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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Report: Israeli security officials met secretly with Trump security advisers

JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israeli security officials reportedly met in secret with senior security advisers to U.S. President Donald Trump to co-ordinate policy between Israel and the Trump administration.

The meeting took place two weeks ago, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported Sunday, citing an unnamed senior Israeli official in Jerusalem. The Prime Minister’s Office confirmed to Haaretz that the meeting took place, but did not divulge what was discussed. [Read more…]

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Trump administration defends Holocaust statement omitting Jews as ‘inclusive’

(JTA) – U.S. President Donald Trump’s statement commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day did not mention Jews or anti-Semitism because it was intended to be “inclusive,” Trump administration spokesperson Hope Hicks told CNN.

“Despite what the media reports, we are an incredibly inclusive group and we took into account all of those who suffered,” Hicks said Saturday, responding to criticism by the Anti-Defamation League and others of the statement issues Friday, which referred to “the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust” without singling out the Jewish victims. [Read more…]

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