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February 12, 2016
 

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PAGE 2A HERITAGE FLORIDA JEWISH NEWS, FEBRUARY 12, 2016 g all the Uriel Heilman Ken Kowalchek and Jenny Rosenson, both regulars at Temple Israel in Portsmouth, N.H., have opposing political views. By Uriel Heilman MANCHESTER, N.H. (JTA)--Michael Harris prob- ably isn't your typical New Hampshire Republican. A 71-year-old from Hollis and president of his synagogue in nearby Nashua, Harris isn't sure who he would support if the general election came down to the two iconoclasts on either side, Donald Trump and Sen. Bernie Sanders. While the brash real estate mogul running as a Republi- can and the independent law- maker from Vermont seeking the Democratic nomination might seem like polar op- posites, there are a couple of traits they share that appeal to Harris: their independent- mindedness and their New York bona tides--Trump grew up in Queens, Sanders in Brooklyn. "There's certain basic things about people from New York that they have in common philosophically, like liberalism on social issues," Harris said. "Trump makes these outland- ish comments, but a lot of his policies are sort of similar to Bernie Sanders' policies. I might support Trump in the primary and Sanders in the general election." As the Granite State gears up for the nation's first presidential primary on Feb. 9, America is paying close attention to the political proclivities of this state's tiny population of 1.3 million. And like their non-Jewish neigh- bors, the political leanings of the state's estimated 10,000 Jews are all over the map. Ken Kowalchek, a Jew from Portsmouth who spent his life in the foreign service until his retirement not long ago, is an independent who plans to vote Republican--either for Sen. Ted Cruz or Ben Carson. "They're both brilliant, humble and truthful," Kowal- chek said. "I like Carson's tax policy of tithing. That's also in the Torah. I think everyone should contribute something, even the poorest." The New Hampshire elec- tion makes for great political theater not just because of its place on the primary calendar, but because it's one of the few states where independent voters--known here as un- declared-can vote in either party's primary (but just one). With more independent vot- ers in New Hampshire than either registered Democrats or Republicans, that can make for an unpredictable result. While many independents vote for their favored candi- date, some try to game the system by casting ballots for their opponent of choice-- aiming toweaken the political opposition to their favored candidate. Roberta, a Jewish voter in her 60s from Swanzey and one of New Hampshire's undeclareds, says she likes the Democrats but may cast her vote in the Republican primary to help steer the GOP away from candidates she considers extreme. "I'm not fond of Trump or some of the other leading candidates, so I might vote in the Republican primary," said Roberta, who asked that her last name not be pub- lished to protect her privacy. "In general, I don't think the Republican candidates reflect the values that I hold. They don't seem to be open to the needs of ordinary people." On the Democratic side, Roberta said she has yet to make up her mind between Clinton, whom she considers "eminently qualified" to be president, or Sanders, whom she says is"an eminently hon- est man." In interview after interview, Jewish Democrats in New Hampshire leaning toward Sanders cited his authenticity as one of his most appealing characteristics. "I was on the fence between Sanders and Clinton, but af- ter watching the Republican and Democratic debates, the one thing that stood out for me was there was an honest politician and a man of his word on stage, and I haven't ever seen that," independent voter Jenny Rosenson said of Sanders. "Part of me wanted to vote Republican against He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken," Rosenson said, indicating Trump, "but I think I want to send my vote to the Demo- cratic Party." Asked if she had any con- cerns about Sanders' elect- ability in the general election, Rosenson said, "Does he have a chance? Golly gosh, I don't think so." Steve Clayman, a Jewish architect in the Manchester area and a lifelong Democrat, shares that view--which is why he's planning to vote for Clinton. "I like Bernie Sanders a lot and I would align myself with a lot of his positions, but I just can't visualize him as a president, and I can't visual- ize him winning beyond New Hampshire, Vermont and a few other areas," Clayman said. "I think Hillary Clinton has the experience in the political arena internationally as well as nationally, and also is politically astute. "I'm a little bit disappointed that there isn't a deeper field on the Democratic side. If it wasn't for Bernie being there, the discussion would be pretty limited." Ron Abramson, a 47-year- old immigration lawyer from Bow, said he's voting for Sand- ers--and that his being Jewish has nothing to do with it. "He feels like a conscience that's been lacking in our political discourse for awhile," Abramson said. "I'm more drawn to the fact that he was a runner in his younger days--I used to be a distance runner--than him being a Jew. Like me, he's a pretty secular Reform Jew, and like me he didn't marry a Jew." Sanders' wife, Jfine, is Ro- man Catholic. His first wife, whom he divorced in 1966, is Jewish. Joel Funk, a professor of psychology at Plymouth State University, said he's voting Sanders, too--"not because he's Jewish, but because his policies are progressive, fair, long overdue and he's the kind of candidate I feel I can trust." David Kochman, 60, of Swanzey, who lost his job two years ago after 26 years at Liberty Mutual and has not been employed since, said he's voting for Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida--in part because of the Republican candidate's position on Israel. "What I really like about him is his leadership and his temperament," Kochman said of Rubio. "I think he has got the temperament to be president of the