Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Head Scratcher | Haredi MKs postpone vote on controversial 'muezzin bill' because it may effect Shabbos sirens?!?

Another case where either politicians are purposely obtuse or the newspaper is not reporting the full story. 
"Health Minister Yakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) filed an appeal on the bill, which was to be voted upon Wednesday, due to concerns that, in addition to Muslim calls to prayer, it could also affect the sirens sounded indicating the start of the Sabbath."
It is unclear what Litzman's issue is. The Muslim call to prepare is 5 times a day and can be between 3 to 4 AM and 9 to 10 PM. That is likely more disruptive to people's sleep than the Shabbos siren that sounds once a week on Friday between 4 to 8 PM.

Israel Hayom | Haredi MKs postpone vote on controversial 'muezzin bill': "Haredi MKs postpone vote on controversial 'muezzin bill'

Haredi MKs fear bill could affect weekly Shabbat sirens • Joint Arab List MK Ahmad Tibi: "We will not respect this law, and I call on our public: Revolt against it and reject it" • Jordanian Islamic affairs undersecretary denounces bill.
Gideon Allon, Erez Linn, Yehuda Shlezinger and Mati Tuchfeld

The vote on the so-called "muezzin bill," which would bar public places of worship from using loudspeakers for calls to prayer, was postponed following opposition from haredi Knesset members.

Health Minister Yakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) filed an appeal on the bill, which was to be voted upon Wednesday, due to concerns that, in addition to Muslim calls to prayer, it could also affect the sirens sounded indicating the start of the Sabbath.

According to Litzman, the bill could damage the long-standing status quo. The appeal will allow for further discussion before the delayed vote, expected to take place on Sunday.

The bill, sponsored by Habayit Hayehudi MKs Moti Yogev, Shuli Mualem-Rafaeli and Bezalel Smotrich, Likud MKs Miki Zohar, Avraham Neguise and Nurit Koren, and Kulanu MK Merav Ben-Ari, says that, given the proximity of Jewish and Arab neighborhoods to each other in Israel, the calls to prayer by mosques' muezzins five times each day -- at sunrise, noon, mid-afternoon, sunset, and night -- affect residents for miles around. It seeks to limit calls to prayer at nighttime and to restrict the decibel level during the day.

The Joint Arab List is also expected to fight the muezzin bill. MK Ahmad Tibi (Joint Arab List) said Tuesday, "We will not respect this law, and I call on our public: Revolt against it and reject it. [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu personally stands behind this bill, and he spreads incitement against Islam."

Yisrael Beytenu faction head MK Robert Ilatov responded to his comments with an appeal to Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit, seeking a criminal investigation into the Joint Arab List Knesset member. "Tibi was interviewed by the Al Mayadeen channel in Lebanon, which identifies with the Hezbollah terrorist organization, regarding the muezzin bill. He called on the entire Arab public in Israel to reject the bill and even to revolt against the State of Israel. Tibi incessantly incites an entire [sector of the] public against the State of Israel."

Likud MK Anat Berko added, "Tibi and many members of his party work tirelessly to agitate the Arab citizens of Israel and to crudely tear at the delicate seems that still allow for coexistence between Jews and Arabs in a country where mosques remain peacefully intact."

Yogev called on opposition members Tuesday to support the bill: "We have no intention to harm freedom of religion, rather to prevent damage done to the sleep of the majority of citizens who are harmed by the calls of the muezzin."

The bill's approval by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday caused a stir in Jordan, with Jordanian Islamic Affairs Undersecretary Abdullah Abbadi saying, "An occupier cannot make any historical change to the city it occupies, and things [must] remain the same without any change."

Abbadi, who is also director of the Al-Aqsa Mosque Affairs Department, stressed that the calls to prayer from Al-Aqsa will continue five times per day "forever.""

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

From Israel Hayom- MK Herzog Rejects International Law

Regarding the proposed bill in the Knesset to retroactively approve the Amona dwellings in Samaria, MK Herzog is either unaware or chose to ignore a common legal right of governments across the world-- that of Eminent Domain- to make political hay.
"There is no precedent to a government approving a law that allows people to take private property belonging to others."- Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog
Regardless of your position on this issue, there is in fact hundreds of years of precedent for this.
Just one example, in the United States of America- "Kelo v. City of New London, 545 U.S. 469 (2005) was a case decided by the Supreme Court of the United States involving the use of eminent domain to transfer land from one private owner to another private owner to further economic development. In a 5–4 decision, the Court held that the general benefits a community enjoyed from economic growth qualified private redevelopment plans as a permissible "public use" under the Takings Clause of the Fifth Amendment." (from Wikipedia)

Full article below:
High Court rejects delay of Amona eviction; residents vow to fight
Politicians split over High Court ruling to move forward with Samaria outpost's eviction • Amona residents set up tent city, push for outpost regulation bill • Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman warns: This cannot become a conflict with IDF soldiers.

