Steve Greenberg is a political cartoonist. This week, he chose to lampoon the Tea Party with an editorial entitled "Tea-Hadist," and we, The Jewish Journal, chose to print it.
The purpose of political cartoons is to comment on both deep and topical political and social issues via satire. They almost always offend someone. Political correctness has about as much place in an editorial cartoons as a bacon-cheeseburger has in a kosher market.
This is not simply my opinion, but that of our publisher, Rob Eshman, as well:
"Greenberg makes his point via a medium that doesn't reward subtlety.
"We love Greenberg because over the years his sharpest, angriest cartoons go after extremists of all stripes, those who would sacrifice others for their own beliefs. You'll find he reserves a special venom for radical Islamists.
"At the same time, we are especially sensitive to the impression many have that the cartoon somehow trivializes the horrific, real suffering wrought by Islamic terrorists. That is clearly not Greenberg's intention-- and I offer my apology to anyone who sees the cartoon exclusively in that light. Our lead op-ed in the newspaper that same week was on Daniel Lewin, who lost his life in the 9/11 attacks. (http://www.jewishjournal.com/opinion/article/the_legacy_of_9_11_hero_danny_lewin).
"The Jewish Journal, meanwhile, is committed to presenting a multiplicity of thoughtful voices on issues that matter to all Americans. We are guided not by what are perceived as narrow 'Jewish' interests, but by the larger Jewish value of vigorous debate leading to mutual understanding. Satire is part of that debate.
On Friday, October 11, the Los Angeles Jewish Journal, which is handed out free to virtually every synagogue in the city of Los Angeles and which has a circulation of 50,000 copies and 150,000 weekly readers, ran a cartoon by Steve Greenberg, who does editorial cartoons for the paper each week. Greenberg’s cartoon, labeled “Greenberg’s View,” depicted a suicide bomber with a Republican button and a Tea Party tri-corner hat, a suicide vest around his waist, a detonator in his hand. “Of course I don’t feel any regrets about the cost everyone will pay for my beliefs! After all, there are 72 virginsawaiting me!” The drawing was titled, “THE TEA-HADIST.”
The Journal has both readers and advertisers acutely attuned to the needs of victims of Islamist terror. For the Journal to run such a cartoon comparing Tea Partiers, who simply want less government spending, to Islamist terrorists who murder babies in pizza parlors, is despicable.
You know what is despicable, Ben? A small cadre of right-wing extremists in Congress who are threatening to put this nation into default because they do not like the results of the 2012 election. Do you know what can happen in a default? The U.S. Treasury will not be able to pay debts that it already owes: this includes Social Security and Medicare and veterans' benefits. You know, those veterans you care so much about, because they can't visit their war memorials?
The U.S. defaulting on its debt will have global repercussions. The national debt will grow even larger as interest rates skyrocket. Families will lose their investments and their life savings. International corporations, which employ millions, will crumble as consumer confidence fails. Unemployment will mushroom in addition to the 800,000 "non essential" federal employees whose unpaid leave you and your cohorts cheered. You think the 2008 financial meltdown was bad? Stick around and see what happens in a default.
And you are angry because JJ compared this to a suicide bomber who blew up a pizza parlor?
Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli II (R) hosted a “Constitution Day” rally with right-wing shock jock Mark Levin on Tuesday, in support of his campaign to be Virginia’s next governor. But his campaign struggled to respond when a prominent Republican district chairman kicked off the rally with an anti-Semitic joke.
John Whitbeck, the chairman of Virginia’s 10th Congressional District Republican Committee, started the event by noting that he is a Catholic and that those in his faith recently celebrated the new Pope. He told a lengthy joke about a tradition in which the “head of the Jewish faith goes to the Vatican and brings a ceremonial piece of paper” to the new Pontiff:
WHITBECK: This time around, the Pope says, “I gotta find out what’s on this piece of paper.” So he actually takes it from the head of the Jewish faith, he opens it, he looks at, he closes it, he grimaces. And his Jewish counterpart says, “What what is?” And he says, “Well, that was the bill from the Last Supper.” So, on that note, we’re waiting for Ken Cuccinelli and he’s on his way.
Aaron Osmond, fighting for the right to remain ignorant!
Deseret News reports:
SALT LAKE CITY — Compulsory education laws have resulted in parents disengaging themselves from the responsibility to oversee the education of their children and have caused schools to falter under the burden of being all things to all people.
