Friday, November 30, 2007

Capital eateries sued for selling 'hametz'


Don’t worry, the very same people who say that those non-Moslems in Moslem countries should respect the Islamic laws and customs--and will be the first to defend the Sudanese government for punishing a British teacher for naming a teddy-bear “Mohammed”--will also be the first to say that the laws and customs of Israel should not be respected, and that we should allow chametz to be openly sold on Pesach.

We need to respect ourselves for once and insist that there are some basic things we just won’t compromise on in Israel. After all, it is a LAW. Is there no respect for the law? (Wait, isn't that what the secular public argues when they are trying to evict Jewish citizens from their homes? Why is the law so bad now, huh?)

The inspectors aren't going into their private kitchens and searching, they aren't whipping people in the street and cutting off their hands.

If they want chametz, they can buy it BEFORE Pesach. Eat it all they want over Pesach--in their own private homes--that is their choice.
Just don’t expect the stores and restaurants in Israel to sell chametz over Pesach, no matter how “bad" it might look!

Nov 29, 2007 21:40 | Updated Nov 30, 2007 8:56

The Jerusalem Municipality has pressed charges against four non-kosher city restaurants and a mini-market for selling hametz (leavened products) over Pessah.

The controversial lawsuits, coming a year before city mayoral elections, raise anew the delicate question of how Israel should maintain its Jewish character while protecting personal freedoms and avoiding religious coercion.

A largely unenforced 1986 national law bans the public display of leavened products for sale or consumption during the holiday.

The law, which has rarely been enforced except when a haredi party such as Shas controlled the Interior Ministry, was suddenly brought back to life this year after the five Jerusalem businesses were fined nearly NIS 13,000 each for selling leavened products over the holiday.

The unusual trial of the five businesses got under way Thursday at the Jerusalem Municipal Court with attorneys for the owners saying that the case could set a nationwide precedent.

"We are just trying to make a living in peace, and, as usual, city hall is giving us a hard time," said Allison Larov, the Toronto born co-owner of the city's downtown Chili's Pizza, which was one of the five businesses sued by the municipality after nearly eight years of operation.

"Instead of encouraging you, they are looking for ways to cut you off at your knees," she said.

"A law which was meant to safeguard the religious public is being exploited in a provocative manner to create unnecessary hatred," said Shahar Levy, the owner of the city's Resto-Bar in the upscale Rehavia neighborhood, which was also sued by the city for the first time after opening its doors three years ago.

Attorneys for the defendants repeatedly stressed in their opening arguments in the small, unusually crowded municipal courtroom Thursday that the law specifically bans the display of leavened products, and not the sale of leavened products.

The other eateries sued by the city include Riff-Raff, Ivo Meat Burger, and the mini-market, Terminal 21.

A sixth convenience store reached an agreement with the municipality and avoided further legal action by paying a fine.

The owners of the non-kosher city eateries sued by the municipality said Thursday that they did not advertise the fact that they sold leavened products, although a sign on one burger joint in the city's trendy German Colony did advertise their leavened fare on a small placard in their window last Pessah.

Jerusalem Municipality spokesman Gidi Schmerling said Thursday that the city enforces the laws of the State of Israel every year, including the law banning the display of leavened products over Pessah.

He added that the the city was forbidden to file suits against businesses last year after it emerged that the Interior Ministry authorizations reached city inspectors too late.

Meretz city councilman Sa'ar Nethanel, who led a five-person protest outside the city courtroom, blasted the city's legal moves as undemocratic religious coercion.

"The municipality wants to eradicate the phenomenon of leavened bread from the Holy City, but on its way they will also eradicate the secular public from the city," the leftist city councilman said.

"Unfortunately, it seems that Jerusalem city inspectors have become 'revolutionary guards.'"

"The mayor has got to get out of our plates," he added.

Although most Jewish residents of Jerusalem avoid all leavened products over the holiday, mainstream religious leaders have voiced opposition to such inspections, calling them counterproductive, and saying they do more harm than good.

'Fatah, Hamas may join ranks'


Of course this is the case! Didn’t we all know that any weapons and training the US, EU, and Israel gave to Fatah to fight their fictional war against Hamas would be used against us?

Was there ever any doubt? After all, didn’t Fatah “accidentally-on-purpose” tranfer funds to pay the salaries of the Hamas soldiers who were launching terrorist attacks at Israel from Gaza right after Hamas “took over” Gaza?

So, I guess those new arms provided to Fatah, along with the reinforced vehicles, will be gleefully employed against our good IDF boys, all the while, the arabs will be laughing about how they have, once again, pulled the wool over the eyes of the West.

Sick sick sick.

When will our leaders learn???

Nov 29, 2007 23:42 | Updated Nov 30, 2007 11:45

Fatah will fight alongside Hamas if and when the IDF launches a military operation in the Gaza Strip, a senior Fatah official in Gaza City said Thursday.

"Fatah won't remain idle in the face of an Israeli invasion of the Gaza Strip," the official said. "We will definitely fight together with Hamas against the Israeli army. It's our duty to defend our people against the occupiers."

The Fatah official said his faction would place political differences aside and form a joint front against Israel if the IDF enters the Gaza Strip. "The homeland is more important than all our differences," he said.

The statements came amid reports that some Arab countries were planning to resume mediation efforts between Fatah and Hamas to avoid further deterioration in the aftermath of the Annapolis peace conference.

According to the reports, Saudi Arabia and Egypt have decided to invite representatives of Fatah and Hamas for talks on ways of ending their power struggle.

A senior Palestinian official who visited Cairo this week said the Egyptians and Saudis have reached the conclusion that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas won't be able to move forward with the peace talks with Israel without solving his problems with Hamas.

The official said Abbas had given his blessing to Cairo and Riyadh to resume their efforts to end the crisis with Hamas.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak phoned Abbas Thursday and discussed with him the results of the Annapolis conference and the possibility of resuming negotiations between Fatah and Hamas. Abbas is currently on a visit to Tunisia, where he is expected to brief veteran PLO officials on the outcome of the conference.

Earlier this week, the Egyptian government gave permission to several pro-Palestinian organizations in Egypt to send truckloads of food and medicine to the Gaza Strip. The trucks are scheduled to arrive in the Gaza Strip on Friday through the Rafah border crossing, which remains closed to travelers.

Hamas, meanwhile, is bracing for a massive IDF operation to halt the firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip.

Sources in the Gaza Strip said Hamas's security forces have been placed on full alert and most of the movement's senior leaders have gone into hiding for fear of being targeted by Israel. In addition, Hamas has evacuated many of its security and civil institutions.

Hamas leaders on Thursday tried to establish a link between the Annapolis conference and a potential IDF attack on the Gaza Strip. They said the latest escalation, which claimed the lives of some 20 Hamas members over the past week, was directly linked to the conference.

Hamas spokesman Ismail Radwan said Israel was stepping up its military operations in the Gaza Strip to cover up for the "failure" of the Annapolis conference. He said the thousands of Palestinians who demonstrated against the conference over the past few days in the West Bank indicated that a majority of the public were opposed to Annapolis.

Hamas legislator Mushir al-Masri said the killing of six Hamas activists over the past 48 hours was one of the direct results of the Annapolis conference.

"The Annapolis conference has failed," he said. "This conference was nothing but an attempt to impose the American and Israeli agenda on the Palestinians. The conference also gave a green light to Israel to launch a big military operation in the Gaza Strip."

Anti-Zionist "CRC" group puts out Press Release


I am posting this simply to make everyone aware that this is NOT the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc), this is a rabidly anti-Zionist group which calls themselves the “CRC.”

