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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘parliament’

Belgian Court Upholds Shechita Laws Despite Challenge by Lawmakers

Wednesday, June 29th, 2016

The Constitutional Court of Belgium has rejected a petition by parliamentarians who once again tried to ban shechita — the Jewish ritual slaughter of meat.

The lawmakers tried to neutralize the right of Jews and Muslims to maintain the religious ritual slaughtering customs that are necessary for the proper processing and consumption of meat in both faiths.

Belgian lawmakers had requested the court extend the reach of the nation’s law requiring an animal be stunned prior to slaughter to apply also to Jewish and Muslim slaughterhouses as well. Such an act is in direct opposition to religious Jewish kashruth and Muslim halal laws.

Faith representatives turned to the Belgian courts, where it was decided that any extension of the law to the religious communities would be a violation of their freedom to practice their religion.

In December 2014, the Flemish Minister for Animal Welfare, Ben Weyts, reversed his position on the issue of Jewish ritual slaughter in Belgium and instead committed himself to opposing a proposed ban on the practice of Jewish ritual slaughter.

European Jewish Association Rabbi Menachem Margolin emphasized at the time, and has since reiterated that the practice of “shechita” is the most humane method of slaughter, as it ensures the welfare of the animal not only at the time of the slaughter but also concerns itself with “the conditions in which animals are raised before their slaughter.”

Hana Levi Julian

The European Parliament Rewards Hate

Monday, June 27th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

Hats off to the British. Aside from all the other reasons to applaud Britain’s decision to leave the European Union (i.e. democracy, national sovereignty), it has voted to secede from an enabler of Palestinian terror and hate education. And if that accusation sounds harsh, consider what transpired in the EU Parliament on the very day of the Brexit referendum.

While the British were voting, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was addressing the EU Parliament in Brussels. By any objective standard, the visit didn’t start off well: Upon arriving, Abbas immediately rejected a personal plea by the parliament’s president, Martin Schulz, to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who happened to be in Brussels at the same time. But things quickly got worse when Abbas started speaking.

Abbas’s speeches are always full of anti-Israel slander, and this one was no exception. He accused Israel of “massacring” Palestinians’ “history, heritage, identity and geopolitical entity.” He termed the Israeli “occupation” the longest in history and deemed it uniquely evil, “unlike anything that has happened to any other people anywhere in the world,” to quote one reporter’s live tweeting of the speech (I haven’t managed to find a transcript); in reality, of course, not only have there been many longer occupations, but few conflicts have ever entailed so little bloodshed. He accused Israel of being “fascist” and “racist,” of committing extrajudicial killings, and of turning “our country into an open-air prison.” All this is pretty standard, as was the conclusion, in which he paid lip service to his willingness to make peace with the monstrously evil country he just described.

But even by Abbas’s standards, this speech was exceptionally vile in two respects. First, he accused Israel of responsibility for all terrorism worldwide, ludicrously asserting that “Once the occupation ends, terrorism will disappear, there will be no more terrorism in the Middle East, or anywhere else in the world.” After all, Israel is clearly the reason why Muslims are killing fellow Muslims by bombing mosques, schools, and hospitals in Muslim countries like Syria, Iraq, and Pakistan, right?

Then, he resurrected a medieval blood libel, accusing Israel of poisoning Palestinian wells. Granted, he was speaking in Arabic, and this accusation wasn’t in his prepared English translation; but the simultaneous translator rendered it into English, and Israeli reporters had no trouble hearing it; thus one has to assume it was audible to EU parliamentarians, as well.

So how did those parliamentarians respond? By giving him a standing ovation. In other words, they told him that hurling blood libels at Israel and refusing to meet with its president and would not be penalized, but rewarded.

This, of course, is not particularly surprising. As I wrote yesterday, the PA has been promulgating hatred of Israel through its schools and media for over 20 years now, and throughout this time, the EU and its member states have been the PA’s largest donors; thus the EU has been directly subsidizing Palestinian hate education for over two decades. The EU and its member states are also the main financiers of anti-Israel NGOs, so in that way, too, they’ve been funding anti-Israel propaganda for decades. And it’s no accident that the EU has devoted so much money to this purpose; it’s obsessed with Israel to the virtual exclusion of other foreign policy concerns, as evidenced by a 2010 study of what EU foreign ministers spend their time discussing. That study found the ministers had held exactly one meeting on China, a rising power, over the previous four years – but they discussed “the Middle East peace process” 12 separate times in 2009 and the first part of 2010 alone.

After Abbas refused to meet with him, Rivlin naively said he found this refusal “surprising.”  But it’s not surprising at all when Abbas can be rewarded for it with a standing ovation from the very body whose president personally requested him to hold the meeting. Just as it’s not surprising that Abbas similarly rejected a personal request by France’s then-foreign minister Laurent Fabius to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris in October 2015. Why should he agree when Fabius promptly rewarded his refusal by announcing plans to convene an international conference to force Israel to accede to Palestinian demands and pledged that France would unilaterally recognize Palestine as a state if Israel declined to capitulate? Nor is it surprising that the PA continues to spew anti-Israel hatred, given that doing so earns it lavish EU funding and standing ovations from the EU parliament.

