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September 30, 2016 / 27 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘board’

Incitement Underscores Palestinian Unwillingness To Make Peace

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

When Barack Obama entered the White House, he promised to make Israeli/Palestinian peacemaking his priority from “day one.” And, indeed, in his own way he did. He pressured Israel into freezing Jewish construction in the West Bank for ten months in a bid to entice the Palestinians to negotiate.

Yet Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority refused negotiations except for a few days near the end of the 10-month period and has not negotiated substantively since.

On its face, this is puzzling. If Abbas and the PA were eager for statehood alongside Israel – as they claim in their official speeches in international forums – nothing would be easier than to agree to negotiations that would lead in that direction, under an American president who has been strongly pushing for this.

But they don’t.

The reason? Lacking a state is less intolerable for the Palestinian movement than accepting the right of Jews to have a state of their own. And indeed, Palestinians turned down statehood on the four occasions detailed plans were proposed to create one – 1937, 1947, 2000 and 2008.

The common denominator to these rejections was that these plans all encompassed a Jewish state living alongside it. The leitmotif of Palestinian politics has been the rejection of precisely this proposition.

There are mountains of evidence to establish this proposition, but let’s confine ourselves to merely a recent six-week period.

Demonization of Jews: The PA TV children’s program “The Best Home” that aired on April 22 and again on May 8 featured a child reciting a poem which included the following words: “Our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail.”

Terrorists glorified: On April 16, the PA publicly mourned the anniversary of the death of PLO arch-terrorist Khalil Al-Wazir (Abu Jihad). The PA held six sporting events in his honor and broadcast TV programs celebrating him and his career of terror attacks. WAFA, the official PA news agency, glorified his killing of Israelis and enumerated in detail and with approbation his attacks on Israeli civilian targets in an article that also appeared in the official PA daily Al-Hayat Al-Jadida.

An old Wazir speech was exhumed from the archives and rebroadcast, a section of which included the following, “On one street, for example, we will hold 500 people [hostage]…at any moment, he can blow up everyone; blow up their building, or the whole thing, no matter how many people are there.… We want to turn the Tel Aviv day black. We want to turn the Tel Aviv day into destruction, Allah willing.”

On May 31, ninety-one Palestinian terrorists, including many suicide bombers whose corpses were recently handed over by Israel to the PA as a goodwill gesture, were given a military funeral for heroes by the PA. Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and other PA dignitaries were in attendance. All the returned terrorists were categorized as shahids (martyrs), thus conferring on them the status of national and religious heroes.

The secretary general of Abbas’s office, Tayeb Abd Al-Rahim, declared, “We ask Allah to gather you in the uppermost heaven, along with the prophets, the righteous,” while the Mufti of the PA, Muhammad Hussein, said, “By Allah’s will, we still have elite groups of martyrs like these among us.… The souls of the noble martyrs envelop us, and their souls tell us to follow in their path.”

Compromise repudiated: The day before Israel Independence Day, PA TV broadcast a political statement that included the following: ” Let all religions know that I do not make truces, let every person know that I do not compromise.… Let Jaffa [an Israeli city] know that I will return to it.” Clearly, such is the political program and message the PA wishes to transmit to its people.

Muslim supremacism: On May 11, PA TV featured a children’s program in which a young Palestinian girl was asked to recite a poem that includes insults to Christians and Jews (“They are remnants of the [Christian] crusaders and Khaibar [Jews]”; are “inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised” and the “enemies of destiny”).

These salient themes in the Palestinian public square inform us that Palestinian incitement is a symptom of rejection of Jewish sovereignty, not the absence of peace. In these circumstances, peacemaking is not so much premature as it is foredoomed.

Dr. Michael Goldblatt and Dr. Daniel Mandel

What the Iranian People “Really Think”… and How to Help Them

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

In totalitarian societies, people are wary of telling others what they “really think.” Given the Iranian government’s ability to suppress its internal opponents, we should be extremely suspicious of public opinion surveys: the Iranian people are simply not going speak openly to anyone other than intimates and long-trusted friends, or it might not be “good for their health.”

Even so, this does not mean that we cannot know what they are thinking. In such circumstances, the joke, the proverb, and satire are key: today’s joke and proverbs about their rulers are stinging to say the least. Iranians know how to insult their leaders subtly, without making direct references to the tyrants that rule them.

For example, a well-known satirist, known as Aali Payam, recently stood before an audience in Iran and said: “I will not speak about the [Iranian] elections any more… We are at a sensitive time… They [the Iranian government] took a colleague in for questioning and asked him, ‘Don’t you realize we are at a sensitive period?’ The colleague replied: ‘We have been at a sensitive period for the last 333 years. Did you hear that Qaddafi told Saddam [both in hell] to get ready, they are going to have a guest? One of these days Bashar Assad will arrive!'” As the satirist cannot criticize the Iranian government directly, he does the next best thing: he pokes fun at Syria’s Bashar Assad, one of the Iranian regime’s strongest allies, to imply that if the Iranian regime supports Assad, Qaddafi and Saddam, Assad’s days on earth, like Saddam’s and Qaddafi’s, are numbered. (See video)

Another video called “2 + 2 = 5” makes the point even more clearly. Elementary school boys are in a classroom. Suddenly the teacher comes in and the boys instantly stop their banter. The teacher tells them that the principal is about to speak to the whole school over the Public Address system with an important message, which turns out to be that their teachers are about to teach them an important message. Thereafter, the teacher writes on the board: 2 + 2 = 5. The boys say that the answer is 4. The teacher sternly repeats 2 + 2 = 5, and tells the boys to write this in their notebooks. Most of the boys follow the teacher’s instructions, but one insists that the answer is 4. A moment later, three older students with red arm-bands come into the class and the boy who said “4” is told to go up to the board. The teacher yells at him to write 2 + 2 = 5. The boy writes 2 + 2 = 4. The three older students with red arm-bands then take out guns and shoot the boy. As blood spurts out, the boy falls to the ground. The teacher then instructs the three boys with the red arm-bands to remove this “object from the room.” The other boys are petrified. The teacher tells them to write in their books 2 + 2 = 5. All do so, except one boy then erases the “5” and writes “4.” [Note: This video was clearly made by Iranians outside the country: it has subtitles in English and Thai.]

When Iranians escape their country, they are usually perfectly willing to say privately what they think, so long as they can maintain anonymity. They know that members of the Iranian regime are skilled at spying on Iranians abroad and could threaten their relatives still living in Iran. In totalitarian societies, only family relationships can be trusted; Iran is no exception.

Over the past year, more and more Iranians have been finding ways to communicate with their friends and relatives abroad in ways which should encourage the world to ratchet up the pressure on the regime.

It is now quite common to hear Iranians say that life is becoming unbearable in Iran. During the past year, the cost of living has become so expensive that even middle class people can no longer afford the basic necessities of life. People are finding ways to tell their friends and relatives outside the country that they are waiting for the day that this regime is gone so that they can lead some sort of normal life.

Harold Rhode

Luncheon Honors Wallenberg And L.A. Residents

Friday, July 27th, 2012

Both houses of Congress unanimously passed bills awarding World War II hero, Raoul Wallenberg, with the country’s highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal, in recognition of his heroism in saving 100,000 Jews during the waning days of the Holocaust. The legislation is expected to be signed by President Barack Obama shortly.

(L-R, standing) Ben Hoffman, board member (Lakewood); Jonathan Zalisky, Healthplus Amerigroup; Stanley Treitel, board member (LA); Leon Goldenberg, board member; Abe Biderman, board member; Senator Johnny Isakson; The Honorable Emil Fish, honoree; Ezra Friedlander, CEO Friedlander Group; Andrew Friedman, esq., luncheon co-chairman/LA fire commissioner. (L-R, sitting) Sidney Greenberger, Ken Abramowitz, Peter Rebenwurzel, board members.

Attorney Andrew Friedman of Los Angeles was co-chairman of a congressional luncheon held on Capitol Hill on July 12, honoring Los Angeles residents Andrew Stevens, Stanley Treitel and Emil Fish. The luncheon featured Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, who introduced the legislation, Senator Johnny Isakson (R-GA-Jr.), Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT-Sr.), Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR-Sr.), Senator Daniel Inouye (D-HI-Sr.), Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY-08) and other members of Congress.

Jeanne Litvin

Three Reasons To Buy Dividend-Paying Stocks

Wednesday, July 18th, 2012

Have you thought about investing in dividend-paying stocks? As the name suggests, these are stocks that pay out a certain percentage of the company’s earnings as a dividend periodically (usually quarterly) to the investor. Recently, dividend-paying stocks have received a good press in publications such as The Wall Street Journal. Have you considered why dividend-paying stocks might be good for you?

Here are three possible reasons for thinking about dividend paying stocks:

1. You can reinvest the dividend payments in the same stock. Chances are you originally bought the stock because you believed in the fundamental strength and stability of the company. As long as you continue to believe in the strength of the particular firm, if you reinvest your dividend income in the company and continue to buy more shares of the same stock, you will increase your position in a company that you believe is strong. If you choose carefully, your investments might turn out like those of Grace Groner, a secretary at Abbott Labs. Her $180 investment in 1935 eventually grew to $7 million (which eventually went to fund a foundation to benefit students of Lake Forest College.)

2. Dividend-paying stocks have the potential to maintain a certain amount of stability when the market gets rough. Stocks that pay dividends are generally considered safer in a down market because they still keep a certain level of value and generate income in the form of a regularly paying dividend. Even if the stock value drops, unless the board of directors vote to eliminate the dividend, you can still anticipate receiving a periodic check.

3. The need to pay out dividends to shareholders can keep a company’s management in check. If the board of directors knows shareholders expect a dividend on a regular basis, they may be more likely to avoid embarking on risky projects that could end up fundamentally destabilizing the company. Since stockholders will only continue holding onto their shares if they believe in the fundamental stability of the company, both the board of directors and shareholders have a common interest in furthering the company’s profits.

If reading the above has convinced you that to buy dividend-paying stocks for your portfolio, wait a minute before you call me (or your broker). First, read my next post, to learn about potential problems with dividend-paying stocks. As always, don’t invest in anything until you get proper advice from a licensed financial advisor.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Nadler Pushes to Keep Families Seated Together on Commercial Flights

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced legislation to help keep families seated together on commercial flights. In response to ever-increasing fees and decreasing transparency among airline carriers, the Families Flying Together Act of 2012 would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to direct each carrier to “establish a policy to ensure, to the extent practicable, that a family that purchases tickets for a flight with that air carrier is seated together during that flight; and (2) make the policy…available to the public on an appropriate Internet Web site of the air carrier.” The legislation would help to ensure that children are not separated from their families and seated alone on flights.

“Air travel is complicated and expensive enough for families without adding new stresses,” said Nadler. “Families should not be stuck paying hidden fees, or buying ‘premium’ seats, simply because they wish to be seated together on crowded flights. It is positively absurd to expect a two or three-year-old to sit unattended, next to strangers, on an airplane. It is up to air carriers to make their seating policies clear and easily accessible to the public.”

As airlines change policies and increase fees for a variety of basic services, it is becoming more difficult for families to sit together on commercial flights. From airlines charging a fee to make advance seat assignments, to charging a premium for window or aisle seats, to eliminating advanced boarding for parents with small children, the obstacles for families are growing. There are increasing reports of people being separated from their children when they arrive to board the aircraft. When this happens, the only recourse is to rely on another passenger to willingly change seats. This is an inconvenience for everyone involved and not an efficient business practice. It is also potentially unsafe and traumatic for the families involved.

Jewish Press Staff

Swiss Politician Wants ‘Kristallnacht for Mosques’

Thursday, June 28th, 2012

Alexander Müller has resigned from the Swiss People’s Party after a tweet sent from his account called for a repeat of the Night of the Broken Glass, this time targeting Muslims, reports The Local, a Swiss English-language website.

His tweet read: “Maybe we need another Kristallnacht… this time for mosques.”

Earlier, Müller tweeted: “we should take this pack out of the country. I do not want to live with such people.”

Müller stepped down on Tuesday night.

Turns out the Swiss take their extremists seriously, and Müller’s house was searched by police and his computer was confiscated, the newspaper Tages Anzeiger reported.

A criminal case has been opened against him, and Müller’s employer, a credit insurance company (how Swiss is that), has terminated his contract.

Müller denied writing the offending message, but his claim that screenshots of the tweet were forgeries was quickly disproved – archive searches showed that the tweet had in fact come from his @DailyTalk account.

Muslims must have hacked the poor lad’s Tweeter…

The Swiss People’s Party is the largest party in Switzerland’s Federal Assembly, with 54 seats. In 2009 it initiated a constitutional amendment banning the construction of new mosque minarets.

The SVP was founded in 1971 by the merger of the Party of Farmers, Traders and Independents (BGB) and the Democratic Party, while the BGB in turn had been founded on the background of the emerging local farmers’ parties in the late 1910s. Its vote share of 29% in the 2007 Federal Council election was the highest vote ever recorded for a single party in Switzerland.

Dr. Herbert Winter, president of the Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities, told JTA that Muller’s Twitter statement was “totally unacceptable.” He said it was “very offensive” to both the Jewish and Muslim communities because it “implies that Muslims deserve Kristallnacht treatment as the Jews deserved it in 1938.”

JTA reports that Winter also praised the Zurich prosecutor’s office for its “quick action” and noted that the Swiss People’s Party had distanced itself from Muller’s statement.

“Unfortunately, this party sometimes attracts people who don’t necessarily represent the democratic values of our country,” he said.

On November 9 and 10 of 1938, during Kristallnacht, or the Night of the Broken Glass, the Nazis burned down Jewish synagogues, houses and shops in a coordinated attack across Germany and parts of Austria. More than 7,000 shops were destroyed and an estimated 30,000 people were arrested and put into concentration camps.

After his resignation on Tuesday, the Swiss People’s Party said there was “no room permitted for comparison or reference to the unspeakable dictator of the Nazi regime.”

Müller serves on his local school board, and they, too, are asking him to resign, according to Hannah Leonard, president of the district school board for the Zuriberg area.

Yori Yanover

Israeli Navy Captures Palestinian Smugglers Vessel

Friday, June 15th, 2012

The Israeli Navy captured a Palestinian fishing vessel engaged in illegal smuggling travelling towards the Gaza Strip on Wednesday. No weapons were discovered on board the ship, only spare vehicle parts, and it was taken to shore by an Israeli Navy Dvora class fast patrol boat.

After the investigation was complete, the smugglers were released to the Gaza Strip via the Erez crossing.

The Navy Patrol Squadron, responsible for securing Israel’s southern marine front, carries out short-range operations off the shore to prevent additional weapon smuggling. “There was a lot of equipment on board the vessel, which could have easily included weapons,” said commander of the Dvora class patrol boat reconnaissance squadron, Cpt. M. to the IDF Website.

Once a fishing vessel crosses the border and enters Israel’s jurisdiction, it is immediately captured by Israeli Navy forces. “Smuggling takes place regularly,” said Cpt. M. The detained smugglers go through a thorough security inspection of the cargo. If no affiliation with terrorist organizations is recognized, the smugglers are returned to the Gaza Strip in an orderly fashion along with the capture vessels.

IDF Spokesperson's Office

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-navy-captures-palestinian-smugglers-vessel/2012/06/15/

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