Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

On 29 November 1947, the United Nations General Assembly recommended the adoption and implementation of the partition plan of  Mandatory Palestine.


On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the Executive Head of the World Zionist Organization and president of the Jewish Agency for Palestine, declared “the establishment of a Jewish state in Eretz Israel, to be known as the State of Israel,” a state independent upon the termination of the British Mandate for Palestine, 15 May 1948.

May the Almighty continue to bless and protect Israel.



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All Americans, ESPECIALLY Republicans and those who belong to what used to be The Tea Party Movement, need to listen to this…

The Rachel Maddow Show: November 8, 2012.

“Ohio really did go to President Obama last night. And he really did win. And he really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to ‘over-sample’ Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making up fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math. And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing! And Benghazi was an attack ON us, it was not a scandal BY us. And nobody is taking away anyone’s guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have weapons of mass destruction. And the moon landing was real. And FEMA is not building concentration camps. And UN election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in this country are not the same thing as Communism.

Listen. Last night was a good night for liberals and for Democrats for very obvious reasons. But it was also, possibly, a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country we have a two-party system, in government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing our country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. And we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas, from both sides, about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff. And if the Republican party, and the conservative movement, and the conservative media is stuck in a vacuum sealed, door locked, spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual, lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived, as a nation, of the constructive debate between competing, feasible ideas about real problems.

Last night the Republicans got shellacked. And they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them, in real-time, in real humiliating time, not believe it even as it was happening to them. And unless they’re going to secede, they’re going to have to pop the factual bubble they have been so happy living inside, if they do not want to get shellacked again. And that will be a painful process for them, I’m sure, but it will be good for the whole country – left, right, and center. You guys, we’re counting on you. Wake up.

There’s real problems in the world. There are real knowable facts in the world. Let’s accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let’s move on from there. If the Republican party, and the conservative movement, and conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we will all be better off as a nation. And in that spirit, congratulations everybody. Big night.”

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Obama Wins!

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A March 10 – 11 survey by Public Policy Polling reveals that a majority of Republicans in Alabama and Mississippi – states with primary elections last night Tuesday March 13 – believe the President of the United States is a Muslim. Forty-five percent of Republican voters in Alabama think Obama is a Muslim, while 41 percent are “unsure.” Only 14 percent believe he is Christian. In Mississippi, belief in the president’s supposed Muslim faith is even stronger. Fifty-two percent of Republicans there think Obama is Muslim, while 36 percent are unsure and only 12 percent believe he is Christian.

Yes, boy and girls… It’s that time again! With the political world returning its attention to the voting action in Dixie, the bulk of the nation is indulging once more in that most satisfying of political pastimes: jeering at what a pack of racist, ass-backward idjits they think populate the Deep South.

Don’t get me wrong. Believe you me,  I love pokin’ fun at The South as much as the next guy. Maybe even more so. But I need to state plainly and clearly that, for me, it’s done out of love. For all of its quirks and idiosyncrasies, I love The South. I sincerely do.

So when I see these kinds of survey results being broadcast, I get a bit shirty and more than a bit suspicious. And here’s why…

You don’t see these kinds of survey questions asked in Vermont or Oregon or Michigan. Why does The South get the dubious benefit of being asked questions that deliberately expose certain facets of the culture?

So an average of one in four respondents still think inter-racial marriage shouldn’t be legal. A whole lot of Republicans in Mississippi and Alabama can’t get with that whole ebony-and-ivory thing. Racist? Ayuh, I’d say so. But can someone please explain to me what this has to do with the current Republican presidential race? Discussions of gay marriage I understand. But interracial marriage – since when is this a relevant topic in American politics?

Similarly, why do we need to know respondents’ views on evolution? Last time I checked, not even Santorum was waving the creationism (or intelligent design) banner in this race.

You don’t see Arizona or Colorado Republicans asked about how they feel about Hispanics and if they should all be rounded up and sent back to Mexico. I don’t recall any polls conducted in certain sections of New Jersey society as to what the people there think about blacks.

Every state has its not-so-admirable biases. I don’t see what it adds to the public discourse in asking Republicans in the Deep South – and evidently only these states – about these particular issues.

At least with comedians, you know it’s supposed to be a joke. You may not laugh or you may not even appreciate the humour but at last you know that’s the point of the exercise.

Not so when a polling company puts out such facts.

It’s a cheap shot. Under the mask of political research, it’s just cultural profiling for laughs, and easy ones at that.

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Recent reports of a mountain lion or cougar stalking the campus of the University of Iowa prompted campus jokesters to tweet their surprise that Michelle Bachman​ was in town. [1]

(Budda boom!)

But seriously, folks…

I will be off to The Heart of the Old World until next week when I will be back for a couple of days before schlepping out for even more fun-filled Jewish holidays!

May you all have a joyful, blessed and sukkarrific yontiff!


[1] A cougar, colloquially, is an attractive older woman who seeks out trysts with younger men.

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Frankly, I blame it on the Bossa Nova.

I was eight years old in 1963, the year Eydie Gormé had a big hit with a song by the same name.

(JFK just before assassination)

Shortly thereafter, America experienced two events that shook the nation to its core… the Kennedy Assassination and the Beatles’ first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.

(The Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show)

The Fifties ended in Dallas on November 22, 1963. The Sixties began in New York City on February 9, 1964.

America and the world would never be the same.

Now, I like Eydie Gormé. I grew up listening to Steve & Eydie. I am a huge fan. And I am sure if she knew the strife and upheaval that would be unleashed upon the world by the release of that fateful song, she would never have done it.

How could she have had any idea that future generations would condemn her as the spark that set everything ablaze?

She had no idea. She couldn’t have.

(The face of innocence)

That is why I must stand up and with a clear, strong voice pledge my unwavering support for Eydie Gormé.

And to those detractors and haters who looked to blame her for the ills that beset the country for the next ten years, they get nothing from me except the pursed lips and the censorious glance.

Eydie Gormé is not responsible for what happened to JFK, despite crackpot conspiracy theorists who place her on the grassy knoll. She is not to blame for talking Ed Sullivan into booking the Beatles, whose music rotted the minds of our youth and left them defenceless against the ‘British Invasion’, rock music and ultimately to LSD, madness and death. I don’t hold her personally responsible, as so many others do, for the Tet Offensive, the Watergate burglaries and Kent State.

I don’t blame you, Eydie.

I blame it on the Bossa Nova.

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As I wrote about a month ago, my daughter, Exhibit One, “is returning to the Holy Land with the Aish HaTorah Jerusalem Fellowships. As part of the Jerusalem Fellowships program, she will be spending most of her time in Jerusalem and making day trips and overnight tours from there.”

She stayed an extra week and, G-d willing, returns to Canada Sunday August 28.

By all accounts, she had the time of her life learning and touring around the country. My daughter loves Israel and loves the people of Israel.

Like most Jews, she is deeply concerned about the recent escalation in missile and other terror attacks from Gaza. Almost all of her friends in Israel are in or have just come out of the military. If the dreck hits the fan, her friends will be called up to fight.

My best friend is in Jerusalem with his wife. They are always on my mind. I know they are OK. I know they are safe and having a wonderful time. I communicate with them almost daily via Facebook and emails. I know, G-d willing, they will return to Toronto in time for Rosh HaShana. And yet, I still worry.

There’s this ‘vote’ supposedly taking place next month at the United Nations regarding establishing a new country for the Arabs of the region. It is not too much of a stretch to suppose that it would be in Hamas’s long-term political interests to continue to increase missile and other terror attacks in order to provoke another Gaza invasion so that they can claim that they are the ones who need protection from Israel, that they are the victims.

I cannot imagine what it will be like for my daughter to be back in Canada, doing a year of post-graduate work, going through the same daily routine, all the while thinking and worrying about her friends and loved ones seven time zones away. Are they safe? Will there be a war? Another invasion? Will they be OK? Will they survive?

I grew up with stories of war in a far-off land, of how my family lived not only during a war but in a war-zone. Six months ago, I would never have dreamed that my daughter would be starting to go through some of the fears my mother, grandmother and aunts went through in Italy.

A father naturally wants to make things go well for his children… to make it all better… to make all the bad things go away.

Some things can’t be fixed. Some things never go away.

I’m looking forward to speaking with my daughter, to listening to her and hearing what she has to say. I know her heart will be in Israel, with her friends, with the land she loves. I know she wants to return. I know she wants me to come with her.

G-d alone knows what the future will bring. Maybe before long, you will be reading my off-the-cuff musings coming at you from my computer in my new little place  in Jerusalem.

One never knows… do one?

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