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May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘america’

From Segregation to Confrontation – No Nostalgia for Baltimore

Thursday, April 30th, 2015

The riots in Baltimore are symptomatic of a world-wide disease that has been spreading for decades: Violence.

I have good memories of a good life in the Golden Ghetto where I grew up in Baltimore but I have no nostalgia, not for the Orioles, not for the peace and quiet in our white-only and Jewish-only neighborhood, not for segregation, not for our black maid and not for integration.

Not even for the Orioles when they beat the Dodgers in the World Series, believe it or not.

Yes, I did write “segregation.” Before 1954, when the Supreme Court ruled against school segregation in the Plessy vs. Ferguson suit, I never questioned the practice. What do you want from an eight-year-old?

Those were the days of law and order, but the deep white hatred of blacks in the south was superior to the rule of law, and it took years of protest marches and the assassination of Martin Luther King before integration in school was accepted.

Jews in my youth in Baltimore, like elsewhere in the Diaspora, always were worried about being politically and socially acceptable. The rabbis, especially the modern Orthodox, Conservative and Reform leaders, always spoke out for the blacks, the same people who rented from Jewish slumlords and worked for minimum wages from Jewish employers who were lucky if their employees showed up for work without being drunk.

Our rabbi marched in Washington in a huge rally for integration. Somehow, he always managed to connect it to the Torah.

Listening to King, one would think that God told the whites in the south, “Let my black people go.” That is what happens when Jews desecrate the Torah to co-exist with non-Jews.

Those were the days of the Limousine Liberals, the rich Jews who were in favor of integration, on condition that it was not in their neighborhood.

Those were the days of peaceful protests. They worked.

Today, they don’t.

There were many blacks in my high school class who studied hard, went to university and became part of the “haves.” Many remained with the have-nots.

When the United States declared “war on terror” after the 9/11 attacks, it was a bit late. It should have started years before and should have been called a war on violence., because violence has been working for decades.

Everyone can come up with his or her own reasons for excuse – liberalism, social media, television, movies and drugs, among others.

Underneath all of them is the undercurrent of “gimme, and if you don’t “gimme,” I will kill you.

Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens has been seen all cross America this week for his rant against violence:

No way. No way. No way can this happen in our city. No. Young kids you got to understand something, get off the streets.

Violence is not the answer. Violence has never been the answer. Freddie Gray, we don’t do nothing for him doing this….

You don’t have any right to do what you’re doing to this city. Too many hard-working people build this city… We know what’s going on. We know the problems. We know there was wrong done. We know we’re not getting the right justice. We know all these answers.

But rioting in our streets is wrong. It’s dead wrong.

 

Lewis is speaking of values. He stated, “It takes a whole village to raise one child. We have to redefine what this looks like. We have to redefine what rebuilding Baltimore looks like. Cause there’s too many people putting real sweat, real tears to make our city a better place.”

His values are not “their” values. “Their” values are violence. “Gimme or violence, take your pick.”

Israel Ranks 11th Happiest Nation in the World

Saturday, April 25th, 2015

Pharel Williams knew what he was doing when he came to Israel to collect footage for his on-and-on “happy” music video.

The Jewish State has again found itself among the happiest nations in the world, ranking number 11 in this year’s annual World Happiness Report for the second year running.

Published by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), the report placed Switzerland as the happiest country in the world among 156 countries surveyed in 2014.

Following closely were Iceland, Norway, Denmark and Canada, along with Finland, Netherlands, Sweden, New Zealand and Australia.

The United States is not nearly as happy: America ranked at Number 15.

Hillary Clinton’s Video Launch: ‘I’m Running for President’

Monday, April 13th, 2015

It’s a new day in America; or at least, that’s what Hillary Clinton’s campaign managers would like U.S. voters to believe in a launch video aimed square at Middle America.

Americans have been busy, with many “getting ready” to do things in their lives, as the narrator explains. The camera has been busy too, filming all of them, but gracefully swings its way towards Hillary Clinton.

In a voice-over that runs while she is filmed chatting with the workers in a factory and others at a bare table in a “middle America” luncheonette, Clinton cheerfully chimes in, “I’m getting ready to do something too.”

Her hair is carefully coiffed, yes, but the camera work is equally careful too, with the photographer making sure to soften the focus. Clinton comes across as a main player — but a kinder and gentler one, with fewer harsh wrinkles and angles and no loud colors in her makeup to interfere with the message. She wears a cobalt coat over a sky blue turtleneck sweater with soft white earrings and her makeup is very, very understated – so much so, in fact, that one might even wonder whether she is wearing any makeup at all.

This is intentional: Clinton almost manages to look like the women in the luncheonette around her. Almost, but not quite. The casual elegance in her hair styling and assertive body language make it clear she is not.

