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May 25, 2016 / 17 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Tel Aviv’

UPDATED: Ya’alon Uses Last Crumbs of Authority to Lock Out Habayit Hayehudi Deputy

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

According to TPS, access to Sunday’s farewell ceremony for departing Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon has been revoked from Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan (Habayit Hayehudi) and his staff, who were told they had to leave the IDF Kirya compound in Tel Aviv by 4:30 PM Sunday.

According to Rabbi Ben-Dahan, Ya’alon’s chief of staff informed Ben-Dahan’s staff, seven employees altogether, that their entry permits would be revoked as of 4:30 PM. Ben-Dahan noted that, according to the law, when a minister resigns, his or her deputies automatically lose their positions as well, but the same does not hold for their entry permits. Someone in Ya’alon’s office had to go out of their way to revoke those.

Ben-Dahan’s position as Deputy Defense Minister is anchored in Habayit Hayehudi’s coalition agreement with PM Netanyahu, and it is expected that once the new defense minister is sworn in, presumably this Tuesday, Ben-Dahan will receive his commission back. So someone under Ya’alon wanted to make sure the Deputy and his staff not be allowed in between ministers.

Petty? You bet. Ya’alon maintained a cool relationship with Ben-Dahan throughout the current coalition term, and would not permit him to run the office of the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT), as was his assignment in the coalition agreement. According to TPS, Ya’alon’s people also personally harassed Ben-Dahan’s staff whenever they could.

UPDATE: Prime Minister Netanyahu has stepped in, according to an A7 report, and cancelled the eviction orders against Deputy Minister Dahan and his staff.

David Israel

Singaporean Who Defied Boycott on Israel Visits the Holy Land

Friday, May 20th, 2016

By Jesse Lempel/TPS

Jerusalem (TPS) – Over 40 years after breaking the local boycott against Israel and offering to house a makeshift Israeli embassy on his personal property, Singaporean businessman Seow Kee Quek visited the Jewish state for the first time this week.

“I am now 70 years old. It took me about 41 years to get to the place that I gave a small help to,” Quek told Tazpit Press Service (TPS).

The ‘small help’ refers to Quek’s bold decision to rent space in the 1970s to the Israeli government on the 4th floor of the Oversea Union Bank building, owned by the Quek family – a prominent family in the island city-state. As a landlord, Quek even took a loss in forgoing “high returns” on the rent, he told TPS.

“None of the major property owners wanted to permit a space and every single one was afraid of local terrorism and backlash by the Muslim community,” explained Rodney Rahmani, a Jewish American friend and business partner of Quek who joined him on his visit to Israel.

“Mr. Seow Kee Quek personally stepped up and against the entire old money establishment in Singapore, made his opinion known that it is the duty and obligation of all Christians and moral people of the world to stand with Israel,” Rahmani added.

“I was frankly a little bit worried,” Quek told TPS. “But I knew that with God’s help nothing bad would happen.”

The building at 15 Scotts Road was chosen for the new Israeli contingent, Quek explained, because it housed “a bank and a vault underneath, and it was secure.”

Quek, a member of Singapore’s Christian minority, described the tumultuous period of conflict after Singapore’s founding in 1965 amid violence with the country’s Muslim neighbors, Malaysia and Indonesia.

“There was bombing at the time in Singapore,” Quek said. “We had lots of trouble, and Israel was in the center of it, actually.”

The founding prime minister of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, revealed in his autobiography how Israel had been instrumental in creating the Singapore Armed Forces. Following its independence in November 1965, Singapore turned to several countries with a request for military consultants and material aid, including India, Egypt, and the United Kingdom. However, only Israel consented to help the newly formed nation, wrote Lee Kuan Yew.

At the time, however, the Israeli involvement was a closely guarded secret. Quek recalled with a chuckle how the founding prime minister spoke in interviews of “Mexicans” providing the young country – when in fact the help was coming from Israel.

“He couldn’t say Israelis because we are completely surrounded by Muslims countries, and it was very sensitive,” Quek told TPS.

Things have changed since then, as evidenced by last month’s visit to Israel by Singapore’s prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong, son of the founding prime minister.

During his trip this week, Quek visited Bethlehem, Tel Aviv, and Jerusalem – where he met with Deputy Defense Minister Rabbi Eli Ben-Dahan. Quek professed that he was “very surprised” to meet the rabbinically bearded Ben-Dahan.

“As a rabbi, I could hardly picture how he could be in the position of deputy defense minister,” Quek told TPS. “He looks to me like Santa Clause – he’s so saintly and so sweet and smiley. How can a man like that be put in such a serious position?” Quek wondered.

On the subject of security, Quek was quick to say that he found Israel to be a thriving and secure country. Yet he also had some words of encouragement for the Middle East’s embattled democracy in its conflict with the Palestinians.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Terrorist Convicted in 2014 Murder of IDF Soldier Almog Shiloni, z’l

Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

An Arab terrorist from Shechem was convicted Wednesday of the November 2014 murder of an IDF soldier outside the Hagana train station in Tel Aviv.

The terrorist, Nur al-Din Abu Hashayeh, was convicted in Tel Aviv District Court of murdering 20-year-old Almog Shiloni, according to Israel Radio.

Hashayeh, age 18 at the time of the murder, illegally entered sovereign Israeli territory the day before he carried out the attack.

Under interrogation he told investigators he had hoped to be killed by security personnel during the attack, thereby becoming a “martyr.” In this way he would earn a generous monthly salary for his family from the Palestinian Authority government and also would gain eternal fame as well.

Nevertheless, the killer has likely nevertheless succeeded in gaining at least a somewhat generous monthly stipend for his family from the Ramallah government, which pays the families of convicted Arab terrorists imprisoned in Israel on a scale rated in accordance with the severity of the attack, the number of victims and length of sentence.

In this case, Hashayeh caught the young soldier by surprise and stabbed him in the stomach. As he fell to the ground and tried to defend himself with his legs, the terrorist stabbed him several more times while trying to grab his M-16 assault rifle and attack nearby bystanders.

Israelis who saw the attack rushed over and hit the terrorist, who the fled, tossing away his knife on the way.

Although the homes of many such terrorists have been demolished during the current wave of terror, Israel’s High Court of Justice ruled last December that “too much time had passed” for demolition to be carried out as a deterrent measure in this case.

Hana Levi Julian

Lebanese LGBT Activists Protest Anti-Homosexual Law

Monday, May 16th, 2016

Perhaps it’s a sign that Lebanon has become safer and more Western-oriented: a group of about 50 LGBT activists from the Lebanon-based Helem association, for the first time in four years staged a sit-in outside the Hbeish police station in Beirut, where the “morality police” hold transgressors of article 534 in the penal code which criminalizes relations that are “against nature,” Naharnet reported. The protesters demanded that the law be revoked, and that four transgender women be released. They carried signs saying, “Homosexuality is not a disease,” “Sex is not illegal — your law is archaic,” and “Repeal 534.”

The punishment in Lebanon for “crimes against nature” is up to one year in prison.

An event that was scheduled to follow the demonstration, organized by Proud Lebanon, was canceled due to pressure from Christian religious authorities.

Helem leader Genwa Samhat told AFP that the sit-in, which took place two days before the International Day against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, “calls for the abolition of this section of law dating from the (1920-1943) French mandate in Lebanon.” She added: “Most people arrested under this law aren’t detained in the act but in the street because of their appearance.” Also, she said, people “continue to be fired if their boss finds out they’re gay. They’re made to say they quit voluntarily for fear of being outed.”

According to Naharnet, Lebanese police are known to raid nightclubs serving homosexual patrons, and homosexuality is a frequent subject of ridicule on television.

In 2012 dozens demonstrated outside a Beirut court to protest the use of an anal “test” for suspected gay men. According to Samhat, “these tests continue, despite the justice ministry asking police to stop the practice. This is humiliating.” Also, she noted that “arrested people are still screened for AIDS, while this should be voluntary. There is a preconceived idea that all homosexuals have AIDS.”

Just to compare, the Boston Globe recently wrote that Tel Aviv, only 130 miles south of Beirut, is the gayest city on earth. “Tel Aviv is, for lack of a better description, super gay,” the paper’s Christopher Muther told his readers, adding, “The long-standing rule of thumb is that 10 percent of the population is gay, give or take. The estimate by officials in Tel Aviv is 25 percent of its population is gay.”

JNi.Media

Military Official Says Iran Tested Precision-Guided Ballistic Missile

Monday, May 9th, 2016

Iran test-fired a precision-guided ballistic missile two weeks ago, the armed forces deputy chief of staff announced on Monday, according to the Fars news agency.

“Two weeks ago, we tested a missile with a range of 2,000 kilometers (1,243 miles) and an error margin of eight meters (24 ft),” Brigadier General Ali Abdollahi said, according to Fars.

Now, that’s accurate!

In case you wanted to know at this point, the distance from Tehran to Tel Aviv as the ballistic craw flies is 993 miles.

The military official chose to make the statement at Baghiatollah Hospital, which is run by the Islamic Revolution Guards.

Mixed messages? Anticipation of consequences? Time will tell.

Iran test-fires missiles of different ranges and capabilities all the time, as part of its regular military drills. And although Tehran insists the precision ballistic capability to take out a section of Tel Aviv is merely defensive, the US has stated that it constitutes in breach of the UN 2231 resolution that prohibits Iran from firing any missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

US Secretary of State John Kerry did say in the past that the US and its allies were “prepared to work on a new arrangement to find a peaceful solution to these issues.”

That must have stung the Iranians bad.

Iranian officials also insist the missiles that are being test-fired are not designed to carry nuclear warheads.

Feeling safe yet?

In the end it doesn’t really matter whether the new missiles are defensive or offensive and what part of what city they can destroy, because Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has already said for the record that Iran’s missile program is not part of the negotiation with the US.

David Israel

German Traveler to Dubai Finds Himself on Flight to Tel Aviv

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

A Muslim German national on vacation traveling with Pegasus Airlines flew from Germany to Dubai Monday night, but somehow found himself landing at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv.

The incident has never happened before – but it is extremely serious because it might have ended quite differently, with an Israeli passenger landing instead in an enemy nation.

The bearded, black-haired 30-year-old passenger first landed in Istanbul where he was to catch a connecting flight to Dubai. He transferred his luggage for the next leg of the journey, according to a report posted on the Hebrew-language Ynet site, then proceeded to make the connection to his next flight with a carry-on bag – or so he believed.

It is not clear how he passed through all security and airline inspections with his ticket, which clearly was marked with Dubai as his final destination. In fact, he remained totally unaware of the error until the on-board announcement the plane was approaching its destination in Tel Aviv.

At that point, he jumped up, completely startled, and called the flight attendant to show her his ticket. After checking it with the flight manager, she confirmed that it was “certainly a mistake, you are not on the correct flight – but this is your own problem and you will have to pay for a return flight.”

Israeli passengers seated nearby immediately intervened, speaking with the agitated passenger and with the flight attendant, insisting that it was the airline’s mistake and he did not have to pay anything at all.

Upon landing, Israeli security officials came to the plane to interview the passenger, and after confirming the error and his veracity, took him off the plane, checked his bags, and put him on a flight back to Istanbul.

Pegasus Airlines said in a statement: “The incident is under investigation, and it is believed that due to the fact that two flights were close together, it is possible that the passenger passed inspection for Dubai, but got on the wrong bus for the passenger aircraft, instead boarding that which led to the flight to Tel Aviv.”

Hana Levi Julian

Remember! The Price is High to Ride A Bike in Rabin Square

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

The city of Tel Aviv has put its foot down, literally. No more bike riding in Rabin Square.

Lawmakers have launched a new initiative to issue tickets to bicyclists who cross the line and ride in the wrong place starting Sunday, May 1.

According to a new city law, bike riders will be ticketed and fined for riding in Rabin Square. Fines already are in place for riding on the sidewalks and all the other places they have been barred from until this point.

There are bike lanes on all the major roadways in Tel Aviv.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/remember-the-price-is-high-to-ride-a-bike-in-rabin-square/2016/05/02/

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