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September 25, 2016 / 22 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘center’

Obama Wins Close National Vote, Mandate Denied, US Future Dim

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

It hasn’t been a long night. Around 10 PM Eastern, someone on one of the channels I had been following said that President Obama’s motorcade was getting ready to take him to his election center, in Chicago. It meant that the Democrats were certain about their presidential win.

I could feel the anguish emanating from our own chat line here, at the JewishPress.com. I was hearing similar cries of woe from a few open Skype lines on my desktop. Towards the end there, I think many of us started believing that a Romney win was a real possibility. A Dick Morris prediction of a Romney landslide win we ran here got close to 30 thousand page views in half a day. Regardless of its very loose connection to reality on this planet, the story expressed the yearnings of so many who flocked to our website in search of a voice to reflect their own.

The Democrats have retained control over the Senate, with 51 seats plus two independents. Not the kind of numbers that can break a filibuster. The Republicans will keep the House, with a net loss in the single digits. This means Obama had no coat tails whatsoever in this election. He barely got over the hedge himself. He has won better than 300 delegates to the Electoral College, but that does not mean that he received a mandate from the people. He won by a squeak.

I believe the Republicans have achieved their most basic goal this time around, namely, that their presidential candidate—who was destined to lose to an incumbent—wouldn’t perform so atrociously that his defeat would coat-tail the Republican House with it down in flames. Remember Governor Perry? Speaker Gingrich? Congresswoman Michele Bachmann? So Romney delivered the bare minimum that was expected of him: Don’t make matters even worse. That was the reason the party leaders, along with the Bush clan and Karl Rove were so adamant about supporting Romney – they and the billion dollar budget they brought in with them.

The fact that Romney almost won the presidency while he was at it was above and beyond their initial expectations. I think Romney spent much of the campaign playing to tie rather than win. It was only when he met the enemy in the first debate and drew blood that he realized he could actually make it. That’s my hunch.

Political Science majors should take note of the miracle performed by Obama Tuesday. Until this year, no incumbent president since FDR in 1940 has won re-election with unemployment over 7.2%. Well, Obama has broken the mold, winning despite unemployment hovering at between 7.6 and 7.9%. This means there were additional circumstances that weighed in his favor. I believe two factors were in play:

1. America is losing its White majority. It is sinking fast, and this year it is 72.4% White. Back in 2000, it was 75.1% white (In 2011, White new births were outnumbered by non-White 50.5% to 49.5%). Since Romney lost by such a small margin (roughly a million votes nationwide), it means that had this election been held in 2004—all other things staying the same—it would have been a Republican victory.

A good friend suggested to me early Tuesday morning that the Republicans were experiencing the broken glass effect, meaning they would crawl over broken glass to vote their choice, that’s how much they hated Obama. But my wife commented that, judging by the images of long lines of African American and Hispanic voters standing in line in Florida, Virginia and Ohio, it appears they, too, would be perfectly willing to take the crunch. That’s how much they feared Romney.

2. The Republican Party has to regain the center for real. Let’s face it, Romney was working hard to appear like a benign centrist, but you can’t be against the Dream Act and against abortion rights in this country and hope to be considered a centrist. I’m afraid that with its zeal to embrace the authentic Tea Party candidates, the Evangelicals, and the NRA crowd, the GOP has edged out the last of its liberal and moderate stars. This works well for the red states and even for local races in many blue states, but if the GOP wants to govern, it has to rediscover its businessmen/women, its bankers and its moderate intellectuals, or it won’t stand a chance to win presidential politics ever again.

Yori Yanover

Operation Dove’s Wings Begins as Ethiopian Aliyah Comes to a Close

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Operation Dove’s Wings commenced on Monday, with arrival of some 240 Olim from Ethiopia, half of them children, on the first charter flight. The flight was organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel, pursuant to the July government decision to increase the rate of Ethiopian Aliyah, in order to complete the immigration of the remainder of the Falash Mura to Israel.

The ceremony at Ben Gurion airport took place during the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors, which is taking place this week in Tel Aviv, with Jewish leaders from Israel and around the world.

