Isael Political Brief November 30, 2011: Israel releases Palestinian Authority funds

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Israel releases PA funds

Source: JTA, 11-30-11

Israel released $100 million in tax funds it had withheld from the Palestinian Authority.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday the handover of the money, the transfer of which had been frozen on Nov. 1 in response to the Palestinians’ recognition as a state by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural and scientific agency.

Israel, which collects tax and customs on behalf of the Palestinian Authority under interim peace accords from the 1990s, has been troubled by the PA’s lobbying for full U.N. membership as bilateral negotiations remain stalled.

Netanyahu’s office said in a statement that the decision to free the cash, a month’s worth of levies that the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority depends on to pay its civil servants, “followed the cessation of unilateral steps on the part of the Palestinian Authority.”

“In the event of the Palestinian Authority resuming unilateral steps, the money transfer will again be reviewed,” the statement said.

Among those opposed to relinquishing the cash was Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, who noted that PA President Mahmoud Abbas has feted terrorists freed by Israel as part of last month’s prisoner swap with Hamas.

But Lieberman, whose Yisrael Beiteinu party is a junior party to Netanyahu’s Likud in the conservative coalition, said Monday that he would not quit the government in protest at a restoration of the PA funds.

Israel Brief November 30, 2011: Adelsons give Birthright Israel another $5 million donation

ISRAEL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Adelsons give Birthright another $5 million

Source: JTA, 11-30-11

Sheldon and Miriam Adelson are contributing an additional $5 million to Birthright Israel, which the organization says will move 2,000 applicants from waitlisted to traveling this winter.

The contribution announced Wednesday, a day after the Adelsons were honored in Washington by the group, doubles their contribution for this year to $10 million.

“In light of this announcement, Taglit-Birthright Israel is now sending letters to 2,000 North American young adults who had applied for a trip this winter but were waitlisted, informing them that they will now be able to go on the free, 10-day educational trip in the coming months thanks to the new funding,” the group said. “Nearly 22,500 North Americans had registered for Taglit-Birthright Israel trips this winter and over 10,000 young adults had been waitlisted.”

The Adelsons’ foundation has given Birthright more than $100 million since 2007.

Adelson, a casino magnate, is a major giver to Jewish and conservative causes.

Israel Brief November 29, 2011: World Zionist Organization re-enacts the 1947 recognition of Israel by the UN

ISRAEL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

“Every Jew Should Learn About This Day”

World Zionist Organization re-enacts the recognition of Israel by the UN. MK Danon: “Every Jew should learn about this day.”

 

Historical Reenactment of the 29th of November

Historical Reenactment of the 29th of November
Amir Lusky

The World Zionist Organization staged a re-enactment of the November 29, 1947 recognition of Israel by the United Nations in Jerusalem on Tuesday. The dramatic vote in the United Nations 64 years ago gave the British Empire one year to leave the country it had occupied since 1917, after the fall of the Ottoman Empire.

The event featured live entertainment and street performers as well as an address by Jewish Agency chairman and former Prisoner of Zion Natan Sharansky. Other speeches were delivered by World Zionist Organization officials and Knesset Member Danny Danon, chairman of the Knesset Committee for Aliyah, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs.

“We are very happy to be here today to celebrate the decision by the UN in 1947 of a declaration of a Jewish state,” MK Danon told Arutz Sheva.

“I think the main message to the Prime Minister today is not to consider giving any funding to the Palestinian Authority,” he added. “I cannot imagine that [Israel’s first Prime Minister] Ben Gurion would have considered funding a terrorist group.”

The Palestinian Authority recently added November 29 to its list of “catastrophes” besides May 15, the day that Israel declared independence. MK Danon wants to counter the anti-Zionist incitement with a law that would proclaim it “National Zionism Day.”

“It’s very important that every Jew learn about the significance of this day, in the schools, in the synagogues,” he said. “Everyone should celebrate this marvelous day.”

29th of November Reenactment Amir Lusky

 

29th of November 1947 Archive

Israel Political Brief November 29, 2011: Iceland recognizes Palestinian state

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Iceland recognizes Palestinian state

Source: JTA, 11-29-11

Iceland’s parliament voted to recognize an independent state of Palestine.

The motion, which passed Tuesday, paves the way for Iceland to become the first Western European nation to recognize a Palestinian state. In December, several South American nations recognized Palestine, including Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia.

“Iceland is the first Western European country to take this step,” Foreign Minister Ossur Skarphedinsson told Icelandic state broadcaster RUV, according to news reports. “I now have the formal authority to declare our recognition of Palestine.”…READ MORE

Israel Brief November 29, 2011: First Rockets from Lebanon strike Israel since 2009

ISRAEL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Rockets from Lebanon strike Israel

Source: JTA, 11-29-11

Four Katyusha rockets were fired into northern Israel from Lebanon — the first rockets to be fired on the area since 2009.

The rockets fired late Monday night caused damage to two buildings in the western Galilee and struck a gas tank, causing a fire that took firefighters hours to control. No one was injured in the attacks.

The Sheikh Abdullah Azzam Brigades, which is affiliated with al-Qaida, on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the attacks. The Israel Defense Forces had said that it did not believe that Hezbollah fired the rockets.

Israel reportedly shelled the area from where the rockets were fired, causing no damage.

The IDF said in a statement that it holds the Lebanese government and the Lebanese army responsible for preventing attacks on Israel. It also said that the attack is “a blatant violation of U.N. Resolution 1701,” which ended the Second Lebanon War.

The United Nations International Force in Lebanon said it would maintain calm on the border in the wake of the attacks.

Israel Political Brief November 28, 2011: PM Netanyahu tells Knesset Committee he’s considering releasing frozen PA funds

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu says he’s considering releasing frozen PA funds

Source: JTA, 11-28-11

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a Knesset committee that he could release frozen Palestinian Authority funds soon.

Netanyahu reportedly told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee on Monday that he is reconsidering holding $100 million in Palestinian tax revenues collected by Israel since the Palestinians have halted their bid to be accepted into international organizations.

Israel has been withholding the tax payments collected on the Palestinians’ behalf since the Palestinians were accepted as a full member of UNESCO, the United Nations scientific and cultural agency. It has continued to withhold them over Fatah-Hamas unity talks….READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 27, 2011: Israel strikes Gaza terror sites in response to rocket attacks

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Israel strikes Gaza terror sites in response to rockets

Source: JTA, 11-27-11

The Israel Air Force struck what it called “terror activity sites” in Gaza in response to rockets fired on southern Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces said it hit the two sites, one in southern Gaza and one in central Gaza, overnight Saturday after rockets fired from Gaza struck the northwest Negev. No injuries were reported in the rocket attack on the northwest Negev.

Two Israelis were killed and residential areas in southern Israel were damaged last month in rocket attacks that emanated from Gaza.

Israel Political Brief November 23, 2011: UN’s Ban tells Netanyahu to release PA funds

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

U.N.’s Ban tells Netanyahu to release PA funds

Source: JTA, 11-23-11

United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to hand over tax monies collected for the Palestinian Authority.

Ban in a phone call Tuesday also told Netanyahu to stop building in Jewish settlements.

Israel transfers to the Palestinian Authority about $100 million in tax payments collected on the Palestinians’ behalf each month.

“The secretary-general appealed to Prime Minister Netanyahu to immediately resume the transfer of Palestinian tax and customs revenues, in line with Israel’s legal obligations,” Ban’s spokesman, Martin Nesirky, told the French news agency AFP. “He also expressed his deep concern about Israel’s announcement of further settlement expansions, including in east Jerusalem, which undermine current peace efforts and violate international law.”

Netanyahu and his inner Cabinet of eight ministers in a meeting Sunday decided to continue the suspension that began early this month, shortly after the Palestinians were admitted as a full member of UNESCO, the U.N.’s scientific and cultural agency. The suspension will continue, according to Haaretz, due to new movement between Hamas and Fatah to form a unity government.

The defense establishment, including Minister of Defense Ehud Barak, has called for the payments to be reinstated. Israeli security services reportedly have argued that withholding the funds, which go in part to pay Palestinian police officers, could hamper security arrangements in the West Bank.

Israel Brief November 22, 2011: Palestinians charged with killing Israeli father and infant son

ISRAEL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Palestinians charged with killing Israeli father and infant son

Source: JTA, 11-22-11

Two Palestinians were charged with killing an Israeli father and his infant son.

The Palestinian men indicted Tuesday in a military court are accused of throwing rocks through the windshield of the car driven by Asher Palmer, 25, near Kiryat Arba in the West Bank. The car overturned in the Sept. 23 incident, which initially was considered a car accident. A large bloodstained rock was later found in the car.

The trial is scheduled to begin Sunday.

Two other Palestinian men were charged with attempted murder. One of the men drove the alleged killers to the site of the attack.

According to the indictment, the men had planned to kill Jews as revenge for a price tag attack earlier in the month on a West Bank mosque. The mosque was set on fire hours after three homes in the Migron outpost were razed by Israeli police.

Israel Political Brief November 22, 2011: VP Joe Biden meets with Jewish leaders on Jonathan Pollard

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Biden meets with Jewish leaders on Pollard

Source: JTA, 11-22-11

Vice President Joseph Biden met with several Jewish American leaders to discuss the case of convicted spy for Israel Jonathan Pollard.

During Monday evening’s meeting, Biden reportedly listened to the seven American Jewish leaders, who made a case for the severity of the sentence and the support of U.S. political leaders for clemency, Ynet reported. The newspaper did not name the participants.

Biden promised last month that he would meet with Jewish leaders on the Pollard case after telling rabbis at a political meeting in Florida that “President Obama was considering clemency, but I told him, ‘Over my dead body are we going to let him out before his time.’ ”

Jewish organizational leaders from across the political and religious spectrum have called on successive presidents to grant clemency to Pollard, a U.S. Navy civilian analyst who was sentenced to life in prison in 1987 for spying for Israel. In recent months, Obama has received a flood of clemency appeals on behalf of Pollard from members of Congress, former U.S. government officials and Israeli officials.

On Monday, Pollard entered his 27th year in prison in the United States.

Pollard’s wife, Esther, said in a statement issued Monday that her husband may not survive another year in prison.

“In the last year, as Jonathan’s [medical] condition became worse, he was too weak to even sit through a one-hour visit. I feel he’s withering away in front of my very eyes,” Esther Pollard said in the statement.

She added that after “26 years, all his systems are feeble and we both know that the next emergency hospitalization or operation are just a matter a time, and that no one is promising us he’ll make it through.”…READ MORE

Israel Political Brief November 21, 2011: Avigdor Lieberman threatens to bring down government over West Bank outposts

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Lieberman threatens to bring down government over outposts

Source: JTA, 11-21-11

Israel’s Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman threatened to bring down the Netanyahu government if it orders the demolition of two West Bank outposts.

Lieberman said Monday at a meeting of his Yisrael Beiteinu party that he would pull his party out of the government coalition, causing it to collapse, if the government goes ahead with the planned demolition of the Givat Assaf and Migron outposts. Both demolitions have been ordered by Israel’s Supreme Court.

Lieberman also threatened to bring down the government if the Cabinet decides to transfer withheld Palestinian tax money to the Palestinian Authority. The Security Cabinet on Sunday decided to continue to withhold about $100 million in tax payments collected on the Palestinians’ behalf.

The money was withheld originally after the Palestinians were accepted as full members of UNESCO, the United Nations scientific and cultural agency, and is continuing to be withheld over Fatah-Hamas unity talks.

Israel Political Brief November 21, 2011: PM Netanyahu backing controversial libel law amendment

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

Netanyahu backing controversial libel law amendment

Source: JTA, 11-21-11

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has come out in support of a libel law amendment a day after Israeli journalists gathered to protest the bill.

The libel law amendment passed a first reading in the Knesset Monday evening by a vote of 42-31. The measure relaxes the criteria for slander and libel, and more than triples the maximum damages for such infractions.

“As long as I’m prime minister, Israel will continue to be an exemplary democracy, and no one will tell anyone what to think, what to write, what to investigate and what to broadcast,” Netanyahu said Monday at a party meeting.

“We will preserve democracy, the freedom of expression and the rights of minorities,” he added.

On Sunday, reporters, editors and other Israeli media figures met to discuss their opposition to the libel law amendment as well as the upcoming closing of Israel’s second commercial television channel, Channel 10.

Amendment opponents say the measure will limit freedom of the press and stifle investigative journalism, and that the fines are excessive.

Israel Brief November 21, 2011: At ZOA dinner, Glenn Beck dishes out the pro-Israel meat

ISRAEL BRIEF

ISRAEL POLITICAL BRIEF: ISRAEL NEWS

At ZOA dinner, Glenn Beck dishes out the pro-Israel meat

Source: JTA, 11-21-11

Glenn Beck, left, and Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann both addressed the Zionist Organization of America's annual dinner in New York on Nov. 20. (Ben Harris) Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein, right, with Glenn Beck, who was honored by the group on Nov. 20 (Ben Harris)
1 out of 1

Other Media

Zionist Organization of America President Morton Klein, right, with Glenn Beck, who was honored by the group on Nov. 20 (Ben Harris)

REPORTER’S NOTEBOOK

NEW YORK (JTA) – The Zionist Organization of America’s annual dinner is a place where conventional thinking about the liberal proclivities of American Jews goes to die. But never quite like Sunday night — when Tea Party darling and Republican presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann served as the opening act and Glenn Beck was swarmed like a rock star.

Beck, who was on hand to receive the ZOA’s Defender of Israel Award, made his way into the VIP reception at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Manhattan shortly after 5 p.m. and almost instantly was beset by a crush of admirers. He found himself wedged into a corner as a crowd of well-wishers surged forward to have their photographs taken with him. Bachmann and her fellow Republican congresswoman, Florida’s Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, were there, too — but it was clear who the star was.

“Love, love, love, love, love,” Ros-Lehtinen said, extending her hand to Beck, who responded by clasping hers in both of his. All around her, an expanding mass of people pressed in closer, seemingly eager to express the same sentiment….READ MORE

%d bloggers like this: