Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Bhutto Assasination

"It's the economy stupid!" is the cry from a not too distant Presidential race.And as America has grown somewhat complacent, the pundits have been saying that once again this will be the key issue-housing,bad debts, taxes, health care and so .
However, the Bhutto assasination, with all its ramifications, point out once again, that in this very dangerous world while the economy is important,our need to survive is numero uno.
Scan the world,and even superficially the scope of the potential problems are evident.

China, as it grows economically, it similarly expands militarily.When will it surpass the US ? and perhaps the developed world? Will they wait forever before attacking Taiwan?What about human rights?

N Korea- will they carry out their obligations under the agreements with the US-China-etc?Their history of compliance is poor.

Russia-is back testing nuclear missiles,and pushing the envelope as to their relations with the West.It is in Putin's interest to stir the pot in the Middle East,and keep energy prices high.In the meantime he supplies a defensive missile shield to Iran, in addition to nuclear fuel.

Iran-whether they stopped building a bomb or not,the fact is they are laying the groundwork for a nuclear bomb, and the missile power to deliver it against Israel etc

Hamas,Hezbollah,Syria, Cuba,Venezuela, and the list goes on-with Al Quada at the vey top.Let us not forget Iraq and Afghanistan,and terrorism in Algeria and nuclear weapons in Pakistan.

Thus,as we look at how the presidential Candidates reacted to todays news,I was reminded of my Student Council elections campaigns in High School. Everyone knew Bhutto, or saw her picture on TV.Everyone has either been to Pakistan ,or would love to go there! Everyone met or plans to meet Mushareff, and everyone (and only THEY) have the EXPERIENCE to lead in this post 9/11 era.
But as I look at all of them, and listen carefully, only one appears Presidential and has the experience -real experience to lead.That person is Sen. John McCain .Yes Rudy would be great on national security, but John has character , honesty and determination.He does not sway with the polls.He is a true American Hero!
By the way-the NYT story on Hillary's experience is a must read-Yes she has traveled-without security clearance, and yes people bounced ideas off of her.That is not the same as experience or leadership. Clinton,Obama and Edwards,do not have a solitary achievement to brag about in their respective Senate careers.
I do not agree with many issues that McCain has fought for,including immigration and the torture issue, but then again I do not believe that there is ANY CANDIDATE who I am in synch
with 100%.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Charlie Wilson's War / The Israel Lobby ? Huckabee on Bush

We went to see Charlie Wilson's War.It is interesting and unlike many recent movies, not anti-American.
Cong Wilson is asked, to support a project involving Muslim Countries.He replies he is worried about the Jews reacting.He is asked,"How many Jews do you have in your district? "
Seven he answers.
Why worry?
Because my campaign funding comes from Jews around the US.
It reminds me of the old Sen Montaya ( D-New Mexico) who when asked why he is so pro-Israel ?, he answered because of the Jewish voters in his State.They probably numbered a few hundred,but they never stopped calling and supporting him.
This is the story of the pro-Israel Community.I finished reading The Israel Lobby (Mearsheimer and Walt ) today.It is much like its original article and Jimmy Carters book.Suffice it to say, we should be proud of what we have accomplished as good and loyal American citizens.We have nothing to be ashamed of.
Doc Long in the movies, was a friend of our community.He visited our home in Monsey ,during his last race.

Incidentally the HUVPAC dinner on March 30, will feature Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D.-NJ) and
Sen John Cornyn (R.-Texas). Reserve the date.


I was reading Gov. Huckabee's article in Foreign Affairs.It is a disgrace for him to label the President's foreign policy as demonstrating an "arrogant bunker mentality".
His goal for the Arab and Muslim world,is to "calibrate a course between maintaining stability and promoting democracy".
Whereas he discusses much of the world,he limits his remarks to Israel by saying " I will not waver in standing by our ally Israel".
In real policy terms ,what does that mean?=NOT ENCOURAGING

Sunday, December 23, 2007


I learned something this weekend regarding earmarks.These "appropriations" by members of the Congress for their pet projects,I always assumed were written into the bills passed by both Houses.Thus we have a "bridge to nowhere" a cultural centers named for for members etc.It turns out there are thousands of these earmarks-perhaps 12,000 that were inserted into the bills.
It now appears, that these earmarks were never formally written into law,but inserted at the Committee level .Thus, technically they can be disregarded by the President and the various Departments.
This is exactly what the President should do!Yes Congress will be upset,but so what!
The first six Bush years were marked by both Republican Congressional and White House fiscal irresponsibility.This year, after the GOP defeat at the polls we see a new approach.
Voters will rerspond positively to this "virtual veto".


It appears Hamas wants a cease-fire.The military push by the IDF and the economic/political pressures they are feeling,are making them cry "uncle".The problem is,that they have no desire to stop terrorism,or the smuggling of weapons,or the training of suicide murderers.Nor do they recognize Israel,or any of the (irrelevant) agreements in the so called " peace- process".
The second they can catch their breath, come out of hiding and refurbish their troops, it will be back to the Kassams.
Olmert is correct in calling their pitiful offer a sham.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

THE VATICAN, The 10th of Teveth

The Latin Patriarch in Israel,a Palestinian Michel Sabbeh, has attacked the concept of Israel as a "Jewish State".
It seems that in attacking the State which was created by UN resolutions as a "Jewish State",and recognized such by the non-Arab world, he seems to forget another "Religious State".
The State of Vatican City ,created in 1929,is ruled by the Bishop of Rome-the Pope.
It is the smallest State in the world.No one envies Roman Catholicism a central geographic area, that is the universal home to the Church.
Why cannot the Jewish people have one State in the world,promised to them in the Old Testament?
Then again, the creation, existance and growth of a Jewish State,has long been an irritant to Vatican theology,and periodically is manifest by attacks on the role of Jews in Jerusalem, and as seen above on Israel as a Jewish Homeland and State.The Latin Patriarch, has never been a friend.


Talking of religion, it was sad to hear today,that the biblical resting places
of Joshua,Calev and Nun have been defaced with feces,swastikas etc.Previously, despite Arafat's promise ,the tomb of Joseph was destroyed.Just as the PA tries to wipe out Temple history and architecture from the Temple Mount,so too is this act one that should be condemned.But acts against Jewish sites,rarely witnesses a world response.
We recall how the Jordanians,abused and destroyed Jewish cemetaries while they controlled part of the city.The Palestinians cannot be trusted.They have no feeling of respect for other religions.Yet, the world never speaks out.
It is not because I say so, but because their record of disgusting behavior proves it so.
Today in the Jewish calendar is the 10th day of Teveth ,a fast day commemorating the beginning of the encirclement of Jerusalem and subsequent destruction of the Temple.It is surely a proper time to take note and mourn.To mourn for how very little the world really cares about Jewish history and survival.
That is why, it is up to us to stand up, and respond when our heritage is denied

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Huckabee / the Donors Conference

The more I see and read of Jim Huckabee, the less I like.Whether his record on pardons, taxes,the Bush foreign policy and his making Christianity the centrum of his campaign,I asm turned off..

Putting whipped cream on this mix, is his telling the NYT magazine section of his admiration for Tom Friedman.

I once sat next to Frieman on the Wash. shuttle,and I told him that I disagreed with just about everything he wrote.
Smart he is! His answer," I don't care if you disagree, as long as you read the column."

Just yesterday I read p 124 in the "Israel Lobby" by Mearsheimer and Walt.( I am preparing for my Pesach speaking at the Hochdorf hotel-I still call it the Granit)They quote an attack on Friedman in 1996 by Mort Klein of the ZOA,and then quote the late David Bar-Illan, then Communications Director for Bibi Netanyahu.Friedman,he wrote should not be given a platform by" any organization that purports to be Zionist."

In my mind nothing has changed-except my feelings toward Huckabee.


The Donors Conference has raised seven Billion dollars for the PA.
Just as in previous times,this is throwing good money after bad.The PA has recieved more money with less results than any other group.
Very often pledges from Arab countries never arrive.
One happy group will be the Swiss Banks,who will be able to add to , or open new accounts from the corruption and kickbacks.
I do not believe Congress should approve the 550 million pledged, until the PA meets their obligations to dimantle terror organizations.
A number of years ago, I testified before the House Foreign Affairs Comm., and urged them to place all approved MEPFA (middle East Peace Facilitation Act funds) into escrow until the PA and Arafat met their obligations.That should be the case now.
Abbas is Arafat in a well tailored suit.This nonsense about settlements being an impediment to peace is just grand-standing. He knows Har Homa will always be part of Israel.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Dr Seymour Jotkowitz a"h

It is with great sadness that I learned this morning of the passing of my old friend,classmate and
colleague Dr Seymour (Skippy ) Jotkowitz A'H .

The 'Skip' or Skippy as he was known,was a warm and dedicated individual, who loved life.He was a husband, father, grandfather and brother .In that role,nothing mattered to him more than family.

He was my classmate in Yeshiva College,and it was there that we began our close friendship.He went on to Medical School,and a practice in Neurology.His keen intellect,and love of learning, allowed him to become a Professor at the Medical School.Even when he was in poor health,he only looked forward to going back to teach.

Skip,was a " colorful" character , and every one of his friends had some piece of folklore about Skip.But, the common thread, was his decency and his humanity.

He was a big BAAL TZEDAKA was something he learned at home.Indeed, his warm personality was developed from his parents of blessed memory,and of whom I fondly recall.

He was an ardent Zionist,and supported Torah institutions in Israel and the US.He never turned down a cause..So often, he would ask me if I needed money for HUVPAC, even though he lived in Teaneck.

He had a wonderful family,and through personal tragedies and illnesss Annette ,his wife ,and the children were there without complaint.


