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November 26, 2014 / 4 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘elections’

J Street Poll Shows Obama Out of Touch with US Jews

Tuesday, November 11th, 2014

A poll of American Jewish voters carried out by the left-wing J Street lobby shows an overwhelming number of Jew support building in some Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.

The results of the survey should be a wake-up call to President Barack Obama, who has surrounded himself with left-wing Jewish advisers and has given J Street a free pass to the White House while distancing traditional Jewish lobbies, particularly AIPAC.

J Street has been a consistent opponent of almost everything the Netanyahu government does, as reflected in President president’s holy ghost, otherwise known as the “Peace Process.”

A whopping 72 percent of polled American Jewish voters said they support construction in Jewish communities that are not outside the core settlement blocs. Twenty percent of that number back building for Jews in all of Judea and Samaria as well as Jerusalem.

Only 28 percent said Israel should freeze all construction in the same areas.

All of the respondents in the poll voted in last week’s mid-term elections. Nearly one-third of the respondents did not describe their affiliation with a stream of Judaism, while the breakdown for the others was 37 percent Reform, 20 percent Conservative and 10 percent Orthodox.

That means that the support for building in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria has deepened among Reform Jews, previously thought to be heavily left-wing and against a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.

A majority of American Jews polled also said they have a favorable view of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, contradicting assumptions that most Jews in the United States oppose him and his policies.

The survey also verified other estimates that 69 percent of American Jews voted for Democratic candidates last week, another indication that President Obama cannot assume that Jewish Democrats back his and J Street’s view that settlers are “illegal” and “illegitimate.”

The Obama administration’s constant pointing fingers at Israel for allegedly blocking a peace agreement appears to be wearing thin on American Jews.

While 85 percent support an active role for the United States in the Arab-Israeli conflict, slightly more than half of the respondents “oppose the United States playing an active role in helping the parties to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict if it meant the United States publicly stating its disagreements with Israel.”

In answer to the question, “Would you support or oppose the United States playing an active role in helping the parties to resolve the Arab-Israeli conflict if it meant the United States exerting pressure on Israel to make the compromises necessary to achieve peace?” 54 percent replied in the negative.

The poll also showed massive support for Israel in the Protective Edge counter-terror war with Hamas this past summer. The 80 percent approval showed how little J Street’s lobby against Israel has influenced American Jews.

Most of its influence seems to have been felt inside the White House, and anyone thinking of running for the Democratic presidential nomination in two years will pay close attention to the poll.

Hillary Clinton is the most highly favored candidate among the Jewish who were polled, winning support of 66-69 percent if Jeb Bush were running as the GOP nominee, and 70 percent if Rand Paul were the Republican candidate.

The poll also showed that only 25 percent of U.S. Jews support the Boycott Israel-BDS movement.

As usual, Israel was near the bottom of the list of subjects that concern American Jews, but more significant was that “terrorism and national security” were the number four issue, after the economy, health care and Social Security/Medicare.

The Islamic State beheadings of two Americans, one of the them Jewish, and an increasing number of Islamic-linked attacks on American soil have brought terror closer to home and brought all Americans to better understand Israel’s refusal to consider sponsors of terrorism “peace partners.”

Reflecting the overall mood of the United States, 57 percent of American Jews “feel things have gotten pretty seriously off on the wrong track” in the United States.

Nevertheless, Obama remains more popular among American Jews than among most other voting blocs. Fifty-seven percent either “somewhat” or “strongly” approve of how Obama is handling his job as president and 53 percent approved the way Congress is functioning.

U.S. Midterm Elections 2014: How Will Obama’s Behavior Impact Today’s Scores?

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014

U.S. citizens are going to the polls today (Tuesday November 4) to cast their ballots in midterm elections for Congress, with candidates being chosen in races where seats in the U.S. Senate, House of Representatives and a number of gubernatorial races are up for grabs.

Thanks to Democratic President Barack Obama and probably the most dominant GOP Congress since 1929, it is likely that when the dust settles, America will wake up to find the first Republican majority in the Senate in years. Analysts are predicting that the House could see its largest Republican majority, in fact, in 65 years.

In New York State, however, incumbent Governor Andrew M. Cuomo — who is endorsed by The Jewish Press print edition – is not likely to lose his position.

A Democrat like his father, former Governor Mario M. Cuomo, Andrew Cuomo appears likely to win today’s re-election by a comfortable margin. The 56-year-old governor headed a bipartisan delegation this summer to show solidarity in a 3-day visit to Israel during the counter terror Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.

