Israel and Russia only countries to view Trump more favourably than Obama, poll shows

President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an official welcoming ceremony on the president’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at an official welcoming ceremony on the president’s arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv, May 22, 2017. (Ilia Yefimovich/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Israel and Russia were the only two countries to have a more favourable view of U.S. President Donald Trump than his predecessor, Barack Obama, at the end of his time in office, a survey found.

The annual survey by the Pew Research Center on America’s image abroad also found that some 81 per cent of Israelis have a positive view of the United States under Trump, compared with a median of 58 per cent, according to the results released Tuesday. [Read more…]

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Jewish groups decry House approval of Republican health care bill

(JTA) – Jewish groups criticized the passage of a health care bill by the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal and replace major parts of the Affordable Care Act.

The bill, backed by Republicans and U.S. President Donald Trump, passed Thursday in a 217-213 vote almost entirely along party lines. The measure, which is now headed for the Senate, would nix tax penalties for those without health insurance and decrease state programs to insure low-income Americans expanded by president Barack Obama. [Read more…]

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Israeli minister says Syria strike repositions America as regional leader

(JTA) – Adding to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s praise for the U.S. missile strikes on a Syrian army base, a senior Israeli Cabinet minister said it “restored America’s regional leadership in a big way.”

Yisrael Katz, the intelligence minister and a member of the Cabinet’s defense forum, spoke Friday with Army Radio about the U.S. strike the previous night in which dozens of guided missiles were launched at an army base of forces loyal to President Bashar Assad. Earlier this week, his military was accused of using chemical weapons in attacking rebel-held areas. [Read more…]

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AIPAC paid $60,000 to group that peddles anti-Muslim conspiracy theories

WASHINGTON (JTA) – An American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) affiliate paid $60,000 during its campaign to thwart the Iran nuclear deal to a group that engages in anti-Muslim extremism.

Citizens for a Nuclear Free Iran, which was launched in the summer of 2015 to rally opposition to the Iran deal, paid the money to the Center for Security Policy, according to a report Wednesday by LobeLog, a Middle East policy news and analysis site. [Read more…]

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Mike Pence to keynote AIPAC conference

WASHINGTON (JTA) – U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence and a bipartisan slate of top members of Congress are scheduled to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC)’s upcoming annual conference.

An AIPAC official confirmed to JTA that Pence will keynote the conference scheduled for March 26-28 in Washington, D.C. [Read more…]

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