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August 30, 2014 / 4 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘the Knesset’

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.

10 Reasons We Should Be Happy with a Palestinian State

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

10. “Kahane Was Right” folks will be able to rally in front of Palestinian embassies

9. Google Maps and my Israeli GPS will stop refusing to show directions to Ramallah

8. Instead of punishing MK Haneen Zoabi by just kicking her out of the Knesset, we can deport her to Palestine

7. The Chinese “Bodies” exhibition will find a home, with Yasser Arafat on permanent display

6. Now we know Micronesia really loves us

5. Personal injury attorneys love a Ramallah jury

4. IDF checkpoints will be upgraded to “Guest IDF checkpoints”

3. Israelis will be able to retrieve portions of their cars straight from the chop shop

2. If you missed your favorite cable TV show, you can always find it on MEMRI

1. More storage room for the new Iranian rocket shipments

Feiglin Says Rivalry with Netanyahu Is Over, But Two-State Solution Could Split the Party

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

If things at the Likud stay the way they appear today, we should all start getting used to saying “MK Moshe Feiglin.” The relentless and almost disturbingly patient leader of the Manhigut Yehudit (Jewish Leadership) faction in the Likud, has finally managed to get himself elected—and stay elected—into a realistic spot on the combined Likud-Israel Beiteinu list.

Feiglin, who started his political path as leader of a civil disobedience movement against the Oslo Accords, back in 1994, realized fairly early on that there was a kind of perpetual dichotomy taking place within Israel’s largest right-wing party. When you go to Likud events – after joining the Likud party in 2000 he would tell anyone who would listen – you see a sea of yarmulkes and headscarves in the audience, while the dais is populated with non-observers.

Above and beyond his own candidacy for the Knesset, Feiglin sought to alter this insufferable imbalance, encouraging fellow frumies, many, but not all of them, from the “wrong” side of the green line, to register as Likud members and start voting for religious candidates.

One would think that a candidate who brings in thousands of new potential voters would be welcomed with a warm embrace, but the fact is that Feiglin and his highly organized camp were greeted as a kind of Mongol invasion. In fact, Limor Livnat, today minister of culture & sport, once called Feiglin’s movement “a hostile takeover of the Likud.” And party chief Benjamin Netanyahu outmaneuvered the “Feiglins” at least twice so far, using his prerogative as chairman to drop the candidate’s name from his rightfully-earned realistic spot to the political dungeon that lurks beyond the 40th spot.

Now that he’s won the 15th spot on the Likud list in yesterday’s primaries, MK hopeful Moshe Feiglin told Army Radio that his relationship with the prime minister has improved. “The PM and I are in the same movie,” he said, using an Israeli colloquialism meaning on the same page. “The relationship is good, I intend to cooperate with the prime minister, the prime minister believes in democracy and in that which the Likud represents – and so it will be.”

He added: “The Likud has a list that represents Israel’s society in its entirety, it is a realistic list which will continue the good works of the Netanyahu government.”

Of course, those ‘good works’ included a period of a housing freeze in Jewish towns in Judea and Samaria, the uprooting of two whole neighborhoods, and a pitifully indecisive campaign against the Hamas in Gaza which ended with the legitimization of the terrorist government and with no strategic gains for Israel. But Feiglin is hopeful:

“The entire public in this country has become more nationalist,” he said. “Those loony notions of the Oslo accords which have led to the shelling of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem – the public has sobered up from them.”

Late last night, Netanyahu shared his regret over the fact that ministers Beni Begin and Dan Meridor have not been elected to a spot within the top-20 (Likud is sharing the slate with FM Avigdor Liberman’s Israel our Home 15-member list in an alternate-feed method, so that the Likud candidate who reached the first spot after Netanyahu, Education Minister Gideon Sa’ar, will be in spot number 3, after Liberman, and the next Likudnik will be in spot number 5, after Liberman’s number 2. It’s called the “zipper” system…). Netanyahu also promised to invite both Begin and Meridor to serve as ministers in his new government even if they aren’t Knesset Members.

The law permits Israeli prime ministers to include anyone they wish in ministerial positions, provided they receive a vote of confidence from the Knesset. But practical considerations, such as awarding ministries to coalition partners—who in turn use them to create patronage positions for their followers—usually prevent the proliferation of ministers who are not elected members of Knesset.

Take THAT, constitutional separation of powers…

Accordingly, Feiglin told Army Radio this morning that he didn’t think Netanyahu would make good on his promise to Begin and Meridor, mostly because, in the end, he will have to respect the public sentiment that sent them home.

Dan Meridor has been associated with the left wing of the party, and was extremely useful to Netanyahu in dealing with the center and even left-of-center. But, as Feiglin has observed, the Likud membership has made it extremely difficult for the prime minister to try and establish a coalition with, say, Labor.

Moshe Feiglin #14

Monday, November 26th, 2012

It looks like Moshe Feiglin will finally make it into the Knesset.

He won a very respectable position #14 in the Likud primaries on Monday.

With the integration of Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu, Feiglin will probably be pushed down to around position #21, which still means he’ll be in the Knesset.

