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July 25, 2016 / 19 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘platform’

Rumor: AIPAC Meddling in GOP Platform to Tone-Down Pro-Israel Language

Tuesday, July 12th, 2016

Alan Clemmons, a member of the GOP Platform committee, who on Monday wrote on his Facebook page that he was “honored to propose a strong Israel Plank of the GOP Platform” (See Lori Lowenthal Marcus’s report in today’s Jewish Press), also mentioned that “unfortunately, the saga is not over. The rumor is that AIPAC is trying to recruit surrogates on the Committee to oppose and weaken our strong Israel Plank language tomorrow when it comes before the full committee for approval.”

Last week, the Washington Free Beacon revealed that “AIPAC pursued a quiet campaign to weaken pro-Israel language in the Republican Party’s 2012 platform.” According to the WFB, “AIPAC-backed changes to the 2012 platform included the removal of support for an ‘undivided’ Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, as well as the removal of language calling for the relocation of the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem,” ostensibly to insure a balance on Israel between the Democratic and the Republican platforms.

AIPAC’s success in weakening the 2012 pro-Israel language left some Republicans angry, according to sources who told the Free Beacon that the fight over the platform’s Israel language is likely to renew next week in Cleveland.

AIPAC denied working to cool down the pro-Israel language in the 2012 GOP platform.

But Jeff Dunetz, writing for The Lid, reported Monday that he “was able to contact another person involved with the committee who [confirmed] that they too heard that AIPAC is working on a full court press to roll back the 2016 GOP language.”

Jeff Ballabon, chairman of Iron Dome Alliance, who told the Jewish Press‘ Lori Lowenthal Marcus on Monday evening that AIPAC “is amongst the most firmly pro-Two States,” and that “Republican pro-Israel legislators have grown increasingly less enthusiastic about AIPAC,” also told Jeff Dunetz that he is “personally familiar with a number of instances where AIPAC lobbied against Israel’s clear interests and stated policies in pursuit of their own agenda.”

Clemmons, who posted a link to the Dunetz story on his Facebook page, called on his fellow registered Republican Jews: “If you know any Platform Delegates please send them a note to STAND STRONG FOR ISRAEL!!!”

At this point, these are only rumors based on last week’s story about AIPAC and the 2012 GOP platform language. It should be said that, even if AIPAC denies the new rumor, which they probably will, their involvement in preventing a war between the GOP and DNC over who is more pro-Israel is understandable. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have attempted to make Israel the battlefield where the two sides in this election would fight each other, and no one in their right mind would want this — especially not a political PAC investing in ongoing, day in and day out pro-Israel lobbying.

David Israel

The Terrorist Defender And The Democrats’ Platform

Friday, June 3rd, 2016

After 9/11 and Paris and the beheadings on the beach, after San Bernardino and Charlie Hebdo and the burning of the pilot in the cage, after all the savage terrorist attacks of recent years – you would think the last person the Democrats would choose to help write their platform would be one of the most vocal defenders of a notorious Palestinian terrorist.

But that’s what they just did.

This sad story begins on May 14, 1979. Chaim and Chaya (Irene) Mark, a couple from Connecticut who had immigrated to Israel, were stepping out of a restaurant in the central marketplace of Tiberias when a huge bomb exploded.

“I was hit in the chest and knocked down,” Chaim later recalled. “When I got up, I saw my wife with a leg and arm nearly blown off.”

Two Israeli children were killed in the bombing and 36 other people were maimed. Mrs. Mark spent a year and half in the hospital, undergoing countless surgeries. She was left severely handicapped.

A few weeks later, one of the terrorists involved in the bombing was captured by Israeli police. He confessed to having constructed the bomb and he named one of his PLO comrades, Ziad Abu Eain, as the one who planted it.

Eain had already fled to Chicago – not exactly the behavior of an innocent person. When the FBI came knocking at the Chicago apartment where he was staying, he denied he was Ziad Abu Eain – again, not the kind of response one would expect from an innocent person.

Israel asked the U.S. to hand him over. Eain fought extradition. He used what I call the have-my-cake-and-eat-it-too defense: he denied his guilt and at the same time argued that the bombing was a “political offense.”

That’s right: murdering two Israeli children and crippling a Connecticut housewife was a “political” act.

In jailhouse interviews with the media, in fact, Eain brazenly defended the bombing. He told the Chicago Reader (June 18, 1981) that the Tiberias murders were a justified response to Israeli strikes on PLO targets in Lebanon: “The bombing was like a message. We are still doing something to help you have your freedom.”

