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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘office’

Probes Launched Into Alleged Police Brutality

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The NYPD and Brooklyn district attorney’s office have both opened investigations into the October 8th beating of 21-year-old Ehud HaLevy by two Brooklyn police officers.

The officers, Luis A. Vega and Yelena Bruzzese, entered the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults Center in Crown Heights at 5 a.m. in response to a call by Zalmy Trappler, a center volunteer. Trappler had apparently found HaLevy sleeping naked on a couch in the center’s lounge and asked him to leave. HaLevy refused, which prompted the phone call to the police.

As caught on surveillance video, available online, Vega and Buruzzese woke up HaLevy – who by now was wearing pants – and engaged in conversation for about a minute. They then tried to handcuff him, which he resisted by turning around and shifting his arms. After about 20 seconds of this stand-off, Vega began pummeling Halevy, hitting him in the face 25 times over the next two minutes.

“Those two officers behaved like animals,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind in comments to Vosizneias.com. “How can two police officers who are sworn to uphold the law break the law like that? I have been close with the NYPD for years, and there are so many fine officers, but clearly these are two bad apples.”

Hikind held a press conference on Monday in Crown Heights, joined by State Senator Eric Adams, Assemblyman Karim Camara, New York City Comptroller John Liu, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and City Council members Letitia James and David Greenfield.

According to a criminal complaint, the police officers warned HaLevy they would arrest him for trespassing. In response, he said, “Go ahead and try it. I am going to hit you.”

HaLevy claims he had permission to sleep in the center. Rabbi Moishe Feiglin, a director at the youth outreach center (and cousin of the Likud politician of the same name), confirmed to The New York Times that HaLevy was telling the truth. He needed “a place to crash for a short period,” Feiglin said.

In response to a request for comment, the police department e-mailed the following statement to The Jewish Press: “The officers used force to affect the arrest, in which Ehud Haleavy M/W/21 was charged with assault, trespass, resisting arrest, harassment, and unlawful possession of marijuana. The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau opened an investigation of the incident yesterday, after having seen a video of it. The matter was also referred by IAB to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. One of the officers, M/H/49 and assigned to the 71st Pct, has been placed on modified assignment while the incident is under investigation.”

“M/H/49” refers to Officer Vega.

Israel’s State Prosecutor to Appeal Olmert Acquittals

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Israel’s state prosecutor will appeal the acquittals of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in two of three cases decided earlier this year.

The prosecutor informed Olmert’s attorney on Tuesday that it will appeal the July acquittals on charges of fraud, breach of trust, tax evasion and falsifying corporate records in what became known as the Talansky and Rishon Tours affairs, according to the Justice Ministry.

His sentence in the Investment Center Affair, in which the Jerusalem District Court found Olmert guilty on the lesser charge of breach of trust, also will be appealed. Last month Olmert was sentenced to one to three years of probation and fined some $19,000 for granting personal favors to attorney Uri Messer when Olmert served as trade minister. The former prime minister could have faced up to three years in jail.

The announcement came a day after the 18th Knesset voted to dissolve itself and go to new elections in January, and as Olmert reportedly was deciding whether to attempt a political comeback in the elections.

Last week, Likud Party lawmaker Tzipi Hotovely petitioned Israel’s Central Elections Committee to prevent Olmert from running for office, citing the July conviction. The sentence in the Investment Center case did not include a ruling of moral turpitude, which would have prevented the 67-year-old from re-entering politics for seven years.

Olmert had agreed to forgo the perks awarded to a former head of state, including a secretary, an office and a car, in exchange for the finding.

Olmert is the first former Israeli prime minister ever to stand trial. He officially resigned as prime minister in September 2008 after police investigators recommended that he be indicted in the Talansky case.

Postcard from Israel – Tel Megiddo

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

If the building which houses the ticket office and museum at Tel Megiddo national park seems somewhat incongruous to its surroundings – being more reminiscent of the style of an English country gentleman’s residence, with its chimney and paned windows, than of the local architecture – that is because it was built by the British army after its victory against the Ottomans, including at the Battle of Megiddo.  So important was that battle that its Commander in Chief, Sir Edmund Allenby, was later awarded the title of ‘Viscount of Megiddo.’

Allenby was of course far from the first soldier to have fought an important battle on that site, as Tel Megiddo’s archaeological finds testify. But those discoveries – in 26 different layers – also tell stories of thousands of years of different civilizations and cultures at this important UNESCO world heritage site.

Ancient palaces and stables, a public grain silo, Canaanite and Israelite city gates, an underground water system constructed by Ahab and a large religious complex including an early Bronze Age altar are among the treasures unearthed so far since excavations first began at Tel Megiddo in 1903. Today, the site is being excavated by Tel Aviv University and George Washington University (one can even sign up already for the 2014 season) and continues to reveal new discoveries.

 Visit Cifwatch.com.

A Happy 90th To Ralph Kiner

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Ralph Kiner turns ninety on the 27th of October.

Where have the years gone?

Many Jewish Press readers grew up watching Kiner’s Korner, the post-game television show featuring yesterday’s heroes and the Mets’ one-day wonders.

Tom Seaver may have been on most often as he frequently was the star of the game. Seaver and Kiner, stars from different generations, formed a relationship that would eventually pair them in the Mets broadcast booth.

Kiner originally teamed with Bob Murphy and Lindsey Nelson; from 1962 through 1978 the trio called Mets games from the team’s debut under Casey Stengel in the fabled Polo Grounds through its first 14 years at Shea Stadium.

To those of us outside New York and born a bit earlier, Ralph Kiner holds memories not of the broadcast booth but of great slugging exploits on the baseball field.

In his first seven seasons (1946-1952), Kiner led the National League in home runs while playing for the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates. He was the big Forbes Field drawing card and drew many a Jewish fan from the nearby Murray Hill district.

The Pirates lured Hank Greenberg for the 1947 season after the 36-year-old Jewish superstar was sold by the pennant-contending Tigers to the cellar-dwelling Pirates.

After Kiner’s slow start in 1947, Pirates management wanted to send the slumping outfielder back to the minor leagues. However, Greenberg lobbied the higher-ups to keep the young outfielder and promised to work with and even room with him on the road.

Kiner, a non-Jew from Alhambra, California, responded warmly to Greenberg, a Jew from the Bronx.

“Hank Greenberg was the biggest influence in my life,” Kiner told me years ago on the baseball beat.

“I idolized him when I was growing up in Los Angeles and he was a young star with the Tigers. The Tigers became my favorite team and he was my idol. So when he came to the Pirates I was thrilled and wanted to get to know him and learn some hitting tips from him.

“The first thing he said to me was, ‘Let’s stay late and take some extra batting practice and extra fielding practice.’

“Hank would spend hours at extra batting practice and extra fielding practice even when we were on the road after games. Most of the time we would be the last ones to take our uniforms off. Hank also taught me how to dress well.

“He took me to a haberdasher and I tried on different clothes. Hank picked out everything that he thought would look good on me. I can still hear him saying, ‘That looks good on you’ and ‘That doesn’t look good.’ ”

Kiner responded to Greenberg’s tutoring by batting .313 with 51 home runs, 28 more than he’d hit the year before. Two years later Kiner hit 54 round-trippers and batted .310.

While Kiner was baseball’s big slugger, Greenberg ascended to the general manager’s position with the Cleveland Indians. Kiner and Greenberg kept in close contact through the years. Greenberg eventually traded for his friend and Kiner spent the last season of his career with the Indians.

A bad back forced Kiner’s retirement in 1955 and Greenberg offered him the GM job with Cleveland’s top minor affiliate – the San Diego Padres, then of the Pacific Coast League. To save some dollars for management, Kiner thought it would make sense for him to double as the radio play-by-play man.

Greenberg joined Bill Veeck in an ownership role with the Chicago White Sox in 1959 and brought Kiner in two years later as a broadcaster. The following season Kiner opted to join the brand new Mets.

“I owe my good fortune to Hank Greenberg,” Kiner acknowledged.

Irwin Cohen headed a national baseball publication for five years before
moving to a big-league front office position where he earned a World Series ring. The author, columnist, lecturer and president emeritus of one of Detroit’s leading shuls may be reached in his dugout at irdav@sbcglobal.net. His column appears the second week of each month.

Netanyahu Announces Early Elections In Israel

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

JERUSALEM – Now it’s official: Israel is going to the polls. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that the elections for the 19th Knesset will be held early next year.

“At this time, in the face of economic and security threats, it is my duty to put the nation’s best interest above all, and that means holding elections now, as soon as possible,” the prime minister said.

The elections were originally scheduled for late 2013, about eight months after the projected date of the early elections.

The prime minister’s announcement launched coalition negotiations regarding the date of the early elections. The elections will likely be held sometime between Jan. 15 and Feb. 5, 2013. Netanyahu prefers the earliest possible date.

In remarks delivered from his Jerusalem office, Netanyahu stressed his desire for a “short three-month election process, rather than a prolonged election cycle that could weigh down the economy.”

Netanyahu explained that since he has been unable to secure majority approval for the proposed 2013 budget, which currently includes austerity measures and deep budget cuts, elections were the only responsible thing to do.

Without a responsible budget, he said, Israel could be hit with a devastating financial crisis like the ones several European countries are experiencing.

“I consulted with the coalition leaders and decided that it would be impossible to approve a responsible budget,” Netanyahu said, explaining the impetus for the early elections.

“I decided that it was in Israel’s best interest to hold elections now, as quickly as possible.”

Netanyahu decided to move up the elections after having completed a month-long series of consultations and meetings with the leaders of all the coalition parties, as well as President Shimon Peres, Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin and the heads of the opposition parties.

The prime minister said, “in the coming months we will complete the fourth year of the most stable administration in decades. We boosted our security during a time when the Middle East is undergoing a dangerous and deep shift, and we boosted our economy in the midst of another crisis – the ongoing global economic crisis that has toppled European economies.”

While formulating the announcement he later delivered from his office, Netanyahu and his staff also considered possible dates for the upcoming election. By law, elections can only be held 90 days after the Knesset is dispersed. The Knesset itself must convene to legislate the dispersal.

Aside from Netanyahu’s official reason for pushing up the elections, experts believe the prime minister is eager to hold elections to prevent new parties, namely headed by former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni, former prime minister Ehud Olmert or former interior minister Aryeh Deri, from gaining traction.

Netanyahu said Tuesday during closed meetings with fellow Likud members that his guiding principle as Likud chairman was that he has “the most experience. At this time, anyone who takes the country’s reins needs to have experience. I have served as prime minister twice, and have held a long list of senior posts in political and economic settings. Neither Shelly Yachimovich nor Yair Lapid can say that.”

Netanyahu was referring to Labor chairwoman Shelly Yachimovich and journalist-turned-politician Yair Lapid, who are seen as two of Netanyahu’s main rivals for the prime minister’s seat, though forecasts predict a landslide victory for Netanyahu.

As he cemented the decision for early elections, Netanyahu also signaled he would announce early Likud primaries, to be held at some point next month. Netanyahu vowed he would not secure any seats on the Knesset list in advance.

Meanwhile, an aide to former prime minister Olmert said Olmert was considering running for office to challenge Netanyahu.

Though recently cleared of the most serious of the bribery allegations that forced him out of office in 2009, Olmert is still bogged down in a separate bribery trial that leaves his political future in doubt. Yet many consider him the candidate with the best chance of replacing Netanyahu.

His former cabinet secretary and confidant, Yisrael Maimon, told Army Radio that “he is pondering it and the political system is putting a lot of pressure on him.” Olmert was deeply unpopular while in office, but he has recently enjoyed renewed popularity and support.

(Israel Hayom, distributed exclusively in the U.S. by JNS.org.)

Likud Lawmaker Aims to Block Rumored Comeback by Olmert

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Likud Party lawmaker Tzipi Hotovely reportedly petitioned Israel’s Central Elections Committee to prevent former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert from running for office.

Israel’s Army Radio reported that Hotovely asked committee chair Elyakim Rubinstein, a Supreme Court justice and former attorney general, to disqualify Olmert, the former leader of the centrist Kadima Party, from contending in the upcoming elections because of his conviction in July for breach of trust during a stint as minister of trade and industry.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Likud said Israel would hold early elections early next year.

“It is inconceivable that Olmert be allowed to run for office in this situation, as elections are meant to increase the public’s trust in the political system, not diminish it,” Army Radio quoted Hotovely as saying in explaining her request.

In convicting and handing Olmert a suspended sentence, the court did not state that his offenses carried moral turpitude, which would have barred him from running. Olmert was cleared of more serious allegations of corruption that had forced him to resign in 2008.

Yoel Hasson of Kadima said that Hotovely’s request showed “Likud was panicking” because of the prospect of Olmert returning to public life.

Dalia Itzik, another Kadima lawmaker, said the party’s current leader, Shaul Mofaz, should step down and be replaced by Olmert.

Speaking with Army Radio, former Kadima minister Haim Ramon said he was talking to Olmert and former Kadima chairwoman Tzipi Livni about possibly forming a new political party. Ramon added, however, that Olmert has not yet made a decision on whether to return to politics.

French Police Find Jihadist Bomb Lab Used in Kosher Store Attack

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

French police found an explosives lab that they say was used by a “jihadist cell” in the bombing of a kosher store near Paris.

Francois Molins of the Paris prosecutor’s office said at a news conference Wednesday that the firearms and “all the elements necessary to produce explosive devices” were discovered the previous day at a parking lot in the eastern Paris suburb of Torcy.

French police found the cache after interrogating 12 suspects arrested over the weekend in various French cities, predominantly in Cannes and Paris, he added.

Molins said the suspects in the Sept. 18 bombing of a kosher supermarket in Sarcelles, a northern suburb of Paris, belonged to a “jihadist cell” that was “extremely dangerous.” In the attack, two men threw an explosive device into the shop. One man sustained minor injuries in the explosion.

On Oct. 6, French police agents killed a suspected member of the cell in Strasbourg after he fired on officers during a raid. Molins that day said the dead man, Sidney Louis, had “converted into radical Islam,” adding that he belonged to a “network, almost a cell” of “radicalized Muslim delinquents.”

The raid on bombing suspects was one of several operations carried out by French police that day almost simultaneously. Just hours after the anti-terror raids, blank bullets were fired near a synagogue in Argenteuil, a Paris suburb.

French President Francois Hollande said he would beef up security around Jewish institutions

“Security will be reinforced in the coming days,” Hollande said after meeting Jewish leaders on Oct. 7 at the Elysee Palace, vowing that the state was ready “to fight all terror threats.”

Teddy Bears

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Shimon looked up at me with a serious look in his bright green eyes as he earnestly told me, “I’m going to measure which one is heavier, my mitzvos or my avayros.”

I couldn’t help but smile at his five year old virtues and watched as he took down the toy scale and took little teddy bears, moving them from side to side, looking for the correct balance.

Maybe I should’ve shared my snack? A teddy bear goes to the other side. I davened so nicely with Morah. Another teddy bear on the other side. I watched as Shimon moved teddy bears from side to side, wondering whether he even remembered his original statement. He seemed to be mesmerized, barely noticing anything around him. Just moving teddy bears from side to side.

I didn’t play with Eli even when he asked me to. Teddy bear on the other side. I helped Morah clean up before running to go swimming. Teddy bear. I didn’t forget any clothes by the pool. Teddy bear. I listened to Morah nicely when she told us that story. Teddy bear. I answered questions about the parsha. Teddy bear.

Fifteen minutes later Shimon looked up again, his smile shining from ear to ear, his face radiating pure innocence.

“Yay! My mitzvos are heavier!” he exclaimed happily as he put away the scale. His smile was contagious and I couldn’t help but beam in response.

Since we were young children we have been told by our teachers and parents what Rosh Hashanah means. It means Hashem has a big scale on which He measure your right and wrong. Do you think about what that means? Have you ever stopped and weighed your actions? Do you ever step out of your comfortable box, and take a pause while you think about the impact you make on the people around you?

Children often can teach us lessons that are more powerful than any teacher or speaker. A young child’s innocent simplicity can often shed be a ray of light on a matter that seems so dark and gray. Adults are clouded with biases while children see things in black and white. When a child looks you in the eye and sincerely and naively asks a brutally honest question, it almost knocks you off your feet, reminding you what you really should see clearly.

Wipe off your stained lens, and take another look at the world. Hashem has a scale sitting up in Shamayim, and teddy bear after teddy bear are piling up. How humbling it is to watch a five year old sit and weigh his own mitzvos and avioros. How often has your sixth grade teacher suggested a cheshbon hanefesh to you? Yet now, caught up in our jobs and lives we never stop to think how many teddy bears are on each side.

The seat you gave up on the city bus. A teddy bear on the right side. The penny you dropped in the tzeddakah box in shul. Teddy bear. The phone call from your mother that you carelessly ignored. A teddy bear on the left. The coffee you never made a bracha acharona on. Teddy bear on the left. The smile you offered the passing old lady. Teddy bear. The mincha you missed sitting in the office. Teddy bear on the left. Teddy bear. Teddy bear.

When you look back up, counting teddy bears, moving them from end to end, which side is heavier? When you take a bear off the left side, did you smile happily, knowing the right side was so much heavier?

Have you ever stopped to think that perhaps there would be so many teddy bears you’ve neglected to notice? So many teddy bears you just disregard, dismissing them with some weak rationalization.

If you stopped and started moving teddy after teddy, would you look back up, your eyes a twinkling green, and smile, happily, as you announce, “Yay my mitzvos are heavier?”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/magazine/teens-twenties/teddy-bears/2012/09/28/

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