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April 19, 2014 / 19 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘representatives’

Mordechai Kedar: Tribal Democracy

Friday, July 13th, 2012

At the end of last week, for the first time in its history, free democratic elections were held in Libya for the 200 members of the Transitional Legislative Council; 120 “independent” members, meaning representatives of tribes and cities, and 80 representatives from nationwide political parties. As of this writing, the official results have still not been publicized, but according to the assessment of observers, Islamic forces have won a minority of seats in parliament. It should be mentioned that during the past year a Salafi jihadist stream led by Abd al-Hakim Belhadj appeared in Libya, which was a cause of very great concern to some external observers.

Libya is a desert country, part of the dry, arid Great Sahara Desert. Life in the desert constrains its residents to live within a family framework, the size of which is limited by available sources of livelihood in the desert environment. Near a spring and its vegetation, which provides food and drink for them and their flocks, they would prefer to remain within a larger framework which would enable them to defend the sources of their livelihood. But in this arid environment of scant resources, they practice that which Abraham said to Lot in the Judean Desert “Please part from me” (Genesis 13: 9) and thus they live within smaller frameworks. The smaller the group, the more solidarity, toughness and cruelty is demanded in order to defend itself, its sources of livelihood and the honor of its daughters and wives from outsiders,

In Libya there is another factor which has had the effect of increasing tribal cohesion, and this is the dictatorial control of Qadhaffi. In the context of life under a dictator, in which the tribe also serves as a defense of the individual against the oppression of the regime, the regime must work with the tribe, which defends the individual, in such a way as to arrive at agreements with the tribe and to honor its autonomy, its leaders and its laws and customs. The desert tribe gives its members immunity from the state apparatuses; the situation of the Bedouin in the Negev vis a vis the Israeli government and in Sinai vis a vis the Egyptian government, are a good examples of this.

The conditions of the desert together with the dictatorship of Qadhaffi created a situation where the great majority of the Libyan population was engaged in an ongoing battle against the forces of nature and the cruelty of man. This situation strengthened the tribal frameworks and turned them into fearless and merciless fighting militiamen. The difficulties create toughness, the battle justifies violence and the problems strengthen solidarity. This situation explains why Qadhaffi had to be so cruel in order to impose his rule upon the population, because there must be a match between the level of violence practiced by a society and the violence that a regime must use in order to subdue a society to submit to his authority for an extended period. There are rumors in Libya that the number of kalashnikovs possessed by the populace is twice the number of residents. Even if this rumor is an exaggeration, it is not far from the bitter and violent reality of this state, because people have weapons and will use them whenever a disagreement arises between them, and where a society engages in blood feuds, it is very difficult to put an end to them, and they continue for a long time and cause many casualties.

The Western democratic model is built on a basic rule, which is that everyone – individuals as well as groups – is constrained not to act with violence but to conduct disagreements and conflicts between them in a legitimate way, not by violence. Another rule is the importance of the individual who goes to the poll and votes according to his conscience, not according to the dictates of his family. However the elimination of the tribal framework and its function is an impossible task in the short run, and therefore young democracies must allow traditional, ethnic, tribal, religious and sectarian frameworks to express themselves, within a young democratic system. This forces it to fight for its legitimacy and survival vis a vis long-standing frameworks that are traditional, legitimate, strong, and sometimes violent .

Ulpana Residents Surrender to Government Evacuation Order

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

A press release issued by the residents of Ulpana Hill in Beit El reveals that over the past ten days representatives of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak negotiated with Rabbi Zalman Melamed, dean of the Beit El yeshiva which owns the Ulpana homes, as well as with community leaders including head of the Beit El municipality Moshe Rosenboim. The negotiations yielded a guaranteed deal to build 300 housing units in exchange for the ones being evacuated following a High Court decision.

Ulpana residents’ spokesman Harel Cohen told the Jewish Press emotions ran deep among the locals, who still see the entire affair as the manipulation of Israel’s government by a minute and well financed leftist cadre, against the wishes of Israel’s voters and their representatives.

Cohen said that he and his neighbors were comforted by the fact that as the negotiations were going on, several dozen babies were born to Jewish families in Judea and Samaria, who will soon enough shift the demographic balance once and for all and bolster Jewish rule over the Jewish homeland.

Rabbi Melamed mourned the unavoidable decision, saying it was like a father being told he had to give up a son and in return would receive ten others.

“But we are men of peace,” the press release concluded. “Struggles between brothers tear up the entire public, and especially our own public, and depletes creative powers which will better serve in rebuilding the nation and the land.”

Altogether, 33 families will be evacuated.

Israel’s Army  Radio reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will bring the deal before to the new ministerial committee on the settlements on Wednesday.

Iranian Parliament Acting to Curb Ahmadinejad’s Power

Wednesday, March 7th, 2012

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad may no longer be as popular with Iran’s powers that be as he used to be.

Mehr, the semi-official Iranian news agency, is reporting that the Majlis, Iran’s parliament, has approved a proposal calling for the removal of the President from the general assembly of representatives of shareholders of major companies affiliated with the Oil Ministry, including the National Iranian Oil Company.

Of the 195 MPs present for the Majlis session on Wednesday, 131 lawmakers voted in favor of the proposal, one voted against it, and 7 abstained.

According to the new law, Iran’s Oil Minister will replace the President as the Chairman of the General Assembly, who is accountable for the performance of the National Iranian Oil Company.

Supporters of the new ratification say it will help facilitate access to the Chairman of the General Assembly.

Meanwhile, Tehran Times reports that President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad will appear before the parliament to answer questions on March 14.

The decision to summon president to the Majlis was made on February 7 after MPs were not convinced by the answers provided by the president’s representatives at a meeting held to discuss the reasons behind irregularities by the administration.

The President is expected to answer questions about the administration’s failure to fully disburse the funds allocated for the Tehran Metro, the failure to meet economic growth target of 8 percent set for the Iranian calendar year of 1389 (ended on March 20, 2011), poor implementation of the subsidy reform plan; the president’s alleged resistance to accept the Supreme Leader’s decree to reinstate the intelligence minister; the president’s remarks about the status of the Majlis; the failure to implement the law to establish the Sports and Youth Ministry and nominate the minister at the appointed time; the dismissal of the former foreign minister while on a diplomatic mission in Senegal; the administration’s poor performance in regard to cultural plans, and the president’s support for the promotion of the Iranian school of thought instead of the Islamic school of thought and his support for the deviant current.

In recent parliamentary elections in Iran, supporters of the Ayatollah Ali Khameini did better than supporters of Ahmadinejad. Both sides are radical and messianic, and both seek to develop nuclear weapons.

MK Ben-Ari: Outgoing Court Chief Beinisch Destroyed Public Trust in the Justice System

Wednesday, February 29th, 2012

MK Michael Be-Ari (National Union) certainly makes the top five list of Knesset straight shooters, which is why he did not hesitate Tuesday to crash the wall of politeness set up by the powers that be on the day Supreme Court President Dorit Beinisch left office.

Ben-Ari told Kippa that he was delighted Beinisch was leaving, after five and a half years, because she “destroyed public trust in the justice system. Under her gavel, the court became the possession of Balad [The left-wing, Arab-dominated 'Democratic National Alliance' that has 3 seats in the Knesset].”

According to Ben-Ari, Beinisch “instituted discriminatory and racist policies against Jews. Illegal construction by Arabs are kosher, but when Jews built a hut in an outpost,  Beinisch got up in the middle of the night in her pajamas to order its destruction.”

“We will not forget nor forgive Beinisch and her fellow justices their abuse of the uprooted settlers of Gush Katif. Amazingly, the same judges who freed rapists, drug dealers, and Arab rioters, saying that detention must only be used in exceptional cases, had no problem throwing into prisons for long terms boys and girls without criminal records, whose only sin was that they protested against the deportation.”

Ben-Ari’s colleague at the National Union faction MK Ya’akov (Ketzale) Katz also expressed joy at Beinisch’s retirement. He accused Beinisch of appropriating an authority she did not rightfully possess, taking liberties with the management of the state, revoking key legislation, and taking the law into her own hands.

“Who gave her permission?” Katz asked at the Jerusalem Conference Tuesday. “She was never elected; the High Court is not allowed to annul laws enacted by the representatives of the people.”

Intensive Campaign for Jewish Rights on Temple Mount Launched

Thursday, February 16th, 2012

According to Tmount.org, a blog dedicated to all things related to the Temple Mount, a campaign for Jewish rights on the Temple Mount has been launched.

30 senior activists from Temple Mount groups and organizations around Israel recently convened an unprecedented meeting, and resolved to begin pooling their resources and work in coordination to attain their goals of expanding the rights of Jews on the Temple Mount.

Details of the planned projects were not released, due to the sensitive inter-religious issues that beset the Temple Mount, but Tmount.org reported that the projects will likely be launched within the next few months.

Among the organizations that participated in the historic meeting were Hatenua Lekinun HaMikdash (Movement for Temple Renewal); El Har Hashem (Temple Mount Advocacy Council); Nashim Lman Har HaBayit (Women of the Mount); The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation; and El Har HaMor.

The increased activism comes in the wake of a scathing press release by the Zionist Organization of America (ZOA), which lambasted the Israeli government for its discriminatory treatment of Jews on the Temple Mount. The press release highlighted the measures police employ to ‘guard the calm’, including being “followed and filmed by Israeli police and representatives of the Wakf” and “arrests for ‘crimes,’ such as – praying, even silently if one’s lips are moving.”

Evacuation of Mitzpe Avichai – Beyond the Pale

Friday, January 13th, 2012

Beyond what’s decent. Way beyond what can be accepted with equanimity:

There are legal arguments over Jewish communities — “settlements” or “outposts” — in Judea and Samaria. We can take a stand against the government position regarding some (or all) of these. Presumably (ideally) those arguments can be pursued in courts and via negotiation, with dignity. Presumably if in the end the government or the IDF or the civil administration (appointed by the IDF) in Judea and Samaria or the court decides a particular settlement or outpost must come down, that, too, can be done with dignity — with decent Jewish respect.

But that’s not what happened last night in Mitzpe Avichai, outside of Kiryat Arba (which is itself adjacent to Hevron). Police and representatives of the civil administration, after first blocking roads, came in the small hours of the morning, roused families from their beds, ordered them outside and destroyed their temporary homes. There was a light rain falling and the temperature was close to the freezing point.

Ten structures were destroyed, nine of which were inhabited. I believe the tenth was a synagogue. Among the families so evicted were several children and babies. The Flaishman family, by itself, for example, has seven children. Miriam, the mother of these children, said, “They arrived in the middle of the night. It was brutal. I woke up after they broke down the door and were already in the living room.”

This is simply unacceptable.

Whether it was legal for those buildings to stand or not becomes an issue that is secondary. Children and babies have rights. The police and civil administration have obligations.

And yet…I read in YNet that, “No unusual events were reported during the eviction of the outpost…” By this is meant, of course, that there was no violence and the residents did not fight back. But to depict the night-time eviction of youngsters and babies into a freezing rain as not an unusual event?

It is my understanding, based on information from a knowledgeable source, that representatives of the government recently testified before the Knesset committee on the rights of the child, and offered verbal assurances that in instances where “outposts” are taken down children will be appropriately provided for.

The residents of Mitzpe Avichai have said they are not deterred and will rebuild. I will follow with information regarding the legal situation as I can secure it.

~~~~~~~~~~

But the moral issue supersedes the legal issue in my opinion. I ask you PLEASE to contact Prime Minister Netanyahu without delay. On this issue especially it is important to keep the message succinct and clear. No speeches, no history lessons. Just a direct statement, which is more powerful:

Tell him that official action on the part of the government or its representatives that brings children and babies from their beds into a freezing cold rain in the middle of the night, as just happened at Mitzpe Avichai, is shameful and morally unacceptable. As he is the head of the government, you hold him accountable to make certain that it does not happen again.

This is sufficient of itself. If you wish to add one further thought, tell him that you know that the legislation that has been proposed that deals with preventing unnecessary dismantlement of settlements addresses the rights of children. Right now that legislation is frozen and it is in his hands to make certain that it advances speedily.

Change the wording of the above just a bit, so that it is clear that what you are saying represents your personal sentiments.

Fax: 02-670-5369 (From the US: 011-972-2-670-5369)

E-mail: Memshala@pmo.gov.il and also pm_eng2@it.pmo.gov.il (underscore after pm) use both addresses

This is one of those instances in which numbers count. Netanyahu needs to hear from a great many people — and before the beginning of Shabbat here, please!

Attack on N.J. Synagogue Being Treated as Murder Attempt

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

An explosive thrown through the window of a New Jersey synagogue and residence is being treated as attempted murder, the Bergen County prosecutor said.

The latest in a string of attacks that have hit the county’s synagogues recently took place Wednesday morning at Congregation Beth El in Rutherford. The Orthodox synagogue also doubles as a home for its rabbi, Nosson Schuman, and his family.

Schuman suffered slight burns as a result of the explosive, The Record newspaper reported. No one else was hurt.

In the past month, synagogues have been attacked in Paramus, Maywood and Hackensack. Police are unsure if the attacks are related.

Prosecutor John Molinelli will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday to talk about the recent attacks.

A previously scheduled meeting involving law enforcement and representatives of 80 synagogues and Jewish day schools to discuss enhanced security measures in the wake of the attacks will be held Thursday.

“This is getting out of control, this is so troublesome,” Joy Kurland, director of Jewish Community Relations for the Jewish Federation of Northern New Jersey, which is organizing the meeting, told The Record. “This is beyond comprehension that someone could do such horrible harm to a rabbi and his family.”

The Anti-Defamation League is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to arrest of the perpetrators.

Immigrant Absorption Minister: ‘Ethiopian Immigrants Should Be Grateful To Israel’

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Immigrant Absorption Minister and Yisrael Beitenu MK Sofa Landver said on Wednesday that Ethiopian immigration representatives in the Knesset should be grateful to Israel.

Landver made the comments during an emergency session held by the Knesset Committee for Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs to investigate the issue of discrimination against Ethiopians in Kiryat Malachi. She was responding to an Ethiopian representative, Gadi Desta, who told the MKs that “apartheid” was taking place.

The emergency session was convened against the backdrop of a news report that local homeowners’ committees in Kiryat Malachi consistently refuse to sell or rent property to Ethiopians.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/immigrant-absorption-minister-ethiopian-immigrants-should-be-grateful-to-state/2012/01/11/

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