Rabbis Yaakov Ariel & Shlomo Aviner Shlita on the Upcoming Papal Visit

May 14th, 2014

popeWith about two weeks remaining until Pope Francis arrives in Jerusalem, the Ministry of Education has decided it must act by advancing Christian content in the public school curriculum under the banner “Exposing students to the lights, not only shadows in regard to relations between the Christian world and Jews”.

Ramat Gan Chief Rabbi and noted posek HaGaon HaRav Yaakov Ariel says “[Do you want us] to tell the youth in Israel that Christianity has changed its character? This is an inexcusable injustice.” He adds “Christianity has been hostile to Jews forever. Millions of Jews were slaughtered by Christians and one cannot say the attitude has changed. Merely 65 years ago the pope opposed the creation of the state because they claim Christianity replaces Judaism and the State of Israel contradicts the Christian faith”.

The Education Committee of the Knesset feels introducing the Christian content into the curriculum is an appropriate act towards marking 50 years since the death of the pope who was an ally of Israel and during WWII acted as a Vatican emissary in Turkey. “The Christian theology remains anti-Jewish and anti-Israeli. Christianity cannot recognize the return of the Jewish People to its land. For this contradicts their thesis. According to them, Am Yisrael suffers because it did not accept the man. This confusion being presented to the children is very dangerous for children must be taught of the dangers of missionaries. Christians believe that one day will convert and we must stop the Education Committee and its deviant plan”.

HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Aviner Shlita adds that while the pope did assist many Jews during the Holocaust, he remains adamantly opposed as well. He explains that it is nice and comforting to declare the pope a “righteous gentile” in Yad Vashem but we must see what he did nonetheless. His actions were his own and not in the name of the church. Rav Aviner explains he did what he did because he is a person and not because he is a Christian. “Christianity is not our friend but ontological and hostile. Catholicism wants us to disappear from the face of the earth when that time comes and therefore we recommend to diminish studies [on Catholicism] and increase studies in Judaism, not to seek poisoned bread but rather to commit to keeping the Torah which was given to us by Moshe before Bnei Yisrael”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Protect Our Future, Protect Kever David

May 14th, 2014

00001221-entrance-kever-dovid-hamelech[COMMUNICATED CONTENT]

In recent months we have become aware of growing speculation of a most heinous plan: the agreement between the Israeli government and the Vatican to transfer the Kever of David ha Melech into their hands. Although the official story from the Prime Minister is that no such agreement has been made, there seems to be overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Italian news stations are reporting that the deal has already been done, and numerous Rabbis and MK’s have made many attempts to publicize this terrible secret.

However, this is not enough!

As the most persecuted minority on Earth, the Jewish People have faced indescribably painful tragedies, both on a personal level and on a collective level. Even before we became a unified and powerful nation, the forces of the Other Side have put forth their best efforts to attack us and keep us down. But, with the help of Hashem, we have risen from an oppressed slave nation to become the most powerful nation in the world. Although we are small in numbers, the Jewish People have made tremendous and life-changing contributions to mankind.

We are not only powerfully influential in the physical world; we are spiritually the most influential as well. We have seen, both in our personal lives and throughout history, that our dedication to the Torah has literally changed the direction of many seemingly pre-determined outcomes. One such example is the Purim saga, when Queen Esther, together with the Jewish People, were able to overturn the verdict of complete annihilation through their prayers and teshuva. We can recall the Maccabees, the mighty warriors that gave us the holiday of Chanukah, who were able to defeat the most powerful army on earth, even though logically they should never have won.

Now, we are at another pivotal moment in history- we are in danger of losing our most cherished ancestor, King David, to a religion that is our antithesis. Anyone who knows the history of the Catholic Church is fully aware that they have faithfully made it their mission to remove the religion of Judaism from the face of the Earth. They have been the cause of countless blood libels, pogroms, anti-semitic murders, and conversions. Throughout most of our history as a Jewish People, we have fought against them, through our prayers and our unwillingness to give up who we are.

 

No matter what they threatened us with, we never said we will stop being Hashem’s chosen. We never agreed to stop being Jews. But, now? What kind of position have we been put in? Our very own government, the one who, against all odds, made Israel into a Jewish State, is handing over the most important part of us to a group that wants to see us disappear? Do they really expect us to lie down and play dead as they, with their own two hands, do the dirty work of the ones who hate us??

 

We cannot ignore the signs! We cannot take what Netanyahu tells us at face value! We must do whatever we can to prevent this national and spiritual tragedy from happening! We have fought too hard and sacrificed too much of our own blood, our children’s blood, our parents’ and grandparents’ blood, to let our birthright be stolen out from under us without a fight. This is literally a fight to save our future! If the Vatican gets a hold of our ancestor, the King of Israel and the grandfather of our future Redeemer, where does this leave us??

We are in danger of losing our land, given to us by G-d Himself, to nations of the world that hate us! Before we can blink, our government could re-instate the pre-1967 borders. Who will stop them? It is up to us to say, “Enough is enough!

 

We know, however, this fight that we must fight is not a physical one. It is a spiritual battle. The soul is the most powerful tool we have; it is infinitely powerful, a piece of G-d Himself. It is time for us to access that infinite power and stand up for our future. We must come together, Jews of all backgrounds and levels of observance, and find our strength through our unity.

 

For one night, we must forget our differences. For one night, let’s truly be brothers and sisters, and beg our Father in Heaven to let us keep what’s rightfully ours. This one night can overturn this terrible decree against us! We must do everything we can in order to prevent this nightmare from happening! The only way to do this is through our unified efforts!

 

Join us Thursday, May 22 at 6:45 pm, at the holiest place on Earth, Mount Zion, for an amazing night of tefilah, tza’akah, and shira- prayer, crying out to Hashem, and song. Mincha will be followed by divrei Torah from distinguished Rabbi’s. Musical guests will include Shlomo Katz and Yosef Karduner.

 

Let’s show the Israeli government and the entire world that we will not let go of our heritage! Let’s show the world that this is more than just an argument over property! Let’s show them that we are proud to be Jews, the real heirs to Hashem’s kingdom!

FOR MORE INFO CLICK HERE.

 

New York Republicans To Nominate Candidates

May 14th, 2014

gNew York’s 2014 election season officially gets underway as the state Republican Party gathers in Westchester County to nominate candidates for statewide office.

The event on Wednesday will showcase Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino’s bid to challenge Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo this fall, while also highlighting the campaigns of GOP candidates for comptroller and attorney general.

The star of the convention may turn out to be Astorino’s running mate, Chemung County Sheriff Christopher Moss. A critic of the state’s new tougher gun law, Moss is little known downstate but likely to help Astorino appeal to the party’s conservative base and to voters upstate.

Since announcing his candidacy in March, Astorino has traveled throughout the state but his name recognition remains a challenge.

Cuomo commands a strong lead in the race, according to a Siena College poll released last month. It showed the governor leading Astorino 58 percent to 28 percent. Sixty-six percent of polled voters said they either did not know who Astorino was or had no opinion about him.

The Republican nominations for governor and lieutenant governor will be Thursday.

Also expected to win the party’s nod are attorney general candidate John Cahill, who served as a top aide to former Gov. George Pataki, and comptroller candidate Robert Antonacci, the comptroller of Onondaga County.

Those nominations are scheduled for Wednesday.

Though Astorino has been campaigning for months, the convention will serve as the official start to campaign season — and as a show of Republican Party unity.

Wednesday’s convention agenda also features remarks from senior CNBC contributor Lawrence Kudlow and a keynote address from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.

Democrats hold their convention next week on Long Island, where they will nominate Cuomo, Attorney General Eric Schneiderman and Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli for re-election.

(AP)

Passport Woes Keep Lev Tahor Cult Kids Anchored In Canada

May 14th, 2014

lev-tahor

Any plans that Lev Tahor may leave Canada for Central America have been halted because Quebec’s child welfare agency still has warrants outstanding to apprehend all 129 kids in the Lev Tahor community, their lawyer says.

Immigration lawyer Guidy Mamann said it wasn’t known until two weeks ago that the Quebec department of youth protection obtained a court order to apprehend all the children who fled Ste. Agathe-des-Monts, Que., last fall for Chatham.

More than 200 members of Lev Tahor bolted from Quebec while authorities there investigated allegations of child abuse and neglect. The group says the allegations are unfounded.

Details of the warrants for the other children weren’t discovered until some Lev Tahor families made passport applications for their Canadian children.

That information was never disclosed to any Ontario court that weighed whether 14 children subject to an initial Quebec foster-care order should be returned to Quebec, Mamann said.

The outstanding warrants have scuppered any applications for Canadian passports necessary to leave the country.

It was believed any issues with the Quebec authorities were finished. Last month, Superior Court Justice Lynda Templeton said it wasn’t in the best interests of the children to be sent back to Quebec and away from their families. She ordered the children be placed in temporary foster care in Ontario.

Mamann said all the children under the order are likely to be reunited with their families by the end of May. They were apprehended after two families disobeyed an order to stay in Chatham. One family made it to Guatemala, while the other was arrested in Trinidad and returned to Canada.

There have been rumours the community is ready to leave Canada because of the scrutiny placed on their education standards and allegations for abuse.

Mamann said it’s true two of the community’s leaders, Mayer Rosner and Uriel Goldman, are in Guatemala but primarily for the birth of a grandson.

They also plan to look around the country to decide if it’s suitable for the anti-Zionist group to live there.

But no one is going anywhere until the children’s passport issues are resolved.

Mamann said the outstanding Quebec warrants have created a sticky situation for the families because parents, most of whom are American or Israeli, are about to have temporary visas about to expire but can’t leave because their children aren’t allowed to leave Canada.

