Jewishupdates's Blog

December 31, 2009

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Donations to JTA have been pouring in this week from places as diverse as Pittsburgh and Panama. Some are large, some are small. We are grateful for each and every one.

In an uncertain time for journalism, it is really gratifying to know that the community stands behind JTA, the global news service of the Jewish People.

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Tzedakah is not charity – it’s doing justice in the world. And JTA, through its coverage, makes its readers aware of people and their plights, as well as organizations where their dollars can begin to do right.

You make that work possible. So as 2009 draws to a close, we want to thank you, deeply and sincerely, for your support.

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Maran R’ Elyashiv Shlita: The Knesset is Not a Place for Bnei Torah

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Maran R’ Elyashiv Shlita: The Knesset is Not a Place for Bnei Torah

In Maran HaGaon HaRav Yosef Sholom Elyashiv’s Tuesday night shiur, the Gadol Hador was led into a discussion by shiur participants that addressed the issue of entering the Knesset, and the fact that chareidi MKs are indeed using the Knesset forum towards invoking a better Torah lifestyle for the greater community.

Addressing a sugya dealing with avoda zara, idol worship, the Rav explained one may enter a place of apikorsus if one is going to debate the apikorsim, those lacking faith. The Rav was asked if this would apply to the Knesset, since MKs do indeed debate the non-believers and do seek to advance the Torah lifestyle in Eretz Yisrael.

Maran explained that even for the good of the tzibur, one should not enter the Knesset, not to cross the threshold of the building. When shiur participants continued stressing that chareidi MKs are indeed promoting the Torah agenda and seeking to ‘help’ from Knesset, the Rav added it would be better if the MKs remained at home and tried to help the tzibur from there.

The term “heresy” was used in a description of the Israeli parliament, adding the laws pertaining to apikorsus do indeed apply in Knesset.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=44125

Dec. 31: New Year’s Shabbat, Gay at YU, Food and Social Justice

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Thursday, December 31, 2009 Donate Now | Share This Email

Thanks for your support

We received an e-mail overnight from a contributor who wrote: “Tzedakah is not charity – it’s doing justice in the world. And JTA, through its coverage, makes its readers aware of people and their plights, as well as organizations where their dollars can begin to do right.”   If you haven’t had a chance to contribute yet, even $18 will help support our work »

Featured Stories

New Jewish food movement steps up focus on social justice

Conference leaders welcome attendees of the 2009 Hazon Food Conference in Pacific Grove, Calif. on Dec. 24, 2009.
Conference leaders welcome attendees of the 2009 Hazon Food Conference in Pacific Grove, Calif. on Dec. 24, 2009. (David Gartner / Hazon)
The new Jewish food movement, like the organics movement in general, has been called elitist, as it’s often more expensive than the conventional alternative — great for those who can afford it, but what of Jewish social justice values, such as feeding the poor? Read more »

Op-Ed: Gadhafi in my backyard

Disappointed by his elected representatives’ decision to allow a Libyan diplomat to move into his neighborhood, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach says he might run for public office himself. Read more »

On New Year’s Day, cheering for hands-on Judaism

The first day of the new year, a Friday night, is a perfect time to have a Shabbat with family and friends, and to bless the kids. Read more »

Editors’ Picks

YU’s gay panel (N.Y. Jewish Week)

Hundreds of people packed a panel discussion on “Being Gay in the Modern Orthodox World” held last week at Yeshiva University, the flagship institution of modern Orthodoxy.

Surviving the Nazis and turning 100 (Brooklyn Daily Eagle)

Less than 100 of the 30,000 Jews of the Galicia region of Poland survived World War II. One of them just celebrated her 100th birthday.

That’s why the Netanyahus look so good (Ynet)

At their own expense, Israel’s first couple reportedly has installed a small beauty salon in the prime minister’s residence.

Studying the Holocaust behind bars (Forward)

Beth Schwartzapfel goes to the Woodbourne Correctional Facility in upstate New York to sit in on a spirited discussion among prisoners enrolled in a college course called “Nazi Germany and the Holocaust.”

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Breaking News

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach says he is considering a run for public office after local officials failed to prevent a Libyan ambassador from moving in next door to him.
Meir Kahane’s grandson was arrested in connection with the torching of a West Bank mosque.
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Chicago: Currency Exchange Owner Found Slain In Car Trunk Near Telshe Yeshiva

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 6:08 pm

Chicago: Currency Exchange Owner Found Slain In Car Trunk Near Telshe Yeshiva

Chicago – The body of a currency exchange owner who was shot to death was found overnight in the trunk of his car parked near his Northwest Side business.

He was identified by the Cook County medical examiner’s office as Brian Choi, 55, of the 200 block of Heather Lane in Wilmette. State records show him as the owner of the Foster Currency Exchange, 3443 W. Foster Ave.

That business was cordoned off with police tape this morning. Police had to force entry to the establishment. Evidence technicians could be seen inside.

Choi’s body was found by police about midnight in Choi’s 2006 Hyundai Sonata that was parked around the corner from the currency exchange, in the 5100 block of North St. Louis Avenue – on the block of the Telshe Chicago Yeshiva. A relative had requested police to make a well-being check when Choi did not return from work yesterday, WGN said.

He had been shot at least once.

A surveillance camera on a nearby church possibly may shed some light on the crime, and police asked the church for its video footage.

(Source: Chicago Breaking News)

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=44121

Breaking News: Shmuley Boteach considering run for office

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 3:30 pm

JTA Dec. 31, 2009

Shmuley: I might run for office

NEW YORK (JTA) — Rabbi Shmuley Boteach says he is considering a run for public office after local officials failed to prevent a Libyan ambassador from moving in next door to him.

In an opinion piece published Thursday by JTA, Boteach said he was outraged that Libya’s U.N. ambassador, Abdurrahman Mohamed Shalgham, was permitted to take up residence in Englewood, N.J. The rabbi, best known for his book “Kosher Sex” and counseling the late pop star Michael Jackson, said that having the diplomat as his next-door neighbor has him angry enough to launch a career in politics.

“For the first time in my life, I find myself contemplating a run for elective office. The reason is simple: The Talmud declares, ‘In a place where there are no men stand up and become one,'” Boteach wrote in his JTA Op-Ed. “If Gadhafi’s envoy remains my next-door neighbor with the tacit blessing of my elected leaders, I will do my best to unseat them by every legal means necessary.”

This summer, Boteach played a lead role in the successful campaign to keep Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi from staying at the Libyan-owned property in Englewood during the U.N. General Assembly. But Shalgham recently moved to the property, according to a report in the New Jersey Jewish Standard.

Boteach said he was infuriated when his friend and congressman, Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), was quoted as saying, “I hope everyone will be appropriately good neighbors.”

“Is he seriously asking me to borrow a cup of sugar from a man whose government murdered American servicemen while they danced at a disco?” Boteach wrote, adding, “We must also begin representing ourselves.”

But in a statement issued to JTA, Boteach did not identify the specific office he was eyeing.

“My consideration of a possible run for elected office, which is currently in its earliest stages of review, revolves around my profound disappointment in my city’s unwillingness to take action against Gadhafi’s ambassador being my next-door neighbor and the Libyan compound not contributing a penny in local tax,” Boteach said. “In addition, I am a passionate advocate of school-choice. Religious parents in my area, both Jewish and non-Jewish, can no longer afford the astronomical New Jersey real estate taxes, not a penny of which goes to their children’s education. Public offices where I would be able to impact on these vital issues is what I am considering.”

A7News: Netanyahu Hints IDF Must be Present on Future PA-Jordan Border

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1. Netanyahu Hints IDF Must be Present on Future PA-Jordan Border
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu Bibi: IDF Must Patrol PA Borders

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said for the first time publicly that the IDF must maintain a presence along the future eastern border of a PA state, preventing arms smuggling into Judea and Samaria. He noted that Israel gave up its military presence along the Gaza-Egyptian border smuggling route four years ago, a situation that he said should not be repeated.

At a recent meeting of all Israeli ambassadors and lower-level diplomats, the Prime Minister noted that Israel’s security dangers are not at the borders of Gaza and Lebanon but rather beyond the borders. He said Israel cannot depend on paper agreements, signed or not, and broadly hinted that the IDF must maintain a presence along the eastern borders of any future Palestinian Authority state in Judea and Samaria in order to fight terrorism and prevent arms smuggling.

A third terror platform?

“Iran Is creating a base [in Lebano for weapons that are used in areas adjacent to Israel with the intention of attacking Israel," according to Prime Minister Netanyahu. "The problem in Lebanon is not the border. The problem of security is Syria. The same thing is happening in Gaza. The problem is not the border with Gaza….but with the 12 kilometers (eight miles) into Sinai" adjacent to the Philadelphi smugglng route.

He declared that “agreements, signatures and texts have left us with the same problem. We will not have a situation where Judea and Samaria become a third platform for rockets from Iran." The Prime Minister explained that the smuggling of weapons into Judea and Samaria would create a problem far worse than Israel faces on the northern and southern borders.

Preventing arms from entering Judea, Samaria and Gaza is a condition for peace, Prime Minister Netanyahu continued. Without directly calling for an IDF presence in territory that might be part of future PA state, he stated, "I doubt whether anything except a real presence of the State of Israel, of Israeli forces, can accomplish [a halt to importing weapon. The problem of demilitarization must be resolved effectively and this entails effectively blocking unauthorized entry, first and foremost from the east [of Judea and Sama, wherever the border is defined.”

‘No’ to another 1701

He previously has called for a future PA state to be demilitarized, but his speech was the first time that he said that Israeli forces will be stationed on its borders. The Prime Minister dismissed the option of again signing agreements such as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War three year ago.

The resolution included a clause that called for United Nations UNIFIL forces to disarm Hizbullah terrorists, but the commanders of the international force said at the outset they would not and could not enforce it. Hizbullah has used the absence of control to stockpile at least three times as many missiles as it possessed before the outbreak of the 34-day war.

Israel, under the guidance of then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, agreed last year to end the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign with a signed agreement that the United States would ensure that technological installations and foreign monitors would be placed in Egypt to stop smuggling.

However, Hamas has continued to smuggle into Gaza advanced anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles as well as long-range Iranian-made rockets that can strike as far away as metropolitan Tel Aviv. The IDF has foiled some, but far from all, of the attempts to smuggle weapons, including rockets, into Judea and Samaria.
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2. Guma Aguiar Honored as ‘Builder of Jerusalem’ by Aish HaTorah
by Hana Levi Julian Guma Aguiar Honored in Jerusalem

Leading Jewish philanthropist Guma Aguiar was one of four VIPs honored Wednesday by Jerusalem’s prestigious Aish HaTorah yeshiva for his role in building Israel and the nation’s capital. Aguiar, founder and CEO of Leor Energy, sponsor of Beitar Yerushalayim and owner of HaPoel Yerushalayim, was named a “Builder of Jerusalem” at the yeshiva’s 2009 Boneh Yerushalayim Awards dinner.

The Brazilian-born billionaire moved to Jerusalem two years ago. A major energy industrialist, he has since been involved with numerous philanthropic projects to aid the State of Israel and the Jewish People, yeshiva officials noted.

All three 2009 Boneh Yerushalayim awardees are business owners who excel in the fields of energy and environment.