The High Court of Justice on Monday denied the state's motion asking to postpone the eviction of the contested Samaria outpost of Amona by seven months, saying its original order, setting the outpost's eviction for no later than Dec. 25, must be carried out as planned.

"It appears that any length of time given, generous as it may be, is not enough [for the government]. We must take care to ensure that the deadlines determined in the ruling are not taken as a recommendation. The state's motion, which is based primarily on considerations that already weighed in the original ruling, effectively constitutes an attempt to undermine the delicate balance determined therein, and that is unacceptable," the ruling said.

The court further addressed concerns that carrying out the eviction in accordance with the ruling would lead to violence -- as the case during Amona's 2006 eviction, when residents clashed with Israeli security forces in an unprecedented manner -- stating that preventing the implementation of rulings due to such concerns cannot occur in a country ruled by law.

Given the sensitivity of the issue, there are concerns that the court's ruling may destabilize the coalition, as politicians are split on the proper course of action to take.

The outpost regulation bill, which would allow the government to retroactively grant contested Judea and Samaria outposts the necessary permits, effectively circumventing the court's ruling is set to face its preliminary Knesset reading on Wednesday. The controversial bill is being fiercely promoted by Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett.

Amona residents called an emergency meeting Monday to discuss strategies to fast-track the bill and to fight the impending eviction.

Among other things, residents decided to set up a tent city at the outpost, where thousands of protesters are expected to arrive ahead of Dec. 25.

The head of the campaign to save Amona, resident Avichai Boaron, addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the emergency meeting, saying, "The lives of Amona's residents, 40 families and 200 children, are in your hands. It is in your hands to save Amona, or, God forbid, to destroy it. The hand that will evict Amona on the first night of Hanukkah is your hand. We did not place our hopes in the High Court, and so we have no complaints. You are the commander in chief. We demand action, not words.

"The only way to care for us is to keep us at home via completing the legislative process for the outpost regulation bill. The responsibility is first and foremost yours, and only afterwards the government ministers'. If you do not regulate the lives of the children here, we will stand as a fortified wall along with the thousands, who will come here on evacuation day to the tent city that we will set up in the coming days in Amona to protest and to do everything we can so that Amona does not fall a second time."

Netanyahu indirectly addressed the court's ruling, saying at the beginning of a Likud faction meeting, "We are aware of the distress Amona's residents face and we are working in different ways to solve the problem."

Despite the fact that the government had two years to find a solution for Amona's residents, many in the political sphere were quick to criticize the court.

"The High Court judges have once again turned a cold shoulder to the settlements," Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said. "Once again [we hear] the intolerable screams to the heavens of entire families uprooted from their homes. In its decision today [Monday], the High Court proves that protecting human rights, a sacred value for our judges, does not apply to Amona's residents."

Culture Minister Miri Regev said, "I regret the High Court's decision. It is a cold decision that is disconnected from the public and from the complicated situation."

Habayit Hayehudi MK Bezalel Smotrich added: "As expected, the High Court rejected the state's request for a postponement. The suffering of the settlers and the expected consequences of the home demolitions without an alternative are not 'worth' a half-year delay for the court."

Speaking at a meeting with IDF soldiers Tuesday, Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman urged Amona residents and those critical of the eviction to avoid taking out their anger on the soldiers tasked with carrying out the court's order.

"The IDF only carries out [orders], the government makes the decisions. The comments I heard this morning about opposition to the eviction of Amona are unacceptable. This cannot become a conflict with IDF soldiers -- and for those who can't take a hint, I am talking about the possibility that we will have to evacuate Amona."

At the same time, Opposition Leader MK Isaac Herzog said in an Army Radio interview that the outpost regulation bill is "a serious stain on the Israeli law book because it authorizes theft. There is no precedent to a government approving a law that allows people to take private property belonging to others."

Likud MK Benny Begin shared similar sentiments, saying, "This is a terrible bill, with the help of which people are seeking to retroactively approve the theft of land that is registered under the names of private individuals. If the bill is accepted, the law will be a stain on the settlements and will cause great damage to the State of Israel."

