Daily Archives: 05/20/2012
The JC Reports: Supporters of Israel are calling on the Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs to “build bridges” rather than seek a boycott of Israeli goods. Earlier this week Eamon Gilmore hinted that he planned to push the European Union to block goods produced in the settlements, in order to pressure the Israeli government into making changes in policy. Mr Gilmore said settlements in the West Bank were “making the achievement of a two-state solution in the Middle East impossible.
“If there isn’t a change in Israeli policy in relation to settlements in particular, I think we may have to look at some additional measures,” he said. Cork-based human righst activist Barry Williams said that singling out Israel would “not secure a lasting peace”. Mr Williams has now set up a petition seeking to oppose a boycott.
Rice was welcomed Saturday night at a dinner reception at the Herzliya home of U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro. Rice was making her 25th visit to Israel, this time as the head of her own consulting firm, which matches up American companies with foreign government officials. Other founders of the firm include former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and ex-National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, according to Haaretz. Rice was in Israel with global Motorola CEO Greg Brown. – JTA
Via James Hohmann, Obama campaign surrogate and Democratic rising star Cory Booker undercuts a key Chicago attack line:
“It’s nauseating to the American public,” Booker said on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Enough is enough. Stop attacking private equity. Stop attacking Jeremiah Wright.”
“As far as that stuff, I have to just say from a very personal level I’m not about to sit here and indict private equity,” he added. “To me, it’s just we’re getting to a ridiculous point in America. Especially that I know I live in a state where pension funds, unions and other people invest in companies like Bain Capital. If you look at the totality of Bain Capital’s record, they’ve done a lot to support businesses [and] to grow businesses. And this, to me, I’m very uncomfortable with.”
Huge majorities in the African American communities are opposed to SSM. But don’t worry Mr. President. The shameless political hacks at the NAACP have your back. Its board of directors is out to take a stand which goes against the convictions of most of their members just to make sure that those in the African American community who may have had reservations about you following your SSM support, will come back and swing again behind you. Dont take my ‘”racist” words for it. Read the Lib WashPost Reports: NAACP endorses same-sex marriage as a ‘Civil Right.’ Writes the Post: The decision has political implications for President Obama, who needs an enthusiastic turnout from black voters to help him win reelection in November but angered some African-American church pastors with his announcement this month that he believes gays and lesbians should have the right to marry.
Former President George W. Bush plans to return to the White House on May 31 for the unveiling of his official portrait later this month, marking a rare visit by the two-term president who has largely shunned the spotlight since leaving office… The portrait ceremony will be his first visit to the White House in more than two years. Bush appeared with President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton at the Rose Garden following the devastating Haiti earthquake in January 2010. The Republican former president accompanied Obama last year to New York’s ground zero on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. – NYDN
Kentucky.Com Reports: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie didn’t mince words about President Obama in a Saturday night appearance before Kentucky Republicans in Lexington.
“This country’s problems are too serious to spend another day with a bystander in the Oval Office,” Christie said at the annual Lincoln Dinner at the Griffin Gate Marriott.
“He is the most ill-prepared person to assume the presidency in my lifetime,” Christie said. “This is a guy who literally is walking around in a dark room trying to find the light switch to leadership. He doesn’t even know where it is, let alone how to operate it.”
WSJ Reports: Long a Jewish enclave, the area has attracted an increasing number of Orthodox Jews in the past decade, many of whom have chosen homes on the eastern edge of Midwood because of affordability, brokers said.
“The Jewish presence in Midwood has expanded in the last 10 years—there are more young Orthodox families than there were before,” said Alvin M. Berk, the chairman of Community Board 14, which covers the eastern half of Midwood.
The influx of the Orthodox community has stretched the neighborhood’s eastern boundary to Flatbush Avenue in the past few years.
HSN Reports: The U.S. government expressed concern about a 53-year-old American who is on hunger strike in a Bolivian prison and demanded that La Paz ensure he receives a fair and “transparent” trial.
Jacob Ostreicher, a 53-year-old flooring contractor from Brooklyn, New York, began the hunger strike last month to protest his continuing incarceration without formal charges.
“We are worried about his physical well-being,” State Department spokesman William Ostick told Efe.
Bloomberg News Reports: Oil prices might go as high as $160 per barrel if the European Union goes ahead with a July 1 embargo, Hosseini told CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” in an interview scheduled to air Sunday. Group of Eight nations gathered a summit at the U.S. presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland, discussed containing Iran’s nuclear ambitions.
“We must pay close attention when we speak of oil revenues and sanctions against oil sales, who are the winners and the losers of such sanctions?” Hosseini said. “Indeed, it is difficult. But not just for Iran. And we can all rest assured that there will be a considerable increase in international oil market prices. Now, is this the best approach?”
According to official news agency IRNA, Ahmadinejad declared: “The enemies do not want our athletes to win medals, but our young people shall be present at the Olympic Games and give new reasons to take pride in Islamic Iran”. According to Iranian media, 50 athletes have already qualified to represent their country at the games this summer. The Iranian President’s comments come in contrast to those he made last year, when he claimed he might boycott the London Olympics because their chosen logo, of bold modern 2012 digits, closely resembled the word ‘Zion’ and was therefore ‘racist’. The London Organising Committee refuted this and defended its logo as modern and designed to appeal to a younger audience. – EJP
Denial Schwammenthal of the AJC told a Committee of the House of Commons that Tehran recently announced plans to increase its production at Fordow and Natanz, and will thus soon be able to churn out 15 kg of 20% enriched uranium per month. Since weapons grade uranium requires enrichment to 90%, there is a common misperception that Iran still has a long way to go. But as Olli Heinonen, the former Finish deputy director general of the IAEA, has repeatedly pointed out, mastering 3.5% enrichment is 70% of the enrichment effort required for an atomic weapon. With 20% enriched uranium, you are 90% there. Iran would probably need 3-12 months to produce one bomb’s worth of weapons grade material from its 3.5% stockpile. Once they have enough 20% enriched uranium, Tehran could get there in about six weeks.
JTA Via Jewish Journal Reports: A former neo-Nazi who once defaced buildings with swastikas reportedly has been elected to a local council in south central England.
Margaret Burke won a seat on Milton Keynes Council earlier this month after demonstrating her remorse to local Labor Party officials and describing her earlier activities as those of a “brainwashed idiot,” the London Jewish Chronicle reported.
NYP Editros Write: Brooklyn DA Charles “Joe” Hynes is under fire for his handling of child sexual-abuse cases in the borough’s ultra-Orthodox community — with critics suggesting a double standard in how such crimes are prosecuted. Former Mayor Ed Koch has even suggested that Gov. Cuomo supersede Hynes and appoint a special prosecutor to handle such cases.
It’s an idea worth considering.
The Post and other news outlets — notably the Jewish Week, the Forward, several online blogs and, lately, The New York Times — have been reporting on this subject for years.
Perhaps most egregiously, Hynes refuses to make public the names of those formally charged with sexually abusing youngsters in the ultra-Orthodox community — even after they’ve been convicted.
President Barack Obama told G8 leaders meeting at Camp David that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad must leave power, and pointed to Yemen as a model of how political transition could work there, the White House said on Saturday. The Group of Eight leaders, in a statement summing up their discussions, urged all parties in Syria to adhere to their commitments under a joint U.N.-Arab League peace plan “including immediately ceasing all violence so as to enable a Syrian-led, inclusive political transition leading to a democratic, plural political system.” – Reuters
In his first campaign swing for Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich this weekend called for party unity and a need to rally behind the likely GOP presidential nominee. “We’re now all on the same team, period,” Gingrich said at the Georgia GOP convention Friday, according to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer. His comments came in a speech to a crowd that largely backed him when he won the Peach State’s primary in March. – CNN