I’m sure this group is trying to cause confusion. Clearly, those familiar with the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc) are not confused by this message—but those in the media and those who are not familiar with the cRc may confuse the two groups and, G-d Forbid, report this as the position of the cRc.

In looking into this “Central Rabbinical Congress” (CRC), I discovered that they put out a Hechsher that also might be confused with the Chicago Rabbinical Council (cRc)

The Chicago Rabbinical Council is a cRc in a triangle. They are legit and affiliated with the RCA.

The anti-Zionist group is a CRC in an oval. The letters are all the same size.

Please make sure, if you love Israel, that you boycott the products marked with the CRC in an oval.

The Central Rabbinical Congress of the USA and Canada Announces its Position Regarding Ongoing Peace Efforts in the Middle East

Statements were made by some Jewish religious, political organizations, that returning parts of the holy land and particular Jerusalem for the sake of peace is prohibited. That is simply not true.
Swords will be beaten into Plowshares

Brooklyn, NY (PRWEB) November 30, 2007 -- CRC applauds the efforts of President Bush by convening the conference in Annapolis, MD to end the conflict and blood-shed in the middle-east. We pray and hope for the success of the conference and its aims.

CRC doesn't routinely make political statements. However, when the truth is distorted and especially by people and organizations that pretend to speak in the name of Torah, CRC is obligated to set the record straight.

Statements were made by some Jewish religious, political organizations, that returning parts of the holy land and particular Jerusalem for the sake of peace is prohibited. That is simply not true.

CRC has previously made public statements confirming that the mere establishment of a Jewish State before the arrival of the Messiah is prohibited by the Torah. Jews are in exile throughout the world, where they have to live in peace and harmony, and be loyal to the residence countries we live in.

Torah principles also proclaim that human life is the most profound cause. Territorial concessions for the sake of saving lives and preventing human suffering are not only sanctioned by the Torah, but required.

Let it be clear that Agudath Israel of America does not represent and their presentations and statement are not reflective of all orthodox Jews in America and elsewhere. Hundreds of thousands of orthodox Jews in America and abroad that are true to the religious teaching of the Talmud and sages, are against the declaration of a Sovereign state and opposed to the Israeli government expansionist policies.

May all mankind be worthy of true redemption when the "Swords will be beaten into Plowshares" and G-d's glory will fill the world.

CRC Established in 1952 is a worldwide organization representing over 150 Orthodox communities


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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Man suspected in shooting of dentist Daniel Malakov claims innocence


This is getting more and more tangled. I just hope the little girl is OK.



The man charged with killing a Queens dentist in front of his 4-year-old daughter claimed in an interview from a Georgia jail Wednesday that cops have "the wrong man."

"This is ridiculous," Mikhail Mallayev, 50, told the Daily News, four days after cops plucked him from his suburban Atlanta home and charged him in Daniel Malakov's murder. "I'm innocent. I didn't do this ugly thing."

Mallayev's comments came after cops executed search warrants and confiscated computers from the dentist's estranged wife, Dr. Mazoltuv Borukhova, and other family members, a police source said. Mallayev is believed to be a family member of Borukhova.

The source said cops searched the physician's Forest Hills home and office on Monday night, as well as the apartments of her mother and her two sisters.

None of them has been charged with a crime.

Stephen Scaring, Borukhova's criminal lawyer, refused to confirm that search warrants had been executed but said the physician had nothing to do with her husband's death.

"My client has from the beginning denied any involvement in this serious crime," he said.

Malakov's family has accused Borukhova and her family of involvement in his killing on a sunny Sunday morning as his daughter, Michelle, stood nearby.

Shortly before the murder, Borukhova had lost a nasty custody battle with her husband over Michelle, which pitted the two families against each other.

Cops say fingerprints found on a homemade silencer recovered at the Forest Hills playground matched Mallayev's fingerprints, which were on file from a subway fare-beating bust in 1994.

Cell-phone records show Mallayev drove to New York City from Georgia on the day of the shooting and then returned to his home, a police source said.

Mallayev, who wore an orange jumpsuit in DeKalb County Jail, said he was in the city that day for a wedding.

"I was there," he said in heavily accented English. "But I don't know anything."

The Borukhovas and the Malakovs are part of a tight Jewish immigrant community from Uzbekistan that settled in Queens but stretches to the Atlanta area.

"I'm shocked because I know both families," said Mira Yagudayev, who lives across the street from Mallayev in Chamblee, Ga.

The relationship between Mallayev, who faces murder charges and is fighting extradition, and Borukhova was not entirely clear.

A police source said Mallayev was Borukhova's uncle. Yagudayev said Mallayev's wife was a cousin of Borukhova's father.

Neighbor Billy Hood, 70, said cops searched an SUV and a Corvette in Mallayev's driveway.

"When they bought the house, it was a small three-bedroom split level," he said. "They started to build around it."

Today, the home is fronted by a large portico and a two-story colonnade.

Mallayev partnered with Anatoliy Iskhakov to create a development of 130 townhouses called Sugar Hill in Georgia that never materialized, Iskhakov said.

He and Mallayev became partners in King David LLC and obtained $250,000 for starting costs, he said. But without telling him, he said, Mallayev withdrew $130,000.

"He built a 10,000-square-foot home," Iskhakov said. "but nobody in his family works."

Iskhakov said Mallayev repaid about $100,000 to a private investor backing the project.

Gaza Complains About Lack of Gas


Boo Hoo.


( Mahmoud Hiznadar, the head of Gaza’s Gas Association, said Thursday that Gaza is almost out of gas. Gaza’s population needs 350,000 liters of gas each day for its electric station, he said, as well as 470,000 liters of gas and benzene for civilian use. He urged the international community to pressure Israel to allow more gas into Gaza.

Israeli officials have said they will limit the supply of gas in response to rocket attacks, and may limit the supply of electricity as well. By limiting the supply without cutting it completely, officials have explained, Hamas will be forced to ration supplies and will bear responsibility for any critical shortages.

Lee Cutler Update: Missing teen's family plans candlelight ceremony


G-d bless those parents for keeping that hope alive. Please continue to pray for Levi ben Basya.

November 27, 2007

Friends and family of missing Stevenson High School senior Lee S. Cutler will be gathering at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the Busch Grove Community Park, 801 McHenry Road, Buffalo Grove.

Cutler's mother, Beth Frazin, and some of his close friends will speak to an estimated crowd of 1,000 at the We Miss Lee Candlelight Ceremony.

The gathering is not a memorial. Organizers said the message will be one of hope that Cutler will still be found, and an opportunity for everyone to come together and express how much they miss the Buffalo Grove teenager.

Cutler, 18, was reported missing Oct. 20 after he did not show up at his part-time job in Vernon Hills.

After his car was located two days later off a road in Sauk County, Wis., a two-week search found many of Cutler's belongings in or along the Baraboo River.

Though police and family agree that evidence suggests Cutler was in the river, extensive searches by air, ground and water did not locate him. Cutler's whereabouts remain unknown.

Cutler's mother set up a fund in his name at Harris Bank, 500 Half Day Road, Buffalo Grove, to reward anyone that provides information that leads to finding Cutler.

Judge guards against tainted jury in AIPAC case


I applaud his attempt, but how exactly does one make sure the jury doesn’t have anti-Semitic views?

If you were an anti-Semitic juror, wouldn’t you keep it quiet so that you could try to destroy the Jews? Does this judge actually think he can ask people if they have negative views and they will admit it?

Most people who are anti-Semitic don’t even know they are until they are inconvenienced in some way by a Jewish issue—i.e. Shabbat, Kashrut, holidays.


The federal judge in the classified information case against two former AIPAC staffers wants to probe prospective jurors about possible anti-Semitic views.

Judge T.S. Ellis III of the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., also asked prosecutors and defense lawyers for opinions on banning peremptory challenges to prospective jurors that appear to be based on religion.

Ellis’ requests add two more potentially groundbreaking legal wrinkles in an already unprecedented case. And they signal that the trial will likely raise the specter of dual loyalty to Israel and the United States.

Steve Rosen, the former foreign policy chief of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, and Keith Weissman, its former Iran analyst, were indicted under a never-used 1917 Espionage Act statute that criminalizes the receipt and dissemination of national defense information.

The indictment alleges that the two former lobbyists obtained such information on Iran and terrorism, and relayed it to journalists, colleagues, Israeli diplomats and other U.S. government officials.

Abbe Lowell, Rosen’s lawyer, was pleased by the announcements.

“In a case like this which concerns the pro-Israel lobby, defendants who are themselves Jewish, events in the Middle East [and] the times we live in, it’s very appropriate that the judge should be sensitive and ask us to be sensitive to a jury selection device that might minimize” the risks of selecting jurors with an anti-Jewish bias, he said.

Weissman’s attorney, Baruch Weiss, agreed.

“We’re incredibly grateful that the judge’s sense of fairness has pushed him to ensure that the jury is not tainted by anti-Semitism in a case involving disclosures by employees of AIPAC,” he said.

Both announcements, made during an otherwise routine scheduling portion of a hearing last week, surprised lawyers. Ellis previously had ruled out the kind of written jury questionnaire that could weed out prospective jurors with an anti-Jewish bias. And the U.S. Supreme Court has restricted peremptory challenges — the ancient procedure through which a lawyer can eliminate a juror without explaining why — only in cases when it is clear that such challenges are race or gender-based. — jta

Rabbi urges religious youths to refuse orders


This is a big problem for Israel because the secular soldiers of the past no longer exist. It is the religious Zionist kids who are signing up to be a part of the IDF, and right now, those religious kids comprise more than 50% of the officer corps in the IDF. This is something the government should start to consider. It can't continue the disgusting displacement of Religious Jewish Families with the help of the military any more. Rabbi Trop is just saying out loud what everyone knows is already true: those soldiers will not go against Torah to create a Jew-free Israel, even if Olmert stands with his pitchfork and pokes them as he makes the orders.

My prediction? If Olmert tries to give away Judea and Sumaria, Jerusalem or Hevron, there will be a civil war.

I know we aren't supposed to say it. We are all supposed to keep our collective mouths shut and ignore the 300 lb. gorilla in the middle of the Knesset, but it is the truth. Olmert is leading us to civil war--and if it comes to secularists fighting the religious (which is how it will divide), we will all see that the religious are trained and ready, and the secularists will leave for the EU.

This is why Condi Rice is in such a big flipping hurry for Israel to give up land now. If the anti-Semites wait too long, our religious children just might save Israel and Jerusalem.

Following Annapolis conference, Rabbi Aharon Trop, a well known educator, says protests are a 'waste of time',7340,L-3476733,00.html
Kobi Nahshoni
Published: 11.28.07, 14:16 / Israel Jewish Scene

Rabbi Aharon Trop, head of the Bnei Tzvi Yeshiva in Beit El, and a rising force among West Bank rabbis, has called for mass order refusal following the Annapolis conference. "This is a moral crime raised on a black flag, it justified and even demands order refusal," Trop said.

Trop made the comments in a leaflet to the Komemeyut movement which will be distributed on Saturday in synagogues, and which reached Ynet. In the leaflet, the rabbi calls on the public to declare in advance on plans to refuse orders or to go AWOL en masse in case of settlement evacuation.

Under the headline "Enough of Protests!" Rabbi Trop sets out against demonstrations, which he says are used as weapons against democratic regimes, but which are not useful against a cynical corrupt government and a hostile press.

In addition, he says protests cause harm, since they "release steam and calm the participants" – a clear interest of the government. "The money, efforts, energies, and rest of the resources should be chaneneled to useful aims," he declared.

Trop sets out his paths for struggle: Changing perception and understanding and drawing attention to what he says is a violation of Jewish law and morality which must not be carried out or assisted even if the majority supports it. He calls for youths to be educated along those lines, as well as a public statement on the intention to go AWOL from the IDF or refuse orders in case of evacuation of settlements.

He also calls for serious preparation for struggle on the ground and for "putting the brakes on the eviction," as well as a good PR campaign.

"One can't claim there is a violation of Jewish law or a moral crime when our sons and students are taking part in it in some form. There is no justification and moral validity for a struggle against the eviction, when our sons are cooperating with it. This is a paradox which no straight mind can come to terms with," Trop said.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Erekat Sharply Denys Annapolis Commitments


As much as I detest the arabs, I do admire the fact that they have the chestnuts to tell Bush where to step off.

I wish our leaders weren’t like sheep to the slaughter. I would love to see a bit more independence and fire in the belly about our needs and our wants in the “peace process.”

Unfortunately, we are marching to the beat of Bush’s drum and refusing to miss a step.

I guess the lessons of the holocaust have been lost.

A day later, leading member of Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian delegation sharply repudiates Bush’s words at Annapolis
November 28, 2007, 7:12 PM (GMT+02:00)

In an interview from Washington, senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Wednesday, Nov. 28, the US president does not negotiate in the Palestinians’ name, does not represent them and his words are not relevant to the Palestinian cause. On such issues as recognizing Israel, said the Palestinian negotiator, Bush is not competent to determine how we act. If the US president seeks an exchange of territory, he can do this with Mexico.

Abbas’ political adviser Abu Rodeina then maintained that the Palestinians made no commitments at Annapolis.

They spoke the day after the Middle East conference held Nov. 27 at the US Naval Academy in Annapolis heard President Bush announce that a steering committee had been agreed to continuously negotiate core problems from Dec.12 and conclude talks by the end of 2008.

On his way home from the conference, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said the next Middle East meeting would take place in Moscow. The date and agenda are still to be agreed.

Speaking after the opening session, Saudi FM Saudi al-Faisal emphasized that to achieve a permanent accord, it was essential for Israel to freeze settlement activity, dismantle unauthorized outposts, release jailed Palestinian prisoners, discontinue building the West Bank barrier, and lift the siege against the Palestinian people.

Saudi ambassador to Washington Adel al-Jubeir stressed the Arabs would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state because of its Arab minority.

Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, referring to Palestinian aspirations to statehood, acknowledged that the Palestinians in refugee camps need a state of their own, in the same way as the establishment of the state of Israeli imparted a sense of completeness to “all the Jewish refugees forced to leave Arab lands and Europe.”

The Syrian deputy foreign minister Feisal Makdad said the precondition for the Arabs to establish normal relations with Israel was its withdrawal from all the lands captured in 1967.

President Bush earlier stated: The road map’s provisions will be implemented immediately until a peace treaty is achieved under the supervision of a US-led Palestinian-Israeli mechanism. DEBKAfile: The Palestinian demanded for a multilateral mechanism was thus rejected. Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will hold biweekly meetings.

Israelis must do their part, said the US president: The occupation which began in 1967 must be replaced by a negotiated settlement for a homeland for the Palestinian people. Outposts must be removed and settlement expansion halted.

The US is committed to an Israel state as the homeland of the Jewish people.

Bush also stressed that the Lebanese people must be allowed to choose their present without outside interference and intimidation.

