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December 8, 2016 / 8 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘longer’

A Conspiracy Theory No Longer

Tuesday, September 13th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Commentary Magazine website}

A president’s illness is no small matter. With so much power residing in one individual, the necessity of having a possible successor ready to take control in the event of the commander in chief becoming incapacitated is vital. It’s equally important that the public not be kept in the dark about the health of a potential president, especially in light of a number of instances during the 20th century. Presidents such as Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and John Kennedy kept grave medical problems secret from the public with the connivance of the press. That’s why the announcement that Hillary Clinton has been diagnosed with pneumonia must not only be treated with the greatest seriousness but also prompt both major-party campaigns to come clean about the medical records of the nominees.

The political implications of Clinton’s medical incident during the ceremony commemorating the 9/11 anniversary in New York are obvious. While most serious people dismissed the rumors about Clinton’s health that were being circulated by Donald Trump’s supporters, what happened Sunday morning will deepen suspicions both about her health and whether her campaign has been telling the truth about it. As I noted last month, when the issue first came to prominence, a dubious pickle-jar test on a late night comedy show isn’t enough to prove that Clinton is not suffering from some unknown problem.

Having said that, a diagnosis of pneumonia isn’t a death sentence. Nor, given treatment, must it be anything more than a temporary setback (unless there are other complications we don’t know about). There are few jobs more physically demanding than running for president in a general election. For almost two years, candidates must sprint from event to event, flying all over the country on a daily basis. It’s a killing pace, and it’s a wonder that Clinton and Trump, who are respectively 68 and 70, have held up so well under the strain.

But Clinton’s problem is particularly ill-timed. Trump is attempting to portray himself as a big tough guy running against a frail woman. On hot days, people can get dehydrated standing around under the sun. But for Clinton to falter in this manner undermines her campaign’s preferred narrative, which characterizes all questions about her health as smears. And if people are prepared to believe the worst about Clinton’s health, it’s due in part to her consistently lying about matters such as her email scandal and the conflicts of interest involving the Clinton Foundation.

Up until now, Clinton has actually been far more forthcoming about her health than Trump. But even her more detailed statement has fallen far short of what previous presidential candidates have released. It is no longer possible for her to refuse to give us more until Trump is equally forthcoming. Clinton must now come completely clean with detailed medical reports and allow her doctors to be questioned by reporters with medical expertise. Given his age, Trump should do the same. As is the case with his tax returns, it’s doubtful that the billionaire will release a single document. But he’s not the one whose health is currently in question.

The Clinton campaign must understand that the discussion is no longer about conspiracy theories but about how she’s seemed to wear down amid the stress of the campaign. She may well be fine after some rest and medication, and be ready to serve as president. But unless we are given a complete dossier about her health — including more about her 2012 concussion — voters are now entitled to be cynical about reassurances from her supporters. After weeks of other setbacks related to her credibility, Hillary’s very bad 9/11 was the last thing her camp needed.

Jonathan S. Tobin

Report: Government Supports Electric Company Blackouts over PA Debt

Monday, August 8th, 2016

According to an Army Radio report, the Israeli government has altered its position on permitting the Israel Electric Company to halt service to various Arab cities in Judea and Samaria for lack of payment of an accrued debt reaching $450 million. The money is owed by the Jerusalem District Electricity Company (JDECO) and the Palestinian Authority. A few months ago, the IEC began a selective disconnection for a few days at a time of individual Arab cities, the PA appealed to the Israeli Supreme Court and the court placed an injunction on the practice pending a hearing.

The state has now responded to the PA cities’ petition,with a supporting statement by deputy head of the Israeli National Security Council Jacob Nagel, saying that while the government has the authority to order the IEC to continue providing electricity regardless of the Arabs’ huge debt, it also has the authority to approve of the blackouts as a means of encouraging payment, and as of now the concerned entities, including the political echelon, have decided to let the IEC do as it pleases to recoup the debt.

This marks a 180 degree change in Israel’s traditional policy which preferred to spend Israeli taxpayers’ money to pay for the PA deadbeats, to prevent a global protest of how the Israelis are depriving the Palestinians of electricity. In fact, it was the current head of Mossad, Yossi Cohen, who, back when he was head of the NSC, joined with then Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) to compel the IEC to bite the bullet and continue to provide free electricity to the PA.

This, according to the Army Radio report Monday, is no longer the government’s position. The Supreme Court injunction will remain in place for the time being, but once there is a hearing, the court would have to abide by the opinion of the sovereign government and permit the IEC to do what it takes to collect from its PA customers.

It could mean those PA folks would be stuck without their Internet connection and the world would be spared many gigabytes of incitement.

David Israel

Pragmatism Or Ideology?

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

During the week that the EU announced its planned sanctions against Israel, one of the dedicated Land of Israel lobbyists requested that I add my signature to a petition from MKs to the prime minister requesting the renewal of construction in Jerusalem. Thirty-two highly respectable signatures of loyal MKs from the center and right of Israeli politics already adorned the petition. But after a cursory glance at the following petition, I clearly could not sign:

To: MK Binyamin Netanyahu

Prime Minister

Re: Renewal of Construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – Now

We turn to you regarding the above issue as follows:

1. In these days, we are witness to another attempt by the European Union to terrorize the State of Israel and to damage its vital interests. This attempt may thwart any chance for a political breakthrough and foil the efforts of Secretary of State Kerry to renew the diplomatic negotiations.

2. On the backdrop of this attempt and its results, there is no place to wait any longer and it is imperative to immediately renew construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.

3. We request that you give the appropriate instructions for renewal of construction.

Respectfully,

“I can’t sign,” I gently said to the lobbyist. “I have a problem with the wording.”

“What’s the problem?”

“This document implies that we must renew construction in Jerusalem so that Kerry can succeed in the diplomatic process. But I think that we must build in Jerusalem for entirely different reasons, and I am absolutely opposed to the diplomatic process.”

The lobbyist tried to convince me that this is pragmatic politics, that this is the argument around which we can now achieve a consensus. “I also don’t like it,” he explained, “but that’s politics.”

The reputable number of MKs that signed the letter proved, on the surface, that he was right. One week later, Kerry succeeded in renewing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. Thirty-two MKs, those most loyal to the land of Israel – from Likud, Jewish Home, Yisrael Beiteinu and even Shas – are now signed onto a document that implies that there is no longer a reason to renew construction in Jerusalem. Our common goal – renewal of “peace” talks – has already been achieved.

Would a leftist MK ever dream of adding his name to this type of convoluted document that fundamentally contradicts his entire worldview – all in the name of political pragmatism?

Which politics ultimately determines Israel’s agenda? The “pragmatic” politics of the Right or the ideology of the Left?

It is time for the Right to connect its politics to its ideology.

Moshe Feiglin

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/moshe-feiglin/pragmatism-or-ideology/2013/08/22/

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