web analytics
January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

Report: US Ambassador To Israel May Work Sans Embassy in Jerusalem

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

A report broadcast Tuesday night by Israel’s Channel 2 television news said U.S. President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for the incoming Ambassador to Israel – David Friedman – may begin working out of the American Consulate in Jerusalem, while the official U.S. Embassy remains in Tel Aviv.

But then, what do you call a Consulate when the Ambassador works there, and lives there in residence?

The president-elect pledged during his campaign – and repeated the promise after his election – to move the embassy to the Israeli capital. His senior adviser, Kellyanne Conway also repeated that promise, as did his chosen candidate for Ambassador to Israel, Mr. Friedman.

Last month, the incoming Trump administration also sent an advance team to Jerusalem scout for a feasible site to consider for a future U.S. Embassy.

Palestinian Authority officials, and those heading the Palestine Liberation Organization (but most head both) have repeatedly threatened, however, that any attempt to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem would be considered “an act of war.”

Jordan, albeit a signatory to a peace treaty with Israel, has also warned that such a move would “cross a red line.”

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry used most of a speech lasting well over an hour earlier this month to scorch the Israeli government and its prime minister, and sketch out the Obama administration’s “vision for peace” with a six-point plan. Kerry, too, issued dire warnings that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would cause an “explosion of violence across the Middle East.”

It is expected that Jordan will attend the upcoming Paris “peace summit” later this week. At that conference Kerry is to reprise his speech for delegates of 70 nations invited to the French capital to discuss how to resolve the issues between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Neither of the two relevant parties is invited to the summit that is ostensibly being held — by the very same nations who condemned the State of Israel and voted to approve a worldwide boycott against more than half a million Israelis, less than a month ago — to “help them find a pathway to peace.”

Hana Levi Julian

PM Netanyahu Thanks Congress for Its Vote Against UN’s Anti-Israel Resolution [video]

Friday, January 6th, 2017

PM Netanyahu thanked the US House of Representatives for its vote for Israel and against the Anti-Israel Resolution that was passed in the UN Security Council.

“After the outrageous anti-Israel resolution at the UN, the US House of Representatives voted yesterday resoundingly to support Israel and reject this one-sided resolution.

Democrats and Republicans alike know that the Western Wall isn’t occupied territory.

They voted to either repeal the resolution at the UN or change it—and that’s exactly what we intend to do.

I want to thank the US House of Representatives which reflects the tremendous support Israel enjoys among the American people.

Thank you, America.

Thank you, Congress.”

Jewish Press News Briefs

Jews 2nd Largest Religious Group in 115th Congress

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

Out of the 535 members of the incoming US Congress, 30 are Jews, following the 485 members of both houses who define themselves as Christian, according to the Pew Research Center. Jews make up 2% of the US adult population but account for 6% of Congress.

Jews also account for 50% of the Supreme Court.

Lagging behind are the Mormons (who are kind of Christian), with 13 members, Buddhists (3), Hindus (3), Muslims (2), and 1 each: Unitarian Universalists and Unaffiliated.

Among the 293 Republicans elected to serve in the 115th Congress, 291 identify as Christians; there are two Jewish Republicans – Lee Zeldin of New York and David Kustoff of Tennessee, both serving in the House.

The 242 Democrats in Congress include 28 Jews, and those three Buddhists, three Hindus, two Muslims and one Unitarian Universalist. The Democratic delegation also includes the only member of Congress who describes herself as unaffiliated, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema from Arizona.

In fact, according to Pew, the group that’s most underrepresented are the religiously unaffiliated, which accounts for 23% of the general public but is represented by only 0.2% of Congress.

Two-thirds of Republicans in the new Congress (67%) are Protestant, 27% Catholic. 42% of the Democratic members are Protestants and 37% Catholics.

JNi.Media

Will Congress Support Cutbacks In UN Funding?

Wednesday, December 28th, 2016

An overwhelming number of senators and representatives have gone public with criticism of UN Security Council Resolution 2334. While the criticism was largely directed at President Obama’s decision to break with past U.S. policy – including his own – by directing the UN ambassador to abstain, the Security Council’s 14-0 vote to adopt the anti-Israel measure is itself an issue that Congress needs to examine.

The incoming Trump administration reportedly will consider reducing America’s financial contributions to the UN in response to the resolution. And various existing statutes call for sanctions against UN agencies that pass anti-Israel measures. In an honest world, those statutes doubtless should have impelled President Obama to order a veto of Resolution 2334.

In any event, we hope the strong stand in opposition to the resolution on the part of so many lawmakers will translate into support for measures to take the UN to task for its anti-Israel obsession, especially in the face of the ongoing slaughter of hundreds of thousands of Arab civilians by Israel’s Arab neighbors.

It’s also worthy of note that J Street stands out as one of the few organizations supporting the UN’s censure of Israel. J Street maintains that its position is the true pro-Israel one. Hopefully, with the loss of a champion in the White House, J Street and its nutty notion of what being pro-Israel means will soon be consigned to the dustbin of history, where they belong.

Editorial Board

Senator Boxer Wants to Abolish Electoral College

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Ca) who is retiring in January 2017 has introduced he last bill, and it’s a big one. Boxer’s legislation, submitted on Tuesday, will abolish the Electoral College, leaving the choice of a president up to the popular vote.

“In my lifetime, I have seen two elections where the winner of the general election did not win the popular vote,” Boxer said in a statement. “When all the ballots are counted, Hillary Clinton will have won the popular vote by a margin that could exceed 2 million votes, and she is on track to have received more votes than any other presidential candidate in history except Barack Obama.”

“The Electoral College is an outdated, undemocratic system that does not reflect our modern society, and it needs to change immediately,” Boxer insisted, stressing that “every American should be guaranteed that their vote counts.”

Boxer’s bill requires an amendment to the US Constitution (number 28), and three-fourths of the states would be needed to ratify the bill within seven years — should its pass in Congress.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, to Sophie (née Silvershein) and Ira Levy, Barbara Boxer has been the junior Senator from California since 1993. In October 2002, Boxer voted against the joint resolution to authorize the use of military force by the Bush Administration in Iraq. In June 2005, Senators Boxer and Russ Feingold (D-WI) cosponsored Senate Resolution 171 calling for a timeframe for U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.

President Elect Donald Trump is the fifth person to win the presidency while losing the popular vote. The most recent was George W. Bush in 2000. The other three times all took place in the 19th century. According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 63 percent of Americans would get rid of the electoral college.

“In 2012, Donald Trump tweeted, ‘The electoral college is a disaster for a democracy,'” Boxer said in her statement. “I couldn’t agree more. One person, one vote!”

JNi.Media

Election Aftermath: State Politics And Congress

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016

The brief narrative about last week’s elections on the state level is that everything remains the same moving into next year’s legislative session.

The Republican-controlled Senate picked up an extra seat in the Buffalo area but could lose a seat on Long Island when the absentee votes are counted next week. A mere 33 votes separate the incumbent from the challenger, with the challenger ahead.

Outright control of the Senate hangs in the balance until that race is decided. The Republicans have 32 seats, including Democrat Simcha Felder, of Boro Park, Brooklyn, who caucuses with the Republicans. The mainline Democrats hold 23 seats and the Independent Democratic Coalition increased its membership to seven seats after two members, Senator Jesse Hamilton (D – Crown Heights) and Senator-elect Marisol Alcantara (D – Washington Heights, Manhattan), have pledged their loyalty to the IDC when session begins anew in January.

The IDC has formed a coalition with the Republicans since 2012 that has tipped the balance of power in the upper house. The average age in the state Senate is 58 and the average tenure for a senator is 10 years.

In the Democratic-dominated Assembly, there will be 18 new faces in the lower house next year. While the final tally has the GOP with a net gain of one seat, the Democrats control the 150-member house with 107 members. The average age of Assembly lawmakers is 55 years old; the average tenure in the Assembly is 11 years.

In Congress, the 27-member New York delegation will have four new faces in Washington. The newcomers replace incumbents from their own party who retired.

One of the most watched races was that of Fordham University Associate Law Professor Zephyr Teachout (D – Clinton, Dutchess County) against attorney and former Assembly Republican leader John Faso (R – Kinderhook, Columbia County), who had two failed attempts at statewide office (comptroller and governor). Faso won the race.

Teachout is a left-wing supporter of the BDS movement against Israel as well as a higher minimum wage, increased spending on public infrastructure, a ban on fracking, an increase in manufacturing jobs, property tax cuts, campaign finance reform, increased investment in rural infrastructure, an end to Common Core and high-stakes testing.

Faso, on the other hand, captured the support of the observant Jewish community, including Agudath Israel of America and several local Chabad centers run by members of the Hecht family.

Rabbi Hanoch Hecht, spiritual leader of the Rhinebeck Jewish Center and director of Chabad of Dutchess County, quickly became a Faso fan.

“He’s a supporter of Israel, a supporter of Jewish values, and the relationship with the Hecht family goes back well over 20 years,” Hecht told The Jewish Press. “I have had many conversations with Faso about Israel and the Iran deal, which he opposed. He’s very upset with the relationship the current president had with Netanyahu and all that has gone over there. He keeps his word and follows through on his commitments.”

Chaskell Bennett, an Agudath Israel trustee, echoed the feeling about Faso. “For our community, not only was John Faso the right choice, he was the obvious choice,” Bennett told The Jewish Press. “He understands the issues we’re discussing locally, domestically and internationally. He was extraordinarily positive on the importance of making sure the American-Israel relationship remains one of the most important relationships America has. He understands the difficulties of tuition-paying parents. He understands the challenges faced by a religious community in terms of being able to practice our religion. He has expressed his support for our ability to live as Orthodox Jews without fear of incitement, without fear of hatred, without fear of anti-Semitism. He spoke about the contribution of the Jewish community to the economy of the state and the importance of the Jewish communities’ investment in the district and there is a sizeable representation within the district.”

Jake Koschitzki, a Flatbush resident who owns two nursing homes in Dutchess County, says Faso is “a mensch. A word by him is a word and he cares about the Jewish people.”

During the presidential primary, Faso was a supporter of Carly Fiorina. Now that Donald Trump is the president-elect, Faso has some advice for the New York real estate mogul:

“We have to be very clear-headed and cautious about what is said because what is said by the U.S. president is paid minute attention to by the rest of the world,” Faso told The Jewish Press.

Trump is said to favor moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, an action Faso supports.

“Moving the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is something I’ve supported for a long time,” Faso said. “Each country should be able to designate its own capital and foreign countries with their embassies should respect that designation.”

Faso admits he has to get up to speed on foreign relations.

“The focus of our campaign was on rebuilding the economy and domestic issues but I’m someone who is deeply concerned about international matters and I expect that during the course of my term in Congress I will be able to become much more acquainted with various foreign policy issues,” said Faso.

Although Faso said on “The Jewish View,” a television program taped in Albany, that he has been to Libya and Lebanon, he has yet to set foot on Israeli soil.

According to Koschitzki , Faso is looking forward to making a trip to Israel in the next year or so.

Marc Gronich

Jewish Numbers Grow in Congress, Republicans Take Both Houses

Wednesday, November 9th, 2016

The number of Jewish lawmakers has grown in the U.S. House of Representatives from 19 to 23 in the wake of Tuesday’s election in the United States.

There are now two Jewish Republicans in the House, and five Jews in total who were newly elected. A Jewish Representative from Florida is stepping down to retire as well.

In the U.S. Senate, the number of Jews has dropped from nine to eight.

The GOP has swept both houses and for the first time in many years, the United States government will be controlled nearly entirely by the Republican party.

In addition, a former Navy SEAL became the first Jewish governor of Missouri, also from the Republican party.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jewish-numbers-grow-in-congress-republicans-take-both-houses/2016/11/09/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: