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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Shas’

Attorney General Asks Court to Order New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has decided to appeal to the Jerusalem District Court for an order to annul last month’s disputed local elections in Beit Shemesh and to order a new vote.

He said that a police investigation of alleged fraudulent voting showed sufficient evidence to support charges that vote were cast by people who used identity cards of those out of the city or might not even be living. Shas Haredi religious incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul narrowly won the election, beating Jewish Home candidate Eli Cohen, who also is appealing to the court to cancel the election.

Police have said that their investigation has widened to include several people beyond those who were present at the raid of forged identify cards shortly before the election.

A police raid on two homes before the elections last month uncovered 250 false identification cards that people intended to use to cast extra ballots. Eight people were arrested, and police found several hats in the homes, indicating that people had intended to change their appearance to represent people who were not in the city at the time of the voting.

Supporters for Jewish Home candidate Cohen also accused Shas activists of throwing out some ballots that had been cast in favor of Cohen.

Attorney General May Appeal to Court for New Elections in Beit Shemesh

Monday, November 25th, 2013

The smell of election fraud in Beit Shemesh is beginning to stink so much that residents may get a chance to flush the sewage and vote a second time for a mayor, perhaps without phony voters.

Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein is considering an appeal to the courts to order new municipal elections in the city in the wake of deepening suspicions by police investigators of widespread fraud among Haredi backers of incumbent Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

The Justice Ministry told Israel Radio, which reported on Weinstein’s concerns Monday, that the attorney general is following the police probe and will issue a decision in several days concerning an appeal to the courts. A court order to cancel elections and hold a re-run is rare but not without precedent.

The recent election was bitterly fought between Jewish Home candidate Eli Cohen and Mayor Abutbul, backed by the Shas party. Abutbul won a narrow victory, winning 51.9 percent of the vote while Cohen won 46.1 percent.

Jewish Home hollered ”foul” and raised questions whether Abutbul’s voters really were the same people who cast the ballots.

A police raid on two homes before the elections last month uncovered 250 false identification cards that people intended to use to cast extra ballots.

Eight people were arrested, and police found several hats in the homes, indicating that people had intended to change their appearance to represent people who were not in the city at the time of the voting.  Supporters for Jewish Home candidate Cohen also accused Shas activists of throwing out some ballots that had been cast in favor of Cohen.

Police investigators have discovered that the alleged fraud ran far and deep, and Israel Radio said there are suspicions that many more people were involved.

Beit Shemesh has been deeply divided over the past several years between local secular and national religious communities on one side and Haredi and extreme Haredi groups on the other.

The bitterness in the city has caught brought unwanted international attention to Beit Shemesh, which has a large number of Americana and British immigrants.

Violence and hate attacks reached the point where one Haredi man spat on a young girl, daughter of American olim, who eventual left the city.

Police Raid of False IDs in Beit Shemesh Sign of Election Fraud

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

The local elections in Beit Shemesh On Tuesday were held under the shadow of charges of fraud, highlighted by a police raid that uncovered 250 false identification cards that people intended to use to cast extra ballots, which supporters of Jewish Home candidate Eli Cohen charged were to be cast for Shas candidate Mayor Moshe Abutbul.

The raid was carried out in two Beit Shemesh homes by police, who had advanced information, said Police Commissioner Yochanan Danino. Eight people were arrested, and police found several hats in the homes, indicating that people had intended to change their appearance to represent people who were not in the city.

Shas incumbent Abutbul won re-election in the hotly contest in a city that has suffered escalating violence and tensions between national religious and Haredi religious communities.

Last week, officials of the Interior Ministry told a Knesset hearing that it stopped a scheme for non-residents to vote in the Beit Shemesh election.

After Tuesday’s raids, Interior Minster Gideon Sa’ar that once the controversial bio-metric identification card system is introduced in all of Israel, phony IDs will be a thing of the past.

Supporters for Jewish Hone candidate Cohen were not satisfied that the police raid prevented fraud, and they accused Shas activists of throwing out some ballots that had been cast in favor of Cohen.

Barkat Wins Tough Race in Capital

Wednesday, October 23rd, 2013

Israel’s 183 local governments were elected on Tuesday as Israelis across the country voted to determine local mayors and council members. In Jerusalem, a city of 550,000 residents, Nir Barkat was re-elected to another 5-year term in one of the mostly hotly contested races in the country against newcomer Moshe Leon, who was backed by two national political figures.

Tel Aviv incumbent, Ron Huldai who has served at the city’s mayor since 1998 was also re-elected over popular Meretz MK Nitzan Horowitz, while in Haifa, Mayor Yona Yahav was able to defeat rival Yaakov Borovsky.  Israel’s three largest cities were able to retain their incumbent mayors.

Bat Yam also re-elected Mayor Shlomo Lahiani, who had been forced to resign his position by the High Court of Justice on Sunday.

In Jerusalem, Barkat had lead the way, with 55% of the votes while rival Moshe Lion garnered 41%, a difference of around some 12,000 votes.  Lion’s backer Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman had hoped a Lion victory would give him political momentum to challenge Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s leadership, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Voter turn-out in Jerusalem was relatively low (35.9%) while higher than Tel Aviv’s 31%. In general, voter turn-out is traditionally much lower than national elections.

According to Israel’s Ministry of Interior, the country’s highest voter turnout was seen in Arab cities, with voter turnout in Kfar Kara at 94%, Saknin, 78% and Hurfeish with 77%.

Jerusalem’s Mayor Nir Barkat delivered his victory speech in the wee hours of the morning. At 3:45 AM, he spoke at a Jerusalem club, telling supporters that “Jerusalem was victorious.”

Barkat promised that he “won’t leave any sector, any tribe behind” and that “there’s a lot more work to do” in the next five years of his term. Thanking residents for their votes in a tough re-election campaign, Barkat stated that “I want to hug all the residents of Jerusalem.”

Latest Poll: Netanyahu and Jewish Home on the Rise, Lapid Down

Friday, October 11th, 2013

The Likud-Beiteinu party and the Jewish Home parties would collectively win six more seats in the Knesset if elections were held today, according to a new poll conducted by Smith Institute for Globes business newspaper.

Labor, headed by Shelly, Yachimovich, would gain one more seat, while Yesh Atid, headed by Yair Lapid would sink form its current 19 seats to only 12.

The left-wing Meretz party would gain significantly, winning  10 seats in the projected Knesset, four more than the current six.

The Shas party would remain constant. As in previous polls, Tzipi Livni’s party would be cut in half to  three seats, and Kadima, headed by Shaul Mofaz, would disappear from the political map.

Letter Reveals Rav Ovadia Retracted ‘Land for Peace’ Ruling in 2003

Wednesday, October 9th, 2013

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef reversed his famous “Land for Peace” ruling of 1993 after the Palestinian Authority literally exploded in Israel’s face a decade later with large-scale terrorist attacks, including suicide bombings.

The revelation of the letter, seen below, explains Rav Ovadia’s incredibly strong statements in recent sermons, such as one of the most famous ones three years ago when he said of the Palestinian Authority, “All these evil people should perish from this world. God should strike them with a plague, them and these Palestinians.”

In 1993, when the prospect of peace turned into a mantra that mass media used to blind themselves and wishful-thinkers, the idea of Israel’s surrendering Judea, Gaza and Samaria for peace with Yasser Arafat was pushed by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

The Israeli government was split, and the Shas party, which obeyed whatever Rav Ovadia said, withstood arguments from nationalists and kept the Rabin-Peres coalition government alive with his famous ruling in favor of giving up “land for peace” because it is a matter of “pikuach nefesh,” saving the lives of Jews.

After Rav Ovadia died, Israel’s populist but rather ignorant media turned the funeral into a peace festival that obliterated the greatness of the rabbi, who wrote 50 books and who was cited all over the world as one of the greatest Torah sages ever.

The “expert analysts” on Israel radio and in the mass media explained that Rav Ovadia was a great man, but not because of  his brilliant mind that lived and breathed Torah and not because of the Shas party that he founded and turned into a kingmaker in Israeli politics.

“Land for peace” was the reason 800,000 Jews from all sects of Israeli society came to the funeral.

What they did not say is that 10 years after Oslo, during the Second Intifada that also is known as the Oslo War, Rav Ovadia ruled exactly the opposite.

Instead of “land for peace” being an issue to save the lives of Jews, it had become clear that it was a concept that endangered Jews.

Arafat’s “peace,” which murdered more than 1,000 Jews, wounded thousands others and which continues until today under the invisible hand of Mahmoud Abbas, is not the peace Rav Ovadia had in mind.

He wrote, “My dear brothers of Israel, residents of Judea and Samaria:

“It is my intention to make clear my position concerning Judea and Samaria. I have explained more than once since my Halachic ruling, that giving up land for peace has no validity in light of the current situation.

