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July 27, 2016 / 21 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Supreme Court’

Arab Celebration Time

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Following pressure from the Israeli High Court, after the families of the terrorists lied to the Judges (surprise?) saying they wouldn’t run celebrations when the terrorist bodies were returned, the police began returning bodies of terrorists – and surprise, the families and friends began to celebrate their martyrs.

This morning, Minister Erdan ordered the police to stop returning all the terrorist bodies.

Erdan posted on his Facebook page that he hoped the judges in Israel’s Supreme Court will take notice of these images of incitement to terror, which should not happen anywhere, and certainly not in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.

Video of the Day

Facing Growing Protests, Venezuela’s President Declares ‘State of Emergency’

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro has declared a 60-day state of emergency. The move came Friday night in response to what he claimed were domestic and U.S.-based plots to subvert him, and followed efforts by opposition lawmakers to raise a recall referendum against Maduro’s administration.

Protests in the country are gaining traction as nearly 70 percent of the population calls for Maduro’s ouster. The president was the hand-picked successor to the late president Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer while running for re-election.

Chavez was a close friend of former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, and the two men cemented ties between their two nations while severing Venezuela’s ties with Israel. Venezuela has the largest oil reservoir in the western hemisphere.

After the partition of Israel was approved by the United Nations in 1947, more than 200 homes, shops and synagogues were destroyed in Venezuela, according to an article written by Rachelley Krygier, who wrote in June 2014 in the Caracas Chronicle about her mother’s family’s immigration experience when they arrived from Aleppo, Syria. Her father’s family, fleeing Cuba, also came to Venezuela.

“None of them could have foreseen what came next. The country was completely transformed from a refuge into a hostile, threatening place,” she wrote. Between 1990 to 2011, the Jewish community of Venezuela shrank from 25,000 to 9,000.

“Signs of anti-Semitism in the government became evident in 2009, when Chavez condemned the state of Israel, expelled the Israeli ambassador  and conducted meetings with Iran’s Ahjmadinejad. Our Holocaust survivors saw in the news how our president shook hands with a leader who denied what they and their loved ones had gone through,” Krygier wrote.

Meanwhile, on Saturday Maduro ordered military exercises for next weekend, vowing the government would take over idle factories. He did not provide details. Opposition lawmakers continued to lead protests.

“We’re talking about a desperate president who is putting himself on the margin of legality and constitutionality,” Democratic Unity coalition leader Jesus Torrealba told hundreds of supporters at a rally, according to Reuters.

“If this state of emergency is issued without consulting the National Assembly, we would technically be talking about a self-coup.”

Control over Venezuela’s National Assembly was won by the opposition in a December election that was fueled by voter anger over skyrocketing inflation, product shortages and crime, but the lawmakers have been consistently undercut by the country’s Supreme Court.

Hana Levi Julian

Defense Ministry to Demolish Amona, But Build Bigger Town Near Shiloh

Sunday, May 8th, 2016

The 40 families who live in the Samaria town of Amona have to find somewhere else to live by the end of this year; their town is to be demolished.

Although the town was built on land purchased — not stolen — from Arabs living in the Palestinian Authority, the deeds that prove the sale were not accepted as valid by Israel’s Supreme Court.

But officials remember the price paid over the court-ordered demolition of nine homes allegedly built on “privately owned Arab land” in 2006.

Hundreds of civilians were wounded in the clashes to defend the homes from the thousands of Israeli police and soldiers who came to destroy them. The vicious brutality of some of the security forces was caught on camera and a number of lawsuits followed; countless Israelis were permanently traumatized as well.

Media footage remains from that debacle.

This time, the Defense Ministry planned together with the Amana organization that built the town of Amona to create a new Samaria town in its stead, near the existent Jewish community of Shiloh.

If the state fulfills its promise, the new 139-home town will be built on state-owned property near the outpost of Geulat Tzion, a new community triple the size of that which they have been forced to leave.

Hana Levi Julian

Justice Minister Commits to Enforcing Sovereignty in Area C

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) on Monday stated that she is working, together with AG Avichai Mandelblit, on an outline for imposing Israeli law on the Israeli-controlled part of Judea and Samaria. Established by the 1993 Oslo accords as Area C, it covers 60% of Judea and Samaria and is home to an estimated 350,000 Jews who live in 225 communities (including outposts yet to be approved), and 30,000 Arabs. Israel already has control over security and land-management in Area C, and many in Israel view the area, for all intents and purposes, as a future part of Israel, as opposed to Areas A and B, which were designated as the foundation of a future Palestinian autonomous territory.

Speaking to Army Radio, Shaked said she plans to appoint a committee based on the new outline, to examine every law passed by the Knesset and decide whether it can be imposed concurrently on the Jewish communities in Area C as well, via a military decree (Tzav Aluf). Past attempts to impose an automatic application of new Israeli laws in Judea and Samaria have failed, including two separate attempts by Habayit Hayehudi. These included a minimalist bill to apply Israeli laws in the “Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria,” and even a bill prohibiting discrimination in the supply of goods and services to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, which has been waiting for a Knesset vote since 2011.

Shaked is hoping that establishing “a team who will examine every single law” for its applicability in Judea and Samaria will indirectly create a promotional device that would be on hand to pressure the IDF General Officer Commanding (GOC) and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to pay better attention.

At the moment, the legal picture in Area C is very complex, whereby the law there is comprised of Ottoman and Jordanian laws, combined with military decrees of the GOC, with the Supreme Court playing referee. In recent years there has been a growing tendency on the part of the GOC to apply new Israeli laws as soon as they had been passed. Last March the Knesset passed a law enabling settlers to receive on gains inside the green line the same tax benefits they are entitled to in Judea and Samaria; and a law coordinating home buying taxes so settlers won’t have to pay twice. Despite the fact that both laws—which were passed late at night when the leftwing parties were not paying attention—the legislation was condemned as “crawling annexation” of the “occupied territories.” MK Tzipi Livni (Zionist Camp) said it was a quiet way for the Netanyahu government “to impose its ideology.” Which, presumably, is what you do when you win.

The last time Livni’s party was the big electoral winner, she and her partners used their power to transfer some 8,000 Jews from their homes, the first time a Jewish community had been forcibly evicted from its homes since the end of WW2.

On Sunday, in a similar vein, Shaked said that she intends to equalize the legal conditions for Israelis on either side of the green line, either by using the military decree or by new legislation. Speaking at the Legal Forum for the Land of Israel, Shaked added that “It’s important that the Justice Minister have political power and political ability.”

Yes, it is, and this Justice Minister appears to be using hers wisely and bravely.

JNi.Media

High Court Suspends Natural Gas Deal, Harming Israel’s Relations with Energy Firms

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday accepted some of the petitions against the Netanyahu government’s natural gas outline which included development and exploitation of the country’s newly discovered off-shore deposits by Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group.

In a four to one vote, the justices specifically ruled against the “stability clause,” which blocks any government regulatory changes to the off-shore gas outline for the next ten years – something that Netanyahu had promised the energy companies, in order to guarantee them stability in return for their massive investments.

This clause is considered legally problematic as it obligates future governments and Knessets, without actually having been passed via legislation.

The court ruling means the entire signed deal is suspended until the Knesset has a chance to review and amend the law. The court gave the Netanyahu government one year to fix the clause, or the deal would die.

Out of all the petitions that had been submitted to the high court after the law had been approved, the court embraced most decidedly the appeal from three good government groups — Movement for Quality Government, Association for Environmental Defense, and Israel Energy Forum — who also argued against the validity of the clause 52 maneuver, which was used by Netanyahu in an elaborate process that involved firing the state regulator, handing a government minister the Interior portfolio from which he had been removed in disgrace over embezzlement, and the Prime Minister’s claiming for himself the Economy portfolio.

Clause 52 permits the economy minister to bypass the objections of the state regulator and create a de facto monopoly, for security reasons.

Many observers had been placing small bets on whether or not the Prime Minister’s complicated political circus act would land him in front of a Supreme court veto. Surprisingly, it didn’t. In the end, the court did not challenge Netanyahu’s masterful maneuvers, but by striking down the stability clause, it may still kill the deal.

The good government groups argued the PM lacked the authority to approve the gas outline; pointed to supposed deficiencies in the approval process; claimed the absence of a relevant factual basis to establish the outline; decried an assault on the rule of law; cited violation of the principle of distributive justice; claimed injury to the intergenerational justice; accused the PM of violating the public trust; said the law had a lack of proportionality; and declared it was an extremely unreasonable legislation. The only thing missing was the kitchen sink.

But the court only accepted their argument regarding the stability clause.

Still, the three judges who voted to suspend the law were adamant in their condemnation of the Netanyahu government’s lack of respect for the democratic process. Justice Esther Hayut, who is slated to become the next Chief Justice, wrote regarding the stability clause that it is the most excessive overreach by the Prime Minister, in that it ties up government’s hand for a decade against changes in regulating and taxing the natural gas exploitation.

Israel’s energy minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said that the Supreme Court made an “unfortunate decision” in blocking the government’s plan to develop the offshore natural gas fields, warning it could cause irreversible damage to Israel’s energy sector. “The decision’s negative consequences on the development of the gas market, on energy security, on the Israeli economy and on the lost revenue for the state of Israel and its citizens, could be very tough, and even irreversible,” Steinitz said in a statement.