He said there hasn’t been “a shred of proof that they have been neglected.”

The warrants weren’t put in place to ensure the children were protected, Mamann said. “It’s a question of politics.”

If there was real concern about the children’s safety, the Quebec authorities would defer to the investigation by Ontario child welfare authorities, he said.

(Source: Stratford Beach Herald)

Sept. 11 Museum Displays Heart-Wrenching Artifacts

May 14th, 2014

911

New York’s new Sept. 11 museum is a monument to how the terror attacks that day shaped history, from its heart-wrenching artifacts to the underground space that houses them amid the remnants of the fallen twin towers’ foundations. It also reflects the complexity of crafting a public understanding of the terrorist attacks and reconceiving ground zero.

The National September 11 Memorial Museum was set to be dedicated Thursday and open to the public May 21.

The museum faced financing squabbles and construction challenges. Conflicts over its content underlined the sensitivity of memorializing the dead while honoring survivors and rescuers, of balancing the intimate with the international.

Holocaust and war memorials have confronted some of the same questions. But the 9/11 museum exemplifies the work it takes to “develop a museum program amidst this range of powerful feelings and differing individuals and issues that get raised,” said Bruce Altshuler, the director of New York University’s museum studies program. He isn’t involved in the Sept. 11 museum.

The museum harbors both personal possessions and artifacts that became public symbols of survival and loss. There is the battered “survivors’ staircase” that hundreds used to escape the burning skyscrapers, the memento-covered last column removed during the ground zero cleanup and the cross-shaped steel beams that became an emblem of remembrance. (An atheists’ group has sued, so far unsuccessfully, seeking to stop the display of the cross).

Portraits and profiles describe the nearly 3,000 people killed by the Sept. 11 attacks and the 1993 trade center bombing. Nearly 2,000 oral histories give voice to the memories of survivors, first responders, victims’ relatives and others. In one, a mother remembers a birthday dinner at the trade center’s Windows on the World restaurant the night before her daughter died at work at the towers.

The museum also looks at the lead-up to Sept. 11 and its legacy.

9111

Members of the museum’s interfaith clergy advisory panel raised concerns that it plans to show a documentary film, about al-Qaida, that they said unfairly links Islam and terrorism. The museum has said the documentary is objective and its scholarship solid.

While some Sept. 11 victims’ relatives have embraced the museum, others have denounced its $24 general-public ticket price as unseemly and its underground location as disrespectful, particularly because unidentified remains are being stored in a private repository there. Other victims’ families see it as a fitting resting place.

The museum and the memorial plaza above it cost a total of $700 million to build. They will cost $60 million a year to run, more than Arlington National Cemetery and more than 15 times as much as the museum that memorializes the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Sept. 11 museum organizers have noted that security alone costs about $10 million a year.

(AP)

Williamsburg: MTA Offering Free Transfer For G Train This Summer

May 14th, 2014

gtrainFor five weeks this summer subway riders will be able to get a free, above-ground transfer between stations in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

The Daily News says riders will be able to switch from G trains at the Broadway station to J or M trains at the Lorimer Street station.

Riders will have to walk a few blocks between the stations.

The free transfer is being offered while the G train’s Greenpoint Tube under the Newtown Creek is repaired, beginning July 26. The tube suffered damage during Superstorm Sandy.

During the project three stations along the G line will be shut. They are Court Square and 21st Street in Queens and Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn.

(AP)

Hagel Promises: Iran Deal Won’t Weaken Gulf Security

May 14th, 2014

dDefense Secretary Chuck Hagel on Wednesday promised U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf that negotiations to contain Iran’s nuclear program will not weaken their security.

In remarks opening a conference with his Gulf counterparts, Hagel said Washington is hopeful of progress this week in the Iran deal-drafting talks in Vienna.

“As negotiations progress, I want to assure you of two things,” Hagel told the Gulf Cooperation Council. “First, these negotiations will under no circumstances trade away regional security for concessions on Iran’s nuclear program.”

The Pentagon chief continued, “Second, while our strong preference is for a diplomatic solution, the United States will remain postured and prepared to ensure that Iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon – and that Iran abides by the terms of any potential agreement.”

Even if Tehran backs out of the nuclear negotiations, Hagel said, “the United States remains committed to our Gulf partners’ security.” He said there are about 35,000 U.S. troops in the Gulf region.

After his meeting with the Gulf ministers, Hagel said they all agreed on the need to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful.

“While we noted that Iran’s diplomatic engagement has been a positive development, we continue to share deep concerns about Iran’s destabilizing activities throughout the region, including its sponsorship of terrorism, its support for the Assad regime in Syria and its efforts to undermine the stability in GCC member nations,” Hagel said.

Hagel also addressed the ongoing civil war in Syria, describing it as a confluence of “violent extremism, fragile states and humanitarian emergencies.”

“The United States remains committed to working with your governments toward a negotiated, political solution that ends the violence and leads to a representative and responsive government,” he said.

