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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘convention’

Trump’s Deeply Unpatriotic Convention Speech

Sunday, July 31st, 2016

As editor of Commentary and as a newspaper columnist, I have commissioned, edited, and written hundreds of thousands of words on the dreadful mistakes and parlous consequences of the Obama presidency.

Under Obama, America has become less free, more regulated, and less bound to constitutional norms. And I believe his foreign policy has made America less safe and the world more chaotic.

Still, what Donald Trump did in his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention last week in trying to establish the contrast between himself and Obama’s successor Hillary Clinton was shocking, even for the shock-jock of presidential candidates.

It was a blast of anti-American sentiment and Spenglerian despair that might fit his own political marketing plan but is nothing less than a repellent slander against these United States.

I could be fancy and find myself a quote from Tocqueville, but it’s really the philosopher Merle Haggard who said it best: “When you’re running down my country, Hoss, you’re walking on the fighting side of me.”

Trump spent nearly 77 minutes running down my beloved country, and I don’t take kindly to it.

Whether it was a political success or a political failure is something that will be suggested by the polling response and where things stand in relation to Hillary Clinton after the conclusion of the Democratic convention this week.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the past year, it’s humility when it comes to predictions, so I make none. But I know a little bit about speechwriting, so indulge me in a peroration about why the speech was, quite simply, spectacularly lousy as a piece of rhetoric and argument.

Major political speeches are usually balancing acts between light and dark, between expressions of the positive and the threat posed to it by the negative. They establish the existence of something good and what qualities of goodness it possesses, explain how it is being warped by something bad, and offer a way to repair the damage and restore the equilibrium.

This isn’t just a boilerplate structure. You do it this way because it is a reflection of reality.

Speeches are both diagnoses of problems and prescriptions for solutions, and unless the diagnosis describes a recognizable reality, the solutions will ring either hollow or exploitativeYou talk about the good and the bad because that is how life is. Nothing save actual evil is without virtue; there is nothing that is not unmixed. That was not true of Trump’s United States. He did not offer a portrait, a description, a sense of what America is or has been or can be at its best and take off from there to describe what has gone wrong and how to fix it.

There was almost no light and almost complete darkness.

The America Donald Trump portrayed is a horrible place, awash in barbarity, crime, disorder, decay, deceit, rigging, cheating, exploitation. It is very nearly beyond salvation, in such dire straits that a man who was having a wonderful time in business felt called upon to serve as “your voice” because “only I can fix it” the problem.

I don’t know how to say this except sentimentally, but here it is: America in 2016 is still America. It is still the greatest, and noblest, and freest, and most just society the world has ever seen and a shining beacon of hope to the world.

And when it is caricatured, when it is degraded, when its people are told by one of the two people who might sit in the White House for the next four years that they live in a barbaric and hopeless dystopia from which they need to be saved by a strong hand rather than in a great country where some things have gone off the tracks and need to be placed back on them – the person who does such a thing has indulged himself in a deeply unpatriotic act of rhetorical infamy.

John Podhoretz

50 Detained in Philly as Protesters Burn Israeli Flags at DNC Convention [video]

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Reporter Byron Tau tweeted Wednesday morning that “protesters are burning an Israeli flag now in front of the secure perimeter and chanting ‘intifada.'”

As can be seen in video snippets that are being uploaded on Facebook and YouTube, a woman whose face was covered in a black bandanna, Hamas fashion, set an Israeli flag on fire amidst a group of protesters outside of the cordoned Wells Fargo arena in Philadelphia. A person standing next to her was waving a Palestinian flag. There were reports of protesters burning the American flag as well.

The protesters are Senator Bernie Sanders supporters who have not heeded their own champion’s call to join the DNC in supporting the Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton against their common enemy, GOP candidate Donald Trump.

More than 50 protesters were detained on Monday following a demonstration outside the Wells Fargo Center by activists from Democracy Spring. Police issued the detainees citations for disorderly conduct,

Sanders activist Jocelyn Macurdy Keatts told CNN she supports the Democracy Spring “very coherent” set of demands. “There seems to be legislative leverage here,” she said, adding, “The Democrats are already moving further to the left to accommodate Bernie supporters.”

It should be noted in this context, that during the writing of the DNC platform, Sanders fielded five rabid anti-Israel proxies who tried to enter anti “occupation” language into the platform, and they were blocked firmly by the majority of the platform committee: five Clinton proxies and four proxies appointed by then DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Congresswoman Wasserman-Schultz has been maligned this week and forced to resign her post, but it should be remembered that in the DNC she is one of the most consistent pro-Israel voices. She may differ with rightwing Jews and Israelis on the two-state solution, but she has been a dyed in the wool pro-Israel legislator. And, unlike many fellow Democrats, and despite the fact that she was Obama’s handpicked leader of the Democratic National Committee, the Congresswoman attended Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to Congress. She ended up voting for the Iran deal, which turned out to be a giant mistake, but she did not shame the Israeli PM publicly as other Democrats have done.

Inside the DNC convention hall, Palestinian and Soviet flags were being waved proudly.

