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June 30, 2016 / 24 Sivan, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘UPDATE’

Medical Update on Soldier Wounded in Ramming Attack

Friday, May 6th, 2016

The soldier who was wounded in Tuesday’s ramming/terror attack near Dolev continues to be in serious condition.

He is being treated at Sheba hospital in Tel Hashomer. He is still unconscious and on a respirator. His life is still in danger.

Prayers can be said for Matan ben Sara.

Jewish Press News Briefs

“Culture” Wars – Update

Sunday, April 17th, 2016

{Originally posted to Rabbi Pruzansky’s blog}

Only in the mind of the modern feminist can an orthodox Rabbi advocate for pre-marital sexual abstinence and be deemed a rape apologist. Such was the peculiar response in some precincts to my “A Novel Idea”

Arguing over statistics and studies is a futile exercise, as the studies conflict, methodologies differ and even definitions are often imprecise. For those intellectually capable of an open mind, I urge you to read the esteemed social scientist Heather Mac Donald’s cover story in the Weekly Standard (November 2, 2015) subtitled “The Phony Campus Rape Crisis,” which will function as a devastating rebuttal to the criticism that has been directed here, and written in a much stronger manner than was my essay although our objectives were different.

To mention but two “statistics”: one blogger presumed that 23% of my congregants have “likely personally experienced sexual assault.” But “sexual assault,” as some studies, including that of the Justice Department, define it, includes even an unwanted peck on the cheek, an execrable practice still seen in some liberal Orthodox precincts but hardly synonymous with rape except to a certain subset of fanatical activists. Or, “95%” of college rapes go unreported to the police, but they are, apparently, reported to researchers. 95%? And perhaps it is 395%, or 45%? Perhaps some of these assaults are more akin to the circumstances I explored in my essay (as have others, see George F. Will’s column on a related subject).

To those who persist in citing the “1 in 5 women on campus raped” canard, I refer you to this new Prager University video released this week (as if to come to my rescue!) that debunks this datum. If nothing else, all of the above should allow for a calmer discussion of this matter.

What did I write in my essay, whose every word I stand by? Here’s a synopsis. The reality is that rape is an abominable crime that is an unimaginable nightmare and deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. To be falsely accused of rape is also an abominable crime that is an unimaginable nightmare for which the lying complainant deserves to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Both are life-altering events and in both cases the victims deserve our fullest support and the victimizers our unmitigated opprobrium. Obviously, instances of rape exceed false claims of rape, and as I noted, “even one is too many.”

That is the black (the former scenario) and the white (the latter scenario) of the matter. But the professional feminists see only the black. There is no white, no other side, the woman is always right, the man is always wrong. In that echo chamber, I am certain, that makes sense. In a world where truth, justice, decency and fairness matter, that contention is risible.

But I addressed both those scenarios only in passing. My focus was on the “gray” area, the “he said/she said” scenario, where the events are fueled by what I termed the culture of promiscuity and entitlement on campus, where the couple had a relationship and often a long term physical relationship, and where “feelings” – especially post facto feelings – matter more than legality or fairness. These are cases where the woman sometimes does not feel like a “victim” for weeks or months after the encounter (usually coincident with a breakup or a conversation with a feminist adviser who convinces her that she was assaulted without consent). These are cases in which there are no witnesses, no evidence, and no corroboration. They exist. They are troubling no matter who is right and who is wrong. But the feminist activists see no “gray.” The man is always guilty. Always.

Indeed, the “hookup culture” on campus has created a sense of male entitlement concomitant with some females’ pursuit of unlimited pleasure. It is in that culture that, invariably, women – who, as I noted, have a greater emotional investment in physical intimacy than do men – will over time feel used, abused, scorned and empty. And it is in that culture that, I submit, the problematic area of “he said/she said” is more likely to arise. It is for that scenario that I suggested a return to traditional moral practices, such that are already mandatory for Jews but would even benefit non-Jews. The bloggers who mock that suggestion are playing into the hands of lecherous young men and, ironically, endangering more women both physically and psychologically.

It was in this gray area that I urged a return to the virtues with which religious Jews are quite familiar – no affectionate physical contact between men and women outside the context of marriage. That won’t stop the “black” cases of rape (forcible assault) nor the “white” cases (false accusations), for the most part. But it would stop much of the “gray,” in which consent is unclear or ambiguously given, because the assumption would be, since males are an aggressive breed, that the male assaulted the virtue of the female.

But for the professional feminists, there never is a “gray” area. Men are always predators, women are always saints, and rabbis, always, deserve special calumny if they don’t toe a particular line.

What is most troubling, and quite typical of this genre, is the sheer inability of the feminist activists to tolerate another viewpoint. “On this, there can be no debate! There is only one opinion!” Feminist orthodoxy brooks no dissent (as opposed to Jewish Orthodoxy, whose every tenet, they feel, is negotiable). So their goal is to ensure that only one side of an issue is ever heard. They do this by denouncing any opposition as immoral, shrieking that any dissenter is evil, and trying to intimidate that dissenter into silence, penance and universal obloquy. This is what passes for discourse – forget civil discourse, just discourse – in that pathetic echo chamber of the young and coddled. How sad.

Typically, as they see it, for expressing views with which they disagree, I should be fired from the rabbinate, kicked out of any rabbinic organization to which I belong, tossed from any institution in which I am active, and, for Heaven’s sake, even thrown out of AAA (to which I just renewed my membership, and so will not go down without a fight).

What is even sadder is that, to these activists, men are irredeemable brutes, end of story. My objective, on the other hand, is to preserve the honor of both men and women. Their eager embrace of the “hookup culture” – as long as there is consent – exacerbates the problem, cheapens the nobility of women and undermines the sanctity of marriage. Their contempt for women, and not just women’s virtues, is breathtaking.

The Talmud (bottom of Sanhedrin 21a) teaches us that after Amnon raped his half-sister Tamar, King David’s Sanhedrin decreed that an unmarried man and woman should not be secluded together (the prohibition of yichud). That was good advice then as it is now. It doesn’t mean that they “blamed” Tamar; rather that prudence and common sense dictate not putting oneself in a situation of potential danger. No one ever “deserves” to be raped, as some hideously perverted my words. But do not walk into a field clearly labeled “Danger: Mines!” Even if the ones who planted the mines would be guilty of causing injury, surely the minefield pedestrian also bears some responsibility for his fate. The mature person takes responsibility for his own actions, a fundamental Jewish principle that I explored in my last book, “The Jewish Ethic of Personal Responsibility.”

Further irony: these critics are antagonized because they call me a “leader” who should not say these things that upset them; yet, when I try to take the lead on this particular issue – elevating the moral level on campus so that no one, but especially our young people, is ensnared in that morass – they protest. It sounds like they want “leaders” whom they control and who just follow the script that they write. But those are not “leaders” but followers with a fancy title.

Heeding our moral laws can only benefit men, women, marriages, families and society itself. That was and is my point. The fruitless debate over statistics aside, I would hope that even the professional feminists can subscribe to that.

Rabbi Steven Pruzansky

Infiltrator Killed in Moshav Sdei Avraham (Near Gaza Strip)

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Moshav Sdei Avraham (near Gaza Strip)-  Police report that at around 5:30 AM Monday, there was a break-in into the home of the Shalom family.

The intruder stabbed a woman in the house and then ran away.

The IDF declared an official terror infiltration into the town, and began searching for the suspect within the town and surrounding area.

Within a half-hour, IDF forces found the infiltrator, and shot and killed him on the spot.

Police report that it appears that the infiltrator was a Bedouin. and they are investigating whether he was  thief or a terrorist.

UPDATE 9:30 AM IDF now suspects it was a terror attack and are checking if the intruder came from Gaza.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

B’tselem Protects Terrorists

Thursday, November 22nd, 2012

From the latest B’tselem attempt to protect terrorists:-

Additionally, the media – including those belonging directly to the parties to the conflict – are not legitimate military targets, even if they are used to disseminate propaganda.

I think that a terror group’s units – including its communications  networks – are very much a legitimate target for how else would they be able to direct their terror campaign, and that includes general programming because it is used to recruit and mobilize.

But B’tselem claims.

International law seems to claim otherwise:

Journalists are not protected against deliberate attacks if and for as long as they take a direct part in hostilities

and as to what the law refers to

the 1977 Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions (AP I) deals specifically with journalists engaged in dangerous professional missions in areas of armed conflict

“Professional” means not a terrorist.

As clarified:

As civilians, journalists and their crew must under no circumstances be the object of a direct attack. Parties to an armed conflict have the obligation to take all feasible precautions to ensure that attacks are only directed at military objectives.

Al-Aqsa TV and others are not civilians and are not professional journalists.

Here:

Ramallah- 21 November 2012: Israeli occupation forces committed a new crime against the Palestinian journalists when they killed Al-Aqsa TV cameramen Mahmoud Al-Komi (30 years) and Hossam Salameh (30) years at about six o’clock in this evening, after their car was targeted In Gaza City, by a Missile fired from an Israeli warplane, which led to their deaths immediately.

MADA lawyer Karem Nashwan said that Salamah and Al-Komi were travelling in Al-Aqsa TV car, with press sign, but the occupation forces targeted it. The crime took place in Alnaser (Victory) Street near alshifa Tower near Alshifa Hospital, and it seems they had intended to go to cover the martyrs and the wounded in the hospital, where occupation forces have escalated from its bombardment of the Gaza frantically through the last few hours, where about twenty martyrs fell. Al-Komi and Salamah were married and each of them has four children.

And by the way:

the French government instructed its broadcasting authority to take Hamas’ Al-Aqsa TV off the air. The satellite channel was broadcast on Eutelsat, a French satellite company headquartered in Paris. French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said that the instruction was given when France received a warning from the European Commission that the channel repeatedly violated European laws by showing programs which incited hatred or violence for reasons of religion or nationality, mostly against Israel and Judaism (AFP, June 7).

and

On March 18, 2010, the U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions against two Hamas-linked organizations in Gaza – Al-Aqsa TV and the Islamic National Bank (INB).  The actions, taken pursuant to Executive Order 13224, freeze any assets that Al-Aqsa TV or INB hold under U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit U.S. persons from engaging in any transactions with them.  The targets of the sanctions include terrorists and terrorist organizations, among others. The Treasury Department stated that Al-Aqsa TV is financed and controlled by Hamas, serving as a primary Hamas media outlet that airs programs “designed to recruit children to become Hamas armed fighters and suicide bombers upon reaching adulthood.”

P.S.  I am beginning to wonder in whose service is B’tselem?

UPDATE: Have been alerted, from NGO-Monitor:

B’Tselem writes that its

…investigation indicates that several Al-Quds TV employees were present in their offices in Shawwa-Husari Building at the time of the attack, as they were under the assumption that the Israeli military would not bomb it.

They report that after the attack on the Shawwa- Husari Building, they removed some of their equipment from their building’s top floors, out of concern that the Israeli army would strike that building as well, because of the location of Al-Aqsa TV’s offices on its 15th floor.

In other words, B’tselem fail to mention the presence of the Islamic Jihad fighters in the Al Sharouk tower.

Visit My Right Word.

Yisrael Medad

UPDATE: Israeli attacked near Kiryat Arba Transported to Hadassah

Sunday, November 18th, 2012

11:13 PM  An Israeli was injured in rock attack near Kiryat Arba. He was transported to Hadassah Hospital, unconscious with a severe head injury.

The number of rock and firebomb attacks in Judea and Samaria has been very high on Sunday.

9:03 PM In response to increasing tensions in the Middle East, New York police increase security on Synagogues in the city.

8:50 PM El-Al giving major discounts to Israelis overseas who receive emergency call up orders.

7:25 PM Iron Dome systems knock down missiles over Gush Dan/Tel Aviv area. Sirens send residents running to shelters.

6:20 PM: Hamas operator killed along with his family by Israeli rocket. This brings the overall death toll in Gaza since the start of Pillar of defense to 66.

6:12 PM Ben Gurion university in Be’er Sheva will remain closed tomorrow.

6:10 PM IDF has hit 50 terror infrastructure spots in the Gaza strip today.

5:39 PM: Gaza City is in partial darkness this evening. There’s no telling whether the electric power was cut by the Hamas or by Israel.

5:25 PM: Over the course of the day, the IDF has targeted over 50 terror sites throughout the Gaza Strip, including under-ground rocket launching sites and terror tunnels, inflicting severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of terror organizations operating in the Gaza Strip. Furthermore, the IDF targeted Hamas’ operational communication infrastructures in the northern Gaza Strip, which are used for issuing orders to operatives as well as the spreading of propaganda. In addition, the IDF targeted a launching site, from which a rocket was fired towards the city of Tel Aviv, as well as several Hamas-affiliated terrorist squads. (IDF)

5:20 PM: IDF artillery fire hitting the Gaza Strip

5:00 PM Air raid siren in S’dot Negev.

4:56 PM  4 rockets land in Eshkol region, no reports of injuries.

4:46 PM Once more, Israeli press talking about representatives going to Cairo to discuss a cease fire. UPDATE: Both Defense Minister Barak and Foreign Minister Liberman say there will be no talking while rockets falling.

4:44 PM Rockets fired at S’derot and Sha’ar HaNegev.

4:29 PM Preliminary reports: 4 wounded, one seriously, one moderately in the Ofakim region. UPDATE: 2 seriously wounded. Rocket hit next to car.
UPDATE: 5 wounded, 2 adults and 2 year old daughter were in a car and two passersby.

4:18 PM Sirens going off in S’dot Negev and Sha’ar HaNegev. 7 rockets fired. Most fall in open areas.

4:05 PM Channel 2 TV reports that a car near Ofakim was hit by a rocket, and there are 4 wounded; 2 moderately, 2 lightly.

4:04 PM US Ambassador to Israel, Dan Schapiro met with Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak and reviewed the new Iron Dome (5th installation) protecting Greater Tel-Aviv and promised another 300 Million Dollars — for their to be a total of 13 Iron Dome installations.  (source)

3:56 PM Reports of rocket strike in Negev area. MDA forces responding.

3:13 PM Air Raid sirens in Eshkol region
 
3:10 PM In a lightening fast operation, the IDF Homefront command fixed a number of sirens in Central Israel that were not working well over the past few days. 

3:04 PM Air Raid Sirens in Eshkol region

2:46 PM Video of Iron Dome taking out GRAD rockets less than an hour ago.



2:45 PM Two GRAD rockets taken out by Iron Dome (fired at Ashdod area

2:21 PM Direct hit on a house in Ashkelon….no injuries.

2:15 PM Reports that the last barrage of rockets towards Ashdod and area was over 15 rockets in one shot. 

2:10 PM Air Raid Sirens as another rocket barrage is headed for Ashkelon.

2:05 PM Another rocket hits Ashdod.  Forces responding to 2 locations.

2:02 PM Iron Dome working overtime to take out Grad rocket strike on Ashdod and area….

2:01 PM Another Air Raid Siren in Ashdod….GRAD rocket lands in Ashdod…forces responding.

1:44 PM Notice to Ashdod residents. IDF sappers are going to explode a fallen rocket soon. If you hear a boom, its a controlled explosion.

1:40 PM 3 rockets land in Beer Sheva. No Injuries.

1:26 PM Air Raid Sirens in Beer Sheva area. 

1:23 PM IDF dropping leaflets into Gaza: Important Message to Gaza Strip residents: Hamas is playing with fire and endangering your lives for naught.  The IDF is proceeding to the next phase. For your own safety, we ask you to adhere to our instructions and distance yourselves from Hamas operatives and infrastructure.  Sincerely, THE IDF.

1:21 PM Israeli Government meeting to decide on IDF ground incursion (Udi Segal, Channel 1 TV) 

1:14 PM Reports of a direct hit in Sederot.  Unconfirmed, as MDA and Homefront command responds.

1:04 PM Another barrage of rockets over Southern Israel for the past 15 minutes

12:26 PM IDFSPOX: Rocket fell in Ashkelon near a nursery school.

12:15 PM Siren in Ashdod.

12:08 PM Syria claims IDF killed 3 Syrian soldiers, after IDF shot back at Syrian army position that shot at them on Saturday night.

11:59 PM Ashkelon Beach

11:47 AM IDF takes out launch team that shot at Tel Aviv

11:34 AM Serious injury in Shaar Hanegev from Rocket

11:20 AM Sirens going off in S’derot

11:15 AM Two more rockets shot down over Ashdod.

11:13 AM Rocket fell a short time ago in Ashkelon causing minor damage to a building. More sirens sounding there now.

11:04 AM Sirens in Gan Yavne and Gadera. Also Nitzanim, Beni Aiyish, Chatzor, Ashdod, Iron Dome knocking down rockets.

11:01 AM Two wounded lightly after hit building courtyard in Ashkelon. Car damaged by rocket parts crashing down in Holon.

10:48 AM Warning sirens in Holon, Ashdod. Rocket lands in Ashdod, security forces on their way.

10:39 AM Air raid sirens in Rishon L’Tzion, Givatayim, Gan Raveh.

10:33 AM: Iron Dome intercepted two rockets fired at Tel Aviv.

10:32 AM: Sirens in Tel Aviv, Rishon L’Tzion, Givatayim and Ramat Gan.

10:31 AM: A volley of Rockets fired at Regional Counsil Eshkol, one lands inside a village.

10:30 AM:  Iron Dome intercepted two rockets over Ashdod.

10:29 AM:  Sirens in Ashdod and Ashkelon.

10:20 AM: Kerem Shalom crossing in the southern Gaza Strip has opened and trucks carrying medicine and food are moving into into Gaza City.

10:29 AM  Hamas: Using human shields is our policy.

10:26 AM Conflicting reports: High ranking Hamas member – Cease fire within a day or two. High ranking Israeli parliamentarian – We’re not stopping anytime soon.

10:18 AM IDF has, in principle, authorized plans for entry of ground troops into Gaza.

10:17 AM 3 rockets knocked down over Ashdod.

10:05 AM Siren in Ashdod

10:00 AM Most rockets from Northern Gaza.

A number of countries have expressed interest in buying Iron Dome systems.

Islamic Jihad #2 says, “From the first rocket to the last bullet, everything we have is from Iran.”  (Galei Tzahal)

9:56 AM Mortar land inside community near Gaza. Shrapnel damage to building. No injuries.

9:55 AM Rocket fell in Be’er Tuvia region. Open area. No injuries.

9:51 AM ALL the rockets landed in open areas from the massive barrage!

New Alert in Shaar haNegev

9:45 AM 2 rockets taken out by Iron Dome  over Ashdod.

9:42 AM MASSIVE rocket barrage on its way to southern Israel, all along Gaza region, over 40 areas listed. Iron Dome Responding

9:32 AM Eshkol Region Siren

8:38 AM: A Grad rocket hit a residential building in Ashkelon, one resident injured. A second missile hit a car in the city, and two rockets landed in open areas out of town.

8:02 AM: Two rockets fell and exploded in an open area in the Regional Council Eshkol.

7:08 AM: Overnight, IAF aircraft targeted dozens of underground rocket launchers, causing severe damage to the rocket launching capabilities of Hamas and other terror organizations.

A short while ago, two sites in the northern Gaza Strip were targeted: Saraya – a Hamas primary training base and command center – and a communications antenna used by Hamas to carry out terror activity against the State of Israel. A number of training bases owned by Hamas were also targeted throughout the Gaza Strip. Additionally, Israeli Navy soldiers targeted terror sites on the northern Gaza shoreline.

The sites that were targeted were positively identified by precise intelligence over the course of months.

6:50 AM Sunday Morning Update

Shimon Ben-Hamu (23), a resident of Tekoa was killed on Saturday night when his car was hit by a large rock thrown at his car. Ben-Hamu lost control, the car overturned, and he was killed. (HNN)

After midnight, Israel saw a noticeably visible decrease in rockets shot from Gaza. While Israel continues to hit terrorist sites, some air attacks were called off due to the presence of too many civilians above the terror target sites (human shields). We are not yet speculating as to the reasons why Hamas fired less missiles overnight.

The Palestinian appealed to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and asked him to stop the Israel attacks, saying Israel was in violation of the Geneva convention.

Gazans are reportedly terrified of an Israeli ground invasion, and many have picked up and moved to the center of Gaza.

There are unconfirmed reports that some of the journalists that Hamas took as Human Shields may have been injured in an IAF strike. This is  still unconfirmed and will be updated as soon as we know more.

Rumors continue to fly about a possible Cease-Fire. Netanyahu denies the rumor is true.

12:39 AM (Sunday) Shooting attack at IDF forces from Syria in the Golan Heights near Tel-Chazeka. No injuries to IDF forces, which returned fire.

 

Jewish Press News Briefs

Early Elections in Israel: When & Why?

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

Last night Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that he had decided to call early elections – that is, earlier than the scheduled date of October 2013. Though this was no shock as Israeli governments rarely finish their terms and there had been many reports in recent days that Netanyahu was considering early elections).

So for everyone who is trying to figure out what exactly is going on:

Date of Elections: January or February?

Netanyahu did not announce a specific date for the elections.  The Knesset returns from its summer break on October 15th. By law there must be at least 90 days between the decision to disperse the Knesset and the date of elections.

At the end of his statement Netanyahu said it is preferable to have a “three month” campaign cycle than what would in practice be a year of campaigning until October 2013. Assuming that he would seek dissolution of the Knesset at the opening of the session — October 15th — that would put the elections at around or a little after January 15th.

However, Netanyahu also said at the beginning of his address that, “In a few months, we will finish the fourth year in office of the most stable government in recent decades.” Towards the end, he also said, “And therefore, after four years, we will go to elections.” Four years means elections after February 10th of next year, as that was the date the last elections were held in 2009. That meshes with earlier reports that Netanyahu desired a February 12th election in order to close a four year cycle.

According to Yisrael HaYom, negotiations between coalition partners began yesterday regarding the date of elections and sometime between January 15 and February 5th was discussed. According to the paper, which is considered friendly to Netanyahu, “the Prime Minister prefers the earliest possible date.”

Oct. 11th UPDATE: Elections have been set for Jan. 22nd. Though the bill dispersing the Knesset and setting the date still has pass through the Knesset on Monday, October 15th.

Why Early Elections: The Budget

The primary reason for the elections is the inability of the coalition to agree on a budget, or at least a responsible budget. Here’s what Netanyahu said:

Today, I finished a round of consultations with the heads of the coalition parties and I came to the conclusion that it is not possible at this time to pass a responsible budget. We are on the threshold of an election year, and to my regret, in an election year it is difficult for parties to place the national interest ahead of the party interest. The result of this is liable to be a budgetary breach and a massive increase in the deficit, which would very quickly put us in the situation of the crumbling economies of Europe. I will not allow this to happen here.

(The full text of Netanyahu’s statement can be found at PMO.gov.il.)

Why Early Elections: Maintaining the Lead

It is also surmised that early elections will ensure that the Likud maintains its current lead against all other parties. Two recent polls have given the Likud 28 mandates (Knesset seats) while it’s closest project rival, Labor, would receive 19 or 20 seats. Kadima which currently had 28 Knesset seats to the Likud’s 27, wouldn’t even break double digits.

