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August 25, 2016 / 21 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton Resigns

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has resigned his post effective September 16. “It’s now time to move on,” he said.

Bratton is leaving to take a “really good job” as a security consultant with the Teneo firm in the private sector, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday afternoon at a news conference at City Hall.

NYPD Police Chief James P. O’Neill will replace Bratton, whose career in public service has spanned 45 years.

Bratton also served as police commissioner under former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Bratton also served in Boston and Los Angeles, as a police commander in both cities.

Bratton was the keynote speaker at the first National Conference on Personal Security in Jerusalem in May 2014.

“We are fortunate in the United States and Israel to live in the world’s two strongest democracies,” he said at that time. “In a democracy, the first obligation of government is public safety.”

Hana Levi Julian

Jerusalem Mayor to Avoid Thursday’s Pride Parade While Securing Its Path

Wednesday, July 20th, 2016

A year ago this month, Ishai Schlussel, a known Haredi criminal who had just been released from jail after serving time for attempted murder in the 2005 gay pride parade in Jerusalem, was allowed by a negligent police to attack the 2015 gay parade, where he finally managed to murder a teen girl, Shira Banki, and six others. And so the 2016 Jerusalem gay pride parade has naturally become a kind of Selma march to condemn hate and violence, attracting thousands. But Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat announced that he would not march in this likely the most publicized gay parade in Israel’s history.

Barkat told the media on Wednesday that he supports the rights of gay people to parade in his city, and that he plans to “lay down a flower” on the spot where young Shira Banki was murdered, because he fiercely objects to anyone using violence in a political debate. But at the same time Barkat still feels that the gay pride parade is a bad idea in Jerusalem, because it needlessly offends hundreds of thousands of religious people in the city.

It was a complex decision by the mayor of the most important city in Israel, in the midst of a political environment that does not tolerate complexity and nuance. And, obviously, Mayor Barkat’s move has already been added by many to the long list of “homophobic” political acts by “hating” Israeli public servants. But Barkat should be admired, not condemned, for his sensible decision to facilitate and provide security for the parade which he openly admits he’d rather not have in his citry.

Unlike the Tel Aviv gay pride parade, which ravenously takes after New York City, Rio and New Orleans in its all-out explicit gesticulations and exhibitionism — the Jerusalem parade is more about people walking in an orderly fashion with rainbow flags, singing and yelling out anti-hate and pro-tolerance slogans. Still, Barkat argues that he would hurt many of his residents’ feelings were he to associate himself directly with the march which promotes acts specifically prohibited by scripture.

Meanwhile, Schlussel’s mother and five of his brothers were detained on Wednesday by police, as were 11 rightwing activists. They were all warned to stay away from the parade’s route, and then released. According to Walla, as is usually the case in such business, most of the rightwing activists were not aware there was going to be a parade Thursday and thanked the cops for keeping them informed.

The fact is no one is allowed to stand where the parade is going, the sidewalks will be kept deserted by heavy police guard (of whom, presumably, 3 to 10 percent are gay). According to Jerusalem District Commandeer Major General Yoram Halevy, there will be only two points where the marchers will experience contact with the non-marching public — at the beginning and at the end. Participants will have to report to the start point, undergo security check and receive an ID tag. But the controls will be in place even earlier on: participants from outside Jerusalem will be arriving in buses and will be checked before boarding. And so, as is often the case in our self-protecting democracies these days, what was meant as a lively, vivacious exchange of ideas and, yes, insults, between excitable people, will be reduced to a safe, but quite zombie-like affair.

Which, to some extent, means that Ishai Schlussel actually defeated the gay pride parade with his despicable attack, making it less gay and less proud.

JNi.Media

3 Arrested at Holland Tunnel With Combat Gear, Weapons Cache, Driving to NYC

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

Three people were arrested Tuesday morning with a large weapons cache, just before entering the Holland Tunnel on their way to New York City.

Two men in their fifties and a woman in her thirties were stopped by police on the New Jersey side of the tunnel when they were spotted in a car with a cracked windshield.

Port Authority Police initially stopped the trio at a toll plaza at around 7:40 am Eastern Time, police said. They were soon joined by agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force, a source said, when a search of the vehicle turned up the cache of combat gear.

The collection of combat gear included body armor (several ballistic vests), a camouflage helmet with night vision goggles, multiple rifles and handguns (some loaded), a number of knives, and several magazines filled with ammunition.

Two senior law enforcement officials told NBC 4 News the suspects were “gun enthusiasts” and had “no nexus to terror.”

The trio reportedly may be from Pennsylvania, where a police source said “gun laws are more relaxed.”

Hana Levi Julian

Supporting Trump Should Be A No-Brainer For Jews

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

In 1980, New York City decided to renovate Central Park’s ice skating rink. The cost of the two-year project was estimated at $9 million. Six years and $13 million later, the renovations were nowhere near complete. Enter Donald Trump. He asked then-Mayor Ed Koch if he could take over the job. Six months later the rink was ready.

