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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

Clinton Aide Skips Subpoena, IT Specialists Cite Fifth Amendment at Clinton ‘Emailgate’ Hearing

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

A former State Department employee and two IT specialists from the company that maintained the private server for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State, all refused to testify Tuesday before a Congressional committee hearing on the matter of the former Secretary’s deleted emails.

Clinton aide Bryan Pagliano, who received a subpoena to appear before the House Oversight Committee, was actually a no-show at the hearing.

Lawmakers were amazed at the temerity of the former State Department employee who had been ordered to appear to testify on the deletion of some of Hillary Clinton’s emails.

Pagliano was the one who had set up the Democratic presidential candidate’s private email server.

But the aide chose not to testify, and didn’t show up for the meeting, instead allegedly exercising his Fifth Amendment right under the Constitution, not to testify against himself.

The committee members argued about the matter, with their views split straight down party lines.

Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said, “He should be here. When you are served a subpoena by the United States Congress, that is not optional.”

That view was supported by Florida Republican Congressman John Mica, who suggested the committee consider ‘contempt of Congress’ as an option.

But committee member Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-MA) argued the subpoena placed Pagliano under threat of criminal prosecution: Chaffetz had already asked the U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia to investigate deletions from the server, thus raising the possibility of a criminal probe. “It puts him in jeopardy coming before this committee while that criminal referral is in existence,” Lynch said. “He’s an American citizen. I know the Constitution gets in the way of this committee sometimes,” he added with heavy sarcasm.

Two employees of Platte River Networks, the Colorado-based company that maintained the server – Bill Thornton and Paul Combetta – were also subpoenaed to testify before the committee. Both arrived for their appearances but neither was willing to talk: each repeatedly exercised his Fifth Amendment right to refuse to answer questions.

Questioned on the security of the server and deletions of certain emails from it, Chaffetz was forced to excuse them both after endless repetitions of the same response: “On advice of counsel, I respectfully decline to answer and exert my Fifth Amendment right.”

Justin Cooper, an IT specialist and the Clinton advisers who set up the email address, did respond to questions from the lawmakers about cyberattacks on the server, as well as who had access and how it was protected.

With two more hearings to go, the Congress members have yet to see an unedited, unredacted copy of the “unclassified” material from the server, let alone a redacted copy of classified reports.

Democracy in action?

Hana Levi Julian

Seattle Jewish Business Mogul Dumps Trump, But Others Pick Up Slack

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

Pressure from the Jewish community has apparently forced a prominent Republican Jewish Seattle Jewish developer to back away from plans to support GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Republican Jewish Coalition member Martin Selig had planned to co-host a fundraiser for the Republican nominee, but was quoted by the Seattle Times as saying that backlash from local Jews was so overwhelming he cancelled his participation. “Do you know what it’s like to be a Jewish Republican in Seattle?” he told the newspaper. Likewise, other prominent Republicans listed as co-hosts on the invitation for the event also reportedly backed out.

But at the end 150 donors attended the fundraiser held before a 7 pm rally, and Trump raised more than $1 million at the event according to state Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison. Weeks ahead, Vancouver billionaire Ken Fisher and his wife Sherrilyn gave a combined $50,000 and developer Clyde Holland donated $94,600 to the Trump Victory Fund, according to a report by the Seattle Times earlier in the month.

Although no top Washington GOP candidates or politicians were with Trump on state at the rally that followed, other national big names were there instead, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions, who all spoke.

Trump is set to meet with Mexico’s President Enrique Pena Nieto just hours before he is set to deliver a major speech about his proposed immigration policy. Nieto said he extended the same invitation to both U.S. presidential candidates.

Hana Levi Julian

American Nazi Party Proclaims A Win For Trump Would Be A ‘Real Opportunity’

Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

The leader of the American Nazi Party has come out with a statement that is making Republicans and their supporters even more nervous than they already are.

Rocky Suhayda proclaimed on his recent radio show that a “Donald Trump White House” could present a “real opportunity for people like white nationalists” to build a pro-white political caucus.

Suhayda predicted during the show that Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton would lose the election to Trump, according to a report by BuzzFeed.

“I think it’s gonna surprise the enemy, because, I think that they feel that the white working class, especially the male portion of the working class, and with him his female counterparts have basically thrown in the towel,” Suhayda said. “Given up hope of any politician again standing up for their interests.”

Although he has publicly denounced racism and anti-Semitism a few times, Trump’s unwillingness to directly confront attacks by neo-Nazis and white Supremacists has seriously shaken his support among Republican Jews.

Many white nationalists have directed internet vitriol towards Israel and at Jewish journalists covering the presidential campaign, and the activities of Jewish politicians. Trump has failed to denounce any of those attacks.

Hana Levi Julian

Into the Fray: What if the GOP Wins? – Potential Payoffs and Pitfalls for Israel

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Rejecting decades-old policy, the Republican Party approved on July 12 a [2016] platform that does not include a call for a two-state solution to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.—Forward, July 10, 2016

We believe the establishment of a Palestinian state on the West Bank would be destabilizing and harmful to the peace process. – 1980 Republican platform that brought Ronald Reagan to the White House.

We oppose the creation of an independent Palestinian state; its establishment is inimical to the security interests of Israel, Jordan, and the US. We will not support the creation of any Palestinian entity that could place Israel’s security in jeopardy. – 1988 Republican platform that brought George H. W. Bush to the White House.

These three excerpts spanning over a quarter-century relating to the GOPs attitude towards the establishment of a Palestinian state include two important lessons for Israel.

Breathtaking erosion

One of these lessons relates to the past; the other to the future.

Israel will ignore either at its peril—or at least, to its grave detriment.

With regard to the past, these excerpts underscore the breathtaking erosion that has taken place since the late 1980s in the GOPs opposition to Palestinian statehood—from utter rejection; to retraction of opposition (1996); to explicit—albeit conditioned—endorsement in 2002. It is only now that the GOP is setting aside its ill-considered support, and has thankfully begun to revert—albeit it still partially—to its former position.

What makes this spectacular erosion—from un-conditional rejection to conditional acceptance—even more remarkable is the fact that it took place over a period in which for the overwhelmingly greater proportion of time, the incumbent Israeli government was headed by Likud, which until mid-2009 (Netanyahu’s Bar-Ilan Speech) explicitly opposed the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Indeed, for the twenty-two years (between 1980 to 2002), Likud-led coalitions were in power for about double the time that Labor-led ones were. This is clearly a grave indictment of the Israeli “Right’s” inability to convincingly convey the validity of its political credo, and to undermine that of its ideological adversaries on the “Left”.

The need for soul-searching

The gravity of this indictment is further compounded by two factors that make it even more damning.

The first is that this dismal outcome emerged despite the highly favorably point of departure, which opponents of Palestinian statehood enjoyed. After all, no effort was required to win over the GOP to this “rejectionist” position, for it was a priori staunchly behind it to begin with. Yet despite this, the “Right” was unable to sustain this like-minded support, which by 2002, had for all intents and purposes, been totally eroded.

The second is that this erosion occurred despite the fact that the “Right’s” opposition to Palestinian statehood was completely validated by facts on the ground – i.e. by the bloody events that tragically arose from the fatally failed attempt to implement it.

So, sadly, the “Right” was not able to marshal the distinct dual advantage it had of a highly favorable point of departure and overwhelming empirical corroboration of its credo to sustain the GOP’s natural inclination to oppose the establishment of a Palestinian state.

This in itself is reason enough for intense soul-searching among “Right” wing activists, but it acquired even greater pertinence and urgency, precisely because of the encouraging signs that the GOP is reverting—at least, partially and cautiously—to its past position of opposition to Palestinian statehood.

For today, the challenges Israel may have to face in a post-two-state era could well be as dire—perhaps even most so—than those that the perilous two-state paradigm posed.

A word of warning

It is no secret that enthusiasm for the two-state concept is waning—even among ardent erstwhile adherents. Indeed, recently, some obsessive two-staters such as New York Times’s Tom Friedman (February 10, 2016), New York University’s Alon Ben Meir (Huffington Post, April 7, 2016), and recently the Jerusalem Post’s Gershon Baskin (July 20, 2016) have acknowledged that, (gasp!), the Palestinians may actually have contributed to the accelerated irrelevance of the two-state idea.

Thus, and without wishing in any way to diminish the sterling efforts of those who helped bring about the welcome change in the 2016 GOP platform, this was, to some extent, as Rafael Medoff points out (Algemeiner, July 20, 2016) a sober and clear-sighted response to the changing realities on the ground.

Of course, according to conventional wisdom in “Right-wing” circles, the changes in the GOP platform are a development that bodes well for Israel, as it signals growing awareness of the futility and dangers entailed in continued pursuit of the two-state chimera as the only route to a resolution of the conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs.

While this, of course, is undoubtedly true, a word of warning is called for.

With the passing to the two-state paradigm as a relevant policy option, new perils will immediately emerge. Planning on how they should be contended with is a pressing imperative for the Israeli “Right”—and one that, hopefully, it will display greater acumen and competence in contending with than it did in dealing with the two-state menace.

If not two-states, what?

With the growing prospect of the two-state option being abandoned, the question of what alternative paradigm Israel should adopt is becoming a question of increasing relevance.

It is also one which the Israeli “Right” has been appallingly remiss in addressing.

Indeed, for the better part of two decades, the “Right” limited itself to underscoring the myriad defects and dangers entailed in the two-state proposal, but largely refrained from articulating and advancing some cogent and comprehensive alternative prescription for its preferred vision of a permanent-status arrangement with the Palestinian-Arabs.

As a result, the “Right” found itself unable to respond effectively to the pointed and very pertinent question from adversarial two-state adherents: “So what’s your alternative?”

Failure to provide an adequate response to this question, eventually led to a drastic erosion of the Likud-led opposition to the two-state formula until its acceptance by Netanyahu in 2009.

But the recanting of support for the two-state formula by the GOP, and its waning attractiveness elsewhere, will create a dramatically different and challenging reality for both the reluctant Likud-like two-staters on the one hand, and for still die-hard two-state opponents, on the other.

For not only will it be increasingly less plausible to invoke “irresistible international pressure” for reluctant acceptance, under duress, of a two-state compliant policy; but it will also no longer be possible to confine oneself to criticism and rejection of the two-state formula.

To the contrary, with the declining dominance of the two-state concept, its opponents will be obligated to proactively produce and present a plausible and practical Zionist-compliant alternative…or suffer the consequences of its generally accepted default option: a multiethnic un-Jewish state-of-all-its-citizens.

Alternatives worse than two-state option?

As mentioned earlier, until lately, two-state opponents long eschewed presenting some persuasive, sustainable long-term blueprint for the outcome of the conflict with the Palestinian-Arabs.

In recent years, however, a spate of such alternative proposals has emerged. Sadly, not everything that is not a two-state compliant proposal is preferable to the perilous two-state principle itself.

And indeed, nearly all the major alternatives being advanced today by prominent figures on the “Right” are – notwithstanding the sincere goodwill of their authors—no less inimical to the long-term survival of Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people.

Thus while I bear none of them any personal rancor, I am firmly convinced that if these “alternatives” are advanced as tangible policy options to replace the two-state concept, the consequences for Israel and the Zionist ideal will be grave. Indeed, in broad brush strokes, these proffered “alternatives” to setting up a Palestinian state can be divided into three major categories. The first is that proposed by those who favor “managing—rather than resolving–the conflict”, which basically consists of “kicking the can down the road”. In effect, it calls for letting the problem fester, until some unspecified event(s) occur to—hopefully and inexplicably—facilitate resolution.

The other two—somewhat more proactive—suggestions can be divided into those that will, almost inevitably and demonstrably, lead to either: (a) the Lebanonization (and later Islamization) of Israel by incorporating the Palestinian-Arab residents of the territories across the pre-1967 lines, into the permanent enfranchised population of Israel; or (b) the Balkanization of Israel by trying to encapsulate the Palestinian-Arab population in disconnected autonomous enclaves in these areas.

None of these three categories can pave the way for Israel—as the nation-state of the Jews—to a sustainable long-term situation that is any less menacing than that entailed in the two-state scenario.

“What’s wrong with ‘The Right’…”

In a series of past articles, I have—with varying degrees of acerbity/exasperation—laid out in considerable detail, the manifest shortcomings of these alternative proposals, to which I urge readers to refer. See: What’s Wrong With The Right — Part I: As demented and disastrous as the two state “solution” is, most alternatives proffered by the Right would be no less calamitous.

What’s Wrong With The Right – Part II:The Right must realize that between the river and the sea, either exclusive Jewish or exclusive Arab sovereignty will eventually prevail.

Brain Dead On The Right?: The only thing more dangerous, delusional and disastrous than the Left’s proposal for a two-state solution, is the proposal now bandied about by the Right – for a one-state solution

To My Colleague Caroline, A Caveat:I strongly concur with Caroline B. Glick’s diagnosis of the fatal failings of the two-state formula, and disagree just as strongly with the prescription she offers to remedy them.

Sovereignty? Yes, But Look Before You Leap: Extending Jewish sovereignty over Judea-Samaria is imperative, but some proposals for this imperil Israel no less than the two-state folly. Islamizing Israel – When The Radical Left And Hard Right Concur:The almost unavoidable result of annexing the territories & enfranchising their Arab population would be to eventually create a Muslim-majority tyranny.

Annexing Area C: An Open Letter To Naftali Bennett:Between the Jordan River and Mediterranean Sea, there can — and eventually will — prevail either exclusively Jewish, or exclusively Arab, sovereignty.

Sovereignty? Yes, But Beware Of Annexing Area C: Partial annexation of Judea-Samaria will solve none of the problems Israel faces today, and exacerbate many

The most urgent & important issue today

In these articles I show why:

– “managing the conflict” is an exercise in futility—and self-delusion—that will only carry the country on a perilous downward spiral, with prevailing problems increasing in both scale and intensity;

– proposals that prescribe including the Palestinian Arabs in the permanent population of a post-two-state Israel would almost inevitably turn the country into a Muslim-majority tyranny within a few generations—even if the optimistic demographers are right and, initially, the Muslim population will comprise a 35-40% minority;

– proposals that advocate partial annexation and limited autonomy for the Palestinian Arabs, concentrated in disconnected mini-enclaves will result in wildly torturous and contorted borders, virtually impossible to demarcate and secure, thus emptying “sovereignty” in the annexed areas of any meaningful content.

None of these proposals offer a sustainable alternative paradigm to the two-state formula that can ensure Israel’s survival as a viable nation-state of the Jewish people.

The GOP’s new platform can indeed herald a great new opportunity for Israel, especially—but not necessarily, only—if it wins the November elections. But to reap the potential benefits that this entails, Israel must prepare. It must formulate a cogent, comprehensive paradigm to replace the two-state folly, which addresses both its geographic and demographic imperatives for survival—lest it promote a proposal that threatens to make it untenable geographically or demographically–or both.

It must be a proposal that ensures that Israel retains its vital geo-strategic assets in Judea-Samaria and drastically reduces the presence of the hostile Arab population resident there—preferably by non-coercive means such as economic inducements…which, by the way, is what brought the bulk of the Arab population here in the first place.

Initiating debate on this is a matter of paramount urgency and importance. I can only hope that this essay will help initiate it.

Dr. Martin Sherman

Debbie Wasserman Schultz Kicked Out of Democratic National Convention Leadership Role

Sunday, July 24th, 2016

Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has been kicked out from leading the Democratic National Convention, the traditional role for the DNC chair, Fox News reported Sunday.

The move came after emails leaked by WikiLeaks revealed a bias in the party’s leadership during the primaries — which was supposed to be neutral — against Senator Bernie Sanders. The revelation prompted some 40 percent of his supporters to vow not to vote for Hillary Clinton at the polls in November.

The leaked emails supported earlier claims by Sanders and his supporters that the system was rigged in favor of Clinton.

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump has maintained as well that the system was “rigged” against Sanders, and said so from the podium of the Republican National Convention during his speech accepting the nomination of his party last Thursday night.

The news was confirmed publicly shortly after noon on Sunday. She had not appeared at a rules committee meeting on Saturday, though she was slated to speak, nor did her name appear on a list of speakers for the convention.

Hana Levi Julian

RNC Night 2 Devoted to ‘Making America Work Again’

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

The theme for Tuesday’s Republican National Convention was “Make America Work Again,” and each speaker included an element devoted to the economy in their speeches regardless of what else was on the plate, and to bringing the country together.

It was “domestic policy night” at the RNC, with no mention of foreign policy, let alone Israeli politics, save a nod towards the sacrilege of Hillary Clinton’s role in helping to secure the Iran nuclear deal, and a swift passing mention of the nightmare at the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Donald J. Trump Jr. were the two heaviest hitters of the evening, both in their oratorial elegance and in their ability to deliver the goods in terms of content and impact at the microphone.

Christie in particular had the audience literally on its feet repeatedly throughout his speech.

“The facts, and just the facts, lead you to the same verdict,” he repeated to the crowd. “Guilty… ” he inquired at the podium, “or not guilty?”

And the crowd roared back, “GUILTY!”

The verdict delivered by the delegates at the convention, over and over, about the various actions of Hillary Clinton during her tenure as U.S. Secretary of State.

“We know what four years of Hillary Clinton will bring,” he said. “Four more years of Obama with less charm and more lies.”

As for Trump’s oldest son, “father of five, son of my father,” he told the audience that he and his siblings got their education as apprentices “from the time they could walk, learning from those with doctorates in common sense” who worked for Donald Trump.

“As for ‘impossible’ … well, ‘impossible’ was always just the starting point for my father,” Trump Jr. grinned from the podium. “And when they told my father it would be ‘impossible’ for him to succeed in running as a candidate for president 11 months ago,” chuckled the son, “well here we are…”

Former presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson also spoke, underlining the importance of a candidate who is proud to acknowledge “the Creator” as opposed to one who “acknowledges Lucifer.”

Carson went on to say, “One of the things that I have learned about Hillary Clinton is that one of her heroes, her mentors, was Saul Alinsky. Her senior thesis was about Saul Alinsky… This was someone she greatly admired and that affected all of her philosophy subsequently.

“Are we willing to elect someone as president who has as their role model somebody who acknowledges Lucifer?” he asked the crowd — which roared back, “NO!”

Alinsky dedicated his book, ‘Rules for Radicals,’ to “Lucifer, the very first radical” in a sly swipe along with a dedication to his wife Irene.

Carson had abandoned his own run for the White House in March, instead pledging support for Trump’s campaign.

Each of the speakers devoted a portion of their remarks to the issue of unity: unity of the party, and unity of the country. Republican National Convention chairman Paul Ryan emphasized the issue of equality in his own speech, which was focused primarily on keeping the party message itself front-and-center.

“Everyone is equal, everyone has a place,” Ryan. “No one is written off…that is the Republican ideal. And if we don’t defend it, who will?”

Hana Levi Julian

Donald J. Trump Wins Republication Nomination for President

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

Some state delegates wore hats shaped like yellow wedges of cheese (Wisconsin), some of the hats were green and shaped like little trees.

But it was the dignified, albeit exultant red, white and blue state delegates from Donald J. Trump’s home State of New York who put the vote count over the top, and sealed his party’s nomination for president of the United States of America.

Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., led the state’s delegates in announcing they had the privilege of putting his father “it is my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top with 89 delegate votes” from the Empire State. Surrounded by his siblings, the younger Trump added in a happy shout, “Congratulations Dad, we love you!”

At the end of the vote, Trump had won 1725 votes; by comparison, opponents Texas Senator Ted Cruz had garnered 484, Ohio Governor John Kasich had 125, and Florida Senator Marco Rubio had 234.

The magic number needed to win the nomination was 1237. Alaska’s head of delegation came to the microphone after the roll call, saying it was contesting its delegate vote count and demanding a review.

House Speaker and Republican National Convention chairman Paul Ryan gravely acknowledged the demand; he also immediately agreed to hold the review, saying the delegation should meet with vote officials alongside the convention in order to address the issue.

Within minutes, however, it became clear the night was going to belong to Donald Trump despite the best efforts of Ted Cruz to up-end that eventuality.

Still to be heard from are the Trump children and the candidate himself, as well as the various other speakers who will talk about why they think the citizens of the United States should vote for Donald J. Trump.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/donald-j-trump-wins-republication-nomination-for-president/2016/07/20/

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