May the family be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Israel.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Jerusalem/ Steroids /OBAMA

The one and only private mini-conversation I ever had with Condeleeza Rice,occured while George Bush (43 ) was campaigning for his first term. At a meeting of AIPAC officers, Rice spoke about Bush's committment to a strong Israel.
I asked would he move the Emmbassy to Jerusalem,and if she said yes,why should I believe him?After-all , Clinton had said the same thing, and didn't keep his word.
She answered yes on both counts-yes he would move the embassy, and yes we could trust him.Immediately after the meeting, she sought me out,thanked me for asking the question,and reassured me, that when GWB makes a committment-he always keeps his word.Moreover,the very first week in office, he would lay the groundwork for such an event.
Thus it is sad that this week the President exercised the waiver, that allows him to put off the move for another six months.Thus the 1995 will of the Congress is subverted.
There is no reason ,why our Embassy should not be moved to W.Jerusalem,which under every plan, will always be Jewish.


The Democratic leadership in Congress have lost their bearings.We read about it from the pundits,However,I felt it up front on Friday.
A young freshman Congresswoman called me to thank me for HUVPAC's contribution.After thanking her for her support of the US-Israel relationship,I gently pointed out,that the country was not happy with gridlock,and the partisanship.She immediately laid the blame on her Senatorial colleagues.
It is time to stop trying to load up the budget with christmas presents,and complete the agenda,re AMT,defense. budget,anti-terrorism energy,and farm bills.


I have great respect and affection for Sen. Mitchell. IN 1982 or 4, after Judge Mitchell was appointed to the Senate,his polling numbers,in his bid for a full term, were low.Only the pro-Israel PAC,s stepped up to the plate and supported him.He later came to Monsey to thank us.
Thus, I know that as a former Judge and prosecuter he has much experience.
Nevertheless,his baseball investigation ,2 years in the making, leaves too many open questions.
How can we believe that the owners and Leagues were ignorant.?What is their punishment?
What should be done with baseball records and Hall of Fame.?
How do we make it up to ballplayers in the pre-steroid age ,who by natural talents made records that were surpassed?
And what about all the players, who refused to take drugs, and could not compete,and lost much money?
I believe that future contracts must have a clause that would allow owners to to sue players for back pay, if found that they used drugs, and a mechanism to fine owners, who do not police their teams.


I find it incomprehensible that Obama is doing so well.
Truly there are questions regarding his drug use.We are entitled to know the answere to Shaheen's questions.
In my mind there are questions re; how much of the Muslim faith is still within him?
SO FAR, WITH OR WITHOUT OPRAH,he is a 3 year Senate veteran with no ADMINISTRATIVE, EXECUTIVE or FOREIGN POLICY experience.He's cute,has a nice smile,is light on his feet, but what qualifies him to lead our nation?
Being Anti-Bush is not a policy or a vision.It is pure Chicago -style politics.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Todays Palm Beach Post has a bold headline "Israeli military kills 6 in Gaza" and in smaller but still bold type, this page one story say PA say "incursion could undermine peace negotiations"
Only on page 16 in the body of the story does it have the fact noted that 2000 rockets have been fired into Israel since Jan 1.
In addition the story talks about the Har Homa building project being in"the traditionally Arab area"
The lead co-author of the story, which originates from the Los Angeles Times is Rushdi Abu Alouf.
I called the Post's editor to complain, regarding the emphasis (which made it seem that the Israelis were up to derailing the peace talks) and the facts re; Har Homa.
The front Page editor Bill Rose called me back,and we had a pleasant substative discussion.
He knew even before I called, that the headlines were not balanced.I pointed out that yesterday 20 Kassams hit Sderot,and the Mayor (Eli Moyal) resigned because he could not protect his citizens.
What role does 2000 kassams play on the willingness of Israelis to make concessions for peace? How would we react in a similar situation?
In regard to Har Homa, I pointed out that it was originally a forest.The land is within the municipal borders of Jerusalem,and was expropriated primarily from Jews and some Arabs. It is today a large middle class community.I invited him to visit Israel which he had never done.I also invited him to Google Har Homa to check on my presentation( I had done that earlier,even though I was there for the groudbreaking with Mayor Olmert,and many times thereafter)
The key point is to immediately call your radio/TV /newspaper if you feel their coverage is biased.If you are calm, courteous and armed with facts, they will often be appreciative of your call-NEVERTHELESS KEEP MONITORING!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Saudi arms / The NIE

The US decision to postpone the sale of military equiptment to Saudi Arabia is a welcome move.It comes about because over 200 members of Congress opposed the sale.It is a perfect example of the combined efforts of Jewish Organizations such as the OU, political activists and PACS, AIPAC and public opinion.

The bottom line is that the Saudis do not deserve to be rewarded.I just learned today, that the Israeli delegationto Annapolis was forced to use a different entrance than the Arabs.If anythung, the Saudis have been the instigators of anti-US and anti-Israel hatred in the ME.


Todays op-ed in the WSJ by Bret Stephens is a must.He documents how just days before the Cuban missile crisis, American intelligence publicly stated that the Soviets would never place nuclear missiles within Cuba.

As you look at the history of American intelligence in regard to nuclear technology,it is one failure after another.We missed the progress made by China on a number of occasions,as well as the efforts of Libya.We never appreciated the Pakistani role in the sale of nuclear technology.

Most people who seek to attack the President on the new NIE report, have not read it.What is unsaid, and not clear are the intentions of Iran. Why are they building long range rockets, if not for nuclear weapons.?Why are they spending so much money for this technology which they claim is for peaceul uses,when they have no need for it?

Iranian groups now claim,that in 2004, the factories were split up and they resumed work on a weapon.Nothing in this report negates this possibility,nor places an estimate on when (and if) Iran would resume the program.

For the time,Iran must be considered dangerous with an ability to shock the world.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Lott-Bubba Mitchell / more rockets

It was sad to learn of the retirement of Sen.Trent Lott.I first met him when he was in Congress.Throughout his career,he was a staunch friend of the US-Israel relationship.
One of his closest friends in our community was Mayer "Bubba" Mitchell,of Mobile Ala.
When I started in Pro-Israel activism in 1982,Bubba was among a group of national leaders,who by example and gentle instruction ,were mentors for me.He was AIPAC President,and active in Jewish and communal activities not only in the South,where he made his home,but throughout the country.
Sadly Bubba passed away recently.His presence will be sorely missed by those who respected and admired this soft spoken Jewish leader.

What sane country in the world,( with the ability to respond)on a day that rockets hit an apartment complex, would announce it is not the time to respond?

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Some nutty environmentalists in Israel ,have started a campaign that would have each person light one candle less to cut down on CO2. Wait a minute ! Isn't that what the Hellenists tried?Water down the religion to be better secular citizens!.
Interestingly,no word on the environmental conference in Bali,where 10,000 movie stars, Al Gore and assorted beaurocrats are flyng on private jets for a UN conference.There is certainly plenty of space in NY or Washington for such a meeting.What a real waste of CO2 by these hypocrites.


The new intelligence report on Iran represents a great danger to our country.Already, the Dems are telling the Pres. to lower the WMD rhetoric.
Two points;
Some of the beaurocrats involved are very anti-Bush,and have a history of siding with the UN Commission that regulates nuclear activity, and is pro-Iran and anti-US.
The problem is not one of Iran having the bomb.If they had it it would be too late.It is their ability to produce one,or to supply technology to terrorists that must be prevented.
The report,in essence places greater responsibility on Israel to monitor and possibly respnd to the crisis..
Of note is Pres. Bush's Jan 10 visit to Israel.


I cannot believe Hillary using material from Obama's kindergarten's writing as something relevent.She is getting unhinged,and Bill is not helping.
One the one hand she says ,it is she who is running for Pres.,and on the other her partnership with Bill past and future will seal the EXPERIENCE ISSUE.
However his double talk on his lack of support from day one for Iraq,is not only in conflict with the facts,but is an embarressment.


To watch the Israeli political leadership talk,you can get sick.
Shas -no one mentioned Jerusalem,-so we can stay in the Govt.
Labor-we will quit when we think we can win the election-huh? and so on
The bottom line-the coalition is stable for the moment.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Saudis action / Religion in politics

During the recent Annapolis Conference,the Saudis held a press conference in an off -site hotel.Israeli reporters and TV attended.Howvever, as soon as the Saudis found out,they forcibly evicted them from the premises.

This goes along with their refusal to shake Israeli diplomats hands.

Anyone who believes anything changed is smoking funny stuff.

Of note the President twice mentioned Israel as a Jewish State.Abbas,as of yesterday IS STILL PUBLICLY ATTACKING THE NOTION.

The President and Olmert,twice mentioned "core issues"without enumerating.Obviously the threat of Shas hung over their heads.Condi Rice on the other hand,both in the beginning and the end of her talk mentioned Jerusalem,refugees etc,

There is no question that Rice , represents the Old State Dept. philosophy.The President is certainly a real friend of Israel,.


Gov. Huckabee, is a fine candidate,who uses his pastoral skills to good use.However,I get very nervous when I see someone running as a "CHRISTIAN".This was flashed on a recent Iowa Huckabee ad

I know full well that this is a Christian country,however these labels have no part in Presidential politics.

I know very little about Mormonism ,and await the Romney "Mormon Talk".Specifically,I would like to know about both Romney's and Huckabee.s feelings toward Jews,and Israel.

I would also like to know, if during his (Romney) status as a missionary of the Mormon Church,during which he had a 4D deferment, (while I served in Vietnam) he tried to convert Jews.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

New Congresspeople /The Spirit of Annapolis /Sarkozy

I had the pleasure last nite in attending an event for Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida.She occupies the seat that Peter Deutch held,before he ran for the Senate.She is a very dynamic individual,and a rising star in the Congress.She has been quite vocal on the issues that affect the US-Israel relationship.
She brought along five colleagues,Congressmen Melissa Bean(IL),John Barr(GA),Kirsten Gillbrand(NY),Heath Shuler(NC) and Jason Altmire(PA).They are all young, and either have been to Israel, or planning on going.
HUVPAC is proud to be able to support all of their campaigns.

Arut Sheva reports this morning, that in the spirit of Anapolis, PA television has removed the map of Israel,and replaced it with PALESTINE.In addition, no Foreign Minister from any Arab country except Jordan, shook the hand of Israeli FM Livni.

