Tammuz 15, 5772 / Thursday, Jul. 05 ’12

 

Tammuz 15, 5772 / Thursday, Jul. 05 ’12

 

 

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Headlines

  1. 1.      Poll: United Religious Zionist List Gets 10 MKs
  2. 2.      Midnight Attack on Jews at Mount of Olives
  3. 3.      Mumbai Planner Admits Ordering Chabad House Slayings
  4. 4.      Hamas Gaza Chief Headed to Cairo
  5. 5.      Will Tal Law’s Demise Hurt Hesder Yeshivas?
  6. 6.      Yesha Security Barrier Construction to Resume
  7. 7.      WikiLeaks to Release 2.5 Million Syrian Cables
  8. 8.      Romney: Justice Roberts’ Healthcare Ruling ‘Not Accurate’

 

1. Poll: United Religious Zionist List Gets 10 MKs

by Gil Ronen

 

If the Jewish Home and National Union succeed in uniting and forming a single party, that party will receive 10 Knesset seats, a Panels Politics Institute Poll for the Knesset Channel has determined.

Should the two parties run separately, the National Union would garner 5 seats, up by one from its present number, while the Jewish Home would barely make it past the minimum required to enter the Knesset, and have three seats – as it does now.

If the religious Zionist parties fail to unite, 28% of religious Zionist voters would vote for Likud, with 22% voting for the Jewish Home and 16% voting for the National Union – which also receives a substantial number of votes from people outside the religious Zionist camp.

However, a united list would receive a whopping 53% of the religious Zionist votes, with Likud receiving only 15%.

It thus appears that a united religious Zionist front would enlarge the camp’s representation I the Knesset and block the fragmentation of the camp’s vote among the different parties, including Likud.

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2. Midnight Attack on Jews at Mount of Olives

by Gil Ronen

 

It was a relatively minor incident, compared to terror attacks against Jews that make the news, but indicative of the times: a car driven by Arabs accidentally rammed into one carrying a Jewish family, and the Arabs then proceeded to attack two of the Jews.

The incident occurred shortly after midnight near the Tomb of the ‘Or Haim’ in Jerusalem, whose yarzeit “hilula” was held Wednesday night. Thousands of Jews made pilgrimage to his tomb on the Mount of Olives, with police, including mounted policemen and Border Police, providing security.

A Jewish family that had prayed at the tomb was stuck in a traffic jam on the way back down the mountain, when a car driven by Arabs tried to drive around the jam and struck the Jews’ car forcefully. The Jew’s car sustained serious damage.

The Arabs then got out of the car, not to apologize or escape but to blame the Jews. They started by shouting at the members of the Jewish family and then proceeded to physically assault the car’s owner and his daughter.

One policeman was present at the scene of the attack but eyewitnesses said that he was unable to stop the violence.

A larger police force was eventually brought in and it arrested one of the Arabs. The daughter of the car’s owner was taken to a hospital for medical treatment.

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3. Mumbai Planner Admits Ordering Chabad House Slayings

by Gabe Kahn

One of the masterminds of the 2008 terror rampage in Mumbai that left 166 dead confessed Thursday that he ordered the murder of the hostages being held in the Indian city’s Chabad House.

“I gave the order to murder those who were held at the Nariman [Chabad] House,” Side Zbiodin, better known as Abu Hamza, told his interrogators.

Abu Hamza was arrested at the international airport in New Delhi two weeks ago on suspicion that he’s planned and gave the direct order to slay the Jewish hostages at the Chabad House.

Six people in the Chabad House, including Rabbi Gavriel Holtzberg and his wife, Rivka, who was five months pregnant, were murdered on Abu Hamza’s command. The Holtzberg’s two-year-old son Moshe survived the attack after being rescued by his Indian nanny, Sandra Samuel.

Abu Hamza, a native of India, was wanted for connections to Pakistani terrorist organization Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). He also confessed that he taught Hindi to the ten terrorists who carried out the attack, and oversaw their three day operation.

His confession this week confirmed the belief of Indian police officials that he was the man they have a recording of talking to the Mumbai terrorists during their seige at the Chabad House.

Police say Abu Hamza was able to provide interrogators with specific corroborating details only the handler of the terrorists who carried out the Chabad House murders would have been aware of.

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4. Hamas Gaza Chief Headed to Cairo

by Gabe Kahn

A Hamas official on Thursday announced Ismail Haniyeh, who heads the terror organizations administration in Gaza, is headed for Cairo to meet with Egypt’s new Islamist president.

Mohammed Askoul said Haniyeh will meet President Mohammed Morsi and senior Egyptian security officials “within the next two weeks.”

Hamas is an offshoot of Morsi’s region-wide Muslim Brotherhood movement.

Hamas hopes the Brotherhood will allow a greater number of Gaza residents to pass through the Rafiah junction into Sinai.

However, observers say more than a token increase in traffic – presently at some 1,000 persons per day – is highly unlikely.

Morsi’s powers are limited, his relations with Egypt’s powerful military are tentative, and Egypt has more pressing issues to address.

Hamas seized Gaza from the Palestinian Authority under its rival faction, Fatah, in a bloody 2007 putsch. The move prompted both Egypt and Israel to close their crossings to and from Gaza.

At present, Israel allows aid shipments to pass into Gaza, and goods for sale to pass out of Gaza.

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5. Will Tal Law’s Demise Hurt Hesder Yeshivas?

by Gil Ronen

 

When the Tal Law expires at the end of July, hesder yeshiva students whose national service track combines military service with Torah study will become, technically, “draft dodgers,” alongside hareidim who received exemption from service based on the Tal Law.

The scenario is causing concern in the religious Zionist sector.

Minister Daniel Hershkowitz (Jewish Home) will probably meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in the coming days in order to find a solution that will differentiate between the hesder students and those of the other high yeshivas.

MK Zevulun Orlev (Jewish Home) asked Wednesday that the problem be solved and that a differentiation be made between the two groups, in order to avoid harming the hesder yeshivas. “I think that we must not agree to a situation in which, because of a controversy in the coalition, the Zionist yeshivas will be hurt. In my humble opinion, our position should be the ratification of a bill on his matter that we initiated some time ago. It is time to differentiate between the hareidi yeshivas that do not serve and the Zionist ones that serve in the IDF.”

Source in the Hesder Yeshivas Federation said Thursday that it appears the problem will be solved, and that the hesder track will not be adversely affected.

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6. Yesha Security Barrier Construction to Resume

by Gabe Kahn

An IDF source on Thursday said Israel will resume construction of its incomplete security barrier in Judea and Samaria (Shomron) in the coming weeks.

Restarting construction of the barrier – slammed by Jewish and Arab leaders in the region alike – comes after a five-year delay due to “budget problems.”

A series of lawsuits over the route of the security barrier, which currently snakes through the western reaches of Judea and Samaria had also stalled construction.

Colonel Ofer Hindi outlined the government plans to resume construction work in a session before the Supreme Court on Wednesday.

Hindi told the court that work will first resume in the Gush Etzion bloc near Bethlehem. In 2013, work will resume around Maale Adumim to the east of Jerusalem.

Israel began work on the barrier in 2002 during the height of the second intifada, and has defended the necessity of its construction, pointing to a drop in attacks as proof of its success.

The Palestinian Authority claims the barrier is a land grab, pointing out that when complete, 85% of it will have been built inside Judea and Samaria.

However, the Netanyahu government has stated its policy is to retain Israel’s main settlement blocs in the region while compensating the PA with ‘land swaps.’

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7. WikiLeaks to Release 2.5 Million Syrian Cables

by Gabe Kahn

WikiLeaks on Thursday began publishing more than two million emails from Syrian political figures, ministries and companies that have done business with the country.

The so-called ‘Syria Files’ show how the West and western countries “say one thing and do another” when it comes to dealing with the Assad regime, the self-appointed whistleblower site says.

Syrian has decended into open civil war following a 16-month crackdown by the regime that has left at least 16,500 people dead.

The emails date from August 2006 to March 2012. According to WikiLeaks, the leaked emails date from August 2006 to March 2012 and derive from more than 650,000 email addresses.

Among them are email addresses associated with the country’s ministries of foreign affairs, finance and culture, and for foreign companies.

WikiLeaks said that, as there is a “large dataset” to go through, it could take months for all the stories contained in the emails to come out. The emails are in various languages, including Arabic and Russian.

Much the same happened with the trove of US diplomatic cables that WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange published between 2010-11.

Assange, who was not able to attend the unveiling of the ‘Syria Files,’ is currently holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in a desperate bid to escape extradition to Sweden over sexual assault claims.

Assange claims he risks extradition to the US to face charges over the cable leaks.

However, several senior officials speaking off the record have said the US does not to give Assange the publicity that would come from a lengthy and high profile trial.

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8. Romney: Justice Roberts’ Healthcare Ruling ‘Not Accurate’

by Rachel Hirshfeld

Republican nominee Mitt Romney on Thursday addressed his past praise for Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in light of Robert’s deciding vote in favor of upholding the healthcare legislation.

“He’s a very bright person and I look for people who follow the Constitution,” Romney said on CBS News‘s “This Morning.”

Romney on his website had named Roberts as the type of justice he would nominate as president.

“I wouldn’t nominate someone who I knew would come out with a decision that I violently disagreed with, or vehemently disagreed with,” Romney said of the healthcare ruling, calling Roberts’s decision “not an appropriate conclusion.”

According to leaks, since the Supreme Court upheld the healthcare reform act as constitutional, Roberts initially sided with the conservative dissent in the decision but ultimately changed his mind and became the deciding factor in the Court’s ruling, noted The Hill.

“It gives the impression the decision wasn’t made on the constitution but on political consideration between the branches of government,” Romney said. “But we won’t really know the answers to those things until maybe the Justice speaks out sometime in history.”

Roberts’s decision shocked the GOP, who had expected him to be an ally in their goal to eliminate “Obamacare” legislation.

Roberts acknowledged the fall-out last week when he told a judicial conference he is headed to Malta for two weeks now that the Supreme Court is adjourned.

“Malta, as you know, is an impregnable island fortress. It seemed like a good idea,” Roberts joked, according to the Associated Press.

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