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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Yaakov Litzman’

Israelis to Have Long-Term Care Insurance Next Year, Says Litzman

Thursday, January 21st, 2016

Health Minister Yaakov Litzman said on a national broadcast network Thursday that by early next year Israelis will have long-term care insurance.

The current situation in which families are forced to pay huge sums for private long-term care insurance policies for such coverage is “intolerable and must not continue,” he said.

Litzman stressed that Finance Minister and Kulanu party chairman Moshe Kahlon supports him in this matter.

The health minister said on the Channel 2 program, “Seder Yom,” that he has no doubt the coalition agreement applies to the creation of national long-term care insurance.

Hana Levi Julian

Hareidi Rabbis Rejected Netanyahu Request that Lapid Join Coalition

Monday, December 14th, 2015

Rabbis who advise the Hareidi Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism – UTJ) party have rejected a proposal by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to expand the government with the inclusion of Yesh Atid, chaired by Yair Lapid.

UTJ Minister Yaakov Litzman confirmed the report that was published Monday afternoon by the Hedrei Haderim website.

The coalition has survived for half a year with the narrowest of majorities, a single vote, and it has had to scramble several times to bring in Knesset Members to prevent an embarrassing defeat of a government bill or stop passage of an unwanted Opposition bill.

The Opposition also has not grabbed at opportunities to topple the government, and Opposition MKs often have left the Knesset forum in the same numbers that coalition MKs are absent.

Prime Minister Netanyahu would like to have a more comfortable majority, and Lapid’s chameleon-like positions have made it possible for him to sit with any government.

However, the Hareidi rabbis have drawn a giant X on Lapid, whose Holy Grail is to draft Hareidim, regardless of how much they learn in yeshivas or at least are listed as learning.

Hedrei Haderim reported that Litzman said:

I confirm that I received the request from the Prime Minister and that according to the advice of the Torah Sages Council, the answer is negative.

Lapid is a red line.

The office of the Prime Minister has not commented on the report, and Shas Hareidi party chairman Aryeh Deri told the website he knows nothing about it.

As for relations between Litzman and Lapid, the Yesh Atid leader recently approached the Knesset podium as Litzman stepped down.

Lapid reportedly patted Litzman’s shoulder, and the minister coolly brushed off his clothes, as if to clean off the dirt.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Secular Leftists Applaud New Hareidi Minister

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

The lion and the lamb are at peace with each other in the Knesset, at least for a day.

Hareidi Knesset Member Yaakov Litzman took the pledge of allegiance to the government Wednesday and became the first Ashkenazi Hareidi minister since the days of the Ben-Gurion government.

He said at the swearing-in ceremony:

“I, Yaakov Litzman, pledge…to be faithful to the government of Israel and to its laws.”

Unlike the Shas Hareidi party, Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) has refrained from allowing its Knesset Members to become a full-fledged Cabinet minister, which would obligate them to government decisions.

Until today, the prohibition was carried out with a wink and a nod by virtue of simply allowing a UTJ MK to hold the position of “Deputy Minister” without being subordinate to a minister. In Litzman’s case, he has been “Deputy Health Minister” but a de facto minister, reporting to no one but himself and without being a member of the Cabinet.

The High Court put an end to the practice by agreeing with a complaint that there cannot be a “de facto minister.”

Torah sages last week met and agreed to allow Litzman to become a full-fledged member of the Cabinet. Today’s swearing-in ceremony was applauded by most of the opposition, including Merav Michaeli, one of the most leftist and secular members of the Zionist Camp party headed by Yitzchak Herzog.

The party, the result of a merger of the Labor party and the faction that was headed by Tzipi Livni, was part of the overwhelming majority in the 83-10 vote in favor of the appointment of Litzman.

Yisrael Beiteinu, headed Avigdor Lieberman, voted against the appointment, as did Meretz, which added that it had nothing personal against the Hareidi MK.


Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/medical-marijuana-to-be-available-at-pharmacies/2015/07/27/

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