INTO THE FRAY: Arab violence –Root causes and red herrings By Martin Sherman, IISS and How offshore accounts turned the British Virgin Islands into an east Jerusalem landlord BY ASAF SHALEV and Sanhedrin Path exhibition explores life in times of the Mishna and Ilana Goor Museum Jaffa one of Two
Yehuda Lave is an author, journalist, psychologist, rabbi, spiritual teacher, and coach, with degrees in business, psychology and Jewish Law. He works with people from all walks of life and helps them in their search for greater happiness, meaning, business advice on saving money, and spiritual engagement.
How offshore accounts turned the British Virgin Islands into an east Jerusalem landlord BY ASAF SHALEV
— Some of the most contested real estate in east Jerusalem has come under the legal control of the British Virgin Islands in recent years because the Israeli settlers who managed the properties used offshore accounts and failed to pay corporate fees and taxes.
The leak, known as the Pandora Papers, was shared with Shomrim and some 150 other news outlets around the world. The roughly 600 journalists involved in the project have been publishing exposés on politicians and other public figures who hold bank accounts, real estate, and other property in jurisdictions that offer secrecy and tax benefits.
Of the people identified in the leak, 565 are Israeli citizens, according to Shomrim, which noted that it is not illegal to do business using offshore accounts. Offshore accounts can be advantageous for their holders in several ways, including, potentially, shielding their identities, reducing their tax liability and insulating them from legal requirements or consequences in their own countries.
Among those Israelis is Matityahu Dan, the head of Ateret Cohanim, an Israeli nonprofit dedicated to boosting the Jewish population of east Jerusalem by gaining control of homes in Palestinian neighborhoods.
Ateret Cohanim uses companies registered in the British Virgin Islands, according to Shomrim. One of those companies is called Philinest, and it reportedly controls two apartments in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem on lease from an entity affiliated with the Jewish National Fund.
Ateret Cohanim's treasurer, who was in charge of paying Philinest's registration renewal fees, quit in 1998, and the person who replaced him failed to keep up the payments, Shomrim reported, citing a court deposition given by Dan.
When reached by Shomrim, Dan declined to comment.
As a result of the lapse, the British Virgin Islands canceled the company's registration. Per local laws, the company's assets eventually became the property of the islands' government.
In 2010, Ateret Cohanim petitioned a local court to reinstate Philinest and in 2019, the court finally agreed, according to Shomrim.
Donhead, another British Virgin Islands company owned by Ateret Cohanim, had been leasing a plot of land in the Palestinian neighborhood of Silwan when its registration lapsed in 2010. The Israeli nonprofit sought to revive its claims but whether it succeeded is unknown, Shomrim reported.
At least a handful of other Israeli settler nonprofits also use the British Virgin Islands to manage real estate in east Jerusalem — and, similarly, several have had to try to claw back company registrations after failing to pay fees, according to Shomrim.
The report identified Humberstone Ventures S.A, which controls a piece of property adjacent to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in the Old City, and another company called Beit Hanina Properties.
INTO THE FRAY: Arab violence –Root causes and red herrings
By Martin Sherman, IISS
If difficult socioeconomic conditions in the ultra-Orthodox community have not produced the rampant crime that afflicts Arab society, why should this be assumed to be the case among Israeli Arabs?
The homicide rate in Israel generally is low by international standards, but what has emerged in Israel's Arab streets is an alternate universe of lawlessness, where residents can no longer leave their homes without fearing for their lives –New York Review of Books, December 4, 2019.
An Arab citizen of Israel is far more likely to get killed by a fellow Arab than by the Israeli police, and more Arabs have been killed by Arabs in Israel so far this year than have been killed by Israeli security forces in confrontations in the occupied West Bank… The killings — not by Israeli soldiers but by Arab criminals — account for about 70 percent of all Israeli homicides, though Arabs represent just over 20 percent of the population.—New York Times, October 2, 2021.
The soaring Arab-on-Arab crime rate is becoming a major focus of media attention in Israel—and beyond.
Rampant Arab lawlessness
Indeed, in recent weeks, there is some mention of it on virtually every news broadcast, as well as frequent debates, across the full spectrum of current affairs programs, diagnosing the purported causes and prescribing putative remedies for the violence pervading the Arab sector within the pre-1967 frontiers.
The rampant lawlessness in Arab towns and villages across Israel has been long known –and long ignored, or at least long tolerated, for a variety of reasons. However, its recently accelerated rate of proliferation has created a perception that the wave of criminality could soon spill over into Jewish neighborhoods, particularly in the wake of the May 2021 rioting by Israeli Arabs, in which Jews were assaulted—some, killed—and their homes and businesses vandalized, pillaged and torched.