“I intended there be a true peace, in which Jerusalem and its surroundings will be secure in peace and quiet. But now, our eyes see that surrendering our holy land causes a danger to life.

“This is not the peace for which we prayed. Therefore, the Oslo Accords are null and void.”

Rav Ovadia then cited the verse form Psalms that states, “I speak peace and they speak war.”

Just as populist media falsified Rav Ovadia’s ruling, it has turned Jews in Israel and all over the world into victims of ignorant and slanderous reporting of Rav Ovadia’s Saturday night sermons. They took phrases out of contact and without any understanding that the rabbis was speaking the language his constituents understood, which is not the style of the pseudo-sophisticated Ashkenazi elite and certainly not that of the bleeding-heart media.

The Aish HaTorah website once quoted Rav Ovadia with comments that stated much clearer his idea of land for peace.

It quoted Rav Ovadia as saying, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef stated: “If the heads and commanders of the army, together with the government, state that saving of life is involved; that if areas of Israel are not given back, the danger exists of immediate war on the part of our Arab neighbors;

“And if the areas are returned to them, the danger of war will be averted; and that there is a chance of permanent peace; then it seems that according to all opinions it is permitted to return areas of Israel in order to achieve this aim, since nothing is more important than the saving of life.”

The Palestinian Authority war or terror on Israeli in the 1990s, after the Oslo Accords did not satisfy Arafat’s appetite to swallow up Israel, took a breather towards the end of the decade when the Barak government was on the verge of giving Arafat almost everything he wanted.

Updated: 850,000 Mourners at Rav Ovadia’s Funeral (+Video)

Monday, October 7th, 2013

Approximately 850,000 people – more than 10 percent of Israel’s Jewish population – crowded Jerusalem streets Monday night for the funeral of Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, forcing the closure of the entrance to Jerusalem from the main highway and resulting in more than 200 of injuries and victims of fainting.

Police were barely in control of the crowds, and police officers expressed hopes that there will not be a tragedy from the cramming of people and cars into small spaces.

It is estimated that one million mourners may pass through the capital before the funeral is over, and that is estimated to be not long before midnight Israeli time. The body of Rav Ovadia arrived at the entrance to the cemetery shortly before 10 p.m., but authorities were having a difficult time to stop thousands of mourners from trying to come close to the grave site. At 11 p.m., five afters the funeral processi0n began, the burial was over.

Hundreds of people simply parked their cars in the middle of the street to reach by foot the funeral procession and burial, next to his wife Margalit at the Sanhedria cemetery. It  is the largest funeral in the history of Israel and may remain such for a long, long time.

Yosef, a widower, is survived by 10 of his 11 children and several dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His son Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef recently was elected as Chief Sephardi Rabbi, a post once held by his father.

Media around the world are reporting on the death of Rav Ovadia, and even the Gulf Times, based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) reported it.

The Associated Press told its readers, “he was the charismatic face of his Shas party,” one of the most succinct and accurate statements that one could make.

Rav Ovadia was well aware that the Shas party, which he founded, will be without a shepherd after his death. His son Rabbi Yitzchak said that Rav Ovadia’s will stated that there should be no in-fighting over the future of the party.

Knesset Member Aryeh Deri, the charismatic and controversial political leader who has been his heir apparent, cried after the announcement of Rav Ovadia’s death, “How will we go on alone. Who will lead us now? U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro stated, “Rav Ovadia Yosef was a spiritual leader to hundreds of thousands, if not more, a great learner [of Torah] and a wise and learned man, a father to an impressive family and an important contributor to the society and politics of the State of Israel.

“Today in Jerusalem and all across Israel, his supporters and followers mourn him. To them, and first and foremost to his beloved family, I send my condolences. May his memory be blessed.”

 

Crowds at Rav Ovadia's Funeral

Crowds at Rav Ovadia’s Funeral

.Rav Ovadia Funeral   Rav Ovadia Gravesite open  

Shalom Bear contributed to this report.

Rav Ovadia Conscious but Condition Still Serious

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef regained consciousness at Hadassah Medical Center in Ein Kerem Wednesday but his condition remains very serious, doctors said.

He woke up and recognized family members, who helped him put on tefillin. His physician, Dr. Dan Gilon, said that the rabbi may not have suffered brain damage.

The 93-year-old Torah sage and spiritual leader of the Shas Sephardi party has been in and out of the hospital several times this year, but his most recent hospitalization on September 21 was followed by serious deterioration to his health, to the point that were fears he would not survive.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/rav-ovadia-conscious-but-condition-still-serious/2013/10/02/

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