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December 10, 2016 / 10 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘play’

Did Ayelet Shaked Borrow a Page from FDR’s Play Book?

Friday, November 4th, 2016

Is it possible that Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked (Habayit Hayehudi) initiated the legislation that so upset Supreme Court President Miriam Na’or not so much to make constitutional changes at a breakneck speed, but instead as a shot across the court’s bow on the future of Amona?

Israeli media are bustling with more and less informed commentary regarding this week’s showdown between Justice Na’or and Justice Minister Shaked. Na’or was so enraged at the insolence of Shaked’s move to promote (tacitly) a bill that deprives the high court of its veto power on high court judicial nominations, that she sent her a written warning, well leaked, about how Shaked’s move was tantamount to placing a gun on the table.

Not exactly what one imagines as “judicial temperament…”

The fact is that Shaked is determined to curb the outrageous activism of Israel’s Supreme Court, begun after the 1977 elections when a Likud-led coalition replaced the country’s uninterrupted 29-year Labor-led rule. Justice Aharon Barak, who began his term on the high court in 1978, was the architect of a brilliant, calculated and patient campaign to usurp many constitutional powers from the elected officials, representing the will of the natural sovereign — the people, for the unelected judicial system.

In her exulted as well as vilified essay this past October (Tracks toward Governing), Minister Shaked detailed the dire need to restrain Israel’s expansionist Judiciary. She noted an ongoing war between the Supreme Court and the executive branch, which necessitates the passing of a new constitutional-level legislation (Foundation Laws in Israel’s system) to regulate once and for all this combative relationship.

In that context, Justice Na’or, despite her aggressive language, is not necessarily out of line in saying that crucial constitutional changes, such as a bill to deprive court representatives of their ability to disqualify Supreme Court judicial candidates at will, deemed serious discussion prior to submission. Which leads me to believe that Shaked, whose own temperament is far cooler than Na’or’s, did not necessarily intend to actually cut the court’s power with the new legislation, but only to scare it a little.

As was made clear from reading Shaked’s essay, she is quite the student of US history and democracy. In that case, she must be aware of the legendary battles between President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and the Supreme Court. FDR taught generations of Poli-sci students how an executive can tame his hostile high court.

Roosevelt won the 1932 presidential election following the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression, promising America a “New Deal” for national economic recovery. The 1932 election also gave the Democrats a majority in both houses of Congress, giving Roosevelt legislative support for his reform. Roosevelt and the 73rd Congress called for greater governmental involvement in the economy as a way to end the depression. But a series of successful challenges to New Deal programs were launched in federal courts, and, inevitably, the very constitutionality of much of the New Deal legislation, especially that which extended the power of the federal government, was rejected by the Supreme Court. A series of Supreme Court decisions knocked down major FDR legislation, culminating in Black Monday, May 27, 1935, when Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes arranged for the decisions to be announced from the bench that day to be read in order of increasing importance, after the Court had ruled unanimously against Roosevelt in three separate cases.

In 1936, after a sweeping victory, FDR came back to the battlefield ready to take down the Supreme Court. He proposed to reorganize the federal judiciary by adding a new justice each time a justice reached age seventy and failed to retire. It was the subject of Roosevelt’s 9th Fireside chat of March 9, 1937. The argument FDR made was that it was for the benefit of the court to establish continuity in this manner — but, of course, what he really meant was that he could make the justices irrelevant if they continued to mess with his legislation.

Three weeks after the radio address the Supreme Court published an opinion upholding a Washington state minimum wage law in West Coast Hotel Co. v. Parrish. The 5–4 ruling was the result of the sudden shift by Associate Justice Owen Roberts, who joined with the wing of the bench supportive to the New Deal legislation.

He got the message.

In the spirit of the great architect of the New Deal, the most creative and decisive Justice Minister in Israel’s recent history may be aiming only to throw the fear of God (and the voter) in the hearts of Na’or et al. Currently the Netanyahu government is asking the court to postpone the demolition of Amona, a Jewish community in the liberated territories the court wants to see razed. Meanwhile, Shaked and the Habayit Hayehudi Knesset faction are working on an Regulation Act that will compel Arab claimants to accept market value for their seized land, instead of destroying the communities in question.

Is the new threat Shaked imposes on the future makeup of the Supreme Court only her way of using FDR’s recipe to scare justices? Will there be a behind closed doors deal to exchange Shaked’s killing the new bill in exchange for the court letting the Regulations Act slide?

 

David Israel

Dershowitz to Play Trump in Hillary’s Debate Prep

Monday, August 22nd, 2016

As the Trump campaign is surrounding itself with strong, anti-Hillary voices from well established conservative media — Stephen Bannon and Roger Ailes, to name but two, WNYC’s All Things Considered host Richard Hake last week said that “the Clinton campaign has been looking for a surrogate to play Trump so she can practice and they are bringing in the well-known criminal and constitutional law attorney Alan Dershowitz.”

Hake was interviewing former New York City Public Advocate Mark Green, who said that of the two components required to win a presidential debate, knowledge and the ability to react quickly and sharply, Hillary possessed the former to a degree close to her own husband’s and to President Obama. But how should she react to an offensive criticism from her attacker in real-time?

“With Roger Ailes and Stephen Bannon advising Trump, Hillary’s team has to guess at what off-the-wall questions, attacks, about her or Bill are coming her way, and how to response with one phrase, one over-arching ribbon,” Green said.

Green, who used to be a student of Dershowitz’s at Harvard, said “Alan Dershowitz is quick-talking, New Yorkish, loud, of course a liberal, and he can mimic Trump pretty well.”

Green said the Democratic candidate should have one overall debate manager, one surrogate, and a team of ten advisers who would micro-analyze her answers during the practice bouts, and remind her to remain poised and, most important and “cheesy,” as Green put it, smile a lot.

“If you’re ideologically neutral and you see Trump yelling and angry, and self-centered, he never smiles, he never laughs, he’s too self-referential,” Green said, and then you turn to Hillary, and “Hillary is the tough mother you want, and if she smiles periodically and is always poised, she conveys empathy. Remember, Kennedy beat Nixon not on points but on appearance.”

So far, Dershowitz denied the story about his playing Trump, writing “Not that I’ve heard,” in response to a Jewish Insider email asking if he’ll do Trump in Clinton’s debate prep.

The first presidential debate is scheduled for Monday, September 26 at Hofstra University in New York.


Dershowitz Preps Hilllary for Debate

JNi.Media

With 5 Life Sentences for 5 Murders Marwan Barghouti Prepares to Play Nelson Mandela

Thursday, May 19th, 2016

Members of Belgium’s parliament on Wednesday nominated Marwan Barghouti for the Nobel Peace Prize, referring to the security prisoner serving five life sentences as the “Palestinian Mandela” and a symbol of peace. The recommendation cited a group of Nelson Mandela’s fellow prisoners on Robben Island, who in 2013 called for the release of “Palestinian political prisoners” held by Israel.

Before we explore the decision and its possible outcome for Israel, it is essential to establish the differences between Mandela and Barghouti, lest a lie be allowed to be perpetuated unchallenged.

In July 1963, Mandela and about a dozen other members of the African National Congress, including three Jews, were arrested in their farm hideout, in the Rivonia suburb of Johannesburg. Ten of them were tried for recruiting individuals and training them to carry out attacks against the Apartheid government; carrying out such attacks themselves; serving world Communism; and raising funds abroad for their illegal enterprise. Mandela spent the next 18 years in prison.

Barghouti, on the other hand, was convicted of 5 counts of murder of innocent civilians, including authorizing and organizing the March 2002 seafood market attack in Tel Aviv in which 3 civilians, including a Druze policeman, were murdered. He was given five life sentences for five murders altogether, and 40 years imprisonment for an attempted murder.

Now that we’re clear on the differences between the South African and the Arab terrorist, we should note that it is hard to imagine the Norwegian parliament not giving the Nobel peace prize to Marwan Barghouti. In fact, if the Netanyahu government had not been rattled this week by right-shifting coalition changes, it could be expected to support the award, at least tacitly.

Marwan Barghouti, with his record as the leader of the First and Second Intifadas, may be the only viable alternative to rule the Palestinian Authority after Mahmoud Abbas (81) leaves office–most likely on a stretcher. Barghouti has the political skills and experience to run the PA effectively. In fact, at one time he said he supported the peace process, but when he realized that Israel was not ready to capitulate on key issues such as the right of return for Arabs, or the unhindered formation of a terrorist haven on its borders, he launched the 2000 Al-Aqsa Intifada.

At this point, outside the Gaza Strip, only Marwan Barghouti has the street cred and the political wherewithal to rule the PA, which should be a source of concern to Israel. Indeed, this is the final outcome of the Oslo fiasco, the fact that the only legitimate leadership alternatives in both Gaza and Judea and Samaria are murderous criminals with Jewish blood on their hands.

This is the entire rationale of the Belgian nomination, which tells the Norwegian prize committee: “By granting the Nobel Peace Prize to someone who embodies the Palestinian people’s struggle for freedom, but also their aspiration to achieve peace, a leader who can unite Palestinians around a political project that clearly includes a two-state solution on 1967 borders, more threatened than ever by colonization and the absence of a political horizon, the Committee for the Nobel Prize would be helping to resurrect the indispensable hope of creating a way out of the current [political] impasse.”

And they emphasize: “Peace requires the freedom of Marwan Barghouti and all of the political prisoners, and more generally the freedom of the Palestinian people living for decades under occupation.”

It’s a well crafted proposal and, as we mentioned, it is very likely going to yield the authors’ desired outcome. It follows two earlier endorsements of Barghouti, one by Nobel Peace Prize recipient Adolfo Perez Esquivel, the other by a unanimous vote of the Arab League’s Arab Parliament. Once Barghouti gets the nomination, Israel would be urged by all its many friends and well-wishers around the world to respond in kind with its own magnanimous gesture, release the glorious leader from his jail cell and put him on a (roundtrip) flight to Stockholm. The word “opportunity” would be thrown around a lot, and although Barghouti would not offer even one measly concession more than Abbas has done—in fact, he’d likely cut down on all that Abbas “good will”—Israel would still be perceived as the oppressor and illegal occupier, while the new peace prize winner would be crowned king of peace. In fact, whether it lets Barghouti out or doesn’t, Israel would still be condemned.

JNi.Media

Aging Rocker’s Failed Anti-Israel Crusade

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Back in 1976, when the burgeoning punk movement began transforming the rock’n’roll landscapes of London and New York, a young punk rocker named John Lydon scrawled the words “I Hate…” on his Pink Floyd t-shirt.

With this one stroke, Lydon, aka Johnny Rotten, demarcated the past from the future: eschewing the lengthy and ponderous compositions of Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters, Rotten and his mates set about delivering sharp, angry tunes in a compact three-minute format.

Almost 40 years later, popular music has undergone numerous other transformations, but Rotten (who now calls himself Lydon again) and Waters have remained polar opposites. And as Israelis know better than most, that’s true both inside and outside the recording studio.

Back in 2010, Lydon rounded on critics of his decision to play a gig in Tel Aviv by telling them, “I have absolutely one rule, right? Until I see an Arab country, a Muslim country, with a democracy, I won’t understand how anyone can have a problem with how they [the Palestinians] are treated.”

By contrast, Waters, outwardly, a much more refined and eloquent fellow, has firmly hitched himself to the movement pressing for a campaign of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) against Israel. Waters’s support for BDS is thought to be the reason that his scheduled appearance at the 92nd Sreet Y in New York City was canceled back in April, while more recently he tussled with the Simon Wiesenthal Center over an accusation of anti-Semitism that stemmed from a feature of his live show, in which a Star of David is projected onto a flying inflatable pig.

In his response to the Wiesenthal Center, Waters denied he was an anti-Semite, coming out with the standard response that hating Zionism and hating Jews are completely distinct. But a subsequent letter written in August to “My Colleagues in Rock’n’Roll” – his legendary pomposity remains unaltered – is certain to revive the charge. This time, it’s hard to see how Waters can wriggle around it.

The letter begins by citing another British musician, the violinist Nigel Kennedy, who slammed Israeli “apartheid” during a recent concert that was recorded by the BBC. “Nothing unusual there you might think,” Waters wrote, “[but] then one Baroness Deech, (nee Fraenkel) disputed the fact that Israel is an apartheid state and prevailed upon the BBC to censor Kennedy’s performance by removing his statement.”

Why did Waters think it necessary to point out the maiden name of Baroness Ruth Deech, a noted academic and lawyer? The answer is obvious: before she was Deech, a name that resonates with English respectability, she was Fraenkel, a name that sounds positively, well, Jewish. And much as she might try to hide her origins, the intrepid Waters is determined to out her, along with her nefarious Jewish –sorry, I mean, Zionist – agenda.

Sarcasm aside, this is anti-Semitism of the ugliest, most primitive kind. Appropriately, Waters’s letter appeared first on the website of the Electronic Intifada, a U.S.-based outfit that has emerged as one of the prime organizing platforms of the BDS movement.

The Waters letter ends as follows: “Please join me and all our brothers and sisters in global civil society in proclaiming our rejection of Apartheid in Israel and occupied Palestine, by pledging not to perform or exhibit in Israel or accept any award or funding from any institution linked to the government of Israel, until such time as Israel complies with international law and universal principles of human rights.”

In case it’s not clear, in the BDS movement, such elaborate formulations are code for “until such time as the state of Israel, which was born in a state of original sin, is finally eliminated.”

Here’s the rub, though: ten years ago, when the BDS movement was a relatively new phenomenon, statements like these would have set off a minor panic in the Jewish world. These days, we’re far more sanguine, and we’ve learned that Israel can survive and flourish no matter how many graying prog-rockers like Waters dedicate their lives to removing the world’s only Jewish state from the map.

As unpalatable as this may be for Waters’s digestion, the plain truth is that the BDS movement has failed. Its original aim was to replicate the massive outcry against South African apartheid during the 1980s, when songs like “Free Nelson Mandela” and “(I Ain’t Gonna Play) Sun City” ruled the airwaves. Instead, it has remained a fringe movement, a minor irritant that has had precious little impact on Israel’s economic life and garners media attention only when someone like Waters decides to shoot his mouth off.

Ben Cohen

Tibetan Monks Chant Prayers for Peace in Jerusalem

Monday, August 26th, 2013

The sounds of Tibetan monks chanting, an Iranian playing the santoor, western African style music, Rastafarian and reggae beats, as well as some Israeli rock, among other musical genres could recently be heard pulsating from Jerusalem’s Tower of David in the Old City.

The international and local rhythms made up the beats of the second annual Jerusalem Sacred Music Festival part of the Jerusalem Season of Culture, whose musical venues were located in different parts of the city, including the YMCA, Tzidkiyahu’s Cave, and Hebrew University.

Group's leader, Kachen Lobzang Tuskhor in the Tower of David. Photo Credit: Tzuri Cohen-Arazi, Tazpit News Agency.

Group’s leader, Kachen Lobzang Tuskhor in the Tower of David.
Photo Credit: Tzuri Cohen-Arazi, Tazpit News Agency.

The three day festival (August 20-23) attracted at least 1,000 visitors each night to the Tower of David, according to festival director Eilat Lieber. “It was very important for me to bring this unique festival to the Tower of David,” Lieber told Tazpit News Agency.

“This has been an important opportunity to hear not only great music but to experience the respect that exists between different religions and cultures across this city and in the world,” Lieber said.

“This kind of mutual respect is not entirely obvious as division and conflict are often the only themes portrayed in media coverage of Jerusalem,” added Tower of David spokeswoman Caroline Shapiro.

One of the musical performers, Alan Kushan, an Iranian living in the U.S., had positive remarks about the capital of Israel.

“Jerusalem is a wonderful city to perform in,” the Iranian santoor player, Alan Kushan told Tazpit. “It’s not only an honor to play in the city of King David and his son King Solomon. I think it’s a duty that I should come and play music. As an artist, my message to fellow Iranian musicians is not to be afraid of visiting this city.”

The exiled order of Tibetan Buddhists, known as the Tashi Lhunpo Monks, could also be seen walking around the ancient stones of the Tower of David, dressed in their traditional maroon robes. The monks, exiled from Tibet and now living in South India, chanted Tibetan prayers, accompanied by cymbals, gongs, bells and ceremonial dancing during their night performance.

It was the Tibetan monks’ first visit to Jerusalem, having spent the year touring across Europe and raising funds to continue their way of life at the South Indian monastery. “The monks cannot study in Tibet in freedom because the Chinese regime forbids them from doing so,” explained Jane Rasch, a spokeswoman for the group. “There is much understanding and sympathy between Israelis and these second-generation exiled monks living in India.”

At the Tower of David, the monks also created their signature mandala of peace (Yamantaka Mandela) made of colorful, crushed marble from southern India, as Israeli onlookers watched in fascination.

Kachen Lobzang Tuskhor, the leader of the visiting group of monks, told Tazpit that Jerusalem was a special city, but more crowded than he had anticipated. Lobzang, who speaks Tibetan, Hindi, and a little English, explained with a laugh that he learned two words in Hebrew during his visit: shalom and sababa.

Anav Silverman, Tazpit News Agency

US State Dept. Rejects Recent Israeli Announcements on Settlements

Monday, December 3rd, 2012

Mark C. Toner, DOS Deputy Spokesperson, on Monday night released this statement: The United States opposes all unilateral actions, including West Bank settlement activity and housing construction in East Jerusalem, as they complicate efforts to resume direct, bilateral negotiations, and risk prejudging the outcome of those negotiations. This includes building in the E-1 area as this area is particularly sensitive and construction there would be especially damaging to efforts to achieve a two-state solution.

We have made clear to the Israeli Government that such action is contrary to U.S. policy. The United States and the international community expect all parties to play a constructive role in efforts to achieve peace. We urge the parties to cease unilateral actions and take concrete steps to return to direct negotiations so all the issues can be discussed and the goal of two states living side by side in peace and security can be realized.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Our Friend, Adversity

Wednesday, November 21st, 2012

It is painfully difficult to start and end the hectic day seeing my daughter wander, almost lifelessly, from room to room and sibling to sibling with no desire to venture out into the scary world of society. With her bundle of strengths and weaknesses, and despite my countless pep talks, our 27-year-old daughter chooses to spend most of her time in the comfort and safety of our home. That is until recently, when terrible loneliness finally pushed her out the door.

With many children in the family, our daughter could always manage to find a sibling, at one point or another, throughout the day to hang out with indoors. Her minor attempts in childcare employment were sporadic, as hurtful memories of jobs gone sour haunted her. She felt paralyzed and refused to take another risk at entering the workforce.

I decided to seek help from a kind community social worker who gave freely of her time away from her busy schedule to help improve our daughter’s quality of life. Meanwhile, during the summer months, two younger daughters traveled to Los Angeles and a younger son went away to overnight camp – leaving our older daughter painfully lonely.

Over and over again she called me at work and I would urge her to at least volunteer at the Center for Special Children, where she had once worked part-time in the afternoon so she would not have to be alone. Finally, one morning it happened. With the quiet at home too much to bear, my daughter called me to say that she was taking a taxi to the Center. I was overjoyed. The only thing worse for her than the challenge of being around other people was being absolutely alone at home.

The following days were filled with trepidation for all of us. Would she give up or would she forge ahead? Would the memories and fears destroy her desire and courage, or would she be able to take the risk and continue to show up at the Center? Would she be able to function despite the pains in her chest and the fear in her heart? I spoke to the directors at the Center a few times, encouraging them to make sure our daughter knew how much she was valued and liked. I bought her new clothes and coffee drinks to encourage her. She even went out to dinner with my husband and me on our wedding anniversary so we could help build on her success.

Baruch Hashem, a wonderful thing happened! She thought of bringing her keyboard and offered to play and sing for the children. They loved it. She was an instant success. Seeing my daughter smile and hearing her happy voice report the experiences at the Center are more nachas than I could have ever hoped for. It is a new life for us.

Adversity forced our daughter to confront the absurdity of doing almost nothing all day and relying too much on others for her own satisfaction. Hardship can lead to growth and change. Not everything should always be pleasant and easy. If we are to reach our potential we must be prepared to take adversity by the hand and see what is being asked of us. This is also help from Above, sometimes the best help of all.

I daven that my daughter will continue to play her many self-taught songs on the keyboard, which will give her the wonderful satisfaction that she has something worthwhile to contribute. Her joy lifts our family higher. May Hashem continue to guide us and help us achieve what we have been uniquely created to accomplish.

Jodi Jakob

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/jewish-columns/lessons-in-emunah/our-friend-adversity/2012/11/21/

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