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June 29, 2016 / 23 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘rightwing’

Report: Undercover Policeman Incited Rightwing Jews to Harm Arabs

Sunday, June 19th, 2016

According to the Honenu legal aid society, Israel’s secret police has been operating at least one agent provocateur in an attempt to trap rightwing activists in the performance of extremist acts. Honenu has dubbed the undercover officer Champagne 2.

Shortly after the capture of Prime Minister Rabin’s murderer Yigal Amir, Israelis learned that Amir had been guided and controlled by a Shabak agent named Avishai Raviv, whose code name was Champagne and whose mission, many believed, was to encourage and fabricate activities of right-wing extremists. He was, for instance, the behind the poster showing Rabin in an SS uniform, just days before the murder, making sure it appeared on the news. And there was testimony cited in at least one newspaper article that Raviv was urging Amir to kill the prime minister. In his trial, Raviv was able to get off by saying he was merely carrying out his duties as an agent provocateur.

The new undercover agent provocateur has been posing for two year as a member of the Lehava organization, and used his fake identity to incite Jewish activists over Whatsapp and Facebook. The officer was exposed after he had tried last week to recruit an informer from a Samaria community. The latter called on Honenu for legal advice and informed the officer he was not interested.

The officer contacted him for about 15 times from two different phone numbers, which the resident kept on his smartphone. Later, when the same resident entered a Whatsapp group where he is a member, he spotted the same number the officer had used to call him, but now the user was presenting himself as one of the gang of Jewish extremists, just aching to hurt himself some Arabs.

The Samaria resident approached the group leader who quickly removed the officer, and the latter protested, claiming that his name was Miro Amzaleg and that he was a Lehava activist from Jerusalem. But when he was challenged to come up with anyone who knows him in Lehava he was only able to provide names of people he had been in virtual contact with.

The undercover officer’s Facebook page, which has since been taken down, offered posts containing incitements against Arabs. One shares a story about the Jewish man who later burned down the bilingual school in Jerusalem, with the comment: No Arabs, No Terror Attacks. According to Honenu, the fact that the post was dated about a month before the arson might suggest that the agent provocateur was involved in inciting the man, Shlomi Tuito, to carry out the crime. There were several other posts that could be seen as calculated provocations of young and easily influenced fringe Jews, similar in profile to Yigal Amir.

One telling episode had to do with the picture of Rabbi Kahane’s grandson Meir Ettinger on the morning of his release from administrative detention earlier this month, a picture which the undercover officer posted online ahead of all the other media. The fact was Ettinger had been let out of jail earlier than scheduled and was left standing there, waiting for his family to come pick him up. No one else had the picture, and when reporters and activists asked “Amzaleg” how he got it, he said his relative, a prison guard, had sent it to him. But a quick investigation revealed that Ettinger had been standing in the company of three police detectives who handed him his release papers and shot his pictures from every conceivable angle. The detectives were the only possible source for the image, and when the agent posted it he outed himself.

Honenu is in the process of examining two-years’ worth of correspondence the officer had kept with activists, and they intend to turn them into a lawsuit. The officer is known to Honenu as a recruiter of Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria to inform on their neighbors. That part, as repulsive as it may sound, is not illegal. However, Honenu officials contend, for the same police officer to be involved in inciting young Jews to commit acts of violence against Arabs should be grounds for suspension, followed by dismissal.

Police on Sunday refused to comment on intelligence operations.

David Israel

11 Rightwing Questions to Incoming Defense Minister Lieberman

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

As the coalition deal between Prime Minister Netanyahu and Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman is about to be signed, and Lieberman will be assuming his new role as Defense Minister, replacing the ousted Moshe Ya’alon, many on the right have been wondering how exactly would things change from one minister to the next, and would Lieberman be able, or willing, to act on his many past declarations. The new appointee has already apologized for the names he called the prime minister: “liar, cheat and scoundrel,” and his government: “defeatist.”

“I confess that in the heat of political debates some unnecessary things were said which I shouldn’t have said,” Liberman told his party members in the Knesset last week. “Moreover — I apologize for what I said, there was no justification for it, even if we don’t reach an understanding in the coalition negotiations, these things were unnecessary.”