Olmert stressed that the incessant Palestinian missile fire on Sderot is a warning road marker. “We and you (Palestinians and Arabs) are running out of time,” he said. “We want peace and are ready for a painful compromise. The reality of 1967 will change substantially.” He then called for peace with all the Arab and Muslim states.

Abbas said the occupation must end, and called it the source of terrorism.

Report on Religious Observance in Israel 2007


The "take home" information contained in this report (taken from the Summary at the end):

  1. Israel is a traditional society, and this traditionalism has held steady over the past three decades. Since the 1990s, there has been a moderate increase in the percentage of those identifying themselves as religious and traditional; as of 2007, approximately one fifth of the adult Jewish population defines itself as secular, one third as religious, and one half as traditional.
  2. The highest percentage of religiously identified Jews can be found among the Mizrahim, and the highest percentage of secular Jews, among the Ashkenazim. Roughly one half of native-born Israelis are traditional, and over one third are religious.
  3. There is a weak but significant negative correlation between age and level of religious observance: the higher the age of the respondents, the lower the percentage of those identifying themselves as religious.
  4. There is a negative correlation between level of education and level of religious observance: the higher the level of education, the lower the percentage of those identifying themselves as religious.
  5. The primary differences with respect to the level of religious observance (when coupled with other factors) were between the traditional and religious groups, and less so between the secular and the religious.
  6. There is a correlation between religious observance and political identification with the Right. And conversely, there is a correlation between non-observance of tradition and political identification with the Left.
The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI)’s Guttman Center Information
By: Eliyahu Sapir

The split between the religious and secular camps has been part of the Israeli landscape since the earliest days of the state. The rift is marked by rising tensions on such issues as Sabbath observance, military service, and "who is a Jew." This article offers a multi-year snapshot of the proportion of religious, traditional, and secular Jews in Israel as of 2007, trends and changes in the data, and demographic characteristics of each of these groups, broken down by ethnic origin, age, and education.

* Religious observance
* Demography of religious observance
* Religious observance and political identification
* Summary

The political system in Israel is characterized by numerous rifts, among them the split between the country's religious and secular populations. Since the founding of the state—and with growing intensity in the past twenty years—relations between the religious and secular camps have been marked by high levels of tension around a number of fundamental issues, chiefly military service, public observance of the Sabbath, and the question of "who is a Jew" (in the context of immigration rights and conversion). There are many differentiations between the religious and secular populations, but all of them distinguish between religiously observant, traditional, and secular. One of the popular ways of measuring the level of religious observance in public opinion polls is self-reporting by interviewees. Although this method is prone to subjectivity, the assumption is that among the respondents reporting on their level of religious observance, there are those who assess themselves as more religious—and those who assess themselves as more secular—than their objective situation would warrant, meaning that each will offset the other, causing the cumulative analysis to be balanced.

This article consists of three sections. We begin by presenting a multi-year snapshot of the proportion of religious, traditional, and secular Jews in Israeli society, along with trends and shifts in the data. This is followed by a discussion of the demographic characteristics of the religious, traditional, and secular populations as of 2007, broken down by ethnic origin, age, and education. And finally, we examine the connection between level of religious observance and political identification.

Religious Observance
Figure 1 presents the distribution, by year, of responses to the question: "To what degree do you observe religious traditions?" The principal finding arising from the analysis of the data is that the Jewish population in Israel can be classified as traditional. The level of religious observance has remained quite stable over the course of more than three decades: the proportion of respondents within the Jewish population of Israel who observe religious traditions strictly or to a great extent (hereinafter "the religious"), those who are somewhat observant ("the traditional"), and those who do not observe religious traditions ("the secular") has stayed relatively constant through the years, despite some moderate shifts. This finding is particularly interesting in light of the many changes that have taken place in Israel during the period surveyed, most importantly the growth of the population from 3 million to 7 million and the aliyah to Israel of over 1 million immigrants from the former Soviet Union (FSU); political upheavals; a rise in the standard of living; and four armed conflicts in which Israel took part. An examination of the data shows that the percentage of secular respondents ranges from 20% to 41% (and between 1976 and 2005, from 23% to 34%), with an average of 27%. The percentage of religious respondents varies between 19% and 36%, averaging 28%. The percentage of traditional respondents ranges from 38% to 50%, with an average of 44%.

Along with the steady level of religious observance, it is possible to discern several moderate shifts as well. To start with, a moderate rise was recorded in the percentage of religiously observant Jews, alongside a gradual erosion over the years in the percentage of secular Jews (who do not observe religious traditions), most noticeably since the start of the current decade. A moderate increase has been noted in the percentage of traditional Jews since the start of the 1990s: their numbers have climbed by an average of 12% in comparison with the first two decades analyzed. As of 2007, one fifth of the Israeli Jewish public defines itself as secular, one half as traditional, and one third as religious. In total, some 80% of interviewees reported some connection with religious observance.

Figure 1: Level of religious observance, 1973-2007 (in percent)

observes tradition strictly/to a large extent

observes tradition somewhat

does not observe tradition

Demography of Religious Observance
In this section, we will be discussing in a more focused way the demography of religious observance in Israeli society for the year 2007, and in the following section, the connection between religious observance and ideological identification with the Right or Left. To this end, we will be analyzing the data of 1,016 respondents, constituting a representative sample of the Jewish population of Israel; the subjects were interviewed as part of the annual Israeli Democracy Index survey of the IDI's Guttman Center.

Figure 2 presents the relative proportions of religious, traditional, and secular Jews, classified by ethnic origin: native-born Israelis ("Israelis"), those born in Asia and Africa ("Mizrahim," i.e., Sephardic Jews), and those born in Europe and America ("Ashkenazim," mostly immigrants from the FSU who moved to Israel from the late 1980s onwards). The findings indicate that the highest rate of religious observance is found among the Mizrahim, and the lowest, among the Ashkenazim. A total of 56% of the Mizrahim reported being religious, as opposed to 17% of the Ashkenazim. By contrast, 37% of the Ashkenazim defined themselves as secular, as opposed to 7% of the Mizrahim. Among the Ashkenazim surveyed, the proportion of self-declared secular Jews is twice as high as that of religious Jews, while among Mizrahim, the percentage of religious Jews is 7.6 times that of the secular.

Cumulatively, 93% of the Mizrahim reported some connection to religious tradition as opposed to only 64% of the Ashkenazim. Among native-born Israelis, roughly one half of the respondents define themselves as traditional, while the percentage identifying themselves as religious is 2.4 times that of the secular. Some 85% of the Israeli-born group reported some connection with religious tradition. It should be recalled that numerous demographic changes have taken place in Israeli society since the founding of the state, and that the definitions of "Mizrahi" and "Ashkenazi" are relevant only for immigrants and their immediate descendants. Third-generation Israelis (that is, those born in Israel to native Israeli parents) were classified as "Israelis," in keeping with the commonly accepted practice. In the Israeli Democracy survey of 2007, 64% of the respondents were Israeli-born.

Figure 2: Level of religious observance, by ethnic origin (2007)

Figure 3 presents the relative proportions of religious, traditional, and secular Jews, broken down into the following age groups: young people (up to age 40), middle-aged (40-59), and seniors (age 60 and over). An examination of the data reveals a connection between age and level of religious observance among respondents who reported some connection with tradition: 39% of the young people identified themselves as religious, in contrast with 20% of the seniors and 32% of the middle-aged. The trend is even more striking if we analyze only the data of the respondents who reported some connection to tradition, omitting the secular from the calculation: in that case, 47% of the young people classify themselves as religious, as opposed to 41% of the middle-aged and 26% of the seniors. By contrast, 44% of the young people surveyed defined themselves as traditional, as opposed to 46% of the middle-aged and 57% of the seniors. Only one fifth or less of the respondents in all age groups reported being secular. The significance of this finding is that the differences between the age groups in their level of religious observance are reflected primarily when comparing the religious group with the traditional group. Cumulatively, 83% of the young people report some connection to tradition, compared with 77% of both the middle-aged group and the seniors, respectively.

Figure 3: Level of religious observance, by age (2007)

Figure 4 presents the relative proportions of religious, traditional, and secular Jews, classified by level of education: less than high school education (11 years of schooling or less), full high school education (12 years of schooling), and post-secondary education (more than 12 years of schooling). The findings indicate that the proportion of religiously observant is highest in the two groups with lower levels of education, and lowest in the group with post-secondary education: 41% of the group who did not complete high school reported being religious, compared with 37% from the group with a high school education and only 24% of those with a post-secondary education. By contrast, 26% of those with a post-secondary education identified themselves as secular, as opposed to 20% of the group that did not complete high school. Analyzing only the data of the respondents who reported some connection to tradition, a surprising finding emerges: In contrast to the religiously observant, whose percentage declines as the level of education climbs, the proportion of those identifying themselves as traditional rises as the level of education increases; if we omit the secular from the calculation, two thirds of respondents with a post-secondary education who reported some connection with tradition identify themselves as traditional, compared to half of those with lower levels of education. Here as well, the significance of the finding is that the differences in religious observance between the various levels of education are reflected primarily when comparing the traditional group with the religious group.

Figure 4: Level of religious observance, by education (2007)

Religious Observance and Political Identification

Figure 5 presents the relative proportions of those who support, the Left, the Center, and the Right, grouped according to levels of religious observance. Political identification was measured on a 7-point scale and re-encoded for purposes of this analysis. Among the adult Jewish population in Israel, 18% of respondents reported that they identify with the political Left, 27% with the Center, and 55% with the Right. Examination of the data when broken down by religious observance reveals that 71% of religious respondents identify with the Right, as opposed to 49% of the traditional group, and 43% of the secular. By contrast, only 8% of the religious respondents reported identifying with the Left as compared with 21% of the traditional group and 27% of the secular. The implication of this finding is that it is possible to predict, to a significant degree, the political identification of religious respondents, but it is not possible to predict the political identification of secular and traditional respondents.

Figure 5: Political identification, by level of religious observance (2007)


* Israel is a traditional society, and this traditionalism has held steady over the past three decades. Since the 1990s, there has been a moderate increase in the percentage of those identifying themselves as religious and traditional; as of 2007, approximately one fifth of the adult Jewish population defines itself as secular, one third as religious, and one half as traditional.
* The highest percentage of religiously identified Jews can be found among the Mizrahim, and the highest percentage of secular Jews, among the Ashkenazim. Roughly one half of native-born Israelis are traditional, and over one third are religious.
* There is a weak but significant negative correlation between age and level of religious observance: the higher the age of the respondents, the lower the percentage of those identifying themselves as religious.
* There is a negative correlation between level of education and level of religious observance: the higher the level of education, the lower the percentage of those identifying themselves as religious.
* The primary differences with respect to the level of religious observance (when coupled with other factors) were between the traditional and religious groups, and less so between the secular and the religious.
* There is a correlation between religious observance and political identification with the Right. And conversely, there is a correlation between non-observance of tradition and political identification with the Left.

Eliyahu Sapir is a PhD student at the Department of Political Science, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and is an RA at the IDI's Guttman Center.

The Guttman Center

The Israel Democracy Institute (IDI)’s Guttman Center holds the largest, most comprehensive database on public opinion surveys in Israel since the establishment of the state in 1948. Over a span of fifty years, based in Jerusalem, the Institute applied rigorous, innovative and pioneering research methods enhanced by its unique “continuing survey”. It documented the attitudes of the Israeli public regarding thousands of issues, in all aspects of life in over 1200 studies: from everyday concerns, to politics, culture, ideology, religion, education and national security.

The Guttman Center has surveyed public opinion on the various topics, for instance, Anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, Arab Leadership, Civil Rights and Liberties, Communal and Family Life, Confidence in the Government, Economic Policy and Economic Issues, Education and Integration, Elections, Extreme Groups, Foreign Policy, Government Performance and Decisions, Health and Health Services, Immigration and Immigrants, Institutions, Israel-Diaspora Relations, Israeli Arabs, Israeli Democracy, Israel’s Wars, Israel-U.S. Relations, Jewish-Arab Relations, Labor and Labor Relations, Media, National Mood, Nuclear Weapons, Peace Accords and Peace Conferences, Personal Feelings, Political Participation, Political Trust and Efficiency of the Political System, POW and MIA, Relations between Ethnic Groups, Religion - and Religious-Secular Relations, Savings - Investments and Taxes, Service in the IDF, Settlements, Social Problems, Standard of Living and Quality of Life, Terror and the Intifada, The Future of the Territories - Palestinian State, The Palestinian Problem, The Peace Process, The Prime Minister and Political Leadership, Values - Morals and Norms in Israeli Society Violence, Willingness to make Economic Concessions, Willingness to make Territorial Concessions, Zionism and Patriotism

For a full list of the Guttman Center surveys, ordering surveys, and analysis of data, please contact Dr. Raphael Ventura or Mr. Eliyahu Sapir. Standard fees apply to these services.

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Lost with a Map

By Michelle Nevada

Sometimes I wish I were a cartoonist. The thoughts I have after listening to Bush’s speech about Annapolis are more suited to the clear and graphic three-dimensional nature of cartooning than to the more subtle art of wordsmithing, but I can’t draw. So, here’s a description of the cartoon in my head:

It is a large black-and-white single panel. On the lower right-hand corner of the mostly dark panel would be a too-small sedan crammed full of the Quartet representatives, Rice and Olmert prominent in the front seat. The sedan is stopped on the side of the road with the Quartet members hunched over a dog-eared “Road Map of the Middle East” squinting to read it with a small pen-light. Meanwhile, in a sports-car heading down the same road at a high rate of speed are two terrorists, bomb-belts strapped to their bodies, with a well-lit GPS navigator on the dash instructing them to, “Proceed directly to Jerusalem.”

Under the panel would be the words, “Olmert and the Quartet stick to the Roadmap.”

I don’t own a map. Like most people in the world today, I rely on a constantly updated and extremely reliable Global Positioning System (GPS) in my car. There is a reason I don’t use maps any more. Maps are costly, maps are hard to read, maps are difficult to update, and maps do not contain information about traffic patterns, road blocks, and construction headaches. In a word, maps are obsolete. So, why did Olmert agree to commit Israel to following an outdated “Road Map to Peace”?

The “Road Map” was first outlined by U.S. President Bush in a speech on June 24, 2002, in which he called for an independent Palestinian state living side by side with Israel in peace. The agreement to make a “Road Map for Peace” overseen by the “Quartet” was signed at the Red Sea Summit in Aqaba, Jordan, June 4, 2003.

At that time:

* Sharon was the PM of Israel,

* Yasir Arafat was the head of the P.A.,

* Bush was finishing up his first term in office and set to face Al Gore in the upcoming presidential election,

* Gaza was full of prosperous Jewish citizens,

* Olmert had just left his job as Mayor of Jerusalem for his first cabinet position as Deputy Prime Minister (Likud),

* there was no such thing as “Kadima,”

* U.S. gas prices had surged to $1.81 a gallon,

* Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were still home with their families,

* the Second Lebanon War hadn’t happened, and

* Hamas was a terrorist group, not the democratically elected leader of the Palestinian Authority.

It was a long time ago. At the time that the Road Map was implemented, there were Israelis who thought that giving up Gush Katif would lead to peace. They thought that there could be a way out of the Intifada by making concessions to the arabs. But it didn’t work.

Every attempt made by the Israeli government to follow the roadmap for peace was matched by a greater and more determined attempt at war by the PA. Talk of “peace” brought war. Land concessions brought violence. What some had thought of as a road to peace became a highway to hell. But that didn’t change the map.

So, here we are in 2007, committed to that outdated “Roadmap for Peace” by a washed-up, indicted, and profoundly unpopular PM leading the weak made-up party of “Kadima” whose existence is owed to the Gaza pullout, and whose platform and is still based upon the failed idea of land-for-peace concessions. He is supposed to negotiate peace with an ineffective Palestinian PM who is at war with his own democratically elected Hamas leadership in Gaza and has absolutely no power to influence the terrorists targeting Israel. These “leaders” have been urged into this politically expedient “peace process” as a last-ditch effort by a less-than-popular lame-duck US president who has nothing to gain but a nice framed portrait of himself making “peace” for his presidential library.

Meanwhile, Sderot is under constant rocket fire; Gaza is a nest of terrorism waiting to attack; Abbas is claiming Hevron, Judea, Sumaria, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount as his own; Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are still missing; Iran is going nuclear; and Israel’s military has been so embarrassed by the Second Lebanon War that they have lost much hope of averting an attack from the arab nations surrounding us.

Sadly, politicians feel they can ignore the new realities that exist in Middle East by pulling off onto a shoulder in the road and claiming they have only become disoriented and simply need to find their location on an outdated map in order to proceed. But this is not the case.

Olmert must deal with facts on the ground, not the green lines on an obsolete map. Since the Road Map was written, popular routes have become dead ends, and roads that were thought to lead somewhere have become mired. There is no peace at the end of the Road Map he holds, and unless our leaders are willing to understand new realities, and know there is a new global positioning in the world, they may have made Israel entirely lost.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007




November 21, 2007

In the end, it was all in the family.

A relative of a doctor whose orthodontist ex-husband was gunned down execution-style in front of their 4-year-old daughter in a Queens park was charged yesterday with pulling the trigger, cops said.

Mikhail Mallayev, 50, of suburban Atlanta, was arrested over the weekend after dogged investigators linked him to the slaying of Daniel Malakov on Oct. 28, through partial fingerprints recovered from a homemade silencer used in the shooting.

The breakthrough came Friday, after weeks of exhaustively comparing the prints to those of known relatives and associates of Malakov and his estranged ex-wife, Dr. Mazoltuv Borukhova. Forensic investigators matched the prints to ones contained in a police archive from when Mallayev was arrested for evading a subway fare in 1994. "We were right on the money. We got excited," said Detective Daniel Perruzza who worked the case with Detective William Bieniek, both of the Latent Prints Unit.

On Saturday, three NYPD detectives flew to Atlanta, where they joined a marshal from the DeKalb County Sheriff's Office and arrested Mallayev at his sprawling home where he lives with his wife and three children.

Sources say police using cellphone records were able to pinpoint Mallayev - who relatives said is a distant cousin of Borukhova's - driving up to New York on I-95 just before the shooting. They also determined that he returned to Georgia immediately after the shooting.

Mallayev admitted to police that he was in the city at the time, but insisted he had nothing to do with the death of Malakov, 34, the sources said.

According to the criminal complaint, witnesses described the killer to police as being a white male, between 48 and 50 years old, and standing about 5-foot-8 with a chubby build. Not only does Mallayev stand 5 feet, 8 inches tall and weigh 190 pounds, he also bears a striking resemblance to the suspect pictured in a sketch handed out by police.

Mallayev was charged with second-degree murder and criminal possession of a weapon, said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown. He is expected to waive extradition, sources said.

Malakov's relatives - who have always accused Borukhova, 33, and her family of having something to do with their son's killing - were stunned by how close to home the alleged killer was.

"He was in the wedding! Oh my God! He was in the wedding!" wailed Malakov's mother, Malka. "God punish him! How can you have animal heart?"

Malakov's brother, Gabriel, said: "I feel like crying. They arrested the guy, but they can never return my brother."

Malakov and Borukhova - both Bukharian Jews from Uzbekistan - met in 2000 and were married the following year. But the marriage went sour after the pair had their daughter, Michelle. Following their divorce, the pair fought over her and a judge granted him custody just six days before he was shot. She is currently in foster care.

A man who answered the phone at Mallayev's home promptly hung up when asked for comment. His sister-in-law, Berta Babayeva, who lives in Borough Park, said he had been in Brooklyn in early November for a wedding, but there was no way he could be involved.

"It's not true. He is a good man," she said.

A woman who identified herself as Borukhova's sister, but would not give her name, said her sister had nothing to do with it and that she didn't know Mallayev.

"She was never involved. She never had a thought of killing him. She just wanted him out of their lives in a peaceful way, but not through death," she said. "I don't know him. I don't think he's related."

Mallayev's niece, Margarita Babayeva, 38, said she saw her uncle in Brooklyn just this past week and that he made a special trip to visit Borukhova for treatment for a heart condition.

"He said, "Can you believe Daniel is dead?' and then he told me he went to see Mazoltuv. I said, 'Why would you go?' I had a bad feeling about this, and he said, 'I am not only a relative but also her patient,' " she said. "This is ridiculous. He doesn't even have a gun. He would never do something like this."

Mallayev, who runs a contracting business, moved to his house in Chamblee, Ga., with his family about three years ago.

While living in Georgia, Mallayev - who emigrated from Uzbekistan 19 years ago - and his sons were involved in a land-development deal with a New York businessmen who later filed a civil suit accusing them of stealing $1.5 million.

"They were con artists and they scammed me, but I'm surprised he's involved in something like this," said Shalom Cohen, who filed the suit.

Additional reporting by Kaili McDonnough, Tim Bukher and John Doyle

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Shas Turns Down Rabbinical Court Summons


They cannot ignore a summons. I would hate to see a great rabbi like Ovadia Yosef ignoring the very laws he is supposed to teach.

They are probably planning to delay as long as possible so that the conference will be held before it goes to the din. Then the issue would be moot.

But then again, so would Israel.

by Hillel Fendel

( The nationalist camp continues to pressure the Shas and Yisrael Beiteinu parties to quit the government, in light of the upcoming Annapolis summit.

MKs of the hareidi-Sephardic Shas Party have been served with papers calling them to a Din Torah - a Torah court lawsuit - regarding their refusal to quit the government. The plaintiffs claim that Shas is thus enabling the government of which it is a member to proceed with its plans to divide Jerusalem, give away large parts of the Land of Israel, expel tens of thousands of Jews from their homes, and place millions of Israelis in danger of Hamas rockets.

The Shas MKs have all but ignored the summons.

Rabbi Dov Stein, the secretary of a group of leading rabbis known as the "Sanhedrin," explained to Arutz-7, "We sent three letters, as is required, to the Knesset Members of Shas. One of them responded, apparently in their name, that their decisions are made in consultation with [Rishon LeTzion and former Sephardic Chief] Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef, and that certainly no mishaps could come of this. While this is certainly true, this does not exempt them from responding to our summons to appear before a Rabbinical court."

Secretary Makes Decision
Rabbi Stein said that it is not customary to rush to declare a party to be in "seruv" - in violation of a Rabbinical court summons, leading to grave social sanctions - and therefore he turned to Rabbi Yosef himself. "We sent him a fax, explaining that we had summoned the MKs to a Din Torah, and offering to have the case heard in his own rabbinical court - with he himself as one of the judges. However, something extraordinary occurred: His secretary decided, on his own, that he would not even show the fax to Rabbi Yosef!"

"This is unfortunately the case with many leading rabbis," Rabbi Stein said, "where the assistants 'decide' many issues by choosing what to show them. This is to be regretted - though of course Rabbi Yosef is responsible as well, in that he chose him as his assistant."

"We have other ways to ensure that Rabbi Yosef receives the fax," Rabbi Stein said, though he would not elaborate.

Shas Response
MK Chaim Amsalem, contacted by Arutz-7, said in response, "I received the letters, and I answered what I answered." When pressed to elaborate, he said, "Some modesty on the part of those rabbis would not hurt; everyone knows their halakhic status." In fact, however, though the status of the Sanhedrin as the supreme Jewish legal body is in dispute, its status as a rabbinical court is not.

When asked if Shas plans to quit the government in light of the fact that Olmert says he plans to give away parts of Jerusalem and other parts of the Land of Israel, MK Amsalem said, "We have discussed this and have come to the conclusion that our presence in the government will help preserve all that is dear to us."

Yisrael Beiteinu, Too
Yisrael Beiteinu, a non-religious right-wing party founded by immigrants from the former Soviet Union, is also in the coalition - and has also been served with a summons to the Sanhedrin rabbinical court.

Dozens of Yisrael Beiteinu voters arrived at the offices of party leader Avigdor Lieberman, the Minister for Strategic Affairs, and protested the party's continued membership in the government. The protestors held signs in Russian and Hebrew, condemning Lieberman for preferring his ministerial seat instead of the values he advocated during the election campaign - namely, Jerusalem and security. They called upon him to quit the government even before the Annapolis summit. A similar campaign has been underway for the past two weeks in the Israeli-Russian press and on billboards.

Yisrael Beiteinu made a minor gesture towards these protestors on Monday when it did not show up in the Knesset to vote for the government in the no-confidence motion.

Husband signs divorce papers 20 years after disappearing


What an idiot! Can you imagine? This poor woman has given up the most eligible days of her life and for what? Because he was afraid of a few creditors???

Couldn't this guy have written a letter? Stopped by a Bet Din? Something??

Man located by Prison Service rabbi in Israeli jail after leaving 'chained' woman in France,7340,L-3472991,00.html
Raanan Ben-Zur
Published: 11.19.07, 08:45 / Israel Jewish Scene

Twenty years after disappearing and leaving his wife "agunah" (bound in marriage by a husband who is missing), a French Jewish man has been located in an Israeli jail and has agreed to give his wife a divorce.

The affair began about 20 years ago, when the man left his wife and children and disappeared. The family attempted to locate the husband for years, but to no avail. The man, apparently due to financial difficulties, disappeared without a trace.

All these years, the husband resided in Israel and in Europe. In Israel he even served six jail sentences, and is now serving his seventh after being convicted of property and violence offenses.

The prisoner, 45, who is serving his sentence in a prison in the Sharon region, leads a secular life.

The man's son is studying in a yeshiva in Israel, and after the family received information that the missing husband was in jail, the yeshiva's rabbis turned to the Israel Prison Service's chief rabbi, Yehuda Yekutiel Vizner, and asked for his help in locating the father.

Rabbi Vizner managed to locate the prisoner and tried to persuade him to give his wife a divorce. After the man eventually agreed, rabbinical judges arrived at the court, got the man declare that he was giving his wife a divorce and to sign the divorce papers, and the woman was finally released from marriage.

Sources in the IPS said that after signing the divorce papers, the prisoner was visited by his son. The two, who had not seen each other for 20 years, shed many tears during the visit.

Relative Of Dentist's Former Wife Named In Murder


I was so afraid of this . . . Sigh.

I know the Bucharian Jews are close-knit, and the fact that the murder was by one of their own makes this a double-tragedy for the community.

My heart is with both families--both the family of the victim and the family of the accused. Especially, my thoughts are with that poor little girl, Michelle. May Hashm comfort them all.

Police Confirm 50-Year-Old Georgia Man Apprehended; Second Suspect Still At Large

Scott Weinberger

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly confirmed that police have made an arrest in the murder of a Queens dentist on Oct. 28.

Mikhail Malayev, 50, who resides in Chamblee, Ga., was arrested and charged with the murder of 34-year-old Daniel Malakov, who was gunned down in front of his 5-year-old daughter and former wife on a Queens playground.

An extradition hearing was scheduled later Tuesday in Georgia.

Kelly said Malayev is linked to Malakov through marriage, a relative of his estranged wife, Dr. Mazoltuv Borukhova, through her sister's husband.

Malayev was arrested after investigators pulled a fingerprint off the homemade silencer found at the scene of the murder. His fingerprints were on file stemming from a 1994 farebeating.

"I think it just shows the importance of accurate record keeping and making certain when we do arrest someone fingerprints are taken," Kelly said.

Sources tell CBS 2's Scott Weinberger that Malayev was captured in Georgia over the weekend.

Kelly also said that a second suspect -- the driver of the getaway vehicle -- was still at large, but police believe they know that suspect's identity, which was not immediately released.

Malakov was gunned down at the Annadale Playground in the Forest Hills section of the borough during a bitter custody battle he and his former wife had fought over their daughter.

There was immediate speculation that his wife may have been involved, though she adamantly denied involvement to CBS 2.

The brazen attack occurred as Malakov arrived at the playground with the girl. As the child went to greet her mother, a gunman wearing a black leather jacket and a dark hat approached, shot three rounds into Malakov's chest, and fled. Police recovered a bleach bottle covered with tape that they believe was used as a makeshift silencer.

The death shocked his close-knit community of Bukharan Jews from the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan.

"We lost a young, energetic, spiritual and promising member of the community," said Rabbi Itzhak Yehoshua, head of the Bukharian Rabbinical Council of America. "We will miss him for many years."

There were no arrests after the shooting at the playground, where the dentist had gone to hand off his daughter, Michelle, to his former wife for visitation.

Malakov was taken to North Shore University Hospital nearby, where he was pronounced dead.

The daylight shooting occurred in a well-tended neighborhood that is home to immigrants from around the globe.

"Everyone is shocked at this horror," said Malakov's lawyer, Nathan Pinkhasov.

Pinkhasov said the orthodontist and Borukhova, a specialist in internal medicine who also goes by the name Marina Borukhova, had waged a fierce battle over custody of their daughter. Malakov had won custody of the girl just days ago.

"He had a special bond with the child," said Pinkhasov, speaking by telephone en route to his client's funeral. "He wanted to keep fighting for her."

Police questioned Borukhova at the 112th Precinct stationhouse Sunday night but did not charge her. Her attorneys did not immediately return calls seeking comment Monday.

A police official who spoke on condition of anonymity said only that investigators suspect the shooting may be linked to the custody dispute.

Malakov emigrated to the United States from Tashkent, one of tens of thousands of Bukharan Jews who arrived in the 1990s after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. He studied at New York University and Columbia University.

"He was able to accomplish the American dream," said Yehoshua.

"There's a lot of grief in the community."

Bukharan Jews, also known as Bukharian or Bukhari Jews, are Jews from Central Asia who speak a dialect of Farsi. Their name comes from the Uzbek city of Bukhara, which once had a large Jewish community.

Yehoshua said there are about 70,000 Bukharan Jews in the United States -- 40,000 of them in Queens.

"All of us are relatives, second or third cousins," he said.

"It's like one big family."

