web analytics
July 30, 2015 / 14 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Jack Lew’

Jews Boo US Treasury Secretary Lew [video]

Monday, June 8th, 2015

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was repeatedly booed and heckled Sunday during his speech defending the Obama administration’s negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program.

Lew, an Orthodox Jew and former Budget Director, spokes at a Jerusalem Post conference in New York City.

The unusually harsh reaction, as he spoke in New York City at a Jewish-themed conference sponsored by The Jerusalem Post, was termed by Haaretz “as one of the surliest reactions ever accorded to such a high-ranking administration official by a Jewish audience in the United States.”

Lew’s address normally would not have made headlines, but even the Washington-based Politico picked up the boisterous reaction, that included shouts of “nonsense.”

The most significant statement was not Lew’s insistence that the United States is headed for a “good deal” with Iran. Instead it was his reaction to the boos:

I would only ask that you listen to me as we listen to you.

That is exactly the problem. The Obama administration does not listen to anyone that does not feed it the information it wants to hear. It “hears” but does not “listen.”

President Barack Obama has opened the doors of the White House to J Street and Reform Jewish leaders, who espouse the Obama view that Jews living in huge suburban neighborhoods of Jerusalem are “illegitimate” and “illegal,” that “two states” is the only way to bring peace to the Middle East, and that a bad deal with Iran is a “good deal” because Iran can be trusted because of conditions for inspections of nuclear sites.

Lew took on the task of parroting the Obama-Kerry line. After winning applause for the usual pronouncement that “the United States of America stands with the State of Israel,” and that “we must never allow Iran to get a nuclear weapon,” Lew said:

Some denounced the interim understanding, known as the Joint Plan of Action. They said Iran would cheat, that our sanctions would fall apart, and that this temporary deal would allow Iran to move closer to acquiring a nuclear weapon. But none of that came to pass.

Of course, it has not come to pass. Why should Iran cheat before it gets what it wants?

US Treasury Secy Jack Lew Says French Jews Don’t Want to Leave

Thursday, January 29th, 2015

Jews in France want to have their “gateau” and eat it too, according to U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, who met in Paris with French Jewish leaders on Monday.

“What I heard was a real desire to stay in France and have France be a place where they felt safe,” Lew told Jewish media in a conference call from Poland. Lew was in Europe to lead a U.S. delegation to ceremonies marking 70 years since the liberation of the Nazi death camps at Auschwitz.

He said Chief Rabbi Haim Korsia and Union of Jewish Communities of France President Dr. Joel Mergui told him they “believe in France.”

Jewish leaders did not hide their communities’ mourning for losses resulting from the horrific terror attacks perpetrated earlier this month, Lew noted. But they had “deep convictions in the importance of the values they believe in, in France” as “we believe in, in the United States,” he told reporters.

The American official, who himself is an observant Jew, carefully avoided an mention of the controversial speech in Paris by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu at the Grand Synagogue in Paris following the millions-strong unity march against terror.

Netanyahu and French President Francois Hollande – who had earlier requested the Israeli prime minister not come to the event in the first place – were both greeted by cheers from the crowd at the synagogue.

“Those who murdered Jews at a synagogue in Jerusalem and those who murdered Jews and [Gentile and Jewish] journalists in Paris are part of the same problem. We must condemn them and fight them!” Netanyahu asserted in his address.

But the Israeli leader also reminded those gathered that the Jewish homeland remained available as an option to Jews who wished to consider an alternative and move away from growing anti-Semitism in Europe, in France.

“Any Jew who chooses to come to Israel will be greeted with open arms and an open heart,” he assured those gathered. “It is not a foreign nation, and hopefully they and you will one day come to Israel. Am Yisrael Chai!” (“The people of Israel lives!”)

Netanyahu was roundly criticized for what was seen as an escape option to French Jews on the heels of one of the bloodiest terror attacks the community has seen. But there were no secrets that day: not one person in the building was unaware of the growing danger to the Jews.

At an Israel Bonds gala in Florida, Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer bluntly defended Netanyahu’s speech. “I am proud that my prime minister made clear to all French Jews that while they have the right to be protected in France, they will be welcomed with open arms in Israel,” he said.

