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December 3, 2016 / 3 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘New York City’

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

NYPD Caught in Crossfire While FBI Probes Mayor De Blasio’s Business Contacts

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

The New York Police Department’s top brass — as well as those in the lower echelons — are being questioned by the FBI in a probe that extends all the way to Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The investigation developed as the result of two-year-old corruption probe that began with the 20-year head of a union representing NYC corrections officers, and a second individual who retired in 2014 as the police department’s top uniformed official.

The federal agency is now also focusing on two members of the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn who apparently have ties to the mayor, according to local sources. The specific allegations against the two are unclear.

Both allegedly raised a large amount of money for de Blasio’s mayoral election campaign and served on his inaugural committee in 2013. Neither has been charged with a particular crime, according to The New York Times.

In order to put the pieces together, FBI agents have questioned police officials from the very top of the food chain all the way down to a detective in Brooklyn’s 66th precinct, The New York Post reported Tuesday. That precinct is located in the heart of the deeply Jewish neighborhood of Borough Park.

The list of those questioned included police department chiefs, inspectors, captains and other police officials. A union head for top brass said members have been and still are cooperating with the probe. All have been told they are not the targets of this investigation; but if wrongdoing is uncovered, they could face administrative charges or dismissal. In such cases, “wrongdoing” can include acceptance of gifts, free meals or vacations and similar favors.

The investigation is being conducted with prosecutors from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan.

At least police detective has declined so far to answer questions before a federal grand jury that began hearing evidence in the case.

Police Commissioner William J. Bratton told reporters at an unrelated news briefing Tuesday that the unnamed officer has been stripped of his badge and weapon, and placed on modified assignment until the investigation wraps up.

Hana Levi Julian

Jews Walk to Synagogue in NYC’s 2nd Biggest Blizzard in History

Sunday, January 24th, 2016

Jews in New York City had to walk to prayers Saturday night in the second biggest blizzard ever to hit the city.

In Crown Heights, Brooklyn, the Jewish Haztolah emergency team was able to keep one Jew from becoming a New York City statistic. There were three deaths directly related to snow-shoveling: one on Staten Island and two in Queens, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters at a briefing late Saturday.

At around 7:45 pm Saturday night, the 51-year-old man was clearing the snow from his car when he stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest – but a bystander called Hatzolah.

Divine Providence intervened — and a Hatzolah volunteer happened to be standing only 50 feet away, also clearing his vehicle. He grabbed his equipment and raced over, calling for backup as he flew. Within seconds an ambulance arrived with paramedics and they whisked the man away – pulse restored – to a nearby hospital.

An emergency travel ban was imposed on New York City 6,000 miles of roads but is set to be lifted by 7 am ET.

More than two feet of snow fell on New York – and nearly everywhere else on the Eastern Seaboard of the United States over the weekend.

Nearly 7,000 flights have been cancelled in airports up and down the East Coast. Most of the approximately 4,500 cancellations on Saturday were at New York airports and those in the Washington DC area. Approximately 2,500 cancellations have come in for Sunday and the number is still rising. According to the FlightAware flight tracking service, cancellations have also started for Monday as well; hundreds of people had cancelled their flights by Saturday night. All major airlines issued waivers for the cancelled flights.

The travel ban on New York City streets imposed by New York Governor Andrew Cuomo also applied to Nassau and Suffolk counties and took effect Saturday at 2:30 pm Saturday afternoon, prohibiting all but emergency vehicles from being on the road. “When the snowfall reaches a certain rate, the plows cannot keep up,” Cuomo told journalists.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said he was coordinating decisions with Cuomo. “We are making decisions regarding the roadways in the northern part of the state that lead into New York in conjunction with the governor,” Christie said.

By 4 pm Saturday, all outdoor subways in New York City had shut down due to the storm. Underground subway operations were to continue “as long as feasible,” De Blasio told reporters. Three hundred vehicles in New York City had been towed and there were 270 motor vehicle crashes in the city by midnight Saturday.

All the public libraries, zoos and major museums in New York City closed by 3 pm or earlier. Broadway shows were canceled. A Bruce Springsteen concert set for Sunday at Madison Square Garden was postponed.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jews-walking-to-synagogue-in-nycs-2nd-biggest-blizzard-in-history/2016/01/24/

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