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April 16, 2014 / 16 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘representatives’

How Jerusalem’s Arabs Act Against Their Own Interests

Friday, October 18th, 2013

Originally published at Gatestone Institute.

As Israelis prepare to cast their ballots in the municipal elections next week, tens of thousands of eligible Arab voters in Jerusalem will once again boycott the democratic process.

In the past few days, the Palestinian Liberation Organization [PLO], Hamas and several other Palestinian organizations have called on the Arab residents of Jerusalem to stay away from the ballot boxes.

These organizations maintain that Arab participation in the municipal election would be interpreted as recognition of Israel’s decision to annex the eastern part of the city in the aftermath of the 1967 Israeli-Arab war.

As such, the vast majority of the Arab residents have since been boycotting the local election, mainly out of fear of being dubbed “traitors” by various Palestinian organizations.

But if anyone stands to lose from the boycott it is the Arabs themselves.

First, the boycott has done nothing to undermine Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. Some would even argue that Israeli dominion over the city has never been as strong as it is these days, especially in wake of the Arab residents’ failure to take part in crucial decisions concerning their neighborhoods and villages.

Second, the boycott has severely harmed the interests of the Arab residents, who have been denied the chance to have representatives in the municipal council who would fight for better services and the improvement of their living conditions. The Arabs make up 25-30% of the city’s eligible voters, which means that they could have 7-8 representatives in the 31-seat municipal council. The boycott has denied the Arabs the opportunity to be directly involved in the planning of their neighborhoods.

While it is true that some Arabs boycott the municipal elections for ideological reasons, there is no denying the fact that many are also afraid of being targeted by extremists if they present their candidacy or go to the ballot boxes.

A few Arabs who in the past dared to challenge the boycott have faced death threats. One of them was newspaper publisher Hanna Siniora, who back in 1987 announced his intention to run in the municipal election. Siniora’s car was torched by members of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a move that forced him to retract his candidacy.

Eleven years later, another Arab, Mussa Alayan, defied the boycott by running at the head of an independent list. He received fewer than 3,000 votes and did not make it to the city council. Alayan could have probably become the first Arab council member had he and his supporters not faced a brutal and violent campaign by Palestinian activists.

Yet while Arab residents are boycotting the election, most of them continue to deal with the same municipality which they are not supposed to recognize. They even continue to pay taxes and fees to the municipality.

The Jerusalem Municipality has more than 1,500 Arab employees, and its various departments continue to provide many services to the Arab neighborhoods and villages in the city. These activities are taking place despite the Arab boycott that has been in effect since 1967.

Arabs who complain about lack of municipal services often seek the help of representatives of left-wing parties in the municipal council, such as Meretz.

Today, many Arabs in Jerusalem are not afraid to declare openly that they prefer to live under Israeli rule, and not under that of the Palestinian Authority or Hamas. The problem remains, however, that the overwhelming majority is still afraid of the radicals.

What is needed is a strong Arab leadership that would not hesitate to stand up to the radicals and question their goals. Such a leadership would have to make it clear that there should be a complete separation between the political issues and the day-to-day affairs of Jerusalem’s Arab population.

Until such leaders emerge, the Arabs in Jerusalem will, by boycotting the municipal elections, unfortunately continue to act against their own interests.

Friends of IDF Event Spurned by Stevie Wonder Raises More Than $14 Million

Monday, December 10th, 2012

The Friends of the Israel Defense Forces fundraiser that singer Stevie Wonder pulled out of raised more than $14 million.

More than 1,400 people attended the event in Los Angeles to aid Israeli soldiers. Entertainment mogul Haim Saban and his wife, Cheryl chaired the gala. Saban is a national board member of the Friends of the Israel Defense Forces.

Actor Jason Alexander emceed the event, which featured a performance by David Foster and Friends. Surprise musical performances were presented by by “American Idol” winner Ruben Studdard and 10-time Grammy winner Chaka Khan.

Wonder had come under intense social media pressure to pull out of the event. An online petition calling on him to cancel his performance had garnered more than 3,600 signatures.

The Grammy-winning singer’s representatives cited a recommendation from the United Nations to withdraw his participation given his involvement with the U.N. Wonder as a Messenger of Peace of the world body. He had performed at a 1998 gala honoring Israel’s 50th anniversary.

Funds raised at the event will go toward Friends of the IDF’s well-being and educational programs for Israeli soldiers and the Negev Wellbeing and Educational Centers.

Hamas Terror Chief Openly Visits Gaza

Friday, December 7th, 2012

Hamas terror chief Khaled Mashaal openly arrived in Gaza on Friday, crossing through via Egypt.

Mashaal was met by representatives of both Hamas and Fatah.

Mashaal will be staying in Gaza for 3 days.

In 1997, Netanyahu nearly succeeded in killing Mashaal in retaliation for all the Hamas suicide bombings, but the Mossad operation in Jordan went sour, and Israel was forced to send an antidote.

Upon his arrival in Gaza, Mashaal said he wished for “God to give me martyrdom one day on this land.”

It’s Stupid Destruction Day!

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

You’re looking at the demolition of five buildings in the Ulpana neighborhood of the Jewish town of Beit-El, north of Jerusalem, November 27, 2012. The High Court has decided that the multi-family dwellings built by Jews were on a privately owned Palestinian land, and so they had to be demolished, in the name of justice, liberty and the pursuit of really crazy and wasteful choices.

In a country of law, if such a dispute erupts more than 10 years after an enclave of residential buildings had been erected and families had set roots there for close half a generation – a dispute between the land’s sellers, a dispute over a stupid missing document, a dispute fueled by “evidence” provided by the Ramallah-based officials of the great democratic state of Palestine – then the two sides would have gone to court and debated their opposing positions; then the court would have decided. And should the court have decided that the half of the Arab family that disagreed with the sale of the land was right, then the same court would have decided on an amount of money that either the other half of the family, or the innocent buyers, were to pay in compensation.

But to demolish the buildings? What insane, sociopathic judge would have decided on demolition as a remedy for injustice?

When the right wins the day – again – in the coming elections, before we do anything else, before we implement the Judge Levi recommendations, before we protest yet another Palestinian move for independence that reneges on all our mutually signed agreements, before we send the first IAF plane to hit back at Gaza for this or that volley of rockets at our civilians, before we do any of that – we must change the way we pick supreme court justices.

In a civilized country, the sovereign, which is the people (you, me, my wife, all of us) choose representatives and they decide who will be our high court judges. Once they decide, those judges are no longer under anybody’s thumb, totally independent. But to get there they must receive our approval.

Not so in Israel, where our elected representatives are a minority in the body that picks high court justices, and the older justices basically nominate their friends, family, the nice girl from Apt. B-2.

This has to stop, now, this is a travesty, this court is not enjoying the support of the people, it is, in fact, an enemy of the people. And the nice thing is, the people have the power to change this. So, let’s.

South Koreans Visit Israel to Help Their Own

Tuesday, November 13th, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai broadcasts from the offices of Nefesh B’Nefesh to talk about the visit of representatives from South Korea in order to gain knowledge regarding absorbing and matriculating large amounts of immigrants. Thousands of North Korean refugees have snuck across the border into South Korea and in order to assist, the South Koreans have looked towards Israel for guidance.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Neturei Karta Observe Arafat’s Yahrtzeit in Ramallah

Monday, November 12th, 2012

Last Sunday, representatives of Neturei Karta participated in the annual memorial service in Ramallah marking the day of the passing of PLO Chairman Yassir Arafat. They stood out in the crowd in their black clothes, each wearing identification tags over a background of a Palestinian flag.

During his speech at the gathering, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas restated his intention of petitioning the United Nation’s general assembly this month to grant the Palestinian Authority the status of an observer state.

Abbas said he is determined to carry out his plan, in spite of pressure and threats from the United States and Israel.

“We will make our request as early as this month, and, within a day or two, the Arab League will let us know exactly on which date this month to do it,” Abbas declared, adding: “Even though they don’t want us to petition the UN. We will not deny the legitimacy of Israel and we do not wish to deny it, but we do want to undermine the legitimacy of the settlements.”

Abbas also referred to the circumstances surrounding Arafat’s death eight years ago and said that Russian experts requested the Palestinian Authority to join the French and Swiss team which will investigate the “strange” death, as he put it.

Yedioth: Obama Advisor in Iran to Negotiate Ending Nuclear Weapons Program

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Yedioth Aharonoth has just published a story that appears so far to be a last-minute, pre-election leak from the Israeli prime minister’s office, regarding the presence in Iran of White House Senior Adviser Valerie Jarrett to “assist the U.S. government” in negotiating with a representatives of supreme leader Ali Khamenei. the termination of Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

Shiraz-born Valerie Bowman Jarrett is a Senior Adviser to the President, advising on Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. She is a Chicago-based attorney, businesswoman, and civic leader, who followed Obama from early in his career and is friends with Mrs. Obama.

As America Throws Israel Under the Bus…

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012

Generally reliable Shimon Shiffer reports in YNET:

The United States has indirectly informed Iran, via two European nations, that it would not back an Israeli strike against the country’s nuclear facilities, as long as Tehran refrains from attacking American interests in the Persian Gulf, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Monday.

According to the report, Washington used covert back-channels in Europe to clarify that the US does not intend to back Israel in a strike that may spark a regional conflict.

In return, Washington reportedly expects Iran to steer clear of strategic American assets in the Persian Gulf, such as military bases and aircraft carriers.

In “liberal-speak”, pundits say that countries don’t have allies, they have interests.  That’s incorrect; political leaders have interests…countries still have allies.

I hope that other representatives of the USA will stand with Israel, since it appears the current President would rather throw Israel under the bus…”Hey Iran, stay clear of us, and you can bomb Israel as much as you want.”

Thanks.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/as-america-throws-israel-under-the-bus/2012/09/04/

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