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April 30, 2016 / 22 Nisan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Bill Clinton’

MK Avigdor Liberman: ‘It’s Israel’s Turn to Help Support Diaspora Jewry’

Saturday, January 9th, 2016

In a small sparsely-furnished office, containing a cherry wood desk, a matching credenza, an Israeli flag, some small personal photos and a large framed print of the father of Zionism, Vladimir Jabotinsky, is seated a man larger than life, the head of Yisrael Beiteinu and former Foreign Minister of Israel: Avigdor Liberman.

When the JewishPress.com met with Liberman late one morning this past week, he was told that most non-Israeli Jews really don’t have a good sense of who he is. So he was asked to explain himself.

ALIYAH, JEWISH CONTINUITY, ABSORPTION

Liberman began this way:

“First of all, my highest priorities are Aliyah, Jewish Continuity and Absorption. My positions are clear right wing without compromise, but very pragmatic.”

One of his pet projects combines all three priorities: he envisions schools of Jewish education everywhere in the Diaspora, along the lines of American schools abroad. Those schools would focus on both Judaism and Zionism.

Liberman explained the need for this educational initiative: “At the Saban meeting, people like [American Jewish journallist] Jeffrey Goldberg talked about the problem of the younger Jewish generation not being so supportive of Israel.”

“He said that the decline in support was due to Israeli government policies. But that’s not the problem,” Liberman said.

The problem is that the “younger generations of Jews don’t really know much about and so don’t care much about Israel.”

This dovetails with Liberman’s preoccupation with Jewish assimilation. He cites statistics and surveys which predict the near total extinction of Jews in only a few more generations.

“Fewer than 10 percent of American Jews have a Jewish, Zionist education. In places like France, Russia, even Canada, there is a 70 percent assimilation rate,” Liberman explains, with horror.

Naturally, the first question is who would fund such a project? Knowing that even many American Jewish Federations have turned away from significant contributions to Jewish day schools, the prospect seems bleak.

But Liberman isn’t looking to the Diaspora as the primary funding source. He explains: “during the 1940’s and ’50’s, Israel was a small, poor country and needed tremendous financial and political support – which it received – from the Jewish Diaspora.

“Now, with Israel’s vibrant economy, it’s our turn to give back and our turn to help support the Jewish people. We are a strong country with a huge budget,” explains Liberman.

Liberman believes that Israel must contribute something on the order of $365 million – which should be met with matching funds – to this vitally important enterprise.

The suavely-dressed, slimmed-down, blue-eyed politician sees this contribution by Israel not just as providing moral support to the waning Diaspora Jewry, but as a crucial investment, “it is for our future as well.”

The idea was first pitched by Liberman nearly a year ago in a speech in the United States. The concept was immediately overshadowed by the subsequent Israeli elections and, increasingly, by the nation’s focus on the then-looming and seemingly catastrophic Nuclear Iran Deal which the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council (the U.S., the U.K., France, China and Russia), plus Germany (the P5+1) was negotiating, and then concluded, with Iran.

Liberman believes his concept is critical if there is to remain a global Jewry outside of Israel. Not surprisingly, one of the reasons Diaspora Jewry with a strong Jewish and Zionist identity matters so much is as a steady source for Aliyah.

But the current governing coalition “does not care about the Diaspora,” Liberman said.

This discussion led naturally to the question of why Yisrael Beiteinu walked away from being in the ruling coalition. It’s of course harder to promote enormous new projects from the outside.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

US Presidents Urge Israelis at Rabin Rally to Risk Lives for Peace But Neither Has Taken Personal Risks

Sunday, November 1st, 2015

Two American presidents urged Israelis at a peace rally marking the 20th anniversary of the murder of the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin to take risks for peace — but neither has ever had any personal experience with taking such a risk themselves.

Thousands attended the rally Saturday night in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square marking the 20-year anniversary of the assassination of the late prime minister during a peace rally on Nov 4, 1995.

Two U.S. presidents spoke at the event, and while both spoke on the importance of taking risks for peace, neither personally risked anything for that lofty cause at the rally, nor in the past, ever.

Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin also declared, “We should have no fear. Israel’s democracy is solid enough, and we are brave enough and strong enough to open wide Israel’s gates so that all the groups within us may play an equal part in shaping the character and future of the State of Israel.”

And Israel has indeed opened her gates. The gates are opened so wide that Israeli Arab Knesset members legally call upon constituents to destroy the very nation in whose parliament they participate, and with whose tax monies their salaries and benefits are paid.

“We should have no fear,” declared President Rivlin, but the question is, from what? Thousands of police forces have been called in to beef up security in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and Arab terror attacks continue to escalate in the current wave of terror.

