Education Minister Naftali Bennett declared this week that the Jewish Home party was “allied” with the haredi factions, and that he would not betray them by helping to form a new coalition at their expense.
“I see our cooperation with the haredi parties as something permanent,” Bennett said during an interview with Mishpacha magazine.
“I’m not going to sit in an [alternative] government at the expense of the haredim,” said Bennett, adding that “we have a shared ideological element – the Land of Israel.”
“There is a connection between the haredi public and the Land of Israel. The haredi public is right-wing. During the Bein HaZmanim [yeshiva vacation period] going all over the country.”
The Jewish Home chairman even paid some direct compliments to haredi MKs.
“I think the alliance with Litzman is real, deep, and strategic,” he said, referring to Health Minister and United Torah Judaism chairman Yaakov Litzman, calling the union “more than just political.”
“I see an opportunity here to bridge the gap between two groups. I’ve found a person who cares about all of Israel, and that’s something unique I think,” adding that “even the secular public… sees him as someone who cares for the whole country.”
Bennett also praised his Deputy Education Minister, UTJ MK Meir Porush.
“My relationship with Deputy Minister Porush is great. I have only good things to say about him. He does good work. There is no built-in tension, and I have full faith him and give him a free hand [in his work].”
The Republican Party in Israel opened the first office of an American political party in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area Wednesday night.
Part of a broader effort to court voters with dual Israeli-American citizenship, over the past two weeks the Trump campaign has expanded its operation in Israel, micro-targeting registered voters living in Israel who are eligible to vote in swing states like Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Nevada, and Virginia.
The newest Trump campaign office was opened in the city of Ramat Gan, east of Tel Aviv, in a tower near the Ramat Gan diamond district.
The office, which will service the Gush Dan and Sharon regions, will be used for get out the vote operations and a campaign call center, work by campaign volunteers, and will act as a base of operations for the Israeli campaign’s leadership team.
Trump’s Israel operation already has offices in Jerusalem and Modiin, with a fourth location to be opened over the Green Line in Samaria.
Planned to serve as the center of operations in Judea and Samaria, the Samaria office will focus on mobilizing voters living over the Green Line. A recent study by Sara Yael Hirschhorn suggests as much as 15% of Jews in Judea and Samaria are Americans – or more than 60,000 people.
Chairman of the GOP’s Israel branch Marc Zell noted the Trump campaign’s strong ground game in Israel.
“Our workers and volunteers are working around the clock to respond to voters who turn to us. The response has been tremendous, and voters believe Trump will be the best candidate for Israel”.
Tzvika Brot, director of the Trump campaign’s operations in Israel, said the campaign was planning to expand its work in Israel further.
“The ultimate goal is to get to five campaign branches operating across the country. We will assistance to anyone requesting help in registering to vote ahead of the elections, and we will reach as many voters as possible, especially younger voters, to remind them that unless you register now, you will be unable to participate in the election this November.”
A Jewish man in his 40's was arrested Tuesday for the second time in a week when he reached the Old City. The previous week he had been arrested when he went up to Temple Mount and according to police "covered his face and prayed".
On Friday the court ordered him not to go to Temple Mount until Sunday and on Tuesday he entered the Old City intending to go up to Temple Mount.
However, when he entered the Old City the police officer recognized him and told him that he could not go up to Temple Mount until he had attended a hearing with a police officer. This despite the fact that his restraining order was no longer in effect. The officer told him to go with him to the hearing, but he refused, claiming that he had no legal obligation to go.
A few minutes later police claimed that the man had tried to enter Temple Mount through a gate where access is forbidden to Jews and thus was "disturbing the peace". He claimed in response that he had wanted to pray outside the mountain.
According to police reports, when they insisted that he leave the place and escorted him to Lion's gate, he was arrested for saying that they were "cooperating with the Arabs."
After interrogation the police officer decided to leave him in detention for the night and the next day he was remanded with police demanding to remove him from the Old City for 60 days. The also demanded a guarantee and 1,000 shekels bail.
During the proceedings the police representative claimed that when he accused them of cooperating with Arabs it caused a crowd of Muslims to gather and this threatened the police's safety. He was accused of disturbing police, insulting them and disturbing the peace.
Attorney Avichai Hajbi who represented the defendant via the Honenu organization said that his remand was illegal and there was no reason to arrest him in the first place since his statements did not represent a criminal offense. The police's acquaintance with the suspect as a Temple Mount activist did not justify preventing his entry.
Judge Moriah Tcherka ruled that there was a reasonable suspicion of a public disturbance since from the investigation it appeared that the accused had tried to enter Temple Mount and had thus "disturbed the status quo in this sensitive and holy place."