Those points are among the arguments made by Sen. Aaron Osmond, R-South Jordan, in an article posted Friday on the blog of the Utah State Senate, in which Osmond called for the end of compulsory education in the state.
"Some parents act as if the responsibility to educate, and even care for their child, is primarily the responsibility of the public school system," Osmond wrote. "As a result, our teachers and schools have been forced to become surrogate parents, expected to do everything from behavioral counseling, to providing adequate nutrition, to teaching sex education, as well as ensuring full college and career readiness."
Osmond wrote further that in the current state of public education, teachers do not receive meaningful support from parents, while at the same time parents become frustrated that schools are not able to meet the individual needs of their children. Osmond told the Deseret News that there is a need to shift the public mindset to viewing learning as an opportunity as opposed to an obligation, while also reinforcing the idea of liberty and choice.
"Let’s let them choose it, let’s not force them to do it," he said. "I think that’s when you start seeing the shift."
White supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-government extremists and conspiracy theorists are among speakers scheduled to appear at “Freedompalooza 2013,” organized by Paul Topete, lead singer of the band Pokerface and an anti-Semite and anti-government extremist. It is the third time Topete has organized such an event in Pennsylvania, but he allegedly has plans to organize future events in other regions of the country.
Freedompalooza will take place from July 4–6, 2013, in Bucks County in eastern Pennsylvania. Although a local restaurant is providing the property and selling food at the event, the primary sponsor (and promoter) of the event is theAmerican Free Press, the anti-Semitic and conspiracy-oriented newspaper published by long-time white supremacist Willis Carto.
Topete has lined up a long list of bands and speakers, many of the latter coming from extremist and fringe movements and causes. One theme that unites many speakers is virulent anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sentiment. Two of the more prominent speakers, for example, are former members of Congress: Cynthia McKinneyand James Traficant. McKinney is a long-time anti-Israel activist who has supported anti-Semitic groups such as the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party, while Traficant, since his release from prison on federal racketeering and bribery convictions, has joined theAmerican Free Press, in whose pages he has expressed his own anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views. Another scheduled speaker is Jim Condit, Jr., who several times ran for Congress in Ohio, taking advantage of his candidate status to obtain a platform for expressing his anti-Semitic views in radio advertisements.
Other speakers reportedly scheduled to attend include Merlin Miller, the 2012 presidential candidate of the white supremacist American Freedom Party, several American Free Press writers, and Cynthia Steele, the wife of white supremacist attorney Edgar Steele (currently serving a 50-year sentence for conspiracy to murder Cynthia, a charge she claims is false).
Freedompalooza will also host a variety of anti-government extremist speakers, including representatives from several militia groups, a representative from the anti-government and conspiratorial Oath Keepers, and the Appleseed Project, a marksmanship program that warns attendees that they may have to (literally) fight the government to maintain their liberty.
I am sure that you are familiar with all the anti-Semitic myths and libels that have been going around for centuries, and the excuses that anti-Semites make for themselves.
“The Talmud says that Jews are commanded to hate Goyim!” “Circumcision is cruelty to little babies!” “Jews make you pay a Kosher Tax on food!” “Jewish ritual slaughter is cruelty to animals!” “Mikvah is degrading to women!” “A Jew was convicted of child molesting, so all Jews must be child molesters!” “I don’t hate all Jews but those Ultra-Orthodox sure are scary!” “We must ban those rabbinical courts that judge according to Halachah!”
You have heard them all.
You are probably also aware that some of the people who believe in these myths are active in movements to ban brit milah [circumcision] and shechitah [kosher slaughter], to prevent Jews from constructing eruvin [Sabbath boundaries] and have joined with neo-Nazis and Holocaust deniers. If they are not marginalized in society, they can do a lot of damage to our community.
Would you invite such a person into your shul, to address your congregation? Or would you say they can enjoy their right to free speech, somewhere far away from you?
Yet you invited Pamela Geller to speak at your shul, after she was turned away from another synagogue who realized that her message is identical to the myths and libels that I have listed above, yet substituting “Koran” for “Talmud,” “Halal” for “kosher” and “Sharia” for “Halachah.” Her accusations against Muslims are just as false and offensive as the same accusations that are made against us. She may have a right to free speech according to the law of the land, but that does not mean any right to any venue.