In the past, his position on the list was manipulated after the fact, placing him in an unrealistic slot, but that doesn’t look like it will happen now.

National Union Chairman Calling on National Religious Voters to Avoid the Likud

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

National Union Chairman MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzele) today commented on his Facebook page on the Likud primaries, encouraging voters from the National Religious camp to reserve their vote to the modern heir of the historic NRP, the combined list of National Union and Jewish Home.

Even if the Likud primaries were to elect people we feel they are “ours,” and even those were to be residents of Judea and Samaria, we have seen in the past as well as over the last four years of working together in the Knesset, that when tested, the Likud prime ministers have led the Knesset members, even the best among them, into regions that the forefathers and founders of the Likud could not have imagined.

Our very best friends in the Likud have failed to prevent the expulsion of Gush Katif, and could not prevent the shame of new construction freezes and the hundreds of demolitions of housing starts by Likud governments, and particularly the stinging declaration of the Likud leader about his vision and ambition to reach the “solution” of “2 states for 2 peoples.”

The only solution to this situation is running jointly as two sister parties, our own National Union and the Jewish Home led by Naftali Bennett, in one big and qualitative list that could bring in as many as 14 seats and will serve as a foundation beam for the next government, as the most senior coalition partner and the moral and national anchor of the next government.

Ketzele’s spokesman, Ariel Cohen, told The Jewish Press he was very optimistic about the chances of the new, combined list to increase significantly the number of Knesset seats occupied by National Religious MKs.

In light of the Netanyahu’s government’s failure to come out of the Gaza operation with reassuring results, it could mean that large numbers of National Religious voters who normally vote Likud would decide to send a message to Bibi by voting for the old-new NRP.

Cohen noted that Ron Dermer, the American born senior advisor to Prime Minister Netanyahu, has said before the elections in the U.S. that if President Obama were elected, there would be another freeze on settlement housing starts.

Going Home

Sunday, November 25th, 2012

Israeli soldiers were packing up their gear as they leave their staging area near the Gaza border, on the first day of the ceasefire, Friday, November 22, 2012.

This morning the Likud is holding its primaries, to select a list of candidates for the Knesset. I sincerely hope that at least those Likud members who live down south will let their leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, know what they think about the shameful way he sold them out.

Netanyahu kicked the can down the street, gaining a few months of quiet, after which it is obvious that these same soldiers will be called back to do the job of suppressing the Hamas violence. But the new ceasefire agreement will make it just a little bit harder for them to do the job.

Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister. We could do much better.

Explosive New Arab Music Video: ‘Strike a Blow at Tel Aviv’

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Many wars are cemented in our memories by the songs that were about or popularized during the days of battle.  The Civil War had the “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” and “Yankee Doodle,” World War I had “Over There,” and for World War II it was The Andrews Sisters’ “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and also “Don’t Sit Under the Apple Tree.”  Over time, the more popular wartime songs became protest songs. Strong protest songs were ubiquitous during the Vietnam war, expressing the anti-war sentiments, which became especially pervasive during the Vietnam War. Just one example from that era is the Byrds’ “Turn, Turn, Turn,” a riff on Kohelet 3:1-8.

And now we have the Hamas-Israel offensive of 2012.  It, too, has inspired a fighting song.  This one is both a throwback to the jingoistic style of the earlier wars, but with a pulsing rap beat.  Oh, and it practically drips blood.

The first original song to come out of the 2012 Hamas-Israel offensive has a hard rap beat, grainy graphics and a title that delivers the message, without any subtlety: “Strike a Blow at Tel Aviv.

Thanks to the location and translation services of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), we have access to the lyrics written by the two “West Bank” authors.

The lyrics pulse with typical Middle Eastern themes of dominance and fear of humiliation.

The refrain, “Strike a Blow at Tel Aviv” is repeated early and often, but the hopes expressed are more expansive.  In addition to extolling the virtues of grinding Israel into the ground and  disdaining the concept of a ceasefire, the musicians take several x-rated swipes at Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

The song also ridicules the Gulf States  - the oil-rich Arab countries, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman – for their stately but meaningless conferences and their reliance upon NATO.

Some of the boasting in the lyrics are fantasies, such as Hamas having downed an Israeli warplane, but the urban legend has already taken off on a life of its own.

Here are excerpts from the lyrics:

We don’t want to truce or solution,
All we want is to STRIKE TEL AVIV.

 Here is the breaking news,
We shot down the plane,
And the pilot is missing.

We have downed their airplane,
And filled up their air raid shelters.

My entire people cry out loud,
STRIKE A BLOW AT TEL AVIV.

Oh Gulf States, shut up,
All you are good at is convening conferences,
Those lowlifes are not the same blood as me.

The Gulf States and all their billions,
Are tough only with NATO’s support.

Oh Fajr rocket, explode in the Knesset and army base.

Allah huAkbar, Allah huAkbar, Terrorize Tel Aviv,
Blow up, Blow up, Tel Aviv.

Here is the video:

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/special-features/israel-at-war-operation-amud-anan/explosive-new-arab-music-video-strike-a-blow-at-tel-aviv/2012/11/19/

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