After years of dispute and roadblocks from within the Israeli academic system, on Tuesday the Ariel University Center was officially granted University status by the Council for Higher Education in Judea and Samaria. The Ariel University Center is now one of Israel’s eight universities. As a result it can now begin to officially receive money from the government like other Israeli universities.
Posts Tagged ‘status’
Daniel Gordis said “no” to the Levy Report in signing on to the far-left “Open Letter” (and the full text is below) released this week which has been fisked a bit here. At Haaretz, rather than his usual Jerusalem Post base, he defends his co-joining the left-of-center American Jews who decided to become very publicly upset at the publication of the Levy Report on Israel’s rights in, and to, Judea and Samaria. He published this piece, Choose hope: Don’t adopt the Levy report.
In short, he thinks that:
To state publicly that what we have in Judea and Samaria is not an occupation might be a legally justifiable claim. But it would also signal that it is time to give up even thinking about how a different reality in the Middle East might be achieved. That, we must not do.
Might be? And why is that “different reality” abhorrent enough for Gordis to join the left-of-center crowd, lend them his name, and that of the Shalem Center? Is the issue that important for him to decide to run with this group of Israeli critics?
Well, we need to review his thinking and so here are some extracts from his defense:
The letter did not argue that Justice Levy’s legal argument was legally incorrect; it also took no stand on settlement issue writ large…The letter simply asserts that if the Prime Minister adopts the Levy Commission report, he will do Israel serious damage.
And how much damage does the letter cause, and I am not arguing that Gordis, et al., do not have the legal right to publish their thinking, but need it have been such a public shaming? Here’s how AP had it in an analysis:
Jewish settlements are at the heart of a 3-year-old deadlock in Mideast peace efforts.
Is that the portrayal that Gordis is comfortable with? He cannot offset that? The “heart”? Not the 90-year old Arab total rejection of Jewish nationalism and a Jewish presence anywhere inEretz-Yisrael?
The letter caused no damage or is it only the damage Netanyahu could possibly cause that is a problem?
He then outlines the damage to Pals. are doing to themselves:
Sadly, Israel has no partner with which to make peace. Today’s Palestinian leadership insists on the refugees’ right of return, something Israel cannot permit if it is to remain a Jewish State. The Palestinians have also rejected Netanyahu’s demand that they recognize Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish State, something that Israel must insist on if precluding the refugees’ return is to be defensible. Neither of those will change anytime soon.
He skips over a bit of terror, some incitement, the corrupt regime that is the Palestinian Authority vis-a-vis its own people and other aspects of a horrific reality but that is ignored. Given, though, those two problematic demands, what is Israel to do?
…A wise Israeli leadership would do everything in its power to communicate to the world that beyond those two existential issues [Israel as a Jewish state and the no return of refugees - YM], which are not negotiable, Israel will discuss virtually anything. There are matters on which Israel will compromise, and others on which it will not…
What “anything” is “virtual”? What issues can be compromised?
True Arab democracy?
IDF presence, long- or short-term on the Jordan River?
Educational curriculum change?
What about Rabin’s formula? From his October 5,1995 Knesset speech, where he summarized his
…vision of the permanent solution. It will include united Jerusalem under Israeli sovereignty, the country’s security border will be on the River Jordan, there will be no return to the 4 June 1967 lines and new blocs of settlements will be built in Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip. He spoke of the coming elections to the Palestinian Council, the IDF’s re-deployment and the creation of three zones in the territories.
Or that isn’t left or liberal enough for Gordis’ fellow-signers?
Israel should not establish itself on principles of law?
…While the Levy Commission insisted that its findings were legal and not political, that distinction would be utterly lost on the international community.
Really? And here we all thought that the most incriminating charge against Israel’s presence beyond the Green Line, what justifies the BDS movement, was the illegality of it all. That charge the world does understand but Israel proving that its presence in not illegal is incomprehensible? “Illegality” subverts Israel’s legitimacy but to disprove that is somehow no good?
A coalition crisis has been growing the past few days. The crisis resolves around the now disbanded, Plessner Committee and their recommendations on how to resolve the draft/national service issue for Chareidim and Arabs.
Kadima head, Shaul Mofaz has reportedly refused to meet with Netanyahu as a result. Avigdor Liberman refuses to accept a solution that only addresses the Chareidi draft, but excludes a solution for the Arabs. And UTJ/Aguda refuses to hear of any solution that changes the status quo.
The committee recommendations were supposed to be implemented into a new law that would replace the Tal Law, which expires on August 1 after the Supreme Court declared it unconstitutional.
