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April 18, 2014 / 18 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘JFK’

El Al Teams Up with GetTaxi

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2013

El Al has signed an agreement with GetTaxi to offer passengers discounts for GetTaxi’s cab hailing service in New York, Tel Aviv and other cities where it operates, the Globes business newspaper reported.

The discount from JFK to Manhattan will take $25 off the usual fare of $60-85. The discount program also is available in London and St. Petersburg, Russia.

The GetTaxi service in Israel will operate to the airport, giving El Al passengers a $5 discount. The discount is not available to inbound passengers because of an airport contract that gives one cab company exclusive rights to carry passengers out of the airport.

El Al Catches ‘Luggage Handlers’ Who Stole Passengers’ Valuables

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

El Al video cameras have caught seven baggage handlers at JFK airport who stole passengers’ valuables, including cash, watches, computers and jewelry.

The ariline became suspicious when a number of passengers complained about missing items. El Al placed a video camera in April to monitor the thieves and discovered they did more than just handle luggage. The film caught them stuffing their clothes with thousands of dollars of goods, some of which were later found in their homes by investigators.

Saudi Arabia Airline’s ‘No Israelis Allowed’ Policy Violates Law

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

Saudi Arabia Airline refuses to issue tickets in New York for Israelis, even if they are only stopping off in Saudi Arabia for a connecting flight, a policy that contradicts federal law.

The airline’s website asks travelers for their citizenship but does not have an option available for “Israel” although it does have options for other countries, even Antarctica, The New York Post reported.

Mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio was quick to jump on the report, and one of his staff called the airline, saying he was an Israeli trying to fly from JFK to India. The airline agent said he could not fly with Saudi Arabia Airlines.

United States law states, “[An] air carrier or foreign air carrier may not subject a person in air transportation to discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex or ancestry.”

“No city in the world has closer ties to Israel than we do, and yet Israeli citizens are being discriminated against right here at JFK. It’s not only illegal; it’s an affront to who we are,” said Blasio.

Obama’s Last Stand

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Democrats do not have a great track record in the White House. The number of Democratic presidents who have won second terms is small and becomes much smaller with the second half of the 20th Century. Unlike Congressional shifts which reflect regional politics more than a national referendum, the Presidency is a referendum on the usages of the nearly unlimited power of its holder.

The Democratic strategy has been to substitute iconography for competence and their iconic presidents have invariably been men of dubious character. FDR rode to power on the coattails of the Roosevelt name, after conducting a smear campaign against Teddy Roosevelt’s son who would have been the natural candidate.

Once in power, FDR assembled a grab-bag of bad ideas from European Socialists and Fascists and employed a small army of writers and artists as propagandists to lionize his programs. Marginally competent, Roosevelt the Second cultivated an aristocratic paternal air, surrounded himself with experts and programs to create public confidence.

FDR did not fix the economy, but he did lead the country through World War II while preemptively losing World War III, which was enough to give him the iconic status that had made his presidency possible.

The Roosevelt Administration, with an assist from Harry Truman, had largely created the Soviet Empire through its betrayal of Eastern Europe and the Republic of China. The Liberal camp had been thoroughly infiltrated by Communist agents and was full of sympathizers for the Soviet Union.
Before WW2 the USSR had been a regional backwater power with a network of international agents at its beck and call. After WW2, Communists were on the verge of swallowing up Western Europe and had taken China.

Truman’s disastrous China policy led to the Communist takeover of a potential world power and to the bloody Korean War. The aftermath of the FDR Administration was largely preoccupied with covering up the disastrous results of its Communist-friendly program. The campaigns against McArthur and McCarthy were necessary to cover up the consequences of Truman’s China policy and FDR’s USSR policy.

The Democrats lost the White House and the public turned to Eisenhower to clean up the strategic mess left behind by the progressive party. The great national crisis was Communism and the Democrats had not seen the crisis coming and had no credibility in deploying a policy to combat the Soviet Union.

To retake the White House the Democrats needed a new image and a candidate with credibility fighting Communism. That candidate was to be a Kennedy, a member of a family at odds with FDR due to its Nazi sympathies, whose patriarch had taken careful care to burnish the Anti-Communist credentials of his sons.

FDR had been the avuncular figure in the chair; JFK was to be the youth candidate. The new man, a creature of the old Joe Kennedy, with fresh new ideas written for him by ghostwriters. Like FDR, JFK was a manufactured figure. And like him, JFK was a man of ideas with no ideas who disguised that lack with an army of experts and the cultivated illusion of intellectualism.

JFK was not particularly Anti-Communist, but that was a necessary qualification for any candidate looking to carry on FDR’s work. The Democratic Party had adapted to the collapse of its old coalition of New York merchants and Southern plantation owners after the Civil War by embracing Republican Unionism with a vengeance and jettisoning the last of Jefferson to become the party of big government.

FDR had borrowed Lincoln’s ruthless unionism and blended it with Teddy Roosevelt’s anti-monopolism; mixing together the work of two Republican presidents and claiming it for his own. JFK similarly took up elements of a Republican civil rights program and blended it with their aggressive Anti-Communism to create a new Democratic identity.

The underlying program in both administrations had nothing to do with the depression or war; but of building up a national political machine using the same methods of urban political machines. The core ingredient was class warfare. FDR put a genteel patina over class warfare while JFK phrased it as an idealistic ambitious form of American Exceptionalism that made it seem American.
FDR and JFK both borrowed Lincoln’s martyrdom, FDR by acting as a long-serving wartime president, and JFK, posthumously through his assassination. Obama has taken on a crude form of that martyrdom by virtue of race.

JFK’s death left his upgrade of Eisenhower’s “Dime Store New Deal” unfinished. LBJ took up the baton as the consequences of Vietnam tore apart the coalition between Liberals and Leftists leading to a culture war.

FDR died before events would have forced him to block Communist ambitions in Europe and turned the intelligentsia against him, allowing him to retain the services of the progressive propaganda corps. But JFK’s façade of Anti-Communism had committed him to international policies that broke apart the coalition between Liberals and Leftists. As much as the left might have supported JFK’s domestic program, and even forgiven his domestic show of affiliation with the Anti-Communists, by the time he was replaced by LBJ, the stress fractures were just too big and they tore apart the Democratic Party.

After that the Democrats lost the ability to compete on national security. Their attempts at salvaging the white male vote led them to two southern governors. Carter imploded on National Security, but Clinton thrived through two terms in the Post-Soviet period when history no longer seemed to matter. But history did matter.

The Communism menace had risen on FDR’s watch. Muslim terrorism began its ascent under JFK and reached critical levels under Clinton. The Democratic failures on Communism made Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan possible. Their failures on Islamism made Bush possible.

Obama was the third Democratic bid at an iconographic presidency. Like FDR, he was confronted with an economic crisis, and like JFK he faced a global conflict. And like both men, he proved inept at handling both, relying on armies of experts and making unwise decisions. As with JFK’s first term, the consequences of his foreign policy have not still struck home with a decisive enough emphasis to turn the public against him, but unlike FDR, there is no war to distract from the economic situation.

Obama has been running on his iconography for a while now and like an old beat up car, he never noticed that it gave out on him a while back. The debate was a wakeup call, but it won’t be the last one. He has to run on something, but he can’t run on the economy or race and that just leaves national security. The Benghazi attack emphasized the disastrous consequences of his foreign policy, but they also did him a favor by shifting the debate to the foreign policy arena.

With FDR fading and the cult of JFK not as strong as it used to be in the twilight of the Boomers, the Democratic Party needed a third icon to further integrate its political machine into the infrastructure of the government.

The Democrats needed to win badly in 2008 because it put them in a position of exploiting a crisis to protect and expand their institutions, both private and public, that might have otherwise been targeted by a Republican on an austerity mission. Defeating McCain, who despite his own reputation for pork had a cost-cutting streak, was a major victory because it avoided the specter of having McCain do to them what Prime Minister Cameron, another non-conservative conservative, had done to the institutions of the liberal state in the UK. Defeating Romney, who is also running as a cost-cutter, is an even bigger priority for the same reason.

The ideological and emotional issues are secondary to this core bureaucratic mandate of protecting the political machine that the post-Civil War Democratic Party had built up. Unlike Bush, Romney is not running as a compassionate conservative looking to reconcile social spending with conservative politics. And Romney’s campaign is not focused on the international politics that might divert him from putting the domestic house in order.

Pushing Romney back into Bush territory, as Benghazi may have done, may neuter him even if he wins, and shifts the focus away from the economy. But the public does not appear prepared to follow that shift with polls still showing the economy as the primary focus. And that focus contains a dangerous trap.

Any shift to foreign policy risks a dangerous discussion about the Islamist rise to power that was aided and abetted by Obama, in the same way that FDR had aided and abetted the rise of Communism. The Democrats did not survive the debate when it broke out during the Truman Administration. Should an honest discussion begin about the defeat in Afghanistan and the Muslim Brotherhood takeover of the Middle East under the guise of the Arab Spring, the result may be as great a blow to Obama’s prospects.

Obama’s last stand is also the Democratic Party’s last stand. A hundred years of foreign policy and economic failures at the hands of a corrupt mafia is about to come home to roost. The Democratic Party has marginalized itself, abandoning mainstream Americans while openly embracing a trillion dollar welfare state.

Iconography elevated Obama as it did FDR and JFK, but it cannot see him through a constellation of crises. And if he falls, then his party falls with him.

Originally published at Sultan Knish.

16 Retired Couples Make Aliyah on Nefesh B’Nefesh Flight

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

A group of 16 retiree couples ages 50 to 80 made Aliyah to Israel in mid-August on Nefesh B’Nefesh charter Aliyah flight that left out of JFK airport in New York. The retirees joined their children and grandchildren who had made Aliyah over the last decade.

The mature Olim, who wore specially made T-Shirts saying “Aliyah: A Family Tradition,” reinforced the Nefesh B’Nefesh vision that western Olim successfully making Aliyah encourage others to do the same. They were greeted in Israel by PM Benjamin Netanyahu as well as a countless number of relatives at Ben Gurion Airport; sporting signs and various family t-shirts, all overjoyed to be welcoming their parents and grandparents to Israel.

Nefesh B’Nefesh is celebrating its tenth anniversary this summer, marking a decade since its inaugural charter Aliyah flight in 2002. The milestone comes as the organization prepares to welcome more than 2,500 North American and British Jews making Aliyah this summer on two charter and seven group Aliyah flights, in cooperation with the Ministry of Immigrant Absorption and The Jewish Agency for Israel. Nefesh B’Nefesh is expecting to bring a total of 4,800 newcomers to Israel in 2012.

Never Lose Hope

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

It was an ordinary day and Dovid (name changed) was preparing to catch the late afternoon EL AL flight to Eretz Yisrael. He had yahrzeit for his father and planned his trip so he’d arrive there just in time to join his brother at the kever. He parked his car in the area that facilitated a faster trip to JFK for his flight. Little did he know that he was being observed by a team of thieves who were “working” the Diamond District that day in order to rob the merchants of their goods.

Just as Dovid was loading his trunk with his carry-on bag, a man approached him saying he had dropped some money on the ground. Dovid stopped what he was doing and noticed some bills on the ground, not thinking if it was his. At that moment another man quickly reached into the trunk and grabbed his carry-on bag and ran away with it. By the time he realized what had occurred, both men had disappeared into the midtown Manhattan afternoon crowd.

Dovid was frantic and upset. He had his passport, ticket, two pairs of tefillin, expensive cufflinks, and an envelope of cash earmarked for tzedakah in the bag. Baruch Hashem, most of his own money was in his pocket.

He went to report the robbery to the local police precinct. Unfortunately, he found out that these thieves had been targeting people all day with the same ruse. The police took down his information and told him to go home and be happy he was not injured.

Dovid went home extremely upset, as he was now unable to travel to Eretz Yisrael for his father’s yahrzeit as planned. He never missed going there since his father’s petirah. He put money in the Rabbi Meir Baal Haness pushka and said the tefillah for lost articles.

About 20 minutes later he received a phone call from a non-frum man, who said he was about to enter a restaurant in midtown Manhattan when he noticed a piece of luggage sitting on top of a garbage can outside the restaurant. Inside the luggage he saw religious articles that he deemed important and necessary to a religious Jew. When he looked through the bag for identification, he found Dovid’s business card with all the relevant information needed to contact him. The cash and cufflinks were gone, but his passport, tickets and two pairs of tefillin were intact.

Dovid, ecstatic as he ran to meet the caller, rebooked on the day’s last flight. He rewarded the kind and thoughtful man with cash, and had a very meaningful visit at his father’s kever. Dovid truly believes that his father’s neshamah was watching over him.

Clean Jokes

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Welcome back to “You’re Asking Me?” where we answer questions sent in by confused readers who thought they were writing in to Dr. Yael. That said, I’d like to thank all the readers who wrote in. I’m going to attempt to address your questions, not so much because I know the answers, but more so that I have an excuse to get out of cleaning for Pesach.

Dear Mordechai,

I find that I’m very overwhelmed by Pesach cleaning. Do you have any suggestions?

Nervous in New Jersey

Dear Nervous,

What on Earth were you thinking buying the biggest house you could afford? My advice is to not think of it as cleaning the entire house – on a deadline. I say that you should start, a couple of months before Pesach, with something small and manageable, like a single drawer. Take everything out, make piles, scrub down the drawer, and then put everything back in so it’s parallel. Then move on to the next drawer. If you keep doing that, little by little, eventually you’ll realize that you’ve been cleaning for six weeks and you’re still on the same set of drawers, and you have yet to come across something that is actually chometz, or even food for that matter, and you have no idea what you were thinking starting with your pajama drawers, because how often do you change your pajamas?

So you pick up the pace, dumping out entire drawers, throwing out visible food, shoving everything back in, and promising that you’ll get back to them after Pesach. Which you will not, because if you ever had a chance to clean out entire drawers when you didn’t have to, you’d also have a chance to put things away properly to being with, rather than shoving them into the drawer and hoping they’ll find their way the right part of the drawer by themselves. And before you know it, it will be Pesach again.

But my point is that in the end, you’ll come into Pesach panting and sweating and realizing that amid all that fury of dumping and shoving, you didn’t have time to be overwhelmed.

 

Dear Mordechai,

I’m flying to my in-laws for Yom Tov, and I’d like to bring along some food for the Seder. Is there anything I can bring along that will make it through airport security?

Pat Down, JFK

Dear Pat,

Not really. A bottle of wine has too much liquid, matzah will be confiscated as a sharp weapon, and we don’t even want to think about what they’ll do to you if they find marror. Potatoes, maybe? Last year I ran into someone at the post office putting some stamps on a box of round matzah. Though I doubt it was still round when it got to where it was going.

 

Dear Mordechai,

I’m making Pesach this year, due to an incident last year when my in-laws, who don’t eat gebrukts, received a box in the mail on the first day of Pesach containing what was basically matzah meal. Anyway, this is our first time making Pesach, and I’d like to know what I’m getting myself into. What would you say is the most annoying part of making Pesach?

T.S., Monsey

Dear T.,

Honestly? I like that my house actually gets cleaned once a year, and I like that I’m forced to make foods that are out of my comfort zone.

What’s annoying is the part before Pesach where half your house is chometzdik and half your house is Pesachdik. You’re cooking in the dining room or eating out of a random room in the basement, you can’t bring Pesach stuff into this room, you can’t bring chometz into that room, you need to be on your guard the entire month to remind your kids about where they can and can’t bring food, they have more cookies to eat than ever before but there’s nowhere they can actually eat them, and your entire kitchen is Pesachdik except a couple of shelves in the fridge, so you have to take foods out of the fridge and move them around without putting them down anywhere. You spend all day cleaning for Pesach, but have to break in middle to figure out which chometz to serve the kids for supper, such as a random “this is what we found in the freezer” supper that consists of two hot dogs, three chicken wings, three types of French fries and a frozen bag of what was probably once soup. Should we have noodles? We’d have to make them on the travel range, and then strain them off the edge of the back porch without dropping any in the backyard, because the colander is too big to wash in the bathroom sink, which is where we’re doing all our dishes for the week. Sometimes we have to wait in the hall with a pile of dishes because someone is in there. Why on earth did we buy so many noodles?

Off To The Races

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Of the taking of polls there is no end, particularly in a presidential election year. Although it’s considered the better part of wisdom to feign at least a healthy disregard, if not an active disdain, for the preponderance of polling, the truth is that political junkies couldn’t live without a steady dose of polls.

The more obnoxiously pretentious a pundit the more likely he or she is to routinely decry the ubiquity of polls. The common lament from the smugly high-minded is that the media’s fascination with polls gives too much weight to the horse race aspect of a campaign, at the expense of the important and weighty discussions of policy for which voters presumably hunger.

Too much weight to the horse race? The Monitor says: Give us more of the horse race! Imagine for a moment a presidential campaign bereft of polls and the horse-race atmosphere they so helpfully foster. Venture a thought as to the dreariness – the despair, really – of having to actually pay attention to a scripted bore like Mitt Romney drone on and on about being a successful businessman or a strutting popinjay like Barack Obama insist after three largely dreadful years in office that he still represents hope and change.

Too much weight to the horse race? Would anyone even pretend to read books like Theodore White’s Making of the President series if they were simply compilations of stump speeches and position papers?

Richard Ben Cramer wrote arguably the best book ever on presidential politics, a thousand-page opus on the 1988 campaign called What It Takes: The Way to the White House, and it’s such a great read precisely because he knew better than to indulge in detailed analysis of tax plans and trade initiatives.

All the books worth reading on presidential elections are heavy on the dramatics and blessedly light on the kind of stuff that keeps policy wonks up at night. The interest is in the narrative, the story line – the plot, if you will.

Sure, the readers of the best campaign books come away possessing a not insubstantial acquaintance with the candidates’ positions on at least some the major issues of the day, but the story is driven by the personalities, the gossip, the constant and obsessive polling by news organizations, and the campaigns themselves.

In other words, it all comes down to the much-maligned horse race.

In addition to Cramer’s What It Takes, the following are some recommended books on presidential elections:

The Real Making of the President: Kennedy, Nixon and the 1960 Election by William Rorabaugh – A much needed counter to Theodore White’s The Making of the President 1960. Rorabaugh convincingly shows how White got many important things wrong due to his shameless worship of John Kennedy.

1960: LBJ vs. JFK vs. Nixon by David Pietrusza – Another corrective to the flaws in White’s work. Pietrusza and Rorabaugh wrote their books decades after the 1960 election, so they had a more expansive and dispassionate perspective than White, as well as access to information the Kennedy camp worked hard to keep from the public.

An American Melodrama by Lewis Chester, Godfrey Hodgson and Bruce Page – A richly textured account of the pivotal 1968 Nixon-Humphrey-Wallace race by three British journalists; far superior to Theodore White’s Making of the President 1968.

Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin – Purists lamented the book’s all-out gossipy tone, but no one challenged its accuracy. The book was such a sensation that the authors have already been paid a hefty sum to dish out the same treatment to the candidates in the 2012 campaign.

Marathon: The Pursuit of the Presidency 1972-1976 by Jules Witcover – Despite Witcover’s plodding prose spread out over 700 pages, the book is about as in-depth an account as one can imagine, covering four of the most eventful years in the country’s history and an election that gave us the Jimmy Carter presidency.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/off-to-the-races/2012/02/15/

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