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December 7, 2016 / 7 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘panel’

First Jewish Members Appointed to Germany’s Nazi Looted Art Panel

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Gary Smith, former director of the American Academy in Berlin, and Raphael Gross, director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture in Leipzig, have been appointed by German Culture Minister Monika Grütters as the first Jewish members of the Limbach Commission, established in 2003 to mediate in Nazi-looted art ownership disputes, The Art Newspaper reported.

The commission surprised the art world in 2014 when it concluded that the sale of the $250 million Guelph Treasure, a 40-piece trove of Medieval goldsmith works, which had been forced out of several German-Jewish art dealers from Frankfurt by Prime Minister Hermann Göring, “was not a compulsory sale due to persecution.”

And last March, Grütters faced shocked protests after telling the New York Times that if a Jew is appointed to the commission his “would be the only voice who would be prejudiced.” Needless to say, it didn’t play so good in New York City.

Minister Grütters is also introducing an increase in transparency to the workings of the commission, including a promise to publish its schedule and the reasons for its decisions. She also instituted a ten-year limit on members’ terms in office, and she plans to authorize the generation of provenance reports when necessary, paid for by the government. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s cabinet approved the reforms last week.

“I expect all German museums without exception to be willing to subject disputes to the Advisory Commission as a matter of course,” Grütters said. Unlike its Dutch and Austrian equivalents, the German Nazi Loot commission can only be called if both sides of a dispute agree.

David Israel

Complying with Ottoman Law, IDF Panel Revokes Jewish Community’s Land Ownership

Monday, August 8th, 2016

The IDF Appeals Committee in Judea and Samaria has ruled recently that the 2013 declaration of an area of some 55 acres in the vicinity of Kokhav Ya’akov, between Jerusalem and Ramallah, as state land is null and void, because the process of making the acquisition was improper, Ha’aretz reported Monday. The military panel was also critical of the lack of transparency in making the declaration public — meaning that it was being kept out of PA Arabs’ earshot.

The panel’s ruling on an appeal by NGO Yesh Din on behalf of alleged Arab land owners, is more a judicial recommendation to the IDF in the area than a compelling decision, but should the declaration of state land be appealed in the Israeli Supreme court — as it surely will be — the panel’s decision would influence the justices’ ruling.

The grounds for dismissing the government acquisition of the land has to do with its failure to adequately comply with Ottoman Law — a remnant of the Turkish government’s rule over these lands before 1918, which continues to be the law of the land; and will continue to be so as long as Israel fails to impose Israeli law on Area C, where Jews live.

Ottoman law says that a man can establish claim to his land if he can show that he has been tilling it for the previous ten years. The state tried to comply with the law by providing aerial photographs of the area from 1969, showing clearly that the land was not being cultivated.

However, the dissemination of lands to local Arabs by King Hussein, who ruled the area from 1949 to 1967, took place in 1961. So the panel ruled that the aerial photos proving the land was not being cultivated had to be from before 1961, and, according to the state, such photographs could not be found.

There are photographs from 1944 showing that some of the land was being tilled then.

The judges wrote that they were not convinced the state had made the full effort to discover those 1956 aerial photographs, and that without them the panel must rule that the situation back in 1944 continued uninterrupted through 1961. Of course, the decision to require a photograph from before 1961 assumes that when King Hussein handed over lands to the heads of local Arab clans (whom he viewed as a source of potential rebellion) — he had the right to give those lands away. But Hussein was never recognized universally as the sovereign of the “West Bank,” which was considered an occupied territory, along the 1949 armistice border with Israel.

Local residents of Kokhav Ya’akov say they have also purchased the land, but regardless of the ownership papers they would present to the high court, organizations like Yesh Din will rustle up a group of Arab claimants to the land, with papers freshly minted by the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah showing the land belongs to them.

According to NGO Monitor, Yesh Din operates on an annual budget of $1.58 million, provided by the EU, UK, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norwegian Refugee Council, Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, HEKS (Switzerland), Norway, Ireland, Germany, and Oxfam-Novib (Netherlands).

David Israel

An Ambushed Bennett Shoots Back and Scores

Sunday, January 6th, 2013

During the Q&A session of an election panel discussion at the Ono Academic College, Naftali Bennett, head of the Bayit Hayehudi (Jewish Home) party, was ambushed by the head of the college’s Student Union, who demanded that Bennett sign a statement that he [Bennett] would not refuse orders to expel Jews from their homes.

Bennett had set off a storm when he answered on Nissim Mishal’s show that he would be personally incapable of following an order to uproot a Jew, or an Arab, from their home. Following that statement, and the subsequent attacks from the Likud party, Bennett’s party spiked upwards in the polls.

At first Bennett tried to sidestep the ambush a number of times, including answering that the whole question is hypothetical.

But holding the paper in hand, which he demanded Bennett sign, the Student Union head refused to back down, at which point Bennett got up and said, “I will not be pressured or threatened.”

Bennett walked out of the panel, but not before taking one final parting shot when he announced, “Every single Israeli party must sign a statement that they won’t expel Jews from their homes.”

And upon hearing that, the audience broke out in loud applause.

Can we say “Kol HaKavod”?

Jewish Press News Briefs

Supreme Court President on Demolishing Illegal Mosque: ‘Must Kill Them when They’re Young’

Thursday, November 15th, 2012

A miracle of sorts took place today at the Israeli Supreme court, which could be the sign of good things to come. It was during part of an ongoing discussion of Illegal Arab construction in Judea and Samaria, and this time the issue at hand was a mosque built illegally in Al-Mofkra (Regavim), on the southern slope of Mt. Hebron.

According to The Jewish Voice, the panel of judges headed by Supreme Court President Supreme Court President Grunis, with Justices Miriam Naor and Edna Arbel, opened the discussion by saying that illegal construction cannot be allowed to go on at all, especially in Judea and Samaria. The panel added that enforcement activity should be performed efficiently.

In this context, Justice Grunis said that “we must kill them when they’re young” (the literal translation from Hebrew would be “We must destroy them when they’re little”). The quip was made in front of representatives of the State Attorney’s Office, who told the court they intend to destroy the illegal mosque in the coming weeks.

Supreme Court chief justice Asher Gronis. Photo: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash 90

Supreme Court Chief Justice Asher Gronis. Photo: Yoav Ari Dudkevitch/Flash 90

The reason this can be considered a minor miracle is that both of Grunis’s predecessors, chief justices Aharon Barak and Dorit Beinish, would not have been caught dead saying something so un-PC about a Muslim house of worship. The fact that Justice Grunis was able to joke about it – and then do the right thing and force the state to take down the ugly thing – is very much a step in the right direction for the court.

Following an appeal by the Regavim movement, the Attorney General made a commitment to destroy the mosque once it was determined to be illegal. But while the civil administration was dragging its feet and not getting around to demolishing the mosque, the Regavim movement reported that mosque owner, one Mahmud Hamemda, continued to live there and had said that no matter how many times the mosque is destroyed, he would keep rebuilding it.

Following the Attorney General’s commitment to give a high priority to destroying the mosque, Attorney Boaz Arzi, representing Regavim, expressed his satisfaction. “Given the fact that the justices accepted our appeal, and gave us the relief we asked for, our petition has become moot and there is no reason not to delete it,” he stated, adding that,”if the civil administration does not do its job and we’ll see the mosque was not destroyed, we’ll have no problem submitting another appeal, until justice is done.”

The Regavim movement announced that the decision to demolish the illegal mosque should serve as a warning to the Palestinians in Al-Mofkra village. “Every illegal construction will be documented and an appeal will be submitted to the Supreme court as needed,” a movement spokesperson said. “The state’s decision to demolish the illegal mosque is proof that nearby structure are equally illegal and their fate will be the same.”

Yori Yanover

$1 Million Israeli BRAIN Prize To Be Awarded in 2013

Monday, September 24th, 2012

A $1 million dollar prize has been announced which will go to the individual or team with the highest potential for helping people around the world by the non-profit organization Israel Brain Technologies.

The Breakthrough Research and Innovation in Neurotechnology (BRAIN) prize will be awarded by a panel of international leaders in neuroscience, technology, and business.

Israeli President Shimon Peres, whose love of brain research led to the founding of IBT, lauded the potential for make inroads against debilitating brain diseases, both in terms of the benefit to mankind and the possibility of economic profit.

The first BRAIN Prize will be awarded at IBT’s Global Brain Technology Conference in 2013.

Malkah Fleisher

Court Dismisses Bid to Restore Demjanjuk’s US Citizenship Posthumously

Friday, September 14th, 2012

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday dismissed a request to help posthumously restore U.S. citizenship to convicted Nazi war criminal John Demjanjuk.

Demjanjuk’s estate had asked the full 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati to take up the case. In June, a three-judge panel of the court had ruled that Demjanjuk’s U.S. citizenship cannot be posthumously restored and that his death made the case moot.

Demjanjuk, a former Ohio autoworker, died in southern Germany on March 17 at the age of 91.

The defense claimed that U.S. District Judge Dan Polster in Cleveland violated basic fairness by ruling against Demjanjuk’s citizenship appeal without holding a hearing on a 1985 secret FBI report uncovered by The Associated Press. The document indicates that the FBI believed a Nazi ID card purportedly showing that Demjanjuk served as a death camp guard was a Soviet-made fake.

Restoration of his citizenship would have enabled his widow to seek Social Security benefits.

A Munich court convicted Demjanjuk last year on 28,060 counts of being an accessory to murder at the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. Demjanjuk, who maintained that he had been mistaken for someone else, died while his conviction was under appeal.

JTA

High Court Hears Petition against Mikvah for Married Women Only

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Israel’s Supreme Court on Monday ordered the Minister of Religious Affairs Yaakov Margi and the Chief Rabbinate Council to explain why they not allow single women to immerse in state-run mikvahs, Kikar HaShabbat reports.

Justices Eliakim Rubinstein, Esther Hayut and Uri Shoham have recently been discussing a petition requesting that any Jewish woman, regardless of her marital status, should be allowed to dip in the mikvahs run by the religious councils.

The petitioners are Oriya Pliah, Amital Sachs and the Center for Women’s Justice (CWJ), who are seeking to change the policy.

The petition was initially brought before Justice Rubinstein, who ruled that the hearing should be moved to a panel of three judges. Now this panel has issued a conditional order requesting clarifications on a matter which could be seen as purely halachic in nature and thus outside the purview of the secular court.

According to their website, the Center for Women’s Justice is a public interest law organization dedicated to defending and protecting the right of women in Israel to equality, dignity and justice within Jewish law.

CWJ carries out legal activity and advocacy aimed at ending practices that discriminate against women in the name of the Jewish religion. CWJ files key lawsuits in civil courts across Israel, with the aim of setting legal precedents and achieving systemic solutions to religious dilemmas that compromise gender democracy and threaten the Jewish future. CWJ also carries out Social Awareness activities which educate the public about marriage, divorce and social justice in Jewish life and promote social change.

Tibbi Singer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/high-court-receives-petition-against-mikvah-for-married-women-only/2012/09/04/

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