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November 26, 2015 / 14 Kislev, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Mayor’

NY Mayor de Blasio ‘Stands with Israel’ on Eve of Visit

Friday, October 16th, 2015

New York City Mayor Bill deBlasio told reporters on Thursday, the day before he is scheduled to fly to Israel for a visit through Sunday:

I’m proud to be going at a moment when Israel is in need, and where friends need to stand and be counted.

We’re looking forward to what’s obviously going to be a sober environment, and a difficult environment, but I look forward to meeting with my fellow Israeli mayors and mayors from around the world to stand in solidarity with Israel.

He is scheduled to visit the Western Wall but also had planned to meet Palestinian Authority Arabs, a departure from the itinerary of his three predecessors, Michael R. Bloomberg, Rudolph W. Giuliani and Edward I. Koch, who restricted their trips to Israel to meetings with the country’s political and business leaders.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo last year refused to accept an invitation from the Palestinian Authority ambassador to the United Nations to visit Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

DeBlasio will meet with Arabs, but not as he planned.

He had wanted to talk with Arabs in Ramallah, without meeting with Palestinian Authority officials, but the wave of terror has forced him settle for meeting them in Israel.

However, he says he is not afraid, explaining:

In terms of my own safety, I believe that Israeli security forces obviously know what they’re doing, and NYPD knows what it’s doing, and I’m very comfortable with that.

DeBlasio will meet with Arab children who learn with Jews at a school that was torched last year in an arson attack by Israeli extremists.

He said:

This is a region that needs peace deeply, and peace is elusive. One of the ways we foster peace is through inclusion. And our hopes have to be with the young people at this point. The previous generation hasn’t managed to find the path of peace.

Orthodox Jewish businessman Baruch Eliezer Gross is paying for the mayor’s trip.

Pro-Hamas George Galloway Running for Mayor of London

Monday, June 15th, 2015

Galloway apparently was not satisfied with his stinging defeat in recent elections for parliament.

Pro-Hamas provocateur George Galloway officially announced Sunday night he is running for mayor London in next year’s election.

Galloway once was the sole Member of Parliament for his Respect party until he lost his seat in last month’s elections, but he is not giving up his political ambitions. He pledged last night to build London into “a city that benefits everyone, not just those dripping in gold.”

He added:

London has for too long been run in the interests of the 1% working in the city’s glittering towers, whilst the vast majority of Londoners feel that their voices are not heard.

I’m running because I want to represent every piece of the mosaic of this city which I have called home for 35 years.

That comes from the man who declared the district of Bradford “Israel-free,” has backed off making cleansing London of Israelis.

He said to weeks ago that he would like to London “Israel-free” but that it is not practical.

Displaying delusions of grandeur and posing as a diplomat, Galloway said:

I think Palestine has more supporters in London than anywhere else in the country. But the mayor is not the pope and the mayor is not the president and is not the prime minister or the foreign secretary.

Galloway hates Israel and loves Hamas. He also once was fond of praising Saddam Hussein and said he had “courage,” a description he claims was intended for the Iraqi people, and he fiercely opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003.

He did not mention his pro-Arab agenda at the launch of his campaign and instead focused on the “housing crisis.” and “white-collar crime.

It is not clear whether he really thinks he will win in London, and perhaps is counting on its growing Muslim population to vote him into office.

After his loss as Member of Parliament, and after his expected loss in the race for mayor, maybe Galloway will run for prime minister.

A ‘Wall of Blue’ Bids Farewell to NYPD 1st Detective Wenjian Liu

Monday, January 5th, 2015

Wenjian Liu, the first Chinese-American cop in New York to be killed in the line of duty, was honored in his home 84th precinct Sunday with a sea of blue stretching “as far as the eye could see.”

Among the crowd were representatives from all the Jewish first response and security teams, as well as many Jewish civilian residents of Brooklyn. “Hakaras hatov” – acknowledging and thanking someone for the good they’ve done – was the reason given over and over when asked why they came.

Tearfully, Liu’s young widow Pei Xia Chen thanked the tens of thousands who gathered to grieve with her.

