web analytics
October 24, 2014 / 30 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Sarah Palin’

More Natural Gas Found

Thursday, May 16th, 2013

On Wednesday evening, the Delek Group announced that they believe they’ve found an additional 57 billion cubic meters (2 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas at the Karish (“Shark”) 1 well. Updated estimates, on Thursday morning, are now saying there is possibly 80-100 billion cubic meters.

The drilling began in mid-March, and was expected to go on for 3 months.

The Karish well is 75 kilometers north west of Haifa. The waters depth is 1,740 meters, and they will be drilling down 4,900 meters.

This well is being drilled by Noble Energy (47.1%), Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Drilling (26.4%) and Avner Oil and Gas (26.4%).

The issue of what to do with the gas is a controversial subject in Israel, with some sides saying it should be exported, while other saying it should all be kept for domestic use.

Government profits from the gas are going to be put into a special fund, but JewishPress.com has been calling for Israel to follow the Alaska model introduced by Sarah Palin, where State income and sales tax have been cancelled, and citizens of Alaska personally receive checks from the oil revenue royalties and taxes.

Palin introduced the concept that the natural resources of the state belong to the citizens of Alaska, and they should profit from it directly.

President Palin?

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011
Last week’s column, on the declining popularity of several of talk radio’s most prominent conservative hosts, seems to have ruffled more than few feathers. Even some readers who in the past have agreed with the Monitor virtually down the line took issue this time – but, interestingly enough, not on the subject of talk radio hosts.
No, the umbrage – ranging from polite demurral to vehement disagreement – was directed at a parenthetical comment about Sarah Palin.
“Really,” I had asked, “how many times in a given hour can a listener with an IQ above room temperature abide hearing how Ronald Reagan was a precursor of today’s Tea Party activists (he was nothing of the kind) or how Sarah Palin is Abe Lincoln in heels (she is nothing of the sort)?”
My take on Sarah Palin is similar to what I feel about talk radio. When I hear a snooty liberal trash Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity or Palin, I immediately get defensive and want to go to war because I’m inherently sympathetic to much of what Limbaugh or Hannity or Palin stand for.
But when I think about it rationally, I have to admit that Limbaugh and Hannity have become boring and predictable and at times a little careless with facts. (And I think Hannity actually had a better show on Fox when Alan Colmes was there as the putative co-host – it gave Hannity a liberal foil to play off of).
Likewise, while it pains me to write this because I appreciate her deep support of Israel and detest the barrage of attacks launched against her by the mainstream media from the moment John McCain introduced her to America as his vice-presidential pick, Sarah Palin is in no way qualified to be president of the United States.
People joke about Barack Obama being disconcertingly dependent on a TelePrompter, but he’s generally able to answer questions and talk off the cuff without making the listener cringe. Sarah Palin has a real problem answering the most basic of questions in even a semi-coherent manner.
            Palin’s responses to interviewers make her seem vacuous and totally uninformed – if you disagree, there’s plenty of evidence available to prove you wrong on YouTube, where her stupefying responses to the likes of Charles Gibson and Katie Couric are available in all their gruesome glory.
            While some conservative pundits were willing to break ideological ranks in the heat of the 2008 presidential campaign and question Palin’s credentials, it’s only in recent months, with the 2012 presidential contest coming into view, that there has been a really noticeable surge in publicly voiced anti-Palin sentiment on the right.
            As the editors of the ConservativeHome website wrote last month, after making note of the various economic and foreign-policy crises facing the country, “[W]e need a strong, serious decisive leader on the Republican ticket in 2012. Let’s face it. Sarah Palin is clearly not that leader. She’s fun. She’s attractive. She’s appealing. She’s down-home. She’s got a populist vibe. She shoots animals. But she’s clearly not presidential timber. Not in times like these.”
   Former Republican congressman and current MSNBC host Joe Scarborough (“Morning Joe”) asked, “What man or mouse with a fully functioning human brain and a resume as thin as Palin’s would flirt with a presidential run? It makes the political biography of Barack Obama look more like Winston Churchill’s.”
   To conservative columnist Mona Charen, Palin “would be terrific as a talk-show host – the new Oprah. But a presidential candidate? Someone to convince critical independent voters that Republicans can govern successfully? Absolutely not.”
   Janet Daley, a conservative columnist for the (London) Telegraph, wrote that “The virulent attacks on her from the liberal establishment [in 2008] reminded me uncannily of that mix of misogyny and snobbery which had been thrown at Margaret Thatcher, and if only for that reason, I was inclined to defend her. But enough is enough. She is not another Thatcher – nor is she another Reagan. She does not have the experience and substance of a Romney or the genuine warmth and charm of a Huckabee.”

   The last word this week goes to George Will, who said that after 2008, Palin “had to go home and study, had to govern Alaska well. Instead, she quit halfway through her first term and shows up in the audience of ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and other distinctly non-presidential venues.”

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com

Letters To The Editor

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

Democrats’ Selective

Indignation

I am sickened by the politically induced brouhaha over Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel” (“The Tucson Shootings and Sarah Palin,” editorial, Jan. 21). Though some may wish to keep that label for anti-Jewish invective – something I can understand but do not go along with – there is nothing evil about giving it broader application to serious, false accusations as Ms. Palin and so many others have done. Are all of them anti-Semites and insensitive to Jews?

In fact, Democrats in the past have shamelessly expropriated the term to bash their political opponents. If Sarah Palin can be justly criticized for her use of the term to defend herself against what she says are false accusations, what should we say about the Democrats’ use of the term for their own partisan purposes?

Brian Fishman

(Via E-Mail)

 

Jews vs. Palin

How anyone can accuse Sarah Palin of being insensitive to Jewish history when she chooses a term Jews use to describe false accusations against them – “blood libel” – to characterize false accusations made against her? And how can so many Jews – Jewish politicians, Jewish organizational leaders, Jewish pundits – take such delight in piling on against a woman who, whatever else you think of her, is one of the staunchest and purest supporters of Israel in American public life today?

Short-sighted American Jews, with their lapdog devotion to liberal Democrats and their knee-jerk antipathy to conservative Republicans, should be grateful that most conservatives support Israel out of conviction rather than political expediency – otherwise, a lot of powerful and influential Republicans would have thrown in the towel by now.

Elaine Bernstein

New York, NY

 

Rabbi Hier’s

‘Cheap Shots’

I know why professional Democrats would jump on Sarah Palin’s totally justified use of the term “blood libel” to describe attempts to tie her to the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and the other innocent victims in Tucson. Politics, after all, is a dirty business.

But I was absolutely enraged when I read of Rabbi Marvin Hier’s cheap shots against Palin. In addition to criticizing Palin’s use of the term, he gratuitously added, “I have no idea if she knew” its meaning. Was he trying to impress some wealthy contributors or potential contributors to the Wiesenthal Center who happen to be machers in the Democratic Party? Could it be that the Wiesenthal Center’s proximity to Hollywood has affected the thinking of its “founder and dean”?

   For shame.

Yitzchok Mann

(Via E-Mail)

 

Obama Scarier

Than Palin

In his Jan. 21 op-ed column (“Palin Has Defeated Her Unfair Critics”) Ed Koch says Sarah Palin “scares the hell out me.”
What is so scary about Sarah Palin? Is it that she wants to sustain that which has existed for almost 200 years – a country whose people are free from arbitrary abuse and control by government and in which there exists a large measure of respect for private property rights and individual liberty?
But Koch, the “liberal with sanity,” is not scared of Barack Obama, who would, if he had his way, turn this country into a socialist utopia; who has created $1 trillion-plus budget deficits since he’s been in office; and whose socialized health program will destroy our health care system and increase the debt.

Koch should be a lot more scared of Obama than he is of Palin.

Alan Ernst

Cedarhurst, NY

 

Lipner Op-Ed

Gives Hope

Bravo to Dr. Asher Lipner for his insightful “A Lesson from King Saul on Exposing Child Molesters” (op-ed, Jan. 21). What a breath of fresh air to hear a frum mental health professional take to task the protection of Jewish molesters in our community.
Recently a friend of mine was forced to leave a shul after the rabbi verbally attacked him for informing some of the synagogue’s officers that another member, who donates large sums of money to the shul, is a registered convicted sex offender who on several occasions has exhibited bizarre behavior on the synagogue’s premises. The rabbi called the innocent member a “mirror” of the molester for talking about such “schmutz” and of speaking lashon hara.

   Reading Dr. Lipner’s article gives one hope that things are about to change for the better.

Boris Bengenya

(Via E-Mail)

 

Wigs And Their Cost

I take exception to reader Barry Koppel’s letter to the editor (Jan 21) regarding $3,000 sheitlach. Mr. Koppel wrote, “I understand why halacha demands that married women cover their hair. What I do not understand is how halacha allows a woman to wear an outrageously expensive sheitel that looks better than her own hair. Does that not defeat the entire purpose of wearing a sheitel in the first place?”
   A married woman’s hair is considered ervah and, as such, must be covered. Our Creator did not give us His rationale for that requirement. Unless Mr. Koppel has had a private audience with God and was clued in on His rationale for this requirement, Mr. Koppel cannot make assumptions about the purpose of wearing a sheitel. Hashem does not inform us of the purposes of most mitzvos lest people make their own judgments about the relevance of mitzvos in their particular times.

   The price tag of a sheitel certainly does not enter into the equation. A $300 sheitel, in the hands of a skilled sheitel macher, can be more beautiful than a $3,000 sheitel. And no one walks around with the price tag displayed prominently on a sheitel. I wonder if Mr. Koppel’s problem is with the price of the sheitel or its beauty.

Chavi Hornig

Brooklyn, NY

 

Showcasing

Young Talent

Thank you for showcasing the writings of two of my 6th grade students, Tohar Tsadok and Ariel Manakhimov, in your Tu B’Shevat contest (Jan. 21). Very few opportunities are available for children to show off their creative talents, and there is no shortage of talent in Yeshivas Ateres Yisrael in Canarsie, directed by Rabbi and Rebbetzin Jacob Jungreis. We nurture our students, who are given almost individual attention and whose skills are at least on par with (if they don’t exceed) students in larger yeshivot.

   Thank you once again for recognizing the creativity of our students: now they can proudly claim they are published authors!

Mrs. Hindy Lewis

Brooklyn, NY

 

Leftist Media Lynch 

Re Steve Walz’s January 7 Informed Sources column, “Will Olmert Follow Katsav?”:
I admit I am disposed toward the former president, having worked for him in Likud at the Tourism Ministry and bet Hanassi. Only he, his bureau chief and their Creator know the truth about what happened.
There were, however, gaping holes and glaring contradictions in the handling of this case. Yoram Sheftel a prominent liberal lawyer, said that “justice was not served in the Katsav case and that the judges were unable to stand up to media pressure . The verdict was totally incomprehensible based on the evidence.”
Former deputy supreme-court president Mishael Heshin was also skeptical. “The media’s intervention in this case has clearly affected the judges’ ability to judge . The judges would have to be made of iron in order to withstand this pressure, and I know these judges; they are not made of iron.”
Former criminal attorney and Maariv opinion editor Ben-Dror Yemini – who noted that the more powerful Katsav became among Likud members the less he was liked by the media – wrote that “Katsav was the victim of a feminist-leftist media lynch . It is clear that justice was not served in this case.”
The investigation against Katsav revealed so many problems with the complainants’ testimony that the two lead prosecutors on the case wanted to drop the charges. Katsav was offered a plea bargain that would have involved admitting relatively mild offenses and no jail time. Katsav rejected the plea.
“I was never a fan of Katsav,” Yemini continued. “Yet we are not dealing with public or political opinions but with matters of life and death and criminal justice. And now there is a concern, more than a concern, that the huge baggage [of anti-Katsav sentiment] seeped in. It was part of the conviction. Perhaps it was the deciding factor .”

Israel loves its scandals almost as much as it loves its heroes. From the moment Katsav stepped into the presidency, the secular elite drew their daggers even as the smiles never left their faces. We trust the truth will triumph upon appeal.

Martin Davidson

(Via E-Mail)

Palin Has Defeated Her Unfair Critics

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

As I see it, in the current battle for public opinion Sarah Palin has defeated her harsh and unfair critics.

After the January 8 shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of six others in Tucson, Arizona, some television talking heads and members of the blogosphere denounced her and held her in part responsible for creating a climate of hatred that resulted in the mass attacks.

An example is Joe Scarborough and his crew on the “Morning Joe” show, which I watch and generally enjoy every morning at 6:30 when I rise to start the day. Because Palin designated Congresswoman Giffords and others for defeat in the November elections by the use of crosshairs on website maps of the Congressional districts, they blamed Palin for creating an atmosphere that caused Jared Loughner (whom everyone now recognizes as being mentally disturbed) to embark on the shooting and killing spree.

Then reason set in, led by President Obama in a widely-lauded speech in Tucson. Most commentators did an about-face, recognizing that the lack of civility in both speech and actions by politicians, particularly in Washington, were not the cause of the shootings. A friend of the shooter said he had no interest in politics or talk radio. Insanity was the cause of his vicious acts, not political rhetoric.

While the charge of responsibility against Palin was dropped, the Scarborough crew continued to assail her for defending herself by stating that she had been the subject of a blood libel. Her critics were incensed that she should use the term “blood libel.” That was the description given by Jews to the charge of  Christian clergy who falsely accused Jews of killing Christian children in order to make matzah during the Passover holiday. That libelous accusation was intended by those using it to cause pogroms that killed and injured thousands of Jews. That same charge – blood libel – is now repeated by the media in Arab countries to stir up the anger of the Arab street against the Jews in Israel. The libel continues to do damage.

Today the phrase “blood libel” can be used to describe any monstrous defamation against any person, Jewor non-Jew. It was used by Ariel Sharonwhen he was falsely accused of permitting the Lebanese Christian militia to kill hundreds of defenseless and innocent Muslim men, women and children in Lebanese refugee camps. The killings were monstrous and indefensible revenge for earlier killings by Muslims of innocent Christian civilians.

Time magazine published a story implying that Sharon was directly responsible for the massacres. He sued the magazine. At trial it was determined that the magazine story included false allegations, but since Sharon was a public figure, he received no monetary damages.

How dare Sarah Palin, cried the commentators, use that phrase to describe the criticism of her by those who blamed her for creating the atmosphere that set Loughner off in his murderous madness. Some took the position that it proved their ongoing charges that she is not an intelligent person and probably did not know what the phrase meant historically. In my opinion, she was right to denounce her critics and use “blood libel” to describe the unfair criticism that she had been subject to.

Why do I defend Palin in this case? I don’t agree with her political philosophy: She is an arch-conservative; I am a liberal with sanity. But all of us have an obligation, particularly those in politics and public office, to denounce, when we can, the perpetrators of horrendous libels and stand up for those falsely charged. We should denounce unfair, false and wicked charges not only when they are made against ourselves, our friends or our political party but against those with whom we disagree.

If we are to truly change the poisonous political atmosphere that we all complain of, including those who create it, we should speak up for fairness when we can.

In the 2008 presidential race when Sarah Palin’s name was first offered to the public by John McCain as his running mate, I said at the time that she “scared the hell out of me.” My reference was to the content of her remarks, not to her power to persuade voters.

Debate Continues To Rage Over Palin’s ‘Blood Libel’ Charge

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011


   WASHINGTON – The post-shooting debate over political civility is cooling down, but passions are still raging over Sarah Palin’s claim that critics were guilty of perpetuating a “blood libel” against her.

 

   Palin’s initial use of the term, in a Jan. 12 video message, drew sharp rebukes from liberal Jewish groups and even some conservatives. Since then, however, several Jewish notables, including Harvard Law professor Alan Dershowitz, Rabbi Shmuley Boteach and former New York mayor Ed Koch have defended Palin’s use of the term.

 

   Palin weighed in again Monday during an interview on Fox News – her first since the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) that also left six dead and another 12 wounded. Palin defended her use of the term “blood libel” and said she understands its meaning.

 

   “Blood libel obviously means being falsely accused of having blood on your hands and in this case that’s exactly what was going on,” Palin told Sean Hannity in the interview.

 

   Palin, a Fox guest contributor, also used the interview to condemn the shooting and other acts of political violence, and to offer prayers for the victims.

 

   The most recent Palin-related controversy echoes previous scrums revolving around the potential GOP presidential candidate, with critics arguing that she lacks the judgment, demeanor and smarts of a commander in chief, and her defenders seeing such slams as validation that she is just the right person to put the liberal elites in their place.

 

   Palin shows no signs of ceding the spotlight, but it was liberal politicians and commentators who were quick to put her in the center of the story following the shooting. Critics held Palin up as a prime example of violent political rhetoric that could have contributed to the gunman’s rampage, pointing to a map on her website that used images of gun crosshairs to indicate districts targeted in last year’s midterm elections.

 

   Giffords, who was shot and critically injured in the shooting attack, was the incumbent in one of the marked districts.

 

   During her Jan. 12 video message, Palin defended herself, insisting that “especially within hours of a tragedy unfolding, journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn.”

 

   Palin seemed to be conflating generic calls to tone down the rhetoric – including one from Clarence Dupnik, the Pima County sheriff who was leading the investigation – with a number of attacks directly accusing her of responsibility. In fact, the debate about rhetoric subsequent to the shooting did not hew to party lines, and liberal pundits were among those vigorously defending Palin’s right to use strong rhetoric, while conservatives were among those who suggested she needed to dial it down.

 

   Palin’s reference to the ancient fiction that Jews killed children to drink their blood as part of a ritual – one that has inspired pogroms, massacres and attacks on Jews throughout the centuries and even today is referenced as fact in parts of the Arab world and the former Soviet Union – set off alarm bells.

 

   Jewish reaction ranged from outraged to uncomfortable to defensive.

 

   “Instead of dialing down the rhetoric at this difficult moment, Sarah Palin chose to accuse others trying to sort out the meaning of this tragedy of somehow engaging in a ‘blood libel’ against her and others,” National Jewish Democratic Council President David Harris said in a statement condemning her remark. “Perhaps Sarah Palin honestly does not know what a blood libel is, or does not know of their horrific history; that is perhaps the most charitable explanation we can arrive at in explaining her rhetoric today.”

 

   The Simon Wiesenthal Center and the Anti-Defamation League refused to endorse the notion that her actions may have contributed to the shooting, but they criticized Palin’s use of the term “blood libel,” saying it was offensive to Jewish sensibilities.

 

   Jews for Sarah, a pro-Palin group, defended Palin, a potential Republican presidential candidate for 2012.

 

   “Gov. Palin got it right, and we Jews, of all people, should know a blood libel when we see one,” Jews for Sarah said. “Falsely accusing someone of shedding blood is a blood libel – whether it’s the medieval Church accusing Jews of baking blood in Passover matzahs, or contemporary Muslim extremists accusing Israel of slaughtering Arabs to harvest their organs, or political partisans blaming conservative political figures and talk show hosts for the Tucson massacre.”

 

   Within days, Dershowitz, Boteach and Koch also defended Palin.

 

   The Anti-Defamation League said it was inappropriate to blame Palin after the Tucson shooting and that she had every right to defend herself.

 

   But, the organization noted in a statement, “We wish that Palin had not invoked the phrase ‘blood libel’ in reference to the actions of journalists and pundits in placing blame for the shooting in Tucson on others. While the term ‘blood-libel’ has become part of the English parlance to refer to someone being falsely accused, we wish that Palin had used another phrase, instead of one so fraught with pain in Jewish history.”

 

   The question, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a communications expert at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School, was whether using a charged term like blood libel reinforced Palin’s legitimate argument at the unfair targeting of the right wing in the days after the shooting, or whether using the term undercut the point.

