Next week we will be sharing with our readers a full list of our recommended candidates for the November 6 elections. In that connection, we interviewed Mayoral candidates Mark Green and Michael Bloomberg. Both came across as intelligent and committed and each offered a vision for New York City. Details of the Green/Bloomberg interviews and our conclusions next week.
Once again, Rudy Giuliani has demonstrated why his tenure as Mayor of New York these past years marked a transformation of our city. There are those who say that he should have accepted the $10 million for the World Trade Center victims fund from that Saudi prince who accompanied his check with the advice that the United States "should re-examine its policies in the Middle East and adopt a more balanced stance toward the Palestinian cause. Our Palestinian brethren continue to be slaughtered at the hands of the Israelis while the world turns the other cheek." They said the Mayor should just have issued a disclaimer.
In principle, we disagree with the notion of U.S. public support for a Palestinian state. The record is clear that, whatever Yasir Arafat and his crowd may claim to the Bush Administration, the Palestinians have no present intention of living as a peaceful neighbor with Israel.
We note with much pride that two prominent members of the Orthodox Jewish community have been nominated by the Democratic Party Judicial Convention to the New York State Supreme Court. They will be running in the November 6 election.
"Big Town Chronicles/The Daily News History of Modern New York" is a regular feature in the New York Daily News and often provides interesting, nostalgic glimpses back into New York City's recent past. A wide variety of topics have found their way into the column, usually with little attendant controversy. So we were shocked by what appeared on Monday October 8, 2001 under the title, Hasidim. December 1978-February 1979. Not only was there nothing at all of the rich Hasidic life in New York, but the article was downright nasty. With our emphasis, here are some excerpts:
The Monitor will return next week to compiling some of the more outrageous anti-U.S. and anti-Israel statements made by prominent leftists in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist atrocities. This week, however, attention must be paid to a welcome and long overdue media phenomenon: the roughing up, by an array of pundits who have replaced their rubber gloves with brass knuckles, of the always duplicitous Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
We note parenthetically the role of New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver in ensuring that the tragic need for a postponement of the primary elections and subsequent runoffs did not result in any voting on Jewish holidays. That the Democratic primary runoff was scheduled for October 11, a Thursday, rather than Tuesday, October 9, and offering alternate accommodations for those observing Succoth that day, is, in large measure, a tribute to his input as one of the three top decision-makers in Albany.
Although Prime Minister Sharon's "appeasement" analogy was not exactly apt ? President Bush is a proven friend of the Jewish State and is certainly no fainthearted Neville Chamberlain, nor is Israel a defenseless Czechoslovakia ? he did succeed in making an important point. There is no gainsaying that the task before us in seeking to uproot terrorism around the world does not lend itself to a quick solution. Indeed, everyone in the Administration, from Mr. Bush on down, continues to caution that we are in for a long haul.
To those who harbor, in the back of their minds, the uneasy notion that America's friendship with Israel really was the reason for the September 11 events, an article by Holger Jensen in Sunday's New York Post should be required reading. In the course of making a point about how the nations of the world seem to tolerate terrorism when it promotes their immediate political aims, Jensen also provides a revealing catalog of the Osama bin Laden terror agenda:
The folks over at the American Jewish Congress say that the State Department's inclusion of Palestinian groups on its list of "Foreign Terrorist Organizations" should reassure Israel. They are dead wrong! Those organizations are not on the other, more important list the State Department issued last week. To be sure, U.S. citizens are prohibited from financially supporting groups on the Foreign Terrorist Organizations list and all U.S. financial institutions are required to freeze the assets under their control.
The Monitor's most recent undertaking, interrupted by unavoidable circumstances last week, involved a look at some of the early left-wing reaction to the terrorist attacks on America. That our friends on the left would adopt a blame America and/or Israel party line should have been obvious from the get-go, and was exemplified by essays written by Robert Fisk in The Nation and Gary Kamiya on Salon.com.
The two contenders for the Democratic nomination for Mayor of New York City in the October 11th primary election runoff are Mark Green and Fernando Ferrer. We urge those of our readers who are registered Democrats to vote for Mr. Green.
As the days go by, the outlines of President Bush's strategy for dealing with the aftermath of September 11th are becoming more and more clear. As the President intimated in his riveting "This Is War"/"You Are Either With Us Or Against Us" speech to the nation, and as Secretaries Powell, Rumsfeld and Fleischer have since fleshed out, the United States is trying to craft the broadest possible coalition ? including even those who have heretofore harbored or otherwise assisted "terrorists." And the focus of the coalition is to be on terrorism with a "global reach" ? as opposed to "terrorism" in all its forms. The primary goals are to make the overall effort to appear as nothing other than a confrontation with international outlaws and to make as many, particularly in the Arab world, part of the solution with a vested interest in its success rather than having them remain as part of the problem.
It took American leftists about 48 hours or so to find their voices after the Sept. 11 attack on America, but find them they did. There were no surprises.Once the initial shock wore off and it became clear that this was not Oklahoma City, not the doing of any home-grown terrorists, the rationalizations and excuses began to fly. And, as always seems to be the case with those on the left, the real culprits were not Islamic extremists but the U.S. and Israel.
Given the fact that in Operation Desert Storm the United States literally rescued Saudi Arabia from a certain takeover by Iraq, it is particularly gnawing that they are hemming and hawing so much about helping us with going after Osama bin Laden. But, as reported by the New York Daily News, there is another troubling issue concerning Saudi Arabia that seems to be lurking just below the surface. That country seems inordinately interested in the progress of the investigation.
In an astounding development, a Gallup poll commissioned by the daily Ma'ariv newspaper last week has revealed that approximately 20% of Jewish Israelis believe that "such people as Shimon Peres, Yossi Beilin, and Uri Savir, who participated in the formation of the Oslo agreements, should be made to stand trial." And as the noted analyst Dr. Aaron Lerner of IMRA has observed, "the groundbreaking significance lies in the very fact that this question was included in a poll by the mainstream Israeli media."
When President Bush went to Congress for a resolution confirming his authority to mount this nation's worldwide war against terrorists and those who harbored them, he gave voice to the broad sentiment of Americans and significantly departed from the approach of some of his spokesmen who initially focused not on the systemic terrorist problem but on the particular acts of terror. Yet even after the President's inspiring words of resolve, it seemed that there was an unseemly period of negotiations with the Congress. Indeed, we could not understand why the resolution took even the four days it did to be forthcoming. In his inimitable fashion, Charles Krauthammer, writing in the Washington Post on the very day after the attacks, seemed to sum up the national feeling: