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July 24, 2016 / 18 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s ‘Jewish Heart’ Backs Iran Deal

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Florida Jewish Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, one of the most senior Democrats in the party and Democratic National Committee chairwoman, has come out in favor of the nuclear deal with Iran, the Miami Herald reported Sunday.

Her district includes a large number of Jews, and she has been under heavy pressure to oppose the agreement. Last week, Vice president Joe Biden met with her and with Florida Jews and apparently helped sway Schultz.

Her support is a blow for opponents to the deal, who were given an uplift last week when Maryland Jewish Sen. Ben Cardin finally announced he will vote against the agreement but proposed an alternative.

Schultz issued a five-and-a-half page statement to the Herald, in which she wrote:

I have subsequently come to the conclusion that the agreement promotes the national security interests of the United States and our allies and merits my vote of support…

This agreement is not perfect. But I join many in the belief that with complex, multilateral, nuclear non-proliferation negotiations with inherent geopolitical implications for the entire world, there is no such thing as a ‘perfect’ deal.

Like most other Democrats supporting the bill, she voiced concerns and specifically stated she worries about Iran getting “additional resources to divert to their nefarious activities.”

Schultz added:

Initially sharing those concerns propelled me to thoroughly explore the viability of an alternative agreement… [but] analysts across the academic and political spectrum agree that if the U.S. walks away from this agreement, it will be impossible to maintain a robust sanctions program against Iran.

She expressed little worry about Iran’s holding to the agreement’s requirements for monitoring systems and inspections, saying:

Even if Iran cheats, with this agreement in place it is clear to me that we will know much more about their nuclear program than we do now, which will give us the ability to more effectively eliminate it if that ever becomes necessary

The statement is an incredible admission of one of the plan’s biggest holes because by the time the P5+1 powers “know much more about their nuclear program than we do now,” Iran would already have a bomb. That would make it even more difficult to “effectively eliminate it if that ever becomes necessary.”

Even more worrisome for Jews is her statement that her decision was partly based on her being “a deeply committed member of the Jewish community. Schultz said last week she would announce her decision on the Iran agreement with her “Jewish heart.”

Schultz thinks she is supportive of Israel and stated:

The thorough, pragmatic, and factual analysis I have done and my fervent desire as a Jewish mother to ensure that Israel will always be there — l’dor v’dor — from generation to generation — leads me to the conclusion that this agreement provides the best chance to ensure America’s, Israel’s and our allies’ security today and tomorrow.

One of the mistakes of opponents to the nuclear deal with Iran was focusing on its danger to Israel. Their argument should have centered on the agreement’s being a danger to U.S. citizens, whether they are Jewish or not.

Anyone deciding with a “Jewish heart” to support the deal while maintaining that she or he is committed to Israel’s security has not been able to explain why almost every Israeli leader, including Opposition leader Yitzchak Herzog, is against the deal.

Most Americans also are against it, including those in Florida.

A Quinnipiac poll last month showed Florida voters oppose the pact 61 percent to 25 percent.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Obama and Biden Running after the Jews to Back ‘ObamaDeal’

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

President Barack Obama is beginning to sweat over diminishing Jewish support for the deal with Iran, especially among Congressmen.

He and Vice-president Joe Biden are shifting into high gear to convince Jews to persuade their Representatives and Senators to vote for “ObamaDeal.”

Several Jewish senators already are in the “no” camp and key Jewish Sen. Ben Cardin on the fence, and a continuing drop of support for the deal in the polls is turning the Jews into the best friends Obama ever had.

Biden is scheduled to meet with American Jewish leaders in Florida next week in an event whose organizers include Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who heads the Democratic National Committee. She has not yet announced whether she will vote for or against the deal.

President Obama is scheduled to connect with Jews with a webcast Friday. Although it is long-shot that the Senate or the House of Representatives can come up with a veto-proof majority against the deal, the  president is not taking any chances.

The webcast will be viewed through the site of the Jewish Federations of North America..More than a dozen local Federations have come out against the agreement with Iran, and approximately 100 or more have been non-committal.

The webcast is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. tomorrow, and pre-registration is available here.

The organization, in a carefully worded and neutral statement, wrote on its website:

We are hopeful that diplomatic efforts will prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, and we appreciate the hard work President Obama, Secretary of State Kerry, and Under Secretary of State Sherman have put into crafting this agreement.

At the same time, we are concerned. Iran’s support for Hezbollah and Hamas, its human rights violations and its aggressive threats toward neighboring countries—including Israel—make the specter of a nuclear-armed Iran untenable.

President Barack Obama and his administration have repeatedly said that any deal with Iran must shut down Iran’s uranium enrichment pathway to a weapon, cut off all four of Iran’s potential pathways to a bomb, and track Iran’s nuclear activities with unprecedented transparency and robust inspections throughout its nuclear supply chain. We agree.

We urge Congress to give this accord its utmost scrutiny.

The Federations earlier this month provided Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with a platform to speak out against the deal.

The  Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, which is a co-sponsor of Friday’s webcast, the Anti-Defamation League and the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) have announced their opposition to ObamaDeal.

J Street supports it.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Jeb Bush Seeking Jewish Support

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

Jeb Bush is preparing to reach out the senior Jewish leaders to endorse him for Republican party’s presidential nominee, the Jewish Insider reported.

The website it obtained an invitation that Bush’s staff sent to Jewish leaders to form a “National Jewish Leadership Team,” with individuals to attend a special briefing with Bush at his campaign headquarters in Miami Sept, 25, two days after Yom Kippur.

With at least 16 other contenders for the nomination, Bush is retrying to get a head start on bundling up Jewish support, some of which already is committed to Mike Huckabee.

The proposed Leadership Team, is scheduled to meet for a dinner at the Miami Beach home of two of is Jewish supporters on the day before, which is one day after the Yom Kippur holiday and fast.

The hosts are Glenda and Ronnie Krongold, who is leader in the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC).

Originally from West Virginia, he dealt in real estate in Florida and built a real estate company. One his partners in a project was “Jeb Bush and Associates,” according to the RJC website, which also noted that Krongold has been very active in Israeli Bonds.

The website states:

In 1985, at the request of a Jewish activist and publisher Phil Blazer, Ron called upon Jeb to intercede with his father, the Vice President, on behalf of approximately 1,000 Ethiopian Jews who were starving and dying in camps in Ethiopia. Thereafter through the efforts of the Vice President and a group of concerned Jews, the majority of the Ethiopians were rescued and flown to Israel by the United States government.

In 1990 Ron traveled to Russia, before the fall of Communism, along with then CEO of Bonds Meir Rosanne , Michael Siegal (who is now the chairman of the Board of Trustees of The Jewish Federations of North America) and six other Israel Bonds leaders to help with the extraction and settlement of Jews from Russia to Israel.

 

 

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Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Trump-Mania Puts ‘The Donald’ in Dead Heat with Jeb Bush

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

 

 

Everyone is saying that Donald Trump’s popularity is just a passing fad, but they can’t figure out when, if  ever.

The maverick and shoot-from-the-hip billionaire real estate mogul, reality show celebrity and bigot shares the top spot among Republican voters, according to a Reuters-Ipsos poll published on Saturday.

Last week, a CNN poll announced he was sharing the top spot, and the poll by Reuters makes Trump even more of a serious contender and a critical threat to the Republican party, which would prefer to see him on a life-long mission as an astronaut in outer space, which is where he is considered to be living politically.

But he has lots of company.

The new poll gave him 16.1 percent support among Republican voters, a 0.3 lead over former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. In distant third place is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. followed by Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

However, Trump still does not stand a chance because when the same poll gave voters only three choices – Trump, Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio – Bush smeared Trump  42-28.4 percent.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton remains far ahead of Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders with more than 2-1 lead.

 

 

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Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Jeb Bush Launches Campaign with Swipes at Obama and Clinton [video]

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush officially announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for president Monday night in a speech that was laced with promises for getting rid of Big Brother and improving relations with America’s allies.

It was clear the Bush was referring to Israel, although he did not mention it by name.

He hammered on his record as Florida governor and ridiculed what he called the Obama administration’s policies of a “regulatory state” and more concern for the stock market than the economy.

Bush said that an administration headed by Hillary Clinton will be “more of the same” and declared:

The party now in the White House is planning a no-suspense primary, for a no-change election. To hold onto power.

To slog on with the same agenda under another name: That’s our opponents’ call to action this time around. That’s all they’ve got left.

They have offered a progressive agenda that includes everything but progress. They are responsible for the…the relentless buildup of the regulatory state, and the swift, mindless drawdown of a military that was generations in the making.

His speech sets up the campaign between the Democrats and Republicans as one of conservative vs. liberal. Bush stated:

The presidency should not be passed on from one liberal to the next…. We will get back on the side of free enterprise and free people….

What the IRS, EPA, and entire bureaucracy have done with overregulation, we can undo by act of Congress and order of the president.

Federal regulation has gone far past the consent of the governed.

It is time to start making rules for the rule-makers.

Bush is considered the front-runner in the crowded GOP race for the nomination next year. He emphasized his experience as governor of Florida. Unlike most other Republican candidates, he focused on the economy, which is what most interests voters, and spent little time on foreign policy.

He chided President Obama and recalled “a few months ago, [Obama] thought it relevant at a prayer breakfast to bring up the Crusades. Americans don’t need lectures on the Middle Ages when we are dealing abroad with modern horrors committed by fanatics.

The former governor mocked what he called the Obama administration’s “phone-it-in foreign policy” and charged that the Obama-Clinton-Kerry team is leaving a legacy of crises uncontained, violence unopposed, enemies unnamed, friends undefended, and alliances unraveling.”

He said here two weeks ago, “I…support moving the embassy to Jerusalem as well — our embassy. Not just as a symbol but a show of solidarity.”

Bush’s ability to speak Spanish gives him big advantage that no Democratic candidate has. He mentioned his Mexican-born wife, the former Columba Garnica de Gallo and then spoke a couple of sentence in Spanish. He has an uphill battle for the support for Jewish voters, whom polls show would vote for Clinton by a 2-1 margin.

His speech can be seen and heard below at 2:14:40.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

‘Fed Up’ Black Voters May Help Elect Republican President in 2016

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Black voters disappointed by President Barack Obama may stay at home in next years’ presidential election or even vote Republican and escort the GOP into the White House.

The disappointment among blacks towards President Obama is similar to Middle East Muslims’ frustration with the President two years after his “reaching us to Muslims” speech in Cairo, except that American blacks have not reacted with the type of violent Arab Spring rebellions that turned to ashes whatever stability that existed in several Middle East countries.

Americans are more apathetic and simply “turn off,” but recent riots in Ferguson and Baltimore have brought back unwanted memories of the race riots of 1967.

American blacks were ecstatic in 2008 after the election of the first black president in the United States. Even Condoleezza Rice, a black, an avowed Republican and Secretary of State in the Bush administration, said she was proud when Americans voted Obama into the White House. Obama was liked by blacks not just because of his color but also because of his personality and style that showed a confident understanding and identity with the man on the street.

The Washington Post’s Robert Samuels, under the headline “Is it even worth backing Clinton?” wrote on Tuesday of one Florida voter’s feeling today after more than six years of Obama:

What was the point? We made history, but I don’t see change….“We got the president his job, but did he help us get any good jobs? I still need a raise.”

Samuels wrote, “Even a black president was unable to heal places still gripped by violence, drugs and joblessness.”

What has changed for blacks since 2008? The Tampa Tribune reported in 2013:

Blacks’ median income has fallen 11.1% under Obama, more than twice as much as whites. The disparity in wealth between whites and blacks nearly doubled during Obama’s tenure. According to CNN, the median net worth of the average white person is now 22 times as much as the average black person’s wealth, $110,729 to $4,995. The disparity between white and Hispanic wealth increased to a 15 to 1 ratio.

