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October 25, 2016 / 23 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘presidential election’

Analysis: Leftwing Orthodox Rabbis Attack Trump, Cite the Yerushalmi

Saturday, August 20th, 2016

Forty five US rabbis identified with the leftwing of the Orthodox movement — two of them women who received ordination — on Friday issued a statement titled, “Orthodox Rabbinic Statement Against Hateful Rhetoric and Principles,” in which they condemn Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his attacks on Mexicans and on Muslims.

“In the current presidential election, we have been deeply troubled to hear proposals that condemn whole groups and which are justified by pointing to evil behaviors by members of that group or religion,” the rabbis wrote. “Wholesale condemnations—such as the proposal to ban all Muslim immigration into the United States—violate the principle of individual responsibility and violate the fundamental religious principle of ‘love thy neighbor as thyself,’ which is one of the greatest commandments of Judaism (see Jerusalem Talmud, Nedarim 9:4). These proposals violate the biblical prohibitions to spread hatred or slander about groups and individuals and violate the oft-repeated biblical command to love the stranger.”

The quote from the Yerushalmi is the famous note by Rabbi Akiva that “Love your friend as you would yourself” is a great Torah principle. It is, but it refers exclusively to Jews, as can be easily discerned from the complete verse: “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against the people of your nation (B’nei Amecha), and love your friend (Re’acha) as you would yourself, I am God.” Of course, there are universal interpretations of this verse, but as it happens, the Yerushalmi chapter the group cited actually emphasizes one line earlier the idea of the verse referring to the people of your own nation, meaning Jews.

Frankly, even if one does not support Trump’s xenophobic attacks on “Rapist Mexicans” and “the Muslims,” a group of 45 learned rabbis could have come up with a more convincing, perhaps intellectually challenging argument, especially since they present the Trump proposals on banning—temporarily—Muslim immigration without context, as if the candidate just picked a fight with a billion and a half peaceful people who are minding their own business just worrying about grazing their camels and perfecting their hummus.

The 45 rabbis also say they were “shocked by the disrespect shown to parents who suffered the greatest pain—losing a son who died in the service of our country. The Torah commands us always to comfort mourners. The fact that the parents criticized a candidate does not justify harsh and hurtful retaliation.”

This time they didn’t go to the Yerushalmi to support their “always comfort mourners” point. It’s probably not true, as can be seen in the commandments regarding the beautiful war captive, where comforting her as she is mourning her killed parents is distinctly not part of the Jewish soldier’s obligations.

They also attack Trump for his “authoritarian tendencies” and “personal vendettas that come across as a dismissal of constitutional rights and legal processes.” They’re about a year late in comforting Prime Minister Netanyahu, who suffered from the personal vendettas of the current US president. Maybe there’s something in the Yerushalmi about that.

Finally, the Jerusalem Post ran its report of the announcement with the headline “40 New York Orthodox rabbis condemn Trump’s ‘hateful rhetoric’” illustrated with a picture of Satmar Hassidim, which is probably discussed at length in the Yerushalmi, concerning the prohibition on Gneivat Da’at (intellectual deceit).



David Israel

Analysis: What If Trump Is Winning and No One Notices?

Monday, August 8th, 2016

A look at the national, and state-by-state polls over the week since the Democratic convention reveals a devastating picture for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, with his opponent leading him by an average of 7 points, but in some polls reaching double digits, and going as high as 15 points. The Republican party is in a panic, obviously, with some suggesting it’s not too late to ask the candidate to bow out humbly and let another take his place. These Republicans have already given up on a chance to take the White House and are concentrating instead on retaining at least one of the two legislative houses. The rule of thumb in American politics is, apparently, that in states where the presidential candidate wins by a certain margin (8 points has been suggested as the accepted mark), he or she also sweep into office their party senators and congress members.

Even candidate Trump seems to have been injured by his campaign’s terrible numbers, because he started accusing a rigged election system in his projected loss come November. But at the same time Trump has been predicting a big victory for his side, and while the general media have treated this statement as just one more case of Trump unruly bravado, he just might know what he’s talking about.

