European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 01.08.2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 01.08.2016

Major Headlines
  • Netanyahu accuses France of funding anti-Israel groups

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Sunday said he ordered an investigation into French-funded organisations that he labeled anti-Israel, as Paris moved to limit the foreign financing of mosques, the Times of Israel reports.

After a spate of deadly jihadist attacks, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls on Saturday announced France was considering banning foreign funding of mosques.

“This sounds familiar to us. We are also disturbed by such donations to organisations that deny the State of Israel’s right to exist,” Netanyahu said at the start of the weekly cabinet meeting on Sunday.

A preliminary inquiry has revealed that several European countries, including France, directly support organisations that engage in anti-Israel incitement, call to boycott the country and do not recognise Israel’s right to exist, Netanyahu said.

“We will discuss this with them because terror is terror everywhere and incitement is incitement which, apparently, encompasses the world, [and] governments must be as united as possible in dealing with them,” the prime minister said.

Netanyahu said the findings of the completed investigation would be submitted to the French government.

Click here to read the full article in Times of Israel


  • Netanyahu: Israel isn’t interfering in US election

Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said on Sunday Israel would remain neutral in the U.S. presidential election campaign and avoid any intervention on behalf of any candidate, Ha’aretz reports.

Netanyahu said that although he is attending the United Nations General Assembly in September he does not have any meetings set as yet with either candidate, Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

"We are presenting both candidates with our positions but are not interfering," the prime minister told diplomatic correspondents. 

"There is no point in interfering and it's not smart to interfere," he said.

Netanyahu faced allegations of interfering in U.S. politics when he met Mitt Romney, the Republican candidate, ahead of the 2012 presidential race, when President Barack Obama wound up being re-elected. 

Click here to read the full article in Haaretz


  • Finance minister aims for structural reforms in two-year economic plan

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon on Sunday released the proposed economic plan for 2017-2018, including several reforms aimed at addressing issues such as market concentration, cost of living, productivity and the housing crisis, the Jerusalem Post reports.

“In the plan, you will find bold structural reforms that will take care of the economy’s structural failures in Israel,” the plan’s introduction stated.

In a time of constrained monetary policy, it continued, the upcoming budget was “an opportunity for all of us to fulfill the promise to the Israeli public for a better future, through a focus on the welfare of the individual, a more equitable and efficient allocation of resources, which advances the social values of Israel in all its forms.”

Kahlon opened the document to a one-week period of public comment.

The plan includes steps to reduce market concentration and the cost of living; create equal employment opportunities; improve the country’s productivity; and address the housing crisis.

The program also lays out multi-year investments in transportation, including light rails in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem (as well as tracks between Haifa and Nazareth); steps to make Israel’s economy more attractive to foreign investment; and a plan to push Israel’s fuel needs toward natural gas.

Bank of Israel Governor Karnit Flug threw her support behind the plan, which follows months of tense negotiations between the Finance Ministry and Bank of Israel, in a briefing with the cabinet, but said some aspects of the reform still needed to be adjusted to ensure it does not create instability in Israel’s financial system. The addition of new banks, small banks and more financial intermediaries, she said, needs to be carefully monitored and regulated.

Political changes to the country’s economic management also were announced Sunday, as a cabinet shuffle delivered the economy portfolio to Kahlon.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

 

  • IDF clamps down on yeshiva exemption violators

The IDF has discovered some 4,000 young haredi men who are not living in accordance with a religious lifestyle even though they have received an exemption from military service because they are supposedly full-time yeshiva students, the Jerusalem Post reports.

The IDF has ramped up its enforcement of the laws pertaining to military service evasion and exemptions in the last year and has been clamping down on registered yeshiva students who do not study the requisite number of hours per week.

Full-time yeshiva students are able to obtain repeat, one-year military service deferrals from the age of 18 until they receive a final exemption at 24, the age of military service exemption, but they must study 45 hours a week at a recognised institution.

According to the report, personnel in the army’s manpower directorate in recent months have conducted searches on Facebook and other social media sites for the names of men ages 18-24 who supposedly were studying in yeshiva.

The searches found that many of these men had posted pictures of themselves on social-media sites at the beach, at social gatherings and befriending girls at various social activities.

“Many people in the haredi sector have Facebook,” one official in the IDF Manpower Directorate told Ynet, adding that they discovered that “many are in yeshiva, but they are not really in yeshiva.”

“As soon as we discover that one of these youngsters isn’t fulfilling the conditions of his service deferral, we cancel his status [as a full-time yeshiva student], after which he is summoned to a hearing and presented with the evidence and then he is granted the right to appeal.”

Many youths who have been caught in this fashion have been issued enlistment orders and have begun IDF service. Others have successfully appealed the revocation of their status as yeshiva students, and returned to their yeshivot.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post

 

Monday, August 01, 2016
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