The government on Sunday repealed the conversion reform law passed just seven months ago, marking a significant victory for the haredi political parties and religious establishment against the decentralization efforts of moderate national-religious groups and advocates of increased conversion for non-Jewish Israelis from the former Soviet Union.If they have to take this to court, do so. Shas and UTJ can't be allowed to continue with this awful charade.
Jewish Agency Chairman Natan Sharansky strongly criticism the law’s repeal and indicated that the Jewish Agency would seek to establish an alternative to conversion in Israel, as it announced publicly last month.
[...] The purpose of the law was to raise conversion rates among the immigrant population, and their children, from the former Soviet Union, some 330,000 of whom are not considered Jewish according to Jewish law, and thus prevent future inter-faith marriages in Israel.
These measures, enacted by government order in November last year, were however bitterly opposed by Chief Rabbis David Lau and Yitzhak Yosef and the haredi political parties United Torah Judaism and Shas, who argued that such conversions would not be carried out in accordance with Jewish law. The issue was so important to the haredi parties that reversing the reform was a specific clause in the coalition agreement between Likud and UTJ.
[...] Sharansky said that the Jewish Agency “cannot accept the fact that a matter so vital to the future of the Jewish people and to Israel's existence as a Jewish state is subject entirely to the configuration of the coalition at any given time and to government decisions adopted and then cancelled after each election cycle.”
He added that the Jewish Agency would “act through other means in order to preserve the State of Israel's Jewish character and continue the historic process of ingathering the exiles.”
With the slaughter at Charlie Hebdo and at the Hyper Cacher supermarket, France has experienced a heightened level of Islamic terrorism since the beginning of the year. Yet it is strangely reluctant to tackle the phenomenon, which threatens the whole of Europe.Interesting that the bishop has a dislike for places to eat. Obviously, that's one dhimmi of a Christian, but one who's also against people having a great place to dine for happiness. You can see pretty well why people could become so disillusioned with the Church.
In the past Islamic terrorism has mainly, but not exclusively, targeted Jews. Mohammed Merah had killed two French soldiers and wounded a third before murdering Jewish children and teachers in Toulouse.
French security services are working round the clock to prevent further attacks, meeting with little to no success. Only recently they prevented large-scale attacks on the country’s vulnerable churches.
However, with radical organizations working within the large Muslim communities, which are to be found everywhere now, and with a Muslim population estimated at six million, security services have their work cut out.
The French government has chosen a rather circuitous approach to the problem and set up a framework of dialogue with its Muslim minority – or, more precisely, with its religious leaders. The first meeting was held in Paris on June 14 – under the auspices of Prime Minister Manuel Valls and his minister of interior, Bernard Cazeneuve – with some 150 Muslim dignitaries, led by Dalil Boubakeur, president of the French Council of the Muslim Faith, whose creation in 2003 was promoted by then-president Nicolas Sarkozy.
The council has failed dismally to fulfill its intended goals – namely, promoting dialogue with non-Muslims and addressing Islamic terrorism – and has lost much of its prestige.
In the course of several seminars, the dignitaries were asked to formulate their demands, and they asked for more protection for their mosques, a stronger government response to what they called Islamophobia, the building of more mosques – 5,000 were mentioned – as well as more mundane subjects such as a greater supply of halal meat and imposing a special tax on that meat to finance building and other community needs.
On the latter point the minister of interior stated that France, being a secular country, could not do so, but would see what could be done regarding the building of mosques as well as taking steps to ensure greater security for mosques and other community infrastructures.
One of the participants suggested turning churches into mosques; the outcry was such that he quickly retreated. Yet the bishop of the city of Évry went on the record to say that he would rather see a church become a mosque than a restaurant. This readiness to forgo centuries-old traditions raised quite a few eyebrows.
Worse, there was no mention of anti-Semitism, one of the major problems in Europe today. The growing number of anti-Semitic incidents in 21st-century France has led more and more Jews to flee a country where Jews have been living for over a thousand years, yet France resolutely refuses to recognize Muslim anti-Semitism as well as renewed Christian anti-Semitism.I wonder if Sarkozy now regrets promoting a council that's only self interested? If he's ever reelected to office, he'll have to do a lot to apologize for any missteps he made when he was president.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemned the UN Human Rights Council on Friday after it ratified a Palestinian-presented resolution on last summer's war in Gaza, saying the body was unnecessarily harsh on Israel and "is not really interested in facts and human rights."Which is just a lot of moral equivalence, and nothing else. When will the UN ever be dissolved, as would be for the best?
The premier issued his fiery statement shortly after a projectile launched at Israel exploded in the southern Eshkol Regional Council. Despite previous uncertainty over the rocket's origins, according to Netanyahu, the projectile was launched from the Sinai Peninsula where Islamic State-linked fighters recently carried out a series of deadly strikes on Egyptian military posts.
In his condemnation of the UNHRC, the prime minister mentioned the rocket strike along with brutal Islamic State terrorist attacks in Syria, the atrocities of the ongoing Syrian civil war and Iran's arbitrary executions of minority group members, indicating that the UN body should concentrate on those issues.
"The council has now adopted more resolutions against Israel than the total number of resolutions it has made on other countries," the premier said, adding that the UNHRC "cannot call itself a human rights council."
"Those who fear to openly attack terrorism will – in the end – be attacked by terrorism," he said in reference to the UN council.
However, Netanyahu stressed that Israel would continue to defend its citizens from those who aim to destroy it.
"The State of Israel acted to defend itself against a murderous terrorist organization," he said of Israel's operation against Hamas last summer.
Netanyahu's remarks came after the UNHRC called on Israel and the Palestinians to prosecute alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Gaza war and to cooperate with the International Criminal Court's preliminary investigation.