David Israel

At Democratic National Convention Day 2, Sanders Supporters Still ‘Feeling The Bern’

Wednesday, July 27th, 2016

Day One of the Democratic National Convention began with utter chaos in the wake of a scandal over the revelation that the party’s leadership had tilted the primary elections in favor of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton against her contender, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

But the ink on the resignation letter of Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz was barely dry before Hillary Clinton hired her as a “surrogate” national chairwoman to lead her presidential campaign — in effect, promoting her for her loyalty, corruption notwithstanding.

Speeches by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, New Jersey Senator Corey Booker, First Lady Michelle Obama and then “rock star” runner-up candidate Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont helped defuse some of the tension, but there was still plenty of bitter energy to spare.

The house was packed to the rafters for the Sanders speech, with thousands of signs — ironically, in the colors of the Israeli flag — waving frantically with slogans like, “Stronger Together” and “A Future to Believe In.”

The entire hall was on its feet as Sanders walked to the podium, and the cheers shook the building for at least five full minutes, with the former candidate repeatedly trying to begin his speech, only to give up laughing. “Thank you, thank you,” he said. The applause lasted longer than that garnered by the First Lady.

Supporters with tear-filled eyes chanted, “Feel.the.Bern! Feel.the.Bern!” But when they finally allowed their hero to talk, the message he delivered was not the one they wanted to hear, despite his obvious effort to let them down gently.

The longest-serving Independent Senator in the history of the nation told his supporters they must work to defeat Donald Trump — and they MUST support Hillary Clinton to do so.

He thanked Michelle Obama for her “incredible service to our country.” And he thanked “the 13 million americans who voted for the ‘political revolution’ who gave us the 1,846 pledged delegates here tonight!” He also thanked the delegates for “being here” and for “all the work you have done,” telling them he looked forward to their votes in the roll call on Tuesday.

After thanking his family, friends and others who have seen him through his entire political career, Sanders said, “I understand that many people here and around the country are disappointed … I think it’s fair to stay that no one is more disappointed than I am.”

The blunt reference to the rigged system that had lost him the primary to Hillary Clinton was unmistakable. But equally clear was the fact that Sanders, a seasoned politician, recognized there was little he could do about it. Knowing when to fold the cards, Sanders clearly now hopes to keep as many people on board as possible, despite the obvious corruption that has been exposed.

“I hope you take enormous pride in the accomplishments we have achieved,” he said. “Together my friends, we have begun a political revolution to transform America, and that revolution, our revolution, continues.”

“Election days come and go but the struggle of the people to create a government that represents all of us, and not just the one — that struggle continues… I look forward to being part of that struggle with you.

“This election is not about and has never been about Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump or Bernie Sanders or any of the other candidates that have sought the presidency,” he declared.

“This election is about and must be about the needs of the American people and the kind of future we create for our children and our grandchildren.”

Hana Levi Julian

2,000 Pro-Sanders Supporters March as Democratic National Convention Begins

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

Before the first hour was out at the 2016 Democratic National Convention on Monday afternoon, (July 25) the delegates supporting Senator Bernie Sanders made their views known — strongly — in a protest within minutes of the opening of the event.

Shouts were heard and a full-scale protest was in progress on the floor of the convention hall, along with a counter-protest quickly launched in response by supporters of Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, some 2,000 supporters of Senator Bernie Sanders marched towards towards the convention center in Philadelphia, known as the “city of brotherly love.”

The protesters are still angry over the scandal that broke over the weekend after the WikiLeaks watchdog group leaked 22,000 emails written by the leadership of the DNC.

The emails revealed a clear bias by the Democratic National Committee leadership – which was supposed to remain neutral – against Sanders and in favor of Hillary Clinton during the primary elections.

The leak made it clear that the contest had been anything but fair, and in fact had been rigged.

Both Sanders and GOP presidential candidate had maintained for months that the “system was rigged” and when the information was revealed, there were immediate calls for the resignation of DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

Ultimately, Wasserman Schultz was forced to resign her position late Sunday night, just hours before the start of the party’s national convention.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings gavelled the start of the convention after a choir sang a long, slow version of the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

However, it appears the resignation did not appease Sanders’ supporters, who still maintain their candidate did not get a fair shake and who are very divided over whether or not to support Hillary Clinton when it comes time to vote in November.

Hana Levi Julian

Praying at the RNC

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Marc Supplesa caught this cool picture.

Photo of the Day

Ivanka’s Rabbi Drops Out of Republican National Convention

Sunday, July 17th, 2016

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, rabbi emeritus of New York City’s Congregation Kehilath Jeshurun and the rabbi who is known for having converted Ivanka Trump, has backed out of his commitment to offer the invocation Monday at the U.S. Republican National Convention.

The rabbi was to offer the prayer in Cleveland but reconsidered out of his growing discomfort with having to deal with anti-Trump elements — including those he has found within his own congregation, according to a report by the New York Sun.

Rabbi Lookstein, who has also served as the head of the modern Orthodox Ramaz High School, said in an announcement that once he was listed as a speaker at the GOP convention “the whole matter turned from rabbinic to political, something which was never intended.”

According to the Sun, it was Ivanka Trump who invited the rabbi to offer the invocation in Cleveland.

But when faced with the naysayers in his own community — and those elsewhere — he reconsidered and instead, publicly released his prayer in a statement to the masses with the hope Ivanka’s father would forgive the move and release him from his commitment.

Rabbi Lookstein has recently experienced his own personal discomfort after having his conversions challenged by the Chief Rabbinical Court of the State of Israel, which backed a decision by the Rabbinical Court of the city of Petach Tikva.

It is possible that he decided he’d simply had his fill of controversy for one season.

The invocation he published, and was to deliver is as follows:

Eternal God: We thank you for this blessed nation that for 240 years has translated into reality the Biblical command to ‘proclaim liberty throughout the land for all the inhabitants thereof.’ We thank you for our constitutional government that has created and fostered the American ideals of democracy, freedom, justice and equality for all, regardless of race, religion, or national origin...

Almighty God: We know that we are living in very dangerous times, when all of these blessings are threatened from without, by forces of terror and unimaginable brutality, and from within, by those who sow the seeds of bigotry, hatred and violence, putting our lives and our way of life at risk. And so we pray, Dear God: Help us to form a government which will protect us with sound strategy and steady strength; which will unite us with words of wisdom and acts of compassion; and which will thereby bring peace and harmony, safety and well-being to our beloved America and to all of humankind, and let us all say, Amen.

Hana Levi Julian

Analysis: Jews Vs. Arabs May Yet Blow Up the DNC Convention this Summer

Thursday, May 26th, 2016

Against her best judgment and because she’s been slipping in the polls in trying to capture the support of her opponent’s followers once she is crowned Queen of the Democrats, candidate Hillary Clinton agreed to give Bernie Sanders 5 out of the 15 spots on the Democratic party’s platform committee. She took 6, and DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz got 4. So then Senator Bernie Sanders went ahead and appointed his peeps, and now two of them, Cornel West and James Zogby, on Wednesday condemned Israel for its “occupation” of Judea and Samaria and Gaza (Gaza? Really?) and let the world know they plan to get their views into the platform at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in July, the NY Times reported.

“Justice for Palestinians cannot be attained without the lifting of the occupation,” West said in an interview, adding that with all due respect to thousands of years of persecution, the platform should reflect “the plight of an occupied people.”

Nothing there about the plight of half a million Syrians being butchered by everyone and their uncle only a fee miles away. Nothing about weekly hangings in Iran, flogging and beheading in Saudi Arabia, the tyranny of Islamic terrorism in Syria and Iraq, those are not the important injustices in Cornel West’s Middle East, it has to be a defunct plan from 1993 that has been rejected so many times by the PLO leadership, it brought to near-tears three, count them, three US presidents.

Dr. Zogby, who is the president of the Arab American Institute and a career advocate of “rights of Palestinians,” said in an interview, “Any honest assessment would say that the debate on this issue has shifted over the last 30 years and the platform has reflected that but lagged slightly behind, and it’s now time to catch up. Clearly most Democrats agree. But we will see what happens.”

Republican candidate Donald Trump has good friends in Cornel West and James Zogby, who will surely rattle and shake one of the Democratic party’s most third-ralish third rail issues, in public, while Clinton is trying to unify the troops against Trump. There’s no other issue more likely to turn away middle class voters than the Democrats criticizing US support for Israel. But the left is not concerned. In fact, the NYT cites an April Pew Research Center survey showing liberal Democrats are twice as likely to sympathize with Palestinians over Israel than they had been two years ago. 40% of liberals sympathized more with Palestinians, only 33% sympathized more with Israel.

In the Wednesday interview, Dr. West, who once called President Obama a “Rockefeller Republican in blackface,” accused Prime Minister Netanyahu of “war crimes.” He also blamed “the role of money and lobbies” for the absence of “a candid dialogue” on Israeli-American relations.

Of course, Hillary will do the only sensible thing and ignore the party platform as best she can. Otherwise, as Malcolm Hoenlein of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations told the NYT, the party could be perceived as adopting “positions that could be seen as hostile to Israel.” (You think?)

Hoenlein was unhappy not just with the presence of Zogby and West on the DNC platform committee, but also with a third Sanders appointee, Representative Keith Ellison of Minnesota, a Muslim. It’s as if Sanders had decided to force Hillary to touch that rail, or look bad jumping over it. “For us, the concern is that it legitimizes and potentially puts into a major party platform” the extreme left’s view “that undermines the principles of the Israeli-US relationship that have been bipartisan for decades,” Hoenlein warned.

And all Donald Trump has to do is sit back and watch his opponent disintegrating on an unwinnable issue. Former Florida congressman Robert Wexler, a Clinton supporter, who served on the platform committee back in 2012, told the NYT, “My concern is that the Democratic platform is not the venue in which to litigate the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Ah, a lucid voice in a sea of crazy. How refreshing.


Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/analysis-jews-vs-arabs-may-yet-blow-up-the-dnc-convention-this-summer/2016/05/26/

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