WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Jerry Nadler, a New York Democrat, is the latest Jewish pro-Israel stalwart to express alarm at proposals advanced by the new Israeli government led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Nadler, the longest-serving Jewish lawmaker in Congress, singled out proposed judicial reforms for criticism, particularly one that would allow the Knesset to override Supreme Court decisions.
“These proposals dismantle the vital separation of powers and protections of civil rights and liberties, which Israel’s judiciary has courageously defended, from LGBTQ+ protections to women’s right,” Nadler wrote Wednesday in Haaretz. “Its judiciary has helped to make Israel a beacon of freedom in its region.”
Nadler is the latest among Jewish pro-Israel stalwarts, particularly among Democrats, to have said they are rattled by some of the proposals of the government. He is also notable because he was the chairman of the powerful Judiciary Committee until Republicans won back control of the U.S. House of Representatives this month. The affiliated political action committee of the pro-Israel powerhouse American Israel Public Affairs Committee endorsed Nadler for reelection last year.
“As Congress’ most senior Jewish member, I now fear deeply for the U.S.-Israel relationship,” was the headline to Nadler’s op-ed.
Sen. Jacky Rosen, a Jewish Nevada Democrat who has led pro-Israel advocacy in the Senate, last week warned Israeli leaders not to upend the “status quo,” referring to efforts by Netanyahu’s extremist coalition partners to annex West Bank territories and to expand access for Jewish worship on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.
California Rep. Brad Sherman, a Jewish Democrat whose pro-Israel hawkishness was an obstacle in his bid in 2020 to become the top Democrat on the Foreign Affairs Committee, this week told Haaretz that the new government’s makeup and its proposals were corroding support for Israel among Americans, particularly Democrats.
“Israel has one friend in the world, plus Guatemala,” Sherman told the newspaper. “It cannot afford to only have half of one friend. The fact is they need the United States. They need us in international forums, they need us for so many reasons. Those who risk U.S. support should know what they’re doing.” Sherman 20 years ago was a founder of the pro-Israel advocacy group The Israel Project.
Bret Stephens, a politically conservative columnist at The New York Times, this week compared Netanyahu unfavorably to Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s Jewish president leading the country as it repels Russia’s invasion.
Netanyahu has “moved along the current of illiberal democracy whose other champions include Hungary’s Viktor Orban and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro,” wrote Stephens, a onetime editor of the Jerusalem Post. He, too, suggested that Netanyahu’s leadership could cost Israel support from abroad.
“If Israel is to persevere, it also must maintain the moral respect of its honest friends,” Stephens wrote. “Too bad for it that, today, the Jewish people’s greatest leader resides in Kyiv rather than Jerusalem.”
Netanyahu, who once enjoyed across-the-board popularity among Americans, began losing Democrats during the Barack Obama administration when he repeatedly clashed with the popular president, especially on Iran policy. That has freed up Democrats on the left to more openly criticize Israel. For a year or so, while Netanyahu was out of power, his rivals, Naftali Bennet and Yair Lapid, led a government that made it a priority to repair ties with Democrats.
Netanyahu is back in power with Israel’s most right-wing government in its history, and critics among Democrats are aiming rhetorical fire again. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American Democrat from Michigan, posted a picture of a Palestinian flag outside her congressional office this week as a rebuke to the Israeli internal security minister, Itamar Ben-Gvir, an extremist weaned on the racist teachings of Meir Kahane who has banned the display of the flag in areas Israel controls.
Phyllis Pollock died at home Sunday September 3, 2023 in Winnipeg, after a courageous lifetime battle with cancer.
Phyllis was a mother of four: Gary (Laura), daughter Randi, Steven (deceased in 2010) (Karen), and Robert. Phyllis also had two grandchildren: Lauren and Quinn.
Born in Fort Frances, Ontario on February 7, 1939, Phyllis was an only child to Ruby and Alex Lerman. After graduating high school, Phyllis moved to Winnipeg where she married and later divorced Danny Pollock, the father of her children. She moved to Beverly Hills in 1971, where she raised her children.
Phyllis had a busy social life and lucrative real estate career that spanned over 50 years, including new home sales with CoastCo. Phyllis was the original sales agent for three buildings in Santa Monica, oceanfront: Sea Colony I, Sea Colony II, and Sea Colony. She was known as the Sea Colony Queen. She worked side by side with her daughter Randi for about 25 years – handling over 600 transactions, including sales and leases within the three phases of Sea Colony alone.
Phyllis had more energy than most people half her age. She loved entertaining, working in the real estate field, meeting new and interesting people everyday no matter where she went, and thrived on making new lifelong friends. Phyllis eventually moved to the Sea Colony in Santa Monica where she lived for many years before moving to Palm Desert, then Winnipeg.
After battling breast cancer four times in approximately 20 years, she developed metastatic Stage 4 lung cancer. Her long-time domestic partner of 27 years, Joseph Wilder, K.C., was the love of her life. They were never far apart. They traveled the world and went on many adventures during their relationship. During her treatment, Phyllis would say how much she missed work and seeing her clients. Joey demonstrated amazing strength, love, care, and compassion for Phyllis as her condition progressed. He was her rock and was by her side 24/7, making sure she had the best possible care. Joey’s son David was always there to support Phyllis and to make her smile. Joey’s other children, Sheri, Kenny, Joshua and wife Davina, were also a part of her life. His kids would Facetime Phyllis and include her during any of their important functions. Phyllis loved Joey’s children as if they were her own.
Thank you to all of her friends and family who were there to support her during these difficult times. Phyllis is now, finally, pain free and in a better place. She was loved dearly and will be greatly missed. Interment took place in Los Angeles.
Gwen Centre Creative Living Centre celebrates 35th anniversary
By BERNIE BELLAN Over 100 individuals gathered at the Gwen Secter Centre on Tuesday evening, July 18 – under the big top that serves as the venue for the summer series of outdoor concerts that is now in its third year at the centre.
The occasion was the celebration of the Gwen Secter Centre’s 35th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to honour the memory of Sophie Shinewald, who passed away at the age of 106 in 2019, but who, as recently as 2018, was still a regular attendee at the Gwen Secter Centre.
As Gwen Secter Executive Director Becky Chisick noted in her remarks to the audience, Sophie had been volunteering at the Gwen Secter Centre for years – answering the phone among other duties. Becky remarked that Sophie’s son, Ed Shinewald, had the phone number for the Gwen Secter Centre stored in his phone as “Mum’s work.”
Remarks were also delivered by Raquel Dancho, Member of Parliament for Kildonan-St. Paul, who was the only representative of any level of government in attendance. (How times have changed: I remember well the steadfast support the former Member of the Legislature for St. John’s, Gord Mackintosh, showed the Gwen Secter Centre when it was perilously close to being closed down. And, of course, for years, the area in which the Gwen Secter Centre is situated was represented by the late Saul Cherniack.)
Sophie Shinewald’s granddaughter, Alix (who flew in from Chicago), represented the Shinewald family at the event. (Her brother, Benjamin, who lives in Ottawa, wasn’t able to attend, but he sent a pre-recorded audio message that was played for the audience.)
Musical entertainment for the evening was provided by a group of talented singers, led by Julia Kroft. Following the concert, attendees headed inside to partake of a sumptuous assortment of pastries, all prepared by the Gwen Secter culinary staff. (And, despite my asking whether I could take a doggy bag home, I was turned down.)
Palestinian gunmen kill 4 Israelis in West Bank gas station
This is a developing story.
(JTA) — Palestinian gunmen killed four people and wounded four in a terror attack at a gas station near the West Bank settlement of Eli, the Israeli army reported.
An Israeli civilian returning fire at the scene of the attack on Tuesday killed one of the attackers, who emerged from a vehicle, and two others fled.
Kan, Israel’s public broadcaster, said one of those wounded was in serious condition. The gunmen, while in the vehicle, shot at a guard post at the entry to the settlement, and then continued to the gas station which is also the site of a snack bar. A nearby yeshiva went into lockdown.
Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant announced plans to convene a briefing with top security officials within hours of the attack. Kan reported that there were celebrations of the killing in major West Bank cities and in the Gaza Strip, initiated by terrorist groups Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad. Hamas said the shooting attack Tuesday was triggered by the Jenin raid.
The shooting comes as tensions intensify in the West Bank. A day earlier, Israeli troops raiding the city of Jenin to arrest accused terrorists killed five people.
The Biden administration spoke out over the weekend against Israel’s plans to build 4,000 new housing units for Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also finalized plans to transfer West Bank building decisions to Bezalel Smotrich, the extremist who is the finance minister. Smotrich has said he wants to limit Palestinian building and expand settlement building.
Kan reported that the dead terrorist was a resident of a village, Urif, close to Huwara, the Palestinian town where terrorists killed two Israeli brothers driving through in February. Settlers retaliated by raiding the village and burning cars and buildings.
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