And then she explains why, in a stand-up shot while wearing a sleek navy blue jacket over a brightly contrasting tomato-colored shell peeking from beneath, her hair more sharply styled in a chic conservative wave blown back from her face, with understated makeup enhanced just a bit more. The camera’s focus is sharper now, the softness dispensed with.

“I’m running for president.”

Everyday Americans need a champion, Clinton explains in the campaign launch video that depicts the lives and dreams of Middle America, young America, older America, gay America, single, married and family America. All-America.

“I want to be that champion, so you can do more than just get by.”

“I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I’m hitting the road to earn your vote… When families are strong, America is strong.”

The message is concise, the editing is tight and the photography faultless. Clearly, Hillary Clinton has her tech team’s ducks all in a row.

The only problem now is her track record.

Obama: ‘Deal Ensures Iran Won’t Have Nuclear Weapons, Will Keep Israel Safe’

Tuesday, April 7th, 2015

Leopards do not change their spots and Iran’s radical Islamist government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism either. U.S. President Barack Obama apparently does, in fact, know that — he just doesn’t think it’s important enough to stop the U.S. from closing a deal on Tehran’s nuclear program.

Why? Because he says he believes it’s the best way to keep everyone, including Israel, safe.

Actually, Obama believes the world powers led by the United States should close that deal precisely because the Iranian government is not likely to stop sponsoring terrorism. At least, that is the way Obama explained his reasoning in an interview Monday with NPR’s Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep. In the exclusive interview, he also said Israelis are right not to trust Iran, but that they can always trust America to be there to help protect them.

The interview was focused in its entirety on the issue of the nuclear deal worked out between U.S.-led world powers and Iran last week, and how it affects the rest of the world, particularly Israel.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been especially critical of what he has called, from the start, a ‘bad deal” repeatedly urging the “P5+1” world powers to reconsider, and reformat the agreement into a “different, better deal.”

Netanyahu this week expressed his deep concern over the enhanced ability of Iran to promote its terror agenda with newly-increased funds earned when international sanctions are dropped as a result of the agreement.

But Obama told NPR he believes it is more important to keep the focus on preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon – via the current agreement – than dealing with anything else Tehran is doing.

“I’ve been very forceful in saying that our differences with Iran don’t change if we make sure that they don’t have a nuclear weapon,” Obama said.

“They’re still going to be financing Hezbollah, they’re still supporting Assad dropping barrel bombs on children, they are still sending arms to the Houthis in Yemen that have helped destabilize the country.

“There are obvious differences in how we are approaching fighting ISIL (ISIS) in Iraq, despite the fact that there’s a common enemy there.

“So there’s still going to be a whole host of differences between us and Iran — and one of the most profound ones is the vile, anti-Semitic statements that have often come out of the highest levels of the Iranian regime.

“But the notion that we would condition Iran not getting nuclear weapons, in a verifiable deal, on Iran recognizing Israel is really akin to saying that we won’t sign a deal unless the nature of the Iranian regime completely transforms. And that is, I think, a fundamental misjudgment,” he said.

“The — I want to return to this point. We want Iran not to have nuclear weapons precisely because we can’t bank on the nature of the regime changing. That’s exactly why we don’t want [Iran] to have nuclear weapons. If suddenly Iran transformed itself into Germany or Sweden or France, there would be a different set of conversations about their nuclear infrastructure.

“So, you know, the key here is not to somehow expect that Iran changes — although it is something that may end up being an important byproduct of this deal — but rather it is to make sure that we have a verifiable deal that takes off the table what would be a game-changer for them if in fact they possess nuclear weapons.

NPR: The demand that’s being made there, of course, underlies a broader concern that Israelis have. You’re suggesting implying through this nuclear that Israel must live another 10 or 15 years and longer with a country that is fundamentally opposed to the existence of Israel. How should Israelis think about Iran in the years to come?

US President Barack Obama’s Belated Video Passover Greetings

Sunday, April 5th, 2015

Official video Passover greetings from U.S. President Barack Obama to Jews around the world were posted to the Internet Saturday night – 24 hours after the start of the holiday and too late for American Orthodox Jews to have heard his message, since the holiday lasts 48 hours outside the Land of Israel.

The video greeting also came a day after Israeli Jews had already celebrated their own Passover seders as well.

An official press statement from the president on Passover was issued by the White House on April 3, however, in time for the first night of Passover.

Obama explained Saturday night in his video message that he and his family had held a Passover seder at the White House in solidarity with Jewish families celebrating the holiday.

“This weekend is a special weekend,” he said. “It’s a chance to spend time with family … and celebrate miracles in days gone by,” he said, “and to reflect on the blessings God has granted us in our lives.”

“On Friday night, I hosted a Passover seder at the White House. Michelle and I joined Jewish families in America, Israel and around the world as we retold the story of an awesome God who liberated the nation with a mighty Hand and an outstretched arm., and set them on their journey towards the Promised Land.

