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October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘deal’

Ground Zero for the Iran Deal: Rosenthal Versus Nadler

Friday, September 16th, 2016

More Jews live in New York’s tenth congressional district than in any other district in the United States. Philip J. Rosenthal – the kind of guy who could easily be a character on television’s The Big Bang Theory – wants its citizens to elect him as their representative.

Jerry Nadler, however, has been representing that area of New York, first in Albany beginning in 1977, and for the past 14 years in Washington, D.C.

So, why not vote for Nadler? Nadler voted for the Iran Deal, that’s why.

And if you don’t recall, the Iran Deal was the one issue behind which nearly all of the organizational Jewish world united against. The Iran Nuclear Deal which many Americans, especially Jews, and most especially Jewish New Yorkers, realized at the time was a deal only for Iran but a disaster for the safety of the United States, Israel and much of the West.

And yet, thumbing his nose at his constituents, Cong. Jerrold Nadler came out in support of the disastrous Iran Deal. Many folks in his district felt badly betrayed by Nadler. Some saw him as bowing to the wishes of the Democratic administration while ignoring their wishes and their safety. Nadler was the only Jewish member of the New York delegation who came out in favor of the deal.

Into the breach now steps Philip J. Rosenthal, a shiny example of a Bronx boy made and does good.

Rosenthal grew up facing a train yard and across the street from Bronx High School of Science, from which he graduated (“salutatorian, my father would want me to tell you,” he says.) Rosenthal went on to graduate from Yale University with a degree in Physics, “summa cum laude, phi beta kappa,” he says, sheepishly, again hearing his father’s voice echoing in his head).

Where next? The California Institute of Technology, where Rosenthal studied string theory and cosmology, garnering both a master’s degree and a PhD. Ouch.

When queried about whether he actually understood those topics, Rosenthal’s retort is pure Big Bang-ish: “Physics is beautiful, elegant, it’s the essence of everything; it’s politics that’s messy!” But back to that later.

As if Rosenthal’s resume wasn’t already impossibly impressive, after Cal Tech he went to work on a program dealing with Pluto. And this is when he began to realize that the American dream was no longer as assured as it had seemed.

“It used to be that America led the world in everything – today if you want to work in space, you need to hitch a ride with the Russians,” Rosenthal said.

“As a child I was inspired by the American space program, but now the greatest fundamental physics labs, the particle accelerators, they’re in Europe, at CERN labs, on the French/Swiss border.”  Rosenthal explained that is where the best research, the most exciting laboratories in the world are. That’s a huge economic and national security disaster for our country, he says.

Rosenthal wants America to again be the global leader. And the key to economic leadership and national security is for America to be second to none, Rosenthal insists. We need to focus on science, space and technology,” and, he says, we’re not doing that anymore.

Rosenthal’s sites began shifting away from science. In 1996 he graduated from Harvard Law School and went on to the venerable Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling, where he practiced, amongst other things, nuclear law.

Without access to legal research technology, Rosenthal recognized that individuals and even solo and small firm practitioners are unable to compete with the big guys. But legal research software is very expensive.

So Rosenthal, with a friend, created a new kind of legal research software that is far more affordable, faster and easier than the standard software packages. In addition, his company, FastCase, utilizes different kinds of tools which the old guard systems do not.

“There is a great lack of access to legal justice. We founded FastCase in order to democratize the law.” FastCase is being used by nearly a million lawyers today, and the FastCase legal app is both the first of its kind and absolutely free.

So what does Rosenthal want to do in Congress?

Though he’s been many places since his Bronx boyhood, Rosenthal still has the concern for the little guy that has long animated New York politics.  His focus on making the law more accessible to everyone also shows up in his platform — he’s a strong advocate of making sure poor Americans have access to the legal services they need to help them protect their rights, their homes, their jobs and their families.  And he’s strongly committed to helping the homeless in real ways — not just by feeding them today, but also by investing in them and their skills so they can become productive men and women tomorrow.

Last summer, when signing the anti-BDS legislation passed by Congress, President Obama announced that on his watch the U.S. would not be enforcing the provision of the law which prohibits boycotts of Israeli products in the disputed territories.

Rosenthal practically explodes: “Really? The President proudly tells everyone that boycotting certain Jews is acceptable? Where was our representative?” Incensed that Nadler didn’t make a peep about this, Rosenthal goes on to list the other ways in which this administration – without sufficient or any pushback from Nadler and others – has disrespected and mistreated Israel.

And he once again draws the conversation back to the Iran Deal. “This district is literally Ground Zero and our representative supported the Iran Deal? Is no one paying attention?”

Unlike many members of Congress, Phil Rosenthal has actually read every page made public of the Iran Deal. With his science and legal background, Rosenthal is confident we could have done much better, just as he knows America could and should be doing much better in the global economic arena.

“This is a wonderful year to run as an outsider. I haven’t been on Capitol Hill for the past dozen years, but,” he ticks off, “I have a background in physics, in law, I’m an entrepreneur, my dad was in manufacturing. I have experience in the real world.”

Most importantly, Rosenthal says he knows that the people in New York’s tenth congressional district deserve better representation than they have. And, he says, he’s ready to provide that.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Netanyahu Representative in DC to Negotiate $38 Billion Aid Deal

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

Brigadier General Yaakov Nagel, Israel’s acting National Security Council, arrived in Washington DC on Tuesday to meet with President Obama’s National Security Advisor Susan Rice, in preparations for signing a new US military aid package. The new US aid deal, which the two governments have been negotiating since November 2015, awards Israel $38 billion over 10 years.

Nagel met with US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro to work out the final details before leaving for Washington — including the text of the official announcements. The new aid package is expected to average $3.8 billion a year, a considerable cut from Netanyahu’s initial request for $4.5 billion. The deal is also contingent on Israel agreeing not to approach Congress for additional funds, as in the case of the Iron Dome missile defense system, which Congress has been paying for outside the annual aid package. Now an estimated $5 billion out of the package will be spent over 10 years on missile defense development.

In other words, the new aid package is only adding $300 million to the previous amount. To remind you, the sum of $3 billion annually was set during the Camp David peace negotiations with Egypt, as compensation to Israel for giving up the Sinai peninsula as a military asset. That amount has never been raised in close to 40 years, even though the current value of that annual package would have been $10.48 billion.

The critical disagreement between the two sides over the current deal has been whether or not Israel could continue to invest a percentage of the aid package in Israeli made military products. The Obama Administration wanted the entire amount to stay in US corporations, which would have been devastating to Israeli manufacturers and to the IDF. A short episode during the 2014 Gaza War, in which the Obama Administration stopped shipping to Israel all defense items, including Hellfire missiles, served as a memorable lesson to the Israeli security apparatus about the need to increase its self-reliance.

The new deal ended up adding six years in which Israel can continue to spend as much as 26% of the US aid money on Israeli made products, as well as another 13% for fuel purchases. By the seventh year, or halfway into Clinton’s or Trump’s second term, the Israeli military industrial complex would have to quit US aid cold turkey — Unless Netanyahu or his successor is able to renegotiate that part — depending on who is in the White House and who controls Congress at the time.

David Israel

Burkini? Big Deal! You Don’t Have to Be Muslim!!

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

I couldn’t find a head to toe picture of me in my bathing suit, but it’s more burkini than any classic tank, blouson, skirted, one or two-piece held up by skinny straps. Actually I do wear a two piece bathingsuit, but the top has a high neck, and the sleeves go past my elbow. Most of the time I wear it with a swim-skirt past my knees, that has sewn in shorts. The running joke is that I’m dressed up for a fancy outing. It really doesn’t look like a bathing suit. And I guess you may be surprised that I wear it to female only swimming time in our local pool.

No, I’m not some sort of overmodest repressed nut-case. And I’m not Muslim.

  • I’m a religious Jew who adheres to the Jews Laws of Modesty, and wearing this sort of bathing suit, swimsuit as some call them now, means that I can walk around in public, from house to pool without a robe or having to change my clothes/cover up.
  • Another reason is health. I’m high risk for skin cancer, and besides slathering sunscreen on my neck, face etc, the shirt covers me well.
  • When I swim in our outdoor pool at night, I wear my swimming shorts and a top like this. At night the covering protects me from the cool breezes which used to make night swimming just too uncomfortable. At night I wear a heavy robe to go to and from my house and pool to both cover up and keep warm.
  • The “modest swimsuit” also makes it possible to swim when there’s a male lifeguard and the rare occasion when I am at a “mixed swim.” The special swimsuit fabrics provide more modest cover up and better protection from the sun, than a wet T-shirt.
Honestly, I don’t see how wearing modest swimwear could be considered a security, moral or cultural problem. On this I’m with the Muslims!! The French are nuts!!
Batya Medad

U.S.-Israel Memorandum of Understanding: An Unbalanced Deal

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) is an agreement between two parties — in this case, the governments of Israel and the United States. It is less than a treaty, more than a handshake. The first MOU was signed in 1981, recognizing “the common bonds of friendship between the United States and Israel and builds on the mutual security relationship that exists between the two nations.” The current MOU, signed in 2007, represented a 10-year commitment. The Obama Administration and the government of Israel have been negotiating a new 10-year agreement that will come into effect in 2017.

It is hard to get the nuance right in a security arrangement between a superpower and a small country, even if the small country is a first-world democracy in terms of education, income, technology, and political structure. It is harder when large sums of money are involved, and harder still when the small country is, in military terms, a “security producer,” one that provides more security to a region than it requires in assistance, but is still uniquely threatened in the world.

The Obama Administration is making it harder, perhaps because one of the President’s goals has been to remove the United States from its role as security guarantor not only for Israel, but also for the region, and possibly, it seems, for the rest of the world, such as the South China Sea, Crimea and the Balkans.

The administration proposes somewhat more money for Israel — from $3.1 billion to close to $4 billion — but with important caveats:

1) 100% of the money will be spent in the U.S., while Israel is presently able to spend 25% in Israel.

This is a subsidy for U.S. defense industries and constrains Israel’s defense choices by forcing the IDF to exclude weapons from Europe and elsewhere. While some think of Israel as an expense to the U.S., the fact is that Israeli R&D innovations — shared with the U.S. by agreement — have helped mitigate the decline in the U.S. missile defense budget in an era of growing threats. Without the ability to spend some money in Israel, it will be harder for smaller defense and high-tech industries to keep up.

2) The total figure will include money for missile defense, which in this administration has been an add-on from Congress. That makes the increase substantially less than it appears to be.

This could be particularly problematic: an administration that opposes missile defense in principle — as does the Obama administration — could effectively stifle Israel, which protects its people with a layered missile defense system. As Iran continues to violate UN prohibitions on ballistic missile testing, and Hamas and Hezbollah increase their arsenals, the consequences could be devastating.

3) Israel will be prohibited from asking Congress for additional funds, effectively removing a bipartisan center of support for Israel’s security from the equation and reducing Israel’s flexibility in addressing rapidly emerging threats. This year, Congress wrote in $42.7 million for anti-tunnel cooperation — something that emerged as essential only after the 2014 Gaza war.

In deference to the outsized threats and acknowledging Israel’s status as an American ally, it has been U.S. policy for decades and law since 2008 that “Israel will be made capable of defending itself against and defeating any likely combination of conventionally armed adversaries.” This is known as Israel’s Qualitative Military Edge (QME).

It was simple once — Arab armies were Soviet equipped and trained. But the world has changed.

On the plus side, Jordan joined Egypt in making peace with Israel, and the Soviet Union disappeared. On other hand, the U.S. has been selling arms and equipment to Arab states that maintain a state of war with Israel. Israel still receives more cutting edge technology, but at some point, the quantity of oil-financed Arab purchases can tip the quality scales. Saudi Arabia spent $9.3 billion on U.S. weapons last year.

To be fair, Israel understands Saudi purchases to address the war in Yemen and the larger conflict with Iran, not aimed against Israel. Israeli-Saudi relations have thawed at least temporarily, but other threats, some conventional, some not, have increased.

ISIS, Hamas and Hezbollah are what former IDF Chief of Intelligence Amos Yadlin calls “substate actors” — terrorist organizations that have attributes of statehood, such as territory, populations, etc. Syria remains in a state of war with Israel and as the civil war continues, Iran and Hezbollah have forces and weapons close to the Golan Heights. Iran is only a decade away, if that, from the freedom to openly pursue its nuclear capability as the JCPOA ends.

It was the release of hundreds of millions of dollars by the U.S. to the Islamic Republic, destined to improve and enhance Iranian military capabilities, which added urgency to Israel’s request for missile defense and other capabilities.

The U.S., then, is on both sides of Israel’s security conundrum.

On one hand, U.S.-Israel security cooperation is embodied in QME joint R&D on missile technology, joint training and exercises (most recently a joint missile defense exercise in Israel), and Israel’s new diplomatic mission to NATO Headquarters.

But on the other hand, having to spend all the money on U.S. procurement, U.S. arms sales to countries still in a state of war with Israel, the transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars to Iran and removing Congress from its pivotal role as a security partner for Israel are all positions that clearly express administration weariness and irritation with Israel.

Israel, of course, does not have to sign. There is a new administration coming, and no doubt Israel can manage evolving bilateral relations with the U.S. under either party. There is, however, something to be said for the reassurance of a 10-year American commitment, even if the current terms are not ideal.

On balance, Israel is a strong, accomplished, and increasingly capable country with both military and civilian assets sought by countries around the world. It finds itself in a vastly improved international situation even as its neighborhood declines. It would have been in the larger interest of the United States to enhance those capabilities rather than trying to constrain them.


Shoshana Bryen

Obama: Israel Loves My Iran Deal! Israel: Your Iran Deal Is Worse Than Cancer.

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Dailywire website}

On Friday, the day after Barack Obama openly lied about Israeli support for his Iran nuclear deal — which grants the Iranians hundreds of billions of dollars with no limitations on terror funding or ballistic missile testing, and a clear path to a nuclear weapon after a decade – the Israeli Defense Ministry sounded off:

The Munich Agreement didn’t prevent the Second World War and the Holocaust precisely because its basis, according to which Nazi Germany could be a partner for some sort of agreement, was flawed, and because the leaders of the world then ignored the explicit statements of Hitler and the rest of Nazi German’s leaders. These things are also true about Iran, which also clearly states openly that its aim is to destroy the state of Israel.

The Defense Ministry continued by stating that the Iran deal “only damages the uncompromising struggle we must make against terrorist states like Iran.”

Thursday, Obama fibbed that “Israeli military and security community…acknowledges this has been a game-changer, the country that was most opposed to the deal.”

Obama has been lying about the Iran deal all along, of course. His White House now brags that they crafted a fictionalized account of the deal wherein the “election” of “moderate” Hassan Rouhani ushered in an opening for diplomacy – even though in truth, Obama had been pursuing a deal long before Rouhani’s election. The White House lied throughout the Iran deal process on the elements of the deal and its secret side-sections. They lied that it wasn’t a treaty. They lied that it would contain Iran’s nuclear ambitions. They lied that Iran hadn’t captured American sailors to humiliate the United States. This week, they’re lying that they didn’t pay a $400 million ransom to free American hostages.

Israel’s already been screwed by the deal, of course. Iran is using American-freed money to pay off Hezbollah and Hamas, terrorist groups who will use that cash to kill Israeli children. And Obama’s bragging about it. No wonder Israel’s ticked.

Sadly, the Iran deal is significantly worse than Munich. First, when Munich took place, there was no Munich precedent – there was no model of diplomatic appeasement failure. Second, Neville Chamberlain was at least arguably attempting to buy time to allow Britain and its allies to build up their own militaries to fight the German war machine. In this case, America could step on Iran with its pinkie toe, or let Israel do it – but instead, Obama chose to cave to the Iranians.

In any case, this is just the latest proof that Obama’s not only a horrible liar, but that he has no interest in any of our allies, especially the Israelis. They know it.

Ben Shapiro

Obama, Liberman Statements Expose Raw Nerves in Jerusalem, DC, over Iran Deal

Saturday, August 6th, 2016

On Thursday, President Barack Obama claimed that Israel’s “military and security community” has realized he was right all along and now supports his nuclear deal with Iran. “The country that was most opposed to the deal,” he told a press conference, “acknowledges this has been a game-changer.”

That same military and security community, currently under new management, reacted swiftly and bitterly, saying that deals have value only when they are based on existing reality, and are entirely without value if the facts on the ground are the opposite of those assumed by the deal.

It then added a harsh reminder, that the 1938 Munich accord, whose “basic assumption, that Nazi Germany could be a partner to any kind of agreement, was wrong,” failed to prevent WW2 and the Holocaust, because world leaders at the time ignored the explicit threats made by Hitler and the rest of the Nazi leadership.

The Israeli response, despite the mention of the Holocaust, was considered by Israeli analysts to be showing restraint. For one thing, it was not delivered personally by Prime Minister Netanyahu, nor by the actual head of the “military and security community,” Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman. The boorish voice in this incident belonged to Obama. As a NY Post editorial put it, “What could President Obama have been thinking?”

Or, as the unsigned Liberman response implied, how can anyone in their right mind trust “the agreement with Iran, which itself explicitly and publicly announces that its goal is to destroy the state of Israel.”

It continued: “A US State Department document published this year states that Iran is the chief state sponsor of terror world-wide. Therefore, the Israeli security establishment, the nation of Israel, and many other nations around the world, understand that agreements like those signed between the world super powers and Iran aren’t helpful. They only damage the uncompromising struggle against nations which support terror.”

Netanyahu’s office issued a much softer response, following Liberman’s office’s statement, saying that despite the difference of opinions over the Iran deal, “Prime Minister Netanyahu still believes that Israel has no greater ally than the United States. As Netanyahu said in his UN speech last year, it’s important that those who were for the agreement and those who were against it cooperate to fulfill three goals; to make sure that Iran doesn’t violate the agreement, to deal with Iran’s regional aggression, and to dismantle Iran’s global terror network. The Prime Ministers expects these goals to become part of shared policies, and that the alliance between the United States and Israel only grow stronger not only with President Obama, but also with his successor.”


What’s the Best Way to Deal With Market Volatility?

Monday, August 1st, 2016

Market volatility is affected by current events. What’s an investor’s best response to unexpected headlines?
Financial advisor Joe Saul-Sehy returns to The Goldstein on Gelt Show to talk about what to expect as financial markets react to the upcoming U.S. elections.

Roger Whitney, “The Retirement Answer Man,” joins host Douglas Goldstein, director of Profile Investment Services, Ltd., to discuss the most common financial mistakes that people make. Learn the best way to work with your spouse to jointly manage your finances and other important money issues.

The Goldstein On Gelt Show is a financial podcast. Click on the player below to listen. For show notes and contact details of the guest, go to www.GoldsteinOnGelt.com

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/goldstein-on-gelt/whats-the-best-way-to-deal-with-market-volatility/2016/08/01/

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