Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Consul General of Israel spoke at Main Line Reform Temple

  The Consul General of Israel to the Mid-Atlantic Region, Mr. Yaron Sideman spoke to about 100 interested people at Main Line Reform Temple in Wynnewood, on Sunday morning, November 3rd.  He delivered his opinions on Middle East problems, including Syria and Iran, in a straight forward, no holds barred, optimistic  manner.  Problems exist, he said, but each problem presents an opportunity.  "There are historic changes in the Middle East and an era of instability and uncertainty."  As examples, he cited the ousting of the old orders in Syria, Egypt, and Libya.  "The old orders have been thrown out and replaced with new orders that are not known or established."  The civil unrest that may or may not exist in the countries is unknown and may or may not change the dynamics of the country.

     Mr. Sideman warned not to "confuse the internal struggles with western style values and democracies that will probably not take root soon" in the conflicted countries.  Many times, he stressed that this is an evolution, not a revolution.  In the past, in order to know what was happening in Egypt, all one had to do was examine Mubarak's statements and actions.  That is no longer possible.  In Syria, there is a "breakdown to tribal and ethnic leaders and Assad is the current war lord."

     Tensions in the Middle East have existed forever, but now the tug of war for dominance is between Sunni's and Shiites.

     The Israeli/Palestinian conflict has been shattered as the cause of Middle East turmoil.  "The 18,000 centrifuges in Iran are not related to  that conflict."  The nuclear Iranian threat to destroy Israel  has morphed into a terrorist threat to harm the whole world and disrupt maritime commerce in the Eastern Mediterranean.  "The soccer stadiums in Iran are filled with people who go to see the public hangings."  A military nuclear Iran will open nuclear competition throughout the world and the weapons do not have to be air born; they can be shipped on the oceans and sea worldwide."

     Mr. Sideman stressed the importance of "sitting it out and preparing for tough compromises."  Of course, he acknowledged that many of the compromises would be covert and there are no clear cut differences between "friends" and "enemies."  Instead, he used the term "frienemies."

     It appears that severe sanctions on Iran, with its military nuclear capability, may be working to tone down the radical regimes's ambitions to annihilate the "Great Satan," the US, and Mr. Sideman urged the US to keep up the international pressure.

     Mr. Sideman is a graduate of the Israel National Defense College. He served in his most recent position at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as Director of Congressional Affairs at the North America Division, where he was responsible for supervising and directing Israel's relations to the U.S Congress. Prior to those posts, Mr. Sideman served as Head of the North American desk at the Diaspora and Interreligious Affairs Bureau where he was, among other responsibilities, a liaison of the Foreign Ministry to many American Jewish organizations. Mr. Sideman holds a Master's Degree in Political Science from Haifa University and a B.A. Degree in Psychology and Philosophy from Tel Aviv University.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Defund City Avenue Special Services District

Money wasted - City Avenue Special Services District

     We taxpayers were sold a "bill of goods" when Joe Manko, Lita Cohen, and others raved about the City Avenue Special Services District and how it would, among other things, cut down crime and beautify our neighborhoods.
     Cut down crime?!  All one has to do is read the notices from the police and the township and one does not need to be brilliant to detect the panic in their voices.  Crime against homeowners and car owners is increasing.  Read the statistics.  And, even worse, the law enforcers are blaming the victims.  Warnings are issued to lock your doors and windows in your houses, and lock your doors and windows in your garages, and lock your doors and windows in your cars.  It has become the victims' fault.

     LM commissioners should decide, immediately, to defund the City Avenue Special Services District, and spend the money where it can be used to much better advantage - hire more police!!!

     I'm sure you have seen the City Avenue Special Services District bicycle riders in their red jackets and helmets on the streets.  On occasion, I have asked them what they do.  Their answers - we check in on the businesses (there is a sign in sheet in all the stores) and give people directions.  What a waste!!!

     Now, let's talk about beautification - hahahaha.  We had perfectly good street lights that worked.  Now we have different lights that don't work - at least some of them don't work.  And, to get those lights, Miller Brothers electric received the contract to dig up the streets, and put in the new lights.  In the process, they caused so much vibration to our house, that they caused a crack in our kitchen.  George Manos and big shots from Miller brothers were in our house and felt the vibrations and saw the damage and they did nothing.  The cost of repairing the damaged wall fell to us.  And, of course, we fixed it.  Even our insurance company said that in the state of Pennsylvania, our insurance does not cover us for damage caused by a contractor hired by a municipality.

     And, one more thing, the light in front of our house is out.  And has been out.  And has not been fixed yet.