U.S. Holocaust museum pulls back study of Obama’s Syria policy in wake of criticism

(JTA) – The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum withdrew from its website a study that critics said absolved the Obama administration of criticism that it did too little to prevent genocide in Syria.

The Tablet online magazine, which obtained portions of the study, reported Tuesday that it was met with “shock and harsh criticism by prominent Jewish communal leaders and thinkers.” [Read more…]

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Opinion: 11 former White House Jewish liaisons say Trump doesn’t understand anti-Semitism

President Donald Trump shown before making a statement on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 14, 2017. (Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

By Matt Nosanchuk, Noam Neusner, Jarrod Bernstein, Adam Goldman, Jay S. Zeidman, Scott Arogeti, Deborah Mohile Goldberg, Jay K. Footlik, Jeanne Ellinport, Amy Zisook, and Marshall J. Breger

President Donald Trump shown before making a statement on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 14, 2017. (Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump shown before making a statement on the violence in Charlottesville, Va., Aug. 14, 2017. (Chris Kleponis-Pool/Getty Images)

(JTA) – As Jewish liaisons to four different U.S. presidents, we had the responsibility inside the White House to give voice to the perspectives and priorities of the American Jewish community. While our community may not be unified in matters of policy and politics, our spiritual practice, cultural traditions and history have instilled in American Jews a shared commitment to protecting those targeted by bigots, racists and others spewing hate and division.

The presidents we served repeatedly used their bully pulpit to condemn hatred and bigotry when it appeared, whether in America or overseas. A video of president Ronald Reagan’s speech at the 1981 NAACP Convention following the lynching of an African-American man in Alabama has gone viral in recent days. President Bill Clinton led the nation’s mourning following the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, and we all vividly recall president George W. Bush’s eloquent remarks standing on the rubble of the World Trade Center in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 and president Barack Obama’s eulogy and rendition of “Amazing Grace” following the murder of nine African-American worshippers at a historically African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina.

President Donald Trump, in his reaction to the violence in Charlottesville and to other examples of anti-Semitism, shows that he neither understands his responsibilities nor the nature of the ancient hatred of anti-Semitism and other forms of hate. [Read more…]

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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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