“He is my soul mate… an incredible husband, son, co-worker and friend; my best friend. As the only son, the Number One Son, he was extremely close [to] and respected his parents, of course,” she added. “One his many passions was being a police officer. He took pride in the fact that he was NYPD… I thank you, my extended family, my family of blue.”

The couple had wed only two months prior to Liu’s death. The 32-year-old police officer, promoted posthumously to first detective, had been on the job for seven years. Together with his parents he emigrated from China 20 years ago, with a dream to become a cop.

In addition to Sunday’s funeral, Liu’s family was to hold private ceremonies in the Buddhist and Chinese traditions as well.

“God bless America. God bless NYPD. You are the best!” Liu’s father said in a broken voice after delivering a eulogy in Chinese.

In addition to his wife, his father, cousins and city officials, a police chaplain and FBI Director James Comey spoke.

“These are our most difficult days,” Comey said. “I make far too many calls [like these] … 115 police officers killed this year, a shocking increase over 2013. I do not understand evil, I cannot understand evil. Our obligation is to do good, to honor this good man and do everything to protect those who would protect us. They want to do good for other people.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo was to have spoken as well, but his own father passed away on New Year’s Day and arrangements for the wake and funeral, which are to take place Monday and Tuesday, were still being made.

With reddened eyes and a husky voice, Police Commissioner William Bratton expressed the feelings of the “thousands upon thousands” of officers standing outside a Brooklyn funeral home on a “very gray morning.” He commented that Liu was about to join his partner, “his partner for all time,” First Detective Rafael Ramos – also promoted posthumously –to be laid to rest. The two were executed by deranged gunman Ismaaiyl Brinsley while eating lunch in their squad car. Brinsley turned the gun on himself right after.

“Liu believed in the possibility of a city free from fear,” Bratton told his family, who had traveled from China to attend the funeral. “The NYPD has done that for millions upon millions of citizens of this city.”

Addressing the tens of thousands of officers, Bratton went on to explain: “He left China at age 12, and his parents worked hard; his father was a garment worker in Queens. Liu called himself Joe and was on the way to becoming an accountant on 9/11, the day Al Qaeda attacked the Twin Towers.” That event changed his life, and inspired Liu to become a cop instead.

“The NYPD looks like the city it serves,” Bratton noted. “Our heroes are from everywhere too.” He listed the departed and the lands from which they had emigrated to America. Ramos and Liu came last.

Salonika’s Re-elected Mayor Wore the Yellow Star

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

The mayor of Salonika, second-largest city in Greece, wore a yellow Star of David to his second term inauguration at city hall last week.

Mayor Iannis Boutaris, 72, wore the star as a gesture of respect to honor the memory of the Jews who were murdered by the Nazis during World War II, he explained.

Boutaris pinned the star to his jacket as a resposne to the presence of a radical right parliamentarian from the Golden Dawn party, Artemis Mathaiopoulos, on the city council, the European Jewish Press reported.

Golden Dawn has become the third most popular party in the national elections.

The Nazis deported more than 90 percent of Jews from Thessaloniki (Salonika) at the time – some 60,000 Jews – and then later wiped them out. Only 1,200 Jews live in Salonika today.

Former PM Ehud Olmert Sentenced to 6 Years in Prison

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced Tuesday morning to serve six years in prison. The judge also imposed a fine of NIS 1 million ($289,000.)  He ordered authorities to seize NIS 500,000 in funds the former prime minister has collected from various sources, including numerous speaking engagements in the United States.

Olmert was ordered to begin serving his prison sentence on September 1, pending appeal.

Tel Aviv District Court Judge David Rosen handed down the sentence in what has become known as the famed “Holyland trial” after Olmert was convicted on two charges of bribery.

The former prime minister was convicted of taking bribes from contractors who built the Holyland residential complex near the Malha Mall in Jerusalem.

The rezoning and other “adjustments” that came in exchange for bribes continued through the 1990s and into the next decade. These were the years in which Olmert served as mayor of the capital city and minister of industry, trade and infrastructure. Both were pivotal posts from which to smooth the way for the developers of the Holyland project.

Olmert was also recently questioned on suspicion of witness tampering and obstruction of justice, according to Israel’s Channel 2 television. The allegations are based on recordings given to police by former Olmert aide Shula Zaken, his closest aide, also convicted in the wide-ranging Holyland scandal. Zaken gave police the recordings as part of her plea bargain with the prosecution.