I am deeply disappointed as an Orthodox Jew, that you have offered a platform to someone who spreads hate speech and is affiliated with neo-Nazis.
We should not stand for the same hatred and intolerance towards others that we have endured for so many long centuries.
Bogus quote attributed to Thomas Jefferson, attributed here to LOLCat.
Various quotations, attributed to famous people, are frequently cited on The Internet in support of this or that popular cause. This in itself is a logical fallacy, the "Appeal to Authority." The argument is, "This famous person supports our cause! So how can you not support our cause? Do you know more than this famous person?" The argument fails if the famous person being quoted is not an acknowledged authority on the subject, or if there is disagreement among authorities, or if the famous person's quotation is taken out of context. The argument certainly fails is the famous person never even said what is attributed to him.
Here is a sample of some of the bogus quotations that are being circulated, mostly on Twitter and Facebook, attributed to various of the United States "founding fathers" on the subject of gun control.
1. "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not." Attributed to Thomas Jefferson (spoofed above in LOLCat.)
Earliest known appearance in print: No appearances in print found.
Earliest known appearance in print, attributed to Thomas Jefferson: See above.
Other attributions: None known.
Status: We have not found any evidence that Thomas Jefferson said or wrote, "Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not."
The pro-gun website SAF.org sourly has this to say about the fake Jefferson quotes: "Thomas Jefferson has many confirmed quotes on our website. Why anyone felt it necessary to make up a quote is ludicrous. Maybe an anti-gunner did it to discredit all the real quotes."
2. "A free people ought not only be armed and disciplined, but they should have sufficient arms and ammunition to maintain a status of independence from any who might attempt to abuse them, which would include their own government."--George Washington.
This is the Zombie Fake Quote that can't be killed! What makes it so pernicious is that Washington did say something very similar, but the Fake Quote has been manipulated in order to give it a meaning that is quite different from the original context. Here is the authentic Washington quote:
"A free people ought not only to be armed, but disciplined; to which end a uniform and well-digested plan is requisite; and their safety and interest require that they should promote such manufactories as tend to render them independent of others for essential, particularly military, supplies."
The original quotation shows that Washington clearly intended a country to have industrial independence. The bogus, manipulated quotation attempts to insinuate that people need to have weapons in order to resist their own government, a sentiment that Washington clearly did not share when he forcibly put down the Whisky Rebellion and Shay's Rebellion.
3. "Firearms stand next in importance to the Constitution itself. They are the American people's liberty teeth and keystone under independence. The church, the plow, the prairie wagon, and citizen's firearms are indelibly related. From the hour the Pilgrims landed, to the present day, events, occurrences, and tendencies prove that to insure peace, security and happiness, the rifle and the pistol are equally indispensable." --another bogus George Washington quote.
Guncite.com, a pro-2nd Amendment website, warned its supporters to avoid using this fake quote. Of course nobody listens to them, this bogus quotation is all over the Internet.
This quotation, sometimes called the "liberty teeth" quote, appears nowhere in Washington's papers or speeches, and contains several historical anachronisms: the reference to "prairie wagon" in an America which had yet to even begin settling the Great Plains (which were owned by France at the time), the reference to "the Pilgrims" which implies a modern historical perspective, and particularly the attempt by "Washington" to defend the utility of firearms (by use of statistics!) to an audience which would have used firearms in their daily lives to obtain food, defend against hostile Indians, and which had only recently won a war for independence.
The "99 99/100 percent" is also an odd phrase for 18th century America, which tended not to use fractional percentages. It's clear that "Washington" is addressing "gun control" arguments which wouldn't exist for another couple of centuries, not to mention doing so in a style that is uncharacteristic of the period, and uncharacteristic of Washington's addresses to Congress, both of which exhibited a high degree of formality.
4. "1935 will go down in History! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead to the future!"--Attributed to Adolf Hitler IM"S.
This passage sometimes features different punctuation and slight wording changes including a beginning of, ‘For the first time in history, a....’ Various citations include: Adolf Hitler, April 15, 1935, in address to the Reichstag; Adolf Hitler 1935 'Berlin Daily' (Loose English Translation) April 15th, 1935 Page 3 Article 2 by Einleitung Von Eberhard Beckmann -"Abschied vom Hessenland!". "Adolf" is sometimes misspelled as ‘Adolph’ on the Internet.
