web analytics
September 29, 2016 / 26 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Regavim’

Leftwing J Street Going After Pro-Israel Regavim’s US Tax-Exempt Status

Friday, September 9th, 2016

Jeremy Ben-Ami, president of leftwing, anti-Netanyahu group J Street, sent an email to his group’s supporters announcing that he is pressuring the Obama Administration to revoke the US tax-exempt status of the Israeli (and pro-Israel) NGO Regavim in response to their supposed activity against the two-state solution.

The urgent need to harm Regavim’s US donations resulted from the effective work the group has done in forcing the Israeli authorities to apply Supreme Court rulings on demolishing illegal Arab construction in Area C of Judea and Samaria. One of the recent focal points of the Regavim efforts has been the squatter camp outside the Jewish community of Susiya, which the US and the EU insist must stay put despite the fact that its existence violates every signed agreement between Israel and the PA.

Ben-Ami wrote his followers that he was shocked to discover that the “settler movements” aiming to destroy Susiya are partially funded by donations from the US — including Regavim which has systematically mapped out the Susiya shacks and lean-tos, pointing Israeli police at the precise location of structures that violate the law. Ben-Ami sees this well-organized campaign to enforce the law as a threat to a future Palestinian State, which, he believes, must some day be handed the entire area.

Ben-Ami attributes to his organization’s work behind the scenes with the US State Dept. the fact that Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman have responded to international pressure and postponed the evacuation of the illegal Arab squatters until November 15.

The president of J Street shared in his email how enraged he is by the fact that groups that work against “the future of the State of Israel” and in direct defiance of US foreign policy and “perhaps” even US law, enjoy a tax-exempt status in the US, which is why J Street will continue to pressure the US government to revoke Regavim’s special status.

Should Ben-Ami be interested in learning what happened the last time the IRS has taken on a pro-Israel group, he should Google “Z Street,” a feisty organization headed by Jewish Press Online reporter Lori Lowenthal Marcus. As Lowenthal Marcus and others have reported over the past seven or so years, the IRS was “slow-rolling” discovery in lawsuits about how it slow-rolled applications by conservative non-profits in general and Z Street in particular.

In 2009, Z Street filed for 501(c)(3) status and was caught in the net of IRS targeting for groups that opposed Administration policy.

An IRS agent confirmed on the phone that Z Street’s application had been sent for special screening for groups connected with Israel. Z Street sued the IRS in 2010 for political discrimination that violated the First Amendment, and IRS Exempt Organizations Determinations Group manager Jon Waddell actually said in a December 2010 sworn declaration in federal court that the IRS flagged Z Street because “Israel is one of many Middle Eastern countries that have a ‘higher risk of terrorism.’”

“That’s hilarious,” wrote the Wall Street Journal last August, “since Z Street supports a country targeted by terrorism. But it also is untrue, which the Administration apparently knew before Mr. Waddell gave his statement to the court. In an October 25, 2010 internal IRS memo on the Z Street case produced in discovery, the IRS acknowledged that when Z Street’s application was being scrutinized Israel wasn’t on the list of terrorist countries, and that an agent may have been using an outdated list.”

If Jeremy Ben-Ami believes the Obama Administration is prepared to go after the tax-exempt status of yet another Zionist group — he should probably check with someone in the State Dept. Perhaps President Hillary Clinton would be inclined to alienate her Jewish voters and Israel by using the IRS for political purposes. It’s quite clear President Donald Trump won’t.

As to the self-congratulations of Ben-Ami on how he and J Street got the US and the EU to condemn Israel’s legal activities in Susiya — it stands to reason they knew all about it on their own. Why, the EU has been building illegal structures in Area C (which Regavim has successfully gotten demolished) without any help from J Street.

JNi.Media

Rightwing NGO Complains, IDF Confiscates Illegal Construction Machinery

Thursday, September 1st, 2016

An alert by the Regavim movement on Wednesday has led to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) confiscating machinery which was about to be used to expand illegal Arab construction near the Jewish archaeological site of Sussya in the southern Judea Mountains.

Regavim said in a statement that the action sent “a clear message that if you are about to break the law, you will be stopped.”

“The Civil Administration must continue to enforce the law, including court orders on illegal construction,” the statement continued, suggesting that “at the same time our government leaders should not succumb to international pressure and when asked to issue their opinion on matters, they should side with court decisions and uphold the law.”

David Israel

Rightwing Academics Petition Supreme Court over Waqf Harassment on Temple Mount

Friday, August 19th, 2016

The group Professors For a Strong Israel and NGO Regavim have petitioned the Israeli Supreme Court asking that the court order the Prime Minister and the Interior Security Minister to act to quash the systematic provocations carried out by the Waqf staff against Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount. The appeal says the Waqf has hired dozens of new “guards” who follow Jewish groups as they walk around the Temple Mount compound, taunting and cursing them, taking their pictures and even rubbing against them intentionally, all in an effort to intimidate the visitors.