So far two good quotes from Olmert:
Israel is a JEWISH STATE:
The Temple Mount is eternally Jewish:


The attack on the "Jewish Lobby" in the US ,was met with great success in England, as Mearsheimer and Walt recently completed a book tour.Now,the cry has been picked up by the Algerians,who in preperation for a State visit,announced that President Sarkozy was elected due to the (French) Israeli Lobby.
It is amazing how much damage we Jews can accomplish!Can you imagine if we had a billion plus Jews in the world (like the Muslims) how much more we could control(-or perhaps how many more Nobel prizes we could garner?)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

An unfortunate meeting

It is unbelievable that a secret meeting took place in Israel recently between American Ambassador Jones and the Chief Juastice of the Israeli Supreme Court.They allegedly discussed settlements,the fence and other such issues.
It is the height of Chutzpah for the US Ambassador to intervene in the Judicial system of Israel.
One of the major areas in Israel that needs an overhauling is the activist role of the Supreme Court,as initiated by former Justice Barak,and now carried out by his successor, Justice Beinish.
Hopefully, she will recuse herself when these issues come up.



During all my years as Pres of the OU., Ntl Executive V.P. of Mizrachi, and a member if the Governing Board of the Jewish Agency, I have met and interacted with many Prime Ministers,Presidents of Israel ,and the current PM before he held this position.
Without exception ,they told us as a group, and to me individually-"Jerusalem belongs to the Jewish People".No individual, even if he basks temporarily in the limelight of the White House has the power to give it away,divide it or restore an enemy within its bounds.
The PM is out of bounds,when he attacks American Jewish groups.We have been the most devout supporters of the Medinah,through thick and thin.His attack shows that he is feeling the pressure.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


In 628 A.D., the Prophet Muhammed endorsed the treaty with the Makkans, which became known as the Hudaybiya Treaty.It is Muslim religious doctrine until today.
It basically says, that Muslims may make peace treaties with their enemies if it serves Muslim interests.However,it will only be for a temporary period.
Thus any treaty with the Arab world,should be looked upon as a phase or step toward the elimination of the Jewish State,when the strategic moment is ripe for Muslim victory.
In May 2003,when the Road Map was raised,the Israeli Government raised 14 objections.PM Sharon assured the Cabinet,that the Government would be obligated to live up to ,and fight for these 14 points.
Alas,they are nowhere in the public arena, and have been pushed aside.
The President's letter of June 24 ,2003, reassuring Israel,on large settlement blocs,and Palestinian "refugees" again is nowhere being emphasized.
We hear nothing regarding Jewish refugees from Arab countries,who left under duress penniless to settle in Israel.(Greater in number than Arabs who left Israel)
To this moment Syria seeks hegemony over Lebanon.It does not recognize a border with Lebanon,nor does it have diplomatic relations with Beirut.It does murder their leaders,and gets away with it.They do supply Hezbollah,and terrorist elements in Iraq.
Every month 300+ rockets fly into Israel from Gaza.I guess it would be a boon to the rocketeers,if they took over parts of E. Jerusalem,so they can aim directly at the Knesset and perhaps B-G airport.
Daily tunnels are built to smuggle arms into Israel
Incitement against Israel by the PA in their textbooks and TV have not abated one iota.
Not a single serious attempt has been made to disarm terror groups.To the contrary,Hamas could potentially take over in the W. Bank ,as they did in Gaza.
The list goes on.Yes the world should unite against Iran,but not on Israel's back.
This conference is Israel sorrounded by a hostile world-pushed by Pres Bush,and Condi Rice.The latter especially,seeks to pull a miracle out of this event,and save her reputation.Israel must be strong,and Shas and Lieberman must be prepared to bring the Government down the minute Olmert start giving away the jewels of Jerusalem,and the sanctity of the State.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Praising Aipac as I did a few days ago,does not mean they are perfect.Their support for aid to the PA,and lack of opposition to the laser guided bombs to the Saudis is the wrong position.
The problem is, that the Israelis have signed off on these with the President.An organization like Aipac with so many contituent bodies cannot be " holier than the Pope".
This in no way excuses the PM , who despite the opposition of Shin Bet, agreed to a prisoner release,the transfer of armored vehicles to the PA, rifle transfers in addition to a million or so rounds of ammunition.
How many of those rounds will be aimed at a Jewish heart?
The blood of any Jew wounded or killed by any of these weapons, will surely have to be answered for, in the Beit Din of the shamayim (hererafter), by those who chose to ignore the advice of their security experts.
Not a single obligation has been met in stage I of the road-map by the PA!
None of the 14 objections of the Israeli Cabinet raised at the time of the road map's publication , is on the table.Totally forgotten.
I stood on the White House lawn when Rabin and Arafat shook hands, and cried hoping and praying that perhaps there could be peace.
I will not be fooled again.
Thia time I pray for failure at Annapolis, and a quick dissolution of this government.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Wolf Blitzer /Spanish Fl /No Defense bill / JCRC

I was unhappy with Wolf Blitzer's handling of last weeks Democratic debate.
Firstly,he should not have allowed clapping or booing.It is simply not fair,since Hillary had the most supporters,and it takes away time from substative discussions.
Secondly, I think the questions asked Hillary were soft-balls.They did not question her about her White House papers,currently under seal.Nor, did they ask her about Sandy Bergers role in the campaign.

My wife and I went today to the largest indoor flea market in West Palm Beach.They have 250 vendors.
The problem:
Not one word or sign in English.
Perhaps 2 or 3 non -hispanic customers out of hundreds.
Every single CD ot DVD at 5 booths in Spanish.
How many are legal?
But even if they all are,I thought we were in America!
Oh yes-the full page ad in todays Palm Beach Post advertising the event was all in English.

The failure of the Congress to pass a Defense bill is quite unbelievable.If the Pentagon has to lay off personell,they should aim primarily for the States whose Senators opposed the bill.

If Congress cannot overide the SCHIP veto again,then they may be tempted to pass a four or six month extension. The President should veto that as well, until a proper passage is assured.

We went last week to a JCRC sponsored event in Boca Raton.The topic was how to prevent a nuclear IranThe two speakers were James Woolsey,former Director of the CIA, and Ofer Bavly
the new Israeli Consul-General for S. Florida.They were both excellent-however I will write about that issue in a few days.
The Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) has never been high on my list of important or worthwhile organizations.They are a debating society for wealthy fund-raisers,mostly liberal.They pass resolutions as they try to solve Jewish problems.
In all my years lobbying Congress and the White House,I never was asked-not even once What does the JCRC think?They are amateurs in political action.Thus when I was OU President,I only attended one National CRC meeting,because these geniuses wanted to pass a resolution that would ban PAC's.They knew nothing about how Pro-Israel PAC's work,or their importance..
Thus at this meeting,they handed out a sheet to those assembled "to take Action."
1 Stay informed
2 Educate others
3 Contact your elected officials
4 divestment
5 write letters to local editors
Yes these are all important but not a home run
In my opinion, the two most important steps would be
A. to join AIPAC. which is the only registered lobby in Washinton that supports the US-Israel relationship.They and they alone,through their lobbyists stay in contact with Congress and the Administration on a daily basis.
B. Join and contribute to the local Pro-Israel PAC.There is a wonderful one in Fort Lauderdale.
They contribute the maximum legal amount to candidates from across the US.(remember the 435 members of Congress and 100 Senators do not come from your local area) When many of these people go up North for the summer,there are pro-Israel PAC's throughout the country.

An ancillary step would be to adopt a member of Congress,(not from your local area)and raise funds for him/her,as you develop a warm close personal relationshipwith them.(perhaps even accompanying them to Israel)
Politics is a contact sport.The typical JCRC have not mastered the game!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Obama and foreign policy /Jerusalem /Olmert

In a passionate speech to the Iowa Democratic Party,Sen. Obama attacked Sen. Clinton for voting on foreign policy issues like a Bush Republican.He was referring to the Iraq war, and the resolution on the Iranian Guards.
What we don't hear, is the need for a bi-partisan foreign policy when our country is at war.The post WW II Congresses, saw both parties unite to fight the Cold War.We hear nothing from Obama regarding how he would solve the AfghanistanWar,or what would happen the day after he withdraws troops from Iraq.What will he do, if after he meets the Iranian leadership,if they still call for Israel's destruction,and prepare to arm their nuclear weapons?
As PM Brown in England prepares new counter-terrorism measures in schools,markets,theatres etc,we hear not a word from Obama regarding Islamo-fascism.
Incidentally, I was dismayed to see Obama stand with his hands folded during the National Antrhem,as Hillary and Gov.Richardson have their right hands on their hearts.
Ignorance of the law is no excuse-he is running for President-where his heart is on security and military issues is not clear=and I don't want him to be our Commander-in-Chief.

Thumbs up to the Knesset for passing a bill by Gideon Sa'ar of Likud by a wide majority.It would require a majority of 80 knesset votes before there can be any concessions on territorial or jursdictional areas in Jerusalem.
It will reqiuire a few more Knesset votes for it to become law.Although the PM is against it,every effort should be made to pass this as soon as possible.


PM Olmert again refers to painful concessions Israel must make for peace.Fine!
But even an optimist wearing rose-colored glasses must see that with 300 rockets/month coming into Israel, smuggling tunnels found on a daily basis,massive riots and mayhem in Gaza and the inability of the PA to disarm Hamas in thw West Bank,this is not an opportune time to make concessions.Where are the Israeli captives?How dare Olmert release 400 or even 40 prisoners,without Shalits release?
He is grasping at straws with one and a half eyes on the prosecuters,and half an eye on the polls,that say the people want him to resign.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

"Backward" Fifty

A number of years ago,while serving as OU President,I was chosen By the Forward as number two of their annual 50 most prominent -influential Jews in the U.S.Of course I was honored,not only to be chosen,but to be included in such a group of prominent Jews.
At that time,I had given up my surgical practice, and was working full time for the klal,in what heretofore had been a part time voluntary leadership position.
Some of the group were controversial,but even if you did not approve of their politics or religious outlook,they were deserving of prominence.
To my knowledge, no Jewish swindlers,sex deviants or murderers were included,even if they had received publicity for their shameful acts.
With the change in the ownership and editorial leadership of the Forward,the list has become more avant garde'.Some years I question who are these people? and why are some prominent former list members absent? Where is YU President Richard Joel who is opening new vistas in Orthodox life?Why is Malcolm Hoenlein not at least paired with June Walker? The people chosen now,are not part of community life as in the past.
The same questions come to me this year.However,the Forward has hit a new low,by including Shalom Auslander on the list.I have previously had 2 blogs on him.He is a man who is ashamed of his heritage,and who seeks to embarrass his family and traditional Judaism.
He is a "Lehachis" meaning spiteful.He acknowledges his status by wearing a pendulum with the word"Acher" a well known apostate(whose real name was Elisha Ben Abuya) who was in a way
excommunicated from the community.
Infamy,and chutzpah do not make one a great Jew,even if he writes well,has a great PR person,and is loved by the NYT.
The Forward does our community an injustice.But then again it goes along with the outrageous
stories and features that they cover,and give prominence to on a weekly basis.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Ramon on a referendum /Hillary and drivers licenses

It is difficult to understand the statement of Haim Ramon regarding the Annapolis meeting.He said,that if some agreement is reached,and the government falls,then the deal would be put up for a referendum?
If the govt. falls because of its position, what is the purpose of a referendum? where do they get the chutzpah to do it?
Surely the new elections will serve as a true voter referendum.If kadimah wins,then they can proceed with their agreement with a new majority in Knesset.If the opposition wins,then the agreement should go in the garbage.
Oh yes-congratulations to Minister Ramon on being nominated as among the top three corrupt politicians in Israel.(Olmert -bless his soul is numero uno)


The attacks by Democrats ,the Press and of course the Republicans on Hillary,after her last poor debate showing, is getting her unnerved.
Instead of blaming her staff for not preparing her for an obvious question,and blaming herself for not developing a cogent position on the driver license issue,she ,and now Bill have slashed out at her critics.In her heart of hearts she knows she answered that way, to avoid insulting different constituencies.
As a Vietnam veteran I supported the Swift Boat attacks on Kerry.They portrayed a less than honest presentation by Sen Kerry's of his service, writings and testimony on Vietnam issues.The attacks on Tim Russert and the other candidates are no"swiftboating" attacks.At a debate,the public is entitled to hear a candidates opinion.When the leading candidate gets messed up because she waffles back and forth,it is not sexist nor gang banging, but real politics.If the shoe were on the other foot,Hillary would not hesitate one second to attack.Now with Bill answering,the obvious question is,can Hillary take it ,as well as she can give it?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Rabbis to Wash. /Unsubstantiated numbers /Dollars from lobbyists

The news that the two Chief Rabbis are in the U.S to meet with Condi Rice on the issue of the Holy sites in Jerusalem could be good news.Although they do not have the polish or the eloquence in English speech as we as see in former Chief Rabbi Lau, they will be accompanied by Haifa Chief Rabbi Shaar Yishuv Cohen,a hawk on the issue of the Temple Mount.In addition,an old friend Oded Weiner ,now the administrator of the Chief Rabbinate is on the mission.He has been a long time official of World Mizrachi,and a sharp political analyst.
Hopefully they will impress upon Rice, that there can be no give-aways when it comes to the holiness of the Temple Mount and Kotel.

The NYT on Fri. did a nice hatchet job on "ultra-orthodox" Jews in Israel.Writing on page 1,they describe the community as being " at least 800,00" strong".I am no fan of the Charedi community,however in their wildest dreams they do not come anywhere near that number.I wish I had the exact figures,but the few charerdi areas,could not equeal those numbers.The author notes that 60% do not have a regular job.
It would be nice for the NYT,to identify the source of such a demographic statement.
I still don't understand the difference that Sen. John Edwards is trying to make between accepting campaign contributions from lobbyists(Clinton), and accepting them from the people who hire the lobbyists (him).

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Orient House Again

I remember so clearly sitting at a dinner at the Renaissance Hotela number of years ago, next to then Mayor Ehud Olmert.He was then a member of Likud.The discussion centered upon the closure of Orient House should Likud take national power.Olmert was quite strong in his belief that there could not be a PA presense iun Jerusalem.
The next day, with the Deputy Mayor as guide,he drove me to see Orient House,with its Palestinian flag, and Palestinian security,not only around the building but for many blocks away.The plain clothes PA police were patrolling.We next went to see one social service PA organization after another,that Yasir Arafat had set up in Jerusalem.
All that is now gone.However,the PA not only want it back,but have allegedly uncovered an old Peres note that says they are entitled to it.
If Jerusalem is divided,then it is back to these horrible sites.
Hopefully,we will not have to face these divisive issues, because the parties are weak,far apart on the basic problems ,and have no poular backing for any types of compromises.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Empathy for Gazans / A free MRI

It is amazing that no sooner did Israel announce some cutbacks in electricity and fuel for Gaza,that they rescinded the decree. The reason-to avoid a humanitarian crisis.Who says a
crisis will develop?-the U.N.
Where is the U.N. when over 300 rockets a month come into Israel from Gaza-disrupting lives and wounding innocents?
Where was the feeling of empathy for thousand of Israelis expelled from Gaza.without permanent homes,schools,jobs up until the present?
There was one benefit from the disengagement-it allowed Hamas to smuggle 112 tons of explosives into Gaza,and enable the rockets to come closer to Sderot etc.(according to Israeli intelligence)
Oh I forgot myself for a moment-that was our enemies who gained.
When I was early on in my group surgical practice,some businessmen came to us and offered that we install an SMA-12 machine into our office.The purpose-to make money!After all a busy four man surgical practice had lots of patients,who needed blood tests anyway.
Our answer was in the negative-we were doctors not businessmen!
Today with doctors advertising on TV etc,one sees a different standard.Yet,I always question in my mind the quality of those who need to advertise.
Thus today,I was shocked to hear on the radio an invitation for patients and families to come to NYU for a seminar on brain tumors.
Sound great-and educational.
I forgot to mention-each patient who attends is entitled to a free brain MRI.
Enough said!

Sunday, October 28, 2007


About 37 years ago,we moved to Monsey in the town of Ramapo.The slogan of the town was "Keep Ramapo Green".Indeed,except for a stretch of route 59,and the "business district" of Monsey which were old and unappealing,Ramapo was indeed green.
A number of years ago ,things started to change.I do not follow local politics,nor do I even read the local newspaper.So I report to you what I see=period.
Throughout areas of Monsey,multiple dwelling homes are going up.Some of the older areas ,where these homes were built years ago, look like something from Europe(fiddler ?).There is dirt, garbage and suddenly Ramapo is not green anymore.
I have no honest idea regarding sewer or water needs.I do see,that our roads cannot handle this influx.I do know, that these homes are an eyesore.
There is an election coming up soon,and evidently some individuals are calling for a change in policy-a moratorium on building,while studies are performed.
The hasidic community believes that all these hundreds and perhaps thousands of posters on every corner and vacant space calling on citizens to stop "the building
and to preserve Ramapo" are anti-semitic in nature.They are called "Jew haters"and comparing the efforts to 1938 Germany.
I do not know the parties on either side of this political struggle.I do know it is a chilul hashem to create such an atmosphere of hate in this community.
When the town of Suffern tries to stop an unobtrusive building at Good Samaritan Hospital that has long been used as a Shabbos Venter for patients families,I feel it must be fought.
However,when the physical character of my neighborhood is threatened,with ugliness,potential loss of property value,and overcrowding ,my complaints are not because they are chasidim or "ultra-orthodox",but because it is wrong.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

A Likud-NRP-Tour of the Temple Mount

I have just sent an e-mail to Bibi Netanyahu head of Likud ,and Zvulun Orlev the head of the NRP (National Religious Party), suggesting that they conduct a joint Likud-NRP tour of the Temple Mount.The purpose would be to highlight the fact that the Har Habayit,and Kotel are an intrinsic part of the Jewish past ,present and future.Such a move would make it impossible for Olmert to make the unprecedented concessions that he is likely to make on Jerusalem,Yehuda and Shomrom etc.
There is of course precedent for such a visit.Olmert's old boss Arik Sharon did exactly that.And if you say, that such a move will lead to cancellation of Annapolis,I would say..Great
If you will say that it will lead to violence,then I would answer, that this represents the violence that Fatah plans,should they not obtain 100% of their goals.
To this day,suicide bombers attempt infiltration,rockets fall on Israel,and we hear not a word of concessions or change of attitude by Abbas on "refugees,borders etc".
This is not the time for a Condi Rice meeting where the pressure will be all on Israel.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Trash /Pelosi-Reid

Throughout our history,we have always suffered not only from the hatred of Gentiles, but fromthe sectarian battles between Jewish factions.
As we walk the streets near our homes in Monsey,we note Hasidim-not all,but many especially young ones,walking by us on Shabbat,without the traditional "Good Shabbos".It is as though we did not exist.
Occasionally, the Israeli flag that flies near the American flag on our Synagogue has been torn down.
This past week,someone went to the trouble of copying a piece of our Synagogue stationary,on which there was an announcement of a special Shabbat program,featuring Rabbi J.J. Schacter.
They used a computer to print a headline in bold print ,under the schul name that read
They next spread the sheets around our lobby.
Sad,is the only word that I can think of!===============================================================
It is hard to find a more inept leadership pair than Pelosi/Reid.They have taken an electoral victory and basically thrown it to the wind-with petty vindictiveness and a lack of determination to legislate.The veto-overide loss of SChIPS,the Senate agreement on wiretapping,the failure to stop the President in Iraq,Move-on.Org,the attack on Rush Limbaugh,and so on has brought the Congressional ratings down.There is still time for them to pass budget bills,and work with the White House on acceptable legislation.
The American people,are not pleased,when the main agenda of the two Parties is "Gotcha".

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Justice Clarence Thomas

Yesterday, my sons and I attended a luncheon in honor of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas.It was co-sponsored ny the Federalist Society and the Heritage Foundation,and was attended by about 1300-1500 individuals.
We were extremely impressed by his intellect,common sense and humility.
The most poignant remark he made,was to the fact,that there are those who criticize him as a Black Man,who does not act or think in the stereotype that they expect of a "black man"That is, he said, a type of segregation that is unacceptable.
He pointed out that his late brother ,asked him how he should respond to those who criticize his decisions.He answered,"Ask them if they actually read the decision?"
Almost always they did not.
I started reading his autobiography today,and even in the first few pages was moved
to feel pride in this great country,where a Clarence Thomas,against all odds,can become a great Supreme Court Justice.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Words have great meaning-especially in diplomacy and politics.
Thus,in response to an OU (Orthodox Union) letter to PM Olmert ( on Sept 20) regarding Jerusalem,Rachel Risby-Raz ,Diaspora Advisor to the PM ,answered on Oct. 8.
Note,this PM, who as Jerusalem Mayor led a 350,000 person demonstration against dividing Jerusalem, did not personally respond.

She says:
The issue of Jerusalem"is currently not under negotiations with the Palestinians."-If you believe that-do I have a bridge to sell you!
In any future settlement,"the PM, will strengthen the Jewish character of Jer...,enhance its Jewish majority,and keep Jer.. as the eternal,united and internationally recognized Capitol of the Jewish People,and the State of Israel,"

Meaning-if we can get away with it,we will divide Jer..,and give away the Temple Mount,and perhaps internationalize the Kotel.

Monday, October 15, 2007

The end of Olmert?

Could it be that secondary to a confluence of events, we may be seeing the end of the Olmert Prime Ministership?
The Police at the insructions of the AG are starting a new (is it third or fourth)investigation into his dealings.
The Winograd Report,will (perhaps)be coming out.(If they wait any longer, it will be a historical novel,rather than a panel of inquiry).Will Olmert be named,with a suggestion to resign?
In any case,Ehud Barak,has told associates,that he is determined to take the Labor Party out of the coalition after the report.
New polls show a major Kadimah loss and Bibi gain if elections were to take place now.
Shas,is threatening to leave the coalition if political issues(Jerusalem) are on the Annapolis agenda.Avigdor Lieberman will not be far behind.
The PM was forced to replace Ramon as head of the negotiating team to be replaced by Livni,who is more cautious.
Condi Rice,back from a less than successful meeting with Putin,is trying to browbeat Olmert publicly-and there could be ( and should be)an Israeli public backlash.
Abbas and his team are raising the ante,and when they ask for the Wailing Wall(kotel),except for some left-left -left radicals,this is over everyones RED LINE. The rockets and mortars continue,and only good security prevents a major disaster.
Members of the knesset of all parties,are asking Olmert to suspend himself,(unlikely)while the investigations are on.
My question to the Rabbinic leaders of Shas-How can you stay in a Govt. that wishes to give away Har Habayit?(Temple Mount)
We shall watch and pray-as the Arabs hopefully walk away from this silly event.

Rudy Guliani has wisely come out against a 2-state solution,and Sen Sam Brownback has endorsed the Elon plan(basically-Jordan is Palestine-do away with UNRWA).
Hopefully this is a step in the right direction.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Gore-Nobel/Oscar winner

Congrats to V.P. Gore on joining Yassar Arafat and Jimmy Carter as Nobel Peace Prize recipient.
It is a long stretch of reasoning as to how one gets from global warming to war and peace,but I am sure that smarter people than me woulde be happy to present a cogent scenario.
A number of years ago,the V.P.,agreed to meet with a group of OU leaders in the Sheraton Hotel in NY.When he entered the room,he gave me a hug,and loudly pronounced "Mendy and I spent many evenings together exchanging war stories"
Of course,I had been a combat surgeon,and he a reporter for Stars and Stripes.However,we never spent any evenings together,and certainly never exchanged war stories.
Subsequently I noted a little blurb in a political column,that one of his aides told him that he must stop exxagerating( ie.I invented the Internet).
I believe ,as the Judge in England pointed out,the Gore global warming saga,represents those excesses,in degree of danger,and time lines.
Look for a starring role at the Dem. Ntl Convention.After all Carter and Arafat never recieved an Oscar!~

Monday, October 08, 2007

Veto! /Obama's lapel/ Jerusalem-why not give it away totally?

It is a shame that President Bush,in his entire Presidency vetoed only four bills.He allowed wild spending ,secret add-ons to the spending bills(earmarks),and reckless bipartisan efforts to break the financial decorum of our country.Had he been a true fiscal conservative, this so-called childrens health bill, would never have been passed in its current form.
Meant for the poor, as passed, it would give government funding to individuals with over $80,000 income.This would encourage such individuals to cancel their private insurance for the govt. -sponsored program.
His veto should stand-and he should be prepared to use it as needed,to encourage fiscal responsibility.


The flap over Senator Obama not wearing an American flag on his lapel is ridiculous.The lapel pin,is certainly no measure of a persons loyalty or feelings.This campaign is too long,and the pundits should stick to the issues,and not the frivolous(such as Rush's comments-"phoney soldiers vs the phoney") .
The battle for Jerusalem is on!
The Israeli Cabinet,is prepared to give away the Temple Mount.(Har Habayit) the holiest site of our people.
It is said that people get the government they deserve.And that is exactly on point.
We who live in America,have failed to make aliyah, and thus our cries mean much less than were we in Israel.In truth,our ZIONISM,was fine before a State was formed.Since 1948,we have been less than honest with ourselves.We are ready to fight,criticize,etc from the comforts of our homes in the US.
I know that many will point to their children,cash contributions, or their vacation homes as proof of their feelings.The late President Weitzman,once remarked to me,that if in the Six Day war period, as many Jews who attend dinners (in N Y) for Hebron and other historic sites under attack, would have made aliyah to these places,there would today be no question of ownership!(or a need for dinners).
The Israeli political parties have suffered from mediocrity and corruption,and the results are clear.
The Religious streams,have shared in this mediocrity-corruption,and have failed to educate the people even on a minimal basis as to our common traditions and heritage.
When the majority of Israeli youth have never visited Jerusalem,who can fault them for failing to react to a plan to divide the city.
All of the rhetoric of Olmert as Jerusalem Mayor,is not worth a shekel ,as he will stop at nothing to give in to Abbas.The latter,wisely ,asks- no insists on more and more, and he hopes he will be successful.
There are so many feelers out in the press,by Ramon,Lieberman ,and the Haaretz columnists,that if you combined all the ideas,Israel should follow the Iranian suggestion,and
move to Alaska.
One interesting sad omission-compensation for all the Jewish refugees from Arab countries,who outnumber "Arab Refugees".
Thankfully,there is a merciful G-d,who has a Master Plan,and we must have Bitachon (faith).Then again history has shown that the Arabs never miss an opportunity to screw themselves!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Christian America / Shalom Auslander

All my life I have referred to the U.S. as a "Christian Country".Of course what we have that makes it so special, is the fact that it is based upon "Judao-Christian Values",supplemented by a Contitution that provides for all of our freedoms,and separation of Church and State.Our American forefathers,came to this country and established religious tolerance as our way of life.Our Courts and legislatures have kept the system on an even keel.But the overwhelming majority of our population is Christian.(as have all our former Presidents).
How else could you describe this country ? Yes we are a melting pot,and every religion is present and made to feel welcome.Never before in the history of our people in the diaspora, have we had the rights and opportunities as in this great country.
Thus, I have no negative feelings toward Sen. John McCain, who is being criticized for stating the obvious.Perhaps it was expressed poorly, or did not have to be said so bluntly in a political campaign.BUT, THERE WAS NO MALICE OR BIGOTRY INTENDED.


Todays NYT ,(page 1) of the Art Section, describes Shalom Auslander,who took a NYT
reporter on a visit to Monsey on the second day of Rosh Hashonah.
My first serious problem, is the choice of a picture that features chassidic men and their children walking in the street on the holiday.To any reader,it would seem that this depicts the neighborhood where Shalom was brought up in.The obvious connection that a secular or non-orthodox reader would make is"No wonder he rebelled!"
In fact,Shalom Auslander,lived in a modern orthodox area.Men were primarily clean shaven,wore business suits of all colors,and except for a small skullcap,would be indistinguishable from any Rockland County citizen, going to Church etc.
This picture represents intellectual dishonesty!
Shalom was a classmate of my son Ari,and much of the description in this article, and in his New Yorker article a few months ago leave those who knew him with serious doubts as to their accuracy.
That he hates his parents would seem a fair conclusion.I have no personal knowledge as to why he hates with such a cutting passion,but he does come from an illustrious family.His mother worked for many years in the medical office of my neighbor ,a pediatrician.
Throughout my life,I have had friends and classmates who turned away from Orthodoxy.
Some have become totally irreligious,others are Conservative or Reform.Almost all,appreciate their religious education,even if they do not believe or abide by the traditions of our faith.They show respect to those who choose to practice the religion.
Never have I seen however, a hatred to the point that desecrationg the sanctity of Rosh Hashonah is not enough.He must take a reporter in his car to tour the old neighborhood.Perhaps, he was secretly hoping that a former friend or classmate would see him ,be shocked,and have additional spice for the article.
If his intention was to disgrace his family name.he and he alone stands disgraced.
Perhaps the next time he has professional help in analyzing his hatred,he should try to ask himelf -who did he hurt by his antics?
His writing career will surely benefit, but at what price?


Sunday, September 30, 2007

Alternate lifestyle-the Dem approach / Abbas and 92%/Conservative Jewry in Trouble

I was not able to view the Dem candidates debate Wed nite,due to the Sukkot holiday.However, last nites WSJ weekly Fox (11 P.M) discussion,pointed out that in response to a question as to whether it is proper to force young children ( I believe it was second or third grade) to read a story with two same sex parents ( with no ability for parents to withdraw their kids from the assignment) not one candidate objected.
The Democrats are falling over themselve to appear the most liberal and friendly to alternate life -styles. Hopefully,they will realize in the real campaign,that main street America,is not interested in exposing their young children to a lifestyle that goes against all religious and moral teachings.
I have written many time ,that we must show tolerance to every human being.However,teaching my children or grandchildren, that its equally ok to have a mommy-daddy or two daddies or mommies is unacceptable.
There is time enough in adult life,for young people to realize that there are those outside the male-female relationship ,without our teaching them at a young and impressionable age.
I have no statistics to prove that such forced exposure to homosexual ideas at a young age will lead to increased certainly is a step in that direction.


It is not suprising that Abbas said he would turn down even 92% of the West Bank-Gaza in a deal.It is 100% or nothing.
Unfortunaly, Olmert/Ramon are trying for 110%!
Remember, it was Abbas as prime advisor to Arafat, that turned down the Clinton deal!

We spent the first three days of the holiday in Teaneck, NJ.Unlike Monsey,which is dying from a demographically inspired fatal illness,Teaneck is bubbling with modern orthodox growth.
What inspired me,was the young boys and girls, all day-school students, dressed in their holiday best,carrying a lulav/essrog(the boys),and praying with real seriousness (kavanah).
They are so different from children of public or non-religious private schools in demeanor,appearance and of course education,and devotion to our way of life and the State of Israel.
As they scurry to their junior minyanim (services) or groups you realize that they are our future. There can be no Jewish future without Jewish education which inculcates our traditions to the next generation.

The headlines in the Rosh Hashonah ad in the Jewish Week said
Right away I know that they are in trouble.Jack Wertheim of the JTS in a recent Commentary article outlined their problems.
The best and the brightest of their youth groups and camps, are looking for authenticity.and thus many wind up in the Orthodox camp.
Others,are more Liberal and feel more comfortable with Reform Judiasm.
The constant changing of standards within the movement,both at the academic level and in the "Rabbinic" conventions on such issues as female clergy,gay Rabbis,the socio-political issues of the day are confusing to the laity. As standards seem to keep shifting,there is rhetoric from the leadership that while preaching greater observance and "Halachah"is not matched by events on the ground.And so,many congregants shift to to other Congregations.
Thus we see ,even in Rockland County, a merging of Conservative Congregations.One of the casualties of such moves,are the older congregants, who had for years walked to services(having been brought up in more orthodox settings).
If I had to predict.I would say that in 25 years or so, the Conservative movement will be a fraction of what it is today.Reform,of course will always be large.However,they have yet to come up with a solution to assimilation and intermarriage,that will preserve their way of life,not for five or ten years,but for three generations.

Monday, September 24, 2007


President Lee Bollinger of Columbia Univ.,deserves a great deal of credit for his leadership in battling the proposed academic boycott of Israeli institutions by English Colleges and Universities.
However in his invitation to the Iranian President, he showed not only naivitee' , but poor political judgement and immaturity.To use the cover of intellectual freedom is almost laughable.Could he have imagined that by introducing the Iranian President in a sharp and pointed manner,this would have any effect on him?
Ahmadinejad is a seasoned politician and demagogue.Any question,charge or accusation you throw at him he will throw it back at you with professional calm and doubletalk."Answer a question with a question or a charge",is his style.
Goebbels helped to perfect the message of Hitler.Ahmadinejad is using the Goebbel technique to repeat and repeat the Great Lies,hoping a few will listen with sympathy,if they hear the message over and over.
Today we have not only mass communication, but the willingness of a Columbia University to be a pawn in the message of a murderer.American soldiers in Iraq,Coalition sodiers in Afghanistan,Israeli citizens bombed by Iranian Hezbollah rockets can attest to his evil. European countries,the very places that housed the Holocaust ,have made it a crime to deny it.Yet this individual is welcomed,and as the op-ed in todays Haaretz pointed out, if he convinced one individual or 50 to his cause,it is a great loss for the forces of freedom.
We hear all day that the Iranian did not give direct answers either to the questions raised,or to the 60 minute interview.My question is,why can't we get a straight answer as to why under this same principle of intellectual freedom Columbia chased off of its campus the ROTC program ,or the Minutemen spokesman?
Is Iran's program for homosexuals(death) worse than the US military Don't ask Don't tell?
Why in recent years have conservatives been prevented from addressing American Universities (without liberals screaming-freedom of speech)but an evil tyrant who seeks our destruction is given the bully pulpit?

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Moveon condemned by Senate/Jewish Agency /Rudy

Allow me to wish everyone a good fast and a healthy and sweet New Year

If yoy enjoy this blog, pass it on to a friend or relative


The Jewish Agency is lobbying the Knesset,to remain the only organization to represent Israel on Aliyah matters.Specifically, they seek to to keep Nefesh Bnefesh and another successful French group from being recognized with government contracts.
The problem is, that both groups are successful and threaten the Agency monopoly.Remember it is the the Agency that gave Israel 300,000 non-Jews,including
Nazis as part of the aliyah package.They are a huge inefficient government within a government.It is time for the Agency to bow out!

Once again Rudy shines as he calls for Israel to be part of NATO.Should he be elected, he will be the greatest friend (since George Bush minus Condi)of the US-Israel partnership.

If Haim Ramon were the final voice,Israel would give back every last vestige of our history and tradition.However, he is a sounding board for Olmert,allowing the opposition to attack him and not the PM.But Olmert's intentions are no different from Ramon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Judge Mukasey / Sen Pryor

Michael Mukasey,the new nominee for Attorney General, not only attended Ramaz School-the Orthodox Day School in Manhattan,but attended Camp Massad ,the religious Zionist Camp in Pa. His wife was also headmistress in Ramaz.
As a conservative,I was rooting for the appointment of Ted Olsen.I felt that even if it required an interim appointment,the President should not allow the Dems to push him around.The WSJ enumerated all the modern A-G's who were party stalwarts, including Bobby K.
Nevertheless, Judge Mukasey,looks like a great choice!


The appearance of Senator Mark Pryor at our home Sun evening was a pleasant suprise.I had never met him before,and was moved by his warm personality and outgoing mannerisms.More importantly he was the opposite of the totally partisan politician, that we see so often rushing to the TV in Washington,to denounce and attack the opposition.
I was impressed that immediately after Joe Lieberman's primary defeat,Pryor rushed to help him financially. He is a moderate, middle of the roader on the Iraq war,but a great friend of Israel

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rudy vs Hillary / Political Action

The full page NYT ad by Rudy against Hillary was significant.Firstly it brilliantly positioned Hillary as anti-Petraeus, while Rudy was in effect a bystander who is merely informing the public as to the lack of proper response by the Dems and Hillary to
Secondly, it is surely the forerunner of a "swift-boat " campaign, painting the Dems as anti-security and anti-military.
I knew was big,however until the NYT story I did not appreciate their size,power and ARROGANCE.
At this rate, they will bring the Dems down from victory.The efforts of all Dem candidates to veer so far to the left in the primary season,could be their downfall in the elections.

Tonight ,My wife and I will be hosting a HUVPAC meeting in our home featuring Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas.It was in that very room in our basement ,that 25 years ago we started HUVPAC.For much of that time,together with great supporters we have raised millions for candidates who appreciate the US-Israel relationship.
Now our efforts are under attack once again.
On Jan. 12, 1989 pro-Arabists served us, 10 other Pac's and AIPAC with papers,charging us with violations of the Federal election laws.Their real purpose was to destroy us,and put us out of business.They failed!
Today, Mearsheimer,Walt, Jimmy Carter and others, try to place us in a position where our loyalty is questioned.We are all-powerful,control American foreign policy, stifle debate and dissent,and were responsible for the Iraq invasion.
Many fine articles,and the Foxman book have debunked these lies,so that I need not repeat their arguments.
I am very proud, that as citizen activists,we appreciate "participatory democracy" as fundamental to our rights as Americans.We vote,we petition our leaders,we open our pocketbooks for causes we believe in, and we have no cause for shame.
Every interest group in our country is encouraged to do the same.Unions,farmers,doctors,senior citizens, Cubans who fight Castro etc etc are all in the same boat.
That is the beauty of America.
But we are blessed, because the American people, Christian and Jew ,black and white
support Israel, as a friend, ally ,fellow democracy and strategic partner.
I just heard a warm radio commercial on the "beauty of Islam".It claims 9 million American Muslims.What a fantatic growth rate-1 million each year.The truth is closer to 3 million.But regardless! With all their millions they have but one freshmen Congressman and no Senators.
But our strength is not based upon the Jewish population in any State.Rather, the morality and Justice of our mission appeals to our fellow countrymen,and G-d willing
it will remain so.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

New Years Thoughts

In a few hours we usher in a New Year.More than ever, we acknowledge our needs from a benevolent creator to save mankind from our ills,political,social,and medical.
The world is as dangerous ,as never before.Perhaps the only bright spot is N Korea showing signs of doing TSHUVA -repenetance.
The war on terror will be with us for decades.But we must be thankful that since 9/11,there have been no attacks against our homeland.Yet ,the enemy keeps trying .I can't say why they haven't succeeded,but the matter speaks for itself.Of course we could do better in Homeland Security-it will never be perfect.For terrorists only need one error on our part ,while we must be perfect.
Sadly ,the American political system has lost any sense of bipartisanship or fairness.Thus when Gen. Petraeus comes to testify, he is abused even before he enters the building.At the same time candidate Edwards calls the war a "bumper sticker slogan'.
Russia has turned aggressive,and Putin is using his oil revenues to threaten the West.
Iran is reaching a point of no-return in challenging us in Iraq,Afghanistan, Lebanon and in the nuclear proliferation arena.
We do not yet know the true extent of Israels foray into Syria,but the US knows,as do the Iranians.Firstly we can assume that the IDF,was able to neutralize the Russian made radar-to wit cellphones in Lebanon were not operative for five days after the attack.
However,the dangers of a Syrian retaliation or miscalculation are real.
This "noise" up North, is preventing Israeli forces from responding in Gaza.The real reason however,is the fear by Olmert of upsetting the Nov. "peace Conf".
If he presents a plan to divide Jerusalem,then world Jewry must stand up and yell from the rafters.
Jerusalem and the Har Habayit ( Temple Mnt) belongs not to Olmert or Kadimah, but to the partnership between G-d and the Jewish people.
At the end of the day,his talks and meetings will fail because Abbas is weak and there is no partner for peace.Olmert's days hopefully will be numbered as PM.
We are in the midst of a long Presidential campaign. Even though I came out for Rudy, I still feel that Newt will throw his hat into the ring and would make for great political theatre.He is a true idea-man.
Would the Pres. have the courage to bomb Iran, absent a threatening gesture from them other than continued nuclear production? In any case, we are getting close to an answer,and it will make our world even more dangerous.
Finally on a personal note to end up these thoughts,I wish to extend my best wishes for a Ktivah Vachatimah Tovah to all.
The last few days,as I have touched base with old friends and classmates,I have been saddened that more than a few have suffered serious illnesses.I pray for their full recovery=and a year of peace ,good health and prosperity.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Dishonor in politics /Sen Warner / MK Yishai speaks

The ad in yesterdays NYT is unacceptable ,by any standard of decency.Democrats should stand up and state that even if they don't agree with the Petraeus report,he is a man who serves his country with dignity and honor.
He would never "BETRAY-US"

Talking about Hagel and Craig, I neglected to mention the retirement of Sen Warner.He has been a supporter of foreign aid to Israel, but I don't recall him as a leader on our issues.

It is only proper that for the first time I hear Elli Yishai of Shas,proclaim that giving away the Temple Mount is a red -line for his party.Haim Ramon with Olmert's permission is trying to give away the store.Unfortunately for them ,Hamas is continuing its attacks.
It was only a matter of time until a Kassam hit a power plant,school or Army base.
What kind of reaction will we see from Israel?
One thing we know,is that in the old days Israel would have wiped out the Kassam sites,and
created a zone whereby no Kassam could hit Israel.
Again and again we see the fruits of disengagement.To withdraw from the West Bank will only lead to Kassams on Netanya,Ben-Gurion airport,etc.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Hagel /Craig

The announcement that Sen. Chuck Hagel R-Neb will not run is welcome news to the Pro-Israel community.A member of the Foreign Relations and Intelligence Committees,he is surely not a friendly face on our issues.The Republican Party both nationally and locally,cannot be too upset with the retirement of this maverick.Indeed had he chosen to run again,he would have faced a primary contest,with a possibility of losing.
Nebraska is a "red"state, and thus ,it is likely that his successor will be a Republican.The Attorney General, Governor ,ex-Gov, ,and members of Congress all might have an interest in the seat.
Sen. Larry Craig,who until his arrest was a shoo-in,was more friendly to the U.S.-Israel relationship.He won the election five years ago by 65%.
Assuming (as it appears), that he will proceed with his resignation,the Lt-Gov also a Republican, will probably be appointed to take his place.Idaho, is a very "red" state,and the entire Craig bathroom fiasco will long be forgotten 14 months hence, thus the state should re-elect Craig"s successor.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Decreased Auto Sales

As we watch and analyze the economic news relating to the credit crunch,the analysts are quick to point out that decreased auto sales are an indication of the spillover of the subprime events.They point out ,correctly, that people are hesitant to take home equity loans for auto purchases, when they fear their home values have diminished.
There is another factor not discussed.The quality of the modern auto is so much superior to those produced 10 and 20 years ago, that one can have auto for 4-6 years with 60-1000,000 miles of usage,without ever having to bring the car in for repairs ,other than an oil change.When many of the models look the same 3-4 years later,and you have a well functioning car, the thrill of a new car purchase is not as acute.
In addition when professionals retire,they suddenly have to purchase their own car,rather than having their professional corp. ,or office pick up the tab.When you combine this with autos that last longer,it is not unusual to put off that purchase or lease which used to be every 24-36 months by a year or two


Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Olmert Rice and N. Korea //Checkpoints causing terror volunteers

It is quite amazing! 300 Kassams last month aimed at Sderot,six children hospitalized after having been involved in a rocket attack that caused mental trauma,and Olmert is giving away the store.
He talks about releasing 100 Palestinian prisoners as a good will gesture-How about the release of Shalit and the other soldiers as a Palestinian "gesture"?
The Winograd report is preparing to place certain officials on notice of impending charges,but Olmert talks in secret about changing the border of the Negev.
Olmert has little public support,but is prepared to re-divide JERUSALEM.
Abbas has not prepared his people for a single Palestinian concession.
In two areas, Sec Rice and the Administration are putting the cart before the horse.
In N. Korea, the hopes of a nuclear free Korean peninsula would be a blessing.However, N. Korea has promised this before.It took us eight years to find out that they were cheating.Why do we not wait for the North to carry out its promises before we remove them from the list of terror states.?Why give them all the oil and food so early in the process?
Let them prove themselves and then be rewarded.
Similarly only Guliani has understood the essence of Palestinian motives and methods.There is no reason to advocate a two-state solution,until and unless the Palestinians adopt the rule of law, disarm all terror groups, renounce violence and agree to the end of the "right of return".
Until then, the P.M. should resist American pressure,and concentrate on protecting his citizens ,including Sderot.


In an op-ed in todays Jer-Post,Seth Freeman writes that the checkpoints harden the hearts of the Palestinians,and are a cause of terror volunteers.
I would like to remind young Mr Freedman,that Arab fighters massacred Jews in Palestine long before there were checkpoints,settlements,a State,an Army or an "occupation".
The Torah tells us that Eisav hates and seeks to destroy Yaakov.Travel to the Gush and visit the museum,or to Yad Veshem ,and understand -it has always been this way=and always will be!

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Londonistan / Dear Molly

An addendum to my Londonistan blog;
The tv channels in our hotel room contained CNN (no Fox) ,Bloomberg (no CNBC ) plus one Arabic station, and two Iranian networks.
According to the London Times,one in four children born in Britain has a foreign parent.This is compared to 20% in 2001.This immigration has caused a 26 year high in new births from 663,000 in 2002, to 734.000 in 2006.
It will be interesting ( and scary) to look at population figures in 10 and 20 years.

The Jewish Week is not a religious paper, but it does enter thousands of Jewish homes.One would expect that its contributors would rise above the level of the street,and confront moral issues in a mature and Jewish point of view.
Jewish survival has been predicated on our Torah, and upon the sanctity of our homes as a "mikdash Me-at"a minor spiritual sanctuary.We bless a bride and groom that they establish their homes in such a manner.
Thus this week (p-48) in a Dear Molly column,when asked whether her daughter could sleep together with her boyfriend while returning home prior to returning to college ,the answer was in the affirmative.This despite the fact that there is a younger brother at home.
Who is Molly? Does she have any feeling for Jewish tradition or law?Is she 18 or 75?Has she had a normal married life or divorced?If she has children, have they maintained their Jewish connection.?
Before someone gives such advice,it would be important to know their level of expertise in the
subject matter.
The Jewish Week does us a great disservice,by publishing such an outrageous rersponse in a cavalier manner,without having a real discussion by named individuals on the theology and morality of the issues raised.
Despite the sexual activity of the couple while on campus,for me,Molly has turned the home into a house without morals.Shame on Molly and the JW

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The credit crunch

If I were smarter,or a better business observer,I would have predicted the housing/credit crunch two years ago.
Two winters ago, we spent a few months in Miami Beach.Each day we would walk blocks and miles and observe the new condos being built.We inspected many of them,as we had an interest in purchasing a property.The prices were off the wall,and we were told that individuals(speculators) were buying multiple apartments for resale when construction would be completed in 2-3 years.Sheila and I commented many times to ourselves, that it was hard to envision all these thousands of apartments being sold, unless S. Americans or Europeans enjoying a falling dollar were the clients.
Subsequently I read about some of those who were the speculators,using letters of credit and minimal downpayments for the apartments.Today of course they are running away from their promises.
Last year,each and every day (sometimes as often as three times a day),we received cold calls from mortgage companies.Each one sounded like a used car salesman.They always asked two questions.
1-would I like a cheap mortgage?
2-would I like to borrow extra cash with the mortgage?
When I told them they would have to beat my current mortgage on our Boynton Beach home,with no gimmicks ( interest only etc,) they quickly lost interest.
As to the extra cash, I told them (facetiously)that I would be happy to lend THEM cash.They were not amused-and promptly hung up.
It is sad to see individuals facing the loss of their homes.
The first rule of capitalism is that individuals must take responsibility for their decisions.Any type of approach to alleviate the problem, must not reward the unscrupulous mortgage lenders.To bail them out would allow them to repeat their attacks on the sub-prime borrower.If they falter,they should be prevented from engaging in this industry.
Nevertheless,perhaps, some approach by government whereby defaulted homes would be placed in some sort of bank or government pool,and those homeowners who want to work out payment to this body at a normal interest rate could do so.Thus many Americans could save their homes.The problem of course is not only the ability to afford a mortgage,but paying for a $300,000 mortgage on a home, now worth $250,000.However in time once the housing and credit market level off,home values will go up.
Not everyone can be helped,but again I emphasize that there should be no bailout of the unscrupulous elements in the industry.
I an neither an economist or financial maven,but with the housing industry comprising only 5% of our economy,and with both the US and world economies in good shape,I sense a psychological warfare against the consumer and investor to create a sense of gloom in order to get the Fed to lower interest rates,to save the millions and billions of poor investments .

Sunday, August 26, 2007

The Islamization of Europe.

I appreciate my son Elli blogging for me while I was on a Baltic cruise.
One of the topics that I covered during my lectures on Kosherica's cruise, was on the challenges of radical Islam .Certainly much has been written about the changing of the face of Europe,and the dangers the West faces in this battle ,which we appear to be losing.One of the sources that I quoted was a book published a year ago LONDONISTAN.
I have tried to keep up with not only the news,commentaries and pubications on the European-Islamic dynamics, but nothing prepared me for the culture shock of my 1 1/2 days in London at the conclusion of our trip.
I have visited London an a number of occasions,and always noted the Middle-East influence .We stayed at a hotel at Heathrow,and took the Undergroud,to get into the city and public buses within London.This time it was quantitatively different.
The huge numbers of Women totally clad in black from head to toe was shocking.Huge families travel together,mostly speaking some non-English Arabic dialect.A visit to Harrods, and Selfridges,found the store occupied by perhaps 50-60% easily identifiable Muslims and middle eastern types. It was the first time that I hesitated to wear a yarmulke in public,and wore a baseball cap.
Of course I cannot tell who are visitors,and who are living permanently in England.The scene at Heathrows.simply duplicated our impressions from within the city.
The Arab /Muslim influence is great and the impresssions gained seem to fortify the published works, that indicate that barring some unforseen halt to immigration,a reversal of the low birth rates of white Europeans,or a civil war in Europe,the Islamization of Europe is proceeding rapidly under the eyes of the helpless Europeans.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Vice Presidential Picks

In general I think trying to predict who the Vice Presidential picks will be (especially 5 months before the Iowa caucus) is a fool's game. This is especially true when one takes into account the recent history of vice presidential nominees- who would have predicted Geraldine Ferraro? Lloyd Bentsen? Dan Quayle? Jack Kemp? Joe Lieberman? Each was a surprise pick. The RealClearPolitics blog (the best political website on the internet) posted a list this week of the possible vp nominees in each party. In my mind, however, each party has a clear frontrunner. For the Democrats, with Hillary dominating every national and state poll, she will likely look to the second place finisher, Barack Obama, in order to unify the party and put forward the party's strongest ticket. Even though Obama has begun to show his inexperience with a series of bizarre policy statements (i.e. he would invade Pakistan as President, he would ruled out using nuclear weapons as President (he then quickly changes his mind), he would meet with the leader's of all the rogue nations), nevertheless Hillary would be under tremendous pressure from the black community to pick Obama.
On the Republican side, the frontrunner for the vp pick has to be Mike Huckabee, the former governor of Arkansas. His second place showing at the Ames straw poll is evidence that people have taken to him. He is a southern conservative who has performed exceptionally well in the debates (his answer at the June 5th debate to a question on evolution is the best and most eloquent answer I have ever heard given at a debate- check it out on YouTube). He would even out a ticket with a Northeast moderate such as Rudy or Romney. My one caveat is that I need to find out a little more about his policy beliefs- his depiction in today's Wall Street Journal as a candidate with some unconventional beliefs does give me slight pause. While Huckabee has very little chance of taking the presidential nomination (with little money or name recognition), it seems as though his run has put him in good position for a place on the national ticket.
As an aside, while I try to rarely read The Jewish Week (because I find paper leaning too far to liberal Judaism), it never ceases to amaze me how shallow their political reporting is. In this week's Jewish Week, their piece on Huckabee on page 3, reads more like a propaganda article from the National Jewish Democratic Council and less like the balanced reporting which belongs in a non-partisan Jewish newspapaper.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Karl Rove/NBA/NYC Arabic School

As announced in the Wall Street Journal this week, Karl Rove announced his resignation from his White House position. There is no doubt that Rove possesses one of the great political minds of our time having led the Republicans to election victories in 2000, 2002 and 2004. Clearly he shared some blame for the loss of Congress in 2006, but much greater blame goes to the Republican members of Congress that allowed increased spending and corruption to be their main accomplishments. If one doubts Rove's genius, one can only point to the vitriol that is constantly directed his way by Democrats; no Republicans ever waste their time attacking Bob Shrum, the Democratic strategist that went zero for eight in elections. Rove's presence in the White House will be sorely missed.


There was a time that I loved watching the NBA. Today, however, the NBA has become virtually unwatchable with players that are unskilled in basketball basics (such as shooting and passing) and TV coverage on ABC that is awful. However, as bad as the NBA has become, nothing could have prepared fans for the referee gambling scandal which has shaken the league. Nobody at this point knows how many referees are involved or of the scope of the problem. The referee, Tim Donaghy, pleaded guilty yesterday to a variety of felonies and admitted to helping people gamble on games for five months this past season. We may never know the truth as to what happened. What we do know is that the NBA was caught sleeping at the wheel- the league had no idea they had a problem until the FBI notified them at the end of the season. In order to save the league, big changes need to occur- the first is the resignation of David Stern who is ultimately responsible for the downturn of the league.


I would like to meet the person who thought an Arabic themed school in New York City(in which Arabic culture is taught- whatever that means) was a good idea. The school has certainly allowed for some entertaining moments as the original principal defended "Intifada" t-shirts and then watched herself get roasted in the newspapers until she had to resign. Next comes the new principal, an Orthodox Jew. The best thing that can happen at this point is that the school will be closed and we can all forget this poorly conceived experiment.


Monday, August 13, 2007

Republican Presidential Update/Governor Spitzer

With Hillary Clinton pulling away from the rest of the Democratic pack (her average lead in the national polls is now 20 points), it appears that the only competitive national race is going to be with respect to the Republican nomination. Of course, how competitive the race is actually going to be remains to be seen. The mainstream media has been predicting that Guiliani's lead would disappear as soon as Republicans learned of his some of his social views. Yet, Guiliani's lead has stayed strong for the last 9 months and currently stands at about 10 points over his nearest competitor. Can any of the other candidates make a run at Rudy? My belief is that Fred Thompson has waited too long to get into the race. This hesitation on the part of Thompson raises the question as to whether he has the hunger to run a committed campaign. His organization is in disarray and his fundraising has been disappointing. It is doubtful that his entry into the race (which is expected to happen in September) will effect the polls that much since his entry is now expected. It looks as though the only candidate that could threaten Rudy is Mitt Romney. His position in the latest polls has improved markedly (he was even second in a recent poll) and he was certainly helped by his win in the Ames straw poll. But I question his strategy of putting all of his marbles in Iowa and New Hampshire. In previous years winning Iowa (see Bob Dole in 1988) or New Hampshire (McCain in 2000) was no guaranty of success and this year, with the primary season compressed into a very short time period, candidates will need to move beyond Iowa and New Hapshire rapidly. Guiliani with his broad support and large national lead seems to be in good shape. The Republican frontrunner rarely loses its lead (it hasn't happened in over 40 years) and doesn't seem likely this time around.

It appears that those who feared a Governor Spitzer would act in the same over-the-top fashion that he exhibted as attorney general have been proven correct. The Spitzer administration's attempt to bring down Joe Bruno by misusing state troopers and planting stories with a newspapaer is nothing short of outrageous. It remains remarkable that the governor's people believe that by claiming that have cooperated with a sham investigation conducted by the Attorney General that suddenly their bad behavior would be excused and forgotten. The best strayegy with dealing with scandal is to get all of the bad facts in front of the public as soon as possible. Instead the administration has chosen to delay disclosure (by allowing two top aises to not testify) and instead allow the disclosures to come out in drips and drabs. This assures that the scandal will drag on for months. For a governor that assured the public that everything would change on day one, it appears that this adminstartion believes in politics as usual. If Mayor Bloomberg were smart, he would rejoin the Republican party, stop thinking about an absurd run for President and run against Spitzer in 2010.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Under ideal circumstances,I would like OUR next President to be a moral and outstanding citizen who would act as a moral compass for our youth.This of course would be in addition to his/her understanding the issues as I do.Political courage,leadership etc are what I would hope for.
The world is less than perfect(of course that includes me!)and as we start getting into the campaign, we have to to seperate that which is vital,to that which perhaps to use the vernacular,I would have to hold my nose in order to support the candidate.
This is no ordinary election.The war against Islamic fundamentalism,dwarfs every social issue.There is little margin for error.
To me the Democrats have forfeited their claim as being strong on security/defense.Their whole conduct in the wire-tapping and Defense budget issues, clearly show, that their eyes are in left field on the Kos and Co. bloggers.Even Hillary,who I thought because of her Armed Service Comm service ,would maintain a middle of the road approach,is running scared to the left.Surely,she will turn toward the center after she sews up the nomination.But can you trust what she says?
To me, the choice of Rudy is a no-brainer.Honestly, I was waiting to see if Newt would get into the race.Thompson,has been a disappointment,both for lack of substance and for campaigh mismanagement.
Rudy,has been consistent,and above all,HE GETS IT!
The two issues of security and the US-Israel relationship which to me trump all others,find Rudy in a class all by himself.
We remember his returning the Saudi Princes' check after 9/11, and his old heaveho for Yassir .His accomplishments in making NYC governable,portends well for a Guliani administration.
Rudy is on the right path with taxes,the economy and health care(which so far is not totally thought out).
Abortion,gun control are all secondary issues as we face existential issues.Similarly his personal life,certainly raises many questions.However, if we look at Roosevelt,Kennedy,and Clinton of our modern Presidents,these issues are not new.
Certainly,I would rather have Rudy as he is,then a weak President who has had a perfect personal family history.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The growing Haredi influence.

Much has been written about the demographics of the haredi population growth.The truth is that long after secular and Reform/Conservative Jews have seen the assimilation of their second,third and subequent generations,the Haredi world will continue,despite poverty to make up for the population losses of the former community.
That is why the exclusion of Haredi and Yeshivish leaders in recent hi-powered conclaves on the future of the Jewish people is a great error.
In truth there can be no future for our people without a Torah way of life.
Having said that,does not mean that we have to kowtow to Haredi demands in two specific areas.
1. Today, 10% of the Israeli population is "ultra-orthodox/Haredi".Yet,as more students leave the State sponsored religious schools,23% of first grade Israeli pupils attend Haredi schools.Parents,are interested in the security of the schools,the Hashkafah-or philosophy that rejects the MTV culture sweeping Israel and so on.Yet since these schools receive State funding, there is no reason in the world,why these schools cannot be forced to teach the basics of a secular curriculum ,including computer technology and its use.
Absent these courses,they should be prohibited from State funding.

I recall a number of years ago,when my friend Prof. Yaakov Neeman was Finance Minister.He made a presentation to a small group at the Jewish Agency ,with slides,graphs and charts.The bottom line,was the economic drain on a small State(Israel) by a growing cadre of uneducated, and unemployable young men on welfare
because they lacked proper training.The bubble of rich parents supporting children,then grandchildren who marry and have many children on their own ,and so on,will surely burst.
2.This brings me to my second point.One quarter of 18 year olds in Israel do not volunteer for the Army.One half of those are Haredi.This drain on manpower is not only dangerous, but brings the Torah Community to ridicule.
Not all these Yeshiva students, are worthy of deferment.Those in the calibre of Daayanim(Judges) educators and so on should be deferred.
The State should designate x number of deferments.A national exam would be given in addition to considering the learning level of the applicant.Those top students will be deferred with State stipends.The rest have a choice of military service,or community service/learn a trade for 3 years.There is no reason they cannot sit in a Bais Medrash at nite and continue their learning,as they serve their fellow citizens.