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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘split’

205 Experts Polled: Hamas, PLO Likely to Split October Municipal Elections

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

The Arab World Institute for Research and Development (AWRAD) last week released an online experts poll on the October 8 municipal elections, with results that reflect a balance between Hamas and the PLO, with additional play for clan candidates and leftwing groups.

AWRAD presents itself as a pioneering research, consulting and development firm based in the Palestinian Authority. Its website claims AWRAD is one of the Arab region’s leading firms providing a full range of consulting and technical services for sustainable development and state building.

Below are the results of an online study conducted August 12-18 2016, among 205 experts in local government, each knowledgeable of political and social circumstances as they pertain to the upcoming local elections, October 8, 2016. The poll was completed through a representative sample of experts across all 16 districts of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip. Participants included journalists, community activists, businesspeople, university professors, political activists, local governance experts, as well as lawyers, medical doctors and engineers.

Less than a majority of respondents believe that the scheduled local elections are important; the rest believe that they are somewhat important or not important. Only 47% are confident the elections will be held as scheduled. Only 20% of respondents believing the elections will improve the prospects for national reconciliation. 59% believes that the decision of Hamas to participate is a positive development for overall local Arab interests, while 38% believe it is either negative or of no consequence.

A majority expects that the elections will be open and transparent, with only 20% expressing doubt.

The largest plurality of experts believes that the most important issue at stake in the October election is the regular practice of democratic processes. The second most important issue is delivery of services.

Party affiliation and familial allegiance are the two factors that experts believe will exert the greatest influence on voters. The experts think the “moral reputation” and “professional competence” of the candidate do not play as significant a role in their chances as to which family they belong.

Survey respondents predict an overall turnout rate of about 60 percent. They also anticipate a tight race between Fatah and Hamas in Judea and Samaria and in the Gaza Strip. The two parties will likely share about two-thirds of the seats with, the remainder split among independents and leftwing parties.

Following are the questions and responses as reported by AWRAD:

1. In your opinion, how important are local elections scheduled for October 8, 2016?

Important 48.4%
Somewhat Important 26.3%
Somewhat unimportant 14.2%
Not important 11.1%

2. Do you believe the elections will actually occur as scheduled?

Yes 47.4%
No 31.6%
Don’t know 21.1%

3. Do you believe that the planned local elections will improve the prospects to achieve reconciliation?

Yes 21.1%
No 46.3%
will not make a difference 30.5%
Don’t know 2.1%

4. On a local level, what is the most important issue at stake in the October elections?

Communal relations 4.2%
Delivery of services (water. sanitation, electricity, education, healthcare) 37.4%
Local policing and security 1.6%
Regular practice of democratic processes 46.3%
Don’t know 10.5%

5. In your opinion, is the decision by Hamas to participate in the elections a positive or negative development for overall Palestinian interests?

Positive 58.9%
Negative 8.4%
Of no consequence 30.0%
Don’t know, no opinion 2.6%

6. Which of the following factors will have the largest influence on voters in the local elections?

Family/tribal affiliation of candidates 36.8%
Party affiliation of candidates 37.4%
Moral reputation/ethics of candidates 11.6%
Professional competence of candidates 12.6%
Don’t know/NO answer 1.6%

7. Do you expect the elections to occur in an open and transparent manner?

Yes 64.7%
No 20.0%
Don’t know 15.3%

8. So far, what is your evaluation of the Central Election Commission in managing the local election?

Positive 69.5%
Negative 2.6%
Fair 19.5%
Don’t know 8.4%

9. As of today, what is your estimation of the voter turnout rate?

Average opinion: 60.0%

10. Based on your expert opinion, if you were to predict the distribution of seats among the following political parties in the October elections, what percentage of seats would you give to each in Judea and Samaria?

Independents/non-aligned with parties 19.4%
Fatah 34.4%
Hamas 32.7%
Other nationalists/leftists groups 9.1%
Other Islamist groups 4.4%


Rabbis Approve In Vitro, Split on In Utero Meat

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

“Ben pekuah” is a Talmudic reference to a calf that was removed from his mother’s womb after she had been slaughtered properly. Some sages agree that the newborn calf will not require slaughtering to be eaten, since it is technically part of an already slaughtered animal. But they mostly agree that even if on the Torah level the animal may be eaten without killing, it should be slaughtered nevertheless, to prevent confusion.

Indeed, some commentators have suggested that when Joseph complained to his father Jacob about his brothers who transgressed the prohibition against eating the flesh of a living animal — the brothers had actually been feasting on such an in utero calf.

But what if a male and a female in utero calves were to be mated, to eventually procreate an entire herd that according to the Torah may be eaten alive? Would the prohibition of mar’it ein-misleading visual message still hold when it is well-known that the herd is entirely pre-slaughtered?

A similar debate is being conducted in the halakhic world around the new development, which is yet to prove itself commercially viable, of in vitro meat. Also known as cultured meat or synthetic meat, in vitro meat is an animal-flesh product that has never been part of a developed, living animal. Several research projects have experimented with in vitro meat in the lab, with the first in vitro beefburger, created by a Dutch team, being consumed publicly in London in 2013.

According to the NY Times, there remain difficulties to be overcome before in vitro meat becomes commercially available. For one thing, it is still prohibitively expensive, the cost could be reduced as the technology improves to allow for mass production.

The other problem with in vitro meat is cultural, since many consumers might object to eating meat that has not developed naturally and has not been killed.

According to Kippa, the entire spectrum of National Religious rabbis, who normally disagree on just about everything, welcome the idea of cultured meat, even though it is years away from being available commercially. The process of developing in vitro meat begins with taking muscle cells and applying a protein that promotes tissue growth. Once this process has been started, it is theoretically possible for it to continue producing meat indefinitely without introducing new cells from a living organism. A Daily Mail 2012 story claimed that, in ideal conditions, two months of in vitro meat production could deliver up to 50,000 tons of meat from ten pork muscle cells.

In vitro meat may be produced as strips of muscle fiber, which grow through the fusion of precursor cells – either embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells, or specialized satellite cells found in muscle tissue. This type of meat can be cultured in a bio-reactor.

A 2009 Time article suggested that meat could be grown into “real” muscle, which would require giving it a circulatory system in order to deliver nutrients and oxygen close to the growing cells, as well as to remove the waste products. Other cell types, such as adipocytes, would also need to be grown, as well as chemical messengers to provide clues to the growing tissue about its structure. The growing muscle tissue would need to be physically stretched or “exercised” in order to develop properly.

Rabbis Dov Lior, Yuval Cherlow, and Shlomo Aviner believe that the new invention is vital, explaining that it does not constitute a problem of eating the flesh of a live animal — even assuming that the source animal for the cells would not be slaughtered, kosher or otherwise. They believe that with the proposed technological process in place, the substance would not even be considered meat, but “parve.”


Likud-Beytenu to Split?

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

An Israel Channel 10 report speculated on Sunday that Likud and Yisrael Beytenu are headed their separate ways.

Avigdor Liberman will be holding a press conference at 11:00 AM on Monday, where it is believed he may announce the split between the two parties.

If the parties do split, then the Likud will remain the largest party in the coalition by only one seat, while Yisrael Beytenu will drop down to being the fifth largest party, sharing that spot with Shas.

Others are questioning the credibility of the report, since dividing the two parties would cause both Likud and Yisrael Beytenu to lose power and influence against the Bennett-Lapid alliance, which appears to still be holding strong.

Even before elections there were rumors that the two parties would split once a government was formed.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/likud-beteinu-to-split/2013/03/17/

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