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November 1, 2014 / 8 Heshvan, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘JFK’

Haredim Delay Delta Flight because of Mixed Seating

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Haredim extremists demanding that men and women not sit next to each on the airplane again have succeeded in creating anti-Semitism as well as delaying a flight, and this time it was Delta and not El Al.

A group of Haredim boarded Flight 484 from New York to Tel Aviv on Tuesday and immediately made a commotion, according to Haaretz.

It can be safely assumed that this was not the first time in their lives they boarded an airplane so it is a bit difficult to understand why they waited to parade into the parade before starting an uproar by refusing to sit in their assigned seats, lest they be smitten on the spot for sitting next to someone of the opposite sex.

Haredi men and women participated in the spectacle. Rather than committing an unforgiveable sin that is shared by no other people in the world except for your neighborhood fanatic Muslim, they did everyone on board a favor by getting off the plane.

Takeoff was delayed for 75 minutes until their baggage could be removed.

It is not known if they will get their money back, but it would be a shame if they do not feel financial pain for their spiritual insecurity.

There is no Jewish law forbidding a man and a woman to sit next to each other in separate chairs. It is easily argued that doing so can lead to immodesty – perhaps one may touch the other when tripping over a sleepy passenger’s legs on the way to the bathroom.

So let’s give the Haredim the benefit of the doubt that they are so cautious about modesty, or so screwed up that they break out in a sweat when they sit next to someone of the same gender.

After all, if that is they want to be Jewish, let them have a good time their own way.

But they know very well that seats are assigned at the ticket counter. All they have to do is tell the airline ticket agent, “I would prefer to sit next to an Ebola patient rather than someone from the opposite you know what.”

So why a fuss on the airplane?

There can be only one answer: They really are not in a hurry to fly anywhere.

And they like creating a bad name for Jews, especially for the majority of Haredim who are normal.

But everyone on the Delta flight really should thank the extremist Haredim. After they disembarked, everyone else had a lot more leg room.

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/never-lose-hope/2012/04/12/

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