Lieberman has also been critical of the Netanyahu government’s defense policy, which he said was aimed at containing rather than eradicating terrorism. He promised that, if he ever became defense minister (be careful what you wish for), his first move would be to demand that Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh return the bodies of Israeli soldiers the group has kept since 2014, or else, “in two days you’re dead.” Assuming Lieberman receives his appointment today, should Haniyeh prepare for his Thursday assassination?

Another test of the Lieberman approach to the defense ministry will be coming up in eight days, when the month of Ramadan begins. Traditionally, the Israeli security apparatus prepares for eruptions of Arab violence, and also tries to prevent it through gestures that ease the limits on Arab movement, on permits to visit the holy sites in Jerusalem, and even on entry permits to enjoy Israel’s beaches. Will Lieberman encourage the same positive approach under his rule?

We at the Jewish Press online came up with a list of issues we will be following up during the Lieberman administration at the Defense Ministry, and the reader is invited to add more items:

1. Will DM Lieberman suspend the demolition and moving of the Amona homes?

2. Will DM Lieberman change the rules of engagement, freeing security forces from the obligation to protect the civil rights of terrorists?

3. Will DM Lieberman openly adopt the Edmund Levy report recommendations, and work with Justice Minister Shaked to impose Israeli law on Area C, where Jewish communities have been living under martial law for almost 50 years?

4. Will DM Lieberman support AG Avichai Mandelblit’s plan to compel PA claimants on property sales to settle for equal market value property elsewhere — should they prove their claim in court, rather than order the demolition of already built homes which have been paid for?

5. How far is DM Lieberman willing to take his idea of imposing the Death Penalty on terrorists? He alluded this week to relying on the military courts in Judea and Samaria to use their judgment, but military courts receive their directives from the person at the helm — so, are we going to see murderers of innocent Israeli civilians being put to death?

6. Will DM Lieberman allow faster and less restrictive approval for construction in Settlements and in eastern Jerusalem?

7. Will DM Lieberman stop the Administrative Detentions and Distancing Orders of Jews, which his predecessor imposed with much glee, without charges, without indictment and certainly without proof?

8. How will DM Lieberman deal with the PA’s half billion dollar debt to the Israeli electric company?

9. How will DM Lieberman deal with the shipments of cement to Gaza that are being diverted by Hamas (and which have been renewed this week by COGAT?

10. Will DM Lieberman approve an offshore Gaza port, which Turkey has been asking for?

11. Will DM Lieberman implement a subsidy plan to help Gazans emigrate to safer countries?

We concede that most of these questions require more than a yes or no answer (although a few do). But on all of them it was clear what the pre-defense ministry Lieberman’s position has been. We intend to follow-up on his application of those principles.

David Israel

Analysis: An Afternoon of Hard Maneuvering May Yield New Defense Minister and 67-Member Rightwing Coalition

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Israeli media reported Wednesday evening that MK Avigdor Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) has accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to join his government and receive the portfolios of Defense and Immigrant Absorption — which is a nice package considering Liebrman is only adding six seats to the coalition.

But what a difference six seats make. With the budget vote coming up this Summer Session, Netanyahu will be able to breathe easy. Last session, three rogue members of his Likud faction chose to abstain from voting just to make a point, which helped derail some government legislation, awarding undeserved wins to the opposition. With 67 members, the fourth Netanyahu government can live out its entire four-year term.

Also, unlike the earlier potential coalition partner, Isaac Herzog’s left-leaning Zionist Camp, Lieberman is a natural fit in the current government. When he ended his 90 minute private meeting with the PM (which followed the PM’s meeting with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, where the latter was given his walking papers), most of Likud’s senior ministers were quick to congratulate and welcome him back into the fold. Liebrman really is no stranger to Likudniks — from 1993 to 1996, with Netanyahu in place as party chairman, Lieberman served as the Likud party’s director-general. When Netanyahu was elected to his first term as prime minister, Lieberman served as director-general of the prime minister’s office, the equivalent of the White House chief of staff, from 1996 to 1997. With a few noted exceptions, Lieberman has been to the right of Netanyahu, and left his side to start Yisrael Beiteinu in 1999 over concessions Netanyahu granted the Palestinians in the 1997 Wye River Memorandum. But these days there’s very little daylight between Lieberman and the majority of the Likud Knesset faction.

In addition to Netanyahu’s need for coalition stability, the other issue behind Wednesday’s dramatic change was the growing gap between Defense Minister Ya’alon and the rest of the Likud party, which could have put Netanyahu’s future in danger had he continued to be associated with his DM. In several key episodes in the country’s fractious confrontations with Arab terrorists, Ya’alon appeared to be going out of his way to drag the Netanyahu government to the left.

Last Purim, an IDF medic in Hebron shot and killed a terrorist who had already been neutralized by six bullets to his body. The soldier’s commanders on the ground planned to give him a disciplinary hearing at the time, but an Arab B’Tselem agent shot and released a video of the event, and shortly thereafter military police picked up the medic on murder charges. Ya’alon supported the MP and the military prosecutors, despite an unprecedented wave of protest against the IDF brass that frightened Netanyahu. The PM met with the Medic’s father, the charges were reduced to manslaughter and the case may yet be dismissed, but the PM felt that his DM had stuck him in an untenable spot with the Likud diehard rightwing voters.

Then came the notorious Holocaust Memorial Day speech of the IDF deputy chief of staff, who compared, albeit not directly, episodes such as the Hebron shooting of the terrorist to the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany. Again, Netanyahu’s core voters were outraged. He ordered his DM to extract and apology from the general, but the IDF would not apologize, and denied the charges instead.

Finally, there were the terrorists’ bodies. On several occasions, Netanyahu opposed returning the bodies of killed terrorists to their families for burial without some cost, the least of which would be to let them wait a few days, or weeks, as a deterrence to others. In early May, against Netanyahu’s explicit request, Ya’alon ordered the return of the body of a terrorist who had been killed after attacking and wounding three IDF soldiers, one critically, with his car. Then the IDF said something preachy about having no interest in detaining the bodies, ostensibly as political chips.Netanyahu was livid. Anyone who was following those events and understood the growing resentment in Likud against Ya’alon, could see that his days at the helm were numbered.

It isn’t clear whether Netanyahu was very smart or just very lucky when he allowed himself to be talked by his finance minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu) into inviting MK Isaac Herzog to join his coalition government. On its face the move looked crazy if not stupid: for one thing, it wasn’t at all certain that more than half of the Zionist Camp MKs would make the switch over, seeing as they view Netanyahu as the poison tree that must be uprooted, not the shade tree for their top members to sit on lucrative portfolios. So the most Bibi would have gotten were 15 or 16 new MKs, but at the cost of Naftali Bennett’s Habayit Hayehudi 8 seats, which would have netted him only 7 or 8 additional seats — but would have alienated his rightwing voters. So why did he embark on this apparent fool’s errand? Like we said, either because he is frighteningly clever or frighteningly lucky.

Avigdor Liebrman’s mission from the first day of the 20th Knesset has been to topple Netanyahu’s government and come back after the next elections as the most viable rightwing leader. This is why he refused Netanyahu’s repeated courting in the spring of 2015, and continued to bide his time in the opposition, together with Arabs and leftists, the people he dislikes the most—waiting for his chance. He figured, when the time came, with a big enough issue, and with Bibi’s rogue MKs doing their bit, Lieberman could deliver the deadly blow to Netanyahu, with a resounding vote of no confidence.

But when it started to look as if the Zionist Camp was going to boost Bibi’s numbers beyond the point of toppling, Lieberman realized it was time to shelf his revenge plan and get inside the tent before he’d lose any hope of leaving an impression on his voters this term. And so, seemingly out of the blue, Lieberman gathered a press conference in the afternoon, even as Bibi was scolding Bogie (Lauren Bacall’s nickname for Humphrey Bogart which somehow stuck with Ya’alon during his long and decorated military service) — and the Russian refusnik of yesterday suddenly started to play a serenade to Bibi on his balalaika. For the right price—defense and absorption, and the right terms—the death penalty for terrorists, for instance, he and his Yisrael Beiteinu are definitely ready to jump in.

