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August 30, 2016 / 26 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘status’

Rahm Emanuel Blasts Netanyahu for ‘Betraying’ Obama

Tuesday, December 4th, 2012

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu betrayed the Obama administration by announcing a new settlement expansion and the cutoff of tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority, JTA reported.

Emanuel, President Obama’s chief of staff in his first term, delivered the rebuke over the weekend at the Saban Forum in Washington.

Emanuel’s comments were made public by another participant, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, during an open forum and were confirmed by other participants.

According to an account by New Yorker journalist David Remnick, Emanuel had said that Netanyahu had “repeatedly betrayed” Obama, and that the latest Israeli moves – apparent retaliations for the successful Palestinian bid to achieve non-observer state status last week at the United Nations – were especially galling given U.S. support for Israel during its recent mini-war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

No other U.S. mayor had anything to say against Netanyahu this weekend.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israeli Court Allows Country’s Most Celebrated Gay Couple to Divorce

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

In a precedent decision, which will undoubtedly be considered good news for all Israeli same-sex couples, especially those who aren’t getting along so much any more, a family court in Ramat Gan allowed the couple Prof. Uzi Even and Dr. Amit Kama, both men, to divorce, Ynet reports.

In the ruling, first of its kind, the judge determined that the family court is “the natural forum, the proper forum in which to hear this kind of a divorce case, since the rabbinical court does not recognize same-sex marriages and views them as sinful.” The judge further ruled that the rabbinical court is too “foreign and artificial a forum” to discuss the issue of same-sex relations.

Prof. Even, 64, is a former Meretz MK, and head of the School of Chemistry at Tel Aviv University. Dr. Amit Kama, 44, is a professor of Communications at Emek Yizrael College. The two met 19 years ago, and since they live as a couple. Their struggles for the rights of same-sex couples received wide coverage in the local Media.

Even was the first openly gay man elected to the Knesset. The two have adopted Yossi, a 30-year-old man who had been living with them for almost 14 years. That adoption—although largely symbolic, given their son’s age—was also a ground breaking family cort case.

For the record, when Even and Kama met, almost two decades ago, homosexual relations were prohibited by law, and they could be subject to ten years in prison – although that was not very likely.

Now, having been the most celebrated Israeli gay couple, the two decided to go their separate ways (no idea which one of them broke the news to Yossi).

Professor Even said there was no legal way for him to turn from being married to being divorced. “This is an absurd situation and I fought it for three years,” he said. “I met someone else and I live with him. He is a foreign national and the Interior Ministry wants to deport him, which was hurting me, because I could not go on with my life without solving the problem of my divorce. They would not give him resident status, only a tourist visa, because I’m already married and there was no legal way for me to get a divorce.”

According to Even, when he approached the rabbinic court, which is in charge of marriages and divorces of Jewish residents, “it started a holy raucous. They refused to record our documents, receive the fee, schedule a meeting. They told us to wait. So we waited a few days. Finally I had enough and I took back the suit, and filed it instead with family court.”

Even suggests that the court’s decision could serve as a precedent not just for the gay community, but for the public at large. “Now we’ll wait and see if the Ministry of the Interior will endorse the decision. I’m doubtful that they will be enlightened about it.”

“Why are they having so much trouble changing my marital status? Why are they forcing me to remain married to someone I no longer live with?”

Even and Kama were married in Canada and their status was changed to married by the Israeli interior ministry. Their marriage hit the rocks back in 2009 and they’ve been living separately since. The two have signed a separation agreement which was accepted by family court in 2011. The couple then requested that the court recommend to the interior ministry to change their status from married to single.

The family court judge indeed recommended the status change, but the Ministry of the Interior refused to change the status based solely on the signed agreement, arguing they had to approach the rabbinical court. But the rabbinical court rejected their request for a ruling saying it did not have the legal framework within which to discuss it.

The family court judge who granted the couple the divorce wrote in his ruling that the various branches of the civil court are the natural forum for such a case, where there exists a long list of decisions determining the specific rights and obligations of same-sex couples.

Yori Yanover

UN General Assembly Votes in Favor of Palestine

Friday, November 30th, 2012

With a vote of 138-9, with 41 abstentions, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of nonmember state status for “Palestine” on Thursday.

The Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs has pointed out that the UNGA does not actually have the ability to recognize states, which is a power vested only in the UN Security Council, which rejected the PLO’s effort for upgrade last year.

So regardless of the UNGA vote, Palestine will still not be a state.

In fact, “The UN General Assembly does not have the power or the authority to establish states. Any such General Assembly resolution upgrading the Palestinian delegation would be no different from any other non-binding, recommendatory resolution of the General Assembly, and would have no legally binding status.”

Of course it does give them something. It will allow the Palestinian delegation to sit in the General Assembly hall, between Panama and Pakistan.

The following countries voted against the nonmember status change:

  • Canada
  • Czech Republic
  • Israel
  • Marshall Islands
  • Micronesia
  • Nauru
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • United States
Jewish Press News Briefs

GOP Senators Set to Punish the Palestinians and the UN

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Republican U.S. senators introduced the first efforts to penalize the Palestinians and the United Nations should the body affirm enhanced Palestinian status.

The amendment language, first reported on the Americans for Peace Now website, was introduced by Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wy.), Mike Lee (R-Utah) and James Inhofe (R-Okla.).

“The first shot has been fired in the much-anticipated Congressional battle to punish the Palestinians for seeking to upgrade their status at the UN – and to also punish any UN agencies and any countries that support them,” writes APN blogger Lara Friedman.

Language proposed this week as an amendment to S. 3254, the National Defense Authorization Act would punish both the PA and the UN for a unilateral recognition of a Palestinian “observer state.”

The PLO is set to submit its bid for non-member observer state status today, Thursday.

Friedman reports that the GOP amendment seeks to compel the president to cut U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority by 50% if the PA “seeks at any time after November 25, 2012, at the United Nations General Assembly or any other United Nations entity status different than the status it held on November 25, 2012” – with the cuts continuing “until permanent status issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are fully resolved.”

Next, the same amendment will compel the President to cut by 50% U.S. “appropriated contributions to any United Nations entity” that upgrades the Palestinians’ status after November 25, 2012, and those cuts as well will continue “until permanent status issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are fully resolved.”

Finally, to complete the package, the amendment compels the president to cut by 20% U.S. assistance to any country that after November 25, 2012 votes to grant the Palestinians full membership in the UN, or votes to grant them non-member state status, or votes to otherwise “alter” the status of the Palestinians at the UN “that interferes with the resolution of permanent status issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” and those cuts will continue until the country in question “votes at the United Nations to revert the status of the Palestinian mission back to the status it held on November 25, 2012.”

According to Friedman, the amendment permits the President to waive this one category of cuts (but not the others) for national security reasons.

Could be a meaningful step towards balancing the budget…

According to JTA, a separate amendment to the same bill introduced by Barrasso, Lee, Inhofe and Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), James Risch (R-Idaho), Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) would cut off all funding should the Palestinians succeed in their bid to change the PLO’s status.

U.S. law institutes total cuts to Palestinians and the United Nations in the case of full Palestinian U.N. membership, but so far has had no provisions to penalize an upgrade to observer status.

As of Thursday morning, the PLO is still a non-member observer entity, but this will most likely be changed later in the day.

JTA content was used in this report.

Jewish Press Staff

The Palestinians: We’re in No Hurry to Sue Israel at the Hague

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

The Palestinians today are trying to play down Israel’s fear that, as soon as they are accepted as an observer state at the UN this week, they would start submitting lawsuits against Israel at the international criminal court at the Hague. But, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News, they have warned that going to the Hague would remain an option.

The PA’s UN Ambassador Riyad Mansour reiterated that, despite repeated pleas from Israel and the U.S., the Palestinians have every intention this week of carrying out their initiative to request from the 193-member general assembly to upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status from “observer entity” to “observer state.”

The current draft of the proposal to be submitted by the Palestinian at the UN on Thursday, “the UN will decide whether to award Palestine the status of an observer state at the United Nations, without infringing on any accompanying rights regarding the Authority’s role as the representative of the Palestinian nation based on previous, relevant decisions.” The proposal further clarifies that it is intended “to enhance the right of the Palestinian nation to self determination as a Palestinian state in the territories that were occupied in 1967.”

Jerusalem and Washington continue to argue that the Palestinian move is wrong, but both have already acceded to their anticipated defeat at the general assembly. The French announcement yesterday that they would vote in favor of the upgrading, was followed by announcements from Denmark, Norway, Spain and Switzerland, all supporting President Abbas, as will Great Britain. Italy and Australia are expected to abstain. The U.S., Canada, Guatemala and Micronesia—never forget Micronesia—will reject the proposal.

Germany’s position is not yet clear. Now, that’s a relief.

The truly troublesome part of the proposal is not so much the new status, which still stops short of real statehood, but with the fact that the full assembly will embrace its depiction of the urgent need to renew the negotiations as part of the peace process in the Middle East, to reach a resolution of the essential issues – the refugees, the status of Jerusalem, the settlements, the borders, security and water.

Channel 2 commented that at this stage in the draft, prisoner release is not one of those essential issues.

Mahmoud Abbas has arrived in New York and the game is on. Israel’s immediate response to his move will likely be to freeze the taxes Israel collects on behalf of the PA and to take from that money the $200 million plus the PA owes the Israeli electric company.

It’s a start.

Yori Yanover

Americans for Peace Now Backs Palestinian UN Bid

Wednesday, November 28th, 2012

Americans for Peace Now called on President Obama to support the Palestinians’ bid to upgrade their status in the United Nations to non-member observer state.

The stance by the left-wing group issued in a statement Tuesday places it at odds with the pro-Israel community. The statement by the group’s president and CEO, Debra DeLee, was issued two days ahead of the anticipated vote in the UN General Assembly on the Palestinians’ application for enhanced status.

“In the wake of the latest Gaza War, we believe the international community, led by the Obama administration, must take urgent action to restore faith in a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,” DeLee wrote.

A number of major Jewish groups, including the American Jewish Committee, the Anti-Defamation League and B’nai B’rith International, oppose the bid and are lobbying against it among UN member nations.

Some leading lawmakers in Congress have threatened to cut assistance to the Palestinian Authority should its affiliated Palestine Liberation Organization press ahead with the bid.

J Street, also a left-wing pro-Israel group, released a position paper that did not tsupport the bid but pledged to oppose any effort to penalize the Palestinians for making it.

DeLee called on “all nations, including the United States and Israel,” to endorse the Palestinians’ request and adds that the two countries “should likewise refrain from and reject punitive measures against the Palestinians in the wake of this initiative, including efforts by Israel or any other party to exploit this initiative as a pretext for actions that further erode the possibility of peace.”

APN’s Israeli sister group, Peace Now, expressed similar support for the bid in a letter to Israel’s foreign minister, Avigdor Liberman.

The PLO was rebuffed last year in its bid to have the UN Security Council recognize Palestine as a state; the United States successfully lobbied against the move, threatening to use its veto.

There is no such veto in the General Assembly, where the Palestinians have an assured majority. Observer state status does not carry with it the privileges of full membership; observers must still apply to become members of UN constituent groups. The PLO is currently a non-member observer entity.

JTA

US Warned Europeans against Supporting Palestinian Statehood

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

The United States reportedly warned European governments in a memorandum not to support a Palestinian bid for increased status at the United Nations.

The memorandum, which was exposed by the Guardian, called giving the Palestinians enhanced non-member state status “extremely counterproductive” and threatened “significant negative consequences” for the Palestinian Authority, including financial sanctions.

The memorandum, sent by U.S. officials to representatives of European governments at the United Nations General Assembly last week in New York, said that Palestinian statehood “can only be achieved via direct negotiations with the Israelis.” It called on the European governments to block Palestinian attempts to be recognized as a non-member state.

It also asked each government where it stands on the issue and said the U.S. was interested in knowing whether the European governments had been approached by Palestinian representatives.

The Palestinians reportedly will wait until after November’s presidential elections in America to make their bid for the new status in the General Assembly, where the United States does not have veto power. They will, however, press for a vote by the end of the year and expect the issue to pass by a “comfortable majority,” according to the Guardian.

JTA

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/us-warned-europeans-against-supporting-palestinian-statehood/2012/10/04/

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