Two honorees personally received their awards from Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon; Aguiar was in flight at the time and unable to be present in person. His co-honorees were Shai Agassi, founder and CEO of Better Place, producer of Israel’s first electric car, and Arnold J. Goldman, chairman and founder of BrightSource Energy, a solar power company.

Ayalon is also a past recipient of the Boneh Yerushalayim Award, having been honored when he served as co-Chairman of the North American aliyah organization, Nefesh B’Nefesh.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Yigal Arnon, founder and senior partner of Yigal Arnon & Co. Law Firm.
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3. PA, Abbas Bless Rabbi’s Murderers as ‘Martyrs’
by Hana Levi Julian PA, Abbas Bless Terrorists

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas publicly proclaimed three terrorists who murdered a Jewish father of seven children to be “shaheeds” – holy martyrs, according to a report by the PA media watchdog, Palestinian Media Watch.

Abbas declared the killers – all members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades — to be shaheeds and sent his personal emissary to visit their families following last Thursday’s attack. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is part of the Fatah faction, which is headed by Abbas. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad personally visited the families, along with a number of top PA officials, and condemned the IDF operation.

Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai, a 40-year-old Israeli resident of the Samaria Jewish community of Shavei Shomron, was murdered in a hail of bullets fired by four terrorists in car that overtook him as he drove home from a nearby community. On Friday night, IDF soldiers tracked down three of the terrorists and killed them after they opened fire during an attempt to arrest them. The fourth surrendered to PA police, who have not turned him over to Israeli authorities.

The response of the PA government has been one of unequivocal support for the terror attack, with statements by its leadership and that of the Fatah faction referring to the terrorists as Palestinian heroes and shahids. One member of the faction’s central committee described the terrorists as “[militar commanders, brave heroes, and fighters,” according to a news report in the daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida translated by PMW.

PA government-controlled media, meanwhile, has described Israel’s killing of the rabbi’s murderers as an “assassination” and “murder in cold blood.”

Abbas: ‘Not Me – Won’t Turn to Violence’

Abbas claimed in an English-language interview posted this week on the Palestine Media Center web site, and clearly intended for international readership, that he is opposed to violence and terrorism, regardless of circumstance. The PMC is the media outlet and “general secretariat” for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), of which Fatah is a member.

The statement was made in response to a question regarding his views on whether the PA would agree to a single-state solution or insist on the establishment of an independent PA country, as stated in the Road Map plan.

“I will not turn to violence,” he replied. “No matter where you drag us, I will not return to violence.”

“And if violence forces itself upon you?” he was asked.

“Not me. I am against this,” he claimed. “I will not accept violence, terrorism, gunfire or a military intifada. Absolutely not.”
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4. Jewish Town in Samaria: ‘Thank You, Peace Now’
by Hillel Fendel Samaria Jews Thank 'Peace Now'

Residents of Kiryat Netafim in the Shomron are very thankful to the radical-left Peace Now group for having led to the legalization of their newest neighborhood.

Peace Now filed suit in the Supreme Court earlier this year against the construction and population of 15 homes in Kiryat Netafim, a 25-year-old Jewish town in Samaria near Ariel. Peace Now claimed that the homes were built on Arab land. The Court issued a restraining order against the construction.

At the time, Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika threatened to sue Peace Now for slander. “The construction is on land that is on the town’s original zoning plan, which is being held up for political reasons only because the Defense Minister refuses to sign," Mesika said. "The land is not Arab land.”

As a result of the suit, the State announced abruptly on Tuesday of this week that it officially approves the construction in Kiryat Netafim, and will take the necessary steps to finalize all necessary permits. This, despite the American-pressured freeze on Jewish building in Judea and Samaria announced last month.

The 15 homes in question will therefore not be razed, and the families living there are breathing a sigh of relief. “This announcement has led to a burst of excitement,” the town announced, “and at the same time, we thank the representatives of Peace Now for having brought the matter to court.”

“We will proceed with the construction according to the plan as soon as we receive the papers,” the town announced. “We are full of hope that our neighbors in the other towns in Judea and Samaria will receive the same treatment.”

Kiryat Netafim was founded in 1984 as a religious-Zionist communal town. Some 85 families currently live there, many of them belonging to the Yemenite Jewish community.
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5. Rabbis to US Ambassador: Time to ‘Go Biblical’ with Arabs
by Gil Ronen Time to 'Go Biblical' with Arabs

A delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. James Cunningham, today and called for a reassessment of the entire U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Israelis and Palestinians. The rabbis told Ambassador Cunningham that it was time to try the Biblical approach to the dispute over the Land of Israel.

"The past 17 years have proven without a shadow of a doubt that every square inch ceded by Israel to the Palestinians was transformed into a platform of hatred and terrorism," RCP Director Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin told the ambassador. "In other words, the ‘land for peace’ formula in the Israel-Palestinian context, besides being a formula that goes against the Divine will, is ineffective, obsolete, and an exercise in futility. Most of all it is a dangerous policy that only leads to bloodshed and instability in the region and harms vital American interests in the region as well," Lewin said.

‘Land for peace doesn’t work’

The delegation was headed by Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Chairman of the RCP, who is also the Rabbi of Central Tel Aviv where the US embassy is located. Rabbi Gerlitzky presented the ambassador with the Halachic (Jewish legal) ruling signed by over 350 prominent rabbis in Israel that it is forbidden to give up even one inch of territory controlled by Israel today because it will bring bloodshed and instability to the region.

"In the name of the overwhelming majority of rabbis in Israel," he said, "we request of you Mr. Ambassador, to convey our Halachic message to President Barack Obama that it is time for a complete reversal and reassessment of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The ‘land for peace’ policy never worked and harms U.S. interests in the region and the world at large."

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Left to right: Rabbi Sholom Gold, Mr. Marc Sievers of the US Embassy, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Ambassador James Cunningham, Rabbi Moshe Havlin, Rabbi Avrohom S. Lewin. The Rabbis handed the ambassador a Halachic Ruling signed by over 350 rabbis in Israel that forbids giving up land controlled by Israel today.

The ambassador was visibly moved by Rabbi Sholom Gold, a leading rabbi in Jerusalem, who described the suffering that the Jewish People have endured ever since the implementation of the Oslo Accords and the agreements that followed. "It’s all a play of words, there is no peace process," he said. "From the day that we started conceding and withdrawing we did not have one day of rest and peace. Why should our enemies want to make peace with us when they see that with terrorism they get what they want? Even the U.S., Israel’s supposedly best friend, sides with them in demanding a freeze and evacuation of settlements. Is the triumph of Arab terror one of American interests?" Gold asked.

Going Biblical

Rabbi Dov Lior, the Rabbi of Kiryat Arba-Hevron, said: "G-d gave the US the power and influence to affect the rest of the world and supporting Israel is the key to America’s success."

Ambassador Cunningham told the rabbis that he does not see how the problem can be solved “without taking into consideration the Palestinians,” to which Rabbi Gold remarked: "Ever since we started taking the Palestinians into consideration the situation only worsened."

The ambassador asked the rabbis, "So what is your solution to the problem?"

Rabbi Gerlitzky replied: "You must switch the entire approach to the situation. We all believe in the Holy Bible and up until now we tried every formula except for that which is delineated in the Bible. Let’s try it and who knows, Mr. Ambassador, maybe this is your defining moment, that G-d Almighty has placed you in this capacity in order to precipitate a new course which will bring a true peace to the entire region."
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6. Binyamin Residents ‘Fight the Freeze’ with Building Project
by Hana Levi Julian Building Projects 'Fight Freeze'

Residents of the Binyamin region in Samaria have announced they will launch a massive construction campaign next week, building walls and structures in communities throughout the area.

The project is part of the fight against the government’s 10-month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

The Binyamin Residents Committee explained in a statement that the program was being carried out as a follow-up to a conference on the matter held in the town of Ofra several weeks ago. At that meeting, the committee announced it had no intention of “surrendering to the racist decision forbidding only the Jews from building on the land of their forefathers.”

Under the program, each community plans to build at least one structure that can be used to serve the residents of that community, be it a synagogue expansion, storage facility, observation post or residential youth center.

“The project is intended to convey the message that even if the Israeli government intends to adopt the ‘White Paper’ of British Mandatory rule, the people of the Binyamin region will respond in accordance with the Jewish tradition of settling the land, with building and expansion,” the committee said.
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7. Iranian Mullah: Kill the Protesters
by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz Iran Mullah: Kill the Protesters

In a television appearance shocking in its candidness, a leading Iranian ayatollah says that it would be far better for the Islamic Republic to simply murder those protesting against the regime, rather than arrest and beat them. Meanwhile, an unknown group claiming to represent Iranian soldiers threatens to take up arms against the regime.

In a live interview broadcast on the Islamic Republic’s national television station sometime within the last two weeks, Ayatollah Mehyaddin Haeri Shirazi described a Communist protest movement from the early years of the Islamic Republic, noting how it was effectively crushed by the authorities. The government targeted opposition activists, he said, "arrested them in the afternoon and the same night announced the names of 30 people killed or executed by the government forces."

In reaction to the arrests and killings, Shirazi continued, "nothing happened. Why? Because they killed them."

Expanding on what he sees as the lesson from those events, the ayatollah said,"The more of them [the oppositio are killed, the more beneficial [to the peop. If the armed forces kill some of them, it is to our benefit."

On the other hand, Shirazi continued, "When they are arrested, it is bad [for public opinio, when they are captured [it is bad for public opinio. Do not make victims out of them."

Killing the opposition protesters, the ayatollah insists, "is sanctioned by obedience to Allah and the prophet and is handed down to the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khame. When it is sanctioned by such a power, there is no need to go through the government powers."

Shirazi warned the opposition forces, "Do not look upon the Supreme Leader [simpl as a person with a soft turban on his head, and that you can beat him. His support comes from the Hidden Imam Mahdi, he [Khame is made of iron. It will come back down to break your own heads."

(For a video of the Shirazi interview, click here.)

In fact, Iranian security forces have taken the violence against Iranian pro-democracy protesters up a notch in recent weeks. Over a dozen people were openly shot or beaten to death in the latest clashes, with police arresting hundreds of Iranian citizens involved in the opposition movements.

Armed Resistance by Iranian Military Units?

Perhaps in reaction to the increasing levels of violence by government forces, on December 26 a previously unknown anti-regime group calling itself the National Iranian Armed Resistance Forces (NIRU) "declare our readiness to rise to the armed defense of our nation against the forces of the criminal, illegitimate, transgressing and occupying current Government of Iran…." The group "accuses the current government and the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Mr. Sayyed Ali Khamenei of legal transgressions and high treason of nation and homeland."

NIRU claims to be made up of "a number of officers, soldiers and personnel of the armed forces", calling for "support" and "cover… in this moral and nationalist act" from "our brothers and sisters serving with the armed security forces of Iran…."

Iranian pro-democracy activists in contact with Israel National News said they are hesitant to believe in the authenticity of the organization until there is some external evidence of its activities beyond email and Web postings.

The first of two NIRU communiques, headed with praise for the Islamic god Allah, explained: "In accordance with the regulations of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are commissioned to protect the lives, properties and honor of our nation, and defend our sacred soil, as well as combat all occupying forces within the borders of the land. Any failure in carrying out this duty is considered a betrayal of nation and oath. According to the constitution, the defense of the rights of the nation of Iran, and avoidance of the collapse of the country takes precedence over protection of the ruling regime."

