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December 6, 2016 / 6 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Transportation Minister’

Netanyahu OKs Major Road Works on Shabbat with Tacit Haredi Approval

Friday, August 26th, 2016

After a tense night of negotiations, on Friday morning Prime Minister Netanyahu announced that he succeeded in resolving the potential coalition crisis with the two Haredi parties in his government over work that had been scheduled for Shabbat at the Derekh HasHalom (Heb: Peace Road) train station in Tel Aviv. The resolution was that works which must be carried out because of risk to human life will proceed on schedule on Shabbat, while other works will be delayed until after Shabbat.

The Prime Minster’s office released a statement announcing the establishment of a new committee, headed by Netanyahu’s chief of staff Yoav Horowitz, to look into enhancing communication between the Ministry of Transport and the Haredi factions.

Haredi party officials have told Walla that “the crisis is behind us. The Prime Minster’s announcement was made in full coordination with us. We see it as our success, when Netanyahu announces that works which do not pose risk to human life will not be carried out on Shabbat.”

Members of Netanyahu’s inner circle have reportedly requested that the Haredim not turn the resolution into a victory celebration, and so they have maintained a restrained response.

Over the past 24 hours, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas), Health Minister Yakov Litzman and MK Moshe Gafni (both from UTJ) sent Netanyahu an urgent letter Thursday night, demanding a halt to the works on Shabbat, warning of a possible coalition collapse. “Should these works be performed by order of the Israeli government, causing public desecration of Shabbat, this would constitute a serious precedence and a blatant violation of the status quo,” they wrote.

What ensued was a back-and-forth debate as to who is in fact in charge of making Shabbat-work decisions: Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz, Welfare Minister Haim Katz, who is in charge of Work and Rest decisions, or Prime Minister Netanyahu. They approached Attorney General Avichai Mandelblitt who ruled that the authority is, indeed, with Haim Katz, but since this constitute a coalition breaking issue, it should be sent up to the PM.

David Israel

Jerusalem Light Rail Expansion Approved, City to Add More Lines

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

The city of Jerusalem has approved two more Light Rail lines in the holy city, a Green Line and a Blue Line. The go-ahead was given at a municipal planning meeting last month.

The current Red Line is also to be extended, north to the Neve Yaakov neighborhood, and south to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.

“I am happy to see that Jerusalem will go from having one successful Light Rail line to a network of three lines,” Transportation Minister Israel Katz said after the approvals were passed. “Light rail has significantly changed the city’s transportation… Jerusalem deserves a light rail system like that in Europe.”

The approximately 19.6 kilometer route set for the Green Line begins in the southern Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo and will pass through the Jerusalem Convention Center, known in Hebrew as Binyanei Ha’Uma, where the “A-1” fast line railway has a terminus. It will cross the current Red Line on Herzog Boulevard, and run up to Mount Scopus.

The Green line is currently set to include 36 stops to service an expected ridership of 200,000 passengers per day, according to the Railway Gazette website.

The Blue Line is set to run about 23 kilometers from the northwestern Ramot neighborhood through the center of the city out to the eastern Talpiot neighborhood, and then on to Gilo.

The Blue line will include branches to the Malcha Mall and to Mount Scopus as well, with 42 stops and an expected ridership of some 250,000 passengers per day.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Palestinian Only’ Buses in Israel: The Big Lies are Back

Tuesday, March 5th, 2013

The headlines roll out, the journalistic warfare continues, and the Jewish State once more is cast in the starring role of “evil, Apartheid empire.”  This time the story is that Israel is forcing the Arab Palestinians to ride separate buses from the ones Jewish Israelis ride.

The reality is exactly the opposite – there are no “Palestinian only” buses. Instead, with its new bus routes, Israel is reducing crowded buses, attempting to relieve ethnic tensions and security concerns, and is assisting Arab Palestinians enter Green Line Israel to work. But we’ll get to the facts – which exonerate Israel from “Apartheid” charges – in a minute. For right now you can rest assured that despite efforts to cast the Arab Palestinians in the role of Rosa Parks, a closer fit would be to cast the purveyors of this latest attack as peddlers of the Big Lie.

First, the hysteria:

One headline, from the magazine formerly known as Newsweek, and now known as – more accurately – the Daily Beast, “West Bank Buses Only the Latest in Israel’s Segregated Public Transport,” and one from the uber-leftist +972, “Israel’ new ‘Palestinian only’ segregated bus line,” and even the Israeli news media outlet YNet fans the flames: “Ministry launches ‘Palestinians only’ buses.”

The claims are exactly as you would expect them, and made by those whom you would suspect.  For example, Jessica Montell is the director of the anti-Israel, pro-Arab B’tselem Rights group. “Creating separate bus lines for Israeli Jews and Palestinians is a revolting plan,” Montell told Army Radio. “This is simply racism.”

And the far-leftist political Meretz party chairwoman Zahava Gal-On reamed Transportation Minister Israel Katz, demanding that he “immediately cancel the segregated lines in the West Bank. Separate bus lines for Palestinians prove that occupation and democracy cannot coexist,” she said.

What are the facts?

HISTORICAL FACTS

First of all, all Israeli citizens are permitted to ride all Israeli transportation vehicles, whether they are Arab, Finnish or Lithuanian, Jewish, Muslim, Christian or Buddhist.

Second, any non-citizen of Israel, just as is the case with every other country in the world, has to show identification when entering Israel’s official borders – it is true for American citizens entering Canada and Mexico, just as it is the case for citizens of the Palestinian Authority who wish to enter Israel.

Third, Israeli citizens who live in Judea and Samaria pay taxes, a portion of which subsidize the transportation infrastructure and vehicles, whereas Arabs who live in the PA towns do not.  In fact, taxes paid by Arabs in Israel are turned over to the PA to support their infrastructure, which includes – or should – transportation services for their residents.

One consequence of the preceding points is that the Israeli bus lines travel from and to all areas in which tax-paying Israeli citizens live – from Jerusalem to Shilo, from Tel Aviv to Efrat, and so forth.  The Israeli bus companies do not stop at, for example, the Arab town of Ramallah, just as they do not stop at non-authorized Jewish towns such as Givat Har-el.

WHAT IS NEW?

The bare fact: the Israeli government added two bus lines (so far, there was overcrowding on Monday, March 4, the first day the service was instituted, and the Transportation Ministry said more buses will likely be added) that will serve Arab Palestinian towns with transportation into central Israel.  The Israeli bus lines previously did not stop in towns controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Despite the efforts of BDS advocates, there are tens of thousands of Arab Palestinians who work in different parts of Israel.  Arab Palestinians with work permits would previously have to travel first to a place where the Israeli buses stop, or would be dependent on the much higher-priced Arab buses to get into central Israel.

So why the hysteria?  Because some see this as an evil plot to segregate Jews and Arabs.  But non-citizens are not entitled to use Israeli public transportation into central Israel without showing border identification, and prior to the provision of these new bus lines, Arab Palestinians were dependent on transportation services by “pirate” (Arab, by the way) companies which charged the Arabs far more than the Israeli lines do.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/palestinian-only-buses-in-israel-goebbels-big-lies-are-back/2013/03/05/

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