Friday, December 13, 2019 

Israeli public lost trust in judicial system

Some new polling data indicates the public in Israel lost trust in the judicial system after the attorney-general forcibly declared he was going to indict Benjamin Netanyahu for supposed bribery acceptance:
The Im Tirtzu movement began the second phase of its campaign to save Israeli democracy and restore confidence in the justice system.

The campaign publicizes a Project Panel survey that reveals the confidence of nearly 50% of respondents in the justice system declined in the past year, with more than two-thirds of respondents saying they support establishing an independent audit body for the State Attorney's Office.

A giant billboard on the corner of Allenby and Rothschild Streets in Tel Aviv, entitled "Saving Democracy - Restoring Trust in the Justice System," reveals the desire of the majority of the public to set up a probe committee to scrutinize the investigations leveled against Prime Minister Netanyahu.

On the question of whether the public supports or opposes establishing a commission of inquiry into the conduct of Prime Minister Netanyahu's investigations following the state witness' problematic testimony, 56% of respondents answered they support or strongly support establishing a probe committee, compared to only 26% who oppose or strongly oppose its establishment. Eighteen percent of the respondents did not express their views.

As to whether in respondent's opinion in light of recent events the level of trust in the judicial system has increased or decreased, 49.1% responded that the level of trust in the judicial system has decreased, compared to only 6.2% who believe the level of trust has increased. 39.7% of respondents said their confidence in the justice system remained unchanged.

On the question of setting up an independent audit body for the State Attorney's Office, 68.2% answered that they support or strongly support, compared to only 11.6% who oppose or strongly oppose establishing such a body. 20.2% of respondents had no opinion.

Asked about splitting the Attorney General's function due to his dual role of "Government Attorney" as well as "General Prosecutor", 62.5% of respondents said they support or strongly support, compared to 11.8% who oppose or strongly oppose. 25.7% did not answer.
Here's more on the subject:
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said that the state of the justice system in Israel is unparalleled in the Western world.

"Israel is under the thumb of a judicial oligarchy, which stands in contravention to the basic values of democracy," he said.

"All of the important decisions over the past 20 years were not decided upon by elected officials, rather by a group of judges and legal advisers whose worldview represents a small minority of the public."

"It is only due to this phenomenon," continued Peleg, "that there have been 19 police investigations against Prime Minister Netanyahu to date."

In addition to the polling results, the billboard featured quotes from public figures and senior members of the justice system who have been calling for reform.

These include former ombudsman for the State Attorney’s Office Hila Gerstel, who stated: "Shai Nitzan is not fit to be the State Prosecutor."

Former Supreme Court Justice Tzvi Tal, is also featured; when asked if he trusts the justice system and the Attorney General, he responded "I have question marks."

The billboard signs off with the hashtag #InquiryCommitteeNow.

Im Tirtzu is calling for the judicial system in Israel to be overhauled with major judicial reforms, including the establishment of an independent audit mechanism for the State Attorney's Office, enshrining separation of power between the branches of state in legislation, changes to the method of selecting judges, and establishing an inquiry committee into handling of the Netanyahu investigations.
I firmly believe the time's come to do all that's necessary to mend the judicial system, and Benny Gantz's bunch would do well to participate, and not act like this isn't important. This is something that was long overdue to be worked on.

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Thursday, December 12, 2019 

Lieberman believes it's everyone's fault but his

Israel's going to a 3rd election in less than a year, and Avigdor Lieberman, who's refused to help form a coalition, is placing blame on all but himself:
Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman said Wednesday that blame for going to a third election belongs to Likud, Blue and White, Arabs and haredim (the ultra-Orthodox) – and that his own party was the only one that has behaved responsibly.

Speaking at a meeting of his faction in the Knesset, Liberman said that sticking to his decision not to join the government after the first two elections helped the country, because seeing a politician could keep his word has importance to the public.

“Two parties who together have 65 seats bear responsibility for an unnecessary election,” he said. “Beyond ego of who goes first in a rotation, both parties essentially preferred elections to a unity government.”

When asked by The Jerusalem Post if he bore any responsibility for the election, he said “zero percent.” When told that Channel 13’s poll on Monday night found that 26% of the public said he was most to blame, Liberman said such numbers were the fault of the media.
Yup, there's a standout example of a politician - or anyone - not willing to admit he's capable of making mistakes. But what'll be truly awful is if those who've voted for Lieberman till now continue to do so, regardless of how badly he damages Israel's political system along the way, at a time when, again, Iran's posing a threat.
Liberman said that “Blue and White tricked their voters,” because they took action in Knesset committees that helped the haredim and were willing to form a government with the Joint List.

Liberman said in a lengthy Facebook post on Wednesday morning to explain why he attacked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he was responding to attacks on him by journalists whom he saw as Netanyahu loyalists.

“I have a long fuse, but I will not turn the other cheek,” he said.
Unfortunately, he is turning one on the Iran issue, and most journalists in this country are far from supporters of Netanyahu. I'm afraid, based on how laughable his defenses are, that's exactly why his alleged critique of Blue & White is all for naught. Besides, he made a vote-sharing deal with them in the past election.

Who knew Lieberman would turn out to be the worst thing that could happen to Israel's political system?

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Wednesday, December 11, 2019 

Armed criminals in New Jersey lead to murder of 3 people at kosher supermarket

A tragedy occurred in the Jersey City area:
Hours after gunfire that started in a cemetery and ended in a shootout at a kosher supermarket here left six dead on Tuesday, there were more questions than answers.

As of Tuesday night, the crime scene was cordoned off, keeping onlookers far from the scene. Some two dozen area residents, several reporters and many more police vehicles lingered outside the JC Kosher Supermarket on Martin Luther King Drive, on the western side of Jersey City. Some of the residents took video or livestreamed the scene on Facebook.

Investigators believe that two young gunmen – one possible third accomplice escaped the violence – found their way into the supermarket randomly, not as part of a hate crime or terrorism. They shot and killed a police officer in a nearby cemetery before holing up in the market in the Greenville neighborhood and exchanging fire with several more officers. The gunmen were killed in the lengthy shootout.

It was an ordeal that disturbed the heart of a small Orthodox Jewish community of nearly 100 families, most of whom moved from the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn over the past few years.

[...] Officials have not released any specific information about the suspects or the civilian victims, but Levitin says he spoke with someone who was wounded in the shooting but escaped through the back of the store. The witness told him that he saw the cashier – the wife of the store’s owner – fall down injured. He saw another customer also sustain serious injuries.
This is more bad tidings at a time when antisemitism is at record highs, and all the Democrats care about is impeaching Donald Trump, not stopping violent criminals like these fiends who tore up the market.

Update: as reported here, one of the shooters wrote antisemitic postings online, and the city mayor said the crime's definitely got all the markings of a hate crime.

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Tuesday, December 10, 2019 

French parliament adops vital resolution declaring anti-Zionism as anti-semitism

The French National Assembly voted in favor of an important resolution this past week, although there is a problem in one part:
France's Parliament on Tuesday passed a resolution declaring the country views anti-Zionism a form of anti-Semitism.

France's National Assembly adopted the motion 154 in favor and 72 opposed, which includes language outlined by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of anti-Semitism.

“For some years now, France, the whole of Europe, but also almost all Western democracies are facing a rise in anti-Semitism,” the resolution states.

“Anti-Zionist acts can at times hide anti-Semitic realities. Hate toward Israel due to its perception as a Jewish collective is akin to hatred towards the entire Jewish community.”
"At times"? While the resolution itself is a step in the right direction, IsraellyCool spotted the flaw:
By recently passing a resolution recognizing anti-Zionism as a form of antisemitism, the French parliament simply adopted the respected International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance working definition of antisemitism. While this is a step in the right direction, the French parliament appears ignorant about Zionism and anti-Zionism. For instance, the French resolution declared, “Anti-Zionist acts can at times hide antisemitic realities.” By contrast, the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition of antisemitism includes “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist endeavor.” In other words, anti-Zionism does not merely “hide antisemitic realities” as the French parliament claims. Anti-Zionism is antisemitic in itself because it singles out the Jews by demonizing the Jewish people and denies its right to national self-determination.

Unsurprisingly, many critics of Israel deny that anti-Zionism equals antisemitism. This is particularly true among critics affiliated with the political Left. They tend to deny that they harbor any hatred of Jews. Instead, they merely see themselves as “Israel critics”. Israel critics claim that equating anti-Zionism with anti-semitism seeks to stifle criticism of Israel and Israeli policies, especially towards the Arab population in Judea, Samaria and Gaza. However, anti-Zionism has nothing to do with criticism of specific Israeli policies. Antisemitism is a total rejection of the Jewish nation state’s right to exist as an independent state within any borders.
And Zionism is synonymous with patriotism. I think the National Assembly's still got a ways to go if they want to prove they don't have a problem with self-determination, because what they did now only gives a clue to their opposition to self-determination among their own populace.

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Israeli in Paris assaulted for speaking Hebrew on phone in subway

Another example of anti-semitism in the quagmire Paris has become:
An Israeli man was beaten unconscious while traveling in the Paris subway system.

The 31-year-old man was attacked after two suspects heard him speaking in Hebrew over the phone. The victims said: "They punched me several times. My glasses were broken and I lost consciousness."

The victim was treated at the hospital.

French MP Meir Habib responded to the attack in a Facebook post, writing: "In recent hours, I have been in continuous contact with the Israeli young man who has suffered anti-Semitic attacks, clearly stemming from hatred for Israel. While leaving a Hebrew voice message for his father with WhatsApp, the student, who is studying in a curriculum at the HEC Academic Center, was brutally beaten - to the point of losing consciousness - by two people of African descent in the middle of a train station full of people."

Habib added that the young man was taken to hospital for bleeding and shock, his nose broken and his face bruised, and that as part of the treatment, he needed face stitches.

"I spoke to the young man several times today. He is traumatized, and so is his family. He has allowed me to post some blurry pictures of his injured and bruised face. Currently, he is filing a complaint at the Tenth District police station. The victim still remembers several identifying details about his attackers," Habib added.

Vice Chairman of the World Zionist Organization Yaakov Hagoel said in response to the incident that "unfortunately it is dangerous to identify as a Jew on the streets of the world. Enough with this Jew-hatred."
It's getting abominable long ago.

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Monday, December 09, 2019 

How Omar and Tlaib demonstrate their anti-Israeli positions

The Daily Wire tells how 2 of the Democrats' most anti-Israel members in Congress showed off their hostility to Israel:
On Friday, House Democrats, determined to undermine President Trump’s support of the state of Israel, approved a resolution supporting a two-state solution in Israel, but the “Squad” quartet of Reps. Rashida Tlaib, (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), and Ayanna Presley (D-MA) voted against it.

The resolution came after the Trump administration’s latest moves regarding the Jewish state, in which they acknowledged Israeli building in the ancient Jewish areas of Judea and Samaria were not illegal, a direct rebuke of the Obama Administration’s pusillanimous abstention over U.N. Security Council Resolution 2334 that not only called the building of settlements illegal but also denied the ancient Jewish Biblical claim to the Temple Mount.

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-N.Y.) said of the House Democrats’ resolution, “It is no coincidence this resolution is being brought now. It is a rebuke, attempted rebuke of the Trump administration.”

As she spoke against the resolution, Tlaib wore the same black-and-white fishnet pattern scarf around her neck that the infamous murderous PLO terrorist leader Yasser Arafat wore as a keffiyeh. She said, “This resolution not only endorses an unrealistic, unattainable solution, one that Israel has made impossible, but also one that legitimatizes inequality, ethnic discrimination, and inhumane conditions. Israel’s nation-state law, which states that only Jews have the right to self-determination, has eliminated the political rights of the Palestinian people and effectively made them second-class citizens.”

