Donald Trump with his daughter, Ivanka (Photo: Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com)
President Donald Trump spoke out directly against anti-Semitism for the first time on Tuesday, telling MSNBC that the worsening phenomenon is “horrible” and vowing that “it’s got to stop.”
His condemnation, which Jewish and rights groups have been urging him to make for months, followed a White House statement strongly denouncing violence against religious institutions in response to the wave of recurring bomb threats against Jewish community centers (JCCs) throughout the country.
The statement, originating from Press Secretary Sean Spicer, declared that “hate-motivated violence” is “unacceptable.” It came in reply to a query from reporter Peter Alexander, who requested a comment after 11 JCCs were targeted with the hoax threat earlier in the day.
Tuesday’s threats marked the fourth such wave of menacing phone calls in recent weeks.
Alexander’s request followed an incident at last Thursday’s press conference in which an Orthodox reporter drew the president’s attention to the dozens of bomb threats made against Jewish centers in the last month and asked for the administration’s response.
“What we are concerned about and what we haven’t really heard being addressed is an uptick in anti-Semitism and how the government is planning to take care of it,” said the reporter, Josh Turx, from the Jewish publication Ami Magazine. “There’s been a report out that 48 bomb threats have been made against Jewish centers all across the country in the last couple of weeks.”
Though Turx had been careful to precede his question with a reassurance that he hadn’t heard anyone in the Jewish community accuse Trump of being an anti-Semite, the president seemed to take the question as just that. He responded by calling Turx dishonest and the question “insulting.”
Turx later defended Trump’s response, but organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the American Jewish Committee scolded Trump’s dismissal of the reporter and the question.
Perhaps in atonement, the administration was quick to respond to another journalist’s request for comment on the same subject.
While the statement did not directly address the bomb threats against Jewish establishments – at least 48 different JCCs in 27 states have received nearly 60 threats in the last month – it was clearly implied that the incidents were included in the general condemnation.
Also on Tuesday, First Daughter Ivanka Trump, who is Orthodox, spoke out against the incidents in a tweet which called for “protecting houses of worship and religious centers.”
She added a #JCC hashtag to her tweet.
In another anti-Semitic incident, reported on Monday, over 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, Missouri were vandalized and damaged.
Read more at https://www.breakingisraelnews.com/83990/ivanka-trump-white-house-speak-jcc-bomb-threats/#JrwDmTskPcSMF1l1.99
A Sa’ar 4.5-class Corvette of the Israeli Navy fires its canons during a naval exercise off the coast of Israel.
Israel’s Defense Ministry on Sunday announced a series of deals for the purchase of combat systems from local defense industries in the amount of $420 million by the end of this year. This is part of a project to acquire warships whose mission would to protect natural gas platforms within Israel’s “economic waters” in the Mediterranean against military threats.
An Israeli soldier training in Krav Maga.
Several dozen members of the Indian military are currently learning how to protect themselves using the Israeli martial art of Krav Maga, India Today reported this weekend.
“I brought Krav Maga to India in year 2002 after intensive training in Israel,” Vikram Kapoor — the head instructor at the International Krav Maga Federation — was quoted as saying. “This is the only self-defense technique that is being evolved every moment and that is why it is the best.”
Culminating a three-year process, delegates at the Mennonite Church USA assembly in Orlando on Thursday adopted a resolution titled “Seeking Peace in Israel and Palestine,” with approximately 98 percent voting in favor. The resolution calls on members to “avoid purchase of products associated with the occupation or produced in settlements in occupied territories.” It also establishes a process for the church to review its investments “for the purpose of withdrawing investments from companies that are profiting from the occupation.”
Rabbi Steven Wernick says Netanyahu recruited progressive Jews to find a compromise for the holy site; now that the PM has reneged, world Jewry won’t be silent
The fight for pluralistic prayer at the Western Wall is a battle already won by Jewry’s Conservative movement. For some 20 years, Conservative Jews have inhabited a spiritual home at Jerusalem’s contentious holy site, which they won through a series of Supreme Court cases — in a section allocated to the Davidson Archaeological
Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. (Photo credit: hebron.com)
In a secret ballot held at the World Heritage Committee’s 41st annual summit in Krakow Poland, on Friday, UNESCO voted twelve to three in favor declaring the Holy City of Hebron and the Cave of the Patriarchs “Palestinian world heritage sites”.
The resolution described a Muslim history of the city while blatantly ignoring the Biblical narrative describing 3,000 years of Jewish connection to the site. Six countries abstained from the controversial vote which, at the request of Poland, Croatia, and Jamaica, was a secret ballot; a first for such a vote.
During last month’s 2017 Chicago Dyke March, the true face of “inclusion” among “progressives” finally surfaced. According to the Chicago based newspaper Windy City Times, the march proceeded calmly with people “of all races, genders and gender identities” attending, until “the Dyke March Collective ejected three people carrying Jewish Pride flags (a rainbow flag with a Star of David in the center).”
Something is terribly broken in the relationship between American and Israeli Jews. I say this as an American Jew who has lived in Israel for almost half a century. But if anyone thinks this started with Women of the Wall or PM Netanyahu’s recent – and I believe unfortunate – backtracking on the agreement over egalitarian prayer space at the Kotel, he is suffering from selective memory, if not total denial.
gentleman from times gone by. He was soft-spoken, courtly, and wore his pants hoisted high and held up by suspenders; clearly, a European who had personally endured horrors in the last century.
Indeed, he had personally survived the Holocaust in Poland. Therefore, I could not immediately understand why he now attends a very left-wing synagogue—but, totally incomprehensible, was his unexpected and rather passionate defense of Poland and of the Poles. He argued on their behalf as if his very life still depended upon it.
Indian prime minister Narendra Modi’s decision to visit Jerusalem but not Ramallah has prompted much comment.
The expectation of equal treatment goes back to the Oslo Accords’ signing in Sep. 1993, when the prime minister of Israel, Yitzhak Rabin, represented his government in the handshake with Yasir Arafat, the much-despised chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization. No one found it strange or inappropriate at the time but things look differently nearly a quarter century later.
Matthew Healy at the Atlantic, one of the few remaining liberal anti-censorship magazines, offers a disingenuous counterpoint to the debate over political correctness.
The attempts to silence dissenting points of view are counter-speech, according to Healy. And counter-speech is an important form of free expression.