Despite Begin's criticism, Coalition Chairman Likud MK David Bitan told Army Radio Tuesday, "I think he needs to vote with us" on the outpost regulation bill.

Asked whether there should be free voting in Wednesday's preliminary reading, he responded, "Why should there be free voting? There is no reason to have free voting here. Regarding Begin, again, I respect him despite the fact that I disagree with him."

Bitan did, however, acknowledge that he did not believe the bill would help Amona residents, and noted that it would be retracted if another workable solution is found.

Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg said that "the government got exactly what it was after, to pass and illegal law and then to incite against the rule of law in Israel. The time has come for the government to take responsibility, explain the law to the settlers and do what it must do -- evacuate Amona."

The outpost regulation bill is expected to get a majority vote from the coalition in Wednesday's preliminary reading. It is then expected to be rushed through the Knesset Constitution, Law and Justice Committee so that it can pass a second and third reading before the December evacuation date.

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit has expressed strong opposition to the bill, warning that it will not stand up to judicial scrutiny and will compromise Israel internationally.

"As attorney general, I am committed to helping the government realize its policy, which is now includes finding legal solutions to prevent the eviction of construction that was established with the involvement of the authorities, but these legal solutions will never fit within the framework of the law," said Mendelblit.

"We cannot accept solutions -- even through legislation -- that do not meet the requirements of the law, in this case, legislative law and international law. We also must not accept legislation that harms the status of the High Court. When the High Court rules in relation to a concrete case, wherein the state is required to demolish illegal construction on regulated private land, the state must act in accordance with the ruling, to the letter."

Palestinian Authority officials have threatened to take the outpost regulation bill to international legal bodies and to the U.N. Security Council. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas' office released a statement, saying that the bill is "a grave step taken by Israel," and U.S. President Barack Obama's administration has also expressed concern about the move.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Vigilante Justice and its Risks

There has been debate recently between certain rabbis over whether an individual can harm or kill a terrorist who has been neutralized e.g. handcuffed.

Rav David Stav, although agreeing that terrorists are deserving of the death penalty, raised two arguments against killing a terrorist who does not pose a current danger:

  1. From a practical standpoint- what will the world say if they see Jews killing prone and handcuffed terrorists? It would likely lead to further murders of Jews.
  2. From a Jewish and moral perspective-: "it is important to preserve our moral superiority; [we must] not harm those involved in murderous acts who have already been neutralized and do not represent a threat.” 
On the other hand, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu said that the Jewish law is clear that we should not let murderers live. It is our lives on the line here. “We can’t be consumed all day with what others are thinking about us,” the rabbi concluded. [note- In the articles I read he brought a proof from Moses's killing the Egyptian that was striking a Jewish man. I don't understand that proof because a) we typically do not learn halacha from before the Torah was actually given at Mt. Sinai, b) the Egyptian was not neutralized, but was in the act of striking the Jewish man.]
In a later interview with Arutz 7, Rav Eliyahu said that "Rav Stav is telling [soldiers] not to shoot to kill the terrorists." Something which I think misrepresents Rav Stav's position.

Also, Rav Ben-Tzion Mutzafi, when asked by his students whether, if a terrorist has been injured and incapacitated, it is permitted according to Jewish law to kill him responded that “It is commanded to take hold of his head and hit it against the ground until there is no longer any life in it... Do not listen to Stav, for the one who is merciful to the cruel will end up being cruel to the merciful.”

I do not understand the position of Rabbis Mutzafi and Eliyahu who say that Jewish law is clear that you can kill a terrorist after he has been incapacitated and poses no threat. Even if the halacha is clear what should be done to a murderer, we have many cases in Jewish law where meta-halachic considerations apply and we do in fact take into consideration what the rest of the world will say (e.g. darchei shalom / aiva, darchei noam, dina d'malchusa dina).

Also, the mistaken vigilante killing of an Eritrean man after the terror attack in Beer Sheva, seems to support the position that individuals should not take the law into their own hands but let the justice and political systems operate. (Even if the outcomes of those systems are frustrating we have a ballot box to change that.)

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Zaka Clarifies: We Treat Jewish Victims Before Terrorists via @ArutzSheva_En

Zaka Clarifies: We Treat Jewish Victims Before Terrorists

After outcry over MDA director's claim severely wounded terrorists to be treated before victims, ZAKA says Jewish victims come first.
First Publish: 10/15/2015, 11:28 AM

ZAKA director
ZAKA director
Yaakov Naumi / Flash 90

The director of the ZAKA emergency response organization clarified unequivocally on Thursday that medical volunteers at terror scenes treat injured victims first before treating Arab terrorists. 
Yehuda Meshi Zahav made the clarification following the public outcry after Magen David Adom's general director Eli Bein asserted that MDA medics will treat terrorists first if they're in worse condition than the victims. 
"Volunteers are faced with a great many number of serious ethical questions," Meshi Zahav said in an interview with Kikar Shabbat. "I saw it personally in several recent attacks."
According to the ZAKA director, volunteers arrive at the scene of the attack and often see the terrorist in serious or critical condition, while the Jewish victims are lightly-to-moderately wounded. 
"You always have to deal first with those who are more severely wounded and this is a very difficult question," he noted. 
"The volunteers are asking us what to do," Meshi Zahav continued. "In reality, it's a bit easier because it's forbidden to touch the terrorist until a police sapper comes to check if he's armed with a bomb. This is what gives us time to check injured Jews in the meantime."
Meshi Zahav stressed that this a complex issue, but "we instruct our volunteers to first take care of all Jews, because they were harmed just because they are Jews, while the terrorist murderer deserving of death."
Israeli law technically does mandate the death penalty in certain cases, but in practice it has only ever been implemented once in the country's history - the execution of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in 1962. Recent years have seen a campaign to implement the death penalty for terrorist murderers gain steam, but the Israeli government has thus far resisted the pressure.
But for paramedics, the issue is a question of medical ethics - and what, if any, limits apply in such controversial cases.
"Although our Code of Ethics says we should first take care of the those most severely injured, we need to know that there is also a limit to morality," he noted. "If we don't make the distinction, we will lose direction."

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Palestinian Lawyers Honor 'Hero' Terrorist Stabber - Arutz Sheva

Palestinian Bar Association Honors 'Hero' Terrorist Stabber

Palestinian Bar Association gives honorary degree to terrorist who murdered Rabbi Nehemia Lavi and Aharon Banita Bennett.
First Publish: 10/11/2015, 4:11 AM

Police at the site of Jerusalem stabbing attack
Police at the site of Jerusalem stabbing attack
Flash 90

The Palestinian Bar Association decided on Saturday that it would give an honorary lawyer’s degree to Mohannad Halabi, the terrorist who last week murdered Rabbi Nehemia Lavi, 41, and Aharon Banita Bennett, 21, in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem.

The Palestinian Bar Association described Halabi as a “heroic martyr” in announcing its decision to give him an honorary degree. The organization also announced it would name its swearing in ceremony for lawyers after the terrorist.

A delegation from the Association visited Halabi’s family this week and expressed its condolences for the death of their son, who was a student at the Faculty of Law at Al-Quds University.

The move is the latest example of incitement against Israel by Palestinian officials and institutions. For example, a video released earlier this week in Gaza shows an Arab wearing a black-and-white kefiyeh watching Arab riots on his cell phone. Two Arab actors dressed as crude caricatures of religious Jews are seen pushing Arab children and passing him by. The teen then draws a knife and stabs the two to death.

A recent video released by the Israeli Foreign Ministry has revealed how such incitement goes right to the top of the PA.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Attorney General Allows Soccer Games to Continue on Shabbat- Preserving the Status Quo

The Attorney General, Yehuda Weinstein, weighed in this week on the controversy created after some professional soccer players and fans moved to end the decades long practice of playing league games on Shabbat. Under the Israel Working Hours and Rest Law, the Minister of Labor/Commerce needs to specifically permit employees to work on the Shabbat if there is a public need. Weinstein, in a letter to Culture Minister, Miri Regev, stated that it is not a simple thing to change the policy of non-enforcement of the Shabbat rest laws for professional games that has been in place for many years.

Rafi Goldmeier, in his Life In Israel Blog, pointed out the irony of the Attorney General stating that since a law has not been enforced for so long it should continue to remain unenforced. What are the odds that type of argument would work for you the next time you are in traffic court?

On the other hand, I can imagine that there are indeed some scenarios where a law has become so anachronistic that it would be absurd to resurrect and begin enforcing it now. List your examples in the comments below.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Israel Hayom | High Court: State may punish anti-Israel boycotters

High Court: State may punish anti-Israel boycotters
Some four years after state passes anti-boycott law, justices rule that protecting the well-being of the state trumps the right to boycott and does not infringe on free speech • Law makes the call for the boycott of Israel a civil offense.
Edna Adato
The High Court of Justice largely upheld the anti-boycott law on Wednesday
 Photo credit: Lior Mizrahi


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