Yet the judge rejected most of the the police's demands and ruled that he would be prevented from entering Temple Mount and its periphery for 21 days but would not have to sign a guarantee or post bail, since it had not been proven that he had violated the restraining order. The matter of the legitimacy of his arrest was irrelevant, she said.
It should be noted that a few months ago the same person won 32,000 NIS in a civil suit against the police for illegal arrests in similar circumstances in the Temple Mount periphery."
Haaretz journalist Ari Shavit published a column this morning (Thursday) under the title: "I'm guilty".
"The truth? I'm guilty. I'm the stupid and silly person who put the demand for recognition of Israel as a Jewish state in the center of the public discourse. Don't level accusations at Bibi [Netanyahu]. Don't accuse any of the other champions of the cause for initiating it. Blame me: I'm the runaway offender. I'm the criminal. I'm the irretrievable nationalist who believes deeply in a Jewish and democratic state," Shavit writes.
The Haaretz writer recounts in the article that when he read the full text of the Oslo accords in September 1993 he was shocked and dismayed, as while Israel recognized the Palestinian nation and its legitimate rights, the Palestine Liberation Organization did not recognize the Jewish nation with its rights. "In Basel [in the first Zionist congress] Hertzl started the Jewish state. In Lake Success [in 1947] the UN recognized the Jewish state, and in Oslo the Jewish state was forgotten."
According to Shavit, the Israeli-Arab conflict is not a territorial one but an existential identity conflict, and that the only path to peace is a true partition and mutual recognition: two states for two peoples.
Shavit notes that his position that a solution to the conflict must include a recognition of the right to existence of a Jewish-democratic state has become the official policy of Israel. Today this position has also been adopted by President Barack Obama, Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and many others in the international community.
"Only when every Palestinian child in Dahaysha and Balata knows that there's a Jewish nation that also has rights in this land will peace be possible. Does the idea of a Jewish-democratic state perpetuate the occupation? On the contrary. Only when every boy in Ofakim and every girl in Migdal Haemek will understand that the partition of the land is necessary in order to guarantee the success of the Zionist endeavor, will the end of the occupation begin. Is the idea of a Jewish state anti-democratic? On the contrary. In this fanatical and violent Middle East, only a Jewish state can be democratic, and only a democratic state can be Jewish.
"Israel must recognize the full and equal rights of all its citizens, but the world must recognize Israel's right to be the home of a small, threatened, and persecuted nation. Dear friends and colleagues, don't speak ill of the Balfour declaration, the UN partition plan, the declaration of independence, or the right to exist of the Jewish state, the state of Israel," Shavit writes further.
Former Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon wrote in response to the article: "Ari Shavit is correct in his column. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict didn't begin in 1967 and won't end with the borders of 1967. Since the dawn of Zionism, there was not one Palestinian leadership, including the current one, that was willing to recognize our right to a Jewish national home in any borders, or too recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.
"This is how the Palestinian Authority educates its young generation: to see Tel Aviv, Ashkelon and Netanya as settlements that must be liberated. This is the heart and the root of the conflict."
Yaalon reminisced: "I too, upon learning the details of the Oslo accords, following its implementation, and seeing the PA textbooks, understood that the accords don't signify a willingness by the PA to move to end the conflict but rather the opposite, a desire to continue the conflict from a more favorable position. Only when this point is internalized is the conflict understood. And then it's clear that it won't be resolved anytime soon.
"Until then we can and must do a lot in interacting with the Palestinians for the welfare of both sides, but with no illusions or self-deception."
The Simon Wiesenthal Center called on the president of Chile to cancel a planned visit by Iran's foreign minister scheduled for late this week.
The center in a letter urged President Michelle Bachelet to "take appropriate action to restore Chile's values of coexistence and integration and to protest a state visit from a country that funds terrorist organizations, and whose officials are implicated by INTERPOL in the bombing of the AMIA Jewish center in Buenos Aires in 1994 that left 85 dead and over 300 wounded."
Dr. Shimon Samuels, the center's director for international relations, and Dr. Ariel Gelblung, its representative for Latin America, said that "adding fuel to the fire is the upcoming visit of the Iranian Foreign Minister to Chile, billed by the semi-official Persian news agency Fars as aiming to 'oil the Iranophobic plots promoted by Israel in the region.'"
Mohammad Javad Zarif was expected to arrive in Chile on Thursday during a tour of six Latin American countries that started Sunday in Cuba. Zarif is also scheduled to travel to Nicaragua, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela.