Early elections mean surprises such as Ehud Olmert or other high profile figures joining parties like Kadima or Yesh Atid (Yair Lapid’s new party) and changing the political dynamic are less likely. It also gives other parties less time to put their campaigns together.

Daniel Tauber

Ohio Jew Tossed Out of Sen. Brown Event for Asking about J Street Funding

Saturday, September 22nd, 2012

See an update at the end of this report.

In what originally was supposed to be a slam dunk, US Senator Sherrod Brown’s race for reelection in Ohio against the youthful Republican Josh Mandell may instead be turning into a squeaker, and Brown is none too happy about it.

Brown originally had as much as a 17 percentage point lead, but according to a report in Bloomberg, several polls last month showed the race to be deadlocked.  Mandell claims the race has become intense because Ohioans are increasingly turned off by the “ultra-liberal, hyper-partisan” Brown, while Brown claims that millions of dollars in negative ads have been run against him by “outside, undisclosed interest groups.”

One Ohioan found out just how testy this race has made Sherrod Brown. Following a talk he gave at the Dayton, Ohio Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday, September 18, Senator Brown invited questions.  There were a few tough questions put to the Senator by business owners opposed to President Obama’s healthcare legislation, and a softball question about how to contact the Senator’s office.

And then 32-year old Ohio native Joel Griffith stood up.  Griffith said, “I’m a proud Jewish American and I’m concerned that the single biggest entity funding you is J Street.  J Street has given you $60,000, and as you know, J Street is funded by an attorney for the Saudi Embassy and has also been funded by the producer of one of the most anti-Semitic films ever made …” but Griffith was not allowed to finish his question. The Senator’s first response was that Griffith’s was “clearly a political question.”

True, but the Senator is a politician who was engaging in politics.   The political question doctrine only forecloses the judicial branch from addressing a particular issue.  In fact, political questions are reserved exclusively to the legislative branch of which Senator Brown is hoping to remain a part.

But as Griffith sought to continue asking his question, and paused to ask whether it was okay if he filmed the exchange, Senator Brown cut him off and told Griffith to “talk to that man in the back of the room who is Jewish,” because that Jewish man supports Brown and “knows that I am pro-Israel.”

On his third attempt to get out his question, the frustrated Griffith began once again, saying, “What do you say to those Jewish Americans who are very concerned…”  But again, Brown cut him off.  The Senator instead told Griffith what he should do before Brown would answer him.  Senator Brown told his constituent, “You find out where the $18 million came from that is funding ads against me,” and said Griffith could then come back and ask his question next year.  The Senator then wrapped up that portion of the program.

Griffith waited patiently while the Senator remained in the room speaking informally to others who were present at the event.  Just as Griffith was once again about to ask the senator about the J Street funding, a Chamber of Commerce official approached and told him he had to leave the premises because it was a “private event.” However, the event had been publicized, Griffith had informed the Chamber that he would be attending the event, and the Chamber had confirmed his response.

The Jewish Press caught up with Griffith the day after his failed efforts to draw out the Ohio Senator on his J Street funding. Griffith is a lawyer by training but is currently an investor with Avatar Securities.

The J Street funding issue was so important to him, Griffith said, because “J Street has been trying to promote policies that are inconsistent with Israel’s security and against America’s security, and yet politicians who work with them then claim they are pro-Israel because they are siding with a Jewish organization.”

Griffith pointed out that “J Street gives more money to Senator Brown than any other single entity, including Ohio State University,” which he thought was very odd, especially considering Brown’s complaint about outside money playing an outsized role in his opponent’s war chest.

Griffith is a political conservative and is very concerned about the role of anti-American and anti-Israel efforts on Capital Hill.  Although Brown has never opposed the funding of aid to Israel, Griffith was particularly bothered by his refusal to sign a bi-partisan “Peace Principles” letter that was circulated in 2009 by AIPAC and which was signed by more than three quarters of all senate members.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ohio-jew-tossed-out-of-sen-brown-event-for-asking-about-j-street-funding/2012/09/22/

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