Life for many Israeli Arabs is becoming increasingly—almost intolerably—perilous. Even innocent bystanders, uninvolved in any criminal dispute, have become hapless "collateral damage", being hit by stray bullets from nearby gunfights.
The number of homicides within the Arab community has spiraled in recent years—38 in 2016; 44 in 2017; 35 in 2018; 36 in 2019, about 97 in 2020, and over 100 so far this year. In contrast to this over 250% increase in the Arab sector, the number of homicides among the Jewish population has remained relatively stable—typically under 40 per annum.
Arab-on-Arab crime under-reported?
Nation-wide, Arab-on-Arab homicides make up just over 70 % of the total homicides for the country, despite the fact that Arabs comprise little more than 20 percent of the population.
Indeed, an Arab citizen of Israel is far more likely to get killed by a fellow Arab than by the Israeli police, and more Arabs have been killed by Arabs in Israel so far this year than have been killed by Israeli security forces dealing with terror-related events in Judea-Samaria, which receive much greater attention.
In some areas, the statistics are even more perturbing. For example, in the north, 50 percent of the 1.3 million inhabitants are Israeli Arabs. Yet according to police reports, 99 % of the murders, 99% of the shootings, 65% of the arsons, and 80% of the robberies are perpetrated by members of the Arab population.
As chilling as these statistics are, there is reason to believe that Arab-on-Arab crime is still under-reported. Thus, according to Knesset Member, Mansour Abbas, head of the Islamist United Arab List,–which is currently a member of the ruling coalition in Israel—violence extends far beyond the murders that make headlines in the mainstream media.
"Arab lives matter"?
Abbas claimed: "Homicides are just one parameter in the violence: Attempts to gun down mayors, threats, extortion, blackmail, domestic violence, use of weapons in disputes."
Against this backdrop, it is hardly surprising to learn that a Neaman Institute study on the proliferation of crime in Arab towns found that: For 80.3% of Arab Israeli citizens, "the most worrying phenomenon…is violence"; and
"More than a third of Arab citizens (35.8%) feel personal insecurity in their communities because of violence"—almost 300% more than for Jewish Israelis.
The sense of despair and danger generated an "#Arab Lives Matter" campaign—in an evident attempt to mimic the #BlackLivesMatter (BLM) movement in the US. But of course, there are two crucial differences between the two cases. Firstly, unlike the BLM initiative in the US, Israeli Arab leaders are calling for increased—not decreased—police presence. Secondly, unlike the BLM case, in which the protest was against the use of lethal force against Blacks by non-Black (mainly, but not exclusively, White) police officers, in Israel, the opposite is true. The Arab protest is against the killing of Arabs at the hands of their own ethnic kinfolk, other Arabs, involved either in criminal activities or personal/family disputes.
Making matters more malignant?
The generally accepted diagnosis is that the primal cause for the pervasive violence in Israeli-Arab society is the relatively low socioeconomic conditions that prevail in it. Accordingly, the widely accepted prescription to remedy this malign malady is to throw money at it.
For example, in 2015 the Netanyahu-led government initiated a move to invest heavily in the Arab society in Israel. To this end, it adopted a five-year, multi-billion-dollar plan, the "Economic Development Plan for Arab society in Israel for the years 2016-2020", designated Government Resolution 922 (GR 922). It called for increased resource allocation and investment in the Arab sector, with particular emphasis on education, public transport, infrastructure, housing, employment, and public safety. It entailed an investment of almost $3billion in Arab communities. In 2020, it was extended for a sixth year—adding an additional $0.5 billion for 2021.
But, almost paradoxically, the abundance of cash in the coffers of Arab communities seems to have created an increased incentive for intensified criminal activity.
According to one Arab lawyer, Rida Jabr: "Municipality heads were always targeted by criminal organizations. But since 922, as more money has been spent on local authorities, the local authorities have become a larger prize." Indeed, at least 15 Arab mayors were reportedly targeted by gunfire in 2019. Others had their cars set ablaze, Molotov cocktails thrown at their houses, or had family members threatened.
Thus, it seems that the sudden influx of cash has attracted the attention of organized crime groups, which have attempted to muscle in on contracts for various development projects.
Indeed, the efforts of criminal elements to profit from government funds—whether by winning tenders for new infrastructure or construction projects, or extortion of municipal personnel—should serve as a stern caveat for the current coalition, which has pledged between $15-18 billion to the Ra'am party (United Arab List), its Islamist partner in the present government.
"Police part of Israeli oppression"
While a case can be made for the claim that, for an extended period, the Arab sector has not been high on the list of priorities for the Israeli police, with only three police stations being built in Arab towns from 1948 to 2015, this reflected long-held preferences of the Arab leadership, both on the local and countrywide levels.
Thus, according to one study of policing in Israel: "Arab citizens didn't want police there because they perceived them as oppressive, and police didn't feel the need to be there because the community was policing itself."
Despite the fact that the deputy-commissioner of the Israeli Police, Jamal Hakrush, is an Arab Muslim, Arab leaders have discouraged young Israeli Muslims from enlisting in the police—as Christian Arabs and Druze do. In contrast to the ingrained Arab resistance to police presence in Arab towns, Hakrush maintains that "You simply can't have law enforcement in the Arab sector without police stations."
Perversely, Arab lawmakers who bewail police inaction, oppose setting up police stations in Arab towns. Thus, Aayman Odeh, head of the Joint List, asserted: "More police stations are not necessary…". Another Joint List parliamentarian (2015-2021), Yousef Jabareen, declared: "We see the police as part of the oppression mechanism in Israel.." However, he also bemoaned that, "the fact that the police [are] not doing [their] responsibility is another tool of oppression…" thus—incongruously—claiming that both police action and police inaction reflect "Israeli oppression".
"You won't get out of here alive."
The work of the police in the Arab sector is further hampered by a history of a lack of co-operation from the Arab population. For example, witnesses refuse to talk to police, avoid calling the police to provide information, and even tamper with evidence—such as surveillance footage—thus impeding investigations. According to the state comptroller's report, 44 % of Arab citizens, who were victims of crime, did not even file police reports.
In addition to a lack of cooperation, police officers sometimes encounter violence when responding to calls or attempting arrests in Arab towns. Indeed, this month, police were assaulted by private security guards in Kfar Kassem after responding to a report of a violent incident inside the town hall. Moreover, an internal police report describes several other instances in which officers routinely found themselves in danger from organized anti-police violence in Arab towns — from angry mobs to gunfire on police stations — including in cases when they were responding to calls for help from local residents.
For example, in responding to a call in the town of Umm al Fahm, police faced a mob shouting "You won't get out of here alive." Likewise, in the largely Arab-populated Wadi Ara (Iron Valley) area, an officer was shot responding to a call from a resident, saved only by his bullet-proof vest.
The socio-economic argument: Root cause or red herring?
A recurring grievance from Arab Israelis is that for decades they have faced systemic discrimination in housing, employment, and education since the founding of the state. According to this claim, the lack of opportunities to earn a dignified living has made the Arab community fertile ground for the growth of organized crime.
While it is difficult to deny that there may be some truth in this allegation, it provides, at best, an extremely incomplete picture of reality.
Firstly, there is an apparent overstatement of the level of poverty that prevails in Israel, in general, and in the Arab sector, in particular. Thus, Nehemia Shtrasler, senior economic editor at the far-Left daily, Haaretz, wrote that World Bank research shows that Israel's underground economy is one of the largest in the Western world, estimated at 23% of GDP. Citing senior government sources, he pointed out that there is significant underreporting of income in the Arab communities with actual poverty much lower than official figures suggest. Indeed, in 2018, according to the Israel Bureau of Statistics, the household expenditures of an Israeli Arab family are systematically higher than those of a Jewish non-Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) family with the same number of children—due to unreported income.
Secondly, this inevitably means diminished tax revenue for Arab municipalities and a commensurately low level of services and amenities for the Arab residents.
Thirdly, despite accusations that they are subject to prejudice and suspicion from their Jewish counterparts, which diminish their chances for advancement and employment, Israeli Arabs attend Israeli universities and other academic institutions in significant numbers, with a particularly steep rise in the last decade. Likewise, they have a similarly marked presence in certain professions and industries such as medicine, pharmaceutics, and construction. Israeli Arabs hold high-ranking positions in the judiciary—including the Supreme Court, in the diplomatic service, the police, and the army.
It should be recalled that all this is despite the fact the 77% of the Arab population oppose the very foundational rationale for the State of Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people, frequently express—both in words and in actions—support Israel's most virulent enemies; and vote ,virtually en bloc, for parties, who deny the Jewish character of Israel.
A poor explanatory variable
Accordingly, the socio-economic predicament of Arab-Israeli society is a poor explanation for the widespread violence that pervades it. After all, the Jewish ultra-Orthodox society is also afflicted with a similarly low socioeconomic conditions. Both occupy the bottom rungs of the socioeconomic ladder in Israel, with official levels of poverty that are almost identical.
However, in both societies, it is their own cultural mores—large families, a single breadwinner—rather than systematic discrimination that accounts for much of the depressed economic levels in both societies.
Yet, among the ultra-Orthodox, one does not encounter anything approaching the intra-communal violence or the amassing of deadly weapons that one finds among Israeli Arabs.
