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May 27, 2016 / 19 Iyar, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘chris christie’

Republican Presidential Field Continues to Narrow

Thursday, February 11th, 2016

After the results of the first two election battles in this U.S. presidential campaign season, the crowd has begun to thin out.

After the Iowa caucus and before the New Hampshire primary, Governors Mike Huckabee and Martin O’Malley dropped out.

And now, with disappointing results in Tuesday’s primary, Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey and Carly Fiorina, the former head of Hewlett-Packard, both called it quits.

Look for still more to fall by the wayside as the intense primary season proceeds full steam. While the frontrunner Donald Trump, followed by Gov. John Kasich, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Florida Gov. Jeb Bush are all probably in the running for quite a bit longer, it won’t come as surprise to political viewers if neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson soon calls it quits unless he gets a top tier showing in the next few primaries.

The South Carolina Republican primary will take place on Feb. 20, with Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders going head to head in South Carolina the following Sturday, on Feb. 27. That same week are the Nevada contests, with Democrats voting on Feb. 20 and the Republicans just a few days later on Feb. 23.

March 1 will be a huge day, with more than a dozen contests scheduled, including Alabama, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. By the time that is over, the pecking order should be quite a bit clearer.

The contests will continue right up until the District of Columbia primary on Tuesday, June 14.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Cory Booker + 2 More Senators Announce Support for Nuclear Iran Deal

Friday, September 4th, 2015

When the retiring Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) announced her support for the Nuclear Iran Deal yesterday, Sept. 2, hers was the last vote commitment in support needed to defeat hopes of a veto override. However, the pile on today of three more Senators expressing support for the deal was still painful for its opponents.

New Jersey’s Senator Cory Booker was someone opponents considered a possible “no” vote, in particular given the extraordinarily high praise given to him by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, someone who has known and been close with Booker since the then Rhodes-scholar was at Oxford where Boteach ran an organization for Jewish students. Boteach studied Torah with Booker during his time at Oxford.

At a recent event Boteach held with New Jersey Governor Chris Christie specifically to call upon Booker to oppose the deal, Boteach gave several reasons why he believed Booker would not support it.

Boteach recounted that when Booker was mayor, he refused to perform heterosexual marriages until gay marriage was legalized. With such a strong position, Boteach questioned, how could Booker possibly validate a regime that publicly hangs homosexuals.

The Englewood rabbi also said that a “senator at the forefront of prison reform in the United States could not legitimize a government that locks up thousands of people just because they are political opponents of the regime.”

However, on Thursday, Sept. 3, Booker announced his support for the Nuclear Iran Deal. But his statement suggests that the entire negotiations process was wrong from the start, and culminated in a deeply flawed deal. He said the following in the announcement of his decision:

We began negotiations with Iran at a time when our sanctions regime was having its most significant impact on the Iranians. We were gaining maximum leverage on Iran through coordinated economic sanctions with our international partners. We joined with our partner nations at the outset of negotiations with the stated intention of preventing Iran from having the capability to get a nuclear weapon.

Unfortunately, it’s clear we didn’t achieve that objective and have only delayed — not blocked — Iran’s potential nuclear breakout.

But, with the JCPOA, we have now passed a point of no return that we should have never reached, leaving our nation to choose between two imperfect, dangerous and uncertain options. Left with these two choices, I nonetheless believe it is better to support a deeply flawed deal, for the alternative is worse.

Also on Thursday Senator Mark R. Warner, Democrat of Virginia and freshman Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat representing North Dakota, announced their support for the Nuclear Iran Deal.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Trump-Mania Puts ‘The Donald’ in Dead Heat with Jeb Bush

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

 

 

Everyone is saying that Donald Trump’s popularity is just a passing fad, but they can’t figure out when, if  ever.

The maverick and shoot-from-the-hip billionaire real estate mogul, reality show celebrity and bigot shares the top spot among Republican voters, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll published on Saturday.

Last week, a CNN poll announced he was sharing the top spot, and the poll by Reuters makes Trump even more of a serious contender and a critical threat to the Republican party, which would prefer to see him on a life-long mission as an astronaut in outer space, which is where he is considered to be living politically.

But he has lots of company.

The new poll gave him 16.1 percent support among Republican voters, a 0.3 lead over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. In distant third place is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. followed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

However, Trump still does not stand a chance because when the same poll gave voters only three choices – Trump, Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – Bush smeared Trump  42-28.4 percent.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton remains far ahead of Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders with more than 2-1 lead.

 

 

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Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Precisely to Whom is Gov. Chris Christie Pandering?

Friday, April 11th, 2014

Pundits have written about Governor Chris Christie’s recent faux pas at the Republican Jewish Coalition conclave in Las Vegas. The Governor mistakenly called the territories that Israel was forced to conquer in its defensive wars of 1967 and 1973, “occupied.” The fact is that the Palestinians have consistently refused to negotiate in good faith,  refusing to even verbally acknowledge of the existence of a Jewish state.

The reason that the term “occupied territories” is offensive to some is that those facts seem to be glaringly omitted by that particular phraseology.

Certainly, Governor Christie should have been better briefed. It appears that Christie later apologized for the use of the term to Sheldon Adelson, the Jewish philanthropist, major humanitarian, and political benefactor, at whose Las Vegas hotel the event was held.

After the apology, the enlightened oracles of the media began alluding to the fact that the only reason that the governor apologized for the wording was to pander to Mr. Adelson because of his wealth and generosity to political campaigns.

The most odious comment came from New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, who compared Adelson to Iran’s dictator Ayatollah Khamenei saying they had, “…one thing in common — they are both trying to destroy Israel. Adelson is doing it by loving Israel to death. Khomeini is doing it by hating it to death.”

Not agreeing with a policy for making peace with those who daily demonstrate that they are clearly not ready for peace, by inciting children to blow themselves up in pizza restaurants by teaching them that one day all of Israel will someday be theirs, does not equate with “trying to destroy Israel.”

If Mr. Friedman had spent time speaking to the parents of some of the Israeli children who have been killed by the terrorists lionized by Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority, he would understand a bit more of just what the Jewish state is really up against, and how out of touch he is with the reality on the ground.

What the talking heads failed to report is a much more significant remark made in that same speech. This remark indicated whom the governor really panders to, and frankly is a more serious issue for America’s national security interests.

When asked about those who raised questions in their writings about Governor Christie’s support on issues related to Sharia law, he replied by focusing solely on Sohail Mohammed, an immigration attorney. He described Mohammed’s touching history as an immigrant and naturalized citizen before adding:

“Sohail Mohammed knows as much about jihad as I do, being an Irish-American kid from Newark, New Jersey,” Christie said of the Indian-American judge who immigrated to America as a child. “It is ridiculous and insulting, that because I nominated Sohail Mohammed — that people somehow think that means I’m for Sharia Law. It’s crap,” he said to applause. “And I will not ever apologize for making him a judge — in fact, I’m proud of it.”

Almost every American can relate to that beautiful “American dream” and “rags to riches” saga. We are a nation of immigrants, and all of our ancestors came here to make a better life for their children.  But Christie’s description conveniently omits certain facts.

Sohail Mohammad is on the board of the American Muslim Union (AMU), and serves as its attorney. The AMU was founded by a former executive of the Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR), which is a front group of the Muslim Brotherhood. Sohail Mohammad’s practice has focused on defending suspected terrorists from deportation.

New Jersey is home to a very large mosque, the Islamic Center of Passaic County, (ICPC), which was founded by Mohammad El-Mezain, who in 2008, was convicted for fundraising for Hamas through the Holy Land Foundation.  It is now led by Imam Mohammad Qatanani. The ICPC and the AMU share multiple directors and leaders.

Sarah N. Stern

When Israel Supporters Use the Language of Delegitimization

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

When U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, said it was a “mistake” for Israel to demand recognition as the Jewish State, it shows how deeply the language of delegitimization has been adopted by even the most ardent of Israel supporters.

Another example of this was New Jersey Governor, and potential Republican presidential candidate, Chris Christie. In front of a crowd of Jewish Republican fundraisers in Las Vegas, hosted by Sheldon Adelson, a close friend of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Christie said, “I took a helicopter ride from the occupied territories and felt personally how extraordinary that was to understand the military risk that Israel faces every day.”

When challenged by the head of Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein, Christie apologized, saying his remark was not meant as a statement of policy.

We increasing see well-intentioned, powerful and influential people, who have the close attention of the media, make misplaced statements that feed into the adoption of a viewpoint that Israel has no legitimate right to be where it is.

The misuse of language is an indicator not only of the general public’s views, it also displays how pro-Israel influential voices are chasing a narrative that is driven by the Palestinian side of the conflict.

One perfect example of terminology drift can be seen with the area once known as Judea and Samaria becoming “disputed territory,” then the West Bank, and now “illegally occupied Palestinian land.”

Any staunch Israeli, or dispassionate neutral, would argue that it is neither illegal, nor occupied, and certainly not Palestinian land, according to international law and binding resolutions going back as far as the League of Nations Mandate of 1922. All this has not stopped the flow of terminology becoming accepted language.

How did this state of affairs come about? Well, it boils down to two major factors;

1) A highly successful pro-Palestinian publicity campaign. 2) A dereliction of duty by consecutive Israeli governments and prime ministers. Some say the demonization and delegitimization of Israel began at the infamous 2001 UN Conference on Racism at Durban in South Africa which produced the hateful “Zionism is Racism” resolution, and gave birth to the accusations of an apartheid Israel.

However, the refusal to accept Jewish rights to an independent state was forcefully demonstrated back in 1947 when the Arab nations violently rejected UN Resolution 181 which called for recognition of a Jewish state. They unsuccessfully launched major wars against the nascent Jewish state which led them in anger, following yet another defeat in 1967, to gather in Khartoum and declare three “No’s” against Israel. No peace, no negotiations, no recognition. This was reconfirmed by the Arab League as recently as March 25, 2014, when Arab leaders again declared that they will never recognize Israel as the Jewish state. So much for the Arab Peace Initiative!

But, to go back in time, out of Egypt came Yasser Arafat to cloak himself in the mantle of Palestine. Initially, he saw himself as the spearhead of the Pan-Arabic aggression against Israel. As he said in a 1970 interview with Italian journalist Arianna Palazzi, “The question of borders doesn’t interest us. Our nation is the Arabic nation. The PLO is fighting Israel in the name of Pan-Arabism. What you call Jordan is nothing more than Palestine.”

This hatred of Israel coalesced into what is known as the Palestinian cause. By portraying Israel as a colonialist, powerful, aggressive, oppressive, racist, occupier of a poor, defenseless, weak, indigenous Palestinian people a picture is painted that, to the impressionable, inevitably leads to a negative opinion of an Israel accused of the worst examples of war crimes and human rights abuses, and a sympathy for the weak Palestinians. That is the perception today.

Barry Shaw

Hillary ‘F.’ Clinton Way Ahead of the Pack in Poll

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

Hillary Rodham Clinton holds a 6-1 lead among Democrats answering a Washington Post-ABC News poll on their choice for president in 2016.

Clinton, whose middle name easily could be “F.” considering how many times she has been reported as using the “f—“ word,  has virtually no competition in both areas – the nomination for presidency and an uncouth vocabulary. She has used the four-letter word not only as an adjective for Jews but also as an adverb for almost every subject imaginable.

For better or worse, Clinton has 73 percent backing of Democrats, according to the poll. The second most popular is Vice President Joe Biden, with only 12 percent.

On the Republican side, the nomination is up for grabs, and the party does not look like it is any better shape than it was in 2012, when it failed miserably to take advantage of President Barack Obama’s sagging popularity.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie’s aura has been blackened by the recent bridge-traffic scandal, and he is in third place with 13 percent support, behind Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan and former Florida governor Jeb Bush. None of the potential candidates has solid backing from the Tea party.

After Christie, there are senators Ted Cruz of Kentucky and Marcio Rubio of Florida.

The Republicans have a year or so to get their act together and unite, a distant possibility at this stage of the game.

Clinton, if she runs and wins,, would be the first woman president of the United States and the first president whose husband held the office.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Beyond Christie’s Bridgegate: Ignoring the Sharia Elephant in the Room

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Originally published at The American Thinker.

The political flap over Chris Christie’s role in “Bridgegate” has thrown a spotlight once again on the rough-hewn, plain-speaking New Jersey governor.  But the drama of the current brouhaha has drawn attention away from the governor’s more serious, ongoing missteps — namely, his cultivation of relationships with those associated with known terrorist groups.  Remarkably, New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie appears more contrite about Bridgegate than he is about these associations that threaten national security.

Muslims & Political Influence in New Jersey

New Jersey has the second-largest Muslim population of any state, after Michigan.  Paterson, the county seat of Passaic County, is home to a controversial Hamas-linked mosque, the Islamic Center of Passaic County (ICPC), and contains the largest population of Palestinian Muslims in the United States.  The Muslim community in South Paterson is referred to as “Little Ramallah.”

This past year, Paterson’s mayor, Jeff Jones, was the first U.S. city official to host a “Palestinian-American Day,” with a Palestinian flag hoisted over City Hall on Israeli Independence Day.  Astonishingly, the event organizer, Khader Abuassab, a convicted criminal who pled guilty to fraud and swindling, is on record telling local Muslims not to cooperate with law enforcement.  Further, Abuassab served on the Paterson Board of Education, ran for City Council, and now serves on Governor Christie’s Muslim Outreach Committee.

Christie & Mohammed Qatanani

But Christie’s record of political support for Muslims dates back to his days as U.S. attorney.  It was then, in 2006, when he came to the aid of a radical Muslim imam, Mohammed Qatanani, who was on the verge of being deported from the United States for failure to disclose terrorist affiliations.

The little-known details are that Qatanani arrived in the United States in 1996 to take over the ICPC, one of the largest mosques in the state.  Housed in a former synagogue, the ICPC was founded in 1989 by Imam Mohammed El-Mezain, a convicted Hamas operative and fundraiser who publicly boasted of raising close to $2 million for the organization.  In 1996, Qatanani arrived to succeed El-Mezain.

Given the mosque’s affiliations, it’s not surprising that Qatanani also has a background littered with terrorist associations.  He was arrested and convicted in Israel in 1993 as a self-admitted member of Hamas.  As a Muslim Brotherhood operative, he had provided financial support for terrorist activities and continued to send large cash transfers to the West Bank once he arrived.

These activities raised suspicions by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which in 2006 began attempts to deport Qatanani for failure to disclose his 1993 arrest in Israel for involvement with a terrorist group.  Despite the charges for his terrorist activities and very real security concerns about the Hamas-affiliated imam, a spokesman for Qatanani, Aref Assaf, called the deportation effort “vindictive,” implying that the investigation was ill-conceived and baseless.

Then, then-U.S. Attorney Chris Christie came to the aid of the imam.  In response to a 2008 DHS court filing, Christie defended the imam as a “man of great goodwill” and sent his assistant U.S. attorney, Charles McKenna, to court to serve as a character witness.  As a result of Christie’s efforts, Qatanani was granted legal permanent residency.

Christie & Sohail Mohammed

In 2011, as governor, Christie aggressively endorsed and appointed Qatanani’s lawyer, Sohail Mohammed, as a New Jersey Superior Court judge.  Some speculated that the post was a payoff to Imam Qatanani for ICPC and Muslim community support for his gubernatorial campaign.

Sohail Mohammed is a board member and general counsel of the American Muslim Union (AMU), an organization co-founded by a former executive for the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim Brotherhood front and unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation trial, the largest terrorism funding trial in U.S. history.  Several AMU executives have held leadership positions at the Hamas-linked ICPC.  Sohail Mohammed publicly defended convicted terrorist and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) leader Sami Al-Arian and criticized the U.S. government for shutting down the Holy Land Foundation for its support of Hamas.

Janet Levy

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/beyond-christies-bridgegate-ignoring-the-sharia-elephant-in-the-room/2014/01/20/

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