Situated in the south of Jerusalem, the project benefits from one of the city’s most prestigious and desirable locales, nestled in a particularly attractive area between the Talpiot neighborhood and the green groves of Kibbutz Ramat Rachel.
Over the next few years, the Jewish community will face serious challenges. Throughout this presidential election, we always understood that whoever was elected president would shape how our country deals with these challenges.
From the beginning, both Republican and Democratic candidates competed for support in the Jewish community. They elaborated on their solutions for critical issues like our troubled economy, the threat of a nuclear Iran, continued Hamas violence against Israel and the need for energy independence.
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) not only helped raise these critical issues, but helped the Jewish community get clear answers.
Since the first days of the election, the RJC challenged President-elect Barack Obama to articulate his positions on these issues, and through our actions, let him know that the Jewish community would carefully examine his responses. As a result, neither party nor candidate took the support of the Jewish community for granted. The RJC is proud to have played a role in facilitating this important debate.
Early on, there were serious and legitimate reasons to be concerned with Obama’s positions on Israel, Iran and the Middle East. Nervous Jewish Democrats mobilized as never before. Numerous third-party groups formed and scores of high-profile surrogates flooded the community dedicated to addressing these concerns and to electing the Democratic candidate for president.
The Obama campaign itself deployed an unprecedented amount of resources and manpower into the Jewish community to maintain this traditional support. Despite this tsunami of Democratic resources, Obama was unable to exceed Bill Clinton or Al Gore, and only slightly improved on John Kerry’s support in the Jewish community. Unlike many other constituencies, which had huge increases in support for Obama, Jewish support for him showed only slight gains and lagged far behind other key demographics.
Throughout the fall, through our efforts, the RJC challenged the candidates to specify their policies. If Obama’s positions on Israel, Iran and the Middle East evolved throughout this election, it stands testament that he, and his campaign, understood the RJC’s message and adjusted theirs.
While we congratulate President-elect Obama on a hard-fought campaign, we were disturbed by some emerging trends that we hope do not continue. Throughout the campaign, Democrats consistently resorted to ugly intimidation to silence our message and stifle this important debate. It even went so far as the Obama campaign and other Democratic entities refusing to debate RJC surrogates.
When the RJC brought up legitimate policy differences, some Democratic surrogates reflexively called our questions “smear and fear” tactics and refused to discuss the important issues. Some discourse was marred by episodes of vicious attacks against our organization – at times even becoming personal.
One Democratic surrogate and former Clinton administration official likened the RJC to Yasir Arafat. Clearly, this goes beyond any acceptable level of discourse.
Unfortunately, the trend of Democrats punishing those who disagree with their policies seems to be continuing past Election Day. Only two days after President-elect Obama’s victory, there were reports that Sen. Harry Reid is contemplating threats, rebukes and penalties against Sen. Joe Lieberman over Lieberman’s decision to back Sen. McCain’s presidential campaign.
Throughout the campaign, Obama promised a post-partisan era of cooperation. If he is truly sincere about that commitment, seeking retribution against Sen. Lieberman is not the right way to start his administration.
The kind of behavior Sen. Reid is exhibiting is an all too-familiar hallmark of the Obama campaign and other Jewish Democratic entities. It is unfortunate that Jewish Democrats who engaged in these blackball, retributive tactics do not revere, as we do, the Jewish intellectual tradition of debate.
Our tradition teaches us that we hold the capacity to accept multiple opinions and to even value opposing positions. The Talmud says that these opposing positions are to be valued as they may prove to be correct someday.
Today, our nation moves forward into a new chapter. We come together in the Jewish community not as Democrats and Republicans but as Jewish Americans united in our resolve to move our country forward.
We pray that President-elect Obama will stay true to his campaign commitments and promises to the Jewish community. But one thing is certain: while our Jewish tradition teaches us to not shy away from debate, it also commands us to not stand idly by.
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Bibi’s speech to Congress will bring respect and honor to the Jewish Nation from the US & the world
Obama & Putin have handwriting/signature clues indicating differences between public & private life
It’s time for a new Jewish policy regarding Ramallah, NOT just because of the yarmulke incident
If Jackson were alive he’d denounce Democratic party’s silence towards virulent anti-Semitism
Victim of Palestinian Arab terrorism, a victor in NY federal court, after years of being ignored by Justice Dept.
March 2013: Arabs hurled stones hitting the Biton’s car; Adele’s mother swerved the car-into a truck
I can tell you that Cablevision has been astonished at how high we rank.
The real issue is that in many respects the president has sought to recalibrate American values and our system of government.
Former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman, writing in the Washington Post on Sunday, provided one of the clearest and most compelling analyses we’ve seen of the importance of the prime minister’s speech.
A central concept in any discussion about happiness is achieving clarity. “Ain simcha ela k’hataras hasefeikos” – there is no joy as that experienced with the removal of doubt.
“Je Suis..,” like its famous origin 400 years ago, implies the ability & freedom to think & question
Many anti-Israel demonstrations at universities have a not-so-latent anti-Semitic agenda as well
When Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told the passionately pro-Israel members of the Faith and Freedom Coalition that he would “do the opposite” of the things that President Obama has done regarding Israel, the room erupted in applause. They understood exactly what he meant because they know the Obama administration has not strengthened the U.S.-Israel relationship. President Obama has brought that strategic alliance to its lowest point in decades.
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