Last Friday the website FiveThirtyEight released a Trump campaign memo from before the start of the RNC primaries, revealing an unorthodox strategy of going after unlikely voters in the primaries, people who rarely if ever participate in elections. The memo charted a campaign that relied on free media, using Trump’s controversial TV appearances, unmatched in media attention by any of his opponents, to bring in those irregular voters.

The memo suggests that Trump’s voters are Americans who are in a “persistent state of disenfranchisement,” and recommends pursuing them, leaving Trump’s opponents to fight over “the same heavily tilled soil” of likely voters. “An unprecedented targeting strategy must be in sync with this unprecedented campaign,” the memo concluded.

Looking back, it appears that this strategy was ingenious, resulting in candidate Trump filling up stadiums with newcomers to the Republican party who were there to answer his call — much the way candidate Obama back in 2008 brought in Black voters who otherwise would not have trusted the system enough to vote.

The Trump strategy worked to deliver him the nomination, so why is he dropping like a stone in the polls? The answer to that question can possibly be found in the mother of all polling failure stories, the 1936 Literary Digest straw poll that predicted a landslide victory for GOP candidate Alf Landon over Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, with 57 percent of the vote. Why did the Digest fail, after having predicted correctly every presidential election from 1920 to 1932? The reason was that the Digest polled about 2 million people, whose name were gotten from lists of magazine subscribers, car owners and telephone customers—people who had money during the Depression, and who were outvoted by people who did not have any of the above.

The closer polling services get to November, the more they prefer to draw their random samples from likely voters rather than mere registered voters. Registered voters, according to Gallup, are people who in response to a standard poll question say they are “registered to vote in their precinct or election district.” This is the group whose data Gallup reports most often because they represent an estimate of Americans who in theory are eligible to vote and could vote if they want to.

Gallup established the rules of the polling game back in the same 1936 election, when their use of a random sample of 50,000 Americans yielded the correct prediction of a Roosevelt victory — so it’s safe to assume that most polling services adhere to the same guidelines, more or less.

But Gallup and other surveys know that in the final analysis, not all of these registered voters will actually vote. In fact, only a little more than half of eligible American voters actually show up come election day. And so Gallup has created systems to delineate the likely voters — lists of individuals who are most likely to actually vote, to provide more reliable predictions.

And herein lies the possibility that Gallup and everyone else in the polling business have been overlooking Trump’s voters. If we presume that the Trump victory relied on an untapped segment of the population, what can we expect to be some of this group’s common denominators?

They are white, they feel ignored by the system, they mistrust politicians and the media.

In determining the likelihood of a respondent showing up to vote, Gallup and other services have developed a list of questions for which they give the respondent one point for each positive answer:

1. Thinking about the election (quite a lot, some) 2. Know where in the neighborhood to go to vote (yes) 3. Voted in election precinct before (yes) 4. How often have they voted before (always, nearly always) 5. Plan to vote in 2016 election (yes) 6, Likelihood of voting on a 10-point scale (7-10) 7. Voted in last presidential election (yes)

Let’s assume that a Trump voter gets the call from Gallup and decides to answer the above questions truthfully (it’s always possible that they would decide to fool the pollster, as an act against the hostile media — Israel experienced more than one such case in which polls failed to predict a rightwing victory because rightwing voters lied to pollsters whom they viewed as representing a leftwing media elite).

The Trump voter answering truthfully may answer No to Questions 2, 3, 4, and 7, thus scoring only 3 points and being discarded as unlikely to vote. So that while the bulk of Trump’s outsiders remain under the polling radar, come November they would all show up at the polling stations and possibly give their candidate his unlikely victory.

Finally, some in the rightwing media (Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren comes to mind) have suggested there may be a phenomenon of pro-Trump respondents feeling ashamed of revealing to a stranger, an educated pollster, that they support a man who is vilified by almost every media outlet in the land, the brunt of jokes, a boob, even a potential traitor (called on President Putin to hack into a US party’s computers). They may vote for him in November, but they may be uncomfortable admitting it.

