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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘platform’

Why didn’t they leave the platform alone?

Wednesday, September 5th, 2012

Earlier today I discussed the surprising degree to which the 2012 Democratic platform differed from the 2008 and 2004 platforms in respect to Israel. The changes represent a significant tilt toward Palestinian positions on Arab refugees,Jerusalem and Hamas. It also leaves out prior language about helpingIsrael maintain a “qualitative military edge” over its adversaries.

The interesting question is “why did they change it?” A platform is not a binding document; it is intended as a general statement of a party or candidate’s positions. Its planks are generally written to appeal the broadest possible constituencies. Most voters never read platforms or care about them.

If they had not changed the 2008 text nobody would have noticed. And at a time when Republican opponents are doing their best to argue that Obama is an anti-Israel president, one would expect Democrats to avoid giving them ammunition.

Unless they think that being anti-Israel is a plus. This would also fit in with recent public statements and actions regarding Iran, which they present as a problem forIsrael but not particularly the US.

But polls consistently show that the majority of Americans supportIsrael. So how can this make sense? To answer this, we need to look at who these pro-Israel Americans are; and by in large, they are not likely Obama voters. Most are white Evangelical Protestants, who are solidly Republican already. Some — a comparatively tiny number — are Jews for whomIsraelis a major issue that influences their vote. Many of these have already abandoned Obama. The majority of Jews, however, lean Democratic on the basis of domestic issues and will not be affected.

If this tilt againstIsraeldoesn’t hurt Obama too much, where does it help him? There are two groups that will take notice and approve of the change. One is his left-wing base. These are mostly students and others who have a “postcolonial” anti-Zionist (and anti-Western) point of view. It is critical for the Democrats to enlist these activists in the final get-out-the-vote effort.

It seems that just as Romney barely budged toward the center after receiving the nomination, so too Obama prefers to activate his troops rather than to reach out for undecided votes.

The second group of voters is the Ron Paul crowd. They have not as yet displayed much affection for either Obama or Romney, but they will find the suggestion of less military aid toIsraelappealing. They are also happy to see Obama avoiding ‘complicity’ in a possible Israeli attack on Iran.These two groups, along with American Muslims, constitute an anti-Zionist bloc. This move locks it in for Obama.

There is another possibility that cannot be discounted. That is that the change is intended to send a message to the leadership of the Muslim nations that Obama has been courting since his 2009 speech in Cairo — Turkey, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc. — a message that he is taking concrete steps to weaken the “unbreakable bond” between the US and Israel. Perhaps he is finally working to fulfill his promise to pro-Palestinian activist Ali Abunimah that he would be “more up front” in helping the Palestinians in the future.

Visit Vic Rosenthal’s blog, Fresno Zionism.

1500-Year-Old Jewish Town Discovered

Monday, September 3rd, 2012

After more than 100 years of archeological research in Israel, I’m always surprised there’s still so much more to discover.  Sadly, today most such discoveries are driven by construction work.

The Israeli Antiquities Authority announced today that a 6th century Jewish town was discovered north of Beersheba, during work on the southern extension of Route 6.

The archeologists discovered two ritual baths (mikveh) and two large public buildings.  Both buildings had a large platform facing Jerusalem, and archeologists think they served either as synagogues or as a beit midrash, a place for Torah study.

The town was evacuated at the end of the 6th century or the beginning of the 7th century.  A century later a new town was built over the ancient remains.

NY City Councilman Dan Halloran in Israel

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Dan Halloran, who is a candidate for the US congress from the state of New York joins Yishai in our Mount of Olives studio.   Together, they discuss Halloran’s background and his reasons for visiting in Israel and move on to talk about how the Islamic world wants to discredit and destroy a Jewish tie to the Land of Israel.  Halloran gives his opinion about whether Jonathan Pollard, a Jewish prisoner who has been held by the United States for espionage for over 25 years, should be released and ends his talk with Yishai by giving his principal ideas behind his platform.  Yishai ends the segment by talking about the relationship that should exist between the United States and Israel.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
Yishai on Facebook

Choice Of Carter As Convention Speaker Decried

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Former president Jimmy Carter, who has garnered much criticism in recent years for his harsh words about Israel, will address the Democratic National Convention in prime time.

The Democratic National Convention Committee and Obama for America announced that Carter will speak Sept. 4 via video on the second day of the convention in Charlotte, N.C.

“President Carter is one of the greatest humanitarian leaders of our time and a champion of democracy around the globe,” said convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa, who also called the former president “a lifelong champion of human rights and investments in education and energy.”

He said that Carter “will provide unique insight” for economic recovery.

Abraham Foxman, national director of Anti-Defamation League, sharply criticized the invitation.

“I wish he wouldn’t [speak],” Foxman said. “I don’t think the convention should provide a platform for someone with such a biased obsession with Israel that borders on anti-Semitism.”

“I know it’s very difficult for any political party to deny a platform” to living former presidents, Foxman said, adding he hoped Carter’s speech would not be aired during any discussion about the Middle East or foreign policy.

David Harris, the president of the National Jewish Democratic Council, which in the past has been critical of Carter’s Middle East pronouncements, told JTA he was “confident” Carter would not speak about the region at the convention.

“Whether it’s Israel in particular or the Middle East in general, President Carter’s analysis has been consistently wrong, and harmful to the peace process to boot,” Harris said. “I’m confident that he won’t be speaking about Middle East policy at the Democratic Convention; today’s Democratic Party leaders – including one of the most pro-Israel presidents in U.S. history, President Obama – are best suited to that task.”

Republican Jewish Coalition director Matt Brooks said the decision showed how “out of touch” the Democrats had become. “Giving a platform to someone who has been openly hostile to Israel and equated the country to the South African apartheid regime is offensive,” Brooks said in an email.

Prime-time speakers at the convention include first lady Michelle Obama and keynote speaker San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who will also speak on Sept. 4 at Time Warner Cable Arena. Former president Bill Clinton and U.S. Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren will deliver their remarks on Sept. 5 at the arena. Both President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will deliver their acceptance speeches on the final night of the convention, Sept. 6, at Bank of America Stadium.

Carter, in the statement from the convention organizers announcing his speaking tour, expressed his regrets at not being able to attend.

He said he and his wife Rosalynn “remain steadfast in our support for President Obama and the progress he will make in the next four years.”

Carter, who was president from 1977 to 1981, appeared but did not speak at the 2008 Democratic convention.

(JTA)

More than 1.5 Million Views for Israel’s Christian You Tube Channel

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

The Ministry of Tourism’s Christian You Tube channel is attracting millions of viewers from around the world. Launched at the end of 2011, the channel crossed the 1.5 million mark this week, averaging 5,500 views per day. And while these numbers are quite tame compared to the truly viral clips on You Tube, the Ministry of Tourism views the channel as an important platform in exposing Israel to the Christian world, promoting tourism to Israel at a time when some large denominations are debating boycotting Israel altogether.

Minister of Tourism, Stas Misezhnikov says that You Tube “has turned into a central tool for the tourism industry. The positive reaction to the channel proves the significant interest among the Christian community regarding Israel.”

The channel  features videos in several languages including English, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, and Polish. Those show community leaders and pilgrims telling about their spiritual experiences in Israel. There are also videos of Christian holy sites and holiday themed events that are unique to Israel.

The channel was created by the Ministry of Tourism’s Religious Desk, which is dedicated to encouraging Christian tourism to Israel. Marketing activities for Christian tourism is one of the Ministry of Tourism’s main programs. In 2011, NIS 60 million was invested in reaching out to Christian communities abroad, with a similar amount being invested again this year.

If I Were Prime Minister

Tuesday, May 8th, 2012

Now that everyone is talking about elections in Israel, I’m thinking of throwing my kippah into the ring. Whether elections come now or in another year, we need new faces and new ideas to give the country the push it needs to become a true light to the nations.

In all modesty, my novels have won me a pretty fair following in the religious community, so I could very well garner the necessary number of votes to get elected to the Knesset. I won’t run with a big party like the Likud. Why bring my followers to join the Likud, only to have them betray the Land of Israel in some peace deal? When you belong to a political party, you can’t blame the rotten things they do only on the “bad guys.” As a member of the party, you have collective responsibility, so you’re to blame too. So why should I strengthen the Likud when I know that they are ready to chop our Holy Land in half?

On the other hand, I can’t run with the religious Zionist parties because I’m too far to the right for the consensus they are hoping to achieve. And I’m too big a Zionist for the Haredim, so I’ll have to run alone.

Here are some of the main points of my platform:

*All Arabs must leave the Land of Israel.

* Israeli sovereignty will be declared over all the borders of Biblical Israel.

*Any Israeli politician who voted in favor of the Oslo Accords will be deported from the country to the island of St. Helena.

*All Israeli politicians who voted in favor of the Evacuation of Gush Katif will be brought to trial and sentenced to hard labor, rebuilding the Jewish communities which they destroyed.

*The judges of the Supreme Court will be replaced by Torah scholars who will judge all cases according to Torah law.

*Israeli television, radio, and all newspapers will be run and governed by a board of rabbis, and all left-wing producers, directors, writers, and anchormen will be fired.

*The nuclear facilities in Iran will be immediately destroyed.

*Relations with the United States shall be suspended until Jonathan Pollard is freed.

*A national educational campaign on the importance of modesty will be initiated, similar to past campaigns on highway safety and the danger of cigarette smoking. After a massive, year-long public campaign, women who dress immodestly will be fined. Repeated offenders will be imprisoned.

*No women will serve in the army. Army service will be reduced to 2 years. Special glatt-kosher brigades with daily Torah study will be established for Haredi recruits. Serious yeshiva students will be allowed a 5 year deferment before beginning a shortened, 1 year course of military service. All Diaspora Jews under 30 years old will be obligated to serve for a year in the Israeli Army or forfeit their right to visit the country.

*We will establish Project Cyberspace Shield whereby special anti-Internet-porn satellites and cyberspace jamming equipment will be designed and put into operation on a national level to keep Israel porn-free.

*Teacher’s salaries will be tripled.

*The new “String Bridge” at the entrance to Jerusalem will be dismantled. A 40-story-high musical Harp of David will be erected in its place.

*Illegal refugees from Sudan will be taught to play basketball, baseball, and soccer. Outstanding athletes will be sold to professional teams overseas and the revenue will be apportioned to yeshivot. The rest of the Sudanese will be returned to Sudan.

*Once the Arabs are evacuated from the Gaza Strip, the city of Gaza will be rebuilt to look like Brooklyn, in anticipation of Mashiach’s coming – may it be soon!

The full election platform is still being developed. Blog readers are invited to send in further suggestions.

See you at the polls!

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press

Premature Jew – Bashing

Monday, May 7th, 2012

http://notajew-jew.com/?p=124

I suppose it all began when I was Jew-bashed on a subway platform.

This was before I was a Jew.  Actually, depending on when you read this, right now is before I am a Jew – because this is a blog about my journey from being “Not a Jew” to becoming a “Jew.”

Back to my premature Jew-bashing.

This was way back when I was a Catholic.  Actually a lapsed Catholic.  All right, an agnostic.  Fine, you dragged it out of me: I was practically a bloodsucking atheist.  In fact, the best way to describe me at the time was a Godless Pre-Emo Twilight Eclipse boy.  Back then, we called it “New Romantic.”  But if you say that to kids nowadays they just stare at you.

Like the 50 year-old Italian guy on the subway platform who stared at me and called me an “effing Jew.”

Before I could tell him I was not an “effing Jew” and, in fact, half-Italian (like you, you effing Guido), he grabbed me with strikingly-powerful old-guy-plumber-hand strength, and shoved me – almost into the path of a speeding subway train and almost to my death.

So I was Jew-bashed, and almost killed, before I had my first thought of becoming a Jew.

On the bright side, things can only get better for me as Jew from here on in, right?

Right?

The Battle for Eretz Yisrael, Then and Now

Friday, April 6th, 2012

A: This is being composed on a very auspicious day – the 10th of Nisan. On this date which occurred on Shabbat of the year that we left Egypt, every Jewish family was commanded to take either a young goat or a young lamb in preparation for sacrificing it four days hence as a korban (sacrifices) of Pesach. The problem was that these animals were part of the Egyptians’ religious practice, as are the wandering cows in downtown New Delhi of today for the Hindus. This took an immense degree of courage, because the Jews could not have known know what the Egyptians’ reactions would be. To visualize this: picture an order to every US military unit in Afghanistan to gather books of the unholy Koran and explain to their Afghan friends it was being done in preparation for burning them in another four days. There would be mass hysteria, rioting and murder of countless American troops. But these things did not happen with the Egyptians, so add one more great miracle to the events in Egypt.

The other history changing event on the 10th of Nisan occurred 40 years later, when the Jewish nation entered Eretz Yisrael under the leadership of Yehoshua Bin Nun, to take on the 31 powerful Canaanite kings who controlled the Holy Land.

Today, on this 10th of Nisan, we are witnessing the unfolding of yet another episode in the history of our valiant people in Eretz Yisrael.

At this time of the year, “Jewish eyes are smiling” as we look back to our Egyptian experience of 3300 years ago and the great salvation that HaShem had brought forth for us. But on this 10th of Nisan, corresponding to the general calendar of April 2, the eyes of all enlightened nations are on Egypt, but for different reasons. The Moslem Brotherhood political party in Egypt, that now controls the two houses of the Egyptian Parliament, is going to have their man as the next president of that country. This group is among the most radical Islamists in the world, and they have an unabashed, open, straightforward Islamic agenda. Not only will they turn Egyptian society back 300 years, their end game is to uproot the Jewish State.

One should not forget that Egypt, thanks to the US, has the largest army in the Middle East, built on some of the most modern weapons of the US army.

So, permit me to share with you what I forsee unraveling in our part of the world, as HaShem prepares the greatest of miracle of all times for his people in Eretz Yisrael.

The military threats on the Jews in Eretz Yisrael will be overwhelming, to the degree that only those who feel the renewal of HaShem’s eternal covenant with His people in Eretz Yisrael, and those Jews who will do teshuva in acknowledgment that only with HaShem’s involvement can we be saved, will remain in the Land. The others, which include the 350,000 non-Jews who have come here from the former Soviet Union, the Arabs in this country, Christians, and Jews who have no sense of Torah or possess warped ideas of what HaShem wants from this generation, will leave!

Egypt will become Islamic, as will all the surrounding Arab countries. Egypt will be the first to open hostilities against the Jewish State and they will be totally destroyed, as were their ancient namesakes. I would not be surprised if the great Aswan Dam that holds back the billions of cubic meters of water in Lake Nasser, will be the instrument of HaShem (with the close co-operation of the holy soldiers of Tzahal) as were the waters of the Red Sea that crashed down on the Egyptian army of old.

When this will happen, the other Islamic nations will join with several Western Christian nations to avenge the destruction of their Egyptian brothers. But as they approach Eretz Yisrael war will break out among themselves on the background of their religious differences, and the Jewish State will be saved.

This, of course, is not my imagination. It is taken from the Book of Yechezkel chapter 32 and the Malbim’s commentary on verse 17.

B: As time marches on, we begin to find the answer to the age old question: What was HaShem’s intention by having the Jewish people undergo its slavery experience in Egypt.

I submit:

As stated above, the great religious-military leader of Am Yisrael, Yehoshua Bin Nun, entered Eretz Yisrael with the Jewish nation on the 10th of Nisan. Tradition has it that Yehoshua composed the chapters of “Aleinu” that we recite three times daily, at the end of the prayer services. With the opening sentence of “Aleinu,” Yehoshua let his feelings be known as he stepped foot for the first time on the western Side of the Jordan River, or, according to some, when he completed the victory over the city of Yericho.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/the-battle-for-eretz-yisrael-then-and-now/2012/04/06/

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