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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Prime Minister’s Office’

Jewish Hospital Sued for Refusing to Abort Healthy Twin

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Mount Sinai hospital in Toronto, Canada, was taken to a human rights tribunal hearing by a woman, 45, who demanded that one of the twins she was carrying be aborted, using, as the procedure is described euphemistically, “selective reduction,” the National Post reported this week. The doctors involved refused to abort the healthy fetus, and the hospital told the patient in an email that they only reduce triplets or larger groupings, unless one of the twins in question exhibits an anomaly.

An article on the website of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, titled, “Fetal Reduction From Twins to a Singleton: A Reasonable Consideration?” concludes: “…physicians know that spontaneous twin pregnancy losses average 8–10%. Also, with experience, multi-fetal pregnancy reduction has become very safe in our hands. Our data suggest that the likelihood of taking home a baby is higher after reduction than remaining with twins. We propose that twin-to-singleton reductions might be considered with appropriate constraints and safeguards.”

The Mount Sinai email informed the patient that the procedure was available in the US, but did not recommend a specific facility. The hospital later cited the “conscience of the clinicians” as the reason they could not go about eliminating one of the two healthy twin fetuses.

The patient, identified in the complaint as C.V., said in an interview: “It was very much a judgmental and ill-thought and essentially disrespectful reaction … I was literally in disbelief.”

The patient retained the services of Amir Attaran, an Iranian-American Associate Professor of Law and Population Health and the holder of the Canada Research Chair in Law, Population Health and Global Development Policy at the University of Ottawa, who filed a complaint on her behalf with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, for discrimination on the basis of sex and family status.

According to the Toronto Sun, in 2007 Prof. Attaran alleged he had proof of Canada’s military abusing Afghan detainees. But he never produced any of the promised proof, nor was such proof found by an all-party parliamentary committee. In 2013, when Attorney General of Canada and Minister of Justice Peter MacKay criticized Liberal leader Justin Trudeau for his admitted marijuana use, Attaran filed a complaint with the Nova Scotia Bar Association, accusing MacKay of professional misconduct. The complaint was dismissed. Also in 2013, Attaran filed a complaint alleging professional misconduct against lawyers who worked in the Prime Minister’s Office for violating legal ethics. According to the Toronto Star, those allegations “were fully investigated” and the inquiry was closed.

Needless to say, after Prof. Attaran had filed his complaint, Mount Sinai quickly referred C.V. to Toronto’s Sunnybrook Health Sciences Center, where they performed the “reduction.”

Last July, the tribunal exonerated the hospital, ruling that “the facts as alleged by the applicant do not establish a case of discrimination under the Code. In particular, the applicant cannot show that she was denied equal treatment to the medical service she wanted because of family status or because of pregnancy. The Application is dismissed on that basis.”

But according to the National Post, Mount Sinai has now amended its policy to say that elective fetal abortion is “ethically complex and divides many people,” and doctors unwilling to abort a healthy twin pregnancy for reasons of conscience or religion should have a plan in place to refer patients to other physicians.

JNi.Media

Former PM Chief of Staff Detained for Questioning About Netanyahu

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Former Prime Ministerial Chief of Staff Ari Harrow was detained Thursday morning at Ben Gurion International Airport upon his arrival from abroad. Harrow served as chief of staff to PM Benjamin Netanyahu in 2014.

A spokesperson for Israel Police said the National Fraud Investigation unit asked Harrow to provide testimony about Netanyahu’s alleged financial misappropriations. Earlier this week, Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit ordered an initial probe into the prime minister’s actions as part of the wider investigation of financial activity by government officials.

Although the Los Angeles-born former chief of staff was taken into custody, it was made clear that he was not under investigation himself, nor was he being arrested.

Other government officials who have been under investigation include Opposition Leader and Zionist Union chairman MK Isaac Herzog, former Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum and former Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov of Yisrael Beitenu, and former Defense Minister Binyamin ‘Fuad’ Ben-Eliezer among others.

Hana Levi Julian

Protesting Against Terror

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

Photos by Hillel Meir / TPS

More than a thousand people protested in front of the Prime Minister’s office on Sunday morning, demanding that security be restored for Israeli citizens, and to give the army their marching orders to clear out the terror nests.

Citizens and politicians spoke to the crowd, but the most touching was young Elkana Zamura, who is not only a student of Rabbi Litman who was murdered last week, but also the son of the stabbing victim in the Rami Levy terror attack on November 6.

