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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Bill de Blasio’

Manhattan Explosion Wounds 29, Plus Additional US Attacks [video]

Sunday, September 18th, 2016

At least 29 people suffered minor injuries from what is now believed to have been an explosive device placed inside a dumpster at 8:40 PM in Chelsea, at 133 West 23rd Street near Avenue of the Americas on Manhattan’s West Side. Mayor de Blasio said in a press conference that the explosion was an “intentional act,” and that at a second site four blocks away, at 27th street between Avenue of the Americas and Seventh Avenue a second apparent explosive device, a pressure cooker, was found.

NY 1 cited witnesses reported feeling the ground shake. Photographs posted online show broken glass in the windows nearby buildings.  Patrons were told to leave a nearby restaurant for their safety after the blast.

At the moment 23rd Street is shut down all the way from Fifth to Eighth Avenues.

Mayor de Blasio said there was no evidence the explosion had been an act of terrorism. The explosion broke windows and debris fell to the street. The dumpster blew up outside Associated Blind Housing, a 14-story building for residents who are blind or visually impaired, next door to a church. Police and firefighters are searching trash cans for additional explosive devices.

The White House issued a statement saying, “The president has been apprised of the explosion in New York City, the cause of which remains under investigation. The president will be updated as additional information becomes available.”

On Saturday, a pipe bomb exploded in New Jersey at a race to show support for US Marines Corps. The race was cancelled. The bomb was hidden inside a garbage can.

There were 3 pipe bombs, but only one exploded.

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, a man yelling “Allahu Achbar” stabbed 8 people in a shopping mall on Saturday night. He was killed by policemen.

David Israel

NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton Resigns

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has resigned his post effective September 16. “It’s now time to move on,” he said.

Bratton is leaving to take a “really good job” as a security consultant with the Teneo firm in the private sector, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday afternoon at a news conference at City Hall.

NYPD Police Chief James P. O’Neill will replace Bratton, whose career in public service has spanned 45 years.

Bratton also served as police commissioner under former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Bratton also served in Boston and Los Angeles, as a police commander in both cities.

Bratton was the keynote speaker at the first National Conference on Personal Security in Jerusalem in May 2014.

“We are fortunate in the United States and Israel to live in the world’s two strongest democracies,” he said at that time. “In a democracy, the first obligation of government is public safety.”

Hana Levi Julian

Analysis: Trump Giving Israel a Bad Name with ‘Profiling’ Comment

Monday, June 20th, 2016

“I think profiling is something that we’re going to have to start thinking about as a country,” GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump told CBS’ Face the Nation on Sunday, using Israel as an example for a place where this method is flourishing and yielding results. “You look at Israel and you look at others, and they do it and they do it successfully. And you know, I hate the concept of profiling, but we have to start using common sense,” he said.

Sadly, as Israel is being drawn with increasing frequency into the US presidential elections, with the Democrats using the Israeli-Arab conflict as a battle field between the Sanders and Clinton proxies, bits of prejudice and misinformation about the life and politics of the Jewish State are coming to the fore and, more often than not, spreading more ignorance than knowledge about it.

Donald Trump’s cartoon depiction of Israel’s security forces’ strategies is a case in point. A few years ago, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was elected on a promise to do away with police racial profiling, because it perpetuated decades of abuse when African-Americans and Latinos would be routinely stopped and frisked by police. But predictive profiling, which takes into account multiple elements in an individual’s manner and appearance, is a crucial component of law enforcement work, and it’s much more complex than just skin color and religion.

Not according to the BBC, which informed its listeners on Sunday: “Profiling uses ethnicity, race and religion to determine whether a person has or is likely to commit crimes.”

And, sadly, this is probably what Trump meant when he shared with Face the Nation what he had taken from Israel’s security strategies. In a sense, Trump’s and the BBC’s notions of profiling come down to the store detective who spots a black person coming in and sticks to them expecting that they are more likely than others to shoplift.

If Israel’s security forces had used this yardstick in their approach to predictive profiling it would have choked not just its international airports, but traffic on the streets in many cities, too. If all you need to be in order to trigger security response is dark-skinned or Muslim, three-quarters of Israelis would spend their days and nights in police stations.

Chris Weller, who last year reported in Business Insider about his experience as a foreign, non-Jewish traveler at Ben Gurion airport, noted that “no flight leaving Ben Gurion has ever been hijacked, and the airline servicing Israel, El Al, hasn’t seen an attack in more than 30 years.” And yet, dozens of El Al and other flights leave Ben Gurion every day, and passenger traffic is brisk and efficient.

Israel employs, on the streets of its cities as well as in its airports, an intelligence driven system that relies on good communication, alert operatives, and multi-layered screening. Daniel Wagner, co-author of the book “Global Risk Agility and Decision Making,” cites Raphael Ron, a former director of security at Ben Gurion for 5 years, who said the passenger-oriented security system there is focused on the “human factor,” and is “based on the assumption that terrorist attacks are carried out by people who can be found and have been stopped through the use of this simple but effective security methodology.”

