My friend and colleague Dr. Michael Kram suggested to me that I join the growing list of bloggers.
Click here to read my entire Mission Statement.
The response of the Administration toward Wikileaks is late,and tepid.Months ago they knew that the leaks were coming when they arrested the accused leaker.As long as they thought it woulds only embarress Bush,they sat quietly.Now that our foreign policy and diplomacy is being emasculated, they will start a criminal investigation.
The CIA should have long ago destroyed the files, and assasinated its founder as one would do with Osama.
The NYT which did not publish "climategate" because it was stolen,has no problem with publishing these stolen files.
It is interesting that Sen. John Kerry told Arab leaders that Israel should give back the Golan and half of Jerusalem.Thank G-d he was not elected Pres.
The economy / Mohammed /Turkey
Right on for Pres. Obama who wants to freeze government employees salaries for 2 years.
Each state that faces fiscal danger,has to look at their public employees,and especially their benefits and pensions-ONLY AS A BEGINNING.
IF WE WANT AIRLINE SAFETY,WE HAVE TO START LOOKING NOT AT OLD PEOPLE, BUT AT THE MOHAMMEDS OF THE WORLD-as in Oregon who wanted to wantonly kill innocents.
Let us adopt the Israeli system-pre-flight intelligence,questioning each and every passsenger,search of passports,and special searches for those who act suspiciously, have a history of suspicious affiliations, and GOOD COOMON SENSE.Let us adopt technology without radiation-already available.
Turkey has taken another rascist step-prohibitibg the sale of land to Israelis and Greeks. They are aiming to become King of the Muslim world when Iran falters.
The View / N Korea / Wilkileaks / The Senate schedule
At a time when N. Korea is on the brink of preciptating war in Asia, and we are fighting 2 wars in the Middle East,and Iran snubs its nose at the US,how demeaning is it to have the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs appear on the View ?
Of course President Obama was a guest recently ,and we commented on the diminution of the KAVOD of the Office of the President.
In fact the response or lack of it by Sec. of State Clinton is deafening.Each and every time a major or minor violation is committed by N.Korea,intead of a tough response,we give in to their threats,either send more relief,or call meetings at which time,whatever they promise is worthless.
Of course no one wants a real war,however China must be made to realize that this is the end-the regime must fall or else we will be increasing our presence off the China -Korea region,which they do not want.We must crack down on their ability to get hard currency to support their intransigence.
The Wilkileaks should have been stopped long ago.This treasonous activity shoud hav been met with a covert plan to assasinate and destroy those who harm our security.
It is almost a joke to observe the Harry Reid schedule of issues for the 3 week period.If he accomplishes even 75%, he deserves a medal.Thankfully cap and tax is off the menu,and it loks like Start,Dream and other such issues that should have been discussed months ago, will be put off until the next Congress.Taxes and a limited continuing budget reslution perhaps may survive
Similarly the food safety act might make it..
Thanksgiving / Turkey and the Armenian Genocide
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL
This and the fourth of July give me a special feeling of pride to be an American-the greatest country in the world.These holidays ,without any religious significance, nevertheless allows for a pause to consider how we as Jews have been welcomed,and succeeded beyond any expectation.
When I sat Wed morning in my talmud shiur,I thought that each person in the room were physicians (except for 1 accountant), were very successful in their careers,and felt free to sit and learn of our religion and heritage without fear.This has not been the history of the Jewish Diaspora.
Now that PM Erdegan of Turkey is on an anti-Israel rampage again,it is time for Congress to once again revisit the Turkish Armenian genocide when in 1915, 1.5 million Armenians were slaughtered.
The last time when Congress wanted to have a resolution on this event,Turkey placed pressure on Israel to help kill it.Sadly some in the pro-Israel community in Washington joined in that effort. Now is the time to correct that wrong
How any pro-Israeli citizen of our country can subscribe to the NYT is beyond me.Their slanted news stories, editorials and op-ed are beyond the pale.