(AP)

Winter Flight Cancellations Were A Record

May 14th, 2014

canIt’s official: This winter was the worst for fliers in the 20 years that the government has been collecting data.

During the first three months of this year, U.S. airlines canceled 4.6 percent of their flights, the Department of Transportation announced Tuesday.

Mother Nature is mostly to blame, with a relentless wave of snow and ice storms paralyzing airline traffic across the nation.

But airlines are also quicker to cancel flights these days, sometimes a day in advance of a storm. The shift in strategy came in response to new government regulations, improvements to overall operations and because canceling quickly reduces expenses.

In May 2010, a new DOT rule took effect prohibiting airlines from keeping passengers on the tarmac for three hours or more. So, airlines now choose to cancel blocks of flights to avoid potential fines of up to $27,500 per passenger or $4.1 million for a typical plane holding 150 fliers.

Making things worse for travelers, airlines have been cutting unprofitable flights and packing more passengers into planes. When flights get canceled there isn’t anywhere to put the stranded passengers; some end up waiting days to secure a seat on another flight.

In March, JetBlue had the highest cancellation rate among the bigger airlines: 2 percent of flights. That was closely followed by the merged American Airlines and US Airways, canceling 1.9 percent. Southwest Airlines and United Airlines both canceled 1.1 percent and Delta Air Lines 0.2 percent.

Some of the highest flight cancellation numbers came from smaller regional airlines that are operated by other companies on behalf of the major airlines. ExpressJet, which flies regional planes for American, Delta and United, scrapped 5.1 percent of its March flights. American Eagle canceled 4.1 percent of its flights and SkyWest — another subcontractor — nixed 2.3 percent of its scheduled flights.

(AP)

IRS Paid At Least $13B In Improper Tax Credits

May 14th, 2014

irsThe Internal Revenue Service paid more than $13 billion in tax credits last year to people who may not have qualified, a government investigator said Tuesday.

The Earned Income Tax Credits were supposed to go to low-income working families.

The agency’s inspector general issued a report Tuesday saying the improper payments were between $13.3 billion and $15.6 billion. That’s about a quarter of all EITC payments.

“The IRS can and must do more to protect taxpayer dollars from waste, fraud and abuse,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration.

The IRS said it is aggressively fighting tax fraud, and is improving its efforts to police EITC payments. The agency said it has stopped nearly 15 million suspicious returns since 2011, blocking more than $50 billion in fraudulent refunds.

“The IRS remains deeply concerned about the level of improper payments, and a major review currently underway is exploring a wide range of options to distinguish valid claims from excessive ones,” the IRS statement said.

The Earned Income Tax Credit is one of the nation’s largest anti-poverty programs. In 2011, more than 27 million families received nearly $62 billion in credits.

The credit is attractive because, if it is larger than your total income tax bill, the IRS will pay you the difference. This is especially helpful to low-income families because many pay little or no federal income tax.

But it also makes the credit more susceptible to fraud.

Using IRS statistics, the inspector general’s report provided an estimated range of improper EITC payments from 2003 through 2013. The report says the IRS paid out at least $124.1 billion in improper payments during the period, and perhaps as much as $148.2 billion.

Families earn the credits by working and earning money, though there are income limits. The size of the credit depends on your income and the number of children you have.

This year, a married couple with three or more children can earn up to $52,427 and still qualify for the credit. A married couple with two children can earn up to $49,186 and still qualify, according to the IRS.

The maximum credit this year is $6,143 for families with three or more children. The maximum credit for families with two children is $5,460.

(AP)

FM Lieberman on Kever Dovid HaMelech

May 14th, 2014

kdAmid growing concerns that the government plans to give away a portion of Kever Dovid HaMelech on Har Tzion, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded to an inquiry from MK Meir Porush during a session of the Knesset Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee on Tuesday, 13 Iyar.

Porush asked Lieberman straight forward if reports are true, that the government plans to give away the upper area known by the Christians as the Last Supper Room to the Vatican. The reports state this will occur during the upcoming visit of the pope in about two weeks time.

The senior minister responded with a firm denial, stating the news reports are erred and there is no truth to concerns the government plans to turn over a portion of the tziyun to the Vatican. He stated there would not be a change in the status quo which exists today.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Wednesday AM News Briefs from Eretz Yisrael

May 14th, 2014

ywnisrael.israel· 06:55: Sirens sounding in Zikim and other areas of southern Israel.

· Ichud Hatzalah: A female was struck by a vehicle and seriously injured on Yam Suf Street this morning. MDA paramedics transported her to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital trauma unit. It was a hit and run.

· Rehovot: A woman fell to her death from the fourth floor of a building.