By granting financial and diplomatic rewards to Palestinian rejectionism and hate education, the EU has encouraged Palestinian terror and distanced peace. No self-respecting country should want to be associated with such sorry behavior. Britain is well out of it.

Evelyn Gordon

Israeli President to EU Parliament: No More ‘Negotiations for Negotiations’ Sake’

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin addressed the European Parliament on Wednesday, including foreign ministers of the EU member states, and issued a sharp rebuke of the international community’s approach toward Israeli-“Palestinian” peacemaking, arguing that the recent French initiative “suffers from fundamental flaws” and that efforts should be focused on building trust among the parties rather than striving for a permanent peace deal, which he described as a “chronicle of a predictable failure.”

Rivlin, a former right-wing parliamentarian who has refashioned himself in the presidency as a strong voice for unity and tolerance, pointedly dismissed recent European peacemaking endeavors, including the French initiative conference adopted by the European Union Council last week.

“The attempt to return to negotiations for negotiations’ sake, not only does not bring us near the long-awaited solution, but rather drags us further away from it,” Rivlin said. “The French initiative suffers from fundamental flaws.”

“If the international community really wishes and truly aspires to be a constructive player, it must divert its efforts away from the renewal of negotiations for negotiations’ sake, and toward building trust between the parties, and to creating the necessary terms for the success of negotiations in the future,” Rivlin added. “In the current circumstances, we must all ask ourselves ‘what can be done today’, rather than, ‘what cannot be done.’”

Rivlin argued that a true peace deal is not practical today and its pursuit is a doomed enterprise.

“Currently the practical conditions, the political and regional circumstances, which would enable us to reach a permanent agreement between us – the Israelis and the Palestinians – are failing to materialize,” Rivlin claimed, citing the split between the Palestinian Fatah party and the Hamas terrorist group that rules the Gaza Strip, as well as the “total lack of trust between the parties, at all levels, between the leaders and the nations.”

“One cannot hope to achieve better results while resorting to the same outlooks and tools which have failed time after time previously,” Rivlin said.

Rivlin also addressed European criticism of Israel, which he described as misguided and at times unfair.

“I feel that the massive criticism aimed at Israel in Europe stems from, inter alia, a misunderstanding and an impatience toward this existential need of the Jewish Nation and the State of Israel,” he said. “There are those who feel anger and frustration toward certain European actions, vis-à-vis what they perceive as sometimes unfair criticism, sometimes even contaminated by elements of condescension, and some would even say double standard.”

“If Europe is interested in serving as a constructive factor in striving for a future agreement, it will be incumbent upon you its leaders, to focus efforts at this time in a patient and methodic building of trust. Not through divestments, but through investment; not by boycotts, but by cooperation,” Rivlin added.

Despite his blistering critique of Europe’s attitude toward Israel and his stark assessment of the possibility of a long-term peace deal in the near future, Rivlin stressed that Israel seeks peace.

“I speak to you today in the name of a nation which abhors war and desires life and peace,” he said. “Being well versed in the Israeli Parliament, I do know that any political agreement brought before the Israeli Knesset by an elected government will be approved.”

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Jordan’s King Dissolves Parliament, Stifles Riots Over Approval of Israeli Investment

Sunday, May 29th, 2016

Jordan’s King Abdullah II dissolved his country’s Parliament by royal decree on Sunday, and accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Abbdullah Ensour.

Reuters reported it was the end of the legislative body’s four-year term. But the move also had the effect of breaking week-long protests, and riots on Friday by hundreds of residents in the ancient city of Petra — a major tourist attraction — where Jordanians allegedly were rampaging over “fraudulent investments,” according to the English-language Jordan Times.

Veteran politician Hani Mulqi was appointed to become Jordan’s new prime minister, and charged by King Abdullah to set up new elections in October.

The decree came barely a week after an extraordinary session in which the Jordanian Parliament voted to allow Israeli companies to invest in the country. At the time, the king endorsed the decision and issued a decree to end the session at the end of last week, according to Albawaba. The vote was considered very controversial and there was widespread public outcry following the session. Specifically, the Jordanian Parliament voted not to exclude Israel from its National Investment Fund.

Originally, last Sunday morning (May 22) Parliament members had voted to exclude Israel from the Jordanian Investment Fund. But in the evening session, a re-vote was called, and the majority of parliament members instead voted to allow Israeli involvement.

“In a particularly shocking turn in the struggle over the new investment law, several vocally pro-Palestine politicians voted in favor of trade with Israel,” Albawaba reported.

“Among them was Rodaina Al Ati, a member of Jordan’s Palestine Committee who has made a name for herself by supporting the Palestinian cause. Jordan’s Arab Progressive Baath Party expelled Al Ati for her vote, and social media users launched a campaign of ridicule and criticism against her.”

The Jordanian Investment Law establishes the Jordan Investment Fund, which oversees development projects and those which foreign funds can invest in. The decision to allow Israel to participate in the fund was seen as a blow to the BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) movement.

