web analytics
September 28, 2016 / 25 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘years’

Jordan Holding First Free Parliamentary Elections in 10 Years

Tuesday, September 20th, 2016

Voting for the parliamentary elections in Jordan started across the Kingdom at 7 AM Tuesday and will continue until 7 PM, with a total of 490,240 Jordanians having voted by noon, Jordan Times reported. The number of eligible voters stands at 4,130,145, according to the Independent Election Commission (IEC).

The Jordanian elections were announced after parliament was dissolved by King Abdullah II on May 29, with the King appointing Hani Al-Mulki as interim Prime Minister following the resignation of Abdullah Ensour.

These elections are the first since 1989 to be held primarily under a form of proportional representation, following electoral reforms announced in 2015. Earlier elections were held under the “one-man one-vote” system, designed to curb the power of Islamic political parties after they obtained 22 seats out of 80 in 1989. The Tuesday vote is monitored by dozens of international observers. The 2015 reforms have led to opposition parties agreeing to participate in this election, including the Islamic Action Front, which boycotted multiple previous elections. According to reports, in order to reduce the IAF influence in these elections the Jordanian government has fomented splits in the Muslim Brotherhood, complete with the seizure of Muslim Brotherhood properties and the defection of hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood figures to form a new, supposedly more moderate party.

The elected lower house of Jordan’s parliament is constrained by an upper house of equal legislative responsibility whose members are chosen by the King. While the lower house can initiate legislation, it must then be approved by the senate and the King. If the King returns the law unapproved, it must gain approval from two-thirds of both the house and the senate to go into effect. The King appoints a Prime Minister and Cabinet from the lower house, but he is not required to consult parliament on his choice or choose the leader of the largest party for PM. Cabinet reshuffling by the King within a single parliament are frequent, used to reward loyal MPs and to counter public dissent, as the King can shift blame for issues to the previous Cabinet. The King can dissolve parliament before the end of its term if he desires early elections, or suspend parliament entirely and rule by decree, which has been done twice in the 21st century, from 2001–2003 and 2009–2010.

Maj. Gen. Atef Saudi, Director of Jordan’s Public Security Department (PSD), said that no major security incidents were reported so far.


Rabbi Abramchik Retires After 45 Years In Jewish Education

Monday, September 12th, 2016

Rabbi Elchonon Abramchik, the founding principal of Sha’arei Bina Torah Academy for Girls in North Miami Beach, decided to retire at the end of the past school year after 45 years in Jewish education.

Rabbi Abramchik is a man who believes in planning. His wife Harriet, a”h, was the same way. Together they had decided she would retire at age 62 and the rabbi would retire shortly thereafter. Harriet retired on schedule but the rabbi was not ready to leave the world of chinuch.

Rabbi Elchonon Abramchik

Rabbi Elchonon Abramchik

Unfortunately, his wife soon passed away. Working as a principal, with talented administrators and a dedicated faculty, helped fill the void and ease the loneliness of being a widower.

“I continued to work for three years after my wife’s passing” said Rabbi Abramchik. “I wanted to retire almost immediately but was advised not to make major life decisions in a state of emotional stress. Actually, I’m glad I took that advice. I don’t know if the healing process would have taken place were I to have retired as planned.”

“Retirement means a plan to do something else,” he added. “For me it never meant to just do nothing. It means shifting gears. One should learn Jewish texts every day. I am planning to learn in the morning at the Miami Beach Community Kollel and offer my service as an educational consultant to schools locally and around the country.”

The Greater Miami community wishes Rabbi Abramchik hatzlacha rabbah in his future endeavors. He can be contacted at 786-247-3961.

Shelley Benveniste

Agriculture Minister: Israeli Farmers Will Export Cannabis in Two Years

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel (Habayit Hayehudi) is planning for Israel to begin exporting medical cannabis, Cannabis Magazine reported on Sunday. Referring to the new experimental cannabis farm at Israel’s Volcani Institute for Agricultural Engineering, Ariel promised that “within two years we will have a regulated protocol for growing cannabis, at which point we’ll allow farmers to grow it.” Nevertheless, the minister would not refer to Cannabis as an agricultural product.

The program regulating the medical cannabis industry was approved by the Israeli government some two months ago. But because of the objections of Health Minister Yakov Litzman (UTJ), and despite the support of Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon (Kulanu), the program does not include approval for growing cannabis for export.

Unfortunately, cannabis growers in Israel are saying the only way they could afford to sell their product in Israel at a reasonable price is if they could raise most of their crops for export.

At the same time, the fact that the Volcani Institute is experimenting with Israeli cannabis suggests that eventually, when the time is right politically, Israeli cannabis might blow the competition out of the bong, since it is renowned for its agricultural research, focusing on plant sciences, animal sciences, plant protection, soil and environmental sciences, food sciences, and agricultural engineering, that have made Israeli farm products among the most prized in the world.

A sign announcing the launch of Israel's health ministry's medical cannabis center. / Photo courtesy Volcani Institute

A sign announcing the launch of Israel’s health ministry’s medical cannabis center. / Photo courtesy Volcani Institute

Over the weekend, Minister Ariel told Israel Radio that “the Agriculture Ministry is now devoting significant-size plots for experimentation and exhibition of cannabis growing,” in preparation for instructing Israeli farmers on the most efficient and productive methods of growing the plant. Ariel said he does intend to eventually reach a political consensus in the Netanyahu cabinet in favor of exporting cannabis. He expects the process of cultivating products, developing the proper protocol for growing and shipping, and getting political approval to take about two years, which means this could take place during the current Netanyahu government.


Crown Heights Pogrom, 25 Years Later

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

The festive marking of the 25 years since the 1991 pogrom perpetrated against the Jews of Crown Heights by some of their African-American and Caribbean-American neighbors continues what has been decades-long blurring of its significance.

The undeniable diminution of attacks against Crown Heights Jews is perhaps something to celebrate. But the theme that this progress is the result of two disputing sides having resolved their differences is not. There were no differences that had to be reconciled. What was required was a confession of error and a denunciation of anti-Semites and anti-Semitism by the activists and self-styled leaders who did so much to inflame the mobs.

Notwithstanding the media spin at the time, led by The New York Times, there were no two sides to the violence. Ari Goldman, the former Times reporter who had been assigned to cover the riots, wrote in 2011 about how his reports were sanitized by Times editors in order to peddle the notion that this was a general clash between blacks and Jews.

“In all my reporting during the riots,” he wrote, “I never saw – or heard of – any violence by Jews against blacks. But the Times was dedicated to this version of events: blacks and Jews clashing amid racial tensions.”

What Mr. Goldman said he did see, and hear, and report, was blacks chanting “Heil Hitler” and “Death to the Jews.”

Thus, like the pogroms of old in Europe, Crown Heights was about the random targeting of Jews by those unhappy with their lot in life. Ironically, A.M. Rosenthal, the legendary former executive editor who at that time was writing as an opinion columnist, made that point two weeks after the riots. In a column titled, “Pogrom in Brooklyn,” he wrote:


The anti-Semitic outrages of Crown Heights are aimed at the Jews of only one neighborhood in one city – for the moment.

But American Jews who do not understand that the same kind of political thugs will try now to lead the same kind of street thugs to burn Jewish property and break Jewish bones in other cities are blind to reality, deaf to history – and suicidal…

The press treats it all as some kind of cultural clash between a poverty-ridden people fed up with life and a powerful, prosperous and unfortunately peculiar stuck-up neighbors – very sad of course, but certainly understandable. No – it is an anti-Semitic pogrom and the words should not be left unsaid.


Keep in mind that Yankel Rosenbaum, a”h, was not even in the motorcade transporting the Lubavitcher Rebbe that was involved in the tragic accident resulting in the death of 7-year-old Gavin Cato. But Mr. Rosenbaum was a Jew, and that’s all the roving bands of hoodlums needed to know. And Al Sharpton’s harangues to the rioters about “diamond dealers” left no doubt in anyone’s mind about his message of group responsibility.

If the lesson of Grown Heights is not that mindless violence is never appropriate, all the festivals and talk of unity will amount to nothing but meaningless kumbaya moments.

Editorial Board

Crown Heights Riots – 25 Years Later: A Look Back at Jewish Press Coverage

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

On the evening of August 19, 1991, in the Brooklyn neighborhood of Crown Heights, a vehicle in the motorcade of the Lubavitcher Rebbe accidentally struck and killed seven-year-old Gaven Cato, the son of Guyanese immigrants, and severely injured his young cousin Angela Cato.

