web analytics
August 5, 2015 / 20 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Abe Foxman’

ADL Joins Anti-Netanyahu Team, Says Cancel Speech to Congress

Sunday, February 8th, 2015

Oooh, another bit of drama in the ‘Obama-Bombing-Bibi Soap Opera’ …

The White House has started bringing out the heavy artillery: The New York-based Anti-Defamation League is the latested to be recruited to pressure Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu into canceling his address to the U.S. Congress on March 3.

Yes. It’s another round of messing with Israeli politics, cloaked in the guise of harassing a prime minister over a speech to Congress. But it’s really about trying to rally enough bad blood to make Netanyahu look bad to people who know he’s probably one of the few in Israel who actually knows how to lead, mistakes notwithstanding.

Ah — and lest we forget — it’s also about trying to distract the American public from that other thing: the Iranian nuclear threat that’s being carefully hidden away in a pretty package with a shiny pink bow. It’s about to be sealed in an agreement between Tehran and world powers led by President Barack Obama at the end of March. Obama’s not very happy that Netanyahu is planning to talk about that with Congressional lawmakers.

Somehow ADL national director Abraham Foxman was persuaded to tell The Jewish Daily Forward that the controversy over the address by Netanyahu – who was invited to deliver the speech by the Speaker of House, John Boehner, months ago – is “unhelpful.” Foxman was quoted as saying the Netanyahu should stay home, according to the Feb. 7 edition of the UK-based Huffington Post.

(Frankly, Harriet, how on earth did the UK get into this? Oh, right — they get into anything that has Netanyahu involved — forgot. Carry on…)

“One needs to restart, and it needs a mature adult statement that this was not what we intended,” Foxman said in the Forward interview published Friday. “It has been hijacked by politics. Now is a time to recalibrate, restart and find a new platform and new timing to take away the distractions.”

Foxman said he “stands with Israel” and its concerns over the rapidly closing U.S.-Iran deal on Tehran’s nuclear development activities. However, he said Netanyahu’s upcoming appearance before the Congress has become “a circus.” Instead, he suggested the prime minister postpone the speech until after Israel’s March 17 elections. Or make his case at the AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) conference, scheduled the same week as his address at Congress.

Of course, the scheduled date of the AIPAC conference was the reason Netanyahu moved the date of the speech back to March anyway, even though it was closer to elections. He only travels once that way.

This writer finds it interesting that the White House staff has been so successful at recruiting nearly every major American Jewish organization into trying to pressure the leader of the State of Israel on a matter seriously affecting Israel’s national security.

Were the situation reversed, one wonders how the American people would react if the Kremlin were to play the same games to stop President Barack Obama from addressing the United Nations Security Council at a special session, for instance, or even the Duma in Moscow on a matter of equal gravity affecting American national security?

Another question might be to consider which threats, if any, were implied or outright tossed to haul the ADL on to this bandwagon.

Most of the American Jewish organizations tangled up in this shameful campaign of harassment benefit from at least some government funding for community assistance programs. As such, they are enjoined to avoid any form of political involvement or they lose that funding instantly.

So many questions … so few answers … so little time …

White House Aide to Replace Foxman at ADL

Friday, November 7th, 2014

The Anti-Defamation League has announced that Jonathan Greenblatt, a special assistant to President Obama, will succeed Abraham Foxman who is stepping down as the ADL’s national director this coming July.

“The unanimous choice of the 16-member succession committee is Jonathan A. Greenblatt, a social entrepreneur, government official and corporate executive with extensive experience in building socially conscious businesses and creating innovative public-private partnerships,” noted the ADL’s press release, issued on Thursday, Nov. 6.

Greenblatt, 43, has been the director of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation in the White House Domestic Policy Council, where his portfolio includes national service, civic engagement, impact investing and social enterprise since 2011. He also worked in the Clinton White House and for the first Clinton presidential campaign.

After graduating from Tufts University, which is in Massachusetts, Greenblatt attended Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. One of his ventures was starting a bottled water company, but with a socially responsible theme.

Greenblatt also founded the Impact Economy Initiative at The Aspen Institute, which is funded in part by George Soros’s Open Society Institute. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at Aspen. He also served on the boards of Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles, KaBOOM!, the Starbucks Foundation and water.org.

The grandson of a Holocaust survivor, Greenblatt is married to a Jewish refugee from Iran, Marjan Keypour Greenblatt.

“The threats that face our community today – including the expanding specter of global anti-Semitism, the continued legitimization of anti-Zionism, and the spreading infection of cyber-hate, are serious and sinister,” Greenblatt said Thursday.

“Fighting this scourge and advocating for the rights of all is not just an intellectual pursuit – it’s personal for me, a deeply held value, one that has been seared into my soul.”

It’s OK for Sarah Silverman to Wear a Cross

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

An article in YourJewishNews.com suggests: “Jews outraged after Sarah Silverman wears cross necklace during television interview.”

In a September appearance on “Totally Biased,” a less-than-funny FXX interview show with African-American comic wannabe W. Kamau Bell, the princess of circa 1995 outrage Sarah Silverman talked about how cruel are those “roasts” she starts in, where one’s colleagues as well as perfect strangers from the funny industry make fun of every possible aspect your body and soul. It wasn’t particularly interesting, frankly. It’s been a few years since I’ve heard Silverman tell a fresh, truly funny joke. Mostly she’s been busy attacking Republicans and elderly Florida Jews.

The only reason I went to the You Tube clip – which I can’t embed here or even link to, because of a few lines that would surely get me in trouble – was the buildup in the Shifra Unger story at YJN.

Shifra wrote: “Jews are expressing their anger after Jewish celebrity Sarah Silverman was seen on a television interview wearing a gold cross necklace, according to video uploaded to the Internet.”

And she’s right, I’m enclosing here a screen shot that shows SS with the offending cross. But who are those Jewish multitudes Shifra is writing about? Because she didn’t cite even one, singular, solitary Jew other than herself.

See, I was expecting at least the usual suspects: Abe Foxman, Abe Cooper, or at least our own Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt, whose open letter to Sarah so enraged her father, Donald, that it brought back his Tourette Syndrome.

But Shifra had none of those. Which, in my opinion, is reason enough to change the headline of her story to “Shifra outraged after Sarah Silverman wears cross necklace during television interview.”

The same Donald Silverman, the raging dad, responding to an item in Heeb magazine, wrote: “I told sarah that her nana (long passed) wanted to know about the cross. Sarah told me to tell nana she’s still a Jew. It came from something she wore on a movie set.”

OK, not my job to tell people you should take off symbols belonging to a religion that used them while burning alive Jews across several continents—that’s what ghostly nanas are for. But her sister, the famous Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman, also added:

“I’m her rabbi sister and called her and asked WTF? She got it, like our dad said, on a recent movie set and she just liked that it pointed to her [popular slang word meaning mammary glands]. Oy. :-)”

That aside, does anyone among our readers feel even a tinge of sadness, much less full blown outrage at the image of this Jewish girl from New Hampshire (I wrote originally ‘upstate New York,’ until Howard Graubard from Brooklyn set me right) with a cross around her neck?

Frankly, the most I’m feeling is a sense of relief. And a kind of twisted national pride: as long as Sarah Silverman kept her somewhat Jewish personality, her material was pretty strong. I liked her outrageous lyrics: “I love you more than bears love honey / I love you more than Jews love money / I love you more than Asians are good at math.” It has racial bias coupled with stereotypes, and in the context of a young girl’s love song it’s funny. But now that Sarah is going Christian, the same stuff comes across kind of antisemitic…

In any event, if Sarah is leaving us – which she has done anyway, a long time ago – it’s all good. The goyim could use a person with a good sense of humor, and we have plenty of ’em to spare.

Somebody tell Shifra Unger ain’t none of us Jews outraged, false alarm.

Don’t Push Too Hard Against Hagel Nomination

Wednesday, January 9th, 2013

A final note about the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense. I have pointed out in two separate posts that his nomination for this position is troubling. That said I would urge the Jewish community to not make Hagel’s comment about the “Jewish Lobby intimidating a lot of people up here” a self fulfilling prophecy.

It’s one thing to express our opinions publicly about the man, pro or con. But it is another to try and flex any muscle over it. Not that we have any real muscle in Washington. But that is the perception. While it is the right of every American to lobby congress for their legitimate needs, I think our case has already been well made.

In fact, I’m not even sure we had to make our case here. Hagel made it for us. There is sufficient concern among members of Congress from both parties to vet Hagel very carefully before voting for him. Some have already said that they will not support him.

As I have said I hope he won’t be confirmed but I believe he will be. He will give ‘all the right answers’ to questions asked of him.

And although I strongly suspect that he is not a friend of the Jewish people and harbors the kind of soft anti Jewish bigotry that James Baker and Pat Buchanan have, he will not completely abandon Israel’s needs as long as the President continues his present policies with respect to those issues. One can agree or disagree with some of the President’s policies, but over-all they favor Israel’s survival as a Jewish State. Hagel is enough of a patriot to understand that he serves at the pleasure of the President. He may voice disagreement with him, but he knows who is charge.

At this point I think we ought to let Congress do its job. I am very pleased with what I have heard so far from many members of Congress on both sides of the political aisle who were interviewed about him. Putting any more pressure on Congress would in my view be counter-productive along the lines of Hagel’s accusations.

