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November 29, 2014 / 7 Kislev, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

US-Born ‘Jewish Terrorist’ Gets Two Life Terms + 30

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

A Jerusalem court Monday sentenced Florida-born Jack Teitel, a resident of a Jewish community in Samaria, to two life terms in jail and another 30 years in prison for two murders and attempted murders of Arabs, Messianic Jews and leftists.

He also was convicted of placing a homemade bomb at the doorstep of known radical leftist Prof. Ze’ev Sternhell.

Although the murders were the gravest crimes Teitel committed, it was his bomb blast at Prof. Sternhell’s doorstep that triggered a storm of controversy in Israel. Sternhell had publicly called for violence against settlers but was never arrested for incitement.

He wrote in the now defunct left-wing Davar in 1988, “Only those prepared to demolish Ofra [in Samaria] with tanks would be able to stop the fascist erosion which threatens the Israeli he majority of the voters.”

In 2001, the professor wrote in Haaretz in praise of the Palestinian Authority “resistance” movement and advised it to restrict its terrorist attacks to Judea and Samaria and not in “Gilo, Sderot or Nahal Oz,” the latter being located next to the Gaza region.

Ironically, after Teitel’s arrest, Prof. Sternhell called for equality of justice, stating “I hope the law enforcement system will treat this terrorist in the same way it does with any terrorist, Jew or Arab.”

In fact, Teitel’s two life sentences were far harsher than Arab terrorists usually receive, outside of suicide bombers.  It also is extremely unlikely that Teitel will be released from jail as early as Arab terrorists are released. However, considering the disgust of almost all Israeli for his crimes, everyone – including Teitel – might be better off that way.

One of his victims was a Palestinian Authority taxi driver, who was shot in the head at point black range in 1997. In the same year, he murdered a Bedouin shepherd in the southern Hevron Hills.

After moving to Israel permanently in 2000, he attempted to kill a teenage girl from a Messianic family living in Ariel, in central Samaria. The girl was seriously injured when she opened a Purim gift basket Teitel had sent.

He also attempted to murder a resident of a monastery and attacked a police station during a parade of homosexuals.

Teitel grew up in a Haredi family and earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, he moved to Israel in 1999 after several visits.  His parents and sister followed him to Israel, and he later married a British-born woman.

After his arrest for murdering an Arab taxi driver and placing the bomb at the doorstep of Prof. Sternhell, residents at his Shvut Rachel community expressed shock and disbelief.

However, he eventually confessed and said before his sentence that he was proud of his crimes. Teitel refused to plead guilty, explaining he did not recognize the court’s authority.

Experts examined Teitel and ruled he was not insane and could stand trial, when he insisted an “angel” controlled his actions.

He also was ordered to pay approximately $200,000 to his victims.

Guns and the Difference btw the US and Israel

Monday, March 18th, 2013

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Yishai makes his way back to Florida to speak to Hadassah of Valencia Reserve about “Guns & Society in Israel: How We Make It Work” Yishai is a highly trained IDF soldier (he is active in battlefield unit in the reserves and has trained on various high tech weapons) he also carries a handgun on a regular basis as a private citizen and speaks on this topic from the perspective of both Israeli and American law (as a graduate of an American law school), as well as Israeli culture and day to day norms in regard to guns in society.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Police: Toronto Couple Murdered in Florida Were Asphyxiated

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

A Toronto Jewish couple found dead in their Florida townhouse in January were asphyxiated, police said.

Police Chief Dwayne Flournoy of Hallandale Beach, Fla., said Wednesday that there were at least two perpetrators, and police have “no reason to believe the people responsible were known to [the couple].” The January murders of Toronto snowbirds David “Donny” Pichosky and Rochelle Wise in South Florida were “senseless,” Flournoy added.

Wise, 66, was a retired preschool administrator at Bialik Hebrew Day School in Toronto and a former director of a day camp. Pichosky, her husband of four years, was a retired businessman who volunteered with Jewish seniors. The couple belonged to Toronto’s Sha’arei Shomayim Congregation. Their deaths shocked Toronto’s Jewish community.

Investigators quickly ruled their deaths a double murder but chose not to release the cause of death after receiving the results of toxicology tests. Flournoy and other member of his team visited Toronto in January to gather leads.

In February, police released video surveillance footage shot the day before the couple’s bodies were discovered of a woman carrying an unidentified item toward the back of the townhouse Wise and Pichosky shared.

Police are awaiting the results of further forensic testing, Flournoy said. There are also numerous surveillance tapes to be studied. He refused to comment on whether anything was stolen from the home.

CrimeStoppers and private donors have offered a reward of $51,000 for information that would help solve the case.

Vantage Point

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012

This is a picture of President Barack Obama watching the Vice Presidential debate aboard Air Force One with members of his staff, en route from Florida to Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. It was taken Oct. 11, 2012, when to the rest of us the campaign looked wide open, with a slight advantage to the Republicans.

For mortals like myself it’s difficult to imagine beating an opponent who sits in his office watching live television while flying from Florida to Maryland. I would think you’d have to be extremely persuasive to pull it off. A few have. Not this time. Not last time around, back in 2004. Not the time before that, in 1996.

In fact, the last time it was done was with the help of a third party candidate, who siphoned off 19% of the vote from the incumbent, George Bush I. And the challenger was the best political campaigner in recent memory, Arkansas Governor Bill Clinton.

We should keep this image in mind as we’re approaching a year of open conflict with our best friend and ally across the ocean. He has oodles of power and resources we cannot match. To come up ahead – as we must – we need to be better than Mitt Romney.

Rep. West (R.) Demanding Hand Recount in Florida 18th

Thursday, November 8th, 2012

Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy has already declared victory over Tea Party star Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. West trails Murphy by 2,500 votes in the official count.

But West for Congress campaign manager Tim Edson on Wednesday announced: “This race is far from decided and there is no rush to declare an outcome. Ensuring a fair and accurate counting of all ballots is of the utmost importance. There are still tens of thousands of absentee ballots to be counted in Palm Beach County and potential provisional ballots across the district.”

According to the West campaign, late last night Congressman West maintained a district-wide lead of nearly 2000 votes until the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections “recounted” thousands of early ballots. Following that “recount” Congressman West trailed by 2,400 votes.

The campaign also complained of numerous irregularities at polls across St. Lucie County. The doors to polling places were locked when the polls closed, in violation of Florida law, preventing the public from witnessing the tallying.

“The St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections office clearly ignored proper rules and procedures, and the scene at the Supervisor’s office last night could only be described as complete chaos,” said a campaign press release. “Given the hostility and demonstrated incompetence of the St. Lucie County Supervisor of Elections, we believe it is critical that a full hand recount of the ballots take place in St. Lucie County. We will continue to fight to ensure every vote is counted properly and fairly, and accordingly will pursue all legal means necessary.”

Major US Paper Endorses Romney, Went for Obama in ’08

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

On Friday, Oct. 26, The Sun-Sentinel, South Florida’s paper of record, formally endorsed Mitt Romney for President of the United States.

Why?

Because it really is the economy, stupid.

While the Sun Sentinel took a chance with Barack Obama in 2008, it is switching sides and endorsing Romney this time. After acknowledging the tough economic environment Obama inherited, the Sun Sentinel‘s editorial board doesn’t find a healthy plan for moving forward, and says that instead, “the president falls back on the tired talking point of increasing taxes for the wealthy.”  While agreeing that everyone wants the tax code to be fair, the problem is in seeing “how raising taxes is going to kickstart jobs in the private sector.”

Most fundamentally, this south Florida paper believes that President Obama squandered the best opportunity anyone could have been presented with to clean up the mess.  In its paper today:

The president had enormous opportunity when he took office, with Democrats controlling both houses of Congress. But he failed to focus on Job One: Jobs.

Instead, he tackled the nation’s health care system, something most people agree needs fixing. No one wants to see people with pre-existing conditions denied health coverage. Insurance costs are taking too big a bite out of family incomes. And employers want their work family to have access to health care beyond the emergency room.

But the way this president went about solving the problem — throwing the ball to Congress with little direction, refusing reasonable compromises, settling on a solution that satisfied few — left this nation bitterly divided and shook our confidence in his ability to solve tough problems.

In these uncertain times, we need a leader who will chart a clear course, sweat the details and get the job done right.

We believe Romney’s past performance is a predictor of his future behavior. He’s proven himself to be a successful businessman. He rescued the 2002 Winter Olympics from scandal and mismanagement. He worked with a Democrat-dominated legislature as governor of Massachusetts to close a $3 billion budget deficit — without borrowing and raising taxes.

So despite the some disagreements with some of Romney’s positions on social issues, “with our nation facing another fiscal cliff in January — when Congress again addresses the debt ceiling, tax hikes and spending cuts — social issues are not Job One.”

The Orlando Sentinal endorsed Governor Romney for president last week, and it too had endorsed Obama in 2008.  The Tampa Tribune also endorsed Romney.

However, the Tampa Bay Times, which is the largest Florida daily, has repeated its 2008 endorsement of Barack Obama for president.

In dropping Obama for Romney, the Sun-Sentinel becomes the second largest Florida daily to give up on the president in 2012. Last week, the Orlando Sentinel also endorsed Romney, although it endorsed Bill Nelson, a Democrat, to remain as U.S. Senator.  Similarly, The Tampa Tribune threw its support behind Romney, but supported Democrat Bill Nelson for the U.S. Senate seat.

Last Sunday, The Tampa Bay Times, the largest Florida daily, again endorsed Obama in 2012, just as it did in 2008.  Its editorial states:

We wish the economic recovery was more vigorous, and we would like the president to present a sharper vision for a second term. But Obama has capably steered the nation through an incredibly difficult period at home and abroad, often with little help from Congress. The next four years will not be easy for whoever occupies the Oval Office, but Obama has been tested by harsh circumstance and proven himself worthy of a second term.

The Miami Herald also endorsed Barack Obama for president.

It’s My Opinion: A Place To Mourn

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

Eighteen-year-old University of Florida student Christian Aguilar went missing on September 20. His frantic parents, Carlos and Claudia Aguilar, came to the college campus in Gainesville to search for their son. They held daily press conferences and begged for help. They handed out flyers. They organized vigils. Hundreds of law enforcement professionals, as well as volunteers from every background, were prompted to join in the effort.

The prognosis seemed grim. Another boy, Pedro Bravo, who had known Aguilar from high school in Miami, disclosed some very disturbing information. Bravo confessed to having had a fight with Aguilar. He said he beat his friend unconscious and dumped him out of his car.

Hopes for finding Aguilar dimmed as the weeks went by. The area Bravo had shown authorities yielded no sign of the missing young man. Police found blood in Bravo’s car and backpack. They found a receipt for the purchase of a shovel and duct tape. As time passed, the parents who originally had hoped to find their son now sadly realized that he probably had died.

It was quite possible that Aguilar’s body would never be found. There would be no burial, no accounting, no chance of any type of closure. The thought was excruciating.

Last week Christian Aguilar’s body was found in a private hunting club more than an hour away from the vicinity of the search. Identification was confirmed by dental records. Carlos called the find a “miracle.” He said the discovery would “give honor” to his son. Carlos and Claudia Aguilar could now bury their child and hopefully find some comfort and solace in this horrific tragedy.

There is something very poignant about the societal norm of burial and the marking of a gravesite. A human being who lived on this earth deserves to be interred with a certain dignity. Those who remain behind benefit from having a place to mourn and mark the final resting place of a departed loved one.

One of the most heartrending aspects of the Shoah is the fact that the mass graves and ashes of the crematoria have disallowed this basic human need. The Nazis tossed out the slaughtered victims as garbage. It was their final dehumanizing action.

Jewish tradition deals with the importance of burial in the Tanach. The cave of Machpeilah, purchased to bury our matriarch Sarah and the grave purchased to bury our matriarch Rachel are important parts of our history. The final act of chesed Hashem performed in the Torah was the burial of Moses. The lessons, of course, are for all time.

The Aguilar family will be able to bury their son and know where he lies. They will be able to visit his grave, grieve and process the tragedy. The survivors of the six million were deprived of this opportunity. This is a reason why the Jewish world is dedicated to building Holocaust museums and shrines.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/community/south-florida/its-my-opinion-a-place-to-mourn/2012/10/24/

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