"Too Important to be Anything Less Than a Top Priority"
— by David Streeter
U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro addressed The Jerusalem Post's Diplomatic Conference and proudly affirmed the Obama Administration's support for Israel. Shapiro said:
First of all, the cornerstones of the special relationship between Israel and the United States are our common strategic interests, our shared values of two democracies, and our broad and deep people-to-people ties. And, as recently demonstrated in our national elections - this partnership is historic, bi-partisan, and multifaceted. It is based not on any one political party or Administration, but on the commitment of the American people to support a flourishing, secure, Jewish, democratic State of Israel here in the historic homeland of the Jewish people.
Throughout our U.S. presidential campaign, we saw evidence of this widespread support as both candidates articulated in their platforms their positions in strong support of Israel, our closest ally in the region. As President Obama prepared to begin his second term, he has recommitted himself to continuing the policies of an unshakeable support Israel's security and a deep commitment to its future as a Jewish, democratic state.
As an old, loyal, American Jew who cares about Israel I want to explain why I am committed to Obama for a second term as president. I am a WWII veteran and former USAF pilot. In the early 1930s I traveled to Jerusalem, Haifa and Tel Aviv to visit an uncle, an aunt, and my grandparents. I returned on many occasions.
I have watched U.S. administrations come and go in the years since the British Mandate. Never has any American president done more for Israel than has President Obama. Prime Minister Netanyahu, Defense Minister Barak, The Jerusalem Post, and Ambassador Shapiro have all spoken out publicly confirming Obama's extraordinary support and unconditional commitment to Israel.
The following are some of the areas in which Obama has exceeded all other U.S. presidents in his actions to support the "special relationship" between the United States and Israel:
Obama provided Israel with the largest amount of military aid in U.S. history.
Obama has restored Israel's Qualitative Military Edge with advanced weaponry.
Obama's diplomatic support for Israel in the UN and around the world is unparalleled and unprecedented.
Obama recently personally and forcefully intervened to rescue Israel's diplomats in Cairo.
President Obama said in front of the United Nations,
"Let us be honest with ourselves: Israel is surrounded by neighbors that have waged repeated wars against it. Israel's citizens have been killed by rockets fired at their houses and suicide bombs on their buses. Israel's children come of age knowing that throughout the region, other children are taught to hate them... Those are facts. They cannot be denied."
Following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address before the U.N. General Assembly, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro told the Times of Israel that the U.S. has made "necessary preparations" for the use of force against Iran, saying, "We made it very clear that we're going to do everything we need to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon. That includes having a military option on the table." Regarding Netanyahu and President Obama's respective speeches at the U.N., Shapiro said the "overlap" between the two speeches demonstrates that the U.S. and Israel are "absolutely committed to the same goal" of preventing a nuclear-armed Iran.
In 1923, Rabbi Meir Shapiro proposed to the First World Congress of the World Agudath Israel in Vienna that Jews around the world bond over a daily study of the books of the Talmud, the code of rabbinic law. The six orders of the Talmud (or Gemarah), known as sedarim, are divided into 60 or 63 tractates, masekhtot. Clocking in over 6,200 pages long, it's written in Aramaic and quotes from the Hebrew Bible. Today, August 1, is a grand celebration of the completion of the 12th cycle of study, the Siyum HaShas of Daf Yomi. It's being held at the MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ and approximately 90,000 men, women, and children are expected to attend.
The six local teachers who've faithfully lead the daily study sessions year-round are: Rabbi Yechiel Biberfeld of Bala Cynwyd; Rabbi Dov Aaron Brisman of Philadelphia; Rabbi Yonah Gross of Wynnewood; Rabbi Sruli Schwartz of Merion Station; Rabbi Avraham Shmidman of Bala Cynwyd; and Rabbi Mordechai Terbelo of Philadelphia. Yishar kochachem to these dedicated individuals and to their students for the commitment to sustaining Jewish scholarship!
Note: This list excludes some other local Daf Yomi teachers, such as Rabbi Jonathan Levene of Bala Cynwyd, but this was a siyum organized by the Agudath Israel of America, and I consulted their memorial book,which is a hefty volume 1/2-inch thick.
