U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken is flying to the Middle East on a scheduled trip, that is coming days after a series of deadly attacks in the holy land. His responses thus far have been clear, unambiguous and morally correct.
After a Palestinian Arab gunned down seven Jews walking out of synagogue on Sabbath, Blinken issued a statement strongly condemning the attack:
“The United States condemns in the strongest terms the horrific terrorist attack that occurred today outside of a synagogue in Jerusalem. We mourn those killed in the attack, and our thoughts are with the injured, including children. The notion of people being targeted as they leave a house of worship is abhorrent. It is particularly tragic that this attack occurred on International Holocaust Remembrance Day.
“On behalf of the United States, I express our deepest condolences to the families of the deceased and wish those injured a full recovery. We are in close contact with our Israeli partners and reaffirm our unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.“
Earlier in the day, Ned Price, spokesman for Blinken offered the following in response to the Israeli raid into Jenin to root out Palestinian terrorists planning attacks, which left nine Palestinians dead:
“Today in Jenin, at least nine Palestinians, including militants and at least one civilian, were killed and over twenty injured during an Israeli Defense Forces counterterrorism operation against a Palestinian Islamic Jihad cell. We recognize the very real security challenges facing Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and condemn terrorist groups planning and carrying out attacks against civilians. We mourn the loss of innocent lives as well as injuries to civilians, and are deeply concerned by the cycle of violence in the West Bank. We underscore the urgent need for all parties to de-escalate, prevent further loss of civilian life, and work together to improve the security situation in the West Bank. Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely.“
This is in sharp contrast to the liberal media which attempted to portray Israel as gratuitously killing Palestinians, while Jews just happen to die in land that Arabists believe should be Jew-free. It’s a welcome show of moral clarity which should be welcomed and appreciated.
There is no more inconsequential act by a president than declaring a particular day as devoted to a cause. The economy, national defense and well-beings of individuals are not furthered by the action. It’s a bit of light theater, like pardoning a turkey on Thanksgiving.
So one shouldn’t bother spending time reviewing such inanity. Except in this case, it symbolizes how President Biden believes his theater of goodwill while he undermines true freedoms.
On January 14, Biden proclaimed Religious Freedom Day. He correctly pointed out that in the early days of the country’s history, many people came seeking “religious liberty, risking everything to flee oppression, persecution, and discrimination because of their beliefs.” Because of those American roots and the belief in a new kind of democracy, “Our Founders enshrined the principle of religious freedom in the First Amendment to our Constitution, establishing it as a cornerstone of who we are as a Nation. Today, America remains a religiously diverse Nation — a land uniquely strengthened by the routine and extraordinary commingling of faiths and belief systems.”
But Biden completely skipped over the very first clause in the First Amendment of the Constitution, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” It is not only that every person can freely exercise their faith in the United States, but that the country has no official religion as well.
So when Biden signed off his proclamation that “I have hereunto set my hand this fourteenth day of January, in the year of our Lord two thousand twenty-two, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-sixth,” he enshrined his Catholic faith into a presidential declaration. That was completely inappropriate.
Further, Biden attested that his administration was working on behalf of religious freedom around the world. “My Administration remains steadfast in our efforts to lead and advance human rights including the freedom of religion around the globe at a time when many people are subject to horrifying persecution for their faith and beliefs…. We can only fully realize the freedom we wish for ourselves by helping to ensure liberty for all.”
How does Biden believe he helps ensure freedom and liberty for all faiths around the world, when he denies Jews their basic human right in their holy land? In the United States, how are non-Christian faiths to feel welcomed when its president ignores the very first clause of the first sentence of the Bill of Rights?
On December 23, 2016, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2334. The resolution was disgraceful in several familiar respects in condemning Israel unfairly. To name just a few:
It falsely labeled a place called “East Jerusalem” which had only existed for a mere eighteen years from 1949 to 1967
It called East Jerusalem a “Palestinian territory”, when it never was anything of the sort, before, during or after 1949-1967
It proposed a “two-state solution based on the 1967 lines” when Israel and the Palestinian Authority had already signed agreements to negotiate lines without any preconceived final boundaries
Demanded that Jews be prevented from living in “East Jerusalem” and other “occupied Palestinian territory”, a blatantly anti-Semitic demand
Called for countries to treat Israel and Israeli territory differently, even though countries around the world – including the United States – do not distinguish in labeling their own products
The U.N. General Assembly (GA) had frequently made such horrible comments. What was new and alarming in this instance was that the resolution PASSED THE SECURITY COUNCIL, which may become legally binding.
As noted by the UN, “resolutions adopted by the GA on agenda items are considered to be recommendations and are not legally binding on the Member States. The only resolutions that have the potential to be legally binding are those that are adopted by the Security Council.” Further, “in contrast to the decisions made by the General Assembly, all Member States are obligated under the UN Charter to carry out the Security Council’s decisions…. As Article 25 of the UN Charter states, “The Members of the United Nations agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter.””
This alarming anti-Israel action managed to pass because the United States opted to abstain in the Resolution 2334 vote. Until that time, the U.S. had always voted against such anti-Israel measures at the Security Council because of possible ramifications.
This time, President Obama took this action in the final days of his administration because of lobbying from Jewish pro-Palestinian groups like J Street, and as payback for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accepting an invitation from the Republican House Speaker to speak to a joint session of Congress about the existential threat of the Iranian nuclear deal in 2015, without coordinating with the president’s office.
At that time, a senior Obama official said that Netanyahu “spat in our face publicly and that’s no way to behave. Netanyahu ought to remember that President Obama has a year and a half left to his presidency, and that there will be a price.“
Anti-Jewish attacks in the United States jumped 22.9% shortly thereafter in 2017, the largest spike since the FBI tracked hate crime data.
The ever-increasing number of boycotts and lawsuits against Israel, and the dramatic spike in harassment on college campuses and other locations of global Jewry, is related to Obama’s bruised ego and lobbying of alt-left groups like J Street.
The world is tuned in to Qatar to watch soccer during the 2022 World Cup. Being so focused on its favorite sport, the world has ignored local tragedies.
Start with the estimated 6,500 migrant workers who died in Qatar since the small Islamist country won the rights to host the games ten years ago. Approximately 37 deaths were connected to the building of the stadiums, while the others passed in the harsh working environment that is Qatar.
There was no backlash against Qatar.
During the games itself, three journalists died reporting on the matches. Khalid al-Misslam (Qatar), Roger Pearce (UK) and Grant Wahl (USA) died in three separate locations at three different times. It was an extraordinary loss of journalists during a short span.
Despite the highly unusual number of deaths, there would be no claim of murder or poisoning, and no investigation of Qatar.
According to UNESCO, 117 journalists were murdered between 2020 and 2021. This was actually the lowest tally since it began reporting on the situation. The Latin America region had the highest number of murders (38%), followed by the APAC region (32%). In an interesting trend, UNESCO noted that “the percentage of journalist killings in countries not experiencing armed conflict has been increasing since 2016.”
UNESCO claims to have sent letters to 65 countries to understand the status of judicial review of 1,284 killings from 2006 to 2021. Nearly 84% of those cases remain “unresolved.”
Meanwhile, in November 2022, in a highly unusual move, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an investigation into the death of Qatar’s Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh during a firefight in Jenin in May 2022. In the same NOVEMBER week, the Biden Administration decided that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, should be granted immunity in ordering the brutal slaughter and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi.
Journalists are dying and being murdered in non-conflict zones and there are virtually no investigations into the cases. The Biden Administration is even handing out free passes to his favorite Arab leaders and countries.
Yet at the same time, Biden is investigating Israel for a journalist killed in the middle of a firefight, a double-standard celebrated by those who enjoy demonizing the Jewish State.
On December 5, 2022, 126 members of Congress sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging a comprehensive government response to the scourge of anti-Semitism. Many people did not sign the letter despite historic comments that they strongly support Jews, such as Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX).
