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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Ohio’

Analysis: Trump’s Anti-Terror Plan Calls for Tough Immigrant Vetting, International Coalition Against ISIS [video]

Tuesday, August 16th, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Monday gave a foreign policy speech in Youngstown, Ohio, outlining his plan to fight terrorism. Addressing the large crowd (as usual), Trump opened, “Today we begin a conversation about how to Make America Safe Again. In the 20th Century, the United States defeated Fascism, Nazism, and Communism. Now, a different threat challenges our world: Radical Islamic Terrorism.”

The candidate cited a very long list of terrorist attacks against individual Western targets (Paris, Brussels, Orlando), as well as a more generalized but no less forceful depiction of attacks on Muslims: “Overseas, ISIS has carried out one unthinkable atrocity after another. … We cannot let this evil continue.”

Trump promised, “We will defeat Radical Islamic Terrorism, just as we have defeated every threat we have faced in every age before.” He then threw a jab at both president Obama and Democratic presidential Candidate Clinton, saying, “Anyone who cannot name our enemy, is not fit to lead this country.”

This led to a Trump analysis of how President Obama and his Secretary of State Clinton are to blame for the current alarming state of events. He blamed them for policies that led to the creation of ISIS, saying, “It all began in 2009 with what has become known as President Obama’s global ‘Apology Tour.’”

Remarkably, Trump omitted eight whole years in which the US was attacked by a different group of Islamic radicals, and the fact that then President GW Bush retaliated by invading a country that had nothing to do with that attack, inflicting chaos on Iraq and taking out the one fierce regional enemy of Iran, Saddam Hussein. According to Trump, none of those eight bloody years of a Bush war had anything to do with the creation of ISIS (which took place in 2004) — it all began with “a series of speeches,” in which “President Obama described America as ‘arrogant,’ ‘dismissive,’ ‘derisive,’ and a ‘colonial power.'”

“Perhaps no speech was more misguided than President Obama’s speech to the Muslim World delivered in Cairo, Egypt, in 2009,” Trump said Monday night. Of course, the Obama Al Azhar University speech did launch a bizarre foreign policy that punished America’s friends and rewarded its enemies. Even if one were not pro-Israel, one would have to wonder what drove that disastrous foreign policy. But the Obama speech did not instigate the catastrophic failure of US policy in the Middle East, it only picked up Obama’s predecessor’s very bad situation and made it worse.

Trump believes that “the failure to establish a new Status of Forces Agreement in Iraq, and the election-driven timetable for withdrawal, surrendered our gains in that country and led directly to the rise of ISIS.” But in eight miserable years, having spent trillions of borrowed dollars our grandchildren and their grandchildren after them will continue to pay for, there were no US gains in Iraq — which is why when Obama honored the Bush agreement with the Iraqi government and withdrew some of the US forces, the whole thing came tumbling down.

Trump blames Hillary Clinton for destabilizing Libya, a claim supported by many, including President Obama and former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates. He also added a jab at the Clintons, saying, “Yet, as she threw the Middle East into violent turmoil, things turned out well for her. The Clintons made almost $60 million in gross income while she was Secretary of State.” It’s factually true, but the implied moral outrage is hard to accept with a straight face, seeing as it came from a man who prided himself on turning homeowners’ misery into a hefty profit for himself during the housing crisis of 2008.

After much more of the candidate’s unique view on US foreign policy and the causes for rise of terrorism, Trump finally cut to the chase.

“If I become President, the era of nation-building will be ended,” he said. “Our new approach, which must be shared by both parties in America, by our allies overseas, and by our friends in the Middle East, must be to halt the spread of Radical Islam. … As President, I will call for an international conference focused on this goal. We will work side-by-side with our friends in the Middle East, including our greatest ally, Israel. We will partner with King Abdullah of Jordan, and President [Al] Sisi of Egypt, and all others who recognize this ideology of death that must be extinguished.”

