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Posts Tagged ‘Benjamin Netanyahu’

Mission Possible: The Best Veterans’ Services In The World

Saturday, November 12th, 2016

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Upbeat–and Sometimes Miraculous–Stories From the Holy Land.

By M.H. Levine

A military center combined with amazing education. Programs that help build strength and leaderships skills in young people..and events, community and counseling  for–and actual joyous celebration of–Veterans. This is the mission of the Israel Air Force Center in Herzaliya. 

Spending on Military and Education has always been at odds in the United States. One seems to happen at the expense of the other, in our tug of war politics.

Certainly not so at the IAF Center–run by the IAF Center Foundation–which is breath of fresh air in terms of honoring military personnel. If there is another building somewhere in the word that honors military personnel and veterans so well, I’d love to see it.

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“At the IAF Center, we believe in investing in human capital — building this young generation of Israelis into the leaders of tomorrow. Leaders, especially in the IAF, can never lead alone. They rely on the men and women around them. That’s why we teach team building and encourage friendship amongst our participants.” (Picture and caption: IFC Center Foundation).

Could the solution for Veterans Services in the United States involve this kind of private/public funded localized center that is gleaming, first rate, celebratory and kind…?

In keeping with the idea of a military that spends less in the United States, but way more effectively…and an educational system upon which we begin spending a little more BUT ALSO WAY MORE EFFECTIVELY…it would amazing to see a few centers like these spring up, spread across different branches of the American Military. If such a thing were to happen,  each new Veteran’s Day would be a happier day for more and more American veterans…year after year.

 

 

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The President Show: AIPAC’s Apology For Trump’s Mild Digs at Obama: Unprecedented

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2016

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speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on Februar...

speaking at CPAC in Washington D.C. on February 10, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

From the Washingon Post: This morning, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu experienced something that American politicians have become all too familiar with — being overshadowed by Donald Trump.

The prime minister’s video-linked speech to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee‘s conference was preceded by the unscheduled introduction of AIPAC President Lillian Pinkus and four other leaders. Choking back tears, Pinkus apologized for Monday night’s speeches, implying that Donald Trump had violated a nonpartisan standard.

“From the moment this conference began, until this moment, we have preached a message of unity,” Pinkus said. “We have said, in every way we can think of: Come together. But last evening, something occurred which has the potential to drive us apart, to divide us. We say, unequivocally, that we do not countenance ad hominem attacks, and we take great offense to those that are levied against the president of the United States of America from our stage.”

[Presidential candidates tell AIPAC they will stand behind Israel]

Trump’s speech, which he largely recited from a teleprompter, was actually notable for its low level of invective. A candidate who has mocked Marco Rubio’s thirstiness, Rand Paul’s looks, Jeb Bush’s energy level and Carly Fiorina’s face confined his criticism of Obama to a few tossed-off insults.

“With President Obama in his final year — yay!” said Trump, adding an exclamation not in the text and earning huge applause. Later, diverting from his text again, he called the president “maybe the worst thing to happen to Israel.”

[No boos, but plenty of awkward foreign policy debate at AIPAC]

AIPAC, already criticized for giving Trump an invitation, decided the rhetoric needed condemnation.

“While we may have policy differences, we deeply respect the office of president of the United States and our president, Barack Obama,” Pinkus said. “There were people in our AIPAC family who were deeply hurt last night, and for that we are deeply sorry. We are disappointed that so many people applauded the sentiment that we neither agree with or condone. Let us close this conference in recognition that when we say ‘Come together,’ we still have a lot to learn from each other, and we still have much work to do.”

Yet while AIPAC invites candidates and leaders from both parties, and while it discourages protests from the audience, Trump was hardly the first speaker to criticize a sitting president. He was followed on the stage by Ted Cruz, who compared the administration’s deal with Iran to the 1938 Munich agreement that handed Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland to Adolf Hitler’s Germany. Four years earlier, AIPAC allowed Mitt Romney to address the conference by satellite, and he went on to accuse the president of “lecturing” Israel and “emboldening” the Palestinians.

But no AIPAC speech had been criticized like Trump’s. Jane Eisner, the editor in chief of Jewish news source the Forward, wrote that she was “ashamed that any of my fellow Jews could applaud” Trump.

“I am ashamed that they would succumb to the pandering lies,” she wrote. “Donald Trump ought to have been received civilly but silently by AIPAC. Instead, the applause spoke volumes.”

Chemi Shalev, a correspondent for Israel’s Haaretz, left the Trump speech in shock and asked how fellow Jews could have applauded it.

“The enthusiastic reception given Trump could very well deepen the fault lines inside the Jewish community that were uncovered over the summer in the bitter clash over the Iran nuclear deal,” he wrote, adding that “it was good enough to transform Trump from a morally repugnant presidential candidate into a run of the mill contender who deserves as much respect as the others.”

It was the reaction — wild applause now available to view on Trump’s campaign website — that was officially rejected by AIPAC.

 

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