In accordance with Jewish custom that dictates a funeral within 24 hours, services for Malakov were held Monday at Schwartz Brothers-Jeffer Memorial Chapels in Forest Hills.

But Yehoshua said that since Malakov was the victim of a crime, he advised the family to waive the traditional religious prohibition against performing an autopsy.

"This was my suggestion and I'm happy they followed it," he said.

Monday, November 19, 2007

As Chavez goes authoritarian, Venezuela Jews fear for future



What part of HITLER DID THE SAME THING do we not see???

Larry Luxner

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Venezuelans heading to the polls in a little less than three weeks will be voting on some rather drastic changes to the nation's constitution.

The amendments that are expected to pass will abolish presidential term limits, allowing President Hugo Chavez to be re-elected indefinitely, and give Chavez’s government total control over Venezuela's Central Bank, many private schools and other institutions. They also will allow him the power to handpick vice presidents without voter consent.

Protesters in Caracas and other cities already have begun clashing with police in the lead-up to the Dec. 2 referendum, driving the bolivar, Venezuela's currency, to a black-market low of 6,800 to the dollar.

Venezuela's 12,000 or so Jews mostly are unhappy with where the oil-rich country is heading, but there seems little they can do about it except leave.

"There's a crisis here, though I wouldn't say it's a special crisis for the Jewish community," said Rabbi Pynchas Brener of La Union Israelita, a large Orthodox synagogue in Caracas. "I think it's similar to what all people from the same socioeconomic situation are facing."

Without criticizing Chavez by name, Brener noted an increase within the last year of "anti-Semitic expressions by people who are close to the government," as well as on state-owned radio and TV stations.

Yet Brener, who's been the chief Ashkenazi rabbi of Caracas since 1967, emphasized that the Jewish community doesn't get involved in politics.

"I don't think people can express what they want nowadays," he said, indicating phone lines are being tapped. "Of course people are cautious. We're very concerned with what's going on. We live here."

The increasingly grim political situation, the nation’s economic instability and Chavez’s warm embrace of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have driven many Venezuelan Jews to consider their options abroad.

"A lot of people are leaving the country, but not only because they're Jewish," said Robert Bottome, publisher of VenEconomy Weekly in Caracas and an outspoken critic of the Chávez government. "It's because they feel the country is going down the drain. "The opportunities to invest and grow have been severely curtailed by the Chavez regime. And if Chavez aligns himself with Iran, it's normal that Jews would start worrying about his intentions. I don't blame them for being nervous."

"Just about everyone you meet who's middle or upper class is thinking of other options,” said Will Recant, the assistant executive vice president of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee, which sent a top-level delegation to Caracas two weeks ago to assess the situation. “Will they stay, and if so, for how long? If not, where will they go? Israel is always the first option, and the Jewish Agency is working with them on this."

Nearly a third of the community has left the country over the past three years, and the number of Jews in Venezuela has dropped to 12,000 from about 17,000 in 2004, Recant said.

Many have gone to Israel or the United States. Some have emigrated to Costa Rica, Panama and other Spanish-speaking countries.

"The JDC is not involved at all with those who are leaving,” Recant said. “We're mostly involved with the community that's there, and how to keep it viable for those who remain, as well as helping with any kind of emergency plans.”

Jewish community officials say the situation is volatile.

That’s partly why community members were so upset when Israeli Knesset member Effi Eitam declared two weeks ago after a visit to Caracas that Israel should help Venezuelan Jews make aliyah immediately.

"They're asking for help," Eitam told Israel’s daily Ma'ariv upon returning from his visit. "The Jews there are confused and frightened, and very much want Israeli help to organize. Some already have evacuated their family members to other places, such as Miami or Panama. Every family has an emergency evacuation plan."

With ties between Israel and Venezuela already strained, one Washington-based official with close ties to the Venezuelan Jewish community said Eitam's comments were irresponsible and unhelpful, casting the country’s Jews as disloyal to Venezuela.

"Anti-Semitism is being expressed in the official media, and the Jews — along with many other Venezuelans — fear the changes the government might impose over the next few months,” said the official, who asked not to be identified. “But it's up to the community and individual Jews to decide if they want to stay in Venezuela or leave. I don't think going into the panic mode helps in any way.”

In August 2006, the Venezuelan government downgraded its relations with Israel in the wake of Israel's war with Hezbollah. Chavez recalled his ambassador from Tel Aviv after criticizing Israel for employing "Hitler's methods" against Lebanese civilians.

Likewise, Israel's envoy in Caracas, Shlomo Cohen, was recalled by Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, but returned a few months later.

"It's a very delicate situation," the Washington-based official said, "and the Jewish community continues to be concerned."

Cabinet Agrees to Free Terrorists Ahead of Annapolis


How long before Olmert is indicted? Will he try to eliminate Israel as a country before he is told he must serve time? Will he attempt to put us so far into a war that he feels he can declare marshal law?

I am trying to figure out what would make a man become such a traitor to his country and his people.

Is he being paid a large sum to sell Israel to the Arabs? What is the going rate for Jewish blood, a mother’s tears, an injustice secured?

What is the price of a man’s soul?

by Hana Levi Julian

( The Cabinet has approved a request by Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to free 441 Palestinian Authority terrorists as another "good will gesture" to PA Chairman and Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen). All could be free by Friday, after the list is reviewed by a ministerial committee.

Shas Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor, Eli Yishai voted against the plan, as did Yisrael Beiteinu (Israel Our Home) Minister of Strategic Affairs, Avigdor Lieberman. Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz, a former Defense Minister and member of Olmert's own Kadima party, also voted against it.

The Prime Minister met with the PA Chairman Monday afternoon in another attempt to bring the two sides closer together on an agreement prior to the Middle East summit schedule for early next week in Annapolis, Maryland.

Despite the fact that Israel has released hundreds of other terrorists this year, and granted amnesty to hundreds more, the PA was dissatisfied with the "gesture," having handed Jerusalem officials a list of 2,000 prisoners it wanted to be freed.

A vow repeated by the Prime Minister not to allow the construction of new Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria was also not enough to satisfy PA officials, despite Olmert's reference to Israel's commitment to the Road Map plan.

"Let's be honest," he told cabinet ministers. "We committed ourselves in the 'Road Map' not to build new settlements. There will be no new settlements and no land confiscations [from PA Arabs]," Olmert was quoted as saying by spokeswoman Miri Eisin. He also reiterated his promise to destroy hilltop outposts built without government approval, but gave no timetable.

Chief PA negotiator Saeb Erekat called Olmert's declarations "nonsense" and said the Prime Minister "has to understand he either declares a full settlement freeze in all occupied areas including East Jerusalem, or it's nothing."

The PA has also insisted that Israel halt development within established communities that have existed for decades in the region. "If Olmert does not halt 'natural growth' then nothing has changed," said Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rdainah.

The tussle with the PA over freedom for terrorists and a "freeze on settlements" is taking place against the backdrop of the rapidly advancing Annapolis summit, scheduled to take place early next week.

A senior Fatah official said the PA will demand the Jewish State sign a promise at the Annapolis conference to release all of the more than 10,000 Arab security prisoners and terrorists being held in Israeli jails.

Some Israeli officials are hoping to put off the conference, or at least prevent the Prime Minister, Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni from attending.

In a letter sent to U.S. President George W. Bush this week, National Union/National Religious Party Knesset Member Aryeh Eldad demanded that the summit be postponed due to the investigations against Olmert.

"The Israeli Prime Minister is suspected of corruption and does not enjoy the Israeli public's support," wrote Eldad. "His hands are tied and therefore the conference is destined to fail."