The Holyland trial has dragged on for years, tainting Olmert’s term as prime minister and shadowing the country’s years beyond while bringing down numerous aides and colleagues.

Before pronouncing sentence, the judge pointed out that Olmert is an “intelligent, brilliant people person” and called him an “avid Zionist.” He praised him for donating to bereaved families and the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial center.

But he then sharply reprimanded the former state leader, saying “The crime of bribery pollutes public service, destroys governments…” and called it “one of the worst crimes.”

Rosen said Olmert was guilty of moral turpitude — a term that means the ex-politican will be forced to wait at least seven years before re-entering the field. The judge added that those who take bribes are equivalent to “traitors” in their betrayal of the public trust.

To punish that betrayal, the judge revoked the 10 percent of Olmert’s mayoral pension.

Olmert has been convicted previously charges of corruption. In 2012, he was pronounced guilty of taking bribes in a Jerusalem case.

That trial earned the former mayor and subsequent minister and prime minister a light sentence of community service only. The judge in the case said in his decision that Olmert’s state leadership as prime minister had afforded him the right to leniency.

Not so today, however.  Judge Rosen said in his decision that the higher the post of the public servant, the harsher the punishment for bribery should be.

“Those who belong to the social and economic elite of the nation should not be held to the same standard as those in common society,” Rosen said. He added in explanation that his hands were tied by law in meting out the punishment, and that he was enjoined by those legal guidelines to set a minimum sentence without discretion.

Olmert issued a statement prior to sentencing saying that he was innocent and protesting an expected sentence that included prison time.

“This is a sad day on which a severe and unjust verdict is to be handed down to an innocent man,” Olmert said in his statement.

He has 45 days to appeal in Supreme Court – which he plans to do,, said Olmert spokesperson Amir Dan. He added that he hopes “the real picture will emerge and the verdict will change completely.”

To the eternal shame of the State of Israel, this is the first time in the history of the nation that a prime minister has been convicted of a felony and sent to prison. Likewise, former president Moshe Katsav is currently serving time in prison for having raped and sexually assaulted his female employees.

Olmert will appeal the conviction and sentence in the Supreme Court, spokesperson Amir Dan said. His attorney Eli Zohar is expected to file a request for a stay of sentence in the meantime.

After Mayoral Loss, the Buzzards Are Flying over Lieberman’s Head

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

The old adage suggesting that victory has a multitude of fathers, while failure, alas, is an orphan, can be applied yet again, this time to describe the grim aftermath in Shas following the heartbreaking loss of the Avigdor Lieberman-Aryeh Deri candidate for mayor of Jerusalem, Moshe Lion (the name should be spelled “Leon,” but the campaign opted for this, more feline spelling).

So the bad guy in this story of glory and defeat is Israel Beiteinu strong man MK Avigdor Lieberman, soon to be either the previous and next Foreign Minister, or the next man with a serial number at the Ma’asiahu prison for white collar criminals—court decision on that one expected in two weeks.

But for now, Lieberman appears to be shouldering the shame of the mayoral loss, with attacks on him coming both from sore losers and sore winners. Yes, the winning incumbent, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat now and for the next 5 years, is not doing the gracious. not even pretending.

“Lieberman is a dishonest man, a fixer who wanted to turn me into a marionette and couldn’t,” Barkat told Ma’ariv.

According to the winner, Lieberman made it his life’s mission to destroy him, Barkat, who, apparently, remained pure as the driven Jerusalem snow: “I could have made a deal and appoint Vladimir Sklar CEO of the East Jerusalem Development corporation the way Lieberman insisted, and then I would have gotten wall-to-wall support,” he said. “I refused. I took a chance and paid a heavy price.”

In Israel, it seems, to the winner goes being spoiled.

MK Lieberman for his part has been denying the Sklar appointment story, arguing instead that in his feverish yearning to win, Barkat has sold the city out to the Haredim—specifically, former Haredi mayoral candidate Chayim Epstein has been saying he’s being appointed Barkat’s deputy mayor, with pay.

The nice appointment is considered to be his reward for keeping his name on the ballot even as it was becoming obvious he was going nowhere—and with that helped siphon off some of Lion’s Haredi votes. It’s a good theory.

But the worst thing for Lieberman was not the spectacle of the winner Barkat doing a victory dance in a fashion that would not go well over in the States, where the first thing a loser does is congratulate the winner, to be followed by the winner complimenting the loser. Over in the Jewish State, we win, we fillet the loser, fire up the barbie, have a beer.

The worst thing for Lieberman is how his own campaign has been badmouthing him. Ma’arive quotes Likud-beiteinu campaign workers who said “Lieberman pulled the rug from under all of us… He couldn’t deliver the goods… He didn’t deliver the Likudniks, and he especially didn’t deliver the Russians he promised… All the Israel Beiteinu voters in Jerusalem supported Nir Barkat… Israel Beiteinu used to have 2 seats in the city council – that’s now been erased… Even when combining the Liebrman and Likud votes, they barely make it past the blocking percentage…”

Finally, senior Aryeh Deri operatives put all the blame on Lieberman. The rift between Deri and Lieberman is serious. Last week, Deri told his listeners on Haredi radio station Kol Barama that they had to vote in large numbers, to secure a Shas-Lieberman partnership. Now, after the defeat, Deri told those same listeners that they lived up to his expectations—they awarded 35 thousand votes to Moshe Lion, but on the Likud-Beiteinu side the failure was overwhelming.

Deri’s seniors are angry at Lieberman, but they’re livid at Deri himself for falling prey to Lieberman’s machinations. It was a known thing that Lieberman could round up 10 thousand Russians in Jerusalem – that’s the number that voted for his faction in 2008. So how come all the Russians went for Barkat? Was Deri being naïve when he figured Lieberman for a solid real estate asset, when, in fact, that asset is infested with termites and about to fall on its own foundations?

Lieberman had nothing to tell his followers and the press other than his own version of you win some, you lose some. If he’s taken down by the court two weeks from now, it would mark a sea change in Israeli politics, an earthquake that could empower the right or the left, depending on whom you ask.

Moshe Lion Claims Dirty Politics by Barkat’s Team in Jerusalem Race

Monday, October 21st, 2013

Last week Jerusalem mayoral candidate Moshe Lion took a hit after the publication of Aryeh Deri’s statement on the race for Jerusalem’s mayor and what it means for national politics. This week Moshe Lion’s team have gone on the offensive, and are taking a shot at mayoral incumbent Nir Barkat.

Shas’s Aryeh Deri and Yisrael Beteinu’s Avigdor Liberman are strongly supporting Moshe Lion for the position of mayor of Jerusalem, in what is part of a larger battle in national coalition politics.

Aryeh Deri’s backing of Lion has hurt the candidate in National-Religious circles, where Deri is not looked upon favorably.

Since the death of Rav Ovadia, Shas is a less than united party, and there exists opportunities for outsiders to exploit those deep divisions and dislike of Aryeh Deri by many of those within the Shas party. The politically astute Aryeh Deri is in a weakened political position due to the death of the party’s spiritual head, and he needs this win to consolidate his power base around him.

Channel 2 reported on a recording of Kobi Kahlon, Barkat’s #4 on his City Council list, offering a Shas official control over the Hareidi Education portfolio and other committees in exchange for Shas’s support in the elections.

Lion’s people say this is proof that Barkat is selling out the residents of Jerusalem for the Chareidi vote.

Others might use the phrase “divide and conquer”.

JewishPress.com received the following quote from a spokesperson in the Moshe Lion campaign:

“Finally, Barkat’s true face has been revealed. While he accuses others of secret deals that don’t exist, except in his imagination, he is behind closed doors offering a blank cheque to the Haredim if they will just support him. This conversation represents merely the tip of the iceberg and is widely representative of the type of crooked conversations that have been taking place over the last few months and have already secured Barkat significant Haredi support. Just as he won the last election through backroom deals with the Haredim, Barkat is hoping to buy the elections at the expense of the residents of Jerusalem.”

Elections are on Tuesday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/moshe-lion-claims-dirty-politics-by-barkats-team-in-jerusalem-race/2013/10/21/

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