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

Posts Tagged ‘sentence’

Mubarak on Life Support

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Doctors reportedly have put former Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak on life support as turmoil once again threatens to sweep the country.

The state news agency Mena said Mubarak was “clinically dead” when he arrived at the hospital and that doctors used a defibrillator on him several times. The initial report said the efforts were not successful.

Mubarak, 84, has been ailing since early 2011, when he was ousted by the army after mass protests.

The worsening of his condition on Tuesday, reported by various media citing unnamed military officials, comes two weeks after his life sentence for his role in ordering the deadly quelling of the 2011 protests, when hundreds were killed by pro-government militants.

Two Great Financial Reasons to Make Aliya

Wednesday, June 6th, 2012

For those of us who have already moved to Israel, the following sentence probably sounds very familiar: “I’d love to live in Israel, and I’d move there tomorrow. But –”

What are the usual reasons for your family and friends to postpone moving to the Jewish State?

1. The economy is so fantastic in America. This sentence is usually accompanied with a sigh and statements like, “I need my creature comforts. I just couldn’t live without my Starbucks coffee or Trader Joe’s.” Well, perhaps you know something that Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke doesn’t. After all, he was the person who recently said that the “U.S. economy is expanding moderately, but there are still clouds on the horizon.” Now compare that to Israel, where the IMF (International Monetary Fund) anticipates a growth rate of 2.8% in GDP during 2012 and the possibility that Israel may become a major gas exporter due to recent gas discoveries. Indeed, there may be reasons to think the American economy is gradually improving after the economic crisis of the past few years; after all, it has improved corporate earnings and lowered unemployment figures. But still remember that Israel is not a third-world country. And by the way, the quality of life has improved so much in Israel that the perception of needing to bring over essentials like washing powder and soft toilet paper or popular American consumer products is twenty years out of date. Indeed the influx of refugees across Israel’s borders show that it is one of the most desirable countries in the region.

2. I love paying day school tuition. These days, sending your child to a Jewish day school in Manhattan can cost you more than $30,000 per year. If, like many Jewish families, you have more than one child, this can become prohibitively expensive. Compare this to the relatively low tuition that we pay for schools in Israel that teach both Jewish and secular studies. This includes any kind of school that you want, from a secular Israeli day school to a Talmud Torah. Indeed, tuition costs and the quality of education has been a major factor for many families when considering whether to make aliya.

Moving to Israel involves many considerations, including financial. If you’re seriously considering moving to Israel, or if you already live in the Promised Land, make sure you know about living in dual currencies and investments/pension plans that straddle the ocean. There are two tax codes to consider, and different forms of accounting. Make sure you get advice, pre- and post- aliya, from professionals who are qualified to handle your investments. For a broad introduction to personal finance and investments, as well as specific information pertaining to the Israeli financial scene, read my book, Building Wealth in Israel.

Rubin Reports: A Sentence by the State Department Sentences The World to Disaster

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

http://www.rubinreports.blogspot.com/2012/05/sentence-by-state-department-sentences.html

If I’ve ever seen a single sentence that spells disaster in the Middle East it’s this one:

“`People say things in a campaign and then when they get elected they actually have to govern,’ [U.S. State Department] spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said.”

The specific context of this statement were remarks by the Obama Administration’s favorite Egyptian presidential candidate, Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh, in a debate. He called Israel racist, an enemy of Egypt, and a state based on occupation (that is, has no right to exist), then calling to alter the Egypt-Israel peace treaty.

Pay no attention to the man in front of the curtain, says Nuland, he doesn’t really mean it.

The problem with this, like hundreds of other statements by the currently dominant worldview in the West, is that almost nobody is around in the mainstream media or academia to say – Wait a minute! In fact, I can make a very strong counter-argument that would persuade most people if they were allowed to hear it.

So let us parse Ms. Nuland’s sentence, which does accurately reflect U.S. foreign policy today and is indeed a death or prison sentence for many people in the Middle East. Nothing is easier, of course, than finding examples of politicians who did not keep their election promises. But that’s not what we are dealing with here. No, the case here is:

Do radical ideological movements say things in their campaigns to gain power, including election campaigns, which disappear due to the pragmatism forced by the need to govern?

