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December 1, 2015 / 19 Kislev, 5776
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Posts Tagged ‘Yaakov Litzman’

Ashkenazi Hareidi MK Now Cabinet Minister for First Time in 60 Years

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Hareidi Knesset Member Yaakov Litzman now is a full-fledged Cabinet minister, the first time since the days of the Ben-Gurion government that Ashkenazi rabbinical leaders have approved the position.

Unlike the Shas Hareidi Sephardi party, the Ashkenazi Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism party always has insisted that its Knesset Members not take a full Cabinet post, even if in effect they serve as minister, such as Deputy Health Minister Litzman.

The party did not want its members to carry out the responsibility of a full-fledged Cabinet minister, a post that could place Hareidim in a conflict with issues of Jewish law, such as abortion.

An appeal by an NGO to the High Court that a deputy minister cannot serve as minister without being called as such. The judges ruled in favor of the petitioners, leaving the Torah sages little choice but to allow Litzman to become a Cabinet member, with certain unspecified limits.

Torah sages from several Hareidi sects, including Vishnitz, attended a meeting Thursday morning that the Rebbe of Gur organized to discuss the spread of Shabbat violations in the country.

When the topic of Litzman’s becoming a Cabinet minister came up for discussion, and after a telephone conversation with the Rebbe of Belz, approval was given for Litzman to become a Cabinet minister, and he was blessed to “sanctify G-d’s name.”

High Court Demands Ultra-Orthodox Deputy Health Minister Be Upgraded to Minister or Fired

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

(JNi.media) Israel’s Supreme Court on Sunday accepted a petition from the opposition Yesh Atid party asking that Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman may not continue to serve as de facto Minister so long as he does not officially receive the appointment. The court decided Litzmann must make up his mind within 60 days.

The arrangement, which had been used routinely in the past with ultra-Orthodox politicians, was for Prime Minister Netanyahu to be the official Health Minister, while Litzman, as his deputy, actually ran the ministry. The reason for the unusual arrangement was to shield the ultra-Orthodox politician from responsibility for decisions of the Health ministry which may conflict with Jewish law—such as issues related to homosexual patients.

Deputy Minister Litzman, who is considered by most of his colleagues on both sides of the aisle to be one of the most competent elected officials today, will now be forced to choose assuming responsibility for a variety of medical ethics decisions which may be in direct conflict with halacha (Jewish law), in order to maintain his hold on the ministry.

If he receives the approval of the United Torah Judaism party’s rabbinic advisory board, Litzman would become Israel’s first Ashkenazi ultra-Orthodox minister since David Ben Gurion’s first coalition government, when Itzche Meir Levin (Aguda) served as Minister of Social Services.

The aim of the Yesh Atid appeal to the high court was to force Ultra-Orthodox politicians to embrace without reservations their participation in the Zionist endeavor in Israel, possibly creating a rift between the Israeli ultra-Orthodox party and anti-Zionist Ultra-Orthodox Jews both in Israel and abroad.

It is also now more likely that the Netanyahu government could fall over a medical dispute between the ultra-Orthodox and mainstream Israelis, because now Minister Liztman will not be able to recuse himself from dangerously sensitive issues.

Arad Mayor’s Battle with Local Chassidim over Budgets Draws in Big Gun

Thursday, August 6th, 2015

(JNi.media) A political storm is blowing in Israel’s southern city of Arad, where members of the local Ultra-Orthodox community are attacking the new mayor, claiming he is harassing and attacking them. Mayor Nissan Ben Hamo, for his part, says he’s only enforcing the law, and claims UTJ Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman is trying to intimidate him — a claim Litzman called a lie.

According to Kikar Hashabbat, Arad Ultra-Orthodox Rabbi Zvi Bialostosky sent a personal letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, asking him to reject the mayor’s request for a differential budget—which is Israel’s version of affirmative action.

“The prime minister is hereby requested to instruct all government departments not transfer funds to the Arad municipality, not for education, not for culture and not for everything else, before the mayor cancel the boycott and discrimination he has declared against Arad’s Ultra-Orthodox residents and send them the funds that are their due under the law,” wrote Rabbi Bialostosky in his letter, adding, “the Honorable Prime Minister must condition the transfer of every budget on ensuring the share of the Ultra-Orthodox community in Arad.”

Rabbi Bialostosky claimed that “the Ultra-Orthodox community in Arad is an anathema in the eyes of the mayor.”

“The mayor declares from any possible platform that his aim is to prevent the Ultra-Orthodox from settling in Arad, and conditions transferring budgets to [religious] institutions on their promise not to bring more Ultra-Orthodox to Arad,” Bialostosky added.

According to Bialostosky, the Ultra-Orthodox community in Arad has about 5,000 members, 3,000 of whom are minors. In the lower grades, about 50% of students come from Ultra-Orthodox families. “But the mayor blocks them with his body and does not permit the establishment of [Ultra-Orthodox] day-care centers, kindergartens and schools, while public secular education institutions are located in large buildings which are mostly empty, and our children are sitting in caravans on hot summer days.”

Mayor Ben Hamo argued in a radio interview Wednesday that Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman threatened him with blocking his government budget.

Ben Hamo was asked why he is acting against the Ultra-Orthodox in his city and replied: “I am working to implement the law and enforce it equally. The Gur Chassidic community has gotten used over time that the city turns a blind eye, and every time there’s some problem, their ultimate threat is We’ll break up the coalition, they terrorize the mayor, and then everything goes their way.”

“This past election I said one simple thing to the residents of Arad… I will be a Mayor who will not be subject to blackmail, will not be subject to bullying, no one will dictate to the mayor of Arad how to manage the city and certainly not to do it against the law. I’m still the mayor of everyone, and I’ve won broad support of the Religious Zionists, of the Chabad community, of all religious denominations other than the Gur Chassidic sect,” the mayor insisted.