 

   “It distracts from her argument, which is thoughtful,” Jamieson told JTA. “If you are trying to get an audience to rethink, you don’t inject this particular historic analogy.”

 

   The fallback defense for Palin’s acolytes and others who defended her was that while the use of the phrase might be overwrought, she is hardly the first to commit this sin. Jim Geraghty, a correspondent at the conservative National Review, cited an extensive list of its uses over the past 10 years, though practically no elected officials were on it.

 

   Jamieson, who conducted a similar search, found that invoking the term in political argument is usually the province of bloggers and polemicists, not those who have held high political office or aspire to it.

 

   Voices across the Jewish religious and political spectrums, from the Reform movement to the Orthodox Union, and from liberals to conservatives, echoed the ADL’s statement.

 

   “The term ‘blood libel’ is so unique, and so tinged with the context of anti-Semitism, that its use in this case – even when Ms. Palin has a legitimate gripe – is either cynically calculated to stimulate media interest or historically illiterate,” Noam Neusner, a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, wrote on Pundit Wire.

 

   “It is therefore distracting to Ms. Palin’s underlying message, which is one of sympathy for the victims and outrage that she and others are being accused of inspiring a mass murderer.”

 

   On the other hand, Koch and Dershowitz – two Jewish Democrats – defended her.

 

   In an op-ed column Koch declares that Palin had “defeated her harsh and unfair critics,” and argued that these days the “blood libel” term can “be used to describe any monstrous defamation against any person, Jew or non-Jew.”

 

   [Editor's note: Please see page 4 for Mr. Koch's op-ed article.]

 

   Koch frames the controversy as part of the wider debate over Palin, writing that “the fools in politics today in both parties are those who think she is dumb,” though he added that she is “not knowledgeable in many areas and politically uninformed.”

 

   “Many women understand what she has done for their cause,” writes Koch, who has endorsed Republicans for president but says he is “scared” of Palin.

 

   “She will not be silenced, nor will she leave the heavy lifts to the men in her party. She will not be falsely charged, remain silent and look for others – men – to defend her. She is plucky and unafraid.”


(JTA)

‘Her Heart And Soul Are Wrapped Up In Love Of Israel’: An Interview with the Founder of Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Perhaps it was inevitable. Ever since her address at the Republican National Convention two years ago, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin has been popular among many Orthodox Jews. A month after the convention, a “Sarah Palin Wig” went on sale on Sheitel.com. Now, as worry increases in the Jewish community over President Obama’s Middle East policies, a group of Jews have banded together to create Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin (JewsforSarah.com).

Headed by Benyamin Korn – former national executive director of the Zionist Organization of America and editor of Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent – Jewish Americans for Sarah Palin bills itself as “an independent group of academic, religious and political leaders, dedicated to promoting consideration of Gov. Sarah Palin’s political positions in the wider American Jewish community.”

The Jewish Press: What about Sarah Palin inspired you to found this organization?

Korn: Sarah Palin is a tremendous – perhaps once in a generation – political figure. Despite what her detractors and enemies keep repeating endlessly, she is brilliant, charismatic, on top of the issues, and a leader fully capable of taking her place on the world stage. She is an authentic American and the kind of popular and populist politician who can reach the hearts and minds of the average American voter.

Why, though, start a specifically Jewish organization in support of Sarah Palin?

We wanted to break down barriers to the serious consideration of her ideas within the Jewish community. There is intellectual snobbery reagrading Palin since she’s not Princeton- or Harvard-educated. Some people are also worried about her reputed association with right-wing figures from beyond the pale. These kinds of issues have been raised in order to try alienating Jewish voters from her. We aim to change that.

Also, many Jewish voters are concerned about Obama’s treatment of Israel. One of the key factors in the upcoming elections will be swing and independent voters, and Jews are very heavily swing voters and independent voters. In 1980, 60 percent of Jimmy Carter’s [Jewish supporters from 1976] abandoned him to vote for the most conservative candidate of our era, Ronald Reagan.

So we want to get the message out in the Jewish community that it is time to take the gavel back from [Senate Majority Leader] Harry [Reid] and [House Speaker] Nancy [Pelosi], as Sarah Palin put it recently in a speech in Chicago, and time to ensure that the present occupant of the White House is a one-term president.

Finally, it is time that the Orthodox community be given a voice in national politics by being able to show that we not only support [Palin's political agenda], but we especially connect with her family-values agenda. That part of her social conservatism that may make other Jews skittish is a kind of religious and family outlook on life that we, as Orthodox Jews, share.

But considering the whole saga with Palin’s daughter during the 2008 presidential campaign, can you really say that Orthodox Jews share her family values?

She supported her daughter having the baby even though she conceived the child before she was married. There was the expectation that the daughter was going to marry this guy. It didn’t turn out that way – I’m sure to Governor Palin’s sorrow. I’m not saying she’s perfect. I’m saying that her values are basically our values.

Earlier you referred to Palin as “brilliant.” Is that really a fair description considering her reputation as someone who is out of her league when it comes to national politics?

It’s completely ridiculous. Spend ten minutes listening to the woman give a speech and all of those epithets about her are just demolished.

What about her infamous interview with Katie Couric?

I think it’s true that she’s better as a public speaker than in an interview format. Every politician has things they can improve upon. Obama, who’s a fantastic speaker, is terrible once you get him off the teleprompter.

If Palin is truly brilliant, as you say, why is it that so many think of her as mediocre, at best?

It’s politically motivated. Look, I spent my whole life among highly-educated Jews, and I don’t hear anyone speaking more truth or sense than this woman. Now, there are people who have more academic backgrounds than she does. She’s not Harvard Law School. But you don’t need to be to run a country. You could be Harvard Law School and not understand who this country’s enemies are, or you could be the governor of the great state of Alaska and understand who this country’s enemies are. Who would you rather have leading the country?

Your father, Bertram Korn, was a prominent Reform rabbi and a noted author. And yet, you are Orthodox and a conservative activist. How did that come about?

I wasn’t always right wing. I was raised in the heart of the liberal Jewish community. I went to Quaker school for 12 years. In college I was a left-wing campus activist, and I voted for Jimmy Carter in 1980. But in the 1980s, I had a Jewish and political awakening and became involved with Zionist politics and began to publicly identify as an Orthodox Jew.

What caused the awakening?

I was studying for the State Department examinations to be a Foreign Service officer. And, if you really take it seriously, that kind of studying forces you to ask yourself a different set of questions than you typically ask in college. In college you look at any situation and say, “Okay, what’s wrong with this picture?” But if you take the job of representing this country seriously, then you start thinking about policies that are going to affect the lives of thousands, or even millions, of people.

Instead of asking “What’s wrong with this picture?” you ask a deeper question, which is, “Given the limited number of ways in this real world to do things right, what should I do?” It’s a more mature kind of question. Once I started asking that kind of question, I began to see the hollowness of the left because a lot of what goes on in the left is fashionable political posturing without having any real responsibility to anybody.

And the religious awakening?

I was one of the Jews for whom the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of blessed memory, created a Jewish revolution. I met a Lubavitcher in the film department at Temple University where I was a graduate student in 1985 and [matters developed from there].

Back to Palin: How can you be sure that she won’t modify her views once in office? President George W. Bush, for example, promised to move the United States Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem before he was elected. Once in office, though, he changed his mind.

That’s a good question, and you can never say for sure how a politician will respond to the pressures once they achieve a very high office. But what you can say is that Sarah Palin’s heart and soul are wrapped up in love of Israel and the Jewish people.

Earlier this month, Palin went to the Time 100 gala of the most influential people with her husband and three of her kids. It was like a frum family. This is the glittery of the world at Lincoln Center, and Palin shows up with her husband and three kids. You got to love it. But on top of that, she also wore a pin of the American and Israeli flags. Why did she need to do that? The answer, of course, is she did not. But this woman clearly loves Israel, and that’s what’s important.

Health Care Vote Could Mean Tough Prospects For Some Jewish Dems

Monday, March 29th, 2010

WASHINGTON – A window was shattered by a pellet gun in an apparent vandalism attack at her Tucson district office. Sarah Palin has put her on the list of Democratic lawmakers she is targeting this fall. Arizona Tea Party activists are pledging to help defeat her bid for re-election.

All this because Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) voted for health care reform.

Giffords is one of a few Jewish Democrats political observers say could have a difficult re-election campaign because of her vote for the controversial Democratic-backed health care bill.

The bill passed Sunday would provide access to insurance for more than 30 million uninsured Americans, provide subsidies for those who cannot afford it, eliminate the ability of insurance companies to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions, and require all Americans to buy insurance or pay a tax. Republicans have attacked the bill as too costly and portray it as government takeover of the health care industry.

While support for the health care bill represents a potential political liability if disaffection with the president runs high on Election Day, November is still far enough away that it’s not clear how much influence it will have.

The general mood of the country, which probably will depend on the state of the economy, will likely be the determining factor, said Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report. If the mood is sour, he said, voters “are going to evaluate health care in that light.”

Two-term congresswoman Giffords is in a more vulnerable spot than most. She hasn’t been in office long, and her district is not solidly Democratic. John McCain won it in the 2008 presidential election, with 52 percent of the district vote.

Helping those who cannot afford health insurance, rather than focusing on re-election, was Gifford’s paramount concern in deciding which way to vote, her spokesman said.

“The congresswoman is convinced it was the right thing to do, and good for the country,” said her communications director, C.J. Karamargin.

Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), who has been particularly outspoken on health care issues, is another potentially vulnerable Jewish Democrat. Grayson has called the U.S. health care system a “holocaust” – making him a darling of the left but a target of the right.

Grayson unseated a four-term Republican in 2008 to win the 8th congressional district in Florida, which includes part of Orlando. While President Obama carried the district in 2008, George W. Bush carried it in the prior two presidential races.

National Jewish Democratic Council CEO Ira Forman acknowledged that votes in favor of health care reform could be problematic for Jewish Democrats like Giffords and Grayson, but he is “doubtful it will be the determinative vote” for an incumbent’s prospects of survival this fall.

Victory on a historic reform of health care “is much better for Democrats in general” than a defeat, Forman said. However, the larger issues of the economy and the unemployment rate are likely to be greater factors for vulnerable Democrats come election time, he said.

The only Jewish Democrat to vote against the health care bill was New Jersey first-termer John Adler, who is also likely to face a tough battle in November. Hailing from a district in the Philadelphia suburbs, Adler will be facing off against former Philadelphia Eagles lineman John Runyan.

Adler said he did not back the legislation because it didn’t do enough to control costs and make health care affordable for his constituents. He also reportedly had encountered strong opposition to the bill at meetings throughout his district.

Obama carried Adler’s district by five points in 2008, but Bush eked out a slight win in 2004. Before Adler, the district’s congressional seat was held by a Republican for 16 years.

Adler’s vote will make it easier for him to argue that he is “not a rubber stamp” for the president, said Rothenberg.

The executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition, Matt Brooks, agreed that the health care bill is likely to be a big issue in the 2010 election. The RJC has called for repealing the bill.

More upsetting than the bill itself, Brooks said, is that, “with an exploding debt and deficit, the president is focusing not on jobs but on health care.”

Meanwhile, at least one Jewish Republican challenger is hoping that his opposition to the health care reform legislation will help him knock off a Democratic incumbent. Randy Altschuler, a contender for the GOP nomination in New York’s 1st congressional district, which includes much of Suffolk County on Long Island, said he backs repealing the health care legislation and replacing it with a different type of reform because the “spending, tax increases, and heavy government intervention” outweigh its “marginal benefits.”

Altschuler first must win a tough primary race against Chris Cox, Richard Nixon’s grandson, before being able to square off against incumbent Democrat Tim Bishop.

“That’s a race where these kinds of issues are going to resonate,” Brooks said of the brouhaha over health care. (JTA)

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/global/health-care-vote-could-mean-tough-prospects-for-some-jewish-dems/2010/03/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: