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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Peace Now’

Beit El Caravillas Herald Ulpana Destruction, Massive Expansion

Monday, June 11th, 2012

In line with the government’s projected plan to destroy 5 apartment buildings in the Ulpana Hill neighborhood of the biblical town of Beit El, six caravilla mobile homes were delivered on Monday to house evicted families.

The southern Samaria town, immortalized in the Bible as the site on which Jacob, fleeing from the wrath of his brother Esau, had a dream of angels ascending and descending a ladder, is bracing for the court-ordered destruction, after last-minute efforts to save the buildings in the Knesset failed.

A total of 33 caravillas are expected to be delivered to house expelled families in a new neighborhood in Beit El, carved out of an army base adjacent to the town.

The Defense Ministry issued a statement saying the ministry is “operating around the clock” as directed by the prime minister and minister of defense, and would have the new neighborhood completed “as soon as possible [to] allow residents of the Ulpana Hill to leave their homes in the most respectable and convenient way”.  A specific date has not been publicized, but the court gave the government until July 1 to destroy the homes.

It is unclear to what degree residents of Ulpana Hill and the surrounding community of Beit El will cooperate with – or fight – the impending destruction.  However, Director of Development for Beit El Institutions – the original purchasers of the disputed land upon which the condemned apartment buildings sit – Baruch Gordon, says he is optimistic that not only will the buildings not be torn down, but that the fight for Ulpana Hill will result in a drastic expansion of the town.

“Something sweet is coming out of something bitter,” Gordon said, in an interview with The Jewish Press.

“Instead of taking on the court head on, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu  is bowing to the dictates of the court, but at the same time is removing the harsh bite they intended to have.   He is saying ‘If the state prosecution wants to dictate to us, we will build ten houses for every one you are taking down’.”

On June 7, the prime minister’s office announced that permission for 300 new residences had been approved, as well as 551 in other communities in the biblical heartland of Judea and Samaria.  The announcement evoked both elation and skepticism amongst supporters of Jewish development in the area, who celebrated the significant potential for growth, yet expressed concern that the announcement would never come to fruition, and was rather a cynical attempt to diffuse tension over the destruction of the Ulpana Hill homes.

“Even if [Prime Minister Netanyahu] can only do half [of the 300 homes in Beit El], that is a tremendous boost to our community,” Gordon said.  “So Beit El will grow by 10% as a result of this court case, even if he only keeps half of his word.”

Gordon noted that despite the best efforts of Yesh Din – the original complainants in the case charging that the Ulpana buildings had been built on Arab land – their lawsuit resulted in the advancement of Jewish life in Judea and Samaria.

“The executive director of Yesh Din apologized in a statement to the press for the results of his actions, that it is causing Beit El to grow,” Gordon said.

“The civil administration has already approved taking part of the army base and officially making it part of the town of Beit El and there it will place the 30 temporary homes,” Gordon said.  “I sat with mayor Moshe Rosenbaum to discuss the plans to expand Beit El, and he showed me on the map where the homes are being planned.  Approximately 150 homes will be built without any problem, and another 150 which Netanyahu promised will be a little bit of a fight against the legal advisors of the PM who are hesitating on giving their approval.”

“All in all, it seems that Netanyahu’s policy is to bow down to the court and then fire back by expanding the towns of Judea and Samaria for every suit which is filed by the European -funded NGOs in Israel like Peace Now and Yesh Din.”

Peace Now: MKs Protesting Illegals Promoted Racism, Violence

Thursday, May 24th, 2012

The general director of Peace Now, Yariv Oppenheier, has urged Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein to open a criminal investigation into MKs Miri Regev (Likud), Danny Danon (Likud), and Michael Ben-Ari (National Union), for making speeches Wednesday in Tel Aviv he says incite racism and violence.

The speeches were made to approximately 1,000 protesters in South Tel Aviv’s Hatikva neighborhood, in response to a wave of illegal immigration and associated surge in crime in the area.  While some illegal immigrants have made the trek to Israel from Sudan and Eritrea to escape persecution, others have taken advantage of Israel’s high level of humanitarian aid and labor opportunities.

In her speech, Regev made comments such as “the infiltrators are a cancer in our body”, and advocated their deportation from Israel.  Twelve protesters were arrested during the event, which deteriorated into rioting.

According to local residents in south Tel Aviv, the streets have become unsafe, with women and the elderly afraid to walk outside.    On May 15, 4 Eritrean men were charged with raping a 19 year old Israeli woman in a parking lot in the area, one of several such incidents which have reportedly occurred since the area become a haven for illegal African immigrants.

Netanyahu Legalizes Three Outposts in Judea and Samaria

Tuesday, April 24th, 2012

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has legalized three Jewish outpost communities which were erected in the 1990s.

At a meeting late Monday, a ministerial committee legalized Bruchin (home to 350 residents)  and Rechelim (home to 240 residents) in Samaria, and Sansana (home to 240 residents) in Judea.

Palestinians and Israeli anti-settlement organization Peace Now slammed the government, saying the government is hereby creating new settlements for the first time since 1990.  Israel argued that the move does not establish or expand settlements, nor does it change the facts on the ground.

Israel’s Dictatorship Of The Judiciary

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Much of the Israeli Left – including cultural and political leaders, journalists and academics – has in recent months engaged in hyperbolic, defamatory claims that the government of Benjamin Netanyahu is trying to destroy Israel’s democracy through proposed legislation such as that aimed at modifying how Israeli Supreme Court justices are selected.

In fact, those arguments set truth on its head. Israel’s Supreme Court, and its judiciary more broadly, are the most anti-democratic elements of Israel’s governing bodies and perhaps the most anti-democratic court system in the Western democracies.

It was not some right-wing extremist who wrote in 2000, “I think that [then] Supreme Court President Aharon Barak has not, and does not, accept the rightful place that the court should have among the various authorities in our regime.… [Instead, he is seeking] to interject [into all areas of Israeli life] certain moral values as he deems appropriate. And this amounts to a kind of judicial dictatorship that I find completely inappropriate.” The words were those of former Supreme Court president Moshe Landau.

Barak’s appropriating to himself and his court extraordinary powers unique within Western democracies is illustrated by, for example, his declaring in 1992 that the new Basic Law established that same year conferred upon the Supreme Court the right to strike down any legislation it considers “unconstitutional.”

Israel has no formal constitution, meaning that Barak was essentially claiming for the Supreme Court the right to nullify any law it deems in violation of its own concept – more particularly, his own concept – of a proper Israeli constitution.

Barak proceeded to legislate from the bench under this appropriated power, and did so with a distinct leftist bias, very much in the post-Zionist mold then becoming the dominant fashion on Israel’s Left.

One illustration of this was his instructing Israeli jurists, in his Interpretation in Law (1994), that when confronted by what seems to them a conflict between “democratic” and particularist Jewish values, the judge “should act as the enlightened community would.” Barak then explains: “The metaphor of the ‘enlightened community’ focuses one’s attention on a part of the public. One’s attention is turned…to the educated and progressive part within it. What distinguished the enlightened community from the rest of the public?.… The enlightened community represents that community whose values are universalistic, and which is part of the family of enlightened nations.”

In effect – even putting aside the boldly elitist, anti-democratic thrust of the assertion that the views of only a particular segment of the population should shape legal interpretations – Barak is instructing jurists to be guided in their rulings by those Israelis who embrace the post-Zionist agenda and are eager to strip the nation and its institutions of all Jewish particularist meaning and content.

It is because of this leftist bias that any challenging of the Supreme Court’s abuse of democratic norms has outraged the Left and elicited twisted assertions of being an assault on democracy rather than an effort to rein in the judiciary’s overreaching.

Of course, whatever had been the Barak court’s particular political predilections, its arrogation of extraordinary powers to itself would have been equally anti-democratic, reprehensible and dangerous.

* * * * *

Barak’s successor, Dorit Beinisch, who just stepped down as Supreme Court president, shared Barak’s political views and his vision of the special powers of the Supreme Court. This is illustrated by, for example, her rulings last year relating to Peace Now activities in the West Bank.

Peace Now emerged in the late 1970s promoting the delusional claim that peace could be attained by Israel’s withdrawing, for all intents and purposes, to the pre-1967 armistice lines. Over the next decade and a half the organization drew many adherents among Israelis eager for peace and willing to embrace the fantasy that the source of the ongoing conflict with the Arab world was Israel’s presence in the territories. Peace Now and its followers provided the primary impetus to the Oslo debacle.

Even the unprecedented spike in terror that accompanied the initial years of the Oslo process did not awaken from its wishful reveries that half of Israel that supported Oslo. However, the terror war launched by Arafat in 2000, which claimed about 1,000 Israeli lives over the ensuing few years and horribly maimed thousands more, did rouse many from their delusions. Still others were led to rethink their fantasies by the rocket, mortar and missile assaults that have followed on the unilateral withdrawal from Gaza.

The great majority of Israelis now agree with the necessity of the nation’s retaining defensible borders and are supportive of settlements in strategically vital areas, and Peace Now’s following has dramatically diminished. One response by the true believers in the peace camp has been to shift their attack on the settlements from emphasis on their being obstacles to peace to claims of their having been built largely on privately owned Palestinian land – rather than exclusively on public, or state, land or Jewish-owned tracts – and are therefore illegal.

Israeli Left Throws Stones at Former Yesha Council Director From Glass Houses

Sunday, February 26th, 2012

“People in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones”

The Israeli Left lashed out with scathing criticism of former Yesha Council Director Naftali Bennett’s proposal to create conditions on the ground in the West Bank that would make the ongoing stalemate over the creation of a sovereign Palestinian state considerably more livable and pleasant for Palestinians and Israelis alike.

Under the plan, Israel would annex Area C – where Jews live – granting full citizenship to the Palestinians residing in the area while at the same time Israel would make the heavy infrastructure investment required so that Palestinians residing in the remainder of the West Bank (under a “full” autonomy subject only to security-related limitations and restrictions on the return of refugees) could enjoy complete freedom of movement within and between those areas.

There are certainly substantive questions and concerns that can be raised about the plan, but when people associated with Oslo, the Geneva Initiative, and Peace Now trash the idea on the grounds that it is out of touch with reality one can only respond: “look who’s talking”.

These folks can repeat their mantra about a sovereign Palestinian state somehow being the key to achieving peace and assuring Israel’s future security, but the repetition doesn’t make that assertion anything more than the ideologically-blinded fantasy that it is.

The overwhelming majority of Israeli Jews don’t buy their mantra. Ditto for the overwhelming majority of American Jews.

And the average American concurs. In a  national poll of 1,000 likely 2012 election voters conducted in August 2011 by Democrat Pat Caddell and Republican John McLaughlin, one of the questions asked:

Do you think that if the Palestinians were given their own state in the West Bank and Gaza they would live peacefully with Israel or continue their campaign of terror to destroy Israel?

14.6% – Live peacefully

74.2% – Continue terror

11.2% – Don’t Know/Refused

Again, there are certainly substantive questions and concerns that can be raised about the plan. But to argue that the only viable alternative is a sovereign Palestinian state is nothing less than advocating -albeit unknowingly- the ultimate destruction of the Jewish State.

 

Originally published by IMRA http://www.imra.org.il/story.php3?id=55829

Score Another Victory For Israel’s Radical Left

Saturday, December 17th, 2011

Bank Leumi, the National Bank of Israel, initiated a campaign, called Two Million Good Reasons, aimed at rewarding Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) with funding for their efforts on behalf of the good of society.

One hundred forty NGOs entered the contest, uploading videos to YouTube showcasing their volunteer work in an effort to amass the greatest amount of votes. Based on public support, the bank would distribute two million shekels ($540,000) between the sixty leading organizations.

Upon witnessing the widespread success of Im Tirtzu in the competition, the radical left in Israel vehemently lashed out against Bank Leumi for consenting to the movement’s participation. Members of Peace Now threatened to start a boycott and close their accounts at Bank Leumi unless Im Tirtzu were disqualified.

Despite accusations from radical leftists that Im Tirtzu has political affiliations, their real grievance stems from the fact that they are unable to tolerate views or beliefs that differ from their own. In fact, Bank Leumi initially announced that the mission of Im Tirtzu coincides, completely, with the guidelines of the competition. Moreover, one of the guiding principles of the competition was to promote Zionism. It was only after the bank found itself in the midst of a barrage of negative PR that is issued a statement closing down the contest.

Im Tirtzu prides itself on providing a voice that is diametrically opposed to the anti-Zionist and post-Zionist sentiments prevalent in today’s public discourse. At the same time, it prides itself on remaining apolitical, not affiliated with any political party or group. In fact, Im Tirtzu continues to receive support from across the political spectrum.

As an institution dedicated to the people of Israel and land of Israel, Im Tirtzu spends its time, energy and funding on programming and activities designed to assist, inspire and contribute to all walks of Jewish life. We promote Zionism on university campuses, help new immigrants with their absorption into Israeli society, support students in need of assistance, visit and support Holocaust survivors, work with farmers in the Negev and Galilee, volunteer in Sderot, help minorities acclimate to Israeli society, support soldiers, plant forests and stand firmly against anarchist demonstrations.

The objections to Im Tirtzu’s pro-Israel activities and advocacy come from many of those on the radical left who accept funding from foreign governments and impede, inhibit and undermine the sovereignty and democracy of the country.

Clearly, the thought of Im Tirtzu emerging victorious from this competition, with the support of the public, is something they simply could not bear.

Unfortunately, Bank Leumi succumbed to ugly left-wing threats. Im Tirtzu was in first place as the most popular non-profit organization when the bank decided to stop the project.

Thanks to its unrelenting efforts, Peace Now had its way with Bank Leumi. But this is hardly about one group or one competition. The leaders of Peace Now consider it legitimate to accept funding from foreign countries. By doing so, they undermine Israeli democracy. Not only do they silence the values of Zionism and nationalism, they undermine organizations that seek to improve the lives of sick children, Holocaust survivors, victims of cancer and so many other people in need.

Ronen Shoval is founder and chairman of Im Tirtzu.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/score-another-victory-for-israels-radical-left/2011/12/17/

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