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  • Open Letter, re: Jason Huf's Decision on US Senate Candidacy (2018)

    Starting last year, I gave serious consideration to entering the 2018 US Senate race in New Jersey. Our state needs transportation reformation beyond merely fixing flaws in already existing roads; a commitment to rebuilding our military - including finalizing the expansion of the McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Joint Base (in concert with the reformation of our state's transportation infrastructure); and, well-informed, thoughtful representation on Foreign Policy & Trade (ala former Senator Bradley).

    The Middle East, in particular, continues to warrant our attention with an increasingly complex series of issues that affect our interests there.

    As someone who has worked and lived in the Middle East for years, and having seen it from a commercial and legal perspective, I believe that I would bring some extraordinary and rather useful qualities to the table.
    I am confident that my knowledge of international commercial banking and energy matters, and of the cultures of the Gulf Arab states, would be a tremendous asset for the people of the Garden State and the United States at this point in our history.

    However, within certain circles of the democrat party, there has been a concerted and largely successful effort to make support for Israel (or, the withholding of such support for our ally) a purely partisan issue, with a uniformly anti-Israel posture under which the entire democrat party must conform. Traditionally, no matter one's position on the subject, the United States' relationship with the State of Israel has been - and, must remain - a vital issue of Foreign Policy and National Security for all Americans of conscience, irrespective of party affiliation. Positions in debates over issues touching, concerning and/ or impacted by this alliance have, and should continue to, cut across party lines.

    That is why I have decided against running and, as a life-long registered republican, am supporting the reelection of Senator Robert Menendez.

    Senator Menendez has been a sincere and consistent supporter of Israel and, I believe, paid a heavy price for refusing to be silent about his principled opposition to the Obama Administration's Iranian Nuclear Deal as the senior democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. His continued presence in the Senate as a senior member of the democrat's caucus makes it less likely that some will complete their task of enforcing a uniform Anti-Israel posture throughout the democrat party. Thus, transforming being Pro-Israel or Anti-Israel into merely another knee-jerk partisan issue rather than one requiring serious thought will be more difficult to accomplish for radical, determined, well-funded, anti-western leftists currently driving the direction the democrat party.

    Although I disagree with Senator Menendez on nearly every domestic policy issue, I feel so strongly about the necessity of bipartisan support for Israel that I intend to cast my vote for him rather than run against him.

    With Iran in the ascendancy in the Middle East region, sweeping reform in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia & rapprochement between the Sunni Arab states and Israel, Bob Menendez is the more necessary than ever Bradley-esque Senator I alluded to earlier. We need more democrats like him in Washington, not less, and his presence in the "Upper House" is fundamentally more important to our state and our country than adding another number to the GOP's vote total stored in the back-benches.

    Some people run for office just to make a point on a specific issue. I hope to make an important policy statement by not running. I may well run for federal office at some future point. In the meantime, I feel I may better serve the public by continuing my multinational, reform-minded legal practice. 

    Jason Huf, New Jersey, US Senate, Middle East, Foreign Policy, Law, Legal, Attorney, Lawyer, International

     - Jason Huf
    Tuesday, March 13, 2018
    New York, NY

  • N. Mandela and How the "Soprano State" Doesn't Work in Africa, Either

    On the evening of September 22, 2016, Mr. Huf attended an event featuring Ndaba Mandela, Chairman & Co-Founder of the "Africa Rising" Foundation, and grandson of late South African President Nelson Mandela.  Mr. Mandela was in New York during the Convening of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly and spoke at the New York City Bar Association on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) vis-a-vis African states, particularly Goal # 16 (concerning Good Governance, Anti-Corruption and Rule of Law).

    Ndaba Mandela, Africa Rising Foundation & R. Jason Huf, Huf International (JHI, pc)
    (Left to Right: Mr. Ndaba Mandela, Chairman & Co-Founder of the "Africa Rising" Foundation; and, Jason Huf)

    Mr. Huf grew up in New Jersey, and has lived there for roughly half the sum total of his life thus far.  He knows, first-hand, the economically and socially corrosive effects of political corruption, and the crippling effect a government that serves only to facilitate corruption can have on a state and the people who live in such a place.

    That said, Mr. Huf limited himself to listening.  After all, while lawyers may be at the bottom rung of the ladder among the governing class, lawyers are still part of the governing class.  Mr. Huf thought it best to listen to - and learn from - someone who speaks for some of the people of the developing world who have been poorly served (and, often, downright exploited and oppressed) by those who govern their countries:  "Far be it from me to tell him what he should want.  He knows what he wants!", Mr. Huf later said of his interraction with Mr. Mandela.

    More judges, better educational opportunities, and the like were offered up as being helpful tools in pursuit of SDG # 16.  But, Mr. Mandela most strongly asserted that it was up to the people themselves, not judges appointed by corrupt dictators and oligarchs, to assert themselves and demand access to the clean water, medical treatment and other resources which are rightfully theirs.

    He has a point - who would simply sit there watching their child die of a perfectly preventable disease and patiently wait for a UN team to swing by and, after some years, convince the multi-millionare colonel/ President of their otherwise poor country to suddenly have a change of heart and appoint honest judges and fly in doctors, food, agriculture & water treatment specialists instead of buying that third villa in Switzerland?

    And, he makes that point with evident sincerity and passion, as one might expect given the heavy legacy he inherits from his iconic grandfather.  The SDGs are ambitious and, if only because of that ambition, useful.  But, absent people demanding responsibility for, and power over, their own futures, the progress that can be made toward the SDGs is likely somewhat limited.

    Specifically, it does not seem possible to accomplish any of the SDGs without first making serious advances on SDG # 16, given the destructive and stifling effect bad governance and political corruption consistently have on  factors necessary to achieve the other Sustainable Development Goals.  Rule of Law is, quite simply, a must for any civilization to achieve real success, whether it be Sierra Leone, Nigeria, the Republic of South Africa, or New Jersey.  And SDG # 16 is unlikely to be accomplished without the engagement of an affected population.

    Mr. Huf expressed genuine pleasure over meeting Mr. Mandela and looks forward to similar opportunities as he tracks the progress of the SDGs at the UN as Representative (Observer) of a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), particularly as and when such may impact the "corporate responsibilities" of companies doing business internationally.

    The evening with Mr. Mandela was organized by the New York City Bar Association's UN Committee, which invited the New York County Lawyers' Association's (NYCLA) Foreign & International Law Committee to co-sponsor the event.  As Co-Chairman of NYCLA's Foreign & International Law Committee, Mr. Huf hopes the success of this event provides the basis for establishing a model of cooperation between committees of different bar associations on synergetic issues of importance to the legal community and society more broadly.