Posts filed under ‘Politics’
This week, the students finally took to the streets to protest the unfair treatment they get compared to the yeshiva bochers. In my humble opinion, that protest was years overdue, and I can only wish them the best of luck in demanding equal rights for students at universities and in yeshivot.
In that spirit, let me offer a word of advice: with all due respect to closing off roads in Beer Sheva, if you really want results it’s the access roads to Ben Gurion Airport (not University) that you need to block.
Yesterday, the government decided to promote a bill in the Knesset that would create the so-called Loyalty Law. This law would demand of non-Jews who wish to take Israeli citizenship to swear an oath of loyalty to the state of Israel as a Jewish and democratic state.
The decision had hardly been made before various pundits and intellectuals started to throw the good old F word around. There was, however, no lack of less hysterical critics. Several cabinet ministers voted against, including all Labor ministers.
One can’t help to ask how Avigdor Lieberman, who’s been clamoring for a Loyalty Law for ages, thought that the law would work in reality. Maybe he wants the Ministry of the Interior to draw up a list of non-Jewish citizens, and if – sometime in the future – the Jewish majority in the country is threatened, they will be asked to convert to safeguard “the Jewish character of the state.”
Knesset member Hanin Zuabi (Balad) participated in the Flotilla to Gaza, and was present onboard Mavi Marmara when the Israeli marines boarded the ship. Immediately after she was brought ashore, she gave interviews to just about anyone who was willing to listen where she adamantly claimed that she hadn’t seen any armed activists. Beyond that, she also claimed that she had pleaded with the IDF begging them to help the wounded Turkish activists afterward, but the Israeli soldiers refused.
Yesterday, Galei Tzahal published footage that shows MK Zuabi before the boarding, milling about next to activists onboard Mavi Marmara preparing to attack the Israeli commandos. Worse than that, there’s also footage of her arguing with Israeli marines. But unfortunately for Zuabi, the film doesn’t exactly back up her version of the events. It doesn’t show her pleading for the IDF medical staff to treat the wounded Turkish activists. Instead, mind bogglingly enough, she can be seen arguing with the marines trying to stop them from treating the wounded Turks.
I’m afraid Hanin Zuabi has been caught with her pants down, and – as the saying goes – they’re on fire.
The footage can be viewed here.
The Tirkel Committee investigating the events surrounding the boarding of the Flotilla to Gaza in the end of May has started to hear testimonies this week.
The first one to give testimony was Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On Monday, he declared that he was ultimately responsible since he’s the Prime Minister. But, he added, he was abroad after all, so in practical terms Ehud Barak made all the decisions.
Yesterday, Minister of Defense Ehud Barak was summoned to the committee. He, too, took full responsibility for the events. That is, full political responsibility. In practical terms, he stressed, it was the army that made all the practical decisions.
Today it’s Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi’s turn to testify before the Tirkel Committee. Let’s see if someone will finally assume some real responsibility, or if he too will pass it on to someone else lower down in the political food chain.
UPDATE: Ashkenazi did indeed assume full responsibility without hinting that it really lies elsewhere. More interestingly, perhaps, was his statement that the IDF didn’t know that IHH was a hostile organization. Can that really be? Is there no one in all of the intelligence establishment in this country who speaks Turkish? Not a single one?
I know I haven’t blogged much lately, but I’ve been busy working – believe it or not. In order to strengthen my credibility, behold the fruit of my labor.
Two interesting news items in the wake of the Flotilla to Gaza in the end of May:
1) In a race to be the first to point the finger of blame, the IDF is expected to dump the responsibility for the whole mess on the navy in a report presented to the chief of staff Ashkenazi and the minister of defense Barak today. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court gave the government’s committee that will look into the issue sharper teeth.
2) The German minster of the interior, Thomas de Maizière, banned the IHH from working in Germany. IHH is the Turkish organization that stood behind the Flotilla, and it’s outlawed in Germany due to its funding of, and cooperation with, the Palestinian terror organization Hamas.
On June 5, the Egyptian Supreme Court handed down a ruling, giving the final green light to the new law stripping all Egyptian men married to Jewish Israeli women of their Egyptian citizenship – Muslim or Christian Israeli women can still marry Egyptians without their husbands losing their citizenship.
The law could be criticized for being discriminatory, but Nabil el-Wahash, the lawyer who initiated the law, explains that it is in fact a necessary step to protect Egyptian national security. Since offspring of such a union would be Jewish, and the Israeli Law of Return states that any Jew is eligible for Israeli citizenship, they might take Israeli citizenship and maybe even serve in the Israeli armed forces, heaven forefend.
The Supreme Court agreed with Mr. el-Wahash, and ruled that Egyptian men married to Israeli Jewish women should be stripped of their citizenship.
I’m shocked and appalled by this flawed law and small-minded ruling by the court. This law does in no way protect the Egyptian national security in a satisfactory manner. Israeli men can in fact also transfer their Israeli citizenship to their offspring, even though their children aren’t halakhically Jewish. Furthermore, Jews all over the world could potentially accept Israeli citizenship at any moment – for themselves and for their children.
How can the Egyptian legislators allow such a glaring breach in the nation’s security? The only way to prevent “a new generation of Egyptians ‘disloyal to Egypt and the Arab world'”, is to forbid Egyptian citizens to marry Jews, any Jews, altogether.