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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Prime Minister’

French Jewish Leaders Condemn Presidential Candidate’s Anti-Semitic Comment

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

French Jewish leaders have criticized Francois Fillon, who will likely win Sunday’s second round of a Conservative party presidential primary, for his comment to Europe 1 radio that “in the past Jews did not respect all the rules of the French Republic,” EJP reported.

Fillon, a former Prime Minister under then President Nicolas Sarkozy, made the faux pas while describing the need to fight radical Islam.

“We must fight that fundamentalism, in the same way that in the past … we fought some forms of Catholic fundamentalism and we fought the drive by Jews to live in a community that did not respect all the rules of the French Republic,” Fillon said.

France’s Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia discussed the comment with Fillon, noting that Jews in the past were forced to live in isolation from society, but that was “in no way Jewish citizens’ choice, but the consequence of French society not accepting their peers at the time.”

Sacha Ghozlan, leader of the French Jewish students’ union UEJF, stateded that “those surprising comments raise questions about how Francois Fillon defines fundamentalism.”

“The UEJF wonders what period Francois Fillon is referring to when he says Jews refused to abide by the rules of the French republic, if he might not mean the time of Vichy (the war-time government that collaborated with the Nazi occupation) when Jews were forced to hide and wear a yellow star,” Ghozlan said in a statement.

Fillon, who faces former Foreign Minister Alain Sunday to become the candidate of the right and center for next year’s presidential election, eventually posted on his Facebook page that his comments had been misunderstood.

“I never meant to call into question the Jewish community’s attachment to our common values and to the respect of the rules of the Republic,” he promised.

David Israel

Bennett: If Law to Save Amona Fails, We’ll Stop Voting with Netanyahu Coalition

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

As the Arrangement Act, compelling Arab claimants against government initiated Jewish settlements to accept market value for their lands, comes up for an initial vote at the Knesset plenum, two coalition partners — Kulanu and Habayit Hayehudi — have accused Prime Minister Netanyahu and Coalition Chairman MK David Bitan (Likud) of attempting to sabotage the vote. Bitan announced on Tuesday that there may be some difficulties in rustling support for the bill.

In response, Habayit Hayehudi faction informed Bitan that should the coalition partners not honor the coalition discipline rule and help defeat the government-supported legislation, Habayit Hayehudi would no longer vote in support of future coalition bills.

The threat was intended to pressure Likud to make sure all the coalition partners indeed show up to support the bill. As of Tuesday night, there have been rumors that Kulanu and the Haredi parties were considering a no-show during the vote. Now it appears those rumors were manufactured on behalf of the PM, who never was in favor of the proposed law.

On Tuesday, the Supreme Court rejected a coalition request to postpone the demolition of Amona, in Samaria, on December 25.

David Israel

Amona Residents to Netanyahu: Our Fate Is in your Hands

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

An emergency meeting of the Amona community residents following the Supreme Court’s ruling rejecting government’s petition to postpone the Dec. 25 demolition, called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to save the day. Avihay Boaron, Chairman of the community’s struggle committee, delivered a direct message to Prime Minister Netanyahu, saying, “If, God forbid, you will not manage an arrangement of the homes of Amona’s residents and the lives of our children, we will stand as a fortified wall together with thousands who will arrive here from across the country on that day, when we move to a tent city we will erect in the coming days, to do all we can so that Amona will not fall a second time.”

Avihay Boaron, an attorney, told Netanyahu, whose Likud party received an estimated 4 to 5 out of its 30 Knesset seats from Judea and Samaria voters: “You are the commander-in-chief and you will decide the fate of Amona. We heard you saying today that you are attentive to our distress. We’re not looking for sympathy, we demand action, not talk. The only way to take care of us is to let us stay home.” He added: “The responsibility rests with you and your government ministers.”

Tamar Nizri, one of the founders of Amona, told the Prime Minister: “You once said that you are the captain of our ship. You are the captain of our state and we believe in you, and we need you to navigate us. We need you to help us stay here and go on preparing dinner for our children and raise them and rejoice with them and go on living in this community.”

“We came here 18 years ago, a young couple with a baby girl,” Nizri continued. “She just got married a month and a half ago and lives with her husband here, in Amona… I’m telling you as one of the mothers here, we want to keep raising our children, get them married, watch our grandchildren here, climbing the trees that are yet to grow, and it’s in your hands.”

Nizri then called on Netanyahu to support the Arrangements Act, to permit her and her family to stay in their community, and “be a leader who creates a new reality.”

