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September 1, 2016 / 28 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘democratic’

Catching Up To Democratic Outreach, Trump Courts American Voters In Israel

Wednesday, August 17th, 2016

In early August, Israeli media reported that the campaign of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump had launched outreach to an estimated 300,000 eligible American voters living in Israel.

The Trump campaign is working with the Israel branch of Republicans Overseas, an organization that works to reach American citizens abroad who can vote via absentee ballot.

The Trump campaign has reportedly hired former Yediot Aharonot reporter Tzvika Brot and other political and public relations experts in order to reach American voters in Israel.

“Our efforts to reach American voters living or visiting Israel prior to the election are primarily through the Republican Overseas efforts,” which has also been working with groups such as the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) on this front, said Bo Denysyk, a senior adviser for the Trump campaign’s Special Voter Groups attached to Trump Campaign Chairman Paul Manafort.

Denysyk explained to JNS that although the Trump campaign is making efforts to reach eligible U.S. voters in various foreign countries, it is placing a special priority on Israel.

In order to be able to vote, Americans abroad need to fill out a Federal Post Card Application (FPCA) and submit it to their local election office in the U.S. every year. Before an election, such voters will receive an absentee ballot by mail or electronically, depending on their state’s rules. Voters abroad vote in the state where they last lived before leaving the U.S.

As there are large Jewish communities in battleground states such as Ohio and Florida, Denysyk said the Trump campaign is particularly interested in targeting Americans in Israel who come from those states and “can possibly provide the winning margin” during the election. Republicans Overseas estimates there are about 10,000-12,000 Republicans from Florida in Israel

A report published in March by the Rothermere American Institute at the University of Oxford in the UK titled “America’s Overseas Voters: How They Could Decide the U.S. Presidency in 2016” notes past instances in which voters abroad made a difference in results in swing states, such as the famous case of the 2000 presidential election, in which overseas Florida ballots gave George W. Bush a narrow lead after the U.S. Supreme Court had stopped the state’s recount.

If the election had included the ballots that arrived after the Nov. 26 deadline, former vice president Al Gore would have won Florida – and the presidential election.

Professor Jay Sexton, former director of the Rothermere American Institute and co-author of the report, told JNS that efforts to reach U.S. voters in Israel “is a good move” because traditionally Republicans have had “inferior campaign infrastructure overseas” compared to the Democrats.

According to Sexton’s report, the comparable organization to Republicans Overseas on the Democrat side, Democrats Abroad, has traditionally had a more institutionalized relationship with the Democratic Party.

Alex Montgomery, communications director of Democrats Abroad, told JNS that the organization reaches out to its members in Israel and other countries “through e-mails and phone banking, reminding our members that they need to request their ballot to vote this year.”

“We will very shortly start running ads on social media across Israel to let potential voters know how they can vote and answer the many questions voters from abroad typically have about the voting process,” he said.

In Israel in particular, “there are tens of thousands of U.S. voters…so the impact in the U.S. can be considerable, particularly for Senate and House elections with tight races. And getting out the vote in Israel for Democratic candidates causes a ripple effect back home with U.S. voters who are influenced by their families and friends in Israel,” he added.

Meanwhile, Republicans Overseas is working to catch up to the Democrats on outreach to voters in foreign countries. Marc Zell, co-chairman of Republicans Overseas Israel and vice president of Republicans Overseas, recently acknowledged to the Jerusalem Post that outreach to American voters in Israel has begun late and has faced a lot of challenges. Nevertheless, he is optimistic about the project.

Alina Dain Sharon

American Nazi Party Proclaims A Win For Trump Would Be A ‘Real Opportunity’

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

The leader of the American Nazi Party has come out with a statement that is making Republicans and their supporters even more nervous than they already are.

Rocky Suhayda proclaimed on his recent radio show that a “Donald Trump White House” could present a “real opportunity for people like white nationalists” to build a pro-white political caucus.

Suhayda predicted during the show that Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton would lose the election to Trump, according to a report by BuzzFeed.

“I think it’s gonna surprise the enemy, because, I think that they feel that the white working class, especially the male portion of the working class, and with him his female counterparts have basically thrown in the towel,” Suhayda said. “Given up hope of any politician again standing up for their interests.”

Although he has publicly denounced racism and anti-Semitism a few times, Trump’s unwillingness to directly confront attacks by neo-Nazis and white Supremacists has seriously shaken his support among Republican Jews.

Many white nationalists have directed internet vitriol towards Israel and at Jewish journalists covering the presidential campaign, and the activities of Jewish politicians. Trump has failed to denounce any of those attacks.

Hana Levi Julian

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

President Rivlin: Israel Is Democratic and Jewish and Tribal, and There Are Arabs, Too

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The 16th Annual Herzliya conference opened at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, with a discussion by Israeli senior ministers and political party leaders on the joint initiative “Shared Israeli Hope.” President Reuven Rivlin opened his keynote address saying Israeli society has transitioned from being made up of a clear majority and minorities into a society made up of four main sectors or tribes, which are becoming more and more equal in size: secular, Modern Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox and Arab.

“We must speak the truth; this is not something that we expected,” he said, noting that many had called him a post-Zionist following his previous Herzliya conference address and questioned, “Is anyone who discusses the issues of Israeli identity, post-Zionist?” He explained that Israel was “Four tribes, four competing, different stories, about who we are, and what we want to be.” He noted that “the headline of the conference should have been, ‘Israeli hope: to be or not to be.’” He said that “a year ago there were those that interpreted my words as yet another typical, joyful presidential call… but first and foremost, my words were intended to serve as a call to wake up to the gaps and inadequacies between the reality of Israeli society and the system of Israeli institutions.” Looking ahead he said, “We are obliged to strive for institutional and systematic changes which must be conducted as a national effort… we must recognize that there are material and structural barriers to forming shared rules of the game for the different sectors… The creation of a shared Israeli identity and a shared Israeli hope is a mighty and noble process which will take a generation.”

One of the main engines for change Rivlin discussed was that of academia and employment. “Academia and the Israeli labor market will become an engine of real change, only when academic institutions and employers view the establishment of the Israeli dream – for a young man from Ofakim, a young woman from Bnei Brak, a young man from Jatt and a young woman from Binyamin – as a national mission of paramount professional and economic interests… Academia and the labor market today cater mainly to two tribes, but there are two more.”

He noted that if Israeli society were willing to embrace the necessary changes, the State of Israel would serve as a model for others, “A Jewish and democratic state; democratic and Jewish is one in the same.”

Following the president’s keynote address, senior ministers and political party leaders were given the opportunity to respond.

MK Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs, and Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi party, began his address by taking the audience on a journey to 3,000 years in the past: “We are in a sovereign state. A Jewish State under the rule of King David with great economic and political power.” He traced Jewish history through the periods, explaining how Jews in the Diaspora lived in survival mode, “Zionism was based on survival and security.” He noted that now, back in the Jewish homeland, Jews no longer needed to be afraid and could “break into a new creativity without being afraid,” adding that the new generation of Zionism needed to be based on “destiny.” He stressed that Judaism was a religion focused on contending “with the reality of the world and bringing values into it.”

Directing his address to his role as minister of education, Bennett said, “I am the minister of education of all children in Israel… they are all my children and they are equal regardless of their color, religion, politics or anything else. We express this with an intensity unlike anything else in Israel.” He also noted how his office had adjusted budget allocations to ensure that adequate funds were appropriated to areas in need in Robin Hood fashion: “We take from the strong and give to the week… when I took on my position… per capita more funds were invested in wealthier areas.”

MK Aryeh Deri, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Chairman of the Shas Party, said, possibly ignoring the entire books of Numbers and Deuteronomy: “It was never the dream that one [nation] should get rid of the other.” He stressed that the Arab citizens “truly want to integrate within us and be a part and parcel with us… We need to show them that we respect their culture, heritage and history… We have no desire to mix cultures but rather to live together in one state” with full equality and egalitarian rights. Also paying an homage to the man from Sherwood Forest, Deri said, “There are steps, even as painful as they may be, where we will take from the big… and give to the smaller ones.” He added that any “discourse of hatred” needed to immediately be stopped. To a round of applause he stated, “In our state it is prohibited that we should accept any racism or discourse of racism.” He should have possibly share this with the minister of Religious Services from his own party, who announced a while back (I paraphrase) that non-Orthodox Jews are not really Jewish.

MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List, opened his address noting all the ideals and values that he shared with the president: “Bringing the various populations closer to one another. Advancing the general welfare of all citizens. Building shared citizenship.” But he added that there are “important things that we cannot ignore… The basic thing that guides me in politics is my deep internal conviction that the guiding interests of both people are equal. Everyone wants the blessing of life.”

He emphasized the principles of nationalism: “What does it mean to be a citizen? What does it mean to be a national? We want complete equality on the national level and the civil social level.” He said that it was impossible to only talk about the economy and citizenship without nationalism. He also noted how he was always steered to discuss the future rather than the past: “We have a deep pain. In the heart of every Arab. The injustices of the past. And it hurts me so much when I hear narratives of 3,000, 4,000 years and I am told not to talk about the narratives of 60 years but to look into the future.”

By that narrative, MK Odeh referred to the fact that the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine had a chance to receive two thirds of the land if only they accepted that the Jews could have one third — and they refused. They wanted instead to murder all the Jews of the land with the help of the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. They failed and have yet to recover from the shame and disappointment of that terrible failure.

Odeh focused specific attention on the subjects of unrecognized villages and said that it would not hurt anyone for the state to “state recognizes the terrible massacre of Kafir Qasim and the massive injustices and confiscation of land.” He stated that his party’s stance was two states for two people, side by side with complete equality for both but “crimes occurred and we have to talk about that… There are citizens of the State of Israel who are not allowed to return to their land… Will it harm one Jewish person…. If people of Mahalul are returned to Mahalul… To build 80 villages… Will it harm one Jewish person?… We need to talk about civil and national rights for Arabs in Israel and it doesn’t have to harm anyone. The opposite. That is what will heal these two people.”

Naturally, when MK Odeh speaks of two states, he really means four states: three purely Arab — Jordan, the PA and Gaza, and one 20% Arab — Israel.

MK Zahava Galon, Chairman of Meretz, said that the “elephant in the room” was that the Arabs do not have their own state and we are “50 years into the occupation of the territories.” She said that no discussion could take place regarding the demographic question without talking about occupying this nation and controlling their lives.

Taking on the judicial perspective of “Shared Israeli Hope,” Chief Justice Miriam Naor, president of the Supreme Court, noted that “Our image as a democratic society requires a balance between the individual and society.” She said that the legal system plays a role in advancing Israeli partnerships and creating boundaries. “Discrimination undermines social solidarity. The courts are responsible for eradicating discrimination.”

Which is why they are appointing their own judges, evading the control of the legislator on judicial selections — because as soon as you let the people make their own decisions they’re bound to start discriminating.

David Israel

Young Jewish Congressional Candidate Warned, ‘Get Out of My Country, Kike’

Monday, June 6th, 2016

A young Jewish Democrat running for Congress in California is still being been inundated with some of the most vitriolic anti-Semitic harassment any candidate may have ever received — and the attacks are continuing on a daily basis. The latest installment appeared on the website of the white supremacist neo-Nazi Daily Stormer on Monday.

Erin Schrode, 25, is attempting to overtake incumbent GOP Representative Jared Huffman in the state’s second Congressional district. But in that effort, she has been forced into the position of fighting not only the average campaign battle, but one in which she must show her mettle under what could be real life-threatening fire. It certainly is traumatizing on a daily basis, without doubt, and any candidate who can hold up under such an attack would be a formidable opponent indeed.

Commentators on the Daily Stormer, a neo-Nazi blog run by white supremacist Andrew Anglin, posted Schrode’s personal cell phone number and email address online, thereby making her available as a target for a massive “deluge” of anti-Semitic abuse last week. That alone may be grounds for criminal prosecution — but the FBI has said little about it.

Schrode told Buzzfeed that she found it necessary to alert law enforcement due to the level of harassment she was forced to endure, and yet, police say they can do nothing more but increase their patrols, because this kind of thing falls within the purvue of the FBI.

At one point, she received a voice mail message with the sound of someone hissing. Online, one message she received read: “Get out of my country, kike. Get to Israel where you belong. That or the oven. Take your pick.” There have been other epithets and a number of caricatures as well. Local police have beefed up their patrols but there is little more they can do, they say. This is an FBI issue.

“Local police confirmed that the FBI are the ones who should handle this type of threats,” Schrode said. But it’s not clear what, if anything, the FBI is doing about the harassment.

Probably not much – and it is not clear how much they can do, considering American “freedom of speech” laws. But publishing one’s personal details on the Internet without their permission is certainly illegal — ISIS is being tracked for that in New York by the very same Federal Bureau of Investigations that is saying so little about this anti-Semitic harassment in California.

Meanwhile, on Monday’s home page of the anti-Semitic blog, there appeared a disgusting photo of a hissing weasel, with the headline, “Hissing Jew Candidate Erin Schrode is Crying About the Troll Army.” Clicking on the link takes one to an article and a photo showing the animal facing a snake, with the caption, “Jewess Erin Schrode about to get owned by the Stormer Troll Army.”

“Last Friday (sic) the Daily Stormer reported that a Jewess was running for congress (sic) in California. The heros (sic) of the STA (Stormer Troll Army) have since begun a dialogue between her and our people. You know, to foster understanding and cooperation.”

The article continues with an increasingly menacing tone, plus a photo showing the small animal dead, hanging from the mouth of a heron.

“The STA is a professional organization, and is known to lay waste to their enemies with ruthless efficiency. Schrode is a Jew, and as such will support Jewish interests if she’s elected to congress. (sic) Whenever sh**lords try to run for office, they have to brace themselves for a media storm of hostility. Jews and shills must learn to fear a similar reaction when they attempt to infiltrate our leadership positions…. Meanwhile, we have like 12 different strategies, all of which are much better than their “waahhhhhh, feel bad for me, my grandpa got turned into a lampshade by Hitler and now people are saying mean things to me on the internet” strategy….Important Note: I just always assume these Jews are lying when they talk about death threats, because no one ever gets charged. But I will remind you all: don’t send anyone death threats, or threats of any kind. I know you all know that. But it’s good to remind you: don’t ever do anything illegal. Trolling is not illegal, despite the efforts of the Jews.”

Hana Levi Julian

Sanders Picks Pro-Palestinian Zogby for Democratic Platform Committee

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Sen. Bernie Sanders has picked James Zogby, a long-time pro-Palestinian activist, and Cornel West, a liberal—and very entertaining—racial justice activist, to be among his representatives on the Democratic party’s platform committee. This may be a signal that Sanders intends to pursue a radical policy on both the Israeli-Arab conflict and on African-American issues at the convention and beyond.

Sanders will have a great deal of influence on the Democratic Party platform this year, which is a considerable honor regardless of how much use anyone has for party platforms once the November vote is over.

According to the AP, the two Democratic candidates and the DNC have agreed on a new division of the 15-member platform committee, with Clinton picking six members, Sanders five, and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz four.

James Zogby is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a Washington, DC organization serving as a political and policy research arm of the Arab-American community. He is Managing Director of the Zogby polling service.

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/sanders-picks-pro-palestinian-zogby-for-democratic-platform-committee/2016/05/23/

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