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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘donald trump’

US Jewish Schools Love Betsy DeVos for the Vouchers

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Businesswoman, philanthropist, and now Secretary of Education Elisabeth “Betsy” DeVos did not have a graceful initiation into Washington politics at her Senate nomination hearing. She was skewered by several Democrats, most notably Senator Al Frenken (D-Minnessota), but also former VP candidate Tim Kaine (D-Virginia). At times she looked like the proverbial deer caught in the headlights.

Sen. Christopher Murphy (D-Connecticut) got the biggest raves from the aisles on the left when he asked the nominee, “Do you think guns have any place in or around schools?” DeVos responded, as she had done numerous times that day in that committee room, “That is best left to locales and states to decide.”

Murphy insisted, “You can’t say definitively today that guns shouldn’t be in schools?”

DeVos responded, possibly because she is not up on the pitfalls of the media echo chamber on guns, “I will refer back to Senator [Mike] Enzi and the school he was talking about in Wyoming. I think probably there, I would imagine that there is probably a gun in the schools to protect from potential grizzlies.”

Much laughter ensued, resulting eventually in a hilarious sketch on CBS’ Late Show with Stephen Colbert showing a big bear bullying students and giving them wedgies.

It didn’t matter, of course, she was confirmed by the Republican majority. Now, it turns out, Jewish day schools that may or may not have supported Donald Trump for president, are loving the Secretary of Education. Because she believes in vouchers.

Betsy DeVos is not a friend of the public education system. She much prefers to take the money the US government plans to spend on education each year, divide it by the number of school children and give it to the parents in the form of “vouchers.” It’s not a new idea, and the amount of these vouchers often does not begin to cover what a private Jewish day school charges these days, but it’s an improvement. In Ohio, according to JTA, at the Hebrew Academy of Cleveland, vouchers covers less than 40% of the high-school tuition, which could be as high as $12,500 a year.

Ohio director of Agudath Israel of America Rabbi Eric Frank told JTA he was grateful for the fact that there’s finally official recognition that the cost of Jewish education stops children from attending a Jewish day school

In Michigan, DeVos’ home state, charter schools have not improved the state’s ranking. Michigan ranks near the bottom for 4th and 8th grade math and 4th grade reading on a national test called “Nation’s Report Card.” In fact, the state’s charter schools scored worse on this test than its public-school, according to Politico.

It’s probably a question of economic and social factors, and charter schools have occasionally been known to be run by charlatans. Still, for Jewish parents who struggle to pay for their kids’ education every little bit counts.

Betsy DeVos and her husband, Dick, are billionaires who have contributed an estimated $7 million to support lawmakers who push school choice, meaning the idea that parents shouldn’t be locked into their local public schools but may be enabled to choose other options, including publicly funded charter schools, as well as private and parochial schools.

DeVos suggests that “Parents no longer believe that a one-size-fits-all model of learning meets the needs of every child, and they know other options exist. Why in 2017 are we still questioning parents’ ability to exercise educational choices for their children?”

So, it turns out the new Trump Administration favors Jews not only in Judea and Samaria, but in the States as well. Our recommendation: if you are the parent of a Jewish school student – lay off those protest rallies…


Leftwing Pundit’s Equating Trump with Nazis Fails Truth Test

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Gideon Levi, a dedicated Ha’aretz op-ed writer who hasn’t met an Arab terrorist he couldn’t praise, on Sunday shared with his readers an amusing prank, whereby he replaced the word “America” in President Trump’s inaugural speech with the word “Germany,” to form, so he argued, the amusing result of “Germany above everything else” (the infamous “Deutschland über alles”).

So we had a laugh, because we can’t help ourselves when it comes to cheap tricks, but then decided to scour the text of the president’s speech, in search of what he really said, and how it would be affected had he said “Germany” or “German” instead of “America” and American.” For one thing, a search of the text revealed that the president never used the word “above,” so that joke is not based on fact, but strictly on malice.

Trump did say, in Gideon Levy’s alternate universe, “From this day forward, it’s going to be only Germany first, Germany first.”

It’s an aggressive statement, for sure, but probably something we’d expect every leader to promote for his or her country. Same as “Germany will start winning again, winning like never before,” a German Trump would have said. Same as, “We will follow two simple rules; buy German and hire German.”

Of course, in the context of a Germany which devastated the world with its destructive ideology, these lines sound ominous. However, had 1930s Germany adopted Trump’s democratic views alongside it aggressive patriotism and sans its racial policy, the world would have surely thrived. Especially had the German leader at the time state unequivocally: “We all enjoy the same glorious freedoms and we all salute the same great German flag,” emphasis on “we all.”