· 10:30: A large IDF force has arrived at Maale Rechavam.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Bar-Shalom: Eli Yishai Acted Contrary to Abba’s Words

May 14th, 2014

absMrs. Adina Bar-Shalom, a daughter of Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L and a recent Israel Prize recipient spoke out against former Shas leader MK Eli Yishai. Bar-Shalom made her remarks during a chareidi high-tech conference on Tuesday morning, 13 Iyar. She stated that for political reasons, Yishai ten years ago prevented her appointment to Israel’s Council of Higher Education. She stated Yishai did this despite Maran’s approval and bracha over the appointment. She explained that when she was asked to join again three years ago she was unable to due to obvious conflicts of interest as she was heading the Jerusalem chareidi college.

Bar-Shalom also had what to say about the head of the Council of Higher Education, Professor Trachtenberg, stating he and his colleagues did absolutely nothing to integrate chareidim into the nation’s academic world. Even worse she point out was the reality that any and all requests towards achieving this goal was refused. She feels the council lacks good will when it comes to chareidim being integrated into the academic world, and this reality results in damage on a daily basis.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

PHOTO: Israel’s Firefighting Motorcycle

May 14th, 2014

isfd

The Ichud (United) Hatzalah ambucycles have become well known around the world as they gained notoriety for their ability to weave through traffic and bring a provider to an emergency scene faster than a traditional ambulance.

Now Israel’s fire department has purchased three BMW 650GS firefighting motorcycles. The new fire protection motorbikes have been developed as special solution for rapid initial attack in urban areas where normal fire engines have difficulties with traffic. Today they are used for multiple purposes where flexibility and mobility of the fire extinguishing vehicle is required, for fighting a fire in its early stages. The motorcycle is equipped with a 13 liter water tank operating under high pressure, and the equipment folds to improve the vehicle’s performance. Firefighting officials feel the new units will be most helpful operating at car accidents and other areas where standard fire vehicles do not have access.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Fear of Additional Expulsions in Yosh by Week’s End

May 14th, 2014

ywnisrael.israelThe word spreading throughout areas of Yehuda and Shomron point to additional expulsions of Jews from their homes. The vibe is these expulsions will occur before Shabbos Bechukosai. There are fears a violent confrontation between residents and police will occur in Givat Assaf, Ramat Gilad and Maale Rechavam.

Such a move would represent one of the largest expulsions since Gush Katif & northern Shomron in 2005 but the expulsions were ordered by the Supreme Court a half year ago.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon is one of the state officials meeting with settlement leaders in the hope of reaching agreement for the voluntary evacuation of the communities mentioned. The court ruled the communities were founded on private Arab-owned land and therefore they have to be removed. The deadline for the court-ordered evacuation is Sunday, Lag B’Omer 5774. Since such an operation is not likely to take place on erev Shabbos or Shabbos, the rumor has begun spreading that it will occur prior to erev Shabbos.

The real fear surrounds possible violence, perhaps on the level seen at Amona. Video footage of that horrific scene serves as testimony to the fact it was B’chasdei Hashem that operation did not result in the loss of life. Security agencies are pressing settlement leaders to compel residents to leave on their own while in the communities mentioned, residents are calling for reinforcements, trying to get supporters into the area before security forces close them down and prevent others from arriving.

In Maale Rechavam in the eastern Gush Etzion preparations to resist began on Wednesday morning 14 Iyar. Eight buildings are to be evacuated as a result of the High Court ruling. This community was established in 2001 and named in memory of slain cabinet minister Rechavam Ze’evi HY”D. Many believe the forces removal of residents will begin in the coming hours, in broad daylight.

Givat Assaf is located at “T” Junction on Route 60, also established in 2001. It was named after terror victim Assaf Hershkowitz HY”D, who was murdered as he traveled to work from his home community of Ofra, not far from the new community.

Ramat Gilad was established in memory of slain Shomron security officer Gilad Zar HY”D, on land belonging to Moshe Zar. This was approved by the government in 2011. A number of structures in that community must be razed in line with the court’s ruling.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

 

Simchayof Suspends himself from Jerusalem City Hall

May 13th, 2014

simchayofAfter the sentencing hearing on Tuesday morning 13 Iyar in which he was sentenced to 3.5 years imprisonment, Jerusalem Councilman (Shas) Eli Simchayof suspended himself pending the outcome of his planned appeal to the Supreme Court.

Simchayof is a former deputy mayor and a longtime veteran of Jerusalem City Hall. His letter of suspension was brief and to the point, stating he is removing himself from his post at City Hall beginning Tuesday, 13 Iyar in light of the sentencing. He states he does plan to appeal to the Supreme Court.

The mayor’s office is checking with legal experts to determine if the suspended councilman is still officially a member of the city council. This is due to a previous legal position stating that a councilman convicted of a crime with a moral turpitude clause is automatically removed from the city council.