It is impossible to deny that anti-Semitism is rising dramatically in Europe in general and in France in particular. In the past year alone the figures have doubled with nearly 1,000 anti-Semitic incidents reported. More than 230 involved outright violence.

In 2014, 7,000 Jews left France; the majority decided to make their homes in the Jewish State. The Jewish Agency for Israel told media earlier this month it expects to see as many as 10,000 French Jewish immigrants by the end of 2015, if not more.

Oddly, Rabbi Korsia told the crowd at the Grand Synagogue during Netanyahu’s visit, “The French people has done its duty. Until now, we always felt isolated. But that is not the case anymore… Now everyone must assume his or her personal duty.” After reading the names of all 17 victims of the past week’s slaughter, the rabbi said, “What would France be without fraternity?”

Jack Lew Tells Joint ‘US Will Move Against Iran Sanctions Busters’

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

The United States is prepared to move against violators of its sanctions against Iran, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew told the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee.

“Our enforcement of the sanctions regime will be as unflinching as ever, so any CEO, general counsel or businessperson who thinks now might be a time to test our resolve better think again,” said Lew, who received the JDC’s Morgenthau Award from the JDC on Wednesday to commemorate the group’s 100 years of partnership with the U.S. government at its Centennial Dinner.

“We are watching closely, and we are prepared to move against anyone, anywhere who violates, or attempts to violate, our sanctions,” he said.

Lew voiced his support for sanctions against Iran and maintained, “This agreement does not prevent us from implementing our existing sanctions or imposing new sanctions targeting Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism or its abuse of basic human rights.”

‘Jew in the City’ Announces Top 10 Orthodox Jewish All Stars

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Nobel Laureate Robert Aumann are among ten individuals who have been named 2013 Orthodox Jewish All Stars by Jew in the City, the organization dedicated to re-branding Orthodox Jews and Judaism to the world through digital media.

The awards will be presented on November 24 in New York City. The date coincides with the Thanksgiving and the Festival Hanukkah.

This year’s All Stars are a diverse group that also includes Sarah Hofstetter, who was promoted last week to CEO of leading advertising firm 360i in the United States; Ari Pinchot, co-executive producer of the new film,  Lee Daniels’ The Butler; Na’ama Shafir, the first Orthodox female professional basketball player; and Joseph Shenker, chairman of Sullivan and Cromwell, one of the leading U.S. law firms.

Rounding out the list are  Rama Burshtein, writer, director and producer of the awarding-winning film  Fill the Void and the first Hasidic woman to make a film for general audiences; Anne Neuberger, the Director of the National Security Agency’s Commercial Solutions Center; Issamar Ginzberg, a marketing guru who was named one of Inc. Magazine’s Top 10 Entrepreneurs and who is the grandson of prominent Hasidic rabbis; and Dr. Laurel Steinherz, Director of Pediatric Cardiology at Memorial Sloan Kettering and co-founder of Camp Simcha, a camp for Jewish children with cancer.

“There is a common misconception that being an Orthodox Jew means you don’t have many career options,” said  author Allison Josephs, who founded Jew in the City six years ago to break down myths and misconceptions about religious Jews and observant Judaism.

VP Biden Meets with Yair Lapid in Washington

Friday, October 11th, 2013

Yair Lapid, Israel’s Finance Minister and leader of the number two Yesh Atid party in the coalition government, met with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and other top U.S. officials Thursday.

Lapid, who was in Washington to attend a round of World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings, sat down with Biden, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew and Phil Gordon, the White House Middle East coordinator.

“In a wide ranging conversation, the Vice President and Minister Lapid discussed Israel’s economy as well as regional issues, including recent developments with regard to Iran, Israel’s negotiations with the Palestinians, and the importance of strengthened economic cooperation between Israel and the Palestinian Authority,” a White House statement said.

Lapid’s party has 19 seats in the Knesset, but the most recent poll showed it would win  only 12 seats if elections were held today.

Jewish Nominee for Treasury May Hit Wall of GOP and Far Left

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013

Jack M. Lew, President Obama’s frum former chief of staff and budget director, and now his nominee to head the U.S. Treasury, will face the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday at the formal vetting stage prior to confirmation.  Until several days ago, the nomination seemed to be a slam dunk.

Not anymore.

One of President Obama’s pet peeves has long been tax advantages for the wealthy.  In 2007, when Obama ran for president the first time, one of his favorite targets for vitriol was “overseas tax havens,” in places like the Cayman Islands.  And guess who had close to $100,000 in assets socked away right there in the Cayman Islands? Lew.

While he was president, Obama railed against a specific five-story building on Grand Cayman Island called Ugland House, which nearly 12,000 businesses claim as the address of their corporate headquarters.  The Cayman Islands is a tax-free jurisdiction in which corporations can be “housed,” at least on paper, thereby enabling those companies and wealthy individuals to avoid paying U.S. taxes.

In 2008 the Senate Finance Committee held hearings on Ugland House. The Committee chair, Sen. Max Baucus, explained the committee was “concerned that U.S. taxpayers are creating offshore business entitles solely to evade their U.S. tax obligations, [and] seeking to confound I.R.S. collection efforts by obscuring the true ownership of American assets or income.”

In 2009 Obama said, “for years, we’ve talked about shutting down overseas tax havens that let companies set up operations to avoid paying taxes in America.  About Ugland House, he said, “either this is the largest building in the world, or the largest tax scam in the world.  And I think the American people know which it is.  That’s the kind of tax scam that we need to end.”

But according to The New York Times, as recently as 2010, Jack Lew had invested money in a CitiGroup venture capital fund whose address was Ugland House, Grand Cayman Island.  And based on Lew’s tax filings in 2009 and 2011, he had as much as $100,000 in such investments.

Senator Charles Grassley (R-IA) is fuming.  He called it ironic that Obama’s nominee to head the Treasury Dept., someone who has been, according to reports by conservatives, “inflexible” about spending cuts, benefited from the very offshore tax shelters Obama has repeatedly attacked.  That, and the fact that the IRS is located within the Treasury Dept. and the long arm of the IRS is what gets blocked by tax shelters such as the one provided by  Ugland House.

Others pointed out that many Obama supporters criticized Mitt Romney for holding investments in the Cayman Islands.  According to NBC News, an ad during the  2012 campaign asked, “Why would Mitt Romney invest millions in the Cayman Islands?”

A White House statement issued in response to this latest controversy, pointed out that Lew sold off his investments in the Cayman Islands based fund, and “he paid all of his taxes and reported all of the income, gains and losses from the investment on his tax returns.”

The Times revealed that although Lew had previously worked for the administration, it was not until 2010, after he was confirmed as director of the Office of Management and Budget, that Lew fully divested from the Ugland House CitiGroup fund.  Investments in those funds are not for the short-term, and the sale cost Lew more than $50,000.

Obama and Lew supporters are pooh-poohing the offshore tax shelters issue, especially given that the information was available when Lew went through prior confirmation hearings, albeit for non-Cabinet positions.

And at least one other Treasury Secretary, former CEO of Goldman, Sachs Henry Paulson, who served under President Bush, had extensive financial holdings in the Cayman Islands.

On the other hand, Republicans were not the ones vilifying “the rich” for trying to evade paying U.S. taxes through legitimate ventures, while the Democrats have practically raised that criticism to an art form.

Which brings up a likely ally – if they want to avoid being called hypocrites – for the Republicans who want the Ugland House tax shelter issue to be raised at the hearing: the radical leftist street theater group, Code Pink, and one of their close uber-leftist allies, The Nation.

Another Milestone for the Jewish People in America

Sunday, January 13th, 2013

For those who have been in a coma for the last couple of days, Jack Lew who is an Orthodox Jew and currently the President’s Chief of Staff will be nominated by the President for the cabinet position of Secretary of the Treasury. Although as of this writing it has not been made official – It seems that this will indeed happen. I also believe that he will sail through the confirmation process.

First let me echo the OU’s congratulatory response. I could not be prouder of my co-religionist, Jack Lew, my country, the United States of America, and my President, Barack Obama.

That’s right. I said I am proud of the President for looking beyond the criticism he got from the Jewish community about Hagel and choosing the best man for the job at Treasury even though he is Jewish. I believe the President is a man of integrity. Though I strongly disagreed with him about Hagel, I think he truly believes Hagel to be the best man for the Secretary of Defense.

I think Hagel will be a negative influence vis-à-vis Israel. But I believe (or at least hope) that the President will stick to his polices with respect to Israel. His polices are for the most part very supportive of the Jewish state. Although I still don’t like the fact that someone who has shown great antagonism towards “The Jewish Lobby” will be a member of his cabinet – I do not believe that the President sees us that way. He has certainly never referred to any of us that way.

That Jack Lew, an Orthodox Jew whose Sabbath observance might seem to be a hindrance to his duties has the confidence of the President says a lot about both men. Apparently the President cares that his employees do not sacrifice their principles for their job. In fact the President himself has seen to it that Mr. Lew does not violate the Sabbath. He has been Jack Lew’s Shomer in that regard – reminding him on Friday’s that sunset was approaching and he better hurry up and get home before Shabbos begins.

It is interesting to note an article that appeared a few days ago in the Forward. It was about just how far an observant Jew can go in the workplace these days despite some apparent obstacles. Avital Chizhik, an Orthodox woman, writes about her experiences in seeking a job.

When asked about there indeed her religious observances would hinder her – she replied that she was not that religious. Her interviewer laughed and offered her the job saying he was glad to hear that.

She felt guilty afterward realizing that indeed she was ‘that’ religious. But after thinking about it, she realized that she was really responding to an image and not reality. Unfortunately our image as observant Jews does not always project confidence in an employer about our dedication to our jobs. Her reaction was made to counter that notion. She goes on to say that the sense of purpose that drives her religious beliefs and actions is also channeled into her work – making for a much better employee.

Although I am very happy for Ms. Chizik’s success, there is no better role model for an Orthodox Jew achieving career success than Jack Lew. Of course he is not the first Orthodox Jew to achieve it. Former Vice Presidential candidate and senator from Connecticut, Joe Lieberman did it first.

The job Mr. Lew is about to take on is not an easy one. Which adds to his prestige. His job will perhaps be the most difficult one in the President’s entire cabinet. He will be presiding over an economy that has yet to completely recover from the recession of 2008. Whatever improvement or deterioration happens in the economy will be under his watch. He will either get credit or blame.

Which leads me back to a common fear many Jews have about a Jewish public servants in positions of power in the government. Some people will say that they regret the choice of any Jew, let alone an Orthodox one, being in such a position. They fear that if the economy goes really south, “the Jews” will be blamed for it. As they always have in the past by European governments. The last government to blame the Jews for their problems ended up with the Holocaust!

I understand their fear. It is based on a very long and sad history of persecution of the Jewish people by governments that were at first friendly and welcoming to us. They will say it happened “there” when no one expected it, it can happen here just as easily. “The Goyim don’t need much to turn on us.” Germany was great to the Jewish people for generations of Jews. And look what happened. We should not be naïve about our standing here… that it’s all smoke and mirrors and when the chips are down we are going to be the first ones to be blamed.

Like I said, I understand it. But it’s just plain wrong. Aside from the fact that this country was founded precisely on the principle of religious tolerance, the American people are a fine and decent people who know not to blame their troubles on any one ethnicity. There has unfortunately been many examples where high profile religious Jews have done wrong.

The American people have had ample opportunity to blame “the Jews” for a variety of behaviors of its miscreants. Bernie Madoff could have easily sparked an anti-Semitic backlash… as could any one of a number of high profile Jewish miscreants. High profile because of their obvious Jewishness. How many Orthodox Jews wearing Kipot and other religious artifacts have been arrested or convicted of financial fraud? How many Orthodox Jewish molesters have been in the news lately? There is certainly enough of that kind of thing to bring out any latent Antisemitism. And yet it hasn’t.

Instead we have a President nominating an Orthodox Jew to perhaps the most important cabinet position in America right now… a nomination that should – as I said – sail through congress. So even if God forbid the worst happens and the economy really tanks, perhaps Jack Lew will be blamed. But in no way will “the Jews” will be blamed. Those among my coreligionists who don’t understand this and think I am naïve, are themselves naive. They truly do not understand what this great country is all about nor what the American people are made of.

What a Country!

Visit Emes Ve-Emunah.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/haemtza/another-milestone-for-the-jewish-people-in-america/2013/01/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: