The Celebrate Israel Festival on May 31 at Pier 94, slated to be the largest gathering to date of Israeli-Americans in New York.
We are troubled by the reactions of some to the “Not Guilty” verdict in the Zimmerman/Martin case. The unanimous conclusion by the jury notwithstanding, there is a hue and cry that racism was behind the shooting and an injustice was done simply because Mr. Zimmerman was acquitted. Indeed, there are calls for the federal government to bring federal charges against him – though no one has taken the trouble to explain where the jurors erred in evaluating the evidence or deal with the fact that the FBI has already issued a report concluding that there is no reason to believe Mr. Zimmerman acted out of racial motives.
It is not that we are insensitive to the emotional reaction to the lamentable death of a 17 year old. But it is an alarming development when a jury verdict is summarily dismissed for vague and unarticulated reasons. Of particular concern to us as New Yorkers is that the individuals vying to succeed Michael Bloomberg as mayor of the city have all, to one degree or another, jumped on the racism bandwagon and seem wholly disinterested in discussing why they think the evidence presented to the jury should have led to a conviction.
New York’s mayor is also the city’s chief magistrate, and we can think of no more odious or dangerous pandering on the part of those seeking the job than asserting that because Trayvon Martin was black, race necessarily drove the episode, regardless of the evidence the jurors had before them.
Thus, William Thompson airily concluded, “Trayvon Martin was killed because he was black. There was no justice done…in Florida.”
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn said the verdict was “a shocking insult. We must also put an end to a culture that presumes any young man of color…is looking to commit a crime simply because he was walking down the street.”
City Controller John Liu weighed in with this written statement: “[The] decision is shocking and highlights the sad reality that the day of equal justice for Trayvon and millions of other young men of color has yet to arrive.”
Public Advocate Bill de Blasio declared the verdict to be “a slap in the face to justice. Trayvon Martin’s death was a terrible tragedy.”
Anthony Weiner was a little more sophisticated, terming the verdict “deeply unsatisfying” but lamenting that “trial by jury is our only choice in a democracy.”
Note that Mr. Weiner, like the other candidates, chose not to say how the jury erred other than to complain that its verdict left an emotional void.
On the other hand we found a post-verdict interview with one of the jurors particularly noteworthy in this regard. The juror spoke anonymously with CNN’s Anderson Cooper and said she did not believe Mr. Zimmerman followed Trayvon Martin because he was black. “I think he just profiled him because he [Mr. Zimmerman] was the neighborhood watch and he profiled anybody who came in and saw them acting strange,” with race having nothing to do with it.
As New York Times reporter Lizette Alvarez paraphrased the juror’s assessment, “It was the overall situation – he was cutting through the back, the townhouse complex had been hit by a series of burglaries, and Mr. Martin seemed to be walking aimlessly in the rain, looking in houses.”
As for Mr. Zimmerman’s defense that he acted in self-defense, the juror, wrote Ms. Alvarez, “said that she and most of the other jurors believed Mr. Zimmerman was the one screaming for help during the recording of a resident’s 911 call because he was the one being beaten. An ‘important’ piece of evidence, she called it. ‘It was a long cry and scream for help – whoever was crying for help was in fear for their life,’ she said.”
In sum, there was much to support the conclusion that Mr. Zimmerman was defending himself and that race played no role. And let us never forget that this is still America, where no one is supposed to be convicted of a crime unless guilt is demonstrated beyond a reasonable doubt, no matter who the accused and the alleged victim are.
Finally, we find it interesting – and quite telling – that the relentless criticism of the all-woman jury has not drawn a backlash from feminist groups and spokespersons who ordinarily would be heard from when the capacity for reasoned judgment by women is put into question.
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We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.
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
Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting
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.”
“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.
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/different-rules-for-different-people/2013/07/17/
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