The primary opposition to the monarchy in Jordan is that of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

However, according to Reuters it was tribal lawmakers who has dominated the last parliament, resisting any change that might have undermined their influence or sabotaged their ability to control the legislative body. The system favors those tribal regions which are sparsely populated and which benefit most from state patronage, and the support of the monarchy, Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper pointed out.

The reversal of the original decision has provoked outrage in Jordan, inasmuch as it also enables foreign companies to invest in Jordan.

Hana Levi Julian

UK Jewish Peer Warns Anti-Semitism Rising in Labour Party

Monday, March 21st, 2016

Prominent British politician Lord (Michael Abraham, Baron) Levy has sounded the alarm that anti-Semitism is rising in the Labour Party. He is threatening to leave the fold if something is not done to stem the tide.

The Jewish peer has been a chief fund-raiser for the party. He is a longtime friend of former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair, and spent nine years as Blair’s special envoy to the Middle East.

A son of observant Jewish parents, Lord Levy warned that current Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is presiding over what appears to be a resurgence in the party’s acceptance of anti-Semitism.

The peer warned that Corbyn must speak out against the attacks immediately if he wants to stop the bleed in Jewish Labourites who no longer have faith in the party.

Lord Levy himself has threatened to leave the party unless Corbyn publicly denounces the anti-Semitic comments made by party members.

Socialist Fight member Gerry Downing recently demanded the “Jewish problem” be addressed – and then applied for membership in Labour, and was accepted, The Telegraph reported.

Labour’s former Woking candidate Vicky Kirby was suspended after tweeting “What do you know abt Jews? They’ve got big noses and support Spurs. Lol” – and then was readmitted to the party.

Even party leader Jeremy Corbyn has no hesitation about having tea on the terrace of the House of Commons with “anti-Semites, Jew-haters,” wrote Telegraph journalist Tom Harris, who reported they encourage followers to “paint graffiti declaring: ‘Hoax gas chambers built in Hollywood.’ “ Harris points out Corbyn’s association with “and friendship of, the Hamas terrorist organization… here is an organization which, far from denying its anti-Semitism, proudly states its commitment to killing Jews in its own constitution.”

Corbyn’s attendance last year at a Labour Friends of Israel reception during a party conference was illuminating: yes, he showed up, but no, he never once spoke the word “Israel” – a perfect example of the new Semitism in action.

Jonathan Arkush, president of the Board of Deputies, has said there is a “real problem of anti-Semitism on the far Left.” His take on the situation: “Most people in the Jewish community can’t trust Labour.”

Lord Levy told Sky News after hearing about the anti-Semitic comments spewed by his party colleagues: “Frankly it is now up to the leadership to make sure there is a clear an unequivocal message out there that anti-Semitism in any form will not be tolerated in the Labor party.

“It is for the leadership to make that absolutely clear. If they don’t make that clear then I will start to question myself and actually question my being a Labour peer and a proud member of the Labour party.”

The British peer also serves as president of Community Service Volunteers (CSV), Jewish Care, Jewish Free School (JFS) and Jewish Lads’ and Girls’ Brigade (JLGB). In addition, he owns a villa in Herzliya Pituah and is a friend of former Israeli defense minister Ehud Barak.

For all that, however, Lord Levy himself has also been targeted while in the House of Lords, he admitted.

“I was told when I was taking someone into the Lords that someone on the other benches made comments at the back, saying: “Who is the Jew boy bringing into the House now?”

Hana Levi Julian

Greek Parliament Votes Unanimously to Recognize PA ‘State’

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2015

The Greek parliament voted unanimously on Tuesday to approve a resolution recognizing the Palestinian Authority as an independent Arab country.

PA leader Mahmoud Abbas was present in the chamber during the vote, which has no binding effect on the government.

“And the winner is the poor & innocent victim of a vicious conspiracy by the Eurozone elites” tweeted Aljazeera English journalist and “Eurozone analyst” Yannis Koutsomitis.

Abbas — who at last has revealed his true intent to eliminate the State of Israel altogether — later addressed the parliament.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras decline to respond to questions from journalists who asked when Greece might adopt the resolution.

For the time being, the vote remains just that: a resolution to recognize the Palestinian Authority as an independent Arab country, with no legal impact and no further power.

Hana Levi Julian

Mahmoud Abbas in Greece, Waiting for PA Recognition as New Nation

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas arrived Sunday in Athens for a two-day official visit to Greece.

Abbas is set to meet with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Monday, Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday he is scheduled to address the Greek Parliament, where the Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee unanimously called on the government to recognize the PA as an independent sovereign Arab nation.

This comes in the wake of a meeting between Tsipras and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that left both in good spirits. Tsipras, whose party has long been a supporter of the Palestinian Authority, also met with Abbas in Ramallah during that visit.

The Greek government followed that meeting with a decision to ignore the recent European Union directive to its members to remove the “Made in Israel” label all products imported from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

Other countries ignoring the anti-Israel directive include Hungary and most recently, the Czech Republic.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mahmoud-abbas-in-greece-waiting-for-pa-recognition-as-new-nation/2015/12/21/

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