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January 20, 2017 / 22 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘democratic’

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

Las Vegas Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Pledges $100M for Trump Presidential Campaign

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson has reportedly pledged $100 million, and possibly more, to help finance GOP candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

The news was reported in the Friday’s edition (May 13) of the New York Times.

The two men met last week to discuss the issue, according to two nameless Republican sources quoted by NYT who said they were not authorized to speak about the matter publicly.

Adelson, 82, and his wife Miriam met with Trump and his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski at the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan, while the couple were in town for a gala dinner to benefit a Jewish organization.

During their chat, Trump reportedly told the Adelsons he is dedicated to protecting Israel’s security.

The billionaire has financed Republican causes over the years to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars – but this year he plans to scale back contributions to Congressional campaigns to focus on helping Trump, according to the report.

There is, however, the thorny problem of logistics: there is a limit on how much money a single individual can give to political campaigns in the United States. In order to give really “big” money, one requires a “super PAC” — super political action committee.

On Thursday, one such group announced it would aim to raise $20 million for Trump. The Committee for American Sovereignty was formed by Doug Watts, a former aide to Ben Carson’s campaign. Watts now serves as the executive director of the group, which he said “will not accept special interest PAC contributions.”

However, up to this week Trump had not yet decided whether he will allow PACs to help finance his campaign. Last October he disavowed nine unauthorized groups and demanded they return all funds they had raised to support his campaign. It seems that now, however, he has come to the realization that for a general campaign there is no way he can gather the needed $1.5 billion through individual contributions alone. Several of the bigger powerhouse Republican superPACs are quietly gearing up to begin the job of rounding up their major givers — something that Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton  had already gotten busy with months ago — and have hired top-flight fundraisers and campaign managers to crank up the party machine.

Meanwhile, Adelson explained his reasons for throwing his support behind his fellow business mogul in an op-ed he wrote that was published in Friday’s Washington Post: “He is a candidate with actual CEO experience, shaped and molded by the commitment and risk of his own money rather than the public’s.

“I am endorsing Trump’s bid for president and strongly encourage my fellow Republicans – especially our Republican elected officials, party loyalists and operatives, and those who provide important financial backing – to do the same,” Adelson wrote.

Hana Levi Julian

Bill Clinton Stumps for Candidate Hillary at Hebrew Home for Aged in Riverdale

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

Leave it to Bill.

Former President Bill Clinton knows where the money – and the votes – are in New York City, and they are to be found in Harlem and in the Jewish sector.

When Clinton left the White House, he set up his Foundation office in Harlem but made sure to keep his ties fresh and firm with the Jewish sector as well.

On Monday, he took the policy a step farther as he stumped for his wife Hillary at the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, NY. Later in the day, he spoke at St. Gabriel’s Episcopal Church in Prospect Lefferts Gardens in Brooklyn.

But first he met with elderly Jews in Riverdale.

Clinton was greeted by hundreds of residents at the high-end residence, which is home to more elderly than can be found in the entire population of some Jewish communities in Judea or Samaria. And most of them have healthy bank accounts. Nearly all of them vote.

The visit came a week before the pivotal New York primary elections on April 19. At stake are 291 Democratic delegates to be swept up either by Hillary Clinton or her rival, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

The former president, himself sporting some wrinkles these days, talked up Hillary’s desire to defend rights for senior citizens.

“She’s the best person I have ever known,” he told them. “Trying to lift the poor, protecting the defenseless and being a friend of Israel,” the NY Daily News reported.

Clinton spoke about Hillary’s experience as a secretary of state, her ability to protect Israel, her willingness to keep Social Security from collapsing and her competence in national security. To the residents of Hebrew Home for the Aged, those words score high.

“She was your senator and did a good job,” he reminded them. “She did a good job as secretary of state.”

Then he said something that probably was received with mixed reactions by those who still keep track of current affairs: “She negotiated the Iran deal.”

Hana Levi Julian

Iowa Caucus Produces Cruz for GOP But No Clear Winner for Democrats

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2016

The two presidential candidates for the Democratic party are still not clear about which one of them won this round in the Iowa caucus.

The process in the state is not a simple primary election as in most others, but rather operates as a “gathering of neighbors” around the state. Voters meet to talk about the candidates, take an initial vote, discuss and then vote again.

The state holds 44 elected delegates who will ultimately help determine the nominee at the Democratic National Convention this summer.

Although campaign officials for Hillary Clinton said the former Secretary of State won a slim victory over Bernie Sanders on Monday, his campaign said the results were not settled: there remain questions in several counties.

The Iowa Democratic Party itself said results in the state were the closest in Iowa Democratic caucus history, and no winner has yet been officially declared.

Clinton and Sanders remained in a virtual dead heat overnight according to every media outlet.

A statement from the party leader called it a “historically close” finish but did not declare a winner. Clinton won 699.57 state delegates, Sanders had 695.49, Martin O’Malley had 7.68 and there were an uncommitted number that totaled 0.46, with one Des Moines precinct that had not yet reported in, with a total of 2.28 state delegate equivalents.

By the end of the night, Martin O’Malley decided to suspend his campaign.

Clinton led among women, and Sanders led among men, according to CBS News. First-time caucus attendees supported Sanders over Clinton, 59 percent to 37 percent. He also drew more support among the “under 30″ crowd – 84 percent – and 58 percent in the 30 to 45 age group. Clinton held sway among those in the 45 to 64 age range (58 percent) and the over 65 crowd (69 percent). The “very liberal” Democrats supported Sanders over Clinton, 58 percent to 39 percent.

The Republican caucus came up with a win for Texas Senator Ted Cruz, and at least a stall for billionaire celebrity Donald Trump. Cruz led the candidates with 28 percent of the vote, followed by Trump with 24 percent, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio extremely close behind with 23 percent, still in the top three.

Cruz set a Republican caucus record on Monday night by winning more than 50,000 votes. The senator is clearly preferred over Trump by the GOP rank-and-file party establishment, although it is still too early to tell who will represent the party in November.

That did not stop Cruz from underlining his anti-Washington Insider campaign in a speech at the end of the evening.

“Iowa has sent notice that the Republican nominees for the next president of the United States will not be chosen by the Washington establishment, will not be chosen by the lobbyists,” Cruz said at a victory party at the Iowa state fair in Des Moines. Instead, he said, the candidate will be “chosen by the most incredibly powerful force where all sovereignty resides in our nation, by ‘we the people’ – the American people.”

Hana Levi Julian

Hillary Clinton Allegedly Used Private Email Exclusively as Secy of State

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is alleged to have used a private email exclusively during her entire tenure at the State Department, according to a report broadcast Tuesday on Fox News.

If found to be true, such an action could be a violation of U.S. federal law, and Clinton could be charged with mishandling classified information, or improper placement of classified materials, as was former General David Petraeus.

The former CIA director and general is pleading guilty to the charges, according to Fox News. He lied to FBI agents over whether he had given material to his biographer during questioning over the attack in Benghazi, Libya.

Clinton appears to be planning a run on the Democratic ticket for the White House in the 2015 presidential race; this charge may possibly affect that plan.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/hillary-clinton-allegedly-used-private-email-exclusively-while-secy-of-state/2015/03/03/

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