Sunday, August 20, 2006

Court Prohibits Benefits for Army Veterans in Israel!

1. Flash!
Breaking News!

Israel has just become the first nation on earth in which a judge ruled
that granting army veterans preferences is unconstitutional. A bit
astounding, considering that Israel does not even have a constitution.

In the second-stupidest court decision of the year, a Haifa judge has
ruled that the University of Haifa's policy of granting army vets
preferences in allotment of scarce dorm space is illegal because it
discriminates against Arabs. Most Arabs do not serve in the army, because
they are not conscripted, although no one is stopping them from
volunteering to serve. And those Arabs who serve their country would have
gotten the dorm preferences.

A court motion was filed by an Arab "civil rights group" in collaboration
with anti-Zionist extremist Ilan Pappe, a faculty member at Haifa U,
against the university for this "discrimination" in favor of army vets.
They claimed it was unfair to Arab students. The judge agreed.

Let us be clear what this means. A wounded Jewish soldier coming home
from the front and an Arab radical student waving a Hezbollah flag are
competing for a dorm slot. (The dorms are underpriced, by the way, which
is why the demand is so high.) SO now, according to court diktat, the
university would have to grant the room to the Hezbollah cheerleader if
the latter could show, say, he was coming from a further distance or that
his father had lower reported income. (A colleague of mine suggested
years ago that dorm rooms be allotted by grades only, not "social need",
but the proposal was shot down.)

The idea of dorm buildings at Haifa U being bedecked with Hezbollah flags
by Arab students is not so far-fetched. Radical Arab students on campus
have long marched about with PLO flags. Radical Haifa U professors in the
past hoisted the PLO flag on campus and would have no problem doing the
same with a Hezbollah flag.

Ilan Pappe has an article in this week's "Socialist Worker", a Trotskyite
rag in the UK, cheering the Hezbollah. It is at

Pappe was involved in the court petition, bragging in a published letter
that "We beat them." His anti-Israel sidekick Yuval Yonay, who
teaches "sociology of the occupation" and "queer studies" at Haifa U, backed Pappe and issued a call on the
university NOT To appeal the ridiculous court decision. For background on
Yonay, take a look at this:

Here is the Haaretz Version of the Story:
Court rules Haifa University must halt housing advantages for IDF veterans
By Tamara Traubmann, Haaretz Correspondent

Haifa District Court has ruled that Haifa University's dormitory
application process, which gives preference to Israel Defense Forces
veterans, is discriminatory against Arab students. The university's policy
of requiring dormitory applicants to have completed military service in
the IDF excludes most Arab applicants.

The precedent-setting verdict was handed down Thursday by Judge Ron Sokol,
following a petition submitted by Adalah - The Legal Center for Arab
Minority Rights in Israel - together with three female Arab students. Last
year, the university denied the three women's requests for rooms in
university dormitories, despite their difficult economic straits and the
low frequency with which public transportation reaches their respective
home villages.

The university decides which students will receive rooms in the
dormitories based on a list of criteria including socio-economic status
and academic achievements. As Haaretz has published in the past, 40
percent of the points required to fulfill the criteria can be garnered by
having completed military service.

The court accepted the claims made by Adalah and the students, who said
that the military service requirement creates a discrimination against the
Arab students, and ordered the university to abolish it.

"The inclusion of the military service requirement results in
discrimination against a variety of sectors [especially the Arab sector]"
Sokol wrote.

He said that even though there are Israeli Arabs who do serve in the IDF,
"Military service is not open to the general Arab public of the State of
Israel" and noted that Israeli Arabs are legally exempt from service in
the IDF.

Sokol also ruled that limiting the granting of benefits only to those
students who contributed to the country via military or national service
discriminates against students who contributed in other ways. (Like
waving Hezbollah flags? -- SP)

Precedent-setting ruling
Adalah lawyer Susan Zohar said Sunday this marked the first time that the
courts have disqualified the use of military service as a criterion for
granting benefits, a common practice among institutions of higher
learning, employers and housing managers.

"The ruling is likely to have ramifications on other universities who make
use of military criterion," Zohar said. She noted that Adalah will made
use of the court's ruling in its current battle in the High Court of
Justice against the Israel Lands Administration's practice of using
military service criterion when distributing plots of land.

This is also the first time a court ruled Haifa University discriminates
against Israeli Arab students following years in which discrimination
claims had been leveled at the institution.

(In fact, Haifa U strongly discriminates in FAVOR of Arab students by
means of affirmative action. That is one reason why Haifa U has the
largest Arab student body in Israel.)

If you would like to urge the university adminsitration to fight the court
verdict and also to do something about seditious faculty members, the
emails and faxes of the Rector and President appear here:

2. Boycotting Madonna:

3. Graffiti seen around northern Israel: "Arik, get up, Olmert is in a

Israel's terminal illness
By Joseph Farah

5. From the "Nice to See how much they Learned" department:
Last update - 02:07 18/08/2006
Laborites slam Peretz for supporting talks with Syria
By Mazal Mualem, Haaretz Correspondent
Senior Labor members are criticizing their party leader, Defense Minister
Amir Peretz, for advocating talks with Syria. Peretz called for
negotiations with Syria on Wednesday, the day Syrian President Bashar
Assad delivered a belligerent speech against Israel.

The officials termed Peretz's call "embarrassing," adding that it was
politically unwise and seemed like political spin.

According to these critics, "Peretz's statement was interpreted as
weakness, and it's a shame that in order to divert attention from the
criticism against him, he is making use of political spin without
understanding that he thereby causes damage to the State of Israel, and
also embarrasses the Americans since Syria is part of the axis of evil and
helped arm Hezbollah against Israel. Pity he does not realize that he's a
senior minister and not the chairman of the Histadrut labor federation."

Peretz's call also surprised Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who sought to
minimize damage vis-a-vis the Americans. Olmert's bureau promptly issued a
statement saying that Peretz's position was contrary to that of the Prime
Minister's Bureau, which views Syria as part of the axis of evil.

Labor Party members also spoke out on Thursday against the inquiry
committee headed by former IDF chief Amnon Lipkin Shahak that Peretz
appointed to review the defense establishment's performance during the
war. Culture and Sport Minister Ophir Pines-Paz cast doubt on the ability
of such a committee to get to the bottom of things and said that an
external review committee should be considered.

MK Matan Vilnai said that the committee appointed by Peretz before
soldiers had left Lebanon might turn the army into a scapegoat. Vilnai
said a thorough inquiry was critical and pledged to make sure the army did
not become a punching bag for politicians.

Peretz's office declined to comment.

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