Trump tells Netanyahu he ‘never mentioned Israel’ in meeting with Russians

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)
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) – U.S. President Donald Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he “never mentioned Israel” in a meeting with Russian government officials in which he was alleged to have revealed highly classified information.

“Just so you understand, I never mentioned the word or the name Israel,” Trump said Monday at a photo op with Netanyahu at Jerusalem’s King David Hotel on the second leg of his first overseas trip as president. “Never mentioned it during the conversation, they’re all saying I did, so you had another story wrong. Never mentioned the word Israel.”  [Read more…]

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Israeli agent undercover in ISIS at risk due to Trump intelligence leak, ABC reports

President Donald Trump is flanked by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office of the White House, May 10, 2017. (Russia Foreign Minister Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump is flanked by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office of the White House, May 10, 2017. (Russia Foreign Minister Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(JTA) – An undercover Israeli agent inside the Islamic State has been put at risk by U.S. President Donald Trump’s disclosure of classified information to Russia, ABC News reported.

The spy had provided Israel with intelligence about a plan by Islamic State, or ISIS, to cause the crash of a passenger jet on the way to the United States, according to the report aired Tuesday evening. Israel had shared the intelligence with the United States on the condition that it not be identified as the source of the information, unnamed current and former U.S. officials told ABC. [Read more…]

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White House: Trump ‘open’ to working with Iran to end Syria war

WASHINGTON (JTA) – The Trump administration said it was open to working with Iran to end the Syria conflict.

“The United States remains open to working together with both Russia and Iran to find a solution that leads to a stable and united Syria,” Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, said Monday in opening remarks at the daily news briefing. “But in order for us to work together to bring an end to the violence in Syria, Russia and Iran need to acknowledge the atrocities of the Assad regime and use their influence to stop them.” [Read more…]

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Syria’s alleged crematorium ‘invokes worst nightmares of Nazi atrocities,’ ADL chief says

NEW YORK (JTA) – The head of the Anti-Defamation League drew parallels between Syria’s alleged use of a crematorium to dispose of bodies to actions committed by the Nazis during the Holocaust.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the group’s national director, also called on the international community, including Russia, to take action to stop the violence perpetuated by the Syrian government under the leadership of President Bashar Assad. [Read more…]

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Breaking News: Israel reportedly provided intel Trump gave to Russia

President Donald Trump is flanked by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office of the White House, May 10, 2017. (Russia Foreign Minister Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
President Donald Trump is flanked by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office of the White House, May 10, 2017. (Russia Foreign Minister Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

U.S. President Donald Trump is flanked by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, left, and Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the Oval Office of the White House, May 10, 2017. (Russia Foreign Minister Press Office/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

(JTA) – Israel was the source of the highly classified intelligence U.S. President Donald Trump disclosed to Russian officials, according to a report by the New York Times.

The Washington Post reported Monday that Trump revealed the intelligence to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Ambassador Sergey Kislyak in an Oval Office meeting last week. The intelligence concerns a terror plot by the Islamic State involving the use of laptops on aircraft. [Read more…]

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Hezbollah presence in southern Syria a big threat to Israel, U.S. Joint Chiefs chair says

(JTA) – Gen. Joseph Dunford, the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman visiting Israel, said Hezbollah’s presence in southern Syria is a major threat to Israel because it “would give Israel two fronts to deal with” should the Lebanese terrorist group attack.

The Israelis have been pressing the threat by the Lebanese Hezbollah, which Dunford said now fields a conventional force armed with missiles, rockets, artillery, armored vehicles and tanks. [Read more…]

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Genesis Prize cancels award ceremony at request of recipient Anish Kapoor over plight of Syrians

(JTA) –  The Genesis Prize will not hold its annual award ceremony at the request of 2017 recipient Anish Kapoor, a refugee advocate who deemed a celebration inappropriate in light of the worsening Syria crisis.

Kapoor, an influential artist and social activist, and the Genesis Prize Foundation “agreed that in light of the escalating war in Syria and the resulting deterioration of the refugee situation there, it would be inappropriate to hold a festive ceremony to honour Mr. Kapoor and his work on refugee issues while children are being killed with chemical and other horrible weapons on Israel’s doorstep,” according to a statement by the foundation awarding the prestigious $1 million prize. [Read more…]

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Israel acknowledges possible involvement in strike on Hezbollah arms depot near Damascus airport

(JTA) – Syria accused Israel of airstrikes on a Hezbollah-operated arms depot near the airport in Damascus, and Israel acknowledged it could have been involved.

Video of the attack early Thursday morning shows a large explosion when the depot is hit, signifying a cache of weapons or explosives. Lebanese television aired the video, according to Reuters, which cited Syrian rebel sources and other regional sources as saying Israel was responsible for the attack. [Read more…]

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Trump’s State Dept. budget gives the Palestinians a slight increase amid major cuts elsewhere

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Assistance to the Palestinians is one of the few areas to be increased in the Trump administrations plans for massive cuts at the U.S. State Department.

Foreign Policy magazine on Monday posted 15 pages of proposed cuts it obtained as part of the Trump administration’s plan to roll the U.S. Agency for International Development into the State Department. The vast majority of aid programs are to be cut and some are to be eliminated. [Read more…]

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