Thursday, July 28, 2005

A BYGONE ERA 7/28/05

From time to time my grandchildren ask my mother who just celebrated her 94th birthday if she could remember a time when there were no TV’s or computers.?They listen incredulously as we talk about radio as our prime source of home entertainment in addition to records and reading.

Before long young people will ask was there a different lifestyle before security concerns mandated body and bag searches in airports and subways.?In Israel opening the trunk of your car before you enter a garage is SOP ,and is now being used in the US.

So it was a breath of fresh air to attend the Tanglewood concerts of the Boston Pops in an outdoor setting. The atmosphere was relaxed, with families bringing in large baskets that contained wine,drinks,cheese with cutting knives and sitting in the great lawn prior to the concert. Parking was across the road, and aside from a few deputies directing traffic decorum was maintained by a myriad of senior citizen ushers who pointed you to your section and seat. The 15,000 people who came to enjoy an evening of music were not disappointed. Indeed the problems of a world gone mad seemed far-far away.

Sadly this portrait of America at its very best represents an era that will soon be forgotten. Why Tanglewood has such faith in the human environment I don’t know. I pray they don’t have to change.

.For us we can only hope that the war on terror will be victorious to the point that we will feel comfortable enough to relax our terror alerts and enjoy our lives without body scans and searches.

Sunday, July 24, 2005


It was described as the PLAY OF THE WEEK. Indeed the Presidents nomination of Judge John Roberts was a masterful touch. He defied those who advocated political correctness (a woman or a minority member) as well as keeping away from a highly visible controversial conservative. He settled for intellect and integrity thus disarming the hordes geared for ideological battle.
With the Nation so clearly divided on social and cultural (in addition to security) issues it is the Presidents prerogative to choose a nominee. Those who believe he would appoint a liberal, are smoking too much funny stuff. Those who want a Justice nominee who is neutral on the major issues of the day would wind up with mediocrity on the Bench..
Instead of collecting millions to fight a losing battle against any Bush nominee, people from the etc, should concentrate on winning elections. Until they do our nation has spoken-a conservative Administration and Congress and with it a conservative Court nominee. And a wonderful nominee he is.
However, the President must not stop=next week he should appoint John Bolton to the UN slot for an interim appointment. We have previously discussed the urgent need to do so
Congratulations are in order for the IPA of the Orthodox Union who played a major role in preventing Daylight Savings Time from being instituted for two additional months in order to save Energy. This change would have caused great difficulty for orthodox individuals who at certain periods and locations such as Detroit would have been unable to pray in the morning before leaving for work, due to the absence of light.
With the leadership of Sen. Craig and Cong Upton and Markey a compromise passed the Energy Comm. that would add only one week in the fall and 3 weeks in the spring to DST starting in 2007 after a period of study.
Senator John Kyl ( R ) of Arizona and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have agreed to be the guest speakers at the HUVPAC (Hudson Valley Political Action Comm. ) dinner Sept 25 at the Atrium in Monsey. Phyllis Wind will be one of the two honorees.
Sen. Clinton was to have been the speaker last year at our dinner where I was the honoree; however the Presidents surgery caused her to cancel.
Since its inception in 1982 HUVPAC has welcomed to its Annual Dinner Senators from both sides of the aisle and from opposing political philosophies .Call the Pac office for reservations 845-364-9375


Tuesday, July 12, 2005


I have been to S Africa and had the opportunity to witness abject poverty up close in Soweto and other shanty villages. I have also included a small chapter in my auto-biography on this problem

Yes the world must invest billions to get to the roots of this problem. However using a rigid formula for the contributions by the US (0.7 % of GDP) will not solve the problems. It is not a feasible amount and the American people will not support it,in view of our war on terrorism and Iraq,and our budget defecit.

Primarily any massive contributions at this point while corruption (governmental and institutional )in Africa is the norm , is like throwing good money after bad. Until corruption is under control and there is strict accountability we should not throw our money away. The former Rhodesia is a perfect example of a country that has lost its bearings

Secondly is the ability of African governments to absorb such huge amounts of cash and products. Until the Europeans, primarily the French and Germans end their massive farm subsidies, African produce etc has no opportunity to reach the markets on a level playing field.Nor are there the trained specialists and economists that can succefully take the requested tens of billions requested from our country and make a viable and successful program. An examination of previously appropriated economic funds and materiel to these area will document many failures. Based upon other such programs (as oil for food ) perhaps one should examine the Swiss Bank accounts for some unused or unaccounted for funds.

President Bush has been extremely generous with our aid commitment. The problem is, and will be, our tremendous defense budget that is used to protect the free world. Our budget for military matters is greater than the combined military expenditures of all of NATO combined. Our superpower status should enable the rich countries of the world to pick up a greater portion of the economic tab, as we play our role as superpower and their protectors.

Monday, July 04, 2005


President Bush has been right all along that the war on terrorism must be seen to its conclusion .The free world will never be safe until Al –Quida and other terror networks are incapacitated and destroyed. That includes Iraq, the current center of terror activities.

Thus it is sad to see the administration remain publicly silent regarding the lack of progress by the PA and Mr Abbas on disarming Hamas,Al-Aksa Brigade and Islamic Jihad. That there have been no recent suicide bombings in Israel is only due to great intelligence and police efforts by the IDF.Certainly it is not for a lack of trying by the above elements. The number of youths caught attempting to infiltrate with weapons and bombs remains high, as does the rocket attacks on Gush Katif and its neighbors . Public reports of stockpiling of new and more sophisticated weaponry by the Palestinians represent a real danger to Israel in the post-disengagement period.

One month ago the second stop on our groups trip to Israel was the Soroka Medical Center in Beersheba.We witnessed not only its high quality of modern medicine, but its outreach to the Bedouin and Palestinian communities. Thus it was such a horrendous but yet poignant lesson regarding the face of the enemy. A young woman entering Israel for a clinic appointment after long and successful surgical care, was found with a bomb destined for her doctors and the hospital that saved her life.What gratitude !

The Abbas formula seems to be invite terror groups to join his “unity coalition “,while he talks the “one gun “ nonsense. Indeed he has not retrieved ONE GUN from these groups. The number of smuggling tunnels remains high and probably growing,

We were told that the President stressed these issues to Mr Abbas in their private meeting, however there appears little likelihood that Abbas will change his nature. He is weak, and surrounded by political enemies who are Arafat loyalists .It is not in the cards that he can deliver on his promises.

Sitting in America and observing the daily events, it appears to me to be Oslo revisited. Violence on the part of the Palestinians, a disclaimer by Arafat that he doesn’t control the”bad guys’ and if only he had his own state ,army, airport etc he would be in control. The Israelis for there part absorb the rocket attacks until they must respond, and then often bombing empty buildings with a prior warning .They blame the settlers and their right wing allies for incitement as they yield more territory under American persuasion receiving nothing in return. Peres, Barak, Sharon and Netanyahu all actors in the same repetitive series of scenarios

Talking of Bibi his vow to absent himself from the Knesset vote this Wed. is pure show business,as is Mr Sharon’s vow to fire him if he is absent. Mr. Netanyahu had a chance to prevent disengagement, and his affirmative vote was key to is passage. Will Likud and other voters detect any sincerity or national purpose for his absence on Wed?.

At the end of the day how many people doubt that Israel will be forced to respond to violence and terror by attacking or re-entering Gaza ?

We do not need a new EU initiative on the Middle East . We do need the PA to carry out its obligations for a disarmed populace, the rule of law, and the acceptance of Israel with an end to incitement .We need them to stop talking and preaching the “right of return” and a divided Jerusalem. We need them to stop preaching that Jewish Holy sites are fictitious.

While I have never favored disengagement, if anyone represents my point of view in the Israeli leadership it is Natan Sharansky.IT COULD BE,that for military ,strategic and the long term survival of Israel as a Jewish State with a Jewish majority that Gaza with its 1.5 million Palestinians must be sacrificed. However, it cannot occur without exacting the type of guarantees and concessions from the PA and the US that is totally absent. This is a withdrawal as a reward for terror- no matter what today’s polls show, or the accompanying rhetoric.

The actions of the irresponsible groups of youths that spill oil, and pour nails on major highways is a turn-off for most Israelis and counter-productive. .Rav Motte Alon is correct ,there is a proper way to oppose. Yes to marches, demonstations, newspaper ads, house to house canvassing and the ballot box. No one has the right to endanger lives of innocent travelers by spilling oil on the road of a major highway.

Many of us from time to time have been disturbed by a parade or a demonstration that brought traffic to a halt, Regardless of the cause most of us are unhappy because we are coming to or from work,tired, frustrated -and we become angry. The actions of these youths is surely responsible for a spike in public acceptance or support for disengagement .

I also oppose the actions of medical colleagues and friends who propose to build a field hospital in the Gush Katif area in Aug. It can only be an incitement to violence. A Jew must not strike another Jew. One may oppose this disengagement with all ones heart and soul ,but the stability of democracy and a viable state demands that laws, passed by the Cabinet and Knesset ,and reviewed by the Courts must be obeyed.

. Absent that we have anarchy .Public utterance to “depose” the PM is evil. Which we dare not contemplate. Surely we suffered post –Rabin.

One must pray for cool heads and strong backbones on the part of Israeli leadership. America and President Bush are great friends but the interests of Israel supercede total obedience to them

The completion of the Maale Adumim-Jerusalem ring, the building of needed facilities for family and communal growth in the Gush and Ariel areas as well as the completion of the security fence must be completed at a rapid pace without public announcements or fanfare.

Although Gush Katif is teaching us that “FACTS” on the ground may not be the last word, the people and the State of Israel will not be able to tolerate such a trauma and tragedy each time the White House or the Sec. of State snap their fingers.

We in the pro-Israel community in the US must maintain our support for the medina while pushing Congress and the Administration to realize in words and actions that the interests of the US in the war on terror, and the battle to spread democracy and freedom lies with tiny Israel (and not Mr Abbas and his henchmen) and a strong Israel with Jerusalem as its undivided and eternal capitol.