European Jewish Congress
Israeli Press Review of 17.06.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israeli Press Review of 17.06.2016

Major Headlines
  • Ya’alon slams Netanyahu and vows to run for prime minister

Former defence minister Moshe Ya'alon told the Herzliya Conference on Thursday that he intends to run for prime minister, Ha’aretz reports.

"I intend to run for the leadership in Israel in the next elections," he said during his speech.

Ya'alon lashed out at Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, claiming he is trying to scare Israeli citizens about security threats in order to distract them from other problems in Israel.

"The Iranian nuclear program, which was put on ice following the signed agreement, does not constitute an imminent existential threat to Israel, which is limited during the period of the agreement, and we have to prepare for future events," said Ya'alon.

"At this time and in the foreseeable future, there is no existential threat to Israel. It is the strongest state in the region and there is an enormous gap with every country and organisation stationed around it. Therefore, it is appropriate for the leadership in Israel to cease scaring the citizens and to stop telling them that we are on the verge of a second Holocaust."

Ya'alon remarked that Israel's leadership is trying "cynically" to divert citizens' attention. "It is a mistaken approach to think that if we fill citizens with fear it will make them forget the corruption, the social gaps, the high cost of living and other challenges at the doorstep of the leadership," he said. "This doesn't mean we have to be conservative. The security challenges are serious and significant."

Ya'alon was pushed out of his job a few weeks ago by Netanyahu as part of the agreement to bring in Yisrael Beiteinu to the governing coalition and to appoint Avigdor Lieberman in his stead. 

Click here to read the full article in Haaretz


  • Government to allocate millions more for settlements citing security concerns

The Israeli cabinet will vote at its weekly Sunday session on a proposed addition of 74 million shekels to a budget of 340 million shekels for Jewish settlements, for a  "unique security situation they face on a daily basis," Ha’aretz reports.

The draft proposal says "Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria live in a unique security situation on a daily basis due to their geographic location and fabric of life in the region.

"Since October there has been an escalation in the security situation in Judea and Samaria due to terrorist attacks and other attacks. The security escalation has a lot of effects on various parts of life, including a psychological and social impact, and an economic effect on businesses which calls for special responses and services."

The funds for the settlements will come from several budgets. The Interior Ministry will provide 15 million shekels to local councils, another 10 million will come from the Agriculture Ministry to renovate buildings into permanent structures. The Education, Welfare, Health Ministries and Treasury, will forward another 12 million shekels.

Click here to read the full article in Haaretz


  • Ultra-Orthodox Jews scuffle with Progressives at Western Wall

A pluralistic prayer service held at the Western Wall Thursday deteriorated into scuffles between ultra-Orthodox protesters and Progressive worshipers, the Times of Israel reports.

Hundreds of Reform and Conservative Israelis gathered in the Western Wall Plaza — adjacent to but outside the Orthodox-run, gender-segregated prayer area — to hold a mixed prayer service arranged in protest at a series of setbacks that have been stalling a non-Orthodox prayer space at the Western Wall, despite a compromise deal reached in January.

The activists, who gathered for the Mincha, or afternoon, prayer service, were specifically protesting the placing of a mehitza, a separation dividing men’s and women’s prayer, in the egalitarian prayer area at the nearby Robinson’s Arch earlier this week during led by Rabbi Shlomo Amar, the Sephardic chief rabbi of Jerusalem and formerly a chief rabbi of Israel.

Video footage streamed online Thursday afternoon showed dozens of ultra-Orthodox men counter-protesting the egalitarian service by throwing bottles, singing loudly, and shouting, “You are not Jews,” to drown out the Reform and Conservative worshipers.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu accused the Orthodox protesters of seeking to divide the Jewish people.

“As I have said many times before, the unity of the Jewish people is a source of our strength and one of the values closest to my heart,” he said in an English-language statement. “We all must unequivocally reject these inappropriate words and deeds, which run counter to the basic spirit of the State of Israel.”

Prior to Thursday’s protest service, Rabbi Pamela Frydman, chair of the Executive Committee of Rabbis for Religious Freedom and Equality in Israel, and Rabbi Stanley Davids, past chair of the Association of Reform Zionists of America, condemned what they called the “desecration of the Kotel prayer space at Robinson’s Arch” by Amar “for demonstrating that there is no room for egalitarian worship at the Kotel.”

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel

 

  • Terrorism law approved with fixed terms

The Knesset approved 57–16 on Wednesday the second and third reading of the Terrorism Law, which has been Minister of Justice Ayelet Shaked's flagship bill since she received the portfolio. It will thus enter the Israeli criminal code, Yediot Aharonot reports.

The bill began under Tzipi Livni when she was the minister of justice. It expands the tools used to handle terrorism via criminal and legal mechanisms, extends the maximum sentence for carrying out various terrorism-related crimes to 30 years, anchors in law administrative detentions, and sets sanctions for multiple kinds of terrorism-related offenses.

According to the new law, anyone who heads a terrorist organisation, directly or indirectly, will be sentenced to 25 years' imprisonment. However, if that group carries out attacks, its leader will be sentenced to life in prison. The same sentence is fixed for those who carry out an act of terrorism with chemical, biological or radioactive weapons. Those who receive life sentences will not be able to apply for parole for the first 15 years of their term.

A significant part of the new law is the sentence requirements for anyone who aids terrorists. Those who do will be subject to penalty of five years' imprisonment. The same sanction applies to those who provide services or means to terrorists, unless it is proved that they were not aware that the organisation was in fact a terrorist one.

After the law was approved, Shaked said, "The terrorist attacks in Orlando and Tel Aviv show more than ever that there is no reason for terrorism. There are excuses. Only by comprehensive punishment and deterrence will it be possible to beat it. Today, the Knesset and the State of Israel became the world spearhead of the war on terrorism. Terrorism in its 2016 form is receiving a 2016 response.” 

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot

 

Friday, June 17, 2016
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