The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
After nearly five years in office it should be clear that President Obama has always been a man on a mission to change America and the world. To be sure, we couldn’t disagree more with his vision – and in this we think we speak for most Americans.
It would be off the mark, however, to pooh-pooh his sincerity or not to appreciate that he indeed feels strongly about an expansive role for government, a redistribution of wealth and health care reform to name just a few core issues – and dismiss him as some evil person bent on destruction.
Similarly, Mr. Obama declared almost from the onset of his first term that while he would never abandon America’s longstanding relationship with Israel, he wanted to reset or repair U.S. relations with the rest of the world – he specifically mentioned the Arab/Muslim world – which he felt had been compromised by American selfishness and shortsightedness.
But the Obamacare fiasco has become so toxic to the president, sending his approval ratings tumbling and rendering him radioactive even to congressional Democrats worried about their reelection prospects, that he appears to have assumed lame duck status even with three years remaining in his presidency.
So we are not surprised that Mr. Obama would try to jumpstart his efforts to bring about radical change. As we noted last week, there are signs the president, with the assistance of his remaining allies in the Democratic-controlled Senate, is positioning himself to be able “to do pretty much what [he] wants in domestic affairs” despite the opposition of Republicans and some Democrats to his agenda.
Since the Republicans control the House of Representatives and are fiercely resistant to most of Mr. Obama’s initiatives, the Democrats know it will be virtually impossible to achieve their objectives legislatively. So the president, as appears increasingly likely, will pursue his agenda by bypassing Congress through executive orders and agency rulemaking by his appointees and have them approved by ideologically friendly judges he appoints to the U.S . Court of Appeals in Washington, which passes on most executive orders and agency rulemaking.
Case in point: the recent rule change engineered by the Democratic majority in the Senate which effectively removed the filibuster option for Republican senators wishing to oppose Mr. Obama’s administrative agency and judicial appointments as part of the Senate’s advise and consent process, a move that paves the way for friendly appointments, enabling an end-run around the Republican majority in the House.
And the president’s alarming cave-in regarding Iran’s nuclear program, almost universally criticized, indicates to us that he is anxious to rev up his plans in the international arena as well. The concessions he authorized were so transparently unilateral and so much a reprieve for Iran that they show Mr. Obama to be a man in a hurry, willing to throw caution to the wind on the exceedingly slim chance that he can get Iran to act responsibly and honestly.
Indeed, the broad authority granted to a president in the conduct of foreign affairs is a measure of the particular dangers posed by a chief executive who fears his time to make a difference on the world stage is running out.
Accordingly, Secretary of State Kerry’s feverish full court press to reconvene negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians and his suddenly renewed criticism of Israel’s settlement policies can hardly be written off as mere happenstance.
It will be recalled that early in his first term President Obama and his first secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, didn’t mince words in pressuring Israel to ending new settlement construction. It was only after strong congressional pushback that the president retreated from publicly challenging Israel.
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During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai
20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse
Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise
She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes
Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times
Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program
“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me
Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.
The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.
The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.
“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”
The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world
“Let’s get something straight so we don’t kid each other…[the Iranians] already have paved a path to a bomb’s worth of material,” said Mr. Biden. “Iran could get there now if they walked away in two to three months without a deal.”
The president is unwilling to cede any of what he considers his exclusive powers in the area of foreign policy and has struggled mightily to keep the Senate away from any role in the kind of deal to be negotiated.
A committed Religious Zionist, he was a sought-after adviser on Zionist affairs around the world.
More important, Mr. Obama is simply acceding to Iran’s position on the timing of the lifting of sanctions.
For our community, Mrs. Clinton’s foreign policy record will doubtless attract the most attention. And it is a most interesting one.
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