Protest against Terror 1

Protest against Terror 4

Protest against Terror 3

Protest against Terror 2

Photo of the Day

Holdup for Har Homa Housing Again Looms

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

It looks like Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has already begun the delicate two-step into the wacky world of covert construction freezes.

Hebrew-language Israeli media reported Wednesday that a massive building project in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Har Homa was suddenly suspended — barely two days after Netanyahu got the nod to form the next government.

The City of Jerusalem and Israel Ministry of Housing and Construction both confirmed that two key planning sessions that were set for next week to discuss the next phase in the project have been canceled “for neither planning nor professional reasons,” Ynet reported.

Sources close to the project told the news outlet the plan was not being advanced due to political issues. They said the Prime Minister’s Office had not given a green light to go ahead with the meetings.

The city received approval in August 2011 to build more that 1,000 apartments in Har Homa. But that was only the very first step in what became an incredibly long process which saw endless delays. By June 2013, the city managed to squeeze out permission from the state to build 69 new homes in the neighborhood for which tenders were issued in April 2012.

Despite intense pressure on Israel by the United States to freeze all Jewish construction of any type in any area won in the 1967 Six Day War, the city of Jerusalem has not changed its construction policy in 40 years.

“We continue to build in all city neighborhoods according to zoning plans for Jews and Arabs,” a city official told The Jerusalem Post in 2013. “In the coming years, we intend to build tens of thousands of homes throughout the city for the different population sectors.” New construction is essential for the city’s development, the official pointed out, noting that students and young adults also need to be able to purchase apartments and rent homes.

Housing Minister Uri Ariel has noted in the past that the process of publishing tenders for housing construction in Israel – throughout the country – is one that affects plans for some 600,000 residential units every year, and takes seven years. Even if the tenders are issued, however, not all the tenders are used.

The Arab neighborhood of Sur Baher faces the Har Homa neighborhood, which was built in the late 1990s despite intense international and local Arab criticism. The neighborhood itself stands on 32 acres of land (130 dunam) that was purchased by a Jewish group in the 1940s, located on the outskirts of southeastern Jerusalem, facing Bethlehem. The area was known as Jabal Abu Ghneim.

During the 1948 War of Independence, the hill was conquered by the elite troops of the Jordanian Arab Legion. Its Hebrew name, Har Homa, refers to a wall built on the remains of a Byzantine church that sat on the mountain, which was visible to the Palmach forces who were stationed at Kibbutz Ramat Rachel.

In 1991, expropriation of the land from various Jewish and Arab private owners was approved by Israeli cabinet minister Yitzchak Moda’i, for the purpose of completing a master plan for the capital under eminent domain.

Hana Levi Julian

Killing Cash

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

The Israeli government hopes to put the kabash on cash transactions, starting with a plan that places a ceiling on the amounts starting in fiscal 2015 budget.

The director-general of the Prime Minister’s Office, Harel Locker told journalists in a briefing at the beginning of this week the government plans to limit cash transactions between businesses to NIS 5,000 after a one-year period, with the initial phase to begin at just NIS 7,500. Private citizens will be allowed cash transactions of up to NIS 15,000. But if the legislation goes through, the use of checks will also be restricted.

The initiative is aimed at ending the “black economy” that operates in much of the country, Locker explained, adding that  money laundering has risen over the past two years. He pointed to some three million cash transactions, each of which was more than NIS 5,000, that totaled some NIS 273 billion since 2012, as proof that things have to change.

The government, said Locker, has instead decided to take a leaf from the American notebook and is recommending that banks issue debit cards, rather than the VISA and MasterCard credit cards they currently use.

Most Israelis do not carry out transactions for more than NIS 5,000, Locker contended, thus he said it is expected the new plan will not cause difficulties for most of the population.

Nice and tidy — but that may not be the case: newlyweds who are buying furniture and other necessities for new homes often make their purchases with the cash gifts they receive at their wedding. Those shopping sprees are seldom carried out for less than NIS 10,000 and often involve the use of cash for extra bonus points or discount savings.

Other special events and holiday sales also often involve cash purchases as well – a fact the government seems not to be taking into account. Although Locker said he expects approval of the new law by the end of 2014, it is likely there will be more than a few bumps along the way – probably after his colleagues’ spouses find they find they can no longer go shopping without the government getting in the way.

But mostly, this is about too much government intrusion into the private lives and transactions of its citizens, by a government which wants to, invasively, be able to more easily track its citizens down to the smallest detail.

What’s next? Our biometric data on file with the government?

 

Jewish Press Staff

PM Rejects Danon’s Statement that Govt Opposes 2-State Solution

Saturday, June 8th, 2013

Officials in the Prime Minister’s office have told Reshet Bet Radio that statements made by Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon to Times of in Israel do not represent the Prime Minister’s position nor the position of the Government of Israel. According to these officials, Netanyahu is interested in renewing the peace process negotiations without preconditions, and his statements about a two-state solution is still in effect. In fact, the sources reiterate, Netanyahu is calling on the Palestinian Authority to begin without delay the talks, in which all the contested issues will be discussed. The Palestinian Authority state its demands, and Israel will bring up its demands, which will include, among other things, strict security arrangements, recognition of Israel as the national homeland of the Jewish people and declaring an end to the conflict.

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon told Times of Israel that the Likud and the governing coalition are “staunchly opposed to a two-state solution and would block the creation of a Palestinian state if such a proposal ever came to a vote.”

“Look at the government,” Danon told the news website, “there was never a government discussion, resolution or vote about the two-state solution. If you will bring it to a vote in the government — nobody will bring it to a vote, it’s not smart to do it — but if you bring it to a vote, you will see the majority of Likud ministers, along with the Jewish Home [party], will be against it.”

“The international community can say whatever they want, and we can do whatever we want,” Danon said.

Labor MK Nachman Shai criticized Danon’s remarks, saying the Knesset should debate his statements, especially in light of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent push for kickstarting the talks and his announcement that time was running short.

“Is Danny Danon the child who discovered that the emperor isn’t wearing any clothes?” MK Shai wondered.

Palestinian Authority foreign minister Riyad al-Malki on Saturday reiterated the Palestinian commitment to relaunch peace talks, in order to achieve peace and establish an independent state on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital, Ma’an reported.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said last week that he wants to return to negotiations “as soon as possible.”

“The ball is in the Israeli court,” Abbas told reporters in Ramallah. “Palestinian demands are known by Israel and the U.S., and now it’s time for Israel to accept them in order to start the negotiations.”

PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said earlier that the Palestinians were making “every possible effort” to help Kerry succeed in bringing the two sides to the table.

And so, the stalemate remains as it was: the Palestinians demand their preconditions, the Israelis demand there be no preconditions, and Kerry is expected, according to sources in Ramallah, to be visiting the area one more time, possibly as early as this week.

Yori Yanover

Obama Boycotting the Knesset and Ariel University

Wednesday, March 13th, 2013

U.S. President Barack Obama has decided not to address the Knesset during his visit to Israel next week. Senior U.S. officials said that, after long deliberations and discussions, the White House decided that the president will address students from universities in Israel at the ICC (Binyaney Ha’uma) in Jerusalem.

That initial snub did not go unnoticed. The Prime Minister’s Office and a number of Knesset members passed messages to the White House saying they would be much happier if the speech took place in the Knesset. But senior U.S. officials have insisted that Obama decided to deliver his messages directly to the Israeli public, especially the younger generation, not just to politicians in the Knesset.

Has the president been following the recent changes in the Knesset? Many of the new elected MKs wouldn’t know a politician if they ran one over on their mountain bikes. But, obviously, Obama does not think much of national institutions in third world countries, or he wouldn’t be spending so much treasure overturning them.

On Tuesday it turned out that the White House has little respect for Israeli academic institutions as well. According to Reshet Bet, almost all of Israel’s universities received invitations to hear the president’s speech in the big hall in Jerusalem – with the noted exception of Ariel University.

Habayit Hayehudi MK Yoni Chetboun revealed this latest snub to Reshet Bet Wednesday morning, saying this was unacceptable, as Ariel is an officially accredited university, and its students—Jews and Arabs—are part of the Israeli public.

Ariel has over 600 Arab students, as well as the largest number Ethiopian university students in all of Israel.

The White House has refused to comment on Obama’s refusal to endow with his message of hope and peace Israelis who go to school on the wrong side of the “green line.”

MK Chetboun called on Ariel students to come greet President Obama outside the national auditorium in Jerusalem, if only to prove to him that they, too, exist.

According to recent news stories, the U.S. embassy (in Tel Aviv) is in charge of sending out the invitations to some 2000 Israelis, as well as 300 members of the press. It is possible, then, that the boycott against Ariel was not necessarily conceived in Washington, but right here, on Hayarkon Street on the shore of the Mediterranean.

Perhaps the White House will clarify this later today.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-boycotting-the-knesset-and-ariel-university/2013/03/13/

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