By Larry Gordon
We have to thank Mike Flynn and Tara Reade for forcing the news stations to discuss something other than the global pandemic. At the same time, the jockeying and maneuvering in the effort to form a government in Israel has, for the most part, avoided the limelight, which is not necessarily a bad thing. These last two months, there was no choice but to conclude that this was the only thing happening out there and that was going to be our news-consuming fate for who knows how long.
Unfortunately, there was a tragic shooting of a black man who was jogging in Georgia. He was shot and killed by a father-and-son team for reasons that are untold or unknown. The killing took place in February and went unreported until last week.
Mike Flynn was appointed by incoming president Donald Trump in January 2017 to serve as his national security adviser. The story that you have no doubt read in any number of news outlets is that a string of top U.S. officials who were stung by the defeat of Hillary Clinton — and it is looking like this cavalcade of conspirators may include former President Obama — hatched a plan to begin a phony legal process with the objective of exacting revenge against Mr. Trump by forcing him to leave office.
Here’s the good news. They’ve been caught and exposed.
The U.S. Department of Justice has dropped the case against Mr. Flynn, who was a three-star general and served this country in our armed forces for 33 years. The FBI set what the legal community refers to as a “perjury trap” for Mr. Flynn who was maneuvered into a position where he felt he had no choice but to plead guilty to lying to the FBI. Among other things, they threatened to investigate and indict his son if he did not do as they wanted.
These are difficult political times on top of everything else we have been forced to deal with. Pandemic or not, this is a presidential election year. That’s where a former aide to Democratic candidate for president Joe Biden comes into the picture. Tara Reade says that Biden sexually assaulted her back in 1993. Democrats who, during the senatorial hearings for Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, asserted their conviction that all women who make this kind of claim deserve to be believed have reversed themselves in the Biden–Reade situation.
Now leading Democrats are twisting the concept by saying that yes, they believe Tara Reade, but they are voting for Biden anyway. The explanation is that another Trump term is so bad and repugnant to them that even if it means sacrificing Reade, well, it just has to be done.
Here are two things that I would like to point out about what Biden said in recent interviews. His pronouncements on the matter are right out of the Bill Clinton playbook. Two weeks ago Biden told MSNBC about the accusation that “It never, never happened.” That would ordinarily be quite an emphatic denial except that it is rather a confirmation. Biden’s use of the double negative “never, never” means that it did indeed take place.
In another interview, when he was asked about his son Hunter’s financial shenanigans in the Ukraine and in China, Biden said, “Hunter did not do one single thing wrong.” That’s nice, but to these people who distort the use of language that means that, yes, he did not do a single thing wrong because he did many things wrong. No perjury here.
In Israel, after a year of repeated elections, a strong government coalition is finally being sworn in. Unlike the presidential election which, if not for the pandemic, would be in high gear at this point, it works to Israel’s advantage not to be in the headlines as Bibi Netanyahu patched together his largest and what might be his most winning coalition in all his years at the helm of the state of Israel.
The deal calls for Netanyahu to be prime minister for the next 18 months before stepping down as the prime minister and making way for Benny Gantz of Blue and White.
The one thing we are all watching is whether Bibi will make good on his campaign promise to extend Israeli law to all communities in Judea and Samaria. Fifty-three years after these territories were liberated in the Six Day War a move like this is long overdue. It has to be done without any delay, primarily because if, for some reason, Donald Trump does not win in November (Heaven forbid that from happening), U.S.–Israel policy will be dangerously rolled back to the Obama-style approach.
Biden — who has whatever he says scripted by someone in his campaign — has said that as far as he is concerned, his Israel policy will focus on creating a Palestinian state and rolling back much of Israel’s gains over these last few years of the Trump administration.
Under normal circumstances, Trump would be sailing easily to victory, but nothing is usual or normal anymore.
Speaking With Councilman Chaim Deutsch
New York City Councilman Chaim Deutsch says that Mayor Bill de Blasio knows when the councilman is not pleased with him. He is also critical of the fashion in which Governor Andrew Cuomo has handled certain aspects of the current crisis. He does, however, agree with both men when it comes to the high priority of protecting and safeguarding lives. There’s no question that this is the main priority.
Councilman Deutsch lives in Midwood, or what some call Flatbush, in Brooklyn. He represents a sprawling district that includes Midwood, Sheepshead Bay, Marine Park, The East 30s, Crown Heights, Kensington, and Park Slope. It is a diverse district of 770,000 people with a large concentration of the Brooklyn Orthodox Jewish community. Most importantly, on matters beyond the current global health crisis, is that Mr. Deutsch is running for Congress and faces a late June primary, which in Brooklyn and running as a Democrat is tantamount to winning an election. He is looking to unseat longtime Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, who has been in the House of Representatives since 2006.
From the perspective of groundbreaking accomplishments, if Mr. Deutsch wins, he will be the only Orthodox Jew to serve in the House. That history is not lost on him or his many supporters, and there may never have been a more vital period than now to have that kind of representation at the elected federal level. The primary election will take place on June 23.
On two other key matters of interest specifically to our community, Mr. Deutsch says he does not believe that sleepaway or day camps will be opening this coming summer. There is an intense effort under way upstate to persuade Sullivan County officials to agree to restrictions on camps in order to facilitate their opening for the summer. We’ve been told that there is also an intense effort under way to convince Governor Cuomo to allow summer camps to open with a litany of rules and regulations. “Unless something major changes in the next few weeks, I don’t think that will be possible,” the councilman said.
Those involved are concerned about the possibility of the camp arrangement not going according to plan and the impact that might have on opening schools and yeshivas in September.
As for the significant toll in lives lost and those who experienced serious illness, especially in his district and surrounding frum communities, Councilman Deutsch said that at the outset, the sense in the community was that too many people thought that catching the virus just could not happen to them. That notwithstanding, he says, the overwhelming majority of his district and our community are strictly adhering to the mitigation directives that have made such a major difference in defeating this virus across the state.
As far as the political nature of Chaim Deutsch’s unique district, he says that he is possibly the most moderate member of the New York City Council and that a large part of his district are people who voted for President Trump and will do so again in November.
These are challenging times to be a political leader, but Chaim Deutsch has time and again ascended to the occasion. His political star is rising, and that is good for us and all of New York.
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