of Prophet Ya’qub (Jacob), peace be upon him, who is praised in the Qu’ran and remembered with great respect by Muslims,” Oktar writes. “The Magen David (Star of David), a symbol associated with King David is a holy symbol for us too. According to Qu’ran 22:40, Muslims must protect synagogues because they are places of worship. So why should members of the two religions not live together in peace?”

Oktar also warns Jews must “act in accordance with the moral valued and character of the King Messiah as revealed in the Torah… Judaic sources describe how the King Messiah will be a just person who protects the weak, honest, loving and peaceful… and make the world a place where everyone lives together as brothers in peace and security.” His writings on Muslim co-existence with Jews and other topics are translated into Norwegian in a special section of his website.  For his advocacy, Oktar has been vilified by numerous radical Muslim extremists and more than a few skeptical Jews as well.

Another courageous Muslim who has spoken out to advocate for peaceful Islam is Jordanian Sheikh Yassin Al-Ajlouni, who ruled last year that Jews should have a place of prayer on the Temple Mount — the estimated site of the Holy of Holies of both the First and Second Temples of Jerusalem.

In a video statement posted online December 18, 2014, the sheikh bravely called on “the religious ruling authorities in Palestine and Jordan” to allow Jews to build a synagogue on the site – the third holiest site in Islam as well – in the spirit of Islamic religious tolerance.

“There should be a special place of worship for the Jews among the Israelis under Hashemite and Palestinian sovereignty, and in agreement with the Israeli regime,” he said. “This by no means entails the harming of the Al Aqsa Mosque or the Dome of the Rock. Park of the courtyard, where there are trees, will be allocated for the prayer of the Israelis,” he prophesied, calling on other scholars in Jordan and among Palestinian clerics to “clarify their religious position regarding the building of a place of worship dedicated for the Israeli Jews.”

He commented also that he knew he was likely to face severe criticism or punishment for the statement. The Temple Mount is administered under the Jordanian Islamic Waqf Authority with the cooperation of the State of Israel.

Sadly, the sheikh was the recipient of severe criticism from nearly all quarters, including those of the Jordanian Iftaa Department, which issued a fatwa against him, calling him “ignorant” and having “no legitimacy.”

Within days, the sheikh was forced to recant his statement, and posted a poem on Facebook in which he called on Jews to avert plans to destroy the Al Aqsa Mosque on the Mount (there are none, of course) and exhorting them to convert to Islam.

“I am retracting my call, in my previous video, to allocate a place of worship for the Jews [ on the Temple Mount] he said in a follow-up video on December 28, 2014. “The Israelis interpreted this call as if I were saying that they have a right to Bayt al-Maqdis (the Temple Mount). I would like to emphasize that Bayt al-Maqdis is pure Islamic land. No one is allowed to give it up, trivialize it or to pass sovereignty over it to any non-Muslim party.”

The sheikh was then arrested by Jordanian authorities shortly after the second video was posted, and a lawsuit was filed against him by the “General Mufti Department” attorney general.

Oktar has repeatedly said that the Qu’ran states there is “no compulsion” in Islam, and warns it is forbidden to try to coerce anyone to convert to the faith. Tragically, al-Ajloun himself was forced by his own government to declare that Islam will be “victorious over the Jews” and that there is “still time to convert.”

Sheikh and professor Abdul Hadi Palazzi, who is the secretary-general of the Italian Muslim Association, was born in Rome to a Syrian Arab woman and an Italian Muslim father. Palazzi, an imam, is another Muslim cleric who challenges the typical terrorist poison broadcast around the world about Islam.

“The Qur’an foretells that before the Day of Resurrection the children of Israel will come back to the Land of Israel from which they were exiled twice,” Palazzi told Alex Maist of Novosty Nideli. “As about the right to create a state, this is not specified either for the Jewish people or for any other people,” he said.

“The Qur’an does not specifically contain the notion of a ‘capital,'” Palazzi added, “but mentions that Jerusalem was the center of the kingdom of David and Solomon and the seat of the Temple which Solomon built with the help of human beings and invisible beings. If this is not exactly the concept of a capital, it is nevertheless very close to it,” Palazzi pointed out.

Hana Levi Julian

Islamist Terror Group Threatened Oslo: ‘Shari’a or Else’

Monday, August 18th, 2014

Norwegian officials are holding their breath, waiting to see whether Islamist terrorists are going to strike — and if so, when and how.

The Police Security Service received a concrete alert in July (2014) about an imminent threat from a Muslim terrorist organization, one affiliated with a group in Syria.

In 2012, the Ansar al-Sunna Muslim terrorist organization sent a letter to Norwegian authorities bearing the logo of ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria — now called the Islamic State — ordering Oslo to designate a part of the capital as an independent, Shari’a compliant Muslim state, or suffer the consequences.

Translated by Michael Laudahn, the letter was sent to politicians and editorial offices.

“If Norwegian soldiers can take planes to Afghanistan, then Osama and Mohammed can also take planes to Norway, insha’Allah,” the group wrote in a threat to the Norwegian authorities.

“Now, the government must wake up and assume responsibility, before this war spreads to Norway. Before the counterpart reacts. Before moslems take the step necessary.

“Do not confuse the Muslims’ silence with weakness. Do not profit from the Muslims’ patience. Do not force us to do something that can be avoided.

“This is not a threat, only the words of truth. The words of justice. A warning that the consequences can be fatal. A warning about a 9/11 on Norwegian ground, or larger attacks than the one carried out on 22 july. This is for your own good and in your own best interest.”

According to VGNett, the group has been under surveillance by Norwegian security for some time. Prime Minister Jens Stotenberg, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store and Defense Minister Espen Barth Eide were all mentioned in the group’s communique.

Grønland is a district in the heart of the capital, in downtown Oslo. There have been Shari’a patrols in that area of the city already for years, according to a blogger known as ‘Fjordman.’

“It’s not Norway or Europe anymore, except when there is welfare money to be collected. The police have largely given up,” according to a 2011 article translated from the Norwegian Aftenposten.

“In just the past ten years more than 4,000 people have been robbed in the town center and the area of the Grønland police station [an immigrant ghetto]. Most of them are young men… The robbers play on fear, violence, and severe threats that leave a mark on the victims… ‘We have lost the city,'” police told one victim.

Ansar al-Sunna made their threat in 2012 remarkably clear.

“We do not want to be a part of Norwegian society. And we do not consider it necessary either to move away from Norway, because we were born and grew up here. And Allah’s earth belongs to everybody. But let Grønland become ours.

“Bar this city quarter and let us control it the way we wish to do it. This is the best for both parts. We do not wish to live together with dirty beasts like you.”

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/islamist-terror-group-threatened-oslo-sharia-or-else/2014/08/18/

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