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July 23, 2016 / 17 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Princeton University’

Supporting Trump Should Be A No-Brainer For Jews

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

In 1980, New York City decided to renovate Central Park’s ice skating rink. The cost of the two-year project was estimated at $9 million. Six years and $13 million later, the renovations were nowhere near complete. Enter Donald Trump. He asked then-Mayor Ed Koch if he could take over the job. Six months later the rink was ready.

Trump is a man who gets things done. He is a man who strives for excellence. He is a man who before 9/11 wanted to build the tallest building in the world. Ivanka Trump recalls that her father used to tell her as a child, “You’re going to be thinking anyway. Might as well think big.” In short, Trump is a man who values greatness and seeks the same for his country.

Trump’s critics pounce on his every mistake over a business career of 50 years. But they’re ignoring the larger picture: Trump is a multi-billionaire with flourishing enterprises all over the world. To conclude that Trump is a terrible businessman because not all his endeavors succeed is like concluding that Benjamin Cardozo was a terrible lawyer because he occasionally lost a case. Both inferences are sheer lunacy.

Trump’s critics also like to attack him for being unhinged. But think for a moment: Can anyone succeed in Manhattan’s real estate market – with all its regulations and zoning laws – by being unhinged? By embracing an attitude of “my way or the highway”?

In fact, those who know Trump best testify that he is a “reflective, gentlemanly, decent” man (in the words of longtime friend Rudy Giuliani). When Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was asked why she supports Trump for president, she said, “I see a different Donald Trump, I think, than a lot of people see. I see the way he interacts with his kids…. He’s a great dad. His employees adore him. I think they would jump off a cliff for him, and I think that’s speaks a lot about a person.”

Indeed, it does. As do Trump’s numerous quiet acts of kindness over the decades. Just two weeks ago, for example, a former Miss Wisconsin tearfully recounted the moment she received a handwritten note from Trump as she lay in a hospital bed fighting for her life. “He is the kindest man I have ever met,” she told FOX News. “I think he has a heart of gold.”

What about Ted Cruz’s reputation? In a word, it’s terrible. He helped win the White House for George W. Bush in 2001, but virtually everyone on the campaign team – including Bush – “couldn’t stand him,” a prominent Bush aide recalls. “People wouldn’t go to a meeting if they knew he would be there,” he said.

Cruz’s freshman roommate at Princeton University remembers him as “a nightmare of a human being.” Another Princeton acquaintance remembers him as an “arrogant jerk.” Yet another remembers Cruz speaking to her in such a “vicious” supercilious fashion that she literally broke down in tears.

Cruz’s reputation in Congress isn’t much better: “Everybody who knows him in the Senate hates him. And I think hate is not an exaggeration,” political pundit Charles Krauthammer recently said.

Is character everything? No. But when so many colleagues and acquaintances find you – not your ideas – detestable, something is wrong.

How do the candidates rate on policy? Cruz isn’t bad, but Trump approaches problems with a certain clarity and straightforwardness that Cruz simply doesn’t possess. Thus, while Cruz hems and haws about water-boarding terrorists, Trump approvingly repeats the story of General “Black Jack” Pershing allegedly executing 49 Muslim terrorists in the Philippines with bullets dipped in pig’s blood. He also dares suggest that allowing hundreds of thousands of Muslims into this country at a time of worldwide jihad may – just may – not be wise.

This straightforward thinking – unmarred by the obfuscations of politically correctness – will likely benefit Israel too. For the question isn’t whether this or that candidate likes Israel. The real question is: What will the next president say when Saudi Arabia threatens to desolve its friendship with the U.S. if it doesn’t pressure Israel into making concessions? For that is precisely the threat made to George W. Bush, as Elliott Abrams recounts in his book Tested by Zion. As a result, Bush – who was about as instinctively pro-Israel as they come – supported a Palestinian state, condemned Israel’s anti-terror campaign in the West Bank, and pushed for negotiations with the Palestinians. Why should we believe Cruz will act any differently?

Trump, however, might. As a non-politician, he harbors no instinctive reaction to cave to Saudi Arabia. Indeed, he has publicly attacked the oil-rich country. It’s true that two months ago Trump talked of acting neutral while negotiating a Middle East peace deal – a deal Netanyahu has publicly begged for, incidentally – but since then he has stated several times that a peace deal is impossible unless the Palestinians stop teaching their children to kill Jews.

And Trump doesn’t play games. He isn’t a politician. He is a businessman who has made a career out of reading people. If he perceives that the Palestinians are inveterate liars – which they are when it comes to making peace with Israel – he will walk. Will Cruz?

Judaism teaches us not to put faith in any human being. God runs the world, not man. But when I look at Cruz and Trump, I see a politician on one side (have you ever heard Cruz utter a natural-sounding sentence?) and, a smart, clear-thinking, politically-incorrect patriot with an enormously successful business career on the other side. To me, the choice is a no-brainer.

Elliot Resnick

Poland Sues U.S. Prof. for Saying Poles Killed Jews than the Germans

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Poland is preparing to sue a Princeton University professor for libel in an article written last month alleging that Poles “in fact did kill more Jews than Germans during the war.”

