Tag: Middle East

Jewish Republican donor reportedly took $2.7 million from UAE lobbyist to influence Trump administration

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A major Jewish Republican donor accepted $2.7 million from an adviser to the United Arab Emirates to influence Trump administration policy at a time of tension between the UAE and its neighbor, Qatar, The New York Times reported.

Elliott Broidy, the deputy finance chairman of the Republican National Committee and a member of the board of directors of the Republican Jewish Coalition, was paid the money by George Nader, an adviser to the Emirates, in a bid to influence President Donald Trump. Broidy was an early Jewish backer of Trump in the…

Iran tripled its missile production, a top Revolutionary Guard commander says

(JTA) — Iran has tripled its production of missiles, a senior Revolutionary Guard commander said, according to the Fars news service.

The commander did not explain during what time period the production increase had taken place, Reuters reported.

“In the past we had to do a lot of explaining to various bodies for our actions, but it’s not like that anymore,” Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, the head of the Guard’s aerospace division, said Wednesday, according to Fars, the semi-official news agency of the Iranian government.

“Our production has increased three-fold compared to the past,” he said, referring to…

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman decries J Street’s motto as ‘blasphemous’

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, decried the phrase “pro-Israel, pro-peace” — a motto closely associated with J Street — as “blasphemous.”

“Pro-Israel and pro-peace sounds like a completely reasonable position,” Friedman said Tuesday addressing the annual policy conference of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. “My friends, it is not. Using that praise plainly implies that there are people who are pro-Israel and anti-peace.”

Friedman, formerly a lawyer for President Donald Trump, came under fire during his nomination process for having attacked liberal Jews, including his claim that J Street, the liberal…

Mike Pence says US Embassy will move to Jerusalem by end of next year

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Vice President Mike Pence said the U.S. Embassy would move to Jerusalem by no later than the end of next year during an address to Israel’s parliament.

In his address Monday, the first by a U.S. vice president to the Knesset, Pence also called the Iran nuclear deal a “disaster” and said “the United States of America will no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement.”

As he began to speak, Arab-Israeli lawmakers from the Joint Arab List party began waving signs protesting the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, leading to their expulsion from the Knesset…

Germany establishes an anti-Semitism commissioner

(JTA) — Germany’s parliament voted to establish a commissioner to deal with anti-Semitism in the country.

Four mainstream parties endorsed the proposal, which noted that while most anti-Semitic crime in Germany is attributable to the far right, there are increased concerns about anti-Semitism among recent refugees and migrants from the Middle East and North Africa.

All the mainstream parties supported the measure with the exception of the Left Party, which abstained in disagreement over wording related to migrants. The anti-immigrant…