Former captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was released from the Israel Defense Forces. Shalit was officially released, at the rank of sergeant-major, on Wednesday, six months after he was freed from Hamas captivity in Gaza. He signed his release forms at his northern Israel home in Mitzpe Hila in lieu of going to an IDF induction center as part of an expedited administrative procedure, according to reports. Shalit was held in Gaza for more than five years after being captured by Hamas in a cross-border raid in June 2006. He was released last October as part of a swap between Israel and Hamas in which nearly 500 Palestinian prisoners being held in Israeli jails were released at the time of his release, and another 550 in December. – JTA
Daily Archives: 04/18/2012
Simcha Felder launched his candidacy this afternoon for the newly-created “Super Jewish” state senate seat during a low-key visit to Hamodia’s office, potentially returning a longtime community insider to elected office. “I look forward, G-d willing, to the opportunity once again to serve the community and the people of New York State,” said Mr. Felder, currently a deputy in the New York City Comptroller’s office. Mr. Felder is the first to announce a bid for the new district, which comprises Boro Park and Flatbush. He told Hamodia’s editorial board that he hoped for a unifying campaign. – Hamodia Daily Via VINNews
Expactice Reports: Nicolas Sarkozy’s campaign appeared to lose steam Wednesday, four days ahead of the first round of France’s presidential election that pollsters increasingly say he will lose to his Socialist rival.
Abandoned by some allies and rounded on by some traditionally pro-government media, a visibly tired but still campaigning Sarkozy said on Wednesday “we’re three days away from the first round, let’s wait peacefully.” He dismissed a CSA opinion poll ahead of Sunday’s first round vote that said Socialist Party candidate Francois Hollande would score a thumping first-round victory over the UMP party’s incumbent with 29 percent to 24 percent.
“It contradicts all the others, because they say I’ll win. We have three days to wait, let’s wait peacefully,” Sarkozy told BFM-TV of the poll that also predicted a spectacular 58-42 percent second-round victory for Hollande.
JTA Reports: Israel’s prime minister and president invoked the Iranian threat during remarks at the annual Yom Hashoah ceremony at Yad Vashem.
Israel began the observance of Holocaust Martyrs’ and Heroes’ Remembrance Day with the national ceremony Wednesday night at the Yad Vashem memorial. Yom Hashoah continues through sundown on Thursday.
Yesterday Tuesday morning at 9:46, I entered the Court Room of the Hon. NYS Supreme Court Judge William A. Kelly. I went there to see firsthand the sentencing process of Shaul Spitzer, the teen who pled guilty a few months ago for assaulting with flammable material a member of the Hasidic Sect of New Square. The benches to my right were mostly occupied by family members while the benches to my left were occupied by some members of the New Square leadership; community activists and of course by a handful of reporters, among whom I found a space.
On my way into the Court Room, I saw Spitzer in the hallway with his father; it was Spitzer’s final moments as a free man before sentencing. The father asked me “who are you?” I replied “Yossi Gestetner.” Shaul told his father “this is the Yossi Gestetner from Kol Mavaser,” referring to the powerful and very popular Hasidic Information line.
While discussing the influence Diaspora Jews exert in Israel, MK Zahava Galon, head of Meretz expressed frustration at the possibility of “Jew-boys” (the derogatory word is Yehudonim in Hebrew) deciding Israel’s fate. Galon continued, “If 10 mandates [in Knesset] are enough to change how Israel determines whether to go to war with Iran or not. Organized groups will come from Brooklyn and get the right to vote. All the decisions about life and death here, whether to evacuate the territories, whether to authorize outposts, those sitting in New York or Brooklyn will decide for us? “Groups of Jew-boys… Jews, organized in the Diaspora, will decide how we live here?” Galon continued, quickly correcting her mistake. – Israel National News.
Moshe Kantor, president of the European Jewish Congress, said he feared a minority of angry, extremist European Muslims who live in impoverished neighborhoods might use an Israeli attack as a pretext to hit local Jews, particularly in France and Great Britain. “If Israel attacks Iran, it will be a dramatic increase of anti-Semitic, very violent attacks against Jews,” Kantor said. “And the vehicle for the realization of the attacks will be these enclave communities, where the level of hatred is very high and they are prepared to attack enemies inside their countries,” he said. – AP Via ABC News
Fox News asked voters as follows: “Do you believe the opponents of voter identification laws are really trying to steal elections by increasing illegal votes by non-citizens and other ineligible voters?” 50% answered yes. When asked if supporters of stricter laws want to steal the elections, only 34% answered yes. Overall, 52% Democrats, 74% Independents, and 87% Republicans agree with the statement that voter ID laws are necessary to stop illegal voting.
Chris Bragg Reports: Rory Lancman has accused Grace Meng’s campaign of planting a Jewish candidate in the NY-06 congressional race to siphon votes away from his campaign. And while Meng denies the allegation, her top campaign consultant at the center of the controversy, Michael Nussbaum, has pulled a similar trick before.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo reported $232,606 on his 2011 state and federal tax returns, which also showed for the first time investments in what aides said was a hands-off investment account managed by AMG National Trust Bank. Cuomo reported $1,354 in royalties from real-estate properties listed in Dallas, Austin and Fort Worth, Texas, and also Red Bank, NJ. He also reported $49,451 in tax-exempt interest from government bonds and $12,668 in ordinary dividends. Overall, his federally adjusted gross income was $183,155, a mild boost from his 2010 attorney general pay. – Capital Tonight
ABC’s @JakeTapper Writes @MittRomney Placing Dog on Roof in 1983 ‘Certainly Kinder Than [Obama] Eating him’ in 1971
Jake Tapper Writes: Much has been made about Mitt Romney, in 1983, putting his family dog Seamus in a kennel on top of his roof and driving from Boston to Canada, with said canine Seamus making his displeasure known in a rather scatological way…
The Daily Caller noted that in President Obama’s best-selling memoir, “Dreams from My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” the president recalls being fed dog meat… in Indonesia with his stepfather, Lolo Soetoro.
NJ.Com Reports: For the third consecutive year, Gov. Chris Christie has asked for a six-month extension on filing his income tax returns, according to spokesman Michael Drewniak. In previous years, Christie has released the documents in October. Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno filed her and her husband Michael’s taxes on today’s deadline, but Drewniak said she won’t release her documents until Christie does.
He earns $175,000 as governor. As a bond trader with the Wall Street brokerage firm Cantor Fitzgerald, his wife Mary Pat Christie has traditionally earned far more. In his first year in office, the Christies’ reported a joint income of $449,607, down from $544,047 in 2009. The 2010 figure accounted for his salary of $145,364, not including what he pays into a tax-exempt 401(k) plan, and her income of $264,681. They paid $116,072 in federal income taxes and $36,453 in property taxes.