Area Jewish Dems Praise Obama's Support Of Israel & Jewish Values
Photo: Richard Chaitt / Jewish Exponent.
Last night the Jewish community came out in force to Congregation Keneseth Israel in Elkins Park for a serious discussion of politics sponsored by Jewish Americans for Obama.
As expected Pennsylvania State Representative (17th district) and former standup comic Daylin Leach had everyone's attention with his unique blend of political analysis and satire. However, Daylin's comedy was overshadowed by the spectacle afforded by a small group of tea party enthusiasts who were in attendance. These right-wing extremists stood up and interrupted speaker after speaker.
Representative Joe Wilson only interrupted President Obama's 2009 State of the Union address with "You lie" only once, but these protesters were comfortable shouting "It is a lie" over a dozen times during the night.
Their random outbursts seemed like a crude caricature of a rabid Tea Party member. The continual refrain of "It is a lie" punctuated the most anodyne statement of fact.
Here is one example: Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro praised Obama's record of vetoing every anti-Israel United Nations Security Council Resolution since he took office. And the protester was rose and cried out,
"It is a lie."
Tell us what UNSC resolution escaped the attention of this administration? Perhaps he was thinking about UNSC #1405 which required Israel to submit to UN inspections of the Jenin refugee camp as a result of libelous accusation against Israel during Operation Defensive Shield. Actually, this happened under President George W. Bush's watch in April 2002. That was the last time the US failed to wield its veto power in the United Nations Security Council to protect Israel.
Pennsylvania State Treasurer Rod McCord quoted Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai who proudly took credit for our state's new Voter ID law saying
"Pro-Second Amendment? The Castle Doctrine, it's done.
First pro-life legislation — abortion facility regulations — in 22 years, done.
Voter ID, which is going to allow Governor Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done."
To which our friendly protester provided comic relief by bellowing out "It is a lie" at the top of his lungs.
At the Keneseth Israel event, Rabbi Lance Sussman(second from right) addresses the crowd. Also at the podium are (from left) State Sen. Daylin Leach, Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro and county Democratic head Marcel Groen.
Photo: Richard Chaitt / Jewish Exponent
Spiritual leader Rabbi Lance J. Sussman welcomed the standing-room-only crowd of 1,200 members of community packing the sanctuary. He welcomed the community's commitment to the political process and indicated that Keneseth Israel desired to hold a similar event on behalf of Governor Romney.
Montgomery County Democratic Chairman Marcel Groen served as master of ceremonies, he and all the members of the political panel started their remarks with their Jewish bona fides, detailing their history of commitment to Israel and the Jewish community (even if some of the panelists didn't have very Jewish names).
Daylin Leach and Josh Shapiro echoed the sentiment that a candidates' understanding of the unique relationship between Israel and United States was condition sine qua non to get their support. Neither had any doubt that Obama's feels a love for the State of Israel "in his kishkes."
Daylin Leach said he was just 20 feet away from Barack Obama at this year's AIPAC Policy Conference when the President declared that "I do not have a policy of containment; I have a policy to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
Rep. Leach also praised Obama for fighting anti-Semitism here and around the world.
Rep. Leach spoke about the importance of the separation of church and state. He warned that it was not so long ago that we had mandatory school prayer, and that if school prayer were to return, it would probably not be the shema. He emphasize the closely divided nature of Supreme Court on this issue. The next President will likely nominate one or more justices who will shape our understanding of law for decades to come. Romney used to hold Chief Justice John Roberts as an example of the type of judge he would nominate for the Supreme Court. Now that Roberts ruled in favor of the Affordable Care Act, Romney has now chosen Associate Justice Antonin Scalia as his model for a Supreme Court nominee. To understand who Obama is likely to nominate, we can look at the two judges he has nominated so far: Associate Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.
United States Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (PA-13) was on hand. Rep. Schwartz is the only woman and the only Jew in Pennsylvania's Congressional delegation. Her Congressional District covers much of Eastern Montgomery County and Northeast Philadelphia. Thanks to the latest redistricting Congregation Keneseth Israel is now part of her district, and she welcomed her new constituents.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz fields questions at K.I.
Photo: Richard Chaitt / Jewish Exponent.
The highlight of the evening was Democratic National Committee Chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-20). She addressed the many hoaxes being circulated attacking Obama's stand on Israel. She recommended that everyone keep a copy of the campaign's Myths vs. Facts document and their six-page fact sheet detailing the ironclad relation with Israel that the Obama campaign has nurtured.
The crowd also heard from Obama's Pennsylvania Jewish Outreach Coordinator Alan Fuchs, Rabbi Emeritus of Congregation Rodeph Shalom, as well as Obama for America Montgomery County Field Director Dan Siegal. The campaign opened their county headquarters at 115 Yorktown Plaza in Elkins Park, PA. The headquarters was conveniently located at the intersection of RT 611 and Church Rd just across the street from Keneseth Israel.
The last time Romney and Santorum faced off head-to-head was February 22 at the Arizona Debate, but Mitt Romney sees nothing to gain by engaging his rivals face to face on the issues.
CNN cancelled its Super Tuesday Debate which had been scheduled for March 1 after Mitt Romney announced he was pulling out. This left only one debate left on the primary calendar: The PBS/NPR Debate, next Monday, March 19 in Portland, Oregon. However, today Romney announced he will not participate in that debate either.
How unfortunate. Republican voters need to hear more from the candidates than stump speeches and dueling calculations of delegate arithmetic. Newt Gingrich has had this one right from the beginning — more debates are always better. Now that the Republicans have been given (and not cursed with) the gift of time in choosing a presidential nominee, it would be folly if the debates — and the serious policy discussions — ended just as the race entered the home stretch.
The state of Israel has proven time and time again to be the United States' closest and strongest ally, and it continues to be a two-way relationship. During a recent trip to Kibbutz Sasa in the northern Galilee, U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro had the opportunity to visit the Plasan factory, which has provided over 8,000 armor kits to U.S. troops across the world. In this video posted by the U.S. Embassy, Shapiro demonstrates the capabilities of the products built by Plasan.
Besides the support shown to Israel by the U.S., it is clear that Israeli technology is responsible for saving the lives of American troops in combat.
You can learn more about how President Barack Obama has strengthened the relationship here.
It should be clear that the United States treats the Iranian threat just as Israel does. It is an existential threat to you and to other countries in the region and in the Persian Gulf, and to our interests and our forces in the area, and, potentially, this threat applies to us as well. We see eye to eye with you the gravity of the situation and the importance of preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. The President said he would prevent Iran from acquiring them, and he means it.... The goal has not been achieved. Iran continues to violate gravely its international commitments, and since achieving the shared goal is so important, then it should be clear that all options are open. Furthermore, we are examining all options actively and making the necessary plans to ensure that the options exist, and I'm not ruling out any resolute measure in this area....
For the first in 140 years, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, now has two Democratic Commissioners, making the Honorable Josh Shapiro and Leslie Richards the first Democrats to hold the majority posts. In addition, both Shapiro and Richards are Jewish, another historic first for the county seat in Norristown. Shapiro had served for years as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, once serving as Deputy Speaker, and Richards had served as chair of the Whitemarsh Township Board of Commissioners.
Pro-Israel activist Steve Sheffey wrote an opinion piece for The Jerusalem Post warning about the false smears likely to be spread by right-wingers against President Barack Obama's strong pro-Israel record as the presidential campaign heats up.
The campaign to delegitimize President Obama in the eyes of pro-Israel voters will only intensify between now and November 6....
Opponents of territorial compromise and Americans who use concern for Israel to mask concern about paying their fair share of taxes compose most of the 20-25 percent of Jews who vote Republican. But that's not enough to win an election; hence their efforts to distort President Obama's record on Israel. Most Jews support the Democratic domestic agenda, so if there is no reason to oppose the president based on Israel, there is no reason to oppose him at all.
Obama has called for the removal of Syrian President Bashar Assad, ordered the successful assassination of Osama bin-Laden, done more than any other president to stop Iran's illicit nuclear program, restored Israel's qualitative military edge after years of erosion under the previous administration, increased security assistance to Israel to record levels, boycotted Durban II and Durban III, taken US Israel military and intelligence cooperation to unprecedented levels, cast his only veto in the UN against the one-sided anti-Israel Security Council resolution, opposed the Goldstone Report, stood with Israel against the Gaza flotilla, and is mounting a diplomatic crusade against the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
President Barack Obama's Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro met with Aguda: The National Association of GLBT in Israel-which advocates for GLBT rights in the Knesset and across Israel-and other leaders from Israel's GLBT community yesterday. According to the U.S. Embassy, "The meeting took place at the Gay and Lesbian Center of Tel Aviv-the scene of a hate crime in 2009 where a gunman opened fire in the club, killing two people and injuring at least 15."
Leslie Richards and Josh Shapiro were ecstatic with the response of fellow Democrats as they announced that they had received a call from Bruce Castor conceding the election, making the Democrats the winners of the Montgomery County Commissioner majority seats for the first time in history. For 140 years, the Republican party had dominated the suburban Philadelphia county's politics, but November 8, 2011, became an historic day, as the Democrats won the county-wide election with comfortable margins.
This is also a historic election in that both Shapiro and Richards are Jewish. Preliminary figures have Shapiro with 87,965 votes and running-mate Ms. Richards at 86,014, to Bruce Castor's 76, 635, and Jenny Brown's 74,983. Castor is an incumbent Republican county commissioner, and Brown is a Lower Merion Township Republican commissioner. The top three vote-getters, Shapiro, Richards and Castor, will be sworn in January in Norristown.
(NJDC) Yesterday, Ilan Grapel — the dual U.S.-Israeli citizen held since June in an Egyptian prison on espionage charges — returned to Israel through the tremendous joint efforts of Israel's and the United States' leadership. On his arrival, Grapel thanked Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and others for helping to secure his return.
Video shows Grapel's late-night arrival in Israel; his welcome by his own Representative Gary Ackerman (D-NY), who worked to secure his release and flew to Israel to escort him and his parents home; his welcome by U.S. Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro; and his joint welcome meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
Newly-appointed American Ambassador to Israel, Daniel Shapiro, implied Tuesday evening that the Obama Administration is already preparing for the ramifications following the UN General Assembly vote on Palestinian statehood, expected later this month.
"Even as we try to dissuade the Palestinians from going to the United Nations, we are working with our Quartet partners and the parties to try to preserve a path back to negotiations," Ambassador Shapiro said at a dinner held in his honor at the Jewish People Policy Institute (JPPI) in Jerusalem.
Tuesday marked Ambassador Shapiro's first public appearance at an Israeli think tank since taking office in early August. Throughout his speech, he described in detail his deep and impassioned connection to Israel, which began when he was a child. During Ambassador Shapiro's first visit to Israel, the Yom Kippur war broke out, an emotional experience he still carries.
The leadership, staff and supporters of the National Jewish Democratic Council heartily applaud President Barack Obama's nomination today of Dan Shapiro to be the next U.S. Ambassador to Israel.
From his efforts advising the President during the campaign, through his crucial, top-level work at the National Security Council, we have known Dan to be a wise and trusted advisor -- trusted by the President and members of Congress, trusted by Israel's top leaders, and trusted by the American Jewish community. All of these skills and assets will serve him extremely well in his new capacity.
Most of all, anybody who has known and worked with Dan knows him as a genuine mensch, a trait which is quickly seen by those who come into contact with him. We know that as the people of Israel see more of Dan and everything he will bring to his position, the U.S.-Israel relationship will only be further strengthened.
We look forward to a speedy confirmation of this excellent pick by the United States Senate.
David Harris is the President and CEO of the National Jewish Democratic Council.
Lower Merion Commissioner Cheryl Gelber hosted a notary and petition-signing party at her home. Seen here are (left to right) Montgomery County Coroner Walter I. Hofman, M.D.; Rep. Josh Shapiro, candidate for county commissioner; Joe Foster, MCDC vice-chair; and Jill Stein, co-chair of the LM-Narberth Democratic Committee.
Announcement on the Pima County Republican website promoting an event last June organized by Republican challenger Jesse Kelly. There is nothing wrong with holding a gun-themed campaign event, but the way they worded the ad is just sick and encourages borderline personalities to engage in this kind of violence.
Betsy R. Sheerr, former President of JAC-PAC, a pro-choice, pro-Israel advocacy organization:
I've had the privilege of knowing Congresswoman Giffords since she first ran for office six years ago. Even then, we knew were in the presence of a rising star: knowledgeable, passionate about public service, unafraid to take a bold stand politically, and genuinely warm and approachable. Supporting her candidacy has been gratifying: she is a devoted Member of Congress and a thoughtful, bright woman.
This tragic shooting is an affront to all Americans. Perhaps, just perhaps, it will shock our country into reexamining our accepted standards of civility and the ways we permit extremism and hatred to fester in our midst.
Pennsylvania State Representation Josh Shapiro (D-Abington and Upper Dublin)
The attack on Rep. Giffords was an attack against all who serve and our democracy. My thoughts and prayers go to each of those injured and the families of those slain.
Our country was founded on the promise and hope of words from common people. We need to restore a sense of civility and purpose in our public discourse by encouraging all points of view be heard and consensus be sought.
Marcia Balonick and Gail Yamner, Executive Director and President of the Jewish Women's Political Action Committee (JACPAC)
Yesterday Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), was shot while at an event known as "Congress-on-your-Corner" in a grocery store parking lot in Tucson, AZ. Eighteen other people, including six members of her staff, were also shot. There were six fatalities, including a federal judge and a nine-year-old child. Giffords survived surgery at University Medical Center in Tucson. Although she is in critical condition, her surgeon stated he is as "optimistic about her recovery as it is possible to be" given the extent of her injuries.
The shooting of Congresswoman Giffords has caused shock and dismay in many quarters. One of 27 Jewish members of Congress, she is a special friend to JAC. Marcia Balonick, executive director, said the JAC contingent that attended the Congressional swearing-in ceremonies on Wednesday attended a reception in her honor. "I met and spoke with her mother and we talked about how special she is. Her mother told me how lucky she was to have such a wonderful daughter and that life was 'always an adventure with Gabby.' The attempted murder of any member of Congress would be tragic to me, but this is personal."
In 2009 Giffords spoke for JAC at the Detroit chapter's membership event. She was extremely well received. Lisa Lis, chair of that event, also considers the shooting a personal matter. "This is truly heartbreaking. She is a bright star in the Congress, passionate about bringing positive changes to the country. When she spoke at our meeting, we were so impressed by her dedication to public service. She was genuinely approachable and touched everyone's heart."
Gabrielle Giffords is a positive force on issues of concern to JAC. She is a staunch advocate for Israel, reproductive rights and separation of religion and state. Her door is always open to JAC and the PAC's relationship with her is very close.
She stood on principle when it came to health care reform even though it could have cost her her re-election. As a member of the Armed Services committee, she is well respected and well liked even by her political opponents. Gail Yamner, JAC President, said "You cannot help but like her. She is a warm, caring woman who wants only to serve her country. She is an incredible woman who believes in an America that is for everyone."
We do not fully know the shooter's motivation, but Arizona's laws that permit easy access to guns make it too easy to commit a heinous crime such as this one. His violent act is likely to have a chilling effect on the public's access to elected officials. American democracy is ill-served by a violent gun culture and by security barriers erected between the people and their government. Neither is consistent with Gabby's modus operandi.
The shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is a personal affront, an affront to the Jewish community, to her Arizona constituents and to the country.
I am sickened by the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, her staff, and others today in Arizona.
"Gabby is one of my closest friends and my thoughts and prayers are with Mark, Gabby's parents, and their family as they struggle to get through this unimaginable tragedy. I pray for her full recovery and the recovery of the other victims of this horrific act of senseless violence.
Anyone who knows Gabby, knows that she is one of the nicest people you will meet. I've never heard her raise her voice in anger or express anything but optimism for our future and our nation.
Just two days after she stood on the floor of the House of Representatives and read from the 1st Amendment of the Constitution guaranteeing free speech, she was shot while speaking with her constituents. The interaction of a Member of Congress with the people they represent is one of the greatest tenets of our democracy. I know how strongly Gabby feels about being accessible to the people that she represents.
I know from our many hours spent together that Gabby ran for Congress for one reason, to make America a better place and after her recent reelection, she made the following statement: 'Our country must be strong enough to solve problems and that means we must learn how to work together again. Our children are counting on us.'
To her staff and the family members of her staff and Judge John Roll killed in this shooting I extend my deep sympathy and prayers. No one, not a Member of Congress, nor a dedicated public servant should have to fear for their safety while working to uphold our democracy.
And to the people and family members of the public attacked at this event, you are in my thoughts and prayers. The American public should not have to worry that they will suffer a violent attack while carrying out their right to petition their government.
My husband and I will be praying as hard as we can that Gabby pulls through this and makes a full recovery so she can be the bright light that she has always been to her family and friends.
Nancy Gordon, Pennsylvania Coordinator, Million Mom March (2000), Co-founder, CeaseFirePA
This a terrible tragedy, but it is not the first and it will not be the last. Also tragic are the shooting deaths of Chief Judge John Roll, the other victims of this shooting (including a 9-year-old girl), and the 13 Americans, on average, who lose their lives to gun violence every single day. An effective way to reduce the incidence of gun deaths and injuries would be to restrict access to guns, through meaningful background checks, licensing of gun owners, registration of guns, and a prohibition on civilian ownership of assault weapons. Most of our legislators have refused to take these steps. While this shooting was horrifying, anyone who's been paying attention should not be shocked by it; with over 300,000,000 guns out there in civilian hands, and virtually no regulation of who's allowed to have them, we are all at risk, all the time. No wonder that 13 people are killed each day, and almost 300 people are shot and injured every day, according to the Brady Campaign.
It is a terrible tragedy and our prayers are with her and the familes of all the victims. Once again, it demonstrates how easy it is for guns to get in the wrong hands in this nation.
Anti-Defamation League, Arizona Chapter
Phoenix, AZ, January 9, 2011 ... The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today condemned the tragic shooting rampage that wounded U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and killed and wounded more than a dozen innocent bystanders in Tucson, with reports of six dead and 14 wounded.
Miriam Weisman, ADL Arizona Regional Board Chair, and Bill Straus, ADL Arizona Regional Director, issued the following statement:
We are shocked by this unconscionable and horrific act of violence against one of our highly respected public servants. We agree with President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner that this was more than an attack on one member of Congress - it is an attack on all public servants and the very fabric of our democracy.
During her years in the statehouse, Rep. Giffords served on the ADL Arizona Regional Board. Her affiliation with ADL, which monitors and exposes hate and extremist groups, contributed to her awareness of the nexus between hate ideology and violence. It is a testament to her dedication to her constituents that despite past threats against her, Rep. Giffords has always been so accessible to the people she represents. Our thoughts and prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and the other victims and their families.
ADL remains in contact with law enforcement as investigators endeavor to establish a motive for the attack. It is critical to determine whether the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, acted alone or with others, and whether he was influenced by extremist literature, propaganda or hate speech. While it is still not clear whether the attack was motivated by political ideology, the tragedy has already led to, as Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik put it, "soul searching" about the connection between incivility and violence. We applaud Sheriff Dupnik's statements
condemning the volatile nature of political discourse in America and for taking this investigation seriously.
Lynne Honickman, Founder, Moms Against Guns (now merged with CeasefirePA)
It was the worst of times! devastating... unbearably sad...senseless... a beautiful young representative reaching out to her constituency...a child beginning a proud life of service...a judge who had devoted 40 years to our benefit, and many others who had come together to dialogue for the welfare of all. But, in the way of all evil acts, there is its opposite side, the best in our country will rise above politics and self serving rhetoric -and will demand not only justice but a new kind of civility that will not tolerate illegal guns, automatic weapons in wrong hands and anyone or anything that jeopardizes our hard fought and hard won freedoms.
We are all heartsick----- but, non-the-less hopeful Americans, praying for Gabby Gifford's recovery as well as her companions and the families of all those stricken....May G-d Bless them and our country...and keep us all strong and just.
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