Who was Eain’s loudest supporter? James Zogby, who at the time was the founding director of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee. The very first action undertaken by Zogby with the AADC was to launch a campaign of protests, lobbying, and newspaper ads opposing the extradition of Eain.

Soon afterward, Zogby became active in Democratic Party politics, as deputy manager of Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1998 presidential campaigns, then later as “Senior Adviser on Ethnic Outrage” for Al Gore in 2000 and Barack Obama in 2008. Since 2001, Zogby has been a member of the Democratic National Committee.

And last week, he was named as one of the 17 members of the committee that will draft this year’s Democratic Party platform. (He was chosen by Sen. Bernie Sanders, who’d been allotted several slots to fill on the platform-writing committee.)

In his efforts on behalf of the Tiberias bomber, Zogby charged that extraditing Eain would create a dangerous precedent for handing over individuals accused of “political crimes.” Zogby also played the race card. He told the Washington Post (July 24, 1981): “The only way to account for the State Department’s and the U.S. attorney’s behavior in this case is the fact that Ziad Abu Eain is an Arab.”

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected those claims and ordered Eain extradited. The New York Times applauded the extradition. In a lead editorial, it said the “political offense” argument could not be accepted in such a case, since “the crime attributed to Mr. Eain was planting a bomb in a crowded market where children were celebrating Independence Day.”

Zogby was so passionate in support of Eain that even after the bomber was extradited he continued mobilizing AADC members to send letters of protest to the State Department and the Israeli Embassy.

To this day Zogby has never expressed a word of remorse for his crusade on behalf of the Tiberias bomber.

Eain was tried, convicted of murder, and sentenced to life imprisonment. Three years later, he was released in a prisoner exchange. So what did Mr. Innocent do when he was set free? Just two months later, he was arrested for conspiring with other terrorists to hijack an Israeli bus. He spent three more years in prison. When the Oslo accords were signed, Eain, like many terrorists, accepted a senior position in the Palestinian Authority. Evidently he finally recognized the value of “working from within.”

James Zogby, too, understands how effective he can be from “the inside.” Drafting the Democratic Party’s platform plank on Israel will have a lot more influence than organizing petitions on behalf of a Palestinian terrorist with American blood on his hands.

Most people have forgotten about Ziad Abu Eain, the two Israeli children he murdered, and the Connecticut housewife he maimed for life. But the American Jewish community should neither forget nor forgive. Someone who defended a terrorist who harmed Americans should not be rewarded with an influential role in the Democratic Party.

Stephen M. Flatow

Bernie Sanders’s Platform Committee Choices

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders created a stir by announcing his five choices to sit on the Democratic National Convention Platform Committee, which will draft policy positions the party’s candidates for office on various levels are expected to embrace this November.

Sen. Sanders’s slate includes three longtime champions of the Palestinian cause: James Zogby, Prof. Cornel West, and Rep. Keith Ellison, one of two Muslim members of Congress. The other two Sanders picks are environmental activist Bill McKibben and Native American activist Deborah Parker.

(There are fifteen members of the platform committee. Hillary Clinton was given six slots to fill and she chose mainstream liberal Democrats; the remaining four positions will be decided by Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the national convention chair.)

Sen. Sanders himself has in significant part embraced the Palestinian narrative and declared that he wants the U.S. to be more “even-handed” in the Middle East. He has strongly criticized Israel’s settlement policy and characterized Israel’s responses to Palestinian terrorism as “disproportionate.”

So it is clear that a President Sanders would actively seek to substantially alter the strong – and largely unique – decades-long relationship between Israel and the United States. And his platform committee choices seem calculated to ensure that the relationship is placed under a spotlight at the convention – perhaps in the form of a floor fight – even if, as expected, he will not be the Democratic presidential nominee.

Indeed, we still recall the brouhaha that erupted at the 2012 Democratic National Convention when it became known that several key pro-Israel platform passages were not carried over from prior platforms. One of those passages – support for Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – was eventually restored to the platform, but only after an embarrassed chairman ignored three voice votes that indicated a robust number of delegates were in fact not prepared to do so.

Sen. Sanders will almost certainly not be the Democratic presidential nominee. But the fact that younger Democrats overwhelmingly favor his radical positions to those of Hillary Clinton is a troubling sign for Americans who support a strong U.S. presence in the world and a close U.S.-Israel alliance.

Editorial Board

Sanders Picks Pro-Palestinian Zogby for Democratic Platform Committee

Monday, May 23rd, 2016

Sen. Bernie Sanders has picked James Zogby, a long-time pro-Palestinian activist, and Cornel West, a liberal—and very entertaining—racial justice activist, to be among his representatives on the Democratic party’s platform committee. This may be a signal that Sanders intends to pursue a radical policy on both the Israeli-Arab conflict and on African-American issues at the convention and beyond.

Sanders will have a great deal of influence on the Democratic Party platform this year, which is a considerable honor regardless of how much use anyone has for party platforms once the November vote is over.

According to the AP, the two Democratic candidates and the DNC have agreed on a new division of the 15-member platform committee, with Clinton picking six members, Sanders five, and DNC chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz four.

James Zogby is the founder and president of the Arab American Institute (AAI), a Washington, DC organization serving as a political and policy research arm of the Arab-American community. He is Managing Director of the Zogby polling service.

David Israel

FIFA to Rebuild Hamas Rocket Launching Site

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

Jerome Valcke, the secretary-general of FIFA (the International governing body of Soccer) has pledged to rebuild the Gaza soccer stadium that was destroyed by Israel in Operation Pillars of Defence.

On the FIFA site they write,

“We see it our mandate to rebuild football infrastructure which has been destroyed. We will also rebuild the stadium in Gaza, which has been destroyed. Football brings people together and we will support any re-construction necessary when football infrastructure is destroyed through disasters.”

The IDF targeted the Gaza soccer stadium on November 19, 2012, as its field constituted a dual-purpose platform, the first was obviously soccer, while the second use was as a launching pad for long-range rockets that hit Tel Aviv and Gush Etzion (while aiming for Jerusalem).

Hamas uses civilian areas for weapons and terror staging grounds, as well as “human shields” as a matter of policy.

The IDF said it wonders if FIFA is aware that the stadium was used as a rocket launching site.

There’s no word at this time if FIFA plans to also rebuild the launch infrastructure for the Fajr-5 rockets when it rebuilds the rest of the stadium.

Jewish Press News Briefs

On the Guardian’s Opinion Section: Hamas Propoganda

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

IDF strikes on Nov. 18 knocked out the Hamas television stations Al Aqsa and Al Quds in Gaza, but Hamas leaders were likely not too concerned, and knew they could always count on Plan B: Propagandizing at the Guardian.

In fact, later that same day, Nov. 18, a ‘Comment is Free’ essay by the deputy head of Hamas’s political bureau, Musa Abumarzuq, was published – one out of several members of the Islamist terror group who has been published by the paper which aspires to be the ‘world’s leading liberal voice.’

Other than Abumarzuq, who published a previous essay at CiF in 2011, the list includes Hamas ‘Prime Minister’ Ismail Haniyeh, their head of international relations Osama Hamdan, and their ‘advisor‘, Azzam Tamimi.

Abumarzuq’s piece, ‘We in the Gaza Strip will not die in silence,’ is full of unserious, vitriolic claims befitting a group whose founding charter cites the antisemitic forgery ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ as “proof” that Jews indeed are trying to take over the world.

However, Abumarzuq also advances a narrative of Israeli villainy which had already found fertile ground within the Guardian coven of “journalists” and commentators.  Echoing the “analysis” of  Harriet SherwoodSimon TisdallAhdaf Soueif, and Jonathan Freedland, on the “real reasons” for Israeli operation ‘Pillar of Defense,’ the Hamas apparatchik writes the following:

“With the approach of the Israeli elections, the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, wanted to trade with the blood of the Palestinians, especially after his alliance with the ultra-extremist Avigdor Lieberman failed to boost his popularity in the polls as he’d expected. This is not the first time the Israelis have launched a war for electoral gain. Shimon Peres did it to Lebanon in 1996 and the Olmert-Livni-Barak alliance did it to Gaza in 2008.”

Interestingly,  Abumarzuq’s rhetoric is restrained compared to Ahdaf Soueif (a frequent CiF contributor) who, in her piece, literally accused Israeli leaders of murdering Palestinian children for political gain.

Turning to the issue of supreme concern to the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, “human rights”, Abumarzuq complains thus:

“The human rights that Europe claims to defend all over the world are denied to the Palestinian people.”

Which freedoms are cruelly denied to Palestinians, per Abumarzuq?

“The right of people to resist occupation and confront aggression is guaranteed to all peoples; but if Palestinians seek to exercise this right it immediately becomes terrorism and for this they must be persecuted.”

Yes, of course. The Palestinians’ ‘universal’ right of “resistance”, murdering civilians with impunity, is stymied by their cruel Jewish oppressors.

Abumarzuq then adds the following:

“The Israeli military attacks on Gaza did not stop after the last Gaza war. Since 2009, 271 Palestinians have been killed, compared to three Israeli deaths.”

The numbers he cites about Israeli deaths are incorrect.

There have been 3 Israeli deaths since Nov. 14, when operation ‘Pillar of Defense’ began, but the Israeli death toll from Gaza terror attacks since 2009 is 13, not 3.

While you can contact the Guardian’s readers’ editor, Chris Elliott, at readers@guardian.co.uk, to request that Abumarzuq’s lie be corrected, perhaps you should consider asking Mr. Elliott a more pertinent question:

How does he reconcile the ‘progressive’ politics he and the paper he works for evidently aspire to with their decision to continue providing a platform to violent religious extremists who represent ultra right-wing values on issues such as democracy, freedom of the press, the rights of women, gays, and religious minorities?

Though I don’t expect anything resembling an honest answer from Elliott, he and his colleagues need to be confronted with the mounting evidence of their supreme moral hypocrisy.

Visit CifWatch.com.

Adam Levick

Choosing an Accessible Vehicle

Friday, September 14th, 2012

Having mobility issues can be challenging in many ways, from obtaining a proper wheelchair to navigating your environment. One of the biggest challenges is getting from origin to destination. Whether you have your own vehicle or need to rely on public transportation, you need to do research on what is the most appropriate accommodation.

Many major cities now have public transportation that is handicapped accessible, from city buses to taxis. However, most people find it very difficult to get around relying on this. The only practical alternative is to purchase a specially accommodated vehicle.

When shopping for mobility options, don’t be overwhelmed! There is a wide variety of options available.

The requirements these vehicles must meet will vary depending on an individual’s needs. Someone who can drive themselves, or who has the ability to transfer out of their wheelchair into a regular car seat will need a very different vehicle than someone who will always be a passenger and must remain in their wheelchair at all times.

It’s important that you consider your needs, or the needs of the person you’re caring for, not only today, but for the service life of the new vehicle, five or even seven years down the road. Can the person transfer from a wheelchair to a vehicle seat now, but might not be able to in the future? Can you afford to buy one vehicle that’s appropriate now and another one in a few years when that person’s needs have changed?

There’s no such thing as, “one size fits all”. Usually, when people shop for a new car, 99% of the population will comfortably fit into just about every vehicle offered. But the needs of wheelchair and scooter users are much more specific and extremely diverse. Because of the complexity of the choices available and the relatively high cost of these vehicles, families should do their homework carefully to find the right balance between features and price.

A good mobility dealer will serve as your personal mobility expert. It’s their role and responsibility to find the best mobility option to fit your needs, your lifestyle, and your budget. In order to do this, you’ll need to meet with your local mobility dealer in person to find the best available option to fit your family and the wheelchair user. You can either stop by the local dealership or they can schedule a time to visit you at your home.

If you do a search online, you will find a multitude of dealers who can be contacted online and in person. If you visit a local dealer, you can see, touch, and try out the vehicles. And they provide full support after the sale, which is an important service that the online dealers do not offer.

There are many considerations to take into account when deciding which type of vehicle to buy:

Size of wheelchair and wheelchair user – if the wheelchair itself is very large this determines the minimum size of vehicle needed.

Parking availability – Is there a driveway available or only on-street parking? Do you go to school/doctor appointments where parking is limited?

Size of family – Do you have a lot of other family members that also need to fit in the vehicle?

Seating – If an adult is the wheelchair user, would they be driving or be able to sit up front in the regular car seat next to the driver? If it is a child, you will need to put them in the back of the vehicle. There are a variety of vehicles available. Some are adapted with a special lift or ramp for bringing the person into the vehicle in their wheelchair. Others have regular car seats that swing out, enabling someone to transfer or be transferred from their wheelchair to a regular seat.

Minivans-

According to Dan Bussani of Bussani Mobility Team, there are a few different brands of minivans that are available already converted for handicapped access. The main difference between them is the size of the vehicle.

Conversion companies take the basic minivan from the manufacturer and adapt them for wheelchair or scooter accessibility to meet an individual’s daily transportation needs. Approximately 12-15,000 units are done a year.

Elisheva Stein

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/health/choosing-an-accessible-vehicle/2012/09/14/

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