On July 2012, the government of Israel decided to increase the rate of Aliyah from Ethiopia in order to complete the process as quickly as possible. It was decided to reopen the Jewish Agency’s Ibim Absorption Center at the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, which will be able to accommodate up to 600 of the Falash Mura.

Immigrants arriving from Ethiopia will also be housed in 16 Absorption centers around the country, run by the Jewish Agency and the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption. In order to facilitate absorption of the new immigrants, Jewish communities around the world and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews have raised $3 million, in addition to $1.5 million invested by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

Operation Dove’s Wings is expected to be completed by October 2013, with the arrival of the remainder of eligible Falash Mura, who have been waiting in Gondar. The Jewish Agency for Israel has been operating a community center in Gondar, headed by Asher Sium, to provide services for the waiting Olim. The center provides a comprehensive range of social services with the support of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews. These include preparation classes for Aliyah run by a group of volunteers, humanitarian assistance, and catering services. The center also runs a school which includes Hebrew and Jewish studies, as well as the regular curriculum of the Ethiopian Education Ministry.

Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel Natan Sharansky said at the ceremony: “What a miracle. I just met a brother and a sister who were reunited today after 25 years. Well, we the Jewish people have just been reunited after 25 centuries. When Ethiopian Jewry left Israel, there was no Hannukah. Now we can celebrate both Hannukah and Yom Haatzmaut together. Together we are writing the last page of the history of Ethiopian Jewry. We are now bringing all of our brothers from Africa to Israel. This is happening thanks to the State of Israel, world Jewry and our Christian allies.”

Jewish Press Staff

Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 29

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

NOAA’s GOES-13 satellite captured this visible image of Hurricane Sandy battering the U.S. East coast on Monday, Oct. 29 at 9:10 a.m. EDT. At 8 a.m. EDT the National Hurricane Center noted that the center of Hurricane Sandy was located near latitude 36.8 north and longitude 71.1 west. This was about 310 miles (505 km) south-southeast of New York City, and 265 miles (425 km) southeast of Atlantic City, N.J. Sandy was moving north-northwest at 20 mph. Maximum sustained winds are now near 85 mph (140 kph). Tropical Storm force winds extend almost 500 miles from the center, making those winds 1,000 miles in diameter. The image was created by the NASA GOES Project at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.

Jewish Press Staff

The Ethiopian Aliyah Comes to a Close

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

A ceremony welcoming the new immigrants will take place at Ben Gurion Airport Terminal 1 on Monday, 29.10.12 at 15:00. In attendance will be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Chairman of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors, James S. Tisch, Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency, Natan Sharansky, Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Sofa Landver, Chairman of Keren Hayesod, Eliezer (Moodi) Sandberg, President of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein, Chair of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America, Kathy Manning and members of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors.

The first charter flight with approximately 240 Olim (immigrants) from Ethiopia, half of them children, will arrive in Israel on Monday, 29.10. The flight was organized by the Jewish Agency for Israel pursuant to the July government decision to increase the rate of Ethiopian Aliyah in order to complete the immigration of the remainder of the Falash Mura to Israel. The ceremony will take place during the Jewish Agency’s Board of Governors, which is taking place this week in Tel Aviv with the participation of Jewish leaders from Israel and around the world.

In July 2012, the government of Israel decided to increase the rate of Aliyah from Ethiopia in order to complete the process as quickly as possible. It was decided to reopen the Jewish Agency’s Ibim Absorption Center located in the Sha’ar HaNegev Regional Council, which will be able to accommodate up to 600 of the Falash Mura. In order to facilitate the reopening of Ibim, the Jewish Agency raised 12 million shekels in addition to five and a half million shekels invested by the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption.

Operation Dove’s Wings is expected to be completed by October 2013, with the immigration of the remainder of the eligible Falash Mura, who have been waiting in Gondar. The Jewish Agency for Israel has been operating a community center in Gondar, headed by Asher Sium, to provide services for the waiting Olim. The center provides a comprehensive range of social services including preparation classes for Aliyah run by a group of volunteers, humanitarian assistance and catering services. The center also runs a school which includes Hebrew and Jewish studies as well as the regular curriculum of the Ethiopian Education Ministry.

The Chairman of the Jewish Agency, Mr Natan Sharansky, noted that this was a historic moment which began with Operation Moses, continued with Operation Solomon, and will be concluded with Operation Dove’s Wings. Sharansky thanked the Jewish Agency’s partners across the Jewish World and in Israel for their contribution to the Aliyah of Ethiopian Jewry and to their integration into Israeli society.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Hurricane Biberman

Friday, October 26th, 2012

The person I like least in the Knesset, the person I detest by far more than I do Haneen Zoabi, or Ahmad Tibi, two openly pro-Palestinian Arab MKs who are on occasion very hard to take – the one person who awakens the angry Jew in the pit of my stomach is MK Zehava Gal-On, leader of the now-minuscule, ultra-leftist Meretz party, who looks and sounds like the aging Communists who used to gather at Union Square for fiery speeches on May Day, except her voice reminds me of fingernails screeching down a glass window.

The same Zehava Gl-On, last night, on one of the local TV channels in an interview that followed the Netanyahu-Liberman announcement of their upcoming wedding, has come up with the perfect name for the new political creature born by the happy couple: she named it Biberman.

She invested this nickname with all the Jew-hating zeal of the left, which by now has stopped bothering to hide its anti-Semitism. This is not the left of Hubert Humphrey or even George McGovern, not to speak of David Ben Gurion and Golda Meir. This is the left of the Yevsektsia and gulags, whose repulsion of things Jewish is pathological. When Gal-On calls the new deal of the two major right-wing parties “Biberman,” she spatters the name like an evangelical Christian decrying the Prince of Darkness.

But I must tell you, having provided the emotional and historical context for the new name, I must admit that I love it, and that come January 22, I’m most likely going to vote Biberman. As will many other Israelis, I trust, who have in the past voted for neither Biberman partner.

The short announcement by the two men last night—there were no questions from the reporters in the room—described a logical union of Likud, with its 27 seats in the outgoing Knesset, and Yisrael Beitenu, with its 15 seats, to create a powerful new party with the potential to attract more seats than its sum total of 42.

An old, by now departed, chavruta of mine used to say that before you start talking about good government, you have to have government. And both men have proven to the voter that they are able to govern. Netanyahu boasted that this has been the most stable government in Israel’s history, and he may not be so far from the truth. More than that, it has been a government that faced the worst global economic tides in decades, and under its rule Israel was among the very first Western countries to emerge from the worst of it. They faced adversity on the social welfare front and managed to calm the “Occupy Sderot Rothschild” protests. They also managed a hot border with Gaza and a cooler border with the PA, and were able to mobilize the world against a nuclear Iran. They’ve done quite well.

Now, I was going to vote for Liberman’s party and not for Likud. I was disappointed by Netanyahu’s cavalier treatment of the settlements, his use of Ehud Barak as his errands boy against the settlers, and his failure to adopt the Levy Committee’s recommendation to apply Israeli law to the Jewish towns and villages of Judea and Samaria.

I planned to vote for Liberman not because I thought he was any more trustworthy regarding the fate of the settlements, despite his show of anti-Abbas machismo. I also didn’t think he was such a stellar foreign minister—although he did improve relations with Russia in ways only he could have done, and brought in from the cold  several former Soviet republics, as well as rebuilding relationships with long-ignored countries, because they weren’t the United States. I was also aware of the cloud hovering above Liberman’s head, as five-years’ worth of attorneys generals have been threatening to prosecute him for “corruption” (this mostly has to do, as I understand it, with just how blind is the blind trust managing his businesses).

My reason for supporting Liberman this time around was gratitude. One of the portfolios held by his coalition party is Absorption: the Minister of Immigrant Absorption Sofa Landver is a member of Yisrael Beiteinu.

My family arrived in Israel last December and we have had a charmed aliyah, largely due to the competent and compassionate help we received from the Absorption officials, starting at Ben Gurion airport on a very early Monday morning. It has been obvious to us that letting recent immigrants—the largely Russian crew at the ministry—run absorption services is an ingenious idea, and it works. As a voter, I’d like to reward competence with my vote.

