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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Jerrold Nadler’

Ground Zero for the Iran Deal: Rosenthal Versus Nadler

Friday, September 16th, 2016

More Jews live in New York’s tenth congressional district than in any other district in the United States. Philip J. Rosenthal – the kind of guy who could easily be a character on television’s The Big Bang Theory – wants its citizens to elect him as their representative.

Jerry Nadler, however, has been representing that area of New York, first in Albany beginning in 1977, and for the past 14 years in Washington, D.C.

So, why not vote for Nadler? Nadler voted for the Iran Deal, that’s why.

And if you don’t recall, the Iran Deal was the one issue behind which nearly all of the organizational Jewish world united against. The Iran Nuclear Deal which many Americans, especially Jews, and most especially Jewish New Yorkers, realized at the time was a deal only for Iran but a disaster for the safety of the United States, Israel and much of the West.

And yet, thumbing his nose at his constituents, Cong. Jerrold Nadler came out in support of the disastrous Iran Deal. Many folks in his district felt badly betrayed by Nadler. Some saw him as bowing to the wishes of the Democratic administration while ignoring their wishes and their safety. Nadler was the only Jewish member of the New York delegation who came out in favor of the deal.

Into the breach now steps Philip J. Rosenthal, a shiny example of a Bronx boy made and does good.

Rosenthal grew up facing a train yard and across the street from Bronx High School of Science, from which he graduated (“salutatorian, my father would want me to tell you,” he says.) Rosenthal went on to graduate from Yale University with a degree in Physics, “summa cum laude, phi beta kappa,” he says, sheepishly, again hearing his father’s voice echoing in his head).

Where next? The California Institute of Technology, where Rosenthal studied string theory and cosmology, garnering both a master’s degree and a PhD. Ouch.

When queried about whether he actually understood those topics, Rosenthal’s retort is pure Big Bang-ish: “Physics is beautiful, elegant, it’s the essence of everything; it’s politics that’s messy!” But back to that later.

As if Rosenthal’s resume wasn’t already impossibly impressive, after Cal Tech he went to work on a program dealing with Pluto. And this is when he began to realize that the American dream was no longer as assured as it had seemed.

“It used to be that America led the world in everything – today if you want to work in space, you need to hitch a ride with the Russians,” Rosenthal said.

“As a child I was inspired by the American space program, but now the greatest fundamental physics labs, the particle accelerators, they’re in Europe, at CERN labs, on the French/Swiss border.”  Rosenthal explained that is where the best research, the most exciting laboratories in the world are. That’s a huge economic and national security disaster for our country, he says.

Rosenthal wants America to again be the global leader. And the key to economic leadership and national security is for America to be second to none, Rosenthal insists. We need to focus on science, space and technology,” and, he says, we’re not doing that anymore.

Rosenthal’s sites began shifting away from science. In 1996 he graduated from Harvard Law School and went on to the venerable Washington, D.C. law firm of Covington & Burling, where he practiced, amongst other things, nuclear law.

Without access to legal research technology, Rosenthal recognized that individuals and even solo and small firm practitioners are unable to compete with the big guys. But legal research software is very expensive.

So Rosenthal, with a friend, created a new kind of legal research software that is far more affordable, faster and easier than the standard software packages. In addition, his company, FastCase, utilizes different kinds of tools which the old guard systems do not.

“There is a great lack of access to legal justice. We founded FastCase in order to democratize the law.” FastCase is being used by nearly a million lawyers today, and the FastCase legal app is both the first of its kind and absolutely free.

So what does Rosenthal want to do in Congress?

Though he’s been many places since his Bronx boyhood, Rosenthal still has the concern for the little guy that has long animated New York politics.  His focus on making the law more accessible to everyone also shows up in his platform — he’s a strong advocate of making sure poor Americans have access to the legal services they need to help them protect their rights, their homes, their jobs and their families.  And he’s strongly committed to helping the homeless in real ways — not just by feeding them today, but also by investing in them and their skills so they can become productive men and women tomorrow.

Last summer, when signing the anti-BDS legislation passed by Congress, President Obama announced that on his watch the U.S. would not be enforcing the provision of the law which prohibits boycotts of Israeli products in the disputed territories.

Rosenthal practically explodes: “Really? The President proudly tells everyone that boycotting certain Jews is acceptable? Where was our representative?” Incensed that Nadler didn’t make a peep about this, Rosenthal goes on to list the other ways in which this administration – without sufficient or any pushback from Nadler and others – has disrespected and mistreated Israel.

And he once again draws the conversation back to the Iran Deal. “This district is literally Ground Zero and our representative supported the Iran Deal? Is no one paying attention?”

Unlike many members of Congress, Phil Rosenthal has actually read every page made public of the Iran Deal. With his science and legal background, Rosenthal is confident we could have done much better, just as he knows America could and should be doing much better in the global economic arena.

“This is a wonderful year to run as an outsider. I haven’t been on Capitol Hill for the past dozen years, but,” he ticks off, “I have a background in physics, in law, I’m an entrepreneur, my dad was in manufacturing. I have experience in the real world.”

Most importantly, Rosenthal says he knows that the people in New York’s tenth congressional district deserve better representation than they have. And, he says, he’s ready to provide that.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

DNC Staff Make Fun of Jewish Congressman’s Weight Problems

Thursday, August 25th, 2016

Last summer, Jerrold Nadler was New York City’s only Jewish Democratic House Member who supported President Obama’s Iran nuclear deal, a point which was not lost on his opponent in last June’s primaries. Oliver Rosenberg, a Yeshiva University graduate and an orthodox Jew, argued that the Iran vote showed Nadler as being out of touch with his voters. Nadler, 69, won his primary election in a landslide, with Obama’s endorsement. But neither his crucial vote on the deal nor his firm hold on his own district have earned Nadler the respect of the Democratic National Committee staffers, the same folks who conspired with ousted DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz against candidate Bernie Sanders.

It all had to do with Congressman Nadler’s girth. In 2002 and 2003, Nadler underwent laparoscopic duodenal switch surgery, which helped him lose more than 100 pounds. But over the years all the weight came back, as often happens, unfortunately, with extreme diets and other dramatic measures. Now the NY Post has discovered among the thousands of DNC emails released by WikiLeaks last month an exchange that referred to Nadler in terms that might change his vote should another Iran deal come around.

It began with a mid-May request from Nadler’s office to attend an Obama fundraiser on June 8 at the home of Kenneth Lerer, the former chairman and co-founder of The Huffington Post, Managing Director of Lerer Hippeau Ventures, and Chairman of Betaworks and BuzzFeed. Lerer lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which means he might be a constituent of Nadler’s, whose district stretches from the Upper West Side down through Hell’s Kitchen, Chelsea, SoHo, Greenwich Village, TriBeCa, the Financial District and Battery Park City, and over to Brooklyn, where it includes parts of Borough Park, Kensington, Red Hook, Sunset Park, Bensonhurst, Dyker Heights and Gravesend.

“Do you really want Nadler there?” then DNC national finance director Jordan Kaplan asked the White House in the exposed email.

Presidential aide Bobby Schmuck wrote back that President Obama wanted Nadler to attend the fundraiser, but without a guest. He emailed: “No +1.”

At which point DNC staffer Zachary Allen mocked Nadler’s weight problem. Here’s the May 18 email exchange, courtesy of Wikileaks via the NY Post:

Allen: Homeboy is NOT little.

Kaplan: I thought he got his tummy tucked.

Allen: He did, but like [Gov. Chris] Christie it all came back.

One day later, Zach emailed Kaplan about Nadler: “He was petitioning on my corner the other day and I thanked him for supporting the Iran deal and he bear hugged me. I kinda love him.”

Gotta’ love those bears.

And another day later (sifting through Wikileaks emails is like eating peanuts, you just can’t stop) Zach emailed Jordan Kaplan—who has since stepped down, mired in the Wasserman Schultz scandal: “Are we back to the point where I can say I love you? Because I’d like to.”

And Kaplan emailed back: “I love you too. No homo. Phew.”

So now when they ask you if you think the DNC (and the White House) is being run by children, you can answer with certainty, well, maybe not children, but teenagers, for sure. But no homo. Phew.

JNi.Media

Iran Deal Opponent Challenges Nadler for Congressional Seat

Monday, March 21st, 2016

“I’m a millennial; in 15 years when the all-clear sign goes up on Iranian nuclear activity, I and my peers will be the ones in the cross-hairs,” Oliver Rosenberg told the JewishPress.com in a wide-ranging interview. “And Jerry Nadler, on the most consequential vote in a generation, where support for America’s and Israel’s security mattered most, let us all down.”

Rosenberg was on the phone from Washington, D.C., where he is attending the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee policy conference.

Rosenberg has just launched his congressional campaign, seeking to unseat Cong. Jerrold Nadler who has been ensconced as the representative to Congress from New York City’s Upper West Side for decades.

In any other year such a challenge might be laughed off as an impossible dream, but this year, after Nadler sold out his heavily Jewish constituency by knuckling under to President Obama and supporting the Nuclear Iran Deal, the time just may be ripe.

There is a lot about Rosenberg that naturally appeals to residents of the Upper West Side. He is a health care entrepreneur who spent half a decade as an investment banker focused on renewable energy. He’s a Jewish Orthodox day school alumnus, a graduate of Yeshiva University’s business school, the grandson of Holocaust survivors and a fervent lover of Israel who spent a year in yeshiva there and made at-least-yearly visits since he was six years old.

Given the make-up of the community and the strong position taken by nearly all major Jewish and other pro-Israel organizations against the Nuclear Iran Deal, Rosenberg was deeply disappointed that Nadler supported the Iran Deal which contains unacceptable shortcomings.

Rosenberg pointed out the 15 year pathway to Iranian nuclear power, the $150 billion relief in sanctions that can and will be used to support terrorism and the lack of promised anytime, anywhere inspections drew the ire of district residents, including himself, who saw and still see Nadler’s act as a grave betrayal.

While it is true that Nadler has not faced a primary opponent in more than two decades – the political makeup of the district guarantees whoever is the Democratic nominee will be the Representative – Rosenberg sees the time as propitious. “We have entered a new and dangerous chapter in American government,” Rosenberg said, pointing to the inertia of incumbents feel more beholden to those in party leadership than to their own constituents.

Rosenberg sees the current hyper-partisanship of Washington as a disservice to those who elect them to office. He points to Nadler’s history of such extreme partisanship: “efforts to impeach President George W. Bush, attacks on former Mayor Rudy Guiliani, even harsh criticism of the previous mayor, Michael Bloomberg, for investigations into the actions of the Occupy Wall Street movement.

“When it comes to legislation supportive of Israel or other common sense measures, I will reach across the aisle to create bipartisan support,” Rosenberg explained. He hopes such bipartisanship will flourish during the next administration.

“A recent survey showed that more than 70 percent of American Republicans support Israel, and more than 55 percent of American Democrats do. So why isn’t that reflected in how the parties vote?” According to Rosenberg, the elected class is not reflecting the wishes of the people, and that greatly concerns him.

In what ways does Rosenberg want U.S. dealings with Israel to change, should he play a part in shaping American policy towards Israel? For one, he wants U.S. military aid to Israel to double, to $6 billion. “Israel should be able to purchase F-22 stealth jets, which it does not currently have.” Rosenberg also believes Israel should have access to bunker buster bombs.

The neighborhood in which Israel resides has gotten dramatically more dangerous recently, and a huge factor adding greatly to that danger is the Nuclear Iran Deal.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Now More than a Dozen Democratic Reps Against Nuclear Iran Deal

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) became the 13th Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives to announce that she will vote against the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiated by the U.S. and its P5+1 partners.

First elected to Congress in 1993, Maloney represents most of Manhattan’s East Side, as well as Queens and Brooklyn. Her district includes the United Nations and the Empire State Building.

Last night Congresswoman Maloney issued a statement opposing the JCPOA.

Maloney said she gave the agreement, “which is one of the most important issues to come before the U.S. Congress in decades,” thoughtful and detailed study, examining the issues, reviewing classified materials, speaking with administration officials, consulting with experts on both sides and listening to community leaders and constituents on both sides.

After tipping her hat to the President and Secretary of State for their diplomatic efforts, she said she had to oppose the agreement “as a matter of conscience.”

Maloney said, as have virtually everyone of the elected officials who have come out in opposition to the deal, that its fatal flaw is that “the deal does not block Iran from eventually acquiring nuclear weapons.”

She pointed out that even given the restraints imposed by the deal, and as the President himself has acknowledged, the breakout time for Iran to become a nuclear threshold state at the end of the deal will have shrunk down to almost zero.

The absence of  so-called ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections and the lifting of embargoes on conventional weapons and on intercontinental ballistic missiles – for which there is no peaceful use – are all gravely troubling, as is Iran’s continued bankrolling of terrorist regimes throughout the Middle East, which will only be made easier by the infusion of billions of dollars as the result of lifting sanctions.

Maloney ended her statement with a poignant comment:

What we wanted out of this agreement was peace. But before the ink was dry, the Mullahs were declaring, “Death to America.” Some believe that if we can just delay Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, a more moderate regime in a country with a young population will assume power and abandon Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We can hope for the best, but we need an agreement that assumes the worst.

Maloney had been the object of intense pressure by both sides of the Nuclear Iran Deal. On Wednesday, Aug. 26, a delegation from MoveOn.org gathered in front of her office, calling on her to vote in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. A grass roots coalition of opponents of the JCPOA also gathered, asking that she oppose the deal. Hours later Maloney issued her statement opposing the deal.

One American who feels strongly about the deal and shared his views with his congregation is Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, of Congregation Kehilath Jeshuran on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Rabbi Lookstein told the JewishPress.com that he discussed the Iran deal with his congregation and urged them to call their elected representative – Maloney – and tell her their own views of the deal.

For his part, Lookstein said he feels very strongly that the deal is a bad one. He said “it gives Iran a path to nuclear weapons, it provides a tremendous infusion of money which will be used to foment terror in the Middle East, and it gives Iran an opportunity to continue to build its weapons.”

In addition, the JCPOA “will once again provide them with access to intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose sole purpose is to attack the United States,” according to Lookstein.

He said, the deal “is very bad for the U.S. and a terrible one for Israel. The entire political spectrum in Israel stands united against the deal.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Rep Nadler Getting Pushback by 2 Jewish Pols over Iran Deal

Saturday, August 22nd, 2015

(JNi.media) On Friday, Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) issued a statement saying he would vote in favor of President Obama’s proposed Iran deal.

“I bring to my analysis [of the agreement] the full weight of my responsibilities as a member of Congress, and my perspective as an American Jew who is both a Democrat and a strong supporter of Israel,” Nadler stated, noting: “I have sought to ignore the political pressures, as well as the demagoguery and hateful rhetoric on both sides that I think has been harmful to the overall political discourse.”

In a less analytical but much more colorful fashion, Assemblyman Dov Hikind (D-NY) told the Observer he had rented a double decker tour bus, covered it with images of the Ayatollah Ali Khameini, and left it for a few hours outside Nadler’s lower Manhattan office. Hikind told the Observer that next he is taking the bus on visits to other pro-Iran deal representatives.

Councilman David Greenfield criticized Nadler on Facebook. “I join my fellow Brooklynites in outrage that Congressman Jerry Nadler has announced his support of the Iran deal against the overwhelming wishes of his Jewish constituency… We are furious that our community does not have a voice in Congress and can not forgive him.”

Nadler offered an analysis of the Iran deal that’s easily as exhaustive as the one offered by Senator Chuck Schumer in early August. Despite the fact that he reached the opposite conclusion, Nadler is respectful of the opponents of the deal, suggesting “the only decision that matters at this moment is whether to support or reject the agreement that is on the table now, not whether we could or should have gotten a better deal.”

Nadler also deals realistically with the consequences of an override of the anticipated presidential veto of what is certain to be a rejection of the deal by both Republican-controlled houses. He writes:

“Iran might accept the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) without U.S. participation. In that case, the other countries might go along. In 6–9 months, all the non-U.S. sanctions would be lifted. Iran would resume doing business with most other countries, and would get its $56 billion, some of which would be used to sponsor terrorism and other illicit activities.”

Frustrating as such an outcome is to pro-Israel American Jews, Nadler is not wrong in his assessment. And while the White House may be to blame for this outcome, it does not change the finality of these consequences. Nadler also argues that, should the president be forced by Congress to drop the Iran agreement, “there would be less diligent oversight, less fear of punitive action against violations, and Iran would enjoy full legitimacy and inclusion from the international community. Meanwhile, the United States — Israel’s closest ally and the only partner on the Security Council or in the P5+1 whose interests are as closely aligned in terms of preventing Iran from becoming an existential threat — would sit on the sidelines, separated from the JCPOA.”

JNi.Media

Nadler Introduces Legislation to Keep Families Seated Together on Flights

Friday, July 31st, 2015

(JNi.media) Congressmen Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee on Thursday introduced bipartisan legislation to help keep families seated together on commercial flights.

HR 3334, The Families Flying Together Act of 2015, would require the US Department of Transportation to direct airlines to notify passengers traveling with minors if seats are not available together at the initial booking stage, and for each airline to establish a policy to ensure, to the extent practicable, that families are seated together during flights.

“Air travel is complicated and expensive enough for families without adding new stresses,” Nadler said, adding, “Families should not be stuck paying hidden fees, or buying ‘premium’ seats, simply because they wish to be seated together on crowded flights. It is positively absurd to expect a two- or three-year-old to sit unattended, next to strangers, on an airplane. It is up to air carriers to make their seating policies clear and easily accessible to the public.”

The current bill to authorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) expires at the end of September. Davis and Nadler are working with the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to get these provisions included in the upcoming reauthorization.

In 2012, Congressman Nadler introduced a bipartisan bill secure equal treatment of Palestinian and Jewish refugees, “strongly” encouraging the US administration, when speaking on the issue of Middle Eastern refugees at international forums, to pair any explicit reference to Palestinian refugees with similar reference to Jewish and other refugee populations.

JNi.Media

Protecting Religious Freedom

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

Recently, I voted against legislation to allow the federal government to provide cash grants to rebuild houses of worship damaged by natural disasters. Many have asked me to explain why, given my long record of promoting religious liberty, I felt I had to vote “no.” Simply put, my objections went precisely to my determination to protect the rights of the Jewish community and other religious minorities.

The Constitution defends the rights of minority religious communities through the twin mandates of the First Amendment – the guarantee of the free exercise of religion and the prohibition of a government establishment of religion. While I was, of course, tempted to support grants that might provide some relief to a number of shuls, I decided that I simply was not willing to trade that potential short-term benefit for the likelihood of real long-term harm to the religious freedom protections upon which the Jewish community depends. And I certainly wasn’t willing to risk such harm without a single hearing to examine the serious constitutional questions the bill raised.

Some argue that denying these particular grants amounts to a form of religious discrimination. In fact, the Constitution treats religion differently precisely to protect religious minorities from government meddling. Government involvement with religion, while potentially conferring short-term benefits, has historically resulted in governmental interference and favoritism – and that has inevitably worked to disadvantage minority religious communities like ours. The people who wrote our Bill of Rights understood this because they had experienced it, and they, therefore, insisted on the separation of religion and government.

The Supreme Court has been very clear that the core principle of the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause is that government may not directly fund religion or religious objects. So, while the courts have permitted government funding for religious institutions’ buildings used for hot lunch programs and for math books used in yeshivas, the courts have consistently rejected using taxpayer money to pay for the types of things this bill would authorize – spaces reserved for religious worship and religious articles such as Bibles, Torahs, and Korans. The record is clear: the Supreme Court has rejected every single case brought before it that attempted to provide the type of funding made available in this bill. So, while the bill may be a nice political gesture, it is highly unlikely that any shuls will ever see any actual funds from it.

And the Supreme Court has ruled this way for good reason. Experience shows that once government starts funding religion, it starts demanding a say in how its money is spent. That has been true of every governmental expenditure. There have even been frequent attempts – which we have worked to beat back – to tell religious institutions how they must spend their own money and to impose governmental oversight of these institutions’ finances. For minority religious groups, including the observant Jewish community, that is a dangerous vulnerability that history has shown can – and will be – exploited by unfriendly outsiders.

The frum community knows government meddling all too well. It is no secret that there are those who are hostile to core Jewish religious practices. There have long been efforts to outlaw shechitah, ban or severely restrict bris milah, and prevent observant Jews from settling in communities where they haven’t previously lived. We have largely prevailed in these fights because of the twin guarantees of the First Amendment, which work together to preserve minority religious rights.

I have fought to preserve those protections because I believe in them, and because I know how the observant Jewish community can be abused without them.

One of my first acts in Congress was to fight for passage of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act(RFRA), which provides stronger safeguards for religious practices when they conflict with federal governmental requirements – like the right to have kosher food in federal prisons, or to be protected from autopsies.

When the frum community fights attempts by local governments to use zoning laws to block shuls, mikvehs, and shtibelach, or by local residents to block an eruv, it relies on the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA), which I helped write and got passed into law. The mere threat of a RLUIPA lawsuit often makes local governments back down.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/protecting-religious-freedom/2013/02/27/

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