Tag: Washington

Jewish lawmaker who opposed Iran deal leads push to have Trump abide by agreement

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Rep. Ted Deutch, a senior House Democrat who opposed the Iran nuclear deal, is leading an effort to persuade President Donald Trump to abide by the agreement.

“Some of us voted for, and some against the Iran nuclear agreement,” said the letter due to be sent Wednesday to Trump with signatures from over 180 Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives — the vast majority of the caucus. “Nonetheless, we are united in our belief that enforcing this agreement to the fullest extent will provide the United States with more leverage to stop a…

With America’s blessing, Abbas signals a reconciliation with Hamas

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Trump administration is encouraging the Palestinian Authority to assume control of the Gaza Strip and leaving the door open for a role by Hamas in the subsequent Palestinian government.

But if such a move was once seen as a traditional predicate to a two-state solution, top Palestinian leaders are hedging their bets, saying they would not rule out a “one-state” solution in which Palestinians have the same one-person, one-vote rights as Israelis. Israeli leaders have long said that would mean the end of the Jewish state.

Palestinian Authority government officials returned this week…

Jewish candidate for Illinois governor drops running mate over BDS

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A Jewish candidate for Illinois governor dropped his running mate over a disagreement about the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

Daniel Biss, a state senator, said in a statement Wednesday on his campaign website that he had made a “difficult” decision to part ways with Chicago Alderman Carlos Ramirez-Rosa just a week after announcing their ticket.

Biss said that he had raised BDS in the interview process and understood that Ramirez-Rosa opposed it, but in subsequent discussions it became clear “that Carlos’ position has changed.”

In a statement Wednesday to the…

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand withdraws support for anti-BDS bill

WASHINGTON (JTA) — In a rare move and after facing criticism at town hall meetings, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat, withdrew her sponsorship of an anti-BDS bill.

A search of the congressional website on Wednesday showed that Gillibrand withdrew her sponsorship. Asked for comment, her spokesman, Glen Caplin, said Gillibrand remains opposed to the movement to boycott, divest from and sanction Israel, and supported the bill’s intentions, but is concerned that its critics are concluding that the bill would impinge on civil liberties.

She wants the bill to remove those ambiguities, Caplin said.

“She wants…

Rex Tillerson: US wants Iran out of Syria

WASHINGTON (JTA) — A condition of U.S. cooperation with Russia in the Syria arena is the removal of Iranian forces from the country, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.

“The direct presence of Iranian military forces inside of Syria, they must leave and go home, whether those are Iranian Revolutionary Guard forces or whether those are paid militias, foreign fighters, that Iran has brought into Syria in this battle,” Tillerson said Wednesday in a wide-ranging news conference.

The other condition, Tillerson said, was that the end result should be a unified Syria with “new leadership” — the removal…