While the above 'quote' makes a nice T-shirt, there are numerous problems with this alleged statement. (1) It violates the rule of not beginning a sentence with a number. (2) It isn’t phrased in Hitler’s style. (3) Major changes to the German gun laws occurred in 1928 and 1931 (under the Weimar Republic) and in 1938 (under the Nazi’s). No significant changes happened in the gun registration laws in 1935. Furthermore, the changes in 1928 and 1931 were designed to disarm the Nazis and Communists and therefore it is doubtful that Hitler would trumpet the success of any law aimed at his goon squads.
Until then, please click here for some proven Nazi Quotes. (Coming soon) [Link never provided!--VB]
5. "It's not the people who vote that count, it's the people who count the vote!"--attributed to Josef Stalin.
This one is obviously bogus for a number of reasons. First, Stalin did not speak English, and would not have made a pun in English, but which makes no sense in Russian. Second, votes were not counted in Stalin's Soviet Union. All votes were for the Party, Stalin always received 100% of the vote.
6. "You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong. You cannot help small men by tearing down big men. You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot lift the wage-earner by pulling down the wage-payer. You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income. You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred. You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money. You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence. You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."--attributed to Abraham Lincoln. Frequently quoted by those who would deny government benefits such as food stamps to poor people.
These silly little aphorisms were actually composed by William John Henry Boetcker, some dude that nobody ever heard of. He seems to have been a 19th-Century Bryan J. Fischer. The first person to mistakenly attribute this collection to Lincoln was none other than everybody's affable granddaddy Ronald Reagan. Snopes has the whole story.
How can you tell if a quote attributed to a famous person is fake?
Generally speaking the rule to identifying Fake Quotes is:
1. If it's on The Internet it is probably fake. (however real quotes have occasionally, although rarely, been found on The Internet)
2. If it's in a book, it is probably authentic. However fake quotes have also appeared in print before there was The Internet.
If you come across any quotes that you think might be bogus, please share them!
WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Jacob Lew to be Treasury secretary, affirming President Barack Obama’s choice of a budget expert at a time when Congress and the White House are at odds over sharp government spending cuts.
The Senate voted 71-26 to support the nomination.
Lew, 57, had most recently served as Obama’s chief of staff. He succeeds Timothy Geithner, who completed a tumultuous four-year term in which he helped lead the administration’s response to the financial crisis and recession.
He takes over just before automatic spending cuts are set to take effect. He’s likely to take part in any negotiations to reverse the cuts, and also in key budget talks next month to continue funding the government.
Lew began his government service in the 1980s as an aide to House Speaker Tip O’Neill. He brings nearly three decades of government service to the job, including two stints as White House budget director.
“Mr. Lew is well-qualified to be the nation’s next Treasury secretary,” said Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus of Montana. “He has demonstrated time and again that he has the knowledge and expertise” to deal with the country’s budget problems.
But Republican Sen. Jeff Session of Alabama, who opposed the nomination, said Lew is the architect of the Obama’s administration’s budget. Sessions said that budget doesn’t reduce the deficit enough.
During his confirmation hearing, Lew signaled no major economic policy changes. He advocated a balanced approach to reducing the long-term budget deficit through spending cuts and additional tax revenue.
Barack Obama will receive one of Israel's most prestigious honours during his upcoming visit to the Middle East. On Monday, the office of the Israeli president, Shimon Peres, announced that Obama will be given the presidential medal of distinction in March.
A statement said that the honour recognised Obama's "unique and significant contribution to strengthening the State of Israel and the security of its citizens".
Obama's political opponents have complained constantly that he has attempted to distance the US from its traditional support of Israel. In the lead up to the presidential election last year the Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, accused Obama of "repeated efforts" to "throw Israel under the bus". Obama's pick for defence secretary has also been criticised, due to comments allegedly made by Chuck Hagel regarding the power of the pro-Israeli lobby in Washington.
Obama's White House has always maintained its support for Israel, but the president has had a tense relationship with the Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, particularly regarding West Bank settlements and the lack of a peace process with the Palestinians.
Peres and the committee behind the award noted Obama's overall friendship and backing of the Iron Dome missile defence system. Obama's visit to Israel will be his first as president.
Dov Lipman's introduction to the conundrum of the ultra-Orthodox in modern Israel began more than two decades ago, when he was a 19-year-old American student in a Jerusalem yeshiva. It was during the gulf war, with Scud missiles threatening Tel Aviv, yet the prayer for Israeli soldiers that is commonly said daily in synagogues worldwide was not recited at the school.
"I couldn't understand any ideology that justified living here and not praying for the soldiers who are risking their lives for us to be here," said Mr. Lipman, who grew up in Maryland. But when he questioned the yeshiva rabbis about it, he said "they had no answer" beyond "it's complicated - it's politics."
Now, Mr. Lipman is playing a critical role in trying to unravel those complicated politics and integrate the insular ultra-Orthodox into the broader society. They have long lived a world apart: they attend separate schools with a curriculum short on math, science and English; rarely serve in the military; and have large families living on welfare because men study Torah rather than work. He was among the 19 people elected to the Israeli Parliament last month from the new Yesh Atid Party, whose primary platform is to "equalize the burden" between the ultra-Orthodox, known here as Haredim, and the rest of society.
But unlike the party's secular leader - and the vast majority of its voters - Mr. Lipman, an ordained rabbi, has an ultra-Orthodox background and has tried to position himself as a constructive critic from within.
"I share the same value system," Rabbi Lipman said, citing the importance of studying Torah, the "fears about societal influence" and the desire to limit interaction between men and women. "The Haredim have done themselves a disservice by saying it's us against them and we will not be part of Israeli society."
Sworn in on Tuesday as one of 48 first-time lawmakers - the most since the earliest days of Israeli independence - Rabbi Lipman, 41, is the first American-born member of Parliament since Rabbi Meir Kehane was elected in 1984. The new 120-seat body also has more Orthodox members (39 of them) than ever and more women (27), including the first born in Ethiopia, and the youngest member ever elected, Stav Shaffir, who is 27 and was a leader of the 2011 social protest movement.
Rabbi Lipman, an educator and author of three books, is also the first legislator from Beit Shemesh, a city of 80,000 people halfway between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv that became an international symbol of the Haredi conflict when a group of men spit at an 8-year-old girl on her way to school in late 2011 because they considered even her modest dress inappropriate. Rabbi Lipman's activism after that episode and in other Beit Shemesh controversies paved the way for his political future, but also created many critics close to home.
He is beloved by many of the modern Orthodox in Beit Shemesh, but several Haredi leaders here questioned his legitimacy as a spokesman for their community, pointing out that the Yesh Atid Party received 1,273 of the city's 29,593 votes. They also noted that Rabbi Lipman does not pray in a Haredi synagogue or send his children to Haredi schools, and said he did not understand the "nuances" of Haredi culture. Some have called him a "rabbi of Purim," a holiday in which children don costumes.
"He has created a kind of Haredi that allows him to don the black kippa, wear the suit of a yeshiva student, while being part of a party with values that are opposite of the values of the Haredi sector," said Moshe Abutbul, the ultra-Orthodox mayor of Beit Shemesh. "It is as though I would put on a white robe and call myself a doctor."
President Obama plans to nominate White House Chief of Staff Jack Lew as his next Treasury secretary, choosing a trusted adviser with deep experience in the nation’s budget challenges and in the legislative warfare that will test Obama’s second term, according to people familiar with the matter.
The selection of Lew, 57, is an acknowledgment that at least the next several months will involve a sustained conflict with congressional Republicans over the nation’s finances. The government is likely to face a deadline to raise the federal debt ceiling no later than March 1 — as well as a series of deep and automatic spending cuts set to begin around the same time.
Lew’s appointment signals continuity between Obama’s first and second term and suggests that the president would not be taking a significantly different approach to governing. Lew has served as Obama’s budget director and the No. 2 State Department official. He also was budget director during the Clinton administration and has been negotiating compromises over taxes and spending since the 1980s, when he was a top aide to then-House Speaker Thomas P. “Tip” O’Neill Jr. (D-Mass.).
Lew’s appointment would finally allow Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner to depart — something he has wanted to do for over a year. Geithner, the president’s longest-serving economic adviser, stayed on after a personal plea from the president.
The nomination is subject to confirmation by the Senate, where many Republicans do not like his negotiating style. But there has been no groundswell of opposition in recent weeks, since Lew was reported to be a candidate to lead the Treasury Department.