Prof. Ronen Shoval, chairman of PFSI, told Israel Radio Friday morning that “there has been a disproportionate increase of the number of Waqf personnel on Temple Mount. Their presence there is not passive, they’re there to look for frictions, in a manner that assaults the fundamental rights of Jewish visitors on the Temple Mount.”

“It’s become a form of abuse, and invasion of privacy,” Shoval added. “Not only is ascending to the Temple Mount being made [needlessly] complicated and difficult, limiting the time and length of visits, but once they’re up there, the Jews who ascend to the Temple Mount are actually being persecuted.”

“Unfortunately there’s no place in all of the Land of Israel where a Jew is feeling more in exile than on the Temple Mount,” Shoval concluded. “All the Jews who go up there suffer persecution by the Waqf personnel.”

JNi.Media

New Group Lending Legal Representation to Farmers Who Shoot Arab Burglars

Thursday, August 18th, 2016

Farmers at the Forefront, an initiative of the Regavim NGO whose mission is “to ensure responsible, legal, accountable & environmentally friendly use of Israel’s national lands and the return of the rule of law to all areas and aspects of the land and its preservation,” is offering free legal representation to Israeli farmers who have shot criminal invaders on their property.

“Feel abandoned? Afraid to sleep at night? Need counseling and legal defense? We’re on your side,” says a press release from the new organization, which sees itself as a bulwark against the plague of burglaries in Israeli owned farms both inside the green line and in Judea and Samaria.

The Regavim press release describes dozens of calls the group is receiving from farmers asking for legal counseling regarding invasions of their agricultural plots as well as their private domains in Kibbutz, Moshav, and private communities. One such individual was a farmer from the Aviam moshav in the Golan, who has endured years of harassment by criminals from the nearby Bedouin town of Tuba-Zangariyye. Two years ago he was attacked by three Bedouins who tried to injure him but was able to defend himself. The criminals then filed a complaint against him with local police which confiscated his legally licensed handgun.

Another was a framer from Yavne’el who’s been suffering from invasions of his grazing lands by the Bedouin villagers of Rumat al-Heib, who cut down his fences and cause additional damages. Finally they stole cows from his barnyard, and when he complained to police, the Border Guard policeman who arrived to investigate stole one of his calves, then closed the file “for lack of public interest.” After the Farmers at the Forefront became involved on the farmer’s behalf the case was reopened and the robber policeman was indicted.

“We believe that once there’s an address for the farmers to turn to, the burglars will understand eventually that it doesn’t pay to mess with them,” declares Farmers at the Forefront. “We can’t continue to abandon Israel’s farmers in the field, literally. They guard our land, so we will guard them, and until the State does what it’s supposed to — we’ll do it.”

If you’ve recently shot a burglar on your farm or need any other kind of advise on your thieving villager neighbors, write to agro.law@regavim.org or call 02-547-0022.

JNi.Media

Israel: Okay to Demolish 30 Illegal Structures in “Arab” Susiya

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

The State of Israel has the right to demolish 30 illegal structures built in the new and illegal Arab “village” of Susiya, according to a draft document to be submitted Wednesday to the High Court of Justice.

Although usually the Defense Ministry Civil Administration decides these issues, this time Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would make the call on whether or not to demolish the structures, rather than Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the document stated.

The prime minister’s review would take until the end of October, after the completion of the Jewish high holy days, after which time the state would inform the Court whether the shacks would be legalized, or demolished.

The state warned the Court, however, that legal remedies would remain in place against any new construction that appears in the area after 2014, and that laws against illegal construction would be enforced.

The Regavim nongovernmental organization (NGO) has consistently researched and litigated the case against any new building by Arabs from the Palestinian Authority in the area, which is completely under the control of Israel.

Regavim is calling on Israel to demolish all illegal structures post-2014, regardless of international pressure.

The United States and the European Union have for months been pressuring Israel to legalize the village. The European Union has in addition been encouraging the Palestinian Authority to continue illegal construction in Area C. In some cases, this activity has actually forced Israel to demolish structures built with funding, or directly, illegally built by the European Union itself.

Due to the sensitive diplomatic nature of the issue, the matter was sent directly to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) for attention.

The modern Jewish community, established in 1983 under the Mount Hebron Regional Council, is located next to the ancient city of Susiya, now an archaeological site featuring a 5th-8th CE synagogue with a magnificent mosaic floor, and the mosque that replaced it.

The site was formally declared an archaeological site in 1986 by the Israel Defense Ministry’s Civil Administration; the Arab population chose to locate its “village” precisely on the same spot.

The IDF expelled the squatters, who began with 25 families in 1986, despite opposition from the United Nations which claimed they were living in “houses” at the time. The Arab villagers were moved instead to a site few hundred meters southeast of the original ancient city.

Just 13 families comprised Arab Susiya in 2008. But as it became more fashionable in the international community to target Israel’s right to govern Area C of the Oslo Accords, Mount Hebron and the area around it rose to prominence as a key battleground. Arab Susiya did too, and by 2015 the “village” rose to its current population of 50 families, comprising several hundred people.

Hana Levi Julian

Rightwing Watchdog Urging Action on Fake Arab Settlement Susya [video]

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Israeli legal watchdog Regavim has appealed to its supporters in Israel and abroad to write to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman to take action against the illegal squatter camp in Susya. The call comes one day after the Israeli Supreme Court has given government a two-day extension on the deadline to deal with the issue through legal means.

There has been immense public pressure on the Netanyahu government by the US State Department, the European Union and dozens of anti-Israel NGOs, to halt the legal process of evicting the illegal Arab squatters who only arrived in Susya over the past few years. The Arabs’ assortment of lean-tos and tents borders on a legal Jewish community that was established by the government in 1986. Should Israel permit this illegal outpost to remain, in Area C of Judea and Samaria which was designated for Jewish settlements, more camps like it will soon dot the landscape everywhere inside the Jewish area of the “disputed territories,” enhancing the Arab side of the dispute.

Regavim released a video call-to-action in which the organization’s International Director Josh Hasten called on supporters to rally around the government as they deliberate on the fate of the squatters’ camp. Explaining the importance of the Susya case, Hasten says the Arab squatters “have set-up shop deliberately on an ancient Jewish town that existed 1,500 years ago — this is a litmus test to see if the government of Israel is willing to uphold the laws of the land.”

Hasten urges viewers to “get involved, let the Prime Minister know that the State of Israel and people of Israel are behind him and we are here to strengthen him in making this decision which is necessary to uphold the laws of the land.”

David Israel

US Warning Israel Not to Demolish Mythical Arab Village

Wednesday, August 10th, 2016

The US Administration has warned Israel against demolishing the Arab village of Susiya in south Mt. Hebron, according to a story in Ha’aretz this week. Both Israeli and American senior officials have warned that should Israel go ahead and demolish the village, US response would be harsh.

Susiya is a legitimate archaeological site in the southern Judean Mountains that bears the archaeological remains of a 5th century CE enormous synagogue, one of the largest and most magnificent ever discovered, which was turned into a mosque by the Arab invaders in the 8th century.

The name has bee usurped by Bedouins who have stayed in area caves during grazing season. It is also the name of a religious Jewish community established in 1983 under the jurisdiction of Mt. Hebron Regional Council. In 1986, the area of Susiya claimed by the Bedouin shepherds was declared an archeological site by Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), and the IDF expelled the Bedouins, who then moved a few hundred yards southeast of the original location.

The Zionist Regavim movement, whose goal is to reclaim areas of the land of Israel from Arab occupiers, has been conducting a bitter court battle to declare Bedouin Susiya illegal and to remove its structures, which are, for the most part, tents and lean-tos. It should be noted that since 1994 the Arabs have been establishing illegal settlements in the entire area between Jerusalem and Susiya, which Israeli governments have failed to challenge for more than two decades. Susiya is only the tip of the sand dune (somehow using the iceberg metaphor in August, just doesn’t work).

As Jewish Press Online reporter Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu wrote back in 2013 (The Saga of Ancient ‘Palestinian Susiya’ – The Town That Never Was), “None of the land was ever registered as owned by anyone. During the Ottoman Empire, and under the British Mandate, the rulers of Hebron would sit in their living rooms and parcel out lands arbitrarily. That was the extent of ‘ownership.’

“When Jews came to Beit Yatir, the Arabs followed. Three families from Yatta, a city adjacent to Hebron, fled because of family crimes, such as rape, and set up camp on a hill adjacent to Yatir, Their village quickly became known as the ‘Thieves’ Village,’ for obvious reasons. They claim, of course, that they have been living there from time immemorial.”

And now, apparently, the future of the Middle East depends on those few dozen shepherds getting to graze their flocks on rightfully owned Jewish land, and so, following intense propaganda from the Palestinian Authority, the US, the UK and the EU, as well as several international NGOs have been threatening that should Susiya be wiped off the map, they, Israel’s friends in the world, would find it difficult to continue defending it in international forums.

Israeli senior officials have told Israel’s many friends that at this point it has no intention to demolish the Susiya “homes” (a term that is being used generously), and that Israel would act based on the expected ruling of the Supreme Court. While Regavim has been pushing the case against the Bedouin enclave, a group called Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) has appealed the pending evacuation and demolishing of Susiya in the high court.

RHR is a foreign agent representing anti-Zionist entities in Europe and the US. Its annual budget of $1.6 million (most recently reported in 2014) is funded by AECID (Spain), European Commission, Misereor (Germany), Trocaire (Ireland), Norwegian Church (Norway), Kerk in Actie (Netherlands), Church of Sweden, Foundation for Middle East Peace (US), New Israel Fund, Social Justice Fund, and Moriah Fund (source: NGO Monistor).

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-warning-israel-not-to-demolish-mythical-arab-village/2016/08/10/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: