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October 8, 2015 / 25 Tishri, 5776
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘New York’

New York Jews Dumping Clinton for Sanders

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

New York Jews are losing their taste for Hillary Clinton and are moving towards Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden, according to a new Siena College poll.

A majority of 54 percent of Jews in New York view Clinton as “unfavorable,” slightly more than the state average of 51 percent. If primary elections were held today, Clinton would come out on top but only with a plurality of 45%, compared with 24 and 23 percent for Biden and Sanders respectively.

Among Jewish voters, according to JPInsider, registered Democrats would give Clinton only 36 percent of their votes. Biden would win 31% of the Jewish vote, and Sanders would pick up 25 percent.

Clinton is in a tailspin and cannot dig her outsell of her deepening e-mail scandal hole, which makes Sanders look more appealing. Biden still has not announced if he will run, and if he does throw his hat in the ring, he will grab support from those who so far have backed off because of his procrastination.

Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg said:

For the first time ever, Hillary Clinton is under water with New York voters, facing her worst favorability rating ever in her adopted home state. Her favorability rating has seen a net drop of 21 points since July.

However, Clinton is the choice of New York Democrats

On the Republican side, Jews favor Marco Rubio.

Statewide, the Siena poll showed that a majority of Democrats want Biden to run for president.

Trump still leads the Republican field, with a commanding lead of 34% compared with only 14% for Carson and 11% for Bush.

Greenberg added:

Biden runs best against the three leading Republican candidates, and he runs stronger against each of the three than does Clinton with Democrats, Republicans and independents.  Though Sanders has a bigger lead against Bush than does Clinton, she has bigger leads than Sanders against Carson and Trump.


Heathrow Goes Kosher

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Kosher meat and dairy sandwiches now are available at four Heathrow Airport terminals, according got Kosher Today.

The London international hub offers kosher food at the White House Smith stories in terminals 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Kosher food increasingly is available at major international airports, and travel experts said that the London airport can support kosher fare, just as travelers in American airports have gobbled up kosher food from New York to Boston and Florida.

Kapparot ‘Sacrificial Chicken’ Ritual Gets Green Light in New York

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The much-embattled Jewish ritual of using a purchased, donated live chicken as a “kapparah,” or sacrifice with which to absolve one’s sins before Yom Kippur has been given a green light in New York.

The purchased chicken is returned to the organization after completing the prayer and is then ritually slaughtered and donated to the poor for food. In some communities money has replaced the rite where chickens have become unavailable or where politics have made the issue so unpalatable that it community leaders no longer have the energy to cope with the fallout.

State Supreme Court Justice Debra James decided against a petition by The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, ruling there was insufficient evidence to prove the ritual a public nuisance, the New York Post reported last week.

The lawsuit was filed this past July and named several rabbis, synagogues, the New York Police Department and New York City as well. It accused the NYC Health Department and the NYPD of aiding and abetting in the ritual by blocking off streets and sidewalks, and not enforcing city and state health and animal cruelty laws.

Various animal rights organizations, including PETA at one point, have annually made the same attempt.

Rabbi Shea Hecht, chairman of the board of the Chabad-Lubavitch-linked National Committee for Furtherance of Jewish Education (NCFJE), told JewishPress.com in a phone call on Sunday the organization is greatly relieved the judge upheld the ancient custom.

“We are very happy and proud that the Judge held up our Constitutional rights, which are based on freedom of religion, and has allowed us to keep this ancient minhag (custom). Although we recognize that this issue is not over,” he added, “we are thankful to God that we have the opportunity to carry out this important mitzvah to its fullest measure.”

The ritual is carried out as follows:

The live chicken is held above one’s head, and then slowly moved around in three sets of three circles as the petitioner recites a prayer that speaks of the “shadow of death… foolish sinners, afflicted because of their sinful ways and their wrongdoings.”

At no time is it considered permissible to handle the bird roughly, nor is it permissible to torment or upset the bird in any way, which itself is considered the separate sin of tza’ar ba’alei chaim (causing distress to a live creature of God).

The prayer (a brief excerpt follows) goes on to urge repentance, and describe how to expiate one’s sins on the day before Yom Kippur.

“They cry out to the Lord in their distress; He saves them from their afflictions. Redeem him from going down to the grave; I have found expiation [for him]… This is my exchange, this is my substitute, this is my expiation. This rooster/hen shall go to its death and I shall proceed to a good, long life and peace.”

Now More than a Dozen Democratic Reps Against Nuclear Iran Deal

Thursday, August 27th, 2015

New York Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY-12) became the 13th Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives to announce that she will vote against the Nuclear Iran Deal negotiated by the U.S. and its P5+1 partners.

First elected to Congress in 1993, Maloney represents most of Manhattan’s East Side, as well as Queens and Brooklyn. Her district includes the United Nations and the Empire State Building.

Last night Congresswoman Maloney issued a statement opposing the JCPOA.

Maloney said she gave the agreement, “which is one of the most important issues to come before the U.S. Congress in decades,” thoughtful and detailed study, examining the issues, reviewing classified materials, speaking with administration officials, consulting with experts on both sides and listening to community leaders and constituents on both sides.

After tipping her hat to the President and Secretary of State for their diplomatic efforts, she said she had to oppose the agreement “as a matter of conscience.”

Maloney said, as have virtually everyone of the elected officials who have come out in opposition to the deal, that its fatal flaw is that “the deal does not block Iran from eventually acquiring nuclear weapons.”

She pointed out that even given the restraints imposed by the deal, and as the President himself has acknowledged, the breakout time for Iran to become a nuclear threshold state at the end of the deal will have shrunk down to almost zero.

The absence of  so-called ‘anywhere, anytime’ inspections and the lifting of embargoes on conventional weapons and on intercontinental ballistic missiles – for which there is no peaceful use – are all gravely troubling, as is Iran’s continued bankrolling of terrorist regimes throughout the Middle East, which will only be made easier by the infusion of billions of dollars as the result of lifting sanctions.

Maloney ended her statement with a poignant comment:

What we wanted out of this agreement was peace. But before the ink was dry, the Mullahs were declaring, “Death to America.” Some believe that if we can just delay Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, a more moderate regime in a country with a young population will assume power and abandon Iran’s nuclear ambitions. We can hope for the best, but we need an agreement that assumes the worst.

Maloney had been the object of intense pressure by both sides of the Nuclear Iran Deal. On Wednesday, Aug. 26, a delegation from MoveOn.org gathered in front of her office, calling on her to vote in favor of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action. A grass roots coalition of opponents of the JCPOA also gathered, asking that she oppose the deal. Hours later Maloney issued her statement opposing the deal.

One American who feels strongly about the deal and shared his views with his congregation is Rabbi Haskel Lookstein, of Congregation Kehilath Jeshuran on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Rabbi Lookstein told the JewishPress.com that he discussed the Iran deal with his congregation and urged them to call their elected representative – Maloney – and tell her their own views of the deal.

For his part, Lookstein said he feels very strongly that the deal is a bad one. He said “it gives Iran a path to nuclear weapons, it provides a tremendous infusion of money which will be used to foment terror in the Middle East, and it gives Iran an opportunity to continue to build its weapons.”

In addition, the JCPOA “will once again provide them with access to intercontinental ballistic missiles, whose sole purpose is to attack the United States,” according to Lookstein.

He said, the deal “is very bad for the U.S. and a terrible one for Israel. The entire political spectrum in Israel stands united against the deal.”

NYers Fighting Nuclear Iran Deal Gather on Sept. 1

Wednesday, August 26th, 2015

The grass roots organizations which brought you the thousands-strong Stop Iran Now! rally in Times Square in July is calling on New York area residents to join them for a slightly different kind of event against the Nuclear Iran Deal.

“The first time we came out in huge numbers that electrified people across the country. That rally was for those who wanted to understand the Agreement, who needed to learn more about the deal itself,” Jeff Wiesenfeld, the master of ceremonies and one of the founding members of the Jewish Rapid Response Coalition told the JewishPress.com.

“The Sept. 1 event is to energize people and get them to inform their elected representatives that they oppose the Agreement and will remember in November how their representatives voted in September,” Wiesenfeld explained.

This event is taking place in front of the New York City offices of the two U.S. Senators who represent New York, Senator Chuck Schumer and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, beginning at 5:30 p.m., in front of 780 Third Avenue, at the corner of 49th Street.

Earlier today it was announced that the Sept. 1 rally will be a bipartisan one. Addressing those gathered will be former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman (D-CT) and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC), a current candidate for president. The two will deliver a major foreign policy address, one that emphasizes the bipartisan responsibility to protect the United States and our allies from the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran, and that the current deal will not prevent that danger.

“The organizers of the initial rally always planned on having a follow-up rally in order to maintain the momentum of the critical message that this catastrophic deal cannot stand,” emphasized Lauri Regan, the New York chair of EMET, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank which deals with the Middle East, and a central organizer of the two events.

“Once Senator Gillibrand came out in favor of what she ironically labelled ‘the imperfect deal,’ it became clear that our focus would turn from asking Senator Schumer to do the right thing to thanking him and telling Gillibrand that New Yorkers will not stand while she surrenders American national security to a mullahcracy with a foreign policy based on ‘Death to America.’

Another one of the organizers, Rabbi Elchanon Poupko, told the JewishPress.com that “Shortly after the [July] rally Chuck Schumer came out opposing the deal.”

Poupko described the thousands of people who came to that first event, and that it sent shock waves throughout the world. “It was reported from Asia to South America!” Poupko and his colleagues hope to send the strongest possible message to Washington to ‘Stop Iran Now!’ As the vote on the deal is approaching, “We hope many more will join us in making that call.”

The July 22 event focused heavily on Schumer who was in a difficult position politically – so many of his constituents and long-time supporters were urging him to vote his conscience and oppose the deal. The administration was pressuring all Democrats in Congress, but especially someone so visible and senior as Schumer, to be a team player and throw his weight behind the Agreement.

The junior Senator from New York, Gillibrand, has since come out in support of the deal, and she will be the heavy focus of attention on Sept. 1.

“As a Senator of New York which suffered the greatest terrorist attack on U.S. soil, Ms. Gillibrand must oppose this deal,” said Hillary Barr, the founder of Mothers Against Terrorism and a core organizer of the two NYC Anti-Nuclear Iran Deal events this summer.

“This Iran deal puts the U.S. and its armed forces in grave danger,” Barr said.

US Clams Up on Whether Foreign Aid Helps PA Post Bond in Terror Suit [video]

Tuesday, August 25th, 2015

The U.S. State Dept. clammed up Monday when asked bothersome questions concerning a federal court decision Monday to drastically lower the bond the Palestinian Authority has to put up in a $665 million lawsuit against the Ramallah-based regime.

Spokesman John Kirby also refused to say whether the judge had lowered the bond enough to satisfy the United States, which intervened in the case by arguing that a higher bond could bankrupt the Palestinian Authority and might damage the non-existent “peace process.”

TheJewishPress.com reported here yesterday :

The judge in a New York terrorism case that ended in a victory for the plaintiffs…imposed a $10 million bond on the defendants, the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestinian Authority. The defendants must also make $1 million monthly payments during the duration of any appeals of the $655 million award to the plaintiffs at the end of the jury trial back in February…

Attorneys for the plaintiffs, which included the Israeli law firm Shurat HaDin, had requested a $30 million monthly bond be paid into an account until the case is resolved.

State Dept. spokesman John Kirby, who is supposed to provide information while making every effort to avoid embarrassing the government, made the Obama administration look a bit stupid Monday by turning on the tape recorder to repeat “no comment” over and over instead of directly answering questions.

Associated Press journalist Matt Lee asked:

Is that [$10 million bond]– in the Administration’s view, is that too much to be asking? Does this place an undue – does the Administration believe it places an undue burden on the Palestinians?

Kirby reiterated the facts of the U.S. intervention and concluded:

And I’m not going to be able to comment further.

Lee then asked:

Well, is the United States concerned at all that some or any of this money will be actual money that you might have provided to the Palestinians in the past?

Guess what Kirby answered?

I’m just not going to be able to comment further, Matt.

And when Lee asked why not answer, Kirby reiterated:

I’m not going to be able to comment further on this particular case.

Well, maybe Kirby could comment on Lee; question if “the judge in making his determination today, took your statement of interest on board, or is this onerous to the Palestinians or unhelpful to U.S. foreign policy?”

And Kirby turned on the tape recorder again to say:

I mean, I understand the question, Matt. I’m just not going to be able to comment further today.

Al Quds reporter Sayeed Erekat chimed in to ask:

You being their largest contributor, giving the Palestinians close to $500 million a year, will you guarantee those, like a loan guarantee for $10 million and 1 million more a month?

And Kirby answered, of course:

I don’t have anything further to add on this today.

The no-answer session begins at 48:32 in the video below.


Key Democratic Senators Cardin and Mikulski Still on the Fence on Iran

Sunday, August 23rd, 2015

Two Democratic U.S. senators from Maryland – Ben Cardin and Barbara Mikulski – remain undecided about the agreement. Cardin is the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Congress is in the midst of a 60-day period to review the Obama administration-brokered Iran nuclear deal.

While it is expected that virtually all 54 Republicans in the Senate will vote against the Iran deal, 67 anti-deal votes are needed to override President Barack Obama’s veto of a possible Congressional rejection of the pact. The only two Senate Democrats who have publicly come out against the agreement so far are Sens. Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) and Robert Menendez (N.J.).

Asked where Cardin stands on the nuclear deal, and whether or not his decision will be affected by the recent report that the U.N.’s nuclear watchdog made a side agreement with Iran that allows the Islamic Republic to carry out its own inspections at the Parchin nuclear site, Cardin spokesperson Sue Walitsky said the senator told JNS:

[He] continues to review all aspects of the agreement to determine what decision he’ll make.

He continues to study the details of this deal, reach out to experts for answers to his many questions, and engage Marylanders to get their thoughts.

There is great intensity on all sides of this issue, but the feedback has been decidedly mixed. He believes that each senator and member of Congress has to make his or her own decision based on what is right for our country—not party, not president, but the national security of the United States of America.

He does not plan to rush his decision based on what others may decide.

When contacted by JNS.org, Mikulski’s office said the senator is currently traveling and unable to return a request for comment.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/key-democratic-senators-cardin-and-mikulski-still-on-the-fence-on-iran/2015/08/23/

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