By Cully Stimson and Henry Featherston ~
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., recently offered another unusual idea on Twitter: Abolish prisons.
Seriously. The freshman congresswoman wants Congress to pass a law abolishing all prisons. Setting aside the fact that Congress has no authority to require states to abolish prisons, let’s take a look at her idea.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D.-N.Y., should use her influence to push for sensible ideas, not extreme notions of abolishing all prisons and jails. Pictured: Ocasio-Cortez answers questions from reporters Sept. 24 while entering a House Democrat caucus meeting at the Capitol. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Based on Justice Department numbers, abolishing prisons would set free 182,000 murderers, 164,000 rapists and sex offenders, 168,000 robbers, and other violent felons in state prison.
Ocasio-Cortez might better lead her party to put more rapists in jail by providing federal funds to help states eliminate the backlog of…
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(Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin speaking to the Israeli parliament, the Knesset advocating acceptance of the Camp David accords, March 20, 1979. Future Israeli Prime Minister, Yitzchak Shamir is seated to his right.)
In exploring the creation of the state of Israel over the last 67 years the dominant figure that emerges is David Ben-Gurion. The head of the Jewish Agency before and after World War II, Ben-Gurion guided the nascent Israeli state and dominated its politics for decades. However, another transformative figure emerged during the same time period that many outside Israel seem to avoid giving him his due, Menachem Begin. Whether speaking about Begin’s leadership of the Irgun and the pressure he placed on the British to relinquish its Palestinian mandate; his political leadership that brought about his election to the Prime Minister’s office in 1977 which fundamentally realigned Israeli politics to this day; or his evolution as…
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A STATE AT ANY COST: THE LIFE OF DAVID BEN-GURION is an apt title for Israeli journalist and historian Tom Segev’s new biography of Israel’s first Prime Minister. Segev is a prolific writer who is the author of seven books ranging from a biography of Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal; THE SEVENTH MILLION; 1967: ISRAEL, THE WAR AND THE YEAR THAT TRANSFORMED THE MIDDLE EAST; and ONE PALESTINE, COMPLETE. Segev’s books reflect impeccable research that includes archival work, interviews, and a strong command of secondary materials in addition to examining previously unavailable materials. This approach dominates all of his previous books as well as his newest effort. For those familiar with Ben-Gurion’s life and decision making it is clear that the creation of an Israeli state was paramount, even to the point of sacrificing refugees from Europe during and after the Holocaust or turning against other leaders and…
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