Unlike all US airports, departing passengers in Ben Gurion are not asked to take off their shoes during physical screening processes. Instead, passengers are interviewed by trained agents before they get to the check-in counter. So that the area in front of the check-in is not conceded to potential terrorists, as was the case recently in the Brussels airport attack. The interviews last one or two minutes for the most part, so that the line of passengers is moving quickly, and when the agents (they work in pairs) do suspect someone, based on factors such as vocabulary, general behavior, dress, age, race, religion and destination—they may be detained and questioned for as long as it takes.

But the scrutiny at Ben Gurion begins well ahead of the passenger’s arrival at the terminal itself. Every vehicle first passes through a security checkpoint where armed agents examine it, have a brief exchange with the driver, and assess their risk level. Meanwhile, the vehicle is gauged by a weight sensor, and an undercarriage scan. Then, outside and inside the terminal building agents are always mingling with the crowd pouring in, aided by hidden surveillance cameras that are monitored around the clock. Suspicious people would be challenged without waiting for them to reach a counter or a metal detector. An agent would approach them and strike a conversation to assess their mental state and risk level.

All of that well coordinated system relies on a broader intelligence infrastructure that uses informants, social network scrutiny and surveillance — traditional police methods which Israel’s security forces have been using and improving over the past decade and a half both in green line Israel and in Judea, Samaria and Gaza.

Chris Weller offered an excellent example for the way Israel combines computer technology with the human factor, to create a smooth, reliable, fast and effective communication system regarding predictive profiling. “I learned that before any passenger ever gives up his luggage to the fine folks at Ben Gurion International, an employee places a neon yellow sticker on the back of your passport. On it is a 10-digit number. The first number, ranging from one to six, indicates your perceived threat level to whomever else you’re passed along. I got a five.”

And so, with a simple bar-coded sticker, the first agent who meets the passenger communicates his impressions to the next agent down the line without having to exchange one word or even a gesture. Leftwing writer Lia Tarachansky complained a few years ago about the same system:

“So I enter the line … My Israeli-Palestinian roommate tells me he’ll wait while I answer the security lady’s questions. She sees I speak Hebrew, she asks if I packed my own bags and she gives me a ‘1’ as expected. I’m white and I’m an Israeli, therefore I’m probably a Zionist. High from excitement and privilege I ask if my friend can come with me to the check-in. She says of course and asks for his ID. Her face changes.

“Where it says the Jewish birth date the line in his ID is blank. i.e. not Jewish. i.e. Palestinian.

– you know this man?

– yes

– how?

– he’s my roommate

– where?

– Jaffa

– wait here.

“She looks at his last name. It’s Christian, i.e. Arab. She disappears with our passports. The roommate looks at me and we both know what’s going to happen. When she comes back her smile is gone. She tears the ‘1’ off my bags and angrily puts on a ‘3’ as though to say ‘you didn’t tell me you have an Arab friend!’ Her face says ‘don’t you see you’re [expletive] it all up for us?!’”

Tarachansky described in her vivid style just how unhappy she was with the Israeli security system, but the fact is that even in her anti-Israeli narrative one can see that no one was hurt in the encounter she described, no one was manhandled, no one even missed their flight. But the system quickly spotted and responded to the potential threat, and the response was to replace a passport sticker. This hostile depiction of the Israeli method is, in fact, a song of praise to a rational, sophisticated and effective security system.

One wonders whether Donald Trump, or the media, understand the full depth of this system when he describes Israel’s success in police work and security as “profiling.”


Trump Would Make an Exception for Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan Says, No, Thanks

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

Presumptive Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has urged a “total and complete shutdown” of US borders to Muslims. In his defense, he made that statement in response to the San Bernardino shooting last year, as a means of attracting enormous media attention to himself. “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Trump said and America listened, even though the candidate failed to explain what “understanding this problem” actually means. Was he calling for a blue ribbon commission to examine Muslim immigration to the US? Was he envisioning a profiling system that would help law enforcement officials determine how dangerous any given olive-skinned person might be? Is Islam per se the problem — despite the largely successful integration of millions of Muslims in American society, quite unlike their situation in western Europe?

For all these obvious reasons, that rabble rousing statement now appears to be causing Trump more trouble than electoral gains, and so, in typical Trump fashion, he is ready to take some of it back. It began after the strong victory of London’s new Muslim mayor Sadiq Khan, the son of a London bus driver, who defeated a billionaire with Jewish family roots who is married to a Rothschild. On Monday Trump said he was “happy” that Khan had won, adding that Khan was just the kind of Muslim for whom he’d put aside his ban.

