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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘democrats’

ADL’s Statement on Ellison Proves They ONLY Care About Protecting DEMOCRATS (Not Jews)

Wednesday, November 30th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, The Lid}

The ADL finally weighed in on the Keith Ellison controversy, taking a stance which proved again it doesn’t give a rat’s arse about the Jewish community, they only care about the Democratic Party and progressive politics.

Earlier this week we profiled Keith Ellison and warned about his track record of anti-Semitism, association with Muslim Brotherhood groups such as MAS, CAIR, and ISNA. (MAS even paid for his Haj to Saudi Arabia), his anti-Israel actions in the House including being one of only eight members of congress voting against funding Iron Dome (whose only purpose is to block Hamas Rockets at civilian areas) and his infamous Gaza 54 letter asking Obama to lift the Gaza Blockade designed to prevent rockets and concrete for terrorist tunnels being shipped to Hamas.  Ellison is also a  featured keynote speaker at many BDS organization events including the American Friends Service Committee which runs a BDS boot camp, Progressives for Palestine, and is a favorite of the anti-Israel group ironically called Jewish Voice for Peace.

After spending the last two weeks bashing Steven Bannon with false charges of Antisemitism, the Anti-Defamation League finally spoke out regarding Ellison (sort of). In a confusing statement (see below) the CEO of the Anti-Defamation League Jonathan Greenblatt, said that Ellison has taken positions that concern them, but doesn’t he doesn’t  rip into Ellison (a Democrat) the way he ripped the unfounded claims against Bannon (a Republican) who has been proven to be a friend of the Jews and supporter of Israel. He ends his not by warning Ellison’s critics to slander him based on his race or faith.  Well Johnathan if you read my post from the other day you will understand why the ADL needed to take a much stronger stand on Ellison. And the post doesn’t mention his race, and the only thing about his faith mention is that the Muslim Brotherhood paid for his Haj.

But that isn’t the real reason for Greenblatt’s warning.  Beginning with the term of his predecessor Abe Foxman, the ADL has made progressive politics its primary concern. For example, in 2011 they led an effort asking Jews not to criticize Barack Obama’s anti-Israel policies. Other examples include:

  • Issued a “White Paper” promoting the progressive’s negative PR spin about the Tea Party movement. They said the Tea Party was part of the “New Rage in America”
  • Refused to recognize the anti-Semitism present within Occupy Wall Street, until public pressure embarrassed them into making a statement.

Please understand, the ADL is nothing but a tool for the progressive movement. If you wish to donate to the progressive movement that’s okay, but allow me to suggest you donate to Organizing for Action–they do it better.  If you want to donate to a Jewish Organization allow me to suggest you avoid the ADL, there are hundreds of Jewish Organizations dealing with Jewish, or other worthy charitable work, unlike the ADL those groups don’t waste their time and your donations being a political wannabes.

Read the statement below:

adl-ellison

Jeff Dunetz

Keith Ellison Supported the BDS Movement and Admired Louis Farrakhan. So Why Are Jewish Democrats Supporting Him for Chairman of the DNC?

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2016

{Appeared originally in Tablet Magazine}

In late 1993 and early 1994, Keith Ellison and I were both deeply involved in politics and policy, he as a civil rights lawyer and radio talk-show host in Minnesota, and I as legal counsel to a United States senator. During that time, Louis Farrakhan’s national adviser, Khalid Abdul Muhammad, gave a speech at Kean College in New Jersey in which he attacked Jews, Catholics, homosexuals, and others in the most shocking and violent way.

Here’s a sample of what Muhammad had to say in that speech, which he delivered Nov. 29, 1993, about the Holocaust:

You see, everybody always talk about Hitler exterminating 6 million Jews. … But don’t nobody ever asked what did they do to Hitler? What did they do to them folks? They went in there, in Germany, the way they do everywhere they go, and they supplanted, they usurped, they turned around, and a German, in his own country, would almost have to go to a Jew to get money. They had undermined the very fabric of the society.

And there was worse. I returned from a vacation to read a copy of the speech the ADL had left in my Senate inbox together with its New York Times full-page ad denouncing it. It so shocked and disgusted me that I stalked across the hall to my boss, Sen. John Danforth of Missouri, and asked what he thought of calling for a “special order” on the Senate floor; a block of time for members to make statements reacting to Muhammad’s speech. Known to his colleagues as “St. Jack,” Danforth was not only a senator, he was an active Episcopal priest, the author of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and the legislator responsible for creating a permanent Holocaust Memorial Commission, leading to both America’s annual “Days of Remembrance” and the Holocaust Memorial Museum on the Mall in Washington.

I waited silently while Sen. Danforth read the speech. Finally, he looked up. “I don’t want a special order,” he said grimly. “I want an up-or-down vote. I want it now.” I rushed back to my desk and called the Senate cloak room to tell them what was coming.

I also called Rep. Kweisi Mfume’s office leaving an urgent message. Mfume chaired the Congressional Black Caucus, and I didn’t want to blindside the members. A few months earlier, in September 1993, the CBC had entered into what it called a “Sacred Covenant” with Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam for which it had been roundly criticized. Muhammad’s speech was so grotesquely beyond the pale that some members of the CBC had already distanced themselves from it. I thought the caucus deserved a chance to distance itself officially before the pressure that was likely to follow. Then I started drafting.

Moments later, the usually easygoing senator appeared at my desk to see what I had come up with. After all, this was alien territory—Sen. Danforth had also been Missouri’s attorney general, and this was a vote to condemn what we both knew to be constitutionally-protected speech. “Just give me what you have now,” Danforth said. I printed out my rough first draft, typos and all. He looked at it and said, “This works. Let’s go.” Then he strode out of the room to the Senate floor. I lingered just a moment to ask my colleagues to keep trying Mfume’s office, then I ran out after the senator.

As soon as we arrived at the Senate floor, I headed for the cloakroom. A number of messages were already waiting from offices that wanted to join with us. Suddenly I got a frantic message from my office—I was receiving personal threats from CBC staffers. I called one, trying to explain that this was not an attack on them; that had I been trying to hurt them, I would have just ambushed them. The response was a stream of invective-laden threats, and then the line went dead.

Sen. Danforth, along with four other Republicans and five Democrats as co-sponsors, offered the resolution: “To express the sense of the Senate that the speech made by Mr. Khalid Abdul Mohammed [sic] at Kean College on November 29, 1993 was false, anti-Semitic, racist, divisive, repugnant and a disservice to all Americans and is therefore condemned.”

It passed the Senate 97-0. Three weeks later, a more detailed and explicit bipartisan companion resolution was offered in the House by Holocaust survivor Rep. Tom Lantos. It passed 361-34.

Keith Ellison and I were then both 31 years old. He was on record as defending Farrakhan’s anti-Semitism since at least 1989, under the alias of Keith Hakim. But unlike the CBC, which immediately suspended its ties with the Nation of Islam after the vote, Ellison apparently saw no reason to rethink his position. In fact, he continued to identify with Farrakhan and work actively for the Nation of Islam for years after Muhammad’s speech.

In 1995, Ellison himself organized a rally featuring Muhammad—still an outspoken racist and anti-Semite—at the University of Minnesota. Muhammad apparently brought his A-game to the rally, promising that “if words were swords, the chests of Jews, gays and whites would be pierced.”

In 1997, Ellison defended a member of the Minneapolis Initiative Against Racism who said that Jews are “the most racist white people.” In his remarks, Ellison also defended America’s most notorious anti-Semite. “She is correct about Minister Farrakhan,” Ellison insisted. “He is not a racist. He is also not an anti-Semite. Minister Farrakhan is a tireless public servant of Black people…”

In fact, Ellison continued to publicly defend Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam through at least the year 2000, by which time he was serving as a Minnesota state representative. But in 2006, while running for Congress, Ellison evidently had second thoughts about the usefulness of the main public affiliation he had maintained from his early 20s into at least his late 30s, when, responding to concerns voiced by the Jewish Community Relations Council, he claimed that his only involvement with NOI was during an 18-month period supporting Farrakhan’s October 1995 “Million Man March”; that he was unaware of NOI’s anti-Semitism; and that he himself never held nor espoused anti-Semitic views. Most of that is demonstrably false, the remainder begs skepticism.

Today, Ellison still traffics in libels and lies, but about the Jewish State—a form of anti-Semitic propaganda that, unlike calling Jews “bloodsuckers” or blaming them for the Holocaust, is now socially and politically acceptable on the left. There are rules to this game, of course. Thus, on a trip to Israel in June 2016, Ellison tweeted a photo of a sign, hung on a residential window in Hebron, that labeled Israel being guilty of “apartheid.” Ellison’s comment reinforced the libel.

In July 2016, at the Democratic National Convention, Ellison participated as a featured speaker in an event held by the anti-Israel group U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation—part of an alliance of anti-Israel groups, such as American Friends Service Committee, Students for Justice in Palestine, and Jewish Voices for Peace, who all promote the BDS hate campaign against Israel. Ellison also emerged as a key player in trying to make the Democrats’ official platform more antagonistic to Israel. [Update, Nov. 22, 4:00 p.m.: In response to publication of this piece, Rep. Ellison issued the following statement: “I have long supported a two-state solution and a democratic and secure state for the Jewish people, with a democratic and viable Palestinian state side-by-side in peace and dignity. I don’t believe boycotting, divesting, and sanctioning Israel helps us achieve that goal. I supported the Democratic Platform, which embraces this position.”]