Other names missing from the letter were not surprising.
Consider the nine members of Congress who voted against supplying Israel with funding for its defensive Iron Dome system against Palestinian rockets: Cori Bush (D-MO), Andre Carson (D-IN), Chuy Garcia (D-IL), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Thomas Massie (R-KY), Marie Newman (D-IL), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). None of them signed the letter.
In another vote, several members of Congress voted against supplying Israel with American made weapons in May 2021, as Israel fought against terrorists in Gaza. Co-sponsors included Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Mark Pocan (D-WI), Betty McCollum (D-IL) and Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) in addition to Cori Bush, Ayanna Pressley and Ilhan Omar. None of them signed the call to combat anti-Semitism letter.
In February 2020, members of Congress voted to send money to the terrorist enclave of Gaza. In addition to Pocan and Debbie Dingell (D-MI), signers to the letter included Don Beyer, Earl Blumenauer, Suzanne Bonamici, André Carson, Judy Chu, Danny K. Davis, Peter A. Defazio, Mark DeSaulnier, Ruben Gallego, Jesús G. “Chuy” García, Raúl Grijalva, Deb Haaland, Jared Huffman, Pramila Jayapal, Eddie Bernice Johnson, Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr., Dan Kildee, Barbara Lee, Betty McCollum, James P. McGovern, Gwen S. Moore, Ilhan Omar, Chellie Pingree, Donald M. Payne Jr., David E. Price, Bobby L. Rush, Jan Schakowsky, Jackie Speier, Rashida Tlaib, Paul Tonko, and Peter Welch. Of this list, the only signers to the letter to fight anti-Semitism were Bonamici, Dingell, Lee and Schakowsky. All of the others did not sign the letter to fight Jew hatred.
While many New York members of Congress signed the fight-anti-Semitism letter including Sen. Kirtsen Gillibrand, Rep. Ritchie Torres, Rep. Grace Meng, Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, Rep. Lee Zeldin, Rep. Thomas Suozzi, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Rep. Jerry Nadler and Rep. Mondaire Jones, several in the tri-state area did not.
Jamaal Bowman, who rejected the Abraham Accords and declined speaking to an American Jewish Committee electoral event, did not sign the letter. Hakeem Jeffries, who is slated to replace Rep. Nancy Pelosi as leader of House Democrats also declined to sign. Other anti-Israel New Yorkers like AOC and Paul Tonko also did not sign. Click on the links above to write them voicing your displeasure.
During the 2022 election campaign, J Street, a pro-Palestinian lobbying group which markets itself as “pro-Israel”, wrote checks to 138 members of Congress. Very few of those recipients signed the letter to combat anti-Semitism. Omissions included: Rep. Andy Levin (D-MI), Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-NJ), Rep. Josh Harder (D-CA) and many others including those voting for anti-Israel measures listed above, such as Bowman, Newman, McCollum, Tonko, Jayapal, Pocan, Garcia, Carson, Chu and Davis.
When so many anti-Israel members of Congress also refuse to join decent voices in Congress to combat the scourge of anti-Semitism, it offers another response to the question of whether anti-Semitism and Anti-Zionism are one and the same.
After doing an analysis of the voting and spending trends of the 2022 congressional races in New York, another factor seemed worth commenting regarding which party won certain districts: the percentage of White voters.
In the districts which were 76.0% White people over 18 years old (there were five of them), Republicans won every race. In districts which had fewer than 52.0% White voters (ten of them), Democrats won each race. The remaining eleven districts which had between 52.0% and 76.0% White voters, were split, with five for Democrats and six for Republicans.
The sharp break in blue, red and purple districts does NOT correlate in a similar fashion for median income levels. Many of the districts with the highest percentage of White voters (like NY-21, NY-22 and NY-23) have median incomes below solidly Democratic districts.
Democrats and Republicans will likely battle very intensively for the House in 2024, and spend even more than the $92 million they spent in New York in 2022. The most contested battles will likely be in those districts with between 52.0% and 76.0% White voters.
The New York Congressional races were impacted by the reduction of a seat in congress (to 26 from 27) and redistricting this year. Many pundits were surprised by this year’s election results which saw Republicans win 11 seats and Democrats secure 15, in a heavily Democratic state. People considered whether the new district contours hurt Democrats or whether “outside money” influenced races.
Democrats won 56% of the total vote count and won 58% of the House seats, which closely align. Arguably, that shows that new contours served the goal of not seeing a disconnect of one party using gerrymandering to push out the other. Additionally, the Democrats outspent the Republicans by 2-to-1 (over $62 million compared to $30 million for Republicans).
The New York City-oriented media suggested that the more rural parts of the state had low voter-turnout and therefore did not really reflect the will of most people. In fact, it was the opposite. NYC voters barely turned out in the general election, with an average of 155,241 in the city’s eleven districts. That compares to an average voter turnout of 266,329 in non-New York City districts, and and average of 219,330 overall.
The New York City low voter turnout was rational. Indeed, going to the ballot box had virtually no meaning as the districts were blowouts. Six races had a winning spread of over 60% and another three were over 40%. The two races that more closely resembled the rest of the state with over 200,000 votes and closer races were NY-11, which was won by a Republican, and NY-16 (with just shy of 200,000 votes) which actually only has a small nub of the Bronx and is mostly Westchester County,
The money spent on the races was extremely uneven and yielded varied results.
While Democrats spent twice as much as Republicans, much of the money was spent in just a few districts. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) blew away all fund-raisers ($9.9 million) and easily beat her Republican challenger. Elise Stefanik (NY-21) was the biggest Republican spender ($8.3 million) and also won her seat.
Consider that AOC alone spent about one-third of the total amount that all 26 Republicans spent in the race.
Some Democrats seemed to spend without reason. Dan Goldman (NY-10) spent $6.9 million even though his opponent barely had a dime and won virtually no votes. Similarly for Hakeem Jeffries (NY-8) spending of $5.1 million.
Three Democrats vastly outspent their Republican rivals and still lost. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-17) outspent Republican Mike Lawler by 5.6 times ($5.3 million to $900,000) and still lost. Francis Console (NY-22) outspent Republican Brandon Williams by 4.2 times and lost, while Democrat Bridget Fleming (NY-1) outspent Republican Nick LaLota by two times and lost.
Meanwhile Democrat Pat Ryan’s (NY-18) huge 2.1 times spending of Republican rival paid off, eking out a slim victory of 2 points. Republican Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) UNDERSPENT her rival on a dollar-per-vote basis, and won comfortably.
Overall, Democrats spent $19.54 per vote while Republicans spent $12.05, a 38% difference. Democrats spent over $10 per vote in 19 races compared to just eight for Republicans. They spent over $20 per vote in six districts, compared to three for Republicans.
In total, Democrats lost seven races in which they spent more per vote than the Republicans. The Republicans did not lose a single district where they spent more per vote than the Democrats.
Of the 26 congressional races, seven had a spread of less than 10 points. NY-17, NY-18, NY-19 and NY-22 all had spreads of one or two points, while NY-3, NY-4 and NY-25 had a bit more. Republicans won five of these seven tight races. Two of them, NY-17 and NY-22, saw Democrats pour millions of dollars into the races which ended up keeping them tight but still were won by Republicans.
Looking at it geographically, Democrats won 10 of 11 New York City Districts, while Republicans won 10 of 15 non-NYC districts.
Republicans will need to significantly boost their fundraising over the next election cycle and win the trust of their constituents if they want to continue to hold the five seats in the close races. It is likely that Democrat Mondaire Jones, a popular progressive who used to live in Rockland County (NY-17), will return to run against Mike Lawler in two years, after Jones’ failed run in the NY-10 primaries.
In summary, the new district contours seemed to work in New York State. The Democratic money machine poured tens of millions into races, with far left progressive AOC leading her party. If Republicans spend more intelligently in the state in the next cycle, they could keep and maybe expand upon their 2022 showing.
In New York’s 17th congressional district, Democratic incumbent Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney lost his seat to a Republican challenger, Mike Lawler. The pundits – and Maloney himself – offered their opinions as to why the five-term incumbent who spent 5.6 times more than his opponent, lost.
Their conclusion is disheartening, as it further underscores how liberals simply refuse to acknowledge the rampant anti-Semitism and attacks against Jews in society.
The New York Times asked the question directly in its headline “A Powerful N.Y. Democrat Was a Shoo-In for Re-election. What happened?” It offered some ideas including that Maloney opted for running in the wrong district after his historic contours were redrawn. The article wrote that it may have appeared like a safe choice in “diverse, left-leaning places like Peekskill and Ossining,” it neglected to consider the “significant population of right-leaning ultra-Orthodox Jews.“
Jews were the only ethnic group mentioned in the article. Not Hispanics, Blacks, Asians nor any others. Jews were the thorn in the side which helped lead to this congressman’s demise, and possibly Democratic control of the House of Representatives.
In another Times’ article, Maloney was asked why some of his constituents voted against him. He blamed media fear-mongering.
Maloney said that people in the suburbs of New York City are fed lies by conservative media about crime. “New York is home to the fiercest outlet in the News Corporation fear machine. In fairness to the governor, she and the rest of us have to contend with the hysteria of The New York Post and of Fox News… you have these suburban voters who are experiencingthose messages coming out of New York City outlets, which were heavily focused on crime.”
The outgoing congressman said that the media cooked up “messages” about crime to manufacture “fear” and “hysteria.” The issue for this New York politician who’s been serving in congress for ten years was media spin, not actual crime.
Hate crimes against Jews – particularly in New York – is not a fiction concocted to make Democrats look weak on crime. It is an alarming reality, and the scourge is reported by all media outlets, whether CBSNews, CNN or Reuters.
Jews are being harassed, assaulted and murdered with increasing frequency and rather than acknowledge the serious problem, liberals are treating it like false news.
And if that’s not bad enough, they are now blaming Orthodox Jews for flipping congress and thereby hurting the Democratic agenda in the entire country. A little more fuel for liberal Jew hatred for the coming years.
The past election cycles have witnessed an explosion of radicals entering congress. They have almost all been coming from the left-wing.
According to the non-partisan group GovTrack, the number of extremists (scoring in the most extreme 0.10 ideology scoring) among Republicans was cut in half – from 22 to 11 – from 2018 to 2020. Many of the most extreme conservatives left the House of Representatives including Jeff Sessions who became U.S. Attorney General, Mark Meadows who became the president’s Chief of Staff, and Kevin Cramer who moved to the Senate.
Meanwhile, the number of liberal extremists jumped from 4 to 14. Seven of those radicals were newly elected to Congress.
While Republicans typically elect one to three radicals into its freshman class each election cycle, Democrats historically had only voted for new moderates. That changed dramatically in the 2018 elections.
The Democratic leadership warmly embraced the freshmen extremists and rewarded them with plum committee assignments, including in financial services and foreign affairs. Every left-wing extremists got two or three committees. In total, the freshmen radicals accounted for 18 committee seats, while the Republican radical freshmen had five.
Several of these freshmen radicals voted against providing Israel with funding to replenish the Iron Dome system it had used to defend itself against the barrage of missiles that the US-designated terrorist group Hamas launched into Israeli cities. The no votes included Representatives Garcia, Pressley, Tlaib and Omar. Ocasio-Cortez voted ‘present’.
The alt-left wing Democratic Socialists of America is continuing to back several of these extremists, include Rep. Tlaib and Ocasio-Cortez. They are also backing many candidates in statewide races. Many of the DSA’s endorsed candidates fortunately lost to more moderate voices in the primaries. Hopefully, that is a harbinger for the general vote on November 8.