Sunday in an op-ed by Nicholas Kristof on charities, he wrote "Meanwhile American Jews...support...(groups)less likely to make peace posible... the Hebron.settlement is notorious for extremism and violence against Palestinians" (talking about the NY Hebron dinner last week)
Without going into the history of Hebron,where our forefathers lived and were buried,and where King David lived prior to going to Jerusalem,it is important to clarify who supports the Hebron Fund.
Sheila and I with our grandson were in Hebron less than 2 weeks ago, as was our grandson and son-in-law just before that.While we could not attend the dinner,I left a check to show our support.
I dare say not even one person who came or contributed ( and probably came in previous years) had any doubts that they were supporting our basic rights as Jews to develop the land and protect our heritage.
NEXT YEAR MR kRISTOFF SHOULD GO TO THE DINNER,AND SPEAK TO THE CELEBRANTS.
On the other side of the op-ed page, the very bitter Maureen Dowd,in another attack on the anti-Obama forces makes fun of Boehner, because he flew commercial ,did so with guards and did not have a pat-down.
Ms Dowd conveniently forgot Pelosi going by military jet,or that any Washington official with protection is granted such a waiver.
SHEKER / we have to be thorough and fair in reducing our debt
That I think the peace process is sham is of course well known.The only time that for a mini-moment when I saw Rabin and Arafat shake hands on the WH lawn,I stood,had tears in my eyes and prayed that maybe "this is the moment of peace".
It was not too long after that that I began writing op-eds,and testifying in Congress against the lies of the PLO.
Today after Gaza and Lebanon , it is clear that there can never be peace until the Arabs start accepting the reality of Israel as a Jewish State.
Thus when this week the PA attacks the ownership of the Kotel as Arab property ,on the one hand it is disgusting,and on the other it is part of the Delegitimatization and dejudiazation campaign of the Arabs.
The whole back and forth with the freeze, including all the deals with planes and veto promises is all SHEKER -ONE big lie.
it is now being pointed out, Congress would have to APPROVE THE PLANE SALE.
Israel should say- NO THANKS
Nobody likes to pay more taxes,or to lose deductions and so I have a guarded reasponse to the bipartisan Commission on reducing our debt.
If everyone has to suffer equally fine-however,I do not see getting rid of Obamacare-1 trillion dollars, or revising all the union contracts and pensions for govt. employees.
Public hearings that include all of the potential areas such as farm subsidies,the crazy subsidies for ethanol,and the creation of a govt-subsidized "green-energy" industry are worthy areas of investigation.
By the way Congress shoulod look at the lobbying efforts for these new x-ray scanners!
KNESSET VOTE / KOREA-IRAN -US FAILURES
The vote today by the knesset to force any withdrawal from the Golan or E. Jerusalem be subject to a super-knesset majority of 80 votes, or a vote of the Israeli people,is long overdue.
The pressure Israel is under daily from the US, UN, and the EU, in addition to the left might if the circumstances were correct,potentially allow for members of the knesset to bribed.Giving a new Volvo is an old trick( to a swing voter).
Once Israel withdraws it is irreversible short of the next war.
The announcement that N. Korea has 2000 centrifuges,and is involved in enriching uranium, is another failure for our most incompetent and ill-prepared President.
In truth Bush shares the blame in Korea, and in Iran.
Our policy is weak, impotent and based on talking and not on might.The world and the US may unfortunately have to deal with the results of both of these failures.
MORE DOUBLE TALK
Read the top story in todays Jerusalem Post.
The State Dept. says everything Bibi is tellin Shas about Jerusalem and the freeze is not true.
I rest my case.
Comment has been made about Obama's new children book that extols 'Sitting Bull' who in 1876 killed General Custer.
Another anti-American hero for kids.
You have to laugh or cry at the left wing of the Dem. party who keep yelling that Obama was not and is not liberal enough.!
All I can say is that it is good news for Republicans, but bad news for America.
DESPITE THE INCREASED SECURITY RISKS IN ISRAEL, I NEVER SAW ANYONE BEING GROPED OR EMBARESSED IN PUBLIC.This is despite Arabs, and citizens of the world coming and going.
From time to time,when arriving,if there is a passport problem, you see someone being asked to go to a private room for followup.
I don't know enough about the proposed treaty with Russia to have an informed opinion.However Sen. Kyl seems to be on point that more discussion on its shortcoming is warranted.
DOUBLE AND DOUBLE-DOUBLE TALK
DOUBLE TALK AND DOUBLE -DOUBLE TALK
Sitting here in the US ,and following ( A few times a day) the comings and goings of Bibi ( and Obama -Hillary ) can make you sick and disgusted.
Not in any particular order-
Jerusalem is exempt from any freeze/or not so.
There will-or won't be a written agreement.
The promise to veto is for 1 year,possibly more or only if an agreement is reached.
There will not be any additional requests for freezes/ or that's not clear
The plane sale is guaranteed /OR IMPLIED
There will be unlimited building (tenders )in Jerusalem after 90 days-or there will be limited -or none
RUSSIA, CHINA, IRAN JAPAN ,THE EU EVEN AFGHANISTAN KNOW THAT OBAMA IS WEAK-AND HAVE GIVEN HIM THE THUMBS DOWN.
WHY SHOULD ISRAEL ACT DIFFERENTLY -LIKE LAMBS TO THE SLAUGHTER ?
The A irport patdown
I recently wrote about security and check-in in Tel Aviv.Of course 1 national airport is not comparable to our multiple airports.Yet even to the untrained eye you can determine that a sophisicated mult-layer approach is in place.
As your taxi or car enters the airport,you must stop and at times be questioned as to where you have been coming from etc.
As you get off the bus or car in front of the building, besides cameras there are many youmg people sitting and oberving the behavior of the people for signs of nervousness.
Then every person lines up, and security agents do a brief interview.True to someone like me wearing a skullcap,carrying my talit, with so many stamps of Israel in my passport,it appears over the top.Yet,one cannot deny their effectiveness.However they are trained to try to trick you-ie relatives in Israel,places visited etc.
Then each checked bag will either go through a machine in front of you,or if they are satified, will allow you tro proceed to the check-in, or if you answer that the bags were not with you from the time of packing-will be sent over to a desk to visually go through the contents with you standing there.In essence you confirm that the bag was packed in the manner now before the agent.
Then the check-in,and security again with your carry-on.You do not have to take off your shoes as you go through the line.No big deal wityh small medicine bottles.
The security is not based on ethnic factors alone,but how you act,when did you buy your ticket? is it one way? etc. Then if needed, you are taken to a private room for more questions and searching.
There is no public patting down,or putting your hands on the groin of a 90 year old nun or invalid who does not otherwise fall into a high risk category.
Our system is broken,because
1-the beauracrats who make policy are former politicians,and not involved in security
2-we are worried about political correctness.
Not one person has been dicovered carrying explosives bour techniques!
In principle I would be against a settlement freeze.The only positive argument I heard was from Ehud Barak.He said that Israel should accept because Israel has to beat the PA,in acceptance,and avoid being isolated in the UN.
The problem is that I neither trust Obama or Clinton.
The issue of a UN veto should not be a source of pressure on Israel.It should be a given.HOWEVER WITH OBAMA THE MOST ANTI-ISRAEL PRESIDENT SINCE CARTER,EVERYTHING IS ON THE TABLE.
Then why should that promise be for 1 year only.Especially when today the State Dept. said negotiations could last into 2012.
Although the stealth planes are important,it will not be delivered for years.
What kind of promises will Obama make to Abbas to get him back to the table?divide Jerusalem ? ownership of Rachels Tomb? Chevron?
This is a slippery slope.Bibi has to rely on the power of G-d, the Republican leadership,and the pro-Israel Christian community.
Does Shas really believe that Obama will give them a letter for unlimited
Jerusalem building now or after 90 days? or on the West Bank?
Does anyone believe that the US will not ask and insist on an extension if the talks go beyond 90 days?
BAD DEAL , BAD VIBES, GOOD FOR HAARETZ NYT, AND THOMAS FRIEDMAN AND NOT GOOD FOR ISRAEL AND THE JEWS.
Progressive delusion / Obama /Clinton reward PA for ?
"Unto thyself always be true"-or something like that.The worst thing that a supposedly mature person can do is to delude themselves and not face facts.
There are reports that the WH is prepared to compromise over the Bush tax cuts-namely avoiding a TAX INCREASE FOR ALL BRACKETS.
Now come some "progressives" who are angry and believe Obama should fight because 98% of the nation would support him.The problem is that as Rasmussen and others have shown well over 50% of America supports a continuation of the Bush tax cuts for everyone.
The liberal idea that the Dems lost because Obama was not liberal enough,is pure nonsense,and is not borne out by the numbers.
Why did Clinton give $ 150 million to the PA?
Was it because they are prepared to stop their nonsense re."settlements" and an insistence on the" right of return" etc?
Why is the Obama/Clinton team picking a fight with Bibi?
Don't they realize they are only strenghthening the hand of FM Lieberman,who could be the next PM if Bibi compromises.Yesterday Lieberman correctly said "no more freezes ,not even for a day.If there is pressure,apply it to the PA"
Finally-where is the pressure on the Arab League to support the PA,the refugees and the moribund peace process?
Ob ama and Jerusalem / Palin is not the answer,and may be the problem
It is obvious that the "honeymoon" between Obama and Bibi is over.Todays editorial in the WSJ ,although short is right on target.
To choose to criticize Israel in a Moslem country that won't let Jews in, is the height of arrogance.One does not hear any criticism from his fellow Dems.Jerry Nadler for example is more interested in Bush waterboarding 9/11 terrorists than Jerusalem.(sadly he is a fellow Crown Heights Yeshiva alumnus).
Although some magazines are touting the power of Palin,I believe she has one major drawback-She can get to 40-45% but not 50%.
It was the Tea party that caused the Republicans to lose the Senate.By supporting kookie candidates, they forced voters to hold their noses and vote Democratic.Nevada,Colorado,Delaware are 3 examples.The influence of money, can help in a primary but if the candidate for example never voted in previous election,(as in Calif) or whose claim to fame is wrestling (vs Cong Simmons -0a former CIA operative and Cong.) or refusal to meet the press (Angle) this is bad.Even Joe Miller in her Alaska homestate, was not ready for prime time.
Populism has its place, and Rubio is so far placing into perspective his conservatism but also his ability to communicate.Remember,he was Speaker of the Fl legislature,and has the scars to show for it.
HAR HOMA / THE SOCIALIST PARTY AKA-DEMOCRATS
Last Wed as we drove down to Chevron our bus passed the beautiful community of Har Homa.
I was privileged to be at the ground breaking ceremony for this project when Bibi was last PM. I recall a small counter-demonstration against the project,however despite world and especially US pressure, the building continued.
What is important is that this area is within the municipality of Jerusalem and IS NOT A SETTLEMENT.
The announced plan for 1000 new units, brought about an Obama renuciation from Indonesia. He and everyone knows that there never was a freeze on Jerusalem building,and every single proposal for "PEACE" has this area remaining as part of Israel.
This is Obama the Muslim boy, back in his roots, where he prayed in the Mosque on Fridays,simply once again showing his didain for Bibi and Israel.
The majority of conservative or middle of the road Dems in the House are gone. 40% of the members of the next Congress(Dems) belong to the Progressive Caucus.
Howevever as Lawrence O'Donnell said on MSNBC he is proud to be not a liberal, but a socialist.Indeed that should be the real name of the old Democratic Party-SOCIALIST PARTY.
ONE LITTLE VIGNETTE REGARDING YESTERDAYS EL-AL BLOG
The security person finally came to us,and took my passport,thumbed through it,and asked me "have you ever been to Israel before?"
I answered about 80 times,and then asked her wasn't my passport proof of my frequent visits?-no answer
It is not an old passport, and when she handed it back to me,I counted 38 Israeli entries.(probably 20 recent visits-(coming and going)
Pelosi-HAVE YOU NO SHAME / CHELM IN BEN GURION AIRPORT
I thank Elli for his blogging.
It is amazing that Pelosi et al, are still in a state of denial.If they basically re-elect the same leadership with Pelosi as Minority leader,and the same liberal senior age team ,it would appear to me that they will be spending 2 years fighting the negative ads about her .
The Weekly Standard has a tongue in cheek article suggesting that Dems. do just that-keep Pelosi as a WAY OF INSURING A 2012 VICTORY-FOR THE REPS.
I am sure El-Al has the best security,although it appears to me that the disregard fot the passengers is worse than ever.The lines were longer,and often a line did not have a security person available, while many of them just walked back and forth talking to one another.
While the staff goes through the motions on the plane,they lack the warmth and cordiality of Singapore Air or Cathay Pacific.
We had one carry-on for Sheila and myself.The woman behind the check-in asked to weigh the carry-on.Even though we only had 1 large piece of baggage,and were well under the wt. limits.She said the carry-on was too heavy, and that we should remove some items.(not to place them in the checked luggage,but to make the carry-on lighter).I took out my Talis and Tfillin,and Sheila took out another bag.
The young lady was satified,as she put a blue sticker on the carry-on.Thus we walked away,with a rolling carry-on,and the 2 items loose in our hand until we turned the corner,whereupon we re-inserted them into the carry-on.
A REAL CHELM STORY
Elliot Ganchrow writes:
It is hard to understand how a Democratic member of Congress could support Nancy Pelosi as Minority Leader. After being in denial for weeks that her caucus was going to get slaughtered, she has taken no blame for the election debacle. Instead of doing the honorable thing and resigning her seat, she wants to stay and fight. If the Democrats want to believe that their problem was communication rather than the legislation they passed, then they should be surprised to be in the minority for the next few years.
My brother in law, Paul and my nephew Zack, were in Hebron last week along with 25,000 other Jews for Parshat Chaye Sarah. My parents, who are in Israel with my nephew Jonah, visited Hebron and Kever Rachel last week. I therefore found it ironic that last week UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) declared that they would list Maarat Hamechpala and Kever Rachel as mosques. The decision is absurd and serves as further proof (as if any further proof is necessary) that the UN is an arm of the Palestinian propaganda machine. The Republicans in the House need to ensure that American funds do not go to UNESCO until this decision is reversed.
Elliot Ganchrow writes:
Last night's wipeout of the Democratic Party was an unmistakable message from the American people that they are fed up with the Obama agenda. Whether Obama and the Democrats hear the message remains to be seen. President Clinton understood the message in 1994 and changed course in time to win re-election. Here are some of my observations from last night:
1. The numbers from the House are simply stunning- While 60 plus Democrats were losing their seats only two Republicans lost theirs. This was not a vote against the incumbents- this was a vote against the Democrats.
2. The Republicans struck the right tone by not overdoing their celebrations last night. Americans were not necessarily voting for the Repubicans but were rather repudiating Obama and Pelosi. Republicans now must prove their mettle by passing meaningful legislation in the House. This could force the Democrats in the Senate to play ball since the 2012 Senate map heavily favors the Republicans- Senate Democrats who don't want to meet the same fate as their defeated colleagues may decide that working with the Republicans is the better route.
3. It was disappointing to see Harry Reid and Barbara Boxer win re-election. The wins by the Democrats in Colorado, Nevada and Delaware shows that even in the best Republican year, you still must nominate good candidates to win. The screwballs who were nominated to challenge Reid and Coons should never have won their primaries.
4. The victorious Democrat in the West Virginia race, Governor Manchin, only won a two year term since it was an election to fill Robert Byrd's term. Since he promised to govern as a conservative, look for Republicans to hold his feet to the fire for the next two years.
5. Nancy Pelosi has done as much damage to this country as any politician has over the last 25 years. I can hardly wait to see her hand the gavel over to John Boehner.
6. The shift from a Pelosi/Hoyer leadership to a Boehner/Cantor leadership means that we will see a shift from a leadership that was ambivilent towards Netanyahu to a leadership that will stand strongly behind him and Israel. The Republicans in the House will be a strong counterforce against Obama, Clinton and the other anti-settler/pro palestinian Democrats. Soon to be Majority Leader Eric Cantor will be the highest ranking Jew in the House and is especially strong on Israel. The other important shift is that the Foreign Relations Committee will be taken over by Florida Republican Ileana Ros Lehtinen who is great on our issues.
7. Of the Republicans elected to the Senate, it is hard not to be impressed by Marco Rubio, the new Senator from Florida. He will be one of the faces of the party in the coming years. Incidentally he is headed to Israel on Sunday.
8. Republicans also did exceptionally well in the Governors races and state legislatures contests. Republicans now control the Governorships of at least 29 states including key states like Ohio, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
9. While the rest of the country was repudiating the Democrats, the two biggest states on the coasts remain stuck in a 1970's time warp. New York was busy electing a Cuomo while California was returning Jerry Brown to the state house. You could have opened a newspaper in the 70's and saw the same names in power (although it was Cuomo's father who was governor back then- they share the same far left ideology). Each of these states are completely dysfunctional and yet they elected two candidates with no fresh ideas. Don't expect much to improve in either state.
10. After endorsing Joe Miller and Christine O' Donnell, I hope Sarah Palin goes away for a while. She has the potential to distract from the Republican message which could be more effectively communicated by Republican leaders like Tim Pawlenty, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour and Bobby Jindal. These are all potential 2012 national candidates and they need to get national air time.
11. I had a chance to watch some of MSNBC's coverage last night. Hard to believe that a network that once had Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert, now features Rachel Maddow, Keith Olberman and Chris Matthews. Their coverage was mean-spirited, condescending, amateurish and childish. They were in denial and blamed the losses on the stupidity of the American people (as if in two years the American went from smart to stupid). In comparison, Fox News had sharp analysis from well prepared and professional commentators. Its no wonder that Fox News has four times the amount of viewers that MSNBC has.
Elliot Ganchrow writes:
This is my third consecutive election in which I have written for this blog on the night before Election Day. The night before the 2008 Election Day was gloomy as it was evident that Obama was going to be elected President, that 60 Democrats would be elected to the Senate and the House would become more liberal. Last year, we began to see the light as Republicans won in NJ and Virginia. This year, we are seeing a tidal wave toward the GOP the likes of which we haven't seen since 1994 and possibly even prior to that. The American people are poised to send an unmistakable message to the Democrats that they are fed up with their brand of liberalism, with Obamacare, with tax and spend, with the Stimulus package and with the financial reform bill. How loud will the message be? Here are my predictions:
House- The Republicans will pick up 57 seats and take control of the House. I hope that one of those 57 is Fran Becker, who is running in my Long Island district against Carolyn McCarthy. McCarthy expressed sympathy for the terrorists who were killed by Israeli forces aboard the Gaza flotilla. Lets hope her political career ends tomorrow.
Senate- The Republicans will pick up nine seats but fail to take control of the Senate.
Governors- Republican wins in Ohio, Texas and Florida will almost offset losses in California and NY.
Please go out and vote tomorrow.