JNi.Media

Netanyahu, Hanegbi, Introduce Proposal to Open Records on Yemenite Babies

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

On Sunday, during his cabinet meeting remarks, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) told his assembled ministers that Minister Tzachi Hanegbi (Likud) is submitting for a vote a proposal “to lift the immunity of documents and protocols of the commissions of inquiry on the disappearance of the Yemenite children.”

Netanyahu noted that, in his opinion, “the families whose children disappeared and the public at large deserve to know what the commissions of inquiry discussed.” Turning to Hanegbi, he said, “I know that you speak about lifting all of the restrictions and, in effect, allowing people to see with their own eyes all of this material on the Internet. I would like to thank you, Tzachi, for your welcome and expedited action, and that of your team. I would like to also thank MK Nurit Koren and the other MKs for working to advance this important issue.”

Minister Hanegbi, who is himself of Yemenite extraction, then addressed the cabinet, saying: “Today’s decision will not eliminate the pain and suffering that thousands of immigrants have endured. Brothers, sisters and families, live with the feeling of their children gone for many decades. But this decision is important in two respects. First of all, to really allow family members and their authorized representatives, and in fact to the public to go online and see the difficult, oppressive and gloomy picture in its fullness, and get as close as possible to understanding the truth.”

Hanegbi added, “Secondly, the government today, I believe, will put an end to this unbearable reality, unjustified confidentiality, that has been imposed for seventy years on these materials, at least in mine and in the eyes of the professional staff, and we could not find any discussion, any explanation that clarifies why anyone thought it was so necessary. It will put an end to the suspicion, skepticism and mistrust towards the state agencies by the families.”

Hanegbi  thanked the Prime Minister “who initiated this move in which I was authorized to present my recommendation to the government. I thank the Justice Minister who placed her office and her team at my disposal on this issue. I thank the team which worked closely with me for many months: the archivist of the state archives, Jacob Lazovic, Head of the Freedom of Information unit, the Ministry of Justice, Rivkie Dvash and the legal adviser of the State Archives, Naomi Aldouby.”

“Indeed, as the Prime Minister said,” Hanegbi concluded, “this is just the beginning of the process. Try going online and understanding this subject. The Knesset should confirm our decision and MK Nurit Koren will continue to lead the implementation of our decisions and put them into practice.”

David Israel

Italy’s PM Matteo Renzi: UNESCO Resolution on Jerusalem ‘Like Saying Sun Creates Darkness’

Monday, October 24th, 2016

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi vows that from now on his nation will vote against anti-Israel resolutions like the one passed by the United Nations Education, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), obliterating Judaism’s historic link with Jerusalem.

Italy abstained in the vote, as did 25 other nations, while 24 member states voted in favor of the resolution. Only six countries had the courage to oppose the resolution advanced by the Palestinian Authority, which labels the Temple Mount and the Western Wall solely by their Muslim names and refers to them only as Islamic holy sites. The resolution contains one single line referring to the Old City of Jerusalem and its walls as being holy to Islam, Christianity and the Jewish people – in that order and worded in that way.

On Friday, Renzi told an Italian radio station during a visit to Brussels, “It is not possible to continue with these resolutions at the UN and UNESCO that aim to attack Israel.

“It is shocking and I have ordered that we stop taking this position (abstaining) even if it means breaking ranks from the position taken by the rest of Europe.

“I have asked diplomats handling these issues to cease doing so. If anyone wants to say something about Israel, let them say it, but they shouldn’t use UNESCO…

“To say that the Jews have no links to Jerusalem is like saying the sun creates darkness,” Renzi said.

The Italian prime minister also vowed to summon Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni when he returns home, to determine why Italy abstained, instead of voting to oppose the resolution.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu thanked Renzi on Saturday for opposing the resolution. In a statement, Netanyahu’s office said the two premiers spoke on Saturday and that the Israeli prime minister told Renzi that “even the theater of the absurd has limits.”

Israel’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson Emmanuel Nachshon meanwhile warmly congratulated the Italian government and prime minister for his statement. “We hope Italy guides the way for other European countries, and countries all over the world,” Nachshon said.

Parliamentarians from 17 nations visiting Israel last week also condemned the resolution in a statement, calling it “disconnected from reality.” The lawmakers said they would work towards international recognition of Jerusalem as the “undivided, eternal capital of the State of Israel.” Among the nations represented were Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, South Africa, Uruguay, Chile and Costa Rica.

Hana Levi Julian

Worried About Obama: Netanyahu’s Request for Amona Industrial Quiet Becomes Scandal De Jure

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

It’s not easy to be the prime minister of the Jews, as Benjamin Netanyahu discovered yet again this week.

It began a week ago, in a meeting between Netanyahu and the residents of Amona and Ofra, the former being under the gun of demolition by order of the Supreme Court come December. In the meeting, as can be surmised from a Channel 2 News Wednesday report and from social media posts by the participants, Netanyahu warned that the Obama Administration could become very dangerous in its last two months in office, which is why they, the settlers, and the Israeli government must be careful not to provoke them.

As the news channel put it, the PM said, “It’s not only Amona, in the coming period between the elections in the US and the end of the Obama term our entire settlement enterprise is at risk.”

This was not the kind of explosive charge the Netanyahu government wanted to throw at the gates of the White House. In fact, Netanyahu was probably asking the residents for industrial quiet that would help keep the Administration’s attention on other things, such as the transition or the actual wars elsewhere on its doorstep.

On Wednesday night, Netanyahu’s office quickly denied the report, and stated, “Prime Minister Netanyahu never said the things that were attributed to him, but rather noted that past residents at the end of their term would promote initiatives that were not consistent with Israel’s interests. The Prime Minister reiterated that he hopes that [such misquotes] not be repeated, as he expects the US not to change its traditional policy of several decades to prevent anti-Israeli resolutions at the UN Security Council.”

And now we’ll all hold our breath until November 9, when a brave new world might just emerge for Israel…

JNi.Media

Woman of the Year 5776: Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked

Saturday, October 1st, 2016

The January 22, 2013 general elections in Israel marked the emergence of two new parties; one, journalist Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid, was yet another attempt to grab the undecided center among Israel’s voters; the other, Habayit Hayehudi, was a coalition of National Religious parties led by hi-tech executive Naftali Bennett and his long-time political ally, a 30-something computer engineer from Tel Aviv named Ayelet Shaked, who stood out as the only secular Jew in an otherwise Orthodox Jewish party. Both parties did well, although Lapid’s party took seven more seats than Bennett’s (19 vs. 12). Both parties also represent new challenges to the current power status quo in Israel, with Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud leading a right-leaning coalition government over an opposition being led by Labor (a.k.a. Zionist Camp).

At this point in the life of the 20th Knesset, the polls are showing Yesh Atid as the new largest party, siphoning off votes from Likud’s centrist voters and Labor’s more nationalistic supporters, as well as from Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon’s Kulanu party which barely passes the threshold percentage in the polls. At the same time, Likud is also being bitten on its right flank, by Habayit Hayehudi. And, also for the first time, the National Religious leader Naftali Bennett has been speaking openly about his ambition to be Israel’s next prime minister, at the helm of a rightwing, pro-religious, pro-settlements government.

That ambition is a new thing to a party that, since its incarnation as NRP in 1956, has always seen itself as a second banana, always in government, be it with leftwing or rightwing majority parties, but never at the helm. And while Chairman Bennett has been outspoken about his ambition to carve out a new direction for the country in the image of his party’s ideology, another Habayit Hayehudi leader has been giving the nation an idea of how a national religious government would carry out its agenda — Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked.

Since the end of the 1990s, it has become clear that Israeli Jews are only going to become more traditional, even religious, and, consequently, the chance for a left-leaning party to receive the largest percentage of the vote will continue to grow dimmer. But while political positions have been given by the voter to rightwing governments, key decisions on issues that are close to the heart of the same rightwing voters have continued to lean to the left. This has been most notable in the liberated territories of Judea, Samaria and Gaza, where evictions of Jewish settlers have been carried out over the past decade and a half by rightwing-led governments, and those same governments have been refusing to implement Israeli civil law in Jewish communities hat have been living under martial law since the 1970s.

This is because the judiciary in Israel has been ruling as a shadow government, unelected and with a leftwing, secular agenda. In addition, Israel has had the most activist supreme court anywhere in the West, a court that has seized for itself powers well outside the norm in countries that uphold the principle of three branches of government. In countless cases, the high court has acted as a legislator, siding with the opposition against a ruling government (the recent vote on exploiting Israel’s natural gas come to mind, when the court torpedoed a government signed contract with US and domestic companies). The judiciary has also had its hand on the executive branch through the Attorney General and the legal counsels who are appointed to every ministry, and who often force the hands of elected officials using the threat of legal action against them.

