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Posts Tagged ‘Republican’

Obama Wins Close National Vote, Mandate Denied, US Future Dim

Wednesday, November 7th, 2012

It hasn’t been a long night. Around 10 PM Eastern, someone on one of the channels I had been following said that President Obama’s motorcade was getting ready to take him to his election center, in Chicago. It meant that the Democrats were certain about their presidential win.

I could feel the anguish emanating from our own chat line here, at the JewishPress.com. I was hearing similar cries of woe from a few open Skype lines on my desktop. Towards the end there, I think many of us started believing that a Romney win was a real possibility. A Dick Morris prediction of a Romney landslide win we ran here got close to 30 thousand page views in half a day. Regardless of its very loose connection to reality on this planet, the story expressed the yearnings of so many who flocked to our website in search of a voice to reflect their own.

The Democrats have retained control over the Senate, with 51 seats plus two independents. Not the kind of numbers that can break a filibuster. The Republicans will keep the House, with a net loss in the single digits. This means Obama had no coat tails whatsoever in this election. He barely got over the hedge himself. He has won better than 300 delegates to the Electoral College, but that does not mean that he received a mandate from the people. He won by a squeak.

I believe the Republicans have achieved their most basic goal this time around, namely, that their presidential candidate—who was destined to lose to an incumbent—wouldn’t perform so atrociously that his defeat would coat-tail the Republican House with it down in flames. Remember Governor Perry? Speaker Gingrich? Congresswoman Michele Bachmann? So Romney delivered the bare minimum that was expected of him: Don’t make matters even worse. That was the reason the party leaders, along with the Bush clan and Karl Rove were so adamant about supporting Romney – they and the billion dollar budget they brought in with them.

The fact that Romney almost won the presidency while he was at it was above and beyond their initial expectations. I think Romney spent much of the campaign playing to tie rather than win. It was only when he met the enemy in the first debate and drew blood that he realized he could actually make it. That’s my hunch.

Political Science majors should take note of the miracle performed by Obama Tuesday. Until this year, no incumbent president since FDR in 1940 has won re-election with unemployment over 7.2%. Well, Obama has broken the mold, winning despite unemployment hovering at between 7.6 and 7.9%. This means there were additional circumstances that weighed in his favor. I believe two factors were in play:

1. America is losing its White majority. It is sinking fast, and this year it is 72.4% White. Back in 2000, it was 75.1% white (In 2011, White new births were outnumbered by non-White 50.5% to 49.5%). Since Romney lost by such a small margin (roughly a million votes nationwide), it means that had this election been held in 2004—all other things staying the same—it would have been a Republican victory.

A good friend suggested to me early Tuesday morning that the Republicans were experiencing the broken glass effect, meaning they would crawl over broken glass to vote their choice, that’s how much they hated Obama. But my wife commented that, judging by the images of long lines of African American and Hispanic voters standing in line in Florida, Virginia and Ohio, it appears they, too, would be perfectly willing to take the crunch. That’s how much they feared Romney.

2. The Republican Party has to regain the center for real. Let’s face it, Romney was working hard to appear like a benign centrist, but you can’t be against the Dream Act and against abortion rights in this country and hope to be considered a centrist. I’m afraid that with its zeal to embrace the authentic Tea Party candidates, the Evangelicals, and the NRA crowd, the GOP has edged out the last of its liberal and moderate stars. This works well for the red states and even for local races in many blue states, but if the GOP wants to govern, it has to rediscover its businessmen/women, its bankers and its moderate intellectuals, or it won’t stand a chance to win presidential politics ever again.

Dick Morris: Romney by a Landslide: 325 – 213

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012

It’s refreshing to see a guy willing to bet his career on what looks from this end of the time tunnel to be a gross example of wishful thinking – except that in this case, pundit Dick Morris has been through a few careers already, first as a Republican, then as advisor and campaign manager for Bill Clinton, then as a Republican again, with enough strange and off-color anecdotes to keep an entire lineup of political comics in business.

I believe the above introduction is necessary so that you would go get whatever grains of salt you’ve got left in your political cupboards and rely on them heavily when reading the following predictions. Because, let’s face it, they’re incredibly seductive.

“That’s right,” says Dick Morris, it’s going to be “a landslide for Romney approaching the magnitude of Obama’s against McCain. That’s my prediction.”

Morris contends that Romney will win the McCain states from 2008, as well as Florida, Indiana, Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In other words, all the baby-blue states Democrats have grown to love and think of as their own (with the exception of Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina) are really pink states. Romney is going to sweep them, and end up with 55% to Obama’s 45% of the national vote, if not an even wider margin.

Morris says that even though the Romney campaign was “brilliant,” as he puts it, the Obama side will lose because of their own mistakes.

The Obama negative ads in swing states were refuted by Romney’s congenial appearances during all three debates. He turned out not to be the monstrous robot they said he was.

Obama never made a convincing defense of his record, other than to say that it was GW Bush’s fault, and he had no vision to sell for the next four years. He didn’t ignite anyone’s imagination. So once people stopped fearing Romney, there was no other reason left to vote Obama.

Obama took too many states for granted, like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. He was misled by his own echo chamber. He should have treated them as swing states and invested heavily there. That’s what Romney did in North Carolina.

Obama looks tired. It’s not only his actual lack of sleep, there’s a sense that the man is used up, that, deep inside, he wouldn’t mind losing this one and go get a much deserved rest. McCain looked that way, four years ago. Bob Dole did in 1996. It’s hard to shake that feeling, no matter how many times he and his circle insist you’re “energized.”

And he looked mean and angry. He started talking about revenge in the last week of the campaign – voting for me is the best revenge, he said (I’m paraphrasing).

(To be perfectly frank, Obama is showing signs of being normal with his subtexted reluctance to do another four years of this hellish chore. I’m not sure that when we say someone is a “political animal” it’s such a big compliment. And yet, we don’t call our leaders “political humans.”)

Benghazi was a terrible mess, a collapse of the Intelligence network in Libya – and Obama should have said so on day 1. And Hurricane Sandy, with all the accolades from Gov. Christie and Mayor Bloomberg, was a very traumatic moment for many millions of Americans who might not be so wild about their incumbent president just now. Both events exposed an incompetence on the part of the Administration. Maybe the Benghazi failure didn’t touch so many voters, but, trust me, Sandy did.

Granted, Obama didn’t come across as callused and aloof as did GW Bush with Katrina, he jumped on his plane and went places right away – but a week later, people are still hungry and without power. You think they have a soft spot for the man at the top?

So, there it is, Dick Morris’s extremely convincing arguments why Team Romney is going to run away with the ball today. Like I said, very seductive…

Daniel Pipes: Why I am Voting Republican

Monday, November 5th, 2012

Note the title is not “Why I am voting for Mitt Romney.” That’s because the two major American parties, Democratic and Republican, represent contrasting outlooks and you vote for the one or other of them, not for a personality. The presidential candidate is captain of the team but its many other players act autonomously. The past half-century has seen a sharpening of the divide between the parties’ philosophical consistency which I (unlike most observers) see as a positive development; who needs Rockefeller Republicans, wets, or RINOs? And ticket-splitting increases gridlock.

I vote Republican because I support the party’s core message of individualism, patriotism, and respect for tradition, in contrast to the core Democratic message of dependence, self-criticism, and “progress.” I am inspired by the original reading of the U.S. Constitution, by ideals of personal freedom and American exceptionalism. I vote for small government, for a return of power to the states, for a strong military, and an assertive pursuit of national interests.

And on my special issues, the Middle East and Islamism, Republicans consistently outperform Democrats. Extensive polling and many congressional actions establish this pattern for the Arab-Israeli conflict and a similar contrast exists also on other foreign policy issues, such as the Iranian nuclear buildup, energy policy, and the Arab upheavals. As for the new totalitarian ideology, Islamism, Democrats show a marked softness, just as they previously did vis-à-vis the communist one.

Finally, I worry that Barack Obama will do far more damage in a second term than he could in his first, that Obamacare will prove just the start of what, before his inauguration, I called the “fundamental restructuring of the relationship between state and society such as occurred under three of his Democratic predecessors of the past century – Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson.”

And so I am voting the straight Republican ticket and urge readers to do likewise. (November 4, 2012)

Originally published at the National Review Online and at Daniel Pipes.org on Nov. 4th, 2012.

Ari Fleischer, Norm Coleman, Expose Obama’s Record on Israel, But Leave Too Much Hidden

Monday, November 5th, 2012

To paraphrase Shoeless Joe Jackson: If you hold it, they will come.  The Republican Jewish Coalition held a Town Hall-style meeting to promote a Romney candidacy in northern suburban Philadelphia last week, and boy did they ever come!  The event was held on Thursday, November 1, at Gratz College, in Melrose Park, PA.  There wasn’t a parking space left across the entire campus, and cars lined the street surrounding the entrance.

The event, “The Jewish & Pro-Israel Community at a Crossroads – Critical Issues & Choices Facing the U.S. & Israel,” featured Senator Norm Coleman (Republican former U.S. Senator from Minnesota), and former White House Press Secretary and political pundit Ari Fleischer, with RJC executive director Matt Brooks as the host. They pulled together three big, deep-red easy chairs and two small tables to hold their water bottles.  The three spoke for an hour and a half in what seemed like a relaxed, and not overly rehearsed (although, clearly, it was) conversation about why Governor Mitt Romney is the better choice for president of the United States for Israel-supporters, especially  – but far from exclusively – Republican Jews.

Former Senator Norm Coleman (R. Min.) at the event Thursday.

Former Senator Norm Coleman (R. Min.) at the event Thursday. Photo: Richard Chait.

The pro-Romney event was the belated second half of a series held by a local synagogue.  The first event was in July, hosted by American Jews for Obama.   Headlining the July event was Democratic National Committee Chair Cong. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fl) as well as several local Democratic party politicians.  Thursday night’s event was moved to Gratz College because power was not yet fully restored, following the brutal lashing by Hurricane Sandy earlier in the week.

Not surprisingly, much of the discussion focused on Israel, with additional attention paid to the tragedy of the murders in Benghazi, Libya, and, to a lesser extent, domestic issues.

The evening began with a “preview” of a new RJC ad featuring Bryna Franklin, an American who now lives in Israel and who was, until recently, chair of “Democrats Abroad, Israel,” and was a past Democrat National Convention delegate.   Franklin explained why she is voting for Romney, even though “she’s never voted for a Republican before in my life.” Franklin’s words seemed to resonate for many in the audience.

This was the RJC traveling trio’s ninth stop in 5 days.  They had already appeared in Denver, Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio, Reno, Las Vegas, Detroit, Boca Raton and Miami, Florida, with Philly as the caboose.

President George W. Bush’s press secretary Ari Fleischer re-introduced the theme of an earlier RJC ad campaign, the one called “Buyer’s Remorse,” which featured voters who had voted for Obama in 2008, but who were voting against him in 2012.  Fleischer obviously was already a Republican, but he talked about why “Buyer’s Remorse” was such an apt meme for this campaign.

Why?  “Because,” Fleischer said, “Obama earned it, he earned it by his actions, he had the Jewish community,” but he lost it.  He ticked off a litany of missteps, including the President’s reversal of the commitment he made to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee in 2008, when he called Jerusalem, “Israel’s undivided capital,” but on which he reversed himself.  Fleischer said, “he caved, within 24 hours, he caved because of the pressure of ‘Palestinians.’”

Fleischer pointed out something that had been lost on most listeners.  As someone whose job it was to manage the message coming out of the W. Bush White House, Fleischer realized what it meant when Vice President Joe Biden in March, 2010, used the word “condemned” when he criticized Israel for building in Jerusalem. “That word is the most severe word in the political lexicon,” Fleischer said.  To put as fine a point as possible on it, he said, “during the Bush administration, we used the word ‘condemned’ to criticize terrorist attacks,” not the building of homes in Jerusalem.

Senator Norm Coleman is a foreign policy adviser to Mitt Romney.  With his pompadoured hair and rail-thin physique, Coleman looks like a Saturday Night Live caricature of a politician, but somehow when he speaks from the stage, his personality fills out the hollows.  Like Fleischer, Coleman is also a former Democrat.  In fact, Coleman grew up in Brooklyn and said he “never met a Republican or a Lutheran until he went to college.”

Coleman got off one of the best lines of the evening when he told the standing-room crowd, that the “Buyer’s Remorse” theme goes beyond the Jewish community.  He said that after two wars and an economic downturn, “Americans wanted to change Washington . . . but they didn’t want to change America.”

Brooks asked Coleman, what about the phrase we keep hearing, that “Obama is the best friend for Israel’s security?”  “We’ve heard it from [Israeli President] Shimon Peres, [Israeli Defense Minister Ehud] Barak?”

Coleman disposed of the softball question with the obvious answer, “every Israeli leader is going to say every current American leader is ‘the best,’ because to do otherwise is not only unprofessional, it’s political suicide.”  In other words, anyone who quotes a sitting Israeli politician saying anything flattering about a sitting American politician has nothing of substance to offer.

The evening hit the high notes of the Romney campaign, bemoaning President Obama’s “leading from behind” lack of leadership which has led to a “less safe, less secure America, which, in turn, will only increase the need for boots on the ground” at more advanced, less opportune moments of international engagement, such as in various parts of the Middle East and elsewhere.

A recurring note was the dangers inherent in the ascendancy of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the resurrection of Al Qaeda, including in Syria, Lebanon and Mali.

Fleischer took the oar on the domestic front.  He reminded the audience that America was already on its way out of the recession by the spring of 2009.  “But,” he said, “the actions of the anti-growth, anti-capitalism administration, through its ill-advised stimulus, the cash for clunkers program, the home-buying credits and the auto bailouts have actually steered us deeper into debt, and more firmly into the red.” He said we are “now in the slowest recovery since the Great Depression,” while pointing out that the President had “two full years with a veto-proof House of Representatives and a filibuster-proof Senate.”

ON IRAN SANCTIONS

Coleman said that this Administration originally opposed sanctions against Iran, it later opposed increasing the sanctions, and it opposed placing sanctions on the Bank of Iran, all of which the Obama campaign now claims are accomplishments of his administration.  Coleman also pointed out that even with the current level of sanctions – which is having an impact on Iranians, even if not on the Iranian regime’s efforts to acquire nuclear weaponization – there are too many exemptions.  But Sen. Coleman suggested there are additional measures that could be taken, and should already have been taken, to actually achieve a biting impact on the Iranian regime. He suggested treating a pariah-like nation like a pariah. “For example,” he said, “Iranian diplomats should not be able to travel freely.”

ON BENGHAZI

In what some see as akin to a Watergate-level presidential failure, Ari Fleischer said of the Benghazi tragedy, “as someone who was behind the podium on September 11, 2001, I initially refused to criticize the president or his administration for their performance, and instead insisted on ‘waiting for the factual information to come in.’”

Fleischer reminded the audience that Cong. Peter King (R-NY) immediately called for US Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice to be fired, after she appeared on five different talk shows blaming the violence on a cheap video, when it turned out there was evidence long before that the violence was a planned terrorist attack and had nothing to do with the movie.  Fleischer had publicly disagreed with King.

But, Fleischer said, what changed his mind was learning that the CounterTerrorism Security Group was never even convened while the attack was on-going. (According to CBS News, “The CSG is the one group that’s supposed to know what resources every agency has. They know of multiple options and have the ability to coordinate counterterrorism assets across all the agencies.”  A high-ranking government official told CBS News, “they were not allowed to do their job. They were not called upon.”)

When Fleischer continued, “and yet the president blamed it on a video,” he was interrupted by the first and only major heckling incident of the evening.  A man stood up, shouting, “on the first day he said ‘terrorist!’” and walked out of the event.

After the outburst, Sen. Coleman tried to call the protester back into the auditorium, but the man had left, apparently uninterested in dialogue.  Coleman went on to calmly explain that while President Obama said the words “terrorist attacks,” during his talk in the Rose Garden on September 12, he was not referring specifically to the attack on the Benghazi diplomatic outpost, and that the administration continued for weeks to blame what was believed to be an American-made video for the violence that claimed the lives of the four Americans in Benghazi.

Both Coleman and Fleischer repeatedly said that “unfortunately,” the full truth about who knew what, when, and who made which decisions, is not going to come out before the election.  One audience member shouted out, “Fire him!” to which Sen. Coleman retorted, “you can do that on Nov. 6.”

DOMESTIC ISSUES

One woman asked the panelists to comment on whether Mitt Romney wanted to get rid of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  Fleischer explained that he had also heard that rumor, and went to the source to see where it came from.  “Actually,” he explained, “while the question Romney was responding to was about FEMA, his answer was a more general response to government agencies which would be handled more efficiently and more expediently at the municipal and state levels, or even by private industry.”

Although Romney was being cast as shortsighted for calling for a change to be made to FEMA shortly before Hurricane Sandy hit, as Fleischer pointed out, it was the mayors and governors who were continually interviewed for information and updates, which was exactly Romney’s point.

On issues that present the ultimate barrier for so many Jews who might otherwise vote for a Republican, the two Republican politicians seemed to reflect the very nub of the issue.  Neither Coleman or Fleischer took a hard line on the issue of reproductive rights.  Fleischer was quick to make the point that on this issue, it is the Republican party that has the “big tent” approach.  He said that other than Pennsylvania’s own Sen. Bob Casey, it is hard to find any Democratic politicians who are pro-life, while there are many Republican pols who are pro-choice.

On the issue of health care, Coleman said that there are sections of Obamacare that are “pretty good,” and specifically mentioned the very real need to take care of those with a pre-existing condition.  The problem, he said, is that the way Obamacare is packaged, you can’t adopt the sensible provisions without being saddled with the ones that make no sense.

ONE BIG PROBLEM – LEADERS OVERESTIMATE THE PUBLIC’S KNOWLEDGE

FUNDING COMES FROM CONGRESS

One reason why so many Jewish supporters of President Obama have stuck with their 2008 choice is that the Democrats’ talking points are so reassuring, and because the Republican officials are so out of touch with what lay people know about how our government works.

Top talking points from the Jews for Obama playbook are that under Obama, Israel has received more financial and military assistance from the U.S. than under any other U.S. president, ever.

Of course that is nonsense, first, because Congress is primarily in charge of passing the budget.  It is in Congressional committees that the numbers get crunched – the President gets to submit a proposed budget, but Congress decides on the final budget, subject only to a presidential veto.

ISRAEL’S MISSILE DEFENSE

But at least as importantly, in this year, when President Obama and the Democrats have crowed so loudly about the enormous funding for Israel’s Arrow systems — two medium- and long-range anti-ballistic missile systems — and David’s Sling, a short-range anti-missile system, President Obama’s proposed budget actually decreased funding for that line item.  Congress ignored the President’s effort to reduce funding for Israel’s defense and instead practically doubled the amount requested by the Administration.  It was because of Congress that Israel received more “financial and military assistance” during this time period – although it was, indeed, technically, a time period during which Barrack Obama was the president – than ever before.

ISRAEL’S IRON DOME SYSTEM – AID AGREEMENT BEGAN IN 2007

At least one other point that bears discussion is the funding for Israel’s Iron Dome mobile defense system.  This system, which uses an interceptor to detonate incoming rockets and artillery shells, is largely credited with protecting much of southern Israel from its’ neighbors’ escalating aggression.   It is a project developed in and produced in Israel, but financed, in large part, by the U.S.  The financial agreement was part of a $30 billion 10-year military-aid agreement signed by the Bush administration back in 2007.

President Obama has not attempted to derail the Iron Dome aid project, but as a binding 10-year agreement, it is not clear that he even has the power to do so. But the project was neither developed during the Obama administration, nor did financial support for it originate with President Obama.

Unfortunately, the RJC trio gave short shrift to those major Democratic talking points that serve to allay the concerns of so many Jewish Americans who might otherwise be apprehensive about voting again for President Obama. Apparently they think “everyone knows” that it is Congress, the stalwart friend of Israel, that is the holder of the purse, and is the source for all U.S. aid, and they likewise think that “everyone knows” the Iron Dome defense system was a project agreed to during President Bush’s tenure in the White House, one which, as with virtually all military spending projects, is shepherded by hawks in Congress, in concert with the U.S. military – almost always a reliable friend to Israel.

But this is where the RJC and so many other political surrogates have lost touch with their audience, and it is a critical gap in comprehension which gives the edge to the Democratic party, when it comes to messaging to Jews and other pro-Israel supporters.

When the event concluded, two teenage boys stood out amidst a sea of late-middle age to decidedly-older audience members. Zach Lipstein and Noam Glanzberg-Krainin, both 13 year old students at a local Conservative Jewish day school, shyly agreed to answer a few questions from a reporter. Both quickly asserted that the panelists made “really good points.” Noam said he had not previously realized “that Iran is such a big threat.” Still, he was undecided about which candidate he favored, as “health care and the environment,” are two of his main concerns. Zach included Israel as amongst his top three priorities. He seemed confident, at least so long as his parents were watching, that he favors Romney.

Bob and Francine Lipstein, both Baby Boomers, thought the event was well worth their half hour ride from Lower Merion township, in the western suburbs of Philadelphia. Francine Lipstein was not surprised by the huge turnout, and said she was particularly “impressed by the panelists’ clarity on the issues.”

In particular, she was grateful for the event, as “the American people have not all heard the information, because the mainstream media is so ‘in the tank’ for Obama.” Lipstein didn’t have to be convinced as she already planned to vote for Romney because of his “business acumen, his love for Israel and his passion for helping others.” While she was not a “Buyer’s Remorse” voter, until 2001, Francine Lipstein was a Democrat.

Bob Lipstein was more succinct. He said the event “validated the passion I felt throughout this campaign.”

When was the last time you heard about Republican Jewish passion? Maybe it’s a new trend.

 

‘Career Politicians Are What’s Killing Us’: An Interview with Councilman and Congressional Candidate Dan Halloran

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012

New York City Councilman Dan Halloran is looking to pull off a BobTurner-like victory as a Republican congressional candidate in a predominantly Democratic Queens congressional district (the newly redistricted 6th CD).

Halloran, 40, is a lawyer who worked in private practice and as a prosecutor for several district attorneys before being elected in 2009 to the City Council. He recently spoke with The Jewish Press.

The Jewish Press: How did you get your start in politics and what attracted you to it?

As an attorney I’d always been peripherally interested in politics, interested in the policies that drive our legislation. I grew up in a very tight-knit Irish Catholic family with roots in the political world. My father was a deputy commissioner in the Koch administration, my great-grandfather was a chief of police, and my cousin, Lieutenant Vincent G. Halloran, an FDNY First Responder, died on 9/11. But in 2009, one year into the Obama administration, I became very concerned about the direction in which our country was headed.

You’re a Republican who has been endorsed by the Libertarian party. Though much of fiscal conservative and libertarian philosophy overlap, there’s a sharp difference when it comes to foreign policy. Can you explain your views on both?

I’m what’s called a right libertarian or constitutional libertarian. I believe very firmly that our economic policy has to be market driven; that over-taxation will be the death of the republic. I believe very strongly in the Constitution itself and staying within the four corners of that document. I think we have expanded the commerce clause to mean almost anything and it’s absurd. That’s the libertarian side of the coin.

But as a right libertarian, my perspective on foreign policy is that the world is such a convoluted place right now that what we should do in the ideal is not practical. We give seven times as much money to Israel’s enemies as we give to Israel. And you can’t wonder why Egypt has an authoritarian Islamic regime when we’re the ones who helped topple a stable, albeit non-democratic, regime. Now we see the fallout in Syria, in Yemen, in Libya. Once we’ve destabilized that region we see what the consequences are. We have an ambassador dead, our embassies stormed…. And threats continue.

Do you feel the policies of the Obama administration, particularly during the Arab Spring, increased those threats and what advice can you offer to address them?

It wasn’t a spring; it was the beginning of a winter. Obama ushered it in under the feigned promotion of democracy – one man, one vote. And what it’s been is one man, one vote, one time. After that you will not see democracy; you will see theocracy.

There are things we can do about this crisis. America should maintain its military presence vis-à-vis Israel and we should keep the fleet there to ensure that the trading waters are open for business. Foremost, we need to cut off economic aid to any country that defies our foreign policy perspectives, and that should include humanitarian assistance. Look, I understand the notion of fostering amity, but there’s a bottom line. And the bottom line is if you want our help, you have to play on our team. And if you’re not willing to, then go your own way. Because what happens is that when you give them humanitarian aid, they’re able to divert the resources they do have to war and violence.

Hamas is a perfect example of how through bad foreign policy we’ve armed the enemy, given them legitimacy, and now a stage to act on, an appearance of being legitimate. Yet all we’ve done is undermine Israel’s national security, which in turn undermines ours because it’s the only stable, democratic rule-of-law government there…. There’s a perception in the world that we no longer stand with our allies and that we will only pay lip service to longstanding relationships.

You traveled to Israel this past summer with the International Committee for the Land of Israel. Can you describe how seeing the facts on the ground affected your perception?

It made it more real. But I’ve always been a hawk. In that respect I am a right-wing Republican. I’ve always supported settlements, because if the rule of law applies, then whether you’re black or white, Christian or Jew, it shouldn’t matter where you live as long as you lawfully purchase property there. For us or the UN to say unilaterally you may not buy land there because you are a Jew would be the equivalent of my saying if you’re Catholic you can’t move into Williamsburg because you’re not an Orthodox Jew or you’re a black man you can’t move into [a white neighborhood]. Really? Would that stand up in some court of law somewhere in the United States? That would never be tolerated. Yet when the world community tells Israel the very same thing, somehow it’s okay because it involves Islam.

Adelsons Again Donate $500K to Super PAC Supporting Boteach

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson and his wife for a second time have given $500,000 to a Super PAC supporting Rabbi Shmuley Boteach’s bid for Congress.

The Adelsons gave the money to the Patriot Prosperity PAC, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing people with knowledge of the gift, after having given the same amount earlier this year. They also gave $10,000 directly to the Boteach campaign.

Boteach is running as the Republican candidate in New Jersey’s 9th Congressional District against eight-term incumbent Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.).

Boteach, who once was affiliated with the Chabad movement, bills himself as “America’s Rabbi.” He hosts a show on TLC called “Shalom in the Home” and is the author of several books, including “Kosher Sex,” “Kosher Adultery,” “The Kosher Sutra” and, most recently, “Kosher Jesus.”

