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John Kerry denies he ever talked about Israeli strikes on Syria with Iranian foreign minister

(JTA) — John Kerry, an architect of the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, has adamantly denied that he discussed Israeli strikes on Iranian targets in Syria with Iran’s foreign minister.

“I can tell you that this story and these allegations are unequivocally false,” Kerry said Monday on Twitter following reports of a leaked taped conversation with Javad Zarif. “This never happened — either when I was secretary of state or...

Despite COVID restrictions, anti-Semitism barely decreased in US in 2020, ADL says

By BEN SALES

(JTA) — Despite COVID-related restrictions that kept Americans inside for significant portions of last year, the number of reported anti-Semitic incidents barely decreased in the United States in 2020, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

The number of anti-Semitic assaults fell sharply, however, and for the first time in three years, no one was killed in an antisemitic attack.

The ADL’s annual audit, published Tuesday, tallied 2,024 incidents...

After days of rockets on southern Israel, Hamas gets an ultimatum

– As part of its power struggle with Fatah, Hamas has been enabling smaller Gazan terror factions to fire rockets at Israeli border communities since Friday.

Since April 23, the smaller armed groups have fired 41 projectiles at southern Israel with three launched on Sunday night at Sderot and intercepted by the Iron Dome air-defense battery.

Programmed to stop only those rockets heading to built-up areas, Iron Dome...

Stray bullet kills Jewish reporter for NPR affiliate in Kansas City

(JTA) — Aviva Okeson-Haberman had come home after apartment hunting in Lawrence, Kansas, where the reporter for the Kansas City NPR affiliate was about to start a new job covering social services and criminal justice.

On Friday, Okeson-Haberman was hit by a stray bullet that entered her first-floor apartment in Kansas City’s Santa Fe neighborhood. The Jewish journalist was found unconscious and rushed to a hospital, where she was placed...

Barricades preventing Palestinian gathering removed in Jerusalem following weeks of protests

(JTA) — The Israel Police have acquiesced to the demands of Palestinian protesters who called for the removal of barricades that prevented gathering during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

On Sunday, police removed the barriers, which blocked crowds of Palestinians from gathering at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem’s Old City at night, a Ramadan tradition, according to Haaretz.

Palestinians had protested the barriers for about two weeks, clashing with police....

Windows broken at 4 synagogues in Bronx Jewish neighborhood

NEW YORK (JTA) — Four synagogues in the New York City neighborhood of Riverdale were vandalized as rocks were hurled through their windows and glass doors.

The vandalism in the Bronx neighborhood, which has a large Jewish population, occurred overnight on Saturday. The vandalized synagogues are the Riverdale Jewish Center, Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel of Riverdale, Young Israel of Riverdale and Chabad of Riverdale.

No suspect has been arrested, according...

In protest rallies, thousands of Jews in France and beyond demand ‘justice for Sarah Halimi’

By CNAAN LIPHSHIZ

PARIS (JTA) — Thousands of protesters, many of them Jewish, gathered in the French capital to protest the judiciary’s decision not to try a man who killed his Jewish neighbor while shouting about Allah.

Under the banner of “Justice for Sarah Halimi,” the rally Sunday at Trocadero Square overlooking the Eiffel Tower reflected the widespread indignation of many French Jews at the April 14 ruling by their...

Rocket-fire into Israel continues for a second day amid Jerusalem clashes

– Gaza-based terrorists fired multiple projectiles at Israel on Saturday, a day after launching a 36-rocket barrage at the Jewish state in the worst flareup in months.

Rockets fired at Sderot and Kibbutz Nirim in southern Israel triggered sirens, sending residents scrambling for bomb shelters. Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system intercepted the rocket headed for Sderot, while the second rocket landed in an open area near the...

Quebec court upholds law banning yarmulkes and other religious symbols in the workplace

By DAVID LAZARUS

MONTREAL (JTA) — A top Quebec court mostly upheld a provincial law banning Jews and other religious minorities who work in public from wearing religious symbols such as yarmulkes, crucifixes and hijabs in their places of employ.

The Quebec Superior Court ruled Tuesday that Bill 21 — also known as the “secularism” or “laicity” law — does not abrogate Canadian human rights charters. At the same time,...

Joe Lieberman is lobbying Republicans to make DC a state

By RON KAMPEAS

(JTA) — Democrats who hope to make Washington, D.C., a state have tapped Joe Lieberman, known for his cross-party outreach, to make the case to skeptical Republicans.

Forbes reported Wednesday that Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat who is spearheading the bid in the Senate now that it has passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, has picked Lieberman to make the sale.

Lieberman, whose last acts...