Defining Originalism, Defending the Republic

Written by Howard Slugh on . Posted in Capital Commentary

During Justice Gorsuch’s confirmation, Democratic senators expressed concern over his “originalist” judicial philosophy. Senator Feinstein described originalism as “deeply troubling” and suggested that it would harm vulnerable Americans. In her view, by applying the original public meaning of the Constitution, as originalism requires, Justice Gorsuch would prevent America from progressing — trapping it in the days of “segregated schools and bans on interracial marriage.” Instead, Feinstein proposes that judicial interpretation of the Constitution should “evolve as our country evolves.”

Ambassador Friedman’s Swearing-In Ceremony

Written by Zachary Leshin on . Posted in Capital Commentary

WASHINGTON — The new U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was sworn-in to his position on Wednesday March 29. Ami Magazine’s White House correspondent Jake Turx attended the event and shared some of his observations with Kol HaBirah.

“The people who know David [Friedman] are very optimistic about him,” said Turx. “They believe that he is ready for the job” despite media criticism over Friedman’s qualifications for the position, he said.

A Congressional Gold Medal for Anwar Sadat? Ezra Friedlander Says Yes

Written by Gabe Aaronson on . Posted in Capital Commentary

At the urging of the Friedlander Group, Congress is considering legislation to award a Congressional Gold Medal to former Egyptian President Anwar Sadat for his role in the 1978 peace agreement with Israel. Sadat was the first Arab leader to visit or sign a peace agreement with Israel after the 1948 Israeli War of Independence. Two years after a peace deal was signed at the 1978 Camp David Accords, Sadat was assassinated by Egyptian religious extremists angered by the peace deal.

Analysis: AIPAC Policy Conference 2017 — A New Struggle for Bipartisanship

Written by Kenneth S. Friedman on . Posted in Capital Commentary

WASHINGTON — Just over two months into the first year of Donald Trump’s presidency, American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) finds itself in an unfamiliar position as it meets for its annual Policy Conference, a gathering of close to 20,000 supporters of Israel in Washington, D.C. Under the banner “Many Voices, One Mission,” AIPAC president Lillian Pinkus’ opening remarks made a strong plea for bipartisanship amid the continued polarization of politics in America.

Kol HaBirah Talks With Jake Turx

Written by Hillel Goldschein on . Posted in Capital Commentary

I met Jake Turx in DC on the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, during the Friday night oneg (festive gathering) hosted by Jerusalem-based philanthropist Martin Rappaport at the Marriott Marquis. During that oneg I learned that Jake had ambitions to get into the White House on behalf of Ami Magazine. As we are all beginning to learn about Jake, now the senior White House correspondent and chief political correspondent for Ami, he generally achieves what he sets out to accomplish. From our long conversation that night, he struck me as a genuine, worldly and open person, one without agendas or party leanings, and we kept in touch ever since.

Amid the chaos of keeping up with the demands of running a newspaper, I recently had the pleasure of hosting Jake–– a man who is going through his own set of chaos right now–– for a night at my apartment in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Security Measures are Needed for Those with Disabilities

Written by Jennifer Mizrahi on . Posted in Capital Commentary

As we are all aware, recently there has been a significant increase in hate crimes and bomb threats across the entire country. Minorities, including people with disabilities, are especially at risk not only for attacks and threats, but also for the stress and anxiety that can result from seeing what is happening around us. People with multiple minority status (i.e. people of color + disability, LBGTQ + disability, Jewish or Muslim + disability, immigrant + disability) are particularly vulnerable.

Following more than 90 recent bomb threats and 140 separate recent incidents of anti-Semitism, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has issued a Security Advisory. They are asking people to review the Bomb Threat Guidance provided by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Department of Homeland Security; refer to the chapter on Explosive Threat Response Planning in ADL’s Security Manual Protecting Your Jewish Institution, which assists institutions in creating welcoming environments while keeping them safe; and to refer to ADL’s list of 18 Best Practices for Jewish Institutional Security. However, while the ADL’s excellent guidance can be helpful to people of all faiths, it does not cover issues that are vital for the 56 million Americans who have a disability.

Church’s Supreme Court Case Could Affect Jewish Communities Nationwide

Written by Howard Slugh on . Posted in Capital Commentary

On April 19, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Trinity Lutheran Church v. Comer — a case that the American Jewish community should follow closely. As the plaintiff’s name indicates, the case involves a Christian church’s attempt to vindicate its religious-liberty rights. For years, Christians have led the effort to protect the Free Exercise of Religion guaranteed by the First Amendment. This case demonstrates the importance of that effort to Jews and members of all minority religions.

Dan Shapiro at AIPAC: Questioning Commitment to NATO Harms Credibility With Other Allies

Written by Zachary Leshin on . Posted in Capital Commentary

WASHINGTON — Former U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro expressed concern that questioning commitment to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) harms credibility with other allies during a panel discussion on America’s strategic challenges in the Middle East at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conferenceon Sunday.

No to the Man Behind HR610

Written by Phil Jacobs on . Posted in Capital Commentary

House Bill 610, introduced January 23 and known as “The Choices in Education Act of 2017,” calls for legislation advantageous for private school vouchers and that federal funds be allocated “appropriately on a per-pupil basis.”

This bill, comes however with a huge “catch.” And that “catch” is its sponsor, Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa).

While unarguably the majority of Orthodox families would welcome vouchers to help defray the cost of impactful tuition fees and other day school and yeshiva expenses, there is still the issue to discuss of how this bill, if passed, would impact public school education.

UNRWA Inadvertently Acknowledges There’s a Hamas Leader on Its Payroll

Written by David Bedein on . Posted in Capital Commentary

Dr. Suhail al-Hindi is a man of many titles. He’s been the chairman of the Association of Palestinian Workers of UNRWA (the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) since 2012. He is the principal of an UNRWA elementary school.

This week, he was elected to the governing council of Hamas’ Gaza regime.

The Israeli Defense Ministry’s Coordinator for Government Activities in the Territories (COGAT) is one of the sources cited in news reports of al-Hindi’s new position. “The name Suheil Ahmad Hassan al-Hindi has emerged as one of those selected for membership in the Hamas politburo,” says a report published on COGAT’s website.

Friedman’s Challenges

Written by Eli Chomsky on . Posted in Capital Commentary

If, as expected, David Friedman is confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the next U.S. ambassador to Israel, he will face myriad challenges in his key post. This is due to the obvious volatility in whatever remains of Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking efforts, and in Friedman’s principled, outspoken advocacy of Israel’s biblical and nationalist rights to a Jewish homeland from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean–– a policy rejected by almost every nation on earth.