israelam news

Israel News for 1-8-18

Death Penalty
Last week Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman spearheaded a new bill proposal to give military courts the ability to impose the death penalty against terrorists by a simple majority of judges as opposed to the current requirement of unanimous agreement of the judges. The bill passed its first reading in the Knesset.

Critics accuse the bill of being too harsh and inhumane. Some supporters of the bill claim that the primary reason for the death penalty not being imposed against terrorists is because the military prosecutors don’t ask for it. Now Israel’s Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef has weighed in on the matter, coming out against the death penalty for two reasons:

1. the execution of Palestinian terrorists could cause outrage in the world and thus risk the lives of Jews living abroad.

2. the death penalty might in the future also be applied to Jewish terrorists who murdered Arabs, and administering the death penalty to Jews without the existence of a Sanhedrin (high Jewish court of 71 elders) is against Jewish law.

The death penalty bill passed its first reading in the Knesset with the support of Shas, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party that is part of the coalition. Now that Rabbi Yosef has expressed his contrary opinion, Shas might change their position and not vote for the bill in subsequent readings. Without Shas support, the bill is unlikely to pass. Ministers of the ultra-Orthodox Ashkenazic party, United Torah Judaism, were absent from the vote as a result of their belief that the death penalty contravenes Jewish law today.

When asked whether the death penalty would apply to convicted Jewish terrorists, PM Netanyahu replied, “In principle, yes.”

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Gaza Power
Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz has instructed the Israel Electric Corporation to restore regular power supply to Gaza starting Monday due to the “Palestinian Authority’s willingness to renew payments.” The cost of Gaza power consumption is estimated to be NIS 40 million per month, which Israel then offsets from tax money collected from the PA.

The families of the soldiers whose bodies are still being held by Hamas in Gaza protested the resumption of power, claiming that the government is abandoning their sons.

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Arab Diplomacy
Jordan announced on Saturday that the Arab League would seek international recognition of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi made the announcement at a joint news conference with Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit after talks in Amman on the status of Jerusalem. The talks were attended by the foreign ministers of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority as well as by the United Arab Emirates minister of state for foreign affairs.

Safadi said, “There is a political decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and we will strive to reach an international political decision to recognize a Palestinian state… with (eastern) Jerusalem as its capital.” Abul Gheit said an expanded meeting of Arab foreign ministers to discuss Jerusalem would be held at the end of the month.

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Egyptian Denial
Egypt denied a report by the New York Times that said that the Egyptians were prepared to accept Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and Ramallah as the capital of a Palestinian state, if it lead to peace. The General Information Authority in Egypt said the claims were false, and that President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry supported the idea of east Jerusalem as a Palestinian capital, rejecting the notion that Ramallah could be an acceptable substitute.

The General Information Authority said, “It is not appropriate that such a large newspaper like the New York Times publishes a story like this. Nothing can be deduced about the Egyptian position on international matters from leaks that are connected to an unknown person. Positions are laid out by the president and foreign minister through officially stated positions.”

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Shocking Video
This incredible story highlights the power of a blessing. You need to watch it to the end to get the full impact. Click here.