Yori Yanover

Probes Launched Into Alleged Police Brutality

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

The NYPD and Brooklyn district attorney’s office have both opened investigations into the October 8th beating of 21-year-old Ehud HaLevy by two Brooklyn police officers.

The officers, Luis A. Vega and Yelena Bruzzese, entered the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults Center in Crown Heights at 5 a.m. in response to a call by Zalmy Trappler, a center volunteer. Trappler had apparently found HaLevy sleeping naked on a couch in the center’s lounge and asked him to leave. HaLevy refused, which prompted the phone call to the police.

As caught on surveillance video, available online, Vega and Buruzzese woke up HaLevy – who by now was wearing pants – and engaged in conversation for about a minute. They then tried to handcuff him, which he resisted by turning around and shifting his arms. After about 20 seconds of this stand-off, Vega began pummeling Halevy, hitting him in the face 25 times over the next two minutes.

“Those two officers behaved like animals,” said Assemblyman Dov Hikind in comments to Vosizneias.com. “How can two police officers who are sworn to uphold the law break the law like that? I have been close with the NYPD for years, and there are so many fine officers, but clearly these are two bad apples.”

Hikind held a press conference on Monday in Crown Heights, joined by State Senator Eric Adams, Assemblyman Karim Camara, New York City Comptroller John Liu, New York City Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, and City Council members Letitia James and David Greenfield.

According to a criminal complaint, the police officers warned HaLevy they would arrest him for trespassing. In response, he said, “Go ahead and try it. I am going to hit you.”

HaLevy claims he had permission to sleep in the center. Rabbi Moishe Feiglin, a director at the youth outreach center (and cousin of the Likud politician of the same name), confirmed to The New York Times that HaLevy was telling the truth. He needed “a place to crash for a short period,” Feiglin said.

In response to a request for comment, the police department e-mailed the following statement to The Jewish Press: “The officers used force to affect the arrest, in which Ehud Haleavy M/W/21 was charged with assault, trespass, resisting arrest, harassment, and unlawful possession of marijuana. The NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau opened an investigation of the incident yesterday, after having seen a video of it. The matter was also referred by IAB to the Civilian Complaint Review Board. One of the officers, M/H/49 and assigned to the 71st Pct, has been placed on modified assignment while the incident is under investigation.”

“M/H/49” refers to Officer Vega.

Elliot Resnick

Police Beat Up Unarmed Israeli in Brooklyn Jewish Center (Video)

Monday, October 15th, 2012

Last Monday evening, October 8, police were called to take care of Ehud Halevi, a homeless man who was sleeping on the couch in the lounge of the Alternative Learning Institute for Young Adults (ALIYA), a synagogue and outreach center for troubled youth on East New York Ave. in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, reports the website CrownHeights.info.

One male and one female officers from the 71st precinct arrived and woke up Halevi, who appeared baffled by their arrival, and would not comply with their order to vacate the premises, insisting he had permission to be there.

The officers decided to arrest Halevi, who refused to be handcuffed and pushed the two cops off. In an instant, the male officer flew into a rage and began to beat up the half naked Halevi. The officer leaped on his defenseless victim, smacking him repeatedly.

Next the shirtless, already subdued Halevi was pepper-sprayed and hit with a truncheon by the female officer.

After about two minutes of out of control violence, the officers are joined by a squadron of cops who were finally able to handcuff the badly beaten man.

According to CrownHeights.info, a source inside ALIYA confirmed that Ehud Halevi indeed had permission to sleep on the premises, and had been a model resident for a month.

Now Halevi is being charged with assaulting a police officer, a felony charge that could put him in jail for five years, as well as four Misdemeanor charges and four violations, including trespassing, resisting arrest and harassment.

Halevi is now out on bail. ALIYA declined to comment on the disturbing affair.

Tibbi Singer

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/police-beat-up-unarmed-israeli-in-brooklyn-jewish-center-video/2012/10/15/

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