Tuesday, March 5, 2013

special request...

Please, Mr. President         Perhaps you’re like me. I’m still waiting to feel the profound effects of the sequester. [please see: Sequester railroads Biden’s pricey plane travel | Fox News
The looming sequester is forcing the veep to once again take the train -- as opposed to military aircraft -- to his weekend trips home to Delaware.
www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/02/28/sequester-railroads... ] I have one suggestion that will immediately save lots of money. Eliminate the U.S. sponsorship of the UNWRA (our country provides approximately 1/3 of its budget). Doing so would not be without good reason:

UNRWA cancels the Third Gaza Marathon
05 March 2013   Jerusalem

UNRWA regrets to anounce that it has had to cancel the third UNRWA marathon
which was to be held on 10 April. This disappointing decision follows
discussions with the authorities in Gaza who have insisted that no women
should participate. Registered participants who still wish to come to Gaza
are welcome and UNRWA is working on a programme of other events, which will
be forwarded to those interested as soon as possible. UNRWA sincerely
regrets the inconvenience this causes those who planned to participate in
the marathon.

Background information

UNRWA is a United Nations agency established by the General Assembly in 1949
and is mandated to provide assistance and protection to a population of some
5 million registered Palestine refugees. Its mission is to help Palestine
refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, West Bank and the Gaza Strip to achieve
their full potential in human development, pending a just solution to their
plight. UNRWA’s services encompass education, health care, relief and social
services, camp infrastructure and improvement, and microfinance…

I’ve highlighted a few lines that may be worth considering. That said, I must focus on two larger issues. The first concerns President Obama’s trip to Israel. While there, he will be confronted with a request to release Jonathan Pollard.

Netanyahu Plans To Ask Barack Obama To Free Jonathan Pollard During Israel
Trip Premier Hopes to Confront President During Upcoming Visit
By JTA Published March 04, 2013.
… Pollard, a civilian U.S. Navy intelligence analyst who spied for Israel, was
sentenced to life in prison in 1987, despite a plea bargain in which he
admitted his guilt. The calls to release Pollard have intensified in the
last year, with pleas from lawmakers and former top officials of both U.S.
political parties…

Although our President recently commuted the sentences of seventeen people in American prisons, he overlooked Pollard. I would ask Mr. Obama one simple question: WHY NOT? (Yes, I put that in caps; it should be!)

Another concern involves my small role in helping a friend make a wish come true. That friend has decided to convert to Judaism. While exploring family history, my friend found that he had Jewish ancestors in Germany in the 1700’s. Then they were expelled.

That happens a lot to Jewish people. For them, there’s no UNWRA. Nor, I fear, do we have a President who will make amends for Bill Clinton’s renege of his promise to commute Jonathan Pollard’s sentence years ago. Instead, Clinton chose to pardon Marc Rich, a man who’d raised lots of money for Clinton’s campaign. [please see: Op-Ed Contributor - A Pardon to Remember - NYTimes.com
[Nov 22, 2008] WHEN President Bill Clinton pardoned a billionaire fugitive from justice on his last day in office, ... The billionaire was Marc Rich, ...

Now is an opportune time for justice to be served in many ways.

                                    B.Koplen   3/5/13

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