Speaking at a discussion of the Knesset Education Committee on the changing status-quo of religious and ultra-Orthodox education, committee member and chairman of the National Union MK Ya’akov Katz (Ketzaleh) said:
It’s all about the numbers. The change in the status-quo stems from demographic change. When I was in an officer training course 40 years ago, we were three religious cadets out of 150. My children [who are today] officers constitute more than half of the officers corps.”
MK Katz noted that “the religious and Haredi community is growing while the secular are marrying late and do not reproduce. The state must prepare in such a way that the religious and Haredi community should take its place—alongside the study of Torah—in also the fields of science, security and social sciences. In two decades we will have to formulate a status-quo policy for our secular minority.”
(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))
The Managing Editor of The Jewish Press Online,Yishai Fleisher, recently attended a conference on the status of jerusalem and had the opportunity to record a question and answer session with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who talks about current state of Jerusalem and how it contrasts to its history and also plans for the future. Don’t miss the question asked to the mayor by Yishai at 7:07! The segment moves on to Yishai speaking Rabbi Benny Elon, a leader in the Religious Zionist movement and former member of the Israeli Knesset. The segment wraps up with presentations from leaders in the pro-Jerusalem world including Josh Reinstein, director of the Christian Allies Conference in the Knesset.
South Sudanese illegal migrant workers on their way to the airport, following action by the police immigration unit. The operation is actually dubbed “Chozrim HaBaita” (Homecoming). Give that copywriter a raise for innovation…
Estimates are that only some 1,500 South Sudanese citizens reside in Israel, compared with 35,000 infiltrators from Eritrea and 15,000 from the Sudan.
Israel cannot deport citizens of Eritrea (refugees from tyrannical state) and Sudan (enemy state, no relations). But unlike other western countries, where a process of refugee status verification is in place, in Israel government has decided to take measures ten years too late, and only after residents began to react with violence to the presence of tens of thousands of jobless Africans in their midst.
Government by shouting-the-loudest is a time-honored Israeli political tradition.
Each century brings forth its own patriots. Once upon a time we had Patrick Henry, today we have Senator Patrick Leahy, who declared in the Senate that his opposition to an amendment that would distinguish how much of the UNRWA’s funding goes to actual refugees versus fake refugees was a patriotic act.
“I always look at what is in the United States’ interest first and foremost, and this would hurt the United States’ interests,” Senator Leahy stated firmly. It is of course difficult to find as compelling a national interest as the UNRWA, a refugee agency created exclusively for the benefit of five million Arabs, approximately 30,000 of whom are actual refugees, but all of whom hate the United States.
Senator Leahy, who could not discover a national interest in the Balanced Budget Amendment, drilling for oil in ANWR or detaining Muslim terrorists, all of which he voted against; finally discovered a binding national interest 5,500 miles away in Jordan, where “refugee camps” like Baqa’a (pop. 80,000), which are virtually indistinguishable from local towns and cities, complete with block after block of residential homes, stores and markets, multi-story office buildings, schools, hospitals and assorted infrastructure, must not be looked at too closely.
As a city which will soon celebrate its 50 year anniversary, Baqa’a is older than many modern Israeli cities and is as much a refugee camp as any of them. The only difference between Baqa’a and Ariel, is that no one in Baqa’a does anything for themselves because they are all eternal refugees with an entire UN agency dedicated to wiping their bottoms for them. A unique and singular honor in a world full of authentic refugees who have been driven out by rape squads and genocide, without getting their own minders in blue.
Senator Mark Kirk’s heretical proposal to begin reforming the UNRWA by distinguishing between people who could have some claim on being refugees from the vast majority who cannot, met with Leahy’s declaration that; “Frankly, Mr. Chairman, as a member of this committee, I always look at what is in the United States’ interest first and foremost, and this would hurt the United States’ interests.”
Samuel Johnson said that, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel”, but even Johnson would have had trouble understanding how a refusal to count who American aid money is going to, is in the nation’s best interests. It is no doubt in the best interests of the denizens of Baqa’a and their Jordanian rulers, who need to spend that much less money taking care of their people, but ignorance certainly doesn’t do the United States and its interests any good. A refusal to seriously examine the books does, however, benefit the UNRWA and politicians like Leahy who continue to support this boondoggle.
Jordan, the location of Baqa’a and many other aid sinkholes like it, has a population notoriously hostile to the United States. After September 11, Al-Qaeda enjoyed some of its highest approval ratings there, and most Jordanians still do not believe that Muslims carried out the attacks. Despite half a century of aid, 67 percent of Jordanians blame the West for their lack of prosperity, and majorities there support suicide bombings against civilians and American soldiers. Clearly, if there’s one place that there is a compelling national interest to plow aid money into, without doing the math, it’s Jordan and its refugee camps.
