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January 22, 2017 / 24 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘politics’

Trump Talks With Boeing CEO on F-35 Fighter Jet Competitor, Air Force One 2.0

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump met with Boeing chief executive Dennis Muilenburg Tuesday at Trump Tower in New York City to discuss the company’s F-18 Super Hornet fighter jet — a possible competitor for Lockheed Martin’s F-35 stealth fighter jet, which has overrun its production times and costs — and to discuss a replacement fleet for Air Force One.

“We discussed Air Force One, we discussed fighter aircraft,” Muilenburg told reporters at a quick briefing following his one-hour meeting with Mr. Trump.

“We made some great progress on simplifying requirements on Air Force One, streamlining the process – all that is going to provide a better airplane at a lower cost.” Mr. Trump had scrapped the original replacement plans for Air Force One, saying the price was simply “too high.”

Muilenberg revealed no further details about the discussion over the military aircraft. Israel received delivery of its first two F-35 stealth fighter jets — named the “Adir” in Hebrew — this past month, with more expected to arrive this year. By the end of the next decade, Israel is expected to receive a total of 50 of the aircraft. But a Pentagon report released this month revealed the aircraft has yet to be fully “bug free” and has more than 200 technical issues that still must be addressed.

Hana Levi Julian

Zionist Union and Yesh Atid Line Up Against MK Ghattas

Monday, January 16th, 2017

By Andrew Friedman/TPS

The Zionist Union Knesset faction called on the (Israel-Arab) Joint List party to work towards firing MK Basel Ghattas from the Knesset, Israel Radio reported Monday. Ghattas was indicted earlier this month on a series of charges related to his December 2016 visit to Palestinian security prisoners at Ketziot Prison.

He is accused of abusing his parliamentary immunity to smuggle cell phones, SIM cards and written materials to the prisoners. The expected indictment will include charges of use of property for purposes of terrorism, fraud and breach of trust by a public worker, fraudulently obtaining benefits under aggravated circumstances.

In addition, the Zionist Union said it would allow faction members to sign a petition to remove Ghattas from the Knesset. Yesh Atid, led by MK Yair Lapid, has also claimed the party would support a move to impeach Ghattas under the terms of a July 2016 impeachment law allowing a super-majority of 70 MKs to initiate impeachment proceedings, including at least 10 members of the parliamentary opposition. A recommendation to remove a sitting member of the Knesset must be approved by at least 90 MKs, upon which the member will be replaced with the next person on the party list.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Netanyahu: Security Forces Busted 43 Weapons Factories in 2016

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

by Andrew Friedman

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Tuesday that security forces shut down 43 weapons factories around Judea and Samaria during 2016, as opposed to virtually none in 2015. He added that a major focus for security forces at the moment is preventing weapons from reaching the Palestinian Authority street.

Speaking after an inspection tour of IDF forces in Judea and Samaria with Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, the prime minister said the price of weapons on the PA street has been driven up six-fold due to carefully planned operations and coordination between IDF, police and intelligence agents since the November, 2015 attack at the Sarona Market in Tel Aviv.

“Our forces have confiscated equipment, arrested those responsible and closed factories, ” Netanyahu said.

Both Netanyahu and Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman, who also participated in the inspection tour, and said that Israel “knows how to exact a heavy price from the other side for incitement. Both men blamed the Palestinian Authority, and especially PA leader Abu Mazen, for promoting violence with wild incitement and glorification of terrorists.

Liberman and Netanyahu also used the occasion to relate to foreign policy issues, saying Israel will not allow itself to be bullied by the international community on matters of domestic policy.

Netanyahu fired a shot at outgoing U.S. President Barack Obama, saying the international stage is currently undergoing “dramatic changes… some of which will be very, very good for Israel.” The defense minister added criticism of an international “peace” conference, set to meet this Friday in Paris against Israel’s wishes and without representation from Jerusalem.

“Instead of talking to us, there are people out there that are trying to pressure us, to incite against us. But anyone who thinks that trying to frighten us or pressure us with international conferences will change the situation here is sorely mistaken,” Liberman said.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Israel On My Mind – GOOD NEWS STORIES from Israel!

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Join Jason & Jono as they deliver you sweet and funny news stories from Israel.

Israel On My Mind 05Jan2017 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Is The Bible The Future Of Politics?

Friday, January 6th, 2017

Politics needs new ideas. The recent presidential election taught us many lessons about celebrity and scandal, inaction and consequences, the limits of media and polls, and much more.

Perhaps more than anything, the election expressed the public’s widespread dissatisfaction with the political leaders of the past decade who have presided over growing social unrest, economic malaise, and global political crises. The unexpected success of angry outsider candidates Bernie Sanders and President-elect Donald Trump reflect popular rejection of both parties’ core ideologies. The voters said loudly that the old ideas don’t work and that America needs new ideas.

Or maybe it needs timeless ideas.

In mid-December a group of Christian and Jewish thinkers gathered to consider the application of biblical ideas to contemporary politics. Organized by the Herzl Institute under the leadership of Dr. Yoram Hazony in conjunction with the Institute for Religion and Democracy led by Mark Tooley, the distinguished attendees included, among many others, David Brog of Christians United for Israel, Prof. Joshua Mitchell of Georgetown University, R.R. Reno of First Things magazine, Michael Doran of the Hudson Institute, attorney Alyza Lewin, and political adviser Jeff Ballabon.

This Christian-Jewish Alliance sought to find eternal ideas that speak to today’s problems. That this inevitably will raise alarms is due not to any real danger of oppressive theocracy but, rather, to the crass, anti-religious media culture that envelops us. No serious person wants to impose religious rule on America. However, this country – indeed all of Western civilization – was founded on biblical principles that we forget at our own peril.

A number of themes arose during the multiple days of presentations. The room was full of an impressive array of political theorists, theologians, and other experts. The following descriptions are my own recollections and phrasings of various speakers’ ideas, which I may not share completely and for which no single attendee is responsible.

One theme that emerged is the importance of local governance, or federalism. Every tribe or group has its own traditions and culture. You cannot impose a single form of government on everyone because cultural needs differ. Consider one region in which people instinctively follow civil law. They need less regulation and policing than a region in which people routinely violate agreements and steal.

Local allegiances also explain the seeming chaos in the Middle East. Foreigners who look to broad religious groups (Sunnis, Shiites) as homogeneous blocs misunderstand the complex tribal culture, the hyper-local connections that drive what is otherwise contradictory behavior. Political thinkers from centuries ago have shown the importance of local practices for effective governance. The liberal political tradition has abandoned these thinkers in favor of a globalism that ignores people’s most basic identities.

This brings us to another theme – that local identities are not just ignored but actively suppressed. Following World War II, western leaders actively attempted to weaken nationalism in order to prevent a recurrence of the war’s horrors. The vast expansion and legalization of human rights, the growth of multiculturalism, and the various modes of economic and political globalism are examples of this bold response to evil.

However, with the weakening of nationalism comes a weakening of identity, a spiritual homelessness that confuses people. The ordinary citizen wants that patriotism back and needs the sense of belonging that a strong national identity provides. We are seeing this throughout the western world with the success of nationalist movements. To understand recent trends, we must recognize that weakening national identities brings its own danger of societal collapse, against which we are now experiencing a backlash.

A third theme is the rising hostility to religion in America. The Bible is not studied in high schools or colleges as a source of wisdom. This is not because it fails in that regard – the greatest western thinkers until the modern era utilized the Bible extensively in their theorizing. It is a fear or even hatred of religion that has shut it out of intellectual history. This has created a crippling blind spot in contemporary political theory that must be repaired by reintroducing the Bible as a source of wisdom.

This is not about religious missionizing in the university any more than teaching Greek classics indoctrinates Paganism. It is about incorporating the insights of classic religious texts into a contemporary political theory.

Hostility to religion is ominously evident in the threat that identity politics poses to religious freedom. Recent Supreme Court decisions set troubling precedents about religious accommodation. Ever since the 1990 Oregon v. Smith decision about a Native American peyote ritual, the court no longer requires a compelling interest before limiting religious freedom. Over the past few years we have seen Christians lose religious freedom lawsuits where accommodation was readily available.

For example, pharmacists who believe they are religiously proscribed from selling specific contraceptives are legally required to do so – even though they can easily refer customers to other pharmacies and industry experts testify that customers will not suffer from the practice. This legal hostility to religion threatens not just religious freedom but American society, whose unstated civil assumptions emerge from religious traditions.

Is a Christian-Jewish Alliance a contradiction in terms? Aren’t the two religions mutually exclusive? Rav Joseph B. Soloveitchik wrote: “When, however, we move from the private world of faith to the public world of humanitarian and cultural endeavors, communication among the various faith communities is desirable and even essential. We are ready to enter into dialogue on such topics as war and peace, poverty, freedom, man’s moral values, the threat of secularism, technology and human values, civil rights, etc., which revolve about religious spiritual aspects of our civilization” (Maggid edition of Confrontation and Other Essays, p. 119).

Jews and Christians will see things very differently sometimes. None of us should compromise on our particular beliefs or enter into dialogue about the “doctrinal, dogmatic or ritual aspects of our faith vis-à-vis ‘similar’ aspects of another faith community” (ibid., p. 118). In fact, the self-sufficiency of a religious community’s beliefs is essential to an authentic Christian-Jewish alliance. But on the many issues we have in common we must work together as religious minorities in a secular world to reassert the country’s Hebraic political tradition.

Progressives have co-opted religious terminology for their projects; “tikkun olam” is a favorite. However, religion runs deeper than ambiguous defenses of the divine image in all human beings. The Bible teaches about right and wrong, life and death, male and female, marriage and family, community and obligation. One presenter pointed out the change in rhetoric of black activists. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of biblical promises, of hope and redemption. Black Lives Matter activists have abandoned religious language and speak about victimhood and grievances. What used to be about restoring America’s promise is now all about individuals.

Can the Bible restore the society underlying American democracy? This is not about missionizing secular Americans or using politics as a tool for religious revival. It is about restoring the principles of American democracy. Even non-believing Americans will find the American heritage in the Bible. Perhaps a Christian-Jewish alliance is just what politics needs to get back on track.

Rabbi Gil Student

The Danger Zone – Ramifications [audio]

Tuesday, December 27th, 2016

The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2334 against Israel. Unlike past resolutions, this one which states, “Israel’s establishment of settlements in Palestinian territory occupied since 1967, including East Jerusalem, had no legal validity, constituting a flagrant violation under international law…” has far reaching implications. Gadi will discuss what he sees from this and Rabbi Aryel Nachman joins him to explain how this resolution passing right before Hanukkah is no coincidence.

The Danger Zone 26Dec2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Israeli Critically Wounded in Berlin Truck Attack

Tuesday, December 20th, 2016

Among the victims of the terrorist truck that jumped the sidewalk about 8 PM Monday near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, was an Israeli man who was critically injured in the attack, Israel’s foreign ministry reported Tuesday.

According to report, the man is in hospital on a respirator. The condition of his wife, who accompanied him to the Christmas market, is unknown. The couple was reported missing when they hadn’t returned to their hotel overnight.

The Berlin police announced early Tuesday that the killing of at least 12 and wounding of dozens more when the truck plowed through a Christmas market was “a suspected terrorist attack.”

David Israel

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/israeli-critically-wounded-in-berlin-truck-attack/2016/12/20/

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