Omar tweeted, “We are told to swallow these changes in the name of ‘pragmatism.’ But there is nothing ‘pragmatic’ about a vote that makes peace unachievable.”

One would assume that if Tlaib and Omar oppose a two-state solution, the only solution left for them to champion would be a one-state solution, and it certainly would not be run by Israel, leaving only the possibility of a one-state solution run by Palestinians. Considering Palestinian areas are Judenrein, and Israelis are warned by signs all over Israel not to take a wrong turn into a Palestinian village for fear of what could happen to them, Tlaib and Omar’s rejection of a two-state solution does seem in concert with other anti-Semitic statements they have made.
That's just it. For them, even a 2-state position isn't good enough; it can only be a single Islamic regime coming at Israel's expense. It's just like them to take the standings they did. Very sick.

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Saturday, December 07, 2019 

Saudi student in Pensacola murders 3 people at naval base

A Saudi student who may have gotten his entry visa during Obama's administration caused tragedy in Florida:
At least three people were killed and multiple others were injured in a shooting at a naval base in Pensacola, Florida, on Friday morning, the US Navy said.

The shooter at Naval Air Station Pensacola has been confirmed dead, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office and the Navy said.

"Active shooter is deceased. One additional fatality has been confirmed. Unknown number of injured people being transferred to local hospitals," said a Navy tweet.

A spokeswoman with nearby Baptist Health Care said the hospital had received five patients.

A US official said on Friday afternoon that the shooting suspect was an aviation student from Saudi Arabia. Authorities are investigating if the shooting was terrorism-related, according to The Associated Press.
Donald Trump's already condemned the shooter and offered condolences to the victims. This is why entries from a horror zone like Saudi Arabia have to be stopped.

Update: additional reports state that 6 more Saudis were arrested for interrogation following the tragedy.

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Actor Hugh Grant's double-standard on UK Labour's antisemitism

The British actor Hugh Grant, supposedly concerned about Labour's antisemitism under Jeremy Corbyn, went and supported a Labour candidate who's been an apologist for the same:
Several days ago, British actor Hugh Grant visited Jewish homes in London to assist Liberal Democrat candidate Luciana Berger, who left the Labour Party in February over anti-Semitism.

The actor told the Jewish Chronicle at the time, “If you ask do I think there is an anti-Semitic element within the Labour Party, the answer is ‘yes.’ If you ask me do I think the present Labour leadership has done anything like near enough to root it out, my answer is ‘no.’”

Just days later, Grant appeared at an event for the Labour party’s Faiza Shaheen, who has dismissed concerns about party leader Jeremy Corbyn’s participation in a memorial for terrorists who murdered 11 Israelis at the Munich Olympics in 1972.
Now that's some classic double-talk there alright. Enough to discourage me from checking out any more movies Grant's got in store on his resume. Sky News has more related info:
Actor Hugh Grant has been confronted by anti-racism protesters as he campaigned for a Labour candidate.

The Love Actually star was bombarded with questions by a demonstrator who accused him of endorsing a "racist" political party. [...]

Grant is backing a range of candidates from different parties to try and stop Conservative leader Boris Johnson from winning a majority, so visited the east London constituency to show support for Labour's Faiza Shaheen.
How fascinating. He's doing all this because he doesn't like Johnson. Isn't that something. If it weren't for the seriousness of the issue, it would almost be funny. The UK Sun's got still more:
HUGH Grant was taken to task by Jewish voters last night as he hit the campaign trail with the Labour candidate for Chingford and Woodford Green in North London.

The Love Actually star, who has been out on the campaign trail with MPs from Labour and the Liberal Democrats, drew a huge crowd of people as he took to the streets with Labour candidate Faiza Shaheen, but not all of them were happy to see the actor dipping his toe into politics.

"What about the Jews of this community? Are you advocating for the Jews to vote Labour with 15,000 cases of alleged anti-Semitism reported to the EHRC?" one voter demanded of Mr Grant.

Mr Grant seemed exasperated by the question, sighing, and saying he had already given an answer to the question of campaigning for Labour in spite of its record on anti-Semitism.

Lucky for the Remainer celeb, Ms Shaheen, who is trying to unseat former Tory party leader Iain Duncan Smith, swooped into the rescue and answered the question for him.

"I'm very sorry and the party is very sorry and more is being done to address (anti-Semitisim)," Ms Shaheen said, before pivoting to her own battle with Islamophobia.
A subject I figure Grant's supporting in turn. Any chance he's worried about Islamic anti-semitism? Probably not, and neither is Shaheen, otherwise, she wouldn't be concerning herself all about disdain for the Religion of Peace.

And Grant's against Brexit by taking a Remainer position, go figure. It just shows what hypocrites these entertainment personalities are. We could do without his film and theater resume, I'm sure, after this debacle.

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Thursday, December 05, 2019 

Judaist prayer returns to Temple Mount?

It looks like Judaism is finally allowed upon the Temple Mount, after nearly 2 decades when the 2nd intifada led to a ban on it:
Jewish prayers are being held daily on the Temple Mount with a quorum and with prayers said out loud, a revolution in the situation at the holy site that has developed quietly over recent months in a sea-change from the prior blanket ban on non-Muslim prayer.

A group of regular worshipers comprised of Temple Mount activists visits the site every day for morning and afternoon prayers, and are joined by other visitors to the site who wish to pray.

Only certain parts of the morning prayer service are said at the site, while the afternoon prayers are recited in a slightly shortened form.

The prayer services are said discreetly and at a quickened, although not rushed, pace.

The regular group of worshipers recite the majority of the morning prayer service outside of the Temple Mount since this service needs to be said while wearing a prayer shawl and tephillin, which is not currently possible at the site.

But the repetition of the central “Amidah” prayer of Jewish prayer services is said out loud, along with other parts of the morning prayer service, taking about 15 minutes in total, according to Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of Temple Mount activist groups.

On days when the Torah is read, the relevant portion is recited by an individual from memory.

Prayer books may not be brought up to the site, but worshipers use digital versions on their cellphones.

The Hallel service said on Jewish holidays and the days marking the new moon is also recited by the prayer group.

The prayer services take place with a quorum, that is with ten Jewish men, at the eastern side of the Temple Mount in front of the eastern gate of the Dome of the Rock Muslim shrine.

Until recently, the police have prevented Jews and other non-Muslims from praying conspicuously on the Temple Mount out of a concern that such activity would stoke tensions and lead to violence from Muslim worshipers.

In the past the police would routinely eject or detain any non-Muslim seen to be praying at the holy site, and this stance was mostly backed by the courts, which ruled that although in theory Jewish prayer was legal on the Temple Mount the police were entitled to prevent it due to security considerations.

But all this has changed in recent months.

According to Elishama Sandman, a spokesman for the Yeraeh Temple Mount visitation advocacy group, the prayer services have been taking place at least since Passover this year, if not earlier.

In August this year, Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that in his opinion “there is in an injustice in the status quo that has existed since ’67,” in reference to the general police prohibition on prayer at the Temple Mount.

“We need to work to change it so in the future, Jews with the help of God can pray at the Temple Mount,” he continued, adding however that this should be brought about via “political agreements, and not by force.”

Sandman said that the new situation was very welcome in light of the many years in which Jewish prayer has been completely banned and during which the police would remove a person from the Temple Mount for even the slightest sign that they were praying.
This is a very fine development, after all these years. An important step in restoring freedom of religious practice.

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About me

  • I'm Avi Green
  • From Jerusalem, Israel
  • I was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. I also enjoyed reading a lot of comics when I was young, the first being Fantastic Four. I maintain a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy in facts. I like to think of myself as a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. I don't expect to be perfect at the job, but I do my best.
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