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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

GOP Candidate Donald Trump Endorsed by Nevada’s Biggest Newspaper, Owned by Adelson

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump has received his first major newspaper endorsement from the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the biggest newspaper in Nevada.

Owned by Sheldon Adelson, the newspaper has a daily circulation of 98,000 and a Sunday distribution of about 119,000. The Las Vegas Review-Journal is considered the “go-to” news outlet for politicians hunting for voters in Nevada.

A number of smaller newspapers have also endorsed. But Adelson, who promised earlier in the year to endorse the GOP candidate, has kept Republicans holding their breath.

Back in May, Adelson told The Washington Post he would “strongly encourage my fellow Republicans – especially our Republican elected officials, party loyalists and operative, and those who provide important financial backing – to do the same… If Republicans do not come together in support of Trump, [President Barack] Obama will essentially be granted something the Constitution does not allow – a third term in the name of Hillary Clinton. I’ve spent time talking to Donald Trump. Do I agree with him on every issue? No. But it’s unlikely that any American agrees with his or her preferred candidate on every issue,” he said.

Since that time, however, Adelson has said little and pundits have been left wondering how committed to the Trump camp he really was. The weekend’s endorsement clarifies that position, and although Adelson and his wife are strong advocates for Israel, there is no mention of the Jewish State in the editorial.

The Las Vegas Review-Journal said in its endorsement, that “History tells us that agents for reform often generate fear and alarm among those intent on preserving their cushy sinecures. It’s hardly a shock, then, that the 2016 campaign has produced a barrage of unceasing vitriol directed toward Mr. Trump. But let us not be distracted by the social media sideshows and carnival clatter…

“The past eight years have pushed us $20 trillion into debt, obligations that will burden our children and grandchildren. The nation’s economy sputters under the growing weight of federal edicts and regulations that smother growth and innovation. Obamacare threatens to crash and burn. The middle class struggles. An administration promising hope and unity instead brought division.

“Yet Hillary Clinton promises to lead us down the same path. She’ll cuddle up to the ways and perks of Washington like she would to a cozy old blanket.”

The Republican candidate, wrote the editorial board, “brings a corporate sensibility and a steadfast determination to an ossified Beltway culture. He advocates for lower taxes and a simplified tax code, in contrast to his opponent’s plan to extract another $1 trillion from the private economy in order to enlarge the bureaucracy. Mr. Trump understands and appreciates the conditions that lead to prosperity and job creation and would be a friend to small business and entrepreneurship. Mrs. Clinton has spent most of her adult life on the public payroll.

“Of particular importance is the U.S. Supreme Court. The next president may be charged with filling multiple vacancies, shaping the court’s direction for a generation. Mr. Trump prefers nominees who recognize the Constitution’s checks on federal authority as a bulwark against tyranny. Mrs. Clinton would be a disaster in this regard.”

The newspaper bluntly goes on to acknowledge that Donald Trump is no angel, nor is he the suave expert in political presentation that might have won him vastly more friends – or votes – on the campaign trail, had he taken the trouble to do something about all those rough edges his handlers struggle with.

“Yes, Mr. Trump’s impulsiveness and overheated rhetoric alienate many voters. He has trouble dealing with critics and would be wise to discover the power of humility,” notes the editorial board.”

“But neither candidate will ever be called to the dais to accept an award for moral probity and character. And we are already distressingly familiar with the Clinton way, which involves turning public service into an orgy of influence peddling and entitlement designed to line their own pockets — precisely what a disgruntled electorate now rises up to protest.

“Mr. Trump represents neither the danger his critics claim nor the magic elixir many of his supporters crave. But he promises to be a source of disruption and discomfort to the privileged, back-scratching political elites for whom the nation’s strength and solvency have become subservient to power’s pursuit and preservation.

“Donald Trump for president,” the editorial board states, simply.

Click here to read the entire endorsement.

Hana Levi Julian

Republican HQ in Orange County, North Carolina Firebombed, With Threat on Adjacent Wall

Tuesday, October 18th, 2016

GOP electoral campaign headquarters was firebombed overnight Sunday (Oct. 16) in Orange County, North Carolina, setting afire not only furniture but also bipartisan relations in the state.

Dallas Woodhouse, executive director of the North Carolina Republican Party, called the incident “a horrific, horrific act of political terrorism,” in an interview with ABC News.

North Carolina is one of the swing states in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, and the race between GOP candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton is getting tighter by the minute.

Both candidates condemned the attack.

In addition to the Molotov cocktail that torched the headquarters, local authorities said in their statement, posted on the website of the town of Hillsborough, that the vandals had also left a message for the campaign workers.

Spray-painted on an adjacent building was a swastika, and the threat, “Nazi Republicans leave town or else.”

The building sustained heavy smoke damage and “some fire damage,” according to the most recent statement from local officials. “The flammable substance appears to have ignited inside the building, burned some furniture and damaged the building’s interior before going out on its own. No damage estimates are available at this time,” the statement said.

The Hillsborough Police Department said in a tweet that evidence was still being processed, but that local police was receiving help from ATF, FBI, SBI and the OCNC Sheriff.

“We’re so grateful that no one was hurt and that no buildings in the [nearby] complex were destroyed,” Hillsborough Mayor Tom Stevens said. “I have every confidence in the joint effort of our law enforcement agencies to find and prosecute the perpetrator of this reprehensible act.”

A tip line phone number “routed directly to voice mail” that “does not record callers’ phone numbers” was listed on the town’s website.

Hana Levi Julian

Netanyahu to Meet Trump and Clinton in NYC

Saturday, September 24th, 2016

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to meet with the presidential candidates from both political parties in the United States on Sunday, following his meeting last Wednesday with U.S. President Barack Obama.

He’ll meet first with GOP candidate Donald Trump, and then with Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, according to a source in the prime minister’s office (PMO).

“The meeting was first agreed to with the Trump people, and then we immediately reached out to the Clinton camp for balance,” said a PMO source.

Netanyahu has said he has no intention to get in the middle of the electoral campaign in any way. Four years ago, he was severely criticized for what appeared to be his perceived support of GOP candidate Mitt Romney, an old friend who visited Jerusalem during the campaign and discussed Obama’s foreign policies.

Not so the New York Times, whose editorial board on Saturday endorsed Clinton for president in a pointed article in which the paper’s management said bluntly, “In any normal election year, we’d compare the two presidential candidates side by side on the issues. But this is not a normal election year.”

The Times went on to list what it considers her finest moments and achievements, among them, “efforts to strengthen sanctions against Iran, which eventually pushed it to the table for talks over its nuclear program, and in 2012, she helped negotiate a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas.”

Hana Levi Julian

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

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/into-the-fray-martin-sherman/into-the-fray-what-if-the-gop-wins-potential-payoffs-and-pitfalls-for-israel/2016/07/25/

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