FDNY received a call about 6:30 p.m. of a fire in a store that is part of a one-story building on Vleigh Place between 77th Road and 78th Road. The fire spread to neighboring stores located in the building on the block.
By 7:30 p.m., the row of stores were up in flames, FDNY said. Fourteen stores and businesses were destroyed.
Firefighters said they arrived within three minutes after the first flames in the first storefront, but it was already too late to save it and 13 other businesses. A common roof is to blame for the fire’s rapid spread.
“Once the fire gets into these concealed spaces up above the roof, it’s almost impossible for us to put it out. We have to worry about the safety of our firefighters,” said Chief of Department James Leonard, FDNY. See more at Yeshiva World.
An assailant believed to have been dressed in a Santa Claus costume opened fire at a crowded nightclub in Istanbul during New Year’s celebrations, killing at least 39 people and wounding 70 others—at least four in critical condition—in what the province’s governor described as a terror attack.
Gov. Vasip Sahin said the attacker, armed with a long-barreled weapon, killed a policeman and a civilian outside the club at around 1:45am Sunday before entering and firing on people partying inside. He did not say who may have carried out the attack. More at yNet.
The man with blood on his hands would be President Obama, who departed from decades of American policy under several presidents — both Republican and Democrat — and refused to veto a United Nations Security Council resolution rebuking Israel for land settlements, which the Jewish state hopes to use in a land swap to secure a lasting peace.
The president’s action, or rather lack of action, is nothing less than treachery. The man presents himself as a great friend of Israel, but his long knives cut deep in a malevolent farewell gesture of contempt for the only democracy in the Middle East. Coming from the United States, Israel’s most reliable friend for so long, this was the unkindest cut of all.
Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech on Wednesday was the second.
On January 15, stage 3 will commence in Paris. At France’s lame duck President Francois Hollande’s international conference, the foreign ministers of some fifty states are expected to adopt as their own the anti-Israel principles Kerry set forth in his speech.
The next day it will be Obama’s turn. Obama can be expected to use the occasion of Martin Luther King Jr. Day to present the Palestinian war to annihilate Israel as a natural progression from the American civil rights movement that King led fifty years ago.
Finally, sometime between January 17 and 19, Obama intends for the Security Council to reconvene and follow the gang at the Paris conference by adopting Kerry’s positions as a new Security Council resolution. That follow-on resolution may also recognize “Palestine” and grant it full membership in the UN. More at Town Hall.
When Naomi and Seth Ellis’s young sons said that they wanted lights on their house in Chandler, Ariz., like all their neighbors’ Christmas decorations, the parents knew what to tell their three Jewish boys: Yes.
One trip to Lowe’s, $100 worth of PVC pipe, nine solar-powered lights and a coat of shiny gold paint later, the Ellises had a shining 7-foot-tall Hanukkah menorah on their lawn.
But on Friday morning, the Ellises had something new to tell their boys, and they weren’t sure how to say it.
After the boys went to bed on the sixth night of Hanukkah, someone dismantled their special menorah and turned it into a giant swastika.
“They know about the Holocaust. They know about Nazis,” she said. But before Friday morning, the three children — ages 5, 7 and 9 — had never before seen a swastika, the symbol of the Nazi party that carried out the murder of 6 million Jews and of current-day hate groups.
The officers reported the vandalism as an incident of disorderly conduct and have not arrested anyone. More at The Washington Post.
US president-elect’s White House transition team has been “aggressively” pursuing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attend the inauguration ceremony in Washington, DC later this month, the New York Post reported on Sunday.
Netanyahu’s tense relationship with outgoing US President Barack Obama was exacerbated in recent weeks, after the White House publicly clashed with Israel over its West Bank policy and later declined to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning settlements.
Speaking to reporters outside his Mar-a-Lago estate on Thursday, Trump lambasted the UN for condemning Israel, saying that “horrible places, that treat people horribly, haven’t even been reprimanded” by the international body.
The pretty redhead, who was booted from the United States in 2010 for espionage, posts frequently on her social-media account, blasting out glam photos of herself in fur outfits along with politically charged statements.
Last Wednesday, she denounced “western diplomats” while addressing the recent assassination of Russia’s ambassador to Turkey at an Ankara art exhibit.
“Most of the western diplomats are currently expressing their condolences to Russia over the death of our ambassador in Turkey,” she wrote in the post to her more than 27,000 followers.
“In which case, I would really like to ask them: Weren’t you the ones accusing our country of made-up war crimes in Syria? Weren’t you the ones accusing us of murdering women and children?” More at The New York Post.
There have been ugly interregnums before; transitions from one presidential administration to the next defined not by cordiality and a transcendental sense of patriotic purpose but bitterness and spite. Few modern transitionary periods have looked as ugly, however, as this present transition has from the start. Save the occasional public niceties, the outgoing Obama administration and the incoming Trump administration are engaged not in a ceremonial passing of the baton but in conflict.
For the most part, however, transitions are typified by unfailing regard from the outgoing executive for the preferences of the new president, and an incoming administration that seeks to convey a sense of deference toward the current president. No one benefited from this tradition more than Barack Obama, who successfully lobbied the outgoing George W. Bush administration to cede control of the allocation of TARP funding in 2009. That kind of esteem and admiration has not characterized the process as Donald Trump prepares to take over for Barack Obama.
The clear rancor between the current administration and its successor was evident on the faces of the West Wing staffers who gathered behind the president in the Rose Garden. Captured in an iconic photograph, the scowling, fearful, shocked Obama administration members projected spleen. It was a sentiment that would only be confirmed in anonymous quotes and leaks out of the outgoing administration regarding the Trump Team’s utter confusion. More at Commentary.
If one looks only at the main talking points, there was nothing new in yesterday’s speech by Secretary of State John Kerry about the Middle East peace process. Kerry’s lengthy remarks were in that respect a rerun of a similar speech given by President Bill Clinton at the end of his administration in 2000. Kerry believes that a two-state solution is the only way to end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians and the parameters he laid out for such a deal are no different that those of Clinton. What was different was the angry, self-righteous tone he adopted toward Israel in which he made clear that the lion’s share of the blame for the failure of peace negotiations belongs to the Netanyahu government and the mere lip service he gave to the notion that the Palestinians have any responsibility for what has happened.
The contradictions and distortions in Kerry’s narrative of events aren’t the most remarkable aspect of his parting shot at Israel. Rather, it is the way he links his frustration, his failed efforts, and his delusions about the Palestinians to Israel’s legitimacy and its future. In Kerry’s view, Israel must not merely abandon its rights and any leverage it might have in advance of future talks but it must also be branded a rogue state if it fails to obey his orders. Friendship on these terms is something that the overwhelming majority of Americans who care deeply about the Jewish state must reject. Read more at Commentary.