European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 20.05.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 20.05.2016

Major Headlines
  • Ya’alon says Israel has “lost its moral compass”

Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon on Thursday accused a vocal minority of Israelis of attacking their country’s “basic values,” adding that Israel’s “moral compass” had been lost, in his first public comments since it emerged that his position had been offered to Avigdor Lieberman.

“Our moral compass for basic questions has been lost,” Ya’alon said during a meeting with the heads of Israel’s youth movements at the army’s Tel Aviv headquarters, the Times of Israel reports.

Ya’alon did not refer to Lieberman or Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu by name, nor did he refer specifically to the bombshell decision to oust him from the Defence Ministry. However, the meaning of his speech was entirely clear.

The defence minister admitted that he wasn’t surprised by the recent turn of events or by the intense criticism he’s received from those, he said, who “in full volume attack our basic values.”

Ya’alon compared the recent turn of events to the sin of the Golden Calf, in which the biblical figure Aaron was pressured by the Israelites into building an idol.

“What is leadership? Going along with the worship of the Golden Calf?” he asked rhetorically. “There are a ton of incidents in history like that, so if I have to give a piece of golden advice, it’s don’t allow a Golden Calf.”

Quoting Shimon Peres, the defence minister told those gathered: “Our former president used to say, ‘Polls are like perfume, they smell good and evaporate quickly.’ Navigating based on a compass is still valid.”

Ya’alon is reportedly to be offered the post of foreign minister as Netanyahu moves to relieve him of his defence job. Ya’alon however said he hadn’t been offered the Foreign Ministry post, currently held by Netanyahu, after reports emerged that he would have to make way for Lieberman to take the defence spot.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Lieberman to seek death penalty for terrorists

 Yisrael Beiteinu Chairman Avigdor Lieberman’s legislative demands boiled down to advance a law imposing the death penalty on terrorists, Ha’aretz reports.

The law enjoys support among Likud and Habayit Hayehudi ministers, but Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has put a brake on the bill so far, ordering Likud ministers to oppose it in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation. Last July, the committee decided to establish a governmental team to come up with an agreed upon formula for the bill. Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, who heads the committee, opposes the bill.

A new version was never drawn up, leading to it being buried in practice. Lieberman twice brought his own version to a vote in the plenary in opposition to Netanyahu’s stance, in an attempt to embarrass Likud and Habayit Hayehudi ministers, who were forced to oppose it or to be absent from the vote, and the bill was voted down.

The bill on the death penalty for terrorists is meant to make it easier for military courts to hand down the death penalty and to carry it out. One of the bill’s clauses would empower the court, in contrast to the current version of the military court law, to hand down a death penalty sentence in cases where only a majority of judges rather the entire panel of judges supports such a sentence.

Lieberman stressed at a Wednesday press conference that he has withdrawn his demand to advance legislation on matters of religion and state in order not to get into a confrontation with the ultra-Orthodox parties. A source in Likud confirmed that dropping these proposals from the agenda was one of the conditions that the Likud set for Lieberman to join the coalition.

Click here to read the full article in Ha’aretz


  • Security forces foil planned stabbing in Jerusalem

Security forces thwarted a terror attack in Jerusalem on Thursday afternoon, when they arrested a Palestinian minor in possession of a knife who admitted during interrogation that he planned to carry out a stabbing, the Times of Israel reports.

Police said the 16-year-old, a resident of the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Shuafat, aroused the suspicions of Border Police troops near his local Jerusalem Light Rail station before boarding a bus in the direction of Damascus Gate in the Old City.

Security forces boarded the bus as well and took the minor into custody, discovering a butterfly knife among his possessions.

In an initial interrogation of the suspect, police said he admitted to planning to use the knife in a stabbing attack against police officers.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

Friday, May 20, 2016
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