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Posts Tagged ‘Monday’

GOP Claiming a Rout in Pennsylvania Based on Absentee Ballot Returns

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The website GOP.com on Monday suggested that President Obama’s campaign is trying to protect Pennsylvania, sending big gun Joe Biden to a state that was considered safe for Democrats. The website claims the reason for the sudden change in strategy was the huge GOP edge in absentee ballot returns in that state, which went for Obama by 10% in 2008.

In 2008 the GOP edged the Democrats by a mere 2% in absentee ballot returns, says the website As of Monday, the GOP’s lead was 18.8% — a 16.9% bump. Republicans have turned in 55.2% of the absentee ballots to date while the Democrats have returned just 36.4%.

GOP.com boasts a huge effort on the ground in Pennsylvania in recent months, with more than 60 staff and dozens of offices, adding: “We have made over 5 million volunteer voter contacts including over 1 million volunteer door knocks across Pennsylvania. That voter contact is paying off in the absentee ballot returns and clearly the President’s campaign sees it in their numbers. That’s why they are playing defense in the Keystone state as Governor Romney’s momentum allows us to expand the map.”

But while this good news for Romney may be very real, every single poll conducted in Pennsylvania in the past two weeks gives the edge to Obama, including Rasmussen Reports, which on October 24 showed Obama with a 51-46 lead. The poll average is at +4.6 in Obama’s favor.

Next Tuesday is going to be a very long night, possibly well into Wednesday…

Yori Yanover

At Least 2 Jews Killed by Hurricane Sandy

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

The New York Observer reported Tuesday that two Brooklyn Jews are among the at least 40 victims of megastorm Hurricane Sandy.

Jessie Streich-Kest, daughter of the executive direct for New York Communities for Change, Jon Kest, and her friend Jacob Vogelman were killed they went out to walk a dog Monday night and a tree uprooted from the sidewalk on Ditmas Avenue near East 18th Street and trapped them.

Streich-Kest, 24, was a teacher at Bushwick High School for Social Justice.  Vogelman was a student at Brooklyn College and a graduate of SUNY Buffalo with a degree in theater design.

The dog, a white pit bull mix named Max, was taken to an emergency veterinary hospital.

Residents of New York, New Jersey, Maryland, North Carolina, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut and Toronto, Canada were victims of Hurricane Sunday.

Seventeen of the victims were from New York City.

Malkah Fleisher

Jewish Community Bears Impact of Hurricane Sandy

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012

Less than a year into her job at North Shore Synagogue in Syosset, N.Y., Reform Rabbi Debbie Bravo sounded remarkably poised as she and her community face one of their most powerful challenges together: Hurricane Sandy.

Bravo’s land line was dead. When she picked up her cell phone Tuesday, she had just returned from the local police station.

“I have a child who takes medication that has to be refrigerated,” she said calmly.

According to figures released by The Long Island Power Authority on Tuesday, more than 930,000 families — 90 percent of all island residents — are without power after Hurricane Sandy wrought havoc Monday night across the northeastern United States. Among those 930,000 are an estimated 139,000 Jewish households.

Hurricane Sandy, which washed ashore Monday evening just south of Atlantic City, N.J., took dead aim at the most populous region of the country, home as well to the majority of the country’s Jews. In its wake, it left a trail of devastation that may take weeks to restore, if not longer.

“I went over to the synagogue a few hours ago, which is right next to a woodsy area,” Bravo said. “Ten plus trees are down, including a huge one down on the front law. Everyone’s saying this is a hundred times worse” than previous natural disasters that hit the island.

The greater New York area, home to the largest population of Jews in North America, took a harsh hit as severe winds and flooding toppled trees, triggered electrical fires and flooded public transportation systems. The result: mass evacuations of apartments and dormitories, widespread school closings and damaged homes and community institutions.

Early Tuesday afternoon, David Weissberg, executive director of the 120-year-old Isabella Freedman Retreat Center in Falls Village, Conn., posted a photo of a tree that literally sliced through the roof over the center’s main building.

“We’re looking in the short term how to work around that space and need to assess how long it will take to get that space repaired,” Weissberg said.

“It’s an amazingly precise cut,” he marveled. “It fell at an angle perfectly perpendicular to the building, which will hopefully make the repair an easier one.”

Jewish communal organizations, whose offices, landlines and in some cases e-mail servers were closed or down on Tuesday, largely set up shop remotely as they set out to formulate a response.

“The concerns of the Jewish Federations movement is focussed on both those in the Jewish community and non-Jewish community as we work with local Jewish federations as well as local, state and federal emergency management personnel to assess the damage and look forward to recovery,” said William Daroff, vice president of public policy and director of the Washington office of The Jewish Federations of North America.

Daroff noted that while watching the devastation unfold, social media was a source of comfort. “Compared to visuals from New York and the Long Island coast, having a support structure and literally thousands of friends acquired through Facebook and Twitter helped me feel less alone as my family sat shuttering with gusts of wind at 50 mph.”

The Jewish United Fund/Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Chicago set up a relief fund Monday night, with The Jewish Federations of North America and Union for Reform Judaism following suit the next afternoon.

For those without power on Long Island, finding alternative to landlines was critical.

“A lot of people are not getting cell phone service at home,” Bravo said. “For one congregant, the only time i could talk to her was when she left her house.”

As Bravo attempts to establish and maintain contact with the elderly and other congregants — including two with recent births — she also pondered the next moves for her synagogue’s two b’nai mizvah this weekend, which in all likelihood will be conducted without power.

“Truthfully in my mind, our options are try to use daylight,” she said.

JTA

Stone Throwers Injure Karnei Shomron Resident

Monday, October 29th, 2012

A resident of Karnei Shomron was lightly injured Monday evening by rock throwers. The rocks were thrown as he was driving his car on Route 55 near Maaleh Shomron

The victim was treated on site by an IDF ambulance.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Rockets Hit Israel All Night Long

Monday, October 29th, 2012

We lost count as to the number of rockets and mortars that hit Southern Israel overnight (Sunday night-Monday morning).

The sirens went off at: 2:06 AM, 2:14 AM, 2:25 AM, 2:35 AM. 2:44 AM, 3:42 AM and 5:40 AM.

The Eshkol region was hit, Ashkelon beach area was hit.

At out count, we estimate at least a dozen rockets were launched from Gaza at Israel.

The IDF has not yet responded to this particular barrage, but did hit Gazan terror targets including a rocket launch site earlier in the evening in response to Saturday’s attacks from Gaza.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Secret Ballot Could Determine Likud-Beiteinu Future

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Prime Minister Netanyahu is finding out that there is significant opposition to his plans to run the Likud on a joint list together with Yisrael Beiteinu in the upcoming elections.

Following a petition signed by 400 Likud central committee members, and as per Likud rules, the Likud will now be required to hold a secret ballot among all the central committee members to see if they approve of the joint list proposition.

In surveys taken of Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu members, the majority claimed to support running as a joint list.

But opponents of the joint list are hoping that in a secret ballot, the results will go against Netanyahu. One Central Committee Member told JewishPress.com that this merger “strips internal democracy from the Likud.”

The secret ballot may be held on Monday.

Related Article: In Mixed Reactions, Some Call Likud-Beitenu Move Brilliant, Some Warn of Losses

Jewish Press News Briefs

In Mixed Reactions, Some Call Likud-Beitenu Move Brilliant, Some Warn of Losses

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

On Saturday, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon (Yisrael Beitenu) said at an interview show that the union between Likud and Yisrael Beiteinu had come as no surprise to him, as it was clear that after the election the two parties would seek to establish a nationalist government together. “The leaders of the two parties, Avigdor Liberman and Benjamin Netanyahu, have done well to join together before the election,” said Ayalon, adding that the move has clarified for the voters what is at stake: choosing between a large, experienced and cohesive block, representing the will of the Zionist majority—those who work, serve, and shoulder responsibilities—and splinter parties, some of them fashionable, with no experience or a proven leadership ability.”

But over at the Likud, many appear unimpressed by their party leader’s bold move, which is expected to be voted on at the Likud conference on Monday. Several Likud ministers are weighing a vote against the union. Minister of Improvement of Government Services Michael Eitan has so far been the most vociferous against the move, saying he fears that Likud would suffer from this rightward turn.

“This is battle over the home of old and new Likudniks, who see the Likud as offering the right balance, who evaluate the Likud’s ability to compete, and who fear that this move will alter the Likud’s image and reduce its power,” Eitan told the Army Radio.

According to the Army Radio, Netanyahu has been abandoned by his Likud ministers, who aren’t lending a hand to his effort to promote a Yes vote on Monday. Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman—decidedly not a Likudnik—has rolled up his sleeves, and together with Netanyahu and his staff has been making phone calls to Likud Center members, soliciting their support for the new union.

“I received phone calls from all my friends inside the Likud,” said Liberman, “the trend is clear – 90% of the people who are really Likud members support this move.”

Many Likud local branch officials across Israel are opposing the move to unite with Liberman, saying: “Netanyahu has sold out the Likud to Liberman to take care of himself,” Maariv reported Sunday. Likewise, there’s resistance to the move from MKs with power bases in the various party sectors, who might find themselves being pushed out of realistic slots on the new list. As it happens, most of these local leaders are Sephardim, which increases tensions even more.

Recently, Minister of Communications, Welfare and Social Services Moshe Kahlon, a Sephardi who gained great national popularity by forcing cellphone providers to compete with new challengers, a move that resulted in a drastic reduction in rates, announced he would not be running for the 19th Knesset – presumably because he couldn’t count on a realistic spot on the list. Now, according to Maariv, the name Moshe Kahlon is coming up in every conversation with Likud officials in the local branches. “You throw Kachlon out and you put a Russian on the list in his place, why?” asked one senior party official.

On the left wing of the Likud party, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor is considering retirement from the ranks of Likud, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News. The centrist (some say left-of-center) Meridor sees a vast ideological gap between himself and Liberman. The relationship between the two men has been strained for more than two decades.

But Republican pollster and political adviser Arthur Finkelstein, who counseled Netanyahu and Liberman on the new union, says the combined list should bring in around 45 seats, compared with the 42 seats both parties hold today.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/in-mixed-reactions-some-call-likud-beitenu-move-brilliant-some-warn-of-losses/2012/10/28/

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