“There will always be exceptions,” Trump told the NY Times when asked about letting the new mayor visit the US. “I think it’s a very good thing, and I hope he does a very good job because frankly that would be very, very good.”

Khan for his part told Time Magazine he plans to visit the US “before January in case Donald Trump wins,” adding, “If Donald Trump becomes the president I’ll be stopped from going there by virtue of my faith, which means I can’t engage with American mayors and swap ideas.”

Khan is familiar with the work of some US mayors. “I think Bill de Blasio is doing interesting housing stuff in New York, Rahm Emanuel is doing interesting stuff with the infrastructure bank in Chicago,” he told Time. “I want to go to America to meet with and engage with American mayors.”

So, for now, it’s a stalemate, where Trump would let the mayor of London in, but we don’t know whether that goes for the mayor’s family and entourage as well, because some of them could certainly turn out to be Muslim; and on the other side, Mayor Khan would never allow Trump to score points for letting one exceptional Muslim in because he does a very, very good job.


Hasidim Love Mayor de Blasio: Fewer Traffic Tickets

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

(JNi.media) Here’s a good reason to like your new mayor: he, or, rather, his police dept., doesn’t fine you as much as it used to. According to a report in the NY Post, police have issued fewer tickets to drivers in the Hasidic community of Williamsburg, because, apparently, the de Blasio Administration wants to keep them happy. “They pander and he gives them a lot of what they want,” the source, a former mayoral liaison, told the Post, saying, “De Blasio is known to have tight ties to the Hasidic community.”

This may or may not be true (it probably can’t be proven), but the Post checked out the stats, and it turns out that moving violations in the NYPD’s 90th Precinct, in northern Brooklyn, which is also the neighborhood of Williamsburg, have dropped 32% since de Blasio took office. Now, out of the population of about 130,000, only about 70,000 are Hasidim, and the rest are a mix of newly arrived hipsters and African Americans, Hispanics, Italians, Poles, Puerto Ricans, and Dominicans. The claim that those 32% fewer tickets are only Hasidic would be even harder to prove. But insinuation sells papers, doesn’t it?

The Post’s source insisted religious leaders “get in with the Police Department and do their thing. … I’ll tell you one thing, they didn’t all take driver’s ed and change their driving habits.”

Brooklyn Community Board 1 member Simon Weiser credited the drop in tickets to campaigns in local Jewish newspapers calling on drivers to use safety belts, and an increasing use of hands-free phones. More than 25% of moving violations issued in Williamsburg are those two things: driving without the beslt and holding the phone to your ear while driving. There have been 50% fewer cellphone summonses since 2014.

Stats don’t lie, but people often do. The Post tried to get out of the NYPD whether there has been a change of policy regarding moving violations in Williamsburg, but received no response. However, since the NYPD works with a quota system, it’s possible they didn’t have to tell the cops in Precinct 90 to be nicer — they could just reduce the quotas, which brought down the number of moving violations ticketed.


NYC Mayor De Blasio: ‘When You Are Attacked, We Also Feel Attacked’

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio says New Yorkers are empathizing with Israelis.

Hizzoner went together with Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Saturday night to visit severely wounded terrorist victims at Hadassah Ein Kerem Medical Center.

De Blasio told Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, with whom he has been in close contact, that New Yorkers have had a lot of experience with the effects of terror, particularly since the Al Qaeda attack on September 11, 2001.

“When you are attacked, we also feel attacked,” De Blasio said.

Barkat responded that terrorism is an international phenomenon, one that has become an epidemic that must be wiped out.

“The war on terror is global and common to many countries and the September 11 attacks, as well as our wave of terror, originate from the same source of evil that we must eradicate,” Barkat said. He added that although terrorists have done their best to try and disrupt the lives of Israelis, people living here do not allow their lives to be controlled by terrorism.

“Our residents are strong, determined and believe in the justness of our cause, and the desire to live in peace together,” he said.

Barkat added that Arab incitement that causes terrorism must also be stopped.

“This is not just a war against the terrorists themselves, but also factors that foment and create propaganda — lies and disinformation that we have to refute at every opportunity — to say instead one thing: the truth!”

He added that he believes that just as New Yorkers overcame terror, Jerusalem will also “soon return to normal.” Barkat thanked De Blasio for his visit at a challenging time, what he called “an expression of true friendship and solidarity.”

Hana Levi Julian

NY Mayor de Blasio Visiting Yad VaShem

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio is visiting Yad VaShem Sunday during his two-day tour in Israel for the 30th International Mayors Conference.

He will be joined by approximately 40 other international mayors participating in the conference.

Mayor de Blasio will tour the Holocaust History Museum, participate in a memorial ceremony in the Hall of Remembrance, visit the Children’s Memorial and sign the Yad VaShem Guest Book.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ny-mayor-de-blasio-visiting-yad-vashem/2015/10/18/

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