Knesset Member Bezalel Smotrich at the Foreign Affair and Defense Committee meeting, discussing the status of illegal building in Area C in the West Bank territories, at the Knesset, on June 14, 2016
Bezalel Smotrich of the Union of Right-Wing Parties (URWP) drew criticism from some for a speech he gave at a Jerusalem Day event on Sunday night at Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem in which he set his sights on the Justice Ministry.
“We want the justice portfolio because we want to restore the Torah justice system,” Smotrich said. The post is currently vacant after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Ayelet Shaked earlier in the day. Smotrich stated that he would like to be appointed interim justice minister until the new government is formed after the upcoming elections on September 17.
Smotrich followed up his statement in an interview on Monday on Kan radio. “The Jewish people is a special people that needs to live according to the Torah,” he said in the interview.”
“When we talk about Torah laws there are many things. I think the Torah’s monetary laws are much better [than our current laws],” Smotrich said. “We need to grant the rabbinical courts a higher status.”
“The State of Israel and the state of the Jewish people will return to be governed as it was governed in the days of King David and King Solomon by Torah law, obviously in accordance with our days, and our challenges and economy, and how society lives in 2019,” Smotrich said.
The interviewer asked whether Smotrich was calling for a “Halacha (Torah law) state.”
“You throw a scary expression into the air. Torah laws are far superior to the ‘halacha state’ founded here by Aharon Barak,” Smotrich said. “Why is a state of law in which the person who determines the laws is Aharon Barak, and a small group of people who were not elected, ok?”
Barak was President of the Supreme Court of Israel from 1995 to 2006. Prior to that, he served as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Israel (1978–95), as the Attorney General of Israel (1975–78). He was seen as an anti-religious influence in the courts by religious critics.
“Why is a ‘halacha state’ in which Aharon Barak sets the rules okay?” Smotrich said. “Of course, in the long run, I want the State of Israel to conduct itself according to Torah laws. That will happen when the nation wants it, and I am confident that it will want it when it sees how Torah law is just and humane.”
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei speaks following his election victory. Photo: Reuters/Jose Cabezas.
A prominent Guatemalan supporter of Israel who once said, “He who is Israel’s enemy is Guatemala’s enemy,” won the country’s presidential election with 58.5 percent of the vote, results on Monday confirmed.
Conservative candidate Alejandro Giammattei emerged victorious in the vote in the second round of elections on Sunday, beating his rival Sandra Torres, a former first lady.
Aerial view of containers at a loading terminal in the port of Hamburg, Germany August 1, 2018. Photo: REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer.
German exports to Iran fell by nearly half in the first six months of 2019, data showed on Monday, suggesting companies are scaling back business ties with Tehran to avoid trouble with the United States after Washington reimposed sanctions.
Sales to Iran plunged by 48 percent to 678 million euros ($758.8 million) from January through June year-on-year, data from the Federal Statistics Office reviewed by Reutersshowed. Imports from Iran declined by 43 percent to nearly 110 million euros.
The New York Times logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
A New York Times editor is in trouble for what the Times calls repeated poor judgment on social media.
The editor, Jonathan Weisman, works in the Times Washington bureau with the title “deputy Washington editor” and is the author of the 2018 book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in the Age Of Trump.
Canadian Observer to Post: Canada has niche capabilities to help in such a scenario.
“Mighty Waves,” the Navy’s large-scale multinational exercise simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)
The five-day, large-scale multinational exercise, with 10 foreign fleets off the Haifa coast simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake, has brought the Israel Navy to “another level” of preparedness.
Dubbed “Mighty Waves,” the drill saw the participation of hundreds of troops on six ships at sea. Five helicopters also took part in the exercise, which focused on the after-effects of a significant 7.5 earthquake that leaves thousands dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.
A food market in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Dr. Avishai Teicher vis Wikimedia Commons.
CTech – Israel has a reputation for being the Startup Nation, but Marcelle Machluf, dean of biotechnology and food engineering at Technion Israel Institute of Technology, predicts that in coming years Israel will be known as the FoodTech Nation.
“Foodtech and biotech are two fields that are climbing to the top of the tech industry,” Machluf told Calcalist in a recent interview. “This push is happening for a reason.
Mass shootings are nothing new in the United States, but their sudden rise is ballooning into a shocking nationwide epidemic. Many blame a toxic political culture that is accentuating divisions rather than commonalities between Americans, and the ease in which Americans can access guns, including automatic assault rifles.
If Saturday’s horrifying terrorist attack in an El Paso Walmart had taken place in Jerusalem, leaving 22 Israelis dead, the killer would rot in jail knowing his family would be taken care of, paid every month by his government.
What, one has to ask, does Iran’s Islamic regime have to fear from the country’s Christians, Baha’is, Zoroastrians, Sufis, Sunni Muslims, or Jews? Yet its treatment of these minorities is so repressive that it seems not unreasonable to ask if the clerics might be afraid of what they consider challenges to their fantasy of pure Islamic identity.
The fate of Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan’s 2017 executive order barring state contractors from participating in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) movement is in the hands of a federal judge. The order violates First Amendment rights, a lawsuit filed by a former Maryland state legislator claims. wsuit.
This week my family and I have the privilege of celebrating two significant and interrelated milestones. We celebrate the 15th anniversary of our arrival in Israel, taking on citizenship and planting our roots firmly in our historic homeland. And we celebrate (yes, celebrate) the induction into the IDF of our oldest son.
When our youngest son was born in Jerusalem, we knew that he would serve in the army, an obligation and privilege as an Israeli Jew, pretty much as genetic as his actual DNA. But when our oldest son was born in N.J., we didn’t know this would be his destiny.