If the city’s legal experts rule that Simchayof is off the city council, then Asher Mishali will move into the council to replace him. If Simchayof appeals to the Supreme Court and emerges innocent, he will return to his Jerusalem City Halls post.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Most Cabinet Ministers Support Delaying Presidential Election

May 13th, 2014

peresDespite coming under harsh criticism from opposition MKs, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is continuing his efforts to postpone the presidential elections and/or eliminate the position entirely. It now appears most of the prime minister’s cabinet will back his initiative. Actually, the prime minister is likely to bring a vote to the cabinet as soon as this Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting, 18 Iyar 5774, hoping to obtain a government majority to delay the election for a half year. President Shimon Peres’ term in office will end in July 2014.

Most Likud ministers are onboard and ministers from Yesh Atid, Yisrael Beitenu, The Movement and Bayit Yehudi appear to be in favor of the move as well. Two ministers who have stated their opposition are Gideon Saar (Likud) and Uri Ariel (Bayit Yehudi).

The prime minister’s initiative calls for delaying the election for a half year and during that time period changes will be made in the form of government, including the direct election of the prime minister. It is clear the prime minister is motivated by his desire to set the stage for reelection, and he is willing to do anything to achieve this goal, including amending a Basic Law. The prime minister also envisions a new situation in which the head of the party receiving the most votes in Knesset elections would automatically be tapped to attempt to form a government. This would eliminate going to the president asking for a mandate to form a coalition. Being that Netanyahu sees himself heading the largest party after the next election, he wants to know he is automatically empowered to form a coalition. He hopes that by the time a new president is elected, the latter’s powers vis-à-vis controlling the coalition will have been significantly curtailed.

While The Movement leader Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, Yesh Atid leader Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Bayit Yehudi leader Economy Minister Naftali Bennett have not openly expressed their support for the prime minister’s effort, it appears they are willing to back it.

Even if the cabinet approves the bill on Sunday, the prime minister will not have as easy a time pushing it through Knesset. Coalition MKs (Likud/Yisrael Beitenu) Chaim Katz, Miri Regev, Reuven Rivlin and Elazar Stern have already announced they will oppose the bill in Knesset.

Meretz leader MK Zahava Gal-On feels the prime minister “does not lack shame”, announcing her party will oppose it. The same holds true for opposition leader (Labor) MK Yitzchak Herzog. They both add that even if the plan has merit, one does not seek to ram it into law weeks ahead of an expected presidential election.

Asked if he will remain in office should the election be delayed, President Peres told the media “I will not remain in office one day past my term of seven years which I was elected to serve”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Op-Ed: Drawing the line on J Street

May 13th, 2014

ywe[By Farley Weiss - Originally published by Jpost]

The Conference of Presidents rejection of J Street’s membership application was the right decision. During the nearly yearlong after J Street applied for membership in the Conference, there was no change in J Street’s outspoken criticism of Israel. Clearly acceptance of membership would have led to a legitimization of J Street’s positions and actions, and in our view to significant long-term damage to the pro-Israel movement in America.

Even many of the Conference members that supported J Street’s membership application openly stated that they disagreed with many of J Street’s statements and actions. Their arguments in favor came down to the fact that J Street has many members, including young members, and that the Conference should have a “big tent.” In our view, membership numbers have little relevance. If the Neturei Karta had many members, including young members, should it be considered for membership? I think not. As it relates to a big-tent approach, where is the line drawn? Can anyone with many members join the tent? All the critics can cite is J Street’s support for a two-state solution.

However, their rejection had nothing to do with J Street’s apparent support for a two-state solution, and everything to do with its statements and actions on the issues of the day.

Alan Dershowitz is an ardent supporter of a two-state solution and yet he wrote that he could not find anything pro-Israel in the statements and actions of J Street. J Street initiated one major Congressional letter and it was a letter only critical of Israel and its actions in Gaza. When the Goldstone Report was published and Israel and the US Jewish community were outraged at the falsehoods and slander of the report, J Street was attempting to get former South Africa judge Richard Goldstone, who headed the UN’s fact-finding mission on the Gaza conflict, appointments with members of Congress. Eventually Goldstone himself disavowed his own report, and yet J Street stood by it. If J Street had been a member of the Conference at that time its actions would have caused significant damage.

J Street vocally called on the US administration not to veto a UN Security Council resolution critical of Israel. The Conference of Presidents supported a veto and fortunately the Obama administration did not listen to J Street and vetoed the resolution.

Just a few days before the Conference of Presidents vote on J Street, it became public that US Secretary of State John Kerry had been quoted as saying Israel could become an apartheid country, and that J Street defended Kerry’s remark. Abe Foxman of the ADL, who supported J Street membership, condemned Kerry’s remark and observed that even Secretary Kerry himself later expressed regret for the use of the term apartheid – but not J Street.

One of the most critical issues today is preventing Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Alan Dershowitz points out that J Street has opposed strengthening sanctions, and even opposes a US military strike if the Obama administration feels it is the only way to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. J Street called for Israel to end its military incursion into Gaza, when Israel could find no other way to protect its citizens from missiles. The Obama administration stood with Israel and supported it when the IDF went into Gaza – but not J Street.

The importance of the vote by the Conference of Presidents is it avoided a situation in which AIPAC would be lobbying Congress to support issues that would be beneficial of Israel and J Street would lobby in the opposite direction. Such a situation would confuse members of the House and Senate as to the position of the Jewish community. If J Street would have been invited to join the Conference of Presidents, it would give the impression that it is an accepted voice within the national leadership of the Jewish community. I believe that this would, over time, be devastating to Congressional support for Israel and ultimately the security of Israel.

We decided to be outspoken in our position because of what we saw as the critical nature of the vote. J Street has, in essence, attempted to destroy the ideal of what it means to be pro-Israel.

Pro-Israel means standing up for and with Israel on the most critical issues facing its survival and security.

J Street has failed that test. The vote of the Conference of Presidents was a resounding affirmation that J Street’s actions should not be legitimized by membership. The Conference decided correctly.

The author, an attorney, is president of the National Council of Young Israel, which is a member of the Conference of Presidents.

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.

DO YOU HAVE AN OPINION YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEE POSTED ON YWN? SEND IT TO US FOR REVIEW.

Israel Police: Who are the Hard Core Complainers?

May 13th, 2014

mishtAccording to Israel Police statistics from 2013, most complaints for disturbing the peace are received on weekends, during the nighttime hours and from residents of Tel Aviv.

The police ‘100’ dispatcher, Israel’s 911, received 9,208,890 calls in 2013. This represents a 9% increase from 2012. Forty percent of the complaints were from the southern and central districts, 18% Tel Aviv and 14% Yerushalayim. 23% of the calls were from the northern district. Most of the calls were for disturbing the peace, domestic quarrels, interference with quality of life and traffic noise disturbances.

Police add that 40,868 crimes occurred at 1 AM, 22,339 between noon and 13:00 and the quietest time of the day is 05:00-06:00, with 3,731 crimes reported.

The heaviest crime months are June, July and August. May records 34,436 crimes, June 31,797, July 33,493 and August 30,795. Car thefts account for 55% of the 19,590 police calls for thefts.

The most popular drugs are hashish and marijuana, and 2,553kg of hashish was confiscated in 2013 along with 1,171kg of marijuana. Methamphetamine is the most popular pill and 47,316 tablets were confiscated during the year.

In 2013 the fewest accidents and fatal accidents occurred on Shabbos and the day with the highest number was Sunday. Most fatal accidents occurred from 16:00-17:00 and the most accident prone time is 08:00-09:00. Persons 34-43 represent the age group most involved in accidents. Most fatal accidents are caused by excessive speed followed by failure to yield right of way.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

ADL: More Than 1 Billion People Infected With Anti-Semitism

May 13th, 2014

nnnAn unprecedented comprehensive worldwide survey by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) found that anti-Semitic attitudes are persistent and pervasive around the world.

More than one-in-four adults around the world, 26 percent of those surveyed, ‘’are deeply infected with anti-Semitic attitudes,’’ said Abraham H. Foxman Tuesday as he presented to the mediaThe ADL Global 100: An Index of Anti-Semitism. This figure represents an estimated 1.09 billion people around the world.

The highest concentration of respondents holding anti-Semitic attitudes was found in Middle East and North African countries (“MENA”), where nearly three-quarters of respondents, 74 percent of those polled, agreed with a majority of the anti-Semitic stereotypes that comprise the 11-question index.Non-MENA countries have an average index score of 23 percent.

Outside MENA, the index scores by region were as follows:

Eastern Europe: 34 percent

Western Europe: 24 percent

Sub-Saharan Africa: 23 percent

Asia: 22 percent

The Americas: 19 percent

Oceania: 14 percent

The 16 countries with the highest index scores of anti-Semitic views are all in the Middle East and North Africa.

Greece, with 69 percent of the adult population falling into the anti-Semitic category, was the highest country outside of MENA.

In other countries in the index anti-Semitism was found to be virtually non-existent, particularly in the Scandinavian countries and in Vietnam, Laos and the Philippines.

“While it is startling to see how high the level of anti-Semitism is in the Middle East and North African countries, the fact of the matter is even aside from those countries, close to a quarter of those polled in other parts of the world is infected with anti-Semitic attitudes,” said Foxman. “There is only a three-point difference when you take world attitudes toward Jews with the Middle East and North African countries, or consider the world without.”

Only 54 percent of those polled globally have ever heard of the Holocaust. Two out of three people surveyed have either never heard of the Holocaust, or do not believe historical accounts to be accurate.

“The level of anti-Semitism in some countries and regions, even those where there are no Jews, is in many instances shocking,” said Barry Curtiss-Lusher, ADL National Chair. “We hope this unprecedented effort to measure and gauge anti-Semitic attitudes globally will serve as a wake-up call to governments, to international institutions and to people of conscience that anti-Semitism is not just a relic of history, but a current event.”

