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October 27, 2016 / 25 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘majority’

New Poll: Aryeh Deri Delivers Three Extra Seats for Shas, Weakening Likud

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

A poll conducted by Dialogue (supervised by Professor Kamil Fox of the Tel Aviv University’s statistics department) and published today in Haaretz shows that Aryeh Deri’s return to the Hared-Sephardi party Shas will bring the party an additional three mandates (they currently have 11), while causing the Likud to go down to 24 from its current 27 mandates.

These figures are based on a presumption taht former prime minister Ehud Olmert will establish a centrist party together with Kadima members Shaul Mofaz and Tzipi Livni as well as the fledgling Yesh Atid party’s Yair Lapid. The poll also assumes that Aryeh Deri will head the Shas slate alongside Eli Yishai (which, as of Wednesday night, he does).

According to the poll, conducted before Deri’s official return to Shas, in the aforementioned case, the right-wing block will not lose its majority of 63 mandates, while the Likud would be reduced to only 24 mandates, with Shas increasing to 14. In this scenario, the Olmert-Livni-Lapid party would receive 25 mandates, the Labor party 17 and Liberman’s Yisrael Beiteinu 13.

The poll also shows that the Likud-Liberman-Haredi bloc would maintain its majority in any possible scenario, no matter what combinations of left and center parties it faces.

The poll also shows that in a scenario where Livni would join forces with Labor Party chairman Yachimovich and Deri out of Shas, there would be a slight shift in mandate distribution showing Likud with 27, Labor – 24, Yisrael Beiteinu – 13, Shas – 11, Yesh Atid – 10 and Kadima – 7.

Jacob Edelist

To Tell The Truth: An Unlikely Scenario

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Despite public surveys that show the general public largely opposed to negative campaigning, the overwhelming majority of candidates in contested races have refined this strategy almost to an art form.

And why not? After all, many of these same polls also conclude that this type of campaigning – whereby the candidate too often distorts his or her opponent’s record while spewing venomous personal attacks – works, as seeds of doubt regarding the opponent’s fitness for office are planted in voters’ minds.

But imagine if Barack Obama and Mitt Romney discarded this strategy in favor of saying what they really think and what they offer the American people.

Under this unlikely scenario, here is what I’d like them to say. We’ll begin with President Obama:

I have been accused by some political detractors of supporting economic policies that have a distinct socialist bent.

Well, if governing with compassion by advocating the creation of a society that benefits the American people by equalizing the social status of all Americans makes me a socialist, I proudly plead guilty.

If ensuring that as many Americans as possible have the basic necessities of daily living, even at the cost of taking more from those who have made it and giving that share of the pie to those who, for whatever reason, have not, makes me a proponent of income redistribution, I will proudly wear the title of the “Robin Hood of American politics.”

If the cost of solving today’s economically challenging times is to spend beyond our means, a strategy nobody really likes but one that is sometimes necessary, then I will propose in a second term more stimulus spending and more entitlement programs. Yes, there are times in a nation’s life when the government must spend, even when resources are scarce, to protect the have-nots.

I realize that some describe this policy as an irresponsible means of spending other people’s money and mortgaging the fiscal future of the next generation. But, if reelected, I will continue my policy of deficit spending to rescue America from an economic catastrophe that I inherited from my predecessor – something I apologize for reminding you of yet again.

The protection of Social Security in its current form from insolvency and the maintaining of Medicare and Medicaid for our nation’s seniors and disabled are areas I will pay particular attention to in a second term. And if adequate resources in the national treasury are lacking to fix these impending problems, I will yet again tax the wealthy Americans among us.

And my justification for this is simple: If the ultra-conservative chief justice of the United States, John Roberts, concluded that it is within the government’s right to force one American to provide health insurance for his or her fellow American through higher taxes – as he ruled recently when the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of my universal health care legislation – then surely Congress and I can see to it that certain Americans, namely high-income earners, pay whatever is necessary to secure a better future for the most vulnerable among us.

If a judicial champion of conservatism like John Roberts says that any type of taxation can be left to the discretion of the executive and legislative branches of government, its imposition on anything those branches deem necessary to improve America’s human condition should logically be supported.

And speaking of government’s legal right to impose necessary revenue enhancers on taxpayers, government must have the same right to impose mandatory regulations – similar to my administration’s health care legislation’s rules – on businesses that unfairly profit off the backs of American workers. And my administration, in protecting workers’ rights, will determine what constitutes unfair profits and act accordingly.

My general philosophy of good government at work is this: The longstanding general business principle of putting greed over equality and profit over compassion must go by the wayside. For as President Woodrow Wilson once said, “we are all caught in a great economic system which is heartless.”

* * * * *

In the national security and foreign policy realms I will continue to punish the guilty, as my order to kill Osama bin Laden and my policy of using drones against terrorists in Pakistan has demonstrated. But my overall goal remains what it has always been: a secure international peace that will stand the test of time, through the values of decency and humaneness that made and that keeps America great.

Eli Chomsky

‘Hear O You Deaf and Look O You Blind!’

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

We live a short walk from the Ramada Hotel in Jerusalem. Over the holidays, the hotel was packed with Diaspora Jews from all over the world, but now that the holidays are over, the lobby is pretty deserted. I can’t understand how a self-respecting Jew can leave the Land of Israel and go back to the Lilliputian Jewish life of Chicago, Los Angeles, Toronto, Melbourne, or Brooklyn after being in the Land of our Forefathers.

It’s like a Jewish husband abandoning his Jewish wife for a gentile whore. However kosher his ghetto in Chicago,Toronto, or Brooklyn may seem, it’s a ghetto all the same, in a foreign gentile land, surrounded by a foreign gentile culture, with foreign gentile values, and foreign gentile holidays, and a foreign gentile language, and a foreign gentile identity.

Some readers accuse me of harping on the mitzvah of living in Israel, but it isn’t me – it’s the Torah, as it says, “I am the Lord, your God, who took you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, to be your God” (Vayikra, 25:38).

Rashi explains the meaning of “to be your God,” stating: “For whoever resides in the Land of Israel, I am a God to him; and whoever leaves it is like one who worships idols.”

This emphatic teaching is also stated in the Talmud. It applies not only to  Jews who leave the Land of Israel, but also to Jews who make the Diaspora their home, as it says:

In all generations, a Jew should live in the Land of Israel, even in a city where the majority of inhabitants are idol worshipers, and not live in the Diaspora, even in a city where the majority of residents are Jews, for everyone who lives in the Land of Israel is like someone who has a God, and everyone who lives in the Diaspora is like someone who has no God, as it says, ‘I am the Lord, your God, who took you out of the land of Egypt to give you the land of Canaan, to be your God,’ for someone who resides in the Diaspora is like someone who worships idols (Ketubot 110B).

I’m sorry if this hurts your feelings, but this is what it says in the Torah. This is what Rashi says. This is what the Talmud states.

This is the halacha as recorded by the Rambam:  A Jew is allowed to temporarily leave the Land of Israel for business, or to learn Torah, or to get married, and then he must return, but to dwell there is forbidden (Rambam, Laws of Kings and Their Wars, 5:12).

That’s right – a Jew is supposed to live in Israel even in a city where the majority of residents are idol worshipers, and not live in Chicago, Lakewood, Monsey, Brooklyn, or Timbuktu, even if the majority of residents are Jews. This means that a Jew is supposed to live in Israel even if the Land is filled with self-hating leftists, Haredim who spit at women, corrupt politicians, and impolite taxi drivers. The commandment to live in Israel is not dependent on whether a Jew from Chicago likes the weather in the Holy Land or finds it too hot in the summer for his tastes.

The Haftorah we read on Shabbat teaches that Hashem gives a soul to the Jewish People who live in the Land of Israel “and a spirit to those who walk therein” (Isaiah, 42:5). The Nation of Israel only has national vitality in the Land of Israel. Everywhere else, we are a minority in someone else’s land. We can excel as individual comedians, and film directors, and Facebook wizards, and businessmen, but we can’t be our own JEWISH NATION – not in Chicago, or Lakewood, or Brooklyn. How can a Jew prefer gentile countries over his own Jewish Land?