Trump is a man who gets things done. He is a man who strives for excellence. He is a man who before 9/11 wanted to build the tallest building in the world. Ivanka Trump recalls that her father used to tell her as a child, “You’re going to be thinking anyway. Might as well think big.” In short, Trump is a man who values greatness and seeks the same for his country.

Trump’s critics pounce on his every mistake over a business career of 50 years. But they’re ignoring the larger picture: Trump is a multi-billionaire with flourishing enterprises all over the world. To conclude that Trump is a terrible businessman because not all his endeavors succeed is like concluding that Benjamin Cardozo was a terrible lawyer because he occasionally lost a case. Both inferences are sheer lunacy.

Trump’s critics also like to attack him for being unhinged. But think for a moment: Can anyone succeed in Manhattan’s real estate market – with all its regulations and zoning laws – by being unhinged? By embracing an attitude of “my way or the highway”?

In fact, those who know Trump best testify that he is a “reflective, gentlemanly, decent” man (in the words of longtime friend Rudy Giuliani). When Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was asked why she supports Trump for president, she said, “I see a different Donald Trump, I think, than a lot of people see. I see the way he interacts with his kids…. He’s a great dad. His employees adore him. I think they would jump off a cliff for him, and I think that’s speaks a lot about a person.”

Indeed, it does. As do Trump’s numerous quiet acts of kindness over the decades. Just two weeks ago, for example, a former Miss Wisconsin tearfully recounted the moment she received a handwritten note from Trump as she lay in a hospital bed fighting for her life. “He is the kindest man I have ever met,” she told FOX News. “I think he has a heart of gold.”

What about Ted Cruz’s reputation? In a word, it’s terrible. He helped win the White House for George W. Bush in 2001, but virtually everyone on the campaign team – including Bush – “couldn’t stand him,” a prominent Bush aide recalls. “People wouldn’t go to a meeting if they knew he would be there,” he said.

Cruz’s freshman roommate at Princeton University remembers him as “a nightmare of a human being.” Another Princeton acquaintance remembers him as an “arrogant jerk.” Yet another remembers Cruz speaking to her in such a “vicious” supercilious fashion that she literally broke down in tears.

Cruz’s reputation in Congress isn’t much better: “Everybody who knows him in the Senate hates him. And I think hate is not an exaggeration,” political pundit Charles Krauthammer recently said.

Is character everything? No. But when so many colleagues and acquaintances find you – not your ideas – detestable, something is wrong.

How do the candidates rate on policy? Cruz isn’t bad, but Trump approaches problems with a certain clarity and straightforwardness that Cruz simply doesn’t possess. Thus, while Cruz hems and haws about water-boarding terrorists, Trump approvingly repeats the story of General “Black Jack” Pershing allegedly executing 49 Muslim terrorists in the Philippines with bullets dipped in pig’s blood. He also dares suggest that allowing hundreds of thousands of Muslims into this country at a time of worldwide jihad may – just may – not be wise.

This straightforward thinking – unmarred by the obfuscations of politically correctness – will likely benefit Israel too. For the question isn’t whether this or that candidate likes Israel. The real question is: What will the next president say when Saudi Arabia threatens to desolve its friendship with the U.S. if it doesn’t pressure Israel into making concessions? For that is precisely the threat made to George W. Bush, as Elliott Abrams recounts in his book Tested by Zion. As a result, Bush – who was about as instinctively pro-Israel as they come – supported a Palestinian state, condemned Israel’s anti-terror campaign in the West Bank, and pushed for negotiations with the Palestinians. Why should we believe Cruz will act any differently?

Trump, however, might. As a non-politician, he harbors no instinctive reaction to cave to Saudi Arabia. Indeed, he has publicly attacked the oil-rich country. It’s true that two months ago Trump talked of acting neutral while negotiating a Middle East peace deal – a deal Netanyahu has publicly begged for, incidentally – but since then he has stated several times that a peace deal is impossible unless the Palestinians stop teaching their children to kill Jews.

And Trump doesn’t play games. He isn’t a politician. He is a businessman who has made a career out of reading people. If he perceives that the Palestinians are inveterate liars – which they are when it comes to making peace with Israel – he will walk. Will Cruz?

Judaism teaches us not to put faith in any human being. God runs the world, not man. But when I look at Cruz and Trump, I see a politician on one side (have you ever heard Cruz utter a natural-sounding sentence?) and, a smart, clear-thinking, politically-incorrect patriot with an enormously successful business career on the other side. To me, the choice is a no-brainer.

Elliot Resnick

Israeli Tourist Returns Home to Jerusalem After Being Slashed in NYC Subway Station

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

The Israeli tourist who was slashed last week by a homeless man in a New York City subway station flew home to the safety of Israel Monday night.

Avraham Fekete, 55, told JP Updates in an exclusive interview conducted in Yiddish he had been in “a lot of pain and soaked from blood” after being stabbed late Thursday night. But as soon as he reached the street and was seen, two “Good Samaritans” helped him put pressure on a neck wound to stop the bleeding and called police. That injury and stab wounds to his face, arms and hands were first treated at the scene by EMS medics who were summoned by police officers.

He was then evacuated to Bellevue Hospital, where he was listed in stable condition and remained through the weekend. Fekete was released from the hospital in time to board a plane to return home to his family in Jerusalem — with 20 stitches to be seen by his own doctor.

A Jerusalem resident, Fekete had traveled to New York ahead of his sixth child’s wedding. He told JP Updates he is “thankful to G-d it ended this way, because the doctors told me if he would have stabbed me a little deeper in my neck I would have been in a life-threatening situation.”

Police believe the motive behind the attack was robbery and are not classifying it as a hate crime, according to New York’s CBS 2 television news.

There have been more than 1,000 stabbing attacks across New York City since January 1. The number of knife attacks are rising at a 24 percent increase compared to last year, “making NYC subway riders very wary,” CBS 2 News reported.

Hana Levi Julian

Homeless New Yorker Arrested for Slashing Israeli Tourist

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

A 24-year-old homeless man with a prior record of 16 arrests has been nabbed for slashing an Israeli tourist, 55-year-old Abraham Fekete, at a Greenwich Village subway station last week.

Marvin Tayor is accused of stabbing Fekete in the Bleeker Street No. 6 subway station. He was turned in by a Tipster who called police, according to the NY Daily News.

Fekete, an Orthodox Jew who was in the city visiting friends, had gotten lost in the subway system. He fell asleep on a bench, not realizing how unsafe that can be in a city like New York. Fekete speaks only Yiddish.

He awakened to find Taylor standing over him with a knife, demanding money at 3:30 am Friday, police said. The attacker slashed the visitor from Jerusalem in the face, neck, arms and hands as Fekete fought with Taylor, who then fled with an undetermined amount of cash.

Taylor was taken into custody at around 11:30 pm Sunday night and charged with robbery, assault and criminal possession of a weapon, NYPD sources told the NY Post.

Police caught the stabber on a Nolita subway platform after receiving a call from the Tipster who apparently knows the attacker. Taylor was tracked down and arrested near Fordham University in the Bronx.

Hana Levi Julian

Protesters Want Answers On NYC Investigation of Yeshiva Curricula

Sunday, April 10th, 2016

Former New York City yeshiva alumni, parents and past teachers last week demanded to know whether the New York City Department of Education was “really investigating” the city’s yeshiva curricula. The demonstrators protested on the steps of City Hall.

Last July, New York City Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina and seven district superintendenets in Brooklyn and Queens received a letter sent by some 50 concerned parents, former teachers, and former yeshiva students, expressing ‘concern’ over the lack of substantial secular education in at least 39 yeshivas. The letter said students at the yeshivas in Brooklyn and Queens receive only an hour and a half per day of English and Math studies, four days a week. Secular studies end at age 13 (bar mitzvah). The group was particularly upset that the boys are not prepared for college, or careers in the secular world.

The group’s attorney, Norman Siegel told The Gothamist, “I was told months ago that the investigation would be complete in Spring 2016, and now we’re questioning if there is an investigation at all.”

State law stipulates that education in non-public schools must be “at least substantially equivalent” to that provided in public schools.

In response to the letter, the DOE said it would investigation the potential violations. One of the two people assigned to the probe left the department in February. The second person is District 20 superintendent Karina Costantino. She was last in touch with “Young Adults for a Fair Education” (YAFFED) in January.

The organization was “founded by individuals raised within the ultra-Orthodox communities of New York City, and is committed to improving general studies education alongside traditional curricula of Judaic studies,” according to its website.

The department said the forms were to be sent to the private schools in their districts; responses would help the DOE determine whether violations are taking place. School visits will be scheduled if responses trigger red flags.

YAFFED director Naftuli Moster is unhappy with this state of affairs, and believes spot checks and interviews with current yeshiva students should be included in the probe. Attorney Siegel likewise comments that he grew up in Borough Park and “you learn that in the politics of NYC, insular communities are a politically powerful voting block.”

Mayoral spokesperson Austin Finan said in a statement, “The assertion that DOE has not sent requests for information to schools is inaccurate. The mayor believes strongly that every child in our city deserves a first-rate education. The DOE’s investigation of these schools is active and ongoing,” he added. “We will not comment further on an ongoing investigation.”

Siegel warned the group might end up taking the city to court over the issue.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/protesters-want-answers-on-nyc-investigation-of-yeshiva-curricula/2016/04/10/

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