The Wiesenthal Center also highlighted growing hostility in Chile against Israel and, by association, against Jews across Latin America, referencing the recent publication of a viciously anti-Semitic cartoon on the official Twitter account of the Palestinian Federation of Chile that it said was reminiscent of the 1930s Nazi German tabloid Der Sturmer and of Chilean Nazi sympathizers of that period.
"It is especially outrageous that the official website of the Chile Palestinian Federation serves as a tribune for Nazi hate," Samuels and Gelblung wrote in the letter, urging Bachelet to suspend the federation's activities pending an investigation into its incitement to anti-Jewish violence.
The Palestinian community in Chile is believed to be the largest outside of the Middle East. At least 300,000 Chileans are of Palestinian descent, according to reports. Some 15,000 Jews live in Chile.
Recently, the University of Chile’s law faculty student union voted to approve a boycott, divestment and sanctions resolution against Israel.
In celebrating the results of the election, the Palestinian Federation of Chile called it a demonstration of the law students against “Israeli apartheid.”
Farmers who complain about daily burglaries and robberies are met with police incompetence and sometimes even become suspects themselves. The result of this is that they rarely bother to report these cases and the graph which reflects these agricultural crimes depicts a putative decrease in these events.
More and more requests for help are arriving at the hotline set up by the "Regavim" movement, which is offering assistance to farmers who have been dragged into the legal and criminal arenas by robbers and thieves.
The case in Bet Elazari, where a farmer shot an Arab who was trying to steal his truck and threatened to kill him has caused an increase in the number of these requests, says Yishai Chemo, Regavim's northern district coordinator.
"We set up 'Farmers at the Front' due to the situation where farmers are having to deal with incessant agricultural crime. The name reflects the situation on the ground and we offer legal advice to farmers. Our field coordinators travel around and meet with the farmers. They hear their problems and decide whether to open proceedings. If this is the case we transfer the case to lawyers who deal with the authorities, the farmers and sometimes with the criminals themselves."
Chemo explains the necessity for the new organization, describing a situation where farmers do not understand the legal arena. When the police tell them that "there's nothing to do" they accept this and do not start a battle because they are not aware of their rights and of the opportunities available to them legally.
Chemo says that this phenomenon of farmers giving up after hearing the police response is very widespread. "We saw that our guidance is very helpful. A farmer could hire a lawyer but he does not have the knowledge and ability to do this. In many cases he despairs.When a farmer sees daily trespassing in his fields, setting fires or stealing tractors and equipment, he does not have the emotional freedom to conduct a judicial process. We tell him we will take responsibility for the legal angle based on our knowledge and experience."
Chemo says that the whole enterprise is running for the past two years but the Bet Elazari event was a catalyst for them to publicize their enterprise. Since then "We have received tens of requests, all of which are being processed through legal parameters to ascertain if they are worthy of our free treatment.
There are cases when the members of the organization simply make a connection between a farmer and a lawyer, this when it is clear that the farmer had the economic and emotional ability to deal with his situation.
"There are however situations where a farmer is in a difficult situation and cannot afford legal help. The profit margins are low and in many cases farmers can just about support their families. If 15 calves are stolen this can cause tremendous loss of profits. To add more money so that a lawyer can issue a restraining order to the criminal may be beyond his capabilities and in many cases he will choose not to do this." says Chemo.
Sometimes due to the size of the expense and the damage and the feeling that the move will not meet with success the farmer will ignore the legal option, as if he has 30,000 shekels he would rather spend them on fixing the fence and not on a legal action. We believe that the judicial arena is very important and this is why we take it upon ourselves.
Chemo reports that the agricultural crime the farmers are facing "takes place every night and at all times. The police report 5,000 cases of agricultural crime over the last three years, and those are just the reported cases. I know of many unreported cases due to people's despairing with the police inaction. Technically there is a decrease in cases of agricultural crime and this what the police reports as a success but in reality it stems from farmers despairing of receiving assistance from the police."
"There is a very high rate of incidents. Some farmers have daily or weekly problems. It can cause emotional and intellectual fatigue. The farmers feel alone and the police don't help and sometimes the farmer even becomes a suspect."
"For example, a farmer in the north whose 13 kilometer fence was cut was asked by the police investigator to deposit his cutter to ensure that he did not cut it himself. In another case a farmer was attacked by infiltrators who submitted a complaint to police and the police confiscated his gun and effectively turned him into the criminal. This makes farmers feel alone and unprotected."
Chemo also relates to the phenomenon of protection, where heads of Bedouin tribes demand that one of their members should be employed and if not the farm will suffer. This happens extensively and in all regions and we see this as an existential threat to agriculture in Israel."
With regard to the judicial arena Chemo notes that many of the criminals are not dealt with effectively and many find themselves released the day after they were remanded or after investigation or a ludicrously light punishment. He adds that his movement, Regavim, initiated a legal process which would define agricultural crime as a crime and not just a misdemeanor, which would enable the punishment to be tripled. Yet the judges ignored the relevant paragraphs which would enable more severe punishments for the criminals.
Chemo is convinced that his organization is viewed positively by the judiciary, Even though at first they were viewed as troublemakers, the importance of their work is now appreciate widely.
The progressive wing of the Democrat Party has become openly anti-Israel, warns attorney and Israel advocate Alan Dershowitz, who claimed on Wednesday that the American far-left has turned opposition to the Jewish state into an article of faith and is forcing left-wing Jews to tow the anti-Israel line – or be ostracized from progressive circles.
In a piece published on The Algemeiner, Dershowitz, himself a life-long Democrat, noted the active efforts by progressive-left groups to root out Israel supporters from their ranks, and to pressure Jewish members to renounce Israel.
Pointing to left-wing organizations like Black Lives Matter, MoveOn, CodePink, and Occupy Wall Street, Dershowitz claims that the left-wing of the Democratic Party has adopted the “unique brand of bigotry” pushed by the BDS movement.
“The self-described ‘progressive wing’ of the Democratic Party… has become openly opposed to the nation state of the Jewish people. Increasingly, these organizations demand that their members and ‘allies’ renounce support for Israel and for Zionism in order to belong.”
Dershowitz cites a number of incidents reflecting the increasingly hostile atmosphere on the far-left towards Israel and Jews who refuse to denounce the State of Israel.
Last year Susan Talve, whom Dershowitz described as a “longtime activist on race issues”, was rejected by the Black Lives Matter movement because of her advocacy on behalf of Israel.
“Solidarily from Ferguson to Palestine has become a central tenet of the movement,” BLM activists told her.
“Israeli and US state oppression are deeply interconnected.”
This year, Black Lives Matter activists “broke up a gay pride event,” wrote Dershowitz, “because it featured a presentation by an Israeli group.”
“The protestors claimed that the event organizers had engaged in ‘pinkwashing’ the Israeli occupation by showing solidarity with the Israeli LGBTQ community.”
Also, the National Women’s Studies Association (NWSA), a left-wing organization of gender studies professors, has barred Israel supporters, following a 2015 decision to endorse the BDS movement.
“[O]ne cannot call themselves a feminist… without taking a stand on what is happening in Palestine,” one pro-BDS member explained.
But the progressive-left’s opposition to Israel does not stem simply from contemporarily political issues or Israeli government policies, says Dershowitz. Rather, he claims, the far-left opposes the existence of Israel per se, claiming that “Israel is an imperialistic, apartheid, genocidal, and colonialist enterprise”.
Some far-left groups even go so far to oppose “programs or events aimed at Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation”, rejecting peaceful solutions in favor of demonization of Israel’s supposed “colonialist nature”.
JTA - The Satmar Hasidic movement is strongly opposed to Zionism and the State of Israel. They believe that it was forbidden to establish a Jewish state before the arrival of the Messiah, in diametric opposition to Religious Zionists, who believe that being able to establish Jewish independence in the Land of Israel and the resulting Ingathering of the Exiles are a clear sign that the Messianic period is approaching.
In the video below, published last week by the Yeshiva World News, children at two Satmar day camps can be seen being led in protests against Israel.
In one of the protests, they hurl eggs at a car meant to represent the convoy of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Earlier in the video, the children chant “Israeli government, shame on you!” One child holds a sign reading, “A Jew is not a Zionist.”
The videos were shot in August at two separate camps, affiliated with rival New-York based Satmar leaders, according to Yeshiva World News. Following the death in 2006 of leader Rabbi Moshe Teitelbaum, the group split, with two of the rabbi’s sons serving as leaders of the sect’s strongholds in Williamsburg and Kiryas Joel.
The children in the first part of the video are attending a camp affiliated with Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, while the children in the second part of the video are affiliated with Rabbi Aharon Teitelbaum of Kiryas Joel.
Some Hasidim in the United States, Israel and across the world do not support the existence of a Jewish state in Israel, arguing that establishment of Jewish rule over the territory must wait until the arrival of the messiah. That ideology distinguishes them from modern Orthodox or religious Zionist Jews, who believe that Israel’s reestablishment is the sign of the “first manifestation of the approach of our redemption,” as a well-known prayer for the State of Israel refers to it.