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September 21, 2014 / 26 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Danon’

Palin In Israel: ‘Why Do You Keep Apologizing All The Time?’

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

           Sarah Palin, the former Alaska governor, 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee and possible 2012 presidential candidate, visited Israel earlier this week.
 
On Sunday, Palin and her husband, Todd, took a tour of the Western Wall tunnels led by the rabbi of the Western Wall, Shmuel Rabinovitch, and accompanied by Likud MK Danny Danon.
 
Rabbi Rabinovitch told Palin the prayers of non-Jews as well as Jews take on a special resonance when uttered at the Wall.
 
“Israel is absolutely beautiful, and it is overwhelming to see and touch the cornerstone of our faith, and I am so grateful to get to be here,” Palin told reporters.
 
Palin wore a large Star of David and told Danon she keeps flags of Israel “on my desk, in my home, all over the place.”
 
Danon was clearly impressed with Palin.
 
“When we toured near the Kotel and in the tunnels near the Holy of Holies, she told me clear things without hesitating,” he told Israel National News.
 
            “She understands the importance of the place for the Jewish people and even asked me ‘Why do you keep apologizing all the time?’ “
 
Danon said he “explained to her the mistakes made by [then-Defense Minister] Moshe Dayan in 1967 and our mistakes in not fulfilling our rights in the Temple Mount and the Old City,” referring to Dayan’s decision to hand back to Muslim authorities the keys to the Temple Mount immediately after the Six-Day War.
 
Palin, Danon said, “really connected to the story of the Jewish nation. She knows the material but there’s nothing like standing in front of those big stones and hearing about the connection. I know that she loves Israel, and after a visit like this, she has a personal connection to the Western Wall.”
 
Several other Republicans thought to have their eye on the White House have recently visited Israel, including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney and Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour.
 
David Ricci, an expert in U.S.-Israel relations at Hebrew University, told the London Daily Mail that visits by high-profile Republicans send a clear signal to President Obama that Israel is of interest to the GOP “and he shouldn’t push [Israel] around too much.”
 
Asked whether Palin’s visit signaled anything about her intentions for 2012, Ricci said that “It’s an indication that she is keeping her options open.”
 
Palin and her husband closed out their two-day visit by dining in Jerusalem with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his wife.
 
The left-wing lobbying group J Street criticized Netanyahu for hosting Palin while refusing to meet with the organization’s executuve director, Jeremy Ben-Ami, and other J Street officials who happened to be in Israel at the time of Palin’s visit.
 

“What a magnificent country,” Palin wrote in the guest book of the prime minister’s official residence. “God shall bless you. The bond between us will increase and strengthen.”

Will Bibi Keep Tal Brody’s Dream Alive?

Wednesday, March 4th, 2009

JERUSALEM – Just prior to the Likud Party primaries last fall, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu arranged a press conference to introduce a variety of new faces who stood a legitimate chance of being elected to the Knesset.

  Tal Brody, the legendary American-born Israeli basketball star who played a vital role in putting the Jewish state on the international sports map nearly 30 years ago when he led Maccabi Tel Aviv to victory over a strong Soviet team, was personally introduced by Netanyahu as his future minister of sports and culture.

 

 

 

Tal Brody

  Brody joked with the media that he looked forward to perhaps playing some hoops with President Obama, an ardent basketball fan.

  The amiable Brody, who had spent the better part of his retirement from pro basketball making a small fortune in the insurance business near his Herzliya Pituach home, was an admitted political novice.

  Running in the Likud primaries as the representative from the “central coastal district” (#24 slot on the overall Knesset list), Brody found himself in the midst of an unanticipated fierce battle against World Likud organization leader Danny Danon.

  The politically savvy and well-organized Danon easily defeated Brody at the polls. Brody’s lawyers claimed Danon had falsified his residency status in the region, which would have disqualified his victory. After an arduous legal battle, the Likud’s own internal courts recognized Danon’s residency and thus his victory, much to the chagrin of both Brody and Netanyahu.

  “I am not sorry that I ran for office,” Brody told The Jewish Press. “In fact, Netanyahu praised me for putting together an effective campaign in a very short period of time. However, I am disappointed in the way the system works.  

   “All the Israeli political parties have this system where all kinds of backroom deals are cut during the primary process. In my case, Danon cut a deal with Moshe Feiglin whereby Danon’s supporters backed Feiglin’s candidacy in exchange for the backing from Feiglin’s supporters.”

 Though Feiglin garnered a large number of votes, the same internal Likud court that handed a victory to Danon punished Feiglin by slotting him way down the final Likud Knesset list, depriving him of a Knesset seat.

  This is not what Brody had in mind when he ventured into Likud politics.

 

Brody hoists the European Cup trophy in 1977

  “The only reason I got involved in this process was because I felt good and honest people must come forward to serve the country,” he said.

  “I then realized that a substantial number of local Likud voters actually depend on getting jobs from these professional politicians, who end up being obligated to the voters. Bibi was supportive of my efforts and he asked me what I wanted to do for my country.”

  Brody, who led the American basketball squad to a gold medal during the 1965 Maccabiah Games in Israel, was asked by Maccabi Tel Aviv officials and even legendary Defense Minister Moshe Dayan to bring his talents to the Jewish state.

   A year later, Brody began his pro career in Israel, which reached its apex in 1977 when Maccabi Tel Aviv won the European Cup (forerunner to the EuroLeague).

   Brody has always believed Israel could do more for its sportsmen on both the amateur and professional levels.

   ”My goal was to enter the Knesset and work with Bibi, who would appoint me minister of sports and culture,” he said.

   ”The government’s budget for the development of amateur sports in Israel has gone from $35 million a year to $10 million a year. We need to supplement that budget with funding assistance from well known sports organizations such as the NBA or the NFL.

   ”I was also hoping to spend time speaking with Jewish organizational leaders and create a sports program with Birthright-Israel Taglit. It’s important to tell the younger generation in the U.S. about my story to also encourage aliyah.”

  As an ardent Zionist, Brody believes young Israeli children could also use a good dose of Jewish values.

   ”You know,” he remarked, “it would be nice if they stopped teaching about the Arab ‘Nakba’ – the so-called tragedy of Israel’s rebirth in 1948 – in Israeli schools and teach Jewish kids why they should be proud to be living in the Jewish state.”

  While the chances of his being named Israel’s minister of sports and culture are now remote, Brody is still hoping to receive a phone call from Prime Minister-designate Netanyahu.

  “I’m now retired from the insurance business and looking forward to starting my third career,” he said.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/interviews-and-profiles//2009/03/04/

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