The Prophet Isaiah cries out: “Hear O you deaf, and look O you blind that you may see! For who has been so blind as My servant, so deaf as My messenger?”

Jews visit Israel for the holidays as if it is some Jewish Disney World, and then go back to their gentile lovers and the embrace of foreign gentile lands, gentile World Series, and gentile presidential elections.

Tzvi Fishman

Happy 5773 From The Yishai Fleisher Show

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012


Yishai is joined by alternative peace activist Baruch Widen, to talk about the nature of Rosh Hashana and how the true meaning of the holiday is not being observed.  They move on to talk about the need for both love and respect in all types of relationships and how it does not exist in the relationship between the west and a majority of the nations in the Middle East and end the segment by discussing the return of the Jewish Warrior to the world and get a quick check in from Malkah about Rosh Hashana preparations in the Fleisher home.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Moshe Herman

Swing States Polls Suggest Obama Lead – for Now

Sunday, September 9th, 2012

Here’s the most meaningless poll result in the U.S. presidential race today. It’s the Real Clear Politics average of national polls taken between August 22 and September 7. According to that aggregate result of six different national polls—Rasmussen, Gallup, CNN/Opinion Research, Democracy Corps, CBS News and ABC News/Wash Post—President Barack Obama is leading his Republican opponent, Mitt Romeny, with 47.3 to 46.0, or +1.3 for Obama.

Poli Sci experts will tell you it’s a meaningless result for a number of reasons: it’s just a snapshot of the current national mood, with little to do with the actual election results; these polls come ahead of the first presidential debate; and the different polls target different cuts of the voter rolls. Gallup, for instance, targets registered voters—more likely to bend liberal, while Rasmussen typically questions likely voters—more likely to bend conservative (although in its current poll Rasmussen is giving Obama +2 against Romney).

But the most important reason why the above figure, +1.3 for Obama, is meaningless, is that these are national polls, and the U.S. does not conduct national elections. Rather, we have 50 plus local elections, which choose delegates to represent each state in the Electoral College.

The fight is over the number of delegates in each state, which, in the vast majority of states, is still based on the winner take all principle, and which also means a candidate must receive an absolute majority of electoral votes (270 out of 538) to win the Presidency.

Both parties have their certain states (California and New York go Democrat, Texas goes Republican), and their “leaning states” (Pennsylvania gives Democrats heart attacks but in the end votes Democrat, Indiana does the same to Republicans, more often than not).

So that the real election campaign is taking place outside of the sure states and leaning states of each party, which they usually concede to one another, and is being waged in these eight swing states. Together they comprise 95 delegates. This means that regardless how well each candidate is doing in their certain and near-certain states, they cannot win without winning the majority of the delegates in these swing states.

Right now, as you can see in the enclosed chart prepared by yours truly on my Excel, President Obama is enjoying from marginal to significant leads in all eight swing states.

It’s true that some of those poll results are quite old, especially in New Hampshire and Nevada. But in the two states with the heaviest delegate yield, Florida and Ohio, as of September 2, Obama is slightly ahead.

The Republicans know this, and have begun to pour the contents of their war chest into these states, with a big emphasis on Florida and Ohio. And a small lead that’s well within the margin of error can certainly be erased. But consider two important factors:

One – these figures do not reflect the bump for Obama in these states after the Democratic convention.

Two – after a while, incessant advertising begins to lose its effectiveness and, occasionally, starts yielding negative results.

We’ll be watching the swing states for you and updating you on the election as it rolls along. The first presidential debate is scheduled for October 3, dedicated to domestic policy; followed by the VP debate October 11; then a town hall meeting style debate October 16; and, finally, on October 22, a foreign policy debate.

Stay tunes.

Yori Yanover

DNC Leadership Rams Through God and Jerusalem Despite Losing the Vote (Video)

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

After Governor Ted Strickland made the motion to change the Democratic National Committee platform to include both God and Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the head of the DNC, called for a voice vote, which required a two-thirds majority to pass.

As you can see from the video, a surprised, confused and irritated Villaraigosa did not get the clear majority he expected and wanted the first time around, and so called for another voice vote. Again not getting his clear majority, he is advised by someone to his side that tells him, “You’ve got to rule, and then you’ve got let them do what they’re gonna do.”

Villaraigosa then called for a third vote, in which it again does not sound like he had a majority. Despite that, he concludes by saying that in “opinion of the chair two-thirds have voted in the affirmative,” to which he was loudly booed.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Merging the Orthodox Streams

Monday, August 27th, 2012

As ridiculous as it may seem, one of the things that I wish would happen is a merger between Beth Medrash Gavoha (Lakewood) and Yeshiva University (YU). Although I can hear the howls of laughter and screams of protestation on both sides of the Hashkafic aisle, I really think this would solve a lot of the problems we have today in Orthodoxy.

The truth is that this is not as far fetched as one might imagine. At least from a purely Hashkafic perspective. If one looks back to the early days of American Chinuch post Holocaust, one would see exactly this kind of institution existing at the grass roots level.

Outside of New York – elementary schools catered to all kinds of students from all kinds of homes. My classmates came from Yeshivishe homes, Chasidic homes, Modern Orthodox homes, Lubavitch homes, and even non observant homes. Our teachers respected those differences and taught us accordingly. Learning Torah came first, but secular studies were considered very important and treated seriously. Even among those on the right. The idea of attending college was a given then in almost all circles. Parnassa, was the number one concern in those days.

How important was college to the right wing in those days? If one looks at Yeshivos like Chaim Berlin and Torah VoDaath, the vast majority of their students attended college while in the Yeshiva – usually at night. They got degrees in fields like accounting or went on to professional schools to become doctors, lawyers, dentists, engineers… what have you! All while maintaining Yiras Shomayim and a strong commitment to Torah and Mitzvos.

The idea of learning full time for long periods of time well into marriage was an ideal reserved for very few people. Only the most elite and most motivated people would even consider doing that.

But somewhere along the line the paradigm started changing. As the religious communities grew new schools were created to cater to specific Hashkafos.

On the surface that might seem like a good idea. But that was the beginning of the divide that ‘keeps on giving’. We are moving further and further apart. As the community grows, there are new schools with even more fine tuned Hashkafos being formed – adding to the division. I believe that all this fine tuning is one of the most divisive forces in Orthodoxy.

There are now schools on the right that consider secular studies a waste of time at best. Secular studies are belittled! There are schools on the left that are pushing the envelope of ordaining women and allowing them to act as Chazanot in certain parts of Tefilah. Some may see these divisions as a plus. But I don’t.

I prefer an Orthodoxy that has a broad Hashkafic spectrum under one roof. While we may (and I emphasize the word “may”) lose some on the fringes of the right and left, the vast majority of Orthodox Jewry would experience a far greater sense of Achdus. We had a hint of that at the last DafYomi Siyum. Although it was sponsored by Agudah it was attended by almost the entire spectrum of Orthodox Jewry. And it was a positive experience for the vast majority of them – over 90% were inspired by it according to one poll (mine).

So in theory I think it is possible to create this hybrid. The practical benefits of such a merger would transcend even the sense of Achdus that it would generate.

Each Hashkafa has a weakness that is hurting it. On the right, the disdain for a decent secular education pushes their masses into a life of poverty. On the left the weakness is in the inability to produce enough great rabbinic leaders. While there are exceptions in both communities, I think that this is basically the rule.

On the right – the aggrandizement of full time Torah study for everyone and the default second class status of the working man has resulted in 1000s of families who are unable to make a decent living. Unless they have some family connection or have the courage and determination to do the unthinkable and go to college late in their lives, most of these people are qualified to do little else than go into Chinuch. And most of those are not properly trained to do so.

Harry Maryles

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