“The Jewish Journal” created this header for a blog section to cover this contested race
And the fight between the two Jewish Congressmen ahead of their Primary continues. From the LAT: Rep. Brad Sherman’s reelection campaign is asking federal authorities to investigate what it says is improper coordination between his main rival, fellow Democratic Rep. Howard Berman, and a “super PAC” formed to support Berman in the nationally watched contest.
In a complaint planned for delivery to the Federal Election Commission on Monday, Sherman campaign manager Scott Abrams alleges that a Berman operative did not wait the required 120 days between working for the Berman campaign and contracting with the super PAC.Read more »
Market Watch Reports: “Worries about a double-dip recession in the U.S. … were compounded by election results in Europe. The [poll] results weren’t surprising, but they just add to the uncertainty,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital.
In Tokyo, which had been closed since Wednesday, Japan’s Nikkei Stock Average plunged 2.6%. Hong Kong’s Hang Sang Index fell 2.2%, although the Shanghai Composite Index lost a more modest 0.4%. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 1.4%, while South Korea’s Kospi fell 1.7%.Read more »
President Barack Obama invited French president-elect Francois Hollande to the White House later this month, expressing hope the pair would work “closely,” a spokesman said Sunday. In a telephone call to congratulate Hollande on his election victory, Obama “indicated that he looks forward to working closely with Mr Hollande and his government on a range of shared economic and security challenges,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said in a statement. The US president is due to host the leaders of the Group of Eight rich nation’s club at his Camp David retreat in Maryland between May 18-19, followed by the NATO transatlantic alliance summit in Chicago on May 20-21. AFP Via Yahoo
JPost Via VIN News Reports: Itamar Gelbman was born in New York 30 years ago and as a child moved with his parents to Herzliya, where he was raised. He studied business management and computer science at Tel Aviv University and served as an undercover reserve officer in the Tel Aviv Police District.
After graduation, Gelbman joined the IDF where he was a lieutenant in what he calls the “army special forces.” He said he could not be more specific about what he did in the army but that he received multiple awards, including a commendation from the IDF chief of staff.Read more »
EJP Reports: The Rabbinical Centre of Europe (RCE) congratulated Francois Hollande on his election Sunday as President of the France and wished him “every success for the next five years.”
“We alert the president-elect on the resurgence of anti-Semitism and insecurity in Europe and France in particular and the need to vigorously fight it regardless of its origin,” said the organization dedicated to serving the needs of European Jewry, which represents over seven hundred rabbis and Jewish communities throughout the European continent.
“We express our deep concern about the growing intolerance of religious freedom in everyday life, respectful of republican values,” it said in a press release.
Gov. Chris Christie would make a great salesman, even if he were selling junky used cars that leak oil. He went to Wisconsin last week to support Republican Gov. Scott Walker against a recall effort. So far, so good. Walker is far more conservative than Christie, but politics is a team sport. What, though, was the governor talking about when he bragged about New Jersey’s economic recovery? Did we miss something in the last jobs report, which showed that 11,600 private-sector jobs disappeared in March, leaving New Jersey’s unemployment rate nearly a full percentage point above the nation’s? Several nearby states have been doing better than we are, too. But there was Christie, telling the crowd that conservatives have found the magic elixir. – Star Ledger Editors
No, I am not suggesting that Reform or Conservative Jews who made up large portions of the recent AJC poll are not Jewish. But yes, I am saying an obvious thing about the AJC Poll that slipped the minds of most people: The sample surveyed were Jewish Adults in the United States, and not necessarily Registered Voters and certainly not exclusively Likely Voters.
What’s the difference? Well, for an incumbent, the best polling numbers are when surveying every day people; regardless if they plan on voting or not. The second-best class for an incumbent is ‘Registered Voters’ who are more tuned into politics than regular adults and tend to have more reservations about elected officials than regular adults. The worst class of polling for a sitting politician are the ‘Likely Voters’; those who follow politics closely and plan on taking part in the process in November.
To the best of my knowledge, the AJC poll showing President Obama gaining 61% of the Jewish Vote is based on everyday Jewish adults. This means, Obama’s numbers are quite lower among likely Jewish Voters than the 61% showing Obama retained in the recent poll. Is it below fifty percent? No. But it certainly is below sixty percent.
Usually, it is coalition members of a unity government that throw over the government and force it to call early elections. In Israel however, not only was it the Prime minister who decided to pull the plug on his own term. Instead, some members of his coalition don’t want to dissolve the Government just yet. Get this from the JTA:
A vote on dissolving the current government is scheduled for Monday The party convention comes ahead of party primaries scheduled for the second week in June. But meanwhile, coalition partner Yisrael Beiteinu called for a delay of the Knesset dissolution to allow the government to pass its bill ordering mandatory enlistment in the Israel Defense Forces for all Israeli citizens. The measure is an alternative to the Tal Law, which exempts full-time yeshiva students from mandatory army service.Read more »
Documents obtained by GestetnerUpdates.Com show that the largest financiers of the pro-teachers union candidates running in next week’s School Board Elections are backed by members of Preserve Ramapo; an environmental group whose anti-Orthodox Jewish rhetoric have been well-documented in recent years.
Kim Foskew, (a union member) eager to win a seat on the East Ramapo Central School District Board in order to secure a lucrative five-year contract for the teachers, has already made available her recent financing to the Board of Education. The documents show that Robert Rhodes, the Founder of Preserve Ramapo, has contributed ten times more than any other backer of Foskew. Rhodes’ money single handedly financed almost half Fokew’s war chest through April 18.
The involvement of the environmental group in the school board elections raises the eye brows of observers, considering that the School Board, besides for saving tax payers’ money and servicing the educational needs of children, has little to non involvement with the Environment.Read more »
Few voters were hopeful that the election would bring a quick improvement, and many said their friends and family, once united around either the Socialists or the pro-business New Democracy party, were split, turning to the far left and far right in their search for alternatives. Thirty-two parties fielded candidates for parliament, and many of them were expected to reach the 3 percent bar to qualify for seats, further diluting any one group’s power. A neo-Nazi party called Golden Dawn appeared to win between 6 and 8 percent of the vote. – Wash Post.
The party will now be eligible to have seats in the new Parliament.
French Socialist candidate François Hollande won Sunday’s presidential runoff, defeating incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy after a hard-fought campaign that pitted two radically different personalities against each other, according to estimates of preliminary results seen by the Wall Street Journal… Mr. Sarkozy’s defeat makes him the 11th euro zone leader swept away in the sovereign debt crisis. The crisis has left deep scars in the French economy, pushing unemployment to a 13-year high of nearly 10% and public debt to nearly 90% of the country’s annual output, from 64% when Mr. Sarkozy took office in 2007. – WSJ
U.K. Guardian: Presidential candidate François Hollande returns to his political stronghold of Tulle on Sunday to vote in an election that could make him France’s first Socialist president since François Mitterrand. President Nicolas Sarkozy, should he loose, will be the 11th European leader to lose power during the current economic crisis
12:50 PM in NY: Polls closed in Paris 12:00 PM EDT, however in the suburbs people can still vote until 2:00 PM in New York. The Guardian is reporting that according to BMF-TV turn out is at 82% of eligible voters.
1:05 PM in NY: From the Telegraph: AFP flashed that Hollande has won. Socialist candidate Francois Hollande won the French presidential election on Sunday with between 52 and 53 percent of the vote, ousting right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy, according to estimates.
Congressman Bill Pascrell, now in a heated Primary with fellow Democrat Steve Rothman, lavished praise on CAIR, the Civil Liberties groups whose ties to Hamas has brought court charges and convictions against members of its staff and activists associated with them (as reported here, here, and here).
CAIR boasts this Pascrell quote on its website: “With over 30 CAIR Chapters spread throughout the United States and Canada it is clear that CAIR has become the preeminent organization representing the concerns of Muslim Americans. I want to personally commend CAIR for its work on issues including civil liberties and opening dialogue with various communities in America.”
Former POTUS Bill Clinton, husband of former U.S. First Lady Hillary Clinton who kissed the wife of Yasir Arafat moments after Mrs. Arafat claimed Israel is poisoning Palestinian water, endorsed Pascrell on Friday.
U.K. Guardian Reports: A United Nations investigator probing discrimination against Native Americans has called on the US government to return some of the land stolen from Indian tribes as a step toward combatting continuing and systemic racial discrimination.
James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, said no member of the US Congress would meet him as he investigated the part played by the government in the considerable difficulties faced by Indian tribes.
Anaya said that in nearly two weeks of visiting Indian reservations, indigenous communities in Alaska and Hawaii, and Native Americans now living in cities, he encountered people who suffered a history of dispossession of their lands and resources, the breakdown of their societies and “numerous instances of outright brutality, all grounded on racial discrimination”.Read more »
Ari Berman at the Nation Vents: Romney is loath to mention Bush on the campaign trail, for obvious reasons, but today they sound like ideological soul mates on foreign policy. Listening to Romney, you’d never know that Bush left office bogged down by two unpopular wars that cost America dearly in blood and treasure. Of Romney’s forty identified foreign policy advisers, more than 70 percent worked for Bush. Many hail from the neoconservative wing of the party, were enthusiastic backers of the Iraq War and are proponents of a US or Israeli attack on Iran… If we take the candidate at his word, a Romney presidency would move toward war against Iran; closely align Washington with the Israeli right; leave troops in Afghanistan at least until 2014 and refuse to negotiate with the Taliban; reset the Obama administration’s “reset” with Russia; and pursue a Reagan-like military buildup at home.
“It’s a most serious mistake to turn the issue of defense against Iran into Israel’s biggest problem,” Shelly Yechimovitch, leader of the left-of-centre Labour party, said in a televised interview. She called Iran’s atomic program a “problem of the entire world,” adding that “the fact we take it upon ourselves to be the spearhead is an error,” in the interview on Channel 2 television. Yechimovitch backs Washington’s position that there is still time to see if economic sanctions and diplomacy can stop Iran seeking nuclear weapons, before deciding any military steps. – Reuters
“Israel has no greater friend in the world today than Canada,” declared Canadian Foreign Minister John Baird at the AJC Global Forum. “Our strong support for Israel is not about politics at home, and certainly not about winning popularity contests at the United Nations. Canada certainly has the scars to show for it,” Baird said. “It’s about values.”
The foreign minister was addressing the AJC World Leaders Plenary, attended by an audience of more than 1,500, including many ambassadors in Washington, D.C. The foreign ministers of Cyprus and Germany also spoke at that Global Forum session. – Press Release
A delegation of leaders of the CRIF, the umbrella body for French Jews, met with top U.S. officials and discussed strategies to enhance security. Six representatives of the CRIF, joined by officials of the Jewish Federations of North America’s Secure Community Network and the American Jewish Committee, met this week with officials at the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.
CRIF sought the meetings in the wake of shootings at a Jewish school in Toulouse in March that resulted in four deaths. “The appalling shootings of Toulouse highlighted the importance of an increased level of protection,” said CRIF President Richard Prasquier. “We wanted to know how [security] measures are implemented in the U.S.”
The meeting with Homeland Security officials focused on strategies to make communities more alert to dangers.
NYP Reports: It’s a camp firestorm. Four upstate Jewish summer camps are the latest battleground between warring Hasidic brothers — and two prominent Brooklyn pols are helping them slug it out.
On one side is Brooklyn Democratic boss and Assemblyman Vito Lopez, who is going to bat for Zalman Teitelbaum. The rabbi was designated the leader of the Satmar Hasidic sect by his late father, Grand Rebbe Moses Teitelbaum. On the other is Rep. Nydia Velazquez, a Democrat whose district was just redrawn to include Hasidic Williamsburg. She is backing Teitelbaum’s older brother, Aaron, who wants to control half the camps.Read more »
The AP has this via Fox: France holds a presidential runoff election nationwide Sunday. Here is how it works and what’s at stake.
WHAT IS HAPPENING: French citizens are choosing a president in direct elections. France held the first round of voting April 22, and the two top candidates advanced to the second and final round Sunday. Just over 43 million people are eligible to vote.
WHEN AND WHERE: Polling stations in municipal buildings around the country will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. (0600-1600GMT; 2 a.m.-12 p.m. EDT) In Paris and other large urban areas polls remain open until 8 p.m. (1800 GMT; 2 p.m. EDT). Voters in some French overseas territories started voting Saturday. Partial official results are expected Sunday night, after the last polls close.
WHO IS RUNNING: Conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy is running against Socialist challenger Francois Hollande, after eight other candidates were eliminated in the first round. Hollande has led Sarkozy in every poll conducted throughout the campaign.
WHAT’S NEXT: The new head of state will take office no later than May 16 and serve a fixed five-year mandate.
The Commentator has this: Following the Labour mayoral candidate Ken Livingstone’s loss to Boris Johnson , the print edition of The Guardian asserted that it was Ken’s own baggage that brought him down. We couldn’t agree more, but on a scan through the article and as highlighted by various people on Twitter this morning, we found this:
“How much damage did he [Ken] inflict by failing to make peace with the Jewish political establishment…”
This could be interpreted quite innocuously at first, or conversely, be read into as The Guardian tarring the entire British political establishment as Jewish run.Read more »
Bill Kristol walked up to the debate podium prepared to lose the case for electing Mitt Romney, even before his opponent had uttered a single world. “Every four years, I dutifully accept invitations to debate before Jewish audiences,” the Weekly Standard editor told the American Jewish Committee’s annual confab in downtown D.C. “It’s always a pathetic scene. I have an unmatched record of failures, from 1984 on.” He smiled ruefully as the audience laughed. Jewish voters are a historically Democratic voting bloc, and this election isn’t likely to buck that trend: They currently support Obama over Romney by 61-28 percent, with 11 percent undecided, as the AJC’s moderator told the packed ballroom on Friday morning at the debate between Kristol and Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.). But that’s not the only reason that Kristol might feel like he was on losing ground. – Read More at the Wash Post