The group announced "the initiation of Operation Azadi (‘Freedom’)," which they said will end upon "unconditional surrender of the occupying government and leadership." The operation, the NIRU communique said, will involve taking control of military bases, taking over government buildings, arrest of "government-supporting agents within your units", "seizing… military and public communication facilities, as well as other news media", "combat mission[ at the regional level, and expanding", and more.

The announcement emphasizes the group’s desire to avoid the use of firearms as much as possible, even against the regime’s forces, as well as to prevent any harm to civilians as a result of armed confrontations.
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Prosecutors Plan To Recommend 25/27 Year Prison Sentence For Rubashkin

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 2:26 pm

Prosecutors Plan To Recommend 25/27 Year Prison Sentence For Rubashkin

Former Agriprocessors plant executive Sholom Rubashkin could face 21 to 27 years in prison for his role in a massive financial fraud scheme, a federal prosecutor said Wednesday.

Prosecutors plan to recommend a prison sentence that would range from 262 to 327 months, according to court papers filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Peter Deegan Jr.

The suggested sentence – which a judge can accept or ignore – is based on federal guidelines that consider the number of victims, Rubashkin’s specific role in the crime and other factors.

Rubashkin was convicted in November of 86 counts of financial fraud for his role in the bank- and document-fraud scandal at Agriprocessors Inc. The plant’s former vice president is expected to challenge his convictions before the U.S. 8th Circuit Court of Appeals.

(Source: Des Moines Register)

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=44102

A7News: Netanyahu Hints IDF Must be Present on Future PA-Jordan Border

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 2:17 pm

logo.jpgTevet 14, 5770 / Thursday, Dec. 31 ’09

Subscribe to this Daily Israel Report – http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Subscribe

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Headlines

  1. Netanyahu Hints IDF Must be Present on Future PA-Jordan Border
  2. Guma Aguiar Honored as ‘Builder of Jerusalem’ by Aish HaTorah
  3. PA, Abbas Bless Rabbi’s Murderers as ‘Martyrs’
  4. Jewish Town in Samaria: ‘Thank You, Peace Now’
  5. Rabbis to US Ambassador: Time to ‘Go Biblical’ with Arabs
  6. Binyamin Residents ‘Fight the Freeze’ with Building Project
  7. Iranian Mullah: Kill the Protesters
  8. MKs Consider Legislation to Keep Highway Safe From Terrorism

1. Netanyahu Hints IDF Must be Present on Future PA-Jordan Border

by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has said for the first time publicly that the IDF must maintain a presence along the future eastern border of a PA state, preventing arms smuggling into Judea and Samaria. He noted that Israel gave up its military presence along the Gaza-Egyptian border smuggling route four years ago, a situation that he said should not be repeated.

At a recent meeting of all Israeli ambassadors and lower-level diplomats, the Prime Minister noted that Israel’s security dangers are not at the borders of Gaza and Lebanon but rather beyond the borders. He said Israel cannot depend on paper agreements, signed or not, and broadly hinted that the IDF must maintain a presence along the eastern borders of any future Palestinian Authority state in Judea and Samaria in order to fight terrorism and prevent arms smuggling.

A third terror platform?
“Iran Is creating a base [in Lebanon] for weapons that are used in areas adjacent to Israel with the intention of attacking Israel," according to Prime Minister Netanyahu. "The problem in Lebanon is not the border. The problem of security is Syria. The same thing is happening in Gaza. The problem is not the border with Gaza….but with the 12 kilometers (eight miles) into Sinai" adjacent to the Philadelphi smugglng route.

He declared that “agreements, signatures and texts have left us with the same problem. We will not have a situation where Judea and Samaria become a third platform for rockets from Iran." The Prime Minister explained that the smuggling of weapons into Judea and Samaria would create a problem far worse than Israel faces on the northern and southern borders.

Preventing arms from entering Judea, Samaria and Gaza is a condition for peace, Prime Minister Netanyahu continued. Without directly calling for an IDF presence in territory that might be part of future PA state, he stated, "I doubt whether anything except a real presence of the State of Israel, of Israeli forces, can accomplish [a halt to importing weapons]. The problem of demilitarization must be resolved effectively and this entails effectively blocking unauthorized entry, first and foremost from the east [of Judea and Samaria], wherever the border is defined.”

‘No’ to another 1701
He previously has called for a future PA state to be demilitarized, but his speech was the first time that he said that Israeli forces will be stationed on its borders. The Prime Minister dismissed the option of again signing agreements such as United Nations Security Council Resolution 1701, which ended the Second Lebanon War three year ago.

The resolution included a clause that called for United Nations UNIFIL forces to disarm Hizbullah terrorists, but the commanders of the international force said at the outset they would not and could not enforce it. Hizbullah has used the absence of control to stockpile at least three times as many missiles as it possessed before the outbreak of the 34-day war.

Israel, under the guidance of then-Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, agreed last year to end the Operation Cast Lead counterterrorist campaign with a signed agreement that the United States would ensure that technological installations and foreign monitors would be placed in Egypt to stop smuggling.

However, Hamas has continued to smuggle into Gaza advanced anti-aircraft and anti-tank missiles as well as long-range Iranian-made rockets that can strike as far away as metropolitan Tel Aviv. The IDF has foiled some, but far from all, of the attempts to smuggle weapons, including rockets, into Judea and Samaria.

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2. Guma Aguiar Honored as ‘Builder of Jerusalem’ by Aish HaTorah

by Hana Levi Julian

Leading Jewish philanthropist Guma Aguiar was one of four VIPs honored Wednesday by Jerusalem’s prestigious Aish HaTorah yeshiva for his role in building Israel and the nation’s capital. Aguiar, founder and CEO of Leor Energy, sponsor of Beitar Yerushalayim and owner of HaPoel Yerushalayim, was named a “Builder of Jerusalem” at the yeshiva’s 2009 Boneh Yerushalayim Awards dinner.

The Brazilian-born billionaire moved to Jerusalem two years ago. A major energy industrialist, he has since been involved with numerous philanthropic projects to aid the State of Israel and the Jewish People, yeshiva officials noted.

All three 2009 Boneh Yerushalayim awardees are business owners who excel in the fields of energy and environment.

Two honorees personally received their awards from Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon; Aguiar was in flight at the time and unable to be present in person. His co-honorees were Shai Agassi, founder and CEO of Better Place, producer of Israel’s first electric car, and Arnold J. Goldman, chairman and founder of BrightSource Energy, a solar power company.

Ayalon is also a past recipient of the Boneh Yerushalayim Award, having been honored when he served as co-Chairman of the North American aliyah organization, Nefesh B’Nefesh.

The Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Yigal Arnon, founder and senior partner of Yigal Arnon & Co. Law Firm.

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3. PA, Abbas Bless Rabbi’s Murderers as ‘Martyrs’

by Hana Levi Julian

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas publicly proclaimed three terrorists who murdered a Jewish father of seven children to be “shaheeds” – holy martyrs, according to a report by the PA media watchdog, Palestinian Media Watch.

Abbas declared the killers – all members of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades — to be shaheeds and sent his personal emissary to visit their families following last Thursday’s attack. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is part of the Fatah faction, which is headed by Abbas. PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad personally visited the families, along with a number of top PA officials, and condemned the IDF operation.

Rabbi Meir Avshalom Chai, a 40-year-old Israeli resident of the Samaria Jewish community of Shavei Shomron, was murdered in a hail of bullets fired by four terrorists in car that overtook him as he drove home from a nearby community. On Friday night, IDF soldiers tracked down three of the terrorists and killed them after they opened fire during an attempt to arrest them. The fourth surrendered to PA police, who have not turned him over to Israeli authorities.

The response of the PA government has been one of unequivocal support for the terror attack, with statements by its leadership and that of the Fatah faction referring to the terrorists as Palestinian heroes and shahids. One member of the faction’s central committee described the terrorists as “[military] commanders, brave heroes, and fighters,” according to a news report in the daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida translated by PMW.

PA government-controlled media, meanwhile, has described Israel’s killing of the rabbi’s murderers as an “assassination” and “murder in cold blood.”

Abbas: ‘Not Me – Won’t Turn to Violence’

Abbas claimed in an English-language interview posted this week on the PalestineMediaCenter web site, and clearly intended for international readership, that he is opposed to violence and terrorism, regardless of circumstance. The PMC is the media outlet and “general secretariat” for the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), of which Fatah is a member.

The statement was made in response to a question regarding his views on whether the PA would agree to a single-state solution or insist on the establishment of an independent PA country, as stated in the Road Map plan.

“I will not turn to violence,” he replied. “No matter where you drag us, I will not return to violence.”

“And if violence forces itself upon you?” he was asked.

“Not me. I am against this,” he claimed. “I will not accept violence, terrorism, gunfire or a military intifada. Absolutely not.”

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4. Jewish Town in Samaria: ‘Thank You, Peace Now’

by Hillel Fendel

Residents of Kiryat Netafim in the Shomron are very thankful to the radical-left Peace Now group for having led to the legalization of their newest neighborhood.

Peace Now filed suit in the Supreme Court earlier this year against the construction and population of 15 homes in Kiryat Netafim, a 25-year-old Jewish town in Samaria near Ariel. Peace Now claimed that the homes were built on Arab land. The Court issued a restraining order against the construction.

At the time, Shomron Regional Council head Gershon Mesika threatened to sue Peace Now for slander. “The construction is on land that is on the town’s original zoning plan, which is being held up for political reasons only because the Defense Minister refuses to sign," Mesika said. "The land is not Arab land.”

As a result of the suit, the State announced abruptly on Tuesday of this week that it officially approves the construction in Kiryat Netafim, and will take the necessary steps to finalize all necessary permits. This, despite the American-pressured freeze on Jewish building in Judea and Samaria announced last month.

The 15 homes in question will therefore not be razed, and the families living there are breathing a sigh of relief. “This announcement has led to a burst of excitement,” the town announced, “and at the same time, we thank the representatives of Peace Now for having brought the matter to court.”

“We will proceed with the construction according to the plan as soon as we receive the papers,” the town announced. “We are full of hope that our neighbors in the other towns in Judea and Samaria will receive the same treatment.”

Kiryat Netafim was founded in 1984 as a religious-Zionist communal town. Some 85 families currently live there, many of them belonging to the Yemenite Jewish community.

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5. Rabbis to US Ambassador: Time to ‘Go Biblical’ with Arabs

by Gil Ronen

A delegation of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP) met with U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Mr. James Cunningham, today and called for a reassessment of the entire U.S. policy vis-à-vis the Israelis and Palestinians. The rabbis told Ambassador Cunningham that it was time to try the Biblical approach to the dispute over the Land of Israel.

"The past 17 years have proven without a shadow of a doubt that every square inch ceded by Israel to the Palestinians was transformed into a platform of hatred and terrorism," RCP Director Rabbi Avrohom Shmuel Lewin told the ambassador. "In other words, the ‘land for peace’ formula in the Israel-Palestinian context, besides being a formula that goes against the Divine will, is ineffective, obsolete, and an exercise in futility. Most of all it is a dangerous policy that only leads to bloodshed and instability in the region and harms vital American interests in the region as well," Lewin said.

‘Land for peace doesn’t work’
The delegation was headed by Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Chairman of the RCP, who is also the Rabbi of Central Tel Aviv where the US embassy is located. Rabbi Gerlitzky presented the ambassador with the Halachic (Jewish legal) ruling signed by over 350 prominent rabbis in Israel that it is forbidden to give up even one inch of territory controlled by Israel today because it will bring bloodshed and instability to the region.

"In the name of the overwhelming majority of rabbis in Israel," he said, "we request of you Mr. Ambassador, to convey our Halachic message to President Barack Obama that it is time for a complete reversal and reassessment of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The ‘land for peace’ policy never worked and harms U.S. interests in the region and the world at large."

Left to right: Rabbi Sholom Gold, Mr. Marc Sievers of the US Embassy, Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Joseph Gerlitzky, Ambassador James Cunningham, Rabbi Moshe Havlin, Rabbi Avrohom S. Lewin. The Rabbis handed the ambassador a Halachic Ruling signed by over 350 rabbis in Israel that forbids giving up land controlled by Israel today.

The ambassador was visibly moved by Rabbi Sholom Gold, a leading rabbi in Jerusalem, who described the suffering that the Jewish People have endured ever since the implementation of the Oslo Accords and the agreements that followed. "It’s all a play of words, there is no peace process," he said. "From the day that we started conceding and withdrawing we did not have one day of rest and peace. Why should our enemies want to make peace with us when they see that with terrorism they get what they want? Even the U.S., Israel’s supposedly best friend, sides with them in demanding a freeze and evacuation of settlements. Is the triumph of Arab terror one of American interests?" Gold asked.

Going Biblical
Rabbi Dov Lior, the Rabbi of Kiryat Arba-Hevron, said: "G-d gave the US the power and influence to affect the rest of the world and supporting Israel is the key to America’s success."

Ambassador Cunningham told the rabbis that he does not see how the problem can be solved “without taking into consideration the Palestinians,” to which Rabbi Gold remarked: "Ever since we started taking the Palestinians into consideration the situation only worsened."

The ambassador asked the rabbis, "So what is your solution to the problem?"

Rabbi Gerlitzky replied: "You must switch the entire approach to the situation. We all believe in the Holy Bible and up until now we tried every formula except for that which is delineated in the Bible. Let’s try it and who knows, Mr. Ambassador, maybe this is your defining moment, that G-d Almighty has placed you in this capacity in order to precipitate a new course which will bring a true peace to the entire region."

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6. Binyamin Residents ‘Fight the Freeze’ with Building Project

by Hana Levi Julian

Residents of the Binyamin region in Samaria have announced they will launch a massive construction campaign next week, building walls and structures in communities throughout the area.

The project is part of the fight against the government’s 10-month freeze on Jewish construction in Judea and Samaria.

The Binyamin Residents Committee explained in a statement that the program was being carried out as a follow-up to a conference on the matter held in the town of Ofra several weeks ago. At that meeting, the committee announced it had no intention of “surrendering to the racist decision forbidding only the Jews from building on the land of their forefathers.”

Under the program, each community plans to build at least one structure that can be used to serve the residents of that community, be it a synagogue expansion, storage facility, observation post or residential youth center.

“The project is intended to convey the message that even if the Israeli government intends to adopt the ‘White Paper’ of British Mandatory rule, the people of the Binyamin region will respond in accordance with the Jewish tradition of settling the land, with building and expansion,” the committee said.

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7. Iranian Mullah: Kill the Protesters

by Nissan Ratzlav-Katz

In a television appearance shocking in its candidness, a leading Iranian ayatollah says that it would be far better for the Islamic Republic to simply murder those protesting against the regime, rather than arrest and beat them. Meanwhile, an unknown group claiming to represent Iranian soldiers threatens to take up arms against the regime.

In a live interview broadcast on the Islamic Republic’s national television station sometime within the last two weeks, Ayatollah Mehyaddin Haeri Shirazi described a Communist protest movement from the early years of the Islamic Republic, noting how it was effectively crushed by the authorities. The government targeted opposition activists, he said, "arrested them in the afternoon and the same night announced the names of 30 people killed or executed by the government forces."

In reaction to the arrests and killings, Shirazi continued, "nothing happened. Why? Because they killed them."

Expanding on what he sees as the lesson from those events, the ayatollah said,"The more of them [the opposition] are killed, the more beneficial [to the people]. If the armed forces kill some of them, it is to our benefit."

On the other hand, Shirazi continued, "When they are arrested, it is bad [for public opinion], when they are captured [it is bad for public opinion]. Do not make victims out of them."

Killing the opposition protesters, the ayatollah insists, "is sanctioned by obedience to Allah and the prophet and is handed down to the Supreme Leader [Ayatollah Khamenei]. When it is sanctioned by such a power, there is no need to go through the government powers."

Shirazi warned the opposition forces, "Do not look upon the Supreme Leader [simply] as a person with a soft turban on his head, and that you can beat him. His support comes from the Hidden Imam Mahdi, he [Khamenei] is made of iron. It will come back down to break your own heads."

(For a video of the Shirazi interview, click here.)

In fact, Iranian security forces have taken the violence against Iranian pro-democracy protesters up a notch in recent weeks. Over a dozen people were openly shot or beaten to death in the latest clashes, with police arresting hundreds of Iranian citizens involved in the opposition movements.

Armed Resistance by Iranian Military Units?
Perhaps in reaction to the increasing levels of violence by government forces, on December 26 a previously unknown anti-regime group calling itself the National Iranian Armed Resistance Forces (NIRU) "declare our readiness to rise to the armed defense of our nation against the forces of the criminal, illegitimate, transgressing and occupying current Government of Iran…." The group "accuses the current government and the leader of the Islamic Revolution, Mr. Sayyed Ali Khamenei of legal transgressions and high treason of nation and homeland."

NIRU claims to be made up of "a number of officers, soldiers and personnel of the armed forces", calling for "support" and "cover… in this moral and nationalist act" from "our brothers and sisters serving with the armed security forces of Iran…."

Iranian pro-democracy activists in contact with Israel National News said they are hesitant to believe in the authenticity of the organization until there is some external evidence of its activities beyond email and Web postings.

The first of two NIRU communiques, headed with praise for the Islamic god Allah, explained: "In accordance with the regulations of the Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran, we are commissioned to protect the lives, properties and honor of our nation, and defend our sacred soil, as well as combat all occupying forces within the borders of the land. Any failure in carrying out this duty is considered a betrayal of nation and oath. According to the constitution, the defense of the rights of the nation of Iran, and avoidance of the collapse of the country takes precedence over protection of the ruling regime."

The group announced "the initiation of Operation Azadi (‘Freedom’)," which they said will end upon "unconditional surrender of the occupying government and leadership." The operation, the NIRU communique said, will involve taking control of military bases, taking over government buildings, arrest of "government-supporting agents within your units", "seizing… military and public communication facilities, as well as other news media", "combat mission[s] at the regional level, and expanding", and more.

The announcement emphasizes the group’s desire to avoid the use of firearms as much as possible, even against the regime’s forces, as well as to prevent any harm to civilians as a result of armed confrontations.

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8. MKs Consider Legislation to Keep Highway Safe From Terrorism

by Hillel Fendel

Following the onslaught of angry verbal responses to Tuesday’s Supreme Court ruling forcing the army to open an important artery to Arab traffic, Knesset Members are now considering practical action.

The Court ruled that Route 443, the well-traveled Modiin-Jerusalem highway, cannot be permanently closed to PA Arab traffic. It gave the army five months to come up with security arrangements that will enable the highway to be open safely to Arab traffic.

The highway was closed to Palestinian Authority vehicles in 2002 following a wave of terrorist attacks along its route. At least four Israelis – Eliyahu Cohen of Modiin; husband and wife Yaniv and Sharon Bar-Shalom of Ofarim, who left two orphans under two years old, and Sharon’s brother Doron Sviri – were murdered in two of the attacks. Other terror incidents on the highway included shootings at policemen and other drive-by shootings.

Local Jewish residents refuse to accept the decree, complaining both of the dangers and of ethnic discrimination.

Unsafe and Detached from Reality
Modiin Mayor Chaim Bibas told Arutz Sheva, "We will fight in every way possible against this decision. We are organizing for an uncompromising fight, and we have met with Knesset Members and former army officers, including the division commander who made the original decision to close the route because of the attacks."

Racist and Discriminatory
In nearby Dolev, residents are perplexed at the racism inherent in the ruling. Resident Adi Mintz explains: "We asked the courts many times to allow us to travel on roads that have been closed to us and opened only for Arabs – yet we were turned down. The route we take to Jerusalem now takes us nearly twice as long as before. Yet in this case, the Supreme Court rules that the Arabs must be allowed to travel on ‘Jewish’ roads – despite the security dangers in the wake. This is an unfair, discriminatory law that places us on an unequal footing before the law."

"The Supreme Court ‘s decision is detached from reality," Mayor Bibas said. "The judges are apparently sitting in an ivory tower and don’t realize what’s going on. The Knesset must pass legislation to bypass this decision."

MKs at work
MKs are already working on this option. MK Moshe Matalon (Israel Our Home) has proposed that the area of Route 443, part of which passes through Samaria, be annexed to sovereign Israel, just as the Golan Heights and eastern Jerusalem have been. "We would then not have to ask anyone whether to allow Arabs of the Palestinian Authority to use the route," Matalon said." If the road comes under Israeli sovereignty, PA Arabs would not be allowed into it without an entry permit.

Nationalists hung signs along Route 443 on Wednesday reading: "Warning, driver: [Supreme Court Chief Justice Dorit] Beinisch is endangering your life on Route 443."

Another legislative idea has already received the support of Cabinet Ministers Yuli Edelstein and Uzi Landau. The proposal is to pass into law a specific bill stipulating clearly that 443 is closed to Palestinian Authority traffic. Edelstein said that he generally does not like "High Court-circumventing legislation," but in this case, "the court’s ruling is simply a gamble with lives."

A stretch of the 28-kilometer highway – 150 meters wide by 10 kilometers long – is situated on Arab lands that were confiscated in order to build it. The Supreme Court authorized the confiscation at the time, saying it was necessary to meet the growing transportation needs of the area. After the road was closed to Arab traffic in 2002, local Arabs complained that their transportation needs were being ignored. In Dec. 2008, a largely parallel six-kilometer route was opened for all-Arab traffic, connecting several Arab villages along Route 443 with Ramallah and ostensibly obviating the need to allow Arab traffic on 443.

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Police Make Arrest in Mosque Arson Attack

Filed under: Uncategorized — jewishupdates @ 2:03 pm

Police Make Arrest in Mosque Arson Attack

Police on Thursday afternoon arrested a suspect in an arson attack against a Shechem area mosque that occurred earlier this month, as was reported by YWN-Israel.

The suspect was taken into custody in the area of Tapuach Junction in Shomron. He is a grandchild of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane HY”D. It should be pointed out that the suspect has endured a great deal in his short life as a result of Arab terrorism.

Both his parents, Rabbi Binyamin Ze’ev and Talya Kahane HY”D were murdered by Arab terrorists, as was his grandfather.

(Yechiel Spira – YWN Israel)

http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/article.php?p=44097

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