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Israel’s home demolitions after terrorist attacks, explained

(JTA) – Less than a hour after a terror attack in eastern Jerusalem on Friday killed three people, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivered a succinct message: Destroy the Palestinian attacker’s home.

“Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to take immediate action to seal and demolish the home of the terrorist,” said the statement from Netanyahu’s office. 

Home demolition orders have almost become a matter of course following Palestinian attacks. They don’t usually make headlines, nor do they tend to spark public outcry. For decades, Israel has used the tactic as a routine instrument of punishment, claiming that the effect of tearing down the homes of terrorists deters future attacks.

But critics question that claim, and say that home demolitions constitute collective punishment that violates international law. At a moment of deep political strife in Israel, the home demolition practice, like many others related to security, generates little political opposition. And while the Israeli Supreme Court, whose power Israel’s right-wing government hopes to limit, can delay home demolitions, it almost always ultimately permits them to go forward.

Here’s how the practice of Israeli home demolition began, how it’s viewed in Israel and abroad, and how it may be changing under Israel’s new government. 

Why does Israel destroy the homes of terrorists?

Israel began demolishing homes of Palestinian attackers after it captured the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, along with other territories, in the 1967 Six Day War. Since then, according to a 2019 assessment by the Israel Democracy Institute, Israel has demolished some 2,000 homes due to terrorism. The demolitions have taken place in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem, not within Israel’s internationally recognized borders. 

Israel claims that demolishing the homes of terrorists acts as a deterrent, a rationale cited last month in a bill introduced by lawmaker Eliahu Revivo, a member of Netanyahu’s Likud Party who also wants to deter attacks by deporting the families of terrorists. 

“The national security establishment and the Israeli army have conducted research over the years into dozens of suicide attackers, and it emerged that the one deterrent for suicide attackers is what the consequences for their families will be after the attack,” the text of the bill said.

Home demolitions were largely suspended in 2005 after the Israel Defense Forces found that the practice had no discernible deterrent effect. The demolitions were sporadically reinstituted a few years later and fully brought back by Netanyahu in November 2014 during a wave of Palestinian attacks.

A 2010 research paper by political scientists at Northwestern University and Hebrew University suggested that home demolition works as a deterrent. The authors of the study based their findings on an examination of home demolitions in the five years prior to the army’s 2005 suspension, a period that coincided with the second intifada. 

“We show that punitive house demolitions (those targeting Palestinian suicide terrorists and terror operatives) cause an immediate, significant decrease in the number of suicide attacks,” the paper said. “The effect dissipates over time and by geographic distance.”

This year, Netanyahu’s new government, the most right-wing in Israeli history, has indicated it will accelerate and expand the demolition of the homes of terrorists. It recently ordered the closing-off of an apartment belonging to the family of a 13-year-old who shot and wounded two Israelis near Jerusalem’s Old City. The move was unusual because Israel had previously reserved home demolition for attackers who killed people.

Does Israel demolish the homes of Jewish terrorists?

No. The Palestinian family of a boy murdered by a Jewish terrorist sued to have his killer’s home destroyed. The High Court in 2017 rejected the lawsuit, saying too much time had passed since the 2014 murder. The government argued that deterrence was not necessary in the case of Jewish terrorism, because, in the words of Judge Neal Hendel, Jewish terrorists are “a minority of a minority of a minority.” The Israeli government counted a total of 16 Jewish attacks of terrorism in 2015, according to the Jerusalem Post. Israeli Arab politicians, including Knesset member Ahmed Tibi, had called on the government to demolish the Jewish terrorist’s house as a matter of fair treatment.

Is demolishing terrorists’ homes legal?

Yes, according to Israel. No, according to experts in international law. 

Israel bases its argument on a regulation from 1945, when Britain controlled what is now Israel, that was carried over into Israeli law when the state was established in 1948. It is known as “Defense regulation (emergency) 1945, regulation 119.”

The regulation is broadly written, allowing a “A Military Commander” to destroy the home of “anyone who offended, or attempted an offense, or assisted offenders or abetted offenders after the fact,” as determined by a military court.

Multiple international law experts say that home demolition is illegal under international law because it is a form of collective punishment, which is banned by the Geneva Conventions. Israel has long argued that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to its presence in territories it has captured, because the land in question was not the internationally recognized territory of any state prior to 1967. 

The Biden administration also considers home demolitions to be collective punishment. “We attach a good deal of priority to this, knowing that the home of an entire family shouldn’t be demolished for the action of one individual,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said in 2021.

