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May 26, 2015 / 8 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Proposed Legislation: Handicapped Parking Permits for Pregnant Women

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

Who says you can’t sit in the opposition and do something positive?

MK Danny Atar (Zionist Union) has proposed legislation that would allow women in their third trimester to park in handicapped parking spots.

As of now, 22 Knesset members have signed on to proposal, including MKS from the Zionist Union, Meretz, Likud, Yirael Beytenu and Kulanu.

Atar explained that he realized the legislation was needed after his pregnant parliamentary aide arrived in the office in pain and discomfort from having to park and walk to work from so far away.

The law would make life easier for 150,000 pregnant Israeli women every year.

Pregnant women would receive their special parking permits starting from their third trimester, and they would be valid until one month after their due date. Some might say that’s worth even more than government child-support stipends. My wife would agree.

Currently the government has issued around 200,000 handicapped parking permits. This would add an additional 40,000 permits at any given time.

The only negative consequence of the law might be, where are all the handicapped people going to park?

Likud MK Silvan Shalom to Lead Israeli Negotiating Team

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Likud Interior Minister Silvan Shalom has been appointed to become Israel’s new lead negotiator in any talks with the Palestinian Authority, as well as in strategic dialogue with the United States.

Palestinian Authority officials made it clear they were not happy with the appointment.

“He does not believe in a Palestinian state,” a Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) source told the AFP news agency on condition of anonymity. “He’s against a two-state solution. It’s not an issue of names. It’s an issue of policy.”

Leftist politician Tzipi Livni, head of the Hatnua party and a justice minister in the prior government was the last minister to head Israel’s negotiating team.

Shalom said Monday that he is “ready to review every subject in every area from the most weighty issues of the United Nations, to smaller matters such as managing joint day-to-day life.”

Having served as foreign minister from 2003 to 2006 (during the second intifada and the 2005 Disengagement from Gaza), Shalom is no novice to the role. He will also be responsible for strategic talks with officials from the United States as well, according to a report broadcast on Galei Tzahal Army Radio.

Likud members are expected to raise some opposition as well, because party member and Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely was expected to be given the appointment.

Hotovely evaded reporters’ questions on Monday, saying only that until she is told otherwise, she will “work diligently to fulfill [her] duties faithfully in every sector in which Israel must act.”

Although it is usually the foreign minister who manages the issue of negotiations, at present Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is holding that post. Yisrael Beytenu party chairman Avigdor Liberman, the previous minister of foreign affairs, quit the coalition and withdrew his party as well.

Shalom’s new role is also likely to bring him in to security cabinet discussions on strategic issues such as how to deal with the Iranian nuclear issue vis a vis any dialogue with the United States.

Netanyahu Vows on Jerusalem Day, Capital Undivided ‘Forever’

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu vowed Sunday at a Jerusalem Day ceremony that the Israeli capital will remain undivided “forever.”

Speaking at the government’s official Jerusalem Day ceremony held at Ammunitition Hill, Netanyahu said, “We need to tell the truth without fear. This is where we began our path as a nation.

“This is our home – and this is where we will stay.”

The priority, said Netanyahu, is to ensure that Jerusalem forever remains open to all who wish to worship within her walls.

When Jordan occupied the eastern portion of the Israeli capital, that was not the case – despite an original United Nations mandate directing that Jerusalem always remain an open, international capital of the world. Instead, barbed wire blocked off Jewish access to Judaism’s holiest sites, and to a great extent even Christian access to sites holy to that faith as well.

Filth and garbage was strewn all around and over the Western Wall, nearly burying the holy site.

“Only under Israeli rule will there be freedom of worship for all religions in Jerusalem,” Netanyahu said. “Believers pray at their holy sites not in spite of our rule in the city, but precisely because of it,” he noted.

“We will forever preserve an undivided Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty,” Netanyahu vowed.

“Who opposes our presence in Jerusalem? Those who refuse to recognize our right to exist as a sovereign nation in our own state,” the prime minister said. “They see us as a foreign entity that needs to be uprooted.”

He added that just as the radical Islamists are terrorizing the rest of the region, so too are they aiming at Jerusalem – and after the heartbeat of the Holy Land, next will be the West.

“Sunni extremists like Da’esh (ISIS), and Shi’ite extremists like the leadership of the ayatollahs in Iran,” he pointed out. [They] “fight each other, but [then] they have a common enemy: the West and the open, free culture it represents.”

Netanyahu also warned against the nuclear technology deal being negotiated between Iran and the world powers led by the United States.

“We are opposed to that deal and we are not the only ones,” he said. “There needs to be a better deal.”

German Foreign Minister, Jordanian King Push for PA-Israel 2-State ‘Solution’

Sunday, May 17th, 2015

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spent Saturday in Jordan meeting with King Abdullah II discussing how to restart final status talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

The two also talked about bilateral ties, the Middle East, and how to combat terrorism.

But in a joint news conference held by Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh and his German counterpart, the two told reporters the whole world is “unanimous” in its agreement that Israel and the PA must negotiate the establishment of a new Arab country for Palestinians.

Last Wednesday, the Jordanian monarch had met in Berlin on the same topic with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

Abdullah called the issue of talks between Israel and the PA “the most persistent problem in our region” while in Germany. Merkel also noted that she had told Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin during their visit together that Germany was “concentrating on a two-state solution” as well.

Reuters: Iran Attempts to Buy Nuclear-Related Contraband

Saturday, May 16th, 2015

The Reuters news agency reported exclusively early Friday the Czech Republic blocked an attempt by Iran to purchase nuclear-related contraband.

The Islamic Republic had attempted to buy a shipment of compressors which have nuclear and non-nuclear applications from the U.S.-owned Howden CKD Compressors company.

Iran attempted to buy the product from the Prague-based Howden CKD firm in the Czech Republic.

Czech officials blocked the deal.

“The procurer and transport company involved in the deal had provided false documentation in order to hide the origins, movement and destination of the consignment with the intention of bypassing export controls and sanctions,” noted the United Nations panel that monitors compliance with the sanctions currently imposed against Iran.

The contact who spoke with Reuters on condition of anonymity said the value of the contract would have been about 1.5 billion Czech koruna ($61 million), a very high sum.

Western nations and the U.S. say Iran is continuing to do what it can to evade international sanctions limiting its nuclear development.

This is taking place while Tehran is negotiating an agreement with the U.S.-led delegation of five world powers on a deal to roll back those sanctions in return for limiting the growth of its atomic technology program.

But serious questions about Iran’s reliability remain, as do issues about the actual current status of its program.

Israel maintains the deal being negotiated at present is a “bad deal” and is one that will bring Iran closer to an atomic weapon rather than block it from progressing farther, faster.

EU Chief Meeting Next Week with Netanyahu, Abbas

Friday, May 15th, 2015

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini is scheduled to arrive in Israel next week, her office said in a statement Friday.

Mogherini “will travel to the Middle East on Wednesday 20 and Thursday 21 May,” and is expected to meet both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas during her visit.

The EU head will also meet with “a number of other Israeli and Palestinian interlocutors, to discuss the bilateral relations as well as prospects for the Middle East peace process,” the statement said.

The impending visit follows Israel’s installation of its new coalition government headed by Netanyahu for a record fourth term in office.

On Monday, EU foreign ministers are expected to discuss current issues taking place in the region with Mogherini at a routine meeting of the European body prior to her trip.

Recently it was revealed that the European Union has taken an exceptionally active role in funding and otherwise aiding in the construction of hundreds of illegal Palestinian structures in “Area C.” These are territories that are controlled solely under the State of Israel in accordance with the internationally-recognized Oslo Accords.

These areas are expected to be retained by Israel in any final status agreement between the two parties.

Jerusalem Day in DC; An Israeli Hero; and a Liberal Palestinian

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

In the lead-up to Jerusalem Day, Yishai hosts three relevant guests: one American, another Israeli and a third Palestinian. Yishai is joined by Josh Reinstein, director of the Knesset Christian Allies Caucus and founder and producer of the hit TV show “Israel Now News,” broadcast to 35 million viewers in a 191 countries around the world. He discusses the Jerusalem Day celebration that will be held on Capitol Hill in Washington DC by the Israel Allies Foundation. Does this conflict with the US administration’s stance on the Holy City?

Then, Yishai is joined by Oded Tira, former president of the Israel Manufacturers Association. Tira, a retired brigadier general in the IDF who served as a paratrooper in the Six Day War and subsequently became the army’s Chief Artillery Officer, is one of Israel’s key industrialists. What is it like to be a liberator of Jerusalem and then a captain of industry? How has Israel grown since 1967, and what are its future dangers?

Finally, Yishai is joined by 22-year-old Haya Tarawa, a Muslim living in Hebron, who teaches Arabic to foreigners and is completing her BA in English literature. A proud Palestinian, she nevertheless has a liberal attitude towards Israel, and hopes to see Islam liberalize as well.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/tv/radio/jerusalem-day-in-dc-an-israeli-hero-and-a-liberal-palestinian/2015/05/14/

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