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(An open letter to Hillary Clinton)
History has honored significant contributions of women as chiefs of state. Examples: Spain had Isabelle, queen of Castile and Aragon. Russia had Catherine the Great, empress of Russia. England had Queens Elizabeth I and Victoria, and today has Queen Elizabeth II. Also Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. Israel had Prime Minister Golda Meier. The chancellor of Germany is Angela Merkel.
The time is now for America to join the honor roll of nations with distinguished women as head of state. Hillary, you proved your leadership ability while serving as our secretary of state. You and Madeleine Albright have an excellent record of accomplishments in foreign relations. You both have earned the admiration and respect of world leaders as America’s two outstanding secretaries of state.
Hillary, seize the moment! You are the woman to have America represented on the honor roll. Please “throw your hat into the ring.” The Democratic National Convention in 2016 will enthusiastically nominate you by acclamation. As madam president, you could continue the positive image the world has of both presidents ... Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.
A rabbi and an imam have joined forces to create mutual religious understanding between Muslims and Jews by teaching that a respectful relationship between the people of their two faiths is not just a good idea, it’s also good theology.
“We believe that the greatest challenge is not a political peace process or an economic peace process, but the greatest challenge is a theological peace process,” said Rabbi Marc Schneier, an 18th-generation rabbi and founder of the Hampton Synagogue in Westhampton Beach, LI and the New York Synagogue in Manhattan. He also co-founded the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding with music-business magnate Russell Simmons.
Queens congressional representatives Grace Meng, left, Steve Israel and Gregory Meeks all spoke in support Friday of a measure by Congressman Joe Crowley, second from right, aimed at reducing noise near airports nationwide.
Political heavyweights from throughout Queens were on hand at LaGuardia Airport last Friday as Congressman Joe Crowley (D-Bronx, Queens) announced legislation that would require airlines to stock their fleets with quieter planes.
The Quiet Skies Act (HR 3650) will, if passed, give the Federal Aviation Administration until the end of 2015 to come up with regulations that would require all domestic airlines to phase in quiter aircraft, or those meeting the federal Stage 4 noise requirements.
As a Queens resident who has had to deal with the issue of increased airplane noise in our borough, I’m writing to commend our local elected officials — specifically Reps. Steve Israel and Grace Meng, state Sen. Tony Avella and Assemblyman Edward Braunstein — for their work to curb airplane noise over our neighborhoods, and to create an Airplane Noise Community Roundtable. Their work has paid off after Gov. Cuomo recently directed the Port Authority to both monitor noise levels and form a roundtable. Increased airplane noise has been detrimental to the quality of life of so many in our community, and it’s encouraging that Queens residents will now be able to voice their concerns.
Demographics are not always destiny, as proven by two men whose unlikely friendship has been at the heart of their efforts to bridge religious chasms in the United States since the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001.
Now the pair are bringing their mutual understanding to Forest Hills, where they will discuss their new book, “Sons of Abraham: A Candid Conversation about the Issues that Divide and Unite Jews and Muslims,” on Dec. 15.
Elected officials, area clergymen and dozens of onlookers gathered on Sunday night to watch the lighting of a 16-foot-tall menorah at Federoff Triangle on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills.
Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and Chabad of Rego Park Rabbi Eli Blokh spoke to the crowd, which also included Congresswoman Grace Meng.
Elected officials, area clergymen and dozens of onlookers gathered on Sunday night to watch the lighting of a 16-foot-tall menorah at Federoff Triangle on Queens Boulevard in Forest Hills. Borough President-Elect Melinda Katz, Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills) and Chabad of Rego Park Rabbi Eli Blokh spoke to the crowd, which also included Congresswoman Grace Meng. Five of the menorah’s candles were lit to recognize the fifth night of Chanukah and Woodside resident Harry Bieber was also honored for his service in Israel’s War of Independence. — by Christopher Barca
“I think we let Iran off the hook,” said City Councilman-Elect Rory Lancman, echoing similar reactions other Jewish leaders representing Queens had about the new nuclear agreement between the United States and Iran.
On Saturday, President Obama announced the Joint Plan of Action a deal reached between Iran and the P5+1 (the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Russia and China) to greatly reduce Iran’s nuclear activity for the next six months. Iran will have to permit inspectors daily access to its facilities while the P5+1 countries will curtail its sanctions in certain areas including the auto industry, oil and gold exports.
It has taken nearly half a century, but the fact-based drama “Resistance” from the pen or, more recently, the computer, of Kew Gardens resident and playwright Lawrence Bloom is finally going to be seen in its entirety by an audience.
It is being given a one-time only read-through at the Bay Terrace Jewish Center with a cast drawn primarily from the temple’s resident troupe, Theatre By the Bay.
As a member of Congress who represents a large population of Americans of Indian descent, I am deeply troubled by the outrageous remarks aimed at the winner of the 2014 Miss America Pageant: fellow New Yorker Nina Davuluri.
Ms. Davuluri embodies the American dream—the daughter of immigrants who graduated from a prestigious university and plans to pursue a medical degree. She is American in the truest sense, and the fact that this would be questioned is despicable.
Embracing diversity is an American value, and one that I have always cherished. I am the product of grandparents who fled Russia due to persecution and found an accepting home here in America. I have spent my life honoring their memory by fighting against hatred, bigotry and persecution. When I heard of the vitriol being directed toward Ms. Davuluri, I felt compelled to respond.
I join with the voices of the many Americans who have cried out against these hateful remarks. And I will continue to work in Congress to fight against hatred.
Editor’s note: The writer’s congressional district includes much of northern Queens.
All the bigwigs came out to the ribbon cutting of Fidelis Care’s new community office in Flushing.
The space at 36-36 Main St. will offer free and low-cost health insurance, which comes just in time for open enrollment for Obamacare’s healthcare exchange, which starts on Oct. 1, and for Medicare Advantage, which starts enrollment on Oct. 15.
As one plane after another flew overhead, sometimes drowning out their words, several elected officials, along with area residents, expressed concern over environmental issues facing the borough as a result of proposed changes to flight procedures at LaGuardia and Kennedy airports.
At a press conference at Little Bay Park in Bayside on Tuesday, Representatives Steve Israel (D-Huntington) and Grace Meng (D-Flushing) were among those who called on the Federal Aviation Administration to exempt the two airports’ flights from a new rule that would allow the agency to make changes to flight procedures without conducting an environmental review to study the impact of the changes.
In “Mein Kampf,” Adolph Hitler wrote, “if at the beginning of the war and during the war twelve or fifteen thousand of these Hebrew corrupters of the people had been held under poison gas, as happened to hundreds of thousands of our very best German workers in the field, the sacrifice of millions at the front would not have been in vain.” Nevertheless, although Germany synthesized sarin, a nerve poison gas, during World War II, the Nazi regime never deployed it as a chemical weapon against the Allies.
In August 2013, the U.S. has accused Syria of utilizing sarin in a chemical warfare attack in a suburb of Damascus. However, during the Iran-Iraq War in April 1988, sarin was employed four times against Iranian soldiers by Iraqi forces during the Second Battle of al-Faw, thus enabling Iraq to retake the al-Faw Peninsula.
Who coordinated those attacks with sarin, a weapon of mass destruction, pioneering its military deployment? The United States employed satellite imagery to assist the Iraqi military in pinpointing Iranian troops during those attacks.
What now? All of a sudden, America is jumpstarting the United Nations inspection with threats of military retaliation before the results have been released. The British Parliament rejected the option of military strikes; only Washington, under Obama’s record of foreign policy miscalculations, and Israel, are trigger-happy.
One, await the full UN report; two, seek a consensus in the UN Security Council; three, get Congressional approval for a limited pre-emptive attack; and four, cut the American and Israeli moral arrogance in the face of historical facts of their complicity in the murder of civilians, and their possession of WMD, particularly nuclear weapons. Millions of Palestinian civilians — Muslim and Christian — have suffered and died at the hands of Israel with the military and financial support of Washington.
Savannah was founded in 1733 by British General James Oglethorpe, who would go on to form the colony of Georgia. Civic officials are fond of saying that Savannah was the first planned American city. In the historic district, there seems to be a park plaza every two blocks, and houses of worship alongside spectacular mansions.
The lack of change in Savannah’s historic district, not to mention its beautiful scenery, has made the city appealing to Hollywood. Many scenes of 1994’s “Forrest Gump” were filmed here. The bench in front of Forsyth Park where Forrest (Tom Hanks) was waiting for a bus with various strangers he meets, and where he uttered his famous “Life is like a box of chocolates” line, is on display at the Savannah Historical Society.
The opinions of Queens’ federal lawmakers on whether the United States should launch an attack on Syria in response to its government’s apparent use of chemical weapons against civilians run the gamut.
Some support the action, at least one is opposed, at least one admits he is undecided and several of the others issued varying statements before President Obama announced that he would seek congressional authorization for military action last Friday.
The United States should not rashly attack Syria over its government’s apparent use of chemical weapons, and President Obama should ask Congress to approve any strike on the country before launching one, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan, Queens) said in a statement issued Friday.
Maloney’s statement appears to be the first released by any of Queens’ federal representatives on the possibility of the United States launching air strikes against Syria.
The East Coast Car Association recently presented an award to Israel, center right, and Iris Zayas, right, for their volunteer service at the ECCA’s car shows.
Israel is a member of the VFW Post 7336 in Glendale and Iris is a member of the VFW’s Women’s Auxiliary Unit.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing) was in Israel earlier this week visiting the Jewish state with Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and other members of Congress.
The trip included a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, inset, and a stop at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, above.
Queens Borough President Helen Marshall referred to Rep. Grace Meng (D-Flushing), the first Asian-American congresswoman from New York, as “Chinese” at a rally for the Voting Rights Act held last Friday.
“We have this wonderful young Chinese woman who works in this borough,” Marshall said to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), who also spoke at the event [see separate story]. The borough president was speaking of the greater role minorities have come to play in the electoral process in recent years.
City offers more data on campaign finance
The entire Queens delegation in Congress, along with U.S. Senators Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), have signed a letter urging the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to create a regional Airport Advisory Committee.
The Port Authority operates John F. Kennedy International and LaGuardia airports in Queens, and Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey along with smaller regional fields.
I’m proud to represent an area of Long Island that has been the location for many famous movies and TV shows, including “Citizen Kane,” “Annie Hall” and the hit television series “Boardwalk Empire.” It’s even the setting for “The Great Gatsby.” Shamefully, it’s also now the location for a show whose characters are disgraceful, misleading, and fuel anti-Semitic stereotypes: “Princesses: Long Island.”
Full disclosure: I kind of enjoy reality TV. “Storage Wars” and “Pawn Stars” are among my guilty pleasures. So the idea of watching a reality show taking place in my own backyard wasn’t so far-fetched. I knew little about “Princesses” before sitting down to watch it.
Much to my dismay, the characters on the show spewed gross generalizations about the living and dating habits of unmarried Jewish women. And the stereotyping didn’t stop there. In one episode, the characters get together for a Shabbat dinner, an important tradition in the Jewish faith and cult
ure. As a Jew, I can say with confidence this dinner was exactly the opposite of what the sacred Sabbath dinner is supposed to be. It was shown in the worst way possible, with excessive drinking and fighting.
The characters do not shy away from any Jewish stereotypes and portray both Jews and Long Islanders in the most unflattering light possible. Yes, I know this is reality TV, but it’s still unacceptable. Jews have spent thousands of years trying to dispel stereotypes. We’ve been repeatedly persecuted based on falsities and gross generalizations. I’ve worked my whole life to combat this type of hatred. And I’m the product of grandparents who came here to escape the hate-driven pogroms of Russia.
Therefore, I will not silently tolerate a show that paints Jewish women as stereotypes — money-hungry, superficial Jewish-American princesses. The characters on the show are welcome to live their lives however they choose, but I don’t want viewers to think they are, in any way, representative of Jews or Long Islanders.
I, for one, will not be watching “Princesses: Long Island.” I hope others will join me in deciding this show is not the type of TV we should support.
President Obama, Sens. Schumer and Gillibrand, Queens Congress members Meng, Crowley, Israel, Jeffries, Maloney and Meeks, along with other state and municipal elected officials, could have learned a great deal by having read your special section “Saluting the job creators 2013” (June 27).
Virtually all the companies and organizations you profiled, including New York Construction Company, JetBlue, Dress for Success, Kaufman Astoria and Silvercup studios, NYDesigns, Resorts World Casino, the organic food incubator, Claudine & Co., J&J Super Star Deli and Good Temps, along with thousands of others based in Queens, are role models to emulate. They have all already assisted our community which faces an 8 percent unemployment rate, with 7 percent more who have given up looking, along with many working part-time or minimum wage jobs, seeking better-paying full-time jobs. Don’t forget the thousands of vacant storefronts.
Many of these firms provide work for construction contractors and their employees. They also collectively continue providing thousands of jobs and more for suppliers. All pay taxes and are our neighbors.
The free enterprise system made our nation great. Economic growth and the creation of wealth comes from millions of small businesses such as the ones featured in your issue, without the assistance of “stimulus” taxpayer dollars.
Queens’ much-touted diversity isn’t just a matter of ethnicity; it’s also a matter of economics. And just as the powers that be cite the borough’s ethnic diversity as a strength, there’s no doubt that playing host to a wide and growing variety of industries opens up employment opportunites.
As the old saying goes, you don’t put all your eggs in one basket. And Queens has a lot of baskets. That fact, along with a slowly but generally improving economy, could be one reason why the unemployment rate is dropping here, lately at a faster rate than it has been nationally.