The White House on Wednesday did not confirm Lew’s nomination but did praise him.
“Jack Lew has been and continues to be an extremely valuable adviser to the president,” press secretary Jay Carney said. “Over the past quarter of a century, Jack Lew has been integral part some of most important budget and fiscal agreements in Washington.”
While Geithner came into office amid a financial crisis and recession, Lew’s challenges would be of a different type. He would start off as part of a team trying to lift the $16.4 trillion debt ceiling. He would also be trying to raise taxes to shrink budget deficits and avoid deep spending cuts that could crimp the nation’s economic growth or threaten the social safety net.
Now what are all the people going to say who screamed that President Obama is an "Anti-Semite" because he named Chuck Hagel ("an Anti-Semite!" because he once said something about AIPAC or something) for Defense.
What could they say: "This proves he's an Anti-Semite because only an Anti-Semite thinks that Jews are good with money!1!")
When was the last time an Anti-Semite appointed a Jew as Treasurer? Oh yeah, Pharoah.
As election results have been confirmed and statistics from national polls emerge, showing that American Jews overwhelmingly supported Barack Obama - with 70% of the Jewish population voting for Obama - questions emerge about the the true sentiments of this population towards Israel and the disconnect between Jews in Israel and those abroad.
David Bedein, founder of the Israel Resource News Agency and Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research finds the disconnect between the religious in Israel and the U.S. particularly startling, saying many Republican supporters were shocked by the refusal of Orthodox leaders to throw their support behind the pro-Israel Mitt Romney.
“Those who think that orthodox Jews supported Romney and secular Jews supported Obama are wrong. This is simply not true,” said Bedein. “In New Jersey they established the organization ‘Rabbis for Romney,’ and they turned to all sectors of Orthodox Jews, and there are a million Jews like that, but their rabbis refused to join.”
In his opinion, Jewish support for Obama indicates a grave detachment from the land of Israel. “We approached the Young Israel organization, which represents hundreds of synagogues, we approached the Council of Rabbis in the U.S., the Chabad organization, Agudath Israel, all of them refused - they told us they wanted to protect their ties to the current government. We need to understand that the difference (in votes for) Obama and Romney was very slight in the key states, and if those rabbis and leaders would have done something, if they would have emphasized how dangerous Obama is for Israel, it would have changed the entire picture and Romney would have been put in the White House.”
The outcome of the elections will be determined by the voters' decision as to which of the two candidates is good for America. But if any of them are vacillating in their vote over whether Obama has been a good president for Israel, the answer is yes.
Tens of millions of Americans will go to the polls on Tuesday to vote for a president and vice president. It will be an important day for American democracy. This will be the Americans' day, but the outcome of the elections will impact the entire world.
For Americans in general, and American Jews in particular, the United States' attitude toward Israel is just one of many factors to consider - among internal and foreign affairs, the economy and defense - when casting their vote.
But for various reasons, Republican candidate Mitt Romney has made incumbent President Barack Obama's policy toward Israel a hot-button issue in the campaign. One of those reasons is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's open support for Romney, who like him enjoys the patronage of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Obama has been accused of taking a cool and hostile stance in relation to Israel on several issues, from Iran to Palestine. Romney promises a warmer, more supportive approach./p>
Indeed, one would hope the realization of Romney's wishes would further advance Washington-Jerusalem relations, in the tradition of all recent U.S. administrations, both Republican and Democrat. But a deeper examination of the core issues comprising the two countries' relations - devoid of political and personal interests - reveals no grounds for portraying Obama in a negative light.
Obama's predecessor, George W. Bush, assisted Israel's defense by toppling Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq and deterring, albeit for a limited period, Iran's accelerated progress toward attaining nuclear weapons. Bush contributed to Israel's peace, even if partially, by being the first president to adopt the two-state solution. His support even enabled the evacuation of settlements from the Gaza Strip and northern West Bank.
Obama continued this two-way track vis-a-vis Iran and the issue of Palestinian statehood. Under his pressure, Israel suspended for the first time - for a while - construction in the settlements. Relations between the two countries' armed forces have never been so close. Obama's challenge in his second term, if he wins the elections, is to lead the region to a stable arrangement of peace and security.
The outcome of the elections will be determined by the voters' decision as to which of the two candidates is good for America. But if any of them are vacillating in their vote over whether Obama has been a good president for Israel, the answer is yes.
Babushka does not normally agree with many of the editorials published by Haaretz but in this case they are right on target, unlike many other Jewish and Israeli publications who have attacked the incumbent President for dubious reasons that have no basis in fact.
This Troll owns the Bridge and wants no competition
Proposal 6 must be defeated at the polls to stop a billionaire’s attempt to enshrine his monopoly into the Michigan Constitution.
Billed as the democratic-sounding “People Should Decide” proposal, supporters say a yes vote will give you a voice in whether a new Detroit-Windsor bridge is built with public dollars.
We wonder if a ballot measure has ever been so cynically named, because Proposal 6 isn’t about democracy at all. It’s about protecting the monopoly of Matty Moroun, owner of the Ambassador Bridge, at the expense of Michigan’s economic interests.
Yes, advertisements about the supposed costs to Michigan taxpayers of the New International Trade Crossing have been compelling. They have also, according to the non-partisan Michigan Truth Squad, ranged from flagrant misrepresentations to all-out lies.
So let’s put aside the images of teachers and other ordinary folk claiming to be concerned about “real people” and look at three crucial reasons this proposal should be defeated.
The proposed bridge is critical to Michigan’s economic future
The 83-year-old Ambassador Bridge carries 25 percent of all U.S.-Canada trade, but its location is inefficient for commercial vehicles. A new bridge that connects directly with Ontario’s 401 highway would be good for business and is vital to our economic future.
The Troll has been spamming the airwaves with attack ads and postal mail. DO NOT BE TRICKED by his deceptive methods. The only one to benefit by the passing of Proposal 6 is The Troll, everyone else will suffer.
The new video, “Call Your Zeyde!” combines smart politics and humor with this entertaining musical spoof featuring Michelle Citrin, the indie singer who starred in the YouTube hits, “20 Things to do with Matzah” and “Rosh Hashanah Girl.”
However, there is also a genre of artwork that is specifically dedicated to either venerating or demonizing President Barack Obama. The most famous image of this sort is the iconic Shepard Fairey poster:
In addition to this poster, which is already a collector's item, other artists have devoted their work to portraying President Barack Obama. Lucas Ketner has created this adoring portrait of the President, bare-chested in a meadow, with a unicorn, farting roses:
Then there is Ron Keas, who has created ordinary Presidential portraits, like this one of Obama in the clouds:
If you're not creeped out enough, Jon McNaughton will do it for you. McNaughton is a far-right extremist conspiracy Birther kook who has created apocalyptic hellscapes with President Obama officiating as Satan, kind of like a latter-day Hieronymous Bosch, but without the fun and the nudity. Here is "Obamanation":
Obama and his liberal friends were determined that all Americans switch
to the CFL, eco-bulbs by 2014. The cost was far more than the standard
bulbs and it was not only ugly, but gives out less light. Thank heavens
Congress repealed another great liberal idea to control American’s
lives. OMG OMG OMG !!!1!ty
The Republican Jewish Coalition took a close look at the Obama campaign’s newly released list of 600+ rabbinic supporters and is calling on the campaign to sever its ties to one of them.
The RJC’s target is Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb, a California Renewal rabbi who has endorsed the Palestinian BDS call and is a member of the advisory board and rabbinical council of the far-left Jewish Voice for Peace.
She was the only rabbi to speak at a controversial 2008 interfaith dialogue dinner in New York hosted for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, where she discussed the Holocaust and expressed support for Palestinian rights and for Israeli-Palestinian reconciliation.
The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) today expressed profound outrage at the inclusion of radical rabbi Lynn Gottlieb on the official list released by the Obama campaign of “Rabbis for Obama.” Rabbi Gottlieb has a long and troubling history, which includes dining with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, being the first American rabbi to visit Tehran, and serving in an organization, Jewish Voice for Peace, which the Anti-Defamation League has called one of the “top ten anti-Israel groups.”
By promoting and showcasing Rabbi Gottlieb as one of Pres. Obama’s supporters, the Obama campaign lends legitimacy and credibility to a rabbi whose extreme views are well beyond the mainstream of the Jewish community and the mainstream of America.
According to RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks, there can be only two explanations for her inclusion in the list: 1) the Obama campaign failed to properly vet the rabbis on their official list, or 2) they did properly vet the rabbis and chose to ignore Rabbi Gottlieb’s radical views.
Either way, this speaks volumes about the Obama campaign’s judgment and the RJC calls on the Obama campaign to immediately remove her from any formal or official involvement in the campaign.
The RJC, before shrieking with outrageous outrage, should remember that they also selected as their "Jewish outreach director" a Rabbi with ties to the anti-Zionist Neturei Karta:
The Jewish outreach official for New York Republicans quit Wednesday, due to revelations of his ties to an anti-Zionist haredi group.
Yossi Gestetner, named director of Jewish Outreach for the New York Republican State Committee on June 12, quit Wednesday after The Jewish Channel published a detailed account of his PR work on behalf of True Torah Jews Against Zionism.
The investigative report showed Gestetner also advocated other controversial positions, including the custom among the haredi Orthodox to consult with a rabbinical authority before reporting child molestation to the police. Haaretz.
In the case of the "Rabbis for Obama" it is just a listing of a bunch of names on a website, no indication that any of these people are official spokespersons for the Obama campaign.
In the case of the Republicans choosing a Neturei Karta sympathizer as official liason to the Jewish community, that is much more of an embarrassment.
"I am looking forward to accomplishing for the 21st District that which the incumbent has not done for over ten years. I am excited by the prospect of employing new programs in our district to make a real difference in the lives of the people who matter most, the individuals of our community," said Ms. Meyer, formerly a judicial intern for Hon. Judge Rivera in the Kings County Supreme Court. Mindy's campaign runs across the board from supporting school choice, stopping stop and frisk, advocating for victims of domestic violence, specifically woman as well as implementing programs to help with employment and education.
Mindy is eager to jump start her campaign and utilize the resources that will enable her to combat the most pressing issues facing our community. "By identifying existing programs and assessing our community needs," says Mindy, "we will shape our own plan for a better future."
Mindy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Touro College. She is currently working for a real-estate attorney in Flatbush and attending the Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in Central Islip, New York in the evening. Mindy intends to use her law degree as a segue into the political arena.
A lifelong Flatbush resident, Mindy is the first young woman in the history of New York to run for New York State Senate. The Orthodox Jewish woman, aged 22, is the candidate for both the Republican and Conservative party lines.
Mindy is cute and all pink and stuff, but a web designer she is not. Even if you're running for public office and you're on a shoestring budget, a Wordpress or a Typepad blog is free, and your cousin or your cat can manage it while you're out campaigning and stuff.
The problem is that people do not vote for cuteness and pinkness, and people who will vote for frumness are more likely to prefer a 54-year-old man to a 22-year-old cute girl. I mean, Babushka would not vote for this young lady, but that's because Babushka is a Democrat.
And please FIX THE WEBSITE! This isn't 1998. Oh G-D my eyes.
Mitt Romney's presidential campaign has been forced to scrap a $50,000 per plate fundraiser scheduled to take place during his visit to Jerusalem because the date coincided with a solemn Jewish day of mourning.
The fundraiser, which was supposed to be a "a small meeting, but a big fund-raiser," according to a source quoted in the Jerusalem Post on Wednesday, was set to take place on July 29, amid the Romney campaign's first foreign policy tour.
But July 29 is also Tisha B'Av, a Jewish day of fasting in some traditions of the religion, in which catastrophic events like the destruction of the First and Second Temples and the Holocaust are mourned.
Andrea Saul, a spokeswoman for the Romney campaign, pointed to a tweet by Natasha Mosgovaya, a political correspondent for the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, that stated on Thursday morning that the campaign would in fact not be holding the fundraiser. The tweet quoted a Romney official saying the campaign was "aware of the sensitivity of that date." Saul declined to comment on whether the fundraiser had been canceled or would be rescheduled.
Jonny Daniels, a leading Republican political strategist in Israel, told The Huffington Post that the campaign had been aware of the date of the holiday when it scheduled the fundraiser. The campaign thought it could hold the event in a way that would not offend, he said, but was taken by surprise at the ferocity of the public outcry over the timing.
"It wasn't really a gaffe," Daniels said. "They knew what the day was, but they were looking for the correct time and circumstance to do it. Instead it ended up seeming like a big dinner, but that's not really what it is."
"Don't worry, they're not going to not have a fundraiser," he added. "They'll find a way around it maybe by having a breaking of the fast meal combined with a Romney fundraiser."