“To say now that I use intentional discrimination against the religious community — it’s far from the truth,” Ben Hamo reiterated.

“Rabbi Zvi Bialostosky is causing an enormous damage to the Arad community. He hurts directly the Arad Municipality, and in fact, shoots the foot of Gur Chassidim here, in Arad,” Ben Hamo said.

“I was summoned for a clarification meeting with Deputy Health Minister, the honorable Rabbi Litzmann, who sat with me and told me in no uncertain terms: ‘My dear friend, the fact that you were elected Mayor does not mean anything. Either you give the Gur Chassidic sect what they want in Arad, or I personally will prevent you from getting government funding,’” Ben Hamo told radio listeners.

“This is what a [deputy] minister in Israel tells a mayor,” Ben Hamo said. “I was told this at a meeting in the Israeli Knesset, let the listeners understand how it went.”

The office of Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said in response to the mayor’s accusations that “these are lies that should be rejected out of hand. This is a mayor who shamelessly announced that he would only provide classrooms for the children of the Ultra-Orthodox in the city on the condition that [the Ultra-Orthodox community] pledge to stop Haredim from coming to live in Arad. This is disgraceful behavior that must not be ignored.

“The mayor’s duty is to provide educational services as well as all municipal services, without stipulation and without discrimination. The mayor has voiced this condition in his meeting with the Deputy Minister of Health, who protested it and said that he would fight this anti-Semitic and offensive decision with any lawful means at his disposal.

“Litzmann added that had the mayor made a similar decision against Arabs, for example, it would have caused a public outcry, but he allows himself to act in a rude and racist manner against the Ultra-Orthodox.”

Medical Marijuana to be Available at Pharmacies

Monday, July 27th, 2015

Israelis soon will be able to take a doctor’s prescription for marijuana to the local pharmacy, Deputy Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said Monday.

He noted that pharmacies issue prescriptions for other drugs that are considered narcotics and that procedures are well-supervised. A case in point is Ritalin. A person wanting to fill a prescription for the drug, which when ground up and sniffed can be extremely dangerous, has to wait at the counter until the pharmacist opens the safe.

“I will fight an aggressive war not to allow this to get out of control,” said Litzman, who in effect is the Health Minster, a title he does not accept because the Hareidi Yehadut Torah (United Torah Judaism) party does not want to be part of a “Zionist” Cabinet.

He said that making marijuana available at pharmacies awaits court approval concerning tenders for growers of “grass.”

Litzman said that there procedures overseeing prescriptions for marijuana will be issued either through law or administrative orders.

Health Ministry Prof. Boaz Lev added that officials will make it possible for more doctors to be able to prescribe marijuana for medicinal use.

Litzman to Reduce MRI Wait Time to a Maximum 3 Days

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015

In 1994, Israel introduced a law that required hospitals obtain a special government license to purchase or use an MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) machine to treat patients.

This law was specifically passed to limit the number of MRI machines in Israel to one per 750,000 people.

The Labor-led government’s logic was to prevent MRI machines from being “overused” and costing the insurance companies too much money. The Labor party was also in charge of the Ministry of Health at the time.

As a result, this much-needed medical tool became unavailable to the many Israelis who needed it, and just as bad, even if you received permission for your much needed MRI exam, you could easily end up waiting weeks before you saw the inside of a machine.

It also resulted in a black-market of MRI machines, where legitimate hospitals surreptitiously acquired MRI machines for other uses such as research, and then moved them over for medical diagnosis, but didn’t report it to the government.

Deputy Health Minister (there is no Minister of Health) Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) has always been an advocate of MRI machines and has done much to increase their numbers and use in Israel.

In 2010, Litzman introduced a plan to introduce an MRI into every hospital in Israel, and managed to get 8 new MRI machines approved that year.

In 2011, Litzman dedicated a new MRI machine, specifically to be used instead of autopsies, which are problematic according to Jewish law.

In 2012, Litzman said he was retroactively approving all the unlicensed and unregistered MRI machines in Israeli hospitals.

Litzman’s latest plan for MRI machine access is to reduce the wait time for getting an MRI exam.

Litzman announced at the opening ceremony of a Terem medical center in Beer Sheva, that he plans to inform the Prime Minister of his newest MRI-related plan which will make the maximum wait time for an MRI exam to no more than 3 days.

This is a (deputy) minister who is doing a good job.

Likud Begins Coalition Building

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

The Likud has begun the process of building a coalition.

PM Benjamin Netanyahu said that reality isn’t taking a break, and the citizens of Israel expect to quickly have a government.

Netanyahu’s goal is to have a government formed within the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Netanyahu has already spoken with all the party leaders he plans to invite to join in his coalition, including: Naftali Bennett (Bayyit Yehudi), Moshe Kachlon (Kulanu), Avigdor Liberman (Yisrael Beytenu), Aryeh Deri (Shas) and Yaakov Litzman and Moshe Gafni (UTJ).

Earlier today, Labor chief Yitzchak Herzog called up Netanyahu to congratulate him on his victory.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Wednesday, June 19th, 2013

MK Yaakov Litzman (UTJ) responded strongly to Health Minister Yael German’s (Yesh Atid) proposed legislation that would permit the state to automatically harvest organs from all dead Israeli without their explicit consent, unless the citizen previously signed a organ donor refusal card.

Litzman said, according to an Arutz-7 report, “This disgusting proposal has no place in a democratic, equitable and ethical state. This is clear and outrageous anti-religious [secular] coercion.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/invasion-of-the-body-snatchers/2013/06/19/

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