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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘friend’

Friend of Israel Slated to Become HRC’s WH Chief of Staff

Thursday, October 27th, 2016

Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta is the top choice to serve as White House chief of staff come January 2017, Politico reported Thursday. The choice of chief of staff will signal the presidential candidate’s expectations of her relationship with Congress, as well as her international plans.

A close Clinton ally told Politico that, on the campaign, Podesta was part of a small group of advisers the candidate “can already shorthand with.” Expectations are that should he agree to serve, it would be only for one year. “The question is can she convince him to do it for a year,” the source said, adding, “He could get the administration stabilized, and get hiring done.”

Podesta served as President Clinton’s Chief of Staff from 1998 until the end of Clinton’s time in office in January 2001.

As reflected from the thousands of his emails dumped by Wikileaks, Podesta is a great advocate of transparency, and has frequently criticized Hillary Clinton’s tendency for secrecy and cover-ups. In a 2004 speech at Princeton University, he condemned what he called the U.S. “excessive government secrecy” and “bloated secrecy bureaucracy.” He supported President Clinton’s Executive Order 12958 which helped declassify 800 million pages from the U.S. diplomatic and national security history. He called Executive Order 12958 “perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the Clinton administration.”

Podesta and Jake Sullivan, Clinton’s likely appointment for National Security Advisor (he is currently serving as Vice President Biden’s NSA), are considered friends of Israel, a fact supported by countless leaked emails. Podesta and Sullivan come across in these emails as associates of the pro-Israel circle of Hillary Clinton advisors, some of whom have been on close personal terms with Israeli Ambassador Ron Dermer. Dermer used their good services to communicate a message from Prime Minister Netanyahu to the presidential candidate, asking her to curb her enthusiasm in support of Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.

One particular leaked email exchange, between John Podesta and his daughter, Megan Rouse, offers an un-staged insight into the former’s stand on US-Israel relations. Rouse wrote her father: “I’ve heard a concern from some folks who care deeply about Israel that Hillary will be the president ‘most unfriendly to Israel in our history, worse than Obama.’ Thoughts on how I might respond in conversation?”

Podesta replied: “That’s a bit crazy. Obama developed a real feud with Bibi, but she has been a staunch defender of Israel since her Senate days. Probably her very best supporters are Haim Saban, and Danny Abraham who would not be with her if she wasn’t totally committed to Israeli security.”

Incidentally, Podesta would much rather serve in Hillary Clinton’s cabinet as energy secretary, and was behind President Obama’s climate initiatives. The problem is that getting the job would require Senate confirmation, a road paved with months and months of hearings on those nasty Wikileak emails bearing his name and address. Apparently, not all of them were as sweet as his exchange with Megan…


Senator Mark Kirk – A Proven Friend

Thursday, October 20th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Emes Ve-Emunah}

One problem (among many) with Donald Trump’s candidacy that is that it will affect the down ballot candidates of the Republican Party. I say this as a non partisan – although a right leaning one on most issues. I vote for the individual not the party. If one looks at my voting record – that would be amply reflected. I voted for Bill Clinton twice as I did for Ronald Reagan. As much as I don’t like Hillary Clinton, she is the lesser of two evils. I will vote for her over the disastrous Trump.

Many of Clinton’s supporters say she will govern from the center. But I think her primary opponent, Socialist Bernie Sanders, has pushed her even further to the left than she was before. A lot more than her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

The way to prevent some of her liberal agenda from bearing fruit is to vote for a Republican congress in both the House and the Senate. Because even though Clinton is less of a disaster than Trump by far, she is still a disaster. Her economic programs consisting of more tax and spend entitlements will increase the budget deficit and the national debt. And we already owe China the family farm!

What’s worse is that she will continue the foreign policy of her predecessor. That too is a disaster. Just to take one example – instead of increasing the crippling sanctions on Iran and bringing them to their knees, where the world could have dictated much better terms for removing those sanctions – the deal made by the US gave Iran – the biggest state sponsor of terrorism – billions of dollars to further that cause; allowed them to keep most of their nuclear infrastructure intact; and a few years hence allows them to pursue nuclear weapons freely. This is a country that has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. They have been vowing this for over 35 years. Soon they will have the means to do it.

This is not a foreign policy that will benefit mankind. It is a prescription for a major nuclear conflagration in the not too distant future that will affect the entire world. And yet this is the kind of foreign policy she enthusiastically supports.

I am still going to vote for her for what are becoming increasingly obvious reasons. But in my view it is vital to do what we can to counteract her agenda on both the economy and on foreign policy. Which means voting for Republicans down ballot. I say this even though I do not vote ‘party’ but ‘individual’. That should still be the guiding principle for everyone. But surely one should not vote against someone because of their party’s Presidential candidate. That would be biting off your nose to spite your face.

In Illinois, Republican Senator Mark Kirk is being challenged by a war hero, Democrat Tammy Duckworth. She is an Iraq War veteran that suffered severe combat wounds, losing both of her legs and damaging her right arm.  I salute her service. For her sacrifice and dedication, she deserves the eternal gratitude and respect of all the American people regardless of party affiliation.  But that does not make her an ideal candidate for office. We must look at her policies

For those who care about the welfare of the Jewish State, her policies are not so stellar. She is party loyalist that supports the Iran deal. More telling is her endorsement by J-Street, the liberal lobbying group that was established as a counter to AIPAC. This the pro Israel lobbying group has been successful in arguing Israel’s case to our elected officials. AIPAC is respected in Washington on both sides of the political aisle. They are seen as a required stop for every Presidential candidate seeking office.

J-Street tends is tends toward a more Palestinian view of things –albeit without the antisemitism that often accompanies it. Their view is that Israel should make peace right now with a 2 state solution. This ignores the increased terrorism that would be generated if the entire West Bank were handed over to them. A lesson that should have been learned by handing over Gaza. Israel thought that would be a great gesture.  Palestinians could then show us what peaceful co-existence would be like in a 2 state solution.

We all know how well that worked out. We cannot give Palestinians control of the West Bank until we can be assured that they will not turn it into another Gaza. Which is the opposite of what their popular leadership (Hamas) has all but promised to do. Tammy Duckworth is of the J-Street mindset apparently. She apparently feels that Israel can ignore the reality of Gaza and hand over the West Bank to their leaders.

The United States cannot afford to do this to its closest ally in the Middle East. It would be against America’s best interests. Not to mention immoral.The West Bank must remain in Israel’s hands until such time it can be proven that it will not turn into another Gaza.

Both Kirk and Duckworth were invited by Agudath Israel of Illinois to address a group of rabbinic and lay leaders across the spectrum of Orthodoxy in Chicago. Kirk accepted and met with this group. Duckworth has not yet decided if she can swing it. The following excerpt is why anyone that cares about the State of Israel should vote for Kirk. From Matzav:

In a passionate response to a participant who asked what motivated him to fight for Israel and the Jewish people, Senator Kirk explained that he views it as a primary moral obligation. He described himself as a student of history who appreciates the uniqueness of the Jewish people and the persecution they have endured for generations. “We must learn lessons from the 1930’s: take the threats of Israel’s enemies seriously and understand that appeasement only emboldens them. We must do whatever we can to right the wrong done to the Jewish people. It is the moral test of our generation to stand up and do what we can to protect this special nation.”

Senator Kirk did not just have this meeting for political expediency. He is a true friend of the Jewish people. After he was elected in the last election he requested to address the Jewish community to express his views about Israel and the Jewish people. The Jewish community responded by inviting him to speak at KINS, a Modern Orthodox Shul in Chicago’s West Roger Park. A neighborhood heavily saturated with Orthodox Jews. He did not have to do this. He was already elected. And yet he still expressed a desire to show us who he is.

This is the man we should support. Mark Kirk is a Republican that must remain in congress. He is a good man and deserves to be re-elected. Even if only to retain a Republican seat in a very likely Democratic administration.  We could use a lot more like him. This is not to say that Ms. Duckworth is an antisemite. I’m sure she is not.

But why go with an unproven candidate endorsed by J-Street – while the proven one is such a great friend to the Jewish people?

The media has been reporting that it is a very close race. (The same cannot be said for the vote for President. Illinois rarely goes Republican and it will surely not do so this time.) Please do not stay home – even if you can’t stand either candidate. Your vote will count. This election is too important to ignore. Come out and vote for Kirk. I will be. I hope you will too.

Harry Maryles

Arthur Federman: Beloved Friend, Trusted Adviser

Friday, October 14th, 2016

There are some people you feel will go on forever. In truth, you’re just not ready to say goodbye to them. Arthur Federman was such a person for me. I loved him for more than 40 years. And for many of those years, I looked upon him as a second father.

I first met him met in Israel. We were looking for a good accountant and a friend in Moshav Chemed, where we were living, recommended Arthur Federman. So one fine motzaei Shabbos we drove to Ramat Hasharon and thus began the friendship of a lifetime.

A brilliant accountant, he was not only extremely well versed in American tax law, he was also working for Mas Hachnasa (the Israeli equivalent of the IRS). What could be better than that for us?

Arthur and his beloved wife, Anita, were the classic couple. In fact, they were truly a match made in heaven. They met during World War II, when Arthur, a soldier in the United States army, was stationed for a time in Liverpool, Anita’s hometown in England.

At first we would come to discuss taxes, and when we were ready to leave there was Anita with a spread of her amazing home-baked goods for us to enjoy. It didn’t take long before we were coming just for social visits with this exceptional couple.

The Federmans moved to Ra’anana and then to Rechovot. No matter, we followed them wherever they went. In fact, we also moved from the Moshav – to Jerusalem. But no place was too far for us to go pay them a visit.

Arthur would travel to New York for three months during tax season. We had an idea. We maintained a house in Manhattan Beach, Brooklyn, and we fixed it up so that Arthur and Anita could have a separate little apartment in our home for their time in New York.

Years later, when both our families were again living in America, we would enjoy spending Shabbos together. And I also knew it was time to introduce the Federmans to my parents. It took just one conversation with Arthur for my father to hire him as comptroller of The Jewish Press, a position Arthur held until his retirement a few years ago.

From that point on Arthur was not only my dear friend but one of my father’s most trusted and valued friends as well.

The job at The Jewish Press took up most of Arthur’s time, and he and Anita were by then living in Cedarhurst. Arthur was close at hand at the paper, but I didn’t get to see Anita very often, so I would make it a point to drive out to Long Island whenever I could.

Both of them regaled me with stories of their war years. Anita drove an ambulance and sometimes a hearse for her father, an undertaker. And of course as a regular bubby she would always have stories about her grandchildren. Arthur and Anita were exceedingly proud of all of them. In fact, the license plate on Anita’s car read “Bubby’s seven.”

Anita would telephone me whenever she had a comment to make about something she read in The Jewish Press that either impressed or bothered her. As for Arthur, I consulted with him about so many things. Especially after my father died, I would ask him about many business and life issues. His guidance was invaluable. I always knew that in Arthur I had a welcoming ear and that whatever he advised was well thought out.

It is the end of an era with Arthur’s passing. My father died almost 17 years ago and my uncles Albie and Harry are also no longer with us – the old guard of The Jewish Press.

Go to your eternal reward, my dear friend. Arthur, I picture you sitting at my father’s table in heaven learning Torah with him.

Naomi Klass Mauer

Note to a Progressive-Left Facebook Friend

Sunday, September 25th, 2016

{Originally posted to the author’s website, Israel Thrives}

I think that what’s bugging me – and believe me, this is not meant as a criticism to you, personally – is how quickly politics descends into a team sport the closer we get toward major elections.

It’s Us versus Them.

Good Guys versus Bad Guys.

It’s less about issues than it is about demonizing the political “other.”

It’s not enough to merely criticize Obama or Hillary on the issues.

One must spit loathing and contempt at their very essence, as well as at their followers, or anyone who is not absolutely in opposition to their status as human beings.

About a month, or so, ago I was amazed to see both Trump and Clinton calling each other “racist.”

Then the very next week they each flung the defamatory term “psychopath” at one another.

Furthermore, among supporters of either candidate, group-think rules the day and if you so much as question a political stance of one side it means that you must be on the other side… the side of that revolting enemy of all humanity… whoever it might be this cycle.

Or, for example, were I to criticize Black Lives Matter for their violent tendencies in the streets or their support for anti-Semitic anti-Zionism, it must mean that I am a revolting racist who hates black people.

In truth, the Democratic Party and the Progressive-Left, the very party and political movement that I come out of, has taken something worthy and noble, the Civil Rights Movement, and turned it into a bludgeon with which to silence alternative viewpoints or bully people into political submission.

This is politics as rat poison and it is not worthy of any of us with two brain cells to rub together or a political heart that honestly cares.

