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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘democrats’

Sen. Schumer: Democrats Are on the Cusp of a Golden Era

Friday, July 29th, 2016

New York Democratic Senator and one of Israel’s greatest friends on the Hill Chuck Schumer says he is getting ready to assume the mantle of Senate majority leader Come January 2017, because, he told Politico Thursday night, “We’re going to have a Democratic generation. [President Obama] helped create it. But it’s just where America’s moving demographically, ideologically and in every way. We’ll have a mandate to get something done.”

“The American people are yearning for action and I do believe that our Republican colleagues, if they lose this election by quite a bit and I think they will … our mainstream Republicans are going to say they cannot let the tea party run the show,” Schumer said.

Several Democrats shared similar predictions with Politico. Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon, slated to chair the Finance Committee should the Democrats win the Senate, said, “In the first six months of 2017, we are really going to deliver on some key issues that are going to show what governing is all about. It would be legislative malpractice to not have a major roads and bridges and ports and infrastructure effort early in 2017.”

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) wants Schumer to change the restrictive filibuster rules that cost her a signature energy bill back in 2014. “We need to change the rules of the Senate to keep one person from dragging things out and to keep having every vote require 60,” she said.

The November 8 election will see 34 of the 100 Senate seats up for a vote, with Democrats running 10 seats while Republicans have 24 seats in the running. However, only 9 Democratic seats are in contention, having already secured California (both candidate are Democrats). The Republicans took control of the Senate in 2014 and have a majority of 54-46 seats.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Schumer have had to deal with getting Florida Rep. Alan Grayson to drop out of the senate race, following allegations by his ex-wife Lolita Grayson that she had called the police on her husband multiple times for domestic abuse over a 20-year period. Grayson denied the accusations.

David Israel

Obama Asks Democrats to ‘Do For Hillary Clinton What You Did For Me’

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

‘America is already great,’ U.S. President Barack Obama told a packed house at the Wells Fargo Arena in Philadelphia Wednesday night, taking a direct swing at the GOP presidential contender.

“America is already strong. Our strength and greatness does not depend on Donald Trump.

Boos filled the hall of the Democratic National Convention, as Obama began to double down on the Republican opponent.

“Don’t ‘boo,'” he advised. “Vote.”

That advice was a recurring theme throughout his 45 minute speech — the importance of getting out to the polls to vote — because the apathy that has affected the American voter over the past several elections has made the difference more than once. “If you’re serious about our democracy, you can’t afford to stay home,” he said.

As for Clinton, the words “steady and strong” were threaded throughout the speech. He admitted she had made mistakes, as he had.

Obama talked about all the “different shades of humanity” that are seen in the United States due to the great mix that is America, and who are seen in the American military. He said that is why “fascists and jihadists and homegrown demagogues will always fail in the end.”

The latter was again another shot at Clinton’s opponent, Donald Trump.

Obama also gave a ‘shout out’ to the supporters of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, some of whom still remained outside the hall, demonstrating against the exposed bias of the leadership that had rigged the primary vote against their candidate.

“We all need to be as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders’ supporters,” Obama said.

“We all need to get out and vote for Democrats up and down the ticket, and then hold them accountable until they get the job done,” he said.

Cheers from the hall. “That’s right,” he nodded. “Feel the Bern!”

Long applause.

Through all the talking points, the barbs fired at Trump, the praise of Clinton’s persistence, there was the acknowledgement that America is on the right track but the grudging acknowledgement there was still work to be done.

Hillary Clinton is the right candidate for the job, he said. “She’s been there for us, even if we haven’t always noticed,” he said, and affirmed there has “never been a man or a woman more qualified than Hillary Clinton to serve as president. She is fit and she is ready to be the next Commander-in-Chief.”

As for the now-metastasizing Islamic State (Da’esh/ISIS) terrorist organization: “I know Hillary won’t relent until ISIL is destroyed.”

He also insisted her geopolitical credentials would stand her in good stead — perhaps an oblique reference to Benghazi — and an affirmation of her experience in foreign affairs. “Hillary Clinton is respected around the world, not just by leaders, but by the people they serve.”

But it was the echo of former President Bill Clinton’s speech the night before that seemed to get the loudest laughter and cheers: “No matter how daunting the odds, no matter how much people try to knock her down, she never, ever quits.”

Obama made it clear that he knows it’s not “all good,” that there is plenty still left to be done.

“My time in this office, it hasn’t fixed everything,” Obama said. It was clear that the stress of the office had finally caught up to him — perhaps had caught up to him long before, in fact.

“For all the places where I’ve fallen short …. I told Hillary and I’ll tell you, what’s picked me up has been you,” he said, with eyes just slightly wet.

“I am so proud of all the change that YOU made happen… Time and again you’ve picked me up and I hope sometimes I picked you up too, and tonight I ask you to do for Hillary Clinton what you did for me.

“It was you 12 years ago I was talking about when I was talking about hope,” Obama said, thanking Democrats for eight years of faith in the “audacity of hope” for the “change” he had promised in the days of his own campaigns.

“Thank you for this incredible journey, let’s keep it going.”

Hana Levi Julian

Bloomberg: ‘Let’s Elect A Sane, Competent Person’

Thursday, July 28th, 2016

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, himself a maverick Independent politician and a three-term mayor, urged delegates at the 2016 Democratic National Convention on Wednesday night to join him in voting for a “sane, competent person with international experience” — Hillary Clinton.

The founder of the Bloomberg media enterprise is an ex-Democrat, an ex-Republican, and a mega-businessman who accepted a salary of $1 per year for the 12 years he served as mayor of the Big Apple. Bloomberg is also a generous philanthropist, particularly to Jewish causes in Israel. He is the central donor behind the construction of the emergency medical response center at the entrance to Jerusalem.

A savvy multi-billionaire, Bloomberg knows Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, and on Wednesday night he told DNC delegates he had decided to speak at the convention because the situation was so serious.

“When I enter the voting booth each time, I look at the candidate, not the party label,” he said. “There are times when I disagree with Hillary Clinton. But let me tell you, whatever our disagreements may be, I’ve come here to say: We must put them aside for the good of our country. And we must unite around the candidate who can defeat a dangerous demagogue.”

Bloomberg bluntly warned that Trump would mismanage the country as he has his business affairs. “I’m a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one,” he said. “Trump has left behind a well-documented record of bankruptcies, thousands of lawsuits, angry stockholders and contractors who feel cheated. “Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s run his business. God help us.

“The richest thing about Donald Trump is his hypocrisy,” he added. “Trump’s business plan is a disaster in the making. He would make it harder for small businesses to compete, do great damage to our economy, threaten the retirement savings of millions of Americans, lead to greater debt and more unemployment, erode our influence around the world and make our communities less safe.”

Hana Levi Julian

Hillary, The Democrats And Israel

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Jerusalem Post columnist Caroline Glick created a stir when, in a recent article, she took Hillary Clinton to task for permitting Bernie Sanders, whom she had just defeated in the Democratic primaries, to select five of the fifteen members of the party’s platform drafting committee.

One key issue to be addressed was U.S. relations with Israel. Mr. Sanders was outspoken in the course of the primaries about the need for America to be more “even-handed” in the Middle East – i.e., to stand up more for Palestinian needs and interests and to try to rein in Israel’s settlement policies. He then proceeded to select three well-known, longtime champions of the Palestinian cause: James Zogby, Prof. Cornel West, and Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress. The other two Sanders picks were environmental activist Bill McKibben and Native American activist Deborah Parker.

Here is part of what Ms. Glick wrote:

 

Although commentators downplayed the significance of their appointments, noting that Clinton’s representatives, were, by and large, supportive of Israel, the fact is that Clinton was under no obligation to give Sanders’ supporters a seat at the table. That she did so shows she wanted to showcase growing opposition to Israel and tip her hat to the growing power of anti-Israel forces in the party.

As expected, Sanders’ representatives submitted a draft platform that called for an “end to the occupation and the illegal settlements.”

In the end, the committee reached a compromise. While the Zogby/West/Ellison wording was rejected, the draft platform makes explicit mention of Palestinian grievances, for the first time calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state that will ensure “the independence, sovereignty and dignity” of the Palestinians….

 

Ms. Glick went on to observe:

 

The numbers speak for themselves. According to a Pew survey released in May, since 2014, support for Palestinians among liberal Democrats – that is, hard line Obama supporters – has skyrocketed from 21 percent to 40 percent. Support for Israel among the group during the same period decreased from 39 to 33 percent.

The result marks the first time that support for Palestinians exceeded support for Israel among any major political demographic. On the other hand, among conservative Republicans, support for Israel stands at 79 percent while support for Palestinians is almost negligible – 4 percent. The situation among moderate to liberal Republicans is not much different: 65 percent support Israel, 13 percent support the Palestinians. On the other hand, support for Israel versus Palestinians among moderate Democrats stands 53 to 19 percent.

 

Ms. Glick is undoubtedly correct in suggesting that Mrs. Clinton was intent on allowing the Sanders crowd to be represented on the platform committee, and Sen. Sanders certainly had to be aware that his designees would try to have pro-Palestinian provisions – including anti-settlement language – inserted in the platform document. But without knowing more, we would hesitate to suggest that Mrs. Clinton’s tolerance for the Sanders people meant she somehow approved of what they proposed.

Indeed, Mrs. Clinton’s years as United States Senator from New York were, by most measures, marked by a decidedly pro-Israel position and she has regularly spoken out strongly against the BDS movement and urged a relatively hard line against Iran although she did support the nuclear agreement.

But there are legitimate concerns over her years as President Obama’s secretary of state. She repeatedly condemned the growth of Jewish settlements over the green line, at one point calling for “a stop to settlements – not some settlements, not outposts, not natural-growth exceptions.” Indeed, one of her first acts as secretary of state was to issue a demand for a total building freeze in existing settlement communities.

According to Elliott Abrams, an official in both the Reagan and George W. Bush administrations, this broke an agreement between Israel and the U.S. That is, although it had long been U.S. policy to oppose settlements and their growth, that opposition would not be reflected in policy initiatives. Some analysts also point to the focus on settlements as one of the leading causes for the breakdown of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, with the latter being handed an issue – one that had long been largely dormant – to exploit.

It is hard to know with any real certainty how much of what Mrs. Clinton said and did during her years as secretary of state reflected her own views and how much reflected those of President Obama. She herself has noted: “…I was often the designated yeller. Something would happen, a new settlement announcement would come and I would call [Prime Minister Netanyahu] up: ‘What are you doing, you’ve got to stop this.’ ”

Mrs. Clinton cannot be faulted for trying to draw Sanders Democrats into her camp, but that doesn’t negate the fact that their anti-Israel stances gained some legitimacy and also some exposure. Doubtless, the platform’s compromise language referring to Palestinian “independence, sovereignty and dignity” is viewed by the Sanders people and others as a step forward.

The way we see it, Mrs. Clinton needs to be closely questioned about her substantive positions on Israel. But also of great importance is, going forward, whether and how she plans to stanch the erosion of Democratic political support for Israel that has grown increasingly problematic over the past several years, fueled in great measure by President Obama’s open hostility toward Prime Minister Netanyahu.

Editorial Board

14 Senate Democrats Call for Extending Sanctions on Iran

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Tower Magazine website}

Fourteen Democratic senators introduced legislation last week calling for an extension of existing sanctions on Iran, which are set to expire at the end of this year.

Sen. Ben Cardin (D – Md.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D – N.Y.) are leading the push for renewing the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, which aims to prevent foreign investment in Iran’s energy sector. Both voiced their opposition to the nuclear agreement with Iran after it was announced.

“After extensive consultations with my colleagues in both chambers of Congress and on both sides of the aisle, it is clear that we need to reauthorize the Iran Sanctions Act before the end of the year,” said Cardin, the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Doing so is vital if the United States wants to retain a credible deterrent of snap back sanctions.”

Cardin and Schumer called on their colleagues in both chambers to quickly advance the legislation when Congress reconvenes in September.

“It is essential that Congress keep Iran’s feet to the fire to make sure they do not violate the [nuclear deal]. This bill would provide the sanction authority that helps us do just that,” said Schumer, chair of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee.

On Friday, many of the same Democratic Senators who originally supported the nuclear deal wrote a letter criticizing the agreement’s inspection procedures and calling for the International Atomic Energy Agency to release more information from its inspections.

Despite international criticism, including from United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Iran has continued to test ballistic missiles. The Islamic Republic reportedly launched a ballistic missile using North Korean technology on the night of July 11-12, the ninth such test it carried out since reaching a nuclear deal with global powers last year.

Tower Magazine

The Terrorist Defender And The Democrats’ Platform

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

After 9/11 and Paris and the beheadings on the beach, after San Bernardino and Charlie Hebdo and the burning of the pilot in the cage, after all the savage terrorist attacks of recent years – you would think the last person the Democrats would choose to help write their platform would be one of the most vocal defenders of a notorious Palestinian terrorist.

But that’s what they just did.

This sad story begins on May 14, 1979. Chaim and Chaya (Irene) Mark, a couple from Connecticut who had immigrated to Israel, were stepping out of a restaurant in the central marketplace of Tiberias when a huge bomb exploded.

“I was hit in the chest and knocked down,” Chaim later recalled. “When I got up, I saw my wife with a leg and arm nearly blown off.”

Two Israeli children were killed in the bombing and 36 other people were maimed. Mrs. Mark spent a year and half in the hospital, undergoing countless surgeries. She was left severely handicapped.

A few weeks later, one of the terrorists involved in the bombing was captured by Israeli police. He confessed to having constructed the bomb and he named one of his PLO comrades, Ziad Abu Eain, as the one who planted it.

Eain had already fled to Chicago – not exactly the behavior of an innocent person. When the FBI came knocking at the Chicago apartment where he was staying, he denied he was Ziad Abu Eain – again, not the kind of response one would expect from an innocent person.

Israel asked the U.S. to hand him over. Eain fought extradition. He used what I call the have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too defense: he denied his guilt and at the same time argued that the bombing was a “political offense.”

That’s right: murdering two Israeli children and crippling a Connecticut housewife was a “political” act.

In jailhouse interviews with the media, in fact, Eain brazenly defended the bombing. He told the Chicago Reader (June 18, 1981) that the Tiberias murders were a justified response to Israeli strikes on PLO targets in Lebanon: “The bombing was like a message. We are still doing something to help you have your freedom.”

Who was Eain’s loudest supporter? James Zogby, who at the time was the founding director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The very first action undertaken by Zogby with the AADC was to launch a campaign of protests, lobbying, and newspaper ads opposing the extradition of Eain.

Soon afterward, Zogby became active in Democratic Party politics, as deputy manager of Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1998 presidential campaigns, then later as “Senior Adviser on Ethnic Outrage” for Al Gore in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008. Since 2001, Zogby has been a member of the Democratic National Committee.

And last week, he was named as one of the 17 members of the committee that will draft this year’s Democratic Party platform. (He was chosen by Sen. Bernie Sanders, who’d been allotted several slots to fill on the platform-writing committee.)

In his efforts on behalf of the Tiberias bomber, Zogby charged that extraditing Eain would create a dangerous precedent for handing over individuals accused of “political crimes.” Zogby also played the race card. He told the Washington Post (July 24, 1981): “The only way to account for the State Department’s and the U.S. attorney’s behavior in this case is the fact that Ziad Abu Eain is an Arab.”

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected those claims and ordered Eain extradited. The New York Times applauded the extradition. In a lead editorial, it said the “political offense” argument could not be accepted in such a case, since “the crime attributed to Mr. Eain was planting a bomb in a crowded market where children were celebrating Independence Day.”

Zogby was so passionate in support of Eain that even after the bomber was extradited he continued mobilizing AADC members to send letters of protest to the State Department and the Israeli Embassy.

To this day Zogby has never expressed a word of remorse for his crusade on behalf of the Tiberias bomber.

Eain was tried, convicted of murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Three years later, he was released in a prisoner exchange. So what did Mr. Innocent do when he was set free? Just two months later, he was arrested for conspiring with other terrorists to hijack an Israeli bus. He spent three more years in prison. When the Oslo accords were signed, Eain, like many terrorists, accepted a senior position in the Palestinian Authority. Evidently he finally recognized the value of “working from within.”

James Zogby, too, understands how effective he can be from “the inside.” Drafting the Democratic Party’s platform plank on Israel will have a lot more influence than organizing petitions on behalf of a Palestinian terrorist with American blood on his hands.

Most people have forgotten about Ziad Abu Eain, the two Israeli children he murdered, and the Connecticut housewife he maimed for life. But the American Jewish community should neither forget nor forgive. Someone who defended a terrorist who harmed Americans should not be rewarded with an influential role in the Democratic Party.

Stephen M. Flatow

Pew Poll Proves Progressive Democrats Are Not Fans of Israel

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016

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

Anecdotally it’s been easy to say for a very long time that the more liberal politically one is the less they support the Jewish State of Israel.  The Anti-Israel policies of the leftist Barack Obama/Hillary Clinton foreign policy offer some anecdotal proof, as does the fact that the Democrats removed four pro-Israel planks in their 2012 platform, and when they were caught by your’s truly, they added back one, the Jerusalem is the capital of Israel plank. They left out a promise not to negotiate with Hamas as long as they refused to renounce terrorism, that in a final deal any Palestinian refugees would be resettled in a Palestinian State rather than flooding Israel with the purpose of removing its Jewish character, and that the 1948 armistice lines should not represent the final boarders of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.  A new Pew Poll backs up the qualitative judgements with quantitative evidence:

Views of Israel and the Palestinians have become more ideologically polarized. In early September 2001, just before the 9/11 terrorist attacks, there were only modest partisan and ideological differences in Israeli-Palestinian sympathies. But since then, and especially over the past decade, the share sympathizing more with Israel than with the Palestinians has increased among all ideological groups, with the exception of liberal Democrats.

Today, majorities of conservative Republicans (79%) and moderate and liberal Republicans (65%) say they sympathize more with Israel than with the Palestinians, while just 4% and 13%, respectively, sympathize more with the Palestinians. This is the case for conservative and moderate Democrats as well – far more have a more sympathetic view of Israel (53%) than of the Palestinians (19%). Liberal Democrats, however, are more divided, with four-in-ten (40%) sympathizing more with the Palestinians, versus a third (33%) with Israel.

The share of liberal Democrats who side more with the Palestinians than with Israel has nearly doubled since 2014 (from 21% to 40%) and is higher than at any point dating back to 2001.

Lib Dem

This certainly helps to explain the fact that the progressives who control the Democratic party pushed through the horrible Iran nuclear deal which does very little to stop Iran’s nuclear ambitions (heck they even get to inspect themselves).

Making this poll even worse is despite the fact that progressive Democrats tend more supportive of the Palestinians, American Jews continue to vote them in office.

Thirty years ago, Republican James Baker famously said, “F— the Jews. They won’t vote for us anyway.”  Today because of the blind loyalty to the Democratic Party by most Jews, Democrats act as if their stance is, “F— the Jews, they will vote for us whatever we do!”

In 2008, despite all the warnings, despite the fact that Barack Obama sat in a church listening to anti-Semitic sermons for two decades, despite the fact that he was a close friend with Palestinian Liberation Organization spokesman Rashid Khalid, the mainstream media and the Jewish community ignored the warning signs. Even before the election the Jewish community knew about the 2003 event honoring Khalidi, where Obama had made a toast that was so anti-Israel that the liberal L.A. Times hid the tape. Before the 2008 election Obama had already surrounded himself with anti-Semitic and anti-Israel advisers. Ignoring all that, the Jewish community gave Obama 78 percent of the Jewish vote. The leadership of certain major Jewish organizations, despite their phony claims of bi-partisanship, had a blind allegiance to the Democratic Party.

During his first term, President Obama proved to be the most anti-Israel president since the modern state of Israel was created in 1948. But it shouldn’t have been as surprise.

Despite an anti-Israel first term, as the 2012 election neared, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee in a joint statement asked their fellow Jews to pledge not to criticize Obama’s Israel policy. They said it was to keep the issue bi-partisan but it was really because their leadership was very partisan. Per Michael Oren these leaders like Abe Foxman of the ADL for instance were in a meeting with Obama in 2009 where he told them he was going to drive a wedge between the US and Israel (for Israel’s own good) and they said nothing.  Another of those supposedly “bi-partisan” leaders, Jack Rosen of the American Jewish Congress, actually hosted fundraisers for the president in his home, ignoring Obama’s anti-Israel and anti-Semitic stances. The publisher of the liberal Jewish Week newspaper even warned Jews not to make Obama angry or he will be worse in a second term.

Don’t be surprised if those same leaders ignore the supposed bi-partisanship of their organizations to support Hillary Clinton for president in 2016. They will even try to whitewash the fact that with the possible exception of the time from her first campaign New York’s Senate seat in 2000 to her resignation from the Senate to become Secretary of State in January 2009– except for the time she needed New York’s Jewish voting bloc, Hillary Clinton has always been anti-Israel.  But she is a progressive Democrat. And just like they supported Barack Obama, whose progressive policies have ignored the constitution and ruined the economy, they will support Hillary and try to sell her to the Jewish community.

Here’s a little secret my Jewish brethren should learn the way people vote influences candidate positions. Since Progressives are not pro-Israel and the Jews keep voting for them anyway, why should Democrats support Israel? On the Republicans side, the reason many GOP candidates are pro-Israel (besides the fact they are a strong American ally) is the evangelical vote that is a major part of their base. But if the very pro-Israel evangelicals ever lose their influence in the party, only then will there be a possibility that support for Israel will be bi-partisan— both parties won’t care about us.

After the P5+1 vote, Obama supporters claimed that the POTUS defeated the nefarious “Jewish Lobby,” but any influence the Jews ever had was defeated years ago by a blind allegiance to the Democratic Party by Jewish voters, and false tales by the supposed Jewish leadership.  The only way we will ever get it back is for Jews to start voting for the other party — not blindly, but look at Republican candidates with an open mind.

Oh and one more thing about Democratic Party support of Israel.  During the 2012 convention when they they added back the Jerusalem plank, it actually lost the voice vote but it was counted as being passed anyway to the boos of the angry crowd.

Watch the video below:

Jeff Dunetz

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