Netanyahu may have been clever or lucky, but Lieberman was, without a doubt, brilliant. He may appear from this day on as serving Netanyahu, but it will be the PM who’ll be forced to do his bidding on security, because it is Lieberman and not Netanyahu who speaks for the rightwing Likud voters. If Bibi flinches at one of Lieberman’s calls (which the latter will issue politely and calmly) — then Bibi’s voters could easily go for the alternative. Say what you will about Avigdor Lieberman, but he could teach a class on maneuvering to a school of sharks.

As a result of all of the above, and should the coalition talks between Bibi Netanyahu and Yvette Lieberman be successful, Israel will have its first truly rightwing government ever. The Haredim are concerned about the draft, but it’s doubtful the new DM will focus on that hornet’s nest at this stage of his new career. If he does, it would bring a quick and unhappy ending to the 20th Knesset.

The one remaining unknown at this point is Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, who really wanted to bring the Zionist Camp into the government and is now stuck to the left of Netanyahu, and with polls that show his Kulanu party dropping from 10 to 7 seats come next elections, while his identical twin, Lapid, is projected to win 19 or 20 seats next time around. Kahlon could kill this latest coalition deal in a kamikaze departure followed by resounding vote of no confidence, at which point nothing could save Bibi’s fourth government.

Oh, what interesting times we’re having.

David Israel

Survey: Rightwing Jews More Comfortable Speaking Out in Israel than Counterparts

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

Rightwingers are more comfortable speaking their mind in Israel, according to a survey published on Sunday by the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI), an Israeli non-profit, independent professional policy planning think tank. The survey was conducted as part of the Jewish pluralism in Israel Index with the support of the Davidson Foundation. According to the survey, half the people who align themselves with the left do not feel comfortable speaking out in Israel, as compared with an absolute majority of people who are aligned with the right — more than 90% — who feel “very comfortable” or “quite comfortable” expressing themselves in the Jewish State.

The survey was conducted for JPPI among 1,000 respondents, out of whom 30.4% described themselves as completely secular, 20.8% secular and a bit traditional, 22.5% traditional, 4% liberal religious, 10.3% religious, and 10.1% ultra-Orthodox.

The survey examined the image of different population groups in Israel, and their perception in relation to their contribution to the success of the state. It revealed that IDF soldiers are perceived as the most positive group, substantially ahead of any other group. At the bottom of the list are two groups which tend not to serve in the army: Muslims and Haredim. The Druze, in comparison, are very high on the sympathy ladder. Also, diaspora Jews are more popular than Israelis who chose to move abroad.

The researchers posed a string of seemingly contradictory questions: more than 60% of Israeli Jews said they favor civil marriages in Israel, but at the same time more than half objected to the possibility of “Jews marrying non-Jews.”

The majority of the Jews in Israel believe women should not be permitted to put on tefillin at the Western Wall, while 56% of Jewish respondents believe Israel must be more considerate of the views of minority groups. Nevertheless, the majority of Jews believe “secular, traditional and religious are equally good Jews.”

Interestingly and perhaps disturbingly, almost 48% believe there’s too much freedom of expression in Israel.

The term “Jewish pluralism” is defined by JPPI for the purpose of the survey as “a situation in which Jews in Israel and around the world, from different social, ideological and religious groups, regardless of their sex and ethnicity, will have an equal opportunity to express their differences in public.”

JNi.Media

German Rightwing Party Calling for Ban on Islam as Leftists Clash with Police

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The rightwing party Alternative for Germany has declared that “Islam does not belong in Germany” as part of its new party manifesto which was passed on Sunday. “An orthodox Islam that does not respect our constitution or even contradicts it is incompatible with our legal system and culture,” the manifesto declares.

The Alternative for Germany (Alternative für Deutschland, or AfD), led by Frauke Petry and Jörg Meuthen, is a rightwing, Eurocentric political party founded in 2013. The party won 4.7% of the national vote in the 2013 federal election, just short of the 5% electoral threshold. In 2014 the party won 7.1% of the votes and 7 out of 96 German seats in the European election, and joined forces the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group. As of March 2016 the AfD had gained representation in eight German state parliaments.

Current opinion polls give AfD as much as 14% of the vote in the 2017 national elections, a figure that could grow depending on immigration-related events over the summer. Even at 14%, the AfD would make the big parties’ job of coalition cobbling next to impossible.

An estimated crowd of 2,000 AfD members came to Stuttgart to discuss and adopt the manifesto during a two-day party congress that opened Saturday, complete with violent protests from leftist demonstrators. Some 2,000 leftwingers clashed with police on Saturday as they tried to break up the AfD conference. An estimated 500 leftists were detained and 10 police officers were injured, a police spokesman said.

The AfD manifesto includes a ban on foreign financing of the construction and operation of mosques, rejection of minarets and muezzin calls as Islamic symbols of power, and a ban on head scarves for girls and women in state schools. The party congress considered and rejected a proposal to ban immigration, “in particular from foreign cultures.” Instead, the new platform says, “We welcome immigrants who are qualified for the labor market and who are willing to integrate into society.”

The platform calls for the deportation of foreigners with a criminal record. It also bans the slaughtering of animals according to Muslim and Jewish laws.

Ah, well, that was to be expected.

JNi.Media

Rightwing Activists Torch PA Flag Outside Ya’alon’s Office [video]

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

Rightwing activists Michael Ben-Ari and Baruch Marzel (Jewish Power), and Bentzi Gopstein (Lehava) on Thursday set a PA flag on fire outside the Rabin Gate of the IDF command camp in midtown Tel-Aviv, near Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon’s office.

The torching was done in retaliation for the disciplinary punishments imposed on two Kfir brigade soldiers who confiscated and torched a PA flag at a check post near Sh’chem.

David Israel

Hotovely Revamps Foreign Office Training Adding Right-Wing Teachers, Jewish Studies

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

(JNi.media) The days of Israeli Diplomats siding with the Palestinian Authority’s cause, or embarrassing themselves with their lack of familiarity with the Jewish prayer book, are over. Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) and Ministry Director-General Dr. Dore Gold have altered the new course for diplomatic cadets starting Sunday at the College of Statesmanship in Jerusalem, with changes including compulsory tours in Judea and Samaria, lectures from faculty who are affiliated with the right side of the political spectrum, Jewish studies, and a class on the justification for Jewish settlements in regard to international law, Israel Hayom reported.

Hotovely said that she added several educational topics to the training course, primarily helping Israel’s future diplomats to acquire tools to deal with contemporary issues challenging Israeli information dissemination, including knowledge of international law regarding the legality of Jewish settlements, knowledge of the laws of war in light of Israel’s struggle against terrorism, and defending Israel in debates of ethics and warfare.

In a recent Facebook post, Hotovely reported on a lecture she had delivered at the College of Statesmanship, on the topic of An Ethical Foreign Policy, revealing “things that not everybody knows about Israel’s foreign affairs, because they don’t receive media exposure.”

“Israel is a beacon of science and technology development for large parts of the world. World powers such as India and Japan, and other countries in the East and in the rest of the world, see Israel as a trailblazer in providing solutions to 21st century problems,” Hotovely said, adding that, “in meetings with officials of all countries, the themes that emerge are Israeli developments in medicine, agriculture, water infrastructure, technology, and security.”

“Israel’s shop window displays more and more contribution to humanity,” Hotovely noted in her lecture. “The best propaganda is the economic value of Israel alongside strengthening the moral prowess of Israel in the world. It is important to recognize and understand this aspect of Israel’s foreign policy.”

Pundits and politicians on the right have complained for years that the training course for diplomatic cadets conducted by the Foreign Ministry has had a leftist bias, and that the way to change it is by changing the teaching staff. But Foreign Ministry senior officials told Israel Hayom they consider the claims “absurd,” noting that the course does offer tours of Judea and Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. They called the news about the revamping “a spin on Hotovely’s part.”

However, an examination of the changes show at least a refreshing of the existing program, if not something more radical: there will be a tour of the City of David, near the Temple Mount, guided by David Be’eri, one of the heads of the Jewish community there; a tour of the Jordan Valley with Major General (Res) Uzi Dayan; and a guided observation of the city of Sh’chem with Benny Katzover, one of the leaders of Jewish settlement in Samaria. Also, the course will include a visit to the Barkan industrial park, to witness first hand the reality of Arabs working side by side with Israelis. And the cadets will receive a series of lectures on the subject of tikkun olam and Judaism’s universal message.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hotovely-revamps-foreign-office-training-adding-right-wing-teachers-jewish-studies/2015/11/01/

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