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January 23, 2017 / 25 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘White House’

Obama at Last Hanukkah Party: They Said I Won’t Last 1 Year, I Made It to 8 [video]

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

“I want to say how much Michelle and I appreciate the opportunities to have celebrated so many Hanukkahs with you in the White House,” President Barack Obama concluded his final Hanukkah party at the White House, and wisecracked: “You know, at the beginning of my presidency, some critics thought it would last for only a year. But – miracle of miracles –it has lasted eight years. It’s lasted eight whole years. Nes Gadol Haya Po.”

Say what you will, the man has great writers and – crucial – can deliver a line. Here’s some more:

“Today in the White House, as you will soon do in your homes, we recall Hanukkah’s many lessons: how a small group can make a big difference. That’s the story of the Maccabees’ unlikely military victory, and of great moral movements around the globe and across time. How a little bit can go a long way, like the small measure of oil that outlasted every expectation. It reminds us that even when our resources seem limited, our faith can help us make the most of what little we have. The small State of Israel and the relatively small Jewish population of this country have punched far above their weight in their contributions to the world. So the Festival of Lights is also a reminder of how Isaiah saw the Jewish people, as a light unto the nations.

“This is the season that we appreciate the many miracles, large and small, that have graced our lives throughout generations, and to recognize that the most meaningful among them is our freedom. The first chapter of the Hanukkah story was written 22 centuries ago, when rulers banned religious rituals and persecuted Jews who dared to observe their faith. Which is why today we are asked not only to light the menorah, but to proudly display it – to publicize the mitzvah. And that’s why we’ve invited all these reporters who are here. (Laughter.)

“Everybody in America can understand the spirit of this tradition. Proudly practicing our religion, whatever it might be – and defending the rights of others to do the same – that’s our common creed. That’s what families from coast to coast confirm when they place their menorah in the window – not to share the candles’ glow with just your family, but also with your community and with your neighbors.

“The story of Hanukkah, the story of the Jewish people, the story of perseverance – these are one and the same. Elie Wiesel taught us that lesson probably better than just about anybody. In one of his memories of the Holocaust, Elie watched a fellow prisoner trade his daily ration of bread for some simple materials with which to piece together a makeshift menorah. And he wrote that he couldn’t believe the sacrifices this man was making to observe the holidays. A stunned Elie asked him, ‘Hanukkah in Auschwitz?’ And the man replied, ‘Especially in Auschwitz.'”

President Obama ended his speech with the following eloquent observation: “As many of you know, the name ‘Hanukkah’ comes from the Hebrew word for ‘dedication.’ So we want to thank you again for your dedication to our country, to the historic progress that we’ve made, to the defense of religious freedom in the United States and around the world.”

And now, let’s see what he does or does not do to the Hanukkah folks at the UN Security Council…

JNi.Media

TIME Magazine Chooses Donald Trump as ‘Person of the Year’

Wednesday, December 7th, 2016

TIME magazine has named Donald J. Trump as its 2016 Person of the Year.

On its cover, the magazine subtitled the photo of the America’s new president-elect, “President of the Divided States of America.”

Trump called in his thanks to NBC’s “Today” show, where TIME editor-in-chief Nancy Gibbs revealed the magazine’s choice on Wednesday morning.

But the president-elect said the “divided” bit on the cover was snarky – his words – and pointed out, “I’m not president yet, so I didn’t do anything to divide.”

Nevertheless, “It’s a great honor,” he said. “It means a lot.”

Gibbs said the choice was “straightforward,” as she referenced Trump’s zoom to the top, from a Washington outsider and complete political novice to the Number One seat in the nation when he enters the White House on January 20, 2017.

Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was named runner-up by the magazine. Computer hackers were in third place.

The magazine tradition began in 1927, citing the person who “had the greatest influence, for better or worse, on the events of the year.”

That didn’t always mean it was the best person of the year. In 1938, the magazine chose to feature Adolf Hitler, for instance.

Fidel Castro was on the cover. So was Joseph Stalin, in 1939 and 1942.

Gibbs coyly asked the magazine’s readership, “So which is it this year, better or worse?

“The challenge for Donald Trump is how profoundly the country disagrees about the answer… Like all newly elected leaders, he has a chance to fulfill his promises, and defy expectations.”

As Gibbs reminded the readership, “truth is only as powerful as the trust in those who speak it.”

Hana Levi Julian

Greenblatt Headed Obama Admin Agency, Soros-Funded Initiative Before ADL

Sunday, November 20th, 2016

There may be more than one reason for the stance of New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) National Director Jonathan Greenblatt against former Breitbart News CEO Stephen Bannon than just his deep concern about possible anti-Semitism on behalf of the organization he now leads, according to critics.

The ADL condemned President-elect Donald Trump’s appointment of Steve Bannon as senior adviser and chief strategist in the White House last Tuesday. Greenblatt wrote in a statement that was quoted by The Washington Post, “It is a sad day when a man who presided over the premier website of the ‘alt-right’ — a loose-knit group of white nationalists and unabashed anti-Semites and racists — is slated to be a senior staff member in the ‘people’s house.’”

Greenblatt later walked back his statement, adding a qualifier that Bannon had not actually been found to have made any anti-Semitic statements “himself.”

But looking at Greenblatt’s resume, Aaron Klein of Breitbart discovered that the issue may be more one of politics rather than principle.

Greenblatt served as Director of the Impact Economy Initiative project at the Aspen Institute, which has been funded by George Soros through his Open Society Institute to the tune of a total of more than half a million dollars.

According to an article in the New Yorker quoted by Breitbart News, a ‘clandestine summit meeting’ held in August 2004 at Aspen by a group of Democrats included Soros and four other billionaires. The group all agreed to use their money to “engineer the defeat of President George W. Bush in the 2004 election.”

It was after that meeting and the defeat of John Kerry in that election that Soros founded the Democracy Alliance, or “DA.” Last week, Soros held a similar three-day meeting in Washington DC (Nov. 13-16) to strategize “resistance” against President-elect Trump in the first 100 days of his nascent administration. The closed door huddle was held at the tony Mandarin Oriental hotel under the auspices of the DA donor club founded by Soros.

Among the participants were House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Keith Ellison, a Muslim lawmaker hand-picked by Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer to become Pelosi’s successor. Soros, who only attends meetings occasionally, himself appeared at the conference to speak on Tuesday morning. The meeting was held to build plans for full-fledged warfare against the new administration, using the generous funds provided by the “DA” — the Democracy Alliance.

Greenblatt followed up his tenure with the Soros-funded Aspen Institute, with employment under the Obama administration, where he served as head of the Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. That position just preceded his joining the Anti-Defamation League.

His CV reflects business experience, and some time in the nonprofit world as well, as the founder of the “All for Good” internet platform that linked volunteers with groups needing help. Greenblatt also lectured at UCLA, teaching social entrepreneurship, according to The Forward.

But it seems his experience in dealing with anti-Semitism and the alt-right was limited to jobs at the other end of the political spectrum.

Meanwhile, despite having walked back his original full-blast condemnation of Bannon, a long article entitled “Stephen Bannon: Five Things to Know” remains on the ADL blog, castigating the president-elect’s new chief strategist.

“Bannon has embraced the alt-right, a loose network of white nationalists and anti-Semites,” the subtitle proclaims.

After a long harangue about Bannon’s alleged numerous conservative sins, the article ends with a section headed by: “We are not aware of any anti-Semitic statements from Bannon.” Even here, however, the ADL manages to end the section with a paragraph insisting that Bannon has “essentially has established himself as the chief curator for the alt right.”

This is not to say that the ADL is not serving an important function in the world. It is. Anti-Semitism is indeed, sadly, frighteningly, alive and well in the United States and around the world. The ADL monitors that phenomenon and keeps tabs on what’s happening. In fact, anti-Semitism was alive and happening long before Donald Trump came on the political scene, a fact that has been faithfully documented by the ADL. But from 2014 to 2015, it rose by one percent, from nine to ten percent of those surveyed in the United States.

The ADL’s Global 100 survey on Anti-Semitic Attitudes states that in 2015, there were an estimated 24 million individuals in the United States harboring anti-Semitic attitudes.

Approximately 9 percent of American males and 10 percent of American females, 7 percent of those ages 18-34, 11 percent of those 35-49, and 11 percent of those ages 50 and older were found to have anti-Semitic attitudes. Nine percent of Christians and 9 percent of those who were non-affiliated or atheists were also found to be harboring anti-Semitic attitudes.

