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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘prison’

Terror Suspect Pleads Guilty to Attempted Attack on NYC Synagogues

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

Ahmed Ferhani, one of two men arrested in an undercover sting in May 2011 and charged with attempting to blow up synagogues in New York City, has pled guilty, and now faces a sentence of 10 years in prison.

The 27 year old Algerian said in a prepared statement that “By targeting a synagogue … I intended to create chaos and send a message of intimidation and coercion to the Jewish population of New York City, warning them to stop mistreating Muslims.”

Justice Michael Obus is expected to sentence Ferhani to 10 years, significantly less than the 14 requested by the prosecution, and will likely be deported after serving his time in jail.

Pollard Collapsed in Jail over the Weekend

Saturday, December 1st, 2012

The committee to release Jonathan Pollard says the Jewish spy was hospitalized after he had collapsed in prison. His condition is unknown. His wife was informed by the prison authorities a short while ago.

A source inside the committee told Ynet that over the past few weeks Pollard has been suffering great pain, but it is not yet known if the that was the cause of his collapse.

Maker of Anti-Muslim Film Gets a Year in Prison

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

The Californian who produced the anti-Muslim film which led to anti-American violence throughout the Middle East was sentenced Wednesday to a year in federal prison, not for crimes against Islam, but for violating the terms of his probation, AP reports.

In a plea bargain between Mark Basseley Youssef and federal prosecutors, Youssef admitted in open court that he had used a number of false names, in direct violation of his probation order, including obtaining a driver’s license under a false name.

Youssef was on probation for a bank fraud case.

Youssef’s attorney, Steven Seiden, later told reporters outside the court house that he had a message for them from his client.

“The one thing he wanted me to tell all of you is President Obama may have gotten Osama bin Laden, but he didn’t kill the ideology,” Seiden said.

Asked to elaborate, the attorney said, “I didn’t ask him, and I don’t know.”

All the parties to the plea deal agreed that the violations had nothing to do with “Innocence of Muslims,” Youssef’s film that depicts Mohammad as a religious fraud, pedophile and womanizer.

But, of course, everybody also knew that, had Youssef not produced that idiotic film, he would have been allowed to go on with his grifter’s life at least until he got caught stealing something serious again.

Still, according to AP, Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Dugdale argued that Youssef’s lies about his identity have caused harm to others, including the film’s cast and crew, who found themselves in the midst of an apparent plot to spread deadly violence to many parts of the Middle East.

“They had no idea he was a recently released felon,” Dugdale said. “Had they known that, they might have had second thoughts” about doing the film.

Dugdale said members of the crew had received death threats, and they fear their careers are ruined.

Youssef, 55, was arrested in late September, just weeks after he went into hiding when the deadly violence erupted.

A Pakistani cabinet minister even offering $100,000 to anyone who kills Youssef. This might force the federal prison authorities to take special measures in protecting him.

The Lehi Fighter and Kever Rachel (Video)

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

The 11th of Marcheshvan marks the traditional anniversary of the passing of Rachel Imeinu (the Matriarch Rachel).

For centuries, Jews have prayed in Bethlehem at Kever Rachel (Rachel’s Tomb), a symbol of the Biblical promise of the Jewish return to their homeland.

In 1945, Yaffa Tevuah was a 22-year old Lehi fighter imprisoned by the British in the women’s prison in Bethlehem. While being taken back and forth to Jerusalem for questioning at the British Police headquarters, she passed by Kever Rachel and recognized the landmark from pictures that hung in her home as a child in Moldavia. Seeking courage when facing her British interrogators, she drew strength from Rachel Imeinu and comfort from her sense of returning home.

Visit the Muqata.

Court Imprisons Haredi Man for Refusing Wife a Get after He Dated another Man

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

They were married for more than five years, reports Ynet, they raised two children, and generally lived a happy life together – until she discovered that he was going out with another man. She caught him “red-handed,” and immediately filed for divorce with the chief rabbinate, except he is refusing to divorce her.

On Tuesday, ten years after the initial filing of the case, the rabbinical court sent the husband to prison – until he gives in and gives a get.

The couple, who live in central Israel, are both Haredim. Their marriage snapped when it was discovered that the man has proclivities which he hid from his wife for years.