Where exactly is the compelling national interest in standing behind the UNRWA’s $1.23 billion biennial budget, and not just the budget, but a refusal to reform the methodology for accounting where all that money is going to? Before Washington D.C. cuts another quarter-of-a-billion dollar check to one of the biggest wastes of money in an organization that excels at wasting money, even more than D.C., it’s entirely sensible to ask whom the money is going to and how long we will be making out these checks?
There are currently five million people living off the UNRWA dole. Sooner or later there will be fifty million. Jordan’s government has done everything possible to inflate the UNRWA welfare rolls and keep cities like Baqa’a and their people on the Western dole. One day the Jordanian government, the British-appointed monarchy ruling over the original Palestinian state, may decide to give up the farce and put all their people on the UNRWA rolls as refugees. And we’ll have to keep on paying without asking any questions– after all, it is in our “national interest”.
At the end of parshas Metzora the Torah discusses the halachos of when a woman becomes a niddah. The Torah says that a woman who becomes a niddah must count seven days from when she stops seeing blood, and then becomes tahor by immersing in a mikveh. The Gemara in Kesubos 72a says that a woman is believed when she counts the seven days on her own. Tosafos in Gittin 2b says that this is the source from the Torah for the rule that eid echad ne’eman b’issurim (one person is believed concerning issurim). Rashi in Yevamos 88a says that the source for this halacha is due to the fact that if the aforementioned rule was not so, no one would be able to eat from his fellow or even from his own household (and apparently that is not possible).
Testimony of two witnesses is always believed, even when it contradicts a chazakah – a halachic rule that states that when there is an unknown we should assume that everything remained status quo. There is a machlokes Rishonim whether the testimony of one person is accepted when it contradicts a chazakah. For example, a live animal is prohibited to be eaten since it is not shechted. If one person will testify that it was shechted, his testimony will contradict the chazakah that it was not shechted. Tosafos, the Rush, and the Mordechai hold that one witness is not believed against a chazakah. The Rashba believes that one witness is believed, even when contradicting a chazakah.
The Shev Shmeitza 6:7 asks the following question: the Gemara (Yevamos 119b) says that when determining a doubt one should follow the rov (majority) over a chazakah. This is known as ruba v’chazakah, ruba adif. Mathematically, since a rov is greater than a chazakah and a chazakah is greater than one witness (according to some Rishonim), we should infer that a rov is greater than one witness. Therefore if three pieces of meat get mixed up (two non-kosher and one kosher) and one witness says that he knows which is the kosher piece, he should not be believed. Since there is a doubt as to which piece is kosher and the halacha of following the rov is telling us that the selected piece is from the majority (non-kosher), one witness cannot contradict the rov and testify which piece is kosher. But today’s norm dictates that this is not the correct halacha. Why? Because it is common for marketplaces to contain a majority of non-kosher meat and only a minority of kosher meat, and the seller is to be believed when saying which pieces are kosher.
The Chelkas Yoev writes that there is an explicit tosefta in Pesachim at the end of the fifth perek that says that one witness is believed over a rov. The Pnei Yehoshua (Kiddushin 63b) also says that one witness will be believed over a rov. He explains that the rule that one witness is not believed against a chazakah only applies when the chazakah is foolproof. However when the chazakah is weakened prior to the testimony of the witness, the witness will be believed. The Pnei Yehoshua adds that a chazakah that is not weakened is even stronger than a rov. Based on this there is no longer any indication that a rov is stronger than one witness. Thus in the case of the marketplace that contains a majority of non-kosher meat, one witness will be believed.
The Shev Shmeitza disagrees with the Pnei Yehoshua and offers another suggestion. The only case where one witness is not believed against a chazakah is when even according to his testimony, the item was forbidden at one point and he is attempting to remove it from its current status. However, if according to his testimony the item was never forbidden, his testimony is not considered contradictory to the chazakah and thus he is believed. The same would apply when one witness testifies about a case that has a rov. As a result, in the case of the pieces of meat that were mixed up, the witness testified that he always knew which piece was kosher; therefore, according to his testimony, there is no mixture and thus there is no rov. If the pieces are not mixed, a rov does not apply since there is no doubt. Therefore his testimony is not contradicting the rov. Hence he is believed.
If a single witness would testify that he found an animal to be treif, his testimony would directly contradict the rov that states that the majority of animals are not treif. He may be believed on a different merit but, according to the Rishonim that say that a single witness is not believed against a chazakah, he would not be believed against a rov as well.