United States. I think it's good that he's young, Hispanic, has a nice family. And he's a lot less divisive, frankly, than either Cruz or Trump." Kochman said he attended a couple of events with New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie but was turned off by his bluster and the so-called Bridgegate scandal in which Christie's aides shut down traffic lanes to the George Washington Bridge, creating epic gridlock, as political retribution against a local Democratic mayor. "It's not only what hap- pened, but what he did as a leader that made the people who work for him act that way. I didn't like it," Kochman said. "Of course, in New Hampshire we would have just knocked down the barriers and driven right through." (Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org)--The Israeli For- eign Ministry slammed CBS News on Wednesday over its report on a terrorist attack near Damascus Gate in Jerusa- lem, which carried a headline reading, "3 Palestinians killed as daily violence grinds on." The Palestinians identified in the headline were actually the terrorists who carried out the attack, which killed 19-year- old Israeli Border Police officer Hadar Cohen. Foreign Ministry spokes- man Emmanuel Nahshon blasted the media outlet's "gall" for focusing solely on the deaths of the Palestinians, and ignoring the fact that they were terrorists. This was "unprecedented chutzpah, a slanted and false headline," Nahshon said. After the Foreign Ministry, as well as Israel's National Information Directorate at the Prime Minister's Office and Government Press Office, all contacted CBS, the headline was changed to "Israeli police kill 3 alleged Palestinian at- The original CBS headline on the Palestinian terror attack near Jerusalem's Damascus Gate on Wednesday. rackers." It was later changed again, to "Palestinians kill Israeli officer, wound another before being killed." Government Press Office Director Nitzan Chert said, "This will not be tolerated. This time we will consider revoking the press credentials from reporters and editors who neglect to do their job, and present readers with headlines that have nothing to do with reality." nm EN WITH II If you had a hysterectomy or fibroid removal and were later diagnosed with Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) or other form of pelvic cancer, contact us. You may be entitled to compensation. ~n Call Wagstaff CartmeU Law Firm 855.475.4375 Advertisement in By Sean Savage JNS .org The Indiana House of Representatives passed new legislation that targets busi- nesses or other entities engag- ing in the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, marking the latest victory in the fight against BDS on the U.S. state level. House Bill 1378, which was introduced by Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma and passed unanimously by the legislature on Jan. 25, requires "the public retirement system to divest from businesses that engage in action or inaction to boycott, divest from, or sanc- tion Israel." The bill's next stop is the Indiana Senate, followed by the governor's desk. "Speaker Bosma's leader- ship role in support of Israel places Indiana at the forefront of states taking a strong po- sition in favor of the United States' closest ally," Elliot Bartky, president of the Jew- ish Affairs Committee of Indiana (JAACI), which was at the forefront of lobbying efforts for the new measure as well as different anti-BDS state legislation last year, told JNS.org. The latest legislation is the third pro-Israel measure sponsored by Bosma since 2011. Last year, Bosma intro- duced a resolution that con- demned the BDS movement; measure is the move was inspired by an earlier anti-BDS resolution passed by Tennessee's state legislature. Bosma's 2015 resolution, which eventually was ap- proved by the Indiana Senate and signed by Governor Mike Pence, expressed "opposi- tion to the anti-Jewish and anti-Israel" BDS movement, adding that the global spread of anti-Jewish speech andvio- lence "represents an attack, not only on Jews, but on the fundamental principles of the United States." Following in the footsteps of Tennessee and Indiana, three other states--New York, Pennsylvania, and Florida--last year passed similar legislation condemn- ing BDS, while Illinois went even further by passing a bill that prohibits state pension funds from including in their portfolios companies that par- ticipate in the BDS movement. Early this year, a California state legislator introduced a bill to ensure that California doesn't contract with busi- nesses that engage in boycotts based on race, color, religion, gender, or nationality. The Florida Senate, meanwhile, recently passed a resolution that requires a state board to identify all publicly funded companies that are boycot- ting Israel or are engaged in a boycott of Israel. JAACI's Bartky noted the importance of the Indiana bill at a time when anti-Jewish behavior is rising locally, na- tionally, and internationally. "In Indiana, there is a growing movement on uni- versity and college campuses to demonize Jews and Israel," Bartky told JNS.org. According to Bartky, public funds have been used to spon- sor anti-Jewish and anti-Israel programs on local Indiana campuses, such as Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). Bartky's group tried to get the uni- versity's administration to distance itself from an anti- Israel speaker, Rima Najjar Merriman, who presented at IUPUI in a talk dubbed "Why Boycotting Israeli Universities is the Right Thing To Do," but the administration did not follow through. At the same time, pro-Israel speakers were verbally at- tacked on the campus. Allon Friedman, vice president of JAACI and a faculty member at the Indiana University School of Medicine on the IUPUI campus, was called a "Jew- ish Zionist" on Merriman's Facebook page and was told by the university administra- tion that free speech rules allowed anti-Semitic speech on campus. FriedmantoldJNS.orgthat he hopes the anti-BDS bill will be followed by more moves to put an end to anti-Semitic incitement at Indiana schools and elsewhere.