Accordingly, if difficult socioeconomic conditions in the ultra-Orthodox community are not caused by structural bias against it, nor have they produced the same rampant crime, why should this be assumed to be the case among the Arab Israelis?
So, while it is true that the violent crime wave in the Israeli Arab society cannot be ignored and requires greater and more muscular intervention by state authorities, it is a problem that is unlikely to be adequately addressed without some profound soul-searching by Israeli Arabs themselves, and greater identification with the state, in which they live, and with the institutions, whose protection they seek.
In the absence of such change, the current criminal surge could easily morph into inter -ethnic conflict and…civil war.
Unfortunately we went to the Kibbutz Ginossar's Yigal Allon museum in Tiberius although they said they would be open, they had a training session and were closed. We went for a boat ride in Tiberius instead and since we had the car for two days, here is part one of our trip to Jafa and Ilana Goor Museum Jaffa one of Two on 102521
What was Jewish life in Israel like after Rome's destruction of the Temple and Jerusalem? A brand new exhibition by the Israel Antiquities Authority in Kibbutz Ginossar's Yigal Allon Heart affords a glimpse of how the Sages managed to rebuild a neighborhood within the Galilee within the centuries that adopted the nice tragedy.
The "Sanhedrin Path" options over 150 objects from the late Second Temple interval and the next centuries, a few of them on show for the primary time, together with an imposing stone engraved with an outline of the Temple. It presents a deeper look into the climbing path, inaugurated in 2017, connecting completely different websites from these centuries.
The Nice Sanhedrin was the meeting of 71 Sages which acted because the supreme court docket for the Jewish folks.
After the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE, it was relocated a number of instances, the Talmud remembers.
Magdala stone exhibited for the primary time in Israel at Yigal Allon Heart (credit score: EINAT AMBAR ARMON/ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY)
"The Sanhedrin was exiled in ten levels on the finish of the Second Temple interval and after the destruction of the Temple. That is identified from custom. It moved from "the Chamber of Hewn Stone, its mounted seat within the Temple, to Ḥanut, actually, store, a delegated spot on the Temple Mount exterior the Temple correct; and from Ḥanut to Jerusalem; and from Jerusalem to Yavne;" reads a passage of the Rosh Hashanah Tractate (31a) as translated by the William Davidson Version of the Talmud.
Situated within the central a part of the Land of Israel, in response to Jewish custom, "Yavne and its Sages" had been the reward requested by Rabbi Yohanan Ben Zakkai to Roman basic Vespasian after predicting that he would turn out to be the brand new emperor.
"And from Yavne [The Sanhedrin moved to] to Usha; and from Usha it returned to Yavne; and from Yavne it went again to Usha; and from Usha to Shfaram; and from Shfaram to Beit She'arim; and from Beit She'arim to Tzipori; and from Tzipori to Tiberias," the passage continues.
The historical past and lifetime of the 5 facilities within the Galilee, Usha, Shfaram, Beit She'arim, Tzipori and Tiberias is likely one of the focuses of the exhibition.
Artifacts on show embrace an oil lamp, inscriptions that includes the phrases 'shalom' and 'shabbat', and sages' names corresponding to Yaakov and Shimon in Hebrew and in Aramaic, and a hoard of silver and bronze cash from the time of the revolt towards the Romans led by Shimon Bar Kokhba (132-135 CE), which was discovered in the course of a burned constructing, suggesting the heavy toll that the battle exacted even within the Galilee.
As well as, for the primary time, the general public is obtainable the chance to see the unique Magdala Stone.
The stone was present in 2009 in Magdala, a big Jewish settlement throughout the early Roman interval positioned on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.
Basic photos of the Sanhedrin Path show at Yigal Allon Heart. (credit score: EINAT AMBAR ARMON/ISRAEL ANTIQUITIES AUTHORITY)The excavation unearthed Jewish ritual baths (mikvaot), streets, a market and industrial amenities – in addition to a synagogue, whose partitions had been embellished with coloured plaster, together with mosaic flooring alongside the pavement. The stone stood in the course of the synagogue's most important corridor, portraying the Second Temple of Jerusalem, with a carved seven-branched menorah on considered one of its sides. It represented a vital discovery as a result of the depiction was engraved within the stone when the temple was nonetheless standing.
"The exhibition is exclusive, not solely due to the fascinating finds on show but additionally as a result of it supplies a glimpse into the 'behind the scenes' of their publicity," mentioned IAA basic director Eli Escosido. "The show exhibits the individuals who discovered the artifacts, whether or not in excavation or within the varied actions behind the creation of the path."
"Visiting the exhibition and strolling alongside the Sanhedrin path complement one another like shifting alongside a two-way road, it permits us to journey in time into our historical past and heritage."