Tag: White House

Their troubled brother wandered into Gaza. Now his Ethiopian-Israeli family wants US help to get him back.

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Ilan Mengistu knows his pitch to rescue his brother, Avera, should be a no-brainer to Jews — “pidyon shvuyim,” the redemption of the hostage, is among the greatest of commandments.

But Mengistu also knows that the story he has to tell is not the straightforward narrative longed for by those who would do good: Avera was not a soldier, nor was he captured exactly. He crossed into the Gaza Strip of his own volition.

Mengistu came to Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., last week with his mother to raise awareness of the plight of…

Jared Kushner was contacted about WikiLeaks and Russia ahead of election, senators say

(JTA) — White House senior adviser Jared Kushner exchanged emails about WikiLeaks in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election, members of the Senate Judiciary Committee said.

The assertion, which comes amid a probe of alleged Russian intervention in the election, came Thursday in a letter sent by the committee’s chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and ranking member Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., to Kushner’s lawyer.

Prior to the election, WikiLeaks published emails, widely thought to have been hacked by the Russian government, damaging to Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and the Democratic National Committee.

In the letter, Grassley…

Donald Trump is drafting an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan

JERUSALEM (JTA) — U.S. President Donald Trump and his advisors have started drafting an Israeli-Palestinian peace plan, officials told The New York Times.

In the article published Saturday, officials said they expect to address issues that have long frustrated negotiators, such as the status of Jerusalem and West Bank settlements. The framework could “take until early next year to finalize” and will not impose a timeline for negotiations, officials said.

“We have spent a lot of time listening to and engaging with the Israelis, Palestinians and key regional leaders over the past few months to help reach an enduring peace…

Anthony Scaramucci to join Jewish group’s investment trip to Israel

(JTA) — Former White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci will join an Orthodox Jewish group on an investment trip to Israel.

The Wall Street-based Orthodox Jewish Chamber of Commerce will host what it is calling an Executive VIP trip to Israel later this month. Other prominent American business leaders will join the trip, according to the group.

Scaramucci, a financier, spent 10 days at his White House job before being let go in part because of an obscenity-laden interview he gave to The New Yorker magazine.

“My investments are all about belief in markets and Israel is one of…

Sheldon Adelson in praising his pro-Israel group takes a shot at AIPAC

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Sheldon Adelson, the billionaire casino magnate and major Jewish philanthropist, said he was the principal funder of the Israeli American Council because its support for Israel was “unequivocal” compared to other American Jewish groups.

Adelson, speaking Sunday evening at the IAC’s annual meeting, was explaining why he has backed the organization since its 2007 inception — as it happens, the year he broke with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee over its backing for the George W. Bush administration’s Annapolis peace push.

“I said to myself, ‘Self, this could be an unequivocal support organization…