European Jewish Congress
Israel Press Review of 29/11/2016
Israeli Press Review
Israel Press Review of 29/11/2016

Major Headlines 
  • El Al and pilots agree to end costly dispute

El Al planes and its pilots have agreed terms of a new deal aimed at ending a year of protests that forced flight cancellations, delays and higher expenses, the country's flag carrier said on Monday.

The airline and its pilots have been locked in a bitter dispute for the past year, with pilots protesting against El Al's attempts to impose new efficiency measures to reduce costs, particularly as competition has intensified, the Jerusalem Post reports.

El Al, which has a fleet of 42 aircraft and employs some 600 pilots, said in a statement that the two sides were finalising the deal and it would likely be signed in the coming days, sending shares in the airline four percent higher.

The Histadrut Labour federation said in a separate statement it was happy to help bridge the gap between the sides and they would meet to finalise the deal.

Click here to read the full article in Jerusalem Post


  • Shas bill aims to halt Reform prayers at Western Wall

The Sephardic Orthodox party Shas has proposed a bill that would thwart the mixed prayer area for Conservative and Reform Jews at the Western Wall south of the existing prayer areas that has already been approved by the government, Yediot Aharonot reports. 

Shas's leader, Aryeh Deri, has already voiced his opinions to the planned mixed prayer area.

The initiative aims to have the area declared as a sacred site under the jurisdiction of the Chief Rabbinate, which would have the Orthodox establishment decide on the modes of prayer that would be deemed acceptable there.

The proposed bill prohibits "conducting a ceremony—including a religious ceremony—that does not coincide with local customs and is hurtful to the people praying at the site." It also includes a ban on mixed male-female prayer, women wrapping themselves in the traditional talit or laying tefillin. It sets a NIS 10,000 fine for those who would not abide by these rules. 

The Masorti (Conservative) organisation’s Executive-Director Yizhar Hess, who has been fighting for the establishment of a new area of prayer for non-Orthodox believers, attacked the new bill. "This is nothing less than madness. We never imagined that the current government, the most nationalist of our governments, would take part in such a post-Zionist act. This law would tell the vast majority of Jews in Israel and the world that they aren't Jews. We won't let this slide. I call on the prime minister to stop this madness before it's too late."

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


  • Fire damages expected to cost state at least two billion shekels

The damages caused in the spate of fires that plagued Israel last week are expected to be among the costliest in Israel's history, with unofficial estimates putting it at around at least NIS 2 billion, Yediot Aharonot reports.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon have declared that most of the recent blazes were caused as a result of nationalistically-motivated arson.

If the fires are indeed recognised as acts of terrorism, the state would have to carry the onus of compensating citizens for damages incurred, rather than the insurance companies.

Legally, recognising an incident as an act of terrorism can only be done by one of the branches of the security establishment, based on their investigation. But the prime minister, the defence minister, the public security minister and the government can all also declare an incident to be an act of terror or war. 

This means the state would have to compensate citizens for direct damages (the burning of the structure or the contents of the house), indirect damages (for example, the loss of future income for a business that burned down), lost work days and more.

According to initial calculations, by Saturday, direct damages to apartments and houses were measured at more than NIS 700 million, while public property like roads, the electric power system, infrastructure and public buildings suffered at least NIS 300 million in damages. 

The Finance Ministry, meanwhile, will have to find the budget to pay for all of the expenses incurred by the fires. One of the options examined is imposing budget cuts on all government ministries.

Click here to read the full article in Yediot Aharonot


Tuesday, November 29, 2016
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