You have not imagined it: far-left extremists have been winning a frightening number of seats in congress. Everyone must go out to vote and support their opponents, and urge party leaders to strip the radicals of committee positions.
The American calendar has a holiday that is sadly often overlooked. Every September, there is Constitution Day, which marks the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787 by the founding fathers. It established three branches of government to protect the rights of every citizen.
The three branches are the executive, legislative and judicial which are run by the president, congress and the Supreme Court, respectively. The legislative branch writes laws, while the executive and judicial branches enforce and interpret the laws. The system of checks and balances were meant to prevent tyranny, from which the early Americans were fleeing in an English monarchy thousands of miles away.
Alas, the threat of tyranny has grown in the 21st century, and it is local.
The Supreme Court, which should be above politics, has become a weapon of politicians. Republicans wrongfully blocked the approval of Merrick Garland towards the end of Democratic President Obama’s final term. It allowed Republican President Trump to appoint another judge, and the highest court now sits at 6-to-3, in favor of Republican-appointments.
While the number of appointees by a Republican or Democratic president should not be the litmus test, we are seeing extreme biases to the right (Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito) and left (Sonia Sotomayor), each scoring above 2 on the Martin-Quinn score, with Stephen Breyer nosing up to the extremist liberal line. The court has become a war room of ideologies rather than a debate of the law.
The presidency, deeply political by design, has become infested by the power of the office. From Republican President Ronald Reagan until Democratic President Barack Obama, no executive issued more than an annual average of 48 Executive Orders. Republican Donald Trump issued 55 on average in his term, and Democrat Joe Biden has issued a horribly high 59. Modern presidents are seeking to end run congress.
Congress, in the Senate and most notably in the House of Representatives, has become a polarized pit of extremists. The govtracks report card for 2020 had eleven Republicans with an ideology score of 0.90 and above, and 14 Democrats scoring 0.10 and below. That compares to 2016 ideology scores when 17 Republicans scored 0.90 and above (change of -6) and Democrats had six people of 0.10 and below (change of +8). Republicans have become more ideologically moderate and Democrats more ideologically extreme. While Republican extremists exceeded Democrats by 183% in 2016, Democratic extremists now exceed Republicans by 27%.
The 2022 Vote
If one has a goal – as I do – of a more moderate and peaceful society, then the extremism and political partisanship should be alarming.
Fortunately, one can try to have an impact at the voting booth.
One cannot vote for Supreme Court judges; that is the responsibility of the president. As the court is currently right-leaning, one should vote for a Democratic president, if the party doesn’t put forward a proven incompetent (like VP Kamala Harris) or extremist (like Elizabeth Warren) in 2024. Hopefully that will balance the judicial and executive branches, which should have been separated anyway.
The legislative and executive branches are where Americans get to protect themselves from a new form of tyranny. It is critical now, when the president is a Democrat, to put Congress in Republican hands. This is especially true, as moderates from both parties are resigning and the Democrat Socialists are gaining significant strength in the Democratic Party.
Should the House and Senate stay in Democratic hands, the economy and crime will surely suffer.
A fully Democratic executive-legislative combination would advance a much larger government with more spending. Complete student loan forgiveness, free community college, free child care, billions of dollars for first time home owners and more giveaways would pass without a modifying voice. Inflation would rise as the money spigot would go on overdrive.
Putting more of a strain on the economy would be the open border policy and ‘abolishing ICE’, the agency managing immigration, as called for by Democratic extremists.
Adding to the crime wave would be the extremist push to ‘Defund the police’ and the catch-and-release program for violent criminals.
The United States would resemble New York City in the 1970’s: crime ridden and bankrupt.
But such is tyranny. An extremist belief coupled with unchecked power to enforce wild agendas upon a public that the elitists believe are too stupid to know what is good for them. In the end, the socialist extremists know they win either way in flattening of society, with everyone either rich or destitute.
Save America, stop tyrannical government and embrace a moderate agenda. Keep the separation of powers by voting Republican.