It should be noted that in most of the polls where she is beating Trump by significant margins, Hillary Clinton rarely receives more than 45% of the votes, and that consequently in every such poll, Trump’s votes plus the “I don’t know” votes add up to more than the Democrat’s numbers. With fewer than 55% of Americans normally voting in presidential elections (in midterm elections the figures plummet well below that), all Trump needs is to bring in five to ten percent of the voters who have never gone to the polls before.

He may have already done that.


Donald Trump: ‘Our Greatest Ally in the Region [is] Israel’

Friday, July 22nd, 2016

GOP candidate Donald J. Trump accepted his party’s nomination for president Thursday night at the fourth and final night of the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio.

Introduced to the packed arena of 50,000 delegates, the political novice opened with a small smile, and a question. “Who would have believed when we started this on June 16 that the Republican Party would receive almost 14 million votes — the most in the history of the party? The Republican has party received 60 percent more votes than it received eight years ago,” he said. By comparison, the Democratic Party received “20 percent fewer votes than it received four years ago … not so good. Not so good,” he shook his head.

“Together we will lead our party back to the White House and we will lead our country back to safety and peace… But we will also be a country of law and order,” he said. “Beginning on January 20, safety will be restored,” he said.

But it was in the foreign policy section of his speech, that Trump focused on the issue of world terror, and in particular, the situation in the Middle East. He noted it had become “worse than it has ever been before.”

“After four years of Hillary Clinton, what do we have? ISIS has spread across the region, and the entire world,” Trump declared. “Libya is in ruins and our Ambassador and his staff were left helpless to die at the hands of savage killers. Egypt was turned over to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, forcing the military to retake control. Iraq is in chaos. Iran is on the path to nuclear weapons. Syria is engulfed in a civil war and a refugee crisis, and now threatens the West.

“This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction, terrorism, and weakness. But Hillary Clinton’s legacy does not have to be America’s legacy,” Trump said.

“A change in leadership is required to produce a change in outcomes,” he noted.

“Once again, France is the victim of brutal Islamic terrorism. Men, women and children viciously mowed down. Lives ruined. Families ripped apart. A nation in mourning.

“The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been proven over and over — at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, Tennessee. And many many other locations.

“To protect us from terrorism, we need to focus on three things,” Trump said.

“We must have the best — absolutely the best — gathering of intelligence anywhere in the world. The best.

“We must abandon the failed policy of nation-building and regime change that Hillary Clinton pushed in Iraq, in Libya, in Egypt and in Syria.

“Instead, we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terrorism and doing it now, doing it quickly.

“This includes working with our greatest ally in the region, the State of Israel.

“Recently, I have said NATO is obsolete because it did not properly cover terror, and also that many of the member countries were not paying their fair share. As usual, the United States has been picking up the costs,” he said.

“Shortly thereafter, it was announced that NATO will be setting up a new program in order to combat terrorism.

“A true step in the right direction,” he commented.

Hana Levi Julian

Las Vegas Billionaire Sheldon Adelson Pledges $100M for Trump Presidential Campaign

Sunday, May 15th, 2016

Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon G. Adelson has reportedly pledged $100 million, and possibly more, to help finance GOP candidate Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

The news was reported in the Friday’s edition (May 13) of the New York Times.

The two men met last week to discuss the issue, according to two nameless Republican sources quoted by NYT who said they were not authorized to speak about the matter publicly.

Adelson, 82, and his wife Miriam met with Trump and his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski at the St. Regis Hotel in midtown Manhattan, while the couple were in town for a gala dinner to benefit a Jewish organization.

During their chat, Trump reportedly told the Adelsons he is dedicated to protecting Israel’s security.

The billionaire has financed Republican causes over the years to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars – but this year he plans to scale back contributions to Congressional campaigns to focus on helping Trump, according to the report.

