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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘primary’

Anti-Israel, ‘Amsterdam News’ Favorite, Charles Barron Loses Vote

Wednesday, June 27th, 2012

It looks like someone went up to Charles Barron and slapped him.

The former member of the City Council and the Black Panther party was handily defeated by Hakeem Jeffries for the newly redrawn 8th Congressional District. The new district is mainly African-American, with a significant percentage of Russian Jews and Hispanics. Jeffries won in a landslide with more than half the precincts reporting, taking 75 percent of the vote.

According to The Daily News, Barron is demanding a recount.

“When we launched this campaign we knew we were going up against … the entire New York Democratic political leadership,” Barron said. “You know you good when you made the governor do a robo call for a primary.”

While not the most intense election, the contest between the two candidates may have been the most interesting. Barron is better known for his derogatory comments about Jews and Israel. Among what he considers his best achievement in his three-term tenure in City Council was hosting Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe. He called Gaza a “concentration camp” and eulogized Muammar el-Qaddafi as a “freedom fighter.”

(As a parenthetical note, Barron called a proposal by a board member of the CUNY school system to have students take remedial classes in the high school “ethnic cleansing.” When I asked him about it a year later, he seemed puzzled. “I said so much stuff, I’m not sure,” he told me.

While some predicted that it wouldn’t be much of a contest, the election achieved notoriety by the sheer number of endorsements that Jeffries received. He was endorsed by The New York Times, The New York Post, The Daily News. The New York Observer didn’t actually endorse Jeffries, but instead shrilly begged for President Obama to step in and stop Barron.

Virtually the only paper of note to endorse Barron was the Amsterdam News. (Note: The link to the AN endorsement will take you to the Barron website, because the original endorsement on the newspaper’s site has been scrubbed. JP)

“The man is a hater and a bigot whose only redeeming quality is his candor,” the Observer wrote about Barron. “The man makes no attempt to hide his loathing of white people, Israel, his colleagues and anybody else who doesn’t share his demented views.”

In terms of fundraising, Jeffries managed to rack up over $350,000 compared to Barron’s measly $50,000.

Barron did manage to get the endorsement of the city’s largest public union and Congressman Ed Towns, the previous holder of the seat. Barron also unwittingly received a toxic endorsement from David Duke, the former Grand Wizard of the Klu Klux Klan. In the video, posted on Youtube, in between bouts of anti-Semitic paranoia Duke stuck out an olive branch in the style of the late Rodney King.

“Black leaders like Barron should work to lessen the enmity between blacks and whites and realize that the Jewish extremists in America keep the whites and blacks from mutually solving our interests and differences,” Duke says in the clip.

During the election itself, Barron supporters clad in yellow faced off against a virtual army of Jeffries supporters.

“The election results prove that the Jewish and African American communities are more united than most people would assume,” said Ezra Friedlander, CEO of the Friedlander group, a public and government relations group based in DC and New York. “The voters rejected a divisive demagogue and elected a bright, talented and forward thinking individual who has the potential to develop into a star.”

The question has also become what to make of former Congressman Ed Towns, long thought to be a strong supporter of Israel, who nonetheless endorsed Barron.

“I voted for Charles Barron,” Harold Mansfield, 77, told the Bayside Patch. “I vote every year, every chance I can get. I always voted for Ed Towns because he takes care of us seniors, and he said Barron was his man, so that’s my man.”

Jonathan Noble, a former District Legislative Director for Rep. Towns and an Orthodox Jew, said he was surprised by the Towns endorsement. But he added, “I hope this does not diminish Towns’ legacy as a bridge-builder. I’ve always admired him for that.”

Michael Orbach

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach: An Open Letter to Congressmen Steve Rothman and Bill Pascrell

Wednesday, May 30th, 2012

Dear Steve and Bill,

Many of us have watched with amazement and dismay the increasingly bitter primary battle ensuing between you. You were once close friends and allies. Now that you are contesting the same Congressional seat, the natural affection that once bound you has come undone.

This is a shame, both personally and collectively. Personally, because friendship is one of life’s greatest blessings, and collectively, because Americans are sick and tired of rancorous, scorched-earth politics, which has given Congress a nine percent approval rating.

Let me be clear that I am not passing judgment. I recognize the stakes are high in your primary as they are in the current Republican primary. But I am saying that there is a better way, a more magnanimous manner in which to run for office, where personalities are kept out of the race and where issues are the focus.

