The Encouragers: Jihadists’ Agents of Influence by Douglas Murray

While there are people who mass-murder, one factor especially matters: whether around them are individuals, or a circle of individuals, who encourage them to mass murder.

The young men leaving Britain to go fight in Syria are not going in spite of the teachings of certain religious leaders, but because of them.

When Christians, Jews or even other Muslims and others are targeted around the world by Islamists, we even hope that this urge has nothing to do with any of the texts or books or preachings or encouragements in the milieu from which the perpetrators come.

Today in America, Britain and most other Western countries we are still governed by politicians and bureaucrats who refuse to identify the principal form of fanaticism that threatens us. We are governed by elites who hesitate to say — if they ever say — what distinguishes the current threat of our time, radical Islam, as the latest group of jihadists, ISIS, establishes beachheads in Syria and Iraq and plants its flag at the border of Jordan and Turkey. In the blancmange of political correctness, which this refusal entails, we hear of the threat of “extremism” and “radicalism” in general. This season there is even talk of “violent extremism” in particular, as though violent extremism is an event like the weather, which could affect almost any sufferer at any time.

Of course in some ways it is understandable that this pretence should have come about. Rightly, nobody should claim to be targeting all Muslims; so there is a nervousness about singling out what is different — namely, violence — in one especially prominent ideology at the moment. Sometimes this nervousness, and the resultant spreading of blame, appear to be a justification. It did a few years ago when Anders Breivik in Norway appeared to some to have just demonstrated that anybody might be persuaded to plant car bombs in a city center or gun down innocent people in a youth camp. This horror, perhaps more than any other recent event, is wheeled out to assist those who wish to avoid the main issue. Our countries at the time were filled with claims that anybody who had ever been critical of radical Islam had in some way contributed to Breivik’s non-Islamic atrocity. These claims often came from the same people who refuse to blame any wider circle of influence for the outrages of the jihadists. What was, and is, strangest here is that it fails to notice the two most important differences between mass-murderers, such as Breivik or Timothy McVeigh, and the rest of us — and the difference between them and the sort of Islamists who have just killed three Israeli teenagers and threaten countries around the globe.

Israel Faces Death Once More by Rafael L. Bardají

A delegation of American Jews was expelled last week from the African Union Summit, to which it had been invited. This happened because the delegates from Egypt, Iran and South Africa could not stand seeing the American Jews wearing the traditional Jewish skullcap. Did any of our leaders, including the president of the Spanish government, make the slightest venture of disgust or disapproval? No.

Never has any country had to fight its enemies simultaneously on so many fronts. The Jewish people have the right to live in peace everywhere and Israel has the right to self-defense to achieve peace.

First, sincerest condolences to the families of the three Israeli teenagers brutally kidnapped and killed by Palestinian terrorists in the West Bank on June 12, and whose lifeless bodies were found Monday near Hebron. Naftali Frankel, Gilad Shaar and Eyal Yifrach were killed for being three Jewish boys in a land where the enemies of Israel only aspire to generate terror, where they only dream of destroying the Jewish state by force. In the enemies’ twisted minds, killing Jews is a way to finish, if only a little, the State of Israel.

Israel knows all too well what suffering is all about. The anti-Jewish pogroms began almost a hundred years ago, well before the State of Israel was established, and before settlements, so hotly debated today, had begun to develop. If Jewish communities in Haifa or Hebron were under the threat of extinction in 1929, or in 1936 through 1939, it was because the Arabs have never accepted what the Bible and history teaches us: The Jewish people have roots in Palestine since time immemorial — thousands of years before Yasser Arafat invented the term “Palestinian people” in 1967. It is the same reason that the Arabs would not accept the 1947 UN partition plan to have two states, one for Arabs and the other for the Jewish people – precisely because one of them was for the Jewish people. And it is the same reason that they have suffered so many wars, intifadas, terror attacks, immoral delegitimization campaigns against Israel’s right to exist and repeated Iranian threats to “wipe Israel off the map.”

Unfortunately these three new murders have taken place in an increasingly problematic context for Israel and many Jewish communities in the world. Israel is an island of freedom and prosperity in an increasingly menacing and turbulent region. ISIS black flags are present at Gaza funerals; the Syrian war is destabilizing Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq; Fatah and Hamas have formed a new Palestinian coalition government, and there is no firm or coherent world reaction against a Palestinian Authority that has allied with terrorism. Further, the agreement with Iran that President Obama is cooking up does not guarantee that Tehran will renounce its current capability to make a nuclear bomb.


Eyal Yifrach, Gilad Shaar and Naftali Frankel were abducted and murdered on the way home from a hike. There are no words to console the parents. For some, music is a balm.This is from one of the most beautiful series of songs by Mahler.
From Kindertotenlieder (Songs on the Death of Children) Poems by Friedrich Ruckert, Music by Gustav Mahler

“I often think: they have only just gone out”
I often think: they have only just gone out,

and now they will be coming back home.

The day is fine, don’t be dismayed,

They have just gone for a long walk.

Yes indeed, they have just gone out,

and now they are making their way home.

Don’t be dismayed, the day is fine,

they have simply made a journey to yonder heights.

They have just gone out ahead of us,

and will not be thinking of coming home.

We go to meet them on yonder heights

In the sunlight, the day is fine

On yonder heights.


I just ordered this book about a quintessential American family by my friend Sydney Williams, a quintessential American patriot and essayist…..rsk

Sydney Williams’ book about his family and growing up in Peterborough, NH is now available at:

One Man’s Family: Growing Up in Peterborough & Other Stories by Sydney M. Williams (Jul 1, 2014)

It is also available from Amazon.

The publisher is Bauhan Publishing. Their comments:

“We are all products of our particular past . . . influenced by the nature of those amongst whom we lived,” writes
Sydney Williams. The essays in this book—or, as Williams calls them, “musings”—vividly depict the years of his growing-up in a special place: the small village of Peterborough, New Hampshire.

Below are some comments from those who read an advanced reading comment:

“A poignant, telling, lovely memoir by a caring member of a quintessential New England family. Reading this made me realize that each of us should take the time to “revisit” our personal past, to contemplate what has been and what can be, and to understand the idiosyncrasies and varied characteristics that comprise everyone’s family. Sydney Williams writes with charm, clarity and historical and literary perspective in this, his first book.”—Martha Stewart
“In One Man’s Family, Sydney Williams captures the true spirit of small-town New Hampshire. With his thoughtful memories he opens the doors of relations, community, and economic transition that have turned the mountains and forests of the Northeast into what we love today. Visitors and residents alike will treasure this inside look at the Monadnock Region.” —P.J. O’Rourke, Author of The Baby Boom: How it Got That Way

“For years I have jump-started my day by reading Sydney Williams’ trenchant observations on everything from the sorry state of politics to the perplexing state of the economy. But I have to confess that my most enjoyable wake-up call comes when I find one of Sydney’s ‘musings’ about growing up in a big family in rural New Hampshire. His writing reminds me of what I loved about reading and re-reading Russell Baker’s autobiography, Growing Up. It’s not fancy, it’s just true. And in that truth lies pure pleasure.”—Steve Hannah, CEO, The Onion—America’s Finest News Source
“Sydney calls these stories “musings.” They are more than that. They are episodes of lives lived fully, with love and caring, and a sense of adventure. There are family photographs, too. Those rare ones you look at, and smile, and wish you had been a part of.” —Brian Dennehy, Actor
One Man’s Family is a history lesson of the 1940s to the present day, centered around real people, not names from a text book. It is a nostalgic look down memory lane at a time that was simpler and less complicated. It is a journal for this generation about how things used to be. But most importantly it reminds us of the importance of the love and support to be gained from family. —Elise Cooper, American Thinker, Military Press
These essays—or as Sydney Williams calls them: “musings”—are evocative of a time and a place—of growing up in a New Hampshire village in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Sydney Williams was the second of nine children whose parents were sculptors and who was raised on a small farm, with horses, goats and chickens—an unconventional life in an unconventional place, but during a conventional time. Williams left Peterborough in 1956 to go off to school, yet his bonds to Peterborough persist. His brother Willard owns and manages the Toadstool. Besides Willard, three sisters—Betsy, Charlotte and Jenny—live nearby.
Sydney lives with his wife Caroline in Old Lyme Connecticut.

Reflections of a moment or a day, reminiscences of family, acquaintances, and events, these essays open a window on life in mid twentieth-century rural New Hampshire. While the time period could be called conventional, Williams’ family was anything but. His parents, both sculptors, chose to rear and nurture their brood of nine in a tiny farmhouse. You’ll read about the Shetland pony that joined the family’s Christmas celebrations; about impromptu days taken off from school to ski; about starting a rubber toy business; about learning the value of charity from an older sister’s founding of a circus and the value of compassion from a younger brother’s struggle with disabilities. Throughout the book, Williams ties his personal experiences to events in the wider world—his father’s return from war on V-J Day; a neighbor’s reaction to the ban on school prayer; the significance of Memorial Day celebrations to different generations—and to the events of his later life, including deaths, births, marital stresses, and school and family reunions.
Williams left home for boarding school at the age of fifteen, and he writes, “While Peterborough was still home, it would never be quite the same. As we live it, childhood seems to last forever. It is only when we are older that we realize how fleeting that time was. But, there is no question that we become who we are largely because of those early years. . . .”
With this book, Williams shares that fleeting time with us—and we are all the better for it.

New York (Part I of II): 2014 Candidates for Congress – Where They Stand Ruth King

Primary concluded June 24, 2014

(D) = Democrat • (R) = Republican • (C) = Conservative • (CNST) = Constitution • (G) = Green • (IP) = Independence Party • (I) = Independent/No Party • (L) = Liberal • (Libt) = Libertarian • (NL) = Natural Law • (RTL) = Right to Life • (SWP) = Socialist Workers • (WF) = Working Families

Note: New York law permits “fusion” candidates (i.e., individuals who
concurrently seek an office as a candidate of more than one party).

To see the actual voting records of all incumbents on other issues such as Foreign Policy, Second Amendment Issues, Homeland Security, and other issues as well as their rankings by special interest groups please use the links followed by two stars (**).

U.S. Senate

Chuck Schumer (D) Next Election in 2016.
Kirsten Gillibrand (D) Next Election in 2018.


District 1
Tim Bishop (D/IP/WF) Incumbent**


HEALTHCARE Congressman Bishop supported legislation that finally gives the upper hand to patients rather than to insurance companies and keeps health care decisions where they belong: between doctors and patients. Because of his support, Long Island families will no longer face insurance companies denying coverage for pre-existing conditions, cancelling coverage because a patient gets sick, or dollar limits on the amount a plan will cover during the year or the patient’s lifetime. Long Island families will be able to keep kids on their insurance plan until age 26 and have access to preventive services without paying any cost-sharing so that they can stay healthy and productive. As our neighbors have seen their health insurance premiums double over the last decade, Congressman Bishop has fought to rein in excessive premium increases. He has supported legislation that will hold insurance companies accountable for premium increases, ensuring that these increases aren’t padding profit margins.

ENVIRONMENT Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. Environment Protecting the Environment – Congressman Bishop has long been a leading voice in Congress for environmental protection and wise use of our precious natural resources. With over 300 miles of coastline in New York’s First Congressional District, he understands that a clean environment is vital for eastern Long Island’s economy. From leading the charge against misguided efforts to reward heavy industry at the expense of our environment, to bringing back needed federal dollars to preserve open space and preserve our beaches, he is working hard to ensure that future generations will have clean air and water in perpetuity. Congressman Bishop has secured over $35 million ($35,375,000) to preserve our beaches and protect our waterways. He also works closely with the Army Corps of Engineers to advance projects like dredging Shinnecock Inlet, Lake Montauk Harbor and Moriches Inlet ahead of schedule to ensure that the local fishing and maritime industries have access to these important harbors. But don’t take his word for it. As well as receiving a “100%” on the League of Conservation Voters’ 2011 National Environmental Scorecard, Congressman Bishop has been recognized by many respected organizations for his contributions to our environment, beaches, parks and waterways
Lee Zeldin (R/C) Challenger


IMMIGRATION We are a nation of immigrants. Each and every one of us has a story of how our families came to America. But over the last two decades, the federal government’s lack of enforcement of our immigration laws has produced a crisis for this nation. We must secure America’s borders and enforce our current laws on the books. Every nation’s back bone is its rule of law. And once the borders are secured, Congress must deal with the challenges created by millions of these individuals living among us. If nothing is done to adequately address this problem, the 11 million will grow to 15 or 20 million in just a few short years. These challenges must be addressed.

I do not support amnesty. This is a crisis. It will not be solved easily, but I believe that we can find a workable solution.

DEFENSE AND FOREIGN POLICY Protecting us at home and abroad has been a lifelong commitment. My diverse experience as both a member of the military and as a policy maker serving on the New York State Senate’s Committee on Homeland Security, gives me a unique perspective on the issue of national security. America is the beacon of freedom because America’s military is strong. Our foreign policy and military decisions have profound consequences for our national security, for the security of our allies, and for the global economy. We must support our allies like Israel, while holding our enemies accountable for any harm they inflict on our interests.

At home, I am alarmed by the Obama Administration’s dramatic expansion and misuse of the Patriot Act. While the legislation was enacted at a time of heightened security with some good intentions, the manner in which the Patriot Act is now being misused causes me deep concern. As a former Military Intelligence officer, I understand the value of information. However, in a world where technology is ever-evolving, government must not abandon its due process to protect the privacy of U.S. Citizens. As your Congressman, I will fight for more protections against intrusions by the NSA, IRS, TSA and other federal agencies.

HEALTHCARE Repealing and Replacing Obamacare Our small businesses are turning thousands and thousands of full-time jobs into part-time jobs to avoid having to offer healthcare coverage they simply can’t afford. Let’s face it, Obamacare is deeply flawed… for families, for small businesses, for anyone who wants convenient access to quality, affordable healthcare. Whether we defund it, delay it or repeal it, we must prevent this rushed and terribly executed piece of legislation from harming the best healthcare system in the world-and forcing families and small businesses to suffer the damage it’s surely going to inflict.

I have never supported Obamacare. Never will. Please click this link to learn more about the dishonest attack ads against us on this topic. Already people are losing their jobs as hospitals cut expenses in order to prepare for ObamaCare’s huge stacks of rules and regulations. Our small businesses are turning thousands and thousands of full-time jobs into part-time jobs to avoid having to offer healthcare coverage they simply can’t afford. And once the law is in full effect, doctors will be buried in paperwork and patients will risk losing the doctors they’ve trusted to take care of them for years. We need to get this right. We must work toward increasing access, without compromising quality of care or efficiency. We can do better.

ENERGY We must reduce our reliance on oil, plain and simple. And recent advances in technology have brought the dream of energy independence within America’s reach. These recent advances in technology have made our domestic energy supplies available once again – supplies that were recently thought to be near depletion. Unfortunately much of our energy supplies are off limits because they are on federal lands. The federal government owns nearly one-third of United States territory. And sadly, much of this land is not being developed for energy resources due to federal restrictions. I support privatizing some of that property, and transferring the management of some federal lands to the States, to allow for energy resource development. At the same time, the United States must become a leader in the global energy marketplace by encouraging continued private sector innovation and development. The increasing cost of energy is straining our families and our businesses. Gas prices and home heating oil costs are just two of the areas where we are reminded every day that our federal policies are hurting our families and our businesses.

District 2
Pete King (R/C/IP) Incumbent**

Rated -4 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


DEFENDING AMERICA AGAINST ISLAMIC TERRORISM Pete King strongly supports the PATRIOT Act, wiretapping foreign terrorists and allowing the CIA to carry out tough interrogations of foreign terrorists. Pete has fought hard to increase Homeland Security funding for police and firefighters in New York City and on Long Island. During his time as Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee, Pete was responsible for the passage of historic legislation regarding port security, chemical plant security and restructuring the nation’s emergency response system. As Ranking Member of the Homeland Security Committee, Pete opposed President Obama’s decision to close Guantánamo and restrict interrogations of terrorists. As Chairman he will hold hearings on Muslim radicalization.

IMMIGRATION STOPPING ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION Congressman King knows that we must secure our borders and stop illegal immigration. Pete sponsored the law to construct a 700 mile fence along the border with Mexico and supports hiring thousands more border patrol agents, utilizing the most advanced military technology and equipment at the border and imposing heavy fines and prison sentences for companies that hire illegal immigrants. Pete opposes amnesty for the illegal immigrants living in our country.

WOMEN’S HEALTH CARE Pete King has been a dedicated and effective leader in the war against breast cancer throughout his years in Congress. Pete has supported legislation to increase Medicare reimbursements for screening and diagnostic mammographies; fund research centers to study the relationship between the environment and breast cancer; and require insurance companies to guarantee at least 48 hours hospital care after a mastectomy.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Voted for the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
Pat Maher (D) Challenger

District 3

Steve Israel (D/IP/WF) Incumbent**

Rated -1 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


NATIONAL SECURITY and ISRAEL Working to Keep Our Country Safe and Protect Our Allies – Steve is regarded as a leader on national security issues. To combat terrorism, Steve believes we must aggressively pursue terrorists where they are and use all the tools available to us, including both “hard” power and “soft” power. To bring our troops home successfully and safely from Iraq and Afghanistan depends on both smart military strategy and smart diplomatic efforts to keep terrorists from regaining ground. Steve believes it is critically important that we dismantle al Qaeda’s operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Steve is a strong advocate for the importance of the U.S.-Israel relationship. Steve was appointed to the US Holocaust Memorial Council in 2012. He publically demanded the arrest of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad for incitement to genocide. He led the efforts to secure Israel’s qualitative military edge by supporting critical weapons technologies. And Steve Israel hasn’t shied from criticizing leaders of his own party for statements on Israel’s settlement policies.

HEALTH CARE Protecting Consumers from Insurance Companies and Counterfeit Drugs – Steve believes that for too long, insurance companies have been able to take advantage of consumers – denying coverage because of pre-existing conditions and refusing to pay claims when people need it the most. He voted to stop insurance company abuses and stabilize health care costs for families and businesses. Steve is a leading voice on prescription drug safety, introducing a bill that will crack down on wholesalers that sell counterfeit pharmaceuticals. He is also the co-chairman of the bipartisan House Cancer Caucus, which serves as a leading voice on cancer legislation in the House. He has introduced legislation to expand access to cancer clinical trials and a bill that would expand cancer treatment options under Medicare.

ECONOMY – Working to Create New Jobs, Reduce Taxes – The New York Times called Steve Israel “a Democrat who has long tried to focus attention on the plight of the middle class.” Steve has fought for policies that would help grow jobs here. That’s why he wrote the “Bring the Jobs Home Loan Act” to help companies relocate their work here at home. Israel believes that it’s unfair for New York families to pay higher property taxes, energy and housing costs, and yet still get taxed at the same rate as families in other parts of the country whose cost of living is half as much as ours. That’s why Steve is working pass legislation that would take the regional cost of living into account when determining a family or individual’s federal income tax.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.
Grant Lally (R/C/Libt) Challenger


HEALTHCARE Repeal Obamacare – Protect Our Health Care – Democratic politician Steve Israel gave us Obamacare, and now refuses to reform it. Obamacare has increased insurance premiums; canceled coverage for millions; cost patients’ access to trusted doctors and hospitals; and now threatens our seniors’ Medicare. We need to repeal Obamacare now, and pursue commonsense free-market solutions, like extending health care tax deductions to individuals, and expanding the number of doctors, medical schools and teaching hospitals.

TAXES The huge Obama tax increase – supported by Democratic politician Steve Israel – is hurting families and small business, and driving investment away from our country. Our families’ savings are being drained by Obama’s damaging policies. We need lower tax rates and to repeal the Obama Tax increase. In a global economy we need to compete for trade, jobs and investment. Lower tax rates mean more investment in America, more jobs, and hope for our future.

NATIONAL SECURITY Obama’s policy of appeasing the Ayatollahs of Iran; bungling over Syria; and undermining historic US allies – all foolishly supported by Democratic politician Steve Israel – is reckless and dangerous. We must maintain tough sanctions on Iran – a terrorist state – to stop them from getting nuclear weapons. We must never see nuclear terrorism hit the United States. We must stand with our democratic allies – Israel, India, the UK, Ireland and others – to protect our national interests and prevent terrorism.

District 4
Carolyn McCarthy (D) Retiring in 2014.
Kathleen Rice (D/WF) Challenger


FOREIGN POLICY Kathleen knows that a safe and secure America begins with a safe and secure Israel. In congress, Kathleen will fight to protect Israel by:

Preventing a nuclear-capable Iran by any means necessary – Kathleen knows that a nuclear-free Iran must be an absolute precondition for any long-term peace negotiations in the Middle East.

Demanding tough sanctions in response to Iranian nuclear development – Kathleen believes the U.S. must play a central role in preventing a nuclear-capable Iran. We need to implement aggressive sanctions tied to the immediate destruction of Iran’s well-documented program to develop a nuclear arsenal, and we must refuse to ease these sanctions in the face of anything less than full, independently verified cooperation from the new regime in Iran.

Reinforcing Israel’s diplomatic, political, and military bonds with the U.S. – The U.S. must be unwavering in our support of Israel. Kathleen will never hesitate to speak out for Israel’s security or for the interests of its people at home and abroad, and she will work to strengthen diplomatic, political, and military bonds to leverage all that is offered by the unique relationship between our two nations.

Ensuring a continuation of American financial aid to Israel – Foreign aid to Israel is a direct investment in our national security and in the American economy. Nearly 75% of U.S. aid to Israel is returned through investments in American products and economic development, and it strengthens our relationship with Israel by supporting those on the front lines of some of our most dangerous national security threats. Kathleen will work to continue foreign aid to Israel and she will fight to make sure that the U.S. never violates the sacrosanct provisions of the 2007 Memorandum of Understanding securing the future of these important investments.

PROTECTING WOMEN – Protecting Women’s Health -In the face of staunch extremist opposition, Kathleen has been a vocal advocate for overhauling New York’s restrictive and outdated abortion laws. In congress, Kathleen will fight back against extremists bent on eliminating a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare and denying women a voice in conversations about their own health and well-being. Kathleen knows it is not just reproductive rights that are under attack in this country. Women face discrimination and disparity across the nation’s healthcare systems. And for years, women have been forced to pay more than men for healthcare coverage. Recent reforms will help stop many of these abuses, and they will improve women’s access to affordable, high-quality healthcare services. But with Tea Party Republicans controlling the U.S. House of Representatives, these healthcare threats are always poised to once again become a reality. Kathleen is an experienced leader who will never back down or be silenced when it comes to healthcare equality and fighting for the reproductive healthcare rights of women.

Pay Equity Closing the gender pay gap is not only a matter of justice for women stuck earning less than men for equal work. It is also a matter of harnessing the untapped potential of women to fully to our local and national economies. From their first year out of college straight through to retirement, women are paid less, promoted less, and less frequently placed in the policymaking positions they have earned. The 2009 Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was a crucial first step toward economic fairness and empowerment for women in the workplace, and President Obama’s two recent executive orders have further advanced those reforms by requiring federal contractors to disclose information about employee pay policies and to allow employees to discuss their pay without fear of retaliation. But the gender pay gap has been hundreds of years in the making, and Kathleen knows that in order to close it once and for all, we need to pass legislation that extends these protections to all employees.

Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act & Fair Pay Act Kathleen will work to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will close loopholes and bolster federal enforcement of equal pay laws, impose stricter penalties for employers who violate those laws, and prohibit retaliation against workers who discuss their pay. Kathleen will further advance equal pay reforms by pushing for passage of the Fair Pay Act, which would require employers to provide complete information about employee pay rates and policies for all jobs at a company. This will give employees the information they need to document and correct discriminatory pay practices, and will also help expose the systematic flaws that tend to segregate women in low-wage jobs and undervalue the work that women do.

Equality in the Workforce Kathleen was the first woman elected district attorney in Long Island’s history, defeating a 31-year incumbent who led an office that failed to represent the diverse community it served. Kathleen made it a priority to institute flex-time employment policies and to make more inclusive and diverse what had been a male-dominated workforce. Two terms later, half the prosecutors and executives in the office are women, and the DA’s office has become a model for how to improve workforce productivity and professionalism through family-friendly employment practices. But equality, inclusion, and diversity are means to an end, not the end itself. Kathleen made her workforce more inclusive because she knew it would make the entire office more effective – and that is exactly what has happened. Since Kathleen took over, the office’s trial conviction rate has gone up; more violent criminals are going to prison; more non-violent first-time offenders are being redirected to law-abiding paths; and the DA’s office has been reoriented to better serve victims and better protect children and families from domestic violence and abuse.
Bruce Blakeman (R/C/IP) Challenger


HEALTHCARE We need to have a national healthcare policy that provides individuals with choice, keeps costs down and provides quality treatment. I will vote to repeal Obamacare and replace it with a common-sense approach to healthcare that works for everyone. In 2009, it was estimated that approximately thirty million Americans were uninsured or underinsured. We could have provided those people with quality healthcare without dismantling our entire healthcare provider system, which is the best in the world. Premiums are going up. Quality is going down and choice is being eliminated. As your congressman, I will vote to repeal Obamacare and replace it with an assigned risk type of program that addresses the needs of the uninsured and underinsured and also protects patients with pre-existing illnesses. Ambulatory centers and clinics can ease the burdens on hospital emergency rooms and provide a more efficient and less costly way of providing quality healthcare. Obamacare has failed to meet any of its goals and more and more people are finding their premiums escalating at an alarming rate. This is a tax on the middle class and it’s wrong.

ENERGY Our nation needs to move quickly to obtain new energy sources to keep up with 21st Century demand. Energy exploration and production creates job growth. North Dakota recently embarked on a pro-energy program that has created so many new jobs that unemployment in that state is less than three percent while income has risen steadily. The Obama administration has generated close to One-Half Trillion Dollars on regulating the energy industry since 2009. The Obama administration spent $16 Billion on a stimulus package for the energy industry which remarkably and insanely gave close to $4 Billion of that money to renewable energy companies in Europe and Asia. The Department of Energy should not be an impediment to energy production. It should be a stimulus. The lack of energy independence makes us overly reliant on foreign oil. Over reliance on foreign energy is a threat to our national and homeland security. As your congressman, I will vote for laws that increase domestic energy production and make us more independent. As a result, energy will cost less and we will be more secure.

FOREIGN POLICY For the past five years, the United States has had an incoherent and dysfunctional series of policies regarding international relations and how they relate to our national interests. Below are some of my thoughts concerning some of the important issues and conflicts facing America.

Secretary of State John Kerry: Secretary Kerry day by day is clearly establishing himself as the Neville Chamberlain of the 21st Century. In a nutshell, his term as Secretary of State has been a fumbling and incoherent foreign policy based upon appeasement. Kerry’s statements equating Israel with Apartheid government is so outrageous and contrary to fact that he should resign.
Israel: Israel should not be forced to enter into any agreement or treaty that is not durable, maintainable and based upon the premise that it is a Jewish State that has a right to exist as such. The relationship between the United States and Israel is a valuable, deep and complex relationship based upon:

(1) Shared values of democracy, human rights, religious freedom and freedom of the press;

(2) Strategic and military importance – Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East and her locations, technological prowess and military capability make Israel an important strategic and military partner to the United States.

(3) Economic and trade partnership – Israel’s economy is robust and her technological advances and innovations are out of proportion to her size. American companies such as Intel, Motorola, Apple and Google all have thriving businesses with and within Israel. Israelis invest billions of dollars each year in the United States. Many Israeli companies are traded on American exchanges.

(4) Moral obligation – the United States has a moral obligation to ensure that the Jewish State is protected from those who seek to destroy her. After the Holocaust, it has been clear that the safety and vitality of Jews around the world can best be guaranteed by maintaining a Jewish State; and

(5) Homeland Security – Israel is a partner with the United States on the war against terrorism. Israel and the United States cooperate on a day-to-day basis to share intelligence and interdict terrorist cells operating around the world.

Iran is a threat to Israel and world peace and it cannot be allowed to have a nuclear program that has the potential to be converted into weapons capability. See my comments on Iran as I believe Iranian nuclear capability is dangerous to American national interests, notwithstanding the threat to Israel.

Iran: While congress has passed tough sanctions against Iran in order to frustrate Iran’s nuclear weapons program, the lack of clarity coming from the White House and the State Department regarding the grave circumstances of Iran’s producing weapons-grade nuclear material is a threat to our national security. Secretary Kerry’s initiative to allow Iran to pursue its nuclear program so long as its nuclear weapons capability is at least six months removed from Iran’s current operations is weak and dangerous. Allowing Iran to get within six months of producing nuclear weapons could have catastrophic results.

In the fantasy world that President Obama and Secretary Kerry view as reality, Iran will voluntarily abide by regulations restricting conversion of energy producing nuclear reactors to weapons-producing nuclear capability. Being able to rely on Iran to adhere to a deal is naïve and ludicrous. The argument against Iran gaining nuclear weapons capability has been narrowly defined in terms of the threat to Israel. It is much more than that. Clearly Iran’s ability to obtain nuclear weapons capability is a threat to America and our national interests. Iran would then have the ability to give nuclear weapons to terrorist organizations that would not flinch in using those weapons against America. Another negative by-product would be nuclear weapons proliferation throughout the Middle East region pursued by Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt and others.

I would vote to strengthen the sanctions and would not take the military option off the table. America should not rely upon Israel to stop Iran from gaining nuclear weapons capability as it is our responsibility to protect America’s interests and America’s interests clearly should be in destroying any potential nuclear weapons capability by Iran.

Syria: While I am clearly shocked by the extent of brutality exhibited by the Assad regime in Syria, I would not vote to commit our military troops to intervene.

President Obama’s red line calling for American intervention in the event Assad uses Weapons of Mass Destruction has turned into a pink line of inaction and disengagement. While I would not vote to commit ground troops, I would certainly vote for surgical air strikes against Syria’s ability to produce and use WMDs. I would not vote to arm those fighting against the Assad regime as I feel no matter the outcome of the Syrian conflict, more weapons in that region is not the answer. Those weapons would undoubtedly fall into the hands of terrorist organizations that would use them against America and its national interests. I would also vote for surgical strikes against the Assad regime where there is evidence of mass killings and genocide.

Russia: The incursion of Russian troops on Ukraine soil in Crimea is the result of America’s weak foreign policy. Vladimir Putin knows that the quickest way to expand Russian influence is to try and regain territories formerly held by the Soviet Empire. Russia also covets the warm water port in Crimea that will host the Russian Navy.

There has to be consequences for Russia’s violation of Ukraine’s national sovereignty and international law. This may not yet be a cold war but it certainly is a war of will. Russia seeks to impose its will and America has shown a lack of will. This is not a foreign policy that protects our national interests.

China: Alarmingly, China is attempting to assert its power over Asia and beyond. We must reinforce our strategic and economic relationships with Japan, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand and South Korea. We must also reach out to other nations in the regions who fear dominance by China. China needs to play by the rules of International commerce and justice. Counterfeiting American products and services must be stopped. Trade should be based on respect for laws such as patent protection. America should be expanding our military presence in Asia, not reducing it. Only through strength and resolve can we meet the challenges presented by China.

District 5

Gregory Meeks (D) Incumbent**

Rated +2 by AAI, indicating pro-Arab pro-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


Strong supporter of all President Obama’s legislation and initiatives.

Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.

District 6

Grace Meng (D/WF) Incumbent**


HEALTHCARE As a Member of Congress, I will oppose the right-wing assault on the health care and senior citizen programs that are so crucial to the fabric of our society. I believe that every citizen should have access to quality, affordable health care; that individuals with pre-existing conditions should not be denied coverage; and that young people should continue to be able to stay on their parents’ insurance until they are 26.

I will also fight tirelessly to protect Medicare and Social Security and ensure retirement security for our country’s senior citizens. It is essential that we make prescription medication more affordable by allowing Medicare to use its purchasing power to bargain for better drug prices. On Social Security, we cannot be tempted by quick-fixes or false promises that growth will solve the problem. On the other hand, it would be unwise to tax the middle-class now in order to solve the problem. We should protect the program’s long-term solvency through increased tax fairness on our wealthiest citizens.

NATIONAL SECURITY AND FOREIGN POLICY In conducting our foreign policy, we must robustly defend our national security. In order to achieve this goal, we must stay on the offensive against Al Qaeda, prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, protect long-term allies such as Israel, and remain committed to global human rights. We cannot sacrifice any of these objectives for the sake of political expediency or short-term economic gain. The Middle East provides a clear example of this. While our deals with autocrats proved untenable, our alliance with democratic Israel has been rock solid. It must remain so. My visit to Israel strengthened my belief in our shared values of democracy, human rights, and freedom of religion. Continuing to build and bolster our long-standing relationship with the State of Israel can only do more to fortify our own homeland security and protect us from the threat of terrorism. During this election year it is critical that this issue not be hijacked by partisan politics.

The potential of a nuclear-armed Iran poses a credible threat to the United States and the global community, and an existential threat to our ally Israel. We must stop Iran’s efforts to develop nuclear weapons, and every option – including a military option – must be available to accomplish this goal. As we bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan, we must be sure to remain on the offensive against terrorism. I support the continued use of drones in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia as a means to gather intelligence and target terrorists. But we must also seek new partnerships and demand more from our NATO allies in combating global terrorism. I am deeply saddened and repulsed by the daily images of Bashar Al-Assad’s slaughtering of his own people in Syria. American leadership is necessary in the face of this human rights crisis, and we must work to force Assad from power. Although doing so may upset some of the other global powers in the short-term, it will place us on the right side of history, a position from which America has always benefited.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Voted against construction of the KeystoneXL pipeline without limiting amendments – Fighting for strong environmental standards and conservation programs will always be a top priority for me. I believe our environment is one of our planet’s greatest treasures. It is imperative that Congress reaffirm and strengthen our commitment to safeguarding our natural resources. I will fight to ensure that our most vulnerable areas are preserved for future generations, and that Americans are provided safe public drinking water, undisturbed habitats for fish and wildlife, and clean air to breathe. I support an energy plan that has a balanced approach, helps consumers now, boosts production of energy from alternative sources, draws from a diverse energy supply, stresses conservation, and protects the environment. Addressing America’s reliance on fossil fuels by investing in renewable-energy sources is essential for protecting our environment and ensuring our nation’s energy security. I will continue to work to ensure expanded domestic energy production does not come at the expense of protecting the environment.

IMMIGRATION America has always been a country of immigrants, and the legacy of their hard work remains with us even today. The American economy owes much of its competitiveness to newly-arrived workers, and American culture owes its richness and complexity to the cultural contributions of immigrants. I am proud to represent one of the most ethnically diverse districts in the country in Queens, New York, where I have witnessed the hard work and dedication of our immigrant communities. Furthermore, as a second-generation Chinese American, I understand firsthand the everyday struggles of such families as parents strive to provide a better life for themselves and their children. For this reason, it is imperative that immigration reform is both common-sense and compassionate, and I am fighting to make it so.

The laws that govern should reflect our dedication to American greatness. To ensure that the policies concerning immigration do, here’s what we need to focus on:

Including the ‘pathway to citizenship’ program for our undocumented populations;
Working to reunite children with their detained parents;
Eliminating the family-visa backlog, which will allow for quicker family reunification;
Requiring legal counsel for vulnerable immigrant populations;
Increasing judicial discretion;
Resolving issues concerning due process and reforming our courts;
Providing visas for a range of workers that reflects the needs of our economy.

No challengers.

District 7

Nydia Velazquez (D/WF) Incumbent**


Strong support of President Obama’s legislative initiatives.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT Voted against construction of the KeystoneXLPipeline without limiting amendments.

ALTERNATIVES TO WAR An active member of the House of Representatives Out of Iraq Caucus, Congresswoman Velázquez advocates to bring our soldiers home safely from Iraq and Afghanistan. She opposed the Iraq war from day one – voting “No” on giving the President congressional authorization to use military force. She has voted consistently against funding for the war and opposes any measure that does not include a timeline for withdrawal. The Congresswoman has also introduced legislation to allow taxpayers to block their tax dollars from paying for the conflict in Iraq. This war is not supported by the public or Congress, yet our nation remains mired in combat. Now is the time to hand responsibility over to the Iraqis and start bringing our troops home.
Jose Luis Fernandez (R) Challenger

District 8
Hakeem Jeffries (D/WF) Incumbent**


Strong support for all President Obama’s legislation and initiatives.

Voted against construction of the Keystone XL pipeline without limiting amendments.

JOBS As an Assemblymember, Hakeem successfully pushed for the creation of a $50 million jobs program for at-risk, inner-city youth. In Congress, Hakeem will fight to pass President Barack Obama’s American Jobs Act and will work hard to make sure that NYCHA provides employment opportunities for public housing and community residents as required by Section 3 of the 1968 HUD Act.

HOUSING Protecting residents from being pushed out of their homes and neighborhoods has been a top priority for Hakeem in the Assembly. He successfully sponsored legislation designed to transform vacant luxury apartments into affordable homes for people in the community and co-sponsored the law that extended and strengthened rent regulations for the first time in 20 years. In Congress, Hakeem will fight to protect housing for working families and preserve New York City’s Section 8 Housing Program. He will also push for an aggressive federal program to prevent foreclosures and keep people in their homes.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE In the Assembly, Hakeem has fought hard to reform our criminal justice system. He successfully passed legislation that eliminated the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk electronic database. He has also helped lead the effort to close upstate prisons and repeal the draconian Rockefeller Drug Laws. On the federal level, Hakeem will push the U.S. Justice Department to investigate the systematic civil rights abuses that result from the NYPD’s stop-and-frisk program.

SENIORS Hakeem has stood up for the well-being of senior citizens throughout the community during his time in the Assembly. He recently fought for a state budget that restored $25 million to New York City senior centers. As a member of Congress, Hakeem will continue to fight for additional senior housing under the 202 Program and stand up to protect Social Security and Medicare against efforts by radical right-wing Republicans to destroy these critical programs.
Alan Bellone (C) Challenger

District 9

Yvette Clarke (D/WF) Incumbent**

Rated +2 by AAI, indicating pro-Arab pro-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT February 2014-Congresswoman Clarke Earns High Score from League of Conservation Voters – As a Member of House Committee on Homeland Security, I understand that our energy independence is directly correlated to our nation’s safety. Our dependence on foreign oil leaves us vulnerable to the geopolitical instability that exists in some oil producing regions. This instability leads to higher prices at the pump and increases the financial burden on families that are already hurting from the economic downturn. Upon my arrival in Congress, one of my first acts was to co-sponsor and support legislation that addressed fuel-efficiency standards, our dependence on foreign oil and the transition to alternative fuel sources.

Our increased investment in alternative sources of energy will spur job creation as companies research, develop, and market the clean energy products of the future. Small businesses, which bring new technologies to market faster than their large competitors, will be at the forefront of this green energy movement. As the engines of our economic growth, the jobs that small businesses create will help lead us out of this economic downturn and return us to the path to prosperity. The extraction and consumption of fossil fuels has harmful effects on our environment, causes air-pollution, and contaminates our waterways. In Congress, I have supported legislation that protects our country’s rivers and streams, holds industrial polluters accountable, and invests in the restoration of contaminated sites.

Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.

HOMELAND SECURITY I am currently serving as the only Member of the House Committee on Homeland Security from New York City, I am uniquely positioned and keenly aware of the numerous threats facing our nation. Having witnessed the horror of 9/11 first-hand and being regularly briefed on the various ways hackers attempt to undermine the computer systems in almost every sector of our economy and government, I am determined keep our nation safe and ensure, through a comprehensive and reasoned homeland security policy, that New York and the nation never witness a tragedy like that ever again. One of my first acts upon arriving in Congress was to support the passage of a bill to finally implement the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission. During my tenure in the House I have worked to secure New York City’s bridges, tunnels, buses and trains by pushing for funding for the Securing the Cities Initiative, worked with the Department of Health and Human Services to identify and fight new flu strains, and have worked to develop public-private partnerships and create a comprehensive strategy for protecting our nation from cyber-terrorism. I am also a strong advocate for ensuring that municipal and state emergency responders receive the resources they need for state-of-the-art and reliable communications and safety equipment that is vital in responding to a domestic attack or natural disaster. At the beginning of every Congress, I take an oath to “defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.” I take this responsibility of keeping America safe very seriously and will continue to work toward an intelligent and comprehensive homeland security policy that combines effective counter-terrorism and keeps our borders secure.

IMMIGRATION Comprehensive immigration reform is one of my top legislative priorities. The U.S. immigration system needs fundamental reform. Our national security is at stake; our moral standing in the world depends on it; and the American people, many of whom are first, second, or third generation immigrants, have resoundingly called for it. The reality of our economic situation compels us to take a fresh look at the antiquated policies and bureaucratic backlogs to move towards sensible immigration reform. My entire public life, I have advocated for a policy that keeps our nation safe while preventing undue burdens to those who wish to legally immigrate to the United States. Many legal immigrants, who make their way to our shores, fall out of status because of various factors: communication barriers, lack of legal assistance, a poor understanding of how to navigate our complicated immigration system, uneven and arbitrary detainment standards, and access to quality education and health care. This is why I have been a staunch advocate for comprehensive immigration reform.

