Hadassah hospital recovery plan calls for cuts, bailout
TEL AVIV — A recovery plan for Jerusalem’s bankrupt Hadassah Medical Organization calls for an additional $869 million in funding and cuts to the hospital’s services.
The plan, submitted on Sunday by the court-appointed trustees managing the recovery, would draw funding equally from the Israeli government and the Hadassah Women’s Zionist Organization of America, which owns the hospital. Under the plan, Hadassah would lay off 30 doctors and researchers, as well as hundreds of employees, according to Haaretz. The hospital also would close several departments and restructure its board. The hospital is saddled with nearly $370 million in debt and an annual deficit exceeding $85 million. Hadassah declared bankruptcy in February after two large Israeli banks cut off its credit lines.
The Jerusalem District Court gave the hospital a 90-day stay of protection from creditors, after which the medical organization will be restructured or liquidated. The court must approve the recovery plan, and an assembly of Hadassah’s employees and creditors were scheduled to vote on it Tuesday. Leonid Eidelman, chairman of the Israel Medical Association, which represents Hadassah’s doctors, said the association could not approve the plan in its current form. — JTA
Knesset panel advances bill keeping murderers in prison without parole
JERUSALEM — An Israeli parliamentary committee approved a bill that would allow murderers to be sentenced to life in prison without parole.The measure, which passed the Knesset’s Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday by a vote of 7-3, aims to prevent future releases from prison of Palestinian terrorists who killed Jews in swaps for either Jewish hostages or for advancing the peace process.Committee members from the Likud, Yisrael Beiteinu and Jewish Home parties voted in favor of the bill; members from Yesh Atid and the Hatnua party of Justice Minister Tzipi Livni voted against it.The bill’s sponsor, Ayelet Shaked of Jewish Home, told Israel Radio before the vote that the measure would equally affect Muslim and Jewish murderers. “Just as Arab murderers wouldn’t receive a pardon, neither would Yigal Amir,” Shaked said, referring to the assassin of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The bill would prevent the president from using his power to pardon criminals in cases such as terrorist attacks, nationalistic murderers and the killing of a child. A judge would have to approve such pardons. Before becoming law, the bill must pass three readings in the Knesset. Economy Minister Naftali Bennett said in a post on Facebook that his party will work to quickly advance the bill through the Knesset. “Killers should die in prison and not celebrate at home,” he wrote. — JTA
Israeli officials reiterate: Israel does not spy on U.S.
JERUSALEM — Senior Israeli officials insisted that Israel does not spy on the United States in the wake of a second Newsweek article accusing Israel of “aggressive spying” against the U.S.
Strategic and Intelligence Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz told Israel’s Channel 10 over the weekend that someone is trying to ruin the cooperation between Israel and the United States by providing such information. The later article appeared Thursday; the first came out two days earlier.
Former Israeli Military Intelligence chief Amos Yadlin on Saturday night called the accusations “absolutely baseless,” telling Channel 2 that “Israel is unequivocally not spying in the U.S.”
Newsweek reported that while then-Vice President Al Gore was on a visit to Israel in 1998, an Israeli spy hid in the air duct in his hotel bathroom. The article said that such incidents are not widely known because the aggressor is Israel.
An unnamed U.S. official quoted in the article rejected the assertion that the espionage accusations “had the whiff of anti-Semitism in it.”
“It has nothing to do with anti-Semitism,” the official said. “It has only to do with why [Israel] gets kid-glove treatment when, if it was Japan doing it or India doing it at this level, it would be outrageous.”— JTA
UC Davis divestment measure fails
The student senate at the University of California, Davis did not approve a divestment resolution targeting Israel.
The vote at 2 a.m. May 8 ended in a tie, with five student senators voting in favor, five opposed and two abstaining. The student government vice president, Maxwell Kappes, declined to break the tie, abstaining instead.
The proposed resolution had called on the University of California to divest itself of holdings in companies “that aid in the Israeli occupation of Palestine and illegal settlements in Palestinian territories.”
The University of California system has been an active battleground in the fight over Israel-related divestment. Earlier this year, student governments at UCLA and UC Santa Barbara voted down divestment resolutions, while UC Riverside’s student government narrowly approved one. — JTA