In 2010, American philanthropists donated approximately $3.3 billion to charity â€“ and 19 of the 53 top givers were Jews. George Soros ranked first with $332 million contributed in 2010.
New 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 Streetâ€™s toughest players and a regular on the dais of the UJA-Federation of New Yorkâ€™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 Philanthropyâ€™s Philanthropy 50 top givers of 2010, with their rank and total philanthropic contributions in 2010:
Last December, the High Court of Justice rejected appeals made by Yigal Amir to alter the terms of his imprisonment. The high court ruled that Amir is to be held in solitary confinement for six more months. Amir, who, if you were unaware, is in year 15 of serving a life sentence for assassinating Yitzhak Rabin, rejected last Sunday, an offer from the State Prosecution, permitting him to hold a one hour, bi-weekly Torah study session with one fellow prisoner â€“ in conjunction with permission to join a prayer Minyan with other prisoners. Amir, protesting his rejected appeal, told the court, “no thank you.”
Amir’s attorney, Ariel Atari wrote to the Petach Tikvah District Court:
“The offer disrespects the High Court’s decisionâ€¦There is no doubt that this position reflects the attitude of the Shin Bet in general and of the Prison Service especially, that the court is at their service â€“ otherwise it is impossible to understand their contempt towards the High Court conveyed by this proposalâ€¦There is no doubt that the prosecution wishes to drag out the High Court’s decision, and attempts to draw the court into some kind of negotiations, starting at the opening point, as though the High Court did not speak outâ€¦Of course, there is nothing to stop a prison service official from joining the quorum as a 10th man, enjoying Amir’s poetry and hearing all his thoughts and conversations with the rest of the worshipers and with his Godâ€¦If he finds any faults, he can report them to the court immediately.”
And meanwhile, in Washington, Jewish-American diplomat, Aaron David Miller, wrote a great op-ed in the Washington Post citing the mainstream Arab insanity and anti-Semitism:
“â€¦There’s no doubt that a new Egyptian government and president, more responsive to public opinion – indeed, legitimized by the public in free elections – will be, by necessity or inclination, far more critical of Israeli actions and policies and far less likely to give Israel the benefit of any doubts. Will the new Egyptian leadership monitor smuggling across the Egypt-Gaza border as carefully? Will it be more supportive of Hamas and less understanding of Israeli concerns about Hamas’s acquisition of rockets and missiles? And how will a newly elected Egyptian president interact with an Israeli prime minister? (Mubarak met regularly with Netanyahu; it’s hard to imagine a new Egyptian leader doing so without demanding concessions for Palestinians or progress in the peace negotiations.)”
“â€¦Would a new Egyptian government be taken over by radical Islamists? Would it break the peace treaty between the two nations? Would it seek to go to war again? All Israeli prime ministers since the treaty was signed in 1979 have carried such fears in the back of their minds, yet they gambled that in giving up the Sinai Peninsula, the country had exchanged territory for time, perhaps in the hope that a different relationship with Egypt and their other Arab neighbors would emerge.”
“â€¦In its formative decades the government of Israel was almost indistinguishable from the party of Labor.”
Wrote Time Magazine’s Karl Vick of Ehud Barak’s departure from Labor.
“David Ben-Gurion, the new nation’s equivalent of George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson rolled roughly into one, headed both the party and the government it largely populated.”
Proving his inability to separate Israel from his own United States of America, he compared the formation of the Jewish State to the American colony’s secession or better, coup d’etat from Great Britain, because Barak compared his departure from Labor and formation of an independent faction to Ben-Gurion’s historied Labor departure. This journalist is like a child who misbehaves because of some adult activity, unrelated to his own: a window breaks in the house, mom yells, so the kids pees on the carpet and screams. When the child grows up, he learns to deal with the wild energy like an adult. No call to ring America’s Freedom Bell here Mr. Vick.
With Labor’s pull from Netanyahu’s inter-Knesset support league, the coalition’s majority in the 120-member Knessent falls to 66 from 74.
Isaac Herzog, Binyamin, Avishay Braverman, Ben-Eliezer and the rest of the Labor bongos can finally stretch their legs in the back seat with Barak out of the driver’s seat, Herzog said:
â€œThe Labor Party, which founded the State of Israel, got rid of the hump on its backâ€¦Ehud Barakâ€™s masked ball is over.â€
Nay, the Palestinian’s masked ball is over!
Einat Wilf, one of four Labor members who will join Barak in the brand spanking new Independence faction said:
“I donâ€™t belong to the camp that believes Israel is solely responsible for the failure of these [last summer in Egypt and America] negotiationsâ€¦The Palestinians bear responsibility for not entering the talks. Some people have sent them a message to wait around for a new government.”
The other Labor babies to join Barak are Matan Vilnai, Shalom Simhon and Orit Noked.
The Independance faction will be “Zionist, Center and Democratic…”
They made their name â€“ bought their reputation â€“ killing Jews for sport. Then, with Stalin, they warmed our hearts with cute experimentation in cruel authoritarian government ala the figurative meeting of Cosimo De Medici I and Karl Marx. Threats to blow the West to smithereens underscored this nostalgic era.
After being single-handedly responsible for the formation of the largest, most dreadful Islamic terrorist organization, al-Qaeda, when they lost a war to Afghanistan; they greeted Iran’s Islamic Revolution with aiding that country to build its first nuclear reactor.
So what is Russia up to these days? Why, I’ll tell you what, after years of imprisoning their poverty-stricken Jews within the now-ruined walls of their fallen Soviet Union, they have decided to lead the world in the fight for Palestinian Statehood, along lines that defy the State of Israel.
Plus, the price of Kettle One, has just gone up! Bummer…
Dmitry Medvedev reaffirmed his recognition of a Palestinian state, saying Moscow has no reason to change the position adopted by the former Soviet Union when they first recognized an Arab State in Palestine under Arafat in 1988.
The Russian President went down to old Jericho last week and said:
“Russia’s position remains unchanged. Russia made its choice a long time agoâ€¦We supported and will support the inalienable right of the Palestinian people to an independent state with its capital in East Jerusalem.”
Mahmoud Abbas thanked Medvedev and his country for being “one of the first states in the world to recognize the state of Palestine in 1988“.
An al Jazeera journalist realized:
“This surely has raised a lot of hopes and a lot of optimism among Palestinians that this kind of recognition would boost their efforts and might influence the upcoming quartet meeting in Februaryâ€¦”
Next month, the Middle East Quartet of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and of course Russia will meet in Munich to shock the peace process back to life.
Medvedev also said:
“We discussed the possible prospects of resuming the dialogueâ€¦In order to do that, we need to express maximum moderation. This in the first place relates to the freezing of settlementsâ€¦”
On top of the political significance of Medvedev’s visit, at least three agreements were signed between Abbas and Medvedev; and $30m was allocated to media, agriculture and sports in the region, promising much more Russian involvement in Palestine’s “nation-building.”
News of the newly found Leviathan gas field has increased tensions between Israel’s two neighboring countries, Syria and Lebanon, which do not have formal maritime borders.
Last Tuesday, Lebanon’s foreign minister, Ali Shami, petitioned the United Nations to curb Israel’s offshore drilling plans. The request came days after US firm, Noble Energy Inc., announced they discovered a rather large oil field off the Jewish state’s coastline.
The letter read as follows:
“We request you do everything possible to ensure Israel does not exploit Lebanon’s hydrocarbon resources, which fall within Lebanon’s economic zone as delineated in the maps the foreign ministry submitted to the United Nations in 2010. Any exploitation by Israel of this resource is a flagrant violation of international law and an attack on Lebanese sovereignty.”
The Leviathan gas field, off of Israel’s Mediterranean shore, namely the scenic Haifa coast, holds an estimated 450 billion cubic meters â€“ that is16 trillion cubic feet â€“ of natural gas. The site is thought to be twice the size of the Tamar prospect, the largest oil discovery of 2009. Noble Energy Inc. said the find could turn Israel into a gas exporter in the coming few years.
On Thursday,Yitzhak Tshuva, controlling shareholder of Delek Group (Delek Drilling LP), a partner in the Leviathan natural-gas find through its subsidiaries, Avner Oil and Gas LP (who hold 22.67 percent of shares, respectively) said, â€œToday is a day of celebration for all of us. The State of Israel is an energy independent country.â€
Henry Kissinger recently apologized for comments made to former-president Richard Nixon in 1973, saying it wouldn’t be an American concern if the Soviet Union sent its Jews to the gas chambers.
Kissinger also forgives Nixon for anti-Semitic comments made, about him, behind his own back.
The recent apology, to Jews (I guess), appeared in an Op-Ed in the Washington Post that appeared on its website Dec. 24 but is dated Dec. 26.
The recently released remarks, recorded in the Oval Office, were taken out of context, wrote Kissinger:
“For someone who lost in the Holocaust many members of my immediate family and a large proportion of those with whom I grew up, it is hurtful to see an out-of-context remark being taken so contrary to its intentions and to my convictions, which were profoundly shaped by these events,” Kissinger wrote.”References to gas chambers have no place in political discourse, and I am sorry I made that remark 37 years ago.”
Kissinger made the remarks after a meeting he and Nixon had with then-Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir on March 1, 1973 in which Meir pleads for the United States to put pressure on the Soviet Union to release their Jews. Kissinger and Nixon, then the secretary of state, dismiss the plea after Meir leaves.
Kissinger is reported as saying on the tapes:
“The emigration of Jews from the Soviet Union is not an objective of American foreign policyâ€¦And if they put Jews into gas chambers in the Soviet Union, it is not an American concern. Maybe a humanitarian concern.”
To which Nixon replies:
“I know. We canâ€™t blow up the world because of it.”
Six months later, during the Yom Kippur War, Nixon rejected Kissinger’s advice to delay an airlift of arms to Israel as a means of setting up an Egypt confident enough to pursue peace.
Kissinger writes in the Washington Post piece that his comments were not a “policy statement,” but were made in reply to a request by Nixon that he attempt to encourage various vocal senators to agree to stick with mum diplomacy in order to get Jews out of the Soviet Union.
Kissinger defends his statement and policy by saying that a silent diplomacy about Soviet Union Jews, was setting an Egyptian peace strategy in place:
“The issue became public because of the success of our Middle East policy when Egypt evicted Soviet advisers. To restore its relations with Cairo, the Soviet Union put a tax on Jewish emigration. There was no Jackson-Vanik Amendment until there was a successful emigration effort.”
In light of its geopolitical under-dog status, Israel’s global reputation for her cutting-edge high-tech industry continues to ripen.
Jewish Ideas Daily recently released a report exploring “The drivers behind Israel’s innovative impulse, drawing in part on a recent series of panel discussions sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.” We will also take a glance at the partnerships Israeli companies have forged with U.S. companies; and the causes of the painful adjustment period being faced today by the Israeli venture capital business.
Today, Israel has the second largest number of start-up firms in the world, and the largest number of Nasdaq-listed companies outside North America. Panelists at a conference which happened recently in Washington, D.C., called, “The United States and Israel: Building Business Through Innovation,” explored the issues contributing to innovation in Israel, while debating what has helped and hindered the Jewish Country’s move to be a hotbed of global entrepreneurship.
The fact is hundreds of U.S. and Israeli companies have formed alliances in recent years, while many more partnerships are in the works. The relationships are fueled by a nature of quid prop quo. The Israelis get funding, marketing expertise, job growth and better access to the North American market; while the Americans benefit on the job front and through increased market access. They also reap savings in development and production and have an opportunity to tap into Israel’s talent for innovation.
Once acclaimed in Israel for its ability to launch a rich stream of high-tech start-ups, the VC industry has been injured lately on two fronts: Firms in the sector are not able to raise money for new funds, and they cannot exit easily from existing investments via IPOs. Is this painful squeeze merely part of a healthy cycle or is it representative of something with more severe implications?
“The doomsday scenario, according to some industry experts, is that future high-tech start-ups will not need the VC industry as much as before.”
Wrote a researcher from the University of Pennsylvania who attended the conference.
Who’s Kicking Ass
One company to lookout for is Gazit Globe. Considered among the world’s top real estate investment multinationals, the firm is listed on the Tel Aviv stock exchange. They operate in some 20 countries and own or operate 6.3 million square meters of space spread over more than 650 properties.
In United States, Gazit’s investment vehicles include Equity one, a real estate investment trust which focuses on high quality retail properties. Gazit’s total asset value exceeds $15 billion. Gazit’s chairman and founder, Chaim Katzman, spoke recently with Wharton real estate professor, Peter Linneman, and Knowledge@Wharton about the firm’s origins, and a bit about his personal management philosophy.
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.
According 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. â€œBobâ€ Haldeman, from a meeting with the president in July 1971 read:
â€œNo Jew can handle the Israeli thingâ€¦â€ Later in the one-page excerpt, Mr. Haldeman wrote, â€œForget the Jews â€” theyâ€™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: â€œget K. out of the play â€” Haig handle it,â€ says one note, referring to then-aide Alexander Haig.
Apparently â€“ unbeknownst to him â€“ 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?
While a quasi-sharav continues to confound the regular rains and chills of Kislev; while Jewish families get ready for the annual Hanukkah rigmarole; while Israel, like the rest of the world, is dealing with the dreaded WikiLeaks report; the dream of peace is as far away as ever.
The Fatah Furor
The most levelheaded of Palestinian factions, the Fatah Revolutionary Council, according to an article in United Press International, said it refuses the recognition of Israel as a Jewish State and has called on Palestinians to actively resist it. A unanimous Jihad because such demands â€“ that is calling Israel a Jewish State, per a Knesset-approved law, last month â€“ violates “international law” and “human rights conventions.”
Summing up its fifth convention during a three-day session in Ramallah, the Fatah Revolutionary Council said:
“The council affirms its rejection of the so-called Jewish state or any other formula that could achieve this goal. The council also renews its refusal for the establishment of any racist state based on religion in accordance with international law and human rights conventions.”
Furthermore, PA President, Mahmoud Abbas, told the council he will not resume peace negotiations with Israel until there is a halt on building settlements.
Meanwhile, Hamas security forces arrested four Fatah party supporters, Sunday in the Gaza Strip. The detainees were identified as Adel An-Naji, Raâ€™fat Shahin, Sami Abu Samra, and Rizq Abu Al-Kas.
The German Judgment
On Sunday, Shimon Peres met with German President Christian Wulff, who arrived on an official visit to the Middle East. Wulff said that he specially chose Israel as the first country to visit outside the European Union because the countries are bound by a special relationship, and Germany remains the guarantor of the existence and security of Israel.
The two presidents called for pressing forward with the Middle East peace process. The German president added that the Israeli government should “adopt a constructive attitude” to the issue of Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria.
Also on Sunday, WikiLeaks started publishing about 2.8 million secret American documents, representing for the most part, the Foreign Office correspondence with U.S. embassies, including the American Embassy in Tel Aviv.
The documents have already been released, in private, to the New York Times, Der Spiegel and the British Guardian.
Coined on the East coast in 1966, it occurs between the 23rd and 29th of November following Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving is traditionally spent with family, getting in arguments about whether the living room television would screen the Detroit Lions or the Macy’s Day Parade and conducting stealth missions into the kitchen to get a taste of the turkey and stuffing despite being ordered not to…Why aren’t we doing a better job being thankful on Thanksgiving? Because the satanic lure of Black Friday is creeping around the corner and turning blessed American spirits into greedy consumers.
Well, now that hellish hoopla has been pushed up in the calendar by two days, with the introduction of online shopping and Cyber Monday. The term made its debut when in 2005 Shop.org presented a press release called, “Cyber Monday’ Quickly Becoming One of the Biggest Online Shopping Days of the Year.”
According to the Shop.org 2005 eHoliday Mood Study:
“77% of online retailers said that their sales increased substantially last year on the Monday after Thanksgiving, a trend that is driving serious online discounts and promotions on Cyber Monday this year (2005)”.
In the same year the New York Times reported that:
“The name Cyber Monday grew out of the observation that millions of otherwise productive working Americans, fresh off a Thanksgiving weekend of window shopping, were returning to high-speed Internet connections at work Monday and buying what they liked.”
Then, in 2006, Shop.org announced that it launched the CyberMonday.com portal, a one-stop shop for Cyber Monday deals. And in 2009, comScore reported that consumers spent $887M online on Cyber Monday, the second highest spending day of 2009.
The term Cyber Monday is also used in the marketing world of Portugal, Turkey, Venezuela, France and the United Kingdom. In these countries, Cyber Monday sales last for eight days, usually from the last Monday in November to the first Monday in December.
There are several theories as to why online sales increase so explosively on Cyber Monday; however, some debate if all retailers experience this trend. One theory suggests that people see certain items in the shopping malls over the weekend and wait until Monday to buy them online, where they may compare prices, avoid lines and take advantage of free shipping or other offers. Yet another theory suggests that shoppers have faster internet connections at work and, henceforth, wait until then to make their online purchases.
This year, Cyber Monday starts on November 29th, exactly 26 days before Christmas.
Simply put, the way to get the most out of the many Cyber Monday deals and specials out there is preparation. Remember that your goal is maximizing savings in your purchases for Christmas needs and to save on effort in buying them.
First it is quite important to know where you are at financially. Check all your bank and credit card balances and determine how much money you may budget for your purchases. You don’t want to go bankrupt after the sale. You can also include how much cash on hand you happen to have that you can use to deposit to pay your credit card purchases.
Start going to department stores and look at the items in your list. Check for designs, brands, colors and sizes so that you would know exactly what you want.
With your budget and your list ready, begin searching online for the stores early Sunday as there are stores who advertise early. Since you already more or less pin pointed what you need, it will be easy for you to search for the stores who offer them.
So now it’s not rush to Macy’s to find the hot sale before it gets snatched from the shelf, with a weapon for self-defense; but rush to the family PC to fill up the electronic shopping cart.
Two weeks ago, Shas Party leader Eli Yishai sent a letter to Netanyahu asking for him to push for the release of convicted Israeli spy, Jonathan Pollard, imprisoned in the United States for the last 25 years (part of a life imprisonment handed down to the former U.S. civilian intelligence analyst in 1987).
Yishai wrote that, in appeasing U.S. requests to halt West Bank construction, freeing Pollard is a must; if for no other reason than the sake of justice.
Yishai also mentioned that former U.S. officials involved in Pollard’s case admit that his sentence was too severe and they too believe Pollard should be released.
Several Knesset Members joined Yishai’s plea and gave Netanyahu a letter addressed to U.S. President Barack Obama.
Netanyahu, however, had no plans of taking the letter with him to the United States.
The Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement:
“The Prime Minister has brought up Pollard’s case several times in discussions with the U.S. government, so he does not need to do so through a letter. The proper procedure for transferring letters is to send them in an official manner to the U.S. embassy in Israel,”
Here is a letter by Justice4JP and the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home, published last Sunday:
Sunday, November 14, 2010 Statement of Justice for Jonathan Pollard and The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home
Statement of Justice for Jonathan Pollard and The Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home Before any deal with US, pull Pollard out of harm’s way! J4JPnews – November 14, 2010
Justice4JP and the Committee to Bring Jonathan Pollard Home unequivocally call for the release of Jonathan Pollard as a matter of simple justice, not as part of any deal that would weaken Israel or endanger other Jews in any way. Nevertheless, it is shocking that Israel would even consider making a major gesture to the Americans at this time (such as re-implementing a building freeze) without first pulling Pollard out of harm’s way.
Israel’s continuing failure to demonstrate the most minimal responsibility for the fate of her agent is shocking particularly in light of all of the latest revelations of government malfeasance by both the US and Israel towards Pollard for the last 25 years.
If there is any American “incentive” to release Pollard as a gesture to Israel — and a matter of simple justice — it is particularly at a time when the US is negotiating with Israel for what it wants. Now is the time to secure Pollard’s release, before any gestures are considered by Israel. Our position remains, now more than ever, Pollard must be freed as a matter of simple justice — and he must be freed now.
JUSTICE FOR JONATHAN POLLARD
In the video below, Netanyahu gets heckled down in New Orleans..
I found it peculiar when, last month, Saudi Arabia purchased, under the aegis of the Obama administration, 84 Boeing Co. F-15 fighter jets, attack helicopters and helicopters made by United Technologies Corp. (70 Apaches, 72 Black Hawks and 36 Little Birds), satellite-guided bombs and an advanced radar from Raytheon Co..
But one should not be too shocked: according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. sold, roughly, a combined $37 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and Kuwait between 2005 and 2009.
Israel has historically been apprehensive about U.S. military sales in the Arab world, especially to Saudi Arabia who, while opposed to the current Ayatolla, Ahmadinejad regime, funds terror and does not recognize the Jewish State; ergo, Israel not showing any opposition, let alone a tantrum over the massive deal is a little strange; especially given that last August, the Obama administration cut funding for Israelâ€™s Arrow 3 program missile defense system (more powerful than the Iron Dome), a project totaling just $108.8m out of the American wallet.
Last week, the Washington Post reported:
“According to the military, Boeing – maker of the F-15, the Apaches and the Little Birds – has estimated that the purchase would involve 77,000 direct and indirect jobs in 44 states. Some of those would be jobs that would be kept, but an unspecified number of new jobs would also be generated, officials said.”
“Richard Aboulafia, an aerospace industry analyst at the Teal Group in Fairfax, said the overseas weapons market has become more active in recent years. Last year, the U.S. exported $3.2 billion in combat aircraft overseas, up from $2.4 billion in 2008. Among the biggest buyers in 2009 were Singapore for $1 billion worth of F-15 aircraft; Greece and Poland, receiving $1.9 billion worth of F-16s; and Australia, receiving $200 million worth of F-18s.”
The word on the street was that America contacted Israel first, (about the recent Saudi sale) who gave the thumbs up. Spokesman of the Israeli Embassy in Washington, Jonathan Peled said that while the Jewish Country is not â€œthrilledâ€ by the proposal, it has not requested such actions as congressional hearings or assurances.
But if Israel does not have an EVEN WORSE taste in its mouth from the sale, some American politicians do. As far as domestic opposition to the deal, an article in Bloomberg News reported that a letter was put into circulation on the hill, for the signature of lawmakers. Composed by top Democrat and Republicans on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, the letter stresses the danger of the deal â€“ though stops short at pleading the need to nullify the $60 billion transaction.
The letter was written by California Democrat Howard Berman and Florida Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and is addressed to Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Defense Secretary, Robert Gates.
The lawmakers raise â€œthe potential repercussions for our friends and for our own forces in the region in the event of political change in Saudi Arabia,â€ saying:
â€œWe have serious concerns about the nature of Saudi involvement in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, particularly since the Saudis have failed to take steps toward normalization of relations with Israel or to augment their financial support to the Palestinian Authority.â€
The letter inquires how thoroughly the Pentagon and the State Department have considered the sale’s effect on U.S. policies in the Middle East, specifically the righteous goal of securing Israel’s â€œqualitative military edgeâ€ over its neighbors; a winning goal for American security too.
The two lawmakers cite a report by the Government Accountability Office, concluding the Departments of State and Defense:
â€œDid not consistently document how arms transfers to gulf countries advanced U.S. foreign policy and national security goals.â€
The Saudi F-15 package reportedly does not include arms that could pose a serious threat, like weapons which can be fired from long distances, threatening thereby little Israel. The arrival of F-15s to Saudi Arabia would not begin until 2015, the same year Israel is slated to commence the reception of F-35s.
At the time the deal was announced, Andrew Shapiro of the U.S. State Department said the sale would:
â€œProtect (Saudi) security in a dangerous neighborhood against legitimate security threats.â€
Ros-Lehtinen and Berman, in the letter, ask what Saudi Arabia has done to quell Tehranâ€™s nuclear ambitions. The lawmakers cite potential Saudi â€œleverage in the international oil market to diminish Iranâ€™s oil revenueâ€ as well as actions to stem financing for terrorism or reduce the spread of nuclear-weapons technology.
Congress has until November 20th to prevent the sale before the Defense Department and companies proceed with more detailed talks on contracts.
Other Notes of Interest:
And last month, number two in the House Republican leadership, Eric Cantor of Virginia proposed that when the GOP wins control of the House â€“ and now they have â€“ they should move Israelâ€™s financial aid package and add it to the Pentagon’s budget.
Writes C. Hart of American Thinker:
“House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, a staunch supporter of Israel, will become House Majority Leader in the next Congress. He will be holding the highest ranking post a Jew has ever held in Congress. His actions will, most likely, focus on giving less U.S. military support to Saudi Arabia. The United States recently approved $60 billion in weapons sales to the Saudis, which only hinders Israelâ€™s qualitative military edge in the Middle East over Arab States. The sale is expected to be the largest in U.S. history if all purchases are made by Saudi Arabia. Ros-Lehtinen has already spoken out against the sale.”
“According to The Israel Project (TIP), Cantor has also cosponsored legislation that would end U.S. taxpayer aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops its culture of hate toward Israel. He also wants to see an end to unauthorized WAQF excavations of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which are encouraged and supported by the Palestinian Authority.”
The Bibi and Biden Show:
Meanwhile, Israel PM, Binyamin Netanyahu of the Likud party is in America this week. First, D.C., to recall the nostalgic stench of a Republican majority House and then New York for a corned beef on rye at Katz’s Deli.
A source who was present at the meeting in Washington reported that Bibi told Biden:
“The only way to ensure that Iran will not go nuclear is to create a credible threat of military action against it if it doesn’t cease its race for a nuclear weaponâ€¦The economic sanctions are making it difficult for Iran, but there is no sign that the Ayatollah regime plans to stop its nuclear program because of them.”
Bibi will not be meeting with the American president this time, who is currently abroad on diplomatic duties.
After he made tetchy rhetoric on a radio program, CNN has put the axe in one veteran news anchor Rick Sanchez.
According to Mr. Sanchez, Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” is a bigot.
The former CNN news anchor was born in Cuba and worked at CNN since 2004. He was host of the two-hour “Rick’s List” on CNN’s afternoon lineup. The prime-time version of that show ended when the time slot was filled by former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer and Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker.
Sanchez often found himself the butt of Stewart’s jokes — other than frequent features on the show’s “Moment of Zen” segment, the most recent example of Stewart’s bigotry directed at Sanchez was when he said on the air that his show had received a tweet from House Republican leader John Boehner. Stewart said it was a case of “send a twit a tweet.”
In rebuttal, Sanchez told Pete Dominick in a satellite radio interview that:
“He’s upset that someone of my ilk is almost at his level,” he is bigoted toward “everybody else that’s not like him.” Jon Stewart “can’t relate to what I grew up with”.
alluding to his family’s needy fiscal findings and prejudice directed at his dad.
Dominick pointed out that Stewart, Jewish, is a minority too.
The response came,
“I’m telling you that everyone who runs CNN is a lot like Stewart, and a lot of people who run all the other networks are a lot like Stewart, and to imply that somehow they, the people in this country who are Jewish, are an oppressed minority?”
Sanchez added a sarcastic “yeah.”
“I can’t see someone not getting a job these days because they’re Jewish.”
Stewart was labeled by Sanchez as a member of â€œelite, Northeast establishment liberals â€œwho â€deep down, when they look at a guy like me, they see a guy automatically who belongs in the second tier, and not the top tier.â€
Sanchez even talked about Jewish influence in the media:
“Very powerless peopleâ€¦ [snickers] Heâ€™s such a minorityâ€¦”
Meanwhile, in a recent interview with The Atlanticâ€™s Jeffrey Goldberg, former Cuban dictator, Fidel Castro lambasted Iranian Holocaust denial, supported the Jewish Country’s right to exist and had amicable wishes for Binyamin Netanyahu and Shimon Peres.
â€œI donâ€™t think anyone has been slandered more than the Jewsâ€¦I would say much more than the Muslims. They have been slandered much more than the Muslims because they are blamed and slandered for everything. No one blames the Muslims for anything.â€
â€œNow, letâ€™s imagine that I were Netanyahuâ€¦that I were there and I sat down to reason through [the issues facing Israel], I would remember that six million Jewish men and women, of all ages were exterminated in the concentration camps.â€
Castro also expressed an admiration for Netanyahuâ€™s father, Ben-Zion, who is the foremost historian of the Spanish Inquisition in the world.
Strange, even for the former Communist dictator who was once a vehement supporter of the ultra-left movement to delegitimize the Jewish Country.
In a separate public announcement, Castro also recently pitted Israel and the US against Iran by cautioning about the could-be catastrophic effects on global climate change that could come as a result of a ‘nuclear winter’.
Meanwhile, this year according to Haaretz, 5,000 Israelis traveled to Cuba on vacation. A number that is sure to increase.
Despite a lawsuit by the Chassidic movement, Russia will not turn over a library of Chabad-Lubavitch documents to the groupâ€™s headquarters in Brooklyn, New York City; and a U.S. district judge has upheld the Russianâ€™s plea.
The library, collected since 1772 and comprising over 12,000 volumes and 381 manuscripts was originally seized by the Red Army in Nazi Germany as war loot. The Foreign Ministry of the former center of the Soviet Union said that the ruling â€“ that is to hand over the documents to the United States was a “rude violation” of international law. The ruling claimed that because the Rebbe, Joseph Isaac Scheersohn, who was forced in 1927 to leave Russia, had no heirs, that the library was nationalized.
The Russian ministry claims that the library is available for scientific study and worship. Spokesmen of Chabad-Lubavitch in Brooklyn fear that some of the manuscripts in the library could be for sale on the black market.
Another possibility for the future of the library, one which was not mentioned in the proceedings, would be to hand over the manuscripts to the Israeli government since it is the National body of the Jewish people.
For towns such as Kfar Chabad (founded in 1948), Nachalat Har Chabad (founded in 1969) and Kiryat Chabad (founded in 1979), Israel has become a welcome homeland for the Chassidic Movement.
American district Judge Royce Lamberth said the plaintiffs can sue to recover more than 25,000 pages of manuscripts and letters, which properly belong to the Scheersohns. The lawsuit was originally filed in 2004 in California against the Russian Ministry of Culture, the Russian State Library and the Russian State Military Archive.
All of the documents were originally taken to Latvia and then Poland after the Rebbe left Russia in 1927. The Russians seized the library after the outbreak of the Second World War when the Rebbe left for Brooklyn. Since then, they have been filed in a Russian Military Archive.