“The tale that has been passed down from generation to generation and it’s given strength and courage to countless men and women over the years – to Jews facing anti-Semitism, and to the brave young civil rights leaders who led our own country’s march towards justice and equality,” he said, managing to tuck the issue of America’s race relations even into a simple Passover greeting.

He then turned to the upcoming Christian observance of Easter, noting that on Sunday, Christians around the world would be celebrating the holiday.

“Easter is a day of hope, in a season of hope,” he said. It’s a reaffirmation of our belief, not just as Christians, but as Americans, that better days are always ahead of us…

“We believe that with common effort, and shared sacrifice, a brighter future is just around the bend. And we embrace our obligation to do something meaningful; something lasting with the precious time we’ve been allotted on this earth.

“So, to my Jewish friends, Happy Passover. To all Christians celebrating tomorrow, Happy Easter. And to every American, have a wonderful weekend.”

US Declassifies Report, Exposes Details on Israel’s Nuclear Program

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

The United States has just revealed a stunning amount of information on some of Israel’s the most closely guarded secrets: information about its military cooperation with America and 20 years’ worth of details on Israel’s nuclear technology development, up to the 1980s.

The 386-page report, composed in 1987 by the federally funded Institute for Defense Analysis, (an NGO that operates under the Pentagon), is titled “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations.”

It was declassified by the Pentagon in early February – but oddly, the report has been redacted so as to black out or withhold everything the Institute wrote on America’s NATO allies – but to reveal all that American experts assembled in Israel.

The news of the betrayal is only just now beginning to filter in to Israeli media and in fact has made no headlines at all in the U.S. news markets, where networks seem largely unaware of the tsunami that may follow when the news sinks in at home.

Given the timing of the declassification and the selective redaction of the report, one has to wonder about the choices that were made from the top. But a request to publish the report was filed under the Freedom of Information Act three years ago by American journalist Grant Smith.

One of the most revealing parts of the report states the Israelis are “developing the kind of codes which will enable them to make hydrogen bombs.* That is, codes which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.”

The report also compared Israel’s laboratories to those at Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories. Israeli facilities, the report stated, are “an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at our National Laboratories.”

Finally, in some areas, Israeli scientists were apparently ahead of the Americans; the report noted with admiration that Israeli physicists at Rafael (research and development laboratory in Israel) had found “ingeniously clever” solutions to difficult issues. Nevertheless, the report maintained that Israeli scientists had not yet reached the level of “partners”, inasmuch as they had obtained nuclear technologies “based on extrapolations of US equipment and ideas” and that were being produced in the United States.

However, it was found upon further investigation on site that the Jewish State had created “a totally integrated effort in systems development throughout the nation.” All forms of electronic combat operated within an “integrated system, not separated systems for the Army, Navy and Air Force.” The technology in some instances “is more advanced than in the U.S.,” the expert reported.

*A hydrogen bomb is much more powerful than the atomic bomb that wiped out Hiroshima in the 1940s.

Obama ‘Threatening to Abandon Israel’ at UN Security Council

Friday, March 20th, 2015

President Barack Obama appears to be “rushing to the United Nations” to force a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, Fox News reported Thursday night. It’s another nail in the coffin replacing the trust Israelis once had in American presidents, a commentator observed.

In an interview on the cable television news network, U.S. Army Lt.-Col. Ralph Peters (res.), said Obama seems to want to “pick a fight – a deadly fight potentially – with Israel.”

Peters, clearly upset, told the interviewer he could not understand why Obama appears to be aligning the United States with radical Islamist nations against the sole democracy in the Middle East. “Our policy is off the rails,” he said.

Obama’s staff, he maintained, “overplayed their hand so badly that the Israeli people, even those who don’t much like Bibi (Netanyahu), turned this from an economy-based election to a security-based election. Obama’s accommodation with Iran at any cost is very frightening.”

Although most U.S. politicians consider the Iranian nuclear deal to be a policy issue, Peters correctly noted that in Israel, “it is a matter of survival.

“And that’s what this election told us, that the people of Israel, for the first time ever, fear an American president,” he concluded.

However, Fox News journalist Megan Kelly reported in a separate segment that the White House does not see it the same way. She quoted President Obama as saying that he sees “no path to a peace agreement,” and added that the president is “now threatening to abandon Israel at the United Nations.”

The comment referred to Obama’s threat to consider the option of not using America’s veto to block a UN Security Council resolution to grant statehood to the Palestinian Authority, possibly along the 1949 Armistice lines, also known as the “1967 border.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu responded: “You can’t force the people of Israel, who just elected me by a wide margin to bring them peace and security — to secure the State of Israel — to accept terms that would endanger the very survival of the State of Israel.

“I don’t think that’s the direction of American policy,” he said. “I hope it’s not.”

Kelly interviewed Netanyahu about the issue on her Fox News TV program, The Kelly File, late Thursday night.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/obama-threatening-to-abandon-israel-at-un-security-council/2015/03/20/

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