David Israel

Netanyahu Will Talk with Trump Today

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

PM Netanyahu told reporters that he plans to speak with President Trump this evening.

He plans to discuss Iran, Syria, and the Arabs of Judea and Samaria.

There was supposed to be a ministerial vote today on applying Israeli sovereignty over the city of Ma’ale Adumim, but Netanyahu said the Trump administration asked him postpone the vote.

Israel’s Galei Tzahal reported this morning that a source in the Trump administration said they told Netanyahu no such thing, and have no intention of getting involved in Israel’s sovereignty legislation.

Hopefully, sovereignty will be on the discussion list too, and Netanyahu will get the permission he still thinks he needs.

Jewish Press News Briefs

New US Ambassador to Israel Will Live in Jerusalem

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

Incoming US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman plans to live in Jerusalem, in his personal apartment he owns in Talbieh neighborhood.

Previous US ambassadors have lived in the official residence in Herzliya. In general, they were also not permitted to cross over the 1948 Armistice line (the Green Line), which includes visiting the Kotel.

Friedman, an Orthodox Jew from New York, is known as a Zionist and an ardent supporter of Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria. He’s also likely to visit the Kotel.

In an amusing exchange between President Donald Trump and Senator Charles Schumer, as Trump was signing off on the appointment of Friedman as ambassador to Israel, Trump asked Schumer if he knew Friedman, to which the latter replied that he never met him.

Watch from 9:20 on the video:

Jewish Press News Briefs

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin Congratulates US President Donald Trump

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

President Reuven Rivlin after the conclusion of the Sabbath in Israel sent a letter of congratulations to 45th President of the United States of America, Donald Trump.

In the letter, President Rivlin wrote:

“On behalf of the people and State of Israel, I am honored to extend to you congratulations on your inauguration as the 45th President of the United States of America. Mr. President, as a longstanding friend of the State of Israel, you now stand as leader of the free world, and of Israel’s most important and closest ally. The alliance between our states and our nations is not solely based on friendship. It is rooted in our shared values and longstanding commitment to freedom, liberty, and democracy – the foundation stones of our societies.

As you take this esteemed office, I wish to express my gratitude for the support and friendship of the American people, along with my hope that our special relationship and cooperation will continue to flourish and grow stronger.

On behalf of our people, I wish you and your administration much success, and take this opportunity to extend to you an invitation to visit the State of Israel and be our guest in Jerusalem.”

Hana Levi Julian

Full Text: Inaugural Speech of US President Donald J. Trump [video]

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

One of the briefest inaugural speeches in modern times, the Inaugural Address delivered by incoming 45th President of the United States, President Donald J. Trump, was focused on the theme of “We The People” — literally and philosophically.

For just a bit more than 17 minutes, President Trump told four prior presidents and the rest of the nation that not only was power being transferred from one administration to another, or one party to another, but “we are transferring power from Washington DC and giving it back to you, the people.”

Watch, now. (For those who wish, the full text is below.)

“Chief Justice Roberts, President Carter, President Clinton, President Bush, President Obama, fellow Americans and people of the world, thank you.

“We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuild our country and restore its promise for all of our people. Together we will determine the course of America and the world for many, many years to come. We will face challenges. We will confront hardships, but we will get the job done. Every four years we gather on these steps to carry out the orderly and peaceful transfer of power and we are grateful to President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama for their gracious aid throughout this transition. They have been magnificent. Thank you.

“Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning because, today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, DC, and giving it back to you, the people.

“For too long, a small group in our nation’s capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have born the cost. Washington flourished, but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered, but the jobs left and the factories closed. The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories. Their triumphs have not been your triumphs and, while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

“That all changes starting right here and right now because this moment is your moment. It belongs to you. It belongs to everyone gathered here today and everyone watching all across America. This is your day. This is your celebration, and this, the United States of America, is your country.

“What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people. January 20th, 2017, will be remembered as the day the people became the rulers of this nation again. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer.

“Everyone is listening to you now. You came by the tens of millions to become part of an historic movement, the likes of which the world has never seen before. At the center of this movement is a crucial conviction that a nation exists to serve its citizens. Americans want great schools for their children, safe neighborhoods for their families, and good jobs for themselves. These are just and reasonable demands of righteous people and a righteous public, but for too many of our citizens, a different reality exists.

“Mothers and children trapped in poverty in our inner cities, rusted out factories scattered like tombstones across the landscape of our nation, an education system flush with cash, but which leaves our young and beautiful students deprived of all knowledge and the crime and the gangs and the drugs that have stolen too many lives and robbed our country of so much unrealized potential. This American carnage stops right here and stops right now.

“We are one nation and their pain is our pain. Their dreams are our dreams and their success will be our success. We share one heart, one home and one glorious destiny. The oath of office I take today is an oath of allegiance to all Americans. For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry, subsidized the armies of other countries, while allowing for the very sad depletion of our military.

“We’ve defended other nations’ borders, while refusing to defend our own, and spent trillions and trillions of dollars overseas, while America’s infrastructure has fallen into disrepair and decay. We’ve made other countries rich while the wealth, strength and confidence of our country has dissipated over the horizon. One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores with not even a thought about the millions and millions of American workers that were left behind. The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed all across the world.

“But, that is the past and now we are looking only to the future. We assembled here today, are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital, and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it’s going to be only America first. America first. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.

“We must protect our borders from the ravages of other countries making our products, stealing our companies and destroying our jobs. Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body and I will never, ever let you down.

“America will start winning again. Winning like never before. We will bring back our jobs. We will bring back our borders. We will bring back our wealth. And we will bring back our dreams. We will build new roads and highways and bridges and airports and tunnels and railways all across our wonderful nation. We will get our people off of welfare and back to work rebuilding our country with American hands and American labor. We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American. We will seek friendship and goodwill with the nations of the world, but we do so with the understanding that it is the right of all nations to put their own interests first.

“We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example. We will shine for everyone to follow. We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones and unite the civilized world against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth. At the bedrock of our politics will be a total allegiance to the United States of America and, through our loyalty to our country, we will rediscover our loyalty to each other. When you open your heart to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice.

“The bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when god’s people live together in unity. We must speak our minds openly, debate our disagreements honestly, but always pursue solidarity. When America is united, America is totally unstoppable. There should be no fear. We are protected and we will always be protected. We will be protected by the great men and women of our military and law enforcement and most importantly, we will be protected by God.

Hana Levi Julian

Conservative Shul Calls for Fasting on Inauguration Day

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

Conservative Rabbi Menachem Creditor, spiritual leader of Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, this week sent an email to his members on the eve of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, sharing with them that he was “deeply worried about this American moment, as a Jew, as a father, as an American,” which is why That is why I cannot abstain from thoughtful action today.” Creditor told his congregation: “Some of us will fast on Friday, an interfaith moment of unity, calling to God for guidance as crude language, attacks on free speech and public health, exalted misogyny and emboldened American White Supremacy.”

Creditor informed his members that “if Netivot Shalom is empty this Shabbat morning because members of Netivot Shalom are marching as part of the nationwide response to the Presidential Inauguration, that would be a fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophetic call, to ‘cry with a full throat, without restraint.’ (Is. 58:1)”

Remember how outraged Democrats were back in mid-October 2016, when presidential candidate Donald Trump insisted, during his third televised debate with Hillary Clinton, that if he loses the election, he might consider the results illegitimate because the process is rigged? “I will keep you in suspense,” he said, which led Clinton to calling his answer “horrifying,” accusing him of “talking down our democracy.”

Apparently, Jewish liberal Democrats are trying to do to Trump what Trump threatened to do to them, except they actually mean it. According to Amanda Borschel-Dan writing in the Times of Israel, “a growing grassroots movement of concerned rabbis reflects their flocks’ dissatisfaction. In their calls for ‘Jewish resistance,’ online and in the streets, the rabbis’ protest movement goes beyond hashtags and Facebook event pages. These religious leaders are staking their reputations and careers to speak out against Trump. They see themselves as ‘fulfilling a sacred duty.’”

As to the part of the verse from Isaiah the Creditor cites to whip his troops into revolutionary frenzy, the uncut version of the prophetic message is a rebuke of fasting for show and self-gratification:

“Cry aloud; do not hold back; lift up your voice like a trumpet; and declare to my people their transgression, to the house of Jacob their sins. They seek me daily and delight to know my ways, as if they were a nation that did righteousness and did not abandon the teaching of their God; they ask of me righteous judgments; they delight to be near to God.”

Then comes Isaiah’s rebuke, citing the people who complain to God, “Why have we fasted, and you see it not? Why have we humbled ourselves, and you take no knowledge of it?” then telling them harshly, “Here is my answer: when you fast, you go about doing whatever you like, while oppressing your debtors.”

Turns out God seriously abhors Jews who fast without keeping his laws. Possibly because they leave their shul empty and go march in a faraway city against the lawfully elected new president.

Soon, as this new president starts favoring the Jewish State in her effort to reach a permanent deal with its enemies at home, these same Jews will fast and march for the other side. At which point we would offer another verse from Isaiah – 49:17 – “Your children are coming home quickly, and your destroyers and plunderers from within are leaving and going away.”

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/conservative-shul-calls-for-fasting-on-inauguration-day/2017/01/19/

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