On that level, I applaud the ADL’s approach. Here is what their national director, Abe Foxman said about it in an official statement:

Senator Hagel would not have been my first choice, but I respect the President’s prerogative.

I trust that the confirmation process will provide an opportunity for Senator Hagel to address concerns about his positions, which seem so out of sync with President Obama’s clear commitment on issues like Iran sanctions, isolating Hamas and Hezbollah and the president’s strong support for a deepening of U.S. Israel strategic cooperation.

I particularly hope Senator Hagel will clarify and explain his comments about the “Jewish Lobby” that were hurtful to many in the Jewish Community.

I am not always in agreement with Mr. Foxman. But I think he got it exactly right this time.

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Jewish Response to Hagel Nomination Tepid to Furious

Tuesday, January 8th, 2013

As expected, yesterday, January 6, U.S. President Barack Obama nominated former U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel (R-NB) for the position of Secretary of Defense.

The confirmation process ahead may be a bruising one, although many in the mainstream and “progressive” media are trying to paint the tepid announcements and refusals by centrist Jewish groups to officially oppose Hagel for the position as akin to a hecksher.  But not so fast.

In a Twitter world occupied by liberal media-types, the same people repeatedly retweeted each other’s statements with tepid comments about Hagel’s acceptability to Jewish Democrats, in an effort to create the appearance of a groundswell.

In what amounted to news for some,  Jewish organizations widely viewed as almost entirely peopled by Democrats issued statements harshly criticizing Hagel’s positions and statements on Israel and on Jews, but refraining from directly confronting their party leader by officially opposing the Hagel nomination.

For example, the press release issued by the Anti-Defamation League was a study in pretzel-twisting.  While recounting the many reasons why the ADL is unhappy about the nomination of Chuck Hagel for Secretary of Defense, the organization pulls back at the brink and does not  officially oppose the nomination.  Here’s part of their release:

Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director, said:

Senator Hagel would not have been my first choice, but I respect the President’s prerogative.

I trust that the confirmation process will provide an opportunity for Senator Hagel to address concerns about his positions, which seem so out of sync with President Obama’s clear commitment on issues like Iran sanctions, isolating Hamas and Hezbollah and the president’s strong support for a deepening of U.S. Israel strategic cooperation.

I particularly hope Senator Hagel will clarify and explain his comments about the “Jewish Lobby” that were hurtful to many in the Jewish Community.

The League previously expressed concerns with the Senator’s record on Israel and Iran, and said of his record relating to Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship that it was “at best disturbing and at worst, very troubling,” citing his remarks about the Jewish lobby and his voting record on Israel and Iran.

It seems as though the best most pro-Israel leaders who are reluctant to cross President Obama on his “prerogative,” were willing to do was to downplay the policy-making role of secretary of defense.  The National Jewish Democratic Council, which had also publicly criticized Hagel’s positions on Israel in the past, was willing to rely on their great faith in President Obama’s support and concern for Israel to let the Hagel nomination pass without an objection.  The NJDC statement:

“President Barack Obama’s unprecedented pro-Israel credentials are unquestionable, and setting policy starts and stops with the president. While we have expressed concerns in the past, we trust that when confirmed, former Sen. Chuck Hagel will follow the president’s lead of providing unrivaled support for Israel — on strategic cooperation, missile defense programs, and leading the world against Iran’s nuclear program.”

Israeli media sang from the same hymnal as Israel Channel 2’s foreign news editor, Arad Nir, pointed out, “Obama is still the commander-in-chief.”  That was unlikely to be much comfort for those for whom President Obama’s policies are a source of concern.

On the other side of the journalistic political spectrum, the Emergency Committee for Israel pulled off a coup worthy of the Merry Pranksters of the 1960’s, but 21st Century style.  ECI had obtained the domain name ChuckHagel.Com.  If you click the link you are taken to a website which provides information about the former Senator on various issues of importance including Iran, Israel, Syria, public statements made by politicians, both Republican and Democratic.  As the headline of the website clearly shows, ECI believes the information on the site shows that  Hagel is “not a responsible option” for the position of Secretary of Defense.

When Obama, a Democrat, announced Hagel’s nomination this morning, he said that his selection of a Republican “represents the bipartisan tradition that we need more of in Washington.”

Republicans roared back.

“He has long severed his ties with the Republican Party,” Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said Sunday. Graham called the selection “an in-your-face nomination by the president to all of us who are supportive of Israel.”  Sen. John Conryn (R-TX) has already said he will vote against Hagel’s nomination, and predicted that many Republicans would join him in voting against Hagel.  “Some of Sen. Hagel’s positions would either render America weaker or create ambiguity in regard to our role in maintaining security and peace,” said Conryn.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-response-to-hagel-nomination-tepid-to-furious/2013/01/08/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: