Six women from Gaza appealed their case to the Israeli Supreme Court on Wednesday to be allowed to pray at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque, after their original petition was denied by the Beersheba District Court last year. The women claim discrimination based on their Muslim faith, as Christian women in Gaza are allowed to visit Israel’s holy areas. The women say they just want to pray, but security has been elevated in the area since Hamas’s capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in 2006 and its brutal takeover of the strip in 2007. The women remain optimistic about the decision.
Posts Tagged ‘petition’
The Commerce Department’s Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) published a notice regarding a petition it received on January 11, 2012 from the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC), requesting formal designation of Arab-Americans as a minority group that is socially or economically disadvantaged.
The formal designation of the Arab-American community as a group that is socially or economically disadvantaged would allow the members of this community to receive assistance from MBDA funded programs, such as the MBDA Business Center program.
The ADC petition included information specifically related to social and economic discrimination against Arab-Americans. It cited “discrimination and prejudice in American society, resulting in conditions under which Arab-American individuals have been unable to compete in a business world.”
The ADC claimed discrimination against Arab Americans increased after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Some little known facts are included in the ADC petition. For instance, it states that “Arab-Americans have faced discrimination since the late 1800s, similar to most other minority groups. They were treated the same way as many other minority groups in the United States and had specific derogatory names directed towards them. While this discrimination initially did not hinder their ability to obtain American citizenship, the situation changed in 1910 when the U.S. Census Bureau classified Syrian and Palestinian Arabs as ‘Asiatics.'”
According to the ADC, the Bureau of Immigration and Naturalization, which initially considered Syrians and Palestinians as “Caucasians,” subsequently issued a nationwide directive ordering the rejection of citizenship petitions for persons who were not “free white persons” or of “African nativity.” Some courts declared that Syrians could be considered “white” while other courts ruled that they were not “free white persons.”
The MBDA notice alerts the public to the fact that the United States Department of Commerce will consider the petition and requests public comment on the propriety of this designation.
MBDA will make a decision on the application no later than June 27, 2012.
The International Olympic Committee apparently has rejected an online petition seeking a moment of silence for the Munich 11 at the 2012 London Olympics.
Emmanuelle Moreau, the IOC’s head of media relations, told The Jerusalem Post that the Games this summer would not have a moment of silence honoring the 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich.
“The IOC has paid tribute to the memory of the athletes who tragically died in Munich in 1972 on several occasions and will continue to do so,” Moreau told the Post. “However, we do not foresee any commemoration during the opening ceremony of the London Games.”
Moreau told the newspaper that the IOC is represented at a reception that the Israeli National Olympic Committee usually hosts during the Olympic Games in memory of the athletes. The Israelis were killed by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.
The petition launched in mid-April has garnered nearly 25,000 signatures from around the world.
The Jewish Community Center of Rockland County, N.Y., a member of the JCC Association, initiated the petition with Ankie Spitzer, the widow of Israeli fencing Coach Andrei Spitzer.
“The 11 murdered athletes were members of the Olympic family; we feel they should be remembered within the framework of the Olympic Games,” Spitzer wrote in a letter accompanying the petition.
“I have no political or religious agenda. Just the hope that my husband and the other men who went to the Olympics in peace, friendship and sportsmanship are given what they deserve. One minute of silence will clearly say to the world that what happened in 1972 can never happen again. Please do not let history repeat itself.”
The Jewish Press urges readers to sign a circulating petition that calls on Shimon Peres to do all he can, in advance of accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, to persuade Mr. Obama to free Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy serving a life sentence in a federal prison. (President Obama announced last month that he would be awarding the Medal to Mr. Peres, the president of Israel, in June.)
The petition appears in Hebrew (the project began in Israel, but there is also an accompanying English version) and can be joined by logging on to JonathanPollard.org.
Although Mr. Peres sent a letter to President Obama requesting Mr. Pollard’s release, to this point no such action has been taken. And supporters of Mr. Pollard note the incongruity of the Israeli statesman accepting an award from the American president while Mr. Pollard continues to languish in an American jail under a sentence denounced as draconian and excessive by dozens of former American officials.
We have long felt, and emerging evidence seems to confirm, that Jonathan Pollard’s extraordinary life sentence resulted in no small measure from his having spied for Israel, which though a close ally of the U.S. was anathema to some senior officials in the Reagan administration, particularly then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, and several members of the intelligence community. So it cannot be that Pollard’s plight should not somehow resonate when Israel’s president receives the highest U.S. civilian award – especially given that it was Mr. Peres who happened to be the prime minister of Israel when Mr. Pollard was apprehended.
What role the Israeli president can play here is not clear. But it merits mentioning that in announcing the honor to be bestowed on Mr. Peres, President Obama pointed to the 89-year-old statesman’s long career as one of the architects of modern Israel and his great diplomatic skills. “He has taught us to ask more of ourselves, and to empathize more with our fellow human beings,” said Mr. Obama.
If enough of us sign that online petition, perhaps Mr. Peres might just feel empowered enough to use those diplomatic skills to persuade President Obama to empathize with – and release – Jonathan Pollard.
An online petition headlined “Tell the International Olympic Committee: 40 Years is Enough!” is urging the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to honor, at the Olympic Games this summer, the memory of 11 Israeli athletes who were murdered at the 1972 Olympics in Munich by the Palestinian terrorist group Black September.
The Jewish Community Center of Rockland County, N.Y. initiated the petition. The Jewish Federations of North America is asking communities to support the petition, which is attempting to gather 1 million signatures. So far a little more than 6,500 have signed.
Written by Ankie Spitzer, the wife of Andrei Spitzer, who was killed at the Munich Olympics, the petition reads:
“I am asking for one minute of silence for the memory of the eleven Israeli athletes, coaches and referees murdered at the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. Just one minute — at the 2012 London Summer Olympics and at every Olympic Game, to promote peace.”
“The Jewish Community Center movement is deeply involved in an effort to create a worldwide viral response to a wrong that has not been addressed since 1972,” JCC Association President and CEO Allan Finkelstein told JTA. He added, “Let us finally get the Munich 11 acknowledgement and respect they deserve from the international sports community.”
The JCC Association has recognized the Munich 11 during every Maccabiah Games since 1995.
In an official letter to the IOC, Israeli Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Danny Ayalon also asked that the London 2012 Olympic Games begin with a minute of silence in memory of the murdered Israeli athletes.
Ayalon stressed that past events in the history of the Olympic Games, good as well as bad, should be commemorated in a fitting manner.
Ayalon said that the Olympic Games are based on the principles of equality and brotherhood and added, “We must remain vigilant against acts of hate and intolerance that stand in contrast to the ideals of the international Olympics.”
Ayalon gave a copy of the letter to Ankie Spitzer and Ilana Romano, the widows of two of the murdered athletes, and expressed his support of a petition they initiated calling for the minute of silence.
A campaign by the widows of two Israeli victims of the 1972 Munich Olympics massacre have had their petition for a memorial at the 2012 Olympic games rejected by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Ankie Spitzer, widow of murdered Israeli wrestler Andre Spitzer, and Ilana Romano, widow of murdered weightlifter Joseph Romano, issued an appeal for a minute of silence at this year’s games, in memory of the violence which marred the Games 40 years ago.
Spitzer told Reuters that the IOC refusal is due to concern that Arab countries would publicly protest the memorial to the murder victims by walking out. “They say we bring politics into the Olympics, which is not true, because I didn’t ask them to say that there were 11 Israelis,” Spitzer said. “They tell us that the Arab delegations will get up and leave, to which I said: ‘It’s okay, if they don’t understand what the Olympics are all about, let them leave.'”
On September 5, 1972, Palestinian Black September terrorists stormed the Olympic Village in Munich, and killed 11 Israeli weightlifters, wrestlers, and coaches – two during the surprise attack on the Israeli dormitory, and 9 more in a failed hostage rescue attempt.
Israeli President Shimon Peres met with the wife of Jonathan Pollard, who asked Peres to request her husband’s release “before it is too late.” Along with her came MK Uri Ariel (National Union) who delivered a petition for Pollard’s release, signed by more than 80 Knesset members.
Esther Pollard met with Peres in Jerusalem on Sunday, two days after her husband reportedly was rushed to the hospital suffering from an unspecified emergency condition.
An official there told JTA on April 6 that Pollard, 57, was returned to Butner Federal Correctional Complex, the prison complex in North Carolina where he is serving a life sentence for spying for Israel.
However, Pollard’s representatives later told JTA that prison officials are authorized, for security reasons, to inform media only that Pollard is a convict at the prison and to offer no further information. Pollard’s representatives say he is at the Federal Hospital, about four miles from his prison, is on IV and not able to eat. He is conscious and alert.
Peres reportedly told Esther Pollard that he may file an official request later Sunday with President Obama to pardon her husband. Obama announced last month that he would award Peres with the presidential Medal of Freedom in June; a petition signed by more than 10,000 Israelis has called on Peres to link the awarding of the medal to clemency for Pollard. Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit signed the petition last week.
“I appeal to you as the wife of Jonathan Pollard who doesn’t want to become his widow,” Esther Pollard reportedly told Peres on Sunday.
Pollard, who has been imprisoned since 1986, reportedly has suffered from a variety of illnesses.
Peres reportedly discussed Pollard earlier Sunday during a meeting with Sephardic Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar. The Israeli president reportedly promised Amar that he would work to secure Pollard’s release.