a different side of Israel

Tag: US Jews

Trumah and Truth

In 2010, American philanthropists donated approximately $3.3 billion to charity – and 19 of the 53 top givers were Jews. George Soros ranked first with $332 million contributed in 2010.

Top DonorsNew York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg was No. 2 with $279.2 million. Irwin and Joan Jacobs, Eli and Edythe Broad, and Leonard Blavatnik, respectively took places four through six, with $117 million to $119 million in donations.

But are American Jews not doing enough for other Jews? Stephen and Nancy Grand gave more than $20 million of their $28 million of their charitable donations in 2010 to the American Technion Society, that supports the Technion: Israel Institute for Technology. Whereas, Soros gave $1 million to World ORT in September, and Bloomberg gave a smaller donation to the Jewish Association for Services for the Aged, their gifts to Jewish organizations made-up a small proportion of their overall giving.

Hedge fund manager, William Ackman and his wife Karen gave away $59.3 million last year. At 44, Ackman is one of Wall Street’s toughest players and a regular on the dais of the UJA-Federation of New York’s annual Wall Street banquet. He made his most significant Jewish contribution in the past year, directing a move to bail out the Center for Jewish History in New York from its $30 million debt with a gift of $6.8 million.

Irwin Jacobs, founder of Qualcomm, gave a $100 million-plus San Diego Symphony with a $100 million-plus gift last decade, he and his wife, Joan, have chosen to give away most of their savings through a donor-advised fund at the Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, where Joan Jacobs is a board member. Last year, they gave the fund $39.1 million, which will be spent on both Jewish and nonsectarian causes.

Here is the list of Jews gracing the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s Philanthropy 50 top givers of 2010, with their rank and total philanthropic contributions in 2010:

George Soros, $332m

Michael R. Bloomberg, $279.2m

Irwin M. and Joan K. Jacobs, $119.5m

Eli and Edythe L. Broad, $118.3m

Leonard Blavatnik, $117.2m

Meyer and Renee Luskin, $100.5m

Marc R. and Lynne Benioff, $100m

Mark Zuckerberg, $100m

William A. and Karen Ackman, $59.3m

Charles E. Kaufman, $53.3m

Lawrence J. Ellison, $45.1m

Lee G. and Jane H. Seidman, $42m

Lin Arison, $39m

Herman Ostrow, $35m

Stephen and Nancy Grand, $28.1m

David M. Rubenstein, $26.6m

Paul and Daisy M. Soros, $25m

Iris Cantor, $20m

Richard A. and Susan P. Friedman, $20m

More Regarding Nixon’s anti-Semitism

Last week, White House documents were released from the Richard Nixon presidential library, bearing unknown details about his aversion towards Jews and his concern about exposing more details on John F. Kennedy’s policy on Vietnam and Cuba.

Richard NixonAccording to the documents, president Nixon ordered his aides to keep Jewish Americans excluded from all Israel policy-making.

Formerly classified notes taken by then-chief of staff H. R. “Bob” Haldeman, from a meeting with the president in July 1971 read:

“No Jew can handle the Israeli thing…” Later in the one-page excerpt, Mr. Haldeman wrote, “Forget the Jews — they’re against the administration”.

That proviso was explicitly referring to then-national security adviser Henry Kissinger, and included plans to keep him out of the loop: “get K. out of the play — Haig handle it,” says one note, referring to then-aide Alexander Haig.

Apparently – unbeknownst to him – despite being excluded by the president from matters regarding Israel policy on account of his ethnicity, Kissinger has defended Nixon against charges of Antisemitism.

These documents are just now seeing the light of day, yet as the Jewish world may recall, on October 5, 1999, 445 hours of tapes recorded by Richard Nixon were released in which he repeatedly made antisemitic remarks. Nixon had said Washington “is full of Jews” and “most Jews are disloyal“.

Can you imagine catching wind of Barack Obama slandering the ethnicity of former Chief of Staff, Rahm Emanuel?

Barack Obama Slipping with Jewish Minds

World Jewish opinions of U.S. President Barack Obama have seemed to have slipped a bit recently, especially following his “reach out to Islam” address in Cairo and his subsequent meeting with Israel P.M. Binyamin Netanyahu. This fact is especially true in Israel where the country’s Jewish population (now the largest in any one country) is becoming increasingly concerned with Obama’s plans toward a “two state solution” for Israel and the Palestinians. This together with remarks made by U.S. Sec. of State Hillary Clinton, during Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman’s recent visit to Washington DC, appear to be brewing up a very bitter “lager” (or is it stout) that we living in Israel will eventually have to swallow.

These feelings of apprehension, especially by Jews in Israel, was reflected recently by a poll conducted jointly by the Jerusalem Post and the Smith Research Institute, regarding Jewish “before and after” feelings towards the Obama Administration.

Obama appears to have more than just tried to reach out to both world Muslims and the Palestinians, whose situation he has referred to as “intolerable”.

When asked whether Jews felt the Obama Administration was pro-Israel, pro-Palestinian, or somewhere in between, the answer before the Cairo speech and Netanyahu White House visit was:

Pro-Israel: 31%, Pro-Palestinian: 14%, and Neutral: 40%

The response following the address and Netanyahu’s visit turned out a bit different:

Pro-Israel: 6%, Pro-Palestinian: 50%, Neutral: 36%

Another key post Cairo Address question, regarding freezing of construction and “expansion” in large settlement blocs like Gush Etzion, Ma’aleh Adumim , and Ariel, also indicated the respondents’ concerns:

In favor of construction freeze: 27%, Against: 69%, No-opinion: 4%

The post address poll was conducted on June 16/17 among 500 Jewish adults (their place of residence not indicated) and with a 4.5% margin of error. The pre-address poll was conducted on May 17/18, among a similar number of respondents, their residences also not noted.

When asked how they felt about the previous Bush Administrations feelings towards Israel, the response also indicated a difference in feelings now emanating from the White House:

Pro-Israel: 88%, Pro-Palestinian 2%, Neutral: 7%

And these feelings were despite remarks by former secretaries of state Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice concerning the “road map” for Israel Palestinian relations, and the security barrier being built between Israel and the PA controlled areas in the West Bank.

The Obama Administration’s disapproval of what is referred to as “natural growth” in the above mentioned settlement blocs may have been what is causing the most concern among Jewish Israelis – so strong in fact that Israel F.M. Lieberman made a comment towards this issue during his visit with Sec. of State Clinton: “All over the world, people living in various locations are born, get married, and die. Why is this fact any different in areas where Israeli Jews now live (i.e., the settlements)?” He was perhaps referring to whether Jewish families living in these settlement blocs will be prevented from “natural expansion”, i.e., marriages and births, in addition to a freeze on new housing construction in these locations.

Opinion polls always appear to reflect the feelings of the persons conducting the interviews; and most certainly a similar poll conducted by another news media entity, such as Haaretz, CNN or Sky News would have had a different set of results. Or would it have?

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