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  • GOP-Trump joint finance team includes 5 Republican Jewish donors

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Donald Trump and the Republican National Committee announced a fund-raising team that includes five current or former Republican Jewish Coalition board members. Of 20 members of the Victory Leadership Team announced Tuesday, five are or have been on the RJC board: Mel Sembler, a Florida developer and former RJC chairman who was…

  • Warmonger or humanitarian? Getting to know Avigdor Liberman, Bibi’s enigmatic pick for defense minister

    Yes, there’s the Avigdor Liberman who wants to behead bad guys, mandate loyalty oaths and pay Arabs to leave the country — the one who makes fun of the disabled and who dodged a fraud charge. But Israel’s onetime foreign minister and maybe-next defense minister is not quite the cartoon he’s made out to be –…

  • Pro-Israel heavyweights press hard for 2 states

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — In a rare and sharp split with Israeli government policy, a group of Jewish community leaders wants to get a proposal for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the next president’s desk. Two complementary U.S. and Israeli working papers to be launched next week propose immediate actions Israel can take to…

  • Bernie Sanders picks three Israel critics to help draft Democratic platform

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Democratic Party platform drafting committee is top heavy with veterans of political battles over Israel — some friendly, some critical, and including at least one major backer of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. The Democratic National Committee named the committee on Monday, a day after reports emerged that Bernie Sanders,…

  • Bernie Sanders wants Dem platform to better reflect Palestinian aspirations

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Bernie Sanders wants to make Palestinian rights more of a priority in the Democratic Party platform, according to a report. The Washington Post reported on Friday that Sanders, the Vermont Independent senator seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, wants to see changes to the platform to better reflect Palestinian aspirations for statehood. Sanders,…

  • Defense bill includes Israel assistance provisions, including anti-missile programs

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — A number of measures for Israel have been attached to a defense spending bill approved in the U.S. House of Representatives, including $600 million in missile defense cooperation. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee on Thursday welcomed the missile defense component of National Defense Authorization Act, the bill that outlines defense spending…

  • J Street’s pro-Iran deal activities biggest beneficiary of anti-nukes foundation

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — J Street was the single largest beneficiary last year of the Ploughshares Fund, a group that seeks to eliminate the world’s nuclear stockpiles, with over $575,000 in grants that funded advocacy for the Iran nuclear deal. Ploughshares’ annual report, first reported last week by the Associated Press, emphasizes the foundation’s role in…

  • Republican Jews reportedly planning Donald Trump Israel trip

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sheldon Adelson and the Republican Jewish Coalition reportedly are planning to bring Donald Trump to Israel. The Guardian over the weekend quoted what it said were sources close to the casino magnate as saying the RJC – one of Adelson’s major beneficiaries – was planning the trip at Adelson’s behest, although nothing…

  • Obama enshrines genocide prevention board with executive order

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — President Barack Obama enshrined in law a genocide prevention board with an executive order, citing what his officials said were its successes in Africa and Burma. Obama’s May 18 executive order makes legally binding the Atrocities Prevention Board created by a directive he issued in 2011 and which was welcomed by much…

  • House passes bill protecting circumcision, ritual slaughter as religious freedoms

    WASHINGTON (JTA) — A bill unanimously approved by the U.S. House of Representatives would extend religious protections to advocates of circumcision and ritual slaughter as well as atheists, addressing what its sponsors describe as an increase in religious persecution in recent years. The bill, passed Monday, would broaden the definition of “violations of religious freedom” in the International…