Both American leaders called on Israelis to take risks for peace, while neither has ever physically done so themselves.

U.S. President Barack Obama spoke in a pre-recorded video, intoning, “A bullet can take a man’s life, but his spirit and his dream of peace will never die.” It was a message nearly identical to that of Hezbollah and Hamas, if one deletes the “dream of peace.”

Hugely popular former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who was the keynote speaker at the event, spoke from behind bulletproof glass.

“After all the fighting and battles he engaged in, he never stopped seeing other people, including his adversaries, as human beings,” Clinton said.

“All of you must decide … how to finish his legacy, for the last chapter must be written by the people he gave his life to, to save and to nourish.

“You have to decide that the risks for peace are not as severe as the risks of walking away from it,” he told those who attended the rally.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is more than familiar with those risks, having served in the IDF’s elite Sayeret Matkal special ops unit in his youth, met with Clinton at the prime minister’s office in Jerusalem on Friday.

Hana Levi Julian

100 People Pay $33,000 To Meet Obama At Las Vegas Jews’ Home

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

President Barack Obama turned up at the home of Las Vegas Sun newspaper owners Brian and Myra Greenspun Monday night, where 104 people each shelled out $33,400 for the privilege.

Greenspun, who was a college classmate of Bill Clinton, is a longtime backer of President Obama and boosted the fundraiser for the state’s Democratic party, Politico reported.

Retiring Sen. Harry Reid asked the president to show up to help pump cash into the campaign for former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to replace Reid in the Senate.

Greenspun took over the paper from his father Hank, who  conducted secret missions to transport military equipment to Israel during the War for Independence.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Foreign Ministry Calls Sunni Arab Nations ‘Israel’s Allies’

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

 

Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama dreamed about a “new Middle East” under the leadership of the United States. They were dead wrong.

They may have fantasized that they could make peace between Israel and Sunni Muslim states, the foremost being Saudi Arabia, but their worst nightmares did not envision such an alliance being formed in opposition to none other than the United States.

Dore Gold, director of Israel’s Foreign Ministry and former Ambassador to the United Nations, finally spelled out on Wednesday what Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has whispered for months. The Muslims and the Jews have two common problems. One is an enemy, meaning Iran, which threatens to rule an Islamic Caliphate with or without a nuclear weapon.

The other problem is the Obama administration, which is appeasing the enemy.

Prime Minister Netanyahu has stated several times that Israel and Saudi Arabia have a common interest in making sure that Iran does reach nuclear weapons capability. Gold went a lot farther in his message last night to the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

Referring to Iran, he said:

What we have is a regime on a roll that is trying to conquer the Middle East and it’s not Israel talking, that is our Sunni Arab neighbors — and you know what? I’ll use another expression – that is our Sunni Arab allies talking.

Allies?

What happened to the “unshakeable bond” between the United States and Israel? It is there as long as people believe it. An era does not in a day, and American Jews will believe in that “unshakeable bond” for a long time to come because it makes them feel good.

And isn’t it President Barack Obama who is ready help arm Israel once again, after having forced it to be armed to the teeth by surrendering to many of Iran’s terms in his ObamaDeal, which Israel and the Sunni Arabs are certain is nothing more than a well-paved diplomatic road to hell?

Americans are too far away from the shores of the Middle East to feel the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran the way Jews in Israel and Muslims in the Gulf States feel it.

If Israel and its “allies” were to get it through the State Dept.’s thick skull that a nuclear-armed Iran is no less of a threat to the United States that it is to the United States, perhaps Americans would worry a bit more about Tehran and less about Mexican immigrants, homosexual marriages and Donald Trump.

Gold was upbeat, or at least tried to sound that way, about future relations between Israel and the United States in the likely event that Congress will not be able to ditch ObamaDeal.

He said:

We will find a practical way to come up with solutions to a very dangerous situation. But in the meantime we have to tell what we think about this agreement. We have to say the truth even though it’s unpleasant.

It also may be very unpleasant for President Obama amid his successor to realize that  their influence in the Middle East is dwindling. President Obama was overjoyed at the Arab Spring rebellions for “democracy,” which in the Muslim Middle East means “anarchy” and which was the reality for too long a time in Libya, Yemen, Tunisia, Egypt and Syria. Iraq is a lost cause.

Obama may have reached out Muslims, but he grabbed a handful of radical Islam that now threatens more than half the world.

He, like most other American politicians, assumes that Israel has no choice but to rely on the “unshakeable bond” with the United States.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Former Saudi Ambassador to US: Gulf States Willing to Attack Iran

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

A Saudi prince’s reaction to the nuclear agreement with Iran makes last week’s White House’s rosy spin of official reaction by Saudi Arabia to “ObamaDeal” look like an act that should never have gone on stage.

Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, former Ambassador to the United States, warned that the nuclear agreement with Iran “will wreak havoc in the Middle East” and that Gulf Powers are willing to attack Iranian nuclear sites, even if the United States is not interested.

One of King Salman’s first actions after taking the throne earlier this year was to yank Prince Bandar off the National Security Council, but he still is an advisor and an important voice, one that totally contradicts what President Barack Obama would like people to believe about Riyadh’s reaction the nuclear agreement.

White House Press Secretary, after a meeting between Saudi foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir and President Obama, glossed over Saudi skepticism of ObamaDeal and blah-blahed “about the important bilateral relationship that exists between the United States and Saudi Arabia.”

Believe that and then believe that President Obama has “an unbreakable bond with Israel.”

Prince Bandar’s comments to Beirut Daily Star and also reported by the Times of London were the first public criticism from Saudi Arabia, and he was straight to the point.

He warned that ObamaDeal will “wreak havoc” and then bluntly asserted:

Saudi Arabia and the Gulf powers are prepared to take military action without American support after the Iran nuclear deal

Prince Bandar is not a small voice. He was ambassador to Washington for 20 years, and MRC TV noted that it is unlikely that he would have conducted a major newspaper interview without King Salman’s blessing.
The prince’s view of the Obama administration sounds like Israel’s when it comes to relying on the United States.

“People in my region now are relying on God’s will, and consolidating their local capabilities and analysis with everybody else except our oldest and most powerful ally,” Prince Bandar told the Beirut newspaper.

He was even more candid in an article he wrote for the London-based Arabic news Web site Elaph, where he compared ObamaDeal with Bill Clinton’s agreement with North Korea, which supposedly would keep its word and not develop a nuclear bomb.

But Prince Bandar can forgive Clinton because “it turned out that the strategic foreign policy analysis was wrong and there was a major intelligence failure,” according to translation of interview provided by The Washington Post.

He said that he is “absolutely confident he would not have made that decision” if he had all the facts.
Prince Bandar said the case of Iran is different because:

The strategic foreign policy analysis, the national intelligence information, and America’s allies in the region’s intelligence all predict not only the same outcome of the North Korean nuclear deal but worse – with the billions of dollars that Iran will have access to.

He quoted a phrase first made by Henry Kissinger: America’s enemies should fear America, but America’s friends should fear America more.”

It sounds like Saudi Arabia and Israel are on the same page.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

The Good Deal

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

We’ve shown this video in the past, but it still remains incredibly relevant, especially this week.

Video of the Day

Hillary’s Foundation Gave $100K to NYT Fund in ’08, Paper Endorsed Her

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Would you be surprised to learn that one of Hillary Clinton’s private foundations donated a huge sum of money – more than it gave to any other charity – to a New York Times charity in 2008?

That was the year Hillary was seeking the Democratic nomination to run for president. It was also the same year that the New York Times endorsed Hillary Clinton over Barack Obama.

Maybe that doesn’t surprise you, but would it change how you thought about that donation if you were to learn that since that one big donation in 2008, Hillary’s foundation never again donated to the NYT’s Neediest Cases fund?

The paper’s Neediest Cases fund was started in 1911 by then-owner of the New York Times, Adolph S. Ochs, in order to provide financial assistance to needy New Yorkers by publicizing their plights. The fund has distributed more than $275 million since it was established.

Alana Goodman did some investigative work in the Clinton Family Foundation’s tax records and wrote in the Washington Free Beacon about the oddly sized and timed 2008 donation to the New York Times charitable fund.

From Goodman we learn that the Times’ Neediest Cases Fund is run by members of the New York Times Company’s board of directors and senior executives. We also learn that early in 2008 there were reports that “the Times board had leaned toward endorsing Obama, but was overruled by then-chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr., whose family controlled the paper. Sulzberger’s cousins and Times Company directors, Lynn Dolnick and Michael Golden, chaired the New York Times Neediest Cases Fund in 2008.”

All of this may be simply coincidence, of course.

Two other facts, however, push the incredulity factor.

First, the Clinton Family Foundation’s $100,000 donation to the NYT charity was much larger than the size it gave to other charities, which ranged between $2,000 and $25,000 that same year. The CFF does make much larger donations, but they go to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, according to Goodman.

And the second factor is that since the 2008 donation, the CFF has not made another donation to the NYT charity fund.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hillarys-foundation-gave-100k-to-nyt-fund-in-08-paper-endorsed-her/2015/06/08/

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