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December 4, 2016 / 4 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Lori Lowenthal Marcus’

Rumor: AIPAC Meddling in GOP Platform to Tone-Down Pro-Israel Language

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Alan Clemmons, a member of the GOP Platform committee, who on Monday wrote on his Facebook page that he was “honored to propose a strong Israel Plank of the GOP Platform” (See Lori Lowenthal Marcus’s report in today’s Jewish Press), also mentioned that “unfortunately, the saga is not over. The rumor is that AIPAC is trying to recruit surrogates on the Committee to oppose and weaken our strong Israel Plank language tomorrow when it comes before the full committee for approval.”

Last week, the Washington Free Beacon revealed that “AIPAC pursued a quiet campaign to weaken pro-Israel language in the Republican Party’s 2012 platform.” According to the WFB, “AIPAC-backed changes to the 2012 platform included the removal of support for an ‘undivided’ Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as the removal of language calling for the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,” ostensibly to insure a balance on Israel between the Democratic and the Republican platforms.

AIPAC’s success in weakening the 2012 pro-Israel language left some Republicans angry, according to sources who told the Free Beacon that the fight over the platform’s Israel language is likely to renew next week in Cleveland.

AIPAC denied working to cool down the pro-Israel language in the 2012 GOP platform.

But Jeff Dunetz, writing for The Lid, reported Monday that he “was able to contact another person involved with the committee who [confirmed] that they too heard that AIPAC is working on a full court press to roll back the 2016 GOP language.”

Jeff Ballabon, chairman of Iron Dome Alliance, who told the Jewish Press‘ Lori Lowenthal Marcus on Monday evening that AIPAC “is amongst the most firmly pro-Two States,” and that “Republican pro-Israel legislators have grown increasingly less enthusiastic about AIPAC,” also told Jeff Dunetz that he is “personally familiar with a number of instances where AIPAC lobbied against Israel’s clear interests and stated policies in pursuit of their own agenda.”

Clemmons, who posted a link to the Dunetz story on his Facebook page, called on his fellow registered Republican Jews: “If you know any Platform Delegates please send them a note to STAND STRONG FOR ISRAEL!!!”

At this point, these are only rumors based on last week’s story about AIPAC and the 2012 GOP platform language. It should be said that, even if AIPAC denies the new rumor, which they probably will, their involvement in preventing a war between the GOP and DNC over who is more pro-Israel is understandable. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have attempted to make Israel the battlefield where the two sides in this election would fight each other, and no one in their right mind would want this — especially not a political PAC investing in ongoing, day in and day out pro-Israel lobbying.

David Israel

US Cravenness Gave Iran Green Light for Missile Launches

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

This U.S. administration’s  desperation to conclude the Iran Nuclear Deal – whatever its actual terms or deterrence power – led to the likelihood that Iran’s latest militaristic provocations are immune from censure. That is so, despite America’s stated horror at Iran’s actions and even despite the Obama administration’s claim that Iran’s actions are a breach of its international law duties.

On March 8 and 9, Iran conducted missile tests from several different locations within its borders. The missiles were launched by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps with the express intent “to demonstrate Iran’s deterrent power and the Islamic Republic’s ability to confront any threat” against it, according to an official statement.

A Revolutionary Guard commander was quoted as saying that the missiles were designed to hit Israel, “our enemy the Zionist regime,” from a safe distance. The missiles were reportedly stamped with the words, in Hebrew: “Israel should be wiped from the pages of history.”

Obviously what Iran did was belligerent, but did it violate any agreements to which it should believe itself to be bound, and which would provide for international censure?

The answer seems to be that while Iran’s firing those missiles would have been prohibited before the U.S. and its international partners entered into the Iran Nuclear Deal, as the result of concessions made in order to induce Iran to sign the deal, we no longer have a supportable basis for complaint. Before the deal, yes, after the deal – which was touted by its proponents as making us all safer, no.

Nicely done you guys.

In fact, the Iran Nuclear Deal did not, until the very late stages, address ballistic missiles at all. At least one good reason why it did not is that there already was a United Nations Security Council Resolution in place that explicitly dealt with this problem.

UNSCR 1929, passed in 2010, prohibited Iran from engaging in any activity relating to ballistic missiles: “Iran shall not undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles.” The “shall not” language is crystal clear, and allows no wiggle room, ballistic missile activity by Iran is verboten.

But late in the game during the recent negotiations, when the U.S. became desperate to close the deal, Iran not only held firm on its initial conditions, but began making new demands. That was when the issue of ballistic missiles came into play.

And the U.S., so desperate for a deal, gave Iran two enormous missile-sized gifts.

First, it crossed its own red line of not including anything in the Nuclear Iran Deal that was not about Iran’s nuclear program. It did this by inserting into the deal a provision which put an end date on Iran’s ballistic missiles ban. Eight years after the signing of the Nuclear Iran Deal, Iran, with the official blessing of the international community, will no longer be subject to a ballistic missiles embargo.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry considered that a win. Why? Because Iran wanted it lifted immediately.

This missile gift was recognized and heavily criticized by the few critics of the Nuclear Iran Deal, most of whom were ignored.

The second Iran Missile Gift was far more serious, and, incredibly, received far less attention.

This gift applied to Iranian ballistic missile activity during the eight years until the ban was lifted. And it removed every last tooth in that provision, at least domestic ballistic missile testing, production and launches.

Recall the language quoted from UNSCR 1929? It was a blanket prohibition: “Iran shall not” engage in any ballistic missile activity.

During the final drunken haze of granting concessions to achieve a “deal,” the U.S. changed the impregnable “Iran shall not,” by endorsing the full Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and incorporating various implementation schemes, to instead read “Iran is called upon not to” develop ballistic missiles. That’s in Annex B, Para. 3, of UNSCR 2231, which was adopted by the full Security Council on July 20.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

State Dept. Condemns Murder of American But Never Mentions Israel or the Arab Perpetrators

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

The Assistant Secretary and State Department Spokesperson John Kirby issued a statement on Tuesday, March 8, condemning three terrorist attacks in Israel, in one of which an American tourist was killed.

The statement mentioned the American, Taylor Force, by name. Kirby named all three Israeli cities in which the terrorist attacks occurred, but neither mentioned that all three took place in Israel, nor that Palestinian Arabs were the perpetrators of each of the attacks.

The statement reads:

The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s outrageous terrorist attacks in Jaffa, Petah Tikvah, and Jerusalem, which tragically claimed the life of U.S. citizen Taylor Allen Force and left many others severely injured. We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Taylor and all those affected by these senseless attacks, and we wish a speedy recovery for the injured. As we have said many times, there is absolutely no justification for terrorism. We continue to encourage all parties to take affirmative steps to reduce tensions and restore calm.

Another fact left unmentioned in the statement issued by the U.S. State Department was that U.S. Vice President was less than a few miles away when the terrorist attack took place in Jaffa.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Obama’s Lobbing Yet Another ‘Peace Plan’ at Israel

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

Newsflash – and a really awful one at that.

This White House and its environs were just teasing when the inhabitants of that foggy realm said they were stepping back from trying to arm wrestle the inhabitants of the Middle East into creating another terrorist state and undermine the only vibrant democracy in the area. Yes, the news is now out: yet another Arab-Israeli “peace process” plan is in the works, as reported in a news story posted late Monday, March 7, in the Wall Street Journal.

This one, the White House threatens, may involve a United Nations Security Council Resolution that will impose a solution, rather than the Israelis and the Palestinian Arabs working out the details of how they will co-exist “side by side in peace and security.”

In addition to a UN Security Council Resolution, other initiatives may include a presidential speech and a joint statement from the Middle East Quartet: the U.S., the U.N., the E.U and Russia. Sound friendly? It’s not clear which is scarier: another speech on the Middle East by President Obama, or his coordinating a joint statement by a larger group of foreigners, none of which includes Israel. But both, not either-or, are being threatened.

The timing for the launch of this new plan is not yet set in stone, but for sure it will be before President Obama leaves office in January.

An earlier JewishPress.com article mentioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision not to come to Washington later this month, either to attend in person the AIPAC conference or to meet with Obama, as had been requested. It is not hard to imagine Netanyahu seeking to avoid any arm-twisting on such a mission playing a role in his decision not to come to the States at this time.

The White House let it be known that it was disappointed by Netanyahu’s refusal to show up for the meeting, and allowed that it had found out about it by reading the newspaper – the same story it told about Netanyahu’s acceptance of a Congressional invitation to speak about the proposed Iran treaty.

The concessions to be extracted from each side are likely deal-breakers for both: from Israel, an end to building for Jews beyond the 1949 Armistice Line and handing over what the Americans call eastern Jerusalem to the Palestinian Arabs; from the Arabs, recognition of Israel as a Jewish State and ending the call for a “right of return” to Israel for the descendants of Palestinian Arab “refugees.”

No word on whether the Arabs will be asked to stop the non-stop television shows teaching their children how to murder Jews and die a martyr.

Also no word on who will be the one expected to make any promises for the Palestinian Arabs: Mahmoud Abbas, in the eleventh year of his four year term? One of the jihadi leaders from Hamas? Someone who represents all the so-called Palestinian Arab refugees scattered around the Middle East? Details, shmetails.

Of course the only change in circumstances is Mr. Obama beginning his exit, which has no bearing whatsoever on the people whose lives will be impacted by any new effort on his part.

According to the Journal, Obama’s plan is to create facts on the ground that will constrain the next White House occupant. No word in the White House press guidance on why that’s an appropriate task for someone who won’t have to live with whatever problems are created by the latest Obama “peace” initiative.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Jewish Charity Paid More than Anyone Else (Including Wall Street) For Hillary Speech

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

UPDATED: New information has been added at the end of this article.

A recently published list reveals who paid the Clintons how much over the last three years to give a speech, and it’s pretty embarrassing for the Jewish people. Not only because Jews ignore the past nastiness (remember the Suha smooch?) and open ear to ugliness against the Jewish state, but simply because they way overpaid.

The former Senator and Secretary of State, now presidential candidate, collected a total of over $21 million. The former President collected over $26 million during the same period.

The vast majority of the payments (the chart politely calls each payment an “honorarium”) were made by for-profit businesses or trade associations. For example, Morgan Stanley, the Global Business Travel Association, Bank of America and General Electric all forked over $225,000 to hear Clinton speak between 2013 and 2014. By 2015, when it was assumed that the former Secretary of State was not only going to be running for president, but might very well be the next president, her base fee began to inch upwards, with EBay shelling out $315K.

There are only a handful of actual charitable organizations on the list. And here’s the first piece of bad news for us: almost every single charity on the list – five in all for both Bill and Hillary – was a Jewish charity.

That means that money donated by people to promote a Jewish cause – Jewish education, religious observance, or Holocaust education – was placed by the leaders of these charities directly into the pockets of the Clintons.

There are no churches on the list, and no mosques, and not even any identifiable Christian or Muslim charities. The only religion whose officially identified religious institutions thought it was a good idea to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a single speech by a Clinton was Judaism.

The second sad piece of news is the amounts paid. Hillary was featured as a speaker by three Jewish organizations – a total of $850,000 for Hillary, scooped up from the Chicago Jewish Federation ($400,000); a shul in Minneapolis ($225,000); and the American Jewish University in LA ($225,000), which used to be the University of Judaism and Brandeis-Bardin Institute. Bill spoke to the Tribe twice and was paid $400,000. He was paid by the Friends of Simon Weisenthal Center for Holocaust Studies ($275,000) and Temple Sinai of Roslyn ($125,000).

But here’s the most depressing thing of all: we overpaid. Hillary’s standard fee is an impressive $225,000. That was the charge for the vast majority of her speeches. A few were more, some were less. But the maximum charge, extracted from only one customer, was a whopping $400,000, taken from the Jewish Federation in Chicago. The next highest amount was $335,000, paid by a Biotech trade association and by Qualcomm.

The staggering amount paid to Clinton by the Chicago Federation was first discovered last summer, when their tax returns were revealed. Just days later, the Federation explained that, essentially, “it takes money to make money.” It also made clear that the Federation had worked closely with, and hosted, many prominent Republicans as well as Mrs. Clinton.

Of course it is essential that the Chicago Federation work with leaders from both political parties and fundraising necessarily includes spending. But neither of those truths answer why a charity, any charity, but especially a Jewish charity, would pay more for Clinton for a single speech than corporate giants such as Deutsche Bank or Xerox or the National Association of Chain Drug Stores or the National Automobile Dealers Association.

At least those people were making an investment, and they’re in the business of making money. The charitable souls at the Chicago Federation ponied up $65,000 more than anyone else in the country.

And you thought Jews never paid retail.

UPDATE: Aaron Cohen, vice president of marketing and communications for the Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago, contacted the JewishPress.com in response to the publication of this article. Cohen provided documentation that Clinton spoke to the Chicago Federation at both a luncheon and a dinner on Oct. 28, 2013, “thus the larger fee.” The information relied upon for this article was taken from the Clintons’ tax returns.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

The HillaryFiles Continue With More Israel Trash Talking From Blumenthal

Friday, March 4th, 2016

The second in a series.

On May 31, 2010, there was an historic confrontation between the Israeli Navy and six ships sailing from Turkey, seeking to blow up the internationally-recognized legal naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Starting the very morning of the incident, Sidney Blumenthal began emailing Hillary Clinton, haranguing her to treat this grave tragedy as a whip with which to lash Israel.

Blumenthal also sent screeds written by his unhinged son Max, who insisted that the entire incident was orchestrated in advance by a bloodthirsty Israel as a means to blow up the peace process.

But this confrontation, known as the Mavi Marmara raid – after the lead Turkish ship  – or as the Gaza Flotilla built to a crescendo when the IHH-terrorists aboard the ship ignored repeated warnings to change course and steer towards the Israeli coastal town of Ashdod, just north of Gaza. When the ships refused to heed the directions, elite IDF naval commandos were lowered from helicopters by ropes, onto the ship’s deck.

As soon as the Israelis landed aboard the Mavi Marmara, they were attacked by demonstrators who used clubs to beat them, as well as knives. Weapons were also stripped from the Israeli soldiers, and used against them. One wounded soldier had to be thrown over the deck to get him to the relative safety of the sea.

By the time the attack ended, seven IDF soldiers were wounded and nine Turkish citizens were killed when off-board soldiers came to their colleagues’ rescue.

Eight out of the nine who died aboard the ship were later identified as members of Turkish Islamist organizations. Half of those killed had written wills or informed others that they sought to die as martyrs. Not a single human rights activist were among the victims on May 31, as they all stayed below deck, choosing not to join in the fracas with the antagonists carrying an array of weapons.

Weapons taken from the Mavi Marmara. May 31, 2010.

Weapons taken from the Mavi Marmara. May 31, 2010.

Weapons removed from the Mavi Marmara. May 31, 2010.

Closer view of some weapons removed from the Mavi Marmara. May 31, 2010.

Early that very afternoon, Blumenthal père wrote to Clinton, viciously comparing the Flotilla raid to the 1976 Entebbe raid, in which Benjamin Netanyahu’s brother, Yoni, was tragically killed despite the complete success otherwise.

“The raid on the ship to Gaza resembles the raid on Entebbe, except that there are no hostages, no guns, it’s not in Africa, and it’s a fiasco; otherwise, it’s Entebbe,” Blumenthal wrote to Clinton. He went on, warning Clinton that the international press will want to know how the U.S. is going to respond to Israel’s calamitous actions, and pointed out that the U.S. shouldn’t look as though it was secretly supporting Israel on this.

Finally, Blumenthal pointed out the likelihood of harm to the peace process and to embarrassment to Obama just on the eve of Netanyahu’s visit. Blumenthal then suggestively asks, “Or are the Israelis bone stupid? I don’t think so. Cheers, Sid.” In other words, this is what the Israelis intended.

Clinton forwarded this email to her deputy chief of staff Jake Sullivan, with an “FYI” and “ITYS” notation.

By the next morning, Blumenthal had written a seven-point memo to Clinton suggesting ways in which she and the United States should respond to the flotilla incident. Amongst other points, he told her that “someone in authority needs to read Israel the riot act”; Michael Oren should be given the “full dress Biden treatment”; that the “Gaza embargo is obviously wildly counterproductive,” which “has to end” and that end “should begin now.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Pro-Israel Bona Fides at Issue in Lawsuit Between Jewish School and Parents

Friday, February 26th, 2016

North Carolina is currently the site of one of the saddest public chapters of Jews and Jewish institutions turning on each other.

A family left a Jewish day school because the school is not pro-Israel and instead harbors wildly anti-Israel administrators and teachers. In turn, the school insists it is pro-Israel and that the parents, who departed before the school year began, should have paid the full year’s tuition for their two children, as they were required under the contract they signed.

The school is suing the parents for breach of contract.

The parents, confident that they were justified, turned to the media to draw attention to what they see as a shanda: a Jewish school employing anti-Israel agitators. The school in turn has enlisted the other Jewish communal organizations in the area, as well as parents and parents of alumni, to publicly defend the school and criticize the defecting family.

Ugly does not begin to cover it.

The Lerner School (until very recently the Sandra E. Lerner Jewish Community Day School) brought its breach of contract claim against Dr. Guy and Sloan Rachmuth in North Carolina state district court, located in Durham.

Much has already been written about this battle, including at FrontPage and, more recently at JNS.

The motivating factor which led the Rathmuchs to withdraw their children from the school before the start of term in 2014 was their realization that the school is not, as they had been promised, pro-Israel.

Local Jewish communal leaders responded by claiming that from their personal experience, that claim is false, almost laughably so. But this is no laughing matter.

One of the strongest voices in this chorus of Lerner School support comes from Rabbi Larry Bach of Judea Reform Congregation, which is located on the same campus as the Lerner School. Bach explained that it has an “ongoing partnership with Lerner, which includes “sharing space and resources.”

On Feb. 17, Rabbi Bach wrote a letter to his Judea Reform congregants in support of the Lerner School position. That letter has been distributed beyond the congregation, as testament to the Lerner School’s pro-Israel bona fides. He wrote that he was “incredulous at the charges leveled against the school,” and that “nothing that I’ve seen of the school comports with the story being told by its detractors.”

He also wrote:

My brief experience is nothing compared to the connections many of you have. Judea Reform members are proud parents and former parents, founders, teachers and administrators, and benefactors. We at JRC are proud of our ongoing partnership with Lerner, which manifests in sharing space and resources, and in other ways, big and  small. I look forward to a deepening relationship with Lerner, both personally and between our two institutions, in the years ahead.

Just a reminder: the Rachmuths serious disagreement with the Lerner School was that it was not supportive of Israel, and that instead its position towards Israel, as evidenced by its hiring of anti-Israel faculty and members its own administration, made it an environment in which their children could not be educated. The basis of the family’s counterclaim against the school is for “unfair and deceptive trade practices,” based on promises made by the school specifically about its pro-Israel positions.

So it is relevant to consider what goes on in the Jewish congregation next door, which has a “partnership” with Lerner, including “sharing space and resources, and in other ways, big and small,” specifically regarding Israel.

A quick scan of the temple’s speakers and presentations brings one up short. The Judea Reform website reveals a particular orientation regarding Israel, but it isn’t close to what either Lerner is claiming or what the Rachmuths were allegedly promised by its school partner. In fact, every topic that has anything to do with Israel is one-sided against the Jewish State.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/pro-israel-bona-fides-at-issue-in-lawsuit-between-jewish-school-and-parents/2016/02/26/

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