The identification by color with President Obama is indicated in the same report, which reported, “Despite these facts, a recent Pew survey found that the number of blacks who thought they were better off now than they were five years earlier almost doubled since 2007.”

Clinton can talk and promise all she wants, but she can’t change her color, except when she gets red-face in anger.

The only black candidate running for president is a Republican, retired Florida surgeon and political novice Dr. Ben Carson.

The Democratic front-runner is Hillary Clinton, who is the spitting image of the WASP do-good, limousine liberal aristocracy. Her most senior competition is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist and a Jew, the latter adjective far from being a magnet for enthusiasm among blacks.

Clinton faces a high hurdle among blacks because, as Samuels wrote, “If Obama’s presidency didn’t do more to help African Americans, then how could hers? She has promised “real reforms”,” but it is questionable if voters will buy promises.

A Washington Post-ABC poll shows that Clinton has 75 percent among African Americans who thought that Clinton understood the problems of “people like you,”, but that still is far below the 91 percent approval that Obama received. In addition, lack of enthusiasm will keep a significant number of the 75 percent at home on election day, even if does not rain.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Black Republican Ben Carson Running for President

Monday, May 4th, 2015

Retired neurosurgeon and black Republican Dr. Ben Carson has announced he is running to be his party’s nominee for president in next year’s election.

Dr. Carson visited Israel in December, reported here, an unofficial prerequisite for presidential candidates.

The 63-year-old Republican is from Detroit, lived in Baltimore for more than 35 years and now lives in Florida. He was the first black doctor to head the Johns Hopkins pediatric neurosurgery unit.

His lack of both political experience and ties with such factions as the Tea Party offers Republican voters a distinct choice among the growing number of candidates. However, he does not have the organization and political experience of other contenders, the most popular being Senators Marco Rubio and Rand Paul and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.

Former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, also from outside the political world, is considering tossing her hat in the political ring.

Dr. Carson grew up in poverty and has the appeal to white voters as their desired image of an America where anyone can achieve success through hard work and without making himself out to be a victim.

He has been a harsh critic of President Barack Obama, whom Dr. Carson once described as someone who “seems to believe more in a utopian view of cradle-to-grave care.”

He has made headlines, for better and for worse, on the issue of same-sex marriage. Below is an interview on CNN in which he maintained that homosexuality is a choice and that each state should decide for itself whether or not to allow marriages of homosexuals. He said in the interview that many people become homosexuals after being in prison.

After harsh criticism, he apologized, and Dr. Carson stated before announcing his candidacy today:

I’ve come to recognize that when you use certain terms, people can no longer hear anything else you say. As you’ll notice in the last several weeks, I’ve been able to get my points across without inflammatory language.

In his visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem in December, Dr. Carson placed a note between the bricks and later referred to King Solomon in an interview with CBN and said he asked God for “Solomonic wisdom on what to do” concerning the race for president.

His stand on Israel is clear, and he told Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu,

“Until such time as their neighbors are no longer desirous of their elimination,” Israel’s continued control of the West Bank “makes perfectly good sense.”

Dr. Carson’s strong conservative stand may appeal to Christian evangelists despite his being black.

He said at the national Prayer Breakfast earlier this year that the United States is headed for “moral decay and fiscal irresponsibility.” He also declared:

We have imposed upon people restrictions on what they can say, on what they can think. And the media is the largest proponent of this, crucifying people who say things really quite innocently.

President Barack Obama was sitting a few feet away, and although Carson did not directly blame the president for America’s ills, the White House was upset.

“Within a matter of minutes after the conclusion of the program, I received a call from some of the prayer breakfast organizers saying that the White House was upset and requesting that I call the president and apologize for offending him,” Carson later wrote in his book “One Nation: What We Can All Do to Save America’s Future.”

Carson added in his book, “I said that I did not think that he was offended and that I didn’t think that such a call was warranted.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

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