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July 31, 2015 / 15 Av, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

3 World-Altering US Decisions

Thursday, July 30th, 2015

(((CLICK BELOW TO HEAR AUDIO)))

Randol Schoenberg, renowned attorney and president of the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, discusses explosive issues with Yishai

Schoenberg, the prestigious Jewish lawyer recently portrayed in the popular movie, “Woman in Gold,” and Yishai discuss the US Supreme Court’s refusal to allow Jerusalem to be identified as part of Israel on official documents, and its recent decision to recognize same-sex marriage. Then, they debate the Iran deal, coming to very different conclusions. Schoenfeld shares his thoughts on recent developments emerging from the Obama administration.

Yishai Fleisher on Twitter: @YishaiFleisher
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Despite Claims of a (Flawed) Poll, American Jews Oppose Iran Deal

Wednesday, July 29th, 2015

A recent poll commissioned and released by the Los Angeles Jewish Journal was the source of dismay to many. That poll allegedly found that American Jews supported the Iran deal negotiated by America and the other members of the P5+1 and Iran more so than do non-Jewish Americans.

But the poll itself, and especially the wording of the questions and the methodology employed, has been widely criticized.

For one thing, the sample size was small, which led to a high margin of error of six percent.

But more importantly, the wording of the key question was loaded in such a way that at least two well respected academic statisticians, concluded it was “flawed to an extent that the conclusions the pollsters drew from it are not bolstered by the evidence,” and that one “cannot conclude anything from that poll, in either direction.”

This is the key question in the Jewish Journal poll: “As you may know, an agreement was reached in which the United States and other countries would lift major economic sanctions against Iran, in exchange for Iran restricting its nuclear program in a way that makes it harder for it to produce nuclear weapons. Do you support or oppose this agreement, or don’t know enough to say?”

Well, heck. If all you know about the Iran deal is that it will make it harder for Iran to produce nuclear weapons, and none of the flaws in the deal are mentioned, most people would be inclined to support such a deal.

It gets worse, as you can see by looking at the “script” for the poll, which is available online. The question suggests the respondent can choose “I don’t know enough to have an opinion.”  But those conducting the poll were instructed not to offer that answer, and only ask the respondents if they support or oppose the statement.

The two statisticians who spoke with the JewishPress.com, Professor of Statistics at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania Abba Kreiger, and Professor of Statistics Moshe Pollak of Hebrew University, were both critical of the Jewish Journal poll.

Two other professionals, one the long-time head of a major American Jewish organization and former statistician and the other a historian, were also critical of the Jewish Journal poll.

Mort Klein, before becoming the president of the Zionist Organization of America in 1993, was a statistician and an economist. Klein, who asked Professors Krieger and Pollak to respond with him to the Jewish Journal poll, criticized the poll with a flourish eschewed by the academics.

“This poll is a fraud, is illegitimate and even deceitful,” Klein told the JewishPress.com. He, like the academic statisticians, focused heavily on the way the significant question, reproduced above, was phrased. Klein explained that the type of phraseology is called a “push poll.” It provided certain information that may or may not be true, but which would influence the respondent.

Klein pointed out that the key question asked should simply have been “do you support or oppose the iran nuclear arms deal.” As asked, “the poll’s introductory characterization politically biases the poll question to push people to support it.”

Another problem with the poll is that households in which a Jew was married to a non-Jew was twice as likely to be interviewed, according to Krieger and Klein.

Rafael Medoff, an historian, author and the founding director of the Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, focused on several important, but non-statistical flaws in the poll.

Writing in the Jerusalem Post, Medoff pointed out that the timing of the poll, which began on July 16, was immediately after the deal was announced, which was prior to any in-depth analysis critical of the deal had been disseminated. As Professor Krieger also mentioned regarding the timing, the five days of polling included a Shabbat, when observant Jews would not have answered the phones at all.

Iranian FM on Regional Tour to ‘Sell’ Nuclear Deal

Sunday, July 26th, 2015

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif set out on a three-stop tour of the region Sunday to begin an effort to “sell” the P5+1 nuclear deal to skeptical Arab nations in the Middle East.

A number of countries in addition to Israel harbor grave doubts about Iran’s motivations for making the deal, let alone its ability to stick to the terms of the agreement. Among those who view the deal with extreme caution are Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

Bahrain is also giving the accord a second look, but finds itself in a difficult position. Host to the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet, the country can hardly say it lacks for protection from Iranian aggression – even nuclear aggression.

That didn’t stop Iran from providing covert assistance and strong encouragement to a Shi’ite-led opposition movement within Bahrain during the Arab Spring. Nor has it apparently stopped Iran from sponsoring nascent terror operations in the country.

A smuggling ring was recently caught trying to bring weapons, ammunition and explosives into the kingdom; authorities told reporters that two of the suspects caught in the sting were Bahraini nationals who received military training in Iran, and who confessed to receiving the contraband from “Iranian handlers.”

Nevertheless, in a speech earlier this month, Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei included Bahrain in the list of “regional friends” Iran would continue to support despite its nuclear deal, along with Yemen, Syria, Iraq and “the oppressed Palestinian nation.”

But Bahrain was not Zarif’s itinerary: on Saturday, Manama announced it was recalling its ambassador to Iran for consultations in the wake of “continued hostile statements made by Iranian officials toward Bahrain,” according to the official Bahrain News Agency.

Zarif began his tour with a visit to Kuwait, where he was greeted by Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al Hamad Al Sabah in a red-carpet welcome at the airport. Within hours Zarif was in talks with Kuwait’s head of state, emir Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmed Al Sabah.

The Iranian diplomat is slated to travel to Qatar and then to Iraq, where he will brief the heads of state in both countries – as he has in Kuwait – on the details of the nuclear deal Iran signed with the U.S.-led delegation of world powers. According to Iranian state-run media, Zarif will also discuss ways to “improve cooperation and fight terrorism” as well.

In the case of Qatar, Iran shares with Doha control over a huge underwater natural gas field, the development of which may come up for discussion due to the imminent lifting of sanctions as part of the deal that was signed.

With regard to Baghdad, Iran months ago sent its elite Revolutionary Guard Corps and other troops to battle Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists which currently control one-third of that country. Most of the Iraqi territory that is not controlled by Da’esh at this point is controlled by Iran.

“Iran and the regional countries are facing common threats that should be confronted through mutual cooperation,” Zarif said, according to the Iranian FARS news agency.

At Least One Jew Will Vote for Trump

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Donald Trump is guaranteed of at least one Jewish vote.

He is Michael Cohen, who is one of Trump’s executives and who serves as his special advisor in the circus act that the Republican party calls a presidential campaign.

Cohen spends a lot of his time defending Trump, whose fame has skyrocketed as America’s most famous bigot since Archie Bunker.

Didn’t Trump say?

When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people, but I speak to border guards and they’re telling us what we’re getting.

Cohen reassured CNN last week that The Donald “has a great relationship with Latinos” and also maintained:

[Trump] “never made any derogatory or disparaging remarks about Mexican immigrants.

According to the Forward, Cohen voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

He now is Trumps assured Jewish voter.

Trump may even get a second Jewish vote in the primaries, but it is safe bet he or she will not be a Mexican Jew.

Ilatov: ‘Hatikva’ Must Be Sung By Judges Appointed in State of Israel

Thursday, July 23rd, 2015

Yisrael Beytenu MK Robert Ilatov is determined to ensure the loyalty of judges in the State of Israel. He declared Thursday after his selection to the committee to select judges for the secular courts that “anyone who refuses to sing ‘Hatikva’ is unfit to serve as a judge.”

Ilatov’s appointment to the committee comes as part of a coalition deal with the party.

“In my view, a judge who is unwilling to sing Hatikva cannot be a judge in the State of Israel, which is the nation state of the Jewish people,” Ilatov said in an interview with Galei Tzahal Army Radio on Thursday.

“I have no problem with those who have already been appointed to the bench. I will not appoint someone who on principle is opposed to the idea of the State of Israel as a Jewish state. I don’t need to aid and abet this. So we will have an Arab judge who sings Hatikva. What’s the problem?”

The issue came to the public eye following an incident in which Supreme Court Justice Salim Jubran refused to sing the national anthem during his own swearing-in ceremony.

Justice Minister and MK Ayelet Shaked of the Bayit Yehudi party was diplomatic in her response to Ilatov’s remarks when asked about his position in a follow-up interview on Galei Tzahal Army Radio, but did not endorse the hard line.

“Yes, there was the episode with Salim Jubran,” Shaked said. “There are many excellent Arab judges in the judicial system. A judge needs to stand during the national anthem, but I won’t be looking to see if he is mouthing the words to Hatikva or not. A judge needs to be selected first and foremost according to skills and criteria,” she said.

Shaked added that it is important to have Arab judges in a nation with a 20 percent minority.

Deputy FM Warns EU on Using Funds to Meddle in Israel

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2015

Deputy Foreign Minister Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) is warning European officials not to use funding to meddle in Israel’s internal affairs.

Hotovely met Tuesday on the issue with the Dutch ambassador to Israel and a delegation from the European parliament. She began the initiative several weeks ago by meeting with the EU Ambassador to Israel as well as with the foreign ministers of the Netherlands and Spain.

“Under the guise of safeguarding human rights, these organizations actually work to undermine Israel’s right to exist,” Hotovely told Ha’aretz. She noted that more than 100 million Euros have been provided to Israeli leftist groups by EU organizations over the past several years.

At the meeting, Hotovely asked the governments to cooperate with Israel in making sure funding is not given to groups who support boycotts against the Jewish State, the ‘right of return’ for endless generations of Palestinian Arab refugees and for groups who carry out activities against the IDF – including slander campaigns and/or advancing legal proceedings.

There have been numerous cases of European funding being used to support extreme leftist lobbying efforts against government policies.

Hotovely warned that if the EU governments prove unwilling to cooperate with Israel on the matter, Jerusalem will advance legislation to address the problem. She also discussed the issue at a meeting in the Foreign Ministry with members of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Former Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman carried out a similar effort during his tenure in office as well.

Bayit Yehudi Proposes ‘Deterrent Bill’ to Stop Repeat Terror

Tuesday, July 21st, 2015

Bayit Yehudi’s Knesset Law, Constitution & Justice Committee chairman, Nissan Slominasky, has proposed a “deterrent bill” to double the penalty for terror acts committed by recidivists.

The bill also mandates that those released in a prisoner swap or other diplomatic deal cannot again be freed in any future arrangement.

Freeing such prisoners “harms the deterrence of the State of Israel in general and the IDF specifically and increases the will and courage of terrorists to continue to perpetrate terrorist attacks of every kind,” the proposal states.

The proposal was advanced a day after the arrest of the terrorists who murdered Malachi Rosenfeld. The 26-year-old resident of Kochav HaShachar was one of three young men who were shot in an attack by Palestinian Arab terrorists on the roads of Samaria three weeks ago. The three were on their way home from a basketball game when they were ambushed. Rosenfeld succumbed to his wounds a short time later.

The killers were freed in the October 2011 prisoner swap deal that saw more than a thousand Palestinian Arab terrorists released in exchange for IDF soldier Gilad Shalit, held hostage by Hamas in Gaza for five years.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bayit-yehudi-proposes-deterrent-bill-to-stop-repeat-terror/2015/07/21/

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