At this point it is unclear whether Netanyahu would be able to fix the stability clause in the current political reality of the Knesset.

Two ministers, Galant (Kulanu) and Katz (Likud) have had to recuse themselves from the debate for reasons of a conflict of interests, as would, possibly, Finance Minister Kahlon. This leaves a tie of 59 to 59. A lot will depend on MK Avigdor Lieberman’s Israel Beiteinu opposition faction, who may not be so eager to lend a helping hand to Netanyahu. And even if the PM manages to pass an amended bill, it is to be expected that the left in the House would take it right back to the Supreme Court.

PM Netanyahu said he would find a way to overcome the damage the court’s ruling just did to Israel’s economy. But for the time being, the gas will continue to remain stuck under the sea.

David Israel

First-Ever Dissent Written by US Supreme Court Justice Over Refusal to Hear Jewish Prisoner’s Case

Tuesday, March 1st, 2016

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito filed an unusual dissent Monday when the Court declined to hear the case of a Jewish prisoner refused the right to study Torah with two fellow inmates.

In a hand-written petition to the Court, Israel Ben-Levi had asked the justices to review the decisions of a federal district judge and an affirmation by the U.S. Court of Appeals, according to The Washington Post.

The Supreme Court generally does not explain its decisions to decline hearing a case — thousands are declined each year. There has never before been a written dissent. On Monday alone, 550 cases were declined by the Court, according to The Miami Herald.

But somehow, the case of Ben-Levi v. Brown touched Justice Alito.

“The court’s refusal to grant review in this case does not signify approval of the decision below,” the judge wrote. “But the court’s indifference to this discriminatory infringement of religious liberty is disappointing.”

Although there was no quorum of 10 to meet the minimum requirements for a minyan, Ben-Levi contended that a smaller group would be better than nothing.

The justice agreed and said the prison policy treated Jewish groups differently than Christian or Muslim groups. “The courts below should have considered whether the policy imposed a substantial burden on Ben-Levi’s ability to exercise his religious beliefs, as he understands them,” Alito wrote. “Ben-Levi believes that relaxing the minyan requirement promotes his faith more than sacrificing group Torah study altogether.”

Prior to 2004, Ben-Levi was known as Danny Lee Loren, his birth name. At present he is being held in Green Correctional Institution, a minimum-security facility 80 miles east of Raleigh, North Carolina.

Both of the lower courts had upheld the decision by the prison to deny his request in 2012 to hold a “Jewish Bible Study” group at Hoke Correctional Institution in North Carolina, where he was being held at the time.

Ben-Levi wrote to the Supreme Court, “It seems that all other faith groups are allowed to meet, yet the Jewish inmates are discriminated against. I feel the religious rights of the Jewish inmates are being violated on a regular basis.”

Prison officials contended the claim was invalid because there was no quorum of 10 Jewish adults to establish a minyan. There was also no outside rabbi to supervise the study group, although the policy has since been revised to include “approved” inmates to lead study groups as well.

“Concerns have been raised in the past of inmates engaging in gang activity under guise of being members of the same religious faith group engaging in religious practices,” North Carolina Assistant Attorney-General Kimberly D. Grande told the Supreme Court in a brief.

Jewish law (Halakha) only requires a quorum of 10 men for certain prayer services; it does not require a quorum of 10 in order to study the Torah, and in fact such study is conducted in pairs or small groups in rabbinical institutions.

Hana Levi Julian

Former PM Olmert Appeals Talansky Case

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert appeared Tuesday at the Jerusalem Supreme Court to appeal his sentence in the Talansky case.

Olmert was sentenced on May 25, 2015 to eight months in jail for the scandal in which he received hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash from New York businessman Moshe Talansky.

He also was fined NIS 150,00 ($37,000). The jail sentence followed a sentence of six years in prison for the Holyland apartments bribery scandal. Olmert was convicted of accepting bribes in return for facilitating the real estate project in Jerusalem’s Bayit Vegan neighborhood while serving as mayor of the city.

That six year prison term, however, was reduced by the Supreme Court to 18 months a year and a half later.

Olmert was acquitted last month (Dec. 29, 2015) on a major portion of his 2014 conviction.

Israel’s Supreme Court accepted Olmert’s argument regarding the state’s failure to prove he actually received half a million shekels in bribes as mayor of Jerusalem in the Holyland affair.

The court did, however, retain the former prime minister’s conviction on receiving a bribe of NIS 60,000 during his tenure as Minister of Industry.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/former-pm-olmert-appeals-talansky-case/2016/01/19/

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