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July 24, 2016 / 18 Tammuz, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Tennessee’

Tennessee Lawmakers Pass Bill to Designate ‘Holy Bible’ as Official State Book

Wednesday, April 6th, 2016

In the state of Tennessee, citizens take their Bible seriously.

So seriously, in fact, that the state legislature has just approved a bill designating “the Holy Bible as the official state book.”

If Governor Bill Haslam signs it into law, Tennessee will be the first state in the USA to have adopted the Holy Bible as a state symbol.

“What we’re doing here is recognizing it for its historical and cultural contributions to the state of Tennessee,” GOP State Senator Steve Southerland said. Bibles are often used to record important family milestones, and in the state of Tennessee, numerous printing firms have made a multimillion-dollar industry from producing just this one sacred text alone.

Even beyond that, however, the bill is a really powerful statement, given the current climate in the country. Reactions are strong in both directions.

“Critics called the proposal unconstitutional and sacrilegious,” Nashville Public Radio reported. “They also pointed out there are many versions of the Bible, none of which are specified in the resolution.”

Others argued that it wasn’t fair to citizens of different faiths. Another point raised was a legal issue, the question of separation of church and state. And some said simply, what about those who don’t believe in any Bible at all?

But perhaps that’s the point. The issue at stake here isn’t which version of which Bible is being used, or from which stream of monotheistic faith — and it’s not being forced down people’s throats.

“The Bible” — any Bible — is being declared to be the state book, not the state faith. It symbolizes that the Bible has proved important to the majority of the population over the state’s history.

The Bible is important to the state economically (it’s a multimillion-dollar printing industry item), culturally (the majority of the population is Christian or Jewish) and ethically (the wisdom to be found in the Bible is disputed by no one.) Even performers know it: There are few country songs heard at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville without roots in some Bible saying. It’s that kind of place.

Nevertheless, the bill may still face an uphill battle: the separation of “church and state” is still an issue; it was strong enough to prevent the state of Kentucky from allowing a special public display because its purpose was religious, rather than historical.

Hana Levi Julian

Sen. Cotton to Visit Israel for More Ammunition against Iran Deal

Friday, August 28th, 2015

Sen. Tom Cotton, one of the loudest voices against the nuclear deal with Iran, will arrive in Israel on Sunday for a week-long visit that can be assumed is aimed at arming him with more ammunition to try to shoot down the nuclear Iran agreement in the Senate.

The Israel government announced:

U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) will be visiting Israel from Sunday, August 30, to Saturday, September 5, 2015.  During his trip to Israel, the Senator will be updated on strategic and diplomatic issues, as well as other major developments in the region.

Senator Cotton, in office as of January 2015, serves on the Armed Services, Intelligence, and Banking committees.

Updating him on “strategic and diplomatic issues” just before Congress returns from a summer recess with the Iran deal the number one item on the agenda means that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will send Sen. Cotton back with a suitcase full of arguments to try to win a veto-proof majority against the deal when it comes for a vote.

Sen. Cotton was behind the controversial letter that he and several senators sent to Iran to “inform” it that a nuclear deal would not be binding on the next president.

Earlier this month, he told Israeli reporters that the Obama administration has not made it clear to Iran that it could use force to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran. He then said that the U.S. Armed Forces could bomb Iran’s nuclear program “back to zero.”

Sen. Corker stated:

You can destroy facilities. I don’t think any military expert in the United States or elsewhere would say the U.S. military is not capable to setting Iran’s nuclear facilities back to day zero,

Can we eliminate it forever? No, because any advanced industrialized country can develop nuclear weapons in four to seven years, from zero. But we can set them back to day zero.

That is music to the ears of Prime Minister Netanyahu, and the timing of next week’s visit is not coincidental.

The Prime Minister and President Barack Obama are desperately campaigning against and for the deal, respectively.

Media continue to report more evidence that the deal is full of holes and that Iran already is has taken moves to get around it, such as the report Thursday that it has built an addition to its Parchin nuclear facility.

However, party loyalty usually is paramount to intellectual honesty. New York Democratic Sen. Charles Schumer came out against the deal and promptly faced a campaign prevent him from becoming the next party leader in the Senate to succeed retiring Sen. Harry Reid, who backs the deal.

Even Tennessee Republican Sen. Bob Corker admits that Obama will win. He told The Tennessean:

Understand that at this moment it looks very unlikely that we’ll have a veto-proof majority to disapprove, but I know we’re going to have a bipartisan majority that will disapprove.

The Hill reported that President Obama lacks only five out of 15 undecided Democratic senators to prevent a veto-proof majority against the agreement.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

Israeli-Style Security Measures Launched at US Theater Chains

Thursday, August 20th, 2015

At least two movie theater chains in the United States have begun to use Israeli-style security measures to keep their guests safe.

The Regal Entertainment Group launched its policy of checking bags of guests as they enter its theaters around America this week.

The move comes in the wake of an attack this week in Nashville, Tennessee, when a man with a hatchet, pepper spray and a pellet gun attacked a family of three inside a movie theater before police arrived and finally shot him dead.

Two weeks ago, another man went on a rampage inside a movie theater in Lafayette, Louisiana. He shot and killed two people, wounded nine others and then turned the gun on himself during a screening of the film, “Trainwreck.”

Also this month, Colorado movie theater murderer James Holmes was sentenced by a jury to life in prison for slaughtering 12 people and wounding 70 others at a midnight premier three years ago.

Regal Entertainment Group acknowledged that checking the bags of its guests before they enter the theater is “not without its flaws” and inconvenient – but provides better security.

The Knoxville, Tennessee-based company operates 570 theaters around the United States.

Checking the bags of people entering a building is not new to Israelis – in fact, it has been a basic standard operating procedure in the life of the Jewish State for decades. Millions of lives have been saved as a result. Clearly that fact has begun to seep through the American consciousness.

A second theater firm, Northeast-based National Amusements Inc’s Showcase chain, has started a similar policy.

Showcase announced on its website this month that it will ban guests from bringing backpacks and packages into its theaters, and reserves the right to search bags and pocketbooks. The policy, which started August 7, will continue “for the time being.”

Hana Levi Julian

New York State Assembly Passes Anti-BDS Resolution

Friday, June 19th, 2015

The New York State Assembly on Thursday passed a resolution rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel, becoming the latest state government to do so.

The resolution, introduced by Assemblyman Walter T. Mosley (D-Brooklyn) and co-sponsored by 74 other members, rejects BDS activities that “undermine efforts to achieve a negotiated two-state solution and the right of Israelis and Palestinians to self-determination.”

The resolution states:

This Legislative Body is concerned that the international Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement and its agenda are damaging to the causes of peace, justice, equality, democracy, and human rights for all peoples in the Middle East.

The resolution also recognizes Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state and says the U.S. and Israel share “a common bond rooted in the values of freedom, democracy, and equal rights.”

The New York resolution follows anti-BDS measures in several other states, most recently in Illinois, which prohibited state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the BDS movement. State legislatures in Indiana and Tennessee also recently passed resolutions condemning BDS, but those measures were non-binding, as opposed to the Illinois bill’s specific economic action.

JNS News Service

Anti-BDS Bill Advances In Illinois State Legislature

Thursday, May 14th, 2015

The Illinois State House of Representatives Executive Committee on Wednesday unanimously passed a bill that would prohibit state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that participate in the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.

The 10-0 committee vote follows the 49-0 passage of the measure in the Illinois State Senate and precedes a vote among the full Illinois House, after which point the bill would go to the desk of Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner for a signature into law.

B’nai B’rith International said in a statement that it “applauds Illinois citizens and their representatives for taking such a strong stance against a movement rooted in anti-Semitism that ultimately impedes the peace process by opposing constructive dialogue between Israel and Palestinians.”

State legislatures in Indiana and Tennessee last month passed resolutions condemning the BDS movement, but those measures were non-binding, as opposed to the Illinois legislation’s concrete economic action against BDS.

JNS News Service

US Senate May Vote Thursday on Nuclear Review Bill

Tuesday, May 5th, 2015

The U.S. Senate may vote as early as Thursday to pass the Iran nuclear review bill, according to Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker (R-TN).

Corker told reporters at a briefing at the Capitol building Tuesday he believes there will be an “overwhelming” vote to pass the bill.

Senate leaders are still trying to work out a way to consider at least some amendments to the bill, said Corker.

As of last week, more than 66 amendments to the bill had been submitted by various lawmakers for consideration.

Meanwhile, world powers led by the U.S. return next week to continue talks with Iran, this time in Vienna.

Talks at this point will be held among diplomats at the level just below foreign ministers, starting next Tuesday, with the negotiations to end on Friday.

The U.S. is expecting to wrap up talks on how to limit Iran’s nuclear development technology by June 30.

Iran is still insisting the international community lift all sanctions imposed on Tehran immediately when the document is signed.

Hana Levi Julian

Indiana becomes 2nd State to Pass Anti-BDS Resolution

Friday, May 1st, 2015

The Indiana General Assembly has become the second-ever state legislature to pass a resolution that formally opposes the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel. Tennessee lawmakers approved a similar measure on April 21.

Adopted in a voice vote, the Indiana Senate approved Resolution 74, which “expresses opposition to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel” BDS movement.

The Senate’s move came after the Indiana House of Representatives unanimously (93-0) passed the anti-BDS House Resolution 59 on April 22. The measure now goes to Indiana Governor Mike Pence for his signature. Pence recently visited Israel and express his whole-hearted support for the country.

The Indiana bill contends that the global spread of anti-Jewish speech and violence “represents an attack, not only on Jews, but on the fundamental principles of the United States.” The resolution goes on to thank the presidents of Indiana University and Purdue University for “strongly” condemning the boycott of Israeli academic institutions after some faculty members and other staffers at those schools voiced support for the BDS movement.

JNS News Service

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/indiana-becomes-2nd-state-to-pass-anti-bds-resolution/2015/05/01/

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