web analytics
August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Congress’

RJC Applauding New Republican Jewish Voice in Congress

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Republican Jewish Coalition Executive Director Matt Brooks on Friday released a statement congratulating David Kustoff on his primary victory, defeating 12 opponents to capture the Republican primary for Tennessee’s 8th Congressional district Thursday night, making him the projected successor of Rep. Stephen Fincher in Congress.

“David Kustoff’s victory last night is wonderful news, as it means there will be another strong Jewish Republican voice in Congress, joining our friend, Congressman Lee Zeldin,” Brooks said. “Our country needs more lawmakers like David and Lee, who will fight to roll back President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s disastrous foreign policies and stand up for our principles.”

Meanwhile, in the Tennessee 9th Congressional District, which includes a large portion of Memphis and its immediate suburbs, Democratic incumbent Steve Cohen won the primary vote by a whopping 86%. Cohen is projected to win the November general election in the Democratic district versus Republican Wayne Alberson and independent Paul Cook.

JNi.Media

Former Georgia Lawmaker Implies Israeli Linked to Nice, Munich Terror

Saturday, July 30th, 2016

It looks like anti-Semitism is starting to become a new fad among politicians in the United States — or perhaps those who long have cherished such feelings simply now feel safer about expressing and promoting them.

On the heels of reports this week that Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson referred to Jewish Israeli residents of Judea and Samaria as “termites,” came another revelation that a former Congresswoman from the same state also held anti-Semitic views on Israel. Johnson was compelled to issue a grudging apology for his slurs, although he refused to back down from the rest of his comments; it remains to be seen what the future will bring with former U.S. Representative Cynthia McKinney, PhD, who was also the 2008 presidential nominee for the Green Party.

On the Twitter social media site a week ago (last Saturday night) McKinney tweeted: “Same Israeli photographer captures Nice and Munich tragedies. How likely is that? Remember the Dancing Israelis?” 

The photographer in question, Richard Gutjahr, tweeted photos from terror attacks both in Nice and in Munich, where the death tolls rose to 84 and 9 respectively.

Gutjahr is not Israeli, although he is married to former Labor Knesset member Einat Wilf, an Israeli woman. Wilf served in the elite IDF Unit 8200 intelligence unit.

The ‘Dancing Israelis’ thing is a reference to a conspiracy theory that five Israeli men were detained by New Jersey police on Sept. 11, 2001 after they were allegedly seen celebrating the Al Qaeda attack on Twin Towers of the World Trade Center.

When McKinney’s tweet was challenged online, in response she defiantly followed it up with another: “Yes, remember the Dancing Israelis? Why were they dancing in the park as Americans were dying? Why were they in the park in the first place?”

But McKinney’s anti-Semitism didn’t stop with her potshots referencing the 9/11 blood libels. Take a look at her cozy relationship with the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions (BDS) movement. She tweeted a cry of joy in another post during her July 24 ‘blitzkrieg‘: “This is huge: NLRB rules that unions have a right to boycott Israel.”

And last but not least, another in the series which she retweeted and praised, saying, “I LOVE this!”

It remains to be seen what McKinney will do, now that the Democratic National Convention is over and all the hoopla of national attention is diverted elsewhere.

Hana Levi Julian

Tim Kaine’s Decision to Boycott Netanyahu’s Speech Could Hurt Hillary

Saturday, July 23rd, 2016

When Hillary Clinton’s choice for VP, Virginia Senator Tim Kaine, joined the Democrats who avoided Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 2015 speech to a joint session of Congress, he announced: “There is no reason to schedule this speech before Israeli voters go to the polls on March 17 and choose their own leadership.” Revealing that he had labored to delay the Netanyahu appearance, Kaine said, “I am disappointed that, as of now, the speech has not been postponed. For this reason, I will not attend the speech.”

Before Kaine made his announcement, only three other senators had planned to boycott the speech: the two anti-Netanyahu Vermont Senators Bernie Sanders and Pat Leahy, and Hawaii Senator Brian Schatz. All the other Democratic senators were reluctant to commit either way, and told the press they were thinking about it. Even the biggest Democratic opponent of the Iran deal, New York Senator Chuck Schumer, did not forcefully call on his fellow Democrats to show—not willing to upset an already irate President Obama. Most Democratic legislators who said they’d avoid the speech came from blue states and blue districts. But when Kaine, whose state of Virginia until 2008 voted Republican for president, gave permission to Democrats from red states to boycott Netanyahu when he declared he was skipping the speech.

The Forward on Friday wrote that Kaine “Will be the Jewiest Vice President” under Hillary Clinton, describing him as “a friend to the Jewish community for about as long as he’s been in public service.” But when one reads the reasons why Kaine is so “Jewey” according to the Forward, one realizes Kaine would be a bonanza to leftwing Israeli Jews, very much like the folks who are currently in the White House.

Kaine supports a two-state solution, argues the Forward; also, he is a religious Catholic (so he knows all about the auto-da-fé); during his time as the governor of Virginia, Sabra built the world’s largest hummus factory outside Richmond, and hummus is Jewish, isn’t it, ask anyone from Cairo to Ramallah to Damascus; and Kaine hosted several Passover seders and played matchmaker to Conservative Rabbi Jack Moline’s daughter.

So, in considering Kaine’s pros and cons regarding Israel, you have his support for a nuclear deal with Iran, and his support for a Palestinian State, while on the plus side you have lots of hummus.

JNi.Media

Finally: Congress Asking UNRWA for Real Number of Palestinian Refugees

Friday, July 15th, 2016

Both houses of Congress are at work to modify funding bills for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), as part of an effort to investigate the very legitimacy of the decades-old agency, Michael Wilner reported in the Jerusalem Post Friday. Both the House and the Senate want the State Department to, once and for all, define the term “Palestinian refugee,” and while they’re at it, reveal how many are receiving aid from UNRWA.

UNRWA was established in 1948 to assist the 750,000 Palestinians who had left Israel. Since then UNRWA has been a promoter of the Palestinian cause, funding as many as 5 million “refugees,” the majority of whom never left the homes where they were born in the Gaza Strip, the “West Bank,” eastern Jerusalem, or other Arab countries, to the tune of $1.23 billion annually, $250 million of which is donated by US taxpayers.

Many in Congress have been saying, since about 2012, that the majority of Palestinians are permanently settled, and should not be under the jurisdiction of a refugee agency.

Needless to say, Wilner points out, “such a finding would fundamentally change the narrative of the decades-old conflict.”

The first Palestinian census was completed 15 years ago, and the head of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) admitted then that the census was, in effect, “a civil intifada” rather than a scientific survey. In 2011 the Bureau attempted to correct that blatant misrepresentation, claiming that 2.6 million Palestinian Arabs inhabit Judea and Samaria.

But Israeli demographer Yoram Ettinger challenged those numbers, claiming they overstated the real number of Arabs there by as much as 66%. He explained that the PCBS’s total counts 400,000 Palestinians living overseas, and double-counts 240,000 Jerusalem Arabs. It also undercounted Palestinian emigration.

In 2014, UNRWA came up with the figure of 5 million Palestinian refugees living in Gaza, Judea and Samaria, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon, and the US responded by providing hundreds of millions of dollars for UNRWA’s health, education, and social service programs.

“UNRWA is sort of becoming an entitlement program of the Middle East, and the desire is to increase transparency on who actually are refugees relevant to that conflict,” a senior Senate aide familiar with the language told Wilner, suggesting the new bill “goes to the heart of the debate over UNRWA funding.”

Republicans in both houses have launched parallel efforts to compel the State Department to go on the record with who qualifies as a “Palestinian refugee,” and the combined version of the law, once passed, will compel the secretary of state to provide “a justification of why it is in the national interest of the United States to provide funds to UNRWA.”

The bill’s language continues: “Such justification shall include an analysis of the current definition of Palestinian refugees that is used by UNRWA, how that definition corresponds with, or differs from, that used by UNHCR, other UN agencies, and the United States Government, and whether such definition furthers the prospects for lasting peace in the region.”

And, naturally, “the committee directs that such report be posted on the publicly available website of the Department of State.”

Finally, it should be noted that there are two distinct definitions of the term “refugee” in international law.

A refugee, according to the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, is a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well-founded grounds for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country; or in the case of not having a nationality and being outside their country of former habitual residence as a result of such event, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to their country of former habitual residence.

It is rare for a refugee status to extend beyond the lifetime of the original refugee, because normally it is expected that their offspring will have settled someplace else.

Not so regarding Palestinian refugees, according to UNRWA’s definition of the term, which includes the patrilineal descendants of the original “Palestinian refugees,” limited to persons residing in UNRWA’s areas of operation in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria.

JNi.Media

Rabbinical Congress for Peace Wants Netanyahu to Suspend Everybody’s Basic Rights

Wednesday, July 6th, 2016

Following a special meeting of the Administrative Committee of the Rabbinical Congress for Peace, the rabbis issued a call to the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government to declare a state of emergency in Israel. They issued a statement saying “there are times when a nation is confronted with war and terrorist insurgence that threaten the security and lives of its citizens. In such cases, international law acknowledges the curtailment of certain basic rights as a proactive response.”

The Rabbinical Congress for Peace (RCP), is a group of some 1,200 past and present Torah leaders from the United States, Canada and Israel, affiliated with the Zionist, Haredi and Chabad movements. In their Tuesday meeting, they lamented the fact that the past year has seen innocent Israelis being stabbed, shot and killed by their enemies, with little or no effective response from the Israeli government.

Relying on the Shulkhan Arukh, Orakh Haim 329, as well as on international law, the rabbis declared that the sanctity of life takes precedence over all else, to the extent that one is not only permitted but is obligated to desecrate Shabbat to pick up arms to repel the enemy.

Therefore, the Rabbis called on the Israeli government to “impose a complete, three-month-long closure on all towns and villages from which terrorists have come to kill Jews, as well as impose economic sanctions.”

Also, since the Israeli media justify and support (overtly or by insinuation) terrorist activity, making it the equivalent of a “fifth column” in Israel, the government should “temporarily impose a complete censorship on radio and TV for several months.” The Rabbis have “no doubt that without the support of the Israeli leftist-controlled media, terrorist activity would substantially decrease.”

The Rabbis reiterated their call to the government to “unequivocally declare the annulment of the Oslo agreements, a copy of which should be publicly torn up in the Knesset.”

In addition, “the government should also allow unlimited construction in all parts of Israel. Hesitating on these obvious measures is tantamount to the encouragement of terrorism by the government itself.”

The Rabbis declared that they are “crying out and beseeching the Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, government ministers and members of the Knesset to recognize that this is ‘a time of trouble for Yaakov!’ (sic) The Torah’s prediction of the grievous consequences of transferring Israeli territory to its enemies is being actualized before our very eyes.”

Finally, the rabbis told Netanyahu: “Come to your senses and heed the instruction of the Torah, and stop the further shedding of innocent blood, which continues unabated.”

David Israel

‘Woman in Gold’ Helen Mirren Testifies for Holocaust Art Restitution Bill

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

British actress Helen Mirren testified in Congress Tuesday in support of a bill to make restitution easier for American heirs of Holocaust era victims, The Art Newspaper reported. Mirren starred in the 2015 British drama “Woman in Gold,” about Austrian-born Jewish American Maria Altmann’s court fight to recover her family’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” by Gustav Klimt (her late aunt modeled for the picture), which had been stolen by the Nazis.

Mirren told two Senate judiciary subcommittees in a joint hearing on the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act that “the very act of Nazi expropriation was not only unjust but it was inhumane.” She added, “Greed, cruelty, self-interest and domination will always be with us, it’s an easy option. Justice is so much more difficult, so much more complex. But we all dream of justice. We are incapable of changing the past, but fortunately we have the ability to make change today.”

“Restitution is so much more, much more than … reclaiming a material good,” Mirren said. “It gives Jewish people and other victims of the Nazi terror the opportunity to reclaim their history, their culture, their memories and, most importantly, their families.”

The legislation is sponsored by Republican senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Other supporters of the bipartisan bill included president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder, and senators Al Franken (D, Minnesota), Chuck Grassley, (R, Iowa) and Orrin Hatch, (R, Utah).

Lauder, who purchased the Klimt painting after Altmann had sued the Austrian government to give it back, and won, told the Senators, “What makes this particular crime even more despicable is that this art theft, probably the greatest in history, was continued by governments, museums and many knowing collectors in the decades following the war.”

Today the Klimt painting is part of the permanent collection of the Neue Galerie, a museum of German and Austrian art Lauder co-founded in New York.

David Israel

Ipsos Survey: One Third of American Students Support Boycotting Israel

Monday, May 30th, 2016

One third of American students believe boycotting Israel is justified and constitutes a legitimate means of applying political pressure on the Jewish State, according to a yet to be released Ipsos survey, Israel’s Channel 2 News reported. Ipsos is one of the world’s leading market research firms for hire, managed and controlled by research professionals, offering comprehensive global research programs in 87 countries.

The original Channel 2 story mistakenly assigned those statistics to the US population at large. It was later corrected.

The survey, which will be officially released in advance of an International conference on the struggle against BDS to open on Tuesday, polled a sample of 1,100 American students. It suggests that 33% find a boycott against Israel to be justified. A similar survey conducted in the UK found that 40% of the students there agree that boycotting Israel is legitimate.

The good news is that a 62% majority of US respondents believe that the BDS movement is a form of modern anti-Semitism. About 50% of Briton students also condemn the BDS as being anti-Semitic.

The anti-BDS international conference, titled, “Building Bridges and Fighting Boycotts,” is organized by Israel’s UN envoy Danny Danon, in collaboration with the World Jewish Congress, Keren Hayesod, the American Center for Law and Justice, the Anti-Defamation League, the Zionist Organization of America, Israel Bonds, StandWithUs, B’nai B’rith International, Hillel, and CAMERA. More than 1,500 are expected to participate, including students, representatives of anti-BDS organizations, Jewish American organizations, and opinion makers.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ipsos-survey-one-third-of-americans-support-boycotting-israel/2016/05/30/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: