Saturday, October 31st 2020   |

National

New Congress will be missing longtime Israel supporters

By RON KAMPEAS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — When the new Congress convenes in January, it will be missing several longtime pillars of support for Israel on Capitol Hill. Gone from the House of Representatives will be veteran Jewish Reps. Howard Berman (D-CA), the ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee; Gary Ackerman (D-NY), the ranking member on the committee’s Middle East and South Asia Subcommittee; and Steve Rothman (D-NJ), a...

Congressional letter urges Obama to shut PLO office

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Incoming and outgoing leaders of the House Foreign Affairs Committee are circulating a letter calling on President Obama to close the Washington office of the PLO. Representatives Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Howard Berman (D-CA), Edward Royce (R-CA) and Eliot Engel (D-NY)  are circulating the letter that says the lawmakers are “deeply disappointed and upset that the Palestinian leadership rebuffed the entreaties of your Administration and the Congress” by...

Ross, Abrams and Jeffrey project strike against Iran by 2014

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Three former high-ranking U.S. foreign policy advisers agree that if Iran does not halt its suspected nuclear weapons program by the end of 2013, the United States or Israel will act militarily. Dennis Ross, until a year ago President Obama’s top Iran policy adviser, and Elliott Abrams, a former deputy national security adviser to President George W. Bush, spoke at an event in their honor held Dec. 6...

Nechemya Weberman convicted on 59 counts of sexual abuse

NEW YORK (JTA) — Nechemya Weberman, a member of the Satmar Chasidic community in Brooklyn who practiced therapy without a license, was found guilty on 59 counts of sexual abuse. Weberman, 54, was convicted Monday by a New York State Supreme Court jury for encounters he had with a female patient when she was between the ages of 12 and 15. He was charged initially on 88 counts, but the number...

Four Jewish Dems retain or achieve top committee slots

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Four Jewish Democrats kept or earned top slots on U.S. House of Representatives committees. Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) preserved his top slot on the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, as did Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) on the Energy Committee, after the caucus’ standing committee announced its selections on Tuesday.

Rep. Nita Lowey (D-N.Y.) ascended to the top slot on the Appropriations Committee and Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.)...

Senate amendment penalizing Palestinians for U.N. status does not pass

WASHINGTON (JTA) — An amendment that would have penalized Palestinians for seeking non-member state status at the United Nations was not included in a defense bill that was passed by the U.S. Senate. The National Defense Authorization Act, which was passed late Tuesday, did not include among its amendments one that would cut funding to the Palestinians should they use their upgraded U.N. status to seek charges against Israel in...

Emanuel blasts Netanyahu for ‘betraying’ Obama

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rahm Emanuel said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu betrayed the Obama administration by announcing a new settlement expansion and the cutoff of tax transfers to the Palestinian Authority. Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and President Obama’s chief of staff in his first term, delivered the assessment over the weekend at the Saban Forum, an off-the-record Washington event.

Emanuel’s comments were made public by another participant, former Israeli...

Obama administration pledges more funding for Iron Dome

ARLINGTON, VA. (JTA) — The Obama administration will seek additional funding for Israel’s Iron Dome anti-missile program in the wake of its successes in the most recent Israel-Hamas war. “This spring, we announced that we would provide $70 million in fiscal 2012 on top of the $205 million previously appropriated to meet Israel’s needs for that fiscal year,” Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said at a Pentagon news conference Nov. 29...

JFNA ramping up cybersecurity training

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The security arm of the Jewish federations network is intensifying training to resist cyber attacks in the wake of a wave of such attacks on synagogue websites. “In the most recent round of cyber-attacks against American Jewish websites on November 23rd, upwards of fifty (50) synagogue websites were hacked and linked to anti-Semitic websites,” said a memo distributed last week by Paul Goldenberg, the director of the...

Clinton raps Palestinians for missed opportunities, Israelis for lack of empathy

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Palestinians have missed multiple opportunities for peacemaking, but the Israelis have shown a lack of empathy, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said. “I think Israelis have good grounds to be suspicious” of Palestinians as a result of the stalled peace process, Clinton said last Friday at an event held in her honor in Washington by the Saban Forum, an annual assembly of U.S. and Israeli...