Trump added to the list of his envisioned coalition partners the NATO countries, explaining that although he “had previously said that NATO was obsolete because it failed to deal adequately with terrorism; since my comments they have changed their policy and now have a new division focused on terror threats.”

He also wants Russia to participate, clearly despite its dubious new alliance with both Iran and Turkey that threatens the very presence of US troops in that part of the region.

On this point, the Trump vision looks an awful lot like the current Administration’s policy on fighting ISIS: “My Administration will aggressively pursue joint and coalition military operations to crush and destroy ISIS, international cooperation to cutoff their funding, expanded intelligence sharing, and cyberwarfare to disrupt and disable their propaganda and recruiting. We cannot allow the Internet to be used as a recruiting tool, and for other purposes, by our enemy – we must shut down their access to this form of communication, and we must do so immediately.”

So far so good, but then Trump suggested “we must use ideological warfare as well. Just as we won the Cold War, in part, by exposing the evils of communism and the virtues of free markets, so too must we take on the ideology of Radical Islam.”

Trump then depicted his opponent as contributing to the repression of Muslim gays and women, promising his “Administration will speak out against the oppression of women, gays and people of different faith. Our Administration will be a friend to all moderate Muslim reformers in the Middle East, and will amplify their voices.”

At which point one must ask if the candidate is relying on expert advise on the Middle East. Because while he is absolutely right in condemning the cruelty and repression that have been the reality in Muslim countries from Pakistan to Morocco, his idea of promoting an American foreign policy of “speaking out against the horrible practice of honor killings” and against the myriad other acts of unimaginable violence against women, his ideas that to defeat Islamic terrorism, the US must “speak out forcefully against a hateful ideology that provides the breeding ground for violence and terrorism to grow” is shockingly sophomoric. Surely Trump knows that these attempts are a recipe for a far worse disaster than the one brought on by the Obama Al Azhar speech.

At this point, Trump turned to an area with which he is more familiar, the need for a new immigration policy. “A Trump Administration will establish a clear principle that will govern all decisions pertaining to immigration: we should only admit into this country those who share our values and respect our people,” the candidate declared, adding that “the time is overdue to develop a new screening test for the threats we face today.”

“In addition to screening out all members or sympathizers of terrorist groups, we must also screen out any who have hostile attitudes towards our country or its principles – or who believe that Sharia law should supplant American law,” Trump said, explaining that “those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into the country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country – and to embrace a tolerant American society – should be issued visas.”

Easier said than done, of course, because it’s naturally difficult to discern what lurks inside the mind of any person, immigrants included. Trump’s solution is, to “temporarily suspend immigration from some of the most dangerous and volatile regions of the world that have a history of exporting terrorism.”

“As soon as I take office, I will ask the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security to identify a list of regions where adequate screening cannot take place. We will stop processing visas from those areas until such time as it is deemed safe to resume based on new circumstances or new procedures.” It should be interesting to gauge the response of, say, casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, to the news that no more cash-laden Arab oil sheiks would be allowed to visit Vegas under a Trump Administration.

“Finally, we will need to restore common sense to our security procedures,” Trump declared, listing several notorious murders committed by Muslims on US soil, noting that in each case there had been warning signs that were overlooked by the authorities.

“These warning signs were ignored because political correctness has replaced common sense in our society,” Trump stated flatly, adding, “That is why one of my first acts as President will be to establish a Commission on Radical Islam. … The goal of the commission will be to identify and explain to the American public the core convictions and beliefs of Radical Islam, to identify the warning signs of radicalization, and to expose the networks in our society that support radicalization.”

“This commission will be used to develop new protocols for local police officers, federal investigators, and immigration screeners,” Trump said, essentially suggesting legitimizing the police profiling that has been so vilified in the media and by many politicians. He also promised to keep Guantanamo Bay prison open (although Obama has just released fifteen of its inmates). He wants additional staff to Intelligence agencies and will keep drone strikes against terrorist leaders as part of his options. He also wants military trials for foreign enemy combatants.

In conclusion, there was absolutely no new policy idea in the Trump speech on foreign policy Monday night, but there was an implied, if mostly unspoken promise, to encourage all levels of law enforcement to be less restrained in pursuing their targets. In fact, across the board, what Trump was offering Monday night were not so much new ideas as the promise of taking existing ideas to a new level of dedication in their execution. It could mean a wider loss of individual civil rights, and serious economic hardship for US industries that cater to any aspect of immigration, and it could also end up with the alienation of both European and Mid-Eastern countries who would not take kindly to Trump’s promised level of fierceness, and would retaliate.

It should be noted in that context, that after having spoken bluntly about extreme security measures that could harm specific ethnic and religious groups, Trump attempted to soften his own tone with a final paragraph that promised: “As your President … I will fight to ensure that every American is treated equally, protected equally, and honored equally. We will reject bigotry and oppression in all its forms, and seek a new future built on our common culture and values as one American people. — Only this way, will we make America Great Again and Safe Again – For Everyone.”

Like him or hate him, Donald Trump remains the champion of cognitive dissonance.

 

JNi.Media

Donald Trump: ‘Our Greatest Ally in the Region [is] Israel’

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

GOP candidate Donald J. Trump accepted his party’s nomination for president Thursday night at the fourth and final night of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Introduced to the packed arena of 50,000 delegates, the political novice opened with a small smile, and a question. “Who would have believed when we started this on June 16 that the Republican Party would receive almost 14 million votes — the most in the history of the party? The Republican has party received 60 percent more votes than it received eight years ago,” he said. By comparison, the Democratic Party received “20 percent fewer votes than it received four years ago … not so good. Not so good,” he shook his head.

“Together we will lead our party back to the White House and we will lead our country back to safety and peace… But we will also be a country of law and order,” he said. “Beginning on January 20, safety will be restored,” he said.

But it was in the foreign policy section of his speech, that Trump focused on the issue of world terror, and in particular, the situation in the Middle East. He noted it had become “worse than it has ever been before.”

“After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the entire world,” Trump declared. “Libya is in ruins and our Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis, and now threatens the West.

“This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism, and weakness. But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy,” Trump said.

“A change in leadership is required to produce a change in outcomes,” he noted.

“Once again, France is the victim of brutal Islamic terrorism. Men, women and children viciously mowed down. Lives ruined. Families ripped apart. A nation in mourning.

“The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been proven over and over — at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. And many many other locations.

“To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things,” Trump said.

“We must have the best — absolutely the best — gathering of intelligence anywhere in the world. The best.

“We must abandon the failed policy of nation-building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, in Libya, in Egypt and in Syria.

“Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terrorism and doing it now, doing it quickly.

“This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel.

“Recently, I have said NATO is obsolete because it did not properly cover terror, and also that many of the member countries were not paying their fair share. As usual, the United States has been picking up the costs,” he said.

“Shortly thereafter, it was announced that NATO will be setting up a new program in order to combat terrorism.

“A true step in the right direction,” he commented.

Hana Levi Julian

Sen. Ted Cruz Snubbed by GOP Mega-Donors Sheldon and Miriam Adelson After Non-Endorsement

Thursday, July 21st, 2016

Texan Senator Ted Cruz may have won a battle Wednesday night but it sure looks like he lost the war. He was pointedly turned away from billionaire Sheldon and Miriam Adelson’s suite at the Cleveland Arena Wednesday night after not endorsing Donald Trump in his speech on Day 3 at the Republican National Convention.

Cruz had stood his ground and plainly refused to endorse the party’s elected candidate to run for president of the United States.

He paid a price for his choice in the party, in media coverage, politically across the spectrum and financially as well.

When he later went to the on-site suite of Las Vegas Sands Casino chairman and his wife, each a billionaire in their own right — perhaps to explain himself more fully — he was pointedly turned away.

The message could not have been more clear.

This was one that Cruz should have seen coming. The couple had told media in the spring they would back Trump.

All the candidates had, from the start, signed the same agreement: they would back the party’s nominee at the end of the process. Ultimately, Cruz balked, with personal ethics winning out over politics. Ironically Donald Trump respected his choice.

Sources in the Cruz campaign told CNN the former candidate “expected people to not approve” and was “not surprised at the reaction.” But his wife required a security escort to leave the arena — which he may not have anticipated. His own state party chairs were disgusted with what they called “selfish” behavior and some denounced him to his face on the floor. A Fox News team doing the post-analysis pointed out that he seemed to be “running for the next campaign, maybe for 2018,” calling him the “eternal presidential candidate” with a chuckle.

The speech started out strong enough, talking about Republican values, support for freedom, law and order, good education and healthcare — the very things backed by GOP presidential candidate Donald J. Trump. He even backed the now-infamous “wall” to block illegal migrants, and called on everyone to come out for the vote in November. He praised the “New York delegation.”

But Cruz appeared to take a left turn somewhere towards a description of his parents’ struggles, and the grieving daughter of one of the Dallas cops who was shot and killed by a U.S. Armed Forces veteran-turned-terrorist.

“We must make the most of our moments, to fight for freedom, to protect our God given rights, even if with those with whom we don’t agree, so that when we are old and gray, and when our work is done, and we give those we love one final kiss goodbye, we will be able to say freedom matters and I was part of something beautiful,” he said.

Bam.

The crowd booed, as Cruz said his final lines and left the stage.

Apparently none of this was a surprise to the Trump campaign, whose people knew when Cruz took the stage on Night 3 of the Republican National Convention that he would not endorse their nominee. He had already told them, and in fact Trump’s people had seen the text of his speech, and vetted it.

(The text of the speech can be found in The Washington Post.)

But as everyone pointed out after the night was over, it was in the interests of the party and the two candidates to show unity and largeness of spirit in allowing all the former contenders a chance to speak. That included Cruz, and his sour grapes.

Hana Levi Julian

Donald Trump Drops Campaign Manager Corey Lewandowski

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Presumptive GOP nominee for president Donald Trump has announced the dismissal of his national campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski.

“The Donald J. Trump Campaign for President, which has set a historic record in the Republican primary having received almost 14 million votes, has today announced that Corey Lewandowski will no longer be working with the campaign,” Hope Hicks, campaign spokesperson, said in a statement. “The campaign is grateful to Corey for his hard work and dedication and we wish him the best in the future.”

U.S. media outlets were buzzing with the news on Monday morning as speculation was rampant over the reasons for the dismissal.

Trump’s staff and advisers have been expressing concerns over the campaign manager’s quick temper for months, and “some even planned a coup against him last month,” according to sources quoted by Politico.

Trump was facing external pressure to fire Lewandowski after the campaign manager was accused last week of grabbing the arm of former Breitbart News reporter Michelle Fields.

Lewandowski and Trump both disputed the reporter’s account of the incident and the candidate stood by his campaign manager. But according to Politico, Lewandowski has a long history of inappropriate behavior, documented by interviews with more than 20 sources who worked with him over the past year and in his previous position.

According to those reports, there were numerous complaints about Lewandowski’s behavior with reporters — aggression with male reporters and sexual inappropriateness with female reporters — as well as belligerence with officials and coworkers who appeared to challenge his authority.

The New York Times concurred: “The campaign manager was seen as having a hostile relationship with many members of the national press corps that covers Mr. Trump, and many officials at the Republican National Committee had strained relationships with him,” according to the article announcing Lewandowski’s dismissal.

Responding to email questions from Politico, Lewandowski said in “mostly one-word answers” that he welcomes dissenting strategic viewpoints. He said his relationship with the Trump family is “solid.” But he declined to discuss his employment at his previous position with the Koch Brothers’ “Americans for Prosperity.”

According to NYT, Lewandowski was “often at odds” with the Trump campaign’s chief strategist, Paul Manafort, and at times blocked or countermanded his staff hires.

More to the point, the general discontent below the surface within the campaign as well as the discontent above the surface within the Republican Party made it clear that changes were necessary in order to coalesce a unified group that was capable of taking on the race against Hillary Clinton, according to those who were briefed on Lewandowski’s dismissal.

A source quoted by NYT said the move has been in the works “for many weeks” and said the focus is now zeroing in on “bringing the party together, including hiring new staff members and adjusting to the race” against Hillary Clinton.

With the Republican National Convention set for July 18-21 in Cleveland, there isn’t much time to get that done and the show on the road.

Hana Levi Julian

Kasich’s Speech to AIPAC [video]

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

Ohio Gov. John Kasich, the third contender for the Republican nomination for President of the United States spoke at the policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Council on Monday, March. 21. Kasich spoke after Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, so his transcript and video were not available when the AIPAC edition was published on Monday.

Here is Kasich’s entire speech:

Well, I’m delighted to be back at AIPAC, an organization I’ve known and worked with since the early 1980s.

You know, back then your audience numbered in the hundreds. A testament to AIPAC is that those crowds are now in the thousands, as we can see today.

FIRST VISIT TO ISRAEL IN 1983

You know, I first visited Israel in 1983 with my late dear friend Gordon Zacks. As you all know, Gordon was a founding member of AIPAC, and it was on that trip that I actually visited Bethlehem and I called my mother on Christmas night from Jerusalem. As you can imagine, it was a very, very special moment. And Gordon always reminded me of it.

Gordon helped me as much as anyone has over the years to know and to appreciate the importance of our relationship with Israel and Israel’s unique security challenges. And I can’t think of a better guy who could have taken me to Israel.

AVITAL AND NATAN SHARANSKY

It was on my trip in 1983 that Gordon introduced me to Avital Sharansky, when her husband Natan was still in a Soviet prison. She told me her husband’s story over lunch at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem and said she was going to Washington to plead for his release. I asked her, would you mind if I organized a rally in support of your husband on the steps of the Capitol. And so we came together in a bipartisan way to call for Natan Sharansky’s release.

You know, Gordy had taken Sharansky into the Oval Office to meet with the President Reagan. And when the meeting ended, Mrs. Sharansky was told by the president I will not rest until your husband is free. Sharansky’s story has always inspired me from the day that Gordy first introduced me to Avital. But I don’t know how many of you here have ever read his book, “Fear No Evil.”

Natan wrote in that book, as I related to him, and he said, I’m glad that you saw it, that when they went to him in the prison, they wanted him to confess something. And they said to Natan, well, you understand that Galileo even confessed. And think about Sharansky sitting in that prison in that solitary confinement. And he thought to himself and told them you’re using Galileo against me? No one will ever use me any against any other prisoner of conscience. For that he deserves to always be remembered.

I had a phone conversation with Natan for years, but I never had the chance to meet him. And ironically, I met him at the cemetery when we laid Gordy Zacks to rest, where Natan gave a eulogy on behalf of our great friend. Look, I want it to be clear to all of you that I remain unwavering in my support for the Jewish state and the unique partnership between the United States and Israel.

AMERICAN SUPPORT FOR ISRAEL

When I was first introduced to Israel and some of its leaders, of course the core of our partnership with Israel was already very well- defined. And we give thanks to Harry Truman for the courageous steps he took when Israel was first established.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Crowd Assaults Anti-Islamist for Tearing Pages out of Koran [video]

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

A “professional” protester yelled at a Ohio university that the Koran is evil and ripped out some pages. A crowd assaulted him. Whether it was a “vile and disgusting” action or “freedom of speech, or both, an anti-Islamist activist got his point across through social media that has posted a video of his ripping pages out of the “evil” Koran.

The man, identified as John Williams, showed up on Ohio’s Wright State University and ranted against the Islamic holy book while surrounded by a crowd that included Muslims who did not take kindly to the sermon.

When Williams started ripping out pages from the book, he was assaulted, and police intervened to protect him.

Wright State Police Chief David Finnie said:

Our role here was simple. First of all, we support people expressing their First Amendment rights. There’s no better place than an academic setting.

University President David Hopkins expressed his own personal opinions of Williams’ performance:

An individual not associated with our university ventured onto our campus and expressed himself in ways that many found disrespectful to various groups because of their religion, sexual orientation, gender, or status as a victim of sexual assault. His actions, in my opinion, were vile and disgusting.

We all understand that public universities are places where a free exchange of ideas promotes the intellectual development of students and informs civic activity and policy beyond campus.

Williams said he is a member of “Quad Gods,” a group that criss-crosses the United States with religious protests.

He told the crowd, “God is love.”

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

African-American Converts Make Aliyah to Israel

Sunday, July 19th, 2015

“We will be a part of something so big—it is unthinkable to me,” Tracie Beavers said three-quarters of the way through a nearly 12-hour flight last week.

The Columbus, Ohio, mother of three was on her way to Israel, making aliyah with the support of the Nefesh B’Nefesh (NBN) agency.

Tracie’s journey is an unlikely one that began about a decade ago, peaking in 2013 and triumphing when she boarded the plane to Israel. Tracie and her husband Aaron are both African-American converts to Judaism. Their long-winding path to the Jewish homeland began a generation ago with Aaron Beavers’ father, who “changed his lifestyle” when he discovered Torah, said Tracie.

Aaron’s father infused in him a love of yiddishkeit, though he never converted his wife or children. Aaron Beavers was raised Christian, but nearly two decades later, he came to the same conclusion as his father—that Torah is truth.

In 2009, Aaron and Tracie decided they wanted to be Jewish. In 2013, they completed their conversion. They pro-ceeded converted their oldest children—Anayah, 8, and Gabrielle, 6. Chanan, 2, was born into the Jewish faith.

About a year ago, the family decided the next step was moving to Israel.

“If you believe something, you should do it as much as you possibly can. You should be as close to it as you can,” Aaron Beavers told JNS.org.

The family has moved to Bat Hefer, a community in the Sharon plain, east of the central Israeli city of Netanya. Aaron said he plans to be a plumber. Tracie will continue to stay at home with the children. A former member of the U.S. National Guard, she said she now hopes to volunteer for the Israel Defense Forces.

The members of the Beavers family were just a handful of the 221 diverse faces—all newly minted immigrants in the Jewish state—aboard the NBN charter flight on the El Al airline that took off from New York City’s John F. Ken-nedy International Airport on July 12. It was the 53rd charter flight in NBN’s history. Other organizational partners behind the flight included Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption, the Jewish Agency for Israel, Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael, and JNF-USA.

NBN’s co-founder, Rabbi Joshua Fass, told the group prior to takeoff, “Returning to Zion is like dreaming. … It is a diverse group of Jews coming together for a common dream.” The other co-founder, Tony Gelbart, said each aliyah flight is as exciting as the next.

“For these olim (immigrants to Israel), it is their first time,” he said.

Aboard the plane were a four-month-old baby and a 90-year-old bubbie, as well as two sets of three-generation families. In total, there were 32 families and 95 children. NBN has helped more than 45,000 olim get to Israel since its founding in 2001.

The 90-year-old bubbie was Sue Friedman, grandmother of Rachel Azaria, a member of the Israeli Knesset for the Kulanu party. Friedman said she has wanted to move to Israel since she left Germany at the age of 13, years before the Nazis annihilated 6 million Jews during the Holocaust. She spent many years raising a family in Riverdale, N.Y., but infused in all of her children a love of the Jewish state. She is being embraced in Israel by 27 great-grandchildren.

“I am ready,” she told JNS.org. Friedman is now residing in an independent living facility in Ra’anana.

While there were mixed emotions in the air as families boarded the flight in New York, leaving loved ones behind in America and feeling unsure of what exactly the future holds in Israel, there was nothing but joy upon landing.

JNS News Service

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/afro-american-converts-make-aliyah-to-israel/2015/07/19/

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