Dean Issacharoff, a spokesperson for the radical leftist organization Breaking the Silence, was questioned under caution Friday morning after stating that he unjustly assaulted an Arab while serving in the IDF.
Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Jewish Home) had approached Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit and requested that he open an investigation following recorded testimony by Issacharoff in which he admitted to the attack.
Shaked said that the state had to determine whether Issacharoff was "a liar who defames the IDF, or if it is a case of violence that needs to be investigated."
"The state has asked in the past and will continue to insist on receiving the testimonies that come to the organization in order to investigate the truth," said Shaked. "The IDF is the most moral army in the world and incidents of violence are being investigated and dealt with."
Last month, the Reservists at the Front organization published a viral video of dozens of former Nahal Brigade soldiers who claim that Breaking the Silence spokesman Dean Issacharoff's story never happened.
"An entire platoon that says that its platoon commander, the spokesman for Breaking the Silence, is lying! Simply inventing and falsifying a fictional event," Reservists at the Front said. "Dean Issacharoff gave testimony by which he allegedly committed a crime and ill-treated an innocent Palestinian. He began by saying, 'My soldiers were looking at me.' So we gathered all his soldiers (and the company commander) to tell him what they think. We will present this inciting and false testimony to the prosecutor."
Education Minister Naftali Bennett called today, Friday, to shorten the jail sentence of former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
“The time has come to free Olmert. Despite differences of opinion, there is no argument about his definitive contribution to Israel’s security. The time has come to show mercy,” Bennett wrote on Twitter.
Olmert is hospitalized in the Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer after he felt ill on Tuesday and was evacuated from the Maasiyahu prison to the hospital.
The parole board, which met this week to consider Olmert’s early release, announced that a decision on the matter will be announced on June 29.
During the meeting, Olmert lamented to the parole board: “They have turned me into a traitor,” addressing the prosecution’s opposition to his early release due to classified documents reportedly found in his cell.
The prosecution says that the discovery of the documents, intended for the autobiographical book he is writing while in jail, is a disciplinary offense which renders the former Prime Minister unfit for early release.
JTA - El Al airlines cannot ask women to move seats to accommodate a man who does not want to sit next to a person of the opposite gender, a Jerusalem court found in response to a lawsuit filed by a Holocaust survivor in her 80s.
In a decision handed down on Wednesday, Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court Judge Dana Cohen-Lekah said that the airline’s policy of asking a woman to give up her seat at the request of a haredi Orthodox man is “a direct transgression of the law preventing discrimination.”
Women who are asked to move their seats, are not required to do so.
Renee Rabinowitz, 83, a retired lawyer who made aliyah more than a decade ago and had been visiting family in the United States, agreed to switch her seat in business class on the December 2015 flight from Newark, New Jersey, to Israel. A flight attendant offered Rabinowitz a “better seat” closer to first class. She told the New York Times at the time that the lawsuit was filed that the flight attendant “treated me as if I was stupid” in trying to make the switch. The airline had offered Rabinowitz a $200 discount on her next El Al flight and she was told that she was under no obligation to make the switch.
The judge awarded Rabinowitz 6,500 shekels, or about $1,800, in compensation. Her lawyer originally asked for 50,000 shekels, or about $14,000.
The judge also ruled that the airline must declare that it is forbidden for a crew member to ask a passenger to change seats at the request of another passenger based on gender. El Al agreed to tell its cabin staff in writing about the prohibition within 45 days, and to provide training in how to deal with such situations within six months, according to the New York Times.
Rabinowitz was represented by the Israel Religious Action Center, or IRAC, the public and legal advocacy arm of the Reform Movement in Israel, which had been looking for a test case on switching seats in which the flight attendant was actively involved in making the switch.
“Renee Rabinowitz, an 82-year old holocaust survivor, set out to fight El Al because she wanted to prevent humiliation and discrimination of other women on flights. Just like Gal Gadot, Rabinowitz is a beautiful Israeli who has proven that she has superpowers,” Anat Hoffman,executive director of IRAC, said in a statement.
JTA - The family of Otto Warmbier, the University of Virginia student imprisoned by North Korea who died after his release last week, hid his Jewishness from the public as negotiations for his release took place.
Warmbier, 22, a Cincinnati native, was traveling on a student tour of North Korea last year when he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor for stealing a propaganda poster. After international outrage and over a year of imprisonment, North Korea released him last week, saying his health had deteriorated severely. Warmbier’s doctors said he suffered extensive brain damage.
The family chose not to disclose his Judaism as negotiations went forward so as not to embarrass North Korea, which had announced that Warmbier had stolen the poster on orders from the Friendship United Methodist Church in Wyoming, Ohio, Mickey Bergman, who worked on negotiations for the student’s release, told the Times of Israel.
“If that’s what their story is, there’s no point fighting it if your objective is to get him out,” Bergman told The Times of Israel. “When you realize he’s Jewish, you realize how ridiculous that claim is.”
Arutz Sheva reported last week, before his death, that Warmbier was active at the University of Virginia campus Hillel after a 2014 Birthright trip to Israel. His mother is Jewish, but the family is not observant.
A public memorial for Warmbier was scheduled to be held Thursday morning at Wyoming High School, officiated by Rabbi Jake Rubin, the University of Virginia campus Hillel director who traveled with Warmbier to Israel, Times of Israel reported.
He will be buried at a non-sectarian cemetery. While the family will receive visitors at their home, they are not sitting an official shiva, according to the Times of Israel.
The Associate Chief Justice of the Jerusalem Magistrate Court, Judge Yehoshua Zimmerman, ruled that Moshe Shahor, an 18 year old youth from Ramle, will remain in custody until the end of the proceedings against him. This comes after Shahor refused to accept the harsh conditions imposed on his release.
Shahor explained that life under the conditions of the administrative orders he has received the past 3 years have not allowed him to conduct a normal life. “Three years I have been under administrative restrictions without ever having faced a trial. I have been separated from my friends during this time. How am I supposed to live?” Shahor demanded that the police detail and present their reasoning in a clear manner before the court as is done in a normal trial.
Shahor was arrested last week in a police raid on an apartment in Jerusalem where several youths banned from Judea and Samaria were living. The youths were renting an apartment near a yeshiva where several of them were learning and close to the workplaces of several others. According the police, the raid came after multiple cases of damage to Arab property in the Jerusalem area. During the raid seven youths were arrested for violating an administrative order prohibiting them from communicating with other friends of theirs. Several of the youths refused terms of release that required them to accept the conditions of the administrative orders. While Shahor was still under arrest, Central Commander Roni Numa, issued another administrative order that placed further restrictions on Shahor. Police officers from the Nationalistic Crimes Unit delivered the order to Shahor shortly before a hearing scheduled at a Jerusalem Court about the alleged violation of the previous administrative order.
Already during the first hearing, the youths stated that “the Israel Security Services (Shin Bet) and police are harassing us and persecuting us.” Shahor reiterated at a hearing that “the administrative order this court is discussing is not because of anything I did or am even accused of doing. It is an administrative order issued without any explicit justification.” Shahor added, “The order was issued purely to destroy the phenomenon of ‘hilltop youth’- a group of Jews who simply want to live Jewish lives in the land of Israel.”
Attorney Nati Rom, who represented Shahor on behalf of Honenu, criticized the court ruling that Shahor would remain incarcerated. “It is sad to see youths, many of them minors, who have no criminal record being subjected to severe restrictive conditions that do not allow them to live routinely in terms of friends, family, school, and work for long periods without a judge ever having issued a ruling.” Attorney Rom also criticized Commander Numa for using these administrative orders, “The situation is completely unacceptable. They have taken administrative procedures that are intended for extreme cases of truly life-threatening dangers, procedures meant to be used intermittently for short periods of time until evidence can be brought before a judge, and have used them as a standard method of punishing youths whose ideological activism does not fit with the views of the commanders. Further, this has been going on for years. There has been a clear lack of judgement here.”
In conclusion, Attorney Rom also criticized the actions of the police. “We hear a considerable amount about a lack of resources to deal with real and serious crimes taking place in Israel, like the situation in south Tel Aviv, thefts of vehicle, organized crime syndicates, and more. One must ask, ‘Where are the police resources going?’ Sadly the answer is that entire divisions have been created to deal with youths living in Judea and Samaria. These divisions use harsh means that no criminal, regardless of the seriousness of his alleged crimes, would be subjected to.”
A 31-year old Sudanese infiltrator and a 16-year old resident of Ashkelon were indicted Thursday in an Ashkelon court for the rape, abuse, and forced prostitution of a 12-year old girl.
According to the indictment, the victim, also a resident of Ashkelon, became acquainted with the 16-year old suspect, whose identity has been barred from publication, in March of this year.
Investigators say the 16-year old feigned friendship with the girl, but quickly became controlling and abusive, manipulating the victim to do her bidding.
The suspect allegedly abused her victim physically and psychologically, using violence against her and threats of violence against her family to force her give her sums of money, or to obtain money for her when the victim had none to give.
Assisted by two other minors, the suspect would “punish” disobedience by the 12-year old with a variety of violent, cruel acts including extinguishing cigarettes on the victim’s skin, or holding the victim’s head underwater. In one instance, the suspect and three others beat the victim, set her hair on fire, and pressed the broken leg of a chair up to her throat to choke her. The suspect also threatened to murder the victim’s family, saying she would place a bomb under her mother’s car, set the family’s home on fire, and stab the victim’s mother and siblings.
Initially, the 16-year old suspect forced her victim to go door to door begging for the money. Later, however, the suspect brought a Sudanese illegal immigrant, Ibrahim Idris, who was residing in Ashkelon, into the scheme.
In the arrangement worked out between the 16-year old and Idris, the 16-year old would use her control over the victim to force her to have relations with Idris. Idris, in turn, would pay the 16-year-old suspect 300 shekels for each encounter.
Following the indictment, attorney Michael Bouskila, who represents the 16-year old suspect, said his client had a difficult upbringing and had suffered “tragedies” and was thus in a strained psychological state.
“This girl has a complicated family background and suffered serious tragedies and is in a very difficult psychological condition. Given her situation and her past, social workers are working to assess her condition. We’re waiting to get the results of the investigation, and after we learn about them, we’ll respond in court.”
Prosecutors have indicted both Idris and the 16-year old suspect for rape, taking the unusual step of charging the 16-year old with rape for her use of physical abuse to force the victim into a situation where rape would occur.
Idris has also been charged with receiving prostitution services.
The statements of the Prime Minister on the matter of the building plan for expanding Qalqiliya manifested themselves in several versions.
The first was in the form of rebuke of cabinet ministers, who remembered to oppose a program that they, themselves, had approved ten months ago. “It is odd that cabinet ministers who were participants in decisions, deny them at the first signs of criticism and pressure.” Several days later: “I can’t remember the cabinet decision made regarding the expansion of Qalqiliya.” After he suffered criticism for saying this, too, his office released a corrected statement: “I knew of the building plan in Qalqiliya, but I didn’t know about the numbers involved.”
Netanyahu’s ‘Qalqiliya Plan’ has been applied in Judea and Samaria for nine years. There is a common thread linking the destruction of Migron, opposition to the Regulation Law, the building freeze in Jerusalem, the false promises to build in Beit El, the opposition to building a room in Ofra, relinquishing portions of Area C for massive Arab building, and more. The ‘dream team’ of the Right under Netanyahu’s leadership has a focused objective and works to dry up Jewish settlement while, on the other hand, cultivating an Arab foothold in Judea and Samaria towards the fulfillment of the vision of two states. For eight years, Netanyahu blamed his policy on the Obama administration, but the continuation of the same policy during the Trump administration indicates that the policy belongs to Netanyahu himself, and - the time has come to say it honestly - is no different from Likud graduates Livni and Olmert.
In contrast to Netanyahu, who says ‘Right’ and acts ‘Left,’ Livni and Olmert justify their leftward turn with the fear of the demographic spectre. The Left’s assertion that it is not interested in living in a binational state does not get a response from the right-wing camp. The Right, which suggests the ‘autonomy’ solution or dividing Judea and Samaria between Areas A, B, and C, is walking in the ways of Livni and Netanyahu, who started with the same catchphrases and very quickly understood that acknowledging the right to self-definition means acknowledging the right of another nation to the land. Whoever recognizes their control over Area A - it’s just a matter of time until he relinquishes control over Area C for humanitarian reasons, population growth, or as a result of international pressure.
For years, Netanyahu has been deceiving the Right with denials. The explanation for the embarrassing change in versions is the fear that the scam will be revealed, and he will lose trust on the path for laying further groundwork for the realization of the vision of two states. Unfortunately, Netanyahu fears in vain. The world will continue as it does, some right-wing ministers will express tepid protest, Bennett will create a spin about the 'United Jerusalem Law.'
What drives Netanyahu and causes the flock to be silent is the Right’s refusal to place on the table a plan that gives a Zionist answer to the demographic threat, with a plan for the emigration of our enemies and massive Jewish settlement. The housing crisis in Qalqiliya needs to be solved in the counties of origin, not in our only country. Whoever refuses this solution moves along the path of Netanyahu and Livni - even if he is called Naftali Bennett.
The writer is the Chairman of 'Otzma Yehudit.'