The Rabbinical Court ruled that the two should divorce, and ordered the man to give his wife a get. Then, for years, despite his refusal to give the get, the judges did not use their authority to impose sanctions on him.

The husband was trying to extort concessions from his wife, as a condition for granting the get – including foregoing the damages she was awarded by the court, and a better visitation arrangement with the children. But even after he got what he wanted, the husband continued to refuse the get.

At one point, the court was already processing a get on the husband’s behalf, with his consent, when suddenly he changed his mind, leaving his wife in the position of an aguna, making her unavailable to a new suitor.

Then, unexpectedly, on Tuesday, during a discussion of a side issue not directly related to the get, the judges unexpectedly responded to the request of the wife’s counsel, Executive Director of Mavoy Satum (dead end) organization attorney Batya Kahana-Dror, and ordered the arrest of the husband – until he gives the get.

A police car was summoned to the court and the cops arrested the husband on the spot. This is an exceptional move, possibly a precedent, on the part of the rabbinical court, to impose an arrest before lighter sanctions have been tried.

Attorney Kahana-Dror welcomed the arrest and said the wife had almost lost hope of ever getting a get through this court. She was even considering asking for an annulment of the marriage, on the grounds that she agreed to the marriage contract based on false claims, since the husband did not reveal his sexual deviation.

If successful, the wife would have still been considered married by the state, but at least halachically she would have been permitted to remarry.

Attorney Kahana-Dror said she regrets that “the court isn’t using jail more often as an incentive,” adding, “It’s illogical, unreasonable and contrary to halacha.”

She described the prison experience as the most effective means of convincing husbands to grant their wives a get: “95 percent of the get objectors are ready to give a get after a few nights in the Russian Compound (Jerusalem city jail) or in Abu-Kabir (Tel Aviv). It works great.”

Another Holocaust Claims Conference Schemer Convicted

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Another participant in the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany scandal has admitted her role in that $57 million scheme to approve nearly 5,000 fraudulent applications, resulting in pay-outs to applicants who did not qualify for the programs, the NY Daily News reports.

The latest conspirator, Valentina Romashova, 65, from Brooklyn, pleaded guilty on Wednesday. She faces at least five years in prison for her role in the scheme.

Romashova and several others worked in collaboration with employees of the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany, which administers the funds, by preparing fraudulent applications for nonexistent victims of the very real Nazi persecution of the Jews. The recipients then paid back part of their ill gains to the schemers.

Romashova will return the $150,000 she was paid fraudulently.

The scam was discovered in 2010 and the FBI has so far charged 31 people.

A former fund employee, Yevgeniya Abramovich, 69, was sentenced to one year in prison on Wednesday.

The Ukraine born Abramovich will pay $201,000 in restitution to the fund. She herself netted $45,000 from a fraudulent application.

Romashova’s sentencing will take place early next year.

Canada Cuts Non-Christian Prison Clergy

Saturday, October 6th, 2012

Canadian rabbis want the Canadian federal government to reconsider cuts to the federal prison chaplaincy program, which would eliminate non-Christian clergy.

If the cuts are enacted, non-Christian federal inmates will be expected to turn to Christian prison chaplains for religious counsel and guidance.

Canada has about 80 full-time prison chaplains, all but one of whom are Christian; there are about 100 part-time chaplains, 20 of whom are non-Christians, according to CBC News.

In an e-mail to reporters on Thursday, the office of Public Safety Minister Vic Toews, sought to explain the cost-cutting move.

While the government “strongly supports the freedom of religion for all Canadians, including prisoners…[it] is not in the business of picking and choosing which religions will be given preferential status through government funding,” he wrote. As a result, the minister continued, chaplains in the Correctional Service of Canada “must provide services to inmates of all faiths.”

Less than one percent of Canada’s 15,000 federal prisoners are Jewish, according to corrections data from the last fiscal year.

The Canadian Rabbinic Caucus on Friday called on Toews to reconsider the cuts, saying in a statement that its members “are deeply concerned that non-Christian inmates will be deprived of religiously specific spiritual nourishment at a time in their lives when they most clearly need it.”

Monique Marchand, president of the Interfaith Committee on Chaplaincy, which advises the correctional service on the spiritual care of inmates, said the full-time prison chaplains now will be “coordinating” the pastoral care of minority faith inmates. That means, she explained, that they will request local clergy to donate their services at no charge to the government.

The Trouble with Tunisian Values

Sunday, September 2nd, 2012

Like millions of people around the world, Jamel Gharbi marked the end of summer by taking his family to the beach. Gharbi, a French Socialist regional councilor, had taken his wife and 12 year old daughter back to the Tunisian city where he had been born and had lived until the 1970s before moving to France.

The tide of the Arab Spring had washed over Tunisia and left Gharbi’s homeland a very different place. Furious Salafi Islamists attacked them for wearing shorts, offending Islamic values. When Gharbi tried to defend his family, he barely escaped with his life.

Bertrand Delanoe, the Socialist mayor of Paris, condemned the attack as the work of an “extremist minority” in contradiction to “Tunisian values.” “The Tunisian people I know,” he said, “are committed to tolerance, democracy, pluralism and human rights.”

Secretary-General Jean-Francois Cope, of the French conservative UMP opposition, agreed that the Tunisian people were not to blame. The perpetrators, he said, only “pretend to be animated by religious convictions,” and dubbed them fanatics and extremists who “do not represent the people of Tunisia.”

The peculiar phenomenon of Bertrand Delanoe and Jean-Francois Cope telling the Tunisian people what their values are is not limited to Gallic shores. As the tides follow the moon, Muslim terrorist attacks are followed by Western leaders asserting that the terrorists do not represent Islam and its tolerant values.

When Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square Bomber, appeared for sentencing, he declared, “If I am given a thousand lives, I will sacrifice them all for the sake of Allah, fighting this cause, defending our lands, making the word of Allah supreme over any religion or system.”

Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum told Faisal Shahzad that he needed to “spend some of the time in prison thinking carefully about whether the Koran wants you to kill lots of people.” The trouble was that Faisal Shahzad had already decided what his religion had to say about killing lots of people. Similarly the Tunisian people had already decided what their values are.

The Arab Spring began in Tunisia when a male vendor shamed at being struck by a female police officer set himself on fire. It ended with the election of an Islamist party and murderous violence at the sight of a 12-year-old girl wearing shorts.

The Islamist Al-Nahda Party won a landslide victory in 2011 with more votes than every major party combined. It was the only party to cross the one-million vote mark and its popularity is undeniable. Tunisian values, which may not be pluralistic or democratic after all, are the secret to its success.

In an Al-Jazeera poll, nearly half of Tunisians identified strongly with Islamism, while less than 20 percent identified with either Arab nationalism or liberalism. Numbers like these have made the outcome of the Arab Spring inevitable, along with the accompanying attacks on 12-year-old girls and expat Socialists.

The Al-Nahda Party, described with the obligatory “moderate” soubriquet in news articles, has proposed blasphemy laws that come with harsh prison sentences, and one of its constitutional articles defines women as inferior to men. Al-Nahda’s view of women can be gleaned from Rachid Ghannouchi, the intellectual leader of the movement, who praised the mothers of suicide bombers as “a new model of woman.”

Democracy is the truest test of a nation’s values. The Secretary-General of the UMP may be convinced of the moderate values of the Tunisian people, but the Secretary-General of Al-Nahda, Hamadi Jebali, was equally convinced that Al-Nahda’s victory was a harbinger of the Sixth Caliphate.

The values of the Tunisian people turned Hamadi Jebali from a prisoner into the leader of the dominant Tunisian political party and from there into the Prime Minister of Tunisia. The Arab Spring’s democratic elections have been the acid test of whether Tunisian values and Egyptian values are truly those of “Tolerance, democracy, pluralism and human rights.” And the verdict is in.

It took official protests from French leaders for the new Tunisian Islamist government to condemn the attack on Jamel Gharbi. The actual attackers are still not in custody, and the inaction of the police is becoming routine in a country where Islamist thugs dispensing vigilante Sharia justice are swiftly becoming the law.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/the-trouble-with-tunisian-values/2012/09/02/

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