It is clear that Ellison trafficked with incredibly virulent, open anti-Semites and supported and defended them until it became politically inconvenient. Then he lied about it—and once in office, he decided to target the Jewish state. Ironically, one of Ellison’s Democratic defenders, Steve Rabinowitz, acknowledges Ellison’s poor record on Israel—in addition to agitating against Israel’s blockade of Hamas-ruled Gaza, Ellison was one of the very few members of Congress who opposed aid to repair Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system in a 395-8 vote. Rabinowitz gamely if patronizingly explains Ellison’s role on the Democrats’ platform fight thusly: “He fell in with a bad crowd.” So, is Keith Ellison an anti-Semite? I don’t know. But collaborating with the enemies of Jews and Israel does seem to be a lifelong habit.

Perhaps Ellison was running with the same delinquent crowd in 2012, when halfway across the country from his own district in Minneapolis, he worked to unseat pro-Israel New Jersey Congressman Steve Rothman—a fellow Democrat—in a nasty primary fight that pitted the district’s Arabs and Muslims against its Jews, and where Rothman’s support for Israel was explicitly the issue. The candidate supported by Ellison, who came to the district to campaign at a high-profile event at a mosque, was also supported by a local Hamas sympathizer and other Israel-haters. What could have motivated Ellison to go to such great lengths to try and defeat a sitting member of his own party?

Personally, I don’t care if Ellison ever did or still does hate Jews. He’s entitled to love and hate whomever he wants. What worries me is that a leading member of the extreme anti-Israel wing of the Democratic Party is poised to become the party’s chairman. What disturbs me is that the mainstreaming and elevating of this man—who, at the very least, is clearly more enthusiastic about Louis Farrakhan than he is about the State of Israel—is being done with the support of Sen. Chuck Schumer, and of organizations that claim to represent the interests of American Jewry.

It is also hard to miss the fact that these same politicians and groups are now diverting attention away from actual threats to a campaign of politically-motivated fictions and calumnies directed against Donald Trump, a man who has spent decades supporting an impressive array of Jewish causes and of the State of Israel—and whose daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren are Orthodox Jews. Trump’s daughter Ivanka chose to join the Jewish people, and she did so by all accounts with the approval and full support of her father. Perhaps Keith Ellison, despite his associations and activities, is secretly a great friend of the Jewish people and the State of Israel, and Donald Trump, despite his friends and family, is secretly the raving anti-Semite his detractors allege. But even the most extreme partisan would have to admit that the evidence for either proposition is quite thin. In fact, the ADL and friends have also had to withdraw their accusations of anti-Semitism against Trump’s adviser Steve Bannon and Breitbart news, which briefly flourished after Trump’s win, since they could not point to any actual evidence that either charge was true: In fact, Bannon and Breitbart have demonstrably been among the most dedicated supporters of the State of Israel and most vociferous opponents of BDS and campus hate in the America media.

Why is such a stance necessary? During the Obama years, real anti-Semitism—grotesque libels and actual violence—grew dramatically around the world. In Europe and the Middle East victims of Islamic terror were deemed “innocent victims”—unless they were Jews, in which case they were somehow combatants in a righteous struggle. Here in America, for the first time in our lives, as Obama and Kerry’s “Israel is our misfortune” rumblings grew, we heard rabbis and Jewish leaders—including ADL’s previous chief executive—discuss in agonized tones how the world was beginning to resemble the 1930s. Under Obama, for the first time, we witnessed older Jews huddle after synagogue for hushed debates about whether there was anywhere left for Jews to run now that America was growing inhospitable and Israel was being put under the existential threat of nuclear annihilation. Younger Jews became hesitant to wear yarmulkes on campuses and on the streets.

Donald Trump didn’t pave the way for Iran—a country that quite literally and repeatedly promises to commit genocide against Jews—to acquire a nuclear bomb. Nor did Trump and his close aides seek to demonize his opponents as “wealthy donors” and “warmongers” with loyalties to a foreign power. Nor did Trump ally the United States with Iran in Syria, Lebanon and Iraq. President Barack Obama did all these things, and he did them openly, with hardly a peep from the same people who now pretend to fear for their lives under Donald Trump.

Who knows? Maybe reasonable people can differ about these things. But here’s another thing to consider: The people who vouched for Obama to the American Jewish community are now vouching for Rep. Ellison, while condemning Donald Trump and his advisers for the sins of stoking hatred and anti-Semitism that Obama demonstrably committed, and the Democratic Party is now hoping to induce our community to forget.