To some it would appear that Greenblatt, the Soros crowd and numerous others would like to use that fact to insist that this is due to the appearance of Donald Trump and his unwillingness to spend his time scolding the alt-right, the neo-Nazis, the KKK, the white Supremacists, and all the other scum of the earth that have crawled out from beneath the rocks during this most scurrilous of campaigns in modern history.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton didn’t do much of that either, for that matter, but few noticed or mentioned that lapse, and few reprimanded her for calling Trump supporters “deplorables.” Nor was she taken to task when she declined to scold her “popular majority” after they took to the streets to protest the election results, some peacefully and others with violence, creating mayhem all around.

Incumbent Democratic President Barack Obama himself has declined to rein in the “protesters,” telling reporters overseas that he “wouldn’t advise them to be silent” because “that’s not how a democracy works.”

The ADL’s attacks on Steve Bannon are harming the ADL’s credibility, and that is a shame when it has important work to do in the fight against real anti-Semites.

Hana Levi Julian

‘Israel Looking Forward to Working With Trump Team — Bannon Included’

Friday, November 18th, 2016

Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer told media in New York City on Thursday there’s “no doubt” President-elect Donald Trump is a “true friend of Israel.”

Dermer visited the Trump transition team at Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan on Thursday, and met briefly with media on his way out.

“We have no doubt that Vice-President-elect Mike Pence is a true friend of Israel,” Dermer added, noting that Pence was one of Israel’s “greatest friends” during his decade in Congress, and “one of the most pro-Israel governors in the country.”

Dermer said Israel looks forward to “working with the Trump administration, with all of the members of the Trump administration, including Steve Bannon, and making the U.S.-Israel alliance stronger than ever.”

The reference to Bannon comes in the wake of a concerted effort by numerous media to demonize the former CEO of Breitbart News, who gave considerable website space to the alt-right and was not shy about allowing tabloid headlines that pushed the limits of propriety, including one written by a Jewish journalist that referred to a “renegade Jew.”

Bannon has been appointed by Trump to become senior adviser to the president-elect, and White House chief strategist, a move that has caused great anxiety among liberals in the United States.

Jewish journalists who have worked with Bannon are adamant, however, that he is no anti-Semite and in fact is a strong advocate for Israel. Bannon himself says he is a Zionist.

Hana Levi Julian

NY Congressman Denouncing Trump for Bannon Pick, Speaker Ryan Dismissing Public Outrage

Tuesday, November 15th, 2016

Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) of Manhattan’s West Side district, on Tuesday released a statement denouncing President Elect Donald Trump for naming former Breitbart News Executive Chairman Steve Bannon as White House Chief Strategist:

“I am appalled and disgusted that Donald Trump is doubling-down on hatred and racism in his very first action as President-elect,” Nadler wrote. “Instead of calling on the nation to end the violence, racism, and bigotry that is sweeping communities across the country, he has selected a known anti-Semitic, white nationalist, racist – Steve Bannon – to serve at the highest level of the executive branch.”

To be fair, several prominent American Jews have defended Bannon on the charge of anti-Semitism. On the other hand, he did tell Mother Jones, “We’re the platform for the alt-right,” and alt-right is what you might call Nazi-light – a racist, anti-Semitic, white power group well outside any notion of the American consensus.

Nadler is not alone, it turns out. Democrats, civil-rights groups and some Republicans are calling on Trump to change his decision regarding the Bannon appointment. However, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis) on Tuesday refused to answer questions about Bannon’s shady past (mostly a really bad marriage, a few violent outbursts and a dedication to using foul language. He also was the director of Earth-science research project Biosphere 2 in Oracle, Arizona, looking for ways to combat global warming…).

Ryan insisted “the president is going to be judged on his results,” and noted that Bannon “is a person who helped him win an incredible victory and an incredible campaign.”

Nadler, for his part, called on Trump “to immediately retract his offer to Bannon and to pledge that no one who shares those anti-Semitic, racist values has any place in his administration. Bannon has bragged about Breitbart News serving as the platform for the alt-right — a loose alliance of anti-immigrant, anti-Semitic, white nationalist provocateurs. We must not allow him to use the power of the White House as his new platform for spewing hate, racism, and white nationalism.”

“I call on Trump to appoint senior officials and members of his cabinet that look like America,” Nadler concluded. “In a sign of national unity, and reflecting the very close nature of the election – including the fact that he lost the popular vote – he needs to appoint Democrats and Republicans to his administration, men and women, people of all races, ethnicities, and religious backgrounds, gay and straight, and including those with disabilities. Whoever he appoints to serve in a position of leadership in our country must serve all of the people and must denounce the type of racism, white nationalism, and bigotry that, unfortunately, Steve Bannon represents to millions of Americans.”

David Israel

BREAKING: Trump Names Reince Priebus as Chief of Staff

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump has named GOP national chairman Reince Priebus to become his chief of staff, according to a report by the New York Times.

A separate insider source says that Stephen K. Bannon, who acted as head of the presidential campaign in its final months, is to become senior counselor to the president in a position similar to that currently filled by Valerie Jarrett in the Obama White House. Bannon is the CEO of Breitbart News.

The choice of Mr. Priebus is one that enables the new president to enter a world with which he has almost no familiarity, a point he spent much of his campaign emphasizing; it also allows him to retain some distance and yet provides him with a “liaison” who is superbly familiar with those who are most at home there.

Having Mr. Bannon close at hand also affords the president-elect the advantage of a fierce intellect without having to sacrifice the hugely necessary political handshake with both houses of Congress, a working relationship that is an absolute “must” if Mr. Trump is to move his agenda forward more than an inch at a time.

Hana Levi Julian

Bennett, Netanyahu, Clash over Amona, Regulations Act

Sunday, November 13th, 2016

Sunday’s cabinet meeting witnessed an escalation of the conflict between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) and Education Minister and Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett, over the fate of a Jewish settlement named Amona in Samaria. The clock is ticking on the demolition of Amona and the evacuation of between 40 and 50 families, as decreed by the Supreme Court — no later than December 25, 2016. Bennett proposed the cabinet debate the proposed Arrangements Act, which compels Arab claimants to accept market value compensation for their land. Netanyahu attacked the idea, calling it “childish and irresponsible,” suggesting it might earn a moment’s relief, while his AG is trying to get a seven-month postponement from the court.

A whopping 25 out of Netanyahu’s 30 Knesset Members have signed a commitment to pass the Arrangements Act, which would force a war between the government and the high court. In 2014, the high court struck down a lower court’s judgement awarding $85,700 to 6 (anonymous) Arab plaintiffs who claimed they had been affected by the Amona settlement on their land.

Things went wild at the meeting when Minister Miri Regev (Likud) stated that “the Prime Minister has never said that he opposes the Arrangements Act.” Netanyahu turned to her and said, “I don’t need to be defended from the spins, both of politicians and the media.” At which point Regev continued, saying “it’s a shame Habayit Hayehudi are making it look as if only they support the arrangements and the Likud doesn’t.” So Bennett confronted the PM, asking if he really did support the proposed bill, and Regev exclaimed, “Of course he supports the Arrangements Act.” So Netanyahu turned on her, saying, “I don’t need your defense, Miri, we won’t waste our time on bloggers here.” And Bennett pressed in response, “Excellent, let’s vote on the bill,” so Netanyahu called him childish.

Habayit Hayehudi has been adamant on their plan to introduce the bill for approval by the Ministerial Legislative Committee, chaired by their own Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, despite vociferous objections from AG Avichai Mandelblit. Netanyahu declared that introducing the bill now would harm his own petition that the Supreme Court postpone by seven months its decree against Amona.

Last week, Coalition Chairman David Bitan (Likud) was quoted as saying “there’s plenty of time to pass the Arrangements Act should the Supreme Court reject the state’s petition to postpone the evacuation.”

Bennett, who last week declared that Trump’s election meant the end of the Palestinian State, urged the Netanyahu government to take advantage of the change in Washington to push pro-settlement legislation. “It’s time to stop treating as second class citizens the tens of thousands of residents in Judea and Samaria who serve in the Army Reserves and pay taxes,” Bennett declared.

Habayit Hayehudi MKs Bezalel Smotrich and Shuli Mualem, who authored the Regulations Act, sent Netanyahu a letter urging him to “act in the window of opportunity that was created” and pass the bill. “The election results in the US have ended a complex relationship with the current administration and [made possible] the creation of a different relationship with the new administration,” the two MKs wrote, suggesting that “a combination of a new spirit in the White House and the fact that the US is in a period of transition in government have created a historic opportunity to confirm the Jewish settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria.”

JNi.Media

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/bennett-netanyahu-clash-over-amona-regulations-act/2016/11/13/

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