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The Phoenix Holocaust Survivors’ Association and Generations After has issued the following statement:
A presidential inauguration has always been a celebration of the peaceful transfer of power. This year, after a crude and divisive election campaign won by Donald Trump, the idea of a peaceful transfer has emerged in high relief.
Last week’s UN Security Council vote against Israel’s right to allow Jews to buy land and build homes in the historic Jewish homeland of Judea and Samaria was a blow against human rights and religious liberty.
When the Secretary of State of the United States, John Kerry, has to go on television and speak for 72 minutes in an attempt to explain and justify the decisions of the president, then it is obvious that those decisions were wrong. It can only be compared to an attorney delivering his closing remarks to a jury in a criminal case, completely ignoring the facts and the evidence that exists, but repeating the same baseless and unsustainable arguments over and over again, knowing full well that his client is guilty.
President Barack Obama has been using his waning days in office to cement his legacy as the most merciful president in recent memory. Two weeks ago, he commuted 153 sentences of primarily low-level drug offenders ensnared in statutorily mandated minimum sentences, bringing his overall commutation total to the highest of the last 11 presidents combined. Although that’s not the total picture – if no more action is taken, Obama will leave office this month as the second-least-likely president in history to grant pardons – it’s hard to question whether the outgoing president’s embrace of clemency is genuine.
Since Nov. 8, I have been trying to make sense of the presidential election. I’ve considered the forensic analyses from sources all over the political map, from the New York Times to the Wall Street Journal, from Fox News to MSNBC, and everything in between. There is no shortage of explanations, enough to fuel political pundits and barroom brawls for months to come.
The Syrian city of Aleppo is 400 miles from the Israeli border. It is closer to Turkey, Cyprus and Lebanon than it is to any hospital in Israel. That’s one reason why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s announcement last week that his government is looking into ways to bring thousands of Syrian civilians who were wounded as Aleppo was pulverized to Israel for medical treatment is such a big development.
Donald Trump says he wants to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and in David Friedman, the president-elect has nominated an ambassador to Israel who reflects the belief that Jerusalem is Israel’s eternal capital – nothing more and nothing less.
Chairing the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix’s campaign reminds me daily of the mitzvot that our donors do by allowing our Jewish family around the world to be strong, resilient and independent. I see this in our teens, young adults and seniors here in Phoenix, Paris and Israel.
Between the challah bake, the Shabbat Project and conferences in Washington, D.C., it's been a busy week.
Shabbat in Jerusalem was like no Shabbat I have ever experienced.
Valley residents Esther and Don Schon write about a program that two ex-IDF soldiers developed to help teach disadvantaged teens to surf and in turn to become surfing teachers for wounded warriors.