Israeli human rights groups, including B’tselem and the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions, agree with international scholars that the practice violates international law. B’tselem cites both the Fourth Geneva Convention and a verse in Deuteronomy that reads, “Parents shall not be put to death for children, nor children be put to death for parents: they shall each be put to death only for their own crime.”

Who owns the land once a home is demolished?

Under the 1945 regulation, military authorities maintain control of the land, and it reverts to the original owners — if they are present — once military authorities leave.

How long does it take for a home demolition to take place? What happens to the family?

Generally, the military consults with Israel’s intelligence services before ordering a home demolition.In the case of high-profile attacks, however, the order may come down immediately, as it did on Friday. Families have 48 hours to appeal a demolition to the military commander or another relevant authority. 

However, Israel’s Supreme Court has reserved the right to review demolition orders. This may delay demolition for months or years, but B’Tselem reports that in the majority of cases, the court ultimately upholds the demolition. In one notable case in 2018, the court stopped the demolition after the family presented evidence showing that the assailant suffered from a mental illness. 

Homes may be demolished by bulldozers. Apartments or rooms are generally filled with cement, rendering them unlivable. Families sometimes split up among relatives, at least in the near term, according to a United Nations report. 

According to the Jerusalem Post, the army commission that recommended ending the practice in 2005 reported that families of the terrorists often rebuild their homes with compensation funds from the Palestinian Authority and other sources. The Palestinian Authority pays monthly stipends to the families of Palestinians imprisoned by Israel or killed while committing violent attacks. Israel and its advocates decry the payments as an incentive for terrorism.

How many home demolitions have taken place?  Are homes demolished for reasons other than deterrence?

According to the Israel Democracy Institute, more than 50 homes “have been either fully or partially demolished” between 2014 and 2019 as a deterrent to terrorism. Hamoked, an Israeli human rights group, placed the total since 2014 at 75, according to Haaretz.

Israel has demolished a far greater number of Palestinian buildings due to lack of a building permit. Palestinian groups and Israeli human rights organizations argue that Palestinians face discrimination in obtaining such permits. Israel also has a policy of demolishing Palestinian dwellings for being built in a closed military zone. 

The same academic paper that concluded demolishing the homes of suicide attackers was an effective deterrent also found that home demolitions for other reasons — including as a preventative measure — spurred an increase in terror attacks.

The post Israel’s home demolitions after terrorist attacks, explained appeared first on Jewish Telegraphic Agency.

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Canada’s economic growth projected to be about 1% in the first half of 2024

Canada is a country with a thriving Jewish community and has traditionally offered the security of a strong economy for residents. The national economic outlook is naturally something that everyone in Canada’s Jewish community keeps track of – especially those involved in business in the various provinces.

With this in mind, the July 2023 Monetary Policy Report from the Bank of Canada made for interesting reading, projecting a moderate economic growth figure of around 1% for the first half of 2024. This is in line with growth figures that had been forecast for the second half of 2023, and sees the country’s economy remain on a stable footing.

Steady projected growth for first half of 2024

Although projected economic growth of around 1% in early 2024 is not as impressive as figures of around 3.4% in 2022 and 1.8% in 2023, it is certainly no cause for alarm. But what might be behind it?

Higher interest rates are one major factor to consider and have had a negative impact on household spending nationally. This has effectively seen people with less spending power and businesses in Canada generating less revenue as a result.

Interest rate rises have also hit business investments nationally, and less money is being channelled into this area to fuel Canada’s economic growth. When you also factor in how the weak foreign demand for Canadian goods and services has hit export growth lately, the projected GDP growth figure for early 2024 is understandable.

Growth in second half of 2024 expected

Although the above may make for interesting reading for early 2024, the Bank of Canada’s report does show that economic growth is expected to pick up in the second half of the year. This is projected to be due to the decreasing effect of high interest rates on the Canadian economy and a stronger foreign demand for the country’s exports.

Moving forward from this period, it is predicted that inflation will remain at around 3% as we head into 2025, and hit the Bank of Canada’s inflation target of 2% come the middle of 2025. All of this should help the country’s financial status remain stable and prove encouraging for business leaders in the Jewish community.

Canada’s economic growth mirrors iGaming’s rise

When you take a look at the previous growth figures Canada has seen and also consider the growth predicted for 2024 (especially in the second half of the year), it is clear that the country has a vibrant, thriving economy.

This economic growth is something that can be compared with iGaming’s recent rise as an industry around the country. In the same way as Canada has steadily built a strong economy over time, iGaming has transformed itself into a powerful, flourishing sector.

This becomes even clearer when you consider that Canadian iGaming has been a major contributor to the sustained growth seen in the country’s arts, entertainment and recreation industry, which rose by around 1.9% in Q2 of 2023. The healthy state of online casino play in Canada is also evidenced by how many customers the most popular casino platforms attract and how the user experience these operators offer has enabled iGaming in the country to take off.

This, of course, is also something that translates to the world stage, where global iGaming revenues in 2023 hit an estimated $95 billion. iGaming’s global market volume is also pegged to rise to around $130 billion by 2027. These kinds of figures represent a sharp jump for iGaming worldwide and show how the sector is on the ascent.

Future economic outlook for Canada in line with global expectations

When considering the Canadian economic outlook for 2024, it is often useful to look at how this compares with global financial predictions. In addition to the rude health of iGaming in Canada being reflected in global online casino gaming, the positive economic outlook for the country is also broadly in line with expectations for many global economies.

Global growth is also predicted to rise steadily in the second half of 2024 before becoming stronger in 2025. This should be driven by the weakening effects of high interest rates on worldwide economic prosperity. With rate cuts in Canada already expected after Feb 2024’s inflation report, this could happen in the near future.

The performance of the US economy is always of interest in Canada, as this is the country’s biggest trading partner. Positive US Q2 performances in 2023, powered by a strong labor market, good consumer spending levels and robust business investments, were therefore a cause for optimism. As a US economy that continues to grow is something that Canadian businesses welcome, this can only be a healthy sign.

Canada set for further growth in 2024

Local news around Canada can cover many topics but the economy is arguably one of the most popular. A projected GDP growth figure of around 1% for Canada’s economy shows that the financial state of the country is heading in the right direction. An improved financial outlook heading into the latter half of 2024/2025 would make for even better reading, and the national economy should become even stronger.

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The Legal Landscape of Online Gambling in Canada

Online gambling has grown in popularity around the globe in recent years. While many jurisdictions have legalized land-based gambling, it hasn’t applied to online platforms. Nonetheless, Canada is one nation that has legalized online gambling with their provinces’ licensing and regulating sites.

Nonetheless, Canadians of legal age can enjoy playing their favourite online games where available. So many games like slots, blackjack, and roulette still maintain their popularity even in the digital sense.  Want to learn about what’s legal in Canada for online gambling? Let’s take a look.

What is legal for online gambling in Canada?

What is the best online casino in Canada? The list we provide you here should be a good start. It’s also important to note that most Canadian provinces do not have laws that prohibit offshore online casinos.

Many provinces provide licensing to online casinos. They even regulate them as well. For example, Alberta and British Columbia have sites regulated by their respective governing bodies. The Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) allows legal online gambling and oversees the services it offers to Maritime provinces such as New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland and Labrador.

However, there are some caveats to address. In Newfoundland and Labrador, online gambling that is not offered by the ALC is considered illegal. Therefore, it is the only Canadian province as of 2024 that prohibits offshore options.

In terms of the legal age, there are three provinces where the legal age is 18: Alberta, Manitoba, and Quebec. The remaining provinces establish 19 as the legal age for gambling including online.

Who are the regulatory bodies for gambling in Canada?

At the Federal level, the Canadian Gaming Association is the regulatory body for gambling in Canada. Thus, they cover both land-based and online gambling in the country. There are also provincial and regional regulatory bodies such as the Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC) – which covers the provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador.  

The Western Canada Lottery Corporation covers Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nunavut, Northwest Territories, and the Yukon Territory. A handful of provinces also have their regulatory bodies covering lottery and gaming.

Canada requires online casinos that wish to accept players from the country to adhere to regulations and licensing. These licenses are provided by provincial regulatory bodies. When licensed, online casinos must follow the regulations and security standards.

However, there is the belief that many of the laws about gambling in Canada may be outdated. This could be because these laws were created long before the advent of the Internet. Therefore, such laws may need to be modernized. Nonetheless, online gambling for the most part is legal, just dependent on the province.

Are there any legal grey areas to discuss?

The grey area that is considered a concern pertains to the use of offshore sites. As mentioned earlier, Newfoundland and Labrador is believed to be the only province that prohibits it. Even online casinos with no licensing by Canadian or provincial authorities accept residents of the country.

On the players’ end, many Canadians are allowed to play at online casinos. However, they may be restricted from certain platforms. This is to ensure that the players themselves are protected from unknowingly playing on platforms that may be illegal. 

What are the other laws and regulations about online gambling in Canada?

Online casinos have implemented measures for responsible gambling. This includes providing support and resources to problem gamblers on their site. They are also restricted regarding the marketing and advertising aspects of promoting their platform. 

One restriction of note is that marketing that is targeted at minors is prohibited. Another prohibits professional athletes from appearing in online casino ads in Ontario.

Even offshore casinos must adhere to these laws and regulations. Especially if they have obtained a license from the provincial bodies that allow them to operate.

Canada’s online gambling is legal – but will things change

As it stands right now, the legality of online gambling in Canada seems to fall under the purview of provincial laws and regulations. Canadian citizens must perform their due diligence further to see which online casinos are allowed by their respective provinces. Just because it may be legal in one province, it may not be the same in others.

Nonetheless, the question is: will any laws relax certain restrictions? Will Newfoundland and Labrador change their tune regarding offshore casinos? It’s unclear what the future holds – but watch this space for any changes about online gambling in Canada.  

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Wiseman, Nathan Elliot
1944 – 2023
Nathan, our beloved husband, Dad, and Zaida, died unexpectedly on December 13, 2023. Nathan was born on December 16, 1944, in Winnipeg, MB, the eldest of Sam and Cissie Wiseman’s three children.
He is survived by his loving wife Eva; children Sam (Natalie) and Marni (Shane); grandchildren Jacob, Jonah, Molly, Isabel, Nicole, and Poppy; brother David (Sherrill); sister Barbara (Ron); sister-in-law Agi (Sam) and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Nathan grew up in the north end of Winnipeg surrounded by his loving family. He received his MD from the University of Manitoba in 1968, subsequently completed his General Surgery residency at the University of Manitoba and went on to complete a fellowship in Paediatric Surgery at Boston Children’s Hospital of Harvard University. His surgeon teachers and mentors were world renowned experts in the specialty, and even included a Nobel prize winner.
His practice of Paediatric Surgery at Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg spanned almost half a century. He loved his profession and helping patients, even decades later often recounting details about the many kiddies on whom he had operated. Patients and their family members would commonly approach him on the street and say, “Remember me Dr. Wiseman?”. And he did! His true joy was caring for his patients with compassion, patience, unwavering commitment, and excellence. He was a gifted surgeon and leaves a profound legacy. He had no intention of ever fully retiring and operated until his very last day. He felt privileged to have the opportunity to mentor, support and work with colleagues, trainees, nurses, and others health care workers that enriched his day-to-day life and brought him much happiness and fulfillment. He was recognized with many awards and honors throughout his career including serving as Chief of Surgery of Children’s Hospital of Winnipeg, President of the Canadian Association of Pediatric Surgeons, and as a Governor of the American College of Surgeons. Most importantly of all he helped and saved the lives of thousands and thousands of Manitoba children. His impact on the generations of children he cared for, and their families, is truly immeasurable.
Nathan’s passion for golf was ignited during his childhood summers spent at the Winnipeg Beach Golf Course. Southwood Golf and Country Club has been his second home since 1980. His game was excellent and even in his last year he shot under his age twice! He played an honest “play as it lies” game. His golf buddies were true friends and provided him much happiness both on and off the course for over forty years. However, his passion for golf extended well beyond the eighteenth hole. He immersed himself in all aspects of the golf including collecting golf books, antiques, and memorabilia. He was a true scholar of the game, reading golf literature, writing golf poetry, and even rebuilding and repairing antique golf clubs. Unquestionably, his knowledge and passion for the game was limitless.
Nathan approached his many woodworking and workshop projects with zeal and creativity, and he always had many on the go. During the winter he was an avid curler, and in recent years he also enjoyed the study of Yiddish. Nathan never wasted any time and lived his life to the fullest.
Above all, Nathan was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, father-in-law, son-in-law, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, cousin, and granduncle. He loved his family and lived for them, and this love was reciprocated. He met his wife Eva when he was a 20-year-old medical student, and she was 18 years old. They were happily married for 56 years. They loved each other deeply and limitlessly and were proud of each other’s accomplishments. He loved the life and the family they created together. Nathan was truly the family patriarch, an inspiration and a mentor to his children, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, and many others. He shared his passion for surgery and collecting with his son and was very proud to join his daughter’s medical practice (he loved Thursdays). His six grandchildren were his pride and joy and the centre of his world.
Throughout his life Nathan lived up to the credo “May his memory be a blessing.” His life was a blessing for the countless newborns, infants, toddlers, children, and teenagers who he cared for, for his colleagues, for his friends and especially for his family. We love him so much and there are no words to describe how much he will be missed.
A graveside funeral was held at the Shaarey Zedek cemetery on December 15, 2023. Pallbearers were his loving grandchildren. The family would like to extend their gratitude to Rabbi Yosef Benarroch of Adas Yeshurun Herzlia Congregation.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Children’s Hospital Foundation of Manitoba, in the name of Dr. Nathan Wiseman.

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