YDAJC on 2008 Presidential Election

October 21, 2007 at 8:43 pm | Posted in Announcements + Events | 1 Comment
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Democrats must succeed in 2008. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The last seven years, a turbulent downward spiral of the American Government, led by an incompetent, unpredictable, unrelenting demagogue has been three steps back from the two forward steps of the last great American president, William Jefferson Clinton.

 

Young Democrats, especially Young Jewish Democrats, have a lot riding on this election. Political strategists will tell you that the highest voting block in America is the Jewish population, but the lowest is young Americans. While young Jews don’t necessarily fall into the second category, the Jewish Caucus of the Young Democrats of America has a responsibility to get its constituency to the polls on November 8, 2008.

 

Eight (8) major Democrats have announced their intention to seek next year’s (2008) nomination, including a Hispanic, and African American, and a woman (Others have announced, but have withdrawn). While no Jew declared his/her intention to run, our interest is no less peaked. Competition is appreciated, desired, and truly compelling, but a Democratic ticket will not officially be named until August 28, 2008, and thus, the first issue that the Jewish Caucus takes aim at: Why have Americans become subject to 2-year long campaigns?

 

YDAJC cannot condone the expenditure of over $420 million (up to now) by candidates who have been announcing their candidacy since December 2006. As important as spreading one’s message is and while YDAJC would never consider telling people where to send their money, $420 million over the previous year could be spent on much more than political messages. America has a growing homelessness epidemic, rising college tuition costs that are being passed onto its’ high school graduates, and the continued disparity between the upper 1% of Americans and the impoverished of not only our own country, but our neighbors on this continent and across the globe.

 

That withstanding, there will be an election in the fall of 2008, and Young Jewish Democrats will be out in droves to elect our next president. The issues we are most concerned about are not much different that the rest of America; 1) The War in Iraq & the US’s strained relationship with our allies and the Middle East 2) Ending the Genocide in Darfur and 3) Immigration Reform.

YDAJC takes clear, concise positions on all 3 of these issues:

 

  • The War in Iraq was a mistake. We must begin to bring our troops home as soon as logistically and realistically possible, leaving the Iraqi security forces responsible to patrol and protect their own land. It is America’s continued presence in Iraq that the region is considered “unstable”. Because of the unimaginable hard-headedness of our President, relationships with foreign allies have been strained, and America has taken what can almost be considered a “go at it alone” attitude. We must invite our allies to the diplomatic table, accept the embarrassment of our actions, and take the necessary non-military actions necessary to bring stability to the country.

 

  • As many as 400,000 people have been killed in Darfur. Another 2.5 million have been driven from their homes and into danger. The threat of rape, torture, murder and malnutrition pursue the women and children of Darfur wherever they flee. The comparisons to the Holocaust are clear and need not be spoken. World leaders must unite now to end the genocide and establish a lasting peace in Darfur. It is not as difficult as it may seem for the YDAJC to tell President Bush to pull troops from Iraq, and then tell him and UN Sect. General Ban Ki-Moon to put a UN Peacekeeping Force into Sudan.  We have no qualms about the fact that military force, coupled with increased diplomatic pressure and humanitarian aid must be utilized to end this horrific 4-year genocide. Our next President must make this a priority of his/her administration.

 

  • Once upon a time, Jews were the mass immigrants of this country. Hard work, dedication, family values and a close relationship with G-d is still the backbone Jewish Americans (Democrat and Republican alike) stand on today. The YDAJC does not consider any human being “illegal”. Any human being who wishes to create a better opportunity for his/her family or themselves should be afforded such opportunities. The YDAJC opposes the continued creation of bureaucratic barriers on the path to citizenship. Congress and the next President must work diligently to forge a clear path to citizenship to all prospective immigrants. It is up to the individual to adhere to the laws and precepts of our country, but the cultural differences and potential national pride that new Americans bring to this country is what has made the “salad bowl” so beautiful and delicious.

Favorable candidates to the YDAJC will be able to prove competency on the issues stated as well as on all other topics of national interest. America needs a strong leader who will implement public policy that improves the quality of life for all Americans. America needs a leader who will listen to the real constituents, not the special interests and their lobbyists. We are at a crossroads in our country. The promise of uniting as opposed to dividing was broken a long time ago. America’s next great leader not only has to lead for the next 4 (possibly 8) years, but they will have to reach into the past and take action to heal the wounds of the current administration.

YDAJC on 2008 Presidential Election

October 21, 2007 at 6:17 pm | Posted in Announcements + Events | Leave a comment

Democrats must succeed in 2008. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it. The last seven years, a turbulent downward spiral of the American Government, led by an incompetent, unpredictable, unrelenting demagogue has been three steps back from the two forward steps of the last great American president, William Jefferson Clinton.

Young Democrats, especially Young Jewish Democrats, have a lot riding on this election. Political strategists will tell you that the highest voting block in America is the Jewish population, but the lowest is young Americans. While young Jews don’t necessarily fall into the second category, the Jewish Caucus of the Young Democrats of America has a responsibility to get its constituency to the polls on November 8, 2008.

Eight (8) major Democrats have announced their intention to seek next year’s (2008) nomination, including a Hispanic, and African American, and a woman (Others have announced, but have withdrawn). While no Jew declared his/her intention to run, our interest is no less peaked. Competition is appreciated, desired, and truly compelling, but a Democratic ticket will not officially be named until August 28, 2008, and thus, the first issue that the Jewish Caucus takes aim at: Why have Americans become subject to 2-year long campaigns?

YDAJC cannot condone the expenditure of over $420 million (up to now) by candidates who have been announcing their candidacy since December 2006. As important as spreading one’s message is and while YDAJC would never consider telling people where to send their money, $420 million over the previous year could be spent on much more than political messages. America has a growing homelessness epidemic, rising college tuition costs that are being passed onto its’ high school graduates, and the continued disparity between the upper 1% of Americans and the impoverished of not only our own country, but our neighbors on this continent and across the globe.

That withstanding, there will be an election in the fall of 2008, and Young Jewish Democrats will be out in droves to elect our next president. The issues we are most concerned about are not much different that the rest of America; 1) The War in Iraq & the US’s strained relationship with our allies and the Middle East 2) Ending the Genocide in Darfur and 3) Immigration Reform.

YDAJC takes clear, concise positions on all 3 of these issues:

The War in Iraq was a mistake. We must begin to bring our troops home as soon as logistically and realistically possible, leaving the Iraqi security forces responsible to patrol and protect their own land. It is America’s continued presence in Iraq that the region is considered “unstable”. Because of the unimaginable hard-headedness of our President, relationships with foreign allies have been strained, and America has taken what can almost be considered a “go at it alone” attitude. We must invite our allies to the diplomatic table, accept the embarrassment of our actions, and take the necessary non-military actions necessary to bring stability to the country.

As many as 400,000 people have been killed in Darfur. Another 2.5 million have been driven from their homes and into danger. The threat of rape, torture, murder and malnutrition pursue the women and children of Darfur wherever they flee. The comparisons to the Holocaust are clear and need not be spoken. World leaders must unite now to end the genocide and establish a lasting peace in Darfur. It is not as difficult as it may seem for the YDAJC to tell President Bush to pull troops from Iraq, and then tell him and UN Sect. General Ban Ki-Moon to put a UN Peacekeeping Force into Sudan.  We have no qualms about the fact that military force, coupled with increased diplomatic pressure and humanitarian aid must be utilized to end this horrific 4-year genocide. Our next President must make this a priority of his/her administration.

Once upon a time, Jews were the mass immigrants of this country. Hard work, dedication, family values and a close relationship with G-d is still the backbone Jewish Americans (Democrat and Republican alike) stand on today. The YDAJC does not consider any human being “illegal”. Any human being who wishes to create a better opportunity for his/her family or themselves should be afforded such opportunities. The YDAJC opposes the continued creation of bureaucratic barriers on the path to citizenship. Congress and the next President must work diligently to forge a clear path to citizenship to all prospective immigrants. It is up to the individual to adhere to the laws and precepts of our country, but the cultural differences and potential national pride that new Americans bring to this country is what has made the “salad bowl” so beautiful and delicious.

Favorable candidates to the YDAJC will be able to prove competency on the issues stated as well as on all other topics of national interest. America needs a strong leader who will implement public policy that improves the quality of life for all Americans. America needs a leader who will listen to the real constituents, not the special interests and their lobbyists. We are at a crossroads in our country. The promise of uniting as opposed to dividing was broken a long time ago. America’s next great leader not only has to lead for the next 4 (possibly  years, but they will have to reach into the past and take action to heal the wounds of the current administration.

An Open Dialogue on Israel?

October 21, 2007 at 4:14 pm | Posted in Israel | Leave a comment

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency published a really interesting opinion piece by Naomi Chazan, former deputy speaker of the Knesset, arguing that the dialogue that American Jews regularly have about Israel should be brought out into the public sphere.

It does often seem that frequently diverging views about what policies are good for Israel get transformed into a monolithic opinion when organizational leaders speak to the press or to non-Jews.  I have heard the argument that the nuance and discussion within the Jewish community would simply make Jews look weak on Israel.  Do you think this is true?

How should we address what we do see as Israel’s flaws in the public sphere and is Naomi right that we need that discussion to be public?  Or should we stick to the region of near-universal support, namely that Israel has a right to exist?

Genocide measure passes in tight vote

October 11, 2007 at 12:07 am | Posted in Other | Leave a comment

(JTA) 

Seven of eight Jewish members on a U.S. congressional committee voted for a resolution to recognize the Armenian genocide.

The non-binding resolution, which recognizes the World War I massacre of Armenians by Turkey as genocide, passed the House of Representatives’ Foreign Affairs Committee on Wednesday by a closer than expected vote, 27-21. The resolution is likely to go to the full House.

The only Jewish member to vote against was Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.), who cited among other reasons Turkey’s close relationship with Israel.

The measure was expected to pass by a much wider margin but faced a last-minute lobbying blitz by the Turkish government and the Bush administration, which marshalled all eight living former secretaries of state to oppose it.

Turkey has threatened to downgrade military ties with the United States if the measure passed, and intimated it would do so with Israel, too.

The closeness of the committee vote suggests it will be more difficult to pass the resolution when it comes to the House floor. Turkey’s Jews have pressed U.S. Jewish groups to oppose the measure. U.S. Jewish organizations have held back from lobbying but some groups, including the American Jewish Committee and the Anti-Defamation League, have said a congressional resolution recognizing the genocide would be a strategic blunder.

Jewish congressmen who supported the resolution included the committee chairman, Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.), the only Holocaust survivor in Congress. Others, including Reps. Gary Ackerman (D-N.Y.) and Ron Klein (D-Fla.), cited Holocaust remembrance as a reason for their votes.

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