(JTA) — The State Department characterized the inclusion of the U.S. ambassador to Israel in meetings with Palestinian officials as an “upgrading” in relations.
David Friedman joined Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, at a meeting Tuesday with Palestinian officials in Jerusalem. The Palestinian peace negotiators reportedly requested that the meeting be held in Jerusalem because they did not want Friedman, a supporter of Israeli settlements and the U.S. official tapped to deal with Israel, to come to Ramallah, the capital of the Palestinian Authority.
Including Friedman marks a shift in U.S. policy in…
(JTA) — Most Americans do not hold anti-Semitic views and are worried about violence against Jews, according to polls by the Anti-Defamation League.
Only 14 percent of Americans expressed anti-Semitic attitudes, a slight increase from 10 percent in 2015, according to the data, which was released Thursday. Older and less educated respondents were the most likely to hold anti-Jewish views.
However, 52 percent of respondents said they were concerned about anti-Semitic violence and an even higher proportion, 76 percent, were worried about violence against Muslims, the ADL found.
Forty-seven percent of respondents said there was more anti-Semitism during the 2016 presidential campaign than in…
(JTA) — Jared Kushner had a friendly but secret meeting with Muslim Americans prior to the inauguration of his father-in-law, Donald Trump, but contacts diminished after the president banned entry to refugees and to travelers from seven Muslim majority countries.
“We thought discussing our nation’s founding values and freedom for Americans of all faiths was the responsible thing to do before Mr. Trump came to power,” Farhana Khera, the director of Muslim Advocates and one of five Muslim leaders at the meeting, told BuzzFeed, which on Tuesday broke the story of the early January get-together.
(JTA) — In his first statement about the Holocaust as president, Donald Trump vowed to make “love and tolerance prevalent throughout the world” and made no mention of Jews.
“It is with a heavy heart and somber mind that we remember and honor the victims, survivors, heroes of the Holocaust,” Trump said in a statement on Friday, International Holocaust Remembrance Day. “It is impossible to fully fathom the depravity and horror inflicted on innocent people by Nazi terror.”
But, he added, “We know that in the darkest hours of humanity, light shines the brightest. As we remember those who…
(JTA) — U.S. President Donald Trump said a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was “very nice.”
The leaders spoke early Sunday afternoon eastern standard time.
Trump made his comment on the phone call later Sunday afternoon, when asked by reporters following a White House swearing-in ceremony for some Trump administration advisers.
A statement released from the Prime Minister’s Office described the interaction as a “very warm conversation,” and said the leaders discussed “the nuclear deal with Iran, the peace process with the Palestinians and other issues.”
Netanyahu said earlier in the day when asked what subjects the…