Seven of the defendants are charged with illegally collecting in excess of $20,000 each. According to officials: Mordechai Friedman, 37, of Kiryas Joel, and his corporation, YMF and Associates, collected more than $61,000 in Medicaid benefits; Reyna Martinez, 32, and Angel Campos, 35, both of Middletown, collected $31,765 between Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Payments and Medicaid; Jennifer Weatherly, 41, of Middletown, collected $27,021 in SNAP and Medicaid; Brenda Quick, 51, of Port Jervis collected $23,594 in SNAP and Medicaid; Chayim Deutsch, 36, of Kiryas Joel and his business, KJ Advertising, collected $21,133 in Medicaid; and MD Islam, 77, of Monroe – who has not yet been arrested – collected $39,299 from Medicaid. Islam lives in Bangladesh 10 months of the year, officials said.Very interesting. We have a case here involving both a Satmar socialist and a very likely Islamist socialist. And all these suspects have committed welfare fraud. It's time to put a stop to the abuse of welfaring for a change.
In response to being pelted with stones, a brigade commander in the IDF's Judea and Samaria Division shot and killed a Palestinian on Friday morning, the IDF confirmed.Because of these recent incidents, that's another reason why the public would like a cease in leniency on Islamists who're potentially dangerous. Sooner or later, that's what'll have to be done.
Palestinian rioters began throwing stones at Col. Israel Shomer's vehicle and in response, after firing warning shots he opened fire and killed one of them. The victim was identified as a seventeen-year-old named Muhammad al-Casba.
The incident took place near the West Bank village of Al-Ram which is north-east of Jerusalem, at a time of heightened security in the West Bank following a spate of terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. The commander was on his way to the Kalandiya checkpoint in between Jerusalem and Ramallah when his vehicle was attacked.
There were no injuries among the IDF personnel but a photo of the scene showed an IDF vehicle with a smashed windshield.
"The commander reacted exactly as expected given that the incident presented an immediate risk to life," an IDF source said on Friday.
The source described the attack on the commander's vehicle as an ambush that was planned.
Large forces were sent to the area following the shooting as the IDF assessed that disturbances to public order would come in its wake.
"Stones kill, just ask Adele Biton," Bennett added, referring to the toddler who was seriously injured in a stone-throwing terror attack in the West Bank in 2013.Stones can kill people no matter the size and weight.
Biton died of pneumonia in February, and at the time her mother claimed that the severity of the illness was a direct result of the wounds she suffered in the terrorist attack.
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid also expressed his support for the IDF commander.
"Stones kill, and IDF soldiers need to be able to defend themselves and know that their political leaders will back them up completely," Lapid said at a conference in Kfar Saba.
President Reuven Rivlin angered the bereaved family of Danny Gonen instead of comforting them when he visited them on their shiva – the seven-day mourning period – and new details have emerged on just how badly the president has apparently handled the situation.I'll have to agree with the Gonens. Rivlin's comments were incredibly dumb, and any IDF officials who went the same path as he did screwed up too. They owe an apology, and will have to do some soul searching, not to mention they'll have to recognize why it's wrong to blame the victim.
As reported by Arutz Sheva Friday, Assaf Golan, an editor at Makor Rishon, who visited the family, posted on Facebook Thursday night that the bereaved mother, Dvora Gonen, was in a furious emotional state during the shiva, after public officials and senior IDF officers who came to visit her told her that her son is to blame for his death. “Worst of all” was President Rivlin, who said that if Danny Gonen had been carrying a gun, the terror attack would never have happened.
Ynet now reports that while members of the family did not answer the president, Danny's friend, Netanel Hadad, who was also wounded in the terror attack, did. Hadad reportedly told President Rivlin that Danny hy”d had been angry with the president for his “limpness” on national issues.
“Danny wrote an angry post when a Jewish kindergarten was set on fire in Lod and you were silent and did not issue a denunciation,” Hadad reportedly told Rivlin. Rivlin then angrily replied to Hadad that “for everyone who thinks like him there are 300 who think like me,” according to the report.
Following this angry exchange, Ynet says, Rivlin left the home. On Friday, he reportedly tried to speak with Dvora Gonen on the telephone, but she refused to talk to him.
Hadad told Arutz Sheva Sunday that while there were some inaccuracies in Ynet's report, he "does not have the strength to get into the details" again.
Gonen's family reportedly told the news site: “We strongly denounce the president's statement about our son's not carrying a gun, and we call on the president to come with us to the spring on Friday, as part of a hike without guns – based on our right to the Land of Israel.”
The President's Residence said in response: “We partake in the bereaved family's grief and will not enter into a confrontation with it.”
While Arutz Sheva was not able to find Gonen's alleged post against Rivlin, we did find a post from a few days before the fire in Lod, in which Gonen shared an article by Moshe Ifargan that had appeared in Mida magazine.
Ifargan's article blasted Rivlin for his statement that Israel's society is “sick” and riddled with violence. “By any international comparison, Israeli society is not violent,” he wrote. “So why did Rivlin say this? The answer is simple: a tendency to pompousness, and the supreme goal – to serve Rivlin's image as a great humanist.”
Rivlin said last October, at a pro-"coexistence" event, that "The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment." With regard to Jews he reportedly said: “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings. Have they forgotten how to converse?”
"I felt as if they were explaining why they are OK and I am to blame, and they did so although I did not blame them at all,” Dvora Gonen said after Rivlin and other senior officials visited her. “I blame only the terrorist. He murdered on his own. But the politicians and the senior IDF officers seem to have lost something on the way to their positions.”
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