Tag: White House

Christian Zionists still uncertain about Trump — but know they’re glad Obama is out

WASHINGTON (JTA) – Barack Obama is gone and the relief among the Christian Zionists and their Jewish friends who peopled certain corners of Washington, D.C., this week was palpable.

Gary Bauer, the veteran evangelical activist, laid it out at the opening session of Christians United for Israel’s annual conference on Monday.

A year ago, “from one end of Pennsylvania Avenue to the next, we had people who were not blessing Israel, they were cursing Israel,” said Bauer, who was recently named director of CUFI’s Washington office.

Now, Bauer said to applause, Pastor John Hagee, CUFI’s founder, was…

Trump envoy Jason Greenblatt meets with families of Israelis held in Gaza

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Jason Greenblatt, President Donald Trump’s special envoy to the Middle East, met with the families of Israelis believed to be held by Hamas in Gaza.

Greenblatt, who arrived in Israel this week, met Monday evening with the families of Avera Mengistu and Hisham al-Sayed to discuss the situation of the two men, a statement from the White House said. The family of Jumaa Abu Ghanima, was unable to attend the meeting.

Greenblatt “expressed outrage that Hamas has not allowed the Israelis, some of whom may need medical assistance, to communicate with their families and return home,” according…

White House expresses concerns about ‘unrestrained’ building after eastern Jerusalem announcement

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Jerusalem municipality announced that it will approve 800 new homes in Jewish areas of eastern Jerusalem within the next month, prompting an expression of concern from the White House about “unrestrained” building.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, according to The Associated Press, said Wednesday that construction in Jerusalem is “essential, important and will continue full force.”

Following the announcement, a White House official expressed concerns about settlement building.

“President Trump has publicly and privately expressed his concerns regarding settlements and the Administration has made clear that unrestrained settlement activity does not advance the prospect for peace,”…

Lawmakers urge Trump to appoint White House Jewish liaison

(JTA) — A bipartisan group of lawmakers is calling on President Donald Trump to appoint a White House liaison to the Jewish community.

Reps. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., Lee Zeldin, R-N.Y., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., and Doug Lamborn, R-Colo., are asking members of Congress to sign a letter to the president. Rosen and Zeldin are Jewish.

“While it is still early in your term, increased anti-Semitism in the United States, the rise of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, and persecution of religious minorities across the globe create an urgent need for a designated point of contact to work with and…

State Dept.’s anti-Semitism monitoring office to be unstaffed as of July 1

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The U.S. State Department’s office to monitor and combat anti-Semitism will be unstaffed as of July 1.

A source familiar with the office’s workings told JTA that its remaining two staffers, each working half-time or less, would be reassigned as of that date.

The Trump administration, which has yet to name an envoy to head the office, would not comment on the staffing change. At full staffing, the office employs a full-time envoy and the equivalent of three full-time staffers.

The State Department told JTA in a statement that it remained committed to…