At the same time, there are highly encouraging notes in the ADL survey. In majority English-speaking countries, the percentage of those with anti-Semitic attitudes is 13 percent, which is half the worldwide average.

Protestant majority countries in general have the lowest ratings of anti-Semitic attitudes, as compared to any other majority religious country.And 28 percent of respondents around the world do not believe that any of the 11 anti-Semitic stereotypes tested are “probably true.”

The top countries/territories in the ADL 100 Global Index are:

West Bank and Gaza – 93 percent of the adult population holds anti-Semitic views

Iraq – 92 percent

Yemen – 88 percent

Algeria – 87 percent

Libya – 87 percent

Tunisia – 86 percent

Kuwait – 82 percent

Bahrain – 81 percent

Jordan – 81 percent

Morocco – 80 percent

 

The lowest-ranked countries in the ADL Global Index are:

Laos – 0.2 percent of the adult population holds anti-Semitic views

Philippines — 3 percent

Sweden – 4 percent

Netherlands – 5 percent

Vietnam – 6 percent

United Kingdom – 8 percent

United States – 9 percent

Denmark – 9 percent

Tanzania – 12 percent

Thailand – 13 percent

TheADL Global 100 surveyed 53,100 adults in 102 countries and territories in an effort to establish, for the first time, a comprehensive data-based research survey of the level and intensity of anti-Jewish sentiment across the world.

“For the first time we have a real sense of how pervasive and persistent anti-Semitism is today around the world,” said Foxman, ADL National Director.“The data from the Global 100 Index enables us to look beyond anti-Semitic incidents and rhetoric and quantify the prevalence of anti-Semitic attitudes across the globe. We can now identify hotspots, as well as countries and regions of the world where hatred of Jews is essentially non-existent.”

ADL commissioned First International Resources to conduct the poll of attitudes and opinions toward Jews.The data was culled from interviews conducted between July 2013 and February 2014 in 96 languages and dialects via landline telephones, mobile phones and face-to-face discussions. Respondents were selected at random and constituted a demographically representative sample of the adult populations.

Respondents were asked a series of 11 questions based on age-old stereotypes about Jews, including classical stereotypes about Jewish power, loyalty, money and behavior. Those who responded affirmatively to six or more negative statements about Jews are considered to hold anti-Semitic attitudes.

The most widely accepted anti-Semitic stereotype worldwide is: “Jews are more loyal to Israel than to this country/the countries they live in.”Overall, 41 percent of those surveyed believe this statement to be “probably true.”This is the most widely accepted stereotype in five out of the seven regions surveyed.

The second most widely accepted stereotype worldwide is “Jews have too much power in the business world.” Overall, 35 percent of those surveyed believe this statement to be “probably true.”This is also the most widely held stereotype in Eastern Europe.

Among the 74 percent of those surveyed who indicated they had never met a Jewish person, 25 percent harbor anti-Semitic attitudes.Of the 26 percent overall who harbor anti-Semitic attitudes, 70 percent have never met a Jewish person.

Three out of 10 respondents, 30 percent, believe Jews make up between 1 to 10 percent of the world’s population. Another 18 percent believe Jews make up more than 10 percent of the world’s population. Sixteen percent (16%) responded less than 1 percent. (The actual number of Jewish people as a percentage of the world’s population is 0.19 percent).

“When it comes to Holocaust awareness, while only 54 percent of those polled had heard of the Holocaust — a disturbingly low number — the numbers were far better in Western Europe, where 94 percent of those polled were aware of the history,” Abraham Foxman said.

He added :“At the same time, the results confirm a troubling gap between older adults who know their history and younger men and women who, more than 70 years after the events of World War II, are more likely to have never heard of or learned about what happened to the six million Jews who perished.”

(Source: EJP)

Yeshiva Bochrim Attacked by Arabs in the Old City of Yerushalayim

May 13th, 2014

partA group of yeshiva talmidim ages 17-20 were heading to a rebbe’s home on Friday night, near Shar Perachim, (Herod’s Gate) when they were attacked by an Arab mob. The report appearing in the daily HaMevaser quotes the Tatzpit Agency, stating the Arabs were waiting in ambush in an alley. The approximately 15 Arabs began pelting the talmidim with stones, bottles and cinderblocks. Seeing what was taking place, other Arabs standing on rooftops began joining in, hurling whatever they could grab at the students.

One of the victims told Tatzpit that police and border police were in the area, some only a few meters away, yet they remained complacent and did nothing to intervene. He stated there was a time they were without a doubt in life-threatening danger and while border police were only seconds away, no one bothered coming to their assistance.

The group returned later, but this time accompanied by an Old City security agent. Once again they came under attack. One of the group was hit with bottles in the second attack but B”H no one required medical care.

Tatzpit reports police officials report that as soon as reports of the attack were received border police were dispatched to the scene but by the time they arrived the attackers had fled.

Israel Police adds that police are stationed throughout the Old City to maintain order and prevent incidents like these.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)