Sunday, July 24, 2016

Open letter to Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Areyh Stern

21 July 2016                                                                                                                        טו  תמוז  תשע"ו

Dear Chief Rabbi Stern,

I was pleased to learn that you had been able to persuade the Mayor of Jerusalem, Barkat, that it was an affront for Gay Parade flags to be displayed in Rechov King George outside the Great Synagogue.

However, I am concerned that you appear to be unable/unwilling to persuade the Mayor to enforce the State Law that requires Rechov King George to be closed during the periods of Tefillah in both the Great Synagogue and Yeshurun Central Zionist Synagogue on Shabbat and Chagim. I have sent you numerous requests since your appointment but have never received any form of response.

I understand that the Jerusalem Police are closing the roads commencing at 14.30 till the end of the parade after 18.00 including streets on the route of the Gay Parade March including Rechov King George and Keren Hayasod as well as adjacent streets.  This period of closure will result in traffic chaos in the city as well as the disruption of public transport.  Furthermore, numerous law enforcement personnel will be employed including police, border guards and the shabak – at great public expense – to ensure these people are permitted to openly express in public, their free will. 

However, when it comes to Shabbat and Chagim, it would appear that the respective authorities refuse to openly allow expressions of Orthodox Judaism in public by closing Rechov King George from Kikar Paris to Rechov Maalot, as laid down in the State Law.  It should be pointed out that the disruption on Shabbat and Chagim would not affect public transport on these streets since, fortunately, public transport currently does not run on Shabbat and Chagim.  To enforce the Law would not require the use of the mammoth number of Law Enforcement officials as the Parade.

It appears that the Jerusalem Mayor and Police are far more sensitive to offending Muslims than they are with Jews.  On Yom Yerushalaim the Annual Yom Yerushalaim Flag March through the Old City via Shaar Shechem was initially refused by the Jerusalem Police, on the grounds that it would offend the sensitivities of the Muslims prior to the start of Ramadan.  Eventually a compromise was reached whereby the march was permitted but all participants had to be through Shaar Shechem by 18.15.  If the authorities can deem it their prerogative to enforce such draconian measures on the expression of Jewish Nationalist pride, surely it is time that the Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem ensured that the Law Enforcement Authorities and the Municipality were sensitive to the sanctity of Shabbat and Chagim so as not to offend the observant Jews who reside in the area adjacent to the Great and Yeshurun Synagogues.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Open letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Prime Minister's Office Kiriyah Jerusalem Dear Prime Minister, Detention of Meir Ettinger under Administrative Detention Orders After a period of six months in Administrative Detention the State of Israel has failed to level charges against Meir Ettinger. If the respective security apparatus is unable to have sufficient evidence of his potential guilt, then there can be no plausible reasons to keep him imprisoned. Two weeks ago he began a hunger strike to protest his innocence and about his imprisonment without reason. Yesterday it was reported that he had lost consciousness. This detention resembles that applied to his late grandfather, Rabbi Meir Kahne, in the late 1970's specifically to remove him from the limelight because he spoke out against the government's policy of the day. Accordingly Ettinger's detention contravenes Articles 9 of UN International Covenant on Civil and Political General Assembly resolution 2200A (XXI) of 16 December 1966 that came into force 23 March 1976. The legal basis for Israel's use of Administrative Detention is the British Mandate 1945 Defense (Emergency) Regulations . A complex of 147 regulations enacted by the British Mandate and was intended to provide the British High Commissioner in Palestine with additional powers to suppress Jewish resistance to British rule, it has remained largely intact during subsequent decades, except on those occasions when the Knesset decided to replace a few of its provisions with new legislation. This included amendments in 1979 to form the current Israeli Law on Authority in States of Emergency However, whilst Administrative Detention is applied to those of nationalist Zionist views it does not appear to be enforced with respect to those Israeli citizens on the far left who are opposed to the state, publically speak out against the government both here and abroad and side with our enemies who wish to destroy the country. Should they not also be in Administrative Detention and if not why not? Furthermore, cognizance should be taken of the effect on the younger generation of Israeli Jewish youth who have lived through the evacuation of Jewish homes in Gush Katif, Homesh, Migron etc., for nothing more than pie in the sky promises of a peace that has failed to materialize. Similarly with the release of Arab terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands. They are being daily alienated against the authorities as a result of seeing that the removal of Jewish homes has not brought peace and security but has resulted in the current violence and barbaric murder and maiming of Jews by both Arab Israeli citizens and those from PA/PLO areas, that the government is unable to control. One well recollects recently when an Arab prisoner who went on hunger strike and was reportedly close to death was subsequently released and never charged – don’t let Ettinger get to this point. It is time that Ettinger was released or charged. If after six months charges cannot be leveled against him despite all the efforts of the respective security agencies then there is no reason to hold him. He is innocent until proven guilty! I look forward to confirmation of you authorizing his immediate release.