The appointment of Ayelet Shaked to be the Minster in charge of this judiciary stronghold of the real power in Israeli society was received with a great deal of alarm and trepidation in the leftwing media, which called her “Israel’s Sarah Palin,” and accused her of inciting the mobs against the Supreme Court justices, “as if she were the worst [Internet] talkbacker and not the minister in charge of the holiest holy of every democracy — its separate and independent judiciary.” (Uri Misgav, Haaretz, Aug. 11, 2015).

The attack came in response to the new Justice Minister’s tweet on the same evening the Supreme Court was convening to rule on a law designed to block infiltration of illegal migrants from Africa through Israel’s southern border. Shaked tweeted that the law had already been quashed twice by the court, causing the infiltration, which had been reduced to single digits, to grow to dozens of new border crossings.

“If the law is revoked a third time,” Shaked tweeted, “it would be tantamount to declaring south Tel Aviv an official haven for infiltrators.” She then added that, until the court’s ruling, she would upload every two hours a new video describing the “intolerable life conditions of south Tel Aviv residents,” urging her followers to spread the message.

The court took notice and restricted itself to a few minor corrections, mostly regarding the length of time an illegal migrant could be held in a locked facility until his case is resolved by the Interior Ministry. The court continued to take notice throughout Shaked’s first year in office, and has been noticeably mindful of the need to avoid unnecessary friction with a Justice Minister who is probably the most popular minister in Israel. How popular? In 2013 she was picked by the Knesset Channel as the summer session’s most outstanding MK, and in 2014 as the second most outstanding MK of the winter session. In 2015 the Jerusalem Post ranked her 33rd on its list of the most influential Jews in the world. In 2015 she was ranked by Forbes Israel as the fifth most influential woman in Israel. And in 2016 Lady Globes ranked her second on its list of 50 most influential women.

Most importantly, Minster Shaked has afforded Israelis a view of a nationalist, rightwing politician who can be trusted to run the country’s third most complex system, after Finance and Defense. As Justice Minister, Shaked also chairs the ministerial legislative committee which decides which bills receive the backing of the government. Her role is comparable to that of the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House, in terms of influencing the legislative process. And the fact that she has been a competent, creative and resourceful Justice Minister might suggest to people in the secular center and right of center that her and Bennett’s party is worthy of their vote.

Shaked and Bennett are in troubled waters currently, over the fate of Amona, a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria that the Supreme Court has slated for demolition by early December, 2016, over claims to ownership of the land by Arab PA residents. The fact is that no one on the right in Netanyahu’s government believes that Amona could be saved, which Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman stated openly. Shaked wants to see the residents being relocated to a nearby plot of land, that could turn out to be just as problematic. But both Bennett and Shaked are also interested in advancing new legislation that would compel future claimants to settle for fair market value or comparable land from the Israeli government. At stake are an estimated 4,000 homes, the bulk of which were built as part of a government sponsored settlement program. The Supreme Court has rejected these “arrangement law” initiatives, and the current AG, Avihai Mandelblit, also objects to them, even though he himself is on the record as supporting them in the past.

For now, Shaked and Bennett are under attack by their voters, who cannot believe that a government that is as rightwing as this one would still engage in the forceful removal of Jews from their homes. And the last thing Shaked and Bennet want is to be forced to resign from Netanyahu’s government over this dispute.

Shaked, like Bennett, is a vehement enemy of the two-state solution. But she is also a liberal when it comes to many legislative initiatives. She has fought court activism; she objected to imposing jail sentences on Yeshiva students who refuse to enlist; and she supports a free and open market and reducing state regulations of businesses. She also believes in cutting down on new laws.

Noting that her government legislative committee has processed over the past year and a half no less than 1,500 new legislative proposals, Shaked wrote an op-ed in the right-leaning website Mida, saying that “every time the Knesset puts its faith in a new law intended to serve a worthy cause and solve a social or economic problem, we are, in effect, raising our hands to support a vote of no confidence. … It’s a vote of no confidence in our ability as individuals and as communities to manage ourselves in a good enough manner; it’s a vote of no confidence in the wisdom of the nation and of each person to create and preserve mechanisms that are better than those which are designed artificially by experts; it’s a vote of no confidence in the ability of familial, social and economic communities to run their own lives and strive successfully to reach their goals.”

Spoken like a true, sane Libertarian. And a Libertarian who knows how to combine the principles of freedom with the ideals of nation and Torah — could make one fine prime minister some day. Which is why we believe 5776 was the year of Ayelet Shaked.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/woman-of-the-year-5776-justice-minister-ayelet-shaked/2016/10/01/

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