Adelson has said multiple times that a candidate’s support for Israel is critical to whether he gives and how much. He has given $10 million to a Super PAC supporting Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and earlier in the campaign put $20 million toward Newt Gingrich’s GOP primary bid.

Super PACs can raise unlimited sums from corporations, unions and other groups, as well as individuals, and indirectly support a political candidate. They cannot by law coordinate with the candidate’s official campaign.

Palestinians Enraged By Romney’s Comments

Thursday, September 20th, 2012

Just eight weeks before the American presidential elections, Palestinians are furious over comments by Republican candidate Mitt Romney. The private remarks were made in May to wealthy donors but released only now.

Palestinians are “committed to the destruction and elimination of Israel,” Romney said, adding that prospects for a two-state solution of an independent Palestinian state next to Israel were dim.

“You hope for some degree of stability, but you recognize that this is going to remain an unsolved problem, and we kick the ball down the field and hope that, ultimately, somehow, something will happen and resolve it.”

According to Mother Jones magazine, which posted the video clip of Romney’s comments on its website, the former Massachusetts governor made the remarks at a $50,000-per-plate fundraiser in Boca Raton, Florida. Boca Raton has a wealthy Jewish community, though it was not clear how many Jews were at the Romney fundraiser.

“It’s political illiteracy – has he even ever read a book about Palestine?” asked Mahdi Abdul Hadi, president of the PASSIA think tank in east Jerusalem.

“On one level Palestinians are laughing at this, but on another level it will be very serious if this man has any say in our future,” he told The Media Line.

The comments came as the latest polls show a close race between Romney and President Obama. While American Jews account for only two percent of the population, they represent significant voting blocs in important swing states like Florida. Polls show that more than two-thirds of Jews who plan to vote will cast their ballot for Obama, though many believe he is not as supportive of Israel as were some of his predecessors.

In the West Bank city of Ramallah, the putative seat of Palestinian government, Palestinians reacted angrily to Romney’s comments.

“He’s buying votes,” 27-year old Morad Al-Siory told The Media Line. “How can you judge Palestine if you haven’t seen both sides? I’m right here and I see it with my own eyes.”

Al-Siory said he had come to Ramallah to visit his family. His father, Muhammad, who owns a falafel stand, agreed with his son’s comments.

“How can you swim if you don’t get wet?” he asked. “I’d love to see American policy in the Middle East change.”

He also said, however, that he was frustrated with President Obama’s policy and that there was only a slight chance Obama might do something different from Romney if reelected.

“In the last four years he’s done nothing” Al-Siory said. “He fooled the Arabs and the Muslims with his speech in Cairo.”

He was referring to the speech Obama made in Egypt soon after taking office in which he called for “a new beginning” in relations between the U.S. and the Arab world. It was seen at the time as an effort to reach out to the Arab world.

Palestinian officials also responded angrily to Romney’s comments.

“No one stands to gain more from peace with Israel than Palestinians and no one stands to lose more in the absence of peace than Palestinians,” chief negotiator Saeb Erekat told the Reuters news agency.

“Only those who want to maintain the Israeli occupation will claim the Palestinians are not interested in peace.”

But other Palestinian analysts said the statements had to be seen in context – as part of the election campaign, where Jewish donors and voters play an important role.

“Palestinians have learned through experience not to take statements made during election campaigns seriously,” said Ghassan Al-Khatib, a professor of contemporary Arab studies at Bir Zeit University.

“When you compare what we hear during the campaign and what presidents do in the future, you don’t see the connections.”

At the same time, Khatib said the statements further reinforced previous Palestinian attitudes toward the Republican candidate.

“This is not a surprise for the Palestinians,” Khatib said. “The impression is that Romney has been extraordinarily hostile and negative toward Palestinians all along.”

(The Media Line)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/eye-on-palestine/palestinians-enraged-by-romneys-comments/2012/09/20/

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