Within hours, angry blacks began gathering in the streets, many of them shouting “kill the Jews.” A group of black youths came upon a 29-year-old student from Australia, Yankel Rosenbaum, whom they beat severely and stabbed several times. He died later at a local hospital.

Over the next three days, groups of African Americans and Caribbean Americans rampaged through the streets of Crown Heights (many of them weren’t even residents of the neighborhood) in what historians have termed the worst anti-Semitic incident in American history.

By the time the rioting ended, 152 police officers and 38 civilians had been injured, 27 vehicles destroyed, seven stores looted or burned, and 225 cases of robbery and burglary committed. More than 100 arrests were made and property damage was estimated at one million dollars

Mayor David Dinkins and Police Commissioner Lee Brown were widely disparaged for what critics – and an official investigative commission created by Governor Mario Cuomo – called an underwhelming reaction to the violence. Dinkins’s handling of the riots played a key role in his failure to win re-election two years later.

The following are excerpts of some of the coverage in the August 30, 1991 issue of The Jewish Press.

  In Wake Of Sharpton’s Threats, N. Y. C. Mayor Dinkins Fears More Unrest

In the wake of three days of riots, a frightened Mayor Dinkins was apprehensive that more violence might erupt as Al Sharpton continued to stir up the community, threatening to enter the home of the young Lubavitcher chassid who was involved in the accident that killed a 7-year-old child in order to make a citizen’s arrest.

Last Friday, many local politicians were disheartened seeing a frightened mayor begging Al Sharpton and his cohorts, Herbert Daughtry and lawyer Alton H. Maddox Jr., not to march and stir up more violence.

After a few humiliating hours of pleading, the mayor left the meeting rebuffed and exhausted.



A Shut-In Tells Of Crown Heights Under Siege – A Tale Of Terror

By Paul A. Deckelman and Laura N. Deckelman

A handicapped Jewish man told a harrowing tale of terror after three days under siege in his basement apartment in riot-torn Crown Heights. His ordeal finally ended when he was able to get out of the neigh­borhood to take refuge elsewhere.

W. (who has asked to remain anony­mous) told The Jewish Press that late in the evening on Monday, August 19, he was on President Street with his home attendant when a neighbor came over and warned him to “get in your apartment immediately, because it’s dangerous on the street.”

Before they could make it back there, though, W. says they were stopped by a group of blacks. The leader told W., “If you’re not off the streets in a few seconds when I come back, that will be the end of you,” and began to walk away. It was then that W. heard sirens and saw a line of police cars pass him, moving in to scatter the rioters. “I was saved by the police cars.”

Even with the door locked and the windows shut, he could hear waves of ominous chanting outside “like at a football rally. I think they were yelling things like ‘Kill the Jews!’ As they ran past the apartment, I heard one of them say ‘If it was up to me, I’d kill them all!’ and then after [attorney] Alton Maddox said he’d give the city two days and after that they’d take things into their own hands and look for the driver themselves I heard someone yelling, ‘Okay, you got two more days, then we’re gonna start murdering all of you!’

Jewish Press Staff

Freida Sima, Max, And The Golden Years

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

Editor’s Note: This is the eleventh installment of a multipart series on the life and times of the author’s grandmother, Freida Sima, who as a young woman came to America on her own in the early 1900s and made her way in a new country. The tenth part (“Freida Sima Reunites the Family”) appeared as the front-page essay in the July 15 issue; part twelve will run in September.


The year 1953 was a momentous one for Freida Sima. Marking the end of an era in her life, it was also the beginning of a new one. In February, she and her beloved Max (whom she always called Mordche) celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary with family and friends, at a gala party arranged by their daughter, Shirley.

“Who would have believed we would both still be here, alive and well, after all we went through?” she asked herself as Max gave a speech in Yiddish, thanking everyone for coming. Neither had been young when they got married, and after that came Max’s diabetes diagnosis, the Depression, the war, and an operation she had gone through a year earlier.

Freida Sima’s boardinghouse days ended forever in the spring of 1953 with the death of her last boarder, “Rosie,” whom she nursed through his final illness. Her second trip to Israel that summer strengthened her ties with her European brothers and sister, and was another step toward bringing more of the family to America.

In October Max turned sixty-five and began to collect Social Security – “Roosevelt’s Miracle,” they called it – enabling him to retire from house painting. Although the physical labor had been beneficial for his diabetes, it was becoming increasingly harder for him to carry his ladder, heavy paint cans, and drop cloths throughout the city by public transportation. In November, Freida Sima and Max began making plans for what they wanted to do with the rest of their lives, their “golden years,” as retirement was now being called.

* * * * *

For the first time since their marriage in 1928, they were alone at home. Daughter Shirley had moved out when she married in 1951. The marriage soon ended, but Shirley preferred to retain her Queens apartment rather than move back to the Bronx. Concerned that her parents might be lonely, she surprised them one day with a small dog to keep them company. Watching the puppy’s wobbling walk, she named him Umbriago, similar to the word “drunk” in Italian and Spanish (embriagado).

As the neighborhood was rapidly becoming Hispanic, the name was a cause of confusion and mirth. Freida Sima would let the dog wander the neighborhood alone, and when she called from the ground floor window “Umbriago, you dog, come home already!” half the men on the block would turn around, thinking someone was referring to them.

The changing neighborhood was one reason behind Freida Sima and Max’s decision to move. The other was their mutual love of the ocean – for Max it was swimming, for Freida Sima it was the salt smell and sea breeze.

Now that Max was a man of leisure, they decided to finally indulge in a dream. After looking at affordable possibilities in New York City, they moved in early spring 1954 to a one-bedroom rental in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn, not even a block from the boardwalk and barely three minutes from the water’s edge. Max took to swimming almost every morning, while Freida Sima would wait for him in one of the large boardwalk pavilions, enjoying the sea air.

(For the next twenty years their apartment would be a summer haven for family and friends visiting the beach. Many would stop off there to change and end up staying for dinner. Among them were the married daughters – and their husbands –of Fanny and Morris Carlin, the couple who had introduced Freida Sima and Max more than a quarter century earlier. Another circle had closed.)

Judith Tydor Baumel-Schwartz

10 Years after Takeover Hamas Promises New Elections

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

January 25, 2006 was the last time Gazans voted for their ruling government, and the Hamas movement won it, with Ismail Haniyeh nominated for Prime Minister. Hamas then established a national unity government with the PLO, which collapsed shortly thereafter when Hamas violently removed the PLO from the Strip. Things remained the same for a decade, through three violent confrontations with Israel, until, last week, Hamas surprised everyone by declaring free municipal elections in the Gaza Strip, to coincide with the next round of municipal elections in the PA, scheduled for October 8.

Hamas says it is planning to run a national slate made up of technocrats (who just happen to all be Hamas members). Representatives of different parties in Gaza swore an oath last week, to abide by the elections rules and to respect the candidates and the deals that they make, and, most important, abide by the election results and by the decisions of the central elections committee.

The last time the Palestinian Authority held municipal elections was in 2012. Now a PA delegation has met with Haniyeh to discuss extending the municipal vote to the Gaza Strip as well.

According to Ynet, the reason Hamas may be prepared to open up the Gaza municipalities to PLO representatives is that Hamas is hoping to capitalize on its popularity in the PA, where the public has had enough of the corrupt PLO leadership. Hamas has won the student union elections in key PA universities such as Bir Zeit and the Hebron Politechnic. The Hamas leadership is convinced they have the momentum in the PA, and the municipal elections could serve as their trial balloon. Their aim, is, of course, for the PA to be forced to declare national elections, where the chances would be high that a Hamas candidate, most likely Ismail Haniyeh, would win the Chairmanship.

Voter registration opened on Saturday, including registration online. Eligible voters will have five days to join the reported 2 million voters who have already registered, constituting, according to the Palestinian Authority Central Elections Commission, 78.5% of the eligible voters in Judea and Samaria (including eastern Jerusalem) and in Gaza.

In 2006, there were 1,341,671 registered voters and 1,042,424 votes cast, according the Palestinian Authority Central Elections Commission.

In 2013, voter registration the Palestinian Authority suddenly jumped by 300,000 voters in the span of around 6 months. That massive influx of newly registered voters primarily originated from Gaza.

For comparison’s sake, in Israel’s 2015 elections, there were 5,881,696 registered Israeli voters and 4,254,738 votes case.

While back in 2006, Israel had 5,014,622 registered voters.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/10-years-after-takeover-hamas-promises-new-elections/2016/07/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: