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September 20, 2014 / 25 Elul, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘Ted Deutch’

Jewish, Hispanic Troops to Receive Belated Medal of Honor

Sunday, February 23rd, 2014

President Obama will award the Medal of Honor to 24 American troops, most of whom had been overlooked because of anti-Jewish or anti-Hispanic prejudice.

The White House said in a statement issued on Friday that the medals to be awarded March 18 are the result of a review mandated by a law passed in 2002 by Congress based on reports that some troops had been denied the nation’s highest military honor because of prejudice.

In the course of the review, the statement said, it was found that several soldiers not of Jewish or Hispanic descent also had been denied the medal, and that they too would be honored.

Three soldiers will receive the award in person; the remainder will be awarded posthumously to men who fought in the Vietnam and Korean wars and in World War II.

The White House did not identify which of the awardees were Jewish or Hispanic or neither.

Two Florida lawmakers, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) noted in separate statements that one of the awardees is Pvt. 1st Class Leonard Kravitz who died fending off Communist forces on March 6 and 7, 1951 near Yangpyong in Korea. He faced an ambush with a machine gun so his fellow troops could evacuate.

Mitchel Libman, a resident of Hollywood Fla., and a childhood friend of Kravitz’s had championed his cause. Kravitz is the namesake of his nephew, the musician Lenny Kravitz.

In-Your-Face-Obama Bill Upgrading Israel Status Above Entire World

Thursday, January 30th, 2014

My favorite Congresswoman, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL 27), along with Rep Ted Deutch (D-Fla. 21), who are the top two members on the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Middle East subcommittee, have introduced a bill on Wednesday naming Israel a “major strategic partner” of the United States, a title enjoyed by no one else on the planet, and encouraging enhanced cooperation on water, energy, homeland security, and missile development.

The bill also waives visa requirements for Israelis who visit the U.S., adding Israel to the list of countries whose citizens can visit the United States for up to 90 days without a visa, provided they registered electronically before boarding a flight.

Some other provisions: the bill expands authority for forward-deployed U.S. weapons stockpiles in Israel, providing important military equipment for either to use in a crisis. It also encourages the president to transfer essential military equipment to Israel to meet current and projected strategic threats.

Daisy Cutters, Bunker Busters, come to poppa…

The committee approved it unanimously.

“I’m pleased that this bipartisan bill to strengthen the U.S. bond with Israel passed unanimously today out of the Foreign Affairs Committee,” Congressperson Ileana said in a statement. “During this volatile time across the Middle East, this bill signals that the U.S. Congress continues to support the people of Israel and reaffirms our commitment to seek new paths to improve our bilateral relationship.”

According to an AP story from last year, the administration and some lawmakers are concerned the legislation doesn’t do enough to eliminate Israeli discrimination against Palestinians and Arab-Americans seeking to enter its borders. They also say Israel still fails to meet other legal requirements for the program.

So this has to be an in-your-face to both the White House and the State Dept. In the middle of their arm-twisting campaign to degrade Israeli security, heaping on the threats should Israel decline the offer to capitulate, our sweetheart from the Florida 27th declares:

“This important legislation, with 351 current cosponsors, declares that Israel is a major strategic partner, ensures that Israel maintains its qualitative military edge, and reaffirms our support to enhance Israel’s military systems to that it can defend herself.”

Now it’s up to the leaders of the House to let the measure go for a vote, which should actually happen, what with the 351 sponsors. We’ll see what happens in the Senate afterwards, will Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid even let the measure that has been pushed by Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Roy Blunt (R-MO) last year—The United States-Israel Strategic Partnership Act of 2013 (S. 462)—come to a full Senate vote.

Currently, the Senate bill has 45 sponsors.

Last May, when Boxer and Blunt proposed the Senate version, the organization U.S. Campaign to End the Occupation and other anti-Israel groups were working overtime to block the bill. Their main argument was that Section nine of S.462 would include Israel in the Visa Waiver Program without requiring Israel to extend reciprocal privileges to U.S. citizens.

The bill allows Israel to deny entrance to U.S. citizens for national security reasons.

“Israel has a history of discriminating against Palestinian-, Arab-, and Muslim-Americans travelers and denying them entry,” the CEO complained. Naturally, they would like to see free access for American jihadists into Israel, but it might not happen.

Rep. Brad Sherman (D-Ca) rejected the anti-Israel allegations: “Israel does not discriminate against Arab-Americans. There has been this effort by anti-Israel extremists to accuse Israel of that. We have a no-fly list, they have a no-enter list, and those associated with Islamic extremism tend to find their name on both.”

Sherman added: “My hope is that in conference this bill will be amended to help Israel achieve full participation in the visa waiver program…When they want to see Mickey Mouse, they should see the real one.”

Yes, that’s what we need, more Israelis in Los Angeles…

Congress Members Blast ASA for Boycott Decision

Sunday, January 19th, 2014

A bipartisan slate of 134 U.S. Congress members wrote a letter to the American Studies Association protesting its decision last month to boycott Israeli universities.

“Academic cooperation can be an important tool to help foster peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but you have chosen the unproductive path of isolation,” said the letter dated Friday, initiated by Reps. Pete Roskam (R-Ill.), the chief deputy whip of the U.S. House of Representatives and Ted Deutch (D-Fla.), the senior Democrat on the House Middle East subcommittee. “We hope that the ASA will learn to appreciate the mutually beneficial academic ties between the United States and Israel and work with us to promote peace and academic freedom.”

The ASA, with a membership numbering less than 5,000, was the largest of three academic organizations to recommend boycotts against Israeli institutions last year, a breakthrough in the United States for the boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign.

The move has been repudiated by close to 200 U.S. universities and the larger academic groups, such as the American Association of University Professors, have pushed back such attempts.

Congressional Letter: Academic Boycott of Israel is ‘Thinly Veiled Bigotry’

Friday, January 10th, 2014

PLEASE NOTE TWO UPDATES AT THE END OF THIS ARTICLE

Dozens of members of the U.S. House of Representatives are busily circulating a request to their colleagues, asking them to sign on to a letter to the leadership of the American Studies Association. That letter condemns the ASA for singling out Israel as the focus of its wrath and for instituting an academic boycott of the Jewish State.

The bi-partisan letter, written and signed by two Democrats and two Republicans, is addressed to Prof. Curtis Marez, current president of the ASA. Marez is a member of the ethnic studies department at the University of California, San Diego.

Marez was famously caught by surprise when a reporter asked him why the ASA was singling out Israel, when there are so many other countries involved in far more serious allegations of human rights abuses. Perhaps the questioner was picturing some countries where the very lives of academics are endangered simply for their thoughts or writings. Oh, places like China, North Korea, Russia, Iran and Saudi Arabia spring quickly to mind.

But Marez simply answered: “We have to start somewhere.” Right.

The congressional representatives taking the lead on this initiative are House members Peter Roskam (IL-6)(R), Ted Deutch (FL-21)(D), Doug Collins (GA-9)(R) and Bradley S. Schneider (IL-10)(D). Members of Congress from nearly 20 states have already signed on.

The letter itself is strong and unquivocal. It starts out by informing the ASA that the congressional members – as of the time this article was written, representatives from 17 states had already affixed their names – “write in strong opposition” to the ASA’s decision “to blacklist Israeli academic institutions for Israeli government policies with which the ASA disagrees represents a blatant disregard for academic freedom.”

The congressional letter not only condemns the ASA’s boycott of Israel on the grounds of academic freedom, it also denounces it for singling out a single country – Israel, the only Jewish state – for punishment by the ASA when there are so many states engaging in brutal repression of its citizens, including its students and academics, yet about which the ASA remains silent.

Even more concerning is the singular targeting of Israel for boycott. Like all democracies, Israel is not perfect. But to single out Israel, while leaving relationships with universities in autocratic and repressive countries intact, suggests thinly-veiled bigotry and bias against the Jewish State. This morally dishonest double standard has already been rejected by well over 100 university presidents, with several member universities even withdrawing from the organization in protest.

William A. Jacobson, a professor at Cornell Law School, wrote about the congressional letter at Legal Insurrection.  Jacobson said that the members of congress intended to send the letter once they obtained approximately 50 signatures, evenly divided between Democrats and Republicans.

In an email to The Jewish Press, Jacobson explained that those taking the lead on the ASA letter intend to gain as many signatures as possible. He also noted that people were signing on very quickly, “they gained six more names in the space of one-half hour as I was communicating with them.”

“It is not surprising that Congress has taken note given the discriminatory and factually baseless nature of the boycott,” Jacobson wrote. “We will see if Congress takes any action beyond a denunciation.”

Within hours of the letter being circulated, 32 additional members of congress asked to have their names included on the letter.

As of the time this article was published, the signatories included:

Michele Bachmann MN-6 (R), Corrine Brown FL-5 (D), Doug Collins GA-9 (R), Ted Deutch FL-21 (D), Jeff Duncan S-C3

 (R), Eliot Engel NY-16
 (D), Trent Franks AZ-8

 (R), Richard Hudson  NC-8 (R), David Joyce  OH-14 (R), Mike Kelly  PA-3 (R), Peter King NY-2 (R), Doug Lamborn  CO-5 (R), Leonard Lance NJ-7
 (R), Sander Levin MI-9 (D), Tom Marino PA-10

 (R), Betty McCollum MN-4 (D), Grace Meng NY-6

 (D), Patrick Murphy FL-18 (D), Gary Peters MI-14
 (D), Mike Quigley IL-5

 (D), Peter Roskam
 IL-6 (R ), Matt Salmon AZ-5 (R), Adam Schiff  CA-28
 (D), Brad Schneider
 IL-10 (D), Brad Sherman CA 30 (D), Steve Stivers  OH-15

 (R), Eric Swalwell CA-15
 (D), Patrick Tiberi  OH-12

 (R), Dina Titus NV-1 (D), Juan Vargas CA-51
 (D), Tim Walberg  MI-7
 (R), Jackie WalorskiR IN-2 (R), Debbie Wasserman Schultz FL-23, (D) Henry Waxman CA-33 (D), Randy Weber Tx-14 (R), Kevin Yoder  KS-3 (R)

Congress to Obama: Time to Punish Arabs for Blowing Up Oslo and Blowing Off the US

Tuesday, December 25th, 2012

A bi-partisan majority of congressional members sent a letter to U.S. President Barak Obama late last week.  In the letter, the members insist that the time has come for this U.S. government to hold the Arab Palestinian leadership responsible for their bald refusal to comply with repeated requests from the United States government to refrain from seeking an enhanced status at the United Nations General Assembly, as is required of the Arabs under the Oslo Agreements under which it is bound.

The PLO pledged in the Oslo Agreements that it would take no unilateral actions to change the status of the disputed territories and Gaza.

Congressional leadership that has long been involved in working with Israel and the Arab Palestinians in attempts to resolve the Middle East conflict, such as U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Howard L. Berman (D-CA), Ranking Member of the Committee, U.S. Reps. Edward R. Royce (R-CA) and Eliot L. Engel (D-NY, Chairman-designate and Ranking Member-designate, respectively, of the Committee, along with more than 230 other members of  Congress, signed and sent the letter to the President on Friday, December 21.

The letter informed the President that “we believe the United States must react strongly to the ‘Palestinian’ leadership’s failure to uphold its obligations,” and explained that in order to send a clear message of U.S. disapproval, the Arab leaders must learn that their actions are not “cost-free,” and, “at a minimum, they result in setbacks to U.S.-’Palestinian’ relations.”

Congressional members suggested that the minimal steps the U.S. should take at this time would be to close the PLO office in Washington, D.C. and to call on the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem – who is, illogically, responsible for relations with the Arab Palestinians but not Jewish or Arab Israelis – back to Washington for consultations.

The congressional letter to President Obama points out the necessity for the U.S. government to ensure that the UNGA vote on November 29 “does not serve as a precedent for elevating the status of the PLO in other UN bodies or international forums.”

Should the PLO attempt to force its hand by seeking membership in those other UN institutions, the congressional members told President Obama that, “we should do everything possible to make sure that does not happen, including by reaffirming our commitment to maintaining and enforcing U.S. laws that require withholding U.S. contributions from any international forum that grants membership to the PLO.”

The PLO envoy in Washington, Maen Aerikat, told the Palestinian News Agency Ma’an, that the congressional letter “is an attempt by Congress to undermine the U.S. administration in any possible role it is planning to play in Palestinian affairs.”

In addition to pointing out that “punitive measures won’t pay off.  If they were effective we would have already changed our mind,” Aerikat railed at Israel, suggesting it was behind the congressional effort.  He said, “It is a political decision, a decision on the part of the Israeli government to escalate things against the Palestinian people at home and here…the U.S. is their other front.”

In a letter circulated to members of Congress by the PLO Envoy on December 14, Aerikat sought to dissuade Congress from responding to the PA provocation.  Aerikat makes several points in his letter, one of which should qualify for the Chutzpah Hall of Fame.  Perhaps he forgot that the action taken by Congress was in response to the decision by his colleagues to spurn dialogue and negotation, and instead to take unilateral action by introducing a one-sided resolution at the U.N.  This is what Aerikat wrote:

Engagement and dialogue is the only way to express the views of Congress.  Biased and one-sided resolutions cannot contribute to an atmosphere that is conducive for a political resolution to the conflict.

Not all Jews supported the congressional effort.  In the interview with Ma’an, Aerikat appreciatively listed both J Street and Americans for Peace Now as organizations that oppose the initiative to punish the Arab Palestinians for violating the Oslo Accords by seeking unilateral changes through the UN vote.  Although not mentioned by the PLO Envoy, the Union for Reform Judaism has also actively lobbied against congressional efforts to shutter the PLO Office.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/congress-to-obama-time-to-punish-arabs-for-blowing-up-oslo-and-blowing-off-the-us/2012/12/25/

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