There is, however, the thorny problem of logistics: there is a limit on how much money a single individual can give to political campaigns in the United States. In order to give really “big” money, one requires a “super PAC” — super political action committee.

On Thursday, one such group announced it would aim to raise $20 million for Trump. The Committee for American Sovereignty was formed by Doug Watts, a former aide to Ben Carson’s campaign. Watts now serves as the executive director of the group, which he said “will not accept special interest PAC contributions.”

However, up to this week Trump had not yet decided whether he will allow PACs to help finance his campaign. Last October he disavowed nine unauthorized groups and demanded they return all funds they had raised to support his campaign. It seems that now, however, he has come to the realization that for a general campaign there is no way he can gather the needed $1.5 billion through individual contributions alone. Several of the bigger powerhouse Republican superPACs are quietly gearing up to begin the job of rounding up their major givers — something that Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton  had already gotten busy with months ago — and have hired top-flight fundraisers and campaign managers to crank up the party machine.

Meanwhile, Adelson explained his reasons for throwing his support behind his fellow business mogul in an op-ed he wrote that was published in Friday’s Washington Post: “He is a candidate with actual CEO experience, shaped and molded by the commitment and risk of his own money rather than the public’s.

“I am endorsing Trump’s bid for president and strongly encourage my fellow Republicans – especially our Republican elected officials, party loyalists and operatives, and those who provide important financial backing – to do the same,” Adelson wrote.

Hana Levi Julian

Israeli Firm Discovers Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton Share Genetic Link

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

An Israeli geneology firm has revealed the two opposing frontrunners in the U.S. presidential election campaign are genetically related.

The Geni.com subsidiary of ‘MyHeritage’ traced the genetic ancestry of the two American presidential contenders, and discovered they’re both descendants of the British monarchy.

Both GOP candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton are descendants of the romantic liaison between the fourth son of King Edward III, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress.

Television host and comedian Bill Maher claimed in a 2013 satirical routine on NBC’s “The Tonight Show” however that Donald Trump is descended from orangutans.

Some 81 million registered users around the world avail themselves of the company’s services, which include a platform to help construct a family tree.

Hana Levi Julian

Donald Trump Running to Be ‘Greatest President God Ever Created’ [video]

Tuesday, June 16th, 2015

Donald Trump, the billionaire real estate developer, casino owner, entertainment mogul, TV personality and father of a woman who converted to Judaism and says she observes Shabbat, tossed hit hat into the huge ring of Republican candidates for president Tuesday.

He probably holds the record for being the most frequent “almost candidate,” having hinted several times in the past he would run for president.

This time it is for real. He said in his announcement in a 45-minute speech in New York:

I am officially running for president of the United States, and we are going to make our country great again. Sadly the American dream is dead. But if I get elected president, I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before.

He boasted his net worth at $8.7 billion, twice the amount estimated by most sources, and said:

I’m really rich. I’m not doing that to brag. I’m doing that to say that’s the kind of thinking our country needs. We need that thinking. We have the opposite thinking. We have losers…. The greatest social program is a job.

Trump went on to state, without batting an eyelash:

I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.” I’ve watched the politicians, I’ve dealt with them all my life. They will never make America great again. They don’t even have a chance.

Polls show that Trump has a chance to win the Republican nomination, but he still is a long shot. He loves Israel, but it is questionable if American Jews love him. He has made statements disparaging blacks and Hispanics, so he can forget about most of them for support.

What might really be interesting is if he does not win the Republican nomination but runs as an Independent. third-party candidate. That would make for the most interesting presidential election since former Alabama governor and segregationist George Wallace’s four pitches for the presidency, earning him the description of America’s “most influential loser.”

Trump, like Wallace, is a gadfly and shoots from the hip, something like an American version of Israel’s Avigdor Lieberman before he got too smart for his own good. Trump has sworn up and down that President Barack Obama did not fulfill a basic qualification for the presidency by being born in the United States. Trump’s constant jabs at Obama, along with those of other “birthers,” finally forced the president to produce a birth certificate. Of course, the hard-core birthers said it was a fake.

Trump’s name is plastered on a variety of industries, from real estate to wrestling, media, golf course, a chartering company, ice cream parlor, a line of men’s wear, vodka, books, steaks and a golf course.

Being a maverick gives him the image of sticking by his word. When he says he loves Israel, he puts his money where his mouth is. Trump has a huge real estate project in Netanya, and his daughter Ivanka, who converted to Judaism, looks favorably on Israel for real estate investment.

Her husband is from an Orthodox Jewish family, and she has taken her conversion seriously, adding “Yael” to her name and saying that “we’re pretty observant, more than some, less than others.”

If “the Donald” is elected president, the United States will have its first Jewish daughter in the White House.

Her father hates President Obama with a passion and has said that he is Israel’s greatest enemy. Trump also is a fan of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Below are three videos. The first one includes parts of Trump’s speech today, the second one is from 2013, when Trump endorse Netanyahu for Prime Minister. and third is of Ivanka’s visit to Jerusalem in 2008.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

‘Fed Up’ Black Voters May Help Elect Republican President in 2016

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Black voters disappointed by President Barack Obama may stay at home in next years’ presidential election or even vote Republican and escort the GOP into the White House.

The disappointment among blacks towards President Obama is similar to Middle East Muslims’ frustration with the President two years after his “reaching us to Muslims” speech in Cairo, except that American blacks have not reacted with the type of violent Arab Spring rebellions that turned to ashes whatever stability that existed in several Middle East countries.

Americans are more apathetic and simply “turn off,” but recent riots in Ferguson and Baltimore have brought back unwanted memories of the race riots of 1967.

American blacks were ecstatic in 2008 after the election of the first black president in the United States. Even Condoleezza Rice, a black, an avowed Republican and Secretary of State in the Bush administration, said she was proud when Americans voted Obama into the White House. Obama was liked by blacks not just because of his color but also because of his personality and style that showed a confident understanding and identity with the man on the street.

The Washington Post’s Robert Samuels, under the headline “Is it even worth backing Clinton?” wrote on Tuesday of one Florida voter’s feeling today after more than six years of Obama:

What was the point? We made history, but I don’t see change….“We got the president his job, but did he help us get any good jobs? I still need a raise.”

Samuels wrote, “Even a black president was unable to heal places still gripped by violence, drugs and joblessness.”

What has changed for blacks since 2008? The Tampa Tribune reported in 2013:

Blacks’ median income has fallen 11.1% under Obama, more than twice as much as whites. The disparity in wealth between whites and blacks nearly doubled during Obama’s tenure. According to CNN, the median net worth of the average white person is now 22 times as much as the average black person’s wealth, $110,729 to $4,995. The disparity between white and Hispanic wealth increased to a 15 to 1 ratio.

The identification by color with President Obama is indicated in the same report, which reported, “Despite these facts, a recent Pew survey found that the number of blacks who thought they were better off now than they were five years earlier almost doubled since 2007.”

Clinton can talk and promise all she wants, but she can’t change her color, except when she gets red-face in anger.

The only black candidate running for president is a Republican, retired Florida surgeon and political novice Dr. Ben Carson.

The Democratic front-runner is Hillary Clinton, who is the spitting image of the WASP do-good, limousine liberal aristocracy. Her most senior competition is Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, a socialist and a Jew, the latter adjective far from being a magnet for enthusiasm among blacks.

Clinton faces a high hurdle among blacks because, as Samuels wrote, “If Obama’s presidency didn’t do more to help African Americans, then how could hers? She has promised “real reforms”,” but it is questionable if voters will buy promises.

A Washington Post-ABC poll shows that Clinton has 75 percent among African Americans who thought that Clinton understood the problems of “people like you,”, but that still is far below the 91 percent approval that Obama received. In addition, lack of enthusiasm will keep a significant number of the 75 percent at home on election day, even if does not rain.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/fed-up-black-voters-may-help-elect-republican-president-in-2016/2015/06/10/

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