Archive for Yisrael Beiteinu

Netanyahu Backs Law to Ban Loudspeakers at Mosques

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2011 by loonwatch
A mosque in Kafr Azarya next to the Maaleh Adumim settlement. Photo by: Emil Salman
A mosque in Kafr Azarya next to the Maaleh Adumim settlement. Photo by: Emil Salman

What’s next? Bans on minarets?

Netanyahu backs law to ban loudspeakers at mosques

‘There’s no need to be more liberal than Europe,’ PM says of move that would ban loudspeakers in calls to prayer.

By Barak Ravid

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday voiced support for a law that would ban mosques from using loudspeaker systems to call people to prayer.

The so-called Muezzin Law, propos[e]d by MK Anastassia Michaeli (Yisrael Beiteinu ) applies to all houses of worship but the practice is prevalent only in mosques.

“There’s no need to be more liberal than Europe,” Netanyahu said in reference to the law during a meeting of his Likud ministers.

After intense pressure from Likud ministers Limor Livnat, Dan Meridor and Michael Eitan, who harshly criticized the bill, Netanyahu announced that he was postponing the scheduled debate in the Ministerial Committee for Legislation.

Michaeli has said hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens routinely suffer from the noise caused by the muezzin’s calls to prayer.

“The bill comes from a worldview whereby freedom of religion should not be a factor in undermining quality of life,” she said.

Netanyahu made similar comments to the Likud ministers.

“I have received numerous requests from people who are bothered by the noise from the mosques,” he said. “The same problem exists in all European countries, and they know how to deal with it. It’s legitimate in Belgium; it’s legitimate in France. Why isn’t it legitimate here? We don’t need to be more liberal than Europe.”

Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said there was no need for such a law and that it would only escalate tensions.

Michael Eitan, minister for the improvement of government services, agreed with Meridor, adding that this law was just a pretext for those wishing to legislate against Muslims. “If the desire was to combat sound, then a law against sound in all areas should be introduced,” said Eitan. “But the MK proposing the bill wants to combat religion. I met with her and she tried selling it to me as an environmental law. I said to her, ‘Look me in the eyes. You are not interested in the environment, but in Islam.”

Culture and Sports Minister Limor Livnat joined Eitan and Meridor, saying anyone who wishes to serve a complaint over noises coming from Mosques can already do so under existing law. “There is an anti-noise law that is supposed to deal with the problem of noise from mosques, if such a problem even exists, but that law is not enforced. There is no need for a new law, rather the proper enforcement of the existing one,” said Livnat.

“None of the ministers came to Netanyahu’s defense or supported his position,” said one minister who participated in the meeting.

Netanyahu realized he would not be able to muster a majority in support of the law among his Likud ministers, and announced that the bill would be removed from the agenda of the Ministerial Committee for Legislation, which convened a few hours after the Likud meeting.

Netanyahu added, however, the matter would be debated over the coming days and that the bill would be brought before the ministerial committee next week.

As a resident of Caesarea, Netanyahu is particularly familiar with the struggles that exist over noises emerging from mosques. For some time now, Caesarea residents have been acting against the use of loudspeaker systems by mosques in the neighboring village of Jisr al-Zarqa. In the past few years, “round table” teams comprised of members from both villages have been set up to find solutions to various issues. One of the representatives from Jisr al-Zarqa told Haaretz the issue of mosques using loudspeakers has arisen in their meetings.

Head of the Jisr al-Zarqa local council Az-a-Din Amash said Netanyahu did not intervene in the discussions, adding, “We have no desire to clash with Caesarea residents over the matter, quite the opposite. As such, we established a joint committee for dialogue, in which numerous issues relating to mosques use of loudspeaker systems arise.”

Fascist Leaves Daniel Pipes “Elated”

Posted in Feature, Loon Blogs with tags , , , , , on April 19, 2009 by loonwatch
Daniel Pipes

Daniel Pipes

Avigdor…

No that’s not the name of a new tablet for erectile dysfunction or sleep deprivation.

It’s the name of the new fascist on the block, Avigdor Lieberman, founder of the ultra-right wing Yisrael Beiteinu party, the new Israeli Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel.

Avigdor Lieberman’s past is troubling to say the least. He is reported by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz to have once been a member of the racist Kach party founded by Rabbi Meir Kahane. The movement which advocates violence against civilians has since been declared a terrorist organization both in the United States and Israel. He admitted to have been involved in at least two violent incidents against Arab students as a member of the student group Kastel.

Larry Derfner, senior writer and columnist with the Jerusalem Post, wrote that Lieberman is “a politician who, with his appeal to racism, militarism, fear of alien ‘subversives’ and the yearning for a strong leader, fits the classic, textbook definition of a fascist.”

Israeli Labour minister Ophir Pines-Paz has stated that Lieberman was tainted “by racist declarations and declarations that harm the democratic character of Israel”.

British Investigative journalist, Robert Fisk, wrote about why Avigdor Lieberman is the worst thing that could happen to the Middle East drawing parallels between Avigdor’s language and that of the Serbian genocide masters, Mladic and Karadzic and Milosevic.

Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman

Avigdor Lieberman believes that Israeli Arabs are the enemy within, he does not believe in an open and free pluralistic democracy as the West understands and appreciates it; instead he envisions a state that would penalize citizens who did not agree with its (his?) idealogical disposition.

Avigdor and his party wish to socially engineer the demographic make-up of the state of Israel: reduce the number of citizens of Arab extraction by transfering them out, and increase those of Jewish extraction via increased immigration. In the true vein of fascism, Lieberman advocates mandatory loyalty to the “state” and a revocation of citizenship for those who fail to comply. He envisions Israel as a Jewish supremacist state not as a democracy.

“The vision I would like to see here is the entrenching of the Jewish and the Zionist state…I very much favour democracy, but when there is a contradiction between democratic and Jewish values, the Jewish and Zionist values are more important.” (Scotsman, October 23, 2006)

Activist Ali Abunimah reported that “when [Lieberman] served as minister of transport in a previous government, Lieberman called for all Palestinian prisoners held by the Israeli occupation authorities to be drowned in the Dead Sea and offered to provide the buses (“Lieberman blasted for suggesting drowning Palestinian prisoners,” Ha’aretz, July 11, 2002).

Hebrew University professor Ze’ev Sternhell, a leading Israeli academic specialist on fascism and totalitarianism, was quoted by the Scotsman newspaper as terming Lieberman “perhaps the most dangerous politician in the history of the state of Israel.”

“The only difference between Lieberman and [the late Austrian politician Jörg] Haider and [the French politician Jean-Marie] Le Pen is that they were against immigrants, while Lieberman is an immigrant inciting against the natives,” a spokeswoman for an Arab Israeli Knesset member, Ahmed Tibi, said.

And it goes on and on and on…

In short, Lieberman’s extreme world view and disturbing rhetoric has left many observers around the world, including many Israelis, shocked and frightened.

Not so, Daniel Pipes. Avigdor has him “elated.”

Interestingly, he freely acknowledges the adverse reaction this man has had on moderate people. And yet in the same breath as if to finally admit his own extremism, he makes no attempt to hide his admiration or contain his excitement for Avigdor Lieberman. And so, the day after this dangerous and divisive supremacist delivered his first speech as minister, Daniel Pipes raced to his computer to warmly welcome the world’s newest fascist in a blog entry entitled “Avigdor Lieberman’s Brilliant Debut“:

Avigdor Lieberman became foreign minister of Israel yesterday. He celebrated his inauguration with a maiden speech that news reports indicate left his listeners grimacing, squirming, and aghast. The BBC, for example, informs us that his words prompted “his predecessor Tzipi Livni to interrupt and diplomats to shift uncomfortably.”

Too bad for them – the speech leaves me elated.

It’s official people. But then again, we knew it all along!