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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Baltimore’

‘Undecided’ Sen. Cardin Predicts Congress Will Back Obama on Iran Deal

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin said Tuesday he remains undecided on how to vote on the nuclear deal but that he is sure President Barack Obama will win the needed support in the Senate to prevent a veto-proof majority against the agreement.

Speaking to students at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, Sen. Cardin did not name which Democratic senators will fall in line but said thematic number of 34 will be reached by the end of the week.

The Associated Press said that Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware is scheduled to talk about the deal later today and probably will support President Obama.

Cardin is facing intense pressure from Jewish voters in Maryland to vote against the agreement. He is a member of Baltimore’s largest modern Orthodox synagogue that generally is very supportive of Israel.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Meet the 16 Democratic Senators Who Can Scuttle ObamaDeal

Thursday, July 16th, 2015

Opponents to the agreement with Iran are lacking approximately nine Democratic senators to override a Presidential veto of its rejection, but the truth that is an opposition victory might have limited meaning.

Congress cannot strike down the agreement, which was made along with five other Western powers. All it can do is block President Obama’s agreement to lift U.S. sanctions.

Doing so would be very significant, both politically for President Obama and the Democratic party as well as for American’s relations with the other P5+1 countries and Iran.

There are seven undecided Democratic senators, according to a tally by the Washington Post’s Amber Phillips.

If all of them turn against President Obama, it will be easier to convince a couple of others whose positions are not yet known.

The seven undecided Democrats, acceding to Phillips, are:

Michael Bennet of Colorado;

Ben Cardin of Maryland;

Bob Casey of Pennsylvania;

Joe Donnelly of Indiana;

Tim Kaine of Virginia;

Bill Nelson of Pennsylvania;

and Mark Warner of Virginia.

Cardin is one of the most important of the undecided. He attends Baltimore’s largest and wealthiest modern Orthodox Beth Tfiloh Congregation, which is highly pro-Israel.

He told NPR this week:

Israel’s security issues are of major concern. We don’t want to see an arms race in the Middle East, so it is a factor. And it’s a factor that I’m sure we will carefully consider.

Earlier in the week, Cardin told Bloomberg:

There is no trust when it comes to Iran. In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments.

The nine Democratic Senators whose positions are not known are:

Cory Booker of New Jersey;

Maria Cantwell of Washington;

Claire McCaskill of Missouri;

Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota’

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota;

Barbara Mikulski of Maryland;

Sen. Patty Murray of Washington;

Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan; and

Sen. Jon Tester of Montana.

One of the most pivotal of the “unknowns” is McCaskill. She stated this week:

Preventing Iran from gaining a nuclear weapon is paramount to our national security, and if this agreement accomplishes that goal, it will make the world a safer place for America and our allies. I plan to spend the coming weeks taking a hard look at the agreement’s details to ensure that it will result in a verifiable way to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran.”

Phillip’s tally shows 43 senators “leaning” to vote against ObamaDeal, including New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and only 26 are in favor or are leaning in favor.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Jerusalem Jews Launch Vigilante Police Force against Arab Terror

Monday, June 22nd, 2015

Jews in eastern Jerusalem began defending themselves against Arab terror Sunday night and patrolled the streets of the Maaleh Zeitim after a barrage of firebomb and rock-throwing attacks.

Jerusalem City Councilman Aryeh King, who lives in Maaleh Zeitim, said:

The police continue to abandon me and my neighbors. In light of the inability of the police to stop attacks against us, a neighborhood police force began operating tonight.

He said four Molotov cocktails and dozens of rocks were hurled at his house last night in another round of Arab attacks that seems to escalate with each day in the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

A firebomb also was thrown at a bus on its way to the Binyamin region in Samaria, and the driver was slightly injured by glass in his eye from a smashed windshield.

A hail of rocks was thrown at police at Damascus Gate, where a terrorist from Hebron stabbed and critically wounded a Border Police officer in the morning. The policeman managed to shoot and wound the terrorist and his condition remains serious to critical.

In Ramleh, near Ben Gurion Airport, yeshiva student Elad Ben Dayan said Arab youth threw firecrackers at the yeshiva courtyard and tried to assault yeshiva students.

“It was a miracle no one was hurt,” he said.

The situation in Maaleh Zeitim and in other Jewish neighborhoods in eastern and northern Jerusalem has grown from bad to worse the past year, and King has complained to the police several times of inadequate protection.

Rock-throwing ambushes, with Arab cars blocking roads to trap Jewish motorists, are common.

The vigilante force could be a huge contribution to security of the police and the Jewish residents were to follow the example of similar forces outside of Israel and cooperate.

In Baltimore, the Northwest Citizens Patrol has won praise from police for preventing crime, and the police coordinate action with the local force.

In Israel, the police and Jewish residents of eastern Jerusalem as well as in most of Judea and Samaria see each other as enemies. Every Jewish community in Judea and Samaria has its own first-response team to beef up security because the IDF cannot deploy soldiers in every town, but police generally are negative towards “settlers.” Hundreds of incidents have been reported of the police releasing Jews after arbitrarily charges them with violations that did not occur.

The same is true in Jerusalem, where the police would prefer not have to deal with thousands of Arab rioters protesting the presence of Jews.

The local force does not have powers of arrest, but a constant patrol can be a deterrent, although Arabs bent on violence undoubtedly will test them in the beginning with attacks.

If King and the police can get on the same page, they might discover that they are allies and not foes.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

‘Fed Up’ Black Voters May Help Elect Republican President in 2016

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Black voters disappointed by President Barack Obama may stay at home in next years’ presidential election or even vote Republican and escort the GOP into the White House.

The disappointment among blacks towards President Obama is similar to Middle East Muslims’ frustration with the President two years after his “reaching us to Muslims” speech in Cairo, except that American blacks have not reacted with the type of violent Arab Spring rebellions that turned to ashes whatever stability that existed in several Middle East countries.

Americans are more apathetic and simply “turn off,” but recent riots in Ferguson and Baltimore have brought back unwanted memories of the race riots of 1967.

American blacks were ecstatic in 2008 after the election of the first black president in the United States. Even Condoleezza Rice, a black, an avowed Republican and Secretary of State in the Bush administration, said she was proud when Americans voted Obama into the White House. Obama was liked by blacks not just because of his color but also because of his personality and style that showed a confident understanding and identity with the man on the street.

The Washington Post’s Robert Samuels, under the headline “Is it even worth backing Clinton?” wrote on Tuesday of one Florida voter’s feeling today after more than six years of Obama:

What was the point? We made history, but I don’t see change….“We got the president his job, but did he help us get any good jobs? I still need a raise.”

Samuels wrote, “Even a black president was unable to heal places still gripped by violence, drugs and joblessness.”

What has changed for blacks since 2008? The Tampa Tribune reported in 2013:

Blacks’ median income has fallen 11.1% under Obama, more than twice as much as whites. The disparity in wealth between whites and blacks nearly doubled during Obama’s tenure. According to CNN, the median net worth of the average white person is now 22 times as much as the average black person’s wealth, $110,729 to $4,995. The disparity between white and Hispanic wealth increased to a 15 to 1 ratio.

The identification by color with President Obama is indicated in the same report, which reported, “Despite these facts, a recent Pew survey found that the number of blacks who thought they were better off now than they were five years earlier almost doubled since 2007.”

Clinton can talk and promise all she wants, but she can’t change her color, except when she gets red-face in anger.

The only black candidate running for president is a Republican, retired Florida surgeon and political novice Dr. Ben Carson.

The Democratic front-runner is Hillary Clinton, who is the spitting image of the WASP do-good, limousine liberal aristocracy. Her most senior competition is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist and a Jew, the latter adjective far from being a magnet for enthusiasm among blacks.

Clinton faces a high hurdle among blacks because, as Samuels wrote, “If Obama’s presidency didn’t do more to help African Americans, then how could hers? She has promised “real reforms”,” but it is questionable if voters will buy promises.

A Washington Post-ABC poll shows that Clinton has 75 percent among African Americans who thought that Clinton understood the problems of “people like you,”, but that still is far below the 91 percent approval that Obama received. In addition, lack of enthusiasm will keep a significant number of the 75 percent at home on election day, even if does not rain.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Black Republican Ben Carson Running for President

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon and black Republican Dr. Ben Carson has announced he is running to be his party’s nominee for president in next year’s election.

Dr. Carson visited Israel in December, reported here, an unofficial prerequisite for presidential candidates.

The 63-year-old Republican is from Detroit, lived in Baltimore for more than 35 years and now lives in Florida. He was the first black doctor to head the Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgery unit.

His lack of both political experience and ties with such factions as the Tea Party offers Republican voters a distinct choice among the growing number of candidates. However, he does not have the organization and political experience of other contenders, the most popular being Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, also from outside the political world, is considering tossing her hat in the political ring.

Dr. Carson grew up in poverty and has the appeal to white voters as their desired image of an America where anyone can achieve success through hard work and without making himself out to be a victim.

He has been a harsh critic of President Barack Obama, whom Dr. Carson once described as someone who “seems to believe more in a utopian view of cradle-to-grave care.”

He has made headlines, for better and for worse, on the issue of same-sex marriage. Below is an interview on CNN in which he maintained that homosexuality is a choice and that each state should decide for itself whether or not to allow marriages of homosexuals. He said in the interview that many people become homosexuals after being in prison.

After harsh criticism, he apologized, and Dr. Carson stated before announcing his candidacy today:

I’ve come to recognize that when you use certain terms, people can no longer hear anything else you say. As you’ll notice in the last several weeks, I’ve been able to get my points across without inflammatory language.

In his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in December, Dr. Carson placed a note between the bricks and later referred to King Solomon in an interview with CBN and said he asked God for “Solomonic wisdom on what to do” concerning the race for president.

His stand on Israel is clear, and he told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,

“Until such time as their neighbors are no longer desirous of their elimination,” Israel’s continued control of the West Bank “makes perfectly good sense.”

Dr. Carson’s strong conservative stand may appeal to Christian evangelists despite his being black.

He said at the national Prayer Breakfast earlier this year that the United States is headed for “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.” He also declared:

We have imposed upon people restrictions on what they can say, on what they can think. And the media is the largest proponent of this, crucifying people who say things really quite innocently.

President Barack Obama was sitting a few feet away, and although Carson did not directly blame the president for America’s ills, the White House was upset.

“Within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him,” Carson later wrote in his book “One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future.”

Carson added in his book, “I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Jewish Life in Baltimore: Private Guards on Shabbat

Sunday, May 3rd, 2015

Baltimore’s Shomrim Safety Patrol organization arranged for private security officers to patrol the city’s large Jewish neighborhood on Shabbat in the wake of riots this week.

Baltimore Jewish Life reported, Friday, “We as a community pray for calm and peace to be restored, and that all the citizens of this great city be safe and secure in their neighborhoods and homes.”

Several Jewish businesses and store were looted during the riots following the death of Freddie Gray while he was in prison.

Six police officers have been charged in connection with the death of Gray, bringing out victory marches by the black community but doubts whether the charges will results in prosecutions.

The Baltimore Jewish community is one of the largest and most contiguous in the United States. It also is one of the most religious and most Zionist when it comes to giving money to Israel and less Zionist when it comes to moving to Israel.

Approximately one-third of the area’s more than 100,000 Jews are Orthodox or part of the Hareidi Agudah community, and a large percentage of the others are Conservative or Reform.

There are many pro-Israel voices in the community, especially in the national religious synagogues, one of which is attended by Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin. Like elsewhere, Aliyah is preached more than practiced.

Maybe Aliyah was going through the minds of Jews walking to and from synagogues on Shabbat, but more likely, they were thinking about getting through the day unharmed and not about the day after tomorrow.

Below: Video of riot in Baltimore”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

6 Baltimore Cops Charged with Homicide, Murder of Freddie Gray

Friday, May 1st, 2015

The Maryland State Attorney has charged six police officers in Baltimore with homicide – and one with second-degree murder – in the death of Freddie Gray.

Marilyn Mosby, 35, the state’s attorney for Baltimore City, told a news briefing she the charges were being filed because officers did not provide medical help upon Gray’s request.

Gray was a well-known convicted drug dealer and user in the community with a long rap sheet. He was taken into custody but it is not clear why, and placed into a police van.

Sometime during that ride, the van stopped four times and at least twice Gray reportedly asked for medical assistance.

By the time he reached the end of the ride, Gray had suffered a critical neck injury, with his spine nearly severed in half, and had a head wound. He was taken to the hospital and died a week later on April 19.

Peaceful protests were ignited on that day, and grew violent on the day of Gray’s funeral, earlier this week, eventually spreading across the entire country.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/6-baltimore-cops-charged-with-homicide-murder-of-freddie-gray/2015/05/01/

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