Michael Lumish

Wikileaks: George Soros Paid $650,000 to Influence Pope Francis’ Closest Friend

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Leftist Billionaire George Soros donated $650,000 to groups lobbying American bishops in favor of “progressive” domestic policies, according to emails made public by Wikileaks. Soros used his Open Society Foundation and Faith in Public Life, two liberal organizations, to use the September 2015 visit of Pope Francis to the US to “shift national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.”

The group DC Leaks has released more than 2,000 documents from groups associated with Soros.

The money was donated in April 2015 and a report on the effort says successful achievements included “buy-in of individual bishops to more publicly voice support of economic and racial justice messages in order to begin to create a critical mass of bishops who are aligned with the Pope.”

“In order to seize this moment, we will support PICO’s organizing activities to engage the Pope on economic and racial justice issues, including using the influence of Cardinal Rodriguez, the Pope’s senior advisor, and sending a delegation to visit the Vatican in the spring or summer to allow him to hear directly from low-income Catholics in America,” another document states.

PICO’s website describes the group as “a national network of faith-based community organizations working to create innovative solutions to problems facing urban, suburban and rural communities.”

The document describes Cardinal Rodriguez from Honduras as Pope Francis’ best friend. It continues: “The grant will also support FPL’s media, framing, and public opinion activities, including conducting a poll to demonstrate that Catholic voters are responsive to the Pope’s focus on income inequality, and earning media coverage that drives the message that being ‘pro-family’ requires addressing growing inequality.”

FPL is Faith in Public Life, whose website states: “In preparation for the pope’s visit to the US, we commissioned extensive opinion research about how Catholics respond to the Pope’s prophetic messages and released the poll at the National Press Club. Throughout the trip, FPL coordinated messaging among numerous Catholic groups and did extensive media outreach.”

The Soros document concludes: “By harnessing the Papal visit to lift up the Pope’s searing critique of what he calls ‘an economy of exclusion and inequality’ and his dismissal of ‘trickle down’ theories, PICO and FPL will work to build a bridge to a larger conversation about bread-and-butter economic concerns and shift national paradigms and priorities in the run-up to the 2016 presidential campaign.”


Tefillah: A Meeting With Hashem Our Real Best Friend

Friday, July 8th, 2016

“Man’s best friend” is one of those phrases we have gotten so used to that we overlook its absurdity. This phrase, of course, refers to a furry, four-legged creature – namely, the dog. Have we ever contemplated how ridiculous this statement is? How can one say that a human being, the bearer of a soul from the upper spheres, is best friends with a canine mammal of the Order Carnivora? And, if we are discussing a Jew, who has a holy neshama from under Hashem’s Throne of Glory, which gives him the ability to connect to Hashem, it is even more ludicrous.

So who is really “man’s best friend”? The answer is G-O-D … not D-O-G! Yes, they have the same letters, but we have gotten the word totally backwards!

In many places, we refer to Hashem as our friend. For example, “Rei’acha v’rei’ah avicha al ta’azov – Do not forsake your Friend and the Friend of your father” (Mishlei 27:10). Rashi explains that the friend of our father is Hashem, who was a close friend of our forefathers. But He is not just a family friend, He is our own personal friend – “your Friend,” the verse states. We ourselves see that He is our best friend, so Shlomo HaMelech tells us not to forsake Him!


So Many Presents!

Last month (6-10) we mentioned that one of the prerequisites to turning to Hashem in prayer is knowing that He loves us and has our best interest in mind. We explained how we can see this love from the fact that Hashem gave our nation His precious Torah, the source of true life. But from the aforementioned verse in Mishlei, we also see that we must be aware that Hashem is our personal friend. One of the best ways to build that awareness is by contemplating all the wonderful gifts that our Friend is constantly bestowing upon us. Let us mention just a few.

If you ask, “How much is that person worth?” most people will answer based on his assets. But the correct answer is that if he has a healthy heart, liver, and kidneys, he is worth several million dollars! Why? Well, the average cost of a heart transplant is $ 1,250,000; for a liver, $750,000; and for a kidney, another $350,000. That brings us to the grand total of $2,350,000 to receive “used” organs. Studies show that approximately half of heart transplant recipients are still alive at 10 years post-transplant. A living donor kidney functions, on average, 12 to 20 years, and a deceased donor kidney from 8 to 12 years. That being the case, how much would a person pay for a brand new heart or kidney, straight from the “Manufacturer”? At least double the price! That means that we, who have “original” organs, are worth millions of dollars! And we take these wonderful presents from Hashem for granted.

But it doesn’t stop there. Do we think about that fact that He is constantly making sure that they function properly? We do not have to attach ourselves to a dialysis machine three times a week for several hours to clean our blood. Our heart pumps smoothly and effortlessly – no pacemaker necessary. Our lungs draw in wonderful oxygen – no need to drag around an oxygen tank. We do not wheeze as we breathe and coughing does not tear our innards apart. We hear just fine without hearing aids. No need to tap with a white cane or be led by a seeing-eye dog. We are able to use the facilities, our food gets digested properly, and we can enjoy the different types of food Hashem gives us. Perambulating with our wonderful legs is a pleasurable experience! Arthritis and muscle pain? Those are things we hope never to meet. Our heads are free of horrible migraines, our skin is generally not dry or chapped and, for the most part, when it is time to go to bed, we place our heads on the pillow and drift off into a peaceful slumber without too much delay.

Rabbi Eliezer M. Niehaus

US Must Rein in its Friends that Support Terror Groups

Monday, May 9th, 2016

US President Barack Obama at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington last month rightly warned that the danger of a terrorist group obtaining and using a nuclear weapon “is one of the greatest threats to global security” and hence the related material must be fully safeguarded.

This threat is really too serious to be overlooked. According to knowledgeable sources, roughly 2,000 tons of nuclear materials are held at military and civilian facilities around the world today. In the United States, 98% of highly enriched uranium are lying in military stockpiles. Clearly, such materials must be safeguarded against falling into the hands of terror groups.

Al-Qaida has long sought nuclear materials. Another terror outfit, Islamic State, has used chemical weapons, including mustard gas, in Syria and Iraq. Recently, the Belgian police reportedly discovered that the Islamic State conducted surveillance on the home of an officer at a Belgian nuclear site which held large stocks of highly enriched uranium. Given the ideology of these terror groups, one could well imagine the fate of the world if they were able to lay their hands on the nuclear materials!

It is questionable if any major world power is sufficiently committed to stopping terrorists from grabbing the dangerous nuclear materials. Russia was neither present at the Washington summit nor has it ever said if and how it proposes to prevent terror groups from obtaining nukes. Communist China is being friendly to certain terror groups that are ideologically too close to al Qaeda not to attempt grabbing nukes in future. Beijing recently intervened to stop Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar from being put on the UN list of proscribed terrorists. Azhar is the leader of the JeM associated with the Taliban that had been banned in 2001. The JeM and Masood Azhar are allegedly responsible for the Pathankot attack ( January 2, 2016) and continuing terror activities in India.

As for the United States, the United Kingdom and France, they are befriending Saudi Arabia, its Gulf allies and Iran that have backed different terror groups ideologically as well as materially. It is well documented that Riyadh has been one of the chief sources of all Sunni jihadist groups — ISIS, Al Qaeda, the Nusra Front. However, Washington provides military and intelligence support to the kingdom for its regional security. The Obama administration has sold the Saudis military equipment worth $90 billion over the last seven years. Recently, the US administration has moved closer to the fanatical Khomeini regime in Tehran. It seems determined to implement its nuclear accord with Iran and remove all the nuclear sanctions hitherto slapped on Tehran.

If the United States really wishes to foil the terror groups’ nuclear ambitions or designs, it must rein in at once all its friendly but fanatically sectarian states, particularly, Saudi Arabia and Iran, the two main forces behind most of the terror groups in the world today. Saudi Arabia’s very existence in its present fanatical Wahhabi form or Iran’s in the Khomeninst one depends upon the spread of certain distorted versions of Islam under their leadership in the world. This means the continued Saudi and Iranian support, overt and covert, to terror groups against the United States (and other democracies). And in the process, chances of the terror groups being able to grab nukes or the materials thereof cannot be ruled out.

During a presidential debate in February, Ted Cruz aptly said that the United States should “hold our friends to account, that friends do not fund jihadists that are seeking to murder us.” Much earlier, Henry Kissinger has rightly suggested the key to anti-terrorism strategy would be to “destroy its safe havens” everywhere. Washington must apply this principle universally to checkmate the terror groups from grabbing the dangerous materials.

Jagdish N. Singh

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/us-must-rein-in-its-friend-that-support-terror-groups/2016/05/09/

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