Jeff Ballabon

Democrats Rediscover anti-Semitism

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

{Originally posted to the website, Israel Thrives}

The poster above represents a bit of anti-Zionist propaganda that has been around for decades and is among the negative images of Jewish self-determination that today’s college kids grew up with.
Although the western progressive-left generally supports anti-Zionism, American Jews still cling to the Democratic Party despite the fact that the party and the movement believes it has every right to tell Jewish people where we may, or may not, be allowed to live within our own homeland.
About 80 percent of American Jews, including me, voted for Barack Obama in 2008 and about 70 percent, not including me, did so in 2012. In the current cycle, American Jews voted for Hillary Clinton in similar numbers.
Given the fact that the western progressive-left has made a home of itself for malicious anti-Semitic anti-Zionists it becomes rather difficult to understand why American Jews continue to support a political movement, and its adjacent political party, that hold them in contempt.
The Washington Post has a piece from last September entitled, In the safe spaces on campus, no Jews allowed by Anthony Berteaux. Berteaux relates the story of Arielle Mokhtarzadeh, an Iranian-Jew who was made to feel unwelcome by the UCLA progressive community due to her caring for the Jewish people through caring for the Jewish State of Israel. As a student of Jewish-Persian background she therefore attended the annual Students of Color Conference in search of answers.
Mokhtarzadeh tells us:
Over the course of what was probably no longer than an hour, my history was denied, the murder of my people was justified, and a movement whose sole purpose is the destruction of the Jewish homeland was glorified. Statements were made justifying the ruthless murder of innocent Israeli civilians, blatantly denying Jewish indigeneity in the land, and denying the Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered,” she said. “Why anyone in their right mind would accept these slanders as truths baffles me. But they did. These statements, and others, were met with endless snaps and cheers. I was taken aback.
The truth is that many Democrats despise the lone, sole Jewish state as a human rights monstrosity even though it has a far better record on human rights than any other country throughout the Middle East. This little fact, in itself, reveals the anti-Jewish racism within BDS and, therefore, embedded within the Democratic Party.
It is for this reason that progressives often support Hamas and the Palestinian Authority when they call for the murder of Jews in the streets of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, and Haifa. Every time Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) or the General Union of Palestine Students (GUPS) meet on some campus to call for yet another intifada they are, in fact, calling for the murder of innocent Jews in Israel.
Such calls for anti-Jewish violence tend to be supported not only by other progressive-left students, but also by sympathetic university administrators who could hardly care less that students are calling for violence against Jews on their very own campuses. They even provide thumb-sucking “safe-spaces” where those very same students can rest their heads on university provided pillows without having to deal with the richly deserved ramifications of their own behavior. Since no one is allowed to even question their judgment in these “safe spaces” they need not even consider the possibility that calling for violence against Jewish people – as a matter of social justice, no less – might actually be something other than liberal.
In fact, San Francisco State University president, Leslie Wong, is so enamored of anti-Semitic anti-Zionism that he even praised GUPS as representing “the very purpose of this great university.”  He did so despite the fact that, in their cries for intifada, they literally call for the murder of Jews in Israel. Sometimes they even call for bringing the intifada home, by which they mean support for the political murder of Jews in the United States. None of this fazes the progressive-left because offing Jews – particularly of the Israeli variety – is considered a rational and perfectly normal human response to alleged Jewish aggression against the bunny-like “indigenous” population in the Land of Israel.
And this is why Arielle Mokhtarzadeh was treated like filth at UCLA.
Berteaux writes:
The ramifications of ignoring the normalization of anti-Semitism cannot be understated: The most recent FBI hate crime report found that 58.2 percent of hate crimes motivated by religious bias were targeted at Jews. Jews make up 2.2 percent of the American population, so the FBI’s statistics make it clear that Jews are the most disproportionately attacked religious group in America. It should be troubling to everyone that an SJP member at Temple University physically assaulted a pro-Israel Jewish student two years ago, calling him a “Zionist baby killer.” But it should be far more troubling that the SJP chapter at Temple (like all SJP chapters) promotes itself as a progressive organization, claiming solidarity with movements such as Black Lives Matter.
The Democratic Party just got its ass kicked by a crude businessman-entertainer who they accuse of being everything short of the Devil and now they are not only screaming from the rafters about racism and white supremacy, but they even have the chutzpah to suddenly start whining about the alleged anti-Semitism of conservatives and Republicans.
The truth is that the Left and the Democratic Party are enemies of the Jewish people to the extent that they make a homes of themselves for anti-Semitic anti-Zionism. American Jews are, essentially, being told that they may contribute to the progressive movement but the price of admission is sitting across the Democratic Party table from anti-Zionists who have no respect for our history, no respect for the Holocaust, and who think that we are undeserving of self-determination and self-defense within our own homeland.
Requiring that Jews accept anti-Semitic anti-Zionism as part of the larger Democratic Party coalition is no different from asking black people to kindly accept Klansmen as part of that coalition. No self-respecting black person would ever do so and neither should any self-respecting Jew.
The progressive-left and the Democratic Party fling around charges of racism like they’re confetti. Throughout the recent American presidential campaign they lambasted Trump and his supporters as Neanderthal fascists representing the very worst of all humanity, which is why some of their devotees are beating the hell out of white people in the streets. But if the Democratic Party has suddenly rediscovered anti-Semitism it is strictly out of political convenience, nothing more.

 

Michael Lumish

Pro-Israel Jewish Democrats Oppose Keith Ellison’s DNC Bid

Friday, November 18th, 2016

By Rafael Medoff

A growing number of pro-Israel activists and Jewish community figures are expressing concern that Minnesota’s U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison will turn the Democratic Party away from Israel if he is elected party chairman.

The election of Ellison “would bode badly for Jews,” longtime Democratic consultant Dr. Hank Sheinkopf told JNS.org. “His positions on Israel fit the pattern, noted by recent research, of identified liberal anti-Israel bias and the movement of Democrats away from Israel.”

Defending Farrakhan

Ellison’s controversial statements and actions date back to the 1990s, when he served as a local spokesman in Minnesota for Louis Farrakhan’s Nation of Islam movement. Ellison raised eyebrows when he publicly claimed in 1995 that Farrakhan “is not an anti-Semite.”

Since his election to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2007, Ellison has emerged as one of the most vocal congressional supporters of the Palestinian cause. He has organized letters urging more U.S. pressure on Israel, voted against funding Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile system, and spoken at fundraising events for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a hardline anti-Israel group. While visiting Hebron this past summer, Ellison tweeted a photograph of a placard accusing Israel of “apartheid.”

Rabbi Menachem Genack of Englewood, New Jersey, a prominent Jewish supporter of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, said he would be “disappointed” if Ellison is chosen as chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) because that would “accelerate the process” of pulling the Democratic Party away from its traditional pro-Israel positions. Genack told JNS.org that he will be speaking to his colleagues in the party to explain his “concerns about Ellison’s views on Israel.”

New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, a Democrat who represents a heavily Jewish district in Brooklyn, strongly criticized the decision by New York’s U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer to endorse Ellison. In an interview with JNS.org, Hikind, asked, “Does Senator Schumer actually believe that there is literally not a single other person in the Democratic Party, anywhere in the country, who would be a better choice than Ellison? Why is Schumer in such a rush to support a candidate who is so unfriendly to Israel?”

Hikind said Ellison “is the most radical candidate imaginable, someone who represents the extreme left wing of the party, which is why he’s being promoted by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and J Street—in other words, Ellison is being backed by all the wrong people if you care about Israel.” The assemblyman noted that Ellison has occasionally claimed to be a friend of Israel, “but if Israel has to depend on support from the Ellisons of the world, it would be in serious trouble.”

Possible defections

Some pro-Israel activists recall, with dismay, Ellison’s efforts to unseat a pro-Israel New Jersey congressman, Steve Rothman, in 2012. Dr. Ben Chouake, president of NORPAC, a Jewish political action committee in northern New Jersey, said it was “extremely unusual” for Ellison to target Rothman, “since Rothman was a fellow Democrat, in a district halfway across the country—what could motivate him to go to such great lengths?” Ellison spoke at mosques in New Jersey, urging Arab-Americans to vote against Rothman.

Chouake told JNS.org he fears that if Ellison is elected chair of the DNC, “one of his priorities will be to pull the party away from Israel.” Ellison represents “the fringe of the Democratic Party, not the center, and would it make even harder for the party to have broad appeal.”

The rise of Ellison could drive Jews out of the Democratic Party, according to Jeffrey Wiesenfeld, a private wealth manager who worked in the administrations of New York City Mayor Ed Koch, a Democrat, and New York Governor George Pataki, a Republican. “There are many longtime Jewish Democrats who are on the fence about whether to stay in a party that has been tilting away from Israel—and if Ellison is elected, I believe a good percentage of them will leave the party,” Wiesenfeld told JNS.org.

Wiesenfeld criticized Schumer’s endorsement of Ellison as “a crass political calculation—he sees the party succumbing to the far left, and he wants to go with the flow so he can retain his position.” He said that “Schumer’s phone should be ringing off the hook with calls from members of the Jewish community, asking ‘What happened to your promise to be a ‘shomer’ (guardian) of Israel?”
Ellison’s office did not return a request for comment from JNS.org.

The only other declared candidate so far for the chairmanship of the DNC is former Vermont Governor Howard Dean. A date for the election has not yet been set. According to party rules, it must take place prior to March 31, 2017. To win, a candidate needs the votes of a majority of the 447 members of the DNC. About one-fourth of the members are the chairs or vice chairs, of state branches of the Democratic Party.

JNS News Service

Democrats Look Panicked

Tuesday, November 1st, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

Talk to a partisan Democrat today, and you will be assured the party has turned this whole James Comey story around. For the offense of notifying Congress of the discovery of more evidence in the Clinton email scandal, Democrats have taken to attacking the FBI director’s credibility, in some cases demanding his resignation. To the left, this is a winning move. Their ire is righteous, their cause is just, and it all might gin up Democratic enthusiasm to vote in eight days. To outside observers, however, Democrats look neither upright nor self-assured. They look like they’re panicking.

Rarely are has the shine so speedily worn off of figures once so lauded as the very essence of dispassionate legal virtue as Comey. On Friday, the FBI director revealed to Congress that he had recently been informed of the existence of emails related to Hillary Clinton’s illicit “homebrew” server on computer devices  belonging to Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her estranged husband, former Rep. Anthony Weiner. For the sin of these vagaries revealed just two weeks prior to a presidential election, Democrats who once sang Comey’s praises are calling for his head.

In a typically restrained public letter, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid accused Comey of violating the law and of demonstrating a “clear intent to aid one political party over another.” House Judiciary Member and Representative Steve Cohen called on Comey to resign. Former DNC Chair Howard Dean insisted the FBI director now shares the same objectives as Russian President Vladimir Putin; presumably, the election of Donald Trump to the presidency. Four Senate Democrats wrote that Comey’s letter to Congress is “being used for political purposes” and that the FBI should provide evidence to clarify Friday’s revelation no later than Monday afternoon.

This is the same person who luxuriated in cascades of Democratic praise just weeks ago. He is a “wonderful and tough” figure, said Hillary Clinton’s running mate Tim Kaine. “This is a great man,” averred House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. “No one can question the integrity, the competence,” of the FBI director, insisted Minority Leader Reid. The 180-degree pivot that Democrats are trying to pull off here is more a heel-turn than an about-face.

What’s more bizarre in the Democratic Party’s actions is the fact that the email scandal may have had all the effect it’s going to have. A Politico/Morning Consult poll taken over the weekend found little change in the public’s voting plans resulting from the revelations on Friday. A CBS News battleground poll over the weekend similarly discovered that, even among Democrats, few perceptions of Clinton had changed after Comey’s bombshell. And why should they?

The email scandal has been with us for 20 months. The entire time, Democrats have been telling the nation that it is a politicized affair. Even the mere prospect that this tenet of faith may be contradicted by Comey has sent Democrats into fits. They look rattled, and the voting public can smell fear. That, more so than the vague notion of new details in the Clinton email case, could affect the course of the race.

To borrow a cynical element of the Clinton scandal management playbook, the email scandal is, in some senses, old news. It was long ago priced into voters perceptions of the Democratic nominee. When Clinton really swooned in the polling was following her collapse outside the 9/11 Memorial in New York City in combination with her contention to a group of donors that fully half of Trump’s supporters were irredeemably bigoted. Those two events were information. They seemed to validate Clinton’s most readily dismissed detractors and led voters to reassess her fitness for office. Until the FBI produces a classified document from Anthony Weiner’s lurid hard drive, the email scandal will still be old news. Democratic reactions, however, are not. That’s what will keep this damaging story fresh.

Noah Rothman

FBI Reopens Probe Into Thousands of Clinton Emails on Abedin & Weiner Laptop

Saturday, October 29th, 2016

FBI Director James Comey notified the U.S. Congress on Friday that his agency would renew its probe into the issue of Hillary Clinton’s handling of sensitive and classified information.

The announcement came in response to the discovery of thousands of emails sent to and from Clinton aide Huma Abedin on a laptop owned by her estranged husband, former U.S. Congressman Anthony Wiener, who is under investigation for sexting an underage girl.

The couple are in the midst of divorce proceedings.

“The FBI cannot yet assess whether or not this material may be significant, and I cannot predict how long it will take us to complete this additional work,” he wrote.

It was decided by senior officials at the FBI that it was preferable to notify Congress immediately about the discovery, rather than wait until the investigation was further along.

Clinton called on Comey in response to the revelation Friday to “release all the information he has,” telling reporters at a campaign event in Iowa, “The American people deserve to get the full and complete facts immediately,” the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Democratic presidential candidate, aware the new investigation has not yet gotten off the ground, told reporters, “So let’s get it out,” although Comey made it clear that it is likely such a probe could last well beyond Election Day.

No charges were filed this past summer against Clinton or her aides and the investigation was closed regarding emails sent and received on her private server, including those that were classified.

GOP candidate Donald Trump told reporters at a campaign event in New Hampshire, “I have great respect for the fact that the FBI and the Department of Justice are now willing to have the courage to right the horrible mistake that they made.”

At least 17 million American citizens have already cast their ballots.

Hana Levi Julian

In Strongest Showing, Trump Fails to Bridge Gap with Women

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

Had Donald Trump been as in command of his demeanor and of the debate subject matters in his previous bouts with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and had he been able to restrain his impulsive reactions to her skillful provocations, he would probably not be trailing her in the polls as badly as he is doing these days. The big story most media outlets have run with right after the third presidential debate in Las Vegas Wednesday night has been Trump’s refusal to commit to honoring the results of the November 8 elections—the first presidential candidate to have done so before the actual vote. But it’s doubtful that his coy response, that he’ll keep us in suspense, will actually hurt his numbers in the coming nineteen days. After all, he has done just that during the early primary debates, refused to commit to supporting the Republican nominee, no matter whom he or she would be — and his poll numbers increased. Trump’s devastating failure this third debate has been to move the needle on his appeal to American women.

A new CBS poll of 13 battleground states taken a couple of days before Wednesday night’s debate showed women voters favor Clinton by 15 points over Trump, compared with 5 points a month earlier. Regardless of how he got there, how unfair that hot mic recording of his uttering really vulgar words on the bus had been, how the media were ganging up on him and how the Clinton campaign was to blame for the ten or so women who came out to portray him as an abusive man — it worked, and it was Trump’s job to fix it.

He didn’t have to win over the swing state women, he just needed to bring their support back to what it had been — a +5 for his opponent, because he had the majority of male voters on his side. Making peace with women had to be his top priority, if he wanted a shot at winning Florida, Pennsylvania and Ohio, the must-win-2-out-of-3 states for Republican presidential candidates. He failed abysmally.

He didn’t even have to be contrite, he didn’t have to apologize, he didn’t have to make any of the PC gestures he—and many of the rest of us—despise so much. He just had to show empathy, take the high road, look and sound like a mensch. Instead, he willingly conceded the women’s corner to his opponent, and became entangled in a string of denials that focused attention on the accusations against him, rather than build him up as a human being. It wasn’t enough to repeat the line, “Nobody has more respect for women than I do. Nobody,” which elicited one of the very few roars of laughter from the audience. He had to show respect, and he had a perfect opportunity right there and then, seeing as his opponent happens to be female. He couldn’t do what a number of better skilled American politicians have done with grace — including, most emphatically, presidential candidate Bill Clinton, who, during the 1992 campaign, was floored several times by very serious allegations of sexual misconduct. Bill Clinton showed the skill and smarts that were required to dig himself out of the hole every time some woman from Arkansas had stood up to remind him of their quality time together.

Instead, Trump went on the attack against his accusers, not understanding the fundamental rules of the complex game known as American politics: you can’t ever appear like the bully, you can’t ever express contempt towards people who are weaker and poorer than you, and you can’t ever, ever, tell a rape victim she’s a liar, even if she’s lying.

But when it came to hitting his opponent hard where she deserved to be hit, Trump was weak and unforcused. Hillary Clinton evaded the moderator’s hard-hitting questions with admirable facility, at one point turning Chris Wallace’s poignant question on the corrupt “pay to play” conduct of the Clinton Foundation into an infomercial on the good works of the same foundation, but Trump stood and watched, overmatched, as his rival was taking his lunch.

The media are congratulating Wallace on his strength and competence, and he certainly has been better than everyone before him, but look at this exchange, and notice how Trump was unable to deliver a devastating blow against his opponent, despite the enthusiastic support from the moderator on this issue:

Wallace: Secretary Clinton, during your 2009 Senate confirmation hearing you promised to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest with your dealing with the Clinton Foundation while you were secretary of state, but e-mails show that donors got special access to you, those seeking grants for Haiti relief separately from non-donors and some of those donors got contracts, government contracts, taxpayer money. Can you really say you’ve kept your pledge to that Senate committee and why isn’t what happened and what went on and between you and the Clinton Foundation […] what Mr. Trump calls pay-to-play?

Clinton: Well, everything I did as secretary of state was in furtherance of our country’s interests and our values. The state department has said that. I think that’s been proven, but I am happy — in fact, I’m thrilled to talk about the Clinton Foundation because it is a world-renowned charity and I’m so proud of the work that it does. I could talk for the rest of the debate. I know I don’t have the time to do that, but just briefly the Clinton Foundation made it possible for 11 million people around the world with HIV AIDS to afford treatment and that’s about half of all the people in the world that are getting treatment in partnership with the American health association.

Wallace then reminds Clinton, “The specific question is about pay to play —” and he asks Trump for his input.

Alas, Trump is unable to form a coherent, razor-sharp attack and resorts instead to anecdotal arguments. He is not in command of the facts in those Wikileaks, he can’t make the case, and falls flat instead, coming across yet again as grumpy Trump.

Trump: It’s a criminal enterprise. Saudi Arabia given $25 million, Qatar, all of these countries. You talk about women and women’s rights? So these are people that push gays off business, off buildings. These are people that kill women and treat women horribly and yet you take their money. So I’d like to ask you right now why don’t you give back the money that you’ve taken from certain countries that treat certain groups of people so horribly? Why don’t you give back the money? I think it would be a great gesture because she takes a tremendous amount of money. And you take a look at the people of Haiti. I was in Little Haiti the other day in Florida, and I want to tell you they hate the Clintons because what’s happened in Haiti with the Clinton Foundation is a disgrace. And you know it and they know it and everybody knows it.

There’s a reason why the vast majority of American politicians are Law School graduates. Law School is where you learn to think on your feet to form a counter argument quickly and convincingly, before a critical judge who isn’t interested in your trip to Little Haiti and how the folks down there hate Hillary. And while Trump was busy going nowhere, Hillary was preparing a massive counter attack. And, remember, she didn’t have to destroy her opponent, only to divert attention from the very real accusations made by Wallace against her conduct as Secretary of State, affording access to her foundation’s donors.

Wallace: Secretary Clinton?

Clinton: Well, very quickly, we at the Clinton Foundation spend 90%, 90%, of all the money that is donated on behalf of programs for people around the world and in our own country. I’m very proud of that. We have the highest rating from the watchdogs that follow foundations. And I would be happy to compare what we do with the Trump Foundation which took money from other people and bought a six-foot portrait of Donald. I mean, who does that? I mean, it just was astonishing. But when it comes to Haiti, Haiti is the poorest country in our hemisphere. The earthquake and the hurricanes, it has devastated Haiti. Bill and I have been involved in trying to help Haiti for many years. The Clinton Foundation raised $30 million to help Haiti after the catastrophic earthquake and all of the terrible problems the people there had. We’ve done things to help small businesses, agriculture, and so much else. And we’re going to keep working to help Haiti because it is an important part of the American experience.

This is how it’s done.

Finally, close to the end, when most pundits were prepared to declare him the winner, at least by points, Trump shot himself in the foot and provided the opposition with a golden slogan. The topic of discussion was entitlement programs, including Social Security, that “third rail of American politics,” where countless Republicans have lost to countless Democrats who knew that any voter over age 50 doesn’t care about the program’s solvency, they just want to be reassured their checks will be in the mail for as long as they live once they retire. Which is what Hillary gave them, possibly without a shred of real figures to support her:

Clinton: Well, Chris, I am on the record as saying we need to put more money into Social Security Trust fund. That’s part of my commitment to raise taxes on the wealthy. My Social Security payroll contribution will go up as will Donald’s, assuming he can’t figure out how to get out of it, but what we want to do is —”

And Donald Trump leaned into the mike and said hoarsely: “Such a nasty woman.”

Clinton either hadn’t heard him or chose to ignore him, but millions of women saw an angry man belittling and attacking one of their own. Expect T-shirts saying “I’m voting for the nasty woman,” very much like the Obama campaign’s T-shirts from 2008, with the slogan, “I’m voting for that one,” following Sen. John MacCain’s unfortunate reference to his debate opponent Sen. Barack Obama. And, as has been the theme of this post 3rd debate analysis, should he lose the election, Donald Trump will have mostly himself to blame for rigging it.

Finally, in the discussion of third-trimester abortions, Hillary Clinton presented the familiar, feminist argument about the woman’s right to make decisions about her body, with the support of her family, her doctor, and her spiritual adviser. Jewish law, which does not believe that we own our bodies, since they belong to the Creator, we are merely the custodians of our bodies, nevertheless sides with those who permit third-trimester abortion, for a completely different reason.

In a case where the birth of the fetus poses a threat to the life of the mother, before the birth has begun, as long as the fetus is completely in the womb, the fetus that threatens its mother’s life is considered a “rodef,” a person who wants to kill another person and should be killed first. In such a case, the midwife is permitted to even cut the fetus up and pull it out in pieces, to save the mother. In fact, Donald Trump described in great detail precisely what the halakha encourages the midwife to do should the fetus risk its mother’s life:

Trump: Well I think it is terrible. If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month you can take baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby. Now, you can say that that is okay and Hillary can say that that is okay, but it’s not okay with me. Because based on what she is saying and based on where she’s going and where she’s been, you can take a baby and rip the baby out of the womb. In the ninth month. On the final day. And that’s not acceptable.

Had he asked his Orthodox Jewish daughter Yael, she would have told him that this is exactly how our tradition describes what is permitted in that tragic case where the mother’s life is at stake.

However, everything changes in our halakha when it comes to partial birth. If most of the baby is out of the womb, we’re no longer dealing with a fully realized life—the mother, versus a potential life—the fetus. Now we have two fully realized humans with equal rights to life. According to our laws, if the baby’s head has emerged completely (the maximalist view), or 51% of the baby’s body has emerged (the minimalists), we can no longer kill the baby.

Two of our major scholars, Maimonides and Rashi, hold different views on abortion for reasons other than the health of the mother. In a cases where the fetus is likely to be born deformed, Rashi, who holds it is not a realized human, would permit an abortion, Maimoides does not.

By the way, all Jewish authorities agrees that for the first 40 days of pregnancy a woman may terminate without any question, because the fetus only receives a soul on its 40th day.

But overall, Jewish law never views the killing of an unborn fetus as murder, at most it would be a case of manslaughter, but more likely a case of civil damages, if done against the woman’s will.

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/in-strongest-showing-trump-fails-to-bridge-gap-with-women/2016/10/20/

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