Professor Jan T, Gross, a Polish-born Jew and historian, also stated that Polish intolerance is behind the country’s agreement to accept only 5,000 Syrian refugees instead of a larger number,

The article was re-published by the German newspaper Die Welt, prompting more than 100 complaints to the office of the Polish prosecutor. The prosecutor’s spokesman Przemyslaw Nowak told Polish television that the country’s criminal code “provides that any person who publicly insults the Polish nation is punishable by up to three years in prison.”

Gross previously has provoked Poland and wrote in a book n 2001 that Poles in the town of Jedwabne massacred several hundred Jews.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Yiddishe Kop: 4 Jews among 24 Macarthur ‘Genius’ Grant Winners

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

One of the four Jewish MacArthur Fellow winners, Princeton University professor Marina Rustow (pictured). Credit: John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Four Jews have been selected among this year’s 24 MacArthur fellows for “genius grants,” each one worth $625,000.

Author Ben Lerner, a writer and professor at the Department of English at the City University of New York, won the grant for “seamless shifts between fiction and nonfiction, prose and lyric verse, memoir and cultural criticism, conveying the way in which politics, art, and economics intertwine with everyday experience,” according to the MacArthur Foundation’s website.

Environmental health advocate Gary Cohen, who is the co-founder and president of Health Care Without Harm, won for bringing “attention to the fact that American hospitals had been major contributors to environmental pollution and had been largely ignoring the damage to local communities and environments caused by extensive use of harmful chemicals in medical devices, toxic cleaning agents, reliance on fossil fuels, and disposal of waste via incineration.”

Artist Nicole Eisenman won for her nearly four-decade-long career as a painter, sculptor, and printmaker, while Princeton University professor and Jewish studies educator Marina Rustow won for using her expertise on the Cairo Geniza texts “to shed new light on Jewish life and on the broader society of the medieval Middle East.”

Altogether, the 24 “delightfully diverse MacArthur Fellows are shedding light and making progress on critical issues, pushing the boundaries of their fields, and improving our world in imaginative, unexpected ways,” MacArthur President Julia Stasch said in a statement.

JNS News Service

Princeton U. to Get ‘Plastic’ Eruv [video]

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Princeton University will install an eruv next week, allowing several dozen observant Jewish students to carry on Shabbat.

Jewish law prohibits carrying anything, even a baby carriage, unless there is  technical boundary that transforms a public area into a private one.

Central Jersey.com reported:

The school said it was approached by Jewish students and others about having something that is in place in communities that are home to peer institutions of the university as well as in hundreds of towns nationwide where observant Jews live.

A former Orthodox rabbi at the Center for Jewish Life, David Wolkenfeld investigated putting up an eruv five years ago but was told there was no feasible way to construct it.

Princeton director of community and regional affairs Kristin S. Appelget explained that plastic tubing known as lechies would be installed this week on 60 utility poles, according to the website that either PSE&G or Verizon own., according to the website,

Both companies gave permission to use their poles, something that other companies do not always allow.

Below, an Allentown, Pennsylvania rabbis explains the eruv that uses utility poles.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Inside Look at Princeton’s Israel Divestment Failure

Monday, April 27th, 2015

In a college-wide vote, Princeton university undergraduates voted against a resolution to divest funds from Israeli companies or certain companies that are used in Israel. The ballot closed on April 22, and the results were announced on Friday, April 26.

The proposal lost with 52.5 percent voting against it and 47.5 percent voting in favor.

The proposal on which the students voted asked whether the Princeton University trustees should be called on to divest from “multinational corporations that maintain the infrastructure of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank, facilitate Israel’s and Egypt’s collective punishment of Palestinian civilians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, or facilitate state repression against Palestinians by Israeli, Egyptian, and Palestinian Authority security.”

According to Princeton’s internal regulations, any referendum can be included in the student government elections if a sponsor obtains 200 signatures on a petition.

There are no guidelines or standards for the content of a referendum. Accordingly, for those who are not independently knowledgeable, any student who believes in justice and human rights would be inclined to vote in favor of the ballot question.

Who – especially amongst U.S. college students – would fail to oppose repression or collective punishment?

Even given the biased language, the vote was close, and nearly 39 percent of the student body voted.

An active pro-Israel student at Princeton, Hannelora Everett, spoke with JewishPress.com about the atmosphere on campus, and how she and others worked to help defeat the divestment referendum.

Everett is a Princeton sophomore who hails from Westchester, New York. She has spent quite a bit of time in Israel, including trips with her Solomon Schechter school and with Princeton Chabad. Everett lived in Israel one summer on a study program, and spent another summer in Israel working at a nongovernmental organization (NGO).

When Everett first arrived at Princeton she found the atmosphere regarding the Middle East disturbing.

“I realized students were turning Israel into a polarizing, conservative-liberal political issue,” and she decided to become involved in Israel activism on campus.

Through her engagement with the issue, Everett assumed a leadership role in several organizations focused on improving the understanding of the Arab-Israeli conflict amongst Princeton students. She was involved in the David Project, in Tigers for Israel (of which she is now president) and works with other student groups to promote common interests.

DIFFERENT FORMAT FOR DIVESTMENT VOTE

Although student proposals to urge their universities’ trustees to divest from certain holdings in or utilized by Israel have taken place elsewhere – at the University of Michigan and Cornell University, to name just two – the vote at Princeton is amongst the first time the student body as a whole voted on such a proposal. A divestment referendum was also defeated at San Diego State University earlier this month.

All other times that divestment from Israel proposals were voted on at universities, it has been the school’s student government which has taken up the issue.

The divestment coalition said the opportunity to have the student body at large discuss the Arab-Israeli conflict was the motivation for choosing this format. Also, previous efforts at divestment had failed, so a new strategy was sought.

Everett told the JewishPress.com that the low bar requirement of only 200 petition signatures to permit a student body referendum undoubtedly made this an attractive option.

EGYPT AND PA MENTIONED AS WRONG-DOERS

Another unusual aspect of the Princeton ballot question was that both Egypt and the Palestinian Authority are mentioned as fellow wrong-doers, along with Israel, for engaging in “collective punishment”  against and/or “repression” of Palestinian Arabs.

It is ironic that this expansion of blame reveals who it is that the Princeton pro-divestment students are most protective: Hamas.

But as Everett pointed out, although the ballot question also condemned Egypt and the PA, “their campaign focused almost exclusively on Israel.”

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Top Al Qaeda Operative Left Blueprint to Govern Entire Muslim World

Monday, August 19th, 2013

You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality. A is A. And the global jihad is the global jihad.

“Yemen terror boss left blueprint for waging jihad” Times of Israel, August 18, 2013 Document provides assessment of al-Qaeda’s performance in Yemen, indicates it seeks to govern throughout the Muslim world

TIMBUKTU, Mali (AP) — A year before he was caught on an intercept discussing the terror plot that prompted this week’s sweeping closure of US embassies abroad, al-Qaida’s top operative in Yemen laid out his blueprint for how to wage jihad in letters sent to a fellow terrorist.

In what reads like a lesson plan, Nasser al-Wahishi provides a step-by-step assessment of what worked and what didn’t in Yemen. But in the never-before-seen correspondence, the man at the center of the latest terror threat barely mentions the extremist methods that have transformed his organization into al-Qaida’s most dangerous branch.

Instead, he urges his counterpart in Africa whose fighters had recently seized northern Mali to make sure the people in the areas they control have electricity and running water. He also offers tips for making garbage collection more efficient.

“Try to win them over through the conveniences of life,” he writes. “It will make them sympathize with us and make them feel that their fate is tied to ours.”

The perhaps surprising hearts-and-minds approach advocated by the 30-something Wahishi, who spent years as Osama bin Laden’s personal secretary, is a sign of a broader shift within al-Qaida. After its failure in Iraq, say experts who were shown the correspondence, the terror network realized that it is not enough to win territory: They must also learn to govern it if they hope to hold it.

“People in the West view al-Qaida as only a terrorist organization, and it certainly is that … but the group itself is much broader, and it is doing much more,” says Gregory Johnsen, a scholar at Princeton University whose book, “The Last Refuge,” charts the rise of al-Qaida in Yemen. “The group sees itself as an organization that can be a government.”

The correspondence from al-Wahishi to Algerian national Abdelmalek Droukdel is part of a cache of documents found earlier this year by the AP in buildings in Timbuktu, which until January were occupied by al-Qaida’s North African branch. The letters are dated May 21 and Aug. 6, 2012, soon after al-Wahishi’s army in Yemen was forced to retreat from the territory it had seized amid an uprising against long-time Yemeni ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh.

At the time, the terror network as a whole was trying to come to grips with its losses in Iraq, where people rose up against the brutal punishments meted out by al-Qaida’s local affiliate, a revolt which allowed US forces to regain the territory they had occupied. That failure which was front and center in how al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula went about governing the two provinces it held for 16 months on Yemen’s southern coast, including the region where al-Wahishi was born, says Robin Simcox, research fellow at the Henry Jackson Society, author of a study chronicling the group’s attempt at governance.

In the May letter, al-Wahishi warns his counterpart not to crack down too quickly or too harshly.

“You have to be kind,” he writes. “You can’t beat people for drinking alcohol when they don’t even know the basics of how to pray. … Try to avoid enforcing Islamic punishments as much as possible, unless you are forced to do so. … We used this approach with the people and came away with good results.”

Al-Qaida’s foray into governance in Yemen began on the morning of Feb. 28, 2011, when residents of the locality of Jaar woke up to find an ominous black flag flying over their town. Fearing the worst, the population was mystified to discover that their extremist occupiers appeared more interested in public works projects, than in waging war.

“There were around 200 of them. They were wearing Afghan clothes, black robes that go to the knees, with a belt,” said Nabil Al-Amoudi, a lawyer from Jaar. “They started extending water mains. … They installed their own pipes. They succeeded in bringing electricity to areas that had not had power before.”

Pamela Geller

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/atlas-shrugged-blogs/top-al-qaeda-operative-left-blueprint-to-govern-entire-muslim-world/2013/08/19/

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