Throughout my tenure here in Congress, I have sponsored and cosponsored numerous measures aimed at addressing the myriad issues immigrants face in this country. I sponsored legislation that would reduce the huge delays and wait times many immigrants encounter in the green card and citizenship application process; I also sponsored a bill designed to make a new crime to penalize those who engage in schemes to defraud persons seeking legal counsel or assistance in connection with federal immigration laws; I rallied support amongst the Congressional Black Caucus to strengthen and codify existing detention standards, ensuring that unaccompanied children are treated compassionately and that every detained person has access to quality medical care and legal advice. Lastly, I supported a letter my colleagues in Congress and to President Obama, urging them to repair our broken immigration system and pass comprehensive immigration reform this year.

District 10
Jerrold Nadler (D/WF) Incumbent**

Rated 0 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


HEALTHCARE Health care is one of the issues about which Jerry is most concerned. He has spent much of his career fighting for affordable, high-quality health care and universal coverage, which he views as basic necessities without which a civil society cannot prosper. Knowing well that millions of people around the nation have inadequate coverage or no coverage at all, Jerry worked hard in support of health insurance reform in Washington, and fought for the strongest bill possible, for a robust public option, for women’s reproductive rights, and for consumer protections for middle and working-class people. Jerry has consistently received 100% ratings from the American Public Health Association, the Children’s Health Fund, and other respected health care associations.

Jerry has long been committed to women’s health care, and is a passionate believer in a woman’s right to choose. This does not mean that he takes abortion – or women’s decisions leading up to it – lightly, but he believes that no government or group or person should be able to force a woman down one path or another on such a private matter as reproduction. As a Vice Chair of the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and the top Democrat on the Judiciary Committee’s Constitution Subcommittee, he has regularly led House efforts to stop the Right’s many attempts to whittle away reproductive rights through deceptive and dangerous measures like the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and the so-called Partial Birth Abortion bill. In several congresses, Jerry has been a proud sponsor of the pro-choice community’s signature bill, the Freedom of Choice Act, which would codify Roe v. Wade into law and ensure that right-wing courts and state governments will not be able to limit or curtail the essential right to choose. His work has garnered him myriad accolades from women’s health advocacy groups, including NARAL and Planned Parenthood.

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE Voted Against construction of the Keystone XL pipeline without limiting amendments.

FOREIGN POLICY/MIDDLE EAST A longtime critic of violence and warfare, Jerry opposed the war in Iraq from the outset and worked with the Out of Iraq Caucus to end America’s involvement in that sectarian civil war. In response to the attacks of 9/11, he voted in favor of using military force in Afghanistan to destroy Al Qaeda strongholds and prevent further attacks. Since that specific mission was accomplished, however, Jerry has been at the forefront of the opposition to continuing that now-unfocused and wasteful war. He believes that the Afghan war has needlessly cost thousands of lives and billions of dollars, endangered the U.S. reputation in the world, and done little to resolve an intractable civil war. Jerry is a lifelong supporter of Israel and its right to exist peacefully, and a firm believer in a two state solution that would grant security to Israelis and self-determination to Palestinians. He greatly values the unshakeable bond between the U.S. and Israel and supports U.S. efforts to promote safety, security and prosperity there. And he has long believed that the U.S. has an important and unique role to play in the peace process. The Jewish Press wrote that Jerry “is a consistent and lifelong supporter of Israel, as well as a strong community activist in both the Jewish and general community.”

While Israel and her neighbors struggle to find peace, there is a disturbing trend of growing anti-Semitism around the world. This blind and irrational hatred of the Jewish people rears its ugly head not only in Arab nations that do not support Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state, but in other countries as well, particularly in parts of Europe. Jerry believes that it is vitally important to work against the scourge of anti-Semitism around the world. As such, he has spearheaded a number of efforts to use congressional power and influence to do just that. One of his signature achievements in this regard was, on the heels of the infamous 2001 UN Conference Against Racism in Durban, successfully persuading the Ford Foundation to issue new funding guidelines, to immediately cease funding of groups that promote “bigotry, hatred or the destruction of any state,” and to strengthen its approach to oversight of grant-making. These efforts have played a major role in catalyzing the philanthropic sector generally to become a strong partner in combating global anti-Semitism and anti-Israel hatred.

CIVIL RIGHTS For his 40 years in public life, Jerry has worked tirelessly in pursuit of equal rights for all Americans, fighting daily against legal discrimination and bigotry. A friend to all those who are fighting for equality – racial and religious minorities, women, the LGBT community, the disability community, and others – Jerry is considered the staunchest of advocates for our constitutionally guaranteed access to civil rights. And, in his role as top Democrat on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Jerry is formally and specifically charged with defending and advancing these rights and protecting what he sees as a cornerstone of our democracy. Jerry has worked actively against racial profiling by law enforcement officials, co-sponsoring the End Racial Profiling Act among others steps, and devoted considerable time in the Subcommittee to monitoring and reinforcing voting rights for African-Americans and other groups that have been systematically disenfranchised. He has fought for the Americans with Disabilities Act and its recent improvements to ensure that people with disabilities are afforded critical access and opportunity. And, as a champion of women’s rights, he was among the authors and strongest supporters of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a seminal equal pay bill that was President Obama’s first to sign in office. In recent years, as the LGBT community’s struggle for equality has taken center stage, Jerry has been lauded regularly as a leading champion of LGBT rights, and has received awards for his work from nearly every national and local LGBT organization. Since joining the House, he has been an original co-sponsor of every major piece of LGBT rights legislation, and an unyielding opponent of every piece of discriminatory legislation aimed at the LGBT community, including leading the House effort to stop the so-called Federal Marriage Amendment. He is a founding member and Vice Chair of the House LGBT Equality Caucus, a leading national supporter of marriage equality, and fought from the start against ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’
Ross Brady (C) Challenger

District 11

Michael Grimm (R/C/IP) Incumbent**

Rated -6 by AAI, indicating anti-Arab anti-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


ENERGY Voted for construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. Between tax increases and toll hikes, rising gas and energy prices add insult to injury and put further strain on our ever-tightening budgets. In order to lower energy costs, I support an all-of-the-above approach to energy that reduces our dependence on foreign oil; generates American jobs by tapping into resources here at home; and provides incentives to create clean, renewable, and efficient energy options. To address our local energy needs, I introduced the NYC Natural Gas Supply Enhancement Act which was signed into law. As a result, we can bring clean, more affordable energy to New York City and create local jobs with a new natural gas pipeline. This costs nothing in taxpayer dollars, will create almost 300 local construction jobs, generate approximately $265 million in construction activity, and lower the cost of energy by bringing clean, affordable energy to the residents of New York City. As an avid member of the International Conservation Caucus, I am proud of the legislative initiatives I have supported to protect wildlife, promote renewable energy resources and independence, and combat carbon pollution in a fair and sensible manner. Coming from Staten Island, I understand the benefits that our environmental resources such as the Greenbelt and Gateway National Park can provide for our community, as well as the health threats that pollutants like the former Fresh Kills Land Fill can cause.

ISRAEL The United States has no ally more committed to a shared vision of peace and security in the international community than Israel. As the only stable, pro-American democracy in the Middle East, Israel has proven to be an invaluable partner in the struggle against terrorism, extremism, and the countless national security threats facing both our nations.

With violence and unrest continuing to grow in Syria and Egypt, and Iran moving closer and closer to further destabilizing the region by developing nuclear weapons, the need to strengthen our relationship with Israel has never been more urgent. Therefore, as the co-chairman of the House Republican Israel Caucus, I have made strengthening and expanding our strategic bond with Israel a key priority during my time in Congress. To ensure that Israel is fully equipped to protect itself against countless threats to its territorial sovereignty and national security, I have championed a number of pro-Israel measures including a strong U.S.-Israeli missile defense agreement, and have consistently opposed any proposal to reduce foreign aid and defense resources to Israel. In addition, I have worked to secure investment in the U.S.-Israel Energy Cooperation Program, an innovative opportunity for American and Israeli universities to coordinate on alternative energy production, a priority that will continue to be essential to our national security.

In addition, as a proud member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council, I have sought to defend Israel not only from security threats, but from unjust defamation and prejudice by firmly calling for the revocation and rejection of the “Goldstone Report” – a UN report accusing the Israeli military of deliberately attacking civilians, while ignoring extensive evidence of war crimes by Hamas and other violent Islamist groups. I will continue to work to strengthen and highlight the deep political, historic, religious, and cultural bonds between the United States and Israel and advance initiatives that serve the mutual interest of our two great nations.
Domenic Recchia (D/WF) Challenger

Domenic M. Recchia, Jr. is a former New York City Council Member and Chair of the Council’s Finance Committee. Since Superstorm Sandy devastated his district and hometown, Domenic has worked tirelessly on the ground to rebuild and facilitate the region’s recovery. After Speaker Boehner and the Republican House delayed federal assistance for almost 80 days, Domenic decided to apply his 25 years of experience in public service to fight on behalf of the people of Staten Island and South Brooklyn in New York’s 11th congressional district. Domenic announced his candidacy earlier this year and is running against incumbent Republican Michael Grimm.

District 12
Carolyn Maloney (D/WF) Incumbent**

Rated +1 by AAI, indicating a mixed Arab/Palestine voting record. (May 2012)

Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments.

LGTB RIGHTS Throughout her career, Carolyn Maloney has been a champion for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender rights. She feels strongly that equal protection, human rights, and simple human decency require full marriage equality across the nation. In a country that prides itself on acceptance and diversity, Carolyn knows that we cannot tolerate discrimination against LBGT Americans, and Carolyn was one of the first people in Congress to fight for marriage equality and equal rights.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS Congresswoman Maloney is on the front lines of the War on Women, breaking down barriers, defending women’s rights, and creating opportunities. Equal rights for women is one of Carolyn’s top priorities. She has used her position in Congress to become one of the strongest defenders of women and their interests in Washington. When Republicans convened a hearing on Birth Control with a panel of all-male witnesses, Carolyn stood up and demanded: “Where are the Women?”

HEALTHCARE Carolyn Maloney has always been a proponent of improving our nation’s health care system and increasing health insurance coverage to include every American. Carolyn was proud to cast her vote for the historic health care reform measure President Obama signed into law in March — providing high quality, affordable health care for 2.5 million uninsured New Yorkers. She has worked to increase Federal funding of research on Parkinson’s Disease, Cancer Screening, Skin Cancer Prevention, Vaccine Safety and Stem Cell Research. In addition, she has worked to improve the Medicare program, so our senior citizens can get the medical attention they deserve.

IMMIGRATION Congresswoman Maloney has always been proud that America is a nation of immigrants, and she believes that legal avenues to citizenship should be available to hardworking members of our society. Carolyn has pursued comprehensive and compassionate immigration reform that protects our borders but is still dictated by our American values and human decency. There are countless hard-working immigrants who want nothing more than to be Americans, and Carolyn has fought for reasonable avenues so that those who seek citizenship may have paths to obtain it.
Nick Di Iorio (R/C/IP) Challenger


HEALTHCARE Every American deserves a cost-effective healthcare system that delivers the quality care they want. The goal of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or “Obamacare”) is praiseworthy: no one who wants healthcare should be denied it. Rather than solely addressing the 15% of Americans without health insurance, the ACA overhauled the entire healthcare system. Now, millions of formerly satisfied Americans have been dropped from their old plans. Many must pay higher prices for plans deemed “acceptable” by the ACA. And millions have signed up on the government’s unreliable, low-security web site, placing their personal information at risk.

I want to preserve the ACA’s positive goal: universal healthcare for all, including people with pre-existing conditions. But the government botched the ACA implementation. And, rising healthcare costs (ACA and Medicaid) are plunging America further in debt. Therefore, it is prudent to make several adjustments to the ACA:

Allow people to pick plans they want – no matter how simple or extensive – by deregulating the ACA insurance exchanges
Pay subsidies to help low-income individuals cover their premiums
Lower our government’s exploding health-care costs by raising the Medicare retirement age by three months each year

Simple but meaningful changes like these can preserve the ACA’s noble aspirations, expand individual choice, and reduce our growing budget deficit.

IMMIGRATION We need immigration reform. We cannot have people living and working in the shadows. First, I support efforts to “fast-track” naturalization for law-abiding immigrant families. Honest, hardworking families should not be separated, but integrated into our community. To that end, I advocate funding a partnership program between our community centers and places of worship to administer citizenship or English classes. Second, I advocate a “Two Strikes” policy to address undocumented individuals breaking our laws and threatening our security. Third, the DREAM Act takes praiseworthy steps towards further integrating immigrants into their American communities. Our openness to immigrants relies upon the goodwill of all.

FOREIGN POLICY America must continue to promote peace through democracy by defending human rights and the dignity of the person. First, I want to strengthen America’s relationships with nations around the globe. We should build up diplomatic relationships and use our military only when it is prudent. Military force should be reserved for destabilizing conflicts that pose a very real threat to American peace and safety. Second, I wholeheartedly support America’s position as Israel’s strongest ally. Our nation’s unambiguous commitment to such allies is the foundation of trust. We must lead with peace without giving in to diplomatic arm-twisting. Third, I will encourage partnerships with defenders of human rights such as the International Justice Mission, to fight against child labor and human trafficking worldwide. Maintaining dialogue and standing up for the human rights of all people is the way to advance a free and peaceful society.

ENERGY New Yorkers need safe and reliable energy that balances affordability with clean standards. Alternative energy is a good start. I favor research subsidies for wind, solar, and other innovative projects. Second, I would encourage two years of natural gas hydraulic fracturing research, followed by a plan to deliver this affordable resource. Third, I want a review of our nuclear facilities. Nuclear energy is safer, cleaner, and more reliable than fossil fuels – we should hold these power plants to the highest standards. Energy independence and innovation strengthens our country at home, and prevents foreign entanglements abroad.

District 13

Charlie Rangel (D) Incumbent**

Rated +3 by AAI, indicating pro-Arab pro-Palestine voting record. (May 2012)


Strong proponent of President Obama’s policies and legislative initiatives.

ENVIRONMENT Voted against construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline without limiting amendments. More than half of all Americans live in places with unsafe levels of air pollution which can cause heart attacks and lung damage. The effects of water contamination can also lead to adverse health problems. Although we in New York City are fortunate to have some of the best drinking water in the world, we must make continuous efforts to fight mercury contamination and other forms of pollution to our water sources. Recently I was proudly recognized by the League of Conservation Voters for my legislative record in protecting the environment. I remain strongly dedicated in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing fuel economy standards so we can protect the air that we breathe and the water that we drink. The efforts we make today will ensure that our children can live in an environment that is not only beautiful, but also healthy and sustainable.

Awards: R


“Occasionally I have come across a last patch of snow on top of a mountain in late May or June. There’s something very powerful about finding snow in summer.”Andy Goldsworthy (1956 – )British sculptor

Apropos of the above quote, climbing Mount Washington in late July a few years ago, by way of Tuckerman’s Ravine, my son Sydney, grandson Alex and I found two or three patches of snow high up in the Ravine. But by August the snow will be gone, as will be New Hampshire’s opportunity to create a glacier. June, while mostly spring, includes the summer solstice – after which days become shorter. It doesn’t seem that way at first, just as the days don’t really seem to get longer after December 21st. But they do. The setting sun moves ever so slowly southward at this time of year, shortening its arc in the sky, until suddenly it’s dark at four o’clock, with much of the Northern Hemisphere in hibernation.

While much happened during the month, it is also of interest what did not happen. For example, Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared in March, has still not been located. Nor has one 44 year-old woman who is still missing from the March 22 mudslide four miles outside of Oso, Washington, a slide that took 43 lives. And, the old adage, ‘out of sight, out of mind,’ applies to the more than 300 school girls abducted by Boko Haram in Nigeria in May. In fact another 90 school girls were kidnapped in June, but this kidnapping was not seen by the media as “news.” A month earlier the abduction galvanized people, as to the evils of Islamic terrorism. Even Michelle Obama posted a photo of herself holding a hash-tag message of support for the girls. Unfortunately her message disappeared into the netherworld of the internet, perhaps to join the missing e-mails from Lois Lerner’s computer? The Nigerian school girls, I fear, have had, or will have, a far less innocuous fate. A Twittered message does not carry the same clout with cowardly thugs, as would a surprise visit from a unit of Special Forces.

The month’s biggest story was the deteriorating situation in Iraq. One of its more discouraging sidebars has been the remarkable behavior of so many of our political leaders, more focused on casting blame for the sorry condition in which Iraq finds itself than seeking answers. Politicians are masters at waving hockey sticks when they sense victory, and at fading when the foul odor of loss is in the air. Congressmen and women have few equals in the art of ducking responsibility and can often be found pointing an accusing finger at an opponent on the other side of the aisle. Iraq, for them, has been a field day. It was the fault of Obama for leaving Iraq too soon, say the Republicans, haughtily and contemptuously. No, blame belongs with Bush for involving us in the first place, claim their slippery and supercilious counterparts. It is forgotten that the Iraq Liberation Act, which supported the notion of regime change, was signed into law in 1998 by President Clinton. Selective memory is a common condition among all politicians, especially when events prove past actions embarrassing. Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, Harry Reid and John Kerry not only voted in 2002 to authorize the removal of Saddam Hussein, but did so avidly, which may be one reason why Harry Reid has been reluctant to bring any bill to the floor of the Senate.


Peace upon the boys, not the Palestinians
The discovery on Monday of the dead bodies of Israeli teens Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frenkel and Gil-ad Shaer sent shock waves across the country. In spite of a growing sense of doom — due to the fact that their Hamas captors had not come forth with demands, and extensive searches were coming up empty — there was nevertheless a ray of hope that the boys were still alive.

Fresh in the public’s mind was the 2006 abduction of Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, who spent five years in Hamas captivity until being released in exchange for 1,027 terrorists. Based on this experience, much discussion following the June 12 kidnapping of the three teenagers was devoted to the question of how to handle the current situation better. In other words, there was an assumption that Israel’s biggest dilemma was going to be whether to launch a rescue operation or negotiate for the boys’ release.

It is thus that the news of their cold-blooded murder and subsequent burial in a hole in the ground was not only tragic and enraging; it also came as somewhat of a surprise.

What came as no surprise at all, however, was the response of the Palestinian Authority, Hamas and the so-called “international community.”

Residents of the PA attacked the ambulance transporting the bodies of Eyal, Naftali and Gil-ad out of the area near Hebron where they were found. The mob expressed its sentiment about the boys by hurling epithets, rocks and paint at the vehicle, smashing its windshield.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas — who had been lauded publicly by the Israeli government (and by Naftali Frenkel’s mother, Rachel) for his assistance in the search for the boys and their kidnappers — immediately appealed to the United States and Europe to prevent Israel from retaliating militarily.

Hamas thumbed its nose at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s statement that “Hamas is responsible and Hamas will pay” for the premeditated slaughter of the teens. Its senior spokesman, Sami Abu Zuhri, wrote on Facebook: “Netanyahu … must understand his threats do not terrify us. If he launched a war against Gaza, the gates of hell would be open on him.”

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon issued a statement condemning “the deliberate killing of civilians,” calling the murder of the boys a “heinous act by enemies of peace [that] aims to further entrench division and distrust and to widen the conflict.”


After Cain killed his brother, the Lord told him, “A fugitive and a wanderer shalt thou be in the earth.”

But the natural order has been reversed, instead the Abels, if they survive, become homeless
wanderers and the Cains build their Caliphates on the tombs of their victims.

“Cursed shall you be from the earth,” the Lord said, and so it has been.

The earth under their feet may be cursed, it yields nothing but sand and thistles, but they are nomads, forgetting agriculture, remembering only their tradecraft of murder. They become worshipers of death dreaming of the green verdant fields of paradise which they can reach only if they kill enough men, women and children.

Leaving devastation behind them, dead lands, lost cultures, widows and orphans, they claw their way up to heaven on a ladder of bones.

Everything around them dies until the only green is on their flags. They are cursed from the earth and they curse the earth. Where they go, the world dies.

It is not murder that makes it impossible for Abel to live with Cain says the State Department, says the European Union and says the New York Times. It is Abel’s fields and houses that provoke Cain.

The PLO formed a unity government with Hamas and the loud voice of consensus, the voice of men who imagine that they become god when they speak in a single voice, is that it was the Israeli houses that were to blame. It is not Cain’s fault that he kills. It is Abel’s fault that he builds.

Of the three kidnapped and murdered boys, two Israeli and one American, Jodi Rudoren of the New York Times wrote, “Palestinians… see the very act of attending (school) yeshiva in a West Bank settlement as provocation.”


My friend, Nurit Greenger, the indefatigable warrior for Israel gave me a wonderful and treasured gift. The book is named Humanity Not written by Dr. Babaknia and with beautiful and gripping illustrations by a Moslem Iranian artist Ardeshir Mohassness.

Who is the author?

Ari Babaknia, M.D. is a Johns Hopkins trained physician who is currently the Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the Los Angeles Center for Women’s Health. In addition to his publications in the medical field, his work includes books related to the Judaism in Farsi:

• Jewish Contribution to Human Civilization 1972
• Jewish Winners of the Nobel Prize 1992
• In the past fifteen years Dr. Babaknia has dedicated his life and efforts in writing and editing an extensive 4 volumes historical documentary account chronicling the different aspects of Holocaust in Farsi:

Book 1: The Holocaust: “Man’s Inhumanity to Men”
Book 2: America’s Response to the Holocaust
Book 3: The World’s Response to the Holocaust
Book 4: End of the Holocaust and liberation of the Nazi camps, Documents, Personalities and Events Around the Holocaust

HUMANITY NOT is available through the Memorah Foundation. at


Part 1 – Click Here

Bioterrorism Preparedness

What does national preparedness mean? It suggests the ability to respond to a wide array of threats and prevent unnecessary loss of life or injury. This requires translating national policy initiatives into local program implementation. It is a significant challenge to prepare for an unknown event, especially without a clear cut indicator of who and how many to protect, and from whom.

National activities to prevent or respond to a bioterrorism event have hinged largely on the development of biosurveillance programs and arms length detector technologies. As I’ve written for FSM back in 2008, when the National Biosurveillance Center was about to be officially opened, the GAO reported that they weren’t sure what the NBC could actually accomplish given the interagency rivalries, growing bureaucracy, problems with interoperability, and the ubiquitous ‘mission creep’ that evolves in such important undertakings. If these were the problems afflicting the NBC under a president, and administration that actually cared about homeland security, imagine how the various government agencies designed to protect the US are faring under an administration that seems consumed with shifting national resources to entitlement programs, decreasing the stature of the US from one of international superpower to that of merely an ordinary country, just another member of the United Nations.

As an aside, and general terrorism preparedness comment, having NY City downgrade its capabilities in their intelligence division so as not to offend the very people who are likely to attack our country – again – seems ridiculous. Our adversaries must laugh themselves to sleep.

According to studies by the GAO and US Department of Agriculture IG reports at increased risk for incidents at laboratories doing research of deadly pathogens as part of bioweapons research, in no small measure due to the feds failure to develop national standards for lab design, construction and operation.

The growing weakness in bio preparedness in the USA from the top down is staggering. From the ADD-like foreign policy and domestic preparedness edicts of President Obama, to the growing disinterest in bioterrorism among all but a handful of health care professionals and health care facilities are just some critical infrastructure issues that this current president is contributing to.

Emerging Pathogens & Public Health

We live in a global world where most people outside of North America are likely to die from an infectious disease – something the average US citizen doesn’t worry about, and hasn’t had to since the mid 20th century. TB, dengue, HIV, influenza, malaria, food-borne illnesses, and environmental (mosquitoes, worms, other insect vectors) threats pose daily risks to most people worldwide, especially the poor, which suggests immigrants from South America, parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia can import their illnesses as they immigrate or travel within our borders.

By May of 2014 the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus (MERS, or MERS CoV) arrived in the United States. For many of you, this is a new virus, and another threat emanating out of the Middle East, in case terrorism and energy insecurity weren’t enough! The World Health Organization (WHO) alerted the international community about MERS after identifying the new pathogen from two men who became ill in Jordan in 2012. Early in the MERS lifespan, cases were sporadic. A few cases were in clusters around health care workers and close contacts. Lately the numbers are growing seemingly exponentially. By March 27, 2014 WHO reported 206 confirmed cases. By end of April 2014 the WHO case count increased by more than 50 additional cases. The total as of last month there has been reported at 536 laboratory confirmed cases, and 145 deaths. While the apparent case fatality rate has appeared to decline, from ~50% in the early days of MERS to approximately 25% depending upon the country, that is still a high percentage of deaths per cases infected. While there is still no readily available vaccine against MERS, and the use of current antiviral medications remains in question, an early index of suspicion by well informed health care professionals can reduce the risk of spread, and initiate aggressive intervention, which can also provide life saving support at the earliest possible critical junction in care.