Congressman Rothman, was it really necessary to put out a mailer that said of Pascrell, “With friends like this, who needs enemies?” Was it essential to say of your fellow Democrat that he is guilty of peddling “UGLY… BASELESS… CRAP” (Your own emphasis).

Congressman Pascrell, did you really have to say of your fellow Democrat, “I lived in Paterson all my life. I didn’t have to move. You moved twice. If you’re such a progressive, why didn’t you take on the leader of the Tea Party instead of your ‘friend’ Bill Pascrell.”

Come on, guys! You’re in the same party. And you’re both elected officials representing New Jersey and the nation. While that doesn’t mean you have to agree on everything, it does mean that you should be according each other some basic civility.

I know something about this because I do family conflict resolution for a living. My TV show on TLC, Shalom in the Home, had me living with families across America for up to a week to try and get husbands and wives to stop fighting, parents and kids to stop arguing, and brothers and sisters to stop squabbling.

The ABCs of conflict resolution involve human empathy – an ability to see the matter from the other person’s point of view. Surely you can both appreciate that after spending sixteen odd years in Congress.

Winning is great, but not at any cost, and certainly not at the cost of your integrity. While I disagree with both of you substantially on the issues, I do not question that you are both devoted public servants and it’s for this reason that the increasingly bitter tone of your race doesn’t accord with your own values. You’re both better than this.

Imagine two good friends at High School who do everything together but then begin to fight over the same girl. Surely, as they abuse and taunt each other in her presence, they will not only fail to win her hand but will instead alienate her completely. That’s what’s happening with the electorate as they watch the two of you assail each other.

Even the Star Ledger Editorial Board has commented on the vitriolic nature of the campaign by stating “it is particularly appalling to see Rothman take such cheap shots at Pascrell” and “a pity that he’s (Rothman) choosing to tarnish his long-standing reputation for integrity by running a campaign like this.”

Look, I shouldn’t be saying this. The two of you bludgeoning each other works to my advantage. I hope to win the Republican nomination for Congress on the very same day – June 5th – that you hope to win the Democratic nomination. And when people see what you’re doing to each other, they might just decide to give the other party the chance to represent them in Congress with values they can respect. But I don’t want to win this way. I don’t want to get votes because the Democratic primary has become a fratricidal war of Cain and Abel in a duel to the death. I don’t want to win based on something like The Hunger Games. Rather, I want to win based on the issues and on values.

It is my belief that my ideas and policies are better for America than yours. I may be wrong. That’s why elections exist, for the electorate to determine whose ideas will best steer the country. But we have to take personality, bitterness, and bile out of the equation and make this a policy-based dispute.

Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Miami Hatzalah Recruiting Members

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Miami Hatzalah members assist firefighters at accident scene.

Miami Hatzalah is looking for new members who work or live in the areas of Surfside, Bal Harbour or Bay Harbor and Aventura. The group recently held an open house presentation in Surfside to help accomplish this goal.

Hatzalah is currently introducing an exciting new online EMT class which is new to Florida. It allows participants to take parts of the EMT requirements online.

For more information, to volunteer, or to contribute call Zalman Cohen at 305-986-0096.

Hatzalah of Miami Dade, Inc, is a volunteer not-for-profit organization. Its primary mission is to save lives by providing basic life-support services in those vital first few minutes of an emergency until an ambulance arrives.

Shelley Benveniste

Mofaz Wins Kadima Primary Polls by 62% to Livni’s 38%

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

With all the votes counted, Shaul Mofaz became the new chairman of Kadima with 61.7%, to Tzippi Livni’s 37.23%.

Out of 95 thousand registered Kadima party members, only 40% voted by 10 p.m., when the polls closed. Shaul Mofaz and Tzippi Livni struggled  throughout the day to persuade members to get out to the polls and vote.

After congratulating her rival on his win, Livni stated  that she was not going to answer questions regarding her future political path. “It has been a two-months-long, long day. I’m going to sleep,” she told her followers at her campaign headquarters in Tel Aviv.

Some Israeli political commentators are expecting Livni to retire from Kadima and either take a break from politics, or join forces with the new claimant on the Israeli political center, former journalist and TV host Yair Lapid.

