Thursday, July 31, 2008


I sense a turn-around in the making.The Obama celebrity tour to Europe and the battle zones was planned to give him a spike in the polls.By all reason, he shoud have come home with a double digit lead.This is especially true in light of the bland McCain effort.
It appears he overplayed his hand.He started acting not only as THE PRESIDENT, but as THE MESSIAH.
The world is waiting for him he explained.
The oceans and the heavens have been waiting for this moment!
How can 200,000 Berliners be wrong?(Remember the throngs of adulation at that very area 60 years ago)
Suddenly the late nite comics who 2-3 weeks ago could not find any funny material about him,have hit their stride.
The polls show a tightening, with Real Clear Politics showing a slight Florida lead for McCain.
McCain has found his tongue.He is still wrong on ANWAR, but his "celebrity " message is right on track.
Now some Obama supporters playing the race card,saying that the accusations OF "EGOTISM ETC:" ARE BECAUSE HE IS A BLACK MAN,
The lyrics of the black rapper whose name I forget,that is being played on Fox and talk radio, is dangerous,especially since he is an Obama friend.
The contest is just beginning,and it will be tough going.
I am a bit disappointed in David Gergen who is a CNN consultant, with a great deal of political experience in the White House for having a subtle but real Obama tilt to his analyses.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gas and energy /Obama in Europe

This Sunday we started a 2 day trip to Florida.From NJ and on south, gas ranged between $3.83 and $ 3.99 per gallon. There were much less cars on the road than usual,and the motel we stayed in was not busy.
Oddly when we got to Boynton Beach, the gas was in that upper range(3.98),but only 5 minutes away in Delray Beach was 12 cents more.

When Pelosi took over as Speaker, she promised transparency.Now I can understand that she opposes fossil fuel and off-shore drilling.After all she is trying to "save the planet" a-la Gore Yet she and Harry Reid refuse even to entertain any serious motions to remove the Congressional ban.Where are their trust in the American public? McCain must hit harder on these energy issues.


As we drove ,I had a chance via CNN radio and NPR to listen to all the talk shows.Discarding the extreme conservative talk show hosts,a few things stick out:
Obama is no different from any other politician.
His Berlin rally speaking to the "world" was an ego trip, made for tv.
Playing basketball instead of visiting wounded troops sans media speaks to the real Obama.
His leak of his Kotel note is more of the same.
His failure to answer Katie Couric 4 times on the surge,speaks to a disonest individual who NEVER can say " I was wrong".
McCain needs some better media support.
Finally was the op-ed read on radio from a liberal columnist.He asked "name one event in Sen Obama's political life you can be proud of!"
The person he asked the question to thought a moment and said "His convention speech 4 years ago!"
The writer then went on to list a myriad of events in McCain's life from the military to his bi-partisanship on major issues, his courage in bucking the President and the Generals, as well as public opinion, make John McCain a person we can be proud of

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Obama in Berlin

My kids went to the Billy Joel concert last week in Shea Stadium.Perhaps it's generational, or perhaps I can't let what little hair I have down, but I have never learned to appreciate rock stars .I have to admit if Billy Joel or Bruce Springsteen passed me on the street I would not recognize them.
Thus the mega-rally today in Berlin was impressive if the speaker was the Pope or one of the above-mentioned stars.But then again Obama is a glitzy star created by the media.Young,athletic, bright , good looking,and a great orator.
He wants not only to remake Congress, the United States,and now even the world.
He has talent and the looks,but is America ready for a novice?
Sadly John McCain has to battle not only the Bush record,the incompetence of the Republicans in Congress over these many years when they forgot their conservative principles, but also battle a superstar a-la Batman-Iron Man etc.
It will be tough, but Americans are sophisticated, and hopefully will be able to wash the glitz out of their starry eyes.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Obama and Israel.

