European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 13.07.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 13.07.2016

Major Headlines
  • IDF chief rabbi nominee apologises for rape comment

Rabbi Col. Eyal Karim, the IDF's selection to be the military's next chief rabbi, was called in on Tuesday to meet with head of the army’s Manpower Directorate Maj. Gen. Hagi Topolanski following the public outcry over the rabbi's previous misogynistic pronouncements which included permitting rape during wartime, Yediot Aharonot reports.

Karim expressed regret for his earlier statements and said, "There is no licence in times of peace or war to sexually assault women."

Karim, who also stated previously that female induction to the IDF was "completely forbidden," said to Topolanski that women should be drafted, and he added that he supported and believed in women serving in the IDF.

Regarding his statements on religious Jews being exposed to female singing voices at IDF ceremonies, the rabbi stated that he was part of the decision to establish the procedure that permits all soldiers to be present at events where women sing. In the past, he allegedly even ordered—on different occasions—that those present not leave.

A statement from the IDF Spokesperson unit said, "The IDF is the state army of the people, and he is proud to lead the Chief Rabbinate, and he promises to act stately, wisely, and with sensitivity in his position."

Karim , 59, is a Religious Zionist and is an alumnus of the Bnei Akiva Nachalim and the Ateret Cohanim yeshivas. He published many religious recommendations for observant soldiers to help them organise exemptions from activities on the Sabbath, and wrote four books on the matter.

The rabbi gave a shocking answer on the religious website Kipa when asked if soldiers were permitted to rape women during war. Karim replied that as part of maintaining fitness for the army and the soldiers' morale during fighting, it is permitted to "breach" the walls of modesty and "satisfy the evil inclination by lying with attractive Gentile women against their will, out of consideration for the difficulties faced by the soldiers and for overall success."

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Bedouin man climbs border fence from Israel into Gaza

An Israeli Bedouin man was spotted by the IDF on Tuesday crossing the border fence into the Gaza Strip, the Times of Israel reports.

An IDF watchtower spotted the man attempting to climb the fence into the southern Gaza Strip.

A detachment of Israeli troops were dispatched to his location, but by then he had already reached the city of Khan Yunis, according to the IDF.

The army said it was investigating the incident and notified his family.

The man’s identity and age weren’t immediately available, but the army said he was from the Bedouin community.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Hundreds attend rally at Temple Mount entrance for 13 year-old terror victim

Hundreds of people protesting the murder of slain teen Hallel Yaffa Ariel, 13, attended a rally near the entrance to the Temple Mount on Tuesday, the Jerusalem Post reports. ​

Amid chants of “Am Yisrael chai!” waving Israeli flags and heated speeches from many Temple Mount activists, the protesters demanded equal rights for Jews on the Temple Mount.

Standing near a Hebrew banner stating “We are all Ariel’s family. They took her away from us, so we’re going to double our forces to build Jerusalem,” Oren Hazan, the youngest MK from Likud, said the status quo restricting Jewish visitation to Judaism’s holiest site is not acceptable.

“I think it’s about time that Jews should be able to go up to the Temple Mount every day, around the clock,” he said.

“This is the heart of the Jewish people, so look at it this way: If you took any place in the world and said Jews cannot pray here or walk here, that’s antisemitism.”

Benzi Gopstein, head of the Jewish extremist group Lehava, went much further.

“This is a Jewish place – it is the place of the Holy Temple – and the only people who need to be here are the Jewish people,” said Gopstein, who has been investigated by police on multiple occasions for hate crimes against Palestinians.

“It’s not a place for anyone else. So it’s not a question of ‘when’ we should be able to visit; we should be able to visit every day and every hour, and we wait for all of Am Yisrael to come here.”

Asked to comment on the rights of Muslims to continue visiting al-Aksa Mosque without restriction, Gopstein said they should pray elsewhere.

“They can go to Mecca, to Medina – they have a lot of places to go,” he said. “We just have one place, and this is our place.”

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


Wednesday, July 13, 2016
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