web analytics
July 1, 2016 / 25 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Ted Cruz’

‘Woman in Gold’ Helen Mirren Testifies for Holocaust Art Restitution Bill

Thursday, June 9th, 2016

British actress Helen Mirren testified in Congress Tuesday in support of a bill to make restitution easier for American heirs of Holocaust era victims, The Art Newspaper reported. Mirren starred in the 2015 British drama “Woman in Gold,” about Austrian-born Jewish American Maria Altmann’s court fight to recover her family’s “Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I,” by Gustav Klimt (her late aunt modeled for the picture), which had been stolen by the Nazis.

Mirren told two Senate judiciary subcommittees in a joint hearing on the Holocaust Expropriated Art Recovery Act that “the very act of Nazi expropriation was not only unjust but it was inhumane.” She added, “Greed, cruelty, self-interest and domination will always be with us, it’s an easy option. Justice is so much more difficult, so much more complex. But we all dream of justice. We are incapable of changing the past, but fortunately we have the ability to make change today.”

“Restitution is so much more, much more than … reclaiming a material good,” Mirren said. “It gives Jewish people and other victims of the Nazi terror the opportunity to reclaim their history, their culture, their memories and, most importantly, their families.”

The legislation is sponsored by Republican senators Ted Cruz and John Cornyn of Texas and Democratic senators Chuck Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut. Other supporters of the bipartisan bill included president of the World Jewish Congress Ronald S. Lauder, and senators Al Franken (D, Minnesota), Chuck Grassley, (R, Iowa) and Orrin Hatch, (R, Utah).

Lauder, who purchased the Klimt painting after Altmann had sued the Austrian government to give it back, and won, told the Senators, “What makes this particular crime even more despicable is that this art theft, probably the greatest in history, was continued by governments, museums and many knowing collectors in the decades following the war.”

Today the Klimt painting is part of the permanent collection of the Neue Galerie, a museum of German and Austrian art Lauder co-founded in New York.

David Israel

Donald Trump Finally Parts Ways with White Supremacist Duke

Friday, May 6th, 2016

Having in the past denied that he knew former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke (they had met), Donald J. Trump on Thursday finally took the plunge and announced he “disavows” Duke’s anti-Semitic comments, made on the latter’s radio show.

Duke said that the Republican elites have been working to undermine Trump just as they worked against him, Duke, when he ran for governor of Louisiana as a Republican in 1991. He took issue with Trump’s former Republican rival Ted Cruz taking money from a “Jewish leftist commie,” saying Jewish financiers are “destroying the Republican Party” by targeting Trump and himself.

“Jewish chutzpah knows no bounds,” Duke told his listeners, and then focused on billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer, a huge supporter of Israel who also supports the “Stop Trump” movement. Referring to Singer and his ilk, Duke said, “I think these Jewish extremists have made a terribly crazy miscalculation because all they’re really going to be doing by doing the ‘Never Trump’ movement is exposing their alien, their anti-American-majority position to all the Republicans. And they’re going to push people more into awareness that the neo-cons are the problem, that these Jewish supremacists who control our country are the real problem and the reason why America is not great.”

That was a bit much, and Jonathan Greenblatt, chief executive of the Anti-Defamation League, challenged candidate Trump to take a stand against the Duke ideas. “David Duke’s latest remarks – smearing Jews and Jewish Republicans specifically – are as unsurprising as they are hateful,” the ADL chief said in a statement. “The onus is now on Donald Trump to make unequivocally clear he rejects those sentiments and that there is no room for Duke and anti-Semitism in his campaign and in society. Mr. Trump can and should speak up now. If not, his silence will speak volumes.”

In the past, Trump had been unwilling to confront Duke’s increasingly more outrageous and openly anti-Semitic comments, presumably so as not to lose the support of while males in the South. But eventually Trump released a statement saying he “totally disavows” Duke’s remarks.

“Anti-Semitism has no place our society, which needs to be united, not divided,” Trump said, having himself made his share of divisive comments against Mexicans and Muslims.

David Israel

Ted Cruz Drops Out, Trump Supports Settlement Expansion

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016

Presidential hopeful Ted Cruz is no longer hoping, apparently, as on Tuesday night he dropped out of the race, following a series of losses that culminated in a 54%-37% loss in Indiana to Donald Trump—who also went over the 1,000 delegate hump.

And just to show he could be on the side of the angels, in an interview with The Daily Mail Tuesday, Trump rejected the idea that a Jewish settlement freeze in Judea and Samaria would bring peace between Israelis and Arabs any sooner. Positioning himself squarely opposite Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration on this subject, he insisted that Israel should continue its construction projects in Judea and Samaria. Trump also declared: “Thousands of missiles being launched into Israel. Who would put up with that? Who would stand for it? I’d love to negotiate peace. But I mean a lasting peace, not a peace that lasts for two weeks and they start launching missiles again.”

Until Indiana, Senator Cruz (R-TX) seemed determined to go all the way to a contested convention in Cleveland this summer, but the losses in five out of five eastern seaboard states and the Indiana defeat apparently had a cumulative effect on the candidate, who no longer saw a path to the nomination for himself.

“From the beginning I’ve said that I would continue on as long as there was a viable path to victory,” Cruz told his campaign workers and fans Tuesday night. “Tonight I’m sorry to say it appears that path has been foreclosed. With a heavy heart but with boundless optimism for the long-term future of our nation, we are suspending our campaign.”

Trump won at least 51 of Indiana’s delegates, giving him 1,047 out of the 1,237 Delegates needed for the Republican nomination. With his chief rival out of the way, Trump is likely to win the 190 delegates he needs to lock the nomination.

It does not mean that Trump is anywhere near easy street come the general elections, with Hillary Clinton leading him by 7 points on average nationally. But Trump has also been the most unpredictable winning candidate in presidential elections history, and 2016 has been the most unpredictable presidential election year in anyone’s memory, so sit back comfortably, order pizza and watch the race with the rest of us.

David Israel

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

Cruz Does His Best to Woo GOP Jews in Las Vegas

Monday, April 11th, 2016

GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz had the audience all to himself Saturday, and he took the opportunity to warn Jewish Republicans about the dangers of voting for Donald Trump.

He told his audience that such a vote would be an “absolute disaster” for the GOP, “for conservatives and for the country.”

There were about 500 people at the weekend gathering in Las Vegas of the Republican Jewish Coalition, most of whom were still pretty neutral. The “can’t miss” Republican event is held at the hotel resort of billionaire casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the top political spender in the last political race.

“All three candidates were invited to attend our group today, but Sen. Cruz was the only one to accept our invitation,” said RJC board member Michael Epstein as the crowd applauded.

Trump and Kasich were both in New York, gearing up for the April 19 primary election.

“Many are scared by the concept of Donald Trump and the presidency,” Republican Jewish attorney Charlie Spies, a former supporter of Jeb Bush, told the Daily Mail. “No American politician should be compared to Hitler because of the unique, horrific nature of the Nazi genocide. Having said that, there is an issue of tone and being able to whip up crowds, often directed at segments of society that get scapegoated. Anybody who has studied history would be concerned watching that.”

Of the three Republican candidates who remain, Ohio Governor John Kasich is the overwhelming favorite among registered Jewish voters, according to a poll commissioned by the Republican Jewish Coalition and shared privately this weekend with board members. Cruz falls in the middle.

The Texas senator won the recent primary in Wisconsin and in Colorado on Saturday, and is working now to consolidate those Republican donors who are most opposed to a Trump candidacy. Cruz will still have to work hard to transform those donors from anti-Trump to pro-Cruz voters; he still has to neutralize a threat from Kasich, whose presence could split a vote and destroy Cruz’s chance to overcome Trump’s lead, if nothing more.

In New York he may have a better chance to make a dent in Trump’s popularity edge that one might realize.

“Cruz has been reaching out to that community for a long time,” Nathan Diament, executive director of the Orthodox Union Advocacy Center told CNN this weekend.

Cruz appeals to the strictly observant Jewish community, Diament said, in part due to his Senatorial record of support for Israel, his school choice advocacy and his relentless insistence on the need to defend religious liberty protections on the campaign trail.

“Orthodox Jewry is a sort of values-based community and Cruz certainly presents himself like a values-based person … And he uses language that resonates with people of faith, so there’s a connection there,” Diament said. A more important point — unlike Trump, Cruz also has a real track record to refer to, he noted.

Hana Levi Julian

American Muslims Speak Out Against ISIS as GOP’s Ted Cruz Calls For Surveillance on Muslims

Sunday, March 27th, 2016

Muslim leaders are starting to speak out against Da’esh (ISIS) terrorism, over fears the backlash will hit their communities instead.

It’s not an unrealistic fear. After the “9/11″ Al Qaeda attacks on America on September 11, 2001, Americans looked at their Muslim neighbors quite differently. Law enforcement also became more aware of the prevalence of radical Islam, how it is spread and where it appears.

One of the biggest populations of Somali Muslim immigrants lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Somali American attorney Aman Obsiye told Reuters that he was, for the first time in his life, “fearful to be a Muslim in America.”

The Brussels attacks last week by Da’esh (ISIS) terrorists prompted a meeting between the city’s Muslim leaders and law enforcement officials, who said they would protect the community against hate crimes.

“I’m not a terrorist,” said Somali American Asthma Jama. “I’m an American citizen. I want to live in peace, just like everybody else.”

Political rhetoric from Republican candidates like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz has been cited by Muslim leaders as being particularly “scary.” They also say that rhetoric is being used as ammunition by terrorist groups in propaganda videos, “big time.”

But not all Muslim leaders think that’s bad. When GOP presidential candidate Ted Cruz called for law enforcement last week to increase police presence in Muslim neighborhoods in the wake of the Brussels attacks, at least one Muslim activist agreed.

“We need to empower law enforcement to patrol and secure Muslim neighborhoods before they become radicalized,” Cruz said, adding there was no room for “political correctness” in the current environment.

Dr. Zudi Jasser, president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), and a former U.S. Navy Lieutenant-Commander, defended Cruz’s stance. In an interview on Fox News last Thursday, Jasser said Cruz was right to encourage law enforce to take a more proactive role in Muslim neighborhoods to prevent radical Islamic terrorism.

“I can’t believe we’re having this conversation a few days after you had a cell that was operating four months apart… were being holed up by an organism of a community that was holding them away from the entire security apparatus of the European Union,” he said. “And yet we’re standing back and saying, ‘We shouldn’t be monitoring communities?’

“I’m not ready to give up any of my civil rights. All I’m saying is that as an American Muslim we patriotically want to help our community, help our country be safe,” Jasser said.

“We want to engage and embrace police, Homeland Security and if we’re going to engage them we need to welcome them into our community and into our mosques — not for illegal wiretaps but rather for engagement and relationship building.”

Cruz said his plan was similar to that used police to raise law enforcement presence in neighborhoods with known gang activity. “I’m talking about any area where there is a higher incidence of radical Islamic terrorism,” he told CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

He also referred to the successful terror prevention program implemented in New York City under the administration of former Mayor Michael Bloomberg, involving surveillance of Muslim and other communities. That program faced a lawsuit in 2014, but the case was dismissed by a federal judge, who ruled the program did not discriminate against Muslims.

That program was nevertheless immediately dismantled under the current administration of Mayor Bill DeBlasio.

NYPD communications director J. Peter Donald tweeted in response, “Hey @tedcruz are our nearly 1K Muslim officers a “threat” too? It’s hard to imagine a more incendiary, foolish statement.”

Cruz later clarified that his plan “does not mean targeting Muslims. It means targeting radical Islamic terrorism,” he told CNN. “I am talking about any area where there is a higher incidence of radical Islamic terrorism.”

Hana Levi Julian

Cruz at AIPAC: ‘Peace Through Strength’ [video]

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R) spoke to AIPAC’s policy conference on Monday evening, March 21. He followed a raucous presentation by Donald Cruz, and one given earlier in the day by Hillary Clinton.

Cruz started his talk by correcting without naming Donald Trump. He said, “Let me say at the outset, perhaps to the surprise of the previous speaker, Palestine has not existed since 1948.” Point Cruz.

He continued by invoking the story of Purim, mentioning that Jews the world over will soon be reading the Megillah (Esther). He recounted that the evil Persian Haman described the Jews as “scattered and spread out.” The Talmud teaches us, Cruz explained, that when the forces for good are divided, evil can prevail. But when forces for good come together in unity, they can defeat tyrants. Do you see where this is going?

Cruz likened the time of Haman to the time in which we live. But he promised a near future in which Americans will come together,  within the Republican party and across America.

Aware that he has a reputation as a divisive personality, Cruz hit hard on that issue of unity, unity within America and then, after November, between America and Israel. “America will stand with Israel and defeat radical Islamic terrorists,” Cruz told the crowd.

He also mentioned that his colleague, Senator Lindsey Graham, had hosted an event for him earlier in the day, “which should allay the doubts of anyone here that the god of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob can still do miracles,” eliciting a big guffaw.

As did both Clinton and Trump, Cruz mentioned the brutal murder of American Christian Taylor Force who was recently stabbed to death in Jaffa by a Palestinian Arab terrorist. Force was from Lubbock, Texas, so it was no surprise that Cruz mentioned him.

He used the tragedy to remind the audience that America and Israel are in the fight together against radical Islam. Sadly, not one of the candidates mentioned another American recently murdered in Israel, Ezra Schwartz. Schwartz was a Jewish teenager from Boston.

In his four years in the Senate, Cruz has initiated efforts to support Israel in various ways, and he mentioned several of them during his speech on Monday. One, a critical effort, was when he stood up to the U.S. State Department when it shut down Ben Gurion Airport during Operation Cast Lead, after a rocket from Gaza landed – harmlessly – a mile away.

Cruz had immediately called on the U.S. government to explain why it had imposed what he called an economic boycott on Israel, pointing out that the U.S. had not shut down the airspace in other hot war zones such as Pakistan, Afghanistan or even in the Ukraine, where a passenger airline had just been shot down by Russia.

When Cruz demanded that the Obama administration answer the question, the response he got was that his suggestion was ridiculous. Cruz then informed them that he would shut down every nomination to the State Dept. until it answered his question.

The closure of Israeli airspace was lifted within 36 hours, thanks at least in part to the action taken by Cruz.

Cruz pointed out that on one of his three trips to Israel, he visited a hospital in the north, where “Israel has treated more than a thousand Syrians, free of charge.”

He quoted Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “Israelis use missile defense system to protect our citizens, while Hamas uses its citizens to protect its missiles to launch into his one mention of Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. Clinton had sought to justify Hamas keeping its missiles in schools and hospitals by explaining that Gaza is very small and crowded.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/cruz-at-aipac-peace-through-strength-video/2016/03/22/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: