Author Archives: Jacob Kornbluh
(AP). Three economically distressed communities in upstate New York have been selected as sites for casinos, a panel announced Wednesday, bringing an end to a fierce competition among 16 developers and job-hungry communities.
The Gaming Facility Location Board chose sites in Sullivan, Schenectady and Seneca counties and decided not to recommend a fourth license amid an increasingly saturated gambling market where consumers have more options closer to home. Read more »
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party’s standing in the polls has been pretty consistent as a favorite to become the largest party in the Knesset, with 21-23 projected seats. However, a new poll released Wednesday shows that a hypothetical joint ticket between Yair Lapid’s Yesh Atid and Moshe Kahlon’s socioeconomic Kulanu parties would actually become the largest Knesset list if elections were held this week, besting Likud and Labor-Hatnuah. Read more »
Alan with his wife Judy before departing home to the United States
Jewish-American contractor Alan Gross stood moments ago before the cameras and addressed his release of a Cuban jail after 5 years of unjusitifed imprisonment, after the US and Cuba reached a deal to normalize relations and release Cuban prisoners in return.
“This is the best Hanukkah I will be celebrating,” a smiling and often humorous Alan Gross said at the start of a 6-minute statement in downtown Washington, DC, thanking Presidnet Obama for his safe return home. Read more »
Jewish-American contractor Alan Gross is back home after five years in Cuban prison. Congressman Jeff Flake accompanied Gross on the US government plane and tweeted a picture of Gross walking from the plane upon his arrival on US soil.
Cuba has agreed to release in the coming months, according to White House officials. The move signals a new era of normalized diplomatic relations with Cuba, following half a century of isolationist policy with the island. Read more »
Leading his announcement with a “happy Hanukkah” and hosting a menorah lighting party, former Florida governor Jeb Bush has already secured the backing of prominent Jewish donors for his potential bid for president in 2016.
“I was back in New York on Sunday and everybody was going up to me: What about Jeb? What about Jeb? What about Jeb?” Jewish bundler Fred Zeidman, a Houston-based fundraiser who he has helped raise money for the Bush family in the past., remarked. Read more »
BA’YAMIM HAHEM, B’ZMAN HAZE – WHERE THE CANDIDATES LIT THE MENORAH ON FIRST NIGHT OF HANUKKAH: Labor Leader Isaac “Buji” Herzog lit with an IDF soldier injured during operation Protective Edge. [Lahav Harkov] Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon lit in Jerusalem with IDF soldiers [Israel Hatzolah] Video [Facebook] GAFFE? Netanyahu celebrates Hanukkah by lighting menorah the wrong way. [NY Daily News] “SCANDAL: Benjamin Netanyahu lights the menorah WRONG, using a separate candle instead of the shamash #impeach,” tweeted Yair Rosenberg. Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein attends Belzer Rebbe’s lighting ceremony [Facebook]. Read more »
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams on Monday celebrated the Jewish festival of lights – Hanukkah by honoring eight diverse Jewish individuals and organizations with an award for their lifetime dedication to preserve the quality of life of the Jewish community in Brooklyn, and in general for all New Yorkers.
The event, organized by Mr. Adams’ Jewish liaison Rabbi Joel Eisdorfer, took place at Brooklyn Borough Hall and was attended by all local Jewish elected officials, as well as representatives from all city agencies, law enforcement units and non-profit organizations. Read more »
Entering into an election year, British Prime Minister David Cameron reasserted his support for Israel, at an address to some 700 Jewish leaders on Tuesday, saying the Conservative Party would always stand behind “the homeland of the Jewish people.”
“I’ve been a friend of Israel through thick and thin. I believe in Israel – and that belief is rock solid,” Cameron declared. “Israel is an extraordinary nation – and even more extraordinary when you think of where it is.” Read more »
Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90
Less than 12 hours after former Shas chairman Eli Yishai announced he;s forming a new political party, a new poll shows Yishai garnering half of its electorate, placing both parties on the verge of the Knesset’s 4-seat threshold.
The poll, conducted by Panels Politics for the Knesset Channel, indicated that Yishai’s ‘Yach’ party and Shas would receive 4 respective seats in the March 17 elections. Read more »
via Twitter/Ben Carson
As Jeb Bush leads announcement of exploratory committee with a “happy Hanukkah,” Neurosurgeon Ben Carson, also preparing for a potential bid for president in 2016, is on a trip to Israel, touring the country for his first time.
Carson is joined by his wife, Candy, his top adviser Terry Giles, and business manager Armstrong Williams. Read more »
Calling it early, Former Florida governor Jeb Bush on Tuesday announced he will be running for president in 2016, leading it with a “happy Hanukkah” note.
“I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States,” Jeb Bush, the son of former President George H. Bush and brother of former president George W. Bush, wrote in a Facebook post. Read more »
Vice President Joe Biden will attend the first night lighting of the menorah held annually on the Ellipse in Washington DC, marking the 35th Anniversary of the National Chanukah Menorah Lighting.
Biden will address the crowd at around 4:00pm EST. The event, which will be live on C-SPAN.org, will feature the U.S. Army Band and British singer Alex Clare. Read more »
Photo: Yonatan Sindel/Flash 90
PARTY JUST STARTING IN SHAS… YISHAI GOES TEA PARTY STYLE: “The people are with us because they want unity,” Yishai said during the press conference in Jerusalem. “The people want to finally break the barriers between religious and secular, between Ashkenazim and Sephardim, to bring the tribes of Israel together. The people are with us because the people want social justice and concern for the poor, the lower class, the periphery and development towns.” [JP] Read more »
Congressman-Elect Lee Zeldin from New York has been selected to serve as one of four co-chairs on the House Republican Israel Caucus, the 100-member congressional caucus dedicated to strengthening the U.S.-Israel relationship, often partnering in a bipartisan manner with the Democratic Israel Working Group.
Zeldin, the Republican’s only Jewish house member, will replace Staten Island Congressman Michael Grimm, who represents the largest Jewish district for Republicans. Reps Peter Roskam (R-IL), Doug Lamborn (R-CO) and Leonard Lance (R-NJ) serve a co-chairs since 2011. Read more »
Former Shas chairman, Knesset Member Lei Yishai on Monday announced he is leaving Shas party and forming a new political party that will seek the trust of his followers in the March 17 Knesset elections.
Standing in front of a backdrop that read “the people are with us” and a portrait of the late Harav Ovadia Yosef, Yishai said, “I’m leaving a party but I’m not leaving a way.” Read more »
State Senator Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) is suggesting that the recent hike in high profile crimes in Brooklyn is due to the fact that for the last few weeks local police officers have been dispatched to handle protests in Manhattan following grand jury decisions in the Eric Garner and Michael Brown cases.
The most recent high profile incidents in Orthodox Jewish neighborhoods include the stabbing of an Israeli Yeshiva student in Chabad-Lubavitch’s main synagogue last Tuesday and the slashing of over 50 tires in Flatbush early Sunday morning. Read more »
HERZOG/LIVNI LIST LOSING MOMENTUM? New Knesset Channel poll to be broadcast Monday evening shows the new Herzog-Livni list running dead even with the Likud, compared to a 2 seat lead in most recent polls. The poll, conducted for the channel ‘Tzolelet’ program shows Livni-Herzog list and likud with 22 projected seats respectfully, following by Bayit Yehudi with 16 seats. Kahlon and lieberman would each receive 10 seats, Yesh Atid 9, UTJ 8, Meretz 7 and Shas 6. Read more »
Several people, believed to be hostages in the Sydney cafe under siege, were seen moments ago fleeing the scene, with at least two people coming out from the front door.
NSW Police have confirmed that three people have emerged from the location in Martin Place.
Read more »
MK Yoni Chetboun has decided not to run for reelection on the Bayit Yehudi Knesset list in the upcoming elections, suggesting that the party he was a member of did not honor Torah and religious values.
“During the past two years, I realized the importance of a political framework that preserves its Jewish identity and the values of the Torah in the state,” Chetboun said in a statement. “A framework that does not turn away from the disadvantaged and sees the treatment of the residents of the periphery as a supreme value.” Read more »
(AP). President Barack Obama’s pick to head the Social Security Administration has run into more trouble after Senate Democrats canceled a procedural vote on her nomination.
Obama nominated Carolyn W. Colvin to a six-year term as commissioner in June. Colvin’s nomination cleared one procedural hurdle in the Senate Saturday. However, Senate Democrats canceled an upcoming vote, making it likely Colvin won’t get a vote until next year. Read more »
IDF Major-General (Reserve) Yoav Galant is reportedly expected to join the Likud and be placed on the 11th spot in the Likud’s list for the Knesset – one of two spots to which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has the prerogative to appoint people of his choosing, NRG’s Shalom Yerushalmi reported Sunday.
Galant, known as a close friend of Netanyahu, was a candidate for chief of staff in 2010 but was knocked out of the running because of allegations of improperly annexing land next to his home. Read more »
The blood of the terror victims, in the past and the future, are stained on the hands of those who participate in the March 17 Knesset elections and vote for the Haredi parties, the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Ahron Teitelbaum Shlit”a, suggested Saturday.
During a speech to his followers at an annual gathering to celebrate 70 years of the late Satmar Rebbe ZATZAL’s rescue from the Nazis at the Armory in Williamsburg, the Rebbe attacked the Haredi parties for not ruling out joining the next government, thus supporting the continuation of the settlement activity and implementation of the Haredi IDF draft law. Read more »
Shas party chairman Aryeh Deri has apparently secured the backing of Rebbetzin Adina Bar-Shalom, daughter of the party’s late spiritual leader Rabbi Ovadia Yosef – a much-respected figure in Israel’s Haredi community.
Bar-Shalom is scheduled to appear at Deri’s side at a press conference shortly in a show of support at the Shas party headquarters in Jerusalem. Read more »
The CIA interrogations report released last week by Sen. Dianne Feinstein is “jam-packed with untruth” and will “demoralize the CIA,” former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey said on Sunday.
In an interview with John Catismatidis on the ‘Cats Roundtable’ Sunday morning program on AM970, Mukasey said, “From the standpoint of the intelligence community, I think it [the report] is a disaster. It’s going to demoralize the CIA. It’s jam-packed with untruth.” Read more »
LIVNI LOSES IT, CALLS NETANYAHU ‘TRASH’: Ousted Justice Minister Tzipi Livni took it a little too far in her campaign against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling the incumbent prime minister “trash” during an appearence Saturday night on the satirical television program “Matzav HaUma” on Channel 2.
“Two potential Prime Ministers are better than an impotent Prime Minister,” Livni said of her unity pact with Labor leader MK Yitzhak Herzog. “Yitzhak and I decided to take out the garbage together.” Read more »