A former housing secretary during the administration of former President Bill Clinton, Cuomo is seen as a shoo-in over Republican challenger Rob Astorino, the executive of Westchester County due to his efforts to cap property taxes and help New Yorkers recover from Hurricane Sandy. People interviewed by The New York Times also cited his strong support on equal wages for women and similar issues in its own pre-election coverage.

Also in New York, general state elections are taking place as well, with residents casting their ballots for representatives to the State Assembly, the State Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

In Maryland, the race for governor that originally was considered an easy win for Democrats now looks to be a toss-up.

Democratic candidate Anthony G. Brown, currently the state’s Lieutenant Governor, has had a difficult time in the past month convincing voters his term will look different from that of his boss, Governor Martin O’Malley. With Maryland facing hard times and a struggling economy, people along the Chesapeake Bay are looking for the “change” long promised by another man of color in his first term of office, incumbent Democrat President Barack H. Obama.

Republican candidate Larry Hogan has attacked O’Malley’s tax increases, slammed the fading finances and says he can bring more jobs to the state. He says, simply, that Marylanders just ‘can do better’ and he can make that happen.

The message has been heard and the race is now a tight one, with the two men showing only a single-digit difference between them in the polls as they enter Election Day.

OU Advocacy Center Asks New Yorkers to Vote ‘Yes’

Monday, November 3rd, 2014

The Orthodox Union Advocacy Center released the following press release:

A crucial decision awaits all New Yorkers when they step into the voting booths on November 4, a decision that can affect over 100,000 yeshiva and Jewish day school students in New York.

On November 4, New Yorkers get the opportunity to vote “yes” for the Smart Schools Bond Act of 2014.

What does this bond act mean for you? The act can provide up to $32 million to yeshivas in NY to buy much-needed technology equipment.

“If passed, the Smart Schools Bond Act has the ability to bring additional resources to Yeshivas and Jewish Day Schools which will enhance the learning experience for our children.,” said Jeff Leb, New York State Director for OU Advocacy, the non-partisan public policy arm of the Orthodox Union.

The Orthodox Union has launched an extensive get out the vote campaign to urge all New Yorkers to ensure their voices are heard on Election Day. Take the pledge to vote YES today.

The Orthodox Union is asking New Yorkers to join them on this key issue and take the pledge to vote YES on November 4th for the Smart Schools Bond Act.

Elections? Polls Show Center-Left on the Skids

Friday, October 31st, 2014

A new poll shows that the center-left parties have no chance of winning general elections and that the Jewish home party, headed by Naftali Bennett, would be the number two party after the Likud, chaired by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s media establishment, which likes Netanyahu as much as President Barack Obama likes him, recently has been talking up an atmosphere of instability in the coalition government and that elections will be held in the spring.

A survey by the reputable Rafi Smith firm, carried out for the left-leaning Globes business newspaper, reveals that the center-left has everything to lose and nothing to win by pushing for an early vote.

The popularity of the Jewish Home party has increased, and it could expect 15 Knesset Members, three more than in the current session. It would be the second largest party after the Liked, with a projected total of 24 MKs, and would replace Avigdor Lieberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu party.

Yisrael Beitenu and Likud ran together in the last elections but since have gone their separate ways. The poll shows the Likud would win 24 seats today and that Yisrael Beitenu would garner only 10 mandates.

The number-three party would be Labor, with 14 seats, one less than it now enjoys.

The biggest loser is Yair Lapid and his Yesh Atid party, which would be left with only 9 MKs, 10 less than the current 19.

Lapid swept into the Knesset as the great hope of the mainly secular, center-left voters who consider a Jewish presence in all of Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem a drain on their pockets.

Lapid promised everything under the moon, which so far remains eclipsed both by his failure to produce results and by his wake-up call from the war with Hamas, which proved once again that it might be so smart to play Monopoly with the Palestinian Authority and draw a border between Ventnor Avenue and Park Place, or between Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria.

The projected line-up if elections were held today is, on the right with a total of 49:

Likud – 24;

Jewish Home – 15;

Yisrael Beitenu – 10.

On the left, with a total of 22:

Labor – 14;

Meretz – 8.

The parties that could go either way, depending on the wind, have a total of 28 MKs:

Yesh Atid – 9;

Shas – 7;

Yehadut HaTorah – 8;

Tzipi Livni’s HaTnua party – 4.

Kadima, as earlier polls have shown, would disappear. The Arab parties would have 12 votes but would not join a center-left coalition. The wild card is Moshe Kahlon, former Likud Minister of Communications who broke the mobile phone oligarchy in Israel and brought prices of mobile phone calls down by 90 percent. His new party is projected to gain 9 seats in the next elections, and he could go left or right.

Even if all the swing parties and Kahlon were to join a center-left coalition, they would have only 59 seats, two less than the needed absolute majority of 61. In any case, a coalition of the seven parties would be a nightmare and have zilch chance of becoming a reality.

With 49 projects MKs on the right, Netanyahu would have a choice of re-negotiating with Lapid and tempting Kahlon, or he could go with the Haredi parties.

In either case, he would have a majority without having to worry about having to deal with Livni again.

Romney and Joe Lieberman to Address Israel-Americans in Washington

Friday, October 24th, 2014

Former Presidential candidate Gov. Mitt Romney and former Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Joe Lieberman will address the inaugural Israeli American Council (IAC) National Conference in Washington next month.

The IAC’s stated mission is “to build an active and giving Israeli-American community throughout the United States in order to strengthen the State of Israel.” The number of Israeli-Americans is estimated at 500,000-800,000.

The event will mark Romney’s first formal address to the Jewish and Israeli-American community since his loss in the 2012 presidential elections, and it will be Lieberman’s first opportunity to address the Israeli-American community.

Romney has said he will not run in 2016, but not everyone believes him because he has been active on the campaign trail. Just in case he might change his mind, billionaire Donald Trump told Breitbart News, “I don’t think he should run. He had his chance and he blew it.”

One source close to Trump told the Mediate website that Trump figures that if Romney could not beat Barack Obama, he would do even worse against Hillary Clinton, who is considered a shoe-in as Democratic presidential nominee if she runs.

PA Unity Government Not Unified

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Hamas appears determined to sabotage the shaky Palestinian Authority unity government to which it belongs. Hamas spokesperson Mahmoud al-Zahar said Wednesday that Palestinian Authority unity government chairman Mahmoud Abbas is not the group’s legitimate leader.

Zahar, who co-founded Gaza’s ruling terrorist organization, is a member of the Hamas leadership.

Hamas is a member of what is supposed to be a Palestinian Authority coalition government together with Fatah, the faction led by Abbas, who also is chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Abbas is the only person authorized to advocate for PA Arabs at the United Nations and in any international arena.

But speaking in an interview with Lebanon’s Al Akhbar, Zahar charged that the unity government has been a failure. He scored Abbas for going to the media with accusations that Hamas is running a “shadow government” in Gaza.

Hamas has refused to place control of security and other various ministries under the authority of the unity government, Abbas said.

“Fatah lost the legitimacy to represent the Palestinian people after the (2006) elections,” Zahar told the newspaper. “Abu Mazen (Abbas) is not a legitimate or agreed-upon president. He is a president because there is no other choice.”

Elections have yet to be held in the Palestinian Authority, although the unity agreement mandated polls six months after the government was formed. In the wake of this summer’s Gaza war and the repeated violations of cease-fires by Hamas, Abbas has refused to hold the elections.

“According to our information, Abbas fears the results of the election,” Zahar said in the interview. He added that no further talks or permission was needed for Hamas to go ahead with its plans to build an airport or seaport in Gaza, regardless of the cease-fire deal that mandated negotiations over the issue.

If we decide to build an airport and Israel responds by attacking it, then we will attack [Israel’s] airport in return,” he said.

Date Set for Jerusalem Chief Rabbi Elections

Sunday, August 31st, 2014

Elections for Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem will finally be held. The date has been set for October 21, 2014 / 27 Tishrei 5775.

One serious front-runner is Rabbi Aryeh Stern, a National-Religious rabbi.

Rabbi Stern turns 70 in the Hebrew month of Kislev, at which point he will no longer be able to run, so Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat and others have pushed hard to have the elections before that date, while Haredi interest groups kept trying to push the election date off, to increase the chances of someone from their camp winning.

Jerusalem hasn’t had a Chief Rabbi since 2002, over fighting over how the Rabbi would get chosen, which affects which rabbi is more likely to get chosen.

It was also decided that there would only be one Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, and not two. In the past, the position has been shared between an Ashkenazi and Sephardi rabbi.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/date-set-for-jerusalem-chief-rabbi-elections/2014/08/31/

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