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Knesset panel votes to revoke Arab-Israeli MK’s immunity over phone smuggling

AJN.- Move comes in light of evidence that Joint List MK Basel Ghattas had smuggled cell phones and documents to prisoners convicted of terrorism.

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Comité Parlamentario aprueba revocación de inmunidad a legislador árabe que ayudó a terroristas presos

AJN.- The Knesset House Committee voted on Wednesday afternoon in favor of revoking Arab-Israeli MK Basel Ghattas’ (Joint List) immunity from searches and arrest.

The vote passed unanimously, however, Joint List MKs chose to boycott the event.

The issue will go up for a final vote in the Knesset plenum on Thursday.

Wednesday’s committee vote came after Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit’s urging to do so, in light of evidence that Ghattas had smuggled cell phones and documents to prisoners convicted of terrorism.

In an unprecedented move, Mandelblit’s request came before an indictment – if there was an indictment, immunity would be revoked automatically – and the attorney-general implied in his letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edlestein that Ghattas would be arrested upon the removal of his immunity, by specifically mentioning immunity from search and arrest as what he is asking to revoke.

Mandelblit’s six-page letter details the evidence against Ghattas.

Ghattas visited the Ketziot prison on Sunday, December 18, where he met with Walid Daka, who is serving a life sentence for murdering the soldier Moshe Tamam in 1984, and Bassel Basra, who is serving a 15-year sentence for security crimes. Both are Fatah members.

Based on early intelligence, Mandelblit authorized the visit to be filmed. Ghattas was caught on camera giving Daka documents, which he put in his pants, and giving Basra four envelopes, in which prison guards found 12 cell phones, 16 SIM cards, two chargers and one headset.

Soon after, Mandelblit wrote, Ghattas was asked to go to the police for questioning, and he refused. On Tuesday, Ghattas turned himself in for questioning, which lasted about five hours. At first, the MK denied going anything to the prisoners, but then was shown the videos.

Then, Ghattas said that he did not know there were cell phones and equipment in the envelopes, and that the papers he gave Daka had «political material» from the Balad party, of which the MK is a member.

Basra said he also did not know Ghattas was giving him cell phones, and Daka denied that the papers he received were from Ghattas.

Mandelblit concluded that Ghattas should lose his immunity, because «there is a solid and strong basis of evidence against him of committing crimes of bringing equipment into a prison…bringing equipment into a prison to harm national security or aid a terrorist organization…[as well as] conspiracy to commit a crime, fraud and breach of trust…Immunity does not protect [MKs] if they commit crimes that are not connected to their public mission as an elected, representative MK.»

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Argentinian President Macri visited the historical synagogue of Basavilbaso

AJN Agency.- Only a few days away of Rosh Hashana and with Iom Kipur coming soon, Mauricio Macri, President of Argentina participate of the meeting at the synagogue Tefila L’Moisés at Basavilbaso, Province of Entre Ríos.

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WhatsApp Image 2019-10-03 at 16.45.13

AJN Agency.- The argentinian President, Mauricio Macri, assisted to the Synagogue Tefila L’ Moisés de Basavilbaso, one of the olders of Argentina, making himself the first argentinian president in visit that synagogue.

Macri send his best wishes for the jewish new year celebration and added: «I want to thank you for reciving me here, in your home. For us it has been very important this years working with the community».

Claudio Avruj, secretary of Human Rights of Argentina discribed that the visit of Macri «Represents with out dudes a huge tribute to the jewish inmigration in the historic colonies of Entre Ríos and a deep recognition to the permanent support to the development of the local communities».

At meeting were present the Rabbi Sergio Bergman, secretary of goverment in Environment and Sustainable Development, and the Minister of Interior, Public Works and Housing of Argentina, Rogelio Frigerio, among others.

In a letter written by Avruj, he assured his pride for the president and remarked the pluralism and respect of Macri.

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Antisemitism/Argentina. The increase in antisemitic incidents is “fierce”

Agencia AJN.- The Asociation of Israeli Delegations in Argentina (DAIA) qualifies as «fierce» the increase in the number of antisemitic incidents in Argentina, after the anual report over the 107 percent increase during 2018 in comparation with the previous year.

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Agencia AJN.- This way was how the president of DAIA, Jorge Knoblovits, present today the details of the anual report of antisemitism, in a reunion realized in the Centro Cultural Kirchner of Buenos Aires.

Anyway, the communitarian leader said that “It is not fierce only in Argentina, it is fierce worldwide”.

“I start with an autocritic: with the results of the investigation and the results of the center of social studies, the increment of heat speeches and antisemitic acts that DAIA registerd, I think we hadn´t done enough for the memory and fighting the hate speeches beacuse the increase is fierce”, added Knoblovits after presenting the document.

Also, he remarks that “in Europe, reciently The Economist determines that 34 percent of europeans, where Shoa took place and where 6 millions died, dosen’t registres what Holocaust is”.

“In Argentina, being antisemitic and discriminating is a crime. He is punished by the Law. It is a great achievement, beacuse the communities live in peace and we know that discrimination is a crime”, highlighted the president of DAIA.

In this track, he describes that the increase of 107 percent had impulsed DAIA to develope “an app for people to can denunce this acts, not only antisemitic, any time of discrimination”.

“Also, whe put totems in subway, bus and train station, and in shopping for people to register that there is a place for register the denunces that are wecolme», afirms.

Knoblovits sustain that “many of the denunces” recibed where judicialized. “The sensation that I have is that we give judicial fight, but we are losing the culture fight. That’s the battle that we don’t want to lose. Inside the culture field, we are gonna do everything possible so we don’t have never again discrimination acts in Argentina, or at least those are gonna be fighted by us”, concluded.

Following the report, there had been 834 antisemitic acts in 2018, in comparation with the 404 reported in 2017.

The estadistics and investigation will be presented by DAIA and INADI (National Institute against Discrimination, Xenophobia and Racism).

The anual report of antisemitism was realized by DAIA with the Gino Germani Institute and the Center of Social Studies.

This year is the number 20 since the fisrt anual report published by the political organization of the argentinian jewish community, that stablished that practice in 1998.

Report shows that 68% of the incidents had place in Buenos Aires, and 32% where in the rest of the country. About the 834 reported incidents, DAIA said that 71% happend online, mostly in web sites, and 17% of that number appeares in social networks.

The report also shows that 27% of antisemitic material online had xenophobia against jews, while 18% was pushed by the events that took place in Middle East, 17% had relation with nazi simbology and jewish world domination conspiracy among other misconceptions.

Gino Germani Insitute present a poll of social perceptions of Jews in Argentina.

The poll shows that 53% of 1443 people interviewed agrees that there is discrimination against jews, while 87% didn’t know what it was the zionism.

The Report remarks that 61% agreed with the antisemitic prejudice of the «influence» of jews in international markets and 47% belives that jews are the first in not helping people in need.

The information for this poll was collected between June and July of this year.

In the presentation of the report, will join Knoblovits, the president of the Conferencia Episcopal Argentina y the bishop of San Isidro Monseñor Oscar Ojea, Néstor Cohen, who runs the investigation of Gino Germani Institute, the director of Social Center, Marisa Braylan and one of the principal investigatores, Verónica Constantino.

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