Regardless of Tuesday’s vote, it is unclear how Kadima would be able to sustain its status as the largest faction in the Knesset. This means that the war over the political center in Israel will resume, and voters will be “treated” to many acts of realignment, as well as a slew of strange bedfellows.

Even before the polls closed, it was rumored that Haim Ramon was planning to resign as Chair of the Kadima Council. Along with the Mofaz win, this may suggest that the party is moving to the right. It may also mean that Kadima could not be taken for granted as partnering with the left on issues such as  the religious vs. secular tensions.

When Kadima had been established by Ariel Sharon, Mofaz, who was then running to become the new head of the Likud party, was initially reluctant to join him, warning that an alliance with leftists who supported the Oslo accords and a return to the pre-1967 lines, was dangerous. Mofaz then coined the memorable slogan: “You don’t leave a home,” a slogan he abandoned and joined Kadima when it became clear he would not win the leadership post in Likud.

As Defense Minister, Mofas carried out the evacuation of Gush Katif.

Still, ideologically speaking, Mofaz remains further to the right than Livni. On the other hand, since he stated his goal to be the next prime minister of Israel, it is unclear if he would settle for a “mere” cabinet position in a coalition government under Netanyahu.

Chairman of  the Knesset Finance Committee, United Torah Judaism’s MK Moshe Gafni, may have sensed this change when he said Monday night that Tzipi Livni’s loss in the primaries came because she had been attacking the ultra-Orthodox community relentlessly over the past two years. “Just as [Tommi Lapid’s] Shinui party has disappeared from the political map, and all the hatred parties are gone, Kadima voters today  said no to hatred and incitement against the ultra-Orthodox society.”

In the end, a weaker Kadima party will bolster Netanyahu’s chances in next year’s elections (unless he decides to bring them on earlier, while the opposition is weakened).

Kadima (Hebrew for Forward) has been the most recent party to try and fill up the gap between the left-leaning Labor and right-leaning Likud. The trend of capitalizing on the vast middle in Israel’s politics began back in 1977, when Labor, which had been ruling since the formation of the state, was finally defeated thanks to the emergence of the Dash (Hebrew acronym for Democratic Movement for Change) party.

Typically, every such attempt to form a coalition of centrist interest groups inevitably ended with a collapse of the “package” and with a re-opening of the appetizing vacuum at the center.

Kadima was established in the fall of 2005 by followers of then Premier Ariel Sharon, who realized he could not execute a planned, unilateral evacuation of thousands of Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip without moving to the left of his own party, Likud.

The Kadima vortex drew in a huge flow of politicians from the “moderate” right, including the former mayor of Jerusalem and top-rank Likud politician Ehud Olmert, who later became party chairman, following Ariel Sharon’s stroke.

Kadima scored the biggest success of a centrist party to date, picking up 29 of the 120 Knesset seats in the 2006 elections. But the illness of its founder and the entanglement of his successor in charges of corruption which are still being prosecuted in the courts, the qualuity of leadership in Kadima dwindled down. So much so, that the third party leader, Tzippi Livni, was unable to form a working coalition despite the fact that Kadima won the largest number of seats in the 2009 elections. Livni et al were outmaneuvered by Benjamin Netanyahu who formed the current government, and Kadima was demoted to the opposition.

 

Jacob Edelist

Vayikra: The Sacrifice Of Thanksgiving

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

To the modern mind, korbanos may seem foreign or hard to understand. Yet they were a key component of the service of Hashem.

Rabbi Avigdor Miller, zt”l, explains that offerings served many purposes, including a primary purpose of expressing thanks to Hashem. Thus, following the book of Exodus comes the book dealing with sacrifices as an expression of thanks for the deliverance from slavery in Egypt.

“A man, when he offers…” (1:2).

Although many matters are taught in this book of Vayikra, the first and therefore most conspicuous subject is the korbanos. This had been foretold: “We shall go…and we shall sacrifice to Hashem our G-d” (Shemos 3:18); also “Send out My son and he shall serve Me” (ibid. 4:23), “and we shall sacrifice to Hashem our G-d” (ibid. 5:3), and “go sacrifice to your G-d” (ibid. 8:21).

The first service of Hashem in the form of korbanos was actually performed by the Pesach-sacrifice in Egypt, and the first national achievement after the giving of the Torah was the Mishkan where they would serve Hashem with offerings. We learn therefore the principle that after being delivered from affliction or from peril, the first reaction should be to bring offerings to Hashem.

Even before, it is proper to make vows to sacrifice to Hashem. “I beseech You, I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving.… I shall pay my vows unto Hashem” (Tehillim 116:16-17). Sefer Vayikra, therefore, which follows Sefer Shemos (which contains the entire narrative of the Exodus from Egypt), properly begins with the outstanding subject of sacrifices to Hashem.

Although the korbanos have many purposes and many lessons, the first of all the intentions is the expression of gratitude; and the foremost is the gratitude for the Exodus from Egypt. Thus Noach offered sacrifices when he survived the Flood (Bereishis 8:20), and Jacob (ibid. 28:20) vowed offerings for his deliverance from adversity.

Before beginning on the subject of sacrifices, mention must be made of the opinion of the Rambam (Moreh Nevuchim 3:32). He declares that because at that time men were accustomed to the practice of sacrificing to images, Hashem’s plan was to substitute sacrifices to the true G-d in the place of the idolatry of the nations: “He transferred to His service that which had formerly served as a worship of creatures or of imaginary things.”

But once these sacrifices to Hashem have become Torah, they remain Torah forever, even after all the nations have discontinued the practice of sacrifices. It thus becomes included in the principle: “The Holy One, blessed is He, desired to bestow merit on Israel; therefore He increased for them Torah and mitzvos” (Makos 23b).

But even without the Rambam’s explanation (or in addition to his explanation) there are important and eternal lessons to be gained from the korbanos, and that the practice of these commandments bestowed excellence of intellect and character on our nation. Thus the loss of the Sanctuary was not only the loss of the many mitzvos which the sacrifices provided, but it was also a loss of great opportunities for perfection of mind and character available because of the Beis HaMikdash.

But the impression the service of the Sanctuary created in the minds and souls of the nation never went lost, and continues forever as part of the national heritage. The words of the Torah that describe the Sanctuary service continue forever to be read and studied, and thus our nation gains part of the benefits the Avodah was intended to provide.

Compiled for The Jewish Press by the Rabbi Avigdor Miller Simchas Hachaim Foundation, a project of Yeshiva Gedolah Bais Yisroel, which Rabbi Miller, zt”l, founded and authorized to disseminate his work. Subscribe to the Foundation’s free e-mail newsletters on marriage, personal growth, and more at www.SimchasHachaim.com.

For more information, or to sponsor a Simchas Hachaim Foundation program, call 718-258-7400 or e-mail info@SimchasHachaim.com.

Rabbi Avigdor Miller

Report: Kadima Headed for Split, No Matter Who Wins Primary

Monday, March 19th, 2012

A source in the Knesset told the Jewish Press in the wake of Monday afternoon’s Kadima faction meeting that a consensus is building that Kadima is headed for a split. The source said that although the faction meeting ended with smiles and handshakes all around, party members appeared convinced that a split will occur, no matter who wins the Kadima leadership primary slated for March 27.

Since Kadima’s fracturing is inevitable, the leadership primary becomes significance in that it will determine which leader will secure the votes of Kadima MKs whose allegiance is to the party, and not its leader; MKs whose continued membership in Kadima is not contingent on the victory of either Livni or Mofaz. The source said that MKs like Nachman Shai are the ones that will inevitably serve as kingmakers for the next Kadima chairman.

Rafi Harkham

Kadima Calls Faction Meeting Amid Rumors of a Split in the Party

Monday, March 19th, 2012

The Kadima Party has asked all its Knesset Members and assistants to attend a faction meeting scheduled for today at 3 PM. “With rumors of an impending split in the party next week no matter who wins, Opposition leader Tzipi Livni is looking to keep her ship together,” said a source in the Knesset.

Dalia Itzik, Kadima’s Faction Chairwoman and the last faction member yet to announce who she will support in the upcoming primary between Livni and Shaul Mofaz, has been linked to discussions with Mofaz’s campaign over the weekend. Last week, Kadima’s faction meeting was cancelled because of tensions between the two camps, but with Itzik expected to declare her support today at the faction meeting, Mofaz appears to be gaining in his challenge against the incumbent.

Itzik’s announcement of support for Mofaz would be a particularly stinging blow for Livni, as Itzik has reportedly been a longtime political confidante and friend of the Opposition leader.

Rafi Harkham

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/israel/kadima-calls-faction-meeting-amid-rumors-of-a-split-in-the-party/2012/03/19/

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