You have to hand it to the Obama team.The pictures were perfect, the atmosphere great,and visits well thought out.
Having Dennis Ross and Amb. Danny Kurtzer on board allowed for the preperation of the candidate.Except for his answer to Jerusalem, which he referred to as a final status issue-he appears to have made no mistakes.
Yes Jerusalem is a final status issue,technically,however the Congress has passed resolutions confirming that Jerusalem is the eternal indivisible Capitol.Israel has declared that the status of Jerusalem cannot be changed.
Furthermore the "road-map" calls for the end of armed insurgents, the rule of law,the acceptance by the PA as a Jewish State,the end of incitement and so on, before any kind of further negotiations can take place.
The positive point is that had there not been a public outcry regarding his middle-east knowledge, his statements and positions would be quite unacceptable to our community.
The fact is that all this is scripted and made for TV.What he really believes,and who his overall advisors are in addition to his VP choice ,are yet to be determined.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


I have but one thought this morning:
The media is playing up the Obama trip as a method of strengthening his "foreign policy credentials".
In the middle of a campaign,with a cast of 300 advisors e-mailing him what to cover each day,how does this 3 year Senator, without a single accomplishment in foreign policy legislation,who in the midst of 2 wars,now makes a grand enterance subsequent to announcing his conclusions ,who was prepared a-la Reagan and Kennedy to stand at the site of the old Berlin Wall and deliver a campaign speech in the same haughty manner he created a "pseudo-presidential"shield,who spoke against the invasion of Iraq as a State Senator with little facts in front of him, and who refuses to concede Iraq has changed because of the surge,who was forced to show he knows litttle of the nuances of Israeli-PA issues,--how can one foreign trip make him an expert?
It reminds me of a young intern just starting his medical career,walking into the operating room,and announcing he hopes to become Chief of Surgery,and would like to spend the day observing seasoned surgeons perform, in order to fatten his resume' and expertise.

Monday, July 21, 2008

NYT op-ed policy / Rasmussen / Lieberman on the surge

Americans now recognize the one sidedness of the press toward Obama.The National Review documents the frequency of Obama's face on Newsweek's cover since he announced for Pres.
Now the NYT refused an op-ed submitted by Sen. McCain because he would not include a timetable for withdrawal from Iraq.
Not only do they shade the news,but are trying to censor!


The Rasmussen Report notes that if Israel attacks Iran, 42% of Americans believe we should aid them.On the other hand 46% believe we should do nothing, while 1% are in favor of helping Iran.
What is interesting is that most Republicans are in favor of helping, while most Democrats and Independents prefer doing nothing.The influence of the left wing is clear.Thus Obama can safely advocate talking to Ahmedijan without pre-conditions.
This is another indication that the Republican Party today is the ADDRESS of those who have deep feelings for Israel's security and viability while under the threat of a nuclear Iran.This is personified in their candidate.


Sen. Joe Lieberman was right on target when he stated the obvious.
Had the US followed the Obama/Reid/Pelosi/Dodd et al advice prior to the surge,the war would be over today with a US defeat,Al Quada in control and no ability fot Obama to visit Iraq.
As it is, ethnic violence is gone, victory is possible and although not guaranteed is closer because of the surge.
McCain's judgement was correct-Obama -juvenile and uninformed.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Teaneck Explosion /Obama trip

I thank G-d that our children Banji and Ari ,and our grandchild Matthew who was home, were not injured in the blast that destroyed their next-door neighbors home in Teaneck yesterday.The explosion site is awesome, and nothing is left but a chimney.
Their home only had some glass damage, and the front door was broken into by the fire department.The lawn and driveway is reminiscent of the scenes you see on TV after a tornado.Parts of the destroyed home are all ovewr the lawn, driveway and street.The other kids were in camp.
Sadly Mr. Haas, the owner lost his life in the accident.Why this occurred when for weeks the street has been complaining about a gas smell is unclear at this moment.Even a few hours before the explosion PS&G had a crew there.
It appears that the workers on the scene are mum about what took place, probably fearing the legal reprecussions.
Hopefully by tomorrow, they will be able to safely be back in their home.


I am confused re: the Obama trip, especially to the war zones.He is going to be briefed on conditions on the ground,and have his first ever meeting with Petrius, and his first ever visit to Afghanistan; but he already has announced his conclusions AND ACTIONS IF ELECTED.
The media circus in contast to the McCain trips to Iraq and Columbia highlight the one-sidedness of the press.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Today I celebrate a very special occasion.
My mother Kate,celebrated her 97th birthday.Her demeanor and warmth are still a key ingredient to her longevity.She never complains despite being in a wheel chair.
With part of the famiuly there to cut a cake,and sing " Happy Birthday", she recieved call from some of her 33 great-grandchildren from Israel , camp and other points in the US.
May Hashem grant her more years in good health to realize the nachas of seeing all of her children,grandchildren and great-grandchildren following in the path of Torah Judiasm.


My suggestion to the Republican Party.
In front of each gas station in the US, place huge posters 0f Obama, Pelosi and Reid with the statement:

Monday, July 14, 2008

Jesse Jackson /Obama and Jerusalem

I certainly commend Sen. Obama for speaking plainly and with common sense regarding the Black " family". It is the message of Bill Cosby,and of the report many years ago by Sen. Moynihan.
Jessie Jackson is an embittererd frustrated individual, whose time has passed.He should be looking at the Oriental communities to see what can be done without massive government intervention,if only the desire is there for education etc.
Of course genes play a role, but that is a different subject.

The headlines in the Times should read that Obama totally backtracks on his committment to an "undivided " and eternal Israeli Capitol in Jerusalem.He now says it is a final status issue.
This is not merely a flip-flop! Rather it underscores his lack of knowledge of the issues with its nuances and implications.It also shows he has NO FEELING for the deep meaning of Jeruasalem in our history or nationhood.
In the Talmud we talk about a "KAL V'CHOMER" a fortieore. It means that for example if I have a million dollars I am wealthy,then Kal V'chomer if I have 2 million dollars I am wealthy.
If previous Presidents,.Bush and Clinton campaigned on moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem the eternal capital, and didn't do so for many reasons,then Kal V'chomer Obama who does not favor an undivided eternal capital will not be our friend on these issues.
All the Jewish advisers to the contrary, Obama is no Bush or McCain on our issues.
Speaking 0f which -his choice of Sen. Chuck Hagel to accompany him to Israel just reinforces that message.


The cover of the New Yorker is in poor taste,and I am shocked that it was published.Especially with the American flag burning in the background and her holding an assault weapon wearing an Afro, and him in a turban.
Despite their claiming it is political "satire', perhaps there are deep Freudian feelings on the part of the artists and publishers .

Sunday, July 13, 2008

AIPAC / ads,ads, ads

Last week I spoke about AIPAC,and how important it still is.Yet many do not recognize the daily efforts and results of AIPAC,so I thought I would mention one not well known fact.
Last year, the US and Israel signed a 10 year military aid agreement whereby Israel would get 30 billion over 10 years.However the money would have to be appropriated annually by Congress.As we know, almost the entire budget is frozen,yet we were able to see a 170 million increase in aid inserted into the recently passed Iraq-Afghanistan appropriation bill.
One cannot help but react negatively to large numbers of distasteful TV ads.
Today, I saw one for a law firm that specializes not only in home-visits , but in addition to the usual AMBULANCE CHASING CASES,IS INTERESTED IN DOG BITES.They obviously are the dog owners worst nemesis.

Ad after ad show new cars driving at reckless speeds, with young attractive drivers,even as safety ads are emphasizing safe driving. Today, the ad showed a used car speeding along past a sign warning that the road ahead is closed.You are sure its an ad to warn young people against speeding.No, it's to show you how great the brakes are in this used car.

As a physician, I am not particularly thrilled with drug companies advertising prescription drugs for complicated therapies on TV.The profit motive has overtaken the balance between good medical care, and patient -doctor relationship.
However, when Viagra shows newlyweds crossing the threshold as models for their drug,something is wrong!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Gov. Crist / Iran

As a Florida resident,I cannot help but be impressed with Gov. Crist's performance and approval by the voters.Throughout the Fl. primary and thereafter,he was a constant at the side of Sen. McCain ,and I believed he would be a wonderful choice for Veep except he was not married.
Now that he has come out on favor of off - shore drilling, and announced his forthcoming marriage, he again can be considered a top-tier choice. This would cement the States in the McCain camp.

Over the last weeek, I have had the opportunity to participate in a few phone conferences which featured experts on the Iranian situation.One of these sposored by AIPAC was with John Bolton,which was off the record.Then on Tues AIPAC had a NY session with Avi Issachroff, the Haaretz Arab Affairs correspondent who spoke on the facts on the ground in Gaza and Lebanon.Then in my spare time I finished reading this months Commentary magazine,which has outstanding articles .One by Emanuele Ottolenghi of Brussels (Transatlantic Institute) on "The Iranian Shell Game" and the other by Travis Pantin on Hugo Chavez and his " Jewish Problem".
Integrating all of the above with events in Iran this week,brings to the forefront a sense of deep anxiety and frutration over the inability of the "free" world to appreciate the dangers that Iran carries not just for Israel but for America and the free world.
That Chavez gave 1 million dollars to Hizbollah to print his his picture on placards with Nasrallah is just icing on the cake.
Without a total and solid boycott of Iran, there is no hope of success in preventing Iranian nuclear development.In the meantime,Hamas, Hezbollah are growing stronger by the day.40,000 rockets now face Israel from Lebanon.Prior to the 'o6 war there were only 13,000 rockets.
Hamas is not only stronger, but more of an army than a RAG-TAG group of individuals.
Every single piece of industrial equipment Iran imports for cvilian use has a dual capacity for military use.Ie. Machines to build water tunnels can be used for building deep sanctuaries for nuclear development.
The clock is ticking.If the world does not react,Israel will either have to act unilaterally,or accept a NUCLEAR IRAN.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


My friend Yoram Ettinger routinely sends to a group of friends a personal analyses of ME events.Yoram served for a time as the Israeli representative for Congressional relations when he served in the Washington Israeli Embassy.He has a rare insight into Washington and Israeli politics.
I thought I would share the salient points of his latest e-letter, following the tractor massacre in Jerusalem. He makes 6 points.
1- The underlying factor in this and other such cases is HATE-EDUCATION.
The Abbas regime following in Arafats footsteps has institutionalized the idolization of hate,terrorism and homicide.This is done via school education,books,tv and editorials.
2-This act is MAINSTREAM AND NOT RENEGADE TERRORISM.This is a culture that breeds hatred (ie Salmon Rushsie,cartoonists etc) all encouraged by the PA.
They have been adrenalized and driven to terror by Israeli vacillation,retreat and malaise.They are energized because they think they can win .They are energized not by the size of the State of Israel, but by it's very existance.
4-They see that terrorism is rewarded by US,European and Int. aid since Oslo.
Israel has subordinated counter-terrorism to "peace-making".
US support for an independent Palestinian State, will endanger Jordan, a "free Iraq", and weaker Gulf States, and reward those who oppress Christians in Bethlehem.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Iran, / campaign flip-flops

Up to this point the Iranian response to International offers is a masterful evasion.They have been able to say NO-MAYBE-YES all in the same sentence,and buy some more time for their nuclear development.The minute they announce that there will be a statement, the optimists start pumping out the good news scenario.It reminds me of a head waiter I served under in the Catskills ( as a busboy ) who wanted to alert the staff by saying "we're starting in to start in".
this obsfucation is similar to the act that N. Korea is playing out at present.They now threaten not to go to the next step of identifying and destroying nuclear weapons without additional economic aid.
The clock is ticking,and hopefully the intelligence community especially in Israel,is monitoring the nuclear projects before it is too late.


It is intersting that both Obama and McCain have been acccused of flip-flops on major issues.But if we examine the reversals we see a pattern.
On drilling,McCain was agaist off-shore drilling when gas was two dollars a gallon.Today it is double,and the newer technology allows for a cleaner and safer drilling experience.He still opposes Alaskan drilling,which I believe he should reconsider.On other points he has made modifications based not upon breaking with stated principles, but changes of circumstances of facts on the ground.
Obama however has changed ON IRAQ, FISA, ,CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTIONS-FEDERAL FINANCING, GUN CONTROL AND THE SUPREME COURT AS WELL AS THE DEATH PENALTY FOR CHILD RAPISTS, not because conditions on the ground have changed, but a political decision based on a shift to the right.
Yet Obama is not being blamed for these flip-flops -surely a teflon candidate up to now!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Jesse Helms

America lost a great patriot with the death of Sen. Jesse Helms.
I knew him quite well,and considered him a friend both in a personal sense and on behalf of the US -Israel relationship.
I was considered one of two or three individuals who helped him shape his turn-around to a Pro-Israel position.The other was Bobbie Jacobs,then of Staten Island who took him ,Sen Hecht and Sen. Symms to Israel .As described in my book,I invited him to a Capitol luncheon ,which with an assist from the White House turned out to be a turning point.
My son Elli served as a summer Intern for Helms.Over the years, I spent time with him,and most often he responded positively to my requests.
During the MEPFA (Middle East Peace Facilitation Act) debate, I went to him with a series of objections, which at that time AIPAC knew nothing of.A few nites later, HE WALKED ONTO AN ALMOST EMPTY SENATE FLOOR AND INTRODUCED THESE AMENDMENTS,WHICH THE FORWARD CALLED "THE GANCHROW AMENDMENTS"AND WHICH PASSED UNANAMOUSLY.
The next weeks Forward page 1 headline read "Helms , Ganchrow set trap on funds".
He was severely criticized by the left, yet he was however a man of convictions and principles.
Sadly we have few such patriots in leadership roles. today

Thursday, July 03, 2008


kudos to the armed forces of Columbia that staged the dramatic rescue of the 15 hotages without a shot being fired.It is reminiscent of the Israeli raid on Entebbe ,when Israeli planes landed ,and a command car with a fake Idi Amin made its way to the site of the plane hostages.Bibi Netanyahu's brother, the mission leader, was killed in the raid,but as a well planned ruse, the world took notice of that July 4 raid,as they do with yesterdays successful mission.
The daily travails of terrorism and threats of war against Israel often appear to have sapped the energy from the Israeli leadership, but their enemies should take heed,not to mistake their often times apparent confusion for the inability to defend and be victorious against their enemies.


There is a story that Obama gathered over 100 Jewish lawmakers to a meeting hoping to solidify the Jewish vote.Most of these are very liberal legislators,who have toiled arduously for the US-Israel relationship.
There is however another point of view that I urge you to read.In the July 1 issue of the Jerusalem Post,Jennifer Rubin writes an article entitled "Why more Jews won't be voting Democratic this year".
At stake she points out is the question of do we take him at his word?
Would he stand up for Israel in time of crisis ,like Nixon in 1973, ( who recieved little credit for the massive airlift that saved Israel) or will he be passive.?
He did not stand up to Khalidi, his Palestinian activist friend when he honored him at a dinner ,where he claimed Israel was an apartheid state.
He did not stand up to Rev. Wright for 22 years,as he, Michelle and the two girls listened to black nationalistic preachings.
He did not stand up to the Farrakhan "million man march" despite being asked to by Jewish groups.
He did not stand up for the Kyl-Lieberman amendment that labelled the Iranian Guard a terrorist org.He sided with MoveOn.Org and voted against it even though his colleagues Durbin and leader Reid voted for it.He was a lone figure in the leadership when he indirectly voted againsty Israel's use of cluster bombs.
Now, he tells AIPAC he supports a non-divided Jerusalem, but then backtracks on its signicance.Now he tells AIPAC he is in favor of classifying the Iranian Guard as terrorists.
He is prepared to negotiate without pre-conditions with Ahmedaminajan, only later does he modify those remarks.
Where is the beef? The record? the consistent philosophical support? the proper advisers?

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


It is not clear exactly what is gained by talking of a military strike against Iran.Aside from the economic jitters, and the counter-threats from Iran, could Israel be overplaying their hand.
When they struck Osirak and Syria ,the stikes were surgical and without pre-strike fanfare.
Surely Iran knows they are close to the "red line",yet they appear unmoved by world reaction.Bush is weak,and coming to the end of his Presidency.Olmert is weak and Israel has not gotten over its defeat in Lebanon.Hamas and Hezbollah are outsmarting them, every day..
The danger of course is that Iran might be convinced that a suprise long-range missile attack on Israel would be in their interests.They could top it off with attacks from Hamas and or Hezbollah, who they control.
It is time for Israel to speak with one voice,perhaps form a National Unity Govt.,and do what they have to do without the daily warnings and leaks to the Press.
Speaking of leaks,one cannot be pleased that a secret agreement between the President and the leaders in Congress to increase covert activity in Iran. wound up on the NY Times front page.So much for responsibility!