Examples please?

I’ve heard this argument before, most notably in 1978-1979, when the Islamist revolution descended on Iran. The Islamists have won every election since and have not been moderated by the need to govern. On the contrary, they have used their extremism to continue to govern.

For example, from the New York Times, February 16, 1979, an op-ed by Richard Falk:

“The depiction of Khomeini as fanatical, reactionary and the bearer of crude prejudices seems certainly and happily false.…To suppose that Ayatollah Khomeini is dissembling seems almost beyond belief.…Having created a new model of popular revolution based, for the most part, on nonviolent tactics, Iran may yet provide us with a desperately-needed model of humane governance for a third-world country.”

It is only poetic injustice that Falk, a man who totally misjudged the Iranian radical threat, has now been made by the UN the judge of Israel, which is facing that same threat.

The same kind of thing was said throughout the 1990s. Yasir Arafat will be moderated by having to pave roads and collect the garbage. Power is inevitably moderating and ideology is meaningless. No, that’s not true and history shows it isn’t true.

Were the Communists moderated by being in power? Well not in the USSR, maybe a bit after 70 years. And not in China, well yes more than a bit after only about a half-century. We’re still waiting for Cuba and North Korea, both between five and six decades old. Add in such examples as the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Ba’th Party in Syria or Iraq, and Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

It is important to understand why this isn’t true. There are some dangerously false assumptions in Ms. Nuland’s simple sentence.

She is assuming that radical movements are saying things to please voters in the same way that American politicians do. But American politicians are overwhelmingly unideological. Deep down, few of them think that ideas matter.

But what if they sincerely and passionately believed that every plank on their platform was ordered by the supreme being and that this was in fact the only reason their political party existed?

Suppose their rivals were willing and able to destroy their careers or even kill them if they showed they were phony in their devotion?

And suppose a large portion of the masses took all of this seriously and meant to hold them to their promises?

And suppose they truly believed themselves that instituting Sharia law–perhaps at most with a slightly more liberal interpretation here and a few exceptions there–was the only way to govern?

In other words, there are lots of reasons for radicals to remain radicals in government. And, after all, that is what usually happens.

Egyptian Justice Ministry suggests minimum 10 year sentence for intentionally misquoting Koran

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

Egyptian Parliament’s Proposals and Complaints Committee on Tuesday approved a draft law submitted by MP Yasser al-Qady proposing a harsher punishment for printing the Quran without a license.

The suggested penalty is imprisonment and a fine of not less than LE100,000 and not more LE200,000 for those who print, publish, distribute, display or circulate recordings of the Quran without license, or print and record it abroad.

The Justice Ministry also suggested that imprisonment be for a term of not less than 10 years and not more than 15 years, and a fine of not less than LE100,000 and not more than LE1.3 million for those who intentionally change verses while printing or recording the Quran.

Ahmed Mohib, a member of the legislation sector at the Ministry of Justice, praised the draft law and affirmed the ministry’s approval of it.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

The Pollard Petition

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

The Jewish Press urges readers to sign a circulating petition that calls on Shimon Peres to do all he can, in advance of accepting the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Obama, to persuade Mr. Obama to free Jonathan Pollard, the Israeli spy serving a life sentence in a federal prison. (President Obama announced last month that he would be awarding the Medal to Mr. Peres, the president of Israel, in June.)

The petition appears in Hebrew (the project began in Israel, but there is also an accompanying English version) and can be joined by logging on to JonathanPollard.org.

Although Mr. Peres sent a letter to President Obama requesting Mr. Pollard’s release, to this point no such action has been taken. And supporters of Mr. Pollard note the incongruity of the Israeli statesman accepting an award from the American president while Mr. Pollard continues to languish in an American jail under a sentence denounced as draconian and excessive by dozens of former American officials.

We have long felt, and emerging evidence seems to confirm, that Jonathan Pollard’s extraordinary life sentence resulted in no small measure from his having spied for Israel, which though a close ally of the U.S. was anathema to some senior officials in the Reagan administration, particularly then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger, and several members of the intelligence community. So it cannot be that Pollard’s plight should not somehow resonate when Israel’s president receives the highest U.S. civilian award – especially given that it was Mr. Peres who happened to be the prime minister of Israel when Mr. Pollard was apprehended.

What role the Israeli president can play here is not clear. But it merits mentioning that in announcing the honor to be bestowed on Mr. Peres, President Obama pointed to the 89-year-old statesman’s long career as one of the architects of modern Israel and his great diplomatic skills. “He has taught us to ask more of ourselves, and to empathize more with our fellow human beings,” said Mr. Obama.

If enough of us sign that online petition, perhaps Mr. Peres might just feel empowered enough to use those diplomatic skills to persuade President Obama to empathize with – and release – Jonathan Pollard.

Hebron Residents May Appeal Eviction Ruling

Sunday, April 22nd, 2012

According to Walla News, Hebron’s Jewish community Sunday morning said they will consider an appear of the ruling by the Jerusalem District Court which ordered the evacuation of Jewish residents from a three-story building in Hebron.

The court determined that the acquisition of the house was a forgery.

Walla cites Hebron residents who ardued that “the court’s decision clearly states that a death sentence threatens every Arab who sells his house to the Jews in Hebron, and yet the Israeli government does not confront this anti-Semitic law (of the Palestinian Authority) and even collaborates with it.”

“Our own lesson from this acquisition, was to improve our methods of collecting and preserving the evidence in later purchases. We will study the ruling and will consider an appeal.”

Skverer Rebbe’s Butler Facing 5-10 Years for Arson Attack

Sunday, April 15th, 2012

According to LoHud.com, Shaul Spitzer, 18, who used to be the Skverer Rebbe’s Butler, is facing 5-10 years for first-degree assault in his attack on Aron Rottenberg in May, 2011, in New Square, NY.

Rottenberg, 44, is recovering from the third-degree burns he sustained over 50 percent of his body, when Spitzer set off an incendiary device at Rottenberg’s home.

Rottenberg was attacked because he chose not to pray at New Square’s main synagogue, under the leadership of the Skverer Rebbe, Rabbi David Twersky. Spitzer was charged with first degree arson and second degree attempted murder.

Rabbi Twersky condemned the attack and asked his followers to pray for Rottenberg’s recovery.

Spitzer was indicted by a grand jury last June and pleaded not guilty. But in February 7, 2012, he pleaded guilty to assault.

Spitzer’s attorneys Kenneth Gribetz, Deborah Wolikow Loewenberg and Paul Shectman told LoHud.com they were hoping for five years, with an early release for good behavior.

“We’re appealing to the court and will be asking the court to render the minimum sentence of five years,” Gribetz said. “Five years is a hard sentence for anyone. But for a young man who has lived in New Square for his entire life, the sentence will be even tougher.”

Prosecutor Stephen Moore will be demanding the 10-year sentence Spitzer accepted when he pleaded guilty.

Obama to Pollard, Peres, Knesset: Drop Dead

Tuesday, April 10th, 2012

The White House on Monday rejected an emotional appeal by Israel’s President Shimon Peres to commute convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard’s life sentence. Peres based his appeal on Pollard’s fast deteriorating health, after Peres’ recent conversation with Pollard’s wife Esther. Peres’ appeal came after he had received a petition signed by 80 MKs, urging Obama to release Pollard.

In June, President Peres will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest US civilian award. Peres is under intense pressure from the Pollard “lobby” to reject the award if Pollard is not freed.

“Our position hasn’t changed,” National Security Council spokesman Tommy Vietor said in an email to Yahoo News. Asked whether the White House had received Peres’ written plea to President Barack Obama for clemency, Vietor said he was not sure “but the position is the same.”

Obama had rejected a January 2011 request from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to free Pollard, a former US Navy intelligence analyst convicted in 1985 of passing classified information to  Israel.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-to-pollard-peres-knesset-drop-dead/2012/04/10/

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