Thursday, February 5, 2009

Satmar Rebbe asks Obama to help Yemeni Jews

NEW YORK (JTA) -- A leading Satmar rabbi called on President Obama to assist the Yemeni Jewish community.

At a fund-raiser for Torah study last week, Rabbi Aron Teitelbaum, the head of the Chasidic sect in Kiryas Joel, N.Y., made reference to the recent difficulties of the Yemeni Jews, according to Yeshiva World News. In recent months the community has experienced the murder of one of its prominent members, as well as an increase in verbal and physical abuse that escalated during Israel's military operation in Gaza.

Teitelbaum reminded the gathering of the impotence of American Jews to rescue Hungarian Jews during World War II, and he was quoted as saying that the Yemeni Jews' predicament differed because "today we can save them and we must do so."The Satmar leader not only beseeched Obama, in his talk and in aletter, and American Jews to get involved, but made the request toBritish Jewry as well. His reasoning was that immigration restrictionsare a little tighter in the United States following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

Teitelbaum did not mention Israel, where 50,000 Yemeni Jews immigrated in 1949 and 1950 as part of Operation Magic Carpet. Critics accuse the Satmar community of dissuading the remaining Yemeni Jews, whose population hovers just above 300, from moving to Israel.


  1. I was told today that Sen. Chuck Schumer was going to be able to get refugee status for the Jews left in Yemen.

    I hope so.

    Let's hear only good news.

  2. The "free Pollard people" should also lose no time in lobbying Obama to work on pardoning Pollard.

    Let's see what all those smart Jews around Obama can do for a change besides getting Black politicians elected. Obama got hundreds of millions of dollars from Jewish backers to get elected. Add to this his new Secretary of State, and former NY Senator, Hillary Clinton who was so involved with the Jews of NY and who gave her tons of money for her campaign as well.

    It should not be too difficult nor should it come as a big surprise that the Obama-Clinton duo can finally pardon and free Pollard and let him go to Israel.

    Ironically it is with Obama that Pollard stands his greatest chance of being freed. One big reason is that Obama is in essence an anti-establishment politician who is not beholden to any old-boy network of the the old Bushies type (people associated with Bush the First).

    Obama is not interested in preserving any status quo in America or the world, and in that way it is he that is ironically the is most open to granting a pardon for someone like Pollard who also defied the U.S. secret intelligence people and broke the rules by handing over strategic information about the dangers of Saddam's Iraq to Israel.

    It would be an act of absolvence from an unconventional President provided he can shake off the few people from the old Bush's days like Defense Secretary Gates, and advisors like General Jones who may put the breaks on Pollard being released out of misguided pride, and by those who are not known as great friends of Israel.

    In many ways both Obama and Pollard have a lot in commom. They are both low level functionaries who have become the center of big political movements in their communities, Obama among US Blacks and then of the US Democratic Party and Pollard of almost all most Jews who care about Israel and basically all pro-Israel and pro-Jewish activists, basically the majority of Jews and Israelis who want to see him freed after he was betrayed by Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger of Bush the First who wrote the letter that si still keeping Pollard locked up why he is "officially" not granted the pardon he was promised for agreeing to coooperate with the investigators.

    Obama is not the type to be bound by any of this past baggage as he moves on with his agenda of "change" in America and the world so that to him pardoning and freeing Pollard would be a small price to pay to get some Israeli leaders on board any greater scheme he (Obama) is dreaming of for greater "peace" between Israel and the Arabs.

    As a gesture of goodwill and genuine impartiality, it looks like Obama is going to be the man to finally free Pollard PROVIDED the people who have been working on freeing Pollard get cracking and start the paperwork and the lobbying NOW when Obama still can be approached with such requests and not when other things overwhelm him even more.

  3. Paradoxical reason why Obama may pardon Pollard borne out by Obama's wanting to go easy on enemies of the USA, IF ONLY THE FREE POLLARD ADVOCATES ARE SAVVY ENOUGH TO MAKE A GOOD CASE, see story below:

    "Washington - Charges Dropped Against Terrorist Suspect in USS Cole Bombing Trial

    News source: ABC News

    Published on: February 5th, 2009 at 08:56 PM

    Washington - As President Obama prepared to order the Department of Defense's Military Commission to withdraw charges against terrorist suspect Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri on Friday afternoon, the convening authority for the Commission, Susan Crawford, withdrew the charges on her own tonight.

    The charges were withdrawn without prejudice, meaning they later can be reinstated in a military commission or pursued in a civilian court. Al-Nashiri will remain in custody.

    The original plan was for the announcement not to be made until after President Obama meets with the families of victims of terrorist attacks on 9/11 and on the U.S.S. Cole Friday afternoon, where he will assure them that this step was not done to be lenient towards al-Nashiri.

    The move is being done to stop the continued prosecution of al-Nashiri in a court system that his administration may ultimately find illegitimate, not for any other reason, sources told ABC News.

    President Obama has expressed concern about whether the military commissions set up by the Bush administration are the proper way to go forward in pursuing charges against the U.S. detainees, and on January 22 he asked all the judges supervising the trials of detainees for a continuance of 120 days, so a team of administration officials could review the best way forward.

    In almost the cases, that continuance request was granted. But last week the judge supervising the al-Nashiri trial -- Army Col. James L. Pohl, the chief judge at the Guantanamo Bay war crimes court -- said he would not heed President Obama's request for a 120-day continuance, or delay, in prosecutions of terrorism suspects. Pohl called the president's request "not reasonable" and not "in the interests of justice."

    The arraignment of al-Nashiri is scheduled for Monday, February 9.

    Al-Nashiri has been identified as the former Persian Gulf Operations Chief for al Qaeda and the mastermind of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole. In March 2007 he testified in military court that he only confessed to certain crimes because he has been tortured for the previous five years.

    Asked for reaction to the news, Commander Kirk Lippold (Ret.), former Commander aboard the U.S.S. Cole when it was bombed on October 12, 2000, told ABC News that he was "concerned" about the move.

    "For some reason the administration says what's been expressed through the legislature is not sufficient," Lippold said of the military commissions, which he said had "undergone extensive legal and legislative review...They need to allow the process to go forward."

    The 26-year Navy veteran said he found the decision to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay "disappointing," but he seemed willing to hear the president out.

    "I'm interested in hearing what his long-term plan is on how he's going to deal with the detainees because he hasn't articulated that," he said. "He may have a clear-cut path that may massage some of the concerns that I know many of the families have right now."

    In a way, the President tied his administration's own hands, requiring his Secretary of Defense to drop the charges. The executive order President Obama signed on closing the Guantanamo Detention Facilities states that "all proceedings" in the US Military Commissions must be "halted":

    "The Secretary of Defense shall immediately take steps sufficient to ensure that during the pendency of the Review described in section 4 of this order, no charges are sworn, or referred to a military commission under the Military Commissions Act of 2006 and the Rules for Military Commissions, and that all proceedings of such military commissions to which charges have been referred but in which no judgment has been rendered, and all proceedings pending in the United States Court of Military Commission Review, are halted."

    Lippold, a Senior Military Fellow with Military Families United, served on the Joint Chiefs of Staff and crafted detainee policy in the initial stages of what the Pentagon called the Global War on Terror. He was invited to meet with the President along with the other families tomorrow.

    "I'm looking forward to hearing what the president has to say tomorrow when he meets with the families of the U.S.S. Cole," Lippold said."

  4. This is from SWC. It would be good if the Pres used his popularity to stand up against those who hate Jews, everywhere:

    "The Jewish world is still reeling from the shocking five-hour invasion of a Caracas, Venezuela synagogue by 15 armed thugs last Shabbat.

    After desecrating the synagogue’s Holy Ark, the synagogue’s computers - with private information about members of the Jewish community - were stolen.

    One of our members from Caracas wrote us of his anguish, where in happier times, he celebrated his Bar Mitzvah. "We feel the national government has done nothing to stop actions like this one, on the contrary, it has scaled their derogatory speeches about Israel and Venezuelan Jews, in major communication channels. We knew that things have been getting worse in the past few years, but to get inside of our worship and sacred Temple, is like, what is going to be next?!"

    This horrendous attack is just the latest and most horrifying incident in a building campaign against Venezuela’s Jews - a campaign fueled by President Hugo Chavez’s demonization of Israel, scapegoating of Jews and his embrace of the anti-American and anti-Israel regime in Iran.

    Today, the situation for Venezuelan Jews is dire."


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