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September 4, 2015 / 20 Elul, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Secular Leftists Applaud New Hareidi Minister

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

The lion and the lamb are at peace with each other in the Knesset, at least for a day.

Hareidi Knesset Member Yaakov Litzman took the pledge of allegiance to the government Wednesday and became the first Ashkenazi Hareidi minister since the days of the Ben-Gurion government.

He said at the swearing-in ceremony:

“I, Yaakov Litzman, pledge…to be faithful to the government of Israel and to its laws.”

Unlike the Shas Hareidi party, Yehadut HaTorah (United Torah Judaism) has refrained from allowing its Knesset Members to become a full-fledged Cabinet minister, which would obligate them to government decisions.

Until today, the prohibition was carried out with a wink and a nod by virtue of simply allowing a UTJ MK to hold the position of “Deputy Minister” without being subordinate to a minister. In Litzman’s case, he has been “Deputy Health Minister” but a de facto minister, reporting to no one but himself and without being a member of the Cabinet.

The High Court put an end to the practice by agreeing with a complaint that there cannot be a “de facto minister.”

Torah sages last week met and agreed to allow Litzman to become a full-fledged member of the Cabinet. Today’s swearing-in ceremony was applauded by most of the opposition, including Merav Michaeli, one of the most leftist and secular members of the Zionist Camp party headed by Yitzchak Herzog.

The party, the result of a merger of the Labor party and the faction that was headed by Tzipi Livni, was part of the overwhelming majority in the 83-10 vote in favor of the appointment of Litzman.

Yisrael Beiteinu, headed Avigdor Lieberman, voted against the appointment, as did Meretz, which added that it had nothing personal against the Hareidi MK.

 

‘Undecided’ Sen. Cardin Predicts Congress Will Back Obama on Iran Deal

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin said Tuesday he remains undecided on how to vote on the nuclear deal but that he is sure President Barack Obama will win the needed support in the Senate to prevent a veto-proof majority against the agreement.

Speaking to students at Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins University, Sen. Cardin did not name which Democratic senators will fall in line but said thematic number of 34 will be reached by the end of the week.

The Associated Press said that Sen. Chris Coons of Delaware is scheduled to talk about the deal later today and probably will support President Obama.

Cardin is facing intense pressure from Jewish voters in Maryland to vote against the agreement. He is a member of Baltimore’s largest modern Orthodox synagogue that generally is very supportive of Israel.

Obama Cashes in on Separating Israel from American Jews’ Concerns

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Obama knows how to capitalize on the bulk of American Jews, who want Israel to be a nice Jewish boy that doesn’t make them feel uncomfortable

President Barack Obama declared that American Jews’ concerns are like those of Afro-Americans and other Americans, indicating that Israel is not one of those worries.

He unsurprisingly chose the left-wing and secular Forward to be the first Jewish newspaper ever to interview him.

Having embraced J Street and trying to manipulate public opinion into believing that it is speaks for mainstream American Jews, his choice of The Forward was natural. The newspaper for more than a century was known as “The Jewish Daily Forward.”
This year it became simply “The Forward.”

Its editor Jane Eisner told the Observer earlier this year that the newspaper has been trying “to understand who we are, who are readers are, who are readers ought to be….What we know is that most American Jews today are living a very pluralistic life—there’s a lot of intermarriage and interfaith relationships.”

The same Jane Eisner on Friday interviewed President Obama, who also likes to see American Jews as any other hyphenated ethnic community that views their old homeland as a fond memory that it relives, in the case of American Jews, by eating gefilte fish.

The president knows, as Eisner indicated to the Observer, that American Jews are a vanishing through an assimilation rate approaching 70 percent and that the number of Jews in the United States rises only by changing the definition of a Jew to embrace pluralism, the melting pot that is supposed to erase any outward indication that belies the belief in Mom, Flag and Apple Pie.

He knows that the hard-core pro-Israel Jews, those who view Judea and Samaria as a part of Israel, Jerusalem as the capital, and a strong Israel good for the security United States, are a minority.

Deep down in the interview with Eisner, President Obama said:

American Jews, like African-Americans or any other cohort of Americans, have a wide range of concerns. They care about student loans; they care about housing; they care about poverty; they care about women’s health issues. And so it’s not as if the American Jewish community makes decisions solely on the basis of a single issue

The “single issue,” of course, is Israel. He does not, nor do most American Jews, think too much about Israel, especially when it comes to the nuclear agreement with Iran, which was the focus of his comments to the Forward.

He explained:

I do get disturbed sometimes when I hear folks suggesting that those who oppose the deal are pro-Israel. We’re all pro-Israel. The issue is, how do we solve this very particular problem of making sure Iran doesn’t have a nuclear weapon….

I think we have to steer away from incendiary language that suggests that either those who are in favor of the deal are appeasing Iran or, conversely, that those who are opposed to the deal are not thinking about America’s interest.

If anyone has used incendiary language, it is President Obama, who has implied, as Eisner reported that she told him, “that even some of his supporters say that he has contributed to the incendiary language by implying that opponents of the deal are ‘warmongers.'”

She said that was the only time in the interview “that I saw him bristle and his back stiffen.” He replied:

What I said is that if we reject the deal, the logical conclusion is that if we want to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon, military strikes will be the last option remaining at some point. It may not be under my administration; it might be under the next one. And that is something that has to be taken into account.

She did not respond, “What about more sanctions instead of war?

Pro-Israel Carson Breathing Down Neck of Pro-Israel Trump

Sunday, August 30th, 2015

A new poll released on Saturday shows that two solidly pro-Israel candidates, Donald Trump and Dr. Ben Carson, are almost tied for the Republican presidential nomination.

Trump has been leading all of the polls both in Iowa and elsewhere, but Carson has sneaked up on the real estate mogul whose mouth so far is far stronger than his policy outlook outside of immigration.

Both men are solidly pro-Israel but their real attraction to voters, fed up with the establishment, is that neither of them have a background in politics.

Jews make up only 0.2 percent of Iowa’s population, and most of them live in Des Moines, where 59 percent of the city’s voters backed President Barack Obama in 2012. It can be assumed that most of the Jews were in the Obama camp, and it is questionable if they will vote for a Republican in 2016.

But the non-Jews lap up Trump and Carson’s tough talk, even though Carson is black in a state where blacks comprise only 3.3 percent of the population and Hispanics only 5.5 percent.

The Bloomberg/Des Moines Register survey gave Trump 23 percent support, compared with 18 percent for Trump. No one else even comes close. Third and fourth-ranked are Scott Walker and Ted Cruz, each with only 8 percent.

Perhaps the most pro-Israel of them all, if that can be measured by supporting Israeli sovereignty in Judea and Samaria, is Mike Huckabee. He has only 4 percent support in the survey.

Israel obviously is not the topic on the minds of Iowans, but the plain-talk attitude of Trump and Carson, neither of whom are too concerned about being politically correct, have no room for the “peace process” and the Palestinian Authority agenda.

The president of the polling company that carried out the survey, J. Ann Selzer, told Bloomberg:

Trump and Carson, one bombastic and the other sometimes soft-spoken, could hardly be more different in their outward presentations.

Yet they’re both finding traction because they don’t seem like politicians and there’s a strong demand for that right now.

Carson is a higher-profile Christian than Trump, which may be one reason why he is gaining support in the state has a large number of Evangelicals.

However, Carson still has a long way to go to catch up with Trump on a national basis. The average of polls, as tallied by RealClearPolitics, puts Trump at the top with 23.5 percent support. Carson is in second place but with only 10.3 percent.

Carson visited Israel late last year and paid a visit to the Western Wall.

Clinton Puts Her Foot in the Mouth (Again) with ‘Boxcar’ Remark

Saturday, August 29th, 2015

Hillary Clinton once again has proven that the best way for her to win the Democratic nomination for president is to keep her mouth shut.

She now is the target of scorn and anger for her remark Friday that Republicans want to “round up” immigrants and “put them…in boxcars.”

Any reference to packing people into boxcars immediately brings to mind the Nazis’ shipping out Jews to death camps in cattle cars and box cars.

Clinton’s spokesman Mick Merrill said that she there was no allusion to the Holocaust and charged that Republican Jeb Bush also used the word “boxcar,” although his reference was in a statement condemning the idea. He said in June, “I don’t think our country is going to be the kind of country that puts people on boxcars and sends them away.”

Clinton’s full statement on Friday was:

I find it the height of irony that a party that espouses small government would want to unleash a massive law enforcement effort, including perhaps National Guard and others, to go and literally pull people out of their homes and their workplaces, round them up, put them, I don’t know, in buses, boxcars, in order to take them across our border.

I just find that not only absurd, but appalling.

Clinton also suffered foot in the mouth disease on Thursday when she made a snobbish and dictatorial remark after Fox News’ Ed Henry asked her three questions:

Were you aware that your husband wanted to give paid speeches for repressive regimes like North Korea?    Do you have any comment on these new e-mails that have raised questions about the conflict of interest involving your aide Huma Abedin? And finally, can you name one other cabinet secretary who had their own server?

Clinton answered only the first question, which was the least damaging, and preceded her response by saying:

Well, let me answer one of your questions, because I think that’s what you are entitled to.

‘US and Iranian Cartoon Doves’ Shown Defecating on Bibi by Swiss Amb to Iran

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Guilio Haas is the Swiss Ambassador to Iran.

Switzerland has been in a great hurry to get the other nations of the world to join it in treating Iran as if it is an upstanding member of the world community. The Swiss began lifting sanctions on Iran earlier this month.

In accordance with this position, Ambassador Haas revealed Switzerland’s true progressive nature at a meeting attended by hundreds of Swiss and Iranian businesspeople at a Zurich hotel on Thursday, Aug. 27.

Haas was encouraging the businesspeople to invest in Iran, referring to the world’s greatest sponsor of terrorism as a “pole of stability in the Middle East,” and that in his two years in Iran, while he has seen gray-haired men in turbans, “there aren’t a lot of them” and that Western perceptions of Iran as a belligerent nation was about to change as soon as sanctions are lifted. This is what the World Tribune reported about the event.

What the World Tribune did not report was that as part of his effort to encourage the businesspeople to invest in Iran, the Swiss Ambassador projected a cartoon on a huge screen. The cartoon was titled “Iran: now or never.”

That cartoon showed two doves defecating on the head of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. On the chest of one of the doves defecating on Netanyahu is an American flag and on the other the Iranian flag.

Read those two sentences again.

So, you may ask, if the World Tribune article did not mention the cartoon, maybe it is not true?

A reasonable thought, but dashed by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs acknowledgement of the incident.

Reuters reported that the FDFA said the “questionable cartoon” was used, BY THE AMBASSADOR OF SWITZERLAND HIMSELF, without its knowledge and “regrets the use of the cartoon and considers it tasteless.”

“Questionable”? As in some might find it acceptable? “Tasteless”? As in simply in poor taste, but the meaning behind it is acceptable?

According to the Reuters report, the cartoon was intended to portray Israel as the sole holdout against the Nuclear Iran Deal, and the doves, Iran and the U.S. are the lovers of peace.

The FDFA said that “Ambassador Haas did not intend to insult anybody with the cartoon,” Reuters reported. “If that is the case,’ – meaning, if there is someone out there who could possibly be insulted by this – “however, he regrets it and seeks the pardon of everyone who could have felt insulted.”

The businessmen present were not all persuaded by Haas’s blinding diplomacy. Some grumbled that the “level of corruption” IN IRAN was still “unbelievable.” Imagine that.

UPDATE: According to the website of the Swiss Embassy in Iran, Switzerland represents the U.S. in Iran because the U.S. does not currently, officially, have diplomatic relations with Iran. As Ambassador Haas explains in his welcome message:

In the absence of diplomatic or consular relations of the United States of America with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the Swiss government, acting through its Embassy in Tehran, serves as the Protecting Power of the USA in Iran since 21 May 1980. The Swiss Embassy’s Foreign Interests Section provides consular services to U.S. citizens living in or travelling to Iran.

Think anyone at the White House or State Dept. press briefings will ask the spokespeople about this?

Sen. Cotton to Visit Israel for More Ammunition against Iran Deal

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Sen. Tom Cotton, one of the loudest voices against the nuclear deal with Iran, will arrive in Israel on Sunday for a week-long visit that can be assumed is aimed at arming him with more ammunition to try to shoot down the nuclear Iran agreement in the Senate.

The Israel government announced:

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) will be visiting Israel from Sunday, August 30, to Saturday, September 5, 2015.  During his trip to Israel, the Senator will be updated on strategic and diplomatic issues, as well as other major developments in the region.

Senator Cotton, in office as of January 2015, serves on the Armed Services, Intelligence, and Banking committees.

Updating him on “strategic and diplomatic issues” just before Congress returns from a summer recess with the Iran deal the number one item on the agenda means that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will send Sen. Cotton back with a suitcase full of arguments to try to win a veto-proof majority against the deal when it comes for a vote.

Sen. Cotton was behind the controversial letter that he and several senators sent to Iran to “inform” it that a nuclear deal would not be binding on the next president.

Earlier this month, he told Israeli reporters that the Obama administration has not made it clear to Iran that it could use force to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. He then said that the U.S. Armed Forces could bomb Iran’s nuclear program “back to zero.”

Sen. Corker stated:

You can destroy facilities. I don’t think any military expert in the United States or elsewhere would say the U.S. military is not capable to setting Iran’s nuclear facilities back to day zero,

Can we eliminate it forever? No, because any advanced industrialized country can develop nuclear weapons in four to seven years, from zero. But we can set them back to day zero.

That is music to the ears of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the timing of next week’s visit is not coincidental.

The Prime Minister and President Barack Obama are desperately campaigning against and for the deal, respectively.

Media continue to report more evidence that the deal is full of holes and that Iran already is has taken moves to get around it, such as the report Thursday that it has built an addition to its Parchin nuclear facility.

However, party loyalty usually is paramount to intellectual honesty. New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer came out against the deal and promptly faced a campaign prevent him from becoming the next party leader in the Senate to succeed retiring Sen. Harry Reid, who backs the deal.

Even Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker admits that Obama will win. He told The Tennessean:

Understand that at this moment it looks very unlikely that we’ll have a veto-proof majority to disapprove, but I know we’re going to have a bipartisan majority that will disapprove.

The Hill reported that President Obama lacks only five out of 15 undecided Democratic senators to